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Subject: [RANT] Am I the only person disappointed in Star Trek (Spoilers!!) rss

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Ed Browne
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Don’t read this if you don’t want spoilers. You have been warned.

Okay, I guess I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t seem to think this is an awesome movie. Yeah, it’s okay, but its faults are glaring. I agree with some who have the opinion: “Yeah, it’s got problems, but if it encourages them to make more movies, then it’s okay.” But I have to ask: “What if they think those parts you think weren’t up to par are the reason it is successful so every other movie is this bad or worse?”

The choppy editing, shaking cameras (even in calm scenes) are directing techniques better suited to other genres. The story was a threadbare rehash of “Wrath of Khan,” nearly scene by scene (do you need me to break it down for you?), including the “Genesis Device,” which one would hope they had learned their lesson on its preposterousness the first time around.

I’m sure I’ll catch lots of “science was never important to Star Trek” comments when I point out things like:

1. Great canyons and desert in the middle of Iowa (global warming AND torrential floods caused?)
2. Planets being able to hang out in orbit around black holes (especially a planet close enough you could see Vulcan as huge in the sky during the day)
3. Two black holes in the proximity of Earth that don’t seem to concern anyone.

These aren’t debatable concepts like transporting onto a ship that is in warp drive; they are glaring, preposterous impossibilities.

Now, I understand that science wasn’t “important” in Star Trek, but was used as a mechanism to compensate for a low budget or to further a story. But I really don’t think Roddenberry would try to convince us to believe some of this stuff, even in an “archaic” science time like the 60s.

Yeah, they look like they had fun making it. Yeah, the actors seemed like good representations of the original characters. Yeah, it had some entertainment value. But it was chock full of crap (did we even need the Corvette scene, the monsters on the ice planet, the way too much time spent on the flirt triangle with Kirk, Spock and Uhura?) along with dizzying, mind numbing, camera shaking direction and editing around a flimsy story with no real time spent developing any depth of character.

Did it have some cool moments? Yeah. Did I find myself entertained in spots? Yeah. But mostly because I was being nostalgic when something reminded me of my love of the original series.

This sort of “reset” reminds me of the “Ultimate” comic franchises, when they decide to take characters that have a long history and a caring fan base (instant recognition) , and then have an “alternate reality” in which to make all sorts of “inside jokes” and changes in storylines (Oooh! He’s a villain now! She’s married to him instead of that other guy!).

How about a good story with original characters instead of tongue in cheek in-jokes? Heck, how about taking time to actually write a good story period, instead of relying on the inside jokes to make your movie even bearable?

Props to Bruce Greenwood and Ben Cross in very good small roles. Sarek’s admission of marrying Amanda because he “loved her” was especially touching. And Leonard Nimoy’s presence was the only thing close to a real taste of the original Star Trek in his remembrance of his friendship with Kirk.

But most of the plot was written to set up “moments for in-jokes”: flirting with Uhura from the beginning, wanting a fight between Kirk and Spock, etc.

Roddenberry’s concept was touted as “too cerebral.” This movie definitely won’t have anyone saying that. Gene would be disappointed in this movie. Even if you think your way of doing Star Trek is better than his because yours has more “action and excitement” than his morality drama and optimistic view of the future, you have to admit it isn’t even close to Roddenberry’s dream of Star Trek. This movie was made by the producers that Gene fought against, figuratively if not literally.

And thus, even if you can say that you have made Star Trek “accessible to a new generation,” it seems it is because you are pandering to the short attention span of that generation, instead of showing them what Star Trek is really like.

Whiz! Bang! Flash! Wow! Where is the soul and the depth that made us love these characters in the first place?

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I saw this last night - I'm still on the fence about it. Two things that REALLY bugged me:

1. Product placement - yes, you heard me, product placement in a @!@&%# STAR TREK MOVIE! I mean, that goes against the whole idea of the Star Trek idealized (Socialist, if you wanna call it that) future. Gene is surely rolling in his grave over that one...

2. The pressing of the giant reset button on the Star Trek universe. I was hoping to see the back stories of the actual characters who became the ST crew that we all knew and loved, not a rebooted version.

Anyway, I did enjoy the extra focus on Uhura, since I always thought she was an interesting character but heavily underutilized in the ST franchise. And, the movie was overall enjoyable. But, agreeing with the OP, the car chase (with the Nokia product placement yuk ) and the ice monsters were unnecessary. The black holes didn't bug me so much since they were artificially made - I mean, if you can have a black-hole-in-a-jar on a space ship, I can believe they have a limited range in space.

Edit: whole != hole
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Grimstax wrote:
Two black holes in the proximity of Earth that don’t seem to concern anyone.


Recent research shows Black Holes have a TINY event horizon. Some theorists say that a black hole the same distance from earth as the sun is would have little to no effect.

I swear I read this in the past week off of another link from BGG...
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Phil Shepherd
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Great criticisms, I agree with all of them, yet despite that, I still really liked it.

As for this:

Grimstax wrote:
Whiz! Bang! Flash! Wow! Where is the soul and the depth that made us love these characters in the first place?


I think, at least I hope, that this movie was aimed more at bringing a new generation into the idea of the original characters while trying keep older fans interested and that character development will be more evident in the movies that follow.

I doubt kids today, mine included, could sit through an episode of the original series. The stories (not in all cases) may have been better, but the effects were primitive and the "action" was rather corny.

As an attempt to breath new life into the original characters in order to get new fans and keep old fans, I think J.J. Abrhams did a pretty good job.
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Sorry, no offense intended, but I just can't help re-posting this video here:

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Ed Browne
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Et tu, Blott?

Seriously, that was hilarious! Thanks for sharing.
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Nate Sandall
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Quote:
1. Great canyons and desert in the middle of Iowa (global warming AND torrential floods caused?)


Hmmm well after the post atomic horror which may or may not or sort of happened in the late 20th or early 21st century wiped out tons of cities, maybe Iowa became much more economically important? Maybe that's why you caught glimpses of huge buildings in the background? Maybe that's why starfleet had a huge training facility there and a space dock? Maybe that's why there were aliens hanging out in the dive bars there?

Sure it doesn't all make sense. But Star Trek Nemesis was a much more blatant rip-off of Wrath of Khan. But at least the Star Trek people decided to stop the Rick Berman/ Michael Piller/ Geri Taylor slide that the franchise has endured and gave it over to someone who could shake things up and make it interesting again. The Star Trek franchise has always had it's ups and downs and for every moment of genius has had one of pure lunacy. Just be grateful that it's not a cartoon or Star Trek Babies or something like that and enjoy what the movie does give rather than get all worked up over what it is not.
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I just turned off my brain, ate some popcorn and enjoyed the movie.

After all, isn't that the premise when one goes to see a movie? To enjoy one's self?
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Kendrick Martin
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1.I believe those are limestone mines in Iowa.


2. Black holes have the same gravity as the planet they consumed. Therefore they'll have no different effect then the planet that it had just consumed.
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Hobbespm wrote:
After all, isn't that the premise when one goes to see a movie? To enjoy one's self?


If we're talking about that kind of movie, this thread will get RSPed.
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Morgan Dontanville
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It worked for me.

Though, I never saw Star Trek as a cerebral.
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Morgan Dontanville
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My only real disappointment with the movie was that there was no Kirk double hand hammer punch.
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除名山 蔵芽戸
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Yes.

And according to Leonard Nimoy...

http://www.hulu.com/watch/72444/saturday-night-live-update-f...
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Grimstax wrote:
These aren’t debatable concepts like transporting onto a ship that is in warp drive; they are glaring, preposterous impossibilities.
I beg to differ. The concept in fiction called "suspension of disbelief" means that we suspend our natural tendancy to doubt what we are seeing in order to be entertained.

Some people find it annoying to suspend their disbelief, even though they are watching a movie set in the FUTURE about events that CANNOT POSSIBLY HAPPEN.

Molecular transportation? Warp travel? Come on. If I didn't suspend my disbelief in movies, all I'd want to watch are freaking documentaries. How boring is that?

Grimstax wrote:
But I really don’t think Roddenberry would try to convince us to believe some of this stuff, even in an “archaic” science time like the 60s.
Huh? Roddenberry was making "Wagon Train" in space. It was a Cold War-era cowboy show set on a spaceship. Science on the original series was a means to an end. What was that "end?" Kirk's fist fights, Kirk kissing a babe every week, and Kirk outwitting the evil dudes. Not exactly fertile scientific material there.

Grimstax wrote:
But it was chock full of crap (did we even need the Corvette scene, the monsters on the ice planet, the way too much time spent on the flirt triangle with Kirk, Spock and Uhura?) along with dizzying, mind numbing, camera shaking direction and editing around a flimsy story with no real time spent developing any depth of character.
Man, I found everything you cited as quite entertaining. When young Kirk blasts the Beastie Boys, I laughed out loud. It was FUN, man. Where's your sense of fun?

Who cares that there's a canyon in the middle of Iowa? Does it bother you that the Iowa scenes were filmed in Bakersfield, CA? If you are bothered, then I'm surprised you have fond memories of the original Trek when they went to Vasquez Rocks (with the diagonal rock formations,) every other episode to simulate an alien environment. It became such a Trek staple that it's in practically every iteration of Star Trek, even the new movie. Every time I see Vasquez Rocks in a Star Trek film, does it bother me? No, because it's a freaking movie. Not a science class.

Grimstax wrote:
Did it have some cool moments? Yeah. Did I find myself entertained in spots? Yeah. But mostly because I was being nostalgic when something reminded me of my love of the original series.
I think you state your problem right there. The advertisements of this movie state quite clearly, "Forget what you know" about the Star Trek universe. This was not a nostalgic movie. Watch the films with Bill Shanter and the other TOS cast for that. This was a reboot for a newer audience that did not need to have know an darn thing about Star Trek beforehand. The director isn't even a Star Trek fan, and for that, I am happy. I believe your reaction has more to do with your expectations, and if you had followed the making of this film from its inception, you'd have known to reign in your nostalgic sensibilities and just have fun.

Grimstax wrote:
And Leonard Nimoy’s presence was the only thing close to a real taste of the original Star Trek in his remembrance of his friendship with Kirk.
And oddly enough, Nimoy was in the film precisely because the story was there. Eric Bana said he wouldn't have done the movie if the script wasn't there. Clearly, people are in disagreement about this. I think you are far too critical of a film intended to be an entertaining tent-pole film.

Grimstax wrote:
Gene would be disappointed in this movie.
Oh, I highly doubt that. Roddenberry wasn't making high art, you know. Nor was he making hard science fiction. For every error in science that the original series failed to answer, the writers had to make up ways to explain the flaws. (Inertial dampeners, anyone?)
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Morgan Dontanville
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Fiction:
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sisteray wrote:
Fiction:


Damn troublesome Tribbles!
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If it were not meant to be "nostalgic" then they could, would (and should) have used brand new characters. Even with the same storyline, Niro could have showed up, blown up the original Enterprise, and there you go. And not filled it with inside jokes that only people who are longtime fans of the franchise would get.

But that's not what they did, is it? They wanted the income, and possible extra support, they might be able to get by using the original characters. Nostalgia.

I definitely would have preferred all new characters, with Spock trying to tell them that Starfleet is more than just shooting at bad guys. Christopher Pike came across very well (and could have headed the movie with different characters), but would have worked because he wasn't a main character of the franchise before. That movie would have given me lots more hope for the franchise.

But, hey, they didn't make it for me. And they are making lots of money, so pleasing me isn't important to them. But for all of us hoping this "not up to par" movie will open doors to better ones down the line, like "The Motion Picture" did for "Wrath of Khan," remember that it was because TMP did not make money that they were given the freedom to change the formula, not because it was successful. We are more likely to get more of the same of this.

How much of this bandwagon is just people happy it didn't totally suck and glad a decent Star Trek movie has been made, with hope for future films? That doesn't mean this movie was fantastic. And we can hope the makers will listen to what we say are the flaws.

All style, no substance. Might as well be watching "Fast and Furious" for your story depth. It's the same thing. Don't pretend it's Star Trek; make your own comic book universe for this.

I give it a thumbs up to see. But don't think it's Star Trek and be sure to turn your brain off as someone said. I couldn't have said it better myself. There are movies I do that with and enjoy (Jackie Chan, Kill Bill, Die Hard, even professional wrestling), but I didn't expect to be forced to do that to be able to enjoy Star Trek.
 
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renegaderebel wrote:
2. Black holes have the same gravity as the planet they consumed. Therefore they'll have no different effect then the planet that it had just consumed.


Plus whatever gravity was enough to create it.

A bigger problem with the movie black hole was the tidal forces when a big ship is near one.

One of the problems I had with the movie was the need to drill a hole to the planet's core before launching the "red matter." That tunnel will not last due to the high pressures and temperatures down deep. If "red matter" works on an exploding supernova, why drill down to the core?



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Grimstax wrote:
All style, no substance. Might as well be watching "Fast and Furious" for your story depth. It's the same thing.


I disagree here. I felt like I learned more about Spock in this film than anything before. Ditto O'Hura and Bones.

I think they made young Kirk a little too rebellious, but whatever. I think there's a bit more depth than you're giving it credit for...
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Grimstax wrote:
But I have to ask: “What if they think those parts you think weren’t up to par are the reason it is successful so every other movie is this bad or worse?”


But that question is something you can ask of anything from TOS to SPIDER-MAN, which is to say it has almost no relevance since it applies equally well to anything and everything.

Grimstax wrote:

The choppy editing, shaking cameras (even in calm scenes) are directing techniques better suited to other genres.


I disagree - have you seen ALIEN, THE ROAD WARRIOR, or Carpenter's remake of THE THING?? I really feel they made that stuff for SF very nicely.

Grimstax wrote:

The story was a threadbare rehash of “Wrath of Khan,” nearly scene by scene (do you need me to break it down for you?), including the “Genesis Device,” which one would hope they had learned their lesson on its preposterousness the first time around.


No, it's not, and it kind of can't be, structurally speaking; claiming such doesn't make it so.

Grimstax wrote:

I’m sure I’ll catch lots of “science was never important to Star Trek” comments when I point out things like:

1. Great canyons and desert in the middle of Iowa (global warming AND torrential floods caused?)
2. Planets being able to hang out in orbit around black holes (especially a planet close enough you could see Vulcan as huge in the sky during the day)
3. Two black holes in the proximity of Earth that don’t seem to concern anyone.


You won't catch any such from me, since none of the named story points is actually scientifically invalid; the 1st is just some continuity that needs to be explained, the 2nd is totally possible and just requires the planet be far enough out, and the 3rd is just another continuity issue.

Grimstax wrote:

These aren’t debatable concepts like transporting onto a ship that is in warp drive; they are glaring, preposterous impossibilities.


Actually, both 'transporting' and 'warp drive' are glaring, preposterous impossibilities, or at least much more so than any of the above.

Grimstax wrote:
...But I really don’t think Roddenberry would try to convince us to believe some of this stuff, even in an “archaic” science time like the 60s.


Um, that was the guy who wanted us to believe that 'transporters' were something other than laughably incredible, so I have to disagree.

Grimstax wrote:
... But it was chock full of crap (did we even need the Corvette scene, the monsters on the ice planet, the way too much time spent on the flirt triangle with Kirk, Spock and Uhura?) along with dizzying, mind numbing, camera shaking direction and editing around a flimsy story with no real time spent developing any depth of character.


Again, just saying it's crap doesn't "make it so". There is a big difference between "Stuff you don't like" and "stuff that's actually bad", just as "Stuff you do like" isn't automatically "Stuff that's actually good".

Grimstax wrote:

This sort of “reset” reminds me of the “Ultimate” comic franchises, when they decide to take characters that have a long history and a caring fan base (instant recognition) , and then have an “alternate reality” in which to make all sorts of “inside jokes” and changes in storylines (Oooh! He’s a villain now! She’s married to him instead of that other guy!).


Actually the point of all reboots is simple - old fans lose interest, tastes always change such that the original just doesn't appeal, and the same continuity that roped in the old fans eventually becomes a burden to potnetial new fans, so you can reboot or have your franchise join Alley Oop and Spark Plug in the "Forgotten Phenoms of Yesteryear" section of the Great Entertainment Marketplace.

Grimstax wrote:

How about a good story with original characters instead of tongue in cheek in-jokes? Heck, how about taking time to actually write a good story period, instead of relying on the inside jokes to make your movie even bearable?


ROFLMAO! That's exactly what I used to say about all the old Trek!

Grimstax wrote:

Props to Bruce Greenwood and Ben Cross in very good small roles. Sarek’s admission of marrying Amanda because he “loved her” was especially touching. And Leonard Nimoy’s presence was the only thing close to a real taste of the original Star Trek in his remembrance of his friendship with Kirk.


So you felt there was at least one emotional moment in the movie that resonated for you, which is infinitely more such than I found in all of TOS.

Grimstax wrote:

But most of the plot was written to set up “moments for in-jokes”: flirting with Uhura from the beginning, wanting a fight between Kirk and Spock, etc.


I refer to my earlier comments about the difference between saying something and that statement actually being accurate - the plot was well-constructed and moved the story along at a good pace towards an interesting and reasonably meaningful conclusion; that's all a plot is meant to accomplish.

Grimstax wrote:

Roddenberry’s concept was touted as “too cerebral.”


By whom? And when? I don't recall anyone describing "WAGON TRAIN, but IN SPACE!" as "too cerebral".

Grimstax wrote:

This movie definitely won’t have anyone saying that.


No, but I expect they will be saying "This is like 40 times better written and better acted than the original, and kicks wayy more @$$!". I personally am willing to settle for that, and I suspect the creators amnd producers will too.

Grimstax wrote:

Gene would be disappointed in this movie.


Okay, Gene was well-known as a shameless huckster who was only ashamed of not turning a profit. Look into the real world history of the Trek "IDIC Badge" and then tell me how disappointed he would be.

Grimstax wrote:

Even if you think your way of doing Star Trek is better than his because yours has more “action and excitement” than his morality drama and optimistic view of the future, you have to admit it isn’t even close to Roddenberry’s dream of Star Trek.



Reboots are always about being more interesting to the current marketplace than the original and nothing else - if they got that, they acheived their goal.

Grimstax wrote:
This movie was made by the producers that Gene fought against, figuratively if not literally.


Again, the only thing Gene ever fought over was anything he thought would hinder his ability to turn over enough bucks to justify a sequel or another season.

Grimstax wrote:

And thus, even if you can say that you have made Star Trek “accessible to a new generation,” it seems it is because you are pandering to the short attention span of that generation, instead of showing them what Star Trek is really like.


Given the running time of the movie, I can't begin to see how it could posibly be accused of being designed to pander to short attention spans

Grimstax wrote:

Whiz! Bang! Flash! Wow! Where is the soul and the depth that made us love these characters in the first place?


Again that might be a fair question if this was a bad reboot of some other poriton of Trek - the last third of TNG or DS9, maybe.

Since it's a reboot of TOS we're discussing, I feel you're begging the question of whether it actually had any depth worth speaking of, and I'm sure you can tell how I would answer that one.
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captkayoss wrote:
Grimstax wrote:
All style, no substance. Might as well be watching "Fast and Furious" for your story depth. It's the same thing.


I disagree here. I felt like I learned more about Spock in this film than anything before. Ditto O'Hura and Bones.

I think they made young Kirk a little too rebellious, but whatever. I think there's a bit more depth than you're giving it credit for...


I'm with you; afaic, there was more depth and substance in the new movie's opening scene than in the whole of TOS.

It's hard not to feel that some folks use 'lacking depth and substance' as some kind of synonym for "too much stuff I didn't like"...
 
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Grimstax wrote:
All style, no substance. Might as well be watching "Fast and Furious" for your story depth. It's the same thing. Don't pretend it's Star Trek; make your own comic book universe for this.


You saw the original show, right? There was one with a planet full of gangsters and another one full of Nazis and yet another one full of Romans that had television.

That's some depth for you.
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Outkast wrote:
Grimstax wrote:
2. Planets being able to hang out in orbit around black holes (especially a planet close enough you could see Vulcan as huge in the sky during the day)


the 2nd is totally possible and just requires the planet be far enough out


If Spock were on a moon, then he could see what he saw in the movie. Another planet is just too far away. Venus and Mars look like stars in our sky.
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Quote:
Am I the only person disappointed in Star Trek?


Methinks you are.

Hello over there. We're all over here. Join us and let's all praise iTrek.
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ejcarter wrote:
[quote] Am I the only person disappointed in Star Trek?[/quote]

Methinks you are.

Hello over there. We're all over here. Join us and let's all praise iTrek.


Sorry, but I'm already in a cult. Have you seen the Yellow Sign, brother?

Guess I'd better lighten up before I'm saying, "You kids get off my lawn!"
 
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