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E2
Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Well said, FlyingSquirrel.


I’m very happy to see a review for 'Beyond' up so quickly.

I was, however, a bit perplexed to see that Jammer rated it below 'Into Darkness.'

I have a theory that may explain it, though:
If it had been a stand-alone film, or a new reboot, it would have been fine, but as it is the third of the series, and they worked hard to tie it to the previous films (the Beastie Boys song in the trailer and the film's climax are ample evidence of that,) it runs into problems.

It's possible that Jammer placed it below the earlier, 2009 & 2011 movies because of ways it fails to live up to the precedents established by the J.J. Abrams directed films.

For example, in 'Beyond' when the Enterprise is being attacked by Krall's swarm and getting torn apart, there is a moment when you realize even Scotty's not going to be able to fix this, the ship is doomed; your next thought, of course, is 'not to worry, we have transwarp personal transporters that can beam a person from Earth to Chronos instantaneously and fit in a duffel bag- they'll all be back on Yorktown or Earth (or Ceti Alpha V!) in no time.' So, in the context of the preceding films, it is wildly disappointing to see them all in generic escape pods, and being immediately captured.

This leads to the next conundrum- why didn't they resurrect any or all of the crew Krall drained? Kirk had been killed in the 2011 outing by a massive dose of radiation; physically what that means is that a huge number of fast moving large particles (such as neutrons) pass through you and break molecular bonds- a great many of your cells come apart; your organs fail (this is what kills you) and slough off, it's a horrible, but well understood way to die. But we already know that the blood of genetically engineered 'supermen' from the '90s, or Khan's at least, can save you. It can undo all of the tissue damage, the cell damage, and the DNA damage caused. And they've had this to study and reproduce for at least the last 3 years- so it's safe to assume it would be carried in reasonable quantities on every starship, every outpost, and in every Starfleet first aid kit.

Failing to utilize these rather obvious options would mean, at the very least, that Scotty, McCoy and Spock all somehow forgot the technologies they themselves invented/discovered. This would make them less believable as explorers than the crew of the Sir Ridley Scott's Prometheus!

So the crux of this argument would be: People who were able to put the other reboot films out of their minds while watching 'Beyond' tended to like it better; People who honestly liked or had invested themselves in them would have a harder time enjoying the latest movie.
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E2
Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Very happy to see Jammer review this film!

As always, he makes some good points.

(I think I much more strongly agree with Mathew, above, however.)

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E2
Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Lots of reviews out now- the worst seem to be 'meh' and many are mostly positive.



I think I will do what I should have done with the last film-


I'll wait to read what Jammer has to say before I consider buying a ticket.
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E2
Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

More mini-trailers are out!

Pre-reviews are starting to trickle out, most seeming positive!








(Possible spoiler)







The Beastie Boys song from the first trailer (and the 2009 movie) IS actually in the film- and is climax-resolution plot point?


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E2
Thu, Jun 23, 2016, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Anton's passing is terrible news. The cast was the best part of these films...


Also current bad news, it looks like CBS/Paramount have become serious about killing off all fan films:

www.startrek.com/article/star-trek-fan-film-guidelines-announced

Depressing week.

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E2
Tue, May 31, 2016, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

@nooffenseintended


I'll admit to having enjoyed both '09 and '11. Nothing wrong with some high-dollar fantasy space explosions!


But I can remember what made me care about Trek in the first place. Sure, I showed up initially for the space explosions. I became attached because of the underlying optimism of the original series, and TNG, and DS9, Voyager and Enterprise as well. (What I don't remember is anytime when admitting to actually liking the original show made you cool- you were better off admitting you played D&D or liked ballet...)


The idea that you could use low-budget camp sci-fi to inspire people- to suggest that all people could work together for a future that would be measurably better than today's realities, while enjoying shirt-tearing fist fights and phaser-gun action- That's what made the show worthy of note. That is why so many people still care so much.


It isn't that the last two films have been bad (although there are certainly arguments to be made!) But that they have consciously chosen to jettison what made Roddenberry's universe special.


Can you squeeze such ‘middle-brow’ stuff into a two hour movie? Meyers & Nimoy sure did. Should you, in 2016? I don’t know. I like having something between the 2001:ASO, Interstellar and the Star Wars, Transformers style films.


Sure, there is plenty of hate & vitriol to go around (Hey- this is the internet!) But I feel what you’re seeing (at least on Jammer’s pages) are merely disappointment for potential wasted, or the mourning of the loss of an old friend.

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Aussie2
Mon, May 30, 2016, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Scientific Method

All these years later, I enjoyed this episode too. Thought it was so creepy to see the aliens walking around torturing the crew (shades of lots of other shows including X-files and Buffy--remember when she does that ritual after Dawn arrives and sees her entire house in a distorted way?--but still so creepy, esp. when Seven first sees them). Of course, I'm viewing this thru the lens of nostalgia. (Tere were a lot of TNG eps that I initially disliked but changed my mind about later mainly, I think, due to the nostalgia of rewatching a show that reminded me of an earlier period of my life).

Of course you can nitpick, e.g. why would such an advanced species have such medieval looking devices? (Well, I know why: because you need the audience to see what's happening.) I thought the fact that the aliens were so human looking and so calm and seeming reasonably extra chilling, and had no problem in imagining a technologically superior race that would behave so cruelly.
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aussie2
Mon, May 30, 2016, 3:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

Just came back to correct an error: it wasn't Maggie Wheeler (Janice from Friends) who was in this episode of Voyager but comedian Sarah Silverman. Ooops!
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E2
Thu, May 26, 2016, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Well, this newer trailer does look better. But it still seems much closer to Bay's Transformer movies than anything identifiable as Trek.
I'm excited to see Idris Elba, I've liked him in pretty much everything (except Prometheus, though that was clearly not his fault,) but, I remember feeling the same way about Eric Bana and Benedict Cumberbatch. Just as with the main cast, having great talent in front of the camera cannot make-up for a poor script. First and foremost, the story you're trying to tell has to be worth telling. Will they have a passable plot this time? From the trailer, I have no idea. We know they did major last-minute rewrites, usually a very bad sign, and with the previous two efforts being so muddled, it becomes harder to remain optimistic.
At this point, "The Force Awakens" has the Fantasy-Space-Explosions/Nostalgia genre covered pretty well- This movie doesn't appear to be trying to do anything the Star Wars one didn't.
Will I see 'Beyond'? I have seen every Trek film so far in the theater- recent ones on opening night. But the last two movies have really made me feel pretty foolish for doing so. Of course I will see this; eventually. I suspect I'll wait until we've had a least a week or two of reviews, and if they are, well, like 2009 or "Into Darkness", I'll catch it on DVD at some point down the road.
Perhaps with this installment I'll finally be "Beyond" Star Trek. (At least Paramount's current concept of it.) I hope my predictions are off-base, and Pegg & Lin have put together something worthy of the name. If not, well there is always CBS's upcoming attempt on TV/Internet Streaming...
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Aussie2
Fri, Apr 22, 2016, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

OMG, was that Janice from Friends :-)
Another one that I didn't get to see first time around. (Watched only part 1 so far) Always fun to see how the future crew reacts to (what was then) our current time.
But, haven't we seen all this before in the Star Trek movie when Kirk et al goes back in time to rescue the whales? Right down to the wacky local gal who gets swept up in events, loudly protesting along the way?
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E2
Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

@Patrick D

You are so right- that is the core of what Trek is and why it matters. I'll be hoping right along with you!

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E2
Thu, Oct 15, 2015, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@MidshipmanNorris-

I actually agree with you!

If the film had been called "Generic Space Fantasy CGI Explosion Fest (Star Wars Rip-Off #37)" I would have given it 2.5 stars as well. It was an entertaining watch, at least on the first viewing.

My primary gripe is that they claimed it was to be a Star Trek film, only it was made by and primarily for people who don't like and don't get what Star Trek is. Which, in fairness is a much larger demographic than those few of us who would pay to see a real movie from this niche.

I would think this website is the perfect place to put in-depth or fan slanted reviews, critical though they may be, since the audience here includes a disproportionate number of actual fans.
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E2
Tue, Sep 8, 2015, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Interstellar

@Dougie

Wow, it almost sounds like I saw a different film than you. I found it to be solidly constructed and very uplifting. (The lack of okra was the only good thing about the apocalypse; Hathaway's love speech was only to strengthen her weak case to visit the other planed first, and it failed, as it should have; I don't recall an Automated Teller Machine...)

I disliked Damon's character also, but I believed him. The acting, while despicable, seemed appropriate.

I guess I'll be watching the Martian without you, then? Perhaps Jammer will see it with me.
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me2olive
Sat, May 24, 2014, 10:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

As good as this episode is, it does suffer from one enormous plot hole - wouldn't the ambassador or Kamala have thought to mention the possibility of her bonding with someone that wasn't Alrik, given enough exposure? It's not like there aren't plenty of women on board the ship that could have kept her company instead, but we barely see any of them around her throughout the episode and no explanation for this is given.
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E2
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Joseph B:
"Star Trek Continues" series is seemingly picking up steam.

I'm not sure we can use that expression with a fan-fic that is done entirely by people donating their time. It seems the maximum output at 'full steam' would be about 1.5 episodes a year...

On the other hand, I agree with you that would be really interesting to see Jammer's take on it here. Maybe we can entice him by mentioning that Jammie Bamber is a guest actor in the first episode. (And it doesn't hurt that it is made by people who seem to actually sort of like Star Trek, in stark contrast to recent big screen efforts.)
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E2
Wed, Feb 5, 2014, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@MidshipmanNorris:
"Ryan, that stuff doesn't play in Hollywood. You want that kind of substance, you read books. It's rare that such thematic substance ever gets into a big-budget Hollywood production.
Why waste your time on Star Trek? It's been "Hollywood-ized" since 1982."

Wow! Too true, too true. I guess this MidshipmanNorris feller is kinda out there.

Sadly, I can't really disagree with him here. However there was and are exceptions- and therefore hope. Both "The Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine" Are examples of post '82 Trek that often embodied the best qualities of the genre, and of Roddenberry's vison.

As for the big screen, although not Trek, I might suggest "The Europa Report" as being the most recent honest attempt at putting actual science fiction on the big screen.
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E2
Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Moonie

That's a valid point, for those new to Trek.

Here's an example of why some feel such unsubtle attempts at homage are a "slap in the face."

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, we have one of the most remembered, and quoted lines of any Star Trek production- Khan informs Kirk that he's content to leave him marooned inside the dead planet, and Kirk, his rage and impotence appearently boiling over, screams: "KHAAAAANNNNN!!!!!" so loudly that it reverberates off the planet. Many people view this as the epitome of Shatner's over-acting. Placed back in context, however, there is more to it. Kirk (and those in the audience who were paying close attention, or seeing the film for the second time) knows full well that his ship is not nearly as damaged as he has led Khan to believe, and if given just a bit more time, will be able to pick him up- if he can keep Khan deceived. So he gives Khan exactly what he wants- just enough to convince Khan that he has in fact beaten him. And the moment Kirk 'hangs up' and puts the communicator down, he's relaxed and in control again.

So this is perhaps an example of both Shatner chewing the scenery, and of Kirk's full mastery of a delicate situtation.

Now, contrast that to the 'homage' of the 2013 film. Spock, our nearly emotionless and ever logical hero, upon witnessing Kirk's supposed death after sacrificing himself to save the ship, screams: "KHAAAAANNNNN!!!!!" flies into a murderous rage, and beams down alone to engage in an epic fistfight on behalf of a man he couldn't stand 15 minutes ago.
This doesn't work all that well in film, and is at odds with Zachery Quinto's excellent portrayal of the character.

Homage is always risky, especially if you are inserting it into a production that may not be as strong as what you're referencing. (Frequently, the line between homage and fromage is very thin.)

In the old film, the line serves to illustrate the character's command of his environment and emotions, even when it appears things are stacked against him.

In the new movie, the line highlights an out-of-control character who loses himself to wild emotion and takes a completely reckless course of action without thinking things through.

In this case, it felt like the writers wanted to be in the theater with us, elbowing us in the ribs, saying: "see- we include that line, from that thing you liked, see!"
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E2
Mon, Aug 5, 2013, 11:59am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Well, I guess that settles it- I would never consider holding an opinion that differs from Leonard Nimoy's.

I suppose I'll have to go re-watch this, then, too:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ_duzQzS1I

(Yep, it's the Bilbo song...)
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E2
Mon, Jul 29, 2013, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Well said, Niall!

Rob_Fleming- I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed.

I also like Cumberbatch, and felt he didn't get a chance to shine in this film, much like Eric Bana in the 2009 film. To be fair, it is difficult to establish the villain as a fully formed character in such a short format as a film; much harder when you also have to re-introduce Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Scotty, and Pike as well!

TWOK benefited from being able to use Khan's previous appearance to fill in the gaps (at least for the serious fans in the audience.) But since that episode was broadcast over 45+ years ago, the new film couldn't expect to draw from it. (And also since the 2009 movie precludes the events of "Space Seed" and TWOK as well...)

I felt that Cumberbatch did as well as he could with what he'd been given. (Much like Zachary Quinto, who I think is also very good.)


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E2
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@Genre-Buster

but if it deliberately discourages thought ... then we have a serious problem, one that cannot be dismissed with a simple quip about how times have changed.

I agree with you here. But, (aside from the aforementioned books) there is some hope, mostly from the independent category-

Films like "Primer" and "Moon" are excellent, well thought out actual science fiction, that I found very entertaining. It's true, they don't offer much in the explosion or big budget CGI departments. What they do, is tell stories that draw you in with believable characters, that don't insult the audience.

As long as things of this caliber continue to pop up from time to time, I see hope for the medium. Even if it is only on the fringe of the industry. Even if I have to let go of one of my old favorites.
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E2
Thu, Jul 18, 2013, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"diatribe (noun)

An angry, bitterly critical speech or written article.

Sounds about right to me."

You're right on Macca.

Except for the angry or bitter part. If anything, most of the referenced posts seem pretty clinical and calm. Almost as though they were setting aside emotion in order to improve communication and understanding.

But they were clearly critical. There can be no doubt there.
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E2
Thu, May 30, 2013, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I saw "Star Trek Into Darkness". It was fun. I enjoyed it.

I can totally see why people who don't know or just don't like TOS or TNG, DS9, or the earlier films would like it.

Those older versions of trek were often slow and talky. They occasionally tried to act as though they were actual science fiction and acknowledge some of the laws of physics. They frequently tried to ram ideals or morals down our throats, or make us think about things from a different perspective. Once in a while they even portrayed complex issues in shades of gray, rather than absolutes. (Sometimes the assumed villain going in actually turned out to not even be bad!) They spent years building up relationships between characters. And on top of all that, they kept trying to sneak in this "if we work together, despite differences in gender, race, religion, even species, we CAN learn, and make things better" subtext- all that Roddenberry clap-trap.

It is safe to say that JJ has avoided all of those pitfalls, and crafted a action packed, highly entertaining film free from any of that old baggage. In fact, he's done it twice, now. Face it - we need "Blow stuff up" films for people who don't love overbuilt cars, giant transforming robots or super spies.

So, for those nay-sayers who suggest that what they loved about Star Trek, what made it stand apart from all those other fantasy adventures set in space, is absent- well, suck it up. If you really claim you want entertainment that requires you to think, you're barking up the wrong franchise. Go read a book.
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