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Old May 10 2009, 05:44 AM   #1178
Tom Servo
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Re: The Official STAR TREK Grading & Discussion Thread [SPOILERS]

lawman wrote: View Post
Colmino wrote: View Post
No way am I going to peruse this whole thread. I'm just glad I've found a place where I can voice my five nitpicks with this otherwise very good movie.

1: The dialogue after Kirk's bar room brawl. Abrams used a highly disorienting earthquake camera technique (a-la the Bourne movies). Not subtle. Just about gave me a headache. Mercifully, I did not see this approach repeated with such severity.

2: Kirk's countless moments when he is inebriated, incapacitated, etc. Seriously, next time you watch the movie, count them. The problem with this is that the movie is pretty much always trying to use the scenario to comedic effect. Just how funny can it be for the star to be in a near perpetual daze?

3: Nero. "Hello. I'm Nero." I don't know what's worse: That this line of dialogue was uttered by the movie's villain (who is meant to be taken seriously, or so I gathered), or that the audience laughed at it. I mean.. this throwaway badguy destroyed Vulcan. Something like that demands - DEMANDS - more gravitas, with regard to the perpetrator, than this movie gave it. It really hurt that Nero felt and looked like a disgruntled college dropout.

4: The entire escape-the-black-hole sequence at the end did not feel justified, specifically because the only reason there was a close call to begin with was because Kirk decided to volley a few rounds at Nero's already doomed ship. This was a sloppy moment in the screenplay.

5: Was it ever explained why nobody on Vulcan or Earth possessed any means of attacking the drill? (While Spock was able to shoot it down quickly and easily with a small ambassador's ship.) For that matter, I think I also missed the exact reasoning behind drilling at all; it seems to me that a singularity would be adequately devestating to a planet, regardless of its point of initiation.
Excellent observations. Honestly I can't say your first point bothered me (in terms of camera work, the super-close-ups were more distracting, IMHO), but the other four points are spot-on. Number four, in particular—you might think when handing out promotions that Starfleet would have noticed that its new flagship wouldn't have had to jettison its warp cores(?) if the "acting captain" hadn't stuck around to shoot fish in the proverbial barrel.

JoeD80 wrote: View Post

No the ship wasn't already doomed. I got the feeling that it would travel through time again if they let it slip through the black hole so they had to fire on it to make sure it was destroyed. That's the impression I got from that scene.

The drill and Spock's ship were from the future so Spock's ship could be the only thing with the power to destroy the drill.

For whatever reason the red matter had to go in to the planet's core to form the black hole, so that's why they needed the drill.
Riiight. You do realize that an "I got the feeling," a "could be," and a "for whatever reason" aren't exactly rock-solid defenses of holes in the storytelling?

I do distinctly recall wondering what that long room full of red-shirted crewmen (including Uhura) was that Kirk ran through to get to the bridge—it looked almost like an old-style telephone exchange, but with big tanks of some kind behind the workstations. Really, did the designers put any kind of logical thought to how this ship's form and function related to one another? (And if so, why didn't they communicate any of it to the viewers?)

I'm inclined to agree. As I've been saying for many pages, it gives some fascinating insight into the apparently very different things different segments of the audience want and expect from Star Trek. Obviously different people do have different tastes, but it does perplex and sometimes disappoint me when people like something I like (in this case, Trek), yet obviously don't value the things I value in it.

You make something for the broadest possible mass audience, and it's no surprise that a lot of people will like it. But no, I don't think this lowest-common-denominator version of Trek has what it takes to stay relevant as part of popular culture for another 40 years, or even another 20.

You know, you can disagree with CRA without trying to psychoanalyze him. I'm aware he's been a bit overzealous on these boards from time to time, but his critique and subsequent remarks in this thread have actually been quite reasonable. (At least, until folks like "Tom Servo" and "James Bond" started ganging up on him in ways that were far more insulting even than your post here. I once got a a warning around here just for having consecutive posts... yet the mods allow those kinds of direct personal insults?)

And "change" is a neutral term. Sometimes change is positive and constructive (this country's new political direction, for instance), sometimes change is negative and destructive. Saying someone "hates change" is just an end-run around addressing the specific criticisms he may have of the actual change under discussion. I don't have to agree with everything CRA says (I know I differ with him on politics, for instance) to respect his right to express an independent opinion.

Dark Gilligan wrote: View Post
Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
Many of us still demand that Star Trek at least try and maintain a certain level of intelligence in the storytelling.
By what right do you demand anything from the people who run the Star Trek franchise? It can't be based on your financial right. Without even knowing you I can guarantee that the total amount of money you've spent on Star Trek in your entire life essentially adds up to nothing in terms of Trek revenue. It can't be based on your creative right since you're not a contributing writer or artist. Nor do you have an owner's right since Trek is clearly owned by somebody else. So what is it then? Who exactly are you to demand anything?
This is a downright bizarre response. Nobody's talking about ownership or financial transactions. Take a step out of that "business" mindframe. This is about the implicit contract betwen storytellers and their audience, something that applies to any entertainment property, including Trek. "You want me to enjoy your work? I want you to give me something both emotionally authentic and intellectually challenging. You want my continued attention and loyalty? Here's what you have to do to achieve that." Such expectations are always there. Otherwise, by what right would any critic ever review anything?

And, seriously, do you have a problem with someone expecting Star Trek to "maintain a certain level of intelligence in the storytelling"?
No, but it's a problem when someone thinks that if someone enjoyed a film for other reasons, or that that maybe the point of the film was not to be intelligent trek, but a fun ass movie, that they are somehow inferior and "drinking the koolade". I respond to April with venom because he presents his views with a condescending tone, and bitches just to bitch. It's not like he is just the poor innocent guy trying to defend his viewpoint. Anytime someone mentions something about this film he has to come in and put it down because is its not HIS version of Trek.

I love this though. The fact that people are destroying this film because it was not intelligent enough for them. What was so intelligent about TWOK? Or TVH? Or FC? Those three films are the most successful of the bunch, but they are also the most fun, just like this film.
"I like this ship! It's exciting!"-Scotty "Star Trek"

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