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Star Trek - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Many moons ago a younger version of myself was befriended by a fella in high school that loved Star Trek REALLY loved it. Having always been a bit cold on the adventures of Kirk and Spock, and thinking the new bald guy in the new Star Trek show (The Next Generation) was a cranky old British bastard, it took him some time to bring me around. But my pal's insistence paid off in the end, and I became a regular viewer of all the Star Trek series/films, etc. More than that, I now see its appeal to millions of Trekkies/Trekkers, whatever the hell you like to be called, and share your admiration...

Why the hell am I telling you this? Well, I am about to go see J.J. Abrams retooling of the original Star Trek characters, and no matter how much I like the creator of Alias and Lost (to name but two of his excellent works) the news that Star Trek was to be remade did not sit well with me at all I hated the idea.

Star TrekStar Trek has proven time and again its legs to continue with new permutations, new characters, and its creator Gene Roddenberry was a forward thinking man, so what possible reason could there be to rehash what has come before? Apart from the usual money hungry corporate lack of imagination that seems to be plaguing our silver screen in ever-greater volume, and robbing the new generations of future classics of their own by unimaginatively pillaging ours.But I digress, in two hours I may have a better answer. Having been quick to reject, slow to come around the first time to Star Trek and its spin offs, I will not make the same mistake twice. See you in two hours.

Back. Well, there's good news and bad. First the good Star Trek works like Gangbusters. It's exciting, fast-paced, has an engaging, emotional story, a powerful antagonist (Australia's Eric Bana), breathtaking visuals, unparalleled action, and J.J. Abrams has admirably succeeded in his intention to redefine the series...

This is an origin story for all seven iconic characters (no small task to squeeze into one film), but with Abrams' pedigree in providing great character development with large ensemble casts - while maintaining an active pace - if anyone was going to pull it off it was him. Without spoiling the story, nor getting bogged down in the multitudes of plots and subplots, this film takes our heroes from youth to the men and woman assigned to the Starship Enterprise that we remember. Any deviation from what was canon before has been answered by the plot (whether you accept it or not is up to you). The fact that they use the legendary Leonard Nimoy to achieve this is a poignant and respectful nod to all that everyone involved wants to honour what has come before them.

Star TrekThe actors inhabiting roles vacated by legends after five decades had their work cut out for them, but each and everyone of them rises to the task and makes it their own. Karl Urban may be the closest to dangerously imitating his predecessor, but I suspect with another film under his belt, Leonard McCoy will become his own. Chris Pine is an outstanding leading man, has channelled some Harrison Ford into his Kirk, and has an incredible sense of comic timing - and was a joy to follow.

The bad. The frenetic pacing can get a little overwhelming, with very few moments of calm. There are several plot contrivances that seem a little too convenient, none the least being a cadet becoming a captain rather rapidly. Is it sufficiently explained? Sure. Is it believable? Not really. The trek techno-babble has been stripped to its bare minimum, and, being expounded in moments of crisis, it tends to get a little lost. If the intention of the makers is to make Star Trek more accessible to a wider audience (and they insist that is one of their goals) then more care is needed or the Sci Fi newbies are likely to miss something, or simply lose interest. But by far the most profound negative for this reviewer must be an unsatisfied answer to the question: Was a reboot necessary? With very little tweaking this film would have worked with new characters. Did it have to be Kirk and Spock and Co.? Why must we go back, when we could go forward?

At least, in this era of unrelenting unoriginality, Paramount gave the reigns of a beloved franchise-gone-by to a very talented and respectful creator. If it had to be done, then ‘Star Trek fans the world over can breathe a sigh of relief J.J. Abrams got the gig. Unlike the majority of remakes, this one is worth the time, this one truly has a shot of connecting with a new generation, and this one looks to be the beginning of something fresh and great.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

DVDDVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English; French; Spanish; Closed Captioned
Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; director's commentary; audio commentary; behind-the-scenes featurette; bloopers..

Supplements:

Commentary:

Featurettes

Deleted Scenes: With Optional Commentary by JJ, Bryan, Alex, and Damon (14 min)

DVD-ROM Content

Number of Discs: 1 + digital copy with Keepcase Packaging

{pgomakase}

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