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PHOTOGRAPHY

STAR TREK (2009)

DVD review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  126 Minutes, audio commentary, five making-of featurettes, gag reel, deleted scenes, free game trial, digital copy

VIDEO:   2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Surround

Subtitles:  English, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO:   Paramount/ Spyglass Entertainment/ Bad Robot

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:   5-8-2009

DVD RELEASE DATE:  11-17-2009

 

STARRING Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime), Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu), Zoe Saldana (Uhuru), Anton Yelchin (Chekov),  Eric Bana (Nero), Ben Cross (Sarek), and Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike)

WRITTEN by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci

DIRECTED by J.J. Abrams

STAR TREK has been around for decades.   I grew up with it.   I have seen every episode and every movie multiple times (every film at least once in the theaters).   Many people felt it has become stale.   The problems that plagued the last two movies and the shows since STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE had to do with who was ahead of the writing.    I enjoyed STAR TREK in all of its forms despite some of the problems with writing.   The last STAR TREK movie (NEMESIS) had its moments, but it didn’t come close to STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT. 

 

I don’t know what it is with time travel and STAR TREK movies, but it seems like lucky charm and another enjoyable Trek film comes out as a result.    STAR TREK, the latest film, is the most enjoyable movie in the series since STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT.  It hits the right notes and sense of adventure that is in the original STAR TREK movies and series.    The new film revolves around time travel as Romulan Nero ends up back in time wanting revenge against Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy).   As a result, the timeline is changed and James T. Kirk’s father, George Kirk, ends up dead and saves lives of the crew of the USS Kelvin.  Krik becomes a troubled kid growing up.   Captain Pike challenges him to do better and he joins Starfleet.  He meets the people who will ultimately become a part of the crew of the USS Enterprise: McCoy, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, and Scotty.   A distress call from Vulcan sends the story into high gear as Kirk must find a way to step forward and become the man he was always meant to be- Captain Kirk.

 

Karl Urban steals the show as Dr. McCoy.   Quinto is also good as Spock while Chris Pine nails Kirk in a different way from the overacting of William Shatner.   The space battles are nothing like that has ever been seen on STAR TREK and can go head to head with anything seen in the best STAR TREK movies.   The Vulcan mind meld sequence is one of my favorite moments- it captures how one’s mind experiences it.  The score is good and different, but I wish they didn’t include the Alexander Courage version of the STAR TREK theme since the Jerry Goldsmith movie take on it is so much better.   Despite a couple of nitpicks (getting to Vulcan so fast and Kirk’s fast promotion) and a few too campy moments (Kirk having a reaction to something that McCoy gives to him to get Kirk on board the Enterprise), STAR TREK nails the core STAR TREK characters and concepts for a whole new generation and the faithful fans who have been with the franchise for years.     I hope they shift away from the original series uniforms to something else and use the Goldsmith Trek theme instead.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Disc One has a humorous gag reel and a featurette (A NEW VISION) focusing on the production of the new STAR TREK from the practical tricks used to making the film seem real.  The feature film audio commentary is by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Linelof, and Roberto Orci.  The track drops a fair amount of information and not much dead space.

 

Disc Two has four featurettes and nine deleted scenes (which adds character bits cut for pacing and showing where Nero’s crew were for 25 years).   The only thing missing from the set are the three theatrical trailers and the TV spots.   I bring that one up since the fantastic STAR TREK Collector Edition DVDs have the trailers.    A free game trial for STARK D-A-C is included in addition to the digital copy of the film.

 

The featurettes focus on other aspects on the film:

TO BOLDY GO is all about the challenges of making the new film and admitting they may have been screwed if Leonard Nimoy didn’t come on board to play Spock Prime.

CASTING is an almost 30 minute featurette that is all about the cast and how each actor chosen is perfect for the part (in addition to saying Bruce Greenwood brought class to the role of Captain pike and how everyone was excited about Leonard Nimoy).

ALIENS show how the Vulcan ears go back to the look in the original TV series, how J.J. Abrams wanted interesting aliens, and the CG alien monster of Delta Vega was created.

SCORE is all about the wonderful score for the film and why they felt they needed Alexander Courage’s original theme in the film.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  STAR TREK is one of the best sci-fi films of 2009 in addition to being a STAR TREK film that speaks to even non-fans.  The extras are wonderful despite not including the trailers.

 

Thie movie review is (c)5-8-2009 David Blackwell and the DVD review is (c)11-20-2009 David Blackwell,  and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail   Live Long And Prosper.