Star Trek – better the second time around.

When the 2009 JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movie came out, I watched it with some trepidation. It was no secret that the idea was to reinvent the wheel. Something we are all taught is an utter waste of time. Especially, when the wheel was so round and nicely roll-able the first time out. Star Trek has a lengthy much loved cannon and it seemed somehow wrong to scratch that and start again. I spent so much time comparing the new to the old during that first viewing that I was a bit exhausted. In the end, I grudgingly admitted that it was an okay movie.

Last night I rented the movie and watched it with my son who’d never seen it. He is more of a Star Wars fan and had only seen one of the previous movies. Had only ever watched one season of Star Trek… Voyager (cringe-not the best possible representation). I went into this second viewing just expecting to be mildly entertained. I approached it a lot like watching any Star Trek episode. I let go of the whole comparison thing and just accepted that these were the characters as they are in the film’s moment of time-full of potential but not yet what I remembered them to be. It was fantastic. I laughed, I cheered, I suffered, I laughed some more.  Maybe it was just my longing for a space ship centric TV series to be back on the air, but I think not. Expectations can make all the difference. This time I got more than I expected.

Have you seen it? What where your impressions? Have you ever had your own expectations sabotage a movie?

41 thoughts on “Star Trek – better the second time around.

    I saw it and loved it. Chris Pine channeled Kirk/Shatner.
    It was a real reboot as Spock’s mother dies and Vulcan is blown to smithereens.
    I did not like how Spock was acted.

    Ciao! Steph

    • I have to agree, not only on the acting but on the writing for Spock. It came around in the end, but to have Spock be so angry right from the start seemed wrong.

  2. You are absolutely right! The first time I played the perfect crab, daring the movie to fail. I had some serious quibbles, like once again making the female stars in the show act like silly foils.

    But they absolutely nailed it on bringing new life to ST. Reinventing the future was an absolute stroke of genius.

    After my grumping, I enjoy it more, and each time, I forgive some of the ditzier things they did (both in female characters and plot) and applaud the good stuff.

    I love that they gave serious face time to each of the main characters. Each was important in his own way.

    • I was really annoyed by the giant tubes of water thing first time. So stupid. But I just laughed and let it go this time.

      I suppose they didn’t have a lot to work with for female characters basing it off the first series. Maybe they’ll get some more women onboard for 2012.

  3. I pretty much loved it within the first ten minutes. My mom is a real hardcore Trekkie and I watched the original episodes (along with some TNG) with her over and over again as a kid. We both loved it. That opening scene. Gah, I cried buckets of tears! It still gets me. I loved it.

    • That is so cool! I know we are from different generations, but I watched Trek with my Dad when I was a kid. Star Trek has just been around for-ever! 😉

  4. I loved it the second time too Charlie, like you am an old Star Trek fan of the TV show and the original movies with the original cast… I am sorry that Shatner and Nimoy did Kirk and Spock so well that the young cast of the newest installment did not quite grab me the first time….
    I did think though that Bones was perfect in this one, while Pine did a good job of “thinking outside the box” acting as Kirk he still just was a little too “Pretty Boy” for me until watched the 2 time…

    The only other movie that I did not like right off the bat that was one from a TV show was The Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Klein, they just did not do James West and Artemis Gordon’s characters justice the way Robert Conrad and Ross Martin did.. Then as I watched a few more times the movie kind of grew on me..

    jackie >_<

  5. Bones was perfect, you’re right there. I also liked what they did with Chekov. He was different but hilarious.

    Maybe I’ll have to give WWW another chance. I thought it had good moments but the story arc didn’t work for me.

  6. I watched this movie not knowing ANYTHING about Trek… and hey, it got me interested in what the whole mythology was about. So I went to check out some of the original TOS movies, TNG episodes and even DS9, and now I’m hooked on Trek! 🙂

    The only tiny problem I had with this one was the love triangle with Spock, Kirk, and Uhura… just seems very phoned-in and inappropriate, but overall great movie!

    • I love that this was your starting point for Trek fandom. I hope you’re one of many. This really was a great modern movie.

      I don’t think the Spock, Kirk, Uhura thing really counts as a love triangle. It didn’t seem like Kirk was truly interested in her. Hitting on her was just SOP for him. I thought it was mostly for comedy.

      • Haha Yea I think Kirk was doing it as a habit…

        It’s definitely a great movie, one of my favourites of recent years. I showed it to one of my friends who knew nothing about Trek as well, and he (surprisingly) liked it!

        Have you seen the deleted scene with the Klingons? They look like Predators lol.

  7. Okay, so, I may be a doofus, but the movie confused the hell out of me. Because I didn’t realize they were rewriting the entire Trek cannon! I *thought* it was a prequel. Like, Daniel Craig’s James Bond. So I had to quiz my Trekkie Hubby afterward as to what the hell it was all about!

    Now that I know, I’d watch it again so I don’t keep saying, what the hell are they doing???


    • Yes, that would make it hard to follow! I think they could have made it clearer from the begining that the Romulan ship was coming back through time.

      • Oh, and as for the Great Expectations? Kiera Knightly’s Pride and Prejudice. I knew it was going to be awful. I was right. 🙂 I don’t know how I’d feel if I didn’t practically know the book by heart and have the Colin Firth version on DVD.

  8. I was never really a big Star Trek Fan. The only ST series I watched was the one with Jean Luc Picard (see, I can’t even remember the name of that series, I’m such a non-fan). So I haven’t seen the movie yet. But I’m gonna try to hit up Blockbuster sometime in the next week and rent it. After I watch it, I’ll letcha know what I thought.

  9. I had heard that the storyline of cannon ST was going to be completely changed before I went to the cinema, so I was able to suspend my disbelief more quickly. And from that amazing opening sequence, which was so moving, I was engaged. (Bad pun not intended. Sorry, Picard!) Once you accept that you’re on a separate timeline, you can let yourself go with this one. And it’s worth it! My sons and I *loved* this movie, so much that we went back a second time in 24 hours to see it again. At full cinema prices. Still, worth it. And I bought the DVD the first day it was out. I thought my oldest son (who was never a real ST fan, being more of the Star Wars generation) was going to wear it out with back-to-back viewings in the first week we owned it!

    Sure, there are logical gaps and character quibbles and things like that, but this movie was just so much FUN!

    And Wild Wild West? Same deal. It’s one of my favorite reinterpretations of a beloved series, too. I recommend you give it a shot.

  10. Full disclosure – as a hard-core Trekker (not Trekkie) I watched the original series and all the new ones, though like Charlie I couldn’t make it through Voyager. My favorite was Deep Space Nine, probably because of the similarities to B5. That said, I LOVE well-done reboots, and loved this movie. But reboots in general are pretty lame. Such as Twilight Zone. And, I’m sorry, V. It’s like trying to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time. I live in fear of what they will offer up as the next ‘Avatar’.

  11. The good – made Star Trek appealing to a new generation. Very updated look and super-hero-ish type characters.
    The bad – super hero-ish type characters, re-writing the history of Kirk and Spock and Uhura. I definitely enjoyed Bones – he stayed true to character.
    Overall, I didn’t enjoy the movie. What I loved about the original series was both the relationship between the characters and their repartee. When Mr. Spock loosened the tight rein on his emotions and smiled, the sun broke through dark clouds.
    This movie struck me as being more about special effects and James T. Kirk’s recklessness. Kirk was never reckless – it was more of an understanding that out in deep space, on your own, sometimes you were flying by the seat of your pants and the occasion called for a quick decision. He was more a gut-instinct kind of guy, while Spock was logic and Bones emotion.

    • “What I loved about the original series was both the relationship between the characters and their repartee. When Mr. Spock loosened the tight rein on his emotions and smiled, the sun broke through dark clouds.”

      You’ve hit on one of the big short comings of the movie for us Spock fans. But I was able to sit it aside for this viewing — enough to enjoy the ride.

      I was always a Spock girl, but in the new time line I’d have to go for Chekov (after he gets a bit older of course). I love my geeky guys!

  12. I used to watch TOS reruns with my mom, watched NG and DS9 but didn’t really get into Voyager or Enterprise. That said, I loved this movie.

    The opening sequence was one of the most intense I’ve ever seen and it hooked me. It really made me care about Kirk even though he was acting like an ass at times. I didn’t mind Spock. It was nice to see him struggle to keep control when he was younger. Bones was dead on and definitely my favorite. Chekov was adorable and I’m a huge Simon Pegg fan so Scottie was awesome. Uhura was ok but not my favorite.

    I thought the pacing and score were good and the effects were cool as well. I especially like how they utilized the effect of light reflecting off of things. I bought the blu ray the day it was released and watch it every so often. Like someone above said, it’s such a FUN movie!

    • I think the movie got a lot of teasing about the use of lens flares, but I agree with you. It created a great your-in-the-middle-of-things effect. I watched some of the ‘making of’ feature and it was fun to see how little things made the film really work.

      • I’m sure the lens flares were a gimmick but I’m a sucker for gimmicks so it worked for me. 🙂

  13. @Hottie McNaughty Not so much a gimmick, but an effective tool that he may have over-used a smidge. 😉 The lens flares were really effective at keeping the whole thing from looking very sterile and unreal. They add a sort of grittiness. I love grit in my spec fic!

    • He was certainly consistent with it, that’s for sure. (I just put it in and am watching it right now.) I like grit, too….it makes it so much more interesting! As I re-watch it I’m struck at how scary the Romulan ship is when it first appears.

      • Yes, very menacing. I’d really like to know how they came up with the design for the Romulon ship. Especially the interior. Great big cavernous space with narrow, railless walk ways. They must not have OSHA. It lent itself to some great swashbuckling type action.

  14. I saw it in the theater but will have to check it out again now that it’s out.

    I remember enjoying it, but at the same time missing the depth of the original Trek movies and so many of the episodes. They usually had a bit of a message underneath the action, and the characters often wrestled with philosophical issues in between kissing alien chicks and being shot at by Klingons. 😉

    • Hi Lindsay! Yes, this one was very lite on message.

      BTW – love your book covers and looks like some cool adventure going on in your books.

  15. I’m a pretty big Trekkie (having seen everything except half of Voyager), but I was careful to temper expectations for this movie. I didn’t like it very much. I’ve seen it a few times since and I still don’t care for it. The acting was pretty good and mostly stayed true to the characters. The bad stuff was pretty much everything else. I could talk forever about red matter and plot holes, but what really gets me is they often changed small details of Trek canon simply for the hell of it.

    • Hi Benjamin!

      So, even with low expectations it didn’t work for you. Well, if I think about it enough it I can find lots to dislike. But this time I just set it all aside and went along for the ride.

      Luckily, even if you didn’t like this one, the old movies/shows still have a lot of re-watchability.

  16. I need to get my hands on the old TOS seasons on Blu-Ray… ha 🙂 I heard they “updated” some graphics a la the special editions of Star Wars

  17. Well I *finally* watched it last night! I really liked it, to tell the truth. But I don’t remember much from the original, since I watched those movies maybe 15-20 yrs ago. I have fond memories of watching ST movies and the tv show reruns with my parents when I was growing up. They also loved The Next Generation, so I watched that with them too. (Now unfortunately the only tv my dad watches is the news, & all my mom watches is the food network.)

    I liked the “new” Spock, but then again like I said, my memories of the original ST are very hazy. I wasn’t a fan of his relationship w/ Uhura, though. Seemed a bit contrived.

    • Yay! Glad you liked it. I think I’ll like Spok better going forward, now that the friendship between him and Kirk can come back to the fore.

  18. I’m also a big Star Trek fan and really love TNG and Voyager. I’m now getting into DS9, but I just could not bare watching the original series because as a younger person (Y generation), it was just too ancient for me. Now, you would assume that I would like the new Star Trek movie; however, I was not that impressed. Sure, it was full of adventure, fun and special effects and it revived the Star Trek franchise and even attracted new fans, but still, something is missing.

    • Hi Iris,

      It will be interesting to see where they go with the sequel.

      I somehow missed Enterprise when it aired, so I’ve been going through that series. Wonderful that so many variations were created from this franchise. Enjoy DS9!

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