STAR TREK:

When a movie franchise flounders, the current trend is to “reboot” back to show “how it all began.” It worked for Batman and 007, but in the matter of this once strong series, starting over again has resulted in an identity crisis. Derived from NBC’s short-lived ‘60s television show which was something of a forerunner of several space operas, this latest cinematic incarnation from director/producer J.J. Abrams looks more like an imitator of Battlestar Galactica on the small screen as well as the later Star Wars movies. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s screenplay takes unnecessary liberties with some of the original characters like turning Mr. Sulu (John Cho) into a sort of action hero or Lieutenant Uhura (Zoe Saldana) into a sexpot consistently after Mr. Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) “junk.” Speaking of which, the logically impassive Vulcan with the pointed ears spends an inordinate amount of time getting either emotionally conflicted or downright “ticked off” while Chris Pine’s (Smokin’ Aces) charisma-challenged, colorless Captain Kirk makes him the Hayden Christensen (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones) of this reborn (more like stillborn) series. I understand that part of the purpose of resurrecting the work is to create a new generation of fans unfamiliar with the campy but oh-so-serious beneath the surface tone of the original William Shatner-Leonard Nimoy version. But with the exception of Simon Pegg’s (Hot Fuzz) underused Scotty and Karl Urban’s (The Bourne Supremacy) irascible Dr. McCoy, none of the characters in this first work interested me enough to want to see them in a second one. Whether or not you’re a “trekkie” (I’m not), I think you’ll find it best to “boldly go” to another movie.

CURRENT AND NEW DVDs THAT I RECOMMEND: FIREPROOF, FROST/NIXON, MILK, NOTORIOUS, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, THE READER, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, VALKYRIE, THE WRESTLER