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Can the new 'Star Trek' cling on till the Oscars?

May 8, 2009 |  2:54 pm

Star Trek 2009 JJ Abrams Oscars 1357984

"Star Trek" has impressed the critics with the new movie reboot scoring a solid 84 at MetaCritic and a jaw-dropping 90 among the top critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes. Such strong reviews could boost the awards prospects for this big-screen revamping of the 40-year-old-plus franchise. 

None of the six films to feature the original TV cast won any Oscars. And the original TV series from the '60s failed to win any Emmy Awards either, though it contended for best drama series in the first two of its three seasons on the air.

A decade after the TV series ended in 1969, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was released to so-so reviews. Despite being helmed by two-time Oscar winning director Robert Wise ("West Side Story," "The Sound of Music"), the film failed to impress academy voters. It lost the Oscar for visual effects to the team responsible for "Alien" while "All that Jazz" danced off with art direction and "A Little Romance" nabbed the score award.

Film No. 4 "Star Trek: The Voyage Home" was the biggest box-office earner of the series and contended for four Oscars in 1986. It lost all of its bids, with best picture winner "Platoon" beating it for sound while "Aliens" took sound effects editing. "The Mission" won best cinematography and "Round Midnight" had the best score.

Five years later, the final film to feature the original cast — "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country" — lost both its Oscar races, with "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" winning both makeup and sound effects editing.

This new movie is helmed by TV vet J.J. Abrams ("Lost," "Alias") and boasts a host of Emmy contenders working behind the scenes, including editing by winner Mary Jo Markey ("Lost") and nominee Maryann Brandon ("Alias"), and art and set design supervised by winners Scott Chambliss and Karen Manthey ("Alias").

The script is by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzmann who picked up two WGA nods earlier this year for their work on Abrams' newest TV hit "Fringe." Among the movie vets working on the film are Oscar-nominated composer Michael Giacchino ("Ratatouille") and BAFTA-winning costumer Michael Kaplan ("Blade Runner"). And the visual effects are by the award-winning Industrial Light and Magic.

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Photo: Paramount

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