Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Star Trek Pictures - Let the Nit-Picking Begin!

Well, after waiting for what seems like an eternity, Paramount finally released some pictures from the new Star Trek movie. For me, it is always exciting to see those first pictures from a new Trek. Very little really compares to the experience of casting my eyes on pictures like this for the first time. So, before all the bitching about small details begins I thought I'd share my initial thoughts on them. I know that some of you will never be satisfied with anything but I am not like that. My love of Star Trek is like a baseball fan's love of his favorite team. No matter what the team does, he is still a fan. Sometimes they win the World Series, other times they can't even make the playoffs. He might dog them out when they don't perform, but he still loves them. That's how I am with Star Trek. It's my team and I stick with it through the ups, downs, and in-betweens. I am excited about the new movie. So, let's get to the pictures!

In this picture we get our first glimpse of the new bridge. At this point I don't really know what to think of it. It seems to be a fairly significant departure from the basic Matt Jeffries design that every bridge set has always stuck to. There are a couple of things I really like about what I see. The first is the light and color. This is definitely a return to a more colorful Star Trek. After having both dark uniforms and dark ship interiors on Enterprise, this is a welcome return. I am also glad to see the franchise move away from the "submarine warfare" aesthetic that has dominated the movies since The Wrath of Khan. What started as something new became a tired crutch.

Well, what about the characters we see in the shot? I love the posture of both Karl Urban and Chris Pine. I can look at them and immediately tell who they are. Zachary Quinto, as always, looks fantastic. And John Cho looks much more like Sulu than I imagined her ever could. Also, how awesome is it to see a return to women wearing miniskirts and go-go boots in Starfleet? No more of that "gender neutral" bullshit we saw in The Next Generation.

Johnson's Grade: B+

What is most striking to me about this picture is how age appropriate the characters look together. It is very obvious that Chekov is younger than everyone else and McCoy is older. Zoe Saldana is strikingly beautiful as Uhura and Chris Pine has a great presence as Kirk. There is no doubt just from observing their body language who is in charge. I'm still not too sure about Simon Pegg. I know I am not a part of the nerd herd that thinks everything that guy shits is gold. But I will reserve judgement until I see his performance. I am hoping he will win me over.

Johnson's Grade: A

Here we have our first good shot of Eric Bana as our Romulan villain Nero. I am a huge fan of the Romulans and feel, like many fans, that they are criminally underused. I really like that he is a classic Romulan without the forehead appliance that Michael Westmore added to the race in The Next Generation. The green lighting in the shot is in keeping with the general color the modern era assigned to the race. What I am not crazy about is just how much he looks like Shinzon. I think it's a big mistake to design a character that looks so much like the villain from the previous unsuccessful movie. But, this movie is being marketed heavily to the general public. I doubt many of them have ever even heard of Shinzon so it probably won't hurt anything. But, I would have preferred a completely traditional look. But again, I am hoping that Eric Bana will win me over with his performance.

Johnson's Grade: B-

There are more pictures but those three are the best and most revealing. I am legitimately excited to see the movie and to have my favorite fictional universe live again. I can boil any discussion I will have down to this brief bit of dialogue . . .

Johnson - "I think the new Trek movie is going to be great!"

Tony/Rob - "Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon."

Johnson - "Come come! Young minds, fresh ideas."

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Oh wow! I haven't seen these pictures yet, so this is cool.

It's going to take a little getting used to see TOS set so different. I'm used to paper plates and wires - so that new set is fantastic. Maybe a little too much?

Spandex was never anyone's friend, so I'm glad to see that the uniforms have a little bit of movement to them.

Now, where are some red shirts?