“To boldly go …”.  The worlds most famous split infinitive lives on. Better yet, tatted Romulan skinheads bring doomsday to a theater near you.  To the delight of Trekkies everywhere, the latest incarnation of the Star Trek franchise was just released. Clearly, it was designed  for the Yuppy Trekkie crowd of viewers who were assimilated decades ago into the original Star Trek setting.

Rather than introducing a new crew of characters with a new set of quirks and dynamics, this movie sets the stage for the original cast and crew. The time setting of this episode puts it between Star Trek: Enterprise and the original TV series. The movie is well cast with strong character conformance with the original crew.

The stark difference between this production of Star Trek and the original made-for-TV series is the highly engineered style of film making. The cinematography and editing are best described as frenetic and delerious. Decades of television production are recorded via standard sound stage cinematographic sensibilities where the cameras are firmly planted to dollies castering around on a flat surface. Perfect focus and reference frame squareness and stability were as consistent as the print on a dollar bill.

In this production of Star Trek the camera is an extension of the viewers senses rather than just a means of recording scenes. It’s use is meant to amplify and focus the confusion and danger of the scene. Closely framed scenes of objects in wreckless motion, off-focus shots, and obtuse tilt angles bring the action past your retina and into your brainstem. It is quite effective.

And yes, Kirk suffers from chronic lackanookyitis. He does get a bit of technicolor action, but it is only slightly more racey than the classic shot of him pulling on his boots after a romantic encounter. If you see the movie with your mother, sunday school teacher, or kids it is unlikely that anyone will be too embarrassed.

I attended with a quantum physicist friend and we agreed that some of the physics was deeply flawed. Scotty’s cabbage creature friend was odd and the ending was less than satisfying. Nonetheless, I would rate this movie a strong thumbs up and most preferably viewed in a decent theater with a big screen.

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