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Star Trek (2009) Guest Reviews, Page 1

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Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Spoiler alert. If you don't like spoilers, don't read below this sentence. Early 23rd century, USS Kelvin is attacked by a ship crewed by the Romulans from the late 24th century. Captain is killed, ship crippled, crew abandons ship, George Kirk, who was put into command by the Captain shortly before his death, pilots the ship on a suicide course into the Romulan ship to allow the shuttles a chance to escape. While on the shuttle, George Kirk's wife gives birth to James T. Kirk. As an adult, Captain Pike recruits Kirk to join Starfleet, while at the academy, the cadets (I assume the ones near graduation) are placed on active duty status, assigned ships, and ordered to Vulcan to help defend it against an attack. Vulcan is destroyed, among the dead is Spock's mother. Pike is taken hostage by the Romulans, Kirk and Spock don't get along, Spock ejects Kirk from the Enterprise onto another planet in the Vulcan star system where Kirk meets the Spock from the 24th century as well as Scotty. Spock assists with getting Kirk and Scotty onto the Enterprise and heads to Earth to take down Nero before he can destroy the planet. Upon saving the planet, destroying both ships from the future (including Spock's ship), and saving the life of Captain Pike, Kirk is given the (absurd) promotion from cadet to Captain and command of the Enterprise.
  
Overall, I loved this movie. It's not a "Star Trek 2" or "First Contact" but it is worth checking out. You don't have to be a Trek fan to understand what's going on, but it was written for Trek fans to enjoy.
First, let me go into the bad: The before mentioned of Kirk's instant jump from Cadet to starship commander. Yeah Pike put him into command while the Enterprise basically had a boat load of children, but still, Kirk should have at most, gone up to Lt. The Enterprise model wasn't impressive to me. It was wrong. From having the front window on the bridge section being the view screen to engine exhaust ports on the rear of the nacelles, the entire model just felt wrong. Also the racist Vulcans. Vulcan society looks down upon Sarek for marrying a human and at Spock for being half human.
The good: The costumes were fantastic, and the sets from the Enterprise to Nero's ship were all great. Nice mix of push buttons and levers on the bridge as well as the highly industrial look of the engineering sections of the ships. The transporter isn't the super fast machine it was on Enterprise or Star Trek: The Next Generation movies. These transporters were what should have been on Enterprise, having to stand still, taking a long time to dematerialize and rematerialize. The shuttles had a good mix of old school Star Trek design, but updated to still keep the look from the old series, but not looking campy. There is no reset switch in this movie. When it's over with, Vulcan is still destroyed and the Vulcans are an endangered species, Spock doesn't go back home, and Kirk doesn't get to relive his childhood personally knowing his father.
This movie completely rewrites 'Star Trek', giving it new life by allowing a new TOS series (they already have the sets built) to take off if the Powers That Be so decide, and if they go that route, and seeing the changes that happened in this movie, I would like to see the changes with TNG and DS9 as well. I really wouldn't expect to see much change with a Voyager series based in this new time line.
This movie is also shows pain and death in a way that no other series dealt with. Most memorable death was early in the movie was a woman screaming and crying as she held on for dear life before getting sucked into the vacuum of space. Also the scene on Vulcan where the council was evacuating and one was squashed under a falling statue.
I was on the fence about the Enterprise's rapid firing phaser banks. There were more on this ship than on the model from TOS, and the original never fired as rapidly as this one did. But given the loss of the Kelvin, I guess Starfleet put more research into weaponry.
New timeline differences: Kirk grew up with a step father who collected cars, Spock lost his mother, George Kirk sacrificed himself to save his crew and family, Vulcan is destroyed and a Klingon planet is destroyed (possibly Rura Pente).
Remarkable quote: "It would seem self serving to give you the usual greeting, so I will simply say, 'Good Luck'." -Old Spock to Young Spock.
Remarkable product placement: The Nokia phone/radio in the Corvette.
Remarkable first for Star Trek: A car chase between a kid driver behind the wheel of a corvette and a cop on a bike, while a song by the Beastie Boys play.
Remarkable props: Sulu's segmented sword, the parachutes, the phasers that flip between 'stun' and 'kill' by flipping the emitters.
Remarkable nods to Trek: Admiral Archer and his beagle (talked about, not scene), Pike in the wheel chair, Kirk cheating at the "Kobayashi Maru", "I'm a Doctor, not a physicist." and "That green blooded..." lines from Dr. McCoy, final line in the movie is the same speech that ended "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan" spoken by the same actor, the gag about Chekov's accent.
Rating: 8 (Jason Feagans)

Star Trek (2009) Date 2258: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
I'll preface this review with saying that I've never been opposed to a complete reboot of the Star Trek franchise. Especially after the failure that Nemesis was, and the cancellation of ENT, only something radical could save Star Trek from itself. In fact, I had been pretty confused that they never fully admitted to calling it a reboot, as if just to appease fans. But now that I've seen it, I must say they did something very clever.
You see.. this is an alternate reality created by Nero and Spock-Prime. Now, the immediate question that matters for any alternate reality is "why should we even care about this, and not *our* Star Trek universe!?". I think they addressed this in two ways:
First of all, this movie is mostly about characters, and boy, does it have those. "Star Trek" is full of action, comedy and even a bit of romance, and the main characters are just really good. Chris Pine's Kirk may lack the philosophical angle that Kirk had in TOS, but he's definitely got the bravado, the stubbornness and the sense of humor of the original. Quinto's Spock has the advantage of looking uncannily like the original, and he seems a bit more 'bipolar' than the extraordinary Spock portrayed by Nimoy. It helps to show a progression in the character. Nimoy's Spock is more balanced than he's ever been before, comfortably talking about his friendship with Kirk-Prime, and yet clearly still the logical Spock we love. Finally, Karl Urban's McCoy is perhaps the best character in terms of similarity to the original. The first scene he has with Kirk immediately establishes him as the character we know and love, and it's good to have the friendship between Kirk and McCoy established very early on.
A second way in which the new setting is 'sold' to us, is via Spock-Prime. Not only did Nimoy give his blessing to the movie by appearing in it, his character actually is the element that ties this new Star Trek to the old one. Spock, now one of the leaders of the surviving Vulcans, seems to settle into this new Trek with full confidence. Spock is happy to be here, and so should we.
At the end of the movie, with the Enterprise flying away with Spock's "to boldy go" speech, the big question that arises is: What now for Star Trek? The characters are fine, but they definitely have to evolve as an ensemble. Sulu, Scotty and Chekov are mostly background characters in the movie, and the Spock/Kirk/McCoy trio didn't have that many scenes together. It will be interesting to see a more settled Captain Kirk, with McCoy and Spock as his 'alter-egos'.
In conclusion, this movie seems to hit the right notes, and is very enjoyable for Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. I'm sure that it will fill online forums with discussion for years to come, but I think that even the most die-hard fan will find something to like in this movie. A 9 out of 10 (there's always something to improve), and definitely in the Top 3 with Wrath of Khan and First Contact.
Remarkable character: Nyota Uhura (that's canon now) has a surprisingly large role, maybe even more prominent than McCoy. She has a love interest for Spock, and gives him the comfort he needs after his homeworld is destroyed by Nero.
Nitpicking: My only real nitpick would be the use of actual industrial sites to represent the 'bowels' of the ship. It kind of works to give a sense of scale to these areas, but at times the big iron beams and concrete floors just don't look like a starship at all. I would've preferred an actual newly designed Engineering set.
Remarkable timeline changes: Nero appears in 2233, causing the death of George Kirk. James T. Kirk isn't born in Iowa, and never gets to live on Tarsus. He only joins Starfleet on Pike's insistence. In 2258, Vulcan is destroyed, with just 10,000 Vulcan survivors, who eventually plan to settle a new Vulcan colony by the end of the movie.
Remarkable scene: The Iowa bar is my probably my favorite Kirk scene. His outrageous and often hilarious courting with Uhura, his macho behavior towards Starfleet cadet "Cupcake", it just seem to work so well.
Remarkable ship: The Enterprise. I was a bit apprehensive about the redesign, but the newly designed Enterprise just seems instantly recognizable.
Remarkable visual effects: The visual effects in this movie are unlike anything ever seen in Star Trek. From extreme close-ups to extreme wide shots, the ships look amazing. And inside the ships, my favorite new element are the transparent viewscreens.
Rating: 9 (Harry Doddema)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
In short: Did I like it? Oh, yes. Did I love it? Doubleplus yes.
Reboot? Well... it does not ignore the events of the 700+ episodes and 10 other movies. Instead, we get a time travel story which changes the *whole* timeline. Original Series continuity? Gone. The Next Generation? Gone. Deep Space 9? Gone. Voyager… gone too. I frown at the thought that the only thing that seems unaffected is Enterprise which never lived up to its premise till season 4. As an avid fan, effectively erasing that much continuity to evade the words “reboot” is, well, a tad bit too much. As much as I hate reboots, I wish it was one.
Nero was an ok villain. I would have definitely liked to see more of him onscreen. He got a Star-Trek style explanation of his motives (which is: he is not just an evil megalomaniac genocidal creep), but we never really got to know him better, he remains too much in the back. I little more interaction with him would have served the movie better, because apart from his back story which takes up about one minute in the movie, he is never really more than your generic genocidal maniac. He doesn’t seem to have any doubts about his goals, any reflection on himself. Pity.
The Vulcans are much, much more emotional than ever before, and this includes Spock (well, that’s one case I can understand) it just doesn’t really feel well with me, supposing we are talking about the same Vulcan from TOS.
The characters are all likeable (well, we know them already, don’t we?), the acting is generally solid, and the humor never fails short. The pacing is fast, but good, and you never start pinching in your seat. The effects are also very well done.
I still don’t like the all-too sterile Enterprise bridge, or neither the redesigned ship itself. She just doesn’t seem to have good proportions in my eyes. The one from the TOS movies looks better any day (or for that matter, the 1960’s one too…)
Verdict: 8/10
Rating: 8 (Mark Bakos)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate 2233: While studying a spatial anomaly that looks like a storm in space the USS Kelvin is attacked by a 24th century Romulan ship commanded by Nero. During the attack first officer promoted to Captain George Kirk sacrifices his life while saving the life of his crew, wife, and new born son James Tiberius Kirk. Years later an angry young Jim Kirk is recruited by Christopher Pike to join Starfleet. During his third year in the academy and while beating the Kobayashi Maru test designed by Spock, the new recruits are assigned to their ships and sent to answer a distress signal from Vulcan which is under attack. The planet is destroyed by the Romulans while Captain Pike is taken hostage and the newly commissioned Enterprise is damaged, amongst the casualties is Spock's mother Amanda Grayson just a few survive. During its hasty retreat toward a rendezvous point with the fleet, acting captain Spock maroons Kirk on a planet of the Vulcan system where he is saved by Spock from the 24th century. The new pair go to the Federation outpost and meet Montgomery Scott. Kirk and Scott are beamed to the Enterprise by Spock where Kirk, after following advise from the old Vulcan, takes command of the Enterprise and sets a course to Earth. As the Enterprise approaches Earth, Spock and Kirk beam over to the the Romulan Vessel where Spock takes his future self's ship in order to save the Earth while Kirk rescues Captain Pike. With both future vessels destroyed, James Kirk is promoted to Captain and given command of the Enterprise while the future Spock joins as part of the new Vulcan council and set to a new colony.
  
The story in itself is one that can be enjoyed by Trek fans and non-Trek fans alike. While still avoiding the whole reboot of the universe it has to be taken into account that yes all that was written and established during the original series and movies will never happen or at least be changed in someway will leave the door wide open to new stories or takes on known Trek Lore. The cast does a good job in performing especially Carl Urban who managed to get the pacing and timing perfect of the late DeForest Kelley to a point that if he could have gotten a bit of a southern twang you wouldn't be able to differentiate them. The visual effects prove yet another master piece on behalf of ILM giving the whole unity to the Starfleet vessels. And the tiny nods to the already stipulated and now gone canon proves that at least some of the research was done on part of the writers, although the fact that Uhura is ordering a Cardassian drink on a time when no first contact has been made, and Scotty has a Tribble for pet. The sets on the other hand would have to be the worst in the history of Star Trek including the cardboard and paper-m‚chť sets of the Original Series with all due respect to the new production designer but the highly industrial look of both the Kelvin's hangar bay and the Enterprise's engineering section that do look more like a factory than a modern day sailing ship's engine room, without mentioning that the viewscreen, is an actual window now as if the whole solid wall of the bridge of the Enterprise-E in Nemesis wasn't fragile enough and how is it possible that there is a large corridor behind the bridge when it is supposed to be on the top of the module. The exhaust pipe lights of the warp engines another thing that just would've wish they could leave either the engines of the movie models or the tv show ones. The low reverb and roar of the engines of old being replaced by an annoying turbine sound for them was yet one of the things that I keep telling to myself what the hell are you guys thinking.
Rating: 6 (Luis R. Camarillo)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
I saw the new Star Trek today here in Australia where it's released a bit ahead of the US. I must say I'm somehow sceptical, making me thinking this movie only deserves 5/10 (though actually this is a bit too simple to be evaluated in such a way).
Overall, I think the film is enjoyable and a good moment. Any fan or casual viewer will appreciate the vision Abrams has given us of the 23rd century. The computer generated effects feels very good and there are a lot of details to catch. Thereís a lot of action, the rhythm and editing are relatively well done, though itís getting too fast sometimes. But it also convey some emotions, I was especially moved during the introduction when Kirkís father struggle to save as many as possible of his crew, sacrificing himself in the process.
The actors play well. I havenít seen much of TOS but I did see the TOS-based movies and I think they get the characters relatively well despite the obvious changes brought into the timeline by the filmís events. I found the new McCoy and Scotty quite funny Ė the former giving the famous "Iím a doctor, not a ..." and the latter bashing this poor little alien Ė but I was surprised by the relationship between Uhura and Spock. This was interesting, and serves making Spock more human and Uhura friendlier I think, since she appears really as someone very arrogant at some times. I just think that Chekovís accent is exaggerated. How could StarFleet, even when it has no available ship with active crew in the vicinity (how surprising...) accept that such a man having difficulties to be understood even by the sophisticated Enterpriseís computer be drafted for immediate service? Sure, he appears to be some sort of little genius but is that enough ? How about English lessons (and the translator ?).
Thereís a lot of humour there and references to the "real world" or other movies. The Nokia phone and tune in the teenager Kirkís car was priceless...
Also, Neroís shipís inside (and Kirk & Neroís actions there) looked really as homage to Star War Episode I.
Now if you move to details or the general alterations to the timeline, it gets darker. Science and "Trek-science" are both portrayed with some huge approximations. A single "supernova" threatening the whole galaxy? It does not look like a lethal Gamma ray burst, rather like every single star would be suddenly exploding. There are strange black hole things going on. How could Neroís ship be taken into the black hole without being destroyed in the 24th century and then, latter in the film, first stand with a formed black hole just in the middle of its superstructures and then, a few minutes after, be sucked into it? And anyway, a black hole would certainly not behave like that.
The orbital jump is a good scene but has some physical or logical faults. How the guys slowed down to enter the atmosphere at a reasonable speed? Because when they were in this shuttle they were in orbit... As soon as they went outside, they just fell to the planet... Now, okay, I could forgive that and say there was some unshown deceleration time.
The classical problem of sound in space is actually better served than elsewhere. At some points, at least 2 times I can remember properly but there might be more, the viewer moves from a sound-rich environment inside a ship to the silence of space (when one crewman is ejected outside of the Kelvin and when Kirk et al. space dive. But numerous other times you have the ships doing their usual noises...
In terms of "inside universe" technologies the transporters get the most bizarre. Scotty goes as to claim that he can teleport living beings between different systems, light-years across. And we are shown that the Enterprise hiding in Titanís upper atmosphere (that is a bit too sharp in terms of when you are in/out of the clouds) can teleport people in Earthís orbit.
I think the engineering room was okay though it looks too "obsolete" at some points. No warp core (seems like we got five instead...) ? Why no large computer access point like on the bridge ? Theyíd make sense in engineering too. And they should at least have hidden the very 19th century pipesí wheels... Also itís a bit difficult to understand the new warp drive mechanism. Plus as usual the speed and relative time is fuzzy at best. It looks like they take 5 minutes to go from Earth to Vulcan yet we hear Scotty saying that boosting the ship to Warp 4 would be something difficult... There seems to be exhausts involved in the process at the end of the nacelles too.
While San Francisco looked awesome (as well as the Vulcan city, the stalactite-like buildings are nice), it had the problem of looking too like Coruscant. Maybe it was intentional but I have always pictured Star Trekís Earth not to be a planet housing metropolis with building rising several kilometres in altitude!
To conclude on that part, sometime itís a bit gross how the characters progress. Kirk moves from cadet to captain in a couple of what seems to be days.
Now on to the major problem for me: the timeline alteration. The crew discuss that onscreen and appears to become aware of that really fast. The way they use the word "alternate universe" is a bit strange character-wise because it looks like they admit they are themselves the alternates while I guess anyone would assume from its conscious perception that his/her reality it the non-alternate, main one. I guess this is a way the writers have found to try to calm down people that will start to complain about all the changes here. To be frank, I could have accommodated the changes brought by the first set of Neroís action, i.e. the impact on Kirkís early life. But when it comes to destroying Vulcan, nope, thatís too much. Bernd said at some point the following: "Many fans, including Orci himself, are apparently under the impression that the alterations of the timeline in the new 'Abramsverse' are small enough that they could only invalidate some events of TOS but would ultimately not affect the 24th century as depicted in TNG/DS9/VOY." Well, Orci and these fansí vision cannot be more untrue. Destroying Vulcan Ė as well as large numbers of vessels both in Federal and Klingon fleets Ė simply cannot be correct by some "the universe is setting itself right" mantra (which, objectively, does not make a lot of sense to me). You remove Vulcan, you invalidate all the episodes and movies that have revolved around it or included it, close and far from the filmís date. When Orci tries to explain that the older continuity still exist somewhere in the multiverse, he seems to imply that the film could still lead to the following Trek without any much problem. That does not work (Berndís explanations for that are quite good) and I think they should have from the beginning told us this was going to be a full-fledged reboot. Including elements to make the movie a Star Trek movie, even when they are faithfully followed, but destroying the timeline we know by removing such an iconic planet as Vulcan doest no make a prequel, it makes a reboot. A "mild" one so to say, but still one. Thatís my main disappointment from this new Star Trek. It is not the original Star Trek, but a new one. I saw in a review that this move allowed for the future Trek to be free of the "we all know how the characters ended" that plagued it (according to the reviewer) but that only makes sense if one assumes that the whole new Trek is going to be prequel. Moving to the future (post Nemesis) would have been quite a potent idea, even keeping the possibility to bring back into the film Nimoy!
Iím sure however that the film will have a success and lead to some sequels and perhaps a new television serial. But to me, and I guess a lot of people, this Trek will never be "the" Star Trek we know. It will be Abramsí Trek.
Cool real-world reference: The Nokia phone and its ring tone!
Shocking scene: The destruction of Vulcan
Remarkable quote: "I may throw up on you" -McCoy to Kirk
Rating: 5 (Sťbastien Demmel)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
Well, I just saw the new movie the other night and although I was skeptical from the day I first heard about the general storyline and stayed skeptical with every new information that became available, I must say - damned, what a great movie, what great actors, what thrilling action and what new views of familiar things!
Even the new Enterprise looked good, but I think that can be mainly attributed to the fact that the one side view that has been available now for some time could only be seen for a few seconds on screen. All the other views just showed parts of the ship. From a prop fan / phaser fan point of view, there is not to much to be seen, no close-ups I remember or anything. But I went out of the theater and for the first time in years had the urge to see that movie again soon. That has not happened in a long time.
I am trying not to give too much away, but I am pleased with the way they explained the difference to the Star Trek we all knew up until this movie. The look of things is familiar, yet advanced (although even TOS can look good on screen today, it has been proven often in the last years), the aliens do look like more than just a few forehead appliances, the men are bold and the women good looking.
If there are things that did not quite work out for me yesterday evening, then it would be these things.
Two are purely from a visual point of view.
a) The engine room set just plainly looks like a cheaply redressed factory or power plant. With all those steel beams and pipes it just does not fit with the rest of the interior design, namely the bridge and the corridors. Sorry guys, that set I just did not buy. And it did not even convey that sense that this ship is really big. Sorry, no way!
On the other hand, I did buy the look of the shuttles. Just take a look at contemporary trucks with their dirty and used surfaces, purely designed to fulfill a task, not to look like a slick sports car without any use. Definitely one skepticism deleted or explained away.
b) Although a minor thing, but using a 20th century forklift so far in the future just does not work either (hangar set at Star Fleet Headquarters). It just plainly looked cheap the +5 seconds it was visible (carrying something that looked like a Euro palette)
c) That Nokia product placement in the Corvette scene.
d) I would have loved to find out how they got the Enterprise into space.
From a story line point of view (BEWARE - SPOILER AHEAD!) I really had a problem how Scotty suddenly became Chief Engineer. McCoy's succession in the chain of command had been stated in on-screen dialogue, but I never heard why Scotty became chief engineer and how he suddenly gained all knowledge to even eject the warp core(s) successfully. Hey - even Geordi couldn't get it to work on numerous occasions.
Of course the movie had quite some scene and dialogues that we saw and heard before and that they surely included to calm us longtime fans - but hey, it worked, I had a good time finding them. Being it the Vulcan school type of thing, that reminded me of the test scene in "Star Trek IV", the Kobayashi Maru test and the apple, that was clearly a tip to the hat for that "Star Trek II" scene in the Genesis cave. And I am sure that I remember even more great scenes as soon as I send this review.
So let me close with the recommendation that you should really see this movie, for me, it worked as advertised - entertaining for the regular moviegoer, fun and action packed yet full of big and small references to what we have come to admire in the past +40 years. I am really looking forward to the next time I will see this movie and hopefully some more with those actors.
Rating: 10 (Thorsten Wieking)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
I'm a Vulcan fan. I'm such a Vulcan fan that I went to the premiere of the JJ Abrams' Star Trek film in my TOS minidress and woochie space ears. And overall, as a Vulcan fan and a Trek fan, I wasn't disappointed.
The new reboot was largely an energetic, action-packed film that had plenty in it to satisfy the casual or serious fan. In fact, of the people I saw the movie with, it was those who hadn't watched much Star Trek at all who seemed the most confused by the time-travel-based plot. They also seemed to miss many of the character and episode references that really made this movie terrific. Despite the creative team's best efforts, I really think this was a movie for the fans.
Their attention to detail was particularly evident in the casting. Nearly every casting choice was spot-on. The core trio of Spock, Kirk, and Bones, especially, were well-cast, though Simon Pegg also deserves a nod as Scotty.
But, like I said, I'm a Vulcan fan. And, man, did Zachary Quinto fill some very tall boots terrifically well. His portrayal of Spock felt very close to the best Spock TOS episodes -- "Amok Time", "This Side of Paradise" -- episodes where his emotions often bubbled over. It's a large part of what makes Spock compelling as a character, of course, and Quinto does a good job of tapping into this.
Other details about Vulcan are also quite nice and seemed to have stuck closely to the continuity established in the novels. I've already read about objections to the barely-concealed prejudice that Spock faces, but it felt true-to-novel-canon, at least. The details seemed particularly redolent of my favorite Vulcan novel, Sarek.
It might seem strange that someone that's interested at all in canon be all right with the premise of the film. However, logically, this can only stand beside our established continuity, rather than replace it; older Spock's intact memories are a nod to this, and of course, if this didn't create a whole new timeline it would create a tremendous time paradox. I'm fairly certain that by naming Nimoy's character "Spock Prime" in the credits, the writers were showing their awareness of this. I'm fairly certain that Star Trek Prime, so to speak, still exists -- only without Spock. What a shame, though it's better than wiping out the timeline completely.
There are some silly bits to the film, sure, like Kirk's quick advance to captain. But the only bit I'm still unsure about is the new relationship between Spock and Uhura. While I really enjoyed the fleshing out of her character (again, in keeping with the novels' continuity, she becomes a linguistic genius and even gets a first name), and while I think a relationship between the two of them isn't too far a stretch, I think that if Spock here is anything like Spock Prime, it won't end happily. And I'd hate to see Uhura finally get fleshed out only to become someone's girlfriend.
But that might just be the fangirl in me talking, wanting new, young, sexy Spock all for myself.
Rating: 8 (Phoebe)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate 5-7-09: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
OK, I literally just sat down from watching the movie. In my opinion as a film, it rates a solid 10. Plenty of emotion, loads of action, some interesting technobabble, etc. As a Star Trek movie, I say 8.
Given that this film is a "parallel" timestream I can forgo most of the continuity breaks with two major exceptions.
1. The Enterprise.
From the saucer back/down to the main deflector I can let it slide but after that.... It reminds me of the inflatable Enterprise from TAS and the Ramada Hotel chain. The nacelles are grotesque to be blunt and the engineering hull makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I stopped at BK on the way home and I have to say I think they kid's meal toy of the Enterprise is about as accurate a model as the CGI one from the film.
2. Spock & Uhura
Need I say more? Although I could potentially forgive (this being an alternate timestream and all) I really wished they had waited until the last third of the film to bring it up. The way it was done made it appear that this relationship has been going on for some time. It was very un-Spock like, especially considering that I really enjoyed the performance of the character.
The casting choices were all very good, Kirk and Chekov being the weakest in my mind with Scotty coming in third. I also thought that Karl Urban would have made an excellent Gary Mitchell if that character would have come up.
On to the villain. He seems pretty smart for some lowly miner (no offense to any miners out there), but then again he seemed at once both cunning and idiotic, rather reminiscent of the villain from the Thunderbirds reboot a few years ago.
You'll notice that almost every Star Trek clichť phrase is used in this movie, albeit appropriately. Also I thought the scene where Chekov tries to "log in" to make the announcement quite obviously manufactured just for laughs; I don't remember Walter Koenig having that much trouble ever... and since when do you need to give a password to use the intercom?
I'll need to watch the film again but I thought that at the climax the warp core was supposed to be ejected... but it looked to me like they tossed the antimatter storage pods out the back...
I'm glossing over a ton of details but it's late, I'm tired and I'll leave the professional dissertations to Mr. Schneider's capable hands.
Nitpicking: I'll keep it short. The use of an "authorization code" to make a ship-wide announcement. Huh?
Remarkable quote: "Punch it!" (Cpt. Pike)
Remarkable scene: The death of Vulcan
Remarkable ship: The Romulan mining ship... thing. I think that's what it was. Maybe the Transformers are included in this new timestream?
Rating: 8 (Raven)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
I have a flight to catch in the morning and gotta make this quick. I really liked this movie. I thought it was a step in the right direction. However, with me it is easier to talk about the things I didn't like. Namely, they essentially kill of the Romulans and the Vulcans! I personally would like to know that in the future Romulus and the new Vulcan colony thrive. But that's just a personal thing.
I think there is a common opinion that the engine room sucks. It DOES look like a factory. It doesn't look like it belongs with the rest of the ship. Space Mutiny anyone??? That should be number one on the list of changes.
Well that's really all, I'm fine with timeline changes, its just a shock, which I think its supposed to be.
Rating: - (Jonathan Hunter)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
*****SPOILERS*****
This is Star Trek. True, the Enterprise doesn't look exactly the same. True, they either changed the warp factor or moved Vulcan closer to Earth... seeing as how the fleet got from Earth to Vulcan in three minutes. True, they kill Spock's mother. Oh yeah, they destroy Vulcan too. BUT, none of this takes away from the fact that this feels like a Star Trek movie. Time Travel and alternate realities aren't new to the Star Trek mythos -- Star Trek practically created them. But this film takes and interesting spin on the idea, and a conversation that takes place on the bridge between our beloved characters explores this idea. Once it is established that this is an alternate reality...there is NO reason why the Enterprise must look the same, etc. True, I felt like weeping like a 5 yr old when Vulcan imploded... I mean, that's the Holy Grail of Trek. But I think that was the point. The audience needed to sympathize with Spock and the surviving Vulcans.
On to the characters, they are all perfect. Chris Pine IS James T. Kirk (even without the Shatnerisms ;) ). Zachary Quinto IS Spock, even though he is a much more troubled Spock, you still feel this is the green blooded, pointy eared Vulcan you've come to love. I cannot say enough about Karl Urban's portrayal of Bones, so I'll leave that to you. Let's just say that DeForest Kelly would be proud. Zoe Saldana portrays Uhura very nicely, and actually gives this character a new face, almost a complete face lift. Her acting is superb, and you just feel like she belongs where she is. Everyone else on the crew...are their characters. You never for one second feel like they are impersonating or mocking. They respect them, and bring their own take to the classic series. Christopher Pike was an excellent addition to the film, and I am very pleased with his character. (Note: hint to TOS, he may be more like the original by the end than in the beginning, but I'll leave that for you) Now, onto Nero. I love the villain of the story, and this is NO exception. You really feel for this guy. I even feel more for him than I did Kahn. Eric Bana did his best work here, no question.
The special effects are superb, I'm not gonna begin to describe them because I can't do them justice. The music is probably the best out of any Trek film or show, although I was honestly bummed that they didn't incorporate the original score until the end. But, that's just my opinion.
Go see this movie. Whether you are a die hard Trekker or Trekkie, or just casually enjoy watching the series, you won't be disappointed. Go in with an open mind, and you will find that this is Star Trek...
Oh, Nimoy's performance as well was great, and his "Space, the Final Frontier" speech at the end couldn't have felt better. Talk about giving you chills up and down your spine. But take the advice of someone who loves to pick apart movies...go see it. You won't be disappointed.
Remarkable ship: The USS Kelvin... wow
Remarkable ship: The USS Enterprise... more wow
Remarkable ship: The Narada... WOW!!!!! Talk about size...
Remarkable scene: Scotty is responsible for losing Admiral Archer's beagle. Nice hint to Enterprise...
Rating: 10 (Norm Ressler)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
"Star Trek XI" is the worst of the Star Trek movie entries. It shoves "Star Trek V" to next to the worse Star Trek Movie slot.
Abrams ignores 43 years of Star Trek history in order to bring in new "fans". In order to have the creative freedom he desires he gets Paramount to agree to a revisionism of the series.
The Movie is very bad. There is no plot, no script, no story. It goes too fast. (One wonders if this is done so people will not have time to focus or think on the bad movie they are seeing.) Also the photography is very poor. You can barely see the film.
However the worst thing about the movie is that they destroy Vulcan. They ignore canon. This movie is not Star Trek. It is Abramsprise
0 stars out of 10
BOMB
Rating: 0 (Magnum Serpentine)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate 2233.4 (new stardate system): Goes Boldly
  
On May 7, 2009, I watched STAR TREK (dubbed "Star Trek 2.0″ in some fan circles), and I thought Iíd share my spoiler-free thoughts.
To quote Kirk from Star Trek: Generations, "It was...fun!" This film felt more genuinely fun than any of the previous films. The purpose of this movie was to introduce Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the gang to a new audience, and the characters all come across as likable and charismatic. None of these characters is a point-for-point copy of its 1.0 counterpart, and as much as I like our TOS heroes from Trek 1.0, Iím glad that the 2.0 characters are free to evolve as they will without being constrained by 40-plus years of continuity. Having said that, there are moments when McCoy 2.0 is uncannily similar to McCoy 1.0.
The visual effects are impressive -- especially the first few shots of the USS Kelvin. The planet Vulcan has a cool new look -- the jagged landscape resembles the Vasquez Rocks on steroids. I like the new transporter effect, although it reminds me somewhat of an effect from The Green Mile.
This is an all-new Trek universe, but there are several tips of the hat to Trek 1.0. For example there is a reference to a character from the prequel TV series Enterprise. The original series sound effects can be heard from time to time. Majel Barrett gives her final performance as a shipís computer voice. Itís somewhat ironic that the only two TOS regulars who have parts in this film are also the only two TOS regulars who had parts alongside Jeffrey Hunter in "The Cage."
Some fans wonít like the changes -- some of which are very notable -- in this new timeline. None of them bothered me, but Iíve wanted a "reboot" of the Trek world for years.
Leonard Nimoy portrays an older Spock. I wonít describe his back story, since that would spoil the plot somewhat, but I will say that there is a scene between Nimoyís Spock and Kirk 2.0 which is at times touching to this old-school fan.
The story is okay. It doesnít hold up to much scrutiny, but the same can be said for the stories of all previous Trek films. The story also isnít "hard sci-fi" by any means. There are also no long stretches of characters sitting in a briefing room and spewing nonsensical technobabble at one another. There is some nonsensical technobabble, but itís brief, and itís delivered with some levity.
Iíd watch the film again in the theater, and Iíd watch a sequel. On a scale of one to ten, I give the new STAR TREK film a solid 7 or 8.
Rating: 8 (Greg Tyler, Trekplace.com)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
[WARNING: This review contains some minor spoilers]
The controversy surrounding this motion picture has been unprecedented in the franchise history. Fans will argue for years on where this film is placed in the canonical universe of Star Trek. First off, Iím a purest at heart and my greatest fear for this movie was that it would trample all over the universe and characters Iíd come to care about. Yet, I wanted to give it a fair chance and try to take an objective approach in analyzing the story depicted. After all, itís been quite some time since Trek has hit the big screen and even longer since a trek film did well. So, in order to do this we must look at the movie from two different contexts: how does the movie stand on its own and how does it fit within the franchise.
The film itself was almost a masterpiece. First off the acting was superb. Chris pine nailed the character of Kirk without imitating Shatner. The whole time I was watching his performance I was thinking this is Kirk and not some caricature of Shatnerís performance in the role. Furthermore, it wasnít Chris Pine playing Han Solo/Indiana Jones playing Kirk. Zach Quintoís portrayal of Spock was almost as compelling, though I think Quinto will be one of those actors who always plays himself and then the role (like George Clooney for example). I was hoping for a little more range out of him. During the "angry Spock" scene where he and Kirk fight; his performance reflected way too much Sylar and I kept waiting to see the top of Kirkís head to fall off while he absorbed Kirkís supernatural ability to seduce any women of any race with just the raise of an eyebrow. Urbanís portrayal of McCoy was spot on and the most believable of all the roles. Unfortunately, he wasnít give near as much screen time as Iíd have liked. Zoe Saldanaís Uhura was very compelling. John Choís Sulu was adequate, but very stiff. Anton Yelchinís Chekov is decent as well (although Yelchin overplayed the Russian accent a little too much for my taste). On the downside I had trouble getting used to Simon Pegg as Scotty. He doesnít look a thing like James Doohan. I also didnít buy his origin story. Though, he does provide some genuinely funny comic relief in the film. Bruce greenwoodís Pike was very well played as well. Lastly, Nimoy's portrayal of Spock Prime was nothing short of sensational and his role was far from a cameo. It was integral to the plot and the movie simply could not have been done without him. It was such a joy to see him in the role one last time and he truly gave it his all. The last outstanding "character" was the USS Enterprise herself. When I first saw the design I was extremely skeptical, but I have admit that that the new Enterprise has grown on me considerably--especially having now seen it on the big screen and in the context of the film. While the bridge certainly looks like an Ipod store the overall design was still reminiscent of the original. The only part I had trouble with was the engine room. It looked like they rented a waste reclamation plant then threw up some flat screens with Enterprise Okudagrams. Sure they were trying to give a sense of mass and space to engine room, but I just didnít like it. This is the only part of the ship that seemed "alien" to me and was in no way even slightly reminiscent of any Starfleet engine room weíve seen before. There was no sign of a warp core, matter/anti-matter injectors etc. And since when do starships have multiple warp cores? That being said I still like the overall design and to see the ship in action added a context to the design that just canít be gleaned from the production photos.
A film like this is only as good as its villain and I have to agree that Nero is the best weíve seen since Kahn. My only disappointment is that the movie didnít flesh out his motivation as well as Iíd like. But if you read the movie prequel/TNG sequel graphic novel Countdown; youíll get a much better picture of who Nero is and his motivation for revenge.
The story was absolutely compelling and the pacing never let up. The climax packed a wallop. Most of all it struck the perfect balance between action and character. Undoubtedly, the filmís greatest strength lies in its character development and interactions. The classic troika of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is still there, yet there were very few Kirk/Spock/McCoy moments. I was very impressed with how involved Uhura was in the story.
Now to the questions of canon. I wonít list all the canon violations I spotted. Everything from ship and station design to uniforms was changed. And since when did Vulcan have a blue sky? 90% of these canon violations are explained by direct dialogue in the movie as being the result of Neroís time travel. This includes everything from the ship, equipment and uniforms differences to other instances such as Kirkís meeting w/ Pike, face to face w/ Romula
ns, etc. And unlike most other time travel stories in Star Trek, there is no magic reset at the end of the story, so we are left with the damage Nero caused to the timeline.
Do I buy their explanation? I will grant that itís reasonably plausible (for science fiction), but the film creates quite a dilemma for hard core fans. Ultimately the film creates and alternate timeline that invalidates several TOS episodes such as "Balance of Terror", "Obsession" and aspects of "The Menagerie", "The Cage" and "A Piece of the Action" not to mention every single TOS, TNG, DS9 or VOY episode that features the planet Vulcan. There are surely more. And the question is already begged whether the characters from TNG, DS9 and VOY will even exist in the new timeline. Ultimately these questions are never answered in the film. Though some of this may be inferred if we take into account the events of the graphic novel Countdown as canon. Countdown was intended as a prequel to the film. Though no other graphic novel or comic has ever been treated as canon before that Iím aware of. What the events of this film does do is wipe the slate clean for future installments, so in that respect it is clearly a reboot, yet all along the way JJ Abrams pays homage to the all trek before with everything from sounds effects to Tribbles and much of Spock Primeís dialogue.
Conclusion: In spite of all this the film in my opinion is the best Trek since "The Wrath of Khan" or "First Contact". What JJ Abrams has done is literally the impossible: not only to make Trek relevant again, but also appeal to both fans on newcomers alike. And he absolutely succeeds. The story was compelling, the screenplay topnotch, the acting superb (mostly), and the special effect astounding. Most importantly it clearly follows in the spirit of what Gene Roddenberry envisioned for these characters and this universe. Is the film flawless? Absolutely not. Are all cannon violations explained away? Most, but not all. (Keep in mind every series and movie--especially ENT and ST:N--had serious canon issues as well.) The bottom line: ultimately and most importantly this movie is still Star Trek. If you are even a casual fan of Star Trek, I recommend and encourage you to see this movie at least once.
Nitpicking: Vulcan's blue sky. Multiple warp cores on the Enterprise.
Remarkable quote #1: McCoy: "Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence."
Remarkable quote #2: Spock Prime to Kirk: "I have been and always shall be your friend."
"Remarkable scene": The shoot out with Kirk and Spock in the bowels of the Narada
Rating: 10 (J. Stewart)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
This movie is excellent, no matter how you look at it. Itís fun, itís exciting, itís action-packed. Does it force you to think about issues in a different light, as "true science fiction" is supposed to? No, but I donít think it needed to do that at this point. Thatís what the inevitable sequels are for.
Overall, its an origin story. But unlike most movies focusing on the origin of characters you know, besides the fact that these characters are different versions of the ones you may know, I believe the movie stands on its own without considering anything that came before it or what might come after it. Itís fun and unpredictable, with an amazing cast and special effects. The whole thing (sound design, production design, costume design, characterization, plot) keeps enough of what made The Original Series and its characters great while changing things enough to keep even the most die hard Trekkie interested in whatís going to happen. It also managed to give every crew member (especially the usually underused Chekov and Uhura) an opportunity to contribute more than in any Star Trek (movie or episode) before, which is an impressive feat.
Honestly, the stuff that I explained in my PREVIEW was the only part that really bothered me. After seeing the movie, I can see that they could have marketed and sold this movie as a reboot of the franchise (like Casino Royale) and the general audience would be fine with it. Adding the elements from the "Prime" reality and having to explain what happened in the future (and having to explain that its not the future of what weíre watching now) slowed the film down a bit toward the middle, but it does tie into the plot directly and allow 40 years of Trek history not to be erased. Donít get me wrong, I liked the concept, I just think it could have been handled a bit differently.
Some people may complain about the coincidences that led to everyone being at the right place at the right time. Iíd admit that some of it was a stretch, but unlike most origin stories, we didnít have to spend the whole movie maneuvering to get to certain positions to make a difference; they were all thrust into the positions, through coincidence or willpower or simply because they belonged in those positions. And thatís good enough for me.
Usually during movies, no matter how much I look forward to them, part of me is wondering how long its been on and how much is left in the movie. That didnít happen in this movie. I got lost in the film, and even thought I knew the basics of what was going to happen because I canít resist spoilers, I was still surprised and pleased every second. Thatís the sign of a good movie, at least to me.
Things I loved:
* The casting: Every main character was perfect. Each actor brought their own interpretation to the role and even though they looked and sometimes acted different than the Original character, you could tell that they were the same ones. Yelchin brought a thicker, more real Russian accent to Chekov while keeping it over-the-top (a bit too far maybe?), and Pegg actually made Scotty sound Scottish (since his in-laws are Scottish and heís British, he knows the accent). Pine brought an arrogance to Kirk that was reminiscent of Shatnerís most shining moments. Quinto played Spock so cold that even the slightest hint of emotion on his face was like an explosion. Saldana made Uhura more real than just the girl who answers the phone. Urban seems to be the only one who tries to actually sound and act exactly like the real McCoy (HA!), but he does it perfectly.
* The nods to the Original Universe: Besides Urbanís McCoy, there were many things kept from the Original that I appreciated being there. The primary color uniforms, along with the sound of the intercom button being pushed and the communicator being opened were the most obvious. So was Chekovís inability to pronounce the letter "V". Putting Pike in a wheelchair and having him wear a modified admiralís uniform from The Motion Picture at the end were a bit more subtle. Seeing Kirk cheat on the Kobayashi Maru test while chewing on an apple (just as he was doing when he told his son about it in "Wrath of Khan") was just plain awesome (having Spock be the designer of the test was just icing on the cake). Also, everyone got to say their classic lines and none of it felt forced or made me cringe (see Fantastic Four, which does make me cringe)
* What happened to Vulcan: Nothing says "everything is different now" more than blowing up one of central planets in the Federation and making Vulcans an endangered species. It changes Spock and even the face of the Federation. Killing Spockís mom fits into that too. I didnít expect that at all. And people watching the movie wouldnít either. "Of course Kirk and Sulu will stop the drill in time to save Spockís home -- oh, wow, I guess not. Spock will save his mom -- oh, I guess not."
* The charactersí reactions to time travel, alternate realities, and older versions of themselves: All these huge concepts are being thrown around and their reactions range from "Bullsh**" to not even reacting when they see themselves 120 years older (they are Vulcan, of course). Scotty was also very accepting of Spock Prime also.
* The special effects: From the epic space shots to the extreme close ups of the hulls to the viewscreen that is actually a window, Star Trek has never felt more real. The ships fly with weight behind them and "up" is relative, which is rare for any movie.
* Simon Pegg: His portrayal of Scotty is an instant classic.
Things Iím not so sure about:
* Spock/Uhura: It gives Spock an emotional bond that he never had before and gives Uhura more depth, but it just seems weird. Itís hard to get used to Spock kissing anyone.
* Engineering: Iím torn on the industrial complex as the secondary hull. I mean, it makes sense to have the contrast between the shiny main areas of the ship and the grungy below decks, it just seemed off or too contemporary. Again, its probably just that Iím used to the shiny engine room with the one warp core at the center.
* Trans-warp beaming (a real nit pick): I liked Scottyís explanation that he couldnít make it work because it was like "shooting at a bullet with a smaller bullet while blindfolded and riding a horse", but the logic behind Spock Prime telling him that Scotty Prime figured it out didnít make sense. First off, the transporter technology in this new reality seems far different from the one in the Prime universe, what with its swirly lights and taking forever. Second, when did Scotty Prime figure this out? And why did they never use it? Iíve not seen the official explanation, but I assume that since Scotty is still alive in the Prime universe (he was in an awesome episode of TNG called "Relics" where he helped the Enterprise-D and then took a shuttle and was not heard from since) that maybe he just came up with it after Nemesis but before the events that send Spock Prime to the alternate reality. But I had to make that up to make it fit, and thatís not right.
Things I really didnít like:
* Nothing: Honestly, there was nothing I didnít like about this movie.
Rating: 10 (Drew (doubleofive) Stewart)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
I LOVED the new "Star Trek" film. I held it equal with "Wrath of Khan", but in the end, it wins hands down. Some of you know that I was genuinely worried about parts of this film. Trust me...it's all explained by the end of the film. Nero's time travel seriously messed up time. Then, he did it again. That being said, there is no "reset" button, and the damage is done for good. Elder Spock is the only remaining survivor of an alternate reality, (e.g. all of Star Trek as we know it from TOS upward), and the future of the young Enterprise crew is still undetermined; anything can happen. Yes, it defies and slaughters canon. But, the catch is, it acknowledges that it does so. In a scene towards the middle of the movie, Spock deduces that, because of the changes in time, their lives and their destinies are changed from what they could have been. Elder Spock even admits to Kirk that his past did not work out the same way as it works out for the young crew, and is genuinely surprised by some of the things that have happened. With that out of the way, what is there to fear? All designs and advanced technology can be easily explained. Meeting the Romulans IS explained. Really, there is nothing to worry about. This is truly a perfect example of film making itself. The special effects are better than any others I have ever seen. The acting is phenomenal. It's like...everything we love from TOS and the TOS movies, and nothing we don't on crack. The only canon quibble I have with it is the location of Delta Vega. Apparently, this is either another Delta Vega than the one in "Where no man has gone before", or it's a genuine mistake. Whichever it may be, the planet Vulcan can be seen in very close proximity to Delta Vega. That's probably the only problem with the entire movie. What really pleasantly shocked me was the emotionality and comedy this film had. There are several laugh out loud moments, especially for fans who will get all of the in-jokes and allusions to the Original Series. It also brought a tear to my eye. I won't give away too much, suffice to say that Kirk's father is the real definition of a hero. Aside from the whole ice planet thing, this is a perfect Star Trek movie. Michael Giacchino's score is amazing; without it, it just wouldn't be as great a film. What else can I say? By far, this is the best, and most exciting movie that I've seen since 'Return of the King' in the theater.
In closing, I want to share how special this event was to me. There was a large amount of Trekkies who came to the theater in full Starfleet uniforms last night. That in itself was touching. Star Trek is a franchise that has gone through so many makeovers, re-dos, and buff ups; and it's made some pretty bad mistakes over the years. But, the fan base is still so passionate. I got in a discussion with a thirtysomething guy a couple of rows behind me while the lights were still up. He had his wife, and parents and sister with him; all sporting Star Trek t-shirts. He reminisced with me about how his dad used bring home old beta tapes and VHS tapes of Trek movies, and how he was raised on the Next Generation t.v. show. That spoke volumes. My two friends sitting on either side of me however, had never seen ANY Star Trek before. Bottom line: everyone was pleased when the credits rolled. It made everyone that was there happy. It was the most fun I've had in a theater because people laughed, and clapped in unison at the best moments of the movie. The Kobayashi Maru test was one of my favorite parts in the film, because it happened exactly as it was spoken of in "TWOK". Just great moments like that made the film. The first time Leonard Nimoy appeared onscreen. The people clapped. When Scotty yelled over the engineering room, into the wall communicator "I'm givin' it all she's got, Capn'!", the people cheered. The whole experience was great for newcomers, and a love fest for old fans. What a crowd pleaser. The action and special effects were breathtaking, while the acting was spot-on. And, during the last few seconds of the film, when the beautiful new Enterprise slowly flew on the screen, and Leonard Nimoy's voice recited the "Space: the final frontier..." speech while the TOS theme began to play, I thought to myself 'This is it. This is everything I love about Star Trek summed up in one film'. I got chills.
J.J. Abrams was infamously quoted for having said that he was not making this film for the fans. He might not have had the fans in mind while directing the movie, but I'll tell you what: Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci had them in mind. They did a marvelous job, and Abrams' directing was spectacular. You see, Star Trek has always had the potential to be THIS great; it just hasn't been able to manifest itself all of the time. It needed a bold new group of people to spice it up a little. My advice to Trekkies like myself? QUIT WORRYING. This movie is better than we deserve. The cast and crew has signed on for two more sequels if this film does well at the box office. Come on guys; as Trek fans, we need to support it. I'm definitely up for second helpings. But, most of all, I think Gene Roddenberry would have been proud that his message of gender and race tolerance; and the thrill of exploring the unknown still lives today. It is my opinion that J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek' will live long, and prosper.
Nitpicking: The location of the planet Delta Vega was incorrect.
Remarkable quote: Kirk: "Who is that pointy-eared bastard?", McCoy: "I don't know; but I like him."
Remarkable Scene: The Kobayashi Maru test! I loved seeing this play out.
Rating: 10 (Mitch)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
Spoilers abound.
I can't remember the last time I was in a film that kept you at a sprinting pace for two hours. Star Trek was a great science fiction show, and the beginnings of a new series (more likely a trilogy) of movies.
There is so much right with this film that I can completely ignore anything that is wrong with it. A lot of other reviews will talk about how the engineering set looks cheap, or how there was gratuitous use of lens flare, or how Chekov's accent might be too strong. The great thing about this movie, is that none of that matters, and none of that detracts from the best Star Trek film ever, for fans or non-fans.
Some people have said that this is just making Star Trek a run of the mill action film. I completely disagree. Transformers was just an action film, it was not "about" anything profound. This was different, this was about personal character growth, and learning how and why people can meet their full potential. The two main characters in the film, Kirk and Spock, are both clearly competent but both held back by both the death of a father figure for Kirk, and the death of the mother figure for Spock as well as the absence and coldness of his father. Kirk learns that he can overcome circumstances to be a true leader, and Spock begins to truly balance his Vulcan-Human elements to learn that what he always knew was not a defect truly is his greatest strength.
The supporting characters all shine. We all knew Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig were class actors, but their characters did always reflect that, sometimes reduced to being clichť stereotypes (which was still progressive for the 1960's.) Here, though, every character is someone who you care about and who you want the future movies to tell you more about. Uhura is confident and brilliant, but also has a clear feminine side which is not submissive. Sulu is more of an action hero here but that is still a huge step up from just piloting the ship. Chekov is a brilliant wunderkind whose services are invaluable. Scotty is humorous (like the original) and a miracle worker, literally. While McCoy did not get top billing the way Kirk and Spock did, he is clearly not only an important part of the "troika" but also has a much stronger relationship to Kirk.
Finally, the Spock-Uhura romance is not only a brilliant new idea, but also a great homage to how it was meant to be Spock who would have the first inter-racial kiss on TV in "Plato's Stepchildren" before it was changed to Kirk. The movie is full of brilliant new ideas and is no longer constrained by canon dictating the look, feel, or plot of the movie. From now on, every consequence matters, and from now on, the directors and writers of the TV show can make the 23rd century look like the future.
This movie may not be overloaded with themes and morals the way "The Wrath of Khan" or "The Undiscovered Country" were, but it still has a Star Trek sensibility about the greatness for human (and alien) achievement and that timeless sense that the Characters really will "boldy go where no man has gone before." This film has been a long time coming, and the franchise is better for it.
Best innovation: Not being held back by cannon, but using cannon to tell new stories.
Most improved character: Uhura. 'Opening Hailing Frequencies' is now one of the most important jobs on the Bridge, executed flawlessly.
Best action moment: All of it. The entire film feels like two hours of action.
Great moment in character: Kirk on the Kobayashi Maru, knowing he has won while the rest of the cadets and officers look on in disbelief.
Remarkable visual: The Enterprise rising out of the atmosphere of Titan.
Leonard Nimoy wins: Old Spock meets new Spock and explains that he convinced Kirk that he could not reveal the existence of Old Spock because he implied (lied) that it might destroy the fabric of space-time.
Rating: 10 (Noah)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
Ok, let me get this straight? Old Spock, who knows about slingshot time travel and all the modern technology from his era, quietly goes off to found a colony for the few remaining Vulcans instead of going back in time and saving Vulcan, his mother, and all of the events (that worked out) for the last 125 years or so?
And the Federation and Star Fleet, knowing they could save the original timeline, not to mention one of their three founding member planets (and six billion Vulcans) also do nothing.
It's ok to go back and get whales to save Earth, but hey Vulcan hard luck? The Klingons must be thrilled. For God's sake go back, get the ship, advance in time, dump the red matter in the sun (before it went Nova) and everything is saved - including the Romulans of the future? Maybe someone hates people with green blood, because the Vulcans and the Romulans get the short end of the stick in this one.
J.J. missed the entire point of Star Trek. There are always ways to beat the odds and make a better world through intelligence, hard work, and a willingness to look at the event in a different way.
Instead we get arrogance, easy achievement and defeatism.
Lots of polish, but no heart, and completely soulless. I am glad Gene is dead already, because this would have killed him.
Rating: 3 (Mark Corrinet)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: The Star Trek Movie... I put this review on my own site, InBrockton.com, but thought you might like to see it.
  
Well, being the Trekkie that I am... I saw "Star Trek" on opening night.
It was quite an action packed movie, but make no mistake about it. Other than the names of the characters, and the shape of the ships, Star Trek based on this formula will never be the same again.
And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
They did a very good job of resetting the franchise with various plot devices. They mentioned several times in the movie the differences in fictional realities so well even a die hard Star Trek fan will be able to live with. There are a lot of references to the other movies, as well as the lives of the 1970's series crew lives to tell the old class of fans that they will not be abandoned, but that life as you knew if for your favorite show (or 5 shows) is now over.
Go see it! The cast is great. While being able to put their own spin on the characters, they have kept the same traits as the originals. Chris Pine does justice to Kirk's confident swagger, and Karl Urban is right on the Dr. McCoy sarcasm. And Simon Pegg is simply hilarious as Montgomery Scott.
One thing that was a little disconcerting was the look of the interior of the Enterprise. Other than the futuristic bridge, the inside looked like a brewery. It looked like all those movies where people are running around in factories with pipes going everywhere and stainless steel tanks all over the place, interspersed with an occasional touch screen panel. I guess they ran out of money at that point.
J.J. Abrams was right... This is not your father's Star Trek!
Go see it!
Rating: 8 (David Heidke)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
The Enterprise and its crew in this 2009 iteration are indeed boldly going where no one has gone before and taking me along for the ride. But I felt like it was the cruise in young Kirk's convertible -- giddy and exciting at first, with rushing wind and pulse-pounding music, only to end with the car wrecked at the bottom of a chasm and our fresh-faced hero (to me possible referencing the attitude of the film-makers) declaring "is there anything wrong, officer?"
In the interest of full disclosure, I fill my niche in that demographic of Trekkers who first saw the original series during it's run in syndication in the early 1970's and since have felt a deep kinship (and yes, at times a sense of entitlement) in and with all the series and movies that followed. Despite my dedication, however, it was not lost on me that this Star Trek universe was suffering a crippling arthritis, at least in the movie theaters, limiting it's ability to tell new stories due to the baggage of 40 years of canon. And since movies have mostly (I use this term instead of always since many movies are pure art) been about money, and people pay to be excited, it was only a matter of time until the keys to the classic car were going to be handed to someone who might appreciate the design and a bit of the history, but was otherwise going to strip it down, add an MP3 player and sub-woofer, and drive it really, really fast. Thus is born Star Trek.
At first I thought this film should be reviewed on it's own merits, but then I realized that since summer "remake (and this is one) films" really do capitalize on their titles and relationship to past franchises or movies. Thus it is extremely fair to also view this with a critical demeanor refecting any unique elements that have made Star Trek successful or interesting in the last few decades. So I will hopefully entertain with a few comments.
I've never written a screenplay or novel or anything longer than twenty pages of short-story. I've never had anything published that doesn't have reference numbers and footnotes. My qualification here is the same as anyone else's: I've read a lot of novels and plays, seen quite a few productions, and watched (embarassingly) a lot of television and movies. The story in Star Trek is disappointing. Without a doubt a lot happens (Kirk's father dies, Vulcan is destroyed, um..., bad guy dies after threatening Earth), but it doesn't feel true to the narrative. Because of all the sound and fury (fill in the remaining quote here) the actual plot didn't become apparent (or transparent) until after I left the theater. This film mainly worked for me on the level of a reunion. Kirk and Spock and McCoy and Scotty all come together (for the first time relative to the time-line established by the film, but really for the umpteenth time in Trek history) and this tale would have no emotional depth, no tug on the heartstrings, if it wasn't for those 40 years of history. So for me, upon reflection, I see a series of scenes that could be labelled "Kirk meets Spock for the first time," or "Kirk meets McCoy for the first time," all of which rely on us knowing in advance how these characters will ultimately relate. Everything that comes in between is just that: fill that comes in between.
The use of "Old Spock" or Spock Of The Original Series (SOTOM) is really not necessary, and for me in many ways distracting. I see it as a ploy (and it worked on me if not for me) to bring old Trekkers back, fold this new vision into the old continuity (thinly), and provide a send-off dignitary for the new movies. Nero's actions in the past are entirely independent of SOTOM, and the "future" tale of SOTOM's actions that make him responsible for all that has transpired is one of the low moments for me in this film. To recap: in the future Romulus is threatened by a supernova and old AMBASSADOR Spock, among all others in the universe, is sent, ALONE, without the aid of Romulans (who can build HUGE ships by the way), the Federation with Picard or Data or the Enterprise-E, F, G, H, I or J or whatever, in a brand-new, specially-designed, one-of-a-kind, hastily-just-constructed ship to drop a DROP of a huge sphere of "Red Matter (read deus ex machina)" to collapse the star and save Romulus. There is no back-up plan and he fails. This really pisses off Mr. Nero in his giant Romulan mining vessel whose interior is OSHA's worst nightmare, and in his attempt to kill Spock, is thrown back in time where he thinks not of using the opportunity to warn his friends of their future dire predicament (or even to go play the Romulan lottery and win BIG!) but to go smash Vulcan to bits so that SOTOM will have an emotional break down. He then maroons SOTOM on Delta Vega (within sight and ear-shot of Vulcan?) so that he can provide the necessary back story to our here-to-for clueless audience. And I thought Kirk's journey to meet God at the center of the galaxy in Star Trek V sounded ridiculous when I wrote it out. I heard one review that called the physics in this film "dodgy." I have to agree. SOTOM's story in the future is just so implausible as to be "unfixable" for me. The Romulan supernova crisis is gibberish. The star cannot be the Romulan star because collapsing it wouldn't help the planet anyway. If it was a nearby star and they saw it coming, they would have several years at least to evacuate the planet since the most deadly effect would possibly be hard radiation traveling at the speed of light. Creating a black hole in the star's place after the fact probably wouldn't help with any radiation already released. (OK, I'll allow the the "subspace shockwave" AKA Star Trek VI but this didn't destroy a starship, let alone a planet.) Time travel due to the unintended black hole is even more of a stretch. Furthermore, why doesn't this occur again at the end of the film when all of the red matter is released? To finish up with the whole red matter/black hole issue: why does Nero need to drill holes in planets to collapse them? It is obvious that one drop of the stuff can create a singularity powerful enough to swallow the mass of an entire planet. Such a singularity wouldn't care one bit if it was on the surface of the planet or at it's center of mass. Nero could waltz around and drop planet-engulfing bombs at his whim. The action sequences with the drill are therefore needless, and only serve as an excuse for "interference" to isolate the characters in danger because of the inability to use the transporter, and the ship on account of communication disruption. The rest of the story, such as it is, revolves around our characters meeting and relating and Spock's reaction to the destruction of Vulcan.
This is a remake. History can be changed and is. Kirk now begins life as a hell-raising orphan and Spock becomes Anakin Skywalker from the planet Krypton. The Enterprise is built at Riverside, Iowa, and Pike is the first Captain on its maiden voyage. The physicality of this new universe is up for grabs, so why not the relationships? Because it was the triad of Kirk's intuition, Spock's logic, and McCoys' passion that made the original show work. At least the movie stays relatively true here. Chris Pine surprised me with his acting range and a few truly "Kirk-esque" smirks that would please Mr. Shatner. Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spock physically looks the part, but I did not feel he epitomized the dignity or quiet restraint evident in the portrayal by Leonard Nimoy in the original series. Furthermore, his (sexual?) relationship with Uhura was confusing and felt forced. Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy has potential as his performance was enthusiastic and authentic. He unfortunately is not given much to say in the film other than our irascible doctor's trademark euphemisms.
What about the other players? Unfortunately they are all dispensable. Uhura was of course scripted to provide sexual tension for Kirk and Spock and the running gag of discovering her first name, but otherwise the character herself is bland. As much fun as it was to see "Scotty" he is really not integral, nor were Chekov and Sulu, and the fact that the whole of the original crew are here assembled so conveniently actually is disappointing because there are no "first meetings" left to explore among the primary characters in future films.
The design and cinematography of the movie is, for better or worse, what I have come to recognize as consistent with the first decade of the twenty-first century. Color is muted. Camerawork is dynamic but irritatingly shaky ŗ la "reality show." Cuts are rapid-fire (I can feel my pupils dilate) but it makes action very hard for me to follow (I admit to being an old man.) The visual effects are very detailed, but persist in the distracting camera focus and motion. This reminded me very much of "Star Trek meets Ronald Moore's Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars with a touch of Cloverfield's cameraman." I could write volumes on my opinion regarding the look of the USS Enterprise, interior and exterior, but will refrain with the exception of asking "Why does the engineering section look like a chemical factory/water processing plant and dairy? And where did they steal Time Lord/Irwin Allen technology to make the interior so much bigger than the exterior?" The owner of this website is much more erudite than I when describing starships and I am certain to find a future discussion of the Enterprise's flaws and merits.
Overall, I found the film enjoyable and funny at times. The principal actors are suited to their roles and will need time to grow into them. I do see a future for Star Trek, and as I indicated in my opening paragraph, have been intrigued, even if not thrilled, by all things Trek.
My rating: 7/10 (I added one point just to be nice!)
Remarkable error: The entire physics of red matter and black holes
Remarkable quote: Old Spock: "I will refrain from my customary salutation as it would seem self-serving."
Remarkable scene: The USS Enterprise stalls by space dock with the "parking brake" on.
Remarkable ship: USS Enterprise. Still crazy after all these years.
Rating: 7 (Ben Siva)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
"Star Trek (2009)" is a reboot. There is no question about it: Vulcan is destroyed and the technology (even before Nero messes with the timeline) is totally different looking. This movie is also a lot darker than all other Trek. Aside from this, the movie is a good movie and the reboot was done *fairly* sensitively.
The look of "Star Trek" seemed to be inspired by 22nd century ENT and its representation of 31st century tech, 29th century tech from VOY, Annorax's tech, and Star Trek Nemesis (especially the Scimitar/Romulans and the darkness of the story).
Interesting Quote: "Space is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence." -McCoy to Kirk (This quote seems very familiar to me, but I can't remember where I heard it before.)
Rating: 8 (Nathan)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
Everyone has reported the story already. So I'm not going to repeat.
I loved this movie, it was an exciting visual feast, hugely enjoyable, so many mementos of series I loved... The action was great, the starship fighting was great, I loved the design apart from the "old rusty factory complex" interiors of some parts of Federation's starship. The characters were great apart from Bones, for lack of face time.
But in a sense, my problem with it was not the breaking with the canon's continuity or with the Enterprise's shape... it was that it was a Star Trek movie... that felt like a Star Wars one. I couldn't help finding parallels in the 2 stories.
Maybe I got it all wrong?
And the Romulan ship was a mining ship? Did I get that right? I mean, that's one mean-looking mining ship!
Remarkable quote: Kirk: "Who is that pointy-eared bastard?", McCoy: "I don't know; but I like him."
Rating: 10 (Roberto)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate 2228.04-2255.09: Alert Spoilers
  
Star Trek has a legacy that's been around more then 40 years now. This movie tops it making it "More Than Meets The Eye." It bares the heart of Star Trek and what it really means, "Family", and I shall give you examples throughout the Original series we see how the TOS crew come together in time of need facing every obstacle and enemy same in TNG and Voyager especially in Voyager. This movie shows how the Family became a Family. How Kirk Became Captain. How Spoke, Bones and Kirk become friends and I say wow that is what I expected, this movie is one for all. It also leaves us an opening too in one part of the film after Vulcan got turned in to a black hole by Nero. Spock quoted this "were now in a alternate timeline" that says that history must be changed and again with Kirk to Ambassador Spock "You cheated" and from there I saw it from in his eyes how the second and third movie might turned out. I can say it will be one for the history books in order the Original Timeline to happen Kirk must cheat death yet again and who knows it might just finally happen. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is with Scotty beaming in to the water treatment area also I liked the fact that the ship looks so nice in the out side but engineering looked so outdated "huh, looks more less advanced than Original Enterprise for you nitpickers out there" and also I liked the fact when Chris Pine (Kirk) sate in the captain's chair I just saw William Shatner there when he was on the chair in the Original series. Amazing. I love Bones the most he was perfect from being the actor to being a Zombie Killing Hero in Doom to an old country doctor. Oh boy, I could not tell it was him same with Zack "Spock" He was amazing, it looks like looking in to the mirror same with the rest of the cast, especially Chekov. I loved this movie, it is F%#&@ amazing and like I said its More Than Meets the Eye (No there are not robots in designs that's silly). I refer to it because it's how I can describe this movie by, though 5 words. This is Grand Convoy signing off from my first review.
Rating: 10 (Grand Convoy)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
I can't add much in the way of any new information as most of the other reviews have covered pretty much everything, but I do have a few problems with the movie.
1) I understand about the whole alternate time-line premise but why would the "Enterprise" be so drastically different from the TOS one? If nothing else couldn't the nacelles be the same angle and dimensions as the TOS ship from the original time-line?
2) Why would the time-line be so easily erased and carelessly discarded when in the 29th century there was a whole Temporal Prime Directive in Starfleet with ships like the "Relativity" there to protect and enforce it? There was also crewman Daniels in ENT there as well so where were they throughout all of this? Going further, in "First Contact" the crew of that "Enterprise-E" was hell-bent on going back to 2063 to fight the Borg and make sure the "Phoenix" made its flight to meet with the Vulcans - the very people responsible for helping Humans get into space and establishing the UFP. What if Picard had just let them assimilate Earth and do virtually nothing as future Spock has done?
3) How would Spock find it logical to let billions of his own people die and not try to correct this? He has multiple methods of time travel at his disposal: the tried and true sling-shot effect, La Forge's "modifications" to the "Enterprise-E" that let it get back to the exact point in the 24th century after the Borg cube was destroyed and oh yeah, his own timeship. Would it have not made more sense to inform Starfleet of the late 24th century of Nero's intentions and retrofit a ship, say the "Enterprise-E" with Spock's temporal modifications (time core)...or even use La Forge's "modifications" from "First Contact" to go back in time days or weeks before Nero went back in time and stop him? Spock just decides to let established history be destroyed along with billions of lives to take a few thousand surviving brethren to a new colony (homeworld). I don't see the logic. But I suppose that leaves the possibility of a sequel open. Maybe Spock will reconsider his lack of proper action and hijack the "Enterprise" and take it to the 24th century and try again. I guess maybe that would be impossible if that timeline has been altered or destroyed though. I guess in all actuality "what's done is done" and there may be nothing that can change things back to how they used to be...unless of course the "Relativity" has some sort of temporal shielding that prevented it and its crew from never existing. In that case it could return to the 24th century and stop Nero directly...who knows?
Rating: 7 (Jeff)

Star Trek (2009) Stardate not given: Synopsis in main Movie listing
  
The good first: The acting was terrific. I really felt that this Spock and this Kirk, and so forth, were their latter day counterparts. The choice of actors was pretty good too. I was particularly struck by the selection for Sarek. He didn't really look that much like Mark Lenard, but he did look a lot like Leonard Nimoy. He might have been a better casting than Lenard! All the visuals were also extremely pretty.
Here's where the bad starts, however. The movie was a little too visually demanding. Sometimes (oftentimes, actually), it was much too dark and hard to see anything, and sometimes it was glaring. I also felt like I was fighting the camera the whole time. One cool shot is sufficient per movie; We don't need 30. And, while we're on aesthetics, the music was ok, but I would have loved to hear at list a hint from the TMP theme that I think has become the leitmotif for the Enterprise. Relatively minor point.
The script wasn't lacking in nods to the original series and to the movies, which were appreciated. But that doesn't make a movie Star Trek. This is where my disappointment really comes down. There were other problems, some of them related. The weird tattoos all over the Romulans were, to use a blunt term, stupid. There was no explanation for them and they came off as a terribly cheap way to make them look scary and evil. The peril scenes every couple of minutes got pretty gratuitous, as did the random people getting squashed by things all the time. The whole space-diving scene stretched credibility until it tore completely.
A) How on (or above) Earth could they survive that? I'm no physicist or physiologist, but I do remember 9.8m/s^2 is the rate a falling body accelerates toward the Earth. Neglecting also the (I'm guessing pretty high) heat from friction of entering even the high atmosphere, that seems like it would get them going awfully fast to be suddenly arrested by their parachutes (it's similar to the scene when Spock catches Kirk right before he hits the ground at the beginning to Star Trek V, but this was more integral to the movie and thus less excusable).
B) This is a big one: Why didn't they have phasers? What's all this "hand-to-hand combat" stuff? You have ray guns! Sulu can pack an unfolding sword but no one brings a phaser? If the writers really just wanted the desperate fight scene, they could have had the wind blow the phasers away. They didn't have to include such a blatant logic hole. I could have done without all the dangling precipice scenes anyway.
As I said, I was left wondering what made this movie Star Trek. First, the "alternate timeline" thing made the whole story pretty much irrelevant to everything we know as Star Trek. I don't think we're ever given any really compelling reason to care at all about this story. That may be a little harsh, as the characters given in the film are sympathetic in their own right, but the fact that they aren't the Kirk, Spock, Bones, etc., that we know and love, takes away from my interest.
I also felt that in several instances the film betrayed some very important ideals of Star Trek. Two scenes to epitomize my point:
A) First, the shameless Nokia placement in the car. So, Nokia's still going strong 250 years into the future, eh? Even in the Federation, where, as Picard put it, the "economics ... are different" and people are no longer out for monetary gain, like, say, corporations are? It stretches credibility again, and just generally not... Star-Treky. The whole world felt too familiar. Star Trek was never a mindless utopia, but it is predicated on the notion that by this future the world, and human kind, is measurably better than it is now.
B) When Kirk and Spock let the Romulans die in the black hole. This is kind of reminiscent of how the Enterprise let Ru'afo die at the end of Insurrection, which bothered me then too. Again, the writers could have easily avoided the problem with a throwaway line about how the gravity made transporting impossible or something (maybe they did and I missed it, but I don't think so). But instead, the Enterprise crew not only leave the villains to their demise, but actively help them along. It's not just out of character for Spock and Kirk as individuals, it's not how Star Trek views the world. Right or wrong, Star Trek beams those Romulans on board and saves their lives. I think that's an important part of the vision of Roddenberry.
Now, if this movie had been something more akin to what the reimagined Battlestar Galactica was compared to the original, something totally artistically fresh and relevant, then I would have let more heresies against the spirit of Roddenberry slide. But, I don't think the film warranted that. It was a very slick action movie with some good acting that was mildly entertaining. But it wasn't Star Trek, not as I know it, and it doesn't replace it with anything as worth having as Star Trek.
Rating: 5 (Ethan Fulwood)

 


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