Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Boldly Go . . . Again. A Review of Star Trek – sort of.

So, there's this new Star Trek movie out.  A reboot of the franchise.  A fresh take on classic tale.  A rip-off of someone else's idea. That old chestnut.

Thus it is the trend in the motion picture industry to dust off old properties and give them a new chance at making more money.  This summer promises all sorts of fresh ideas: 

   X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (A Christmas Carol update)

Angels & Demons (DaVinci Code prequel)

Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian

Land of the Lost

Taking of Pelham 123 (remake of the 1974 movie)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

GI Joe

Final Destination (4?)

H2 (the sequel to the remake of Halloween)

And of course Star Trek.

How did we get here exactly?  The common thinking seems to be that Star Trek needed to be saved.  A review I recently read claims that Star Trek hasn't been good since the 80s.  The missteps that were Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and the last 4 movies needed to be corrected.  Even some of the Trek writers claim frustration with the ever-expanding continuity.  

So let's erase everything produced since 1969 and get back to Trek's roots!  Right?  That's basically the same argument as "Let's not mess with the original series since that's the only good Trek that will ever be."  And "George Lucas ruined my childhood".  Uh, sorry wrong franchise.

Director J.J. Abrams has admitted to not being a Trek fan before he made the movie and seems to have tackled the problem of making a movie that everyone will like based on a property that nobody cares about anymore.  The critics would argue that Star Trek has lost its way.  Even executive producer Rick Berman claimed "franchise fatigue", that nobody was interested in Trek anymore and weren’t watching the movies or TV shows.

So, why make another Star Trek movie?  Well, apparently there are 76.5 million reasons.  I hear that's the biggest opening weekend for any Star Trek movie ever.  Well, besides the fact that ticket prices for Star Trek: The Motion Picture were around $3 and tickets for the current movie's IMAX shows are about $15, that still means a lot of people have seen this film.  Judging by the audience reactions at my screening a lot of them were Trek fans.  It's gotten favorable reviews and much advertising.

But was this necessary?  I went into the movie expecting not to like it.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm a big Star Trek fan.  I've seen and own all the movies, watched all the TV shows, and have attended the conventions.  And, yes, I've even dressed up as a Klingon, a Ferengi, and Commander Riker.  But I think Star Trek should move forward, adding to the Trek universe and not going back to remake something that was perfectly fine to begin with.

So, how was the movie?  Well.  Let me get back to you.

- to be continued by Capt. Fussypants (ReevesReel) -

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