Star Trek the Movie 2009


As you may recall reading in an earlier post, Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont, CA (Diocese of Oakland) has a 135-seat theater (see Holy Spirit Parish Fremont, CA). Deacon Bill Drobik attended a press screening for Star Trek a few days ago and sent me his review. He has graciously given me permission to post it.:

Jimmy Olson (aka Deacon Bill Drobik), your Cub Reporter, had these thoughts from the screening:

I’m old enough to remember the TV series Star Trek and confess that I have some original episodes of Star Trek on my Apple TV drive at home.  That makes me old enough to have grandchildren, and pre-qualified to draw an analogy to what I saw at the spectacular IMAX preview at the Metreon in San Francisco last night.  What a thrill!

In a few words, the film exceeds expectations. It may well be said by real journalists that the storyline, casting and acting are the real strength in Star Trek, and not the digital extravaganza we were expecting. No matter what your locus as far as Sci-Fi, Star Trek, Star Wars or Star Tours at the Happiest Place on Earth, there is much to like about this film. 

It begins with birthing, a most worthy launch point.  In the middle of a deadly battle, we see the courage and emotion of a franchise being given life.  It’s just enough to give us a sniff of Kirk before we get grounded in the strength of Spock’s character arc.  Zachary Quinto is outstanding as Spock, being cast in a bold new way.  Entertainment Weekly’s Summer Movie Preview told of how J.J. Abrams had two big fears in making this movie, finding the courage to tell Leonard Nimoy how to play the character (who appears through the magic of time travel) and how to reach today’s “slick and irony-wired audiences.”  I don’t know how many takes the director needed to get Quinto so glib, but he’s outstanding in delivering his lines with such precision while wrestling with his human emotions.

The second concern of Abrams, about the audience was more than met by the digital wizardry being more ready to play.  During a space battles I felt the force of the bass sounds slapping my adam’s apple more than a few times.  Stunning visuals, believable technology.  Consider the fact that the tricorder was the forerunner of today’s “clam shell” cell phone.  As a Star Trek fan, I probably didn’t need a clever dialogue to make me happy.  But as the people around me constantly chuckled during the movie, I sensed that they were, in fact, an “irony-wired” audience.  I felt every bit of the grandfather as I watched how many young adults took in the preview.  But I was so elated to see the “faith” in this franchise being passed on to this upcoming age of fathers and mothers of children for whom this could be their new Star Wars, a movie grandchild with the legs to go the distance, not just a wind sprint.

The secret to this film, in Jimmy Olson’s opinion, and what carries the day for those seeking a witty dialogue, is in the casting and acting.  I suspect an award by the Academy could find its way here for casting.  And not just because of strong resemblance to the ethnicity or demeanor of the characters.  The storyline and punch of the supporting actors is such a treat!  I don’t remember seeing such a courageous birth to Chekov or Sulu, for example, but I have to believe those actors gave thanks to God when they got their script.  Whatever Harrison Ford felt when he got the chance to be Han Solo might be a way to describe what this movie gives birth to.  In Entertainment Weekly, Abrams is quoted as saying “People are going to love these characters again.”  He is spot-on.  Is he old enough to be a grandfather?

Deacon Bill Drobick, aka your Cub Reporter “The Word for the Week”