Michelle Rowen

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Star Trek 2009

Full disclosure… I used to be a bit of a Star Trek fan. I hesitate to use the word Trekkie because I never went to any conventions or, really, told anyone about my love for Star Trek: The Next Generation back in the early nineties. But I loved it dearly. (Data forever!!)

My first piece of fan fic was a horrifically bad story about the character Q who decided to allow an Earthling girl into the Q-Continuum and imbue her with omnipotent powers. And yes, that Earthling girl may have been me.

But my Star Trek love had long since left the building, replaced by Buffy-love, Lost-love, and other television shows. I wasn’t interested in the new movie, the reimagining of Star Trek by JJ Abrams, creator of Alias, Lost, and several other of my faves. That is, until I heard the reviews that said it, basically, rocked.

I was intrigued. So I went to see it.

This movie had everything in it that I feel WOLVERINE was lacking (a movie I found entertaining, but ultimately unsatisfying). Emotion, story layers, character depth + major WOW factor.

From the moment Star Trek starts, it commands attention. The last opening sequence that blew me away as much as the first 10 minutes of this movie did was The Matrix. I’m not sure how they did it in such a short amount of time, but I was emotionally committed to these characters (I shed a tear!!) and on the very edge of my seat — a position in which I remained for the following two hours.

When you’re a writer, you always hear about “raising the stakes.” Don’t make it easy on your characters. Chase them up that metaphorical tree and throw rocks at them. Well, JJ Abrams does just that (although he uses rocket launchers rather than rocks). He could give lessons on how to make it difficult for his characters.

Have a fight scene? Put it on a small platform that a wrong step would plunge you to your death. And not only that. Depending on where you step, a column of fire might shoot up and incinerate you in an instant.

Have a starship under attack and an evacuation in progress? Have a character pregnant and going into labour.

That is ramping up the tension, people. When it’s bad for your characters, make it a whole hell of a lot worse. The result? The most entertaining movie I’ve seen in recent memory.

Plus… Spock as (romantic) bad ass? Kirk as cocky bad boy? Bring that action on. Kirk could have used just a tad bit of Spock’s angst, though. Just a TAD.

Now I only wish this had been the pilot for a new TV show.

Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think of it??

14 comments to “Star Trek 2009”

  1. Natasha A.
     · May 13th, 2009 at 4:03 pm · Link

    I’ve seen it twice. Once Saturday and again on Monday.
    OMG. I cried too in those first few minutes, sat on the edge of my seat, only pausing every so often to turn and grin at my husband.
    I would LOVE for this to become a tv show.
    I love that Spock got the girl! That just totally made my day.
    I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD and I really hope they make another.

  2. Ter
     · May 13th, 2009 at 4:11 pm · Link

    A-MEN .. I agree completely !

  3. Sasha
     · May 13th, 2009 at 4:15 pm · Link

    I saw it on Saturday and also want to see it again. I loved it, and agree with what you said. I hope they make another one.

  4. Jacs
     · May 13th, 2009 at 4:34 pm · Link

    Completely agree with your review Michelle! Saw it on Friday and was at the edge of my seat the entire time! Thought the casting was A-one especially Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. And it even had a Red Shirt! I teared up in a few parts (don’t want to give any spoilers!) but especially at the end with Nimoy reciting the all too familiar beginning of Star Trek “Space: the final frontier…” that and the old theme song as the credits rolled had me thinking that Gene Roddenberry would have loved JJ Abrams vision.

  5. Eliza Gayle
     · May 13th, 2009 at 4:46 pm · Link

    OMG the blog I wrote and scheduled for tomorrow is eerily similar to yours. LOL Although your thoughts on the plot are what is missing from mine. All those layers of tension…YES!

    I didn’t expect to love it this much and now I cannot wait to go and see it again!

  6. dyginc
     · May 13th, 2009 at 4:51 pm · Link

    Have seen this movie 3x now and plan on 3 more by the end of the week! I love JJ Abrams! What can’t this man do? And can I just say that Chris Pine, Karl Urban, and Simon Pegg nailed their characters! Can I also get a “WHAT WHAT” for Numb Tongue! I laughed so hard and hung on every brillant word! You have to go see this movie! Have to! I was a Chris Pine fan before this and man on man…I can’t wait for more of him on the big screen

  7. Maureen McGowan
     · May 13th, 2009 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Great post! I saw it last night and loved and admired it, too. Great pacing. Great story structure. Great character development. Great idea re coming up with a way to reimagine the whole freaking franchise. Now they’re in a diff reality they can do whatever the frak they want!

    I, too, was kind of m’eh about Wolverine. And have been planning a post the thesis of which would be: Why Star Trek rocked and the last Indiana Jones movie sucked.

    What got me thinking about that was the car chase and the bar fights at the start of both movies. In Star Trek they matter. They show important things about the character and in the case of the bar fight come back into play later in the story. In Indiana Jones… just 50’s nostalgia. I really do have a hate on for that movie. Watching Star Trek and thinking how much better it was, brought it all back.

  8. Rob Ross
     · May 13th, 2009 at 5:46 pm · Link

    Hate to be Johnny Buzzkill, but Star Trek was horrible. Was it a comedy or sci-fi?

    Some scenes were jammed in just to have some useless direct conflict [Corvette scene, Scotty beamed into the water pipes]. Throw away scenes that don’t advance the plot

    The plot had huge plot holes too. I mean, I can understand checking your brain at the cinema door, but how does Kirk just happen to land on a planet a few kilometers from not only a Federation outpost [wow what luck] but also a cave that holds future Spock [that’s beyond luck].

    And where was the Vulcan Fleet to fend off Nero’s mining ship? Vulcan is much more powerful than Earth at that time, but their ships were missing???

    I haven’t even mentioned the way JJ shot it with all the lens flares. Ah, I could go on and on. It was mindless popcorn hackery. I give it 4 out of 10.

  9. Michelle Rowen
     · May 13th, 2009 at 5:56 pm · Link

    LOL… contrary opinions are very welcome.

    I can’t think of anything in entertainment that is universally loved or perfect. This movie is no different. But…it comes darn close, plot holes and questionable logic aside.

    I did think the Spock just being in the cave was a major coincidence. However, I did assume NewSpock knew enough to send Kirk somewhere he wouldn’t necessarily die, even though he hated him.

    But, at the end of the day, it gets a 95 rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Which, to me, says only 5% of reviewers took major issue with these problems.

    I will assume you didn’t like Twilight either. ;-)

  10. Rob Ross
     · May 14th, 2009 at 1:23 pm · Link

    My movie tastes rely heavily on plausible cinema – Bourne would be a good example of this.

    Trek was filled with many deus ex machina which I believe cheapens the product because it breaks my connection to the story. But film is subjective.

    Twilight appeared to be aimed at the younger, female audience and away from my demographic. Thus, I never made it to that movie. To be honest the trailers and commercials for Twilight didn’t seem to offer any new broken ground in the vampire genre. It was a hot new girl in town connects with handsome vampire who has to fight off other vampires. Doesn’t seem too original in my books. Was there something in the story I missed?

  11. Rob Ross
     · May 14th, 2009 at 2:54 pm · Link

    Michelle et al,

    A little video someone threw together that helps explain some of the reasons I disliked the new Star Trek.


  12. Michelle Rowen
     · May 14th, 2009 at 3:58 pm · Link

    Rob, I was just kidding about you seeing Twilight. I figured you hadn’t. ;) And if you did, I’m sure you would hate it!! LOL

  13. Maureen McGowan
     · May 14th, 2009 at 6:33 pm · Link

    I agree with Rob about Kirk finding older Spock on that planet. That was freakishly implausible. But if a story is working for me, a small bit of coincidence doesn’t bother me. If a story isn’t working, things like that drive me INSANE. Like… the vortex thing at the end of the last Indiana Jones movie only swallowing the bad people. Paleeze.

  14. k j gillenwater
     · May 18th, 2009 at 5:47 pm · Link

    I just saw this movie yesterday. It was good, but I had a couple of problems with how the plot played out.

    1) How did Kirk become the captain exactly at the end? He wasn’t supposed to be on the ship, he has other more senior officers on board who ARE supposed to be there….and he becomes captain due to what Starfleet rule?

    2) I don’t get how in the end Spock becomes his first officer even though he outranks him as ‘commander’ (the guy’s been in Starfleet longer than Kirk…I didn’t quite get it). If Spock sort of ‘demoted’ himself in order to serve with Kirk, I would’ve liked that to be made clearer.

    BUT other than that, I really really liked it. I am wondering if they did this freaky time warp history change thing in order to reboot the franchise and have free license to do whatever they wanted?

    Also, any fans of the original Star Trek, I have a question…the episode that featured Capt. Pike in a wheelchair also had him basically unable to communicate verbally. Was this ‘bug’ the Romulans put inside him in the film supposed to be the reason why he is immobile later on (in the tv show)? I know that’s a little confusing…but I just can’t remember the episode well enough to recall if they had an explanation in the show for why Pike was so disabled or not. Anyone???

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