A superb introduction to a new Star Trek universe. I saw this at the cinema, but as the new film is about to come up on the satellite film channels, I thought I would like to see this one again before seeing the new one, so I just bought the DVD.
Bringing new versions of much loved characters in to the public eye is always a tremendously difficult task. To cast nearly all the major roles with actors who manage to convey so much of their original counterparts without going so far as to be just outright impersonating them is a work of genius, and their own acting abilities are also remarkable in this regard. The only exception perhaps would be Simon Pegg, who is definitely not really channeling Scotty at all, but makes the character his own, and very well he does it too. The small injections of humour from him, and indeed other characters too, work really well, I just hope they don't over develop it and go too far in future films. (Well, OK, maybe the whizzing about in a conveniently transparent pipe full of water was a bit too daft).
The little potted histories of some of the main characters and how they all meet for the first time is handled very cleverly and really adds depth to the story. Fabulous entertainment. Mr Abrams certainly knows his craft.
on 22 June 2014
As a huge fan of the original series I approached this with caution. Never been a fan of the Captain Picard crew as the character balance/writing was sorely lacking the magic/humour from the Kirk/Spock era.
While viewing the film I recall thinking how good the writing was and how it captured the spirit, camaraderie and feel of the original series, although on a much grander scale.
I have to take my hat off to JJ Abrams, he has really nailed it with a direct hit in the bullseye. The visuals are amazing and the sets are awesome. The budget is all there for the viewer on the screen, it is a visual treat, coupled with the writing and great casting (all of the main crew members are superbly cast) it is a genuine blockbuster that continues the Star Trek legacy with honour. I look forward to more of the same please.
on 14 October 2009
THIS YEAR'S IRON MAN
I guess there are different sorts of die hard fans. I'm of the type who has lapped up everything Star Trek for 40 years. The orginal series was great and so were most of the even numbered movies. TNG was a great ride but with each successive series thereafter, the ideas got less an less original - not that the shows weren't created by hugely talented people but how could they stay hot after hundreds of episodes? By the time we limped to Enterprise, the franchise needed a shot in the arm if it was going to survive. I was hugely sceptical about Abrams' version - Simon Pegg as Scotty, come on! I mean we love him but that definately felt like credibility was being stretched.
What a true delight it was then to see a true pumped up, rock 'n' roll version of Star Trek! Abrams and his gang did a clever thing, they created their very own Star Trek leaving the original series and everything we know fully intact sat happily in its own time line. Don't misunderstand though, this is the very same Kirk, Spock, McCoy and co. we all know and love, just sent down a slightly different path. So we can take a few liberties, mix things up a bit and generally have a ton of fun.
The story does what it needs to, the casting is great (especially Spock and McCoy), the effects are fantastic and Abrams manages to do character moments on the move so there's hardly time to take a breath - oh and Simon Pegg is great as Scotty!
Overall I got a real sense of joi de vivre, hence it being this year's Iron Man something that's been missing from Trek for a long time.
Maybe the best thing is, die hards and newbies alike will all find something to like.
This is a review of the film and the format.
Most people will have some idea about what is involved in the star trek universe. Basically it's about a future time, where Earth has achieved faster than light speed travel, and has therefore been able to travel beyond our galaxy and meet other alien life and explore the universe.
This movie is about how the people on the ship came to be on the ship. As well as basically being a prequel, it has in itself an interesting twist in the story, making the story itself worthy of watching.
The special effects are fantastic as you'd expect, and the story is also well done. JJ Abrahms has done a superb job of making this film exciting, funny, and interesting, which will please not only veterans of the star trek universe, but also people who are experiencing it for the first time.
I purchased this on amazon video. The quality of the picture is fine - nice and sharp as you'd expect, but not bluray crisp. But unfortunately this didn't come with subtitles, which I always find handy if I sometimes can't understand what someone has said. Whilst this hardly ever occurs, I still like the option to have subtitles, and as it is lacking, it's a big let down. Its a reasonably recent blockbuster film, and it's in a series... And they couldn't be bothered to add the subtitles.....shame.
The film itself gets a solid 5 stars - entertaining, thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable. 2 hours isn't long enough. More please!
The format gets 4 stars... No subtitles is just plain annoying.
2009's reboot of Star Trek is certainly an enjoyable improvement over the ailing Next Generation series of movies, but despite all the love and US box-office success (the film wasn't nearly so popular with ticket-buyers in the rest of the world), it still doesn't make the leap to being a great film. The opening with the birth of Kirk and the death of his father during a battle packs a surprising emotional punch and the film consistently does an interesting job of showing how the characters we know and love evolved - a cocky young Jim Kirk learning to brush that chip off his shoulder and earn responsibility, Spock still struggling with his half-human impulses - but there are things that don't work that well playing against the film. J.J. Abrams tendency to put lens flares in every other shot becomes increasingly distracting and, if anything, the refit of the Enterprise is much worse than in the 1979 film, making it look distractingly like a wildly overlit nightclub or computer salesroom. It's also a shame that for someone so cavalier about using other composer's music, Michael Giacchino's score eschews Jerry Goldsmith's iconic movie theme in favor of a combination of Tan Dun oriental scoring for the Vulcans and a Danny Elfman Batman-lite theme for the Enterprise itself. Even his version of Alexander Courage's original TV theme in the end credits is typically a rather hollow reorchestration.
The plot is another time travel/revenge story that ingeniously allows the filmmakers to create an alternate timeline for future entries with a well-motivated but otherwise rather underdeveloped villain in Eric Bana. It's blessed with particularly good casting, with Zachary Quinto's Spock and Karl Urban's McCoy uncannily catching the essence of their predecessors without falling into slavish imitation, and the film does work in many nods to the original series in the form of green women in bikinis, Commander Pike in his wheelchair, Sulu showing off his fencing, Kirk taking the Koboyashi Maru test, Chekov having twouble with his `r's and `v's and those perennially ill-fated redshirts. There's even a little bit of emotion with Leonard Nimoy's final scene talking about friendship defining both Kirk and Spock, though it's a pity that it wasn't William Shatner who delivered the iconic `Boldly go' end narration. It's a fun film filled with neat touches that's better than anyone had a right to expect, but there's still room for improvement in future voyages.
The single-disc DVD version is extras-lite - just an audio commentary, featurette, outtakes and a couple of trailers for other movies, with the two-disc version offering deleted scenes and the expected self-congratulatory featurettes (the Blu-ray contains all the two-disc DVD features).
on 22 May 2010
Enough has probably been said about this movie. Some liked it, some didn't, I did. I have enjoyed most of the Star Trek movies. The latest excursions of the Next Generation crew make an exception, as they seemed to me desperate but futile attempts to create modern, action-packed movies that would re-invent and revive the Star Trek franchise. Where they failed, this movie succeeds. When I watched it in the theatre, I instantly remembered why I loved the old movies so much. While I missed some calm and thoughtful moments in JJ Abrams movie, I was well entertained, smiled a lot and liked how the new cast fills and expands on the old characters. Star Trek XI may not be a milestone, it won't be a cult movie and is definitely no modern classic, but while I usually give the big blockbuster movies a wide berth because I find them to be dull and mind-numbing, I enjoyed this one a lot and give it a well-deserved 4 stars.
This box, however, doesn't do the movie justice in my opinion. The video and audio quality is beyond reproach but the bonus material, let me exaggerate a bit, is as interesting and insightful as a commercial for toothpaste. This may, for many, be an irrelevant factor. For me, if I buy a 2-disc special edition, I want to see extensive behind-the-scenes material, special effects documentaries, interviews with cast and crew, etc. I watched the steelbook edition of Superman Returns lately - whatever good or bad you may think about that movie, the bonus material is a good example of what you could get with such a box. The extras of this Star Trek box, however, are not much more than the mandatory "oh it was so great working with , he was so " and a few circumstantial so-called documentaries. The bonus dvd will fail to enrich your experience of the movie for not much more than an hour. I for my part was deeply disappointed and wish I had bought the single disc. Which is why I rate the box only 3 out of 5.
Starfleet is made aware of a strange electrical storm, which turns out to be more than a storm. Oops it's a trap and George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) acting captain for 12 minutes, must sacrifice himself to save his crew. On this day was born James Tiberius Kirk. Kirk who leads a rambunctious childhood must find and fulfill his destiny.
He will unite with other characters with which Trekkies can relate. For people new to the genre the story itself sustainable and does not require any previous knowledge of the story or the characters.
This is a great addition to the Star Trek tradition. They left no stone unturned all the major characters and the Gene Roddenberry feel is included. The CGI did not overwhelm the basic story. Parts my look like a power plant in Long Beach. Moreover, do we get Budweiser name recognition?
There will always be people that will ether not watch this presentation or dis the story as growing up with the original TV or movies have no intention of rewriting the story in their minds. That is too bad that they will miss out. However, I understand, as I cannot stand to watch anything past the first three Starwars presentation. However is suggest you give this presentation, a chance as you may find that it has all the same energy philosophy and dialog that made the original.
I've only seen the Blu-Ray version so I cannot compare versions however, the DVD was proud of itself being Blu-Ray and we have to sit through several minutes of coming attractions. The extras include the obligatory commentary by J. J. Abrams, Brian Burke, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, and Roberto Orci. There is also a BD-live option.
All the other extras can fill a review in themselves. Most of the added material is duplicated in other presentations but it is interesting to look at the shooting locations.
aka "Star Trek: The Future Begins" - Malaysia (English title)
aka "Star Trek Zero" - USA (working title)
aka "Star Trek: The IMAX Experience" - USA (IMAX version)
aka "Star Trek (IMAX DMR version)" - Hong Kong (English title) (IMAX version)
aka "Star Trek XI" - USA (working title)
on 24 March 2010
JJ Abrams has achieved what even the most die-hard trekker must have considered to have been beyond even the capabilities of Victor Frankenstein; namely to electrify and restore to life the corpse that was Star Trek. After inflicting the horror that was Star Trek: Enterprise with its wooden captain and lifeless crew upon us even the most optimistic of fans must surely have considered the Trek franchise to have been consigned forever to the uttermost depths of the Klingon underworld.
I confess that I was such a fan and feared that the new film would fall at the first hurdle. How wrong was I! The film has cleared every obstacle and has lapped the course! A first rate thriller of a plot and a magnificent choice, in each and every instance, of actors to take up the roles of the original crew members. Ye gods! Chris Pine IS James T Kirk to the life! He captures the bombast and swagger that Shatner gave to the original version of the character and yet makes Kirk look and sound attractive and likeable. (No mean feat that!)
As to Zachary Quinto - if someone told me that he had been conceived and born on Vulcan I would believe them without doubt. (Even when acting as Sylar in Heroes the man looks suspiciously Vulcan - just note the eyebrows guys!) Simon Pegg and Karl Urban have clearly been possessed by the spirits of Scotty and Bones. I could go on - but will not do so -- they are each and every one faultless in the roles assigned to them. The plot daringly makes possible not only future films in the series but also story lines that will be able to diverge from those employed in the original TV series and its follow-on films. The extras on the second disc are a real treat to behold. The free comic book with its "prequel" to the story of the film was a nice addition and was fun to read. (For all fans of the late lamented Lt Commander Data: there is a delightful- and most satisfying- surprise to be found in the comic book.) This film will entertain old fans and create new ones both. Star Trek lives!
...suspend disbelief at the plot though. "Star Trek" is very much a "go with the flow" film. There are some genuine raise-the-hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck moments - both cinematically and dramatically but, thankfully not, sentimentally (the inclusion of the Leonard Nimoy Spock is, for me, surplus to requirements).
This "Star Trek" film goes right back to pilot episode "The Cage" for its source material. It cleverly manages to dovetail with the original TV series whilst demanding very little in the way of prior knowledge from newcomers. The film just about strikes the right balance between action and futurism without getting entangled in the political and philosophical aspects that all too often bogged-down "The Next Generation". Simon Pegg turns Scotty into a Red Dwarf/Hitchhikers Guide-type comedy turn to good effect. His Scottish accent's OK (better than James Doohan's anyway). Zoe Saldana as Uhura is also impressive in taking Nichelle Nicholls "spare part" character to centre-stage.
Not a perfect film, but with this and District 9 [DVD]  we really have been spoiled for science fiction in 2009 - possibly the two finest movies from the genre this decade coming right at its very end.
4.5 stars rounded down to 4. Rounded DOWN due to the use of "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys in the soundtrack: look, if Kirk listened to classic 20th/21st century music he would listen to Model 500 or Underground Resistance NOT the Beasties. Even if he DID listen to the Beasties, he would have preferred something off Paul's Boutique or Check Your Head, not Ill Communication. Why is it that movie-makers' lack of musical knowledge so often lets them down?
on 11 December 2009
When I saw the film at the cinema I felt angry that so much that had been created and developed by previous writers, directors and actors had been jettisoned by the change in the time line. How could Leonard Nimoy have supported it? But after seeing the DVD at home where it was possible to evaluate the creativity of the new idea I changed my mind. Some have said that the plot is poor; but compared with the modern trend to have noise, multiple explosions and far too much CGI this film is a pleasant change. The actors actually act! There is drama. The director's use of anamorphic filming brings back the feeling that what you see is really happening. I was impressed. The problem for those of us who have loved Star Trek in all its manifestations is how to reconcile what will, if the new time line continues, be difficult to associate with the characters so well created and developed over the years. Kirk will be much the same(brash and quite unsuitable to be in charge in many cases!) but Spock? What are we to make of him now? And a universe without the wisdom of a fully developed civilization such as the Vulcans? Great new opportunities for writers, granted, but for those new to Star Trek so much will be missed that I have enjoyed over the years. But JJ Abrams has trod a difficult path between the old and the new and all in all he has succeeded in breathing new life into what, admittedly, could become a tired old series. The DVD is well worth having.