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Author Topic: Star Trek  (Read 6810 times)
Parn
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« on: May 08, 2009, 11:19:34 PM »

Just came back from watching this, and it is now my favorite movie out of all the Star Trek movies that have come before it.  It manages to pay tremendous homage to the original series and movies, while removing the majority of the geek factor.  This is definitely a day-one purchase when it ships on Blu-Ray.
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Blace
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 01:38:27 AM »

I can't wait for the Blu-ray. Easily buying that puppy up instantly. This was my first Trek film and I loved it.
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Esper_Crusader
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 06:04:39 PM »

Yeah, I just watched it as well and it was awesome. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 09:57:14 PM »

Saw it. Better than it had any right to be. Hollywood needs to work on it's trailer making skills.
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 02:21:31 AM »

Saw it. Some of it was pretty good. Some of it was pretty bad. Spock's actor... meh, very wooden. Didn't care much for him. Kirk's on the other hand? Bravo. Same with Uhura, Sulu, and Scotty. Dead-on, great performances. On the whole, the Vulcans just came off as average to me, and I found their entire reaction to the "incident" rather... problematic. Yes, Vulcans aren't supposed to show emotion, but from a dramatic point of view, you'd at least expect a huge shock to run through them. Just because they don't regularly show emotions doesn't mean they don't have them.

The pacing is very rushed. As I look back over the plot, I'm glad they developed the main cast as well as they did (Kirk being the obvious frontman here), but I felt it was at the expense of some other elements the movie needed to make more prominent. Nero is just... forgettable. Yes he's a miner, yes he's a man just bent on vengeance, but he was extremely pedestrian. There was no effect from his personality. Makes for poor drama when your villain is just another NPC in a wave of NPCs. In general a lot of the problems stem from dialogue. It's all written very plainly, and it comes across as wholly unimportant. There's a handful of good lines, but they're all just references back to the original series and movies.

What's actually unnerving is that Ambassador Spock's line from Wrath of Khan (here reused) stands in sharp contrast to all the other dialogue. It's got a kind of sophistication the rest of the script lacks, though at times Scotty and McCoy both make some good quips.

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.

All said and done, it wasn't a bad movie, not even a bad Trek movie. But it's not the best the series has to offer. Wrath of Khan is easily a better film, both in pacing and character development. It's a more mature, sophisticated film than this is, as is The Voyage Home. Nonetheless, kudos to J.J. Abrams and the whole crew, they did a bang-up job of making Star Trek new again. I'm just hoping whatever comes next will fix the glaring problems with this first run.
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Blace
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 02:46:53 AM »

Nero is definitely forgettable, but I still felt he was pretty menacing because that ship was so huge and the fact that they could destroy entire planets. I've never seen anything else star trek related before, but I really liked the cast. Kirk was definitely my favorite followed by Bones who I thought was funny (and defintiely funnier than Scotty... I'm a fan of Simon Pegg but the character really isn't that funny). The movie is pure exhilaration, and makes for a very entertaining movie (I haven't been this thrilled by a movie since The Dark Knight). It does have its problems, but they got overshadowed easily for me because I was just having way too much fun to even care.
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 08:50:38 AM »

Zachary Quinto as Spock kept making me chuckle, because I associate him with being Sylar now.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 01:58:06 PM »

Nero is definitely forgettable, but I still felt he was pretty menacing because that ship was so huge and the fact that they could destroy entire planets. I've never seen anything else star trek related before, but I really liked the cast. Kirk was definitely my favorite followed by Bones who I thought was funny (and defintiely funnier than Scotty... I'm a fan of Simon Pegg but the character really isn't that funny). The movie is pure exhilaration, and makes for a very entertaining movie (I haven't been this thrilled by a movie since The Dark Knight). It does have its problems, but they got overshadowed easily for me because I was just having way too much fun to even care.

Meh, the weapon doesn't make the character any more menacing. The Death Star doesn't make Darth Vader menacing, nor the Emperor. They have to be memorable on their own. Nero is pretty weak as far as Star Trek villains go. As far as movie villains, period. He had potential at first, when he was sitting there being silent and devious, but then he just broke down into this pedestrian kind of shmuck who I couldn't give a damn about.

The movie's exhilaration hurts it, I feel. I hate that about many modern movies. Too much time is spent moving hurriedly around a story, without giving its dialogue or character development due attention. I found that to be a problem with this movie too, though as I said, it does have its merits. Particularly problematic is the incident, as I said, because they don't really rest on it long enough for the moment to matter overall. I can't feel what the Vulcans are feeling, because the director hasn't given either side that time to mourn. Even when Spock suffers his own tragedy, it's still too fast, too plastic. It doesn't give me a sense that he's experienced a real loss.

On the other hand, the opening was done brilliantly. The whole sequence made me care about those characters very quickly, and you could feel the pain on either side. That was good directing. It's just a shame it wasn't applied more thoroughly across the board.
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 08:14:31 PM »

I went in expecting to hate it, but I really enjoyed it.  Good stuff.
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 08:16:48 AM »

The opening sequence was like Lost on steroids.

Hey Josh,

I actually enjoyed this more than the Dark Knight.

A better movie? Maybe not. Although, I could make the argument...But definitely more enjoyable, and Christ it didn't last 3 hours like every other blockbuster seems to do these days...

JP
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Blace
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 08:21:38 AM »

I definitely really enjoyed it, but I enjoyed The Dark Knight more when I watched it in theaters (I was more hyped up and excited for that one whereas I knew nothing about this going in other than the amazing reviews).
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Hathen
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2009, 01:38:46 PM »

Uuuuuuugh.

Awwwwooooh.

Arrrrrrgh.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?
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Blace
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 04:39:25 PM »

People seem to forget this is science FICTION. Not science non-fiction. They can make up whatever they want.
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 04:42:31 PM »

No Blace, they cannot. Science fiction must appear at least tenable to reality, hence the "SCIENCE" part of the name. Even if it's made up, it should at least sound and feel plausible or it no longer serves the needs of the movie. That's when you enter the realm of a Fantasy movie, and we all know 90% of those are pure shite.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 04:49:57 PM »

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

One thing you didn't mention that kind of bothered me, though, was the fact that Spock gives Scotty the trans-warp whatever-the-heck formula.  Sure, Scotty can take credit for it, and Spock won't give him any crap about it, but now he won't get/have to go through whatever creative process led him to the formula in the original universe, which will probably screw up his development into creating whatever other genius things he originally came up with.
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