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Movie Review: "Star Trek"

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It's hard for me to believe that almost 43 years have gone by since I was a not-quite-10-year-old lying on my living room floor watching "Star Trek", the TV show now known by Trekkers as "The Original Series".

The cast and stories are legendary in TV history; several feature films were made with them, some good, some ... not so much.

So when I heard they were making a "prequel" to The Original Series with recast Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc. characters, I was skeptical. But the new "Star Trek" movie exceeds anyone's expectations and any fears should be dismissed. The casting is inspired, particularly Zachary Quinto as a young Spock and Karl Urban as a young McCoy. Quinto bears a strong physical resemblance to the young Leonard Nimoy and Urban has the McCoy speeches and mannerisms down cold.

But it's not just the casting -- the story is well-done, nuanced in the way Original Series scripts were, and for the modern movie fan who needs action scenes, those are also excellent. Eric Bana is creepily good as the enemy Romulan captain, and Leonard Nimoy reprises his own role as Spock (christened "Spock Prime" for this film), perhaps for the last time. They have, of course, left plenty of leeway for sequels -- and if they do them as well as this one was, I look forward to the next "Star Trek" film. AYRating: *** 1/2

It also got me thinking -- what current Cubs would be most similar to various crew members of the Enterprise and other characters from this film?

Captain Kirk: of course, he's Lou Piniella -- not only because they are both leaders, but they both are a bit headstrong at times and don't always make the right decision. (If you want to pick a player instead... it'd have to be Carlos Zambrano.)

Spock: Derrek Lee, always calm and collected, never saying much but speaking quietly in ways you might not expect.

Mr. Sulu: Rich Harden, precise in his approach to his work, never the big guy but someone you always appreciate having around.

Mr. Scott: Ryan Dempster -- the guy who's always joking around.

Dr. McCoy: also a jokester of sorts, he's Reed Johnson, never the major player but somehow, always around when you need him most.

Mr. Chekov: Mike Fontenot. (You shouldn't have to ask why.)

Captain Pike: Ted Lilly, always willing to go the extra mile (or light-year) for his team.

Yes, it seems like it's been ages since the last game. Hang in there -- it's less than 12 hours away. In the meantime, go see this movie!