terça-feira, 12 de maio de 2009

Star Trek - A New Beginning...!


To me, this film was a deep emotional experience... For many things it blew out my mind and my heart...! previously, only in Generations I had a had such a deep impact in my mind and my hearth, with the "death" of Kirk on screen - even in the worst form it was I thought about the death of the icon, the character I grew up loving and caring about, and the real possibility to be the last time (as it was and is in fact, until now) to be the last time I was seeing my favorite character (and actor) on screen.

This NEW Star Trek movie will certainly be (and it is already ) a mark and a new point in the history of Star Trek franchise, for whatever reason one may or choose to label it. It's a natural born classic - and epic.

First of all I must say I'm a "classic" fan. I watched the original Star Trek on reruns on TV (here in Brazil, of course). And I grew up knowing very little about the Star Trek existence and not paying any attention to it until was about 14, when I was already beginning into Science Fiction and Star Trek really got my attention. It was love at first sight - really...! I couldn't stop watching everyday! And it was late that year (1981) that ST:TWOK came on big screen and the first time Star Trek blew off my mind and senses...!

Now, almost 30 years later, this NEW Star Trek blows new life breath to a "dying" (in therms...) franchise with a brand new movie, a new vision and a possibility to explore a brave new world - or better saying, a full new universe!

THIS is really NOT "our father's" Star Trek, for sure...! it is not even OURS Star Trek either. I'm sure my 13 years old daughter will LOVE this movie for all it is, the emotion, the thrilling, the adventure, even the characters, that she grew up knowing that I liked, cared and loved - even if she would not quite understanding why...!

This a Star Trek for a REAL "Next Generation", with a complete new life and new civilizations to explore, to seek out and effectively make Star Trek to endure for maybe another 30 some years or more!!

Technically the movie is a blast! Well written in all senses, well tied-up, all we see and understand makes sense. They got a fine new reason to make all different and NOT to be against ALL that came previously. YET, they got "elements" (catch phrases, characters, mannerisms, little things) that could be recognized as part of the inherent KNOWN universe of Star Trek...!

This Star Trek made me weep again. When this new Kirk was born and his dad was dying... when "Spock-prime" appeared and said "I've been and always shall be your friend", and melded the new Kirk's mind... the final meeting of both Spocks and the speech about the chance for both young, Kirk and Spock, to have the same relation that he, the old Spock so cared.

Emotionally, to a real fan of Trek (maybe the old or "classic" ones), this movie is a spectacle to the senses. Something maybe to be absorbed with time. Yet, from the beginning it's impact is of a punch in the face. All is new, yet recognizable. New, but still Trek - the same Trek so many of us love... It's a very hard experience!

In my opinion, the movie is very well directed. Perhaps some little slips here and there, but all in all quite good. It is complex but still easy to understand. And even non-fans can appreciate and have fun with it. As a product, it is a nice one.

The characters are all there. And most surprisingly as it may be not all (to me) work as they should. Since from the beginning, the most iconic and commented character was Spock. How he would be, who he would be, many things. The physical similarity of Quinto with Nimoy was most celebrated and the blessings of the "Old Spock" to the new one almost canonized not only the choice of this young actor to the part but also the future success of the movie.

Strange as it can be, it was not the Spock character that got my attention. Spock is a larger than life icon. Nimoy is an iconic actor. The character of Spock is so well defined that not much could be done with it. It is what it is. He is whom he is. But for some reason I cannot tell the Quinto interpretation of Spock seemed to me a bit overdone. THIS Spock, of THIS line of time (or dimension) seems different of the "original" one. If there are any fictional "reasons" for him to be like this, like he is in this movie, they are yet to be revealed. But to my senses it is simply either a direction's choice and/or the actor's own way to be (and this is not a critic to Quinto). The characterization is all right. Perfect as can be, but Quinto delivers a way too much human and irrational. He (the character) maybe lost or stuck in two worlds but THIS Spock seemed to have chosen the path of emotion other than logic...

On the other hand, much less was said and maybe even lesser was expected (yet with great expectations) of Chris Pine's Kirk... With Shatner out of the movie, and the premise that Pine would NOT try to emulate Kirk's mannerisms and acting style, the character had the expectation of something utterly new and separated from the all known until here.
But to me Pine brings a new Kirk full of natural elements of the original one. Intentionally or not, this new Kirk seems much more closer to the original than the new Spock of Quinto. The boldness of Kirk is there, maybe the look, things I can't describe now, but maybe seeing the film another time can clear on me. But Pine's Kirk is "real", natural, and seems like a natural projection of a Kirk that we saw as an adult in the classic Trek - even if in THIS time-line all can turn differently.

The other character that is a joy and homage to the original one is Dr. McCoy. Karl Urban did his homework in stepping in DeForest Kelley's shoes providing a performance that is all his but all "Trek" too. He IS McCoy as much as he can be and as close to what it is known to "how Dr. McCoy is"... Urban's performance is fine, and a pleasure.

The other main characters are quite OK.

Saldana's Uhura seemed to me more developed one. Smart, sexy, nice. I couldn't buy her "relationship" with Spock but... if she is a hardcore student (what she seems to be ) hum... it could be possible... BUT... What about Spock?? What about the "struggle" with his "human side" and his own "emotions"...?? Hum... Not nice. Thumb down on this...

Cho's Sulu does well. Nice fight scenes. In the bridge he seems to be "learning" to be a pilot yet but this is nothing too bad to compromise the character.

Yelchin's Chekov is more like an irritating recreation of Wesley Crusher with a Russian accent. By the way maybe too strong an accent... This new Chekov may be the character with less to do with the original one...

Pegg's Scotty is fine. A little bit too "funny" but interesting. I don't know if he pays a tribute to the original character emphasis on the light site of Scotty's or if the humor is inherent to the actor.

Greenwood's Pike is very good. Strong, firm, wise. I just don't buy the fact that ALL Captains in this movie have the habit to go alone and deliver themselves to the enemies... Isn't it against the rules??

The villain, Nero is almost believable. At least he is more "human" (pun intended) than any other "crazy" villain who just want to conquer-or-destroy the universe. His reasons are all emotional, but his craziness is what turns the Star Trek universe upside-down. I was not able to understand how Nero's ear was "chewed" or whatever... In the movie he makes a mysterious character, dark, witty, a real bad-ass. For a miner he is quite a clever architect and a villain with an agenda.

Visually the movie is fantastic! All wonderfully done. The effects are superb! In terms of design, the Enterprise works perfectly - for this film and time-line... Disbelief suspended... The sets are amazing and even the bridge (way too advanced to what was known but coherent to a future imagined from TODAY could be retro-thought) is acceptable. The only thing that I thought didn't work was the engineering and all that pipes and that "factory feeling"... Too weird.

All in all the movie is one of the best Treks ever. But it is a sad movie... The universe is different. Spock looses his mother. Vulcan is gone and the Vulcans are now a race in extinction... As a movie this is a joy to the eyes and mind. It is the future of the franchise. All can happen now.
Tomorrow I'll go o see the movie again... I hope I'll not cry again, because I'll already know what it is going to be... BUT... who knows. Star Trek is part of my life. As I said in the beginning, the movie to me was an emotional experience... A sad one in many ways.

One is to recognize that I'm growing older. This is not "my father's Star Trek"...This is not even "MY" Star Trek... It is strange to realize that Star Trek must grow and must evolve to continue... Perhaps as we did grow old too, and one day we took control of our own life, Star Trek now "grows" to have it's "new life"...!

As well as one day we were told to "get a life" and we got it, and we evolved and we became adults. Now I see my daughter turning from a child to a young teenager, I get myself thinking of the process that makes us all part of the life cycle. As we grew and evolved to turn into adults, so Star Trek may grow, change and expand to go on "living".

The (new) future is yet to be written... A SECOND movie can settle a new path for all that is brought in this movie... We have really a new beginning. But the old Spock is there yet. All I can imagine now is WHAT can be done with this "alternative" future that is going to be written. And I can't help but to think of a second movie that may somehow include Shatner in it... If James Kirk was a great man in "another life", maybe in THIS ONE he can be alive and well - WHY NOT...??

I miss all that Star Trek WAS... But I prize all that this NEW Star Trek brings... As in that famous line "we will always have Paris" I say that we (old-and-classic-Trek-fans) will always have the Classic & Original Trek...! We must learn to control our passions, live with what is important to us and let the world evolve...!

Long life to Star Trek - whatever universe or time-line it is...!!!.



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