Sunday, 31 May 2009

If you like Lovecraft...

... you might like this:

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Star Trek

I managed to get along to see the new Star Trek movie a couple of weeks ago and I've now had enough time to reflect and confirm if my first impressions were right.

Having been a long time Star Trek fan it was with no little trepidation that I went along to see the new film at my local cinema. I'm afraid I'm one of those fans who thinks that none of the spin offs have been able to match the original and so a re-imagining of that was always going to be risky (remember Planet of the Apes?). But with JJ Abrams at the helm I didn't think it would be a complete disaster - but would it be Star Trek?

I need not have worried. The effects, as you might expect given the budget, were excellent. There was a good deal of action and it's pacing and engagement was such that I didn't notice the two hours or so slipping by. The casting is also first rate. I thought Zachary Quinto had the facial structure for Spock but he also backs it up with a good performance. Chris Pine is Kirk at his womanising, shirt ripping best and Karl Urban provides a decent McCoy if a little too much of an impersonation of the original. Simon Pegg, as Scotty, plays it for maximum comedy effect (possibly a little too much for some I suspect) but Sulu and Chekov are a little more two dimensional. I thought Eric Bana was a decent enough villain but not quite as menacing as the character could have been.

The Enterprise itself kept the original lines and a more movie than TOS bridge layout. I think there have been more elegant redesigns externally in previous movies but that's just a personal opinion. And I really want too sure about the powerboat style throttle control either.

JJ Abrams manages to combine action, some character development and plenty of cross references to the previous incarnations to keep the fans happy - which is no mean feat.


He also manages to reset the timeline so that he is not constrained by the huge body of pseudo history which already existed from the TV and previous movie outings and he does it in a manner that is entirely palatable.

Overall, I thought the movie was excellent and I shall be adding the DVD to my collection when it is released. It remains to be seen if this manages to kick start a new sequence of Star Trek movies and, if so, whether it will manage to replicate the strength of the Kirk-Spock-McCoy relationships which I think was at the core of the success of the original. But for once I am trying to stay optimistic.