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November 24, 2017

Star Trek (2009) --- "Time-Traveling Villains Changes The Whole Plot."

Plot Summary
Aboard the USS Enterprise, the most-sophisticated starship ever built, a novice crew embarks on its maiden voyage. Their path takes them on a collision course with Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan commander whose mission of vengeance threatens all mankind. If humanity would survive, a rebellious young officer named James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and a coolly logical Vulcan named Spock (Zachary Quinto) must move beyond their rivalry and find a way to defeat Nero before it is too late. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
A bit of history…
     Star Trek, when someone says this name various images, characters and phrases come to mind. Images of the Starship Enterprise hurling through space at warp speed; Characters such as Kirk, Spock, Picard, Bones, Sulu, and Uhura; and phrases like "Live long and Prosper", "Good God Jim, I'm a doctor, not a…. or “That is highly illogical.” Now I wouldn't consider myself a ‘Trekkie’ (Star Trek fan) but I do have an appreciation for the series and its characters. The original Star Trek series began as a TV show from 1966 to 1969 – which was later dubbed The Original Series – and was the first TV show to die but go to heaven. According to NBC, The Original Series did not receive enough rating to continue and thus the show was canceled, however, upon further review NBC discovered that they had a ratings hit on its hands so the show continued for a 3rd season. The show’s fandom quickly gained momentum by attracting millions of viewers over the next few years and subsequently a short spinoff series, The Animated Series (TAS), was released for 2 seasons from 1973 to ’74, however, due to low budget costs the animation quality was lower than even the original Scooby-Doo series so TAS was cancelled after its 2nd season. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) was released a full decade after The Original Series was canceled and although it was not the strong commercial success that Paramount was hoping for, it proved successful enough to warrant an entire series of movies that would last for over 12 years. Overall, it is safe to say that the Star Trek franchise is one of a kind. It is a Sci-Fi landmark and has greatly influenced the entertainment industry with wonderful characters, great dialogue, and interesting stories.
Now on to the movie…

     There was no way that the 2009 reboot Star Trek was going to escape the nitpicking critiques from Trekkie purists, who have dubbed this film as “neither one of the franchise best films nor is it one of the worst but rather is it somewhere in-between. There are some major flaws that stop it from being the great prequel that it had potential to be.” Now I have not followed the original Star Trek series nor have I had the chance to watch all of the old films so I can only review this film on the basis of my own opinion and enjoyment. One thing that I am certain of is that this is not the Star Trek from my father’s generation. Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, SW 8: The Force Awakens) wanted to bring audiences a 21 Century version of Star Trek in order to attract new fans and at the same time pay homage to the original series by respecting old Trekkie fans that have been around for more than 40 years.
     The film is visually stunning and the set for the Starship Enterprise is amazing. The special effects are awe inspiring while there is audacious cinematography and impressive lighting. It is not a film that is visually perfect, like the overuse of lens flares became a bit distracting but it was no less stunning to see. The music score was beautifully done by talented composer Michael Giacchino (Jurassic World, Inside Out, Lost). The music is a bit familiar but it fits in with the film very well; its emotional and carries a lot of ambiances. In regards to the story, Star Trek has some thrilling moments and truly exciting action, which makes most of the film easy to follow. There is a lot that needs to be told in an origin story and as a result, there is usually a lack of action given throughout. But I believe that Abrams and the writers (Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Gene Roddenberry) did a wonderful job in laying a solid foundation for a new take on an old classic.
     The main characters were given some good background history that offered some insight into their personalities. The portrayal of James T. Kirk by Chris Pine (Wonder Woman), Spock by Zachary Quinto (Snowden), and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy by Karl Urban (Dredd) were paramount to the success of the film. Both Quinto and Urban uncannily channel their predecessors, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley, as they delivered the same tone, mannerisms, and expressions that give you the impression that they are simply younger versions of the original actors. While on the other hand Pine takes one of the most iconic roles and makes it his own. As I stated before I have not watched the original films but I have seen a bit here and there. From what I understand Kirk is a womanizer, lover, and captain as portrayed by William Shatner in the original films. Now Pine carries these same traits over while also adding some new elements to the character. He has a swagger, bravado, intelligence, and from what we learn early on, is an adrenaline junkie. Zoe Saldana (Avatar) is great as the fiery and mysterious Uhura, and Bruce Greenwood (i, Robot) as Captain Pike is good fun. Simon Pegg (MI: Rogue Nation) as Scott and Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation) as Chekhov are alright in their roles, they get better in the following sequels. The biggest issue has to be with the villain whose plans and motivations seemed one-minded and underdeveloped.

     Overall, Star Trek (2009) is fun, entertaining, and exciting for both new and old fans. It won’t matter if you are a fan or if you know next to nothing about the Star Trek world because the film explains enough for both parties. The visuals were stunning the music score is beautiful, and the characters were great, although the villain was lackluster this is not surprising considering that most villains are lackluster. While this film is not perfect it is very exciting to see.

"I may throw up you."
- Leonard 'Bones' McCoy

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Star Trek (2009).

Movies Similar 
     After Earth (2013)
     The Fifth Element (1997)
     Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
     Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
     Interstellar (2014)
     John Carter (2012)
     Jupiter Ascending (2015)
     Power Rangers (2017)
     Prometheus (2012)
     Serenity (2005)
     Stargate (1994)
     Starshipp Troopers (1997)
STAR TREK films***
     Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (1979)
     Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
     Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
     Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
     Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
     Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
     Star Trek: Generations (1994)
     Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
     Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
     Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
     Star Trek (2009)
     Star Trek: Into the Darkness (2013)
     Star Trek: Beyond (2016)
STAR WARS films***
     Star Wars I: Phantom Menace (1999)
     Star Wars II: Clone Wars (2002)
     Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
     Star Wars IV: New Hope (1977)
     Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
     Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
     Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
     Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Cast & Crew
Directed by J.J. Abrams   
Produced by 
     J.J. Abrams           ---   producer
     David Baronoff     ---   associate producer
     Bryan Burk            ---   executive producer
     Jeffrey Chernov    ---   executive producer
     Alex Kurtzman      ---   executive producer
     Damon Lindelof    ---   producer
     Roberto Orci          ---   executive producer
     David Witz            ---   co-producer
Music by Michael Giacchino          
Cinematography by Dan Mindel
Film Editing by Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
Production Design by Scott Chambliss 
Set Decoration by Karen Manthey         
Costume Design by Michael Kaplan

Chris Pine                               ---         Kirk
Zachary Quinto                     ---         Spock
Leonard Nimoy                     ---         Spock Prime
Eric Bana                                ---         Nero
Bruce Greenwood                ---         Pike
Karl Urban                             ---         Bones
Zoe Saldana                           ---         Uhura
Simon Pegg                            ---         Scotty
John Cho                                ---         Sulu
Anton Yelchin                        ---         Chekov
Ben Cross                               ---         Sarek
Winona Ryder                       ---         Amanda Grayson
Chris Hemsworth                ---         George Kirk
Jennifer Morrison               ---         Winona Kirk
Rachel Nichols                      ---         Gaila
Faran Tahir                            ---         Captain Robau
Clifton Collins Jr.                 ---         Ayel
Jimmy Bennett                      ---         Young James T. Kirk
Greg Grunberg                     ---         Stepdad
Spencer Daniels                   ---         Johnny
Jeremy Fitzgerald                ---         Iowa Cop
Zoe Chernov                          ---         Vulcan Student
Max Chernov                         ---         Vulcan Student
Jacob Kogan                          ---         Young Spock
Lorenzo James Henrie      ---         Vulcan Bully
Colby Paul                              ---         Vulcan Bully
Cody Klop                               ---         Vulcan Bully
Scottie Thompson                ---         Nero's Wife

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