Star Trek Review

Star Trek movieI loved watching the original series from the 1960s. They repeated them very late at night when I was a teenager and I lapped those three seasons up. They were astronomically ahead of their time, and the characterisation and themes were grand. Gene Roddenberry created something very special with Star Trek and it continues to resonate with all generations. I also loved the films with the original cast made primarily in the 1980s and I’m not ashamed to say I cried when Spock died in the second film.

The franchise was due for an update. It deserves to loom large in pop culture once more and unfortunately the series that followed Kirk, et al, didn’t justify another big screen outing. J.J Abrams was the perfect choice. He helped create Alias and Lost and knows how to do conduct grand action, as seen in Mission Impossible 3. The only other logical choice would’ve been Joss Whedon.

Written by Transformers writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and directed by Abrams, Star Trek goes back to its fun roots, but misses the deeper meanings and social commentary the TV series was known for. However, that’s not a bad thing. With its pretty young cast and sense of fun, it’s a joy to witness. It looks great, with its clean, sleek interiors and lens flares and doesn’t suffer too badly from the handheld fight scene direction that’s all the rage these days.

Star Trek cast

I hope this film introduces Star Trek to new fans. It has enough nods to the classic show to be appreciated by fans, but isn’t hindered by it. With it’s time travelling Romulan villain Nero (Eric Bana), emotional Spock (Zachary Quinto from Heroes) and initially purposeless Kirk (Chris Pine) it touches on themes of destiny and courage with restraint. The simple costumes and gadgets such as phasers remain almost identical, while the beaming has been slightly modified. Captain Pine’s (Bruce Greenwood) ultimate fate and Karl Urban’s portryal of Dr. ‘Bones’ McCoy were also nice nods to the past. Simon Pegg is great as Scotty though Anton Yelchin’s Chekov accent is perhaps too much.

The beauty of this film is that it’s an acknowledgment of all that’s gone before it, and really, it had to be. The original Spock, Leonard Nimoy’s screen presence is more than the cameo I expected and his inclusion means this film is essentially not canon, but rather an alternate timeline. It works well. The sequel is due in 2011 and I wouldn’t be surprised if Shatner shows up too. It makes me want to watch all those older films again.

IDW Film Prequels Galore

terminator_color_rungeIDW has some impressive TV and film licences, including CSI, Angel, Ghost Whisperer and Doctor Who. Come Januray, they’ll also be launching three different mini-series that will effectively act as prequels to some of 2009’s biggest  films. They include January’s Terminator Salvation Movie Prequel #1 by Dara Naghi and Alex Robinson, and two different series for the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel. Alliance starts next month, with art by Alex Milne and Defiance begins in January, with art by Dan Khanna. Both series are written by Chris Mowry. Perhaps their most exciting movie prequel is the one tying into the new Star Trek film. Official press release below, as is the cover, and if you haven’t seen the fantastic new trailer for the film, beam down here.

IDW Publishing has joined with Paramount Pictures, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, Kurtzman/Orci Productions and CBS Consumer Products to publish a four-issue limited comic book series tied to next summer’s new Star Trek movie, which will be released in theaters on May 8, 2009.

The first comic in the series, Star Trek: Countdown #1, will be released in January 2009 to the comic book direct market. The story is presented by Abrams and plotted by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is written by Mike Johnson (Superman/Batman) and Tim Jones, and features stunning art by David Messina (Star Trek: Mirror Images). Messina also provides covers for the series.

“There was a lot of back and forth about doing this project, how to do it, what it would be about, but what all parties agreed on was that we needed the right story and that it needed to matter. It had to count both on its own merits and when read in conjunction with the new movie,” said series editor Andy Schmidt. “I couldn’t be happier with the project and what it means to the overall Star Trek franchise!”

“Star Trek: Countdown lays the groundwork for what happens in the movie,” said Roberto Orci. “It’s our way of passing the baton from the Next Generation characters and their movies to the new film.” Star Trek: Countdown is sure to be in huge demand as eager fans look for a sneak peak into director J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek vision! Star Trek: Countdown #1 (Diamond item code NOV08 4113), a 32-page, $3.99 comic, premieres in January 2009.

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Nerd Paradise

Nerds are smart. Smart people can buy expensive things. Nerds can therefore buy expensive things, right? Absolutely. The beauty of today’s hi-tech pop culture saturated world is that when you’ve made it you can customize any part of your life you like. If you want a Han Solo frozen in carbonite table – you can have it. How about a deluxe home theatre that resembles the awesomeness that is the Batcave? It’s yours.

So you like Star Trek hey? Well invite your Klingon mates over and let them gawk at this bad boy and wonder how Kirk managed to become shirtless with such regularity.

For a sneak at 8 more indulgent fantasies come to life, go here. There’s also themes for Indiana Jones, Titanic, the Death Star and more.

For those of us who can not afford such extravagance, maybe this would be a more cost effective option – a to-scale R2-D2 projector. It comes with an iPod dock, a Millennium Falcon remote control and buckets of cool. It also makes all the official sounds and can roll around the room, sensing when it’s near any dangerous objects, like thieving Jawas or coffee tables. If you’re passionate enough, this little gadget is available now.

You can also get a smaller web-cam version, with a lightsabre remote. See the video below to witness all its glory. My words can not do it justice.

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