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Sun, Oct 6, 2019, 8:33am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

Two things that make me laugh/eye roll in this episode:

1. Picard and Troi practicing the speech in the beginning. I’m *pretty* sure that insecticide aliens from far beyond the moon don’t write their language in the Roman alphabet, so what’s up with the goofy pronunciation drilling? Picard’s script should just be written out phonetically. But then, oh shoot, there goes the dramatic reason that Picard needs to de-stress in the holodeck.

2. Crusher imitating the dames on the holodeck with the powder compact, acting like she’s never put makeup on before. Meanwhile her own cheekbones are contoured til the spacecows come home.
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Matthew Siegel
Sat, Jun 15, 2019, 1:23am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

I weirdly liked this a lot, even though on its face it doesn't seem that interesting... the way it gradually became about the creative process as a whole was just engaging. Perhaps because I did not expect that to be the theme of the episode, but it's a unique and interesting theme that works here.
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Matthew Martin
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Let me see if I have this right...

So, a few weeks ago Disco comes into contact with a giant space sphere thing, which has been gathering intel on galactic life for a long freaking time. Disco brings that bad boy on board and downloads the history of the world part one into their computers.

Later, Disco sends a shuttle into a crazy timey-wimey space anomaly. While there, a probe from the future latches onto the shuttle. The probe hacks Ariam.

Ariam goes to Section 31's HQ (Disco is there on the orders of Admiral Whatshername) and begins downloading the space sphere's info into the HQ computer (a special AI called "Control").

The conclusion that everyone reached as a result is that: Control sent a probe from the future to get that info, so that it can evolve and destroy all sentient life in the galaxy.

Now I assume the fact that this opens a queen-mother of a temporal paradox is just going to be ignored, as happens with 99% of time travel stories in fiction, but is that basically what we were told this episode? Right? Control came back from the future to take over robolady so she could give control in the past the tools needed to become wicked smaht in the future and destroy everything?

I'd prefer something simpler, like saving the whales or rescuing Data's severed head from Mark Twain, but whatever.
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Matthew D. Wilson
Sun, Jun 24, 2018, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I really wish the hardcore fans who hate TLJ wouldn't assume all hardcore fans agree with them. We don't.
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Matthew Davisson
Wed, Mar 14, 2018, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: The Disease

Can someone tell me why Harry didn't receive punishment yet Tom was locked up for 30 days and got demoted? Harry also disobeyed Janeway and stole a shuttle.
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Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 11:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Basically the evil, sadistic Lorca, while posing as a Starfleet captain, was winning the Klingon war, and the moment he left (first back to the mirror universe and then to death) Starfleet started losing the War. So what is Starfleet's solution? They go out of their way to recruit another mirror universe character; they seek out another evil, sadistic person to help them win the war. Because winning, even if it means throwing away your principles, is all that matters.

If that's seems like Star Trek to you, then you and I have different understandings of Star Trek.
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Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

The opening teaser establishes the theme of this episode: Michael vs Philippa...or more precisely Michael vs an immoral and ideal-abandoning Federation willing to not only work with a Terran Empire warlord but give her command of a Starship and send her to nuke a planet.

Does that sound like Starfleet to you? I know the conflict allows Michael to give a big, grandiose speech about "Federation values" and she's right on, but it doesn't change the fact that the mission Michael opposes was ordered by Starfleet. It shouldn't take a commander-ranked, ex-con mutineer to put admirals in their place and remind them that WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO AROUND NUKING PLANETS!

I mean MY GOSH did you HEAR Admiral Lisp Lady's argument?

"We were losing the war, we had to do something."

I'm going to type this very slowly because I want to get it right and because it highlights not only what makes Star Trek so attractive and so unique among other sci-fi show, but also illustrates (by contrast) what has persistently irked me about Discovery...

Ideals cast aside for self preservation is the literal-opposite of Starfleet's mission in the show, and is the literal-opposite of Star Trek's idealism as a show!

Starfleet was Gene Roddenberry's in-show conduit, to show the viewers of the Star Trek TV-show what kind of a future we could have, if we stopped being so selfish. The idea of bombing each other into the stone age under the guise of self-preservation and the (very subjective) "greater good" is EXACTLY THE KIND OF 1960'S COLD WAR STUFF RODDENBERRY WAS ARGUING AGAINST WHEN HE MADE STAR TREK!

And here we see Starfleet using that logic to justify their actions.

For an episode that, plot-wise, was incredibly boring and uneventful, that realization (that Starfleet as Discovery's writers have made it, is the exactly what Gene Roddenberry was writing against in 1967) elicited the biggest emotional reaction of the whole season: And it was a reaction of profound sadness.

Oh but I guess it's all forgiven because the Enterprise showed up.
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Sun, Jan 21, 2018, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

What is the end-game to this season? Is it Lorca becoming Emperor of the Terran Empire?

If that happens and Disco goes back to its universe, what have we gained? The whole season becomes a big shaggy dog story.
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Matthew James Burns
Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 2:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

I like this film. It is still Star Wars. It was my first Star Wars at the big screen too - so nostalgia plays a part I surpose, too. It has some pretty shoddy acting in places, I completely agree. But it is mostly enjoyable, exciting and has a great story going on within, if you actually pay attention.

It has a dreamlike look to it - A sort of dark fairytale vibe. I liked it.
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Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 12:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

It looks like we're going to be in the mirror universe for the remainder of the season. There are a lot of potential storyline threads to follow for the next several episodes so that's not a problem. Hopefully, like ST:ENT's controversial third season, the show uses its narrow setting to tell a variety of stories, to avoid the audience growing restless.

One mystery I'm curious to see revealed is the identity of the Emperor. Two theories I'm already intrigued by are Philippa Georgiou (the captain of the Shinzou in the original universe) and Saru. Both offer some great potential. With Georgiou you have an easy connection to draw to Sato (the Enterprise character who became Empress of the Mirror Universe in the great two-parter "In a Mirror, Darkly") as well as a great payoff to Burnham's character. With Saru, you have an alien secretly leading an Empire of anti-aliens, not to mention an alien who, in our universe, is by nature meek and timid, but in the Mirror Universe could be ruthless and cruel.

Another idea I hope I'm right about is that Lorca is actually from this Mirror Universe. There's a load of questions that concept would raise but without thinking it through too deeply I think that's the biggest shock they could pull out of this show so far, and it would go a long way to explain why he has been so un-Starfleet in his thinking and actions.
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Matthew Burns
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

This episode is now nearly 20 years old! It holds up well I think. The VFX look good even by todays standards.
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matthew martin
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I think the last two episodes have really redeemed the series, at least in my eyes. I was ready to write the whole thing off but last week was great and this week's A plot was fantastic, I thought.

It was classic Trek, and had a great twist with Saru not actually being mind-controlled, but actually just being a weak-willed person who made a bad choice.

The B and C plots were nothing but overt set-ups for the midseason finale. I get the need to get all your pieces in place, but the B plot failed to do anything for me and the C plot (all two scenes of it) was so slight it isn't even worth mentioning.

The A plot was stellar though and gives me hope that they can pull off a good finale. Their goal to shoot for is Kobol's Last Gleaming.

Good luck Disco
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matthew martin
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I've been losing interest over the past month. To me, every episode since the premiere night has been worse than the one before it.

But this was easily my favorite episode thus far. Other than the stupid rave, this felt like pure Trek. High concept, sci-fi gimmick, mixed with a human story under the surface.

Fantastic. Not perfect, a little clunky and maybe a bit rushed but really really great. 9/10 for me.
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 5:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

motion to change the short-hand name of the show to "Disco"

It's so much nicer than STD...
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Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 12:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I get wanting to show the future as we see it in 2017 but continuity is a thing too. The show constantly shows off casual technology that was simply not available in the 23rd century as established by the Original Series. It’s one thing to take the tech used in TOS and modernize the way it’s visualized (like the way the show uses food replicators), but to introduce new tech like the Holodeck that was clearly not available ten years in the future (in the show’s timeline) is frustrating.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Also this was the day I cancelled All Access. There are plenty of alternative means of watching the show. I'm not paying another nickle to a wannabe netflix with ads that can't even play a show with buffering for half an hour.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

This show would be a lot better if Lorca had been the centerpiece and star instead of Michael. If they had done something like Breaking Bad, where the star is conflicted, dark, unethical, highly driven and occasionally amoral yet still compelling and fascinating (Lorca is all of those things to me), it'd make for some strong drama.

Instead he's a side character while Michael reads her too-long lines exposition-heavy dialogue with the flat, wooden delivery of someone pretending to be a vulcan.

It's frustrating, like the rest of the show.
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Tue, Oct 10, 2017, 11:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Friday's Child

Interesting how some of the series regulars (Uhura and Sulu, at least) are heard pronouncing Klingons as Klin-gon (sounding almost like Klee-gone). Whenever an extra of the week says it that way, I just assumed they weren’t familiar with the show and had only read the script and never heard the dialog.

It happened enough in this episode that I wondered if someone like the director or some other crew person (maybe Roddenberry’s ever-present and meddlesome lawyer) decided it should be pronounced that way and was giving notes about it.
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Thu, Jan 12, 2017, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

Well, only my second post and I really enjoyed this episode, it shows the spirit of cooperation, had some good dialogue and it has been said before aliens not speaking through the translator, but the translator could have done this once the basic understanding of the language had been established, but that would have not been as effective.
And this goes to the whole point for me of watching Sci-Fi, it's about the suspension of disbelief and how far YOU think it can go before it becomes ultimately ridiculous.
I smile at the different t opinions on this, and mostly with the time travel episodes.

Athough I do tend to agree the Voyager failed on some very simple levels, but I'm a sucker for anything S.T.

My other favourite observation is the constant, communism v capitalism. Or right and left wing observations. G.R. was I belive an Athiest, multiculturalist and wanted to portray a society where war, poverty and famine had been eradicated which seems quite a socialist attitude that prevails through all the spin offs from TOST.

It also very amusing when peoples description of what communism is, and quite angrily incorrectly described, and the Soviet perverted version is touted. BTW I'm NOT saying communism in its purest form would ever work but the concept isn't 'bad' and it doesn't crush free enterprise or entrepreneurs.
I assume most of the posters are from the US, where the understanding of government assisted healthcare is berated for being some socialist disease that capitalism holds the cure for.
It seems we are far from the Star Trek future, because I'm not quite sure how Trump would fit in!

Anyway it was nice to see Janway have some relationship with a 'solid' and still a shame the she and her second officer (not risking not being able to spell his bloody name on this site) didn't get together, however cheesy it would or could have been.
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Matthew Lindner
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Nemesis

I'm surprised anyone can give this more than 2 stars. It's legendarily bad. Especially compared to the previous episode which was rather good at 3 to 3.5 stars.
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Matthew Lindner
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 7:37am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Real Life

I have to say that the new family Doc get's is rather as entirely fake as his first "cardboard" family. Real families don't have kids that nutcase rebellious nor parents that at odds with each other. It's a sit-com family made for drama, not a realistic family that actually like each other. Not like any real family I've ever seen nor heard of. It's rather frustrating.
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matthew martin
Fri, Jul 29, 2016, 11:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

Haha, this is hilarious.

Really likes Into Darkness, doesn't like Beyond.

Lol I don't even..
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Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 11:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

I really liked it. I liked the 2009 movie and hated STID. But I thought this one was better than 2009, really fixing a lot of the pacing problems the JJ movies had.

The best thing I can say for it is that it felt more like Trek than the previous two. It really did have a “big budget episode of TOS” feel to it, just like they promised. It wasn’t very cerebral and it didn’t really explore the human condition, but the original show rarely ever did that either. For every episode like City on the Edge of Forever or A Taste of Armageddon, there were ten episodes like The Arena and Amok Time. Those are classic episodes; they just aren’t the kind of contemplative, cerebral episodes that The Next Generation would make the norm (and which I grew up watching as my first taste of Star Trek).

This movie isn’t based on The Next Generation, though, so I’m fine with them doing a fun “away mission” type movie. It captured the spirit of adventure the original show often had, while dialing back some of the pacing problems (and script issues) that JJ’s movies stumbled with.

There are issues that still bother me, but after three films, and two different writer/directors I’ve come to accept that “this is Star Trek” now and that it’s different than what I knew to be Star Trek for so many years.

full review here:
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Matthew (a different one)
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 4:33pm (UTC -6)
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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Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 11:33am (UTC -6)
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.


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)…


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:
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