Saturday, May 9, 2009
A MOVIE WE CAN ALL ENJOY.
STAR TREK (B+)
This review is a little late...I did see Star Trek on Thursday. But I was busy with school, so lay off man I'm starving! (Chris Farely anybody??)
I am not a huge Star Trek fan, especially of the first series that pre-dates my existence. As a child I did watch some of the Next Generation with Jean-Luc Picard with my mother. From that I have knowledge of the Star Trek universe, but it is limited. With that in mind, before the movie started I said to myself, "Alright, tell me about Star Trek." Once the film was rolling, I was ecstatic to find the writers of Star Trek were indeed taking us back to the beginning...and providing all necessary background information for new comers.
The film is of course about the first Starship Enterprise, and its two most important members. They are of course James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto). The writers of Star Trek catapult viewers into a dynamic opening scene featuring James' father as a Starfleet captain saving his infant son, his wife, and the rest of the crew on the ship in the face of our certain defeat from a well advanced Romulan enemy. The leader of the cutthroat Romulans is played to par by Eric Bana.
The story creates background for these two main characters by showing them as they advance through childhood. James, even as a child is adventuresome and fearless. Whether it be driving an old school mustang over 100 mph or getting into bar fights. Spock is a refined and excellent student working to overcome his disadvantage of being half human in the pure blooded Vulcan culture. The duo first meet each other in Starfleet training, and their opposing personalities cause obvious distaste for the other.
The Starship Enterprise is set off into space on a wild adventure against the previously mentioned superior enemy. The film slowly introduces the audience to many of the other staple characters in the Star Trek universe like: Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), and Pavel Chekov (the little known, Anton Yelchin). All these supporting characters contributed wonderfully to the story, and many of the actors themselves brought their star power to the screen (Urban and Pegg).
As I said before the story is well written, and provides some depth to the characters featured in it. It is so well done, viewers do not need any knowledge of Star Trek whatsoever to follow along with this film. The two most important and well written parts of the film were the characters of Spock and Kirk, which will give Star Trek huge success among the movie going crowd.
Quickly, the music and sets in this film were off the charts. I especially loved the music. It felt similar to what I had heard from the show, but more modern. Each piece of music helped set the scenes very well, especially the space sequences.
The special effects in the film are definitely some of the best I have seen since Transformers came out two summers ago. I was blown back in my seat from the shots shown of the exterior of the ship and the surrounding elements of space.
The use of black holes was visually captivating in the every scene the space anomaly was featured in. The concept of a black hole itself pushes our brains ability to comprehend outer space. If you are not following you need to Google "black holes" and get your mind rocked. Anyway, the Enterprise, the enemy Romulan spaceship, and all other shots from space looked better than a Megan Fox photo shoot.
Besides the remarkable scenes shot in space, I thought the rest of the direction was as basic as can be. J.J. Abrams used no variety in the scenes he shot, and this was a weakness in the film. With all the camera shots being in the actors face the whole time, the lighting in the scenes becomes a huge problem.
Especially on the Enterprise, a set with thousands of lights, there is a light flashing directly into the camera throughout the whole movie. Bad work with the cinematography, along with no variety from Abrams himself. He created a good product overall, but his rating as a director was below average.
Another area this film suffers from is too many elements of favorable coincidence for the good guys. Movies that overuse this concept never brew well in my movie going mind. Too many parts involving the impossible happening just in the "nick" of time (when you see the scene with Kirk on the planet of ice, you will know what I mean).
The acting was well done from almost the entire cast on this project. Chris Pine in his first big lead in a film, killed as James T. Kirk (killed=awesome). The chemistry between the young Kirk and Spock is dynamite as viewers see the beginning of their long relationship unfold.
I loved seeing the original TV series Spock, Leonard Nimoy, play a part in the story. I am just going to put this out there...he is not a good actor in this film. It is not a stretch to say that the new age Spock played by Quinto was much better in the film than the original Spock.
Besides those very minor things I mentioned, this film was great. It had a good feel the entire time, like all the pieces working together. It flowed smoothly to the end, and did not disappoint once the audience got there. Definitely the best film to come out since Watchmen. Trekkies as well as new comers to the series will enjoy this film all the same. Star Trek left the door open for sequels in the future; and at the completion of this film I was left wanting to see more. Go to the theater and see Star Trek, and not Wolverine...or just wait for Terminator: Salvation in 2 weeks.
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