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First Reaction to Star Trek from the World Premiere!

by
April 7, 2009

Star Trek

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek premiered earlier today at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and a few of our readers were in attendance. In fact, one of them, who goes by the name Rivee Dylan Tao, was so excited to let me know what he thought, that he gave me a call at 7AM this morning (which was about midnight his time). I asked if he could do a quick write up for me on his reaction to the premiere and the movie, and he said he would be happy to, primarily because it was such an awesome experience. So in addition to the early reviews coming in from Austin, we have our very own first reaction straight from Sydney, Australia!

For a nobody like myself, walking the red carpet at the Sydney Opera House for the world premiere of Star Trek ranks up there as one of the coolest things I've ever done. Around 1,000 people packed the main hall - hot chicks, hipsters, every Aussie celeb in Sydney and the odd Trekkie (the ones who could afford the $100 price tag) - to hear J.J. Abrams and the entire cast, except for Zoe Saldana, introduce the film. The crowd went wild and everything got underway half an hour after the scheduled start time. It was worth the wait.

J.J. nailed it. This 11th film is easily the best looking, most expensive, best produced iteration in the franchise. This film is going to be absolutely massive. It's epic in scale, and it's easy to see where the $150 million went. It's one thing to say you're going to make a Star Trek movie that is true to the ethos of the original but accessible to a new audience (the tenet of every reboot, re-imagining, remake and revival in recent years), but to actually deliver on that promise is all together another thing and J.J. has done exactly that. It should probably be said that I'm not the biggest Trekkie on the planet, but the few die-hards that I spoke to at the premiere were suitably impressed as well.

It's pretty difficult to fault this film. The casting is inspired (Zachary Quinto was born to play Spock) the production design is a nod to the original series and looks slick, the dialogue was appropriately camp and fun, and it all kicks off with a massive bang and doesn't let up for the remaining two hours. Chris Pine's Kirk is a departure from Shatner's original, but with all the bravado and "pants man" elements that made the original character so great. His relationship with Spock is also handled nicely.

And the supporting cast is all good, too. Simon Pegg's Scotty and Carl Urban's Bones provide some really nice comic interludes and Uhura, played by Zoe Saldana, was smoking hot in a not-quite-there mini uniform that was very distracting. Eric Bana's Nero was probably the weakest link in a very strong chain, but was pretty bad ass without being brilliant and his makeup, while understated, was awesome. While staying true to the original, there are more than a few "Abramisms." His effortlessly cool style is stamped all over this film without it ever becoming "Gossip Girl in Space."

ILM also absolutely nailed the effects. Apart from a couple of minor exceptions, the CG is seamless and the space battles and exploding planets are awesome to see on the big screen. Michael Giacchino's score was also amazing and sounded great through the custom Dolby sound system installed for the night and the film leapt off the oversized screen brilliantly. It seems like Paramount is sitting on a true winner. The audience gave the film a spontaneous five-minute standing ovation, while J.J., sitting about 10 rows in front of me, acknowledged the applause and appeared to even tear up a bit.

As the crowd filtered out, the buzz was palpable, and it will no doubt carry through until next month. After a night like this, it will truly be hard to see another movie taking the mantle from Star Trek this summer.

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  • Skeeter Freetyyyle
    Good to hear, thanks for the reaction.
  • scar
    Namaste!!!
  • Just what I wanted to hear.
  • Yes!!! I've hoped for a long time that this would rock. Thanks for the news.
  • Mikey
    So it's a triple threat blockbuster match with Star Trek vs Terminator vs Transformers this summer?!
  • Richard
    DUDE I WANT THIS NOW!
  • zubzwank
    Well, even though I've said the following on these boards before: "More Star Trek is just more Star Trek, regardless of who is in front of or behind the camera." I'll probably go see this movie, especially since the original crew was always my first and favorite.
  • Al
    actually sounds great.
  • t
    That is great and thanks for taking the time to do the review. The distributors obviously have a lot of confidence in this film, which is a great sign. I love J.J Abrams work, he has that rare touch you see in very few people. Why the Gossip Girl reference? As far as I know Josh Schwartz is the man behind that show. Am I missing something?
  • Scott McHenry
    AHH I WISH I WAS THERE!!!!
  • Tom
    This reaction does nothing for me, same kind of nerdgasm internet was full off when Watchmen came out, as it turned out it was nothing more than a nerd flick and a poor movie. Of course, JJ has more talent than Zack, but l just don't trust such review porn, even less so if it's coming from a fan.
  • Icarus
    this movie is going to suck... This movie is going to suck... This movie is going to suck... (I have to keep telling myself so that my expectations aren't unachieveable) this movie is going to suck... This movie is going to suck...
  • Spider
    Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm there opening night!! :)
  • Nick S.
    awesome news-can't wait! why do the aussies get all the fun? p.s. star trek is going to strait up sh*t on transformers.
  • bluheat
    Well I was one of the lucky ones that attended the premiere in Sydney and i will quickly point out some thoughts i had of the movie. What was good: * Visually this movie is stunning IL&M did a fantastic job with creating the CGI setpieces * The cast itself makes a faithful tribute to the original series crew often relying on familiar mannerisms & quotes. * The pace of the movie itself, more thrills, more energy, just simply fun. * A surprising amount of humor which is something new for Star Trek * Much better that a lot of the previous films in the franchise What was bad: * A lack of character depth for the rest of the crew (Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, Scotty) but they did a commendable job with what screen time they had. * Nero (Eric Bana) was the weakest link of again because of lack of character development. You wouldnt really understand the motives of Nero actions unless you had familiarized yourself with the Star Trek: Countdown prequel comic. * Plot: Orci and Kurtzman's story echoes similar comparisons to transformers that it the whole point of the film seems to get lost halfway through its runtime. The major plot device seems far-fetched than typical Star trek stories will make you believe in and requires a large leap of faith for some. I fear because of its weak story this movie might receive a bashing from a lot of critics. * For some Trekkies or casual fans a lot of the canon was changed in order to make this more movie more accessible. Some will find this movie something neither Trek or Star Wars but something entirely different Summary: Its not perfect but JJ Abrams has breathed new life into the dying franchise and hopefully (with some better writing) will keep this new trilogy smart,charming and thrilling and more importantly accessible to people who previously thought Star Trek was not for them.
  • ocp
  • Very good write up Rivee Dylan Tao, kudos to you.
  • Dylan
    AAAAHHH! I can't wait any longer.
  • nem
    That's Sylar in the future.
  • Alex C
    I was also lucky enough to be there last night and I am not a fan of the orginal Star Trek Movies or the Show but I am a fan of Lost. I think JJ really brought this franchise into the now and opened it up to a new audience. There was just everyhting you wanted from a blockbuster flick, I laughed and was on the edge of my seat the wjole way through and I am very excited to see the next one when that comes out int the near future. It got a standing ovation at the Opera House and it was well deserved of that. Congrats Paramount and JJ and the amazing cast.
  • Kail
    This is gonna be a sucky summer for movies that means, oh well, always next year
  • Merc
    @ #14: We rarely get the fun at all, I think it's about time we did for once.
  • Hey Ya
    Still not convinced about One Tree Hill Star Trek but I'm encouraged to go to the midnight showing to see the Trekkies and I want to see it. I know it'll suck in comparison though but if I go with an opened mind unlike Batman Begins and see it as a reboot and not a prequel, should fine. I still think the bad guy at the end should say that classic line from Scooby how, "I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids," as that's what the actors are in this. They are not the original cast and crew, just happen to have their names.
  • crabby
    I hope that this movie either fails horribly or makes it's way to torrents weeks before official release. I am convinced that this movie will just as good as Star Trek V or VI
  • Fisherr
    The movie worth it.It's a must see for me when release.
  • flamer
    good writer; he should go work for you guys
  • TRANSFORMERS 2 WILL MAKE MORE MONEY
    Out of the big 4 this summer....Wolverine, Star Trek, Transformers 2 and Terminator Salvation...this is the least movie I want to see...but it sounds like it is good...but probably will come in 3rd place in terms of box office....Transformers 2 and then Terminator 4 will make more money...NUFF SAID....AND SUCK IT #14....TRANSFORMERS WILL STRAIGHT UP SHIT ON THIS MOVIE....ITS GOT THE LAST WEEK OF JUNE AND JULY 4TH WEEKEND BASICALLY TO ITSELF AS THE NEW MOVIE ON THE BLOCK...ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD BET AGAINST OPTIMUS PRIME...SUCK IT TREKKIE FUCK BAGS !!!
  • JimD
    Oh man I am so pumped to see this now.
  • Dude
    @27 And to think, everyday they are closing down public schools that have come up with minds as brilliant and thought-provoking as that one. Really, if you think that Transformers is going to make more money, thats cool. But really? REALLY? You had to act like that much of a chode to let everyone know your opinion? Nice.
  • joe
    this will be probabely jj abrams break through movie in hollywood if this goes big hit and already heard plans for the sequel coming out in 2011 let" wait and see if this movie deliever"s or not i am excited by the positive review"s thanks .By the way Alex Billington i saw you on collider hope you would do some video blog one day
  • ?????
    I'm not a Trekkie in the least bit, just a scifi fan, but I might be sold on this one now. I have a feeling this might be one of this summers breakout hits.
  • I love action movies. "The Matrix" held my #1 film spot for many many years, and was only supplanted recently by "The Dark Knight," both of these primarily action films. I like Star Trek well enough. This review failed to excite me even slightly. What kind of person gushes so profusely over shallow mainstream action-movie characteristics like "best looking, most expensive, best produced" and "epic in scale ... easy to see where the $150 million went." What happened to using science fiction as a platform for existential inquiry? Why is it just another excuse to blow shit up? This review is non-interesting.
  • dearguyaboveme
    That's what books are for
  • F.C.
    If there are lots of "Abramisms" in the movie, I bet it starts in medias res! Like they show Pine's character at the beginning all beaten up, then they go back and show everything that leads to it. and there'll be lots of action! i'm not huge fan of Star Trek, but I'll watch this
  • midnightlight
    I'm a huge lost fan so this is a must see, even more so then wolverine and terminator. But all four of the movies will most likely get my money as well as most of the readers on this site. So why make it a who has the bigger cock contenst while we all could just be psyched for a great summer of popcorn films
  • True Start Trek Fan
    Well I went to this opening as well. The glamour was awesome however if you are new to Star Trek then you will love it if you are an old Trekie Fan you will hate it. After I left the show I felt the same way I did after I left when the New Star Wars came out with the Awe of visual effects but the Story was lacking. The next generation (LOL) will state this is the greatest ever but all you old fellow trekies out thier I must say that Star Trek is dead for us as we know it. For shame.
  • Bizzaro
    I would have loved to have gone and seen this film In Sydney, I tried getting a ticket but couldn't. I live north of Sydney it would have only been a 2 hour filght. I have friends living in Sydney and they couldn't get tickets either. So you guys in America are not the only ones wishing you where there. But come this time next month we will all be watching this truly amazing film. Bring on the best summer of films since 2003's kickass summer of movies.
  • Mark
    To: Transformers 2 will make more money- You said: "ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD BET AGAINST OPTIMUS PRIMEā€¦SUCK IT TREKKIE FUCK BAGS !!!" What an intelligent, well thought out statement. What are you, like, Twelve? Get off your mommies computer, trying to act all hard behind the anonimity of the internet. It's a MOVIE, genious, it's not real, there are no real spaceships, phasers, vulcans, or stupid impossible giant robots that turn into cars. (geez.. the idiot that came up with that faggy idea....[rolls eyes].) I think jjtrek will suck, that butt-ugly thing they aredisgracing the name ENTERPRISE with looks like it was designed by a third grade child, but it is still more realistic, and believable than a buch of giant robots that change into airplanes...how lame. Tell ya what. How about I send you my address and you come and call me a "fuck bag" to my face? You're a real tuff guy (better go tell your boyfriend someone is picking on you). Coward. I have checked the notification button if you want to have my address, boobjob.
  • For french readers go see this post from a friend : http://www.jpmars.com/2009/04/et-abrams-ressuscita-star-trek.html We saw the movie in Paris last week, I was personnaly very disappointed with it, it. Another teenage movie, with the same recipe as in a transformer ( thanks to Roberto Orci ) and so many other movies. A college humour that will probably pleased the youngest but not me (I'm 36..) Sorry for those who like it or wait for it, just go see it in theatre to make your own opinion.
  • blessed
    Donny Viszneki said on Apr 8, 2009 "I love action movies. "The Matrix" held my #1 film spot for many many years, and was only supplanted recently by "The Dark Knight," both of these primarily action films." RESPONSE: I guess I see it differently. Action movies are set in our present reality and usually involve cops or spies fighting bad guys using gun play, explosions, hand to hand combat/martial arts etc. while Science Fiction movies involve futuristic themes (aliens, advance technology, alternate universes, time travel etc.) so The Matrix is actually a true blend of Sci Fi and kick-ass action (kung fu, gun play, blowing stuff up). IMHO, Dark Knight falls in the straight up action or comic action movie category (a hero with an origin story, costume etc.) so should NEVER have surplanted The Matrix from it's #1 spot. Below are some examples of how I group these categories and the #1 spot holders --proving that I obviously have too much time on my hands(lol): Sci Fi/Action Action Comic Action movies The Matrix (#1) Die Hard (#1) Batman/Dark Knight(#1) Blade Runner Speed Superman (Christopher Reeves ) Terminator I/II Bourne Ultimatum Iron Man Alien/Aliens 007 Movies X-Men Star Wars Enter the Dragon Jurasic Park Jaws LOTR Indiana Jones Wrath of Khan Donny Viszneki said on Apr 8, 2009 I like Star Trek well enough. RESPONSE: 'Well enough'? Wow... I had heard there were people like you who weren't rabid fans. As you can guess, I absolutely LOVE everything Star Trek! The original TV series was the reason I got into science as a profession and it has influenced how I view all sci-fi films from Star Wars all the way through. I think I will skip this movie based on what I've seen of the trailers because it looks too re-vamped for my taste. I'm not sure if it was a good idea to have JJ Abrams do this movie if he was not a fan. Only time will tell. I totally agree with your take on the review though.
  • Mark Lechman
    This movie was garbage. They need to let the franchise die already. This was probably the worst Trek movie I've ever seen. No spoilers here, the flick just sucks as a Trek movie. If people aren't happy with the way a story has told, why re-write it to suit "modern needs" - why not just come up with something new. Oh right, because we're capitalists and integrity and ingenuity comes in at a distant second to the dollar. If you're a Trek fan, stay home and watch Wrath of Kahn instead.
  • This movie was funnny but awful. With 150 mil and and a ninety mile high platform Abrams demonstrated that he was not a fan ,but had a franchise destruct agenda Spoiler alert! He goes back in time and destroys Vulcan 6 billion people permanently after killing romulus. I think Abrams is evil.

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