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post #1 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

97






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 126 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Anton Yelchin, Winona Ryder
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Music by: Michael Giancchino
Written by: Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 17, 2009







"The future begins…"



Film Synopsis:

The greatest adventure of all time begins with Star Trek, the incredible story of a young crew’s maiden voyage onboard the most advanced starship ever created: the U.S.S. Enterprise. On a journey filled with action, comedy and cosmic peril, the new recruits must find a way to stop an evil being whose mission of vengeance threatens all of mankind. The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals. One, James Kirk (Chris Pine), is a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy. The other, Spock (Zachary Quinto), was raised in a logic-based society that rejects all emotion. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, their unlikely but powerful partnership is the only thing capable of leading their crew through unimaginable danger, boldly going where no one has gone before.


My Take:

I don’t think I would necessarily qualify as a tried and true Trekkie since I am not the type to visit conventions and so forth. However I have been watching Star Trek in its various incarnations beginning with the original series since I was little and have been hooked ever since. The original series is nearest and dearest to my heart. Seeing the cast of the original show in their own series of films was rewarding because it gave us a chance to see them in a sort of continuance of their adventures that ended after the TV show went off the air. Harkening back to the original series, I always found it fun but also somewhat necessary to look past its cheap sets and low budget effects. I mean it wasn’t THAT big of a deal but watching today you can’t help but wonder what the creative minds and cast from back then could have done with a budget similar to shows of today. Well we will never know however Paramount and director/producer J.J. Abrams have given us the next best thing.

Star Trek 2009 takes us back to the story’s beginning, taking place before the original series, and details the assemblage of the crew that would become the heart of the Enterprise. Don’t expect this film to resemble the TV series in execution or theme but it captures its essence and reinvigorates the fun, adventure, and excitement that the series conveyed. The story revolves around a rogue Romulan Captain named Nero (Bana) that is seeking retribution against the Federation and ambassador Spock for the death of his family and the destruction of his world. The problem is that this event occurred in another time and he is using advanced technology and black holes in space to move through time in order to seek his vengeance.

The film opens with his appearance on the date of James T. Kirk’s birth, where he savagely attacks and destroys the Federation Starship Kelvin, killing Kirks father but not before he manages to save the lives of over 800 of its crew (including newborn Jim). Years later Jim reluctantly joins the Federation after being reminded by Federation Captain Christopher Pike of his father’s heroism as Pike challenges him to “do better”. Once in the Academy Jim’s innate knack for getting the job done, damn the cost, along with his cocky arrogance puts him at odds with his superiors, including a half human half Vulcan Federation Commander named Spock. When Nero once again surfaces and attacks Vulcan, with earth as his next target, Jim finds himself facing the same destructive force that killed his father years earlier. He will have to rely on more than just confidence and luck. He will need the help of those who will ultimately become the most trusted people in his life for years to come.

I saw this theatrically and really liked it. I thought the screenplay was extremely well written and appreciated the references to the original series and the enhanced use of action style elements to ignite the story. The characters were sort of brought up to date and drawn well. The Uhura/Spock spin was interesting and added something new. I thought that the cast, especially Zachary Quinto (Spock), Chris Pine (Kirk), and Simon Pegg (Scotty) were well matched to their respective characters. If I had to pick one “bone” it would be with Karl Urban’s McCoy. I think he tried too hard to sound like Deforest Kelly which at times I found distracting. Be that as it may it certainly didn’t detract from the enjoyment of this grand scale production that resurrects one of the most beloved TV series/characters to ever grace both the big and little screen. Seeing it for a second time I found that I enjoyed it even more. I suspect that part of the reason for that is attributable to its awesome high definition presentation on Blu-ray Disc (see below). I look forward to the next installment as I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the crew of the NCC-1701.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sci-fi action and violence and brief sexual content.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 100

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency extension:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:


Video: 94


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black level/Shadow detail:
  • Color reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:
Star Trek comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.


This is a high bitrate and stunning reference quality audio/video presentation from Paramount. Images onscreen exhibit high level detail, razor sharpness and resolute definition that bring out the lifelike textures captured by the camera. At times dimensional perspective has an infinite appeal that is captivating. Primary colors are deeply saturated and vivid with wide variable textures and eye catching quality that are accentuated by the video’s higher contrast which made them stand out among the remaining spectrum colors used. Whites are on the hot side but maintain definable delineation so that details aren’t lost during brightly lit scenes. Flesh tones are mildly affected by this, especially those with lighter complexions, but overall tonal balance isn’t compromised. There are a variety of dark segments in the film and its ability to clearly render its elements under those conditions is essential to getting the most out of it. Well you can rest assured that this Blu-ray disc delivers some of the richest, deepest and velvety textured blacks that I have seen.

Shadow detail and visibility in low lighting is quite convincing. I was able to clearly make out the metallic and grimy surfaces within the interior backgrounds aboard the Romulan Narada and the uneven and rocky texture of the walls in the darkened cave on Vulcan. Grain is noticeable and appears in fine, even layers that I never found to be intrusive. I never saw any overtly ill effects from mixing CGI content with real people/objects other than a few instances where I noticed that the picture appeared less definitively resolved. This wasn’t to a point where I would say it softened as the effect was more than likely inherent and not encoding related. Lastly, I detected what could have been the presence of faint digital noise in one or two backgrounds. This was primarily aboard the Romulan ship which had a sort of smoky haze that when mixed with the low lighting and light grainy texture may have exacerbated it making it more prominent. It is far from problematic and unless you go looking for it you probably won’t notice. Bottom line is that this is a superlative video presentation that appears to faithfully mimic the film’s theatrical elements.


The high resolution Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is one of the most technically proficient that I have heard and sounds terrific. This is a supremely articulated and commanding presentation that will reward those with systems capable of thoroughly reproducing its elements. This is not an ostentatious or boisterous presentation but it definitively produces powerful dynamics and deep infrasonic bass transients that occasionally could be best described as skin tingling. This soundtrack produces smooth, ultra low and refined bass that can be felt more than heard as it pressurizes the room with incredible tactility that may extend beyond the limits capable of subwoofers not up to the task.

This is an extremely engaging and purposeful sound design. It transforms the room into a three dimensional soundstage that creates an immersive 360 degree web of sound capable of bombarding the aural senses by encapsulating the sweet spot (s) with its plethora of sounds and effects that seem to emanate from every direction during the films active moments. Superb imaging and channel separation draw out both large and small sounds and allow their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable within the room’s acoustic boundaries. Michael Giancchino’s music score drives the story and helps set the stage with its perfect blend of evocative instrumentation and rousing orchestration. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or tonal inflection of voices. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is not a loud, overtly aggressive action style sound mix. It is an involving, dynamically energized and superlative audio presentation that features high level sonic detail, superb dimensional interrelation, and sublime bass extension that makes for one of the best home theater presentations to date. Star Trek as presented on Blu-ray Disc is an end to end experience that delivers on the potential and promise of the Blu-ray format. Turn it up, sit back and enjoy the ride!

** For those seeking to get details on the measured bass performance found on this soundtrack visit the Bass Movie Measurements Google document found HERE that contains links to the measured data obtained by Data-Bass.com. You can also visit The New Master List of Bass in Movies with frequency charts thread to discuss right here on AVS.**


Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:
  • Commentary with J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Robert Orci
  • BD-Live enabled access to running news feed from NASA’s website

  • Disc2:
  • (HD) To boldly go – 16 minute featurette (plus 4 branching pod segments)
  • (HD) Casting – 29 minute featurette
  • (HD) A new vision – 19 minute featurette (plus Savage pressure branching pod)
  • (HD) Starships – 24 minute featurette (plus 7 branching pod segments)
  • (HD) Aliens – 16 minute featurette (plus 5 branching pod segments)
  • (HD) Planets – 16 minute featurette (plus 2 branching pod segments)
  • (HD) Props and costumes – 9 minute featurette (plus Klingon wardrobe branching pod segment)
  • (HD) Ben Burtt and the sounds of Star Trek – 11 minute featurette
  • (HD) Score – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) Gene Roddenberry’s vision – 8 minute featurette
  • (HD) 9 deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • (HD) Star Fleet vessel simulation – interactive feature that includes The Enterprise and the Romulan Narada
  • (HD) Gag reel – 6 minutes
  • (HD) 4 trailers

  • Disc 3:
  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc – Includes a standard definition version of Star Trek that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable media device as well as a demo of the Star Trek D-A-C video game


Final Thoughts:

Star Trek presents Trek fans as well as unfamiliar genre fans with an superbly crafted theatrical experience that capably reinvigorates one of the most beloved TV shows and sets of characters in entertainment history. Its presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount represents one of the best high definition audio/video presentations released on the format to date. It features a bonus supplement package that offers a thorough dissection of the production including behind the scenes footage, cast/crew interviews, Blu-ray Disc exclusives and a digital copy. This complete package belongs in your collection and gets my highest recommendation. Enjoy!















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 07:44 AM
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100 for the audio.

Maybe I will buy this even though I never really liked Star Trek.

What movies would you compare this to audio wise and LFE wise?

Is this on the level of Transformers 2, Cloverfield, ect in terms of LFE?

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post #3 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for another thorough review, highlighting the things that matter to many of us HT geeks. 100 rating on the audio is certainly encouraging; this bD could be a window-shatterer!

I consider "Wrath of Khan" to be the greatest Trek tale, but this 2009 origins movie was probably the best overall Star Trek "product" yet made.

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post #4 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 08:10 AM
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Ralph,

As a trekkie, (and going back to the old original broadcasts - damn I can't be that old) > I'm buying this one.

Saw it in the theaters and certainly agree with your review..

Thanks!

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post #5 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 08:29 AM
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Nice write up Ralph. While I felt this incarnation of Star Trek was a great action movie, I have to disagree that it was a good Trek movie. It was lacking one thing that made Star Trek so enjoyable...imagination. Star Trek TOS and Star Trek TNG also did something this movie did not and that was to touch upon issues important to society and morality.

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun movie, but I must be the only Star Trek fan in world that seems to have come away from this movie disappointed. Seeing as how I AM a fan, I'll probably buy the Blu Ray anyhow.

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post #6 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 08:32 AM
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Wow! A 100 for the audio... Hmm this seems like a better BD to play with the anthem when it gets here..

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post #7 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 08:38 AM
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Thanks, Ralph! That audio score is making me even more impatient for it to get here.

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Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #8 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:09 AM
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Just ordered it solely based on the 100 audio score here and the perfect audio score from blu-ray.com.

Must be pretty damn good!

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post #9 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:15 AM
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It was a great movie, and I'm glad to see that the BD isn't a let down.
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post #10 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:15 AM
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I saw this on IMAX over the summer and really enjoyed it! Can't wait for my copy to come, thanks for another excellent review Ralph!

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post #11 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:16 AM
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Excellent write up. I only have one nit-picking gripe with it, and that's that the villain's name was 'Nero' and not 'Nemo'.

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post #12 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:18 AM
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Didn't really care for the movie the first time I watched it, but enjoyed the heck out of it the second time around, when the expectations were gone and I could simply sit back and watch. Can't wait, especially with Ralph's 100 score for audio.

Blu Ray... 3-D TV... 4K... I Like New STUFF!!!

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post #13 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:20 AM
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Thanks Ralph!

I was on the fence on getting this as a blind buy but now you helped me get past my sticking point.
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post #14 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman325 View Post

Excellent write up. I only have one nit-picking gripe with it, and that's that the villain's name was 'Nero' and not 'Nemo'.

Greetings,



Thanks for catching that! All fixed..


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post #15 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamageMcRamage View Post

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun movie, but I must be the only Star Trek fan in world that seems to have come away from this movie disappointed. Seeing as how I AM a fan, I'll probably buy the Blu Ray anyhow.

I'm a fan too and I was disappointed for the exact same reasons. So your not alone. It was just so dumb. Sure lots of other Trek is dumb too but this film just didn't feel like Trek too me. Change the characters and it could have been any other blockbuster scifi movie. I was very dissapointed leaving the cinema.

Having said that repeat viewings have enabled me to ignore the more glaring problems and just enjoy for what it is.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman325 View Post

Excellent write up. I only have one nit-picking gripe with it, and that's that the villain's name was 'Nero' and not 'Nemo'.

The thought of an orange and white fish with tattoos on its face in the captains chair is amusing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mevlock View Post

I'm a fan too and I was disappointed for the exact same reasons. So your not alone. It was just so dumb. Sure lots of other Trek is dumb too but this film just didn't feel like Trek too me. Change the characters and it could have been any other blockbuster scifi movie. I was very dissapointed leaving the cinema.

Having said that repeat viewings have enabled me to ignore the more glaring problems and just enjoy for what it is.

Agreed. A terrific movie, but just didn't feel like TREK. There was a plausibility inherent in the series that has been completely eradicated. Somehow, I never thought of Kirk and crew being able to perform feats that would be more attributable to GI JOEs than TREK. But still, one of my fave films of the year and I look forward to owning the disc.
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I always thought the Treks that trended more toward morality and ethics were some of the worst movies - great TV episodes, but horrible movies (V, IX). I suppose IV was the exception.
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post #19 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:16 AM
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The audio and video are both very impressive (my review will be posted later this week), but I found some intelligibility issues in a few scenes when the effects drown out the dialog. This has more to do with the way the movie was ADR'd than the actual encode, but it's the only minor flaw IMHO, other than this...it ROCKS!

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post #20 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgillyjcu View Post

100 for the audio.

Maybe I will buy this even though I never really liked Star Trek.

What movies would you compare this to audio wise and LFE wise?

Is this on the level of Transformers 2, Cloverfield, ect in terms of LFE?

Greetings,

Not Transformers 2. As I alluded to in my review this isn't a bombastic type of mix that features thunderous bass. Its presence is unmistakable but not constantly applied regardless of appropriateness. Those with subs that can play low and recover quickly will be able to full appreciate the full LFE range in this soundtrack. That isn't to imply that it doesn't sound great otherwise..

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post #21 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:25 AM
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IV was more for the environmentalism though, I'd say. I feel that JJ, Orci, Kurtzman and team will get back to the underlying principles of trek in their next outing, but this was more of a thrill-ride set up for whats to come, and a great way to reintroduce the characters to those unfamiliar with them, and most importantly, reinvigorate an ailing franchise for a new generation. Keep in mind that the tremendous success of this movie, both critically and financially has already spawned work on a sequel. After Nemesis, we had no idea if there would ever even be another Trek movie, even if it was pretty decent.

So, while the movie itself strayed a bit too far from the traditional Trek formula, I think the next one will get back into it, and FWIW, this movie was everything it needed to be and then some, not to mention the fact that it was probably the second best movie of the year (I still give my nod to Up, for now).

Great review, and I can't wait until Tuesday.

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post #22 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

The audio and video are both very impressive (my review will be posted later this week), but I found some intelligibility issues in a few scenes when the effects drown out the dialog. This has more to do with the way the movie was ADR'd than the actual encode, but it's the only minor flaw IMHO, other than this...it ROCKS!


Greetings,

Turn up the volume on that hearing aid (old man)..


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post #23 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:31 AM
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is this the highest score ever for a non-animated title?
just wondering.
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post #24 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 16x9enhanced View Post

is this the highest score ever for a non-animated title?
just wondering.

Greetings,

Nope. There have been a couple of others..


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post #25 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 10:55 AM
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Great review. It brought me back to the early summer when I went to see it at the Imax here in NY. It was a total rush and I was hoping that the Blu-ray would be stellar. As with the movie, I expect the experience to be quite enjoyable on blu-ray.Your review seems to confirm that.
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post #26 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Not Transformers 2. As I alluded to in my review this isn't a bombastic type of mix that features thunderous bass. Its presence is unmistakable but not constantly applied regardless of appropriateness. Those with subs that can play low and recover quickly will be able to full appreciate the full LFE range in this soundtrack. That isn't to imply that it doesn't sound great otherwise..

Regards,

Since we have the same Sub...I'm really looking forward to it based on those statements!

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post #27 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Turn up the volume on that hearing aid (old man)..


Regards,

Eh? Did you say something there sonny?

David Vaughn

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post #28 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 11:56 AM
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Nice write up Ralph. While I felt this incarnation of Star Trek was a great action movie, I have to disagree that it was a good Trek movie. It was lacking one thing that made Star Trek so enjoyable...imagination. Star Trek TOS and Star Trek TNG also did something this movie did not and that was to touch upon issues important to society and morality.

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun movie, but I must be the only Star Trek fan in world that seems to have come away from this movie disappointed. Seeing as how I AM a fan, I'll probably buy the Blu Ray anyhow.

This film fixed everything wrong with Star Trek.
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post #29 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamageMcRamage View Post

Nice write up Ralph. While I felt this incarnation of Star Trek was a great action movie, I have to disagree that it was a good Trek movie. It was lacking one thing that made Star Trek so enjoyable...imagination. Star Trek TOS and Star Trek TNG also did something this movie did not and that was to touch upon issues important to society and morality.

Don't get me wrong, it was a fun movie, but I must be the only Star Trek fan in world that seems to have come away from this movie disappointed. Seeing as how I AM a fan, I'll probably buy the Blu Ray anyhow.

While I have not seen it yet, based on what I know about it I concur, and am anticipating a great popcorn movie, and nothing more. IMO, the review over at DVDFILE pretty much hits the nail on the head as far as what I am expecting as far as qualifying as Trek is concerned (in the same way that Josh Zyber's review of Transformers 2 from HDD precisely mirrors my opinion on that film... which I have seen). And I am about as die hard a Trek fan as they come (TOS, TNG only)...

That being said, I am hoping for a good ride, and Ralph's review seems to support that...

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post #30 of 196 Old 11-10-2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Boogie7910 View Post

This film fixed everything wrong with Star Trek.

Agreed - and this is coming from a long time fan. And even for those not so big on Trek, this is an enjoyable film. Abrams succeeded in making a solid sci-fi action film - Trek for Star Wars fans, if you will (a group in which Abrams counts himself amongst).

The fact that Abrams & Co did this "reboot" (not to spoil anything for those who have not seen it) gives the Trek franchise new life. I recall Ronald Moore of BSG fame (a former Trek writer) complaining that during his tenure in Roddenberry's universe, Star Trek had become far too bogged down under it's own mythology. Writers roundtables would keep coming up w/ story ideas that they would have to continuously shoot down, because "so & so did this in Ep 37" or "that kills plot point B from Star Trek II" or whatever.

The ability to be creative & original within Trek was gone - even in the "prequel" that Enterprise was. And the last time I feel the movie franchise did anything even close to creative (or at least fully watchable more than once) was ST: First Contact (and that had time travel, too).

Abrams & Co have restored the chance for Trek as a franchise to be somewhat original & creative again. And in doing so, they also managed to pay respects to all things Trek that preceeded this film.

A day 1 buy on BD for me - can't wait to see where this new Trek takes us next.

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