Star Trek

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By Mark Ramsey | 2009/05/03

This is like watching Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies in Federation uniforms.

Back to the Academy we go. After years of watching our Star Trek heroes bloat into supernovas, now we finally have a chance to see them young enough to battle Heidi and Spencer from The Hills for control of the entertainment universe.

At what point did Winona Ryder warp drive from youthful love interest to Leonard Nimoy’s mom – from Girl Interrupted to Klepto of Vulcan?

“I tried to boldly go where no Nieman Marcus security tag had gone before,” she explained.

They actually aged Winona for this role. What, there aren’t enough older actresses available in Hollywood? Yes, that sound you hear is not a photon torpedo blast, it’s the sound of age-appropriate actors Meg Ryan and Sean Young banging their craniums against a bulkhead wall.

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Trek auteur J.J. Abrams explained his choice this way: “Many actors wanted to be Spock’s mom, but only one has actually gotten high on dilithium crystals.”

Just an observation as I peer around the theater: The average Star Trek fan is fatter than a Mugatu. And I mean the kind of Mugatu that just ate a family of Mugatus.

Hey, fella, is that your mouth or the Doomsday Machine?

Earth to Rigel IV: Commander Decker would like one of his chins back!

Don’t choke on the Klingon High Council! Here, wash it down with some Tranya!

Warning: Potato chips have a lock on us! Shields down! Avoid evasive maneuvers!

“Space in my refrigerator, the final frontier. These are the voyages of my ravenous appetite. Its ongoing mission: to explore strange new delicacies, to seek out barbecued life and assorted finger-foods from new civilizations; to boldly go where no decent sense of self-restraint has gone before.”

So said one super-sized Trekkie, shortly before visiting the men’s room to deposit the longest Captain’s Log in Federation history.

Back to the movie:

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Here we meet our Trek favorites in fresh-faced form. Before Jim Kirk grew to become Hammy McShatner. Before a fist-fight was never complete unless it climaxed in a trickle of blood at the corner of Kirk’s mouth. And before Spock’s terrible accident where his head was caught in a mechanical rice-picker (or so the story goes).

Our heroes must defeat a Romulan foe whose ship is conveniently festooned with precarious platforms surrounded by fatal drops. Romulan ship-builders need to learn the meaning of the term “deck.”

There’s red matter and supernovas and black holes and Winona Ryder possibly under the influence. What more could you want?

This movie is rich with inside references tastier than Quadrotriticale to a Tribble. It was fashioned with obvious affection for the source material, but is as up-to-the minute as Leonard Nimoy’s new teeth.

Star Trek is absolutely stupendous from the very first frame to the closing musical note. I mean it.

For any child of the franchise, like yours truly – even those of us who have been less than delighted with Trek’s recent TV outings – this is two hours of pure, unadulterated joy.

You’ll boldly go, again and again.

Saurian brandy all around for the new Star Trek!

May it live long and prosper.

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