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Star Trek

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What's more implausible, time travel or a summer blockbuster that doesn't disappoint? Star Trek kicked ass -- on both accounts. Okay, some of the rocking in the theater might have been from the 4.7 earthquake but the effects were good too.

J.J. Abrams, who understands that the key to a good action flick is the story and not how many explosions you can set off in two hours, does a nifty job in re-energizing the musty Star Trek franchise. Seeing the Enterprise crew when they were young and brash and could fit into their velour uniforms was inspired. Star Trek meets the Muppet Babies.

Newcomer Chris Pine was terrific as the young Captain Kirk. I'm sure in forty years he'll make an excellent Denny Crane too. Zachary Quinto did young Mr. Spock proud. There must be some Vulcan in his family somewhere because he brought a real believability to the role. Winona Ryder played his mother, always shrouded in a hood and robe -- all the better to lift props when no one was looking.

The young Bones, Chekhov, Sulu, and Uhura were all there and "admirable" but Simon Pegg as Scotty almost stole the movie. Quick aside: We did an episode of Almost Perfect where there was a Star Trek convention and we wanted members of the original cast to guest. We inquired about Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura and she passed saying she didn't "do episodic". What?? We got Walter Koenig and he was great. Again, we thank him for slumming it and doing network television.

Leonard Nimoy appeared as the elder Mr. Spock. Vulcan dental work is apparently no better than earth's. But I loved seeing this beloved Star Trek original. I wonder if they asked about Nichelle Nichols and she said she didn't "do prequels".

Query (as Spock might say): Do all space villains other than Darth Vader have to look like Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon? Eric Bana's evil Captain Nemo was Ming but after a drunken night in San Diego that resulted in elaborate face tattoos. But he was a worthy adversary and it's the first time I've ever heard a super villain say, "Hi!"

Kudos to Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman for their thrills & spills screenplay. And thanks for not making Star Trek "dark" like every other super hero/action/adventure franchise. Yeah, Kirk's dad died but it's much more fun to see him raise hell than become goth boy.

The pace was great, the action sequences boffo, and all your favorite Star Trek gadgets were there -- phasers, beaming people aboard, heat shields, Vulcan mind melds, even phones.

And if you're into having sex with green women, this movie is for YOU!!

Star Trek -- I give it 5 stars, 2 galaxies, and 1 1/2 novas (I had to take 1/2 off because Captain Nemo's enormous spacecraft was black. How many fender benders with other spacecraft is that gonna cause because you just can't see it in the dark?)

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