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1666  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Star Trek on: May 15, 2009, 09:17:47 AM
why there was no evacuation shown for the planet Vulcan

I actually never had a problem with the lack of an evacuation on Vulcan, I came to the same conclusion you did, that they were clearly outgunned by Nero's ship. The part I did have a problem with is why Romulus wasn't evacuated before the supernova destroyed it- aside from the fact that they had time to do so considering how they could plead Vulcan for help and wait for Spock to prepare and get there, they shouldn't have stayed there anyway because a Solar System without a sun is going to have a slight weather problem. =P

You know Hathen, you keep harping over Nero's motivation, and I'm going to have to introduce an important tidbit regarding Romulans to begin with: they've been enemies with the Federation since they first met one another.  Romulans are a conquering race, and the Federation's existence put a halt to it much like it did for the Klingons, only, peace was made with the Klingons.  Romulans continued to distrust, and outright hate humanity.  Being thrown over a century back in time presents an opportunity.  It wasn't just about his lost wife, whom he got revenge for on Spock when he destroyed Vulcan.  Destroying Earth = no more Federation = expansion of Romulan Empire and control of the Alpha Quadrant.

If anything, the real problem with this scenario is that Nero didn't take his ship back to Romulus so that the empire would have a century's worth of a technological advantage.  But then, the Federation being destroyed wouldn't allow for future movies.

I was actually under the impression that we were supposed to feel sorry for Nero to an extent, even though he was doing evil things. He wasn't a military man, and had conquest as a secondary thought, which is why he made it very clear to the Federation he had no connection to the Empire (He wanted to make it clear it was a personal revenge plot). He was just a regular guy who chose a life of hard labor and wanted to have a family, and one day everything came crashing down on his head and he didn't deserve it. To this extent, you can sympathize with him, but his reaction was so overblown it completely kills that.

I think in order to understand his actions we'd have to know whether Nero knew that he moved into a parallel world, or that he actually traveled back in time. If it's the latter, it would make sense he would care about conquest. If it's the former, he's doing it completely for his revenge.

I suppose they also wanted to show that being consumed in revenge would ultimately destroy yourself. Kirk and Spock both had wanted revenge at one point for the death of their loved ones, but Kirk was able to suppress his anger and he helped Spock from acting upon his. I'm not sure if this idea was handled well, though, like many of the other ideas in the movie.
1667  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Star Trek on: May 15, 2009, 01:11:14 AM
There's also the whole "let's send the senior ranking officer to the planet" thing, since it's completely unrealistic for Kirk and several key members to explore planets personally. Yet, no one really cared...It's not hard to find flaws and gaping holes with all four decades of Star Trek.

Logic is great and all that, but sometimes we don't need every single aspect, much less character decisions, to make sense.

I guess it depends entirely on what your personal threshold for suspension is. For me, things like that are required for the story to be interesting, and thus are allowable- it's not a requirement for the villain to make a completely brainless decision and have nonsensical things happening for the story to work. In BttF2, you had the DeLorean struck by lightning and then fly off into the past a setup for the third movie. There's a lot of logical questions to be raised there, but since the whole thing was done to set up something for the next film, it's something I feel can be overlooked. Here, things happen simply at the plot's convenience.

The decision Nero is making here is basically if my mother was walking into a mall with a bomb in there, and I see people yelling at her to stop walking towards the mall, but it's too late, then the same explosion somehow manages to send me back in time. The first thing I do when I get back is to kill every single parent of the people that tried to stop her from walking towards the mall so they won't be there to yell at her to not walk towards it.

This movie is basically re-establishing the basic premise for a new generation so it should just be taken for what it is

I'm thinking the next one they'll have a lot more flexibility since they cleaned the slate- I really wish they'd get other writers though, since I'm not a fan of how these two guys have written in the past.

As for how it compares to other Star Trek films, I'd say I like 2 and 6 much more than this one. Not gonna compare it to 4, that one's just kinda out there compared to the other ones.

I guess I can say i liked it about as much as First Contact and Nemesis. Now that I think about it, I don't like half the Star Trek movies, heh.

I just wanted to say John Cho was pretty awesome in this film.

Compared to who? He barely did anything in the film, he had his moment to shine and it was a needless action scene. =P

I can't think of a single other Asian actor that's the appropriate age. I thought it was funny when they chose him because he actually looks nothing like Sulu, with the other actors they actually have a bit of resemblance. They probably chose him because he's the only Asian actor of the appropriate age that at least a couple people have a clue of who he is.
1668  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Star Trek on: May 14, 2009, 04:50:17 AM
My favorite part is when they showed the Gorn VS Kirk clip. People just can't get enough of making fun of that part of the series- for good reason, though.

1669  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Star Trek on: May 14, 2009, 02:32:55 AM
Trouble with Tribbles was such a terrible episode.  It didn't have any deep storyline or character development, what was up with that.  Man, that isn't Star Trek at all.

Suppose I should clarify what I enjoy as Star Trek as being the ones that do have those elements. There's plenty of bad episodes (And in fact 2 entire TV series that are almost completely crap) and I can go off listing them if I wanted to, but that'd be counterproductive. It still doesn't stop this movie from being bad.

Was I entertained? Sure. Was it the least bit thought provoking? No- it didn't even make sense within it's own little world. I want to make it very clear though, that I don't have any problem that all of you enjoyed the movie- that's perfectly fine. I just felt like point out a lot of obvious logical flaws the movie overlooked, and normally these kinds of things would be called out on as lazy/bad writing.

Lard, the logic here is that since it's apparently a split timeline, Nero will not be able to save his family even if he went to tell Romulus what's going to happen. The writers can write time travel in that way if they want to, of course, time travel is easily one of the hardest things to write. But his whole logic of "blowing up the federation will stop a natural disaster from occurring" barely makes any sense. Even if you take that to the extreme end- the fact that the absence of the Federation might result in another entity that could've reacted faster, that's a silly roundabout way of doing things.

All it really leaves as a motivation is his anger, which is barely developed beyond the basic "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die." reaction.

Anyway, I guess this is a bit like what I'm sounding like at this point.
1670  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Star Trek on: May 13, 2009, 10:21:08 PM
People seem to forget this is science FICTION. Not science non-fiction. They can make up whatever they want.

Pretty much what Hidoshi said- if you make science fiction, you can't just have whatever you want pulled out of nowhere to have the story being driven. This is why fantasy stories can be very weak sometimes- the presence of a completely mystical thing that does nothing but drive the plot.

But I'll go ahead and give another example of this- the Nexus in Star Trek: Generations. About the only things we learned in the movie are:

What's the secret door for? Oh, it's so Soran can find the trilitium used to get into the Nexus.
Why did Romulans attack the station? Oh, they're looking for the stolen trilitium Soran is using to get into the Nexus.
Why would he destroy a star? To get into the Nexus.

The bulk of the movie was filled with people simply talking about the Nexus. The Nexus is not a story- the nexus is just a plot device used to hand two characters screentime (Kirk and Picard). The Nexus is a completely magical phenomenon that has no explanation given whatsoever.

For the record, I don't care if you have some light technobabble and implausible science in a science fiction movie. Nobody is going to roll their eyes if a starship is powered by fusion power (Something that exists, but cannot be done because of limitations, last I checked). If the science fiction makes no sense, it's only forgivable if they try to tell a good story with it. Here, there's no attempt at that- the red matter was created for the sole purpose of making a character have screentime (Old Spock). With this parallel universe story, it makes no difference whether Old Spock is there or not, and the only chance they ever get to make his presence mean something- telling Kirk about his father- is wasted for the most part.

If I had a problem with science fiction I'd be complaining about stupid little things like how there's no sound in space, or how things can't travel faster than light speed. These things are there because they need to be there for the story- the red matter is just a plot device.

Star Trek: Nemesis had a stupid, stupid external conflict. But the internal conflict was interesting, and I had ignored the plot holes for that reason until the very end, where it just became another "boom boom you're dead" movie. Of course you can also throw in the fact that John Logan's writing style doesn't click well with Science Fiction.

I did have some of the same gripes that Hathen did, but still thought it was OK.

I'm not trying to say if it was a bad movie, but a bad Star Trek movie. Even as just a movie, it's just another high-budget summer action film.

I'll make it clear to point out as early as possible I am no Trekkie.  In fact I'm more in the Wars camp than anything else.

I like things from both Star Trek and Star Wars- the parts that don't suck. They're two completely different things.

Surely the offense could use a less severe punishment, like throwing Kirk into the brig.  This is a starship after all, I'm sure they have one.

Ah, see, but that would remove the ability for the writers to give Leonard Nimoy his well-deserved screentime. Now I'm just confused why they left Shatner out since Nimoy's character didn't end up doing much either.

A genius, but very subtle marketing technique for Lucas.

I think you overestimate George Lucas. My main problem is that giving everyone screentime is just something that eats up time in the movie needlessly because they feel its just so obligatory to give these people screentime.

Hardcore fans who are intimately familiar with the franchise already knew of the name and get a chance to friendly rib their buddy dressed up as a Klingon next to them.  But in the scope of the masses, they have no clue that the joke and reference was there in the first place and thus makes it even more geeky.

See, I don't want this "geekiness" in Star Trek, it's just there to make the fans get excited, and oftentimes it gets in the way of the story. If it's written smartly so that it's funny/understandable to all audiences, I don't have a problem with it...unless it's just completely shoe-horned in for the sake of just having it there. Recycling entire lines/scenes is just leeching off somebody's work, and much of it does nothing to establish the characters.

Let's take the Kobeyashi Maru scene- when I heard this was going to be a prequel, I told myself that I'd be very irritated if they showed that, and then they did. But even getting past the fact that it was thrown in there mostly as a fan service, the scene really doesn't do anything other than lets the audience have a cheap laugh. When I heard them describe the Kobeyashi Maru in Star Trek 2, I got the feeling it was because Kirk is stubborn and unwilling to lose. Here, he's eating an apple, and he's just acting like a frat boy that doesn't give a shit, which is something that had already been established in, like, 5 scenes before that. Now, don't misunderstand me- I'm not complaining about it because it was different than how I imagined it, I'm complaining because it's a meaningless scene.

Hah, why didn't they evacuate or at least attempt to?  All we got was the scene of the elders huddled around doing ..something.  Waiting for the disaster.  Once again, a bit of simple dialogue on the subject could work wonders for the scenario.

I'm going to say that it's reasonable for the Vulcans to be unable to escape simply because the ship will just destroy everything that tries to. But the Romulans not trying to escape their planet is completely retarded.

Of course the whole thing was done just to have people dress up in silly color costumes (Of all the things in the movie, those stuck out to me like a sore thumb, they looked like friggin' power rangers) and jump onto the drill for an action scene. One wonders why the Enterprise didn't just shoot the damn thing, since that's exactly what they did at the end of the film. And if the only thing the red matter needs to work is to be ignited, why not just fire the red matter designed like a molotov cocktail instead of going through the trouble of drilling into the center of the damn planet?

Did Nero age a day in that 25 year gap?  I seem to remember him not.

Eh, guess they needed a better makeup job, but I think it's because Vulcans live a long time, if Spock's age is any indication.

Once again, I think you are over simplifying things.  I agree a lot of the "Trek-ness" feels gone (has the franchsie ever been so lighthearted and comedic?) but still there is at least some of it left.

See, I'm one of those people that doesn't care much for canon if you have the ability to tell a good story. What I mean by "lack of Star Trek-ness" is mainly the fact that they've discarded what made TOS such a timeless series- the ideas they had in the show, as cheesy as some of them might've been, have a timeless quality to them, and these particular things were not found in the new movie. As far as canon and fan-service goes, I'm someone who doesn't care much for it.
1671  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Star Trek on: May 13, 2009, 01:38:46 PM



Where do I begin?

Guess I'll try to get some discussion from the posts that are already here. Naturally, I'm going to give away some huge spoilers so look away now if you haven't seen the movie.

It manages to pay tremendous homage to the original series and movies, while removing the majority of the geek factor.

I'm curious as to what people consider the "geek" factor of Star Trek, because from what I understand, all the geek factors of Star Trek are everything that makes bad Trek. Meaningless technobabble, catch-phrasing, self-referencing...any good Trek episode/movie would have a minimal use, or complete absence of, these elements. There's a difference between paying homage and recycling entire lines from previous episodes and movies. This is the level of fan service that the Star Wars prequels employed, where we're suppose to nudge our buddies and smile and wink at them because they mentioned something that sounds familiar simply for the sake of having it there.

Dead-on, great performances.

Most of these performances were the actors trying to imitate the original series actors. Now, I don't have a problem with that, because these actors have been handed a really big task of revitalizing these really old characters, and there's lots of jaded Trek fans with sticks up their ass that arn't going to accept changes in the characters. Overall, I liked the actors- I just wished they gave them something more to work with.

I agree the problem is the writing, completely. These characters are given no time and no dialogue to develop beyond their roles on the ship. There are no characters, simply people who do stuff. You have Chekov, the math genius, Scotty, the engineer guy, etc. They are defined by their roles and not their personalities, aside from very basic things such as Spock trying to constantly suppress his emotions, and that's only because he's one of the main characters.

I don't think they should've included the introductions to half these characters if they wern't going to do jack shit with them. It felt, once again, like the Star Wars prequels, like when they stuck Chewbacca in there for no reason other than for the audience to go, 'omg it's Chewbacca'. This is something that irritated me to no end in the TNG films: Beverly activating the E.M.H., Deanna is drunk, Worf's got a fuckin' pimple for crying out loud.

Also, the Orion chick is perhaps the worst makeup I've seen in /any/ Star Trek film or show. Enterprise did Orions better, and that was on a TV budget. Yech. On the other hand? Great work on the mini-troll assistant they gave Scotty.

I just ignored the Orion chick because it was such a small detail (Besides, didn't think it was that bad, and it was probably, once again, to make the TOS fans do the wave because it had a retro look to it), but goddamn I couldn't stand that mini-troll assistant thing. Are you kidding me? You're going to give him a stupid little sidekick like that? I can't believe they did something so cheap and childish for the sake of a bunch of cheap laughs.

Nero is definitely forgettable

Nero isn't forgettable because he's not a character. He has the most retarded motivation I've seen since...since...well, Star Trek: Nemesis. I guess that kinda backfired on me.

So let's recap what's happened here. Spock has this red matter, it creates black holes, which will absorb the huge blast from the supernova-ing Romulus sun (Which makes one wonder why the black hole doesn't just suck up the supernova and then fires off into the alternate dimension like a huge flamethrower and blows up that universe instead- how does this stuff work?). He gets there too late, Romulus is destroyed, and the black hole generated sends Nero and Spock through time...or in this case, another dimension.

This is so full of stupidity that I can't help but comment. First off, if there was enough time to realize the sun of Romulus was going supernova, contact Vulcan, having the Vulcans prepare their fastest ship, and then having Spock arrive there just as the supernova destroys the planet...WHY DIDN'T YOU FUCKING EVACUATE ROMULUS? It's like the people who are living in this universe are out of their minds. Even if they were so damn sure the Vulcans were going to make it on time, I hear that planets without suns are a bit on a nippy side as far as weather goes.

Nero, looking on at this, automatically assumes that Spock got there late on purpose and decides to wait 25 years so he can torture him. This is a completely contrived and forced conflict. The way he does things is like a stupid James Bond villain too. "In order to beat you, I will make you suffer the loss of your world the way I suffered the loss of mine!" Uh, Spock was trying to help you, and you know he was trying to help you.

What makes even less sense is how the time travel is handled in this movie. Well, the time travel concepts themselves do make enough sense, but the actions that result from it do not. They don't go for the "Single timeline being screwed theory", so I know people are going to point out the fault with me next statement- even if Nero was stuck in the past, that means Romulus is fine. There's nothing wrong with it. Go over there and warn them that this is going to happen, problem solved. Of course, the writers have created this whole idea that since that rather than going into the past, they've actually traveled into an alternate dimension. Okay, fine, but how is that stopping Nero from going back and at least TRYING this method since there's no reason whatsoever he should know that the black hole has sent him into another dimension rather than simply back in time(You'd think that he'd figure that out within 25 years, he already learned the Stardate from the Federation ships). And if this red matter can be used to simply go to other dimensions (seemingly to a random time), there should be nothing stopping Nero from studying this red matter so that he can use it for this very purpose instead of the intended purpose of blowing shit up (Or sucking shit up, I guess).

But hey, he's a miner, maybe he lacks that ability (Even though it wouldn't be difficult to go and ask people that are available in the universe to help you study this red matter since they would all be grabbing it like crazy as the most powerful weapon of destruction in all of the known universe). So in order to save Romulus from being destroyed by a natural disaster, I'm going to destroy every single planet of the Federation who attempted to prevent that natural disaster from happening! Wait, what? If we get past that first problem and Nero actually realizes that this is an alternate dimension, he has no reason whatsoever to go around blowing up a bunch of Federation planets that arn't even going to be the same universe. His anger is a completely contrived just so we can have a bad guy. Okay, he wants Spock to suffer now by blowing up Vulcan (If Spock KNEW the whole time he was only a short distance away from a Federation outpost, why didn't he go there and try to beam up/get transported to Vulcan so he could warn people?).

I can't believe how many monumentally stupid things Nero does in this movie just so that the plot can get done what it needs to get done.

And the writing...this is Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci- I was already worried when I saw these two names as the screenwriters for Star Trek. They have written such literary masterpieces as Transformers, and Eagle Eye, known to me as "the movie where people survive falling into liquid nitrogen".

There is also a complete lack of anything Star Trek here. Well, that's a bit unfair- there is a bit of a good theme going on of loss, with Spock losing his mother and his people, Kirk losing his father and trying to understand him through Old Alternate Spock, Nero losing his wife and child...this amounts to nothing more than a missed opportunity, though.

Anyway, that was a huge rant, so I'll leave off for now with some positive notes:

I loved the set design.
I loved the special effects.
The acting, for the most part, was good, but crappy writing ruins it.
I loved the retro garish color scheme.
I loved the first ~10 minutes of the film.

Overall? It's a pretty good summer action film I guess, as good as any other movie of this type gets. This could've been any generic science-fiction action film- there is no real Star Trek-ness here, which defeats the point of even making it a Star Trek film in the first place. It would be like making a Final Fantasy XIV a side-scrolling megaman-like game that was actually a pretty good/fun game. Sure, fun to play, but why the heck is it called Final Fantasy?
1672  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Greatest Enemy of the RPG Genre counter argument on: May 09, 2009, 02:53:44 AM

1673  Media / Multiplayer RPGs / Re: Final Fantasy XI - Journal! on: May 07, 2009, 01:40:33 PM
We're getting a Conquest version of Astral Candy.
1674  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Duke Nukem Forever to become Duke Nukem Never? on: May 07, 2009, 03:34:26 AM
Why would you need another game, you can just watch the Ventrillo Harassment over and over.
1675  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Russian Teenager Killed Over Counter-Strike Game on: May 06, 2009, 06:52:14 PM

1676  The Rest / General Discussions / Washington DC Star Trek VS Star Wars on: May 06, 2009, 06:08:36 PM
I lawd. You probably have the have seen both these things to get the joke, though. =P
1677  Site Related & More / RPGFan: Site / PM Copy in Outbox on: May 06, 2009, 02:44:34 PM
This is a really minor thing, but I always tend to forget to hit the checkbox, so is it possible to make a PM save to outbox by default, and make the checkbox for not saving?
1678  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: I've been featured in the local news! on: May 03, 2009, 07:38:57 AM
If you're going to geek out, you might as well help others while you're doing it.

I approve of this.
1679  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: SRTOGS Endless Frontier on: May 01, 2009, 12:55:21 AM
OG2 was one of the few SRT games that I've skipped on. I guess I should check it out sometime.
1680  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: SRTOGS Endless Frontier on: April 30, 2009, 06:11:32 PM
Thing is, I've played a great amount of the SRT games, and none of them have ever been challenging or particularly well-constructed as far as gameplay goes, IMO (Only possible exception is the two F games which were hard as all hell). The real robots and super robots are horribly unbalanced, and their strongest bosses amount to nothing more to giving them the biggest fucking lifebars I've ever seen across all RPGs and then giving them 10% HP regeneration per turn. There's no real thought put into any of the games, which is why I've always missed the point of playing the OG games (Played halfway through the first one), because for me the only reason it was fun was seeing all those robots you know and love in the same place.

Starting on @2 (Some may argue @G, but I think that was pretty tame), they decided to start putting in gratuitous bouncing boobs that found its way to pretty much every other game after that. Not that I'm complaining about it. Point is, SRT is as shallow of a strategy game as they get. Sure, you could try to take advantage of the terrain bonuses (There were segments in SRW D, I think it was, that forced you to exploit these small things in gameplay) and whatnot, but it's not something you think about in normal play and you can just muscle your way through everything.

The handheld games are a lot more tolerable I suppose, because you can chip away at them over several road trips until you finally finish the game.
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