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Genre-Buster
Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 10:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

MidshipmanNorris:

Never mind what Lord Garth says: post here to your heart's delight.

Just understand that debate becomes really tiresome if all you want to do is "win." You can do that easily enough by following Macca's example: go on the attack, and retract nothing.

The point is that you have posted 21 times in a row now without saying word one in praise of the the film, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and really, you have to go back to the posts you made as a "Cadet" to find anything truly substantial. You've spent virtually all of your energy either countering the rhetoric of those you disagree with or pushing a bunch of apologetics concerning the political climate in Hollywood. Big deal. Can any of that really boost my opinion of STID? Of course not.

Concerning your point about Gene Roddenberry: G-Rod was just as capable of being wrong about stuff as anyone, but his opinion does happen to matter, and honestly, I can see his point about TWOK. It was only marginally Science-Fiction, and it also ignored all the stuff Roddenberry really cared about: portraying a future that mankind could look forward to and work toward, providing inspirational role models, etc. To raise such objections happens to be the creator's prerogative, and I respect it, but it still has nothing to do with the quality of the film we're all here to talk about.

You yourself conceded that it's not Science-Fiction, so what is it? A coming of age story? I agree with you that that is the one place where the film succeeds in telling a somewhat meaningful story, but it takes up such a small percentage of the film's content as to be nearly nonexistent. So what are we left with?

Answer: Just another action movie. And if we're going to judge the film based on what it is, then I have to say, this has got to be the most most derivative action movie to come out of Hollywood since... well... Trek '09 (I don't want to repeat myself, so I'll just point about 60 posts up to where I list all of the film's action sequences and indicate which films are being aped). TWOK might not have been Science-Fiction either. It might better be categorized as a cat-and-mouse thriller, but at least it was original. It was tightly written. Basically it was good enough for us to overlook/forgive it its flaws.
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Genre-Buster
Wed, Aug 21, 2013, 8:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I suppose calling the filmmakers frauds is a little bit snarky, but come on, they're millionaires; they can handle it. And Brandon has repeatedly presnted his arguments concerning "real imagination and respect for the audience" here in this thread, in the Trek '09 thread, and the STID trailer thread. He's very passionate, but eloquent as all get out. Go back and read his stuff. He's good.

All of this is leading everyone (including you, MSN) away from what the discussion here should be all about: Trek. So I'll reopen the discussion on Trek for TV: Interesting that the season opener of Breaking Bad featured a whole scene of Trek-Talk. I wonder if this means AMC is picking it up.

Comments?
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Genre-Buster
Tue, Aug 20, 2013, 3:38am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

MSN, what on earth are you talking about?

I think this discussion is going quite well. It's opinionated, certainly, but for the most part civilized. I suppose you may have a point about maturity, since we're all taking time out of our day to post about frigging Star Trek of all things, but insults? Name-calling? Please, be serious.
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Genre-buster
Sun, Aug 18, 2013, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

GB: Grandmother, what an odd definition of catharsis you have...

MSN: The better to swallow your posts with, my dear.


Things going boom do not a true catharsis make. In my view, the V-Ger mystery at the center of TMP and its reveal at the end are about a million times more cathartic than all of the explosions in all of the subsequent Trek movies combined.

Surely you're aware that you're flying directly in the face of what Lindelhof himself freely admits is a huge problem with the present-day blockbuster.

Trek's potential remains, but not in its present format. I say the franchise be returned to television, which has evolved TREMENDOUSLY since Enterprise was cancelled over a decade ago. Let Paramount do with Trek what HBO is doing with Game of Thrones, what AMC is doing with zombies, and what is clearly becoming the real future of the medium anyway: no more than twelve episodes per season, all attention and effort put on quality of storyline, and nothing goes boom until it needs to.
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Genre-Buster
Sun, Aug 11, 2013, 2:37am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

You haven't offended me, MSN, but you are trying my patience. If you want to sharpen your debating skills, you should address my core point about science-fiction and not graze around its edges by nit-picking the modifiers I chose. Yes, STID is just a show, and we're all relaxed here. So leaving off the issue of whether it was good or bad or meaningful or whatever, let me just ask the question point-blank:

Is it science-fiction?
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Genre-Buster
Sun, Aug 11, 2013, 1:52am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Dang, you're sensitive.

Fine - please by all means delete the word "meaningful" from my post and read it again. The subject is science fiction, not 'meaning', so it doesn't change my core point one iota.

Yes, there were 'meaningful' moments in STID - I never said there weren't. But when it comes to science fiction, yes, I do have standards: Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov. There are times when Trek has been able to meet these standards - not very often, but I generally let it slide because at least at least an attempt was made.

I'm sorry, but the latest two Trek films don't even do that much. They're simply action films on steroids, mixed with a little bit of coming-of-age (as we mentioned before), and little to no science fiction content.

I don't even know why we're arguing on this point, it seems so obvious.
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Aug 10, 2013, 10:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

MSN: "The new fans who've never seen Star Trek before. They're hooked now."

Are they? Proof, please...

There was a time when action movies only ever needed a single set piece in order to be memorable, i.e. get us "hooked". I mean, go back to the original Die Hard - the scene near the end where they blow the roof and McClain has to swing off using a fire-hose rig - a truly original, inventive, and completely thrilling action sequence, and again, the film's only one.

For STID, I counted a total of EIGHT set pieces, none of which had me particularly enthralled, and every single one of them derivative of stuff I'd seen in other films. Here they are, with the films they ripped off in parentheses:

1) Pre-credit sequence (Indiana Jones franchise)
2) Attack at star fleet command (Godfather III, Die Hard [see above])
3) Klingon/shuttle chase (Star Wars franchise)
4) Vengeance attacks Enterprise (about a million films)
5) Spacesuit flight between ships (this may be an exception - but I smell ST Insurrection)
6) Gravity trouble on Enterprise (Inception, Matrix franchise)
7) Vengeance crashes into city (Roland Emmerich/Michael Bay ad nauseum)
8) Spock vs Khan chase sequence/fistfight (another million or so films)

I get the feeling that the above list was the original script outline for STID. And NONE of this constitutes any of what I liked about the film.

And getting back to what I was saying about sci-fi: There's no possible room for any meaningful science fiction in a film packed with this kind of seizure-inducing action. How could there be?
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Genre-Buster
Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 10:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Excellent point, Dom.

A perfect example of what you're talking about is the "Khan crashes USS Vengence into major metropolitan area" sequence. Paramout shoehorned that truly idiotic set piece into this film for no other reason than "we've got the money." I can think of no other purpose - unless it was to show us that Khan is evil, "genocidal" as they say more than once in the film. But honestly - big f***ing deal. They could have shown that any number of ways, and a smaller budget would have forced them to think creatively. Instead, the budget forced them to think in terms of pure safety: what would be the best way to spend this money and have proof of its proper use on the screen for all to see?

Answer: BIG HUGE APOCALYPTIC SEQUENCE.

Did I say I liked this movie? I take it back.
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Genre-Buster
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 1:07am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

MSN, you didn't piss anyone off - not at all. I'm just giving my hit on the way things are as I see them.

I really have come to terms with what Trek has become. As you said, it's cheap entertainment. I just believe it can be much more than that. The latest film did show some signs of that - not enough for my taste, but enough to give me hope for the future.

Keep posting, MSN. What if Macca comes back? You soften the rhetoric, and we need that.
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Genre-Buster
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 12:54am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

...and I AM shitting my pants at the hugeness of the Trek franchise, by the way - as is Nimoy, as is Shatner, as is JJ Abrams.

Too big to fail, too important to take risks with, and property of Paramount Pictures lock stock and barrel - never to be the launching pad of true creativity ever again.

But boy o boy, are we rich! ;)
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Genre-Buster
Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 12:08am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

MidshipmanNorris:

What are you implying about Shatner? He and Nimoy are friends with a joke running between them, nothing more.

And wriggle out of what? I love Nimoy, I've always loved Nimoy. He made gobs of money on STID; bully for him. And g**-***mit, for the last time, I LIKED THE MOVIE, which starred by the way Zachary Quinto, not Leonard Nimoy. It's already happened: people don't REALLY need to see Nimoy's face in order to think of Star Trek, the just the need pointy ears, the blue shirt, and the bangs. Put them on Quinto, shoot, put them on Chevy Chase - you get the same effect.

And just take a moment and think about this: Nimoy didn't didn't need to do nearly as much work on STID as he undoubtedly did on the Bilbo song - no choreography, no rehearsing, no singing, no feeling crushingly foolish while kids are dancing around you like imps - just put on the ears, read off of the teleprompter, and shove some more cash into your grandkids' trust-funds. Even if the film had been terrible - which it wasn't - no-one could possibly begrudge Nimoy for taking the money and running.

And before you hit me with the big legend about Nimoy refusing to do Generations because he thought the script was lame, just consider: what if his big battle with Paramount over Roddenberry's eulogy that you posted about cost him that job, and he simply found a way to spin the story to his favor?

I'm not being cynical, dude, I'm telling you how the business is. I'm not William Shatner, but I am a struggling professional actor myself, and there's nothing the studios like more than to pigeonhole people in order to marginalize their power.

Leonard Nimoy is unquestionably a man of great integrity, but Spock was his primary, and I might add, solitary meal-ticket. Yes, there was Three Men and a Baby, yes there was that Columbo episode, his brief stint on Mission Impossible, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake, Transformers 3, hell, the Bilbo song, for the matter. But none of those jobs would have even been offered to him had there been no Spock. Being Spock certainly has it's advantages, but there's a downside to it as well - it's called typecasting, and Nimoy is a glorious example on how to navigate that extremely tricky pitfall.
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Genre-Buster
Mon, Aug 5, 2013, 1:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

How much you wanna bet the STID paycheck was higher?
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Aug 3, 2013, 10:01am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Rich people have to cull funds even more than us poor people, I'm afraid. I'm not saying Nimoy didn't like the movie - he probably did. I did, you did, lots of people did - so why not Nimoy?

All I'm saying is that the mere fact of his appearance in these latest Treks does not prove anything about his actual opinion of their quality.

Thanks for the memoir quote, MSN: it's a wonderful example of the kind of stuff Nimoy no doubt has do deal with all the time. But I can promise you that if Nimoy, or anyone for that matter, used your all-caps quote as some kind of axiom for how to navigate life in every circumstance, he wouldn't stay rich for long. One has to choose one's battles, and Nimoy, quite rightly I think, decided to take on a couple of Paramount heavies when it came time to eulogize his friend.

But the pressure on someone like Nimoy to fund the arts, AND KEEP those funds flowing, is something none of us will likely ever grasp.
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Aug 3, 2013, 12:55am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

...and yes, I'm happy to help him promote it:

youtu.be/D8pTI4uW2NE
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Aug 3, 2013, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Macca! Welcome back! You've been missed!

I, Genre-Buster, mis-reader of posts and clown-deluxe, would like to personally extend my heartiest of happy sentiments at your long awaited return to this discussion.

Allow me, if I may, to ask you: have you seen the movie StarTrek: Into Darkness, and if so, what was your reaction? Did you like it, and why?

I personally thought the film was mediocre - better than the previous reboot, certainly, but overall, exploitative and kinda dumb.

But enough about me. What did you think?

Midshipman: Nimoy's appearance in STID doesn't really constitute an endorsement. He's been working at remounting his legendary one-man show: "Vincent," in NewYork (with another actor, of course; he's merely producing this time around), and no doubt is trying to to cull funds from wherever he can.
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Jul 27, 2013, 1:27am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I do understand why they gave this new Khan the more polished sheen, and ultimately it did work to the film's general purposes just fine. I just wanted to explain why Cumber-Khan is nowhere near my top-ten movie villains list, but Montal-Khan definitely is.

What really surprised me about this movie - and in a good way (for the time being, I'll have to let go of the the ass-pain that idiotic contrivance with Khan's blood being some kind of ambrosial elixir gave me - give me a f***ing break), what really surprised me was Kirk's transformation after dying and being resurrected, a transformation that I honestly did not see coming. Suddenly, there he was, a man upon whom the full weight of his responsibilities had at long last dawned. Carol Marcus shoots him a seductive glance, and lo and behold, he simply smiles, greets her as a respected colleague, and moves to the podium to give his speech. Pine's delivery of that speech was shockingly dignified and, I daresay, inspiring. Here he is - a man at last.

Which brings me to what CadetNorris said several posts up about fate. Here it is again:

"In a universe where parallel dimensions are known to exist, can there still be such a thing as fate? Our our fates ultimately tied to our identities? Do the choices we make result only from the environment we live in, or is there some immutable quality to our consciousness that spans the breadth of all quantum realities?"

That Kirk and Spock should be "destined" to confront Khan is not something I found particularly interesting at first, but that the FINAL result should wind in total harmony with what we understand about these characters from their previous incarnations, shoot, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised.
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Genre-Buster
Thu, Jul 25, 2013, 12:01am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

The biggest problem with Cumberbatch Khan is this business about his being some kind of ultimate bad-ass. I don't remember what Nimoy-Spock's line exactly was, but it was tantamount to "the most dangerous mutherf***er the universe has ever faced" or something to that effect. It would seem that hyperbole is among the symptoms of Nimoy-Spock's old-age dementia. Recall his comment in the original Trek 2:

"His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

Doen't sound very threatening to me. This is really driven home when Shatner-Kirk says quite smugly to Khan:

"We tried it once your way, Khan, are you game for a rematch?"

...and then:

"Hey Khan, I'm laughing at your superior intellect."

From what I remember, Montalban-Khan was little more than a bungler with just a few impressive traits: Noble carriage and seductiveness in Space Seed, and tenacity and dumb luck in STWOK. What made him so memorable was, of course, Ricardo Montalban's highly dynamic, textured, and at times even comical performance.

Benedict Cumberbatch may be a good actor (I hear he actually is), but there's no way you could tell from watching this movie. While I suppose the overall effect was to make Khan appear "menacing," a kind of Hannibal Lecter with gym-shoes, his actual CHARACTER is completely wooden; he's a line-spitting, snarling mannequin, nothing more.
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Jammer, would it be too much to ask for a "go back and edit" function on this forum for posts that we boogered up?I hate it when I hit send with typos I missed. Makes me look like a discredited clown.
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Genre-Buster
Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Alright - I saw it.

First observation I'd like to make: Before Midnight (which I saw just prior was much, much better.

And don't hit me with that old hackneyed excuse that these movies are different genres: Before Midnight is arthouse, STID's a summer blockbuster, blah blah blah. Doesn't change the simple fact that listening to Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy talk for two hours solid was about a million times more interesting, thought provoking, provocative, and envigorating than all of the explosions, chase sequences, badassedness, hot women and apocalyptic simulations found in STID combined.

Oh well, it wasn't bad, I don't guess. Cadet N's "fate" observation a few posts up not only got me to see the film, but saved me from hating it altogether. There's actually quite a lot more to say about this, but for now, let it be known that I thought the film was okay.

Nothing like rock-bottom expectations to enhance on's filmgoing experience.
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Genre-Buster
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 12:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Books?

Books are great! I love to read books!

So did Picard, and for that matter so did Khan - at least in the Ricardo Montalban incarnation. Yes, those guys were out there quoting Shakespeare and Melville and countless others, repeatedly reminding us of mankind's cultural heritage, where we came from and perhaps even indicating how we got here - that is, into space exploration and leading the way with the United Federation of Planets. It may not have been high art, but at least it was consistent.

Those old Trek episodes E2 talks about so disparagingly were of course uneven in quality, but bad or good, there was an adherence to principal that not one of those old episodes, not even when the franchise started its Berman/Braga nosedive, ever violated. The Prime Directive, "Live Long and Prosper," these were more than just tropes - at least until Abrams came along.

And I have a serious problem with the "cheap entertainment" argument. A quarter-billion dollar film budget? Doesn't sound cheap to me. No - what's been cheapened is my role as a movie-goer: I'm suddenly being told to "face it," "suck it up," etc. I seriously fear whether or not the generation growing up today even knows the difference between the footage taken on 9-11 and contemporary blockbuster set pieces.

Film is a highly influential art form - it's great when it entertains, but if it deliberately discourages thought (which is what I believe Trek 11 did, and what I fear STID has done as well), then we have a serious problem, one that cannot be dismissed with a simple quip about how times have changed.
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Genre-Buster
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 11:12am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

CadetNorris-

You win. I'll go see the film.

Your point about the Spock reboot is something I'll fully admit I've resisted ever since 2009. The destruction of Vulcan happened under such brain-numbingly stupid plot contrivances that I was never fully willing to go along with this new timeline. Zach Quinto's work has to be contextualized first, and I don't suppose I gave him a fair shake. I'll try to do so this afternoon.

And just to warn you, I'm still probably not going to like it.
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Genre-Buster
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

My apologies - the ad homonym remark came from Digegag, not Macca. How embarrassing - I should read a bit more carefully.

My credibility is happy to take the blow - "what a clown" indeed. Nevertheless, it should still be brought up in the context of how Macca in particular has framed his arguments. Digedag, while falling into the ad hominem trap himself with his aformentioned remark to CadetNorris, used the term with spot-on accuracy when he was rebutting Macca's "you and your kind" remark.

What you did with that remark, Macca, along with the accusation of hysteria, was to lower the bar of discussion here to mere pugilism.

...and you're STILL not talking about the film.
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Genre-Buster
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 2:12am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@CadetNorris: Your brief but pithy post about the "possibilities of the Star Trek mythos" is very intriguing. I'm almost tempted to see the film based on that post alone.

Good work.
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Genre-Buster
Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 1:52am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Macca, try not to take this personally, but really and truly, nothing of what you said in your reply to my post serves to prove your point at all. Where is this "hysteria" you speak of? YOU were the one who went on the attack with the very first sentence of your very first post:

Macca: "I have been really dismayed by some of the responses to Star Trek into Darkness on this website."

This immediately puts those who don't like the film on the defensive. Based on how you yourself initiated this dialogue, I can only conclude that you invited this conflict yourself. Your responses to opposing viewpoints have consistently become more and more hostile as the thread grows; a bit of snarkiness was bound to follow.

And dude - think about this for a second - the one avoiding discussion of the movie itself is none other than YOU - not since your very first post have you tried to describe what you like about STID. Everything you've written since then has been utterly combative and completely off the subject of what the film itself contains. What else can I say?

Well, actually quite a lot more, but I'll just close with this. Another term you should look up is "ad hominem," a term which you used to describe Dem's and Dig's posts. Actually, let me look it up for you:

plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html

The above link is to a thorough definition of the term with copious examples given by one Stephen Bond. I highly recommend it to anybody who posts (and wants to post) on forums of any kind. And Macca - if you don't see a mirror in at least some of the examples Bond gives, you might need to... well...

I'll stop there, lest the dread "ad hominem" bomb be dropped on me.
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Genre-Buster
Thu, Jul 18, 2013, 2:50am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Macca, get a dictionary and look up "diatribe," please.

Better yet, respond to the POINTS OF ARGUMENT that Digedag and Demosthenes (nice handle, btw - very appropriate for this forum) went to the trouble of articulating.

Speaking honestly about why you liked STID is one thing, losing yourself in rhetorical vitriol against those who didn't like it is quite another.

So let's conduct an experiment. As I said before, I haven't seen STID and don't plan to - this is the absolute truth. Pitch the movie to me - honestly tell me and your fellow forum readers why you personally liked it, and why you think we should see it. It's not enough to say it was fun - I want to know WHY it was fun. No need to quote box office returns or critical responses. I have access to Rotten Tomatoes and can look that stuff up for myself.

But here's the trick - you need to account for what Dig, Dem and others objected to WITHOUT picking apart their argumentative techniques. I personally find their arguments compelling - though they maybe could have worded them a little better (the bit about "necessary theoretical knowledge of film" was, as Dig admits, a pretty serious rhetorical boner) I nevertheless understand their basic gist. If you can show me that you understand that gist as well, and can THEN explain why you think they're wrong, if your argument is convincing enough, I'll go and see the movie. (Probably not right away - I want to see Before Midnight first - but I'll take it in. Why not?) Just don't insult our intelligence with another single-sentence quip. You'll never win the debate that way.

CadetNorris - thank you for continuing to post. This is turning into a pretty exciting little forum.
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