‘Star Trek’ takes the universe by storm

May 07, 2009 | 3:00 p.m.

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We earlier posted Kenneth Turan’s video commentary on the newest “Star Trek” release, but now the entire review is available.  While not gushing on the film like so many other reviewers (here and here and here, etc.), Turan is definitely giving the “experiment” a thumbs up.  Here’s a tidbit:

It’s no secret that director J.J. Abrams and his writers of choice, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, were brought in by Paramount to reformulate the venerable space opera franchise that was viewed as requiring a jolt of energy. What was not often focused on was that the differences between what they wanted to do and what had gone before made this a perilous endeavor.

So it is pleasant to report that though it’s not perfect, the reconstituted “Star Trek” is successful enough for everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. Though it has its over-caffeinated aspects and its missteps, this “Star Trek” has in general bridged the gap between the old and the new with alacrity and purpose.

Part of the reason for the film’s success was its decision to position itself as “Star Trek: The Young Years.” Back we go to the maiden voyage of the starship Enterprise, to the first meetings of future Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his baby-faced crew: Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban), “Scotty” (Simon Pegg), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Sulu (John Cho).

In addition to using capable actors who were not marquee names and working in a satisfying role for Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime (you’ll have to see the movie if you want that explained), Abrams and company have come up with a serviceable “the Earth must be saved” plot. Involved are such science fiction staples as alternate realities and black holes as well as a tattooed Romulan evildoer named Captain Nemo (a capable Eric Bana) who looks like the frontman for a nasty rock band from the north of England.

To read more of the review, click here.

With the salivating critical reaction and apparently huge interest — according to MovieTickets.com as of 12 p.m. ET Wednesday, “Star Trek” ticket sales accounted for 83 percent of all ticket sales including 387 sold out performances on their site — it looks like this may be the first $100-million-plus debut for the year.  In today’s Word of Mouth article, John Horn talks about the Summer box office battles brewing, and though “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Star Trek” are not exactly going head-to-head since Marvel’s mutant superstar got a headstart, surely they’ll tussle for dollars.  An exciting Summer start, and we still have “Terminator,” “Transformers,” “Harry Potter,” “G.I. Joe,” and more to come.

– Jevon Phillips

Related:

Chris Pine

Chris Pine “I’m not William Shatner”

VIDEO: “Star Trek” meets…Monty Python?

SImon Pegg engineers a “Trek” career

J.J. Abrams: “Star Trek” still in the shadow of George Lucas

One big challenge to the new “Star Trek”? “Galaxy Quest”

The boy of summer: “Trek” and “Terminator” co-star Anton Yelchin

Zachary Quinto as Spock and Chris Pine as James T. Kirk photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures. Chris Pine photo by Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times.

Comments


6 Responses to ‘Star Trek’ takes the universe by storm

  1. Appleby Mennym says:

    I am a Pioneer Trekkie — undoubtedly much older than the audience for this movie — and I have no interest in seeing an "edgy" (translation, I am afraid, "sexually explicit and containing obscenities") attempt by the producer of "Cloverfield" to dummy down history for Generation Y.
    Just for the record, I also had no interest in "Star Trek: The Next Generation", which apparently believed that the way to deal with an enemy was to bore him to death, nor in any of the spin-offs that resulted therefrom.
    The original Star Trek (like the original Doctor Who) was what I signed on to see, and cheap imitations, with cheap behaviour and cheap language thrown in, are unacceptable.

  2. Was I gushing? I thought I pointed out a few problems with the film. :-)
    I did enjoy it quite a bit overall.
    Vic

  3. angelica says:

    Has anyone realized that Mr. Spock is the Barack Obama of space: the product of a mixed marriage, always in control of himself, dedicated to logic and not afraid to show off his funny ears with a bowl cut. Plus, the ladies dig him. http://www.getback.com/gallery/mr-spock/2987476

  4. John says:

    Appleby, obscenities?? I don't think so. The movie is executed professionally and is brilliant. If you would at least have an open mind and give it a chance considering all the positive reviews….

  5. James Wolfe says:

    Wow, incredibly closed minded. I am a fan that started watching Star Trek when it was first on the air and have followed it through the good and the bad and I must say this is the Best Star Trek Movie Ever Made! This is what Star Trek would have been had the producers actually had more than a shoe string budget. A real ship isn't all plastic and white inside with all the gadgets hidden away where you can't see them (and therefore don't have to pay for props). The command areas of this ship are all shiny and high tech (where you would want them to be when baddies started shooting at you), and all business and industrial in engineering (where you would want it to be so you could get your hands on it rather than crawling under the floor boards to fix the plumbing). And the characters where everything Gene would have wanted them to be. Even the Trek of his day pushed the boundaries of what society expected, where women were independent and race was not an issue, and the universe was open to every mind that wanted to let it in. You shut yourself off to everything that is not the original Star Trek and you shut yourself off from what Star Trek is all about. To boldly go where no one has gone before. Not hide under your bed and close your eyes and cover your ears and go "na na na na na" so as not the hear anything that might shake your narrow minded view of the world. Go see this movie, and enjoy Start Trek again!

  6. I consider myself a HUGE fan of Star Trek and I think the film was right on the mark. There's plenty of room in the multiverse for this incarnation-the actors were great-kudos-they brought the characters to life again, and with style. Can't wait for more.

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