Saturday, May 9, 2009
If you've read anything on the Flaming Nose over the past few months you're aware that our eager anticipation for the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie was just this side of borderline psychotic . I am pleased to announce that the movie opened wide on 5.08.09 and did not disappoint. Would it be too over the top to use the word "Love"? No it would not. I would like to write a love letter to Mr. Abrams, because if anything, Star Trek surpassed even my OTG (Original Trek Geek) expectations.
At its core, the original Star Trek television series was about hope, friendship and the pioneer spirit...enduring themes that have always contributed to its immense popularity around the world. Who wouldn't want a future where humans (and quite a few extraterrestrials) of every race and origin, live and work in harmony? Star Trek was a program that featured a young
Japanese Navigator (Sulu) as a central character, only twenty years after World War II ended. While the American south was still riddled with
"Whites Only" signs, Star Trek dared to display an interracial kiss between Kirk and Uhura. The movie kicks it up a few notches with an "inter species" moment between Spock and Uhura that is hotter than Antares. I'm not going to spoil it for those who have not seen the picture yet, so all I will say is, "oh my". Ladies, feel free to explore your inner cougar inclinations with this one.
Star Trek appeals on every level, whether you grew up loving the Shatner-Nimoy opus or cut your teeth on the last three Star Wars movies. I saw it yesterday with my teenage son and two of his friends. They were just as engaged as this die-hard Trekkie and didn't seem to mind at all when I repeatedly gave the Vulcan hand salute to the screen.
Star Trek is a summer blockbuster in every sense of the word. It moves at a breathless, lightning pace and the special effects are astounding. There are harrowing, edge of the seat fight scenes and a fantastic torch-like atmospheric drill the evil Romulans use to threaten Earth. You want a little humor with your action flick? Star Trek was packed with genuine laughs and surprises, many coming from Simon Pegg who played the Enterprise loving chief engineer Scotty. For traditionalists, Leonard Nimoy's appearance as Spock Prime was touching, and (not a word generally used for Vulcans) emotional.
But nothing in Star Trek is as compelling as the developing friendship between the young Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) who meet at Star Fleet Academy and take an instant dislike to each other. That's called "meeting cute" in the movies, and it usually means that a lifelong buddy bond is on the way. Quinto's young Spock was fascinating and very sexy; his struggle to be Vulcan and subjugate his emotions conveyed by a slight flash of the eyes or a barely perceptible tightening in his face. This is a very explosive, angry Spock. Whatever you do, don't say anything bad about his mother. Chris Pine is amazing as the brilliant "bad boy" Kirk, a car jacker and party animal until he gains focus and joins the Star Fleet. Like many young men who turn to the military, he soon discovers it's a lot more fun to fight bad guys at warp speed than punch wise guys in a bar brall. I loved it when he assumed the familiar lion-like slouch in the Captain's chair on the Enterprise. A new super-hero, refreshingly human, was born.
The USS Enterprise, a cultural icon so huge that NASA named the first Space Shuttle after this fictional ship, functioned like a main character in the movie. Sleek, gleaming and surreal, when the silver bird with its aviation mark NCC-1701 first appeared on screen I got a lump in my throat and had to reach for my popcorn napkin. Seeing Scotty's love-at-first-sight appreciation for the beautiful ship was also a delight.
As I write this report, the LA Times has announced that Star Trek the Movie is on track to surpass estimates and may reach $80 million at the box office this weekend. I certainly hope it will. And please let there be a sequel to this prequel. The incredible chemistry of this cast is too good for just one movie. We want to boldly go see another one, as soon as we finish seeing this one about 6 or 7 more times.
Thank you J.J. Abrams. From the opening battle scenes to the final credits (and dedication to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry), this movie was a wonder. Flaming Nose fans, if you have not done so already....go see it now.