As I'm sure you're all waiting with baited breath to read what I thought of it, I'll dive straight in - I haven't read the whole thread, so I may well be repeating others.
Overall impression: I loved it. I voted Excellent, let's get that out there at the beginning. It was very exciting, engaging, and most of all, fun
. That's an important point, imho. BermaTrek lost sight of how to make this TV show
'fun'. It could do deep and meaningful, it could do heavy handed moralising, and it could do cringeingly unamusing 'comedy' episodes. But It lost track of how to make situations both dangerous and highly seriosu for the characters, and simulataneously, fun for the audience. This movie does that. It is a high stakes, emotionally involving film plot that nonetheless delivers on humour and excitement for the audience. Sure, some of the humour fell flat - particularly the "I like this ship, It's exciting!" line from the trailer - but most hit the mark. My cinema got a big laugh for Spock's "no, not really" line in the final confrontation.
Casting: Largely, inspired. Quinto deserves Man of the Match mention here, he is the perfect
Spock - I thought he'd be good, I never thought he'd be that
good. He was Spock, in a very real way. Pine, I loved as well - different to Shatner, but still Kirk. Urban was a fantastic McCoy, Cho made a good Sulu - his delivery of the "Fencing." line made me laugh out loud. I was so-so about Saldana until the scene with Spock in the turbolift. Wonderful. I saw the Uhura from Spock's funeral in ST II
in that girl in that scene. Yelchin had some pretty stupid stuff to do, lets be fair, but he pulled it off quite admirably - and was very good at Koenig's 'aside' remarks ending dramatic moments - shades of "guess whose coming to dinner".
Eric Bana was a great choice as villain- the gravitas to be scary, but without needing to be moustache-twirling. I particularly liked his moments with Pike, the way he didn't need to be all grandeous to imply threat, a la Shinzon's philosphising.
Tech: This was one of my favourite bits of the 'upgrade/reboot' - we have phasers that can shoot down torpedos, finally. We have engine rooms that are more than a pulsing light show, finally.
The warp effect was very well done, as was the 'at warp' effect. The 'red matter' is a bit shit, to be frank, but then I haven't read the Countdown
comics so I'll hold judgement on that.
The big E herself was beautiful - I was one of the 'hmmm' crowd over the pictures of her, but the ship in action was fantastic looking. The Narada
was very cool looking, and yet with the explanation as a mining ship actually seemed appropriate to its function - unlike, for example, the cruise ship interior of the Scimitar. And OK, it's a ship with a big pit in it again - but at least this one is actually excusable, unlike the bottomless pit on the bottom deck of the E-E.
The plot: Wow. I was expecting a standard 'save the world' plot, and I was, I'll admit, expecting an at least partial reset button. So this kind of blew me away. OK, Earth was in danger again, but to carry through his threat on something as major (to Trek lore) as Vulcan was an incredible plot twist - and killing Amanda was pretty gut wrenching (one of Quinto's best moments, actually - he managed to convey such a world of emotion without dropping his Vulcan guise for more than a second). Future Spock was a bit pointless really, all told, but it was nonetheless nice to get Nimoy in there as a send off - although I wouldn't have been adverse to him just doing the final speech out of the blue as a surprise.
What wasn't so good: Let's face it, it wasn't perfect - some bits I was less keen on - Sarek seemed wooden, didn't get how to act 'through' the Vulcan guise, imho. That car chase scene with the godawful product placement for Nokia. That scene was pretty cool in the trailer, but should have stayed there. It was dire in the actual film. I can't beleive they cut the Rura Penthe bit for that.
Cadet-to-captain. Yes, I'll say it, it was entirely ridiculous. But I also don't give the slightest frak
And it was made a fraction more realistic in the film by it being Pike
who promotes him initially, after he witnessed his father's triumph on the Kelvin.