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Old May 11 2009, 08:58 AM   #1361
Lexington1709's take on Star Trek XI

Well, I got to see the new Trek film the day after it released here in Korea. I caught the late show with some friendsÖ surprisingly, the theatre wasnít crowded and most of the people were Americans. Unlike most, I cannot make up my mind if I liked it or not (it may be because Iím coming off a head cold and the meds are still with me). So, Iím going to go watch it again when it makes its rounds at the base. But here are my likes, dislikes, head-scratchers, and unresolved questions so far.

My dislikes:
First off and main point of contention, I hate the new Enterprise design!! This ship is as bad as Archerís Akiraprise! Itís like it cannot make up its mind to be the TOS or the TMP Enterprise and certainly one of the worse ever for Trek! Matt Jefferies and Andy Probert have got to be spinning in their graves (and Probertís not dead yet!) at this abomination. Either revamp the TOS or TMP ship but donít blend the two together, please! Did I mention I hate this design?

My second biggest point of contention is the ending. Kirk was a CADET throughout the film and now he gets the Enterprise? Does this mean that if I go through the Academy in three years, I can get command of the Lexington when I graduate? What crew are you going to Ďassigní to serve on a ship with an inexperienced, devil-may-care commander? I was about beside myself when I saw them hand over a brand new ship to a wet-behind-the-ears, cocky-as-hell kid like Kirk. God help Starfleet.

Too many plot elements from Star Trek II appear in this film. Khan was brilliant but you can only reuse it so much before you cheapen the original. Okay, you want to give the bad guy some motivation but how many times can you use the old ďyou killed so-and-so, so now Iím going to get my revenge on youĒ bit? And what was with that parasite thing? Come up with something a bit better, will you and let Khan remain the masterpiece it is?

I cannot stand the engineering sections. Did JJ or any of his team actually visit a Navy ship? Apparently not; like Russ, they seem to be more from a factory than a starshipís engine room. And what was with those flight decks? Those two areas should look like the rest of the shipís interiors.

The bridge and other interiors will take some time to get used to and to be honest, Iím not wild about them. Again, JJ and his team actually should have gone to see a US Navy and a Royal Navy ship to get an idea of how things work on combatant ships. To me, it seems like Appleís iPod team designed these interiors; was Steve Jobs the prime contractor?

I am not a fan of the mini-skirts as uniforms. Back in the 1960ís, it was acceptable. Today, I donít think itís even appropriate. If youíre going to re-imagine the franchise, I think this was the one thing we could have done without. Get rid of them. Women donít need to show their legs to get ahead. But at least you did away with the tight catsuits.

My likes:
Iíve had one major point proven for my Lexington series and it came in the opening sequence. George Kirk and his wife were serving on the same ship and she was pregnant. At long last, Alex and Angelica McKnight serving together in our Lexington series has been validated! JJ, did you look at our website? LOL!

Most of the battle sequences were, on the surface, cool but until I see it again, I canít give a full analysis.

  • Both the Kelvin and Enterprise seem to be almost over-gunned, yet were getting their asses handed to them almost too easily. For that amount of weaponry, they should have been kicking ass, not getting it kicked.

    Shields seemed to be sub-par. In TOS, they were tough SOBís that were hard to knock out. Here, seems like even a screw or nut could take them down easily.

    I like the idea of intercepting incoming torpedoes with mini-phasers (someone has to have watched seaQuest DSV); it makes sense. Itís a lot like a Starfleet version of CIWS. Itís a good idea.
Kirkís reaction to McCoyís medicines was pure TOS comedy but it seemed almost on the edge of being over the top. And it was nice to see McCoy bend the rules for Kirk.

Lots of references to TOS in this film but not so many that you had to be a fan to understand them. Nice job there.

The music was good, though a bit Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi)-like. I got the soundtrack and itís solid. Not like Goldsmithís fantastic TMP score or Hornerís unforgettable ST II themes but it holds its own. A bit more attention needs to be paid here the next time.

The use of rock and roll in the soundtrack was a good move and itís the second thing this film validated for our Lexington series. Iím happy with it.

The acting was good overall.
  • Chris Pine did well in bringing a young Kirk to life. A little too cocky for me but overall, did a good job. But, is ďArcher-itisĒ kicking in? Seemed like Kirk was taking a beating a little too much and a bit too quick to get into a scrap.

    Zach Quinto did well, though Iím not sure if I like Spockís Ďjust under the surfaceí emotional control. He reminds me a lot of Saavik in Star Trek II. Should this be with Spock too? Guess weíll see in the sequel.

    Karl Urban needed a bit more screen time to flush out McCoy. From what I saw, Urban had Kelley down cold. I did like the divorce backstory; for years, it was only rumor. Now itís canon. Good work there. DeForest Kelley has to be looking down and smiling.

    Simon Pegg was absol-freaking-utely MAGNIFICENT. Heís easily my favorite character in this new group. Iíve always like Pegg and to see him in this role was a pure joy. Too bad he comes in about halfway in the film but he makes the most of the time he does have. Jimmy Doohan would have been proud of Pegg. More Scotty next time!

    Zoe Santana did well and this time around, Uhura did a lot more than ďHailing frequencies openĒ and showed a communications officer is just a bit more than a glorified switchboard operator (see Angelica McKnight). Just tone down the sex appeal a little and weíre good to go there.

    John Cho didnít have enough screen time to really give me any sense of Sulu but the sense of being underused is still there. Heís a good fighter and better than Kirk in some ways. Maybe after the second viewing Iíll get a better idea of the character.

    Anton Yelchin didnít do so hot in my opinion. Too much emphasis on copying Walterís accent and trying too hard to be the comical relief. Yet, it was nice to see Chekov in action in the transporter room. I think he needs to work on the character a little more before the sequel.

    Bruce Greenwood as Pike was absolutely freaking FANTASTIC and my second favorite character. Jeff Hunter was too stiff in the role back in the day. Greenwood brings the dignity and poise to pull off the part of the experienced starship captain. Whoever casted Greenwood in this role needs a generous bonus added to their paycheck. Bring him back in the sequel!

    Eric Bana as Nero was almost one-dimensional. He did wonderful as Hector in Troy but to see him in a role without much meat was almost painful. He needed more to work with in the character. The character was almost predictable. I didnít feel any pity or sympathy when Kirk blew him to hell. It was almost like, ďYeah, Nero bought the farm. So what?Ē

My headscratchers:

When the Kelvin rammed Narada, why didnít the explosion finish Nero off right then? Yes, I know it would have made for a very short film and yes, I know the warp drive was off-line but reality can be suspended only so much. The antimatter fuel is still there and at no time was there any mention of ejecting the bottles. There also would have been enough residue in the engines to make a thermonuclear explosion a certainty. Also, why not arm the self-destruct package to make sure you take him with you? My belief has been if youíre going to go down fighting, make sure to take the b****** with you.

When Uhura was ordering some drinks at the bar, she mentions a Cardassian drink. This struck me as being out of place and odd. Theyíre a post-TMP / TNG race. Do they even fit in this series? If so, why not bring in some Ferengi or Bolians?

Drilling from an orbital platform and to have the business end dangling from a miles-long hawser? Not only is it unpractical but very unsafe. When cut, the resulting detonation could have sent back a feedback loop in the system, almost assuring destruction in minutes. A better bet would have been to use a penetrating torpedo to detonate when it reached the planetís core.

Whatís with the Delta Vega bit? Delta Vega was never near Vulcan! So to strand TNG Spock there to see Vulcan destroyed is a bit like sending me to Antarctica for a tropical vacation. But it did make for a good introduction for Scotty.

Uhura and Spock? Spock is supposed to keep his emotions under control. Now heís trying to score with Nyota and show it so openly? And Kirkís all over her too? Iím not sure if I see this just yet, so the juryís out on this one.

Spock from TNG is now stranded in this alternate universe? Heís from the future so why not use the Guardian of Forever to return to his proper time and universe?

Unresolved questions:
One time, it was stated the Fleet was engaged in so-and-so sector. Is the Federation at war? Where does it fit (aside from being a plot device for Enterpriseís commissioning) in the grand scheme of things?

Will Admiral Pike remain in the wheelchair? My hope is not; the character deserves something better.

Will TNG Spock be able to get home? I donít like the idea of leaving him stranded in this universe, especially after all the manís gone through.

At the very end, we see Pike in a very TMP-looking uniform. Does this mean weíll see the monster maroons or some variation? Will we go to those awful-looking TMP uniforms or will we see the TOS uniforms remaining for some time?

At no time was there a mention of to what class the Enterprise belonged. Are we sticking to the Constitution-class nomenclature or is it the often-debated Enterprise-class? Just bugs me not to know for sure what class this is.
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