Star Trek Review

I saw Star Trek for the second time over the past weekend and I wanted to write up a review of it. I wrote in a earlier post about my preference of Star Wars over Star Trek. Nevertheless, I am still very much interested in Star Trek and was very excited about seeing this movie. And for me, as a whole, it did not disappoint.

The Story
I came in knowing that this was going to be a “reboot” of the original story, but I didn’t know to what extent. I don’t want to give away too much just in case there may be some reading who have not seen the movie yet, but I will say that the writers decided to used the proven sci-fi storyline that includes time travel and an alternate reality from said time travel. I think that most people will agree that the best and/or most memorable episodes of the various Star Trek series are those that include such storylines. Because of this, the story is significantly different from the original and I am thankful. If this film was a direct retelling of the original, it would forever have the stigma of being compared to the past which would detract from it’s own merit. While the story may not be the same, all the major players are there. Even the most diehard of Star Trek fans should be content with the differences in the characters’ backstories because they are not the same people on account of the alternate reality.

Cinematography
Visually, the film was stunning. The CG was impressive. The redesign of the Enterprise was both an homage to the original while also getting a modern overhaul. The interior of the Enterprise was much brighter than previous instances of the ship, while Nero’s (the bad guy) ship was dark as you might expect, bringing the classic good vs. evil imagery into play.

My only real complaint was with the, what I would consider unnecessary, overuse of lens flare. It felt like almost every scene contained some flare and at some points washed out most of the frame. I’m okay with some lens flare, but it felt like there were times when it didn’t seem to make sense why there should be flare at all.

Music / Sound
I almost always prefer an original score for a movie as opposed to sampling popular music. Michael Giacchino did great work creating some very strong themes. My favourite would have to be Enterprise’s theme called “Enterprising Young Men.”

They included many of the same or similar sound effects for the ship, which was enjoyable. One significant difference is the sound when heading into warp which blows you away, wishing they warped in every scene.

I appreciated the couple scenes that actually gave the contrast of entering a space vacuum. Not many films portray the silence of space and I thought it was a nice touch.

Casting
I thought the actors did a great job with their characters. I don’t think many actors today would be able to play Spock as well as Zachary Quinto. Chris Pine brings a style of toughness and arrogance that suits Kirk’s backstory well. I haven’t seen a lot of the Original Series episodes, but John Cho was a very cool Sulu compared to the Sulu I recall.

Karl Urban’s portrayal of Bones McCoy brought a little too much of DeForest Kelley’s and was slightly distracting a few times. Not a deal breaker, but it reminded me of the Producers remake where it felt like Matthew Broderick was trying to be Gene Wilder’s character and not his own.

Other
I’ve already given my most important thoughts, but I also wanted to add this tidbit. I thought the transport shuttles looked quite similar to the ATR-6 assault transport from the Star Wars Universe. Have a look:

Star Trek Transport

Star Trek Transport

Star Wars Assault Transport

Star Wars Assault Transport


It just made me smile.

Verdict
Just to let you know, I don’t believe in the “stars” rating system. That comes from the fact that my mom thinks every movie with a three or four star rating is guaranteed to be good. I will say that I think this is a great action film that has a well thought out story. I think that Star Trek fan and newcomer will both be able find this movie enjoyable.

Star Wars v. Star Trek

This is the pinnacle of all nerd debates; which science fiction franchise is better? This goes into personal favourites and also discussions on who would win in a head-to-head battle.

CAUTION: This could get nerdy from time to time from here on out.

This debate is nothing new, but seeing as the new Star Trek film is coming out in a little more than a week, I figure it’s a good time to let everyone know where I stand on the matter.

Star Wars has my vote hands down.

That’s not to say I don’t like Star Trek. I love The Next Generation, enjoy most of the Original Series episodes I’ve seen, and like most of the movies. I also can’t wait to see the new Star Trek movie when it comes out on the 8th. From everything I’ve heard and from the trailers, this movie is going to be awesome.

But still, I just like Star Wars better.

STAR TREK
The technology in Star Trek is like nothing ever seen before it. Who wouldn’t want to be able to transport themselves or and object instantly across huge distances? Who wouldn’t want to be able to replicate anything they want? And then there’s the holodeck. If this could be built in our time, it would be the pièce de résistance of all known entertainment.

On the other hand, Star Trek has the disadvantage of weak ships. How cool is it when your shields are down to 60% after one phaser blast? It’s almost embarrasing when you have this advanced society that can make just about anything, but can’t adequately protect themselves.

STAR WARS
Star Trek may have the fancy, albeit cool, technology, Star Wars has the best weapons and firepower. Death Star, blaster, lightsaber, bowcaster — Star Wars has everything you could ever want to destroy anything.

I think the well-defined plot is what sets ‘Wars aside from ‘Trek for the most part. ‘Wars has the advantage of all the episodes being feature length, but are also tied together. With the majority of ‘Trek’s content being from the various series, there is only so much you can do with an hour when the episodes aren’t tied together by plot. The exception to that, however, are the ‘Trek movies.

HEAD-TO-HEAD
I’m sorry, but anyone who thinks the Enterprise could take on and survive an attack from a Star Destroyer is crazy. All of the specifications around point to the Star Destroyer being about one kilometer longer than Enterprise (which is only about or a little more than 600m in the first place). Size advantage pretty much seals it for me, but the Star Destroyer also has a large complement of fighters. In my opinion, those fighters are going to be too small and fast for the Enterprise to be able to consistantly and accurately hit them.



These are just a few of the things that set these two storied sci-fi franchises apart. Like I said before, most of the allegiances betweent the two are based soley on opinion. Mine still stands by Star Wars.

You’ve heard how I feel, which side do you sway towards (if any)?