Author Topic: The New Star Trek Movie  (Read 19047 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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The New Star Trek Movie
« on: April 08, 2009, 02:15:34 am »





http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796366/
Star Trek  (2009)
Director: J. J. Abrams

Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin), James Kirk (Chris Pine),
Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg), Bones McCoy (Karl Urban), Sulu (John Cho)
and Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana).



Description:
A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members

SYNOPSIS:
The young crew onboard for the maiden voyage of the most advanced starship ever created, the U.S.S. Enterprise, must find a way to stop the evil Nero (Eric Bana), whose mission of vengeance threatens all of mankind. But the fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals born worlds apart. One, James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine), a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy, a natural-born leader in search of a cause. The other, Spock (Zachary Quinto), grows up on the planet Vulcan, an outcast due to his half-human background, which makes him susceptible to the volatile emotions that Vulcans have long lived without, and yet an ingenious, determined student, who will become the first of his kind accepted into the Starfleet Academy. The crew is led by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood). Joining him are the ship's Medical Officer Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban); the man who will become the ship's Chief Engineer, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Simon Pegg); Communications Officer Uhura (Zoë Saldana); experienced Helmsman Sulu (John Cho); and the 17-year-old whiz kid Chekov (Anton Yelchin). All will face a harrowing first test.


Star Trek Trailer
(includes Leonard Nimoy as Old Spock) (2:15)

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puXPozd-kuc&feature=related[/youtube]


Star Trek Trailer (2:16)
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0xaCB2nLS0&NR=1[/youtube]


IMDB Trailers

Star Trek: Final Theatrical Trailer (includes young Uhura) (2:05)
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1761608473/



Star Trek: Final Theatrical Trailer (Variation) (2:16)
http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2198471449/


Star Trek: Trailer #2 (2:12)
http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3484418841/



Star Trek: Trailer (Variation) (2:10)
http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2159346457/


All eleven IMDB Star Trek 2009 trailers:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796366/trailers



And:


Star Trek’s first stop - the Sydney Opera House

http://trekmovie.com/2009/03/19/star-trek-gala-world-premiere-to-be-in-australia-april-7th-kicks-off-world-tour/

Star Trek World Tour kicks off in Australia
Paramount Pictures Australia sent out a release on Thursday night (their Friday afternoon) announcing that Paramount will be holding the gala world premiere for Star Trek at the famous Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday April 7th. In attendance will be director JJ Abrams who will be joined by Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) along with Australian Eric Bana (Nero) and New Zealander Karl Urban (McCoy).

In a statement, Mike Selwyn, Managing Director of Paramount Pictures Australia., said:

Not only are we honored to have J.J. Abrams and the cast here in Sydney for the World Premiere of the stunning new Star Trek, we are also very excited to present this event at one of Australia’s—and the world’s—most famous locations, Sydney Opera House.


Related:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20233502_8,00.html

http://www.comicmix.com/news/2008/10/16/new-star-trek-photos-revealed/

http://www.aintitcool.com/
(Spoilers)
http://www.aintitcool.com/node/40683
http://www.aintitcool.com/node/40675
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009, 03:11:18 am »


http://screenrant.com/star-trek-red-carpet-event-pictures-sydney-brusimm-6586/







Fans await the stars at the World Premiere of J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek XI




Chris Pine arrives at the World Premiere of
J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek at the Sydney Opera House on April 7, 2009
in Sydney, Australia
and spends time with the fans, as did all the actors.





Eric Bana with friends




Actor Zachary Quinto, who plays Mr Spock, and Director J.J. Abrams
arrive at the World Premiere of J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek  at the Sydney Opera House
on April 7, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.





Cast and crew (L-R)
Zachary Quinto, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Eric Bana
and John Cho arrive at the World Premiere of J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 03:59:54 am »


http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/

Stars trek to Sydney

More than 1500 people filled the Opera House last night for the
world premiere of Star Trek, a month before its release.



From the Sydney Morning Herald: The first review ("It's phenomenal!") Audio (4:30)
http://media.smh.com.au/entertainment/pick-of-the-flicks/first-star-trek-review-467031.html



Photo Gallery:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/photogallery/entertainment/film/a-sneak-peek-at-the-new-star-trek/2009/04/07/1238869963864.html











"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Meryl

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 04:51:39 pm »
WOWIE!  Makes my little Trekker heart go pitapat!  Must. see. it.  8)  8)  8)
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline delalluvia

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 06:35:51 pm »

[/center]

James T. Kirk?  Going where no one has gone before?

I think not.  ;D

Can't wait to see this.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 05:04:46 pm »


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/movies/26itzk.html?8dpc=&pagewanted=all


Film
New Team Retrofits the Old Starship



From left, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Chris Pine as Kirk, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as McCoy,
John Cho as Sulu and Zoë Saldana as Uhura.



Zachary Quinto as Spock.



The team behind the new “Star Trek” movie: from left, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, J. J. Abrams,
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.


By DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: April 23, 2009
LOS ANGELES


ENGAGE J. J. Abrams in conversation for even a few minutes and he will gladly confess the role that “Star Trek” played in his cultural coming of age. “I was not a fan,” he said recently.

Though Mr. Abrams would eventually become a creator of the television shows “Lost,” “Alias” and “Fringe” — series that owe their existence to boyhoods fueled by syndicated television and second-run movies — when he grew up in the 1970s and ’80s he had no interest in the hoary voyages of the Starship Enterprise and its crew.

Not that Mr. Abrams, now 42, had anything against science fiction; he just preferred “The Twilight Zone” and its supernatural morality plays. Whereas “Star Trek” seemed closed off to newcomers — “It always presumed you cared about this group of characters,” he said — “The Twilight Zone” was inviting, offering a self-contained origin story in each episode.


J. J. Abrams, right, on the set.


This would not be an especially remarkable revelation except that Mr. Abrams happens to be the director of “Star Trek,” the coming feature film (opening May 8) that is Paramount’s $150 million attempt to rejuvenate the decades-old space adventure franchise, the first movie to provide an official origin story for Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise team.

Mr. Abrams’s admission, made offhandedly in the lunchtime company of his “Star Trek” collaborators, didn’t raise a single eyebrow around the table. From Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who created “Fringe” with Mr. Abrams and wrote the “Transformers” films) to Damon Lindelof (a creator and producer of “Lost”) and Bryan Burk (Mr. Abrams’s producing partner), they’ve all heard his pronouncements on “Trek” before.

But the remark is emblematic of why this particular team, comprising broad sci-fi fans and a couple of “Trek” aficionados, has been handed control of a fantasy franchise that is one of the most recognizable in entertainment yet was in serious disrepair, a victim of diminished expectations and waning enthusiasm.

Mr. Abrams and his partners are guys with mainstream pop-culture aspirations; their forte is taking on genres with finite but dedicated fan bases — science fiction, fantasy and horror — and making them accessible to wider audiences. And what they had in mind for their “Star Trek” movie is a film that is consistent with 43 years of series history but not beholden to it.

Despite their collective reverence for “Star Trek” — and “Star Wars,” and Indiana Jones, and X-Men, and other cultural artifacts of their awkward adolescence — none of them are total “Trek” completists (not even Mr. Orci, who once owned a telephone shaped like the Enterprise). They say that makes them the ideal candidates to upgrade Gene Roddenberry’s creation for 21st-century audiences.

“There’s just too much stuff out there to be loyal to everything,” Mr. Lindelof said. “Someone will find 50 ways to tell us we’re idiots, and it wouldn’t be ‘Trek’ if they didn’t.” At the same time they appreciate the perils of chiseling away at a cultural touchstone whose influence has remained enormous even as its reputation has varied wildly over the years.

If “Star Trek” fails, Mr. Kurtzman said, “it’ll be the biggest personal failure we’ve ever had, because we will have actually violated something that means a lot to us.”

Their “Trek” movie puts them simultaneously on a new trajectory and right in the heart of the series’s mythology. It tells the story of a reckless 23rd-century youth named James T. Kirk (played by Chris Pine) who enrolls in the Starfleet Academy, driven in part by the death of his father, a starship officer who sacrificed his life for his crew. He is drawn into a band of talented cadets, clashing with the half-Earthling, half-alien Spock (Zachary Quinto of the television series “Heroes”).

For the “Trek” faithful there are plenty of nods to past television episodes and movies, familiar catchphrases and Kirk’s notorious solution to a supposedly unwinnable mission simulation. But there is also a conscious effort to inscribe this “Trek” in the storytelling traditions popularized by Joseph Campbell, in which heroes must suffer loss and abandonment before they rise to the occasion.

The filmmakers admit that this is a deliberate homage to their favorite films, like “Superman,” “Star Wars” and “The Godfather Part II”: epic movies that, by the way, did pretty well at the box office.

Perhaps more audaciously, this “Star Trek” also has a time-travel story line that essentially gives those on its creative team license to amend internal “Trek” history as they need to, and they aren’t timid about exercising it. (For example the villains of the movie are Romulans, even though the Enterprise’s first encounter with this alien race occurs in a well-known original “Trek” episode.)

Though their revisions may be contentious, the filmmakers said they were necessary; the “Star Trek” empire entrusted to them has been in dire straits.

Under the stewardship of Mr. Roddenberry and his appointed successor, Rick Berman, a creator of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the franchise had yielded four live-action television spinoffs and 10 feature films. But the 2002 movie “Star Trek: Nemesis” was a box-office disappointment, bringing in just $43 million (less than every other film in the series), and by 2005 the UPN show “Star Trek: Enterprise” was about to be canceled. Any heat left in the “Trek” universe had dissipated, and many of its talented writers (like Ronald D. Moore, who rejuvenated the television series “Battlestar Galactica”) had moved on.

That year, the corporate behemoth Viacom, which owned “Star Trek,” was splitting itself in two, divorcing its CBS studio (which made the “Trek” shows) from its Paramount studio (which made the films). “Trek” was likely to go to CBS, where another television show might eventually be developed. Gail Berman, then the president of Paramount, convinced Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, to allow her one more chance at a “Trek” film; he gave her 18 months to get the cameras rolling or lose the property. (Under the arrangement CBS retained the “Star Trek” merchandising rights.)

Mr. Kurtzman and Mr. Orci were among the first to learn that “Star Trek” was seeking new management. Then, they were former “Alias” producers writing the screenplay for “Mission: Impossible III” (which Mr. Abrams directed). Paramount executives began quizzing them about “Trek.”

The studio wanted “a very specific kind of thinking,” Mr. Kurtzman said.

“You had to love genre at your core in every possible way,” he said. “And yet you had to separate it from what ‘Trek’ had been, to make it feel fresh.”

In postproduction on “Mission: Impossible III” Mr. Abrams was approached by Ms. Berman to produce the new “Trek.” He did not immediately jump at the opportunity, but the more he thought about a project that could involve Mr. Orci and Mr. Kurtzman, as well as Mr. Lindelof and Mr. Burk, the more enthusiastic he became.

“Our references were all the same,” Mr. Abrams said. He added, “There’s this crazy sense of having all grown up together.”

Outwardly this particular Hollywood entourage is no different from any other group of guys who bust one another’s chops. (When Mr. Burk noted that he’d worked as a pool boy at the hotel where this interview was conducted, Mr. Abrams replied, “You’ll be pool boy here again.”)

But deep down they are children of the pre-Internet era, the last generation whose members could not instantaneously connect to like-minded fans and had to seek them out at swap meets and video stores and in the pages of magazines with names like Starlog and Fangoria.

“When we come into contact with each other, there’s an ‘Oh, it’s you’ quality,” Mr. Lindelof said. “It’s like bumping into someone at a Dungeons & Dragons convention.” Even though this “Star Trek” has been reworked to resemble contemporary summer blockbusters like “The Dark Knight” and “Iron Man” (as well as planned offerings like “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Terminator Salvation”), it is also set apart by a tone that is more hopeful — and even utopian — than its competitors.

What ultimately inspired him about “Star Trek,” Mr. Abrams said, was that in contrast to a science-fiction saga like “Star Wars” — whose images of youthful swashbucklers traversing the cosmos in beat-up vehicles clearly influenced his movie — “Trek” was not set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; it was a hopeful vision of what this planet’s future could be.

“We’ve become so familiar with the idea of space travel because of so many movies and TV shows that it’s lost its adventure and its possibility, its sense of wonder,” Mr. Abrams said. “Forty-three years ago it was not a boring idea.”

What remains to be seen is whether the patient, thoughtful and deeply philosophical tradition of “Star Trek” is compatible with a “Star Trek” movie that is variously flashy, frenetic, dirty, slapsticky and sufficiently steeped in popular culture to accommodate both the Beastie Boys song “Sabotage” and a cameo by Tyler Perry.

Mr. Abrams said that throughout the production process Mr. Orci and Mr. Lindelof, both acolytes of “Trek” history, were there to keep an eye on him. The filmmakers also received the blessing of Leonard Nimoy, who created the role of Spock and agreed to reprise the character in the film as a wizened old man.

“Any fan who would think that it’s not ‘Trek’ has to say that to Leonard Nimoy’s face,” Mr. Orci said. “Don’t talk to me, talk to Spock.”

But Mr. Abrams has a mixed history when it comes to reinventing film franchises. Around 2002 he wrote a script for a possible new “Superman” movie that was criticized for the extensive revisions it made to that comic-book hero’s history. (In Mr. Abrams’s story, for example, the villain Lex Luthor turned out to be from Superman’s home planet of Krypton.)

Today, Mr. Abrams said, he understands the mistakes he made with his “Superman” screenplay. “It’s tantamount to doing a story about Santa Claus and saying that he’s from Kansas,” he said.

Nonetheless Mr. Abrams said his responsibility was not to the “Trek” loyalists, but “to create a movie that would be for moviegoers who love an adventure, and movies that are funny and scary and exciting — not ‘Star Trek’ fans, necessarily, but not to exclude them either.”

But after immersing himself in the rich characters and boundless universe of a once unfamiliar space epic (and having committed himself to producing, with Mr. Burk, a “Star Trek” sequel that Mr. Kurtzman, Mr. Orci and Mr. Lindelof will write), Mr. Abrams was ready to make another confession to his team.

“I now consider myself a Trekkie,” he declared, “which I literally could not have ever imagined saying to anyone.”

Mr. Burk feigned a cough and, under his breath, said a single word. It sounded like “nerd.”
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 09:18:40 pm »


If you care about this universe (and I do, damn it), you won’t sit passively through J.J. Abrams’s restart Trek. You’ll marvel at the smarts and wince at the senselessness. You’ll nitpick it to death and thrill to it anyway.

http://nymag.com/movies/reviews/56428/

The Next Generation
J.J. Abrams restarts Star Trek, with mostly thrilling results.



Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

By David Edelstein
Published May 1, 2009


There are moments in the furious new Star Trek iteration in which the young actors who play Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest resemble Baby Looney Toons doing old shtick in disconcertingly high voices. Yet there are other, transcendent moments—time-benders. Suddenly, I found myself back in the days when I (and you?) enacted Star Trek in the basement: “Phasers on stun.” “Mr. Scott, we need that warp drive.” “I’m a doctor, not an escalator!” If you care about this universe (and I do, damn it), you won’t sit passively through J.J. Abrams’s restart Trek. You’ll marvel at the smarts and wince at the senselessness. You’ll nitpick it to death and thrill to it anyway.

Because, in the end, what choice is there? The first generation of Trekkers is elderly or gone to that most final of frontiers, the next generation is up in years, and the most memorable thing about the generation after that was the Borg with big breasts whose distaste for sex clubs helped elect Barack Obama. Either we accept this “reboot” or watch The Wrath of Khan  for the thirty-eighth time. And Abrams and his writers (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) have come up with a way to make you dig the souped-up new scenery while pining for the familiar—a good thing. When Kirk gets bumped from the captain’s chair and trades insults with Spock, it’s funny and surprising and wrong wrong wrong. Which is the point. We’re rooting for Abrams to be less original—to give us back our Kirk and Spock.

The gimmick is a black hole, one of those handy time-travel-enabling anomalies with which we sci-fi fans have a love-hate relationship. A spiky black behemoth from the future hurtles through said hole carrying a vengeful Romulan driller-killer called Nero (Eric Bana)—whereupon, presto, history is altered. In this alternate-universe, James T. Kirk’s father is dead, and Kirk (Chris Pine) grows up a daredevil ne’er-do-well. He doesn’t want to go to Starfleet Academy and abide by pesky rules until he’s shamed by Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood)—the captain in the series’ first, failed pilot, now reborn as the authority figure who tells Kirk, “If you’re half the man your father was …” Pike defines Starfleet as a “peacekeeping and humanitarian armada”—four of the weightiest words ever spoken in a sci-fi picture. The original Trek gave us mixed-race, sexually active Cold Warriors (it was the Marshall Plan in space, with Klingons standing in for Soviets); the next generation was mostly Clintonesque policy wonks and technocrats (plus an unhappy post-Soviet/Klingon). What political assumptions prop up the newest armada?

Hard to say, since the focus is more on mismatched buddies: Young rule-breaker Kirk and young by-the-book Spock loathe each other on sight and spend much of the film as antagonists. We’re always on Kirk’s side, though. Behind those impudent baby blues, young Pine mugs like mad, but there’s wit in the way he seizes the space: He seems to be both channeling and poking fun at William Shatner’s mighty ego. He leads with his appetites. On the other hand, Zachary Quinto plays the half-Vulcan, half-human Spock as the kind of know-it-all even geeks want to slam into a locker. The problem might be as basic as Quinto’s physiognomy. Where Leonard Nimoy adopted a semi-scrutable (vaguely Eastern) mask, Quinto’s features settle into a sneer. Nimoy’s Spock would tell his colleagues, “I have no feelings to hurt,” and we knew it was a lie because Nimoy’s impassivity was so pregnant. But Quinto’s face telegraphs disdain. He’s Kirk’s competitor—which might be more realistic but which utterly changes the Star Trek dynamic. Kirk is no longer the virile leader trying to find a balance between coolly dispassionate logic (Spock) and urgent humanist emotion (Dr. McCoy). He’s hardly even a plausible leader. (How does he end up in the captain’s chair?) The doggone kids really have seized the Enterprise.

In fairness, it’s too soon to tell where the revamped Star Trek will go, since a lot of this first installment is foreplay: Get ’em grown up (out of Iowa, off Vulcan), get ’em out of school (bring on the final exam—the Kobayashi Maru!), get ’em onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, and bring on the bad guy and space battles. The fights and photon-torpedoings are rousingly done, and since the self-inflating Shatner famously had scripts rewritten to make the other crew members ciphers, there’s room for actors to bring new stuff to the party. Is she (Zoe Saldana) Uhura? Yowza. Hey, look at that—Starfleet women in boots and miniskirts again! What’s Harold doing on the Enterprise without Kumar? Oh, he’s Sulu! Way to go, John Cho! Is the new Chekhov (Anton Yelchin) actually Russian? That seems odd, somehow. Why does the disheveled hipster McCoy (Karl Urban) talk like Owen Wilson, and would you want him treating your wounds? Is that Winona Ryder as Spock’s mom—with, like, three lines? Who’s this “Olsen” guy parachuting down to disarm the villain’s super-weapon with Kirk and Sulu? Oh, that’s right, he’s the guy who’s going to immediately get killed. (“Olsen is gone, sir.”) Where’s Scotty?

Scotty (the crackerjack comic actor Simon Pegg, of Shaun of the Dead ) shows up an hour into the film, some time after Leonard Nimoy delivers the screen’s first exposition-via-mind-meld. That clarifies Nero’s motives, which turn out to be awfully thin. (It’s weird how Star Trek villains think nothing of blowing up planets to avenge their wives.) Nimoy, meanwhile, looks very old and happier than he has in years: He has finally decided he is Spock, and not even Zachary Quinto can deny him. So it’s in with the old and the new, and let’s give this crew another voyage.

IN BRIEF: Gael García Bernal reteams with Diego Luna from Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También  in Cuarón’s brother Carlos’s Rudo y Cursi,  an insipid but bearable parable of soccer-playing brothers turned rivals done in by their own celebrity. The morality play would be easier to take if the soccer were better … It’s unfair to call Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control  the emptiest movie ever made, but I wrote that in my notebook as I struggled to stay awake. Even more ponderous than his first film, Permanent Vacation,  the film follows robotic Isaach de Bankolé on some kind of diamond-smuggling mission through Spain not reacting to eccentrics Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Bernal, and oft-naked Paz de la Huerta. Finally, Bill Murray shows up as a Dick Cheney type and Bankolé turns out to be a supernatural avenger. I look forward to reading the rave reviews—I love science fiction.
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 10:26:27 am »


It's a blockbuster for the Obama age, when smarts and idealism are cool again. In fact, can't you picture our president—levelheaded, biracial, implacably smart—on the bridge in a blue shirt and pointy ears?


http://www.slate.com/id/2217854/

Go See Star Trek
It's logical.
By Dana Stevens
Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2009, at 9:52 PM ET


J.J. Abrams' Star Trek  (Paramount Pictures) is a gift to those of us who loved the original series, that brainy, wonky, idealistic body of work that aired to almost no commercial success between 1966-69 and has since become a science fiction archetype and object of cult adoration. For fans who grew up watching the show in ubiquitous after-school reruns and who commandeered the La-Z-Boy as an impromptu captain's chair, Star Trek  is neither a franchise nor a property. It's a world. Abrams' cannily constructed prequel respects (for the most part) the rules of that world and, more importantly, retains the original Star Trek's spirit of optimism, curiosity, and humor.

The near-universal enthusiasm for Abrams' film (it currently has a critical rating of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) may partly spring from sheer relief that it isn't awful. The idea of "rebooting" Star Trek seemed ill-augured, not only because the 40-year-old show has been through so many big- and small-screen recyclings already, but because—well, how do you "reboot" something that's so thoroughly analog? The very charm of the old Star Trek  was its low-tech rendering of a high-tech world, with futuristic medical implements represented by salt shakers and aliens fashioned from nothing but green body paint or a glued-on pair of ears.

Star Trek 's vision of the future, as guided by creator Gene Roddenberry, was also a relic of its time, the age of NASA and the Cold War and Kruschev pounding his shoe on a podium at the United States. The show's faith in diplomacy and technology as tools for not just global but universal peace might seem touchingly dated in our post-9/11 age of stateless jihad, loose nukes, and omnipresent danger. Yet in a weird way, Star Trek 's cheerfully square naiveté makes it the perfect film for our first summer of (slimly) renewed hope. It's a blockbuster for the Obama age, when smarts and idealism are cool again. In fact, can't you picture our president—levelheaded, biracial, implacably smart—on the bridge in a blue shirt and pointy ears?

Abrams faced two huge challenges in taking on this world. The first was the casting of the archetypal characters—particularly, I'd argue, that of James T. Kirk. As rich a part as the repressed half-alien, half-human Spock is, it's not hard to imagine a contemporary actor suited to play it—after all, Spock's cooler, more contained style somehow fits with the buttoned-up action heroes currently in fashion. (Matt Damon's Jason Bourne and Daniel Craig's Bond both share a Spock-like reserve.) But it's just too galling to imagine William Shatner's creation—that expansive, randy, faintly ridiculous, and yet supremely capable leader of men, Falstaffian in his love of life and largeness of spirit—replaced by a 21st-century-style comic book hero, some glowering brooder with daddy issues.

So Abrams did well to eschew celebrity casting and scour the galaxy to find Chris Pine, a relatively unknown young actor (he appeared in the 2006 crime drama Smokin’ Aces  and last year's Bottle Shock ) who understands and channels Shatner's loopy appeal without ever impersonating him. (And what actor is more easily impersonatable than Shatner, with that trademark staccato delivery?) Pine is a jewel, but his performance couldn't work without the right ensemble cast. It takes a while for the gang to get fully assembled on the bridge—Simon Pegg's juicily comic Scotty, in particular, comes on the scene too late in the movie. But by the time they do, even Trekkie loyalists will have accepted Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as communications specialist Uhura (now upgraded from space secretary to "xenolinguist" and equipped with a disconcerting crush on her Vulcan co-worker), Karl Urban as the ship's irascible doctor Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Urban's performance, while enjoyable, comes the closest to straight-up impersonation), and John Cho and Anton Yelchin as the young navigators Sulu and Chekhov.

Come to think of it, the Kirk of Abrams' Star Trek  does have a daddy issue of sorts, though it's dispatched with early in this brisk 126-minute movie. James' father, Capt. George Kirk, is killed in a collision with a Romulan ship at the same moment that his mother gives birth to their son in a shuttle escaping the blast. The captain of the Romulan vessel, the unsubtly named Nero (Eric Bana) has traveled back in time in order to take revenge for the destruction of his planet, for which he blames Spock … the Spock of the future.

Abrams' creation of a time-travel loop was a demonically clever way to reinvent the Star Trek  universe without violating the original 79-episode canon. Hey, he can say to potential detractors at ComicCon, all that stuff that happened on the series still happened; it's just that this alternate reality existed alongside it. Complete bullshit, yes, but oddly in keeping with the original show's love for mind-blowing narrative reversals, and it does silence the nitpickers (not that I would know any or be one myself).

In this alternate reality loop, then, Kirk, a bright but delinquent farm boy in Iowa, is convinced by a Federation officer, Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), to enroll at the Starfleet Academy. Meanwhile on Vulcan, Spock (played as a child by Jacob Kogan) is tormented by Vulcan schoolmates for his half-human ancestry. (The pleasure these boys take in bullying seems human enough to me, but never mind.) As an adult, Spock (now played by Quinto with a few degrees more chill than Leonard Nimoy brought to the role) is offered entry to the elite Vulcan Science Academy—sort of the MIT of space—but chooses to enroll at Earth's Starfleet instead. At the academy, Spock's by-the-book style leads him to clash with the hotheaded and swaggering Kirk. Soon, though, the reappearance of the villainous Nero, now intent on methodically destroying every planet in the Federation, will force the two men to work together on the newly built Enterprise under the command of Capt. Pike (who, more-than-casual fans will note, was the ship's first captain in the series as well). Along the way they will cross paths with the future Spock, played by the present-day Nimoy in a part that's both longer and more crucial to the story than a mere nostalgic cameo.

To say more would be to give too much away, but allowing for a few bad choices (the 37-year-old Winona Ryder as Spock's aged mother? Really?), you couldn't ask for a less ponderous, more rollicking time. The action sequences are grand in scale but staged with a sense for character—it actually matters who's slugging whom atop a hovering Romulan space-drill and why. The score by Michael Giacchino has a hummably ominous hook (only under the closing credits do we finally hear the familiar Alexander Courage theme), and the costumes and sets were designed with a careful eye to detail. Abrams' inspiration was to treat his source material neither as jokey camp nor as sacred scripture, but as a text rich enough to be lovingly retranslated.
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 09:03:55 am »



Also posted in the Current Events thread, 'Obama = Spock': http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,35813.0.html


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/weekinreview/10itzkoff.html?ref=weekinreview


The Two Sides of ‘Star Trek’



By DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: May 9, 2009


It takes a certain mix of optimism and frustration to contemplate the possibility of space travel. To dream of navigating the cosmos is to assume that man has the resources and the know-how to propel himself into the heavens, but also some compelling reasons to exchange his home planet for the cold vast unknown.

It was these seemingly contradictory impulses that shaped “Star Trek,”  the supremely influential science-fiction television series whose three-season run yielded 40 years of sequels and spinoffs including a new feature film about the origins of Kirk and Spock that opened on Friday. Yes, the series is at heart a geeky space epic, but it is also one with a political and historical context.

When it was created by Gene Roddenberry in 1966, “Star Trek”  was meant to expand the notions of what a unified world could achieve — a mission that was deeply complicated by the turmoil of the era. And the newest incarnation of “Star Trek”  arrives at a moment when the country again finds itself teetering between limitless potential and peril, yearning to boldly go in all directions but potentially stuck in neutral.

The original “Star Trek”  imagined the futuristic fulfillment of John F. Kennedy’s inspirational oratory, in which his New Frontier became “the final frontier.” The budget surpluses and budding space program of the early 1960s gave rise, in the 23rd century, to the utopian United Federation of Planets. On the Starship Enterprise, men and women, blacks and whites, Americans, Russians and Asians — with names like Uhura, Chekov and Sulu — worked side by side, reflecting Mr. Roddenberry’s belief that “when human beings get over the silly little problems of racism and war, then we can tackle the big problems of exploring the universe,” said David Gerrold, a writer for the original “Star Trek”  series.

But events during its brief original run — the race riots of Newark and Detroit; the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and the nation’s ever-deepening commitment to the Vietnam War — inevitably affected the tone of the show. By the second season, episodes like “A Private Little War”  (in which Captain Kirk attempts to balance an arms race between two extraterrestrial tribes) were commenting on America’s intervention in Indochina.

As Richard M. Nixon was entering the Oval Office on an anodyne platform of peace, “Star Trek”  was blunter with its audience. In the episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”  that aired in January 1969, Kirk was giving dire warnings to aliens — and by extension, to viewers — that they would “end up dead if you don’t stop hating.”

Forty years later, as “Star Trek”  is returning to its past so is America: the country is again gripped by anxieties about entanglements abroad, compounded by the fear that the economy could collapse at warp speed. A cautious optimism has emerged in the afterglow of the election of President Obama (whose Vulcan-like composure has invited frequent comparisons to Mr. Spock), but a surge of foreign violence, a swine flu outbreak or any number of other events could easily dampen that mood.

Under President Obama, “we’re starting the era of the 1960s in 1967,” said H. Bruce Franklin, a professor of English and American studies at Rutgers University who was the guest curator of the National Air and Space Museum’s “Star Trek and the Sixties”  exhibition in the early 1990s. “Culturally we’re reinventing the ’60s, but economically we’re reinventing the ’30s.”

In recent decades, Mr. Franklin said, “Star Trek”  ceded its position as America’s dominant science-fiction mythology to “Star Wars”  — both the Reagan-era missile defense program and the George Lucas movies (which in turn were influenced by Depression-era serials and World War II dogfights).

Roberto Orci, who wrote the new “Star Trek” movie with Alex Kurtzman, acknowledged that its retro vision of an Earth at peace was meant as a tonic for an era when people wonder if perpetual war is becoming the norm. “We’re smack-dab in the middle of that very debate,” he said, pointing to the growing American military presence in Afghanistan and an increasingly worrisome situation in Pakistan. “It couldn’t be more stark now.”

The new film has plenty of modern-day angst to address too: the efficacy of torture is touched upon (though only the film’s villains employ it); an entire planet central to “Star Trek”  lore is destroyed, intended by the writers as an amplified metaphor for the 9/11 attacks.

And a scene in which an aged version of Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) converses with his younger self (played by Zachary Quinto) becomes a platform for the regret that the grown-up children of the 1960s feel for letting down the youth of today, just as they might have felt they were let down by their leaders. “It’s kind of a baby boomer apology for where we are,” Mr. Orci said. “Not that I’m asking for the baby boomers to apologize.”

But at least one person closely identified with “Star Trek”  argues that for all the ways in which the franchise has been affected by current events, its optimistic vision has persisted .

“A lot of science-fiction is nihilistic and dark and dreadful about the future, and ‘Star Trek’  is the opposite,” Mr. Nimoy said. “We need that kind of hope, we need that kind of confidence in the future. I think that’s what ‘Star Trek’  offers. I have to believe that — I’m the glass-half-full kind of guy.”
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: The New Star Trek Movie
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 11:05:28 am »


OK, I am not now, nor have I ever been (nor am I likely to become) a Trekkie, but I still find it vaguely disturbing that this photo appears to give the world a James T. Kirk so young that he still has a bad case of acne. ...  :P
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.