They say you really never get over your first love. That is as true for starships as it is for people. As one of those life long Trekkers who has been on board since September, 1966 , MY first love is The U.S.S.S. Enterprise NCC1701…no bloody A…B….C….OR D! While I have watched, enjoyed and even loved the spinoffs (my favorite being Deep Space Nine) nothing ever replaced the grand old original Enterprise in my heart. Back in 1978 every critic with a typewriter was panning Star Trek the Motion Picture, especially criticizing the film for the five minute flyby beauty shot of the Enterprise. I thought it was the best part of the movie! Which brings us to today…May anyway, and the release of Star Trek (the Reeboot!). I was able to get my hands on a copy of the BluRay release a full week ahead of time and I had it booting up in the PS3 before my front door even closed! Star trek goes into general release on DVD and BluRay on November 17th and it MUST take it’s place in your video library.
(You can order yours through CBJ, saving time on those pesky Best Buy lines!...unabashed CBJ plug!!)
This review will cover the BluRay release.
First the movie itself:
Despite the protests of the Watchmen faithful it was Star Trek that was THE blockbuster film of 2009 and it was not a close call. J.J. Abrams and a young cast that was able to evoke the original cast perfectly without imitating the original actors (Shatner, Nimoy et. Al.) . Has managed to make a 40 year old franchise of five live action and one animated series and eleven feature films (along with countless novels and comics) seem BRAND NEW. Unlike the sometimes plodding Watchmen, Star trek takes off from the very first frame and keeps you going right through the closing credits. (Which feature the original Alexander Courage theme!).
Frankly, they got everything right here. Abrams captured the optimism and energy of the original series. Chris pine captures the swagger , humor and earnestness of James Kirk while never falling into a Shatner parody. Zachary Quinto seems the very quintessence of Spock. Karl Urban NAILS Dr. McCoy in a manner that would have delighted the beloved DeForest Kelly. And while Simon Pegg plays Scotty a bit more for laughs than Jimmy Doohan did, it just works wonderfully with this cast.
Then there’s Leonard Nimoy. Perhaps that should be “The Great” Leonard Nimoy, who lends his presence not simply as a symbolic passing of the torch but as an integral lead character in the film. Leonard looks positively reinvigorated in the role of Spock Prime and it is great to see him back. The scene between Nimoy as Spock prime and his younger/alternate version (Quinto) is worth the price of admission all by itself.
As to the plot …well it’s classic Trek. That is to say idealistic, imaginative, completely implausible, and delightful! Red Shirts get killed, green Orion girls look yummy and half dressed, Sulu brandishes a sword, Chekov is incomprehensible and Uhura is…well…delicious!
Of course classic Trek has always been more about the core three (Kirk, Spock and Mc Coy) than the plots, and it is here that the film truly shines. They say you can’t go home again, and that you can’t recreate chemistry. Happily, in this case that is not true. Pine, Quinto and Urban have all the chemistry that Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelly possessed. That is a very good thing because without that chemistry, this film would have been completely derailed.
Ultimately we have yet another reboot that has worked to invigorate an aging franchise. Bond, Batman, Battlestar Galactica and now Star Trek have all been revived by “The Reboot”. Who would have bet that in 2009 Star Trek would be more vital than the comatose Star Wars franchise and a far more entertaining film that the much anticipated Watchmen?
Now to the BluRay package. It looks MARVELOUS. The 1080p transfer looks even better on your HDTV than it did in the theaters. In fact MOST BluRay disks look better than the theatrical releases because the movies are rarely in perfect focus in the theater. The Dolby True 5.1 soundtrack is a literal BLAST with the headphones on. It is exactly what we have come to expect in high def home entertainment.
There are plenty of extras like deleted scenes, a gag reel, a tribute to Gene Roddenberry, a virtual Enterprise, a digital copy of the movie and even an X-Box Star Trek DAC game trial. I am not normally one for all the extras but these really do add to the package.
So now to my SECOND CBJ plug. See the boys (and girls of course!) in the store and order your copy right away. Order two! One to play and one to go “ooooo I have TWO!”…well that’s just silly and you can hardly say “oooooo” in a manly way, which of course would not be a problem for anyone saying “oooooo” who is not actually a male…and Vulcans hardly ever say “ooooo” regardless of their gender. So order two to line the pockets of the corporate monolith that is Paramount!...either that or George Lucas gets the cash and we all know what happens when HE gets too flush…that’s right Jar Jar plush toys…bad video games, Hayden Christensen, dogs and cats living together…MASS HYSTERIA!!!
Keep the Galaxy safe from the ravages of rampant George Lucasism and buy Star Trek on BluRay and DVD!!!