SPOILER ALERT. Do not read until you have seen Star Trek XI
The other week I finally got round to watching J.J.Abrahams working of Star Trek, which appears to be called ‘Star Trek’. There must have been some long days in various meetings with the results passed through several research groups to arrive at that title.
Thankfully the title is one of the only downers, it’s a non stop action fest of a film with lots of in jokes for the fans.
It was nice to see Kirk’s parents, even if it was just a fleeting hello/goodbye. It was also good to see Captain Christopher Pike in good health, poor chap was not very dynamic in TOS (The Original Series) .
Why does the bridge look like a sci-fi hospital with everything new ultra shiny and clean with more lense flare than a Christmass tree shot with a star burst filter in a disco and, in complete contrast, the engine room looks like an oil rig? Did Starfleet run out of money after splurging all the budget on the disco bridge? Well as their is no money in this universe I guess not. Perhaps they simply don’t like the below decks crewman. Just really felt to me like they were on two totally different ships. I have since found out that the engine room was not in fact a set, they shot it on location at a Budweiser factory.
There are some real comedic elements in this film some only fans will get such as the reference to Scotty beaming Archers pet dog in some transwarp transporter experiment that goes wrong. The Kobiashi Maru test it turns out was programmed by Spock, who would have thunk it? Was great to see Kirk take this test and his ‘solution’, it was mentioned in ‘The Wrath of Khan’ but to see it incarnate was priceless.
Other funny bits are Chekov trying to enter his password auraly to the ships computer. Guess he should not use ‘Nooklewur wessels’ as a password. Also a great homage to the redshirts in a skydiving scene. Oh, and was great to hear Bones say ‘Are you out of your Vulcan mind?’
The only real bad thing about the film is Simon Pegg who plays Scotty. I’m sure it’s not Peggs fault but his character is portrayed as some comic relief simpleton. Trek would not be Trek without the tongue in cheek humour but Scotty in this film is as bad as Jar Jar in Star Wars. Which is ironic for anyone who has seen Spaced.
I saw the film in IMAX (well sorta, read on for explenation), have never seen IMAX before and was thoroughly underwhelmed, however it now appears that we were cheated.
When a friend and I booked tickets online for the Greenwich Theatre it had an IMAX icon but the movie was not credited as ‘Star Trek the IMAX experience’ which we thought odd. It now looks like it was not true IMAX but some 2k DLP digital system, you can get 2k DLP Projection systems in most electronic stores,most common home projectors are 1080P (2K) DLP systems. The screen was big for sure but pretty far away and almost a square ratio. I always thought the point of IMAX was so that it filled your field of view and immersed you into the film, this was certainly nothing like that. It also seemed to suffer from some of the same artefacts I get with my home projector and the ‘relative’ size (if not aspect ratio) of the image is pretty similar to my home setup also. The image at the cinema may be several meters tall but is very far away, at home my screen is approx 2m across but as I am only a few meters away it fills a lot of your view, as much as this IMAX substitue did. So as far as I am concerned this ‘IMAX film’ was pretty much the same quality I experience at home.
I am not sure how a standard 35mm film projection system compares to this 2k digital projection but I’m pretty sure the quality is far better than the 2k version. The 2k system certainly has to be cheaper for the cinema operators and they charge more for it. What a con.
Anyway, in case I did not mention it before I really enjoyed the film, except for the Jar Jar scenes, er sorry, the Scotty scenes. It’s somehow disturbing to see it as an alternative timeline, I have spent my life with the original timeline and feel a bit cheated that J.J is saying, oh yea, now none of that happened. However as many of the TOS episoded refered to Earths past, which is now our past, and got it wrong, then the alt timeline makes some sense.
Perhaps we should have another alternative timeline where everyone sports a beard? Star Trek XII – The Bearded Universe. I can just imagine the promo for it, please read in ultra deep voice…
“In a world full of Multiverses, One stood out above all others, The bearded Universe. The quest against good in a Universe bent on destruction. See James Goatee Kirk, rape and pillage in Star Trek, The Bearded Universe at a cinema in IMAX substitute this summer.