Star Trek

This is a chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members from the original television series “Star Trek.” The film stars a group of lesser-known actors, minus Zachary Quinto of ABC’s “Heroes” who plays Spock, and works as the origin story of how Kirk, played by Chris Pine, and the rest of the crew met. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams, his first major movie. We bring in Star Trek expert (i.e. nerd) Shawn O’Halloran to give his review against Matt, who knows nothing about Star Trek.

Matt
Rating: 8 out 10

I wish the last installments of the “Star Wars” films were this good. I am not at all a Star Trek fan — sure, I’m like everyone else; I know who Capt. Kirk and Spock are, but I couldn’t tell you anything in detail about them.

But the beauty of this film is that you don’t need to know anything about “Star Trek.” It’s an origin story, and a good one. This movie has all the visual eye candy you can handle, but it also has humanity despite its alien setting. It shows us the vulnerability of living beings, not just space-talk and fancy ships that soar through space — although it has lots of fancy flying things and action that are loads of fun.

I’m told this film really messes up the time line of the Star Trek arch and many nerds are mad. The rest of us — 98 percent of the intended audience — will have fun munching on our popcorn while we follow Kirk and Spock on a fun ride with smart action and smarter character development.

—————————————————-

Shawn O’Halloran
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
I eagerly awaited with great anticipation and some trepidation the J.J. Abrams interpretation of Gene Roddenberry’s  classic TV series “Star Trek” which was released last summer.  I come from the perspective of not only being a die-hard Trek fan, but also a fan J.J. Abrams, a science fiction enthusiast (read: geek) and probably more than anything, a fan of films and film making. The difficult part for a film like Trek for anyone — whether it be fan, critic or average film-goer — is deciding the standard on which to judge the film.  Because Star Trek is a re-imagining, I’ve decided that a review based on a hybrid standard of judging the film on its own merits as a feature film and judging the film from the perspective of someone with intimate knowledge of the best and worst of the franchise, is the most appropriate approach.
Despite the complaints from old fans about the complete abuse of the established “canon” storyline of the franchise, “Star Trek” is an excellent film but I don’t think it’s as good as many people, especially other critics, believe.  Abrams comes from the perspective of being a casual viewer of the franchise who has a great reverence for the original materials and characters.  His lack of connection to the franchise and the fact that he is self-professed fan of “Star Wars” is without question the greatest strength of this film.  The dialogue for the most part is brilliant and certainly appropriate for these classic and beloved characters (except for that dopey fight scene between Spock and Kirk on the bridge).  Abrams’ and the production staff’s vision of scale is unlike any we’ve ever seen in any Trek film before and, of course, the special effects are absolutely fantastic.
Now for the bad news.  Let me preface this by saying that the biggest problem with Trek as a franchise is the fans, period.  Whereas Abrams himself is not a fan, EVERYONE else who worked on this film is either a fanboy or has worked on Trek before, which is pretty obvious.  The intent of the film was to relaunch Trek in such a way that appealed to contemporary audiences while at the same time not offending the fan base that has sustained the franchise for 40-plus years.  As a fan, I can honestly say that if the franchise is going to be taken seriously in the future, they’re going to have to dump that strategy.  Star Trek’s biggest problem in recent years has been the same tired and predictable format since 1987 and the only people who don’t seem to notice this are the fans. And for some God-unknown reason, Trek producers still seem to believe that they owe this tiny fraction of the general audience (2%, to be precise) some great deference and it shows in the the writing of this film.  In an effort to make everyone be happy and sing “Kum-by-ya” together and not do anything too controversial, this film suffers from many of the same problems that the most recent offerings of Trek do.  It’s loaded with huge plot holes and inconsistencies, downright ridiculous premises and of course the obligatory 2-dimensional villain and uber-confusing-time travel subplot (which is always the great fallback position of Star Trek when the writers can’t come up with anything original).  The fact of the matter is that the whole story is very generic, just like Trek has been for the last decade and it’s all in the name of being safe and not pissing off the fans.

— Shawn O’Halloran is our cousin, but he’s also a giant Star Trek nerd. I mean, like, huge. Like, an entire room of his house is full of Star Trek stuff. Huge nerd. Huge.

Shawn with some Star Trek people who are probably important, but we have no idea who they are.

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