I'll just post in the non-spoilers thread. It was a magnificent evening and a privilege. I sent a spoiler-free capsule review over to trekmovie. I'll let you guys know if it posts. I am delighted with the film and with the new directions in which it takes the Star Trek franchise.
Can you post your review here?
Sure. Here goes...
We were first in line for the standby, non-badgeholders. We waited in line since 4:30. Honestly we just wanted to see TWOK on the big screen. You've probably read the logistics of the event so here's my spoiler free review.
Some of the most emotionally poignant moments happen at the beginning of the film. There is no Star Trek camp at the outset, only tragedy. The film is different from any Star Trek I've ever seen. It is a different universe. When people die, they really die. There's no reset button in this film. Everything seems more real. An image of a casualty ejected into space lingers. The sets are detailed, and one corridor on Delta Vega stood out as the moment when I could suspend my disbelief and picture this facility on a far off world.
Greenwood and Cross were magnificent as Pike and Sarek. They were adults among adolescents. If I have any criticism about some of the performances, it would be that these men sometimes didn't act their age. On another level though, this was an origin story, and it was a superb introduction into these familiar characters. Part of the excitement was to be reacquainted with these people in a new way. The actors aren't the same. The story isn't the same. And the characters aren't the same.
The effects were breathtaking. The producers and writers constructed new sequences that never before would have been possible in a Trek film.
The plot was smart, and I was relieved that aside from some familiar disaster, arch-enemy tropes, the writers steered clear of some of the cheap gimmicks that made Star Trek films at times feel like matinee fare.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Nimoy. His Spock is the ultimate incarnation of this character. It is alone worth the price of admission to see him reprise this role and take Spock past "Unification" into a new universe.
All the familiar applause lines are there. Fans of cranky Bones and harried Scotty will not be disappointed. Kirk comes across a little thin at times, but Pine seems capable, and now that origins are dispensed with, I can imagine his progression into the iconic Captain Kirk. Young Spock nails pathos.
I am excited to witness this new chapter in Star Trek and can't wait to see it many more times. Nothing will quite recapture this evening though.