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Movie Review: Star Trek

Alternate Title: In the Beginning..

Story: We fans have waited a very long time for the soul of Star Trek to return to the big screen and we are very pleased. Director J.J. Abrams does not have to hide in one of his TV's Lost series episodes after his directorial achievement. (Interesting to not that Abrams was born in 1966, the year the original TV series began). Writers and Trekkie fans Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman should get a star ship named after them for their fine work.

This prequel introduces us to all of the main characters from the original TV series. Back stories are all developed nicely as we see our old friends introduced one at a time as cadets in the Star Fleet Academy. The heart and soul of the film is about the contentious relationship between the young rebellious James Tiberius Kirk and the young conflicted Vulcan, Spock. The film is both original and familiar.

Along with all of the back stories we get the usual menu of time travel (one of my favorite themes), black holes, frenetic action sequences, a surprising romance and something called Red Matter (which I thought they were saying, Red Batter, until I questioned my movie buddy if my hearing was faulty. It did not make much sense for the scary space thing was to be giant cupcakes if Red Batter was being used. Red Matter made much more sense).

This movie will definitely retain loyal Star Trek fans and will successfully bring millions of younger viewers under our big tent who will now want to boldly go where they have not been before.

The franchise is alive with this entertaining new crew who represent the past, present and future. This new cast will live long and prosper.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w4vk5OZmn8

Acting: The entire cast was terrific. Kudos to the casting agents. Chris Pine as James T. Kirk caught the grit, glean and essence of Kirk perfectly. Zachary Quinto as Spock also channeled his character beautifully. Leonard Nimoy appears as Spock Prime and gives the story its forward thrust. Eric Bana was terrifically unrecognizable as the evil Nero. It is always good to see Bruce Greenwood as the put upon Capt. Christopher Pike. Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy was freakily on target. Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura was delightfully surprising. Simon Pegg as Scotty added that comic thing. John Cho as Hikaru Sulu worked well and had a few choice lines. Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov got a lot of loud laughs from my audience. I also did not Ben Cross as Sarek and the biggest surprise was reading the credits that Winona Ryder was Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson.

Trivia: In October of 2006, my Federation buddy and I went to a preview of the Star Trek memorabilia auction at Christie's in NYC. We had a blast touching everything that we could and scanning the huge crowd of Trekkies. We even had a chance to chat with the ubiquitous Sulu. http://www.christies.com/special_sites/startrek/overview.asp

Christie's estimated the auction would bring in about $3 million, but the auction house apparently underestimated the Star Trek faithful (and how well they had done, financially). The haul was over $7 million. For instance, Christie's estimated that a replica of the Starship Enterprise used in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" would command between $25,000 and $35,000. The actual haul? $576,000. Other items warping Christie's estimates were a 2-foot Borg cube model and a captain's chair from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. The Borg model, which had intricate black latticework, was expected to sell for $1,500 at most, but one bidder decided it was worth $96,000. The captain's chair, which belonged to the show's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, was expected to bring in $9,000, less than a fifth of its actual price: $52,000. I managed to take a few photos without being beamed out.

Predilection: I am a big fan. By the way, Captain Picard was my favorite Star Ship Captain.

Critters: Some ghastly bug that eats at your brain to make you reveal the truth.

Food: I did not see a replicator anywhere. The USS Enterprise actually has a very small part in this movie.

Sex Spectrum: Some innuendo - but no sex scenes.

Blatant Product Placement: None

Soundtrack: Alive and soaring.

Opening Titles: There is a 10 minute battle sequence before the title comes on screen. All other credits are at the end (and I think are still rolling).

Visual Art: Excellent space effects.

Theater Audience: This movie is playing everywhere. We saw it in a stadium seating theater downtown (across form Ground Zero). The audience was filled with loyal fans who roared heartily when appropriate.

Weather: It is cold in space.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: No drifting is allowed in deep space. Warp speed is essential.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: I welled up at the end.

Oscar Worthy: Sure, why not?

Big Screen or Rental: It should be a Federation Crime not to see these films on the big screen. Here are the 11 Star Trek Movies: The Motion Picture- 1979, The Wrath of Khan - 1982, The Search for Spock - 1986, The Voyage Home - 1986, The Final Frontier - 1989, The Undiscovered Country - 1991, Generations - 1994, First Contact - 1996, Insurrection - 1998, Nemesis - 2002 and now, 2009’s Star Trek. Here are all of the TV versions: The Original Series (1966–1969) The Animated Series (1973–1974) The Next Generation (1987–1994) Deep Space Nine (1993–1999) Voyager (1995–2001) Enterprise (2001-2005)

Length: Under two hours