Friday, May 15, 2009

It Boldly Went …

It’s been a week since JJ Abrams’ early summer blockbuster Star Trek hit theaters. USA Today calls it “[a]n energetic, sci-fi extravaganza,” the New York Times, “[a] bright, shiny blast,” and Rolling Stone, “[p]ure filmmaking exhilaration.” The movie made over $76 million in its first weekend. The papers noted that it was the best opening weekend for a Star Trek feature film, which isn’t saying much because there hasn’t been a good Star Trek film since The Undiscovered Country came out 18 years ago.

As a self professed Trekker, I had my misgivings about this movie. I didn’t like the notion of “this isn’t your father’s Star Trek.” The decline of Star Trek wasn’t because the franchise pulled a John McCain and ran to its base; it was because Rick Berman (who ran the show) kept producing shoddy products. The franchise jumped the shark with Voyager in 1995 and Enterprise was dreadful. Only 1 of the 4 Next Generation movies was decent and that was First Contact in 1996. In fact, the series finale of TNG, “All Good Things” was quantumly better than any of the films. No wonder Nemesis bombed; it stunk.

The franchise didn’t need a reboot, it needed good story telling and good filmmaking and it got both with the new movie. I was pleasantly surprised. The movie had a great story and was well acted. I, like everyone else, was drawn to the new cast. The special effects were also good with the space scenes influenced by the new Battlestar Galactica. A bit ironic considering the original Battlestar Galactica was influenced by Star Trek. The new BSG just shows what good story telling and filmmaking can do.

My only qualm would be with some aspects of the production design. The uniforms looked silly. I know they wanted to follow the Original Series design, but TOS uniforms looked better. Heck, they fit better on the actors. The fish scale tops weren’t working. It’s a problem when the other uniforms shown in the movie look and fit better than the primary uniforms. The bloated Starship Enterprise was also a problem. The ship is supposed to look sleek, but this version was too bulky, especially with the obese warp nacelles. But those are just minor issues. All-in-all, JJ Abrams and his crew did a fine job.


  1. I loved it too, but what the heck is Red Matter??


  2. Yeah, GG, the red matter was one of those what the hack? thingies. Perhaps it was a play on black matter.