Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek Into Darkness, created by J. J. Abrams (based off the work of Gene Roddenberry): a Film Review

Synopsis:

Captain Kirk and his crew violate the Prime Directive by allowing their ship to be seen by a primitive species while trying to both save the civilization and their fellow crew member Commander Spock.  Because of this Kirk is removed from his command around the same time that an unprovoked attack on an outlying Starfleet installation in London is attacked and destroyed.

While Admiral Pike is reinstated as Captain of the Enterprise and Spock is moved to another ship the planet side Captains and First Officers of Starfleet convene to assess the damage to the Starfleet post and the next steps in discovering the culprit.  As they meet the conference is attacked by the same villain who attacked the other Starfleet installation resulting in the death of several members of Starfleet including Admiral Pike.

In light of this (and on the heels of losing a father figure) Kirk asks to be reinstated to go after the culprit who has warped to an uninhabited quadrant of Klingon territory.  As they load up the crew begins to question exactly what is going on with this covert and militarized mission as the Starfleet they know is one of discovery and exploration, not military prowess.

When they capture the man in question and discover the story he is telling may hold more truth than they have been told by their own administration the crew of the Enterprise has to make some big decisions of their own.  Who do they believe in this situation?  Their own superiors or the man who was put into cryo-sleep for 300 years only to be brought back to life?

General Information About the Movie/Series:

-Genre: Science-fiction action

-Creator: J. J. Abrams, based off the work of Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 131 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (science-fiction themes, moderate violence and gore, some nudity and sexual innuendo, mild language, some alcohol use)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, FXNetwork, DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Chris Pine,Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, and Alice Eve

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

Overall, this is a great film.  It’s a solid sequel to the first of the alternative timeline.  Its an interesting take on Khan’s story from Wrath of Kahn.  But it isn’t without it’s faults.

As I discussed the film with my brother, we argued about the validity of using Khan in this story line.  The idea itself is intriguing: a mysterious spy, someone of power, who is manipulating officers in Starfleet to achieve his own ends.  It wasn’t needed for the character to be Khan.

Yet I do understand it as a further study into the alternative universe theory.  Just like with the first of the Kelvin timeline the overarching plot is a character and storyline study.  It is all about taking a specific set of people who have been developed and have in depth backstories and seeing how they would turn out if things had gone differently leading up to their current place in their lives.  What would Captain Kirk be like if he didn’t have the influence of his father to get him into Starfleet, but instead ran from the ghost of his father’s legacy?  What would Spock be like if he didn’t finish Kolinahr and instead of purging all emotion decided to embrace it in small ways?  What if Noyota Uhura and Spock actually dated instead of their attraction just being alluded to in TOS?

This is a study of the differences in a character 300 years old.  Someone who is set in their way long before the situation that changes so many of the characters that we came to love in Star Trek.  He is a unique moment in this timeline.  His entire personality, the events that led to his cryofreeze and containment we can only assume are the same or very similar to the events in the original timeline.

Therefor the study of his actions is fascinating in this aspect.  He is and remains extremely similar to the person that he was in the original timeline.  He has the same tendacies for homicide and general violence that Khan had in The Wrath of Khan.

What is interesting is the events that lead up to his release in this film.  The same Kelvin timeline issues that lead Admiral Marcus to make the choices he makes in regards to Khan are the ones that shape the crew as we see them now.  The differences in the timelines makes for an interesting take on the events of the original timeline.

Though there are moments in it when I do wish that instead of relying on Khan and the parallels of The Wrath of Khan that Abrams had leaned into his skills as a writer and really created a unique character for the crew to battle as he did in the first film.

But we cant always have a perfect film that goes off exactly the way we want it to.

Once again this timeline is by far one of my favorite take son the Star Trek Universe.  It really speaks to my love of character development and character study in film.

A wonderful sequel to lead into the Enterprise’s first five year mission into uncharted space.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek (2009), created by J. J. Abrams (based off of the work of Gene Roddenberry): a Film Review

Synopsis:

In the 23rd century the USS Kelvin is out exploring the uncharted regions of space when they are confronted by a strange space vessel coming from a black hole. During the skirmish that follows the federation ship is lost along with its acting captain as he saved all other living souls on board including his newborn son, James T. Kirk.  The strange ship is not seen again.

On Vulcan, the young hybrid Spock begins to find his place amongst his people only to find that even being the top of his class is not enough to erase his heritage.  He chooses to enroll in StarFleet Academy instead.

It is here that the pair become entangled and set off on their first mission under Captain Christopher Pike as the Fleet gets called to the aid of Vulcan following unprecedented and sudden seismic activity on the planet surface.  As the current USS Enterprise sets off on its maiden voyage the plot thickens when they arrive at Vulcan to find the issues on the planet far beyond what they were prepared to deal with.

General Information:

-Genre: Science Fiction Action

-Creator: J. J. Abrams, based off the work of Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 127 minutes

-Rating: Pg-13 (sci-fi action and violence, brief sexual content)

-Where to Watch: DVD, BlueRay, 4K, for rent/purchase on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and iTunes (amongst others), or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Chris Pine,Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy and Winona Rider

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

I am absolutely in love with the new Kelvin Timeline series.  This first movie was the start of what I believe to be the true reboot of Star Trek.  The style of the film was unlike anything we had seen previously.  From the sleek sets, the new costumes and the fantastic cast the combination of practical and CGI this is truly a new Enterprise.

While I understand that the Kelvin Timeline threw out any extended universe it also didn’t. This is often a point of contention between myself and others in the fandom. But just like there is so much to explore in Star Trek itself there is no reason that these two timelines, as well as their fans, cannot stand side by side.  This was the time for fans new and old to unite around a beautiful film.

The performances by the main crew are stunning.  As they all had to live up to the incredible character development already done by their predecessors.  The wiggle room they had they all used to the fullest while still honoring their TOS counterparts with beautiful renditions within that framework.

Besides that though the movie is just thoroughly entertaining.   There is action, romance, anger, revenge, sassy characters, internal conflicts, and plenty of science-fiction to entertain even the most avid movie viewer.  Count in the guest star, the beloved Leonard Nimoy, and you have a wonderful two hours of entertainment.

Though I do love this film it is not without its challenges. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the characters (though they are introduced organically) a lot of the jokes, moments of personal significance and the differences from their TOS counterparts are lost.  This can cause the film to feel less dimensional and vibrant.

The costuming, like other aspects, are much more refined.   And the lighting and CGI are top notch.  But Abrams did do everything he could practically so there are these wonderful elements of tangible design in the film.

The set, while my favorite of the Enterprise sets, is quite sleek and modern especially when compared with its TOS counterpart.  This is partly due to time frame (2009 compared to the 1970s) and partly due to the vision of the director and the crew.  I can understand how this could be jarring for long time fans….but what bothers me the most is that a lot of these fans cannot get past the fact that this is an entirely different timeline.

They seem to get angry that the extended universe was thrown out (in my opinion it wasn’t).  But Abrams said they specifically chose to do an ALTERNATIVE timeline so it DIDN’T throw out everything that the 50 years of Star Trek (from TV shows to books to movies).

By far I would say this start to the new timeline has been one of my favorite Star Trek reboots in a long time.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.