We went to see Star Trek at the Omnimax theatre at the Ontario Science Centre last night. (Luckily there was no line-up at the box-office to pick up our tickets or I would be forced to complain again.) We figured it would be very cool on the big screen and it was – the sound was particularly amazing. If you’re going to see this at the Science Centre, a piece of advice: however far back you are sitting, you’re not far enough back, so move back a row. Another row. Keep goin’. Keep goin’. Another row. What’s that? You’re at the back of the theatre? OK, well I guess that’s far enough.
We got there early to make sure we got a good seat (general admission dontcha know), but it wasn’t as full as we expected, so only two people entered the theatre before us. We sat about 3/4 of the way back but the screen is so big that trying to see everything happening on the screen was like watching a tennis match. The first five minutes of the movie were all but unwatchable because of all the on-screen action – there was so much going on that I couldn’t focus on anything. After that, the movie slowed down a touch and I got more used to the big screen and from then on it was fine. During some of the faster scenes things got a bit more difficult again, but I got used to it pretty quickly.
The movie itself: amazing. I have always been more of a Next Generation guy – I was never much into the original series, though I liked some of the movies. But the casting on this was really good – it seemed that everyone except Kirk tried to match the speech patterns or mannerisms of the original actors, and I thought they all did a really good job of presenting the characters we know but giving them a slightly different interpretation (Karl Urban as McCoy and Zachary Quinto as Spock are particularly good). Even if you’re not a huge Star Trek fan, William Shatner’s portrayal of Kirk is very familiar, so it would be hard to play him without just doing a Shatner impersonation, but Chris Pine nailed it. In the very last scene of the film, Pine does channel Shatner to some extent, and Kirk starts to sound similar to the Kirk we all know and make fun of.
Spoiler warning: If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read any further.
If they’ve truly rebooted the series and intend on making more movies following this timeline (and they apparently are), they’ll have to be careful, because with the destruction of Vulcan, they’ve started down a path where no Star Trek series or movie has gone before. There are a lot of situations in the subsequent shows that either take place on Vulcan or assume its existence, and they’re all invalid in the new universe. Plus the whole Uhura/Spock relationship thing is new. I guess doing this allows the writers to go off in any direction they want, without having to worry about what happened before / later. The only thing I really hope they don’t do is bring Shatner in for a cameo. Nimoy’s appearance in this movie was fine, but that should be it. Let’s be done with the whole time travel stuff now and just move on from here.