'Star Trek' blasts off on DVD, but Oscar may have other priorities
Paramount Pictures threw what could only be described as an inter-stellar party tonight for the release of the new "Star Trek" DVD and Blu-ray.
Held at the historic Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills, a majority of the film's cast were on hand to celebrate including the one and only Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Karl Urban and Clifton Collins, Jr. (for those wondering, Chris Pine was shooting a movie and out of town). Director J.J. Abrams was also there for the festivities along with the original Chekov, Walter Koenig and, strangely enough, Jon and Daniel Heder. A few other awards prognosticators were around including In Contention's Kris Tapley, The Odd's Steve Pond and the LA Times' indie guru Mark Olsen. We're guessing the rest were enjoying the madness at the "New Moon" premiere across town. Their loss. The space was filled with sexy servers in Starfleet Academy uniforms and green make up serving Romulan cocktails (mixed with rum for those playing at home) and guests had an opportunity to take a guided tour of the Observatory. It was one of those events where time flies because you're having so much fun and the next thing you know, half the talent you wanted to talk to has already left the building. Oh, well.
As for Trek's continually discussed Oscar hopes, many hoped the advent of the new ten nominee system would sneak a popular and critical blockbuster like "Star Trek" into the mix, but that doesn't appear to be the case this year. Granted, "Inglourious Basterds" has a strong chance of making the field as well as the animated Pixar wonder "Up," but those hits have much more of a prestige pedigree than "Trek" does. Plus, let's be honest, as amazing a job Paramount has done in revitalizing the "Trek" brand, for many Academy members the stigma of what the franchise was may just be too hard to forget. That's why baring a dramatic turn of events, "Trek" will have to make due with more technical nods such as visual effects, production design, costumes, sound and (hopefully) best original score. And considering where "Trek" left off with "Nemesis" in 2002 that's leaps and bounds higher on the respectability scale.
Paramount is going to be incredibly busy anyway with what is shaping up to be two major year-end contenders with Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air" and Peter Jackson's just completed "The Lovely Bones." And the priority for the Viacom division for "Trek" is making the movie a massive hit in home entertainment formats and providing revenue the company sorely needs to start off strong in 2010.
In the meantime, Trek fans shouldn't despair that the reboot isn't at the forefront of the Oscar race. Because everyone associated with the game will tell you that anything can happen on Oscar Nomination Tuesday. There is going to be a surprise amongst the ten this year. It's just too big a field for an upset not to occur. And considering how many of us didn't believe Abrams could pull off resurrecting "Trek" at all, maybe the movie will get the last laugh with pundits and the Academy. Maybe.
Relive the fun with "Star Trek" on DVD or Blu-ray today.
In the meantime, check out these "as good as it gets" iPhone photos of the spectacular display Paramount Home Entertainment mounted on the face of the Griffith Observatory Monday night.
For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory