Thoughts on new Star Trek movie (*spoilers!*)

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by frostytheplebe, May 8, 2009.

  1. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    I get the feeling that I'd like the movie a lot more if I had been aware of the backstory before seeing it. I still remember thinking to myself that the movie was paced as if they cut out a lot of scenes just to make it more "summer blockbuster friendly". (I think it was LOAF who pointed out that the villian seemed to be more interesting than he turned out...?)
     
  2. Frosty

    Frosty a full fledged GF

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    Precisely. And this is the exact type of information that has no business being in the movie itself.

    It's great fun that we know exactly why the Narada is the way it is because we read the comic book, and it's perfectly executed moviecraft in that at no point in the movie do we exposit about this fact, which would result in graceless, dorky dialogue that's not the slightest bit important to the plot.

    In fact almost every complain I've heard about the movie conforms to this basic diagram. The answers to our questions actually are out there, but the complaino-fags who aren't actually the superfans they pretend to be haven't bothered to investigate, and consequently don't know.
    Well, I'm pretty sure the tools to become more aware were at your disposal for weeks.
    The problem here is that you're assuming these "cut" scenes were ever in the script to begin with, which isn't necessarily true, and which I doubt.
     
  3. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    I saw it in the theater again Saturday, and it was just as super awesome as the first couple times.
     
  4. frostytheplebe

    frostytheplebe Seventh Part of the Seal

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    But even the warbirds, shuttles, scout ships and other craft had markings of the Romulan hawk or "Bird of Prey" as they called it. Plus none of the technology, data terminals or consoles really looked Romulan.

    Haha that's awesome!
     
  5. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    I don't think I pointed that out. As awesome as I think movie tie-ins are (they are... the most awesome thing), I also absolutely believe they can't be necessary for a movie to work. The 'Countdown' comics are great and really set a new bar in terms of how well integrated mass media stuff can be... but the movie has to stand on its own. They're something you take to enhance your enjoyment, not to enable it (insert your own funny analogy here).

    ... and yeah, Nero is kind of lame -- but if you have to look pretty darned hard to find a strong villain in Star Trek to begin with. Now that's less of a broad criticism than it sounds, because what we're pretty much consistently forgetting is that Star Trek isn't *about* some dividing fight between good and evil; Khan and the Star Wars generation stigmatized us a bit more than we should have allowed, I think. The focus of the new Star Trek should have been as it was: on the Enterprise crew and their coming together rather than backstory for the cardboard heavy.

    There was a good amount of 'cut' material, but not (in so far as we know) moments that were supposed to let the movie stop and breathe. The speed was the point. (A good amount that would have happened earlier in the movie was cut: particular bits showing Kirk and Spock's early lives plus Nero's crew in a Klingon prison.)

    This is exactly the reason Alien was and is special, though. If every movie did this then it wouldn't have been groundbreaking or interesting in that particular case.
     
  6. ELTEE

    ELTEE Rear Admiral

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    "Tell me, Billy, have you ever been to a Klingon prison?"
     
  7. Frosty

    Frosty a full fledged GF

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    Golly, I wonder if that has to do with the alterations made to the ship before the movie takes place.
     
  8. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    Even if you don't know all about that, it's obviously not crewed by the Romulan military. I'm sure civilian Romulan ships come in a million different flavors, just like every other race.
     
  9. rapierdragon

    rapierdragon Rear Admiral

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    There was a lot of bashing of the Enterprise ship design. I thought it was pretty good. At first I thought the extra bumps on the forward-underside of the nacelles (under the bussard collectors) was horribly wrong, but after seeing the movie I all but dropped that idea as "the worst thing".

    Worst thing for me was the foward-slanting struts for the nacelles. If you look around the net, you can find sketches for what the "Enterprise E" was to look like, and one design (which had forward-slanting struts) was dropped because when the ship was viewed from above or below it gave the ship a bit of a "stuffed turkey" look. Or in this case, a "stuffed chicken".

    Someone said "why's the transporter take bloody forever". I think they wanted to make it seem like it was "recently developed for human use"... much as it took twice as long in the 2-part/pilot ep of TOS "The Cage".

    As for Spock's mom falling to her death as the cliff gave way while she was being beamed up, that seemed silly. As TOS "The Cage" and other TOS episodes show, once the transporter of that era is energized the person is essentially "frozen" in place and can't move. Ya, that changes after the Motion Picture, but given that this is a prequel, that upgrade in tech shouldn't be present yet. Only reason they prolly did it was so that it could further put Spock into emotional overload.

    As for Scotty and his miracle "super extra long-range" beaming (when Kirk and Scotty beam from that planet all the way to the ship, which is in warp and several warp-hours distant) that just seems like wanna-be crud to me. Ya, other more-advanced civ's might have the tech, but "trans-warp beaming" or whatever scotty called it was just a poor plot device. The ONE time we saw it in TOS (Gary Seven ep) Spock said that "it would require massive energy... easily more than the ship could produce". Other examples exist, but required "satellites" or communication bouys or something to help bounce/re-focus/aim the beam.
     
  10. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    Testify! I, for one, am really goddamn tired of Hollywood screwing up what is absolutely supposed to be a movie about proper transporter materialization function as defined by a specific original series episode and no others by interfering with layered pathos. Have they no shame? Someone should sue.

    Seriously, though, if you haven't noticed by now that the transporter is a magic plot device whose function runs the entire gamut between working impossibly perfectly and making evil duplicates of you for no reason depending on the need of the story then the part of your brain that notices things may have fallen out.
     
  11. frostytheplebe

    frostytheplebe Seventh Part of the Seal

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    Or to transport just women down with Pike...
    Or to transport everyone to an alternate reality...
    Or to... somehow beam a US AF pilot into his former self.
    Or to trap Klingons...
    Or to add a little edge of your seat action as the Constellation gives the Doomsday machine the choke of a lifetime...
    Or malfunctions at just the right time to bring in Spock as the science officer.
    Or to leave Chekov behind to be captured as a Soviet Spy.
    Or only have enough power to bring up Spock and McCoy and leave Kirk to deal with "God"
    Or to heal Dr. Pulaski of old age.
    Or to preserve Scotty so he can appear in a TNG Episode...
    ... I think I can stop now.
     
  12. Zelvik

    Zelvik Rear Admiral

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    But it still leaves a bit of dissatisfaction if the main force that provoked this coming together makes not much sense. If the focus is on the crew and their development one could have made the enemy a faceless enemy without delving too much in his backstory. The plot on the antagonist side just does not work that well and leaves a bit to be wanted - otherwise it was a good film (but the main antagonist or situation remains a main plot device that didnt work for myself).

    And Id not say its just a Khan and Star Wars thing, there were quite nice antagonists in other Trek movies like Chang and the other conspirators. Even Sybok to some extent was a believable antagonist.

    But its probably something that is associated with many of the block buster films of recent years. The way stories are told the way movies are cut does not work for me that well.
     
  13. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    I think it was your mention of Nero's unusual communication welcomes that set this thought off in my head.

    Also - and this is just a personal observation and quite possibly wrong - I get the feeling that Abrams has a habit of shooting a movie, and then going through and cut cut cutting a lot of things out that the plot needs. That isn't nessessarily a bad thing (and, shit, it ain't my movie to cut either), but thats why I get this feeling of something being cut or disjointed in the story.

    Chang makes the least amount of sense when you put a little thought into it. Some guy who's civilization is dying and hates the Federation... conspires to kill his civilization by teaming with the Federation?

    I think the only reason people like to remember Chang is that he was well-acted and thats it. He wasn't a particularly menacing villian.
     
  14. frostytheplebe

    frostytheplebe Seventh Part of the Seal

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    I couldn't disagree more. If you remember at the beginning of the movie they mention certain elements that would rather seek a military solution and "die fighting."

    Plus the Klingon mentality places a high value on death in battle. Peace for the Klingons means accepting another group as equals something they don't seem to like doing. As Martok said, "We do not embrace other cultures we conquer them."

    Chang seemed to view peace with the Federation as admitting defeat, or worse. He'd rather die fighting a hopeless battle for his people's way of life rather then submit to a peaceful solution that could run the risk of destroying their culture and way of life.

    To really understand Chang you'd have to look at his situation... while this is a crude analogy, put yourself in say in the shoes of a Soviet soldier at the end of the Cold war. You've been fed all kinds of propaganda by your government. You've been bread, raised, and trained in the belief that some day you would wage glorious battle against your democratic enemies in the name of the mother land. Suddenly, your country goes bankrupt and starts accepting aid from the former enemy.

    Suddenly your way of life is over. Your military machine is being broken down due to treaties signed with your new "ally" and your weapons are being sold to the highest bidder. You as a loyal red army soldier can do little but stand there watching your way of life disappear as the entire country is being reformed with the help of someone you were trained to kill.

    Watching all this happening with the sounds of Glory and honor ringing in your ear. A soldier deranged on such ideals may find comfort in a small radical group that plans on taking one final stab at the enemy to the west in the name of the motherland.
     
  15. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    The basic concept is sound and, for a Star Trek villain almost great: pretend Kirk is a life-long unrepentant cold warrior (which is a '... guh?' moment we can forgive) and that, naturally, he should have a Soviet counterpart who both believes the same things as he does but in an villainous manner that exposes the hypocrisy and forces Kirk to reevaluate. He's also, as you say, played by a fantastic actor.

    ... but they didn't leave it at that: instead of the interesting character I just described they made him some kind of mashed potato clown. The folks who wrote Star Trek VI needed an editor -- or at least someone to kick them in the head and tell them they were being stupid. You can just imagine the pitch session for Chang: I love Shakespeare... so he'll love Shakespeare for some reason! And he'll quote Adlai Stevenson! And he's a pirate! Hrrrrrrr. (Star Trek VI, from the *title* forward, is a bi9g chain of sort-of-stupid people thinking they're being clever. It's like Babylon 5.)

    Also, he suffers from the same big-bite problem that all the Star Trek movie villains do -- an inability to answer the question 'why should I care about this newly invented character?' If we're supposed to believe that Kirk has a Klingon counterpart on the other side of the space iron curtain, why not one of the Klingon captains he faced off against before?
     
  16. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    I think the reason this doesn't work with me is that the whole "cold warrior" thing is only brought up in Star Trek VI. Everything else is basically Kirk being Kirk, in that hes heroic and dashing and a womanizer ... but not a warrior (certainly not in the Klingon sense). It seemed like a forced idea, and while they give good reason for Kirk to hate Klingons, it also seemingly comes out of nowhere. Where was this bigotry in Star Trek V? (Nitpicking, sorry)

    Basically, the character wouldn't be worthwhile if they didn't stick a good actor in the role. (Similar to how they stuck David Warner as the Klingon Ambassador... and then later as the Cardassian who tortures Picard in Chain Of Command)

    As I get older, I realize more and more that Nicholas Meyer, as talented as he is, really thinks a lot of his own hobbies. He's a smart guy but he really likes browbeating his audience with literary references and the like. Star Trek II, The Day After... they seem to be drenched in elements more to appease the director's personal tastes than anything else.
     
  17. scheherazade

    scheherazade Rear Admiral

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    Funny you mention.
    I actually work on certain components of this ship.
    And there are actually two LCS ships (competing) - one by Lockheed, and one by General Dynamics.

    LCS1 (very standard looking)
    http://peoships.crane.navy.mil/lcs/images/LCS1_080728-O-XXXXX-008.jpg

    LCS2 (tri-hull)
    http://www.gdlcs.com/media_imagetour.html

    -poopy mcpooperson
     
  18. ELTEE

    ELTEE Rear Admiral

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    Really?
     
  19. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    That's a related problem in Star Trek VI -- the movie is intentionally so damn insular that even when something makes sense they present it as the movie patting itself on its back over and over instead of interacting with the rest of Star Trek's canon.

    Instead of pointing out Kirk's various cold war analogues*, the STVI script is oh-so-adorably inventing Space Chernobyl and the Space Cuban Missile crisis and so forth all at once.

    * - and there were plenty. Heroic, dashing, womanizer? Of course -- he's JFK, decidedly a cold warrior. A large number of the original episodes involve some sort of cold war story, from Trouble with Tribbles arguing for the Third World to Private Little War being Space Vietnam to Balance of Terror being about... the balance of terror. But Star Trek VI doesn't deal with any of that... it's its own cute thing.

    I get the feeling that there was some sort of check in place on Wrath of Khan that disappeared for Undiscovered Country (my bet: Harve Bennett). They both have the enthusiasm of a Freshman English student wanting to let everyone know about the book he just read... but something beat it down into at least being relevant in STII.
     
  20. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    Could you be a little bit more precise about that last statement? In the past, you pointed out how bad/incorrect the literary quotations in ST movies are. How could they be bad *and* relevant?

    (It occured to me sometime ago that theres something very wrong with a narrative structure when a bad guy doesn't think he's insane - but quotes one of the most famous madmen in American writing. I get that the Enterprise is a "white whale" and all that jazz but its obviously the writer speaking over the character.)
     

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