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Star Trek leaves reviewer both unfazed and transported

Our reviewer can't fathom the considerable expense and hype poured into such a chintzy relic, but then, she never paid much mind to the original series.

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Humble, ordinary Jane Q. Movienerd has reservations about J.J Abrams' Star Trek.

She can't fathom the considerable expense poured into such a chintzy relic, and she never paid much mind to the original series, for which this movie is a prequel. However, she regularly goes to summer blockbusters in the hopes that the film will transport her away from the nauseating hoopla surrounding it. Iron Man, The Dark Knight and Watchmen managed to do this, so why not Trek?

The doubts about Trek linger in her mind and eventually articulate themselves into larger annoyances that Jane has about movies in general---that reboots and re-dos are now a constant in her life and that attempting to revamp a flagging franchise is considered a genuine artistic risk for a director on par with pursuing original material. She is galled by the irony that Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight's director, made this so. She believes that unoriginal material is crowding out everything else in the limited space of her local movie market. "No one values originality anymore!" she fumes.

But maybe, Jane thinks, she is being hyperbolic and narrow-minded. Shakespeare and Chekhov are dusted off year after year by the gifted and the talentless alike and no one questions it. Those stories provide templates and inspiration for brilliant directors and writers. A fan of lush, literary pieces, Jane doesn't believe in "definitive" adaptations because she thinks that each attempt is a time capsule of the valued aesthetic and influences on filmmaking at a particular moment. Is Jane being hypocritical when she champions the perpetual slew of Jane Austen-inspired movies, while pooh-poohing the Lazarus-like raising of long-dead sci-fi series?

So Jane decides to look for an escape, transcendence and a worthy companion for two hours of her life. During Star Trek, as many things drag her out of her reverie as pull her back in. She admires that the script is totally character-driven but realizes that this is at the expense of the plot, a forgettable jumble of time warps, black holes and renegade Romulans.

Spock, played by Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, is the stand-out. That Vulcans are equally impassive and strictly logical creates an interesting quandary for Quinto's half-human, younger Spock. His emotional, human side has not reconciled itself with his stoic, Vulcan side. The elder Spock has come to terms with the duelling pressures of his psyche and Nimoy plays him with a dignity and regality.

Star Trek was enjoyable enough for Jane, but the younger and sexier versions of Kirk and Spock are evidence that, for Hollywood, anything is now up for a remake. Jane was always a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan and can't think of anyone other than Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard. "Some nerd probably thought the exact same thing about Kirk," Jane realizes. "These decisions are made independent of what I want." Jane only goes to movies, what she sees isn't up to her.

Related Film

Star Trek

Official Site: www.startrekmovie.com

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Eric Jendresen, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams and Gene Roddenberry

Producer: J.J. Abrams, Stratton Leopold and Damon Lindelof

Cast: John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Winona Ryder, Zoƫ Saldana, Karl Urban and Anton Yelchin

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