Star Trek J.J. Abrams

Star Trek J.J. Abrams
Star Trek: Nemesis, the previous entry in the Star Trek filmic canon, was a shockingly bad movie about The Next Generation crew, notable only for being the first Star Trek film to have a dune buggy chase scene. Dune buggies aside, its commercial and critical failure confirmed that the franchise was in need of some serious repair. 2009's Star Trek reboot patterns itself after other successful franchise overhauls, such as James Bond and Batman, adding depth to the characters, while never straying too far from the source material. Helmed by Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams, Star Trek balances itself precariously between the old and the new, injecting the series with effects-filled action scenes and romantic sub-plots, but at the same time rigorously adhering to the aesthetics, sound effects and characterizations of the original series. Star Trek is not a full-fledged reboot, however; it somewhat awkwardly, although quite cleverly, tethers itself to the original series by casting Leonard Nimoy as Spock from the future, travelling back in time to stop some bad guys, who have also travelled back in time, and are going around destroying planets and altering the lives of the young Spock and Kirk. By introducing time travel, and creating an alternate timeline for the original characters, the screenwriters give themselves the freedom to play fast and loose with the mythology of the show, as well as evade the nit-picking scrutiny of Trekkies. This is either a brilliant example of science fiction ingenuity or the ultimate cop out. Regardless, the film is fast paced and exciting in a way Star Trek hasn't been since The Wrath of Khan, and the young cast strikes a healthy balance between homage and originality in their performances. The two-disc DVD is brimming with special features, including a commentary with Abrams and his screenwriters, deleted scenes, a gag reel, several extensive featurettes, and a digital download. The casting featurette is particularly good, containing footage of the new actors meeting their original series counterparts, as well as Leonard Nimoy's tearful goodbye as he completes his final scene as Mr. Spock. (Paramount)