Release Date: May 8
When Gene Roddenberry created the TV show “Star Trek,” his challenge was to write science fiction that could be taken seriously. Four decades, six TV series and 10 movies later, producer-director J.J. Abrams’ challenge in rebooting “Trek” was to inject some energy into a franchise that had come to take itself too seriously. Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman succeeded, opening the door for legions of new fans, as demonstrated by the film’s $385 million worldwide gross. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto excel as James T. Kirk and the half-alien Mr. Spock, both reconceived as more troubled and rebellious — and, significantly, as rivals becoming friends despite themselves. Their gentle guide: Leonard Nimoy, reprising his role as the original Spock with grandfatherly warmth; he could be a dark-horse for supporting actor honors. Pic will contend in tech categories, especially visual effects (gorgeous work from Industrial Light & Magic). Hard-core “Trek” fans complained the pic addressed no big issues, but there’s no denying “Star Trek” is back — and soaring at warp speed.