REVIEW: THE TOYS THAT MADE US – SEASON 2

The Toys That Made Us (2017)First of all, if you haven’t sampled the first season of The Toys That Made Us, go and smash that out quickly now. It’s only four episodes and won’t take long. We’ll wait for you. Back again? Great! By now, you’re probably hooked on the irreverent style of this novel documentary series, what with its effortless humour, fascinating first-hand accounts and even a bit of historical recreation with dodgy 70’s haircuts. What’s the basic gist? In Season 1, TTTMU delved into Star Wars, G.I. Joe, He-Man and Malibu Stacy (sorry, force of habit, Barbie). Season 2 offers very in-depth, behind-the-scenes access to the usually secretive dealmakers and artisans behind the toy lines of LEGO, Star Trek, Transformers and Hello Kitty.Don’t expect to be bogged down in borax and boredom though – this is a documentary anthology for casual outsiders, not the diehard collectors themselves. You’ll receive an easy-to-follow walkthrough of each toy’s cultural significance, the key personnel involved and the financial rollercoaster ride to success (or failure) that followed. The interviewees here are surprisingly candid and often emotional about the opportunities won and lost thirty odd years ago. Take Peter Cullen for example, who is still the voice of Optimus Prime. There’s a touching moment when he recounts some pre-audition advice his decorated Vietnam vet brother gave him on how a “real hero” sounds compared to phoney, aggressive Hollywood heroes. The advice was heeded, Peter landed the gig and a truer rendition of heroic leadership was channelled out to a generation of kids. These are the insights that make this documentary series worth the watch.
The Toys That Made Us (2017)Other interesting titbits include Lucille Ball (of I Love Lucy fame) being involved in the Star Trek toys with Rod Roddenberry and her production company. There’s also the tale of toy company Meego, who later secured the license for $5000 to milk $50 million out of it. Dazzle your Transformer-loving mates with the fact that Hasbro was basically copy-pasting the Japanese products of Microman and Diaclone (who in turn had evolved their own robot lines from Hasbro’s own 1964 G.I. Joe toy). It was all a bit incestuous, to be honest.the-toys-that-made-us-netflix-stagione-2-recensione-Hello-Kitty-1Fans of Hello Kitty might want to keep the anthropomorphic action going with a Netflix anime called Aggretsuko (translation: Aggressive Retsuko). Fair warning, though, it’s a Sanrio production for adults. Think: a 25-year-old Red Panda languishing in an advertising department – her only stress relief, the death metal amateur karaoke circuit. No, for real. That’s the plot.8eb269111aaf58678699c80ce206df41Meanwhile, anybody seeking robots who “have more to them than meets the eye” would do well to check out both Transformers Prime and Transformers: Robots in Disguise on Netflix. For an extra ton of Cybertron, you should also seek out Transformers: The Last Night on Foxtel Now.
toysmadeus-fanenterpriseTrekkies have plenty of dessert options, too. Foxtel and Prime Video are home to the 1966 Star Trek series and J.J.’s lens-flare-a-go-go 2009 film. We also highly recommend you energise over some Star Trek Discovery via Netflix. Phenomenal new series that one. Set our faces to stunned.
toys-that-made-us-legoLast but not least, the LEGO brand has built itself quite the home on Netflix. If you haven’t yet seen the LEGO Movie or the LEGO Batman Movie, you need to amend that error now or go hit the bricks, pal.

 

 

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REVIEW: THE TOYS THAT MADE US – SEASON 1

 

The Toys That Made Us (2017)Few days ago I was checking the new additions on Netflix when I saw these series. I added them to my viewing queue, but it was just last night as I started watching. Honestly, these are of the most exciting documentaries ever. Why – because it’s all about our childhood! And we’ve all been kids!The Toys That Made Us (2017)Aside of it, the series are really well done. I just have nothing to comment on – as a documentary, they have a very well defined structure and topic following. Sure, they miss some details, but for a 50 minute format it is very well done. So far the first 4 have dropped on Netflix (The next 4 in May). These were  Star Wars, Barbie, He-Man and G.I. Joe. They are all so exciting. I loved Star Wars and I still do, just never had SW toys, however as a kid I did have He-Man toys and I loved them. I totally relate to the series and honestly can’t wait to see the other episodes.The Toys That Made Us (2017)As for Barbie – I am a male, never been into Barbie, but these series are pretty much like VH1 Behind the Music series – so well done, that you really don’t care what the episode is about – you just watch it, as you know it will be interesting and there would be something to learn. And indeed, the Barbie episode was absolutely interesting to watch!So, I would totally recommend these series to anyone, young or old, boy or girl, who used to have at least one toy in their life. Probably the most exciting series on Netlix in the last 6 months. In May we will get episodes about Lego, Transformers, Hello Kitty and Star Trek.

REVIEW: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – SEASON 1 – PART II

Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

MAIN CAST

Sonequa Martin-Green (The Good Wife)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful)
Anthony Rapp (A Beautiful Mind)
Mary Wiseman (Longmire)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)

Mary Wiseman in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Mary Chieffo (Miss Dial)
Sam Vartholomeos (Bull)
Emily Coutts (Crimson Peak)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
James Frain (Gotham)
Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica)
Raven Dauda (Gossip)
Jayne Brook (Gattaca)
Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries)

Jason Isaacs and Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)Exposition done with, characters established both narratively and in our hearts, this run of episodes really got to play with the best parts of Star Trek canon. As many avid fans guessed, the Discovery did indeed end up in the Mirror Universe, a.k.a. a version of the universe in the OS episode Mirror, Mirror, where the crew were faced with (sometimes comically) evil versions of themselves. in Discovery, they go a step further, inverting the politics of the universe in one of the most well constructed arcs that any piece of Star Trek media has ever executed. In this universe, it is the tyrannical and thoroughly speciesist Terran empire which brutally subjugates all other alien races, who have banded together in a rebellion. This framing of the humans as a force of evil in the universe is boldly brilliant, forcing both characters and audiences to question morality in its deepest and most primal sense.Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham is faced with her greatest challenge yet. While in the first half Michael was coming to terms with embracing her humanity, her stint in the parallel universe puts her very humanity to the test. Watching her staunch morals come into conflict with necessity and the fight for survival makes for truly captivating television. Martin-Green is a master of subtlety, and conveys emotion so skilfully through the layer of Vulcan conditioning that Michael carries. Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) gets to try on a new brutal persona, complete with flat-ironed hair and an sexy evil outfit. Much more sinister in her new persona is Michelle Yeoh, who’s back as the evil version of the killed-too-soon Philippa Georgiou. Yeoh is a force of nature, effortlessly selling the icy calculation and savagery of the Terran Emperor. She also gets to entertain us all with her amazing martial arts skills, which adds an exciting new dimension to the fight scenes.Doug Jones and Mary Wiseman in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)The decision to cast Jason Isaacs as Lorca finally makes sense after the big twist in this half of the season, and he plays his role with gumption. He’s always been morally grey, but the slow easter eggs leading up to the big reveal really does have audiences only figuring it out in time to yell it right before Michael realises. It’s good writing, plain and simple. When was the last time you were really surprised by a twist in a TV show? I haven’t been shocked as well as that for a long time. The best part about that reveal is that the pay-off both plot wise and emotionally is massive. Less impactful is the death of Dr. Culver (Wilson Cruz). In that case, it seemed like he had to be killed off in order for the plot to work — to add complexity to Stamets (Anthony Rapp)’s otherwise pretty boring role, and to cement Ash’s descent. Shazad Latif once more is the stand-out actor of the show. He conveys the complex PTSD and trauma scenes just as well as he does the tender emotional ones. He really does have the biggest and most impressive range, and never once fails to deliver. Unfortunately, the script lets him down a little in places. One aspect that consistently frustrated me was the insistence of the script in making Ash’s trauma somehow about Michael. Though she is the protagonist, it felt forced and frankly disrespectful for every scene where Ash deals with his trauma to be shut down by Michael.Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)In the same vein, though L’Rell was a character I found myself rooting for at the very beginning of the show, it’s impossible for audiences to ignore, like the narrative seems to, everything that she put Ash through. She’s been portrayed as a horrific abuser in relation to Ash’s storyline, yet somehow the explanation of Ash’s biological state seemed to absolve her of this in the eyes of the characters. Though the conclusion of the plot of Q’onos is clever and elevates the peaceful and hopeful ideals that Star Trek holds dear, it throws Ash under the bus in a way that doesn’t sit right with me. Though it loses momentum very slightly after they arrive back in their own universe, overall the pacing and structure of this half of the season works very well. The costuming and sets particularly are even more detailed and pertinent than in the first half of the season. The final ten minutes or so are a change of tone — very cheesy, but ultimately incredibly satisfying. The message of hope and idealism is broadcast loud and clear, hopefully heralding a 2018 where people in our world can aspire to be more like Michael Burnham.Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek: Discovery (2017)The closing moments were perhaps even more satisfying — who else shrieked when they saw NCC-17…?! Don’t you love a good Star Trek reference in your Star Trek!? Season 2 has thankfully been confirmed, so prepare yourselves for Captain Pike of the Enterprise to arrive on the scene to shake things up!

REVIEW: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – SEASON 1 – PART I

MAIN CAST

Sonequa Martin-Green (The Good Wife)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful)
Anthony Rapp (A Beautiful Mind)
Mary Wiseman (Longmire)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Mary Chieffo (Miss Dial)
James Frain (Gotham)
Chris Obi (Ghost In The Shell)
Emily Coutts (Crimson Peak)
Bonnie Morgan (Rings)
Chris Violette (Power Rangers SPD)
Kenneth Mitchell (Odyssey 5)
Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica)
Jayne Brook (Gattaca)
Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Clare McConnell (Dim The Fluorescents)
Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries)
Katherine Barrell (Wynonna Earp)
Peter MacNeill (Crash)
Conrad Coates (Tron: Legacy)

Where do I start? This is the trek that we have waited for, for 12 years now. Ever since Enterprise was unceremoniously cancelled I’ve waited for the next weekly trek fix to come along. Let me preface by saying that this isn’t your Fathers Star Trek, and really isn’t your grandfathers Star Trek. This is Star Trek re-envisioned for the modern audience. Although it’s a prequel to the original TOS series (set 10 years before Kirk and Spock took charge of the 1701) this series is free of any design ties, and sometimes technological ties too. If you’re new to the show, go into it with an open mind and be prepared to perhaps compromise on any hard-core, Religious fundamentalist style adherence to Canon and Plastic scenery/monsters. This show has SO much good going for it. Essentially the first 3 episodes serve as Pilots 1 and 2 (Very “The Cage” and “WNMHGB”). By the time the mysterious and incredibly intriguing Captain Gabriel Lorca turns up on the Discovery you should be well adjusted and hooked to the show. The effects are amazing. The opening shot of Discovery is nothing short of breathtaking. The plots are detailed and dovetail together nicely. The arc driven story line works and drip feeds at a substantive rate. This is Fun. It feels new and Fresh yet familiar and comfortable. The Easter eggs for fans are a genuine treat with some real thought behind them.The first 8 Episodes are amazing, and leaves you waiting for the second half of the season (In January). With a Season 2 also ordered this show should be around for some time to come.

 

REVIEW: STAR TREK BEYOND

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Sofia Boutella (Monsters: Dark Continet)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Danny Pudi (Community)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)

Three years into its five year mission, the USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown, a massive space station, for resupply and shore leave for her crew. Struggling to find continued meaning in the endless nature of their mission of exploration, Captain James T. Kirk has applied for a promotion to Vice Admiral and commanding officer of Yorktown. He recommends Spock as the new captain of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, Hikaru Sulu reunites with his husband and their young daughter, Montgomery Scott works to keep the ship operational, and Spock and Nyota Uhura amicably end their relationship; Spock also receives word from New Vulcan that Ambassador Spock (Spock’s future self from the original timeline) has died.

The Enterprise is dispatched on a rescue mission at short notice after an escape pod drifts out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The survivor, Kalara, claims her ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet within the nebula. The rescue turns into an ambush when the Enterprise is quickly torn apart by a massive swarm of small ships. Krall and his crew board the ship, and unsuccessfully search for a relic called an Abronath that Kirk had obtained for a failed diplomatic mission. Krall captures and removes many crew members from the ship. Kirk then orders the crew to abandon ship as the Enterprise’s saucer section hurtles towards the planet.

On the planet’s surface, Sulu, Uhura, and other survivors are captured by Krall. Kirk and navigator Pavel Chekov, accompanied by Kalara, locate the wrecked saucer section. Kalara is discovered to be following Krall’s orders when she tries to retrieve the Abronath. To escape Krall’s soldiers, Kirk activates the still-functional thrusters, causing the saucer to lurch forward, crushing Kalara. Meanwhile, a wounded Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy search for other survivors. Spock confides to McCoy that he intends to leave Starfleet to continue the late Ambassador Spock’s work on New Vulcan. Meanwhile, Scott is rescued by Jaylah, a scavenger who previously escaped Krall’s encampment. She takes Scott to her makeshift home, the grounded USS Franklin, an early Starfleet vessel reported missing over a century earlier. Scott is reunited with Kirk, Chekov, McCoy and Spock. Using the ship as a base, they plot to raid Krall’s camp and transport the crew to the Franklin, then escape the planet in the repaired ship. Meanwhile, Krall coerces Ensign Syl to hand over the Abronath that she had kept hidden for Kirk, then kills her with it. The Abronath is the missing half of an ancient bioweapon, created by the planet’s original inhabitants, which can disintegrate any humanoid. With the device complete, Krall intends to attack Yorktown and kill its inhabitants, and, using its advanced technology, go on to attack the Federation. Kirk and the others free the crew as Krall launches into space with the bioweapon, leading his drone fleet to Yorktown.

The Starfleet crew pursues Krall in the Franklin. Scott transports Spock and McCoy into one of Krall’s drone ships. After dispatching the pilot, they learn that VHF transmissions can disrupt Krall’s communications. Matching the drone fleet’s frequency and using the ‘classical’ song “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, they destroy almost the entire fleet. Krall and his three surviving ships crash in Yorktown. As Krall flees into the city, Uhura and Kirk discover from the Franklin’s logs that he is actually Balthazar Edison, the former captain of the Franklin. A pre-Federation human soldier, Edison became disillusioned with the newly founded Federation, rejecting its principles of unity and cooperation with former enemies, like the Xindi. When he and his crew were stranded on Altamid by a rogue wormhole, he believed the Federation had deliberately abandoned them. The three survivors prolonged their lives with the technology of the planet’s extinct natives (at the cost of their human physiology and their numerous victims’ lives), and repurposed their dormant drone workers into the swarm. Krall now plans to destroy the Federation and resume galactic conflict. Kirk pursues Krall into Yorktown’s ventilation system, where Krall activates the bioweapon. Before it can be unleashed, Kirk ejects the weapon and Krall into space. Spock and McCoy save Kirk moments before he is also blown into open space.

Commodore Paris closes the unsolved cases of the fate of Captain Edison and the USS Franklin crew. Kirk decides to remain as a captain, and Spock chooses to stay in Starfleet and resumes his relationship with Uhura. Jaylah has been accepted into Starfleet Academy based on Kirk’s recommendation. As the crew celebrates Kirk’s birthday, they view the construction of their new ship, USS Enterprise-A, and after its completion, they depart on their next mission.This film feels in many ways like a completion of the work done to establish the rebooted series. The actors have now made the characters their own and no longer feel like imitations of the original incarnations. The film ends with the commissioning of an all-new Enterprise. As Paramount has already confirmed that a fourth instalment is on the way, we can be sure that Kirk and his crew will continue their little Trek through the Stars for some time to come.

REVIEW: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit)
Alice Eve (Men In Black 3)
Peter Weller (Robocop)
Noel Clarke (4.3.2.1)
Nazneen Contractor (Heroes Reborn)
Amanda Foreman (Alias)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Heather Langenkap (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Sean Blakemore (Bones)
Nick E. Tarabay (Spartacus)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)

In the year 2259, Captain James T. Kirk is removed from command of the starship USS Enterprise for violating the Prime Directive: he exposed the ship to the primitive inhabitants of the planet Nibiru in order to save them, and Spock, from a cataclysmic volcanic eruption. Admiral Christopher Pike is reinstated as commanding officer with Kirk demoted to the rank of Commander and first officer. Commander Spock is transferred to another ship. Shortly after, the Section 31 installation in London is bombed, perpetrated by the renegade Starfleet operative John Harrison (Cumberbatch). Harrison then attacks Starfleet Headquarters in a jumpship during the emergency meeting about the situation, killing Pike and other senior officers. Kirk disables the jumpship, but Harrison escapes by transporting to Kronos, the homeworld of the hostile Klingons.

Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) reinstates Kirk and Spock to the Enterprise with orders to kill Harrison. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott strongly objects to allowing untested torpedoes on board the ship, and when ordered to allow them resigns his commission in protest. Kirk assigns Pavel Chekov to replace Scotty. En route to Kronos, the Enterprise’s warp capabilities mysteriously become disabled. Kirk leads a team with Spock and Uhura onto the planet, where they are ambushed by Klingon patrols. Harrison dispatches the Klingons, then surrenders after learning the number of torpedoes aboard the Enterprise.

Dr. Leonard McCoy and Marcus’s daughter, Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), open a torpedo at Harrison’s behest. Inside is a man in cryogenic stasis. Every torpedo aboard Enterprise contains a human in stasis. Harrison reveals his true identity as Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered superhuman awakened by Admiral Marcus from centuries of suspended animation to develop advanced weapons of war against the Klingon Empire. Khan reveals that Marcus had sabotaged the Enterprise’s warp drive, intending for the Klingons to destroy the ship after it fired on Kronos, creating an act of war by the Klingon Empire. Khan also gives Kirk a set of coordinates. Kirk contacts Scotty on Earth and asks him to investigate. Scotty discovers they lead to a covert Starfleet facility near Jupiter.

The Enterprise is intercepted by a much larger Federation warship, the USS Vengeance, commanded by Admiral Marcus. Marcus demands that Kirk deliver Khan, but the Enterprise, with a hastily repaired warp drive, flees to Earth to expose Marcus. After the Vengeance intercepts and disables the Enterprise near the Moon, Kirk reveals Carol’s presence aboard the ship. Marcus forcibly transports Carol to the Vengeance before ordering the Enterprise’s destruction, Kirk offers Khan and himself for the lives of his crew, but Marcus rejects Kirk’s offer and orders Vengeance to fire when ready. However, Vengeance suddenly loses power, sabotaged by Scotty, who infiltrated the ship. With transporters down, Kirk and Khan, with the latter’s knowledge of the warship’s design, space-jump to the Vengeance. Spock contacts his older self, who warns that Khan is ruthless and untrustworthy, and, in another reality, Khan was only defeated at a terrible cost. Meanwhile, after capturing the bridge, Khan overpowers Kirk, Scott, and Carol, kills Marcus, and seizes control of the Vengeance.

Khan demands that Spock return his crew sealed in the cryogenic tubes in exchange for the Enterprise officers. Spock complies but surreptitiously removes Khan’s frozen crew and arms the warheads. Khan beams Kirk, Scott, and Carol back aboard the Enterprise, but betrays their agreement by critically damaging the Enterprise; however, the Vengeance is disabled when the torpedoes detonate. With both starships caught in Earth’s gravity, they plummet toward the surface. Kirk enters the radioactive reactor chamber to realign the warp core, saving the ship, but losing his life in the process.

Khan crashes the dying Vengeance into downtown San Francisco in an attempt to destroy Starfleet headquarters, destroying some of the city. Khan escapes the wreckage as Spock transports down in pursuit. McCoy discovers that Khan’s blood has regenerative properties that may save Kirk. With Uhura’s help, Spock chases down and eventually subdues Khan, who is consequently arrested and re-frozen, and Kirk is revived.

Nearly one year later, Kirk speaks at the Enterprise’s re-dedication ceremony. Khan is sealed in his cryogenic pod and stored with his compatriots. The Enterprise crew embarks on a five-year exploratory mission.I didn’t overly mind that the film is based on Khan, but I can understand how some people would have an issue with it. The first film so cleverly re-wrote the shows history and gave Abrams the opportunity to do whatever he wanted story wise so it was a little bit surprising to see he had embarked on somewhat of a `re-make.’ But all in all a very good film. Great action sequences and great CGI – even if you’re not a Trekkie this is still an enjoyable film.

REVIEW: STAR TREK (2009)

CAST

Chris Pine (Into The Woods)
Zachary Quinto (Heroes)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Simon Pegg (Paul)
John Cho (Total Recall)
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog)
Bruce Greenwood (Thirteen Days)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Leonard Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
Ben Cross (Live Wire)
Winona Ryder (Little Women)
Clifton Collins, Jr. (Westworld)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Faran Tahir (Iron Man)
Jennifer Morrison (How I Met Your Mother)
Rachel Nichols (GI. Joe)
Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis)
Brad William Henke (Lost)
Greg Grunberg (Alias)
Tyler Perry (Gone Girl)
Majel Barrett (Earth: Final Conflict)
Amanda Foreman (Alias)

In the 23rd century, the Federation starship USS Kelvin is investigating a “lightning storm” in space. A Romulan ship, the Narada, emerges from the storm and attacks the Kelvin. Narada’s first officer, Ayel, demands that the Kelvin’s Captain Robau come aboard to negotiate a truce. Robau is questioned about the current stardate and an “Ambassador Spock”, whom he does not recognize. Narada’s commander, Nero, kills him, and resumes attacking the Kelvin. George Kirk, the Kelvin’s first officer, orders the ship’s personnel, including his pregnant wife Winona, to abandon ship while he pilots the Kelvin on a collision course with the Narada. Kirk sacrifices his life to ensure Winona’s survival as she gives birth to James T. Kirk.

Seventeen years later on the planet Vulcan, a young Spock is accepted to join the Vulcan Science Academy. Realizing the Academy views his human mother Amanda as a “disadvantage”, he joins Starfleet instead. On Earth, Kirk becomes a reckless but intelligent young adult. Following a bar fight with Starfleet cadets accompanying Nyota Uhura, Kirk meets Captain Christopher Pike, who encourages him to enlist in Starfleet Academy, where Kirk meets and befriends doctor Leonard McCoy.

Three years later, Commander Spock accuses Kirk of cheating during the Kobayashi Maru simulation. Kirk argues that cheating was acceptable because the simulation was designed to be unbeatable. The disciplinary hearing is interrupted by a distress signal from Vulcan. With the primary fleet out of range, the cadets are mobilized. McCoy and Kirk board Pike’s ship, the Enterprise. Realizing that the “lightning storm” observed near Vulcan is similar to the one that occurred when he was born, Kirk breaks protocol to convince Pike that the distress signal is a trap.

Enterprise finds the fleet destroyed and the Narada drilling into Vulcan’s core. The Narada attacks the Enterprise and Pike surrenders, delegating command of the ship to Spock and promoting Kirk to first officer. Kirk, Hikaru Sulu and Chief Engineer Olson perform a space jump onto the drilling platform. Olson is killed but Kirk and Sulu disable the drill. Despite their efforts, Nero launches “red matter” into Vulcan’s core, forming an artificial black hole that destroys Vulcan. Spock rescues the high council and his father Sarek, but Amanda dies.

As the Narada moves toward Earth, Nero tortures Pike to gain access to Earth’s defense codes. Spock maroons Kirk on Delta Vega after Kirk attempts mutiny. Kirk encounters an older Spock, who explains that he and Nero are from 129 years in the future. In that future, Romulus was threatened by a supernova. Spock’s attempt to use “red matter” to create an artificial black hole and consume the supernova failed, and Nero’s family perished along with Romulus. The Narada and Spock’s vessel were caught in the black hole, sending them back in time. Nero stranded Spock on Delta Vega to watch Vulcan’s destruction.

Reaching a Starfleet outpost, Kirk and the elder Spock meet Montgomery Scott. With the elder Spock’s help, Kirk and Scott beam onto the Enterprise. Following the elder Spock’s advice, Kirk provokes younger Spock into attacking him, forcing Spock to recognize he is emotionally compromised and relinquish command to Kirk. After talking with Sarek, Spock decides to help Kirk. While the Enterprise hides itself within the gas clouds of Titan, Kirk and Spock beam aboard the Narada. Kirk fights with Nero and Ayel, killing the latter and rescuing Pike while Spock uses the elder Spock’s ship to destroy the drill. Spock leads the Narada away from Earth and sets his ship to collide with Nero’s ship. Enterprise beams Kirk, Pike and Spock aboard. The older Spock’s ship and the Narada collide, igniting the “red matter”. Kirk offers Nero help to escape, but Nero refuses, prompting Kirk to give the order to fire, dooming the Narada to be consumed in a black hole.

Kirk is promoted to Captain and given command of the Enterprise while Pike is promoted to Rear Admiral. Spock encounters his older self, who persuades his younger self to continue serving in Starfleet, encouraging him to do what feels right instead of what is logical. Spock remains in Starfleet, becoming first officer under Kirk’s command. The Enterprise goes to warp as the elder Spock speaks the “where no one has gone before” monologue.The story does what it needs to, the casting is great (especially Spock and McCoy), the effects are fantastic and Abrams manages to do character moments on the move so there’s hardly time to take a breath – oh and Simon Pegg is great as Scotty! Maybe the best thing is, die hards and newbies alike will all find something to like.