Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Movies Fresh Out of the Gate

I've been to see one summer release already, Star Trek in IMAX. All I can say is, WOW! Okay, I can say a whole lot more than that.

As one who remembers the original series before it became reruns, I worried that this movie would mess with my icons. I feared the same thing with last year's summer blockbuster, Get Smart starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. Both Get Smart and Star Trek honored the original series, as well as punched up the stories for the big screen.

The casting was perfect with Chris Pine (Princess Diaries 2) as Kirk and Zachary Quinto (Heroes) as Spock. I'm so glad Quinto played this role because after watching Heroes, I was having nightmare with his character, Sylar, showing up and slitting the tops of heads. If I was dreaming and Sylar showed up, I think, "Oh, crumb!" Now, I'll just turn him into Spock if he suddenly appears. (But I digress.)

The other iconic characters were also well cast, particularly Dr. McCoy played by Karl Urban. From his opening line off camera--"I don't need a doctor. I am a doctor, damn it!"--we knew we were going to like this young Bones.

I also liked Uhura, played by Zoe Saldana, who refused to give her name to Kirk. This, according to the IMDB site under "Trivia" was a tribute to the character on the series who never had a first name. (Check out the trivia site after you watch the movie. It's fun to see how director J.J. Abrams and his team honored those responsible for all of the original series and movies.)

From a writing standpoint, the back story for the two main characters worked very well. We know why each man is the way he is--what makes Kirk a rebel and Spock...well...Spock. If you must write back story, watch this movie to see how it's done. Also, the movie followed the character arcs of both Kirk and Spock well, leaving plenty of room for growth. Could a new Star Trek franchise be in the works?

I sincerely hope so.

For another review of Star Trek and its competition, Up, go to the blog, Musings on This, That, and the Other Thing by Jennifer AlLee titled, Summer at the Movies: Action, Laughs, and a Bunch of Kleenex

I hope to see more summer releases soon. Up and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian are next on my list. Watch for more reviews.

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