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The Gastonian gives us a geek's eye view of the Sydney World Premiere of STAR TREK!

Hey folks, Harry here - The Gastonian here contacted me days ago to let me know his intentions of flying to Sydney with his "golden ticket" and asking if I'd like a review. Well since there was no way on Earth I'd be seeing the movie before him, I said - "Absolutely" and look - he wrote about the Official Premiere experience and his thoughts on the film... a world away from Austin where we saw it! Here ya go...

Hey Harry, I just got back from the world premiere of Star Trek in Sydney, Australia. I'm exhausted. And I still have a 14 hour flight to catch in about 6 hours. Now even though you are aware of the circumstances of my coming to be here, allow me to reiterate for your readers. When I first read that Paramount Pictures Australia was allocating 200 tickets out of 1600 to be sold to the general public, I was understandably excited. I didn't actually think I would actually get a ticket but I thought I'd give it a try anyway. Low and behold, when I went through the checkout steps on the Sydney opera house website, I had secured a ticket. Stalls section, seat F-22, right in the front. From that point on I found myself having to plan a three day trip to Sydney from Seattle just to attend this event. Crazy, right? Geekerrific? That's what all my friends told me. And I'd have to agree but oh well, whats done is done. I won't apologize for being a lifelong Star Trek nerd. Fast forward to 7pm AEST last night. After arriving to walk the red carpet and mingling with some seriously rich folks that I had absolutely nothing in common with over cocktails we are all ushered into the venue awaiting an introduction from our hosts. After about a half an hour of waiting for everyone to take their seats and some very overly enthusiastic chatter from a very large Australian woman sitting next to me whose stalkeresque love for JJ Abrams was funny if not disturbing...the lights finally dimmed and the President of Paramount Pictures Australia came out to introduce JJ Abrams. Now I've gotta say, seeing JJ along with Chris Pine, John Cho, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and Eric Bana take the stage to introduce the film was almost as big a pleasure as watching the film itself. Abrams prefaced his speech by saying he was drunk, whats funny is that I think he actually was. All in all these are funny down to earth guys who are clearly proud of their work and genuinely honored to be part of a franchise that has existed for over forty years. These guys are on the level, I wish I had had the opportunity to have drinks with them after the film. As for the film itself (I won't bore you with a recap of the plot, I'm sure everyone knows it by now)...did I love it, yes. But probably not for the reasons you might think. See I went into this expecting surprises and explanations. I read Star Trek Countdown, the graphic novel prequel to the film so I had a fairly logical understanding of what was to come next. However, I was never terribly interested in how Kirk, Spock and McCoy all came to become BFF's. I had a vague understanding of their back story in the previously established timeline and that was good enough for me. But still, I didn't much care how they ended up coming together in this new altered timeline. I was more interested in who altered the time timeline and what their motivations were. I was also stoked to see what the extent of Spock Prime's involvement was in the plot. In this respect I was fairly underwhelmed. Spock Prime and Nero don't get a great deal of screen time. Spock Prime's placement in the film is a little convenient and his relationship with Nero isn't fully explored in depth. I suppose that's what the graphic novel was for. And the same goes for Nero's motivations. They're explained but not explored in depth. But that wasn't what the film was about. It was about the relationships between Spock, McCoy, Kirk, Uhura, etc... Its about who they were, who they are, and what they mean to each other. So I guess I went into the film having already missed the point. Because I ended up caring about what I didn't really care to see in the first place. I was genuinely involved from beginning to end. The dynamic between Kirk, Spock, McCoy and company was captured in spades. And that is what JJ Abrams does so well. He creates extremely complex and interesting characters set against an often fantastical backdrop. What's even more impressive is that he didn't create these characters. He took characters that had already been well established within Trek cannon and gave them a fresh perspective. As for the acting - Kudos all around. But the standout for me was Zachary Quinto. This came as a surprise since I truly loathe his character Sylar on Heroes. I always thought he looked the part but I wasn't sure he could pull off walking the fine line between logic and emotion that Nimoy did so well. But he did, and I salute him. Other random observations: Anton Yelchin's Chekov was hilarious. Eric Bana's Nero seemed genuinely pissed during the entire film (which I found particularly refreshing given that the last Star Trek villain was a pouty little bitch) Winona Ryder's Amanda Grayson was surprisingly moving given that she had such a small role. Simon Pegg, also hilarious. The Narada...badass and the inside looks like a serious hazard to be walking around on. Planet destruction...I'd like to see more of this. And the opening scene with the attack on the USS Kelvin was breathtaking. So there you have it. I don't know what else to say. If you are going to this movie expecting to see a lot of plot surprises, you may be somewhat disappointed. If you are going to re-establish your relationship with the characters you grew up on or meet them for the first time then you will be pleasantly surprised. In my opinion this installment ranks just under Wrath of Khan. It's not Superman Returns. It isn't a pseudo sequel...its a sequel but its also an excellent new beginning. And if they treat future installments with as much care as they did this one, then I think it's fair to speculate that the Trek universe is just getting started. If you use this call me The Gastonian. Everyone does...well one other guy I know does.
Readers Talkback
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  • April 7, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Harry helps get Friedman sacked!

    by palimpsest

    http://tinyurl.com/ctv5za

  • April 7, 2009, 6:28 p.m. CST

    son of a bitch, so close

    by dr sauch

  • April 7, 2009, 6:29 p.m. CST

    DAMN YOU PALIMPSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEST!

    by dr sauch

  • April 7, 2009, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Winone Ryder's in this?

    by palimpsest

    I didn't know. And thanks for the review. Never been to a premiere (secret or official) so am in no way boiling in a pot of my own jealousy. One other thing that's iteresting about this is the sheer gulf between Fox's handing of its WOLVERINE debacle and the way Paramount are rolling out STAR TREK...

  • April 7, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Calm down, Doc

    by palimpsest

    There's more to life than being first.

  • April 7, 2009, 6:34 p.m. CST

    one day

    by frank cotton

    i will be first

  • April 7, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Ticket to Austin is cheaper

    by Heckles

    Of course no one knew of the Austin screening. Plus, the movie is out in 4 weeks. A month of telling people (outside of Austin) how cool the movie is... priceless.

  • April 7, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST

    *SPOILER*

    by Padre_Brian

    I forgot to mention in my review that there is one plot surprise involving some serious jungle fever between two principal characters.

  • April 7, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST

    What, it's NOT Superman Returns...

    by Dr.DirtyD

    Well fuck that then.

  • April 7, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    ATTN Damian (snicker) Lindelof

    by BillboeFett

    Give us the flashback to the Black Rock dude... don't finish up season 6 without it dude.. I'm talking the high seas, swashbuckling, splashing waves, the starboard bow.. all of it dude. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. You and Cuse owe us from the Libby backpeddle you did. Comeon now.

  • April 7, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Jealous

    by diverb

    Color me jealous.

  • April 7, 2009, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but it's still Star Trek.

    by OutlawsDelejos

    I don't know if I'll pay to see it, regardless how much I like those involved.

  • April 7, 2009, 7:15 p.m. CST

    "There's more to life than being first."

    by whitty

    "There's more to life than being first."<br /><br /> True. In fact, anyone who actually cares about being first is an idiot.

  • April 7, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    superman returns was great

    by supercowbell4therequestformorecowbell

    except lois!!

  • April 7, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    JUNGLE FEVER ALERT!!!!

    by victor82

    That can only mean one thing! <p> Uhura and Spock are doin' the Pon-Farr Nasty!!!! <p> And here I thought that Paramount was gonna hook her up with Jimmy Kirk in a homage to "Plato's Stepchildren's" first Interracial Kiss between Fat Shat and Nichelle. <p> Bollocks all around if Saldana and Pine don't end up doing the horizontal.

  • April 7, 2009, 7:52 p.m. CST

    victor82

    by GAH

    Nothing's to say Saldana and Pine won't hook up in future films, but the tension between them and the fact that she prefers Spock to Kirk is priceless.

  • April 7, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Geek's eye view? Of Star Trek?

    by MCVamp

    Bit redundant. Still, the hope meter is starting to surpass the hype meter...can't wait.

  • April 7, 2009, 8:59 p.m. CST

    I guess all day was only about Star Trek

    by walrusholder

    not that I'm not excited about the film but did nothing else happen today? I'm sure tommorow we will have even more reviews and probably some screen shots.. time to let it rest till the movie comes out for us in general public or at least till the big time critics can't shed some more light on it

  • April 7, 2009, 9:46 p.m. CST

    I want to see STAR TREK...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    ...more than ever before. Nice job, guys.

  • April 7, 2009, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Empowered and Sassy Uhura hooked up with Spock?

    by conspiracy

    Why? Cuz the ears ain't the only thing long and pointy?</p><p>I ask any reviewer...was there ANY reason other than pure shameless marketing reasons for there to be a romance angle in this? I am curious...as the "unnecessary romance to appeal to female demo" angle seems to be an Orci/Kurtzman calling card.

  • April 7, 2009, 9:58 p.m. CST

    What's up with the auto-initiated audio ads?

    by paviod

    Somewhat annoying and kinda ruins the user experience Harry + Team. The mute button doesn't even work.

  • April 7, 2009, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Uhura and Spock flirted in Season One

    by critch

    Go back and watch Charlie X. It's there.

  • April 7, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    There is a NEW clip over at NukeTheFridge.COM

    by dafne54321

  • April 7, 2009, 10:42 p.m. CST

    and i wil also

    by frank cotton

    be the one

  • April 7, 2009, 11:13 p.m. CST

    To much hype...

    by vettebro

    is going to kill this movie. Almost every review on this site "hints" at serious flaws. Paramount will still get some of my money though. It's friggin' Star Trek baby!

  • April 8, 2009, 12:05 a.m. CST

    I guess STAR TREK will be the one fucking our eyeballs in 2009

    by Mike_D

    yowza

  • April 8, 2009, 2:39 a.m. CST

    the Borg-modified Narada.

    by Greenlee

    I cannot wait anymore to see it on the big screen!

  • April 8, 2009, 3:23 a.m. CST

    Spock and Jim are close friends. They'll

    by Dingbatty

    share. Simultaneously. This writing team loves tacky sex stuff.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:07 a.m. CST

    No post on the Shadow of the Colossus movie being made?

    by Orionsangels

  • April 8, 2009, 5 a.m. CST

    TRANSCRIPT OF JJ'S INTRODUCTION

    by BurnHollywood

    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Paramount Pictures Australia.<p> My name is Kenny Lust and I'm your host for tonight. You know, once in a while it is my pleasure, and my privilege, to welcome here at the studio, some of the truly great international artists of our time.<p> And tonight we have one such artist. Ladies and gentlemen, someone whom I've always personally admired, perhaps more deeply, more strongly, more abjectly than ever before. <p> A man, well more than a man...a god.<p> A great god, whose personality is so totally and utterly wonderful my feeble words of welcome sound wretchedly and pathetically inadequate. <p> Someone whose boots I would gladly lick clean until holes wore through my tongue.<p> A man who is so totally and utterly wonderful, that I would rather be sealed in a pit of my own filth, than dare tread on the same stage with him.<p> Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparably superior human being, JJ Abrams!<p> Video: http://tinyurl.com/JJ-Intro

  • April 8, 2009, 5:15 a.m. CST

    "Planet destruction...I'd like to see more of this."

    by oisin5199

    Anyone else find that sentence kinda funny?

  • April 8, 2009, 6:19 a.m. CST

    COUNTDOWN: To read or not to read...

    by Mr Gorilla

    Does it spoil the film with plot details? Or does it tee everything up nicely? Could someone please advise. Apart from knowing that there is SPOILER ALERT a time travel / alternate thing going on END SPOILER , I am relatively spoiler free.

  • April 8, 2009, 7:04 a.m. CST

    It will be a good summer movie but

    by ominus

    star trek it wont be,not in the eyes of the true trek fans.

  • April 8, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Spock PRIME?

    by Dhaemon

    Optimus Prime will not be pleased...

  • April 8, 2009, 9:05 a.m. CST

    LOL oisin5199

    by DoctorWho?

    I thought it was just me.

  • April 8, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Just wondering...

    by MotherPussBucket

    Does Nick Frost play the warp core?

  • April 8, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Join free millionaire dating club richpassion.com to find hot gi

    by emilygirl

    It is the best site for men to search for beautiful, sophisticated women, you will receive much more attention and get many more emails than other sites. And women will be very safe to meet talented and successful men because of our verification system.

  • April 8, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    emilygirl - FUCK YOUR AD

    by vic twenty

    BTW - This is TALKBACK! Ain't no talented or successul mufuckas up in here!!!!!

  • April 8, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Hahaha emilygirl....

    by MonkeyManReturns

    That was sooooo desperate....the kind of thing someone from the Apprentice would do!! Oh and Superman Returns was the worst comic movie of recent times (just ahead of Daredevil)...it was that bad. How come no-one knows how to make a good Superman movie - hec - I could do it. You know what...I think I will...yeah...mwahahahaha! Ahem...Star Trek...yeah....rocking!

  • April 8, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    lol Vic Twenty

    by MotherPussBucket

    well said