Star Trek

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Mr. Tweedy
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Star Trek

Postby Mr. Tweedy » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:06 pm

So, anybody else interested in the new Star Trek movie? I've seen all of them in the theatre since I was old enough to go, and Star Trek 4 was one of my favorite movies as a kid. This new one looks pretty good, from the trailers and early reviews, so I figure I'll keep up the tradition.
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Postby Phenopath » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:02 pm

I am not a massive Star Trek fan, but I remember being seriously freaked-out by the Wrath of Khan when the alien slugs were put into some dude's helmet and crawled into his ear. Wikipedia has helpfully identified these bugs as the Ceti eel. So now I know.

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Postby Kevin Anderson » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:46 pm

I'm excited. I'm a little worried about JJ's take. I'm a huge LOST fan and loved Cloverfield, but Fringe... just blows gerbils.

The other flick I'm excited about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--N9klJXbjQ


oh, yeah
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Postby Kevin Anderson » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:51 pm

...and then there is this spoof

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsLqKAvKiQM&NR=1

Eh, it was a pretty good book to.

I'd give it a #2
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Postby Goldenrat » Tue May 12, 2009 9:38 pm

Has anyone seen this yet? I'm going this weekend hopefully. Two of my sci-fi oriented friends have given it positive reviews and I see the overall reception has been positive. Can't wait!

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Tue May 12, 2009 10:36 pm

We're planning to go next weekend. Family event.

I'm actually pretty pumped. It's been way too long since I've seen huge spaceships shooting each other. For me, that always the main draw of both the "Star" franchises. I don't care much for Kirk, but man is the Enterprise cool!
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I saw it

Postby StalinSays » Tue May 12, 2009 11:11 pm

I saw it, and walked out happy. 4 out of 5 stars. Best Trek entry since Search for Spock, personal opinion.

Caveat - I'm not a huge Star Trek fan. I've seen all the motion pictures, but watched maybe ten episodes of the original series, at most. My lens is through pop culture backwards. Of any cast, I have the biggest attachment to 'Next Generation.' Never been to a convention, and the closest to a "true fan" I've come is watching Trekkies on DVD. I enjoy LOST, and JJ Abram's general approach of not necessarily style over substance, but at least style in equal portion.

I saw the movie as life blood for a dried up franchise - a chisel to knock it free of the niche. The new Star Trek was entertainment first, Star Trek movie second. For me, that was a wise decision. A big summer movie, not beholden to the stylistic trappings of a television series. A better experience. They kept the essence (Bones delivering one liners, Kirk and Spock butt heads, shields, torpedoes, ships exploding) and ditched a lot of the weight. From my seat, a fair trade-off.

My friends have identified some plot holes and quirks that are distressing once considered, so I won't speak to the longevity of the new movie. I had a close friend who is a bigger Trek guy than me dislike it. He wanted to draw a clear line between this and the revitalization of Batman and James Bond (and hopefully Terminator). I would disagree, and place all three on a nearly even plane.

I will go see the sequel.

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Tue May 12, 2009 11:21 pm

Search for Spock sucked.

The good Treks are 2,4,6 and 7. 8 was decent. 1,3 and 5 sucked utterly. 9 and 10 were meh.

(This is an authoritative declaration, by the way, not just my opinion.)
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meh

Postby StalinSays » Tue May 12, 2009 11:55 pm

Fair enough. The line is more to stamp a 'meh' on a couple decades worth of movies than to heap praise on III. I prefer TNG series, but the movies leave a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, that counts First Contact.

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Wed May 13, 2009 3:01 am

I also preferred TNG. Probably because was the first space ship show I encountered as a child (I recall my joy at finally being old enough to stay up and watch Star Trek with my parents), but I really think it was the best. The original series really hadn't covered much ground in its relatively brief run, and TNG had a lot of genuinely good writing and original ideas. The characters were also a good mix: None of them ever got to seeming gimmicky. It also deserves praise for getting consistently better throughout its run. They wisely quit the series while it was still strong instead of waiting for it to fizzle out.

And I always found it pretty hard to take Kirk seriously. He was too cocky, too much of a cowboy to come across as either sympathetic or authoritative. Picard, on the other hand: You could believe that guy was a captain. "Make it so." Great stuff.

Plus, the TNG Enterprise could split in half. That was awesome. (And awesomely used in the latter scenes of Star Trek 7.)
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Postby Goldenrat » Wed May 13, 2009 3:24 am

Mr. Tweedy wrote:I also preferred TNG. Probably because was the first space ship show I encountered as a child (I recall my joy at finally being old enough to stay up and watch Star Trek with my parents), but I really think it was the best. The original series really hadn't covered much ground in its relatively brief run, and TNG had a lot of genuinely good writing and original ideas. The characters were also a good mix: None of them ever got to seeming gimmicky. It also deserves praise for getting consistently better throughout its run. They wisely quit the series while it was still strong instead of waiting for it to fizzle out.

And I always found it pretty hard to take Kirk seriously. He was too cocky, too much of a cowboy to come across as either sympathetic or authoritative. Picard, on the other hand: You could believe that guy was a captain. "Make it so." Great stuff.


Nailed it. I remember watching the reruns of the original series after school in the mid to late 70's and thought it was cool, but TNG was great for the reasons Tweedy stated. I never got in to DS9 or Enterprise. I watched Voyager for the first two years and then gave up on it. Not sure why. I heard they ended it neatly but I never bothered to catch up on it.

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hmmm

Postby StalinSays » Wed May 13, 2009 6:04 pm

All this TNG talk has brought visions of an Abrams reimagined movie named Next Generation. Young, sexy Data, young, sexxy Worf. Toddler Wesley and precocious antics. Riker and Guinana secretly hooking up. The space whale parasite that loves the ship is back, but has facial tattoos.

That would be... bad.

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Wed May 13, 2009 6:42 pm

I enjoyed DS9, but it was disposable. TNG seemed "authentic", while DS9 was obviously a for-the-money spinoff.

I've seen maybe 10 episodes of Voyager. I recall about 6 of the ten involved time travel somehow, and of those 6 about 3 involved Voyager being destroyed in another timeline. I also recall that most problems were solved by the characters babbling to each other with completely made-up words Star Trek words, then nodding agreement that whatever they had just said would probably work. It seemed very gimmicky.

I never saw any Enterprise, but I've head only bad things about it.
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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Sun May 17, 2009 3:27 am

Okay, I went and saw it today and... It sucked. One star.

Star Trek 11 has been billed as a prequel. It is not a prequel. It is, in fact, a spinoff that takes place in a parallel universe to all of the other Star Trek stories and is connected to them by only the baldest contrivance. It contains the same characters, but they have all new origin stories and they live in a universe that is completely different. Accordingly, I will refer to the movie as "Ultimate Star Trek."

Ultimate Star Trek has possibly the thinnest plot of any science fiction movie ever. None of the characters has any apparent motivation, especially the villain, Nero, who wants to destroy the Earth because... (wait for it!) ...he's crazy. Yes, crazy. Gone are the days when Trek villains wanted to absorb the Earth into their collectives, purify it for the use of machine life or feast on the bioelectric energy of its citizens. The Ultimate baddies are just plain nuts.

It seems that, in the future, the Federation fails to stop Nero's planet from being destroyed by a natural disaster. They try, but they just don't make it in time. You'd think Nero would be grateful that they tried to save his home, but no, he's pissed. When, through a bald contrivance, Nero is transported back in time, he decides to take out his rage by destroying the Federation. (I mean, like, what else would he do? Take the opportunity to save his planet before the disaster strikes?) Apparently, Nero thinks that if he can destroy the Federation, then they won't be late with their rescue and his planet will be saved. Like, I'll go back in time and kill all the firemen so they won't be able to not rescue my family. Does that make any sense? Why no, not a bit. Like I said: He's crazy. Unfortunately, he's also the deepest and most sympathetic character in the story.

It's not a good story.

Without going into needless detail, I can sum up the plot by saying it is a mess of shallow contrivances, none of which is particularly interesting. In Ultimate Star Trek, things happen for one reason and one reason only: To advance the story to the next action scene. This is also the motivation for all the heros: Advance to the next action scene. Conversations generally turn into fist fights for no apparent reason. Black holes will either kill you or throw you back in time as the plot requires. The Enterprise has a bout 100 yards of giant water pipes that run in loops through engineering. Why does a starship have water mains? Why, so that a character can get sucked through them in a comic-relief moment, of course. Starships are built with comic relief in mind. Etc. There is no logic or sense to anything in the movie: Everything is a contrivance. Nothing is plausible. There is no explanation for any event that takes place in the movie other than the screenwriter needed some way to get to the next scene. The story makes "The Mummy" seem deep.

Even the cinematography is bad. The whole movie is ugly, from the poorly-updated costumes to the overused lens flare effects to the cheap-looking sets. Even the starships aren't cool. Starships are supposed to be BIG, but the terrible overuse of tight shots and shaky camera makes them all seem like tiny models (ironic, since the starships looked less like models in the older movies, when they really were models).

And I'll just stop there, because there really isn't much else to say. I could detail the myriad scientific errors (apparently the filmmakers do not understand the meaning of the word "orbit") but it would be pointless, because you wouldn't expect scientific accuracy from a movie that is not concerned with accuracy of any kind. I could list all plot holes, but why bother doing that to a story that consists completely of plot holes? It would be like giving names to all the empty spaces out in space.

Ultimate Star Trek sucks. Avoid. Pop in the DVD of Star Trek 6 or 7 and make some microwave popcorn. It will be a much better use of your time.
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fun, watchable

Postby StalinSays » Mon May 18, 2009 5:51 pm

I defer any defense of my stance to the Onion:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/trekkies_bash_new_star_trek_film

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Postby Goldenrat » Tue May 19, 2009 4:35 am

Yoinks! Gotta respect Tweedy's scathing review but I gotta go with StalinSays.....I liked it. Yeah, the science was not on but the show has always bent the scientific rules (transporters, warp drive, what?) and I guess I just let it go. Plausibility has never been a concern for Star Trek writers. The black hole scenes were pretty glaring, though. I liked the energy of the show and I thought all the characters were well done and likable for the most part. Oh well. Looking forward to Terminator now.

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Tue May 19, 2009 5:19 am

I just... I just... Argh!

That scene with the "space jump" you know? That scene is completely physically impossible. You can't dive out of an orbiting spacecraft! It's impossible. You have to use thrust to decelerate in oder to drop out of orbit. And anything your dipped into the atmosphere from a ship in low orbit would be moving at thousands of miles per hour, not stationary over a point on the planet.

So... maybe the ships weren't orbiting. Maybe they were just hovering, right? But they said the word "orbit" and there was debris all around the ships, and that wouldn't be able to hover!

This really bugs me because Star Trek has always taken care to be as scientifically accurate as possible. This sort of extreme unrealism is the sort of thing I'd expect from Ninja Turtles, not Star Trek! Plus, it's just so careless. It would have been easily possible for them to set it up so that the ships were really orbiting, keep it realistic, but they just didn't bother.

Sigh...
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yeh, but then I say this

Postby StalinSays » Tue May 19, 2009 8:57 pm

It's a summer tent pole release. I understand that you expect better of Star Trek, and I respect that, but on a certain level splitting hairs about black holes and space jumps becomes as moot as decrying Transformers because Shia Labeouff "clearly would not have the momentum to clear the multiple ton falling Megatron, and should have been flattened." It's a forest through the trees deal. Yes, the movie is more flippant and silly that might befit its heritage, that I cannot dispute. But in reaching for a wider audience, in a quest to reinvigorate a notoriously square property, this kind of dumbing down is inevitable, and further, the right course.

I prefer the superficial action heavy refurbishing: it's just more fun, and that what 'the movie version' of anything is really supposed to be. Blown out, suped up, flames painted on the side. Movies are short, TV series are long. Flashy spectacles versus considered episodic tales, it just makes more sense for the medium. It's a hard line to effectively cross, and for what they have accomplished, Abrams and his screen writers deserves praise. Look at the Terminator series, which just tried to transition in the other with the Sarah Connor Chronicles.

I think I can distill my leaning on this discrepancy down to a single production decision. The alien designs in the movie - more Star Wars than Star Trek, what with ridged faces, snarling maws and giant CG eyes. One could complain about a regrettable failure to grasp the time honored traditions of the Star Trek aesthetic and add that to a laundry list of complaints. Alternatively, one could see it as the difference between a 2000's era blockbuster with millions of dollars of budget, and a TV series from the 60's. They look different. Of course they do.

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also..

Postby StalinSays » Tue May 19, 2009 9:00 pm

As an aside, I would recommend avoiding the new Sherlock Holmes

http://www.cinematical.com/2009/05/18/sherlock-holmes-and-the-case-of-the-wtf-trailer/

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Tue May 19, 2009 11:12 pm

Well, I strongly disagree that a movie has to be dumbed down to be popular.

Gladiator? Lord of the Rings? The Matrix? Unbreakable? WALL-E? The new Batman franchise? Even a healthy selections of the Star Wars and Trek movies: These are smart movies, and they were all thrilling crowd-pleasers. Audiences don't go to see movies because they are dumb. They go to movies in spite of them being dumb. If they can get a movie that's exciting and smart, they'll go in droves and the movie will make a billion dollars.

You don't have to sacrifice brains under the hood to get flames on the sides. The Hubble needs chrome dubs and a spectrograph camera to be whole. If there's subs but no camera, this homey ain't ridin'.
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