01/02/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
region 2 DVD: pub: Paramount PHE 1179. 2 DVDs 201 minute film with extras. Price: £ 15.00 (UK) if you know where to look) stars: Chris Pine, Bruce Greenwood, Ben Cross, Winona Ryder and Zachary Quinto .
check out websites: www.paramount.com and www.paramountpictures.co.uk
When it was announced that the 'Star Trek' franchise was going to be rested for a while, I wasn't surprised that it would last for long. Even more remarkable that JJ Abrams leading his team as if 'Star Trek' was something no one heard of before , with only one of his writers admitting to be a trekker. Maybe if they live off-planet and only get the non-audible signal out in space. I think as they said, the real problem was to get around the forty years back-history that new viewers might not have kept up with or not watched the last few series. Considering a new selection of aliens was also introduced as well, then I think it compounds the difference than builds on it.
Essentially, the future Spock returns to the past chasing down some Romulan time-travellers intent on changing the past, upset over his involvement in something that ended up destroying one of their twin home-planets. From there on, it's practically a variation on the old Starfleet Academy idea only done with the young Kirk and other people who will one day make up his crew although not Gary Mitchell and Finnegan, in case you want to be picky with Kirk's history, and hitting on various things we've heard of but never seen. Well, until now. The story follows the change of authority and Kirk's rise through the ranks as he sorts things out. In other words, it's an origin story which seems to be a requisite for any franchise these days. I'm waiting for some director to be daring and hit the road running without one though.
Essentially, because this changes from the original, this reality becomes a pocket universe keeps away from the original Star Trek reality so JJ Abrams doesn't have to worry about continuity as he seeks out new life and go where no one has gone before. It also indicates that the future Spock's time-line has also diverged.
In many respects, this is similar to what DC and Marvel do with their own universes every few decades in resetting the characters for the next generation. Whether this will ever switch back to a TV version remains to be seen let alone completing the five year mission.
JJ Abrams and his team have created a roller-coaster of a ride and a somewhat technologically upgraded different Trek. It shows the Enterprise's limitations in short-range mobility in battle but they have to live with that familiar shape. Before the off-set I was concerned about Vulcan being destroyed and Spock's relationship with Uhura but considering that this is now a pocket universe, no doubt in the next film, Kirk will no doubt have an affair with his yeoman as anything seems possible.
The extras DVD gives you an insight into the whole process of building the film from the ground-up. You can see where the money was invested to make it possible.
In case they think no one ever stays to the end of the audio commentary, JJ Abrams has a thing for pineapples. Any connection to Chris Pine, the star of this movie must be more than coincidental.
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