JJ Abram’s Star Trek…Less Than Amusing Nostalgia

star trek original

Just got back from seeing the new Star Trek movie, directed by JJ Abrams. First off, let me just say that I anticipated disapointement, because I have seen what JJ Abrams has accomplished with past work and have been unimpressed. To be honest, I went into this film hoping it would prove me wrong in thinking JJ Abrams should not be directing feature films, but rather, should stick with his crap television shows. (I was a huge fan of Alias, but then it just went all to hell…spiraling into a webbed mess of random crap thrown into the story…and made me angry…I absolutely hate Lost, and Fringe is the most retarded show)  —[also, as a side note to those who have seen Alias and Star Trek…red matter look familiar? maybe, the red ball of liquid from season 1 of Alias? hmmm. maybe you should have got different writers…way to rip from yourself JJ…lame.]

I think the whole hype of the film is over two things: First, nostalgic reasons that only true Star Trek fans will appreciate and wannabe fans (who have never seen an episode) will try to get in on because it’s now “cool” and not “nerdy”. And secondly, those brainwashed fans of JJ Abrams, who watch his shows and have no sense of what good camera work or good storytelling really is…they’ve jumped on the bandwagon and if they jump off now, they’ll feel left out.

So, Mr. Abrams, you prove me right yet again, failing to impress me with your new version of old. The Star Trek that I knew as a kid was boiled down to less than amusing nostalgia (with those classic lines like, “I’m givin’ ‘er all she’s got!”)  in a whirl of whooshing dolly shots painful enough to make your head spin. (Literally…my mother, whom I shared many old Trek days with when I was a kid, joined me in seeing the film, and walked out with a splitting headache and slight motion nausea)

Perhaps this is what bothered me the most: the amateur cinematography of the film. At one point, I actually thought someone was messing with the film reel in the back, adjusting the frame in small movements, but realized it was just unexplainable camera movement. Yes, I did think to myself, well…this is based on an old tv show, yes, it’s action/adventure sci-fi…so some rapid camera movement is acceptable…but this was just way too much. And I am not a fan of the constant swooping dolly shots or off axis tilting dolly. Very amateur. Just because your shooting a film about an old television series, doesn’t mean you have to shoot it like it’s an old tv series. It’s not the 1960s anymore.

Altogether, I feel the film could have been much better had the camera work had been better.

As far as story goes, I can say it was ok. Predictable, and somewhat boring, but not completely terrible. Overall it was just a fast-paced introduction to characters with an overload of CGI and a couple crappy little fight scenes. Nothing to oo or aw about. Yes, it was cool seeing more advanced cg and set design for the ship, but that’s about it.  On another note, I would have much rather seen Eric Bana have more to do than just sit around on his spaceship barking orders and threats. The fight scenes where pretty lame altogether, and the creature effects were pretty sub-par as well. I couldn’t help but think of Hellboy, and how Del Toro makes an effort to make every creature so uniquely detailed and real, no matter how small a role…and how Star Trek only scratched the surface of that with only really focusing on the details of the Romulans and Vulcans…which, wasn’t too hard, as they look pretty much human.  (for example the creature that hung out with Scotty…halloween costume anyone? someone get WETA over here stat!)

Overall, I’d suggest not wasting your time by seeing this in theater. Wait for DVD and rent it via Redbox. And instead, save that $8 for Terminator: Salvation, Public Enemies or District 9.

Just a suggestion.

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