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Eduardo
Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

3 stars seems about right.

The one thing that still bothers me to this day is having the writers backpedal on Kirk's death. it's not even the matter of the magic blood as a plot device. I can buy that.

It's that they brought him back at all.

Kirk's death is a beauifully handled scene. It made a direct statement to viewers: don't expect anyone to be safe in this timeline. Kirk didn't feel he had a place in this ship or being in command. He made the choice of self-sacrifice and ended it in his terms, facing the fear of death head-on. This was Kirk at his most vulnerable. Probably the character's most naked scene since losing his son in ST3.

It also defined the Kirk/Spock relationship in a whole different light. Back in Wrath of Khan, they've had decades of fulfilling friendship and trust to fall back as they parted ways. In this film, we get to see Spock losing control of his emotions as he realizes the depth of a potential new friendship that would never ever be truly fulfilled.




Then McCoy brought him back, all in the interest of a hollywood "happy ending" and the need to maintain the franchise. Honestly, I can't even blame the writers. Hollywood executives and marketing "specialists" are to blame here. You want your franchise to remain interesting? Take risks.




My only other problem, as pointed out, is named Admiral Marcus. Like Section 31, it's too easy to put all of Starfleet's problems in a single basket. Weller managed to give us a character way less interesting than the one seen on Enterprise's fourth season. I'll take the Enterprise story arcs created by Manny Coto and Brannon Braga any day over Abrams and Orci's tentpole blockbuster sensibility. These films have their place in the franchise. And they work on a visceral level. But needless to say, I'm definitely more interested in Bryan Fuller's take on the new Star Trek: Discovery.
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Jixs
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Hated this episode with one exception! Listening to Avery Brooks beautiful voice when singing at the end!
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Del_Duio
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

Ugh.

I make computer games and have been an artist most of my life. I don't think I'd ever try to slap a friggin' triangle on a round saucer like they did with the Discovery. It just looks so shitty to me, but if this is for some hybrid Federation / Klingon crew I might get used to it. This would also explain why that teaser trailer had said "New Crews" before: I thought that meant it was an anthology series, but it could very well be a combined crew a'la Voyager's Feds and Marquis. Oh no, don't look to VOY for inspiration, guys!

Regardless of this, I am much less a fan of the CGI they're using. Honestly guys, it looks worse and more fake than ENT. It looks much worse than early season episodes of DS9.. Made with presumably much less of a budget and more than 20 years ago! I know everybody is quick to say "it's an early prototype release footage!" but they made a big deal about something getting shown at the CC, and it shouldn't look like something a 7th grader in his bedroom could whip up in a night.

If ever there was an argument to bring back practical effects and ship models, god damn it this is it right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqm9HSYbf0o




It also looks like this isn't going to be set after DS9 and VOY, which is also disappointing. I thought they learned their lesson with ENT in that Trek shouldn't look backwards, but forwards.
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Del_Duio
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Though I did enjoy Into Darkness and ST2009 I just really felt that they went way "beyond" a nice homage to Wrath of Khan and cheapened the original movie. Then Spock yells "KHAAAAANN!!" I almost laughed at this in the theater. I was almost embarrassed. That's not supposed to happen!

I'm willing to forgive the magic blood. I'm wiling to ignore how they completely changed the way 'KRONOS' is spelled. And I'll look past how transporters can now beam people halfway across the galaxy when normally they can't even get though a ship's shields at 5%...

I'm super enthusiastic about Beyond, and will be seeing it Monday. I hope we can get this puppy back on track! Or is that Trek?
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NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

The Phase II concept art in question. You can see the visual similarities between this and the trailer:

geektyrant.com/news/2010/12/31/concept-art-and-story-details-for-unproduced-1976-star-trek.html

I'm not so sure I'm a fan of the ship design...
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NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

News drop on Star Trek Discovery, as the up-till-now-nameless 2017 series is called, and there's a trailer featuring the ship:

www.cnet.com/news/star-trek-discovery-is-name-of-new-trek-series-featuring-a-new-ship-the-uss-discovery/

It reminds me of some concept art I saw for the cancelled Star Trek Phase II series (not the James Cawley fan series) which later became ST The Motion Picture - especially the spacedock carved into the asteroid.
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Thanks, Jammer, for confirming my prediction that you would give this film three stars, but I have to say, this has to be the most negative three-star review I think I've ever read; it comes across more as an act of forgiveness than enthusiasm.

Still, I'm glad you finally got the thing done, and all in all, I think most of your points are well taken. If I had given myself as much time to vacillate as you did, I might very well have done the same.
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Panagiotis Karatasios
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

With all due respect jammer if you give this movie 3 stars i doubt that will agree in much of anything.
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Alex (in the UK)
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I had a feeling the review might have been posted today.

Like others I can understand the mostly positive review given to this film by Jammer, but disagree with it personally. That said, a very interesting review with some points I have not seen made by anyone else. Food for thought.
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NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 4:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

The How It Should Have Ended short for this movie is pretty funny and makes fun of a lot of the movie's plotholes, but I think anyone can enjoy it regardless of their opinion of the movie itself:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N15J4ibej8
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Matthew (a different one)
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I appreciate the review, but it seems to rationalize or overlook some of the film's problems by writing it off as summer blockbuster.

The magic blood, the torpedo switcheroo plot device, the fact that characters just do things because the plot needs them to (Why exactly did Kirk decide to capture Khan instead of killing him? He was all for killing him, against the wishes of his crew, until suddenly he wasn't. Why was Spock so emotionally invested in Kirk, they've done almost nothing but fight for two movies).

This kind of sloppiness is pretty common in summer blockbusters like Transformers (of which this film shares its screenwriters), but it is uncharacteristic of Star Trek.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Matthew:

"To say he succeeded would be an understatement. Abram’s two Star Trek films, Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness, together grossed over 480 million dollars."

That's $240 million per film, on an average budget of $170 million for a profit of $70 million.

Do you realize that many of the previous Star Trek films have done better in terms of net profits? Here is the complete rankings of the 12 films (adjusted to inflation):

The Voyage Home: $186 million (Gross $109M, Budget $22M, x2.14 for inflation)
The Wrath of Khan: $160 million (Gross $79M, Budget $11M, x2.42 for inflation)
The Motion Picture: $145 mill6ion (Gross $82M, Budget $35M, x3.08 for inflation)
The Search for Spock: $134 million (Gross $76M, Budget $16M, x2.24 for inflation)
Star Trek 2009: $122 million (Gross $258M, Budget $150M, x1.13 for inflation)
The Undiscovered Country: $80 million (Gross $74M, Budget $27M, x1.71 for
First Contact: $70 million (Gross $92M, Budget $45M, x1.49 for inflation)
Generations: $63 million (Gross $75M, Budget $35M, x1.58 for inflation)
Star Trek into Darkness: $40 million (Gross $229M, Budget $190M, x1.03 for inflation)
The Final Frontier: $35 million (Gross $52M, Budget $33M, x1.87 for inflation)
inflation)
Insurrection: $17 million (Gross $70M, Budget $58M, x1.44 for inflation)
Nemesis: Net Loss

"Star Trek 2009" is 5th on the list, while "into Darkness" is 9th.

So the next time somebody tries to sell you NuTrek as "a resounding financial success", take a good look at the above figures. The guys at Paramount sold the soul of Star Trek for practically nothing.

Besides, does anybody seriously believe that a quality film in the tradition of "The Voyage Home" or "The Wrath of Khan" would have made any less money than the garbage we actually got? Just put Chris Pine, Karl Urban and Zacahry Quinto in a half-decent Trek story, and watch the money roll in.
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William B
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

Good point, Peter. It also occurs to me that the focus on beauty as the *primary* reason Vina wants to stay can be attributed to the Talosians' fixation on Vina's attractiveness as a mate, which filters down to Vina given her role as shill for the Talosians (as you pointed out), so that we need not even believe that Vina herself necessarily believes that her physical appearance is the primary reason not to leave, or, if she does believe that, it may be more the result of the Talosians' focus than anything about 23rd century human values.

Still, Pike later says that he agrees with Vina's reasons for staying. That he says reasons, plural, suggests that it's not just about the beauty issue but other things too, such as those you list in the second paragraph, but it's still the beauty issue which is the primary thing Vina presents and the primary one he reacts to. Pike is meant to be a flawed individual to be sure, but I don't get the impression that his judgment is meant to be suspect at that stage in the story. By contrast, for example I could imagine Kirk overriding Vina's wishes in basically forcing her to fight for her freedom or Picard talking through Vina's options with her until he is satisfied that she is aware that the beauty standard is not a value that she needs to accept. Pike does not need to be either of them, and ultimately I think Picard and Sisko would accept Vina's choice as her own (and maybe Kirk would, too, eventually, especially given that he accepts this end for Pike). Still, you're right that Vina's choice (and even Pike's support of it) need not be a conclusive statement about 23rd century society or what Roddenberry et al. consider correct.
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Eric
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Not surprised Jammer gave it a positive review since he'd stated he bought the movie. I generally agree with his opinions ("Balance of Terror" aside), but can't here. The callbacks are lazily written and slapstick, the thematic content is thin, and the recreated death scene with the roles reversed feels completely unearned. Two stars from me as it's enjoyable at times. I'm going to see Beyond shortly and hope it's better. I think the fact that the filmmakers don't seem to be blatantly aping a classic this time around will help.
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CJ
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Thanks for the review Jammer! I largely agree with most of what you said, but like a lot of viewers, feels a bit too derivative of what came before. I'd go 2-2.5 stars myself.
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Dom
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Matthew, I agree with a lot of what you said. I think people who point to how much the JJ films make don't understand the economics of the film industry. The total film audience was much smaller during the 80s, ticket prices were cheaper, and because of inflation the value of the dollar was less. Wrath of Khan earning $100 million back then isn't the same as a movie earning $100 million today. With the rise of the international market, especially China, it's actually not all that hard for major action movies to get around $400 million. Terminator Genysis did, even though it was critically panned and widely regarded as a flop. Interstellar and Dawn of Planet of the Apes each earned close to $700 million, and those were cerebral sci-fi films. The big franchises, like Bond, Hobbit, Marvel, and Star Wars earn more than $1 billion. I'm not going to dismiss STID and 2009 Trek for getting $400 million, but it's certainly not a sign that these films are HUGE hits. They're middle-of-the-road for what a big franchise film should be getting.
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Matthew
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness



As we celebrate fifty years of Star Trek, CultofWhatever is looking back on each of the shows and film franchises that defined the Final Frontier.

We’ve talked about the Original Series and how, when it was great, it embraced the sixties social revolution. On the other hand, when the Original Series stumbled, it slipped into every silly cliche that doomed science-fiction from that era. The Next Generation took a little bit to find its mojo, but when it did it managed to surpass the original by expanding the franchise’s horizons. Deep Space Nine followed soon after, and though it was the red-headed step-child of the brand, it dared to be different and was rewarded with loyal fans, many of whom regard it as the best of the bunch. Meanwhile, Star Trek Voyager tried to be “more TNG” but ended up being “lesser TNG.” Finally there’s (Star Trek) Enterprise, which spent three years failing to live up to its premise (nevermind its legacy) before finally finding its footing…and immediate cancellation.

Halfway through Enterprise’s troubled run on UPN, Paramount decided to bring the crew of the Enterprise-D/E back to the big screen for a fourth feature film. The first, Generations, was a mixed bag with both critics and fans. First Contact followed two years later to mostly glowing reviews and great fan support. After that it was Patrick Stewart who suggested that the third movie should be more easy-breezy, with less pathos and more romp. Two years later, Insurrection premiered as a movie criticized by many for being a glorified two-part TNG episode (and not one of the better ones either). It seemed like a real step backward for the franchise, not only creatively but financially as well. It grossed a little over 100 million on a 50 million dollar budget. For comparison, First Contact grossed about 150 million on a 45 million dollar budget. Though TNG was the gold standard for TV Star Trek (at least among the post-TOS spinoffs), its success on the small screen had not translated to the silver screen. Paramount took four years off before trying again.

After two movies (one of which is among the film-franchise’s best) Johnathan Frakes was out of the directors chair. He took the fall for Insurrection‘s poor performance (despite Stewart’s insistence on a lighter film, and Michael Piller’s disappointing screenplay) and was replaced by Stewart Baird. Baird had previously directed such cinematic gems as US Marshals and Executive Decision. Baird was an admitted Star Trek neophyte but long-time producer Rick Berman insisted this was a value, since he could bring fresh eyes to the struggling franchise (he said this, while continuing to stifle creativity on the TV side of the franchise, but I digress). The screenplay was also taken out of the hands of Star Trek veterans (Michael Pillar, who ran the TNG writers room during its peak years, wrote Insurrection, and Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga, who co-wrote many classic TNG scripts, wrote Generations and First Contact): John Logan (fresh off of writing Gladiator‘s acclaimed screenplay) was brought in to pen the script. Logan was an admitted Trek fan but had never written for the franchise or even worked in the science fiction genre (he had yet to write his The Time Machine screenplay). That’s fine though, according to Rick Berman; his newness would bring fresh blah blah blah.

Really the problem was Berman. He was the only decision maker that stretched across a decade of post-Roddenberry Star Trek, with two failed TV shows and three (out of four) failed movies. After throwing Frakes under the bus and after giving Moore/Braga the boot, Berman was the only one left. And then Star Trek: Nemesis was released and it bombed. It was the worst box office performance for a Star Trek film ever. It ended up grossing less than 45 million dollars. It’s opening weekend was a paltry 18 million and that number dropped to a dismal 4 million the following weekend. After that Star Trek was effectively dead. Nemesis‘ terrible performance probably pushed Paramount toward the decision not to renew Enterprise for a fifth season and to let the franchise lie dormant for a while. And with that, the long continuity of Trek which stretched from 1987 until 2005, much of which was overseen by Rick Berman, was finally finished, not with a bang but with a whimper.

star-trek-movie-bts-1

Seven years later, a whole new team was put in charge of bringing the franchise into the modern era. JJ Abrams was originally only going to produce the reboot, but he agreed to direct because he loved the screenplay so much. Though he was an admitted “Star Wars > Star Trek” guy, he has spoken of his love for the Original Series and the dynamic between Kirk and Spock that it showed (he apparently missed that the true heart of the show was the Kirk-Spock-McCoy relationship, with Kirk being guided by two very different friends, one stoic and the other emotional, but I digress).

Paramount’s goal for the new movie was to make Star Trek into a box office franchise. They wanted a series of movies that appealed to action movie fans moreso than science-fiction fans. It was assumed that the diehard Trek fans would come to see the movie regardless; it was “Joe ticketbuyer” that they needed to attract. Abrams, creator of the ABC smash-hit Alias and director of Mission:Impossible 3 was a good choice to do just that.

To say he succeeded would be an understatement. Abram’s two Star Trek films, Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness, together grossed over 480 million dollars. Star Trek is an almost two-billion dollar film-franchise for Paramount; JJ Abrams has directed half of that. People are going to see these movies.

But at what cost?

Paramount would say everything has worked out for the best. Star Trek is popular again. It’s no longer “just for nerds” or “just for fans” or whatever else people said fifteen years ago. Although if I wanted to be testy I would say Star Trek, when done well, is not “just for” anyone; it’s great for everyone. TNG had incredible ratings, the good Star Trek movies were all big earners at the box office. Star Trek didn’t need a makeover, it just needed competence behind the scenes, some fresh creative minds working through Gene Roddenberry’s original vision, and—after going from TNG to DS9 to Voyager to Enterprise, boom-boom-boom, non-stop, with movies along the way—it needed a break. When it came back in 2009, the franchise had been given its break. All it needed was for a new team to come in an interpret Gene’s vision for a new generation.

Instead JJ and Paramount decided to water everything down. The movie was successful, but did it need to be done this way to be successful? Paramount will say yes because they have the box office receipts to back them up, but purists will maintain that the franchise just needed a break and a return to form. The debate continues as the third movie in the rebooted series is released and if there’s a fourth movie featuring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the rest, the debate will continue to rage between new fans and old.

Personally I enjoyed the first JJ-Trek film. It was fun, much more fun than the pitiful Nemesis or the stupid Insurrection. It lacked the theatricality of First Contact, but that was entirely by design. The movie had a very specific agenda and it accomplished it very well. Was it shallow? Yes. Was it convoluted in spots? Yes. Were there moments of scientific illogic that would make anyone who gave it two seconds’ thought lose their mind (Spock sees Vulcan—which looked bigger than our moon from the earth—be destroyed…from Delta Vega!)? Yes. But JJ wasn’t into making a thinking man’s Star Trek. He was into playing Star Wars with Star Trek action figures.

It was what it was, but it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t very Star Trekey, but it wasn’t a bad movie, which is more than can be said for Star Trek: Nemesis…

…or Star Trek Into Darkness (no colon…except for the one in my gut which wanted to release itself immediately upon seeing it)…

star-trek-itd

STID, as I will henceforth condescendingly refer to it, is an insulting motion picture. There are some wonderful moments, and a few stand-out acting performances. The direction, score, costume design…so much of it is on point. Just looking at it, you’d say “this is a great Star Trek movie!” It’s modern, big-budget, and if I weren’t a fan of the franchise I might have enjoyed myself as it was edited to be a fun little adventure movie.

But I am a Star Trek fan, and as a Star Trek fan STID is the most offensive movie in the series. I know what you’re thinking: Can it actually be worse than the snoozer that was The Motion Picture? Yes it can. TMP was slow, cerebral and contemplative, but at least had a big science fiction premise. I can appreciate that. Can STID actually be worse than the laughably cheap Star Trek V: The Final Frontier? Absolutely it can. Hate on Shatner’s directing all you want, but if nothing else, that movie offered viewers the Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic on the big screen in a way not felt since The Original Series went off the air. It was basically a two-hour episode of TOS (season three) and that’s just fine with me (because it was a fun stupid episode, as opposed to Insurrection, which was just a boring stupid episode). What about Generations, with its convoluted plot, or Insurrection with its neutered action, or Nemsis! How can it actually be worse than Nemesis?! That movie killed The Next Generation! It forced the franchise into hybernation! It betrayed its own continuity!

Alright: We’ll call it a tie.

But in absolutely no way is STID anywhere close to being a good Star Trek film, or even a passable one. Maybe it is to you, but not to me. I have too much “cracky, purist nerd” in me. First of all, the fact that Wrath of Khan is not just the most definitive Star Trek movie, but it is also one of the best movies of 80’s means that Paramount (1) never should have tried to recreate the magic and (2) could not help itself but try to recreate the magic. I get it. It’s business. But if you’re going to make a film that is an homage to a masterpiece (which Wrath of Khan certainly is) then you had better at least have something worthwhile on your own to say, otherwise your work is just going to be criticized as derivative.

And that’s the biggest problem with STID. It’s (insultingly) derivative. It mixes things up here and there, but not in any substantial way. The whole “Cumberbatch isn’t Khan, swearsies!” from JJ Abrams, throughout the filming and pre-release promotion, was moronic. I appreciate that he wanted to surprise us, but along the way it went from a headfake to a flat-out fabrication and once the “reveal” happened in the movie, there was no shock or excitement or anything. If anything it produced a chuckle since everyone knew it going in. Using Khan wasn’t even the problem, however. It was that they used him to retell Wrath of Khan’s major moments in a less satisfying way than in the original. If I want to watch Wrath of Khan I’ll just pop in the blu-ray. I don’t need to see a subpar remake.

What’s worse was the feeling throughout the movie, as though everyone involved really felt like they had a message to tell. The scene where Kirk dies and Spock shouts “Khan!” was filmed uber-serious, but it ended up being a joke because (1) it was just a character-swapped rip off of two major moments in the original film, done better in the original film, and (2) no one took it seriously because it was much more hamfisted than in the original Wrath of Khan film.

STID may have wanted to have a message, but it had none. Wrath of Khan, on the other hand, had a message; all great sci-fi does: It uses the aliens, spaceships, laser beams and what not as window dressing to tell a story about us. Great sci-fi is about something. Wrath of Khan was about something: It explored aging, dying (and the acceptance of the two) and being forced to face up to the sins of the past (after running from them for so long). Kirk is put through the ringer in the movie: First we meet him sulking away as an admiral when he wants to be on adventures commanding a starship. He celebrates his birthday in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Then, an old nemesis of the past returns and—purely by happenstance—runs afoul of an old flame. Along the way he discovers he has a son (the ultimate “past catching up with you” moment) and then loses a best friend.

And unlike in STID, Spock stayed dead. Yes he came back a movie later, but originally there was no “movie later.” That was it. Nimoy was done and his death was to be permanent. Thankfully for us all he had too much fun and came back for more, but at least Wrath of Khan had enough respect for its story to end with one of its heroes really dead for real. Kirk “died” and was back to action in twenty minutes. It was insulting.

Most frustrating of all is the fact that STID hit many of the same story beats as Wrath of Khan but without any of the meat of the story being explored. It was hollow and pointless. It had nothing to say. Wrath of Khan earned the ending with Spock’s death because it was not only built on fifteen years of backstory but also on two hours of thought-provoking drama. STID aped it with Kirk’s death but it hadn’t earned it, not in the timeline of NuTrek and not in the two+ hour runtime that built up to it.

Watching the two back-to-back (and STID basically invites you to do that, so its not unfair to compare them) reveals just how much Wrath of Khan had to say compared to STID, despite being shorter than Abrams’ movie by ten or so minutes.

full comments here:

https://www.cultofwhatever.com/2016/07/jj-abrams-modernized-star-trek-at-great-cost/
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Dom
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Latex Zebra, True, this isn't "our" Trek, and I don't think older fans have exclusive "ownership" over Trek. But the real question is whether or not the films justify the decision to do a reboot. Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica was obviously not Glen Larson's, but Moore created a quality TV show that stands well on its own. The show has a clear mission and did something interesting with the property. It was a darker take on the original concept, taking the idea of the genocide of humanity seriously. The Planet of the Apes reboot is also quite distinct from the originals, and yet has a clear sense of purpose. Those films are treating the apes like real apes and exploring the extent to which human failings are limited to humanity. I know why those reboots exist and indeed a reboot was necessary for those franchises to tell the stories they wanted to tell.

With the Trek reboot? Not so much. Having seen Beyond, it seems like three films in the new Trek franchise still isn't sure what it wants to be or why it exists (beyond being a more action-driven incarnation of Trek with better effects). It seems like the films want to pay homage to the original Trek, but are also wary of being too much like Trek. Is this Trek reboot supposed to be utopian or cynical? Are Kirk, Spock, and McCoy the same characters we know from TOS, or different? It seems like the franchise is still struggling wit these questions (although Beyond was a step in the right direction). There's nothing wrong with a movie simply being an entertaining popcorn flick, but so far that's all these films represent.
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Tim
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I'm with you on most of this, Jammer, right up until the end. Why? One word: stakes.

Into Darkness immediately handicapped itself before it even left the gate, when it decided to go down the path of aping The Wrath Of Khan. There's a lot of reasons that TWOK is still considered to be the best Trek movie, but chief among them is that the story has genuine stakes and genuine consequences. It took a lot of balls to kill off Spock and leave him dead when the credits rolled, but the story was so, so much better off for it. It drew on three seasons' worth of familiarity with the characters and the actors and employed it to devestating effect.

How the fuck did the writers think that they were going to get the same audience reaction with characters and actors who we've only met once before, in a story that didn't even really develop their friendship??!! The mind boggles. Then, compounding their error, they hit the infamous Reset Button and just undid it all with Magic Khan Blood.

Awful.

Sure, The Search For Spock also hit a reset button of sorts. But that story, too, had genuine consequences. Kirk had to self-destruct a long military career, blow up his own ship, and lost his son just to even get a *shot* at saving Spock.

Into Darkness does have quite a few things in its favour. But to me, it's a textbook example of how a shitty ending can undermine an otherwise strong story. They could have gotten away with their riffing on TWOK if they'd done it in a way that fit with the reboot theme of just being Dumb Fun Action Movies. Instead, they wind up trying to instill it with a gravitas that it hasn't earned and tarnish the entire effort as a result.
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Yanks
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Jammer,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. I am a little surprised at your seeming acceptance of the Kirk/Spock ripoff reversal and Spock's conduct chasing down and beating Khan within an inch of his life. If there is one thing I think our new trek has gotten horribly wrong, it's Spock. I thought Spock in ST2009 was acceptable, but not this. I do agree that while I didn't like the direction they took Spock, it's awesome to watch.

I agree with you that an ADM Marcus "come to Jesus" moment and possible alliance with Kirk to stop or corral Khan would have been much more effective.

My ranking on your scale would have to be 2 stars. It's sad really, because about 3/4's of this movie is epic, even with Khan.

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Latex Zebra
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Yeah, it's a decent movie. Many, many cracks in it but I can stick it in the DVD and a couple of hours fly by.

I think the most important thing in this review is that Jammer does appreciate this isn't our traditional Trek. Far from it.
We have to accept that in terms of movies or we'd be getting low budget art house Star Trek.
Really looking forward to Beyond and going with the wife next week. I look forward to Jammer's review for that and look forward to what is coming up next for this site. Well until the new series comes out.
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Dom
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Really happy to see your review posted. If I ever doubted we'd see the day, I apologize. As always, this is really quite thoughtful and interesting (even if I disagree strongly - I'd rate STID at most 2 stars).

"Spock into the Awesome Kick-Ass Superhero"

This is actually the thing that bothered me most about the movie. I don't mind that the alternative universe version of Spock has more trouble controlling his darker side. That's an interesting premise. But all we see of this Spock is his darker side. Quinto's Spock seems to be perpetually angry. We never see him deal with the aftermath of his emotional outbursts. Watching CumberKhan get beaten up by Spock, I found myself feeling sorry for Khan and scared of Spock. I don't think that's what the writers intended. At the least, the movie should have had a scene at the end with Spock recognizing that he'd lost control, perhaps talking about it with Uhura, showing that he regretted his failure to live up to the Vulcan ideal.
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Jixs
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 5:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Field of Fire

I'm so over Ezri! What - is she the only person on DS9! too many episodes focusing on a character that does not have much to offer... We kno the the story all ready! I miss Jadzia!
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SlackerInc
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I think it's awesome and kind of hilarious that this review "became your Waterloo". I am a procrastinator too and I totally understand. You have nothing to apologize for. I just feel lucky that I happened to arrive here only hours after you posted it, given that it's probably been a month or two since I last visited.
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Brandon
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Ugh. We waited decades for a three-star review of a one-star movie? Tsk tsk, Jammer. ;)

"It's well-paced" and "it's aiming for a general audience" should only be worth two stars, max. 72 Dumb Plot Points, recycled Kirk arcs, magic blood, and the most painfully obvious villain reveal in the history of cinema dragged this movie down for me. It's just terrible writing, which only makes the fluid direction feel all the more NECESSARY.

And the 9/11 reference was more direct than you realize, Jammer. The plot point that Starfleet created their Khan problem by using him for weapons-building is, I'm pretty sure, an allegory for the belief that the U.S. created al Qaeda (and thus 9/11) through its weapons-dealing in Afghanistan. That's probably another reason why the movie turned me off - that particular piece of rhetoric has been sounded so many times by Hollywood in the last decade that another is just too much for me.

Beyond was way better.
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