Star Trek 2009... I gave it another chance

SSgt Burton

Sr Member
So for Christmas I ended up getting ST ‘09 on bluray as a gift from my family (I like Star Trek after all). Rather than being disgruntled, I accepted it graciously.

Part of me wanted to watch this film just to be reminded of why a hated it so vehemently, however some points that Larry and Darth Saber made in a recent Trek thread peaked my interest to be a little more open minded about the film.

Let’s just say I hated it a lot less on my repeat viewing.

So the opening sequence was great the first time around, no complaints here.

Young Kirk as the delinquent: Okay I get this all goes back the “alternate timeline” explanation. It still rubs me the wrong way. The whole sequence of Kirk stealing his stepfather’s car is odd. I still consider it pandering in that they had to give the character angst.

However to throw some random thoughts out there-

Kirk’s stepfather collects antiques. The ‘66 Vette would be one, and the Nokia phone would be one too... perhaps the 250+ year old playlist is part of the collection as well? Could this also tie into the original timeline in which Kirk collects antiques?

The boy on the road Kirk zips by, “George”- It isn’t stated outright, but it can be easily assumed that this is Kirk’s brother. He appears to be running away from home as well, which would tie in with Kirk’s stepfather being an ass.

I was originally very opposed to my all time hero being depicted as a budding criminal, however given the accelerated plot, I guess it was necessary. So after the barfight, Kirk is encouraged to enter Starfleet by Pike, who sees his potential, rather than just another hick who dismisses all authority.

A little different than Kirk entering Starfleet on his own accord (which in this very film old Spock tells him it was Kirk’s real Father who inspired Kirk to enlist). However Kirk’s comment about graduating the Academy in three years instead of four is very much in line with the character.

The Kobayashi Maru test: Again I hated Kirk’s cockiness during this sequence the first time around... However “I” totally missed the point. Kirk was brash and cocky in his youth. THAT was one of the points of Star Trek II. As much as I may have disliked the depiction of Kirk beating the test the first time I saw it, I now think they got it bang on right.

Cadet Kirk on trial: This is really funny- The first time I saw this sequence I basically was on Starfleet and Spock’s side that Kirk needed to be disciplined for his actions... and was thinking WTF when they basically award him at the end of the film.

So now I’ve done a complete 180: I don’t like the sequence because of the fact they are disciplining him to begin with. Kirk had already taken the test... twice! Wouldn’t his first attempt be his final grade? The test has no typical pass/fail like a math test- it is a test of character. Although not shown, I’m sure Kirk didn’t breakdown or give up on his first attempt given his willingness to try again two more times.

Who cares if he rigged the test the “third” time. Shouldn’t his instructors be laughing at Kirk’s ingenuity rather than being pissed? The hearing now makes no sense to me. Besides Kirk was given a commendation for original thinking, not disciplined for his actions (yeah yeah, in the “original” timeline).

Anyway the exchange between Kirk and Spock at his hearing was fun to watch, and I was actually disappointed that Kirk never got the chance at a rebuttal to Spock’s last statement before everyone has to leave because of the emergency.

“No! I’m assigned to the Enterprise!” Man I still couldn’t stand Uhura in this film! She is the stereotypical spoiled princess who gets her way when she stamps her feet. They should have renamed her “Veruca.”

However one thing about that tiny sequence in the shuttle hanger did soften my opinion of the “kissing” between Spock and Uhura later. The double entendre of “oral skills” is definitely there, however Spock saying that he assigned Uhura to the Farragut as it would be seen as favouritism should he have assigned her to the Enterprise... perhaps they “did” have a relationship prior to the turbolift sequence. The embrace in the lift made me want to tear my eyes out the first time, however if I accept that they had relations beforehand (even if it was a one night stand), the turbolift scene isn’t so far fetched.

Uhura still annoyed me throughout the film though. And I’m hoping they abandon the Spock/Uhura relationship in the next film. Kind of like the Worf/Troi thing they had going at the end of TNG, which was dismissed in the films.

The redesigned Enterprise: Externally- Not a big deal anymore (still is a wee bit wonky from certain angles and I hope they do tone down those ridiculous nacelles the next time we see it :lol). However I still don’t care for the Engine Room. Honestly it seems too big. And I still can’t unsee that it is a brewery. I can almost see what they may have been going for though- some shots make the beer tanks look like they could be giant engine cylinders (this is good), which are what are ejected at the film’s climax.

The bridge is still too bloody bright for my taste. :lol

The Orbital Jump: love this part! A fun action sequence! All the action/battle sequences were well done.

“Get him off this ship!”: Yeah this is still my biggest gripe with the movie. The plot becomes a little juvenile and too contrived for me from here on. It feels as if the writers worked backwards.

“We have to get Kirk in the captain’s chair.”

Well if Pike is in command, and Spock is First Officer, how do we do this?

“Have Pike leave the ship, putting Spock in command, in which Kirk relieves him.”

How?

“Spock becomes unfit for command because he is emotionally unstable.”

(This has been done before in the TOS and TNG. There have been instances in which Starfleet protocols can relieve a captain of their command should they be acting bizarrely).

Well how do we make a Vulcan emotionally unstable?

“Let’s kill off his Mother... No wait, let’s destroy his entire World too! That oughtta do it!”

This whole bit just seemed like throwing away characters to achieve a plot point. I still don’t like this, however I understand that this movie was about getting Kirk into the captain’s chair period. A film that had Kirk as anything but captain by the end wouldn’t be feasible; mass audiences are not going to accept a “Lieutenant Kirk” at the end who would perhaps move up in rank in the next film. I totally accept that he needed to be in the captain’s seat by the movie’s end and quick promotion during a crisis is the most viable solution.

I can even get over the fact that Kirk was under suspension the entire time, as per my previous reason about the hearing being unfair to begin with.

But getting back to the beginning of this part- the fact that Kirk was ejected over the same planet that Nero left Spock on to watch Vulcan be destroyed, AND his pod landing within walking distance of the cave Spock was hiding in, AND happened to be nearby a Federation outpost WHICH JUST SO HAPPENS to have Scotty stationed at... Wow! What a series of coincidences. Wonder what 3PO- err I mean Spock would say the odds are of that. :rolleyes

At least Kirk mentioned in his log that ejecting him from the ship was in violation of Starfleet’s treatment of prisoners; some writer had the common sense to acknowledge that Kirk being kicked off the ship was unconventional.

And the bridge is still too bloody bright for me. :lol

Nero was a flat villain. However my problem is that I regard Ricardo Montalban’s performance as Khan so highly, that it is hard to top it in my opinion. Christopher Plummer as General Chang was good, as was Alice Krige as the Borg Queen. However again I defer to the film being about Kirk becoming captain, and the villain being secondary at best.

The Transwarp Beaming formula: This was another big gripe of mine. I originally thought it was a clumsy homage to Scotty’s Transparent Aluminum formula in Star Trek: IV. I now see that it is a direct homage to that scene.

Originally I believed that Future Spock gave Scotty the formula believing that Spock came up with the formula himself (thereby altering the past). However in the exchange of dialogue between Scotty and Spock, I now believe that Scotty is the one who came up with the Transwarp Beaming formula all along.

The formula becomes one of those ontological paradoxes- it has no origin. Future Spock knows the formula because Scotty created it. Scotty develops the formula because Spock gave it to him in the past. This is exactly like the Transparent Aluminum formula. And whether intentional or not, ties in Scotty’s line, “How do we know he didn’t invent the thing?” in ST:IV nicely.

Besides we never heard or saw transparent aluminum again- Picard shatters his Enterprise display case in First Contact... shouldn’t it have been made of Transparent Aluminum? So what if they don’t mention transwarp beaming ever again.

It just doesn’t seem as big a deal to me anymore. I hated Scotty’s “wild water ride” sequence the first time around, however upon re-watching it, in addition to being another fun bit, at the very least they addressed the notion that transwarp beaming was still dangerous.

The music could have been more inspiring. Here is hoping the score improves in the next film. And for heaven’s sake no contemporary top 40 songs. Even Abrams admitted “Sabotage” was in the film for no other reason than being a “kick ass song.”

What I am curious about is whether on not Old Spock will ever be seen again. Personally I hope not. I’m hoping he finds a quiet spot in the universe to live out the rest of his days, and doesn’t become a “Yoda like” character, providing “the answer” in times of desperate need. Not that I don’t like Nimoy as Spock, but feel that the universe isn’t big enough for two of them. Quinto filled the role’s shoes well enough.

Touching on the actors- Karl Urban still gets top marks as McCoy. Quinto as Spock is a close second. I was opposed to Chris Pine at first, however I could see a glint of Shatner in him by the end of the film. I don’t want an imitation (there is only one Shat ;) :lol), but the hints I saw were good enough.

I’m not 100% convinced by Simon Pegg as Scotty... maybe he needed to mention drinking a little more (instead of asking for good food on Delta Vega, he should have asked for Scotch ;)). And if Zoe Saldana reprises her role as Uhura, I pray they abandon the “princess” attitude, and give her character some more charisma.

So yeah... I’m eating some crow here. :lol

While certainly not my favourite Trek film, ST ‘09 has moved up the chain considerably. I look forward to the next installment! :thumbsup


Kevin
 
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rodneyfaile

Sr Member
Touching on the actors- Karl Urban still gets top marks as McCoy. Quinto as Spock is a close second. I was opposed to Chris Pine at first, however I could see a glint of Shatner in him by the end of the film. I don’t want an imitation (there is only one Shat ;) :lol), but the hints I saw were good enough.

I’m not 100% convinced by Simon Pegg as Scotty... maybe he needed to mention drinking a little more (instead of asking for good food on Delta Vega, he should have asked for Scotch ;)). And if Zoe Saldana reprises her role as Uhura, I pray they abandon the “princess” attitude, and give her character some more charisma.

In my opinion, this movie was just a set up for the next one. I liked it, but it is just the Space Seed for the next movie, which should be really good.

The characters are all in place so now a real full length story can take place with Kirk, Spock and McCoy doing their thing. I can definitely see a lot of potential chemistry between Pine, Quinto, and Urban. They didnt have a lot of screen time with all three of them together. I can envision some really great scenes with those three actors. To me that is what Star Trek is all about, those three guys. They might feel the need to include more Uhura. Hope it doesnt feel forced.
 

frosty

Sr Member
Honestly i liked it, only two things bug me about it, the bridge looks like a perfume counter shopping area, and the godawful soundtrack, but the rest is well done
 

TheDoctor

Sr Member
Wow... I've had completely the opposite reaction. The first time I saw it I loved it. On subsequent viewings I couldn't un-watch the flaws and the flaws were just SOOOO big! My BIGGEST complaint is so many fresh-out-of-the-acadamy junior officers being promoted to the FLAGSHIP so quickly (especially Captain!!!!). Kirk, in the series, may have gotten to Captain quickly, but at least he had a history. I also didn't like that they all went to the academy at the same time.

As to the villain, I actually got a chill down my back the first time I heard Nero say "Hello Christopher, I'm Nero." You're right, though, they could have done more with his character - more grief at the destruction of Romulus and his family. It might have even made Spock's emotional scene more poignant.
 

SSgt Burton

Sr Member
My BIGGEST complaint is so many fresh-out-of-the-acadamy junior officers being promoted to the FLAGSHIP so quickly (especially Captain!!!!). Kirk, in the series, may have gotten to Captain quickly, but at least he had a history. I also didn't like that they all went to the academy at the same time.
Yeah unfortunately the catch-all answer to this is the "alternate timeline" angle. They all graduated simultaneously (which must make Chekov a freaking boy genius as he actually states his age as 17 in the film itself!).

EDIT- I just re-watched Chekov's introduction in the film; Pike calls him a "Russian Whiz-kid."

Guess he was a boy genius after all. :rolleyes

One thing they did try to do to make this coincidence a little less bitter to swallow---

Uhura was supposed to be on the Farragut, but after whining she gets reassigned to the Enterprise.

In a dialogue between Sulu and Pike it is revealed that Sulu was not the original helmsman. That was supposed to be Lt. "McKenna", however he came down with a case of "lungworms" and Sulu was a quick replacement.

Uhura was stationed in the bowels of the ship as a lower deck hand, however because of her being able to intercept Nero's Romulan transmission, and the current communications officer's inability to decipher Romulan from Vulcan, she quickly is promoted to the bridge communication position.

McCoy was not even the Chief Medical Officer, that was Dr. Puri, who was killed in the initial engagement with the Narada.

...And the gang's all here. :rolleyes :lol


As to the villain, I actually got a chill down my back the first time I heard Nero say "Hello Christopher, I'm Nero." You're right, though, they could have done more with his character - more grief at the destruction of Romulus and his family. It might have even made Spock's emotional scene more poignant.
There was an entire sequence filmed in which Nero is imprisoned on a Klingon planet (maybe Rura Penthe?). This is what he was doing for 25 years before Spock's arrival in the past. So there was supposed to be long scenes of Nero being tortured, and his personal pain over the loss of his family and Romulus.

However this entire subplot was cut as test audiences were perplexed by it- they said they basically became confused as to who the real villain was supposed to be.


I could mention a bunch of other things I couldn't stand (Chekov rescues Kirk and Sulu who are falling to their deaths with the transporter, but can't rescue Amanda who begins falling at the same time she begins transporting)... but this thread is supposed to be about me having a change of heart. ;)

There are plenty of nitpicks in this film, however I've chosen to dismiss them as small stuff not worth sweating over. Either that, or I go back to hating this movie. :lol


Kevin
 
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jlee562

Sr Member
With regards to "old Spock" there were reports going around a few weeks ago that none of the original cast members will be in the next one.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
There was an entire sequence filmed in which Nero is imprisoned on a Klingon planet (maybe Rura Penthe?). This is what he was doing for 25 years before Spock's arrival in the past. So there was supposed to be long scenes of Nero being tortured, and his personal pain over the loss of his family and Romulus.

However this entire subplot was cut as test audiences were perplexed by it- they said they basically became confused as to who the real villain was supposed to be.
Yes. 'Cause you can't have a sympathetic villain that you actually in some ways agree with or can sympathize with what he does. That would just be... confusing.
 

Jet Beetle

Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
One of the problems they had with that movie was the shuffle of needing to put people where they "belong" -- there was no reason whatsoever for Kirk to be captain other than we the audience know he belongs there. With the way they wrote the character, he possessed none of the original Kirk's instincts or leadership abilities - one being that he conferred with his two most trusted officers when he needed help(Bones and Spock) and found the information he needed to make a decision. I love well written leaders and it's something sadly lacking from stories today. Those characters inspire, that's something the new Kirk fails to do.
 

jlee562

Sr Member
One of the problems they had with that movie was the shuffle of needing to put people where they "belong" -- there was no reason whatsoever for Kirk to be captain other than we the audience know he belongs there. With the way they wrote the character, he possessed none of the original Kirk's instincts or leadership abilities - one being that he conferred with his two most trusted officers when he needed help(Bones and Spock) and found the information he needed to make a decision. I love well written leaders and it's something sadly lacking from stories today. Those characters inspire, that's something the new Kirk fails to do.
But don't you think it could be argued that Kirk was "immature" in this film for a reason? That's how I interpreted Kirk's portrayal in this movie. In some ways I thought Pine's interpretation was a bit of a Shatner caricature, but I think at this point in Kirk's life that's how he is supposed to act. Does not the new movie take place about 10 years before TOS? Notwithstanding the whole "alternate universe" quality about the characters, I thought the point was to demonstrate some evolution of the characters as they got older. I mean heck, I don't even consider myself the same person at 27 than I was at 23.
 

MooCriket

Master Member
I liked everything just fine...except the whole Nero waiting around all those years not doing anything plot, and yes I read the prequel novel. Still a BIG plot hole, but. A fun film.
 

PotionMistress

Sr Member
I have been an avid fan of Star Trek since the original series aired in the mid sixties, and I was highly skeptical that anyone could pull off recasting such an iconic crew as TOS actors portrayed. So the most impressive thing about this movie wasn’t the story or sets or time-shifts, but the fact that the actors cast in these parts so beautifully captured the essences of the original characters!

The spirit of this crew and the chemistry between them was absolutely crucial to their believability and bringing them back to life for me.

When Spock was face-to-face with himself, it was completely believable, and THAT sent chills down my spine. Chris Pine as Kirk has really embodied Shatner’s charisma and out-of-the-box lateral thinking; plus he’s as charming and handsome as Kirk should be. McCoy’s character was quite brilliant and completely spot-on. I was enchanted by them all frankly.
 

Angelus Lupus

Sr Member
Nero sitting on his butt for several years waiting is one of the smaller plot-holes...
The many contrived and ludicrous 'co--incidences' that get the TOS crew together has already been mentioned, but I can't ignore he fact hat the ship doubles in size part way through the film, or that the 20th century brewery not only doesn't look like an engine room, but also doesn't look like any other part of the ship, or any other starfleet tech in this new universe.
Add to that how obnoxious 'Kirk' is "We don't have a captain!" "Yeah we do!" Um... no, a cadet sitting in the chair does not suddenly become an experienced captain.

What did it for me tho, was reading he Q&A with Bob Orci on Trek Movie. One questioner asked why something in the prequel novel was contradicted in the movie. The responce: The comic isn't canon. A few questions later someone wanted re-assurance that the original time-line continues on from the 24th century. Orci's answer this time? The comic clearly shows it does.
You can't decide something is canon to explain one thing, and then change your mind for something else.

In short: Nero is a boring villain, badly acted and his motivation makes little sense.The radical changes to the back-story of the crew prevent me from investing in them. Oh and I got a headache from the lens-flares.

Also I get annoyed when I spell out these objections and people just try to tell me I hated it because it was different (i.e. I'm therefore closed-minded). Wrong. TNG was different, I liked it. DS9 was different, I liked it. To a lesser degree I also liked Voyager and, yes, even some of Enterprise. I disliked this film because it was A BAD FILM. Badly written, badly directed, largely badly acted. Costume design was great, I love the re-boot uniform, and the music was great.
 

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Well, one thing... and that's not just about this movie... is... the evil henchmen never disagrees with their leader/captain about anything. They are just mindless automatons. Would be interesting to get some arguments and power struggles between the villain and his crew. Maybe they don't want what the villain wants, but are subject to social codes and military codes and whatnot, that go against what they truly feel is right and should be done - giving them some sort of internal struggle as well between duty and their moral compass.

Hell... we got arguments aplenty between the good guys and the different strategies they feel are right. Let's have the same for the villains.
 

TheStig

Active Member
With regards to "old Spock" there were reports going around a few weeks ago that none of the original cast members will be in the next one.
Nimoy has said that he is retired now, although he has done a bit of voice acting since then.

Also for the Kirk getting promoted early thing. I think that this might wind up being an important plot point eventually. They're doing an ongoing comic that takes place after the movie and it basically remakes TOS stories but in the alternate universe. The writers have hinted that there are hints towards the sequel in the series. One of the ones that keep showing up is that a lot of people don't fully trust Kirk as a captain.

I sort of excuse it by thinking that Starfleet lost an entire graduating class except for those on the Enterprise as well as whatever experienced officers and crew were on those other ships. Also Pike mentioned something about the rest of the fleet being somewhere else. Starfleet might not have had a choice in promoting him. They lost a lot of people, lost an entire planet and the majority of its population, and almost lost Earth. Then this kid comes in and saves the day, he's likely popular with whatever media they have in the 23rd Century because of it. They could have also been pressured by that as well. Maybe they just stick Kirk in the captain's chair as a PR move and try to keep him out of the way. Then in the next movie Kirk has to show that he truly belongs there.
 
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pennausamike

Sr Member
Star Trek 2009... I gave it another chance
And after two viewings, I still loathe this excuse for a film as a film,
never mind as a Star Trek wanna-be,
possibly more than anything I've seen in the last twenty years.

The problems with this "movie" aren't nit-picks,
they are gaping holes in story, plot, dialog, character development, cinematography, set design, ship design and prop design.
The new uniforms were the least worst element of this "reboot" of Star trek.
I wish I could actually type if for no other reason
than to detail each and every abomnible moment and element of this assault on cinema.
( D-E-E-P B-R-E-A-T-H )
Then I realize what a waste of time and emotional energy THAT would be.
(Actually this little rant was already more than I should have invested in Star Trek 1-2-Many.)

If this movie had been released without the Star Trek name,
it would never have received the slack it has gotten.
That sad fact is why studios keep recycling previous films and franchises.
I'm only glad I never contributed to the trend by seeing new ST in the theater or renting it.

Mike
 

Treadwell

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's silly, but the fact that I don't like the new props or the Enterprise distracts me during the film. Rationally, I do my best to ignore that, but it is always lurking in the back of my mind. (I do like the costumes)

Why, oh, why, wasn't the Kelvin right out of TOS inside and out, along with the props and costumes. Not only should they have been since it was before the timeline alteration, it just would also have been a really fun gift to the fans.
 
Isn't it strange how we can all see the same film in completely different ways?

Star Trek was, I feel, the single best installment in the entire franchise. No joke.

I've watched Trek my entire life, and I've always enjoyed it. Even as I child though, I recognized it as a silly, second rate serial Sci-Fi story that took itself way too seriously. I mean sure, it was slightly more of a serious Science Fiction tale than, say, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, but not by much. The world ST presents us is completely unrealistic, and even the most human of characters is drawn with the widest brush they could find. But that's what I liked about it.

The fact that ST, and it's core fan base, take it all so very seriously is why I love Galaxy Quest so very much I think.

When it came time to watch the newest Star Trek film, I did so half heatedly. "Oh boy. More Star Trek." Boy was I surprised when, in the first 15 minutes, they took the preexisting history that had become so boring, stuffed it into a blender and poured us a big old glass of something fresh, exciting and fun with none of the old misplaced severity.

The creators seem to have finally come to terms with the fact that they are writing a light Space Fantasy, and did a fine job of taking well aimed jabs at the existing history.

Mr. Abrams has succeeded in making Star Trek fun again. Something no one has been able to do since Roddenberry left us. He did it by saying "You know what? Time CAN be rewritten, And it might just save a life. The life of this franchise.", and then proving it. Because it doesn't matter if 'That Tech didn't exist in TOS' or 'That character wasn't in Starfleet with that other one." because Spock broke all of that with his Red Matter. Now we have new. Now we have fun. Now we have the best Star Trek since TNG went off the air.

At least in my opinion anyway.
 

dbuck

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Why, oh, why, wasn't the Kelvin right out of TOS inside and out, along with the props and costumes. Not only should they have been since it was before the timeline alteration, it just would also have been a really fun gift to the fans.
This right here is what started it off on the wrong foot with me. Had Abrams done this I could have lived with many of the flaws that come later.

I hold out hope that #2 turns out to be a kick-ass movie like Kahn is, and for Pete's sake please have some really nice Kirk/Spock/McCoy moments.
 

Wes R

Legendary Member
It's not the best movie i've seen but it still beats a lot of the older movies from the franchise. Urban was the perfect Bones for sure and Spock wasn't bad. Simon seemed too calm to be Scotty, I mean in TOS he's a bit hot headed. Sadly it still does feel too much like Star Wars to me. Oddly enough I just saw the MAD show on Cartoon Network and they were taking shots at this movie without mercy.
 
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