Saturday, November 14, 2009

EW DVD Review: "Star Trek"

More than 40 years after it first aired on TV, it's official: every generation from now until the end of time will get its own incarnation of "Star Trek." And with each new one, there will be an outraged group of hardcore Trekkies who cry sacrilege.

If the objections seemed a bit muted this past summer when the new reboot, J.J. Abrams's "Star Trek," hit multiplexes, that’s because Paramount cleverly put one of the biggest nerds in entertainment in charge -- in essence, making the new Star Trek geek outrage-proof. After all, Abrams is the mastermind behind the obsession-friendly TV shows "Lost" and "Alias."

The movie is pretty great. Regardless of whether you’re a Captain Kirk or Captain Picard fan, there’s plenty in this "Enterprise" to love. Abrams gets what fans of the franchise dig about it.

On a new two-disc special edition of the film just out on DVD, Abrams kicks his film off with opening chapters of how Captain Kirk, here played by Chris Pine, got to be the swaggering, cocky member of Starfleet. A young Spock, played by Zachary Quinto of "Heroes" fame, is also seen battling with his half-human, half-Vulcan nature. Through these two great actors, viewers see how one of pop culture’s all-time greatest buddy teams came to be.

The rest of the cast is terrific, including British comedian Simon Pegg as Scotty. And the action is non-stop eye candy. Even a cameo from Leonard Nimoy is done with smarts and doesn’t feel nearly as shameless as it could have.

If there’s a weak link in the whole thing, it’s Eric Bana’s alien villain Nero. Let’s just say Ricardo Montalban’s Khan won’t be losing any sleep. Still, that’s a small quibble as the rest is pure Trekkie perfection.

Here’s hoping Abrams and Star Trek is a marriage that "lives long and prospers" with many, many sequels.

Now for a look at what else is new on DVD: in "Funny People," Adam Sandler plays a dying comedian; in "Gomorrah," an Italian import examines the Naples mafia; and in "Angels And Demons," Tom Hanks stars in a sequel to "The Da Vinci Code."