Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 55 (Showing 26-50)

Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Sep 25, 2013, 6:55am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@ the midshipman:

"If you don't like this movie, you're too cynical to be watching Star Trek. Find a new hobby."

Do we have to insult people in order to have a discussion? You're just going to make people feel uncomfortable posting here if they don't agree with you about the film.

:)
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Sat, Sep 21, 2013, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Well, fair enough if you didn't care for them. But the statement you made was that you thought it was "almost impossible to make a blockbuster that is also a damned good movie and tells a convincing story in an intelligent way." At least some of the movies on my hastily assembled list beg to differ. Always remember: a movie can be good even if you don't care for it, and you can love a bad movie in spite of itself.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Latex Zebra, who is amazed at people taking so much time to say they didn't like something, took the time to leave a comment to that effect. Interesting.

Moonie:

"The last blockbuster I saw that also had a really great story, was "Matrix"...I think it's almost impossible to make a blockbuster that is also a damned good movie and tells a convincing story in an intelligent way."

Dude...really? The Matrix came out in 1999. You didn't go to see X-Men (2000), Spider-Man (2002), Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, 2003), X2: X-Men United (also 2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004), King Kong (2005), Casino Royale (2006), Mision: Impossible III (also 2006), Iron Man (2008), The Hangover (2009), either of the Sherlock Holmes movies (2009 and 2011), Inception (2010), The Avengers (2012), The Hunger Games (also 2012), Skyfall (also ALSO 2012), Men in Black 3 (no, I'm not kidding), or any movies from the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or Dark Knight franchises? Well, then. Do I have some good news for YOU! :)

No, I'm being serious. Anyone's mileage may vary on some of those titles, and everyone's probably will. But I think that at least the bulk of that list, from any perspective, defeats the claim that intelligent blockbusters just can't be done anymore. In fact, I deliberately left animated movies off this list -- if we can count animated movies at blockbusters, then I can throw on The Incredibles and Cars at the very least. And there are a number of other blockbusters that aren't actively stupid and are pretty decent although not outstanding movies...Captain America comes to mind.

I'll also second everything that E2 said in response to your earlier question, and add this: I refuse to believe that this universe's Kirk dying could inspire in Spock a blind emotional rage which seems the equivalent of pon farr in what it does to Vulcan composure. Spock was exactly the wrong character to use during that "homage," which was really more of a straight rip-off anyway.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

He's not writing it, Brandon. But he is producing it, so I imagine that at some point he probably contributed some dialogue or script ideas.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Tue, Sep 10, 2013, 3:13am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Thanks, Dom, for pointing out Orci's comments. Now I not only definitely won't be going to see Star Trek XIII, I won't feel even the tiniest bit bad about it. Heck, I might even have to skip Ender's Game now, and I've really been looking forward to that. I don't know how faithful the movie will be to the book...I just don't want to risk a chance of Orci getting in my face (metaphorically) and ranting about how I never understood that the Buggers weren't really giant insectoid aliens and Petra Arkanian totally needed a character reboot anyway and if I don't like the movie, his friend Harrison Ford is gonna come over dressed like Colonel Graff and kick the crap out of me.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Sep 4, 2013, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Oh, yeah...and that's 500. Boo ya, anyone who thought they were getting there first. :)
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Sep 4, 2013, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

wl123 makes a good point re: Voyager and Enterprise. (Though I'll pass on "Star Trek: Memento," thanks.) I think it's only fair that the vocal critics of ST:iD, like me, take a moment to acknowledge that it wasn't exactly sunshine and roses under Berman and Braga, either. But both those shows had moments where they tried to stake out their own identity. Pretty much all of Enterprise Season 3 is a good example. ST:iD seems to be trying to stake out a place as the Star Trek for people who don't like Star Trek. I suppose that is a defining feature, but it's not one I care for.

And I still do see a difference between ST09, where the whole point of the movie was to reboot Trek in a Trekkian way (at which they were pretty successful with a few caveats)...and ST:iD, where the whole point seems to be constructing an action-heavy collage of things that the whole Trek franchise has done too often and/or too recently.

Having said all that...Star Trek on the big screen has rarely tried to be high-concept sci-fi in the style of 2001, nor should it try. Star Trek I was boring, and Star Trek V was banal. Star Trek II, on the other hand, told a very human story about aging and loss; Star Trek IV was a light comedy wrapped in a time-travel story; Star Trek VI based itself on an allegory about then-contemporary geopolitics; and ST:FC had at its core a good old-fashioned "How far will a wounded man go to get revenge?" question. These are the commonly cited favorites, and it isn't because they're classic "big idea" sci-fi, or because they blow stuff up real good. It's because they're just good stories that we can relate to.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Sorry, left out two paragraphs as I was assembling a final draft. They are below:

Yes, I know that your point is -- what if Phlox administers the cure, and then tragedy strikes? It's a fair question. Here's another one: if you don't have a thorough medical workup on a dying man, why give him a medicine to which he might potentially be allergic? You have no way of knowing what the consequences would be if you administer the dose. The obvious answer, of course, and the one that scuttles your argument, is that you know perfectly well what will happen if you don't.

I am not saying that always and everywhere, one should disregard potential harms if there is an obvious harm to be avoided. In fact, as a general rule, it's better to avoid interfering without sufficient knowledge. But at a certain point, when the obvious harm is serious enough, risking the potential harm is clearly a better course of action. Where that line should be drawn is a subject for debate, but in this case, I'm fairly certain you're on the wrong side of it.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"If Archer gave them the cure, that would implicate Earth and this planet in a vital relationship. That relationship would inevitably force humans to interfere in all the ways we otherwise prohibit with the aliens' culture."

If I cure a sick man of a disease, I am not obligated to interfere with anything else in his life. If my cure causes problems, then yes -- I am obligated to help fix the problem...but you can't necessarily make the leap to total interference.

"So, if, for example, Phlox' cure caused a serious genetic defect in, say, one third of the population--not enough to wipe out the species, but enough to be a hardship--should Starfleet seek to correct the problem?...Actions have consequences, most of which cannot be easily predicted."

Even granting your example, what you're saying here is that only being able to cure a condition in two out of every three people in a society, and thus continue the existence of both those people and the society, should give Phlox serious pause about curing the disease at all. At its best, that would only be an excuse to refuse to administer the cure for a set period of time to see if a better option might be discovered.

"Cultures must find their own way until they are capable of entering a larger community of cultures..."

The Valakians had previous contact with warp-faring cultures, and were able to call for help. They're clearly already a part (albeit a fringe part) of a larger community of worlds, which -- on your own assumptions -- moots any argument against helping them just because they can't travel faster than light.

Also, I think your analogy about analogies is the analogy that failed...
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Fri, Aug 23, 2013, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Important enough to deserve its own post:

"You are postulating making a Star Trek solely based on Science without any of the Fantasy. You are saying you want to destroy the soul of Star Trek."

I defy you to point to anyone who has said anything resembling this.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Fri, Aug 23, 2013, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

First, the only response I need to make to Higgs_Boson has already been made:

redlettermedia.com/mr-plinkett-star-trek-into-reference/

And now, onto the midshipman.

"The distinction I'm making here, and that I should have made in the first place, was that franchise movies have typically been big, loud, expensive and breathtaking. This is the prototype put forth by, yeah, you guessed it, Star Wars."

Now that's better. I'll accept the revision and move on. But you still have a problem. Here are some franchises whose first movie fits every single criteria on your checklist:

Star Wars
Indiana Jones
The Matrix
Spider-Man
Jurassic Park
Marvel's Avengers
Jaws
Terminator
Batman
James Bond

Were the first movies of these franchises big, loud, expensive, breathtaking? Yes to all four. Were they moneymakers? Oh, yes...in fact, four of these are among the top five money-making franchises of all time. They also have something else in common -- their first films are held in high regard by audiences and critics alike.

Why, the first films of the top three of those franchises have all been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress, alongside many of the films I mentioned earlier. Why? Because they combined great spectacle with great storytelling -- they've not only influenced all sorts of technical and filmmaking innovations, but they're just really good stories with people we love to like and hate.

"I mean, if they wanted to make an artistic statement, they certainly have the money, and moreover, it seems to me that you guys are *demanding* that."

It's like you haven't paid attention to anything that anyone who's disagreeing with you has said. WE WANTED A GOOD STAR TREK MOVIE. WE GOT A PILE OF BANTHA POODOO. Let me be just as fair to you. If all you want is empty spectacle, and you don't care about the plot making sense and/or the characters being interesting, may I suggest the following films for your pleasure:

Star Wars I-III
Indiana Jones IV
The Matrix II
Spider-Man III
Jurassic Park II-III
Iron Man II
Jaws III-IV
Terminator III-IV
Batman III-IV
Most of the Moore/Brosnan Bonds

...which are the films that happen when people who make franchise blockbusters stop caring about hanging special effects and set pieces on a good story, and start warping the story to fit the special effects and set pieces.

You want to encourage empty spectacle filmmaking? You go right ahead. You want to like the movie-shaped pile of crap? It's your life. Me, I'll be watching the good stuff.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Aug 21, 2013, 11:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"Movies are big, loud, expensive, and breathtaking."

How big was "Rear Window," or "12 Angry Men"?
How loud was "Double Indemnity," or "The Apartment"?
How expensive was "Halloween," or "Animal House"?
How breathtaking was "Taxi Driver," or "The Manchurian Candidate"?
Which ones of these aren't movies?

Look, I loved "The Avengers" and the Dark Knight films. I enjoyed the hell out of "The Hunger Games." I even found quite a few nice things to say about "Skyfall," which I seem to like a lot less than the rest of the world does. But your definition of movies is as silly as it is reductive. Just because one type of movie (the blockbuster) operates according to your rules does not mean that this is all there is.

"You go to movies for CATHARSIS. Not for an examination of the the thought processes of V'Ger, but for Khan Noonien Singh *blowing up.*"

If it hadn't been for the intense long-standing character examination of Kirk, Spock, and Khan in TWOK, it wouldn't have been half as cathartic when Khan blew up! Seriously, how is that not clear?

I'm not saying that I don't enjoy it when things happen on film, or that I will watch nothing but Scandinavian art films and "Last Year at Marienbad." And I'm not defending the indefensible slow pace of ST:TMP. But I cared about Montal-Khan in a way I never could care about Khan-berbatch, and I love TWOK whereas I am still queasy when thinking about ST:iD. That's because the action in TWOK was about more than just blowin' stuff up real good.

I second Brandon's claim that it is possible to turn out movies which satisfy both our higher cognitive functions and our animal pleasures. For the past several years, Christopher Nolan's been the master of this. I defy anyone to see "Inception" and then (love it or hate it) tell me that it was JUST about ideas, or JUST about action. This dualism -- we can either have "2001" or "Star Wars," but not both in the same movie -- has got to stop.

"You're just going to make people feel uncomfortable posting here if they don't agree with you about the film..."

Which doesn't seem to have stopped you from, not only posting about the film, but risking the discomfort of people like me by disagreeing with us. And yet...we survive.

I have tried to avoid saying this, but here it comes: if anyone's feelings are so delicate that they would be intimidated into silence by some anonymous non-descript geeks* posting spirited disagreement with their aesthetic opinions on a third-party boutique website, then they need to stop having the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone.

* Yes, geeks. We all know it's true. Let's own it, baby.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Sat, Aug 3, 2013, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Well, I suppose that serves me right for attempting to resume a discussion with Macca on a more civil wavelength. I'll read through the rest of what I've missed later, and respond where appropriate.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Niall:

"...all opinions are valid by their very nature."

Wrong. Here's the proof:

1. It is your opinion that all opinions are valid.
2. It is my opinion that some opinions are not valid.
3. The statements "all opinions are valid" and "some opinions are not valid" cannot both be true.
4. Therefore, one of our opinions is wrong.
5. If yours is right, then by implication, so is mine.
6. But 5 can't be right, because it violates 3.
7. Therefore, your opinion that all opinions are valid is wrong.

E2:

"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."

I watched TWOK before I ever knew there was an episode of Star Trek with Khan in it. The old movie did a fine job of establishing him, while reintroducing every member of the crew. Whether it's difficult or not, it's yet another area in which newer is not better.

And in these days, 45 years of time difference isn't nearly as important as the roughly 15 years of difference between the original show and the movie -- not when "Space Seed," TWOK, and ST11 (the three "precursors" to ST:iD) are all readily available on DVD and via online pay-streaming services.

Macca:

"...something cant 'seem' to be entertaining. If the individual viewer was entertained, then for them, it was entertaining."

We've had some conflict between us on this thread, and I admit that my "Prepare to be annoyed" was the flashpoint of it. So allow me to extend the olive branch, and say that although I disagree with your comment here, I do understand where you're coming from.

However...well, let's change the subject from movies to food, and the operative descriptive from "entertaining" to "tasty." If Person A finds McDonald's tasty, then yes, I guess you could say it's tasty -- to him. Then you sit him down in front of a choice cut of prime rib, perfectly accented with bernaise and served with buttered and lightly peppered asparagus. He eats the meal with relish, and when you ask him how it was afterward, he says it was "tasty."

So what's the lesson we're to draw from this? Is it that all meals described as tasty are, in fact, tasty -- maybe equally tasty, since the same descriptive was used? Or is it perhaps that the person lacks a certain...well...taste?
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jul 17, 2013, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

That seems to be the only way you know how to respond to criticism -- with a brush-off. Sad.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jul 17, 2013, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"I love how Demosthenes contradicts himself in his posts - this time in the one sentence. You can't on one hand say that I'm allowed to like the movie and then say that you are allowed to tell me why I'm wrong."

Point 1: You don't understand what a contradiction is. A contradiction would be "You are allowed to like ST:iD and you are not allowed to like ST:iD." See how that works? See how both halves of that sentence directly oppose each other? So where's the contradiction in what I said? That's easy -- there is none.

Point 2: Your first post on this thread was to say that you were "dismayed" by other people's reactions, and "annoyed" by people who said that the tone of the new movies wasn't in keeping with Trek. Both of those are your word choices, and they bracket a post where you lecture us on why we shouldn't believe what we do. Now you claim that all you want is for people like Dig and me to "let others have their say without getting a diatribe in response from you and your like."

So what I'm hearing is, YOU get to tell us why you're dismayed and annoyed by our opinions after you read our posts, but WE don't get to do the same to you. I'd really love to throw your accusation back at you -- but strictly speaking, that's not a contradiction. It's just a garden-variety double standard.

Point 3: I did actually misspeak, and I need to correct myself -- because I played right into your warped terminology. It's not a question of you being ALLOWED to like the movie. How could anyone possibly stop you from liking anything? NO ONE HAS ANY CONTROL OVER YOU. And by the same token, it's not a question of me being allowed to tell you why you're wrong. You don't control me, either. I can, and do, tell people that they're wrong all the time. And they do the same to me. Just last week I had occasion to tell a co-worker that "Adventure Time" is brain-drainingly dumb, and he shot back that "Buffy" is overrated girl-power garbage. That's just normal give-and-take between two people with different preferences and opinions. Get used to it, dude.

Point 4: I debated about whether to mention this, but what the heck. What you're claiming I said in one sentence, I actually said in two. Reading comprehension fail.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jul 17, 2013, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Oh, give me a break, Macca. No one has said you aren't allowed to enjoy the film. As I said earlier, in my response to your very first post on this thread, "You want to like the movie? Like the movie." But by the same token, we are allowed to say that the film is bad, and that we didn't like it, and -- most crucially -- we are allowed to argue with you about which of us is right. Do you see Digedag saying "Why aren't people allowed to say this film is a load of dingo's kidneys?" No, of course you don't...because he doesn't have a persecution complex and he can handle being disagreed with.

Speaking of which, au revoir, CadetNorris.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Ah, yes, Macca's still here. He still hasn't told us what the "elephant in the room" is...half a month after dropping the phrase...but he's still trying to get shots in at the people who have good taste.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

It's all about winning the box office, the headlines, and the buzz battle, Dom. So, yes, you're right. Studios prefer the big-name properties that are nearly guaranteed to win the opening weekend and do hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, regardless of quality. If those films even manage twice their budget at the box office, DVDs have historically paid for the advertising and then put the whole production in the black. (Though with the DVD market losing 40%-50% of sales, it will be interesting to see how those calculations change going forward.)

My take: a smart studio would make a good family-oriented film for $30-35 million, market it for the same budget, watch it do $100-150 million at the box office, pocket the $10-40 million profit, and start producing their next modestly-budgeted family movie while waiting for the DVD revenues (pretty much pure profit at that point) to start rolling in. As long as the movie makes $60-70 million, you're pretty much guaranteed to break even at the box office...and every so often, you'd get a runaway $300 million grosser that would pay for your entire next year's slate of movies. But I guess that making a steady profit for decades by doing something that works isn't very glamorous...
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@ stargazer

Speaking as one of the people who looked on the 2009 movie positively (if a little uncomfortably), I can answer your question -- at least in regard to my own perspective. Remember, we had just had a writer's strike that had taken its toll on a lot of films. I remember reading that people had wanted to change scripted dialogue and plot points, but couldn't.

At the time, I was fully prepared to believe that a lot of what I considered ludicrous in that movie, like Kirk getting promoted from cadet to captain, had just been put in as a placeholder to show where the writers had wanted to go once they had time for subsequent drafts. When someone is stopped from finishing the job they were hired to do, I think you do owe them a little bit of slack when evaluating the results. And the central time-travel plot device was such a perfectly Trekkian way to do a reboot that, again, I thought the team might have the big picture down...they had just needed another three or four drafts to work out the kinks.

So yeah, I was forgiving of the 2009 movie because of the intrusive background circumstances that they couldn't change. In light of this piece of crap, though, you're right -- I may have to reevaluate my stance.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Dom: Yeah, now that I think about it, you're right. I wish I had thought of that.

Eduardo: nope, the fourth film was bankrolled by Paramount. I was wrong about one thing, though. Spielberg, Ford, and Lucas together received 87.5% of the distributor's share of the gross, which makes my vague "over 70%" figure technically correct but very misleading (I had misremembered the figure at 72.5%).

That means that, in all probability, Paramount shelled out $185 million to make a movie that made $785 million at the box office...and lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $130 million on it. Granted, that's without factoring in ancillary revenue -- but again, that's also without factoring in advertising costs. Once you know that a studio can lose so much real money at the box office on a film that is such a big hit, you stop being surprised when people call a $400 million dollar film a disappointment.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Sorry, must modify one thing I said. When I wrote "product placement," I should also have written "tie-in deals," which is where this movie will make most of its ancillary revenue. Not too many products you can easily place over 200 years in the future, though that didn't stop Nokia and Budweiser from doing so in the 2009 movie...
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Tue, Jun 18, 2013, 11:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"Could someone please explain to me how over $413 mil worldwide on a $190 mil budget is a box office disappointment??"

Don't have to. io9 has done it for me:

io9.com/5747305/how-much-money-does-a-movie-need-to-make-to-be-profitable

Bottom line -- if you figure (a good enough rule of thumb) that a movie needs to take in roughly twice its cost just to make the production company their money back, then ST:iD's worldwide box office to date means that the whole production is somewhere around $50 million in the black, which is subpar for a big-name blockbuster that's been out for a whole month. And that's not even factoring in the advertising budget, which you have to figure is anywhere from $70-100 million for a movie of this size. Maybe more.

In other words, after four weeks in theaters, ST:iD probably still has not turned a profit. That's not a great performance by any means. And Paramount has had some experience with this before. They took a theatrical bath on the fourth Indiana Jones movie, despite its taking in over $780 million worldwide on a $185 million budget...because Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford were collectively entitled to over seventy percent of the distributor's share of the box office GROSS. That leaves Paramount with about an $80 million loss before you even factor in advertising. Hooray for Hollywood.

To be fair, ST:iD will still probably end up making more money than its predecessor. We're also not factoring in product placement, which can be a huge revenue source. And then --as you pointed out, Chris -- there's the all-important DVD market. It's not as powerful as it used to be, and it will be less powerful still in the years to come. But it can still push most films into the black in every way except on the official balance sheets (that way, the studios don't have to pay out any net profits). But yeah, for a big summer movie that had a fairly popular predecessor and a lot of hype behind it, this performance is a bit of a disappointment.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"The Original Series was an action series. The producers would always make sure that had an action seen with Kirk involved in a punch up, leaping off rocks, and saving the girl."

Oh, yes. 1960's-style brawling is absolutely comparable to a CGI-constructed ship crashing into San Francisco. Because they're both "action." And Forbidden Planet is comparable to Star Wars, right? Because they're both "sci-fi." My point -- part of it, anyway -- is that people who are attracted to ST:iD because of its fast-paced action aesthetic and ultra-modern graphics are not the audience that will be most receptive to the quieter, slower-paced, less technically accomplished, more philosophical Trek as it has existed before.

And while I went to extremes to pick out several quieter episodes (note: you need to learn what "demure" means, so you don't misuse it again), I don't have to go that far. Compare the action sequences in the faux-Trek Abrams movies with the best that cinematic Trek has done, say the fight against the Borg cube in ST:FC or the final battle sequence in ST:Nem, and there is no comparison. Can people have more than one taste? Sure. That said, most members of the generation of moviegoers raised on such hyperkinetic stuff are going to find as little to appreciate in the old Star Trek as people raised in the Star Wars era found in black-and-white, Poverty Row sci-fi. That should be obvious.

"I guarantee you that if Gene Roddenberry had $10 Million for each episode of Star Trek it would have had as many explosions as he could possibly have squeezed in."

First off, you're in no position to guarantee how someone who has been dead for twenty years would have handled a larger budget for a fifty-year-old TV show. Second, even if you're right, it would have been at the behest of the network. Compare the original "Cage" pilot to the actual series, and you'll see what I mean.

"You correctly point out that Star Trek tries to be about Liberal Humanism but doesn't hit the mark in all the episodes and movies."

So what? It aims for a goal, and doesn't always hit it. Meanwhile, however, when did Star Trek aim to be an action franchise? Ever? Rewatch several episodes of the original series, and you'll find that it's not aiming for that at all. Those are just the things that get put in the previews to get people to tune in. "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and "Journey to Babel" and "Mirror, Mirror" -- sure, they have fistfights. So, are we reclassifying "Singin' in the Rain" as an action movie because it has a lot of stuntwork?

"What I'm saying is that Into Darkness should be accepted on the terms of what it is, a fun movie."

But THAT IS THE PROBLEM. It's not asking me to accept it as "Into Darkness," the fun new action/sci-fi hybrid...which is a pity, because I might well have been able to accept it on that basis. It's asking me to accept it as "STAR TREK: Into Darkness," the latest installment in a franchise that turns 50 in three years. And by that standard, not only does it not come close to measuring up to even the mediocre Trek, but -- as Grumpy pointed out -- it actively insulted the viewers by daring to be a reinterpretation of one of the truly excellent Trek outings, and failing miserably with practically every reference. Did it mean to be so insulting? Probably not. Which doesn't change the fact that it was.

That you choose not to be insulted is your affair. But don't feed me off-brand Star Wars/Mission: Impossible Lite trumped up with a few Trek emblems and then tell me that's Star Trek I taste. I know the difference, even if you don't.
Set Bookmark
Demosthenes
Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Prepare to be annoyed, Macca.

I don't have to defend the creative dearth of the latter-day Berman/Braga era in order to be properly offended by what Abrams has done with Trek. The last years of Voyager, and pretty much all of Enterprise, delivered trite, re-hashed, re-heated, and occasionally idiotic Trek. But it was still Trek, recognizable as such. Abrams' movies, as action movies, are engaging, exciting, over-the-top fun. But they're not Trek. They never will be, no matter what the characters' names are or what ship they fly around in.

Now, I have no objection to action movies. I'd hate to tell you how many times I've seen Die Hard and Lethal Weapon and Under Siege. But Trek isn't about action (except in service of the story); it's about exploration. It's not about blowing things up (though I admit that does happen from time to time); it's about examining the human condition and the human spirit. If I want to see gigantic empty spectacles, I have other options. That's not why I love Star Trek.

You talk about the new audience that will seek out the old Trek, now that they've had a taste. That's exactly why I was behind the concept of a reboot in the first place -- get rid of the restrictive canon that was holding people back from engaging, and make room for new stories. Give the audience a taste of that classic Trek feel, and maybe they'll be driven to the older stuff. But the first movie didn't feel like Trek, not totally. And ST:iD (I'm really having to fight hard to avoid shortening the acronym to STD) not only severed the link completely, it ironically managed to do so while aping one of the best pieces of entertainment the Star Trek franchise has ever produced -- re-hashed, again.

What is going to be interesting to this new audience about, say, "The Survivors" from TNG? Or "The Visitor" from DS9? Why would people who want action-Trek care about "Children of Time" or "Darmok"? Those episodes have moral dilemmas and mysteries at their heart. Problems don't get solved with massive explosions. Or, God help us, why would they ever want to watch "City on the Edge of Forever"? Cheesy special effects, no explosions -- the most violent thing that happens in the episode is a car crash. If they seek it out, most of them will either hate what they find, or just won't get it at all.

You want to like the movie? Like the movie. I watch and enjoy Robot Monster from time to time, which is objectively atrocious, so I'm in no position to sneer at anyone else's taste. And, as I said, if this had been a sci-fi/action movie not marketed as Trek, I probably would have enjoyed the hell out of it. But whatever you thought about the movie as a movie, let's not pretend that Abrams has revitalized Star Trek. For that to happen, he would have to bring Star Trek to the screen. He's made something that looks like Star Trek, but is populated with characters who talk and act like teenagers, and which exploits the emotional depth and resonance of real Trek to pretend toward some of its own. And I get really annoyed with people who claim to be Trek fans while not seeing that they're being suckered in with surface appearances ONLY.
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.