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Old December 29 2012, 06:14 PM   #1
Warped9's Avatar
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
A three film comparison/face-off...

Based on discussions I've followed and participated in over the past couple of years I'm intrigued by a comparison of sorts and opinions of folks here. I do hope we can keep the discussion civil and focus our (potentially) negative remarks in regards to the films themselves and specifically why something didn't work for us. "It sucked huge" might be an opinion, but it isn't very informative, specific or helpful. On the flip side s criticism of a film shouldn't be taken as a personal attack against someone who might like the film, so please just let it go.

Three films, all in genres I generally like, have drawn a lot of polarized opinion. So I'd like to see some other views on them.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - Lots of us like Batman, but not everyone liked Christopher Nolan's take on him and his world. I liked Nolan's overall take, but while I think there's a fair story in TDR I think it needed to be fleshed out more. A lot is made of serious issues not being well addressed in the film, but this is after all a superhero film and you're not likely to see serious issues addressed there beyond broad strokes. This is essentially entertainment and not a documentary. TDKR also suffers in comparison to The Dark Knight (which, honestly, has a lot of its own issues) and yet that film is considered a near masterpiece. After all is said and done, even with its missteps, it was a decent enough film and entertaining and I think it's the best of the lot. Nolan made an effort to make Batman and his world seem more realistic than other films of the genre, but he still took genre specific liberties so it really can't be compared to truly dramatic films that address issues

Prometheus (2012) - The early Alien films (particularly 1 and 2) are considered classics and as such cast a rather large shadow to step into. Prometheus certainly follows in terms of visual impact and cinematography---it's a gorgeous film to look at. I didn't find it a bad film to watch either although I have reservations over how some of the characters behaved. Again, like TDKR, the this film needed to be fleshed out a bit more and have some things made a bit more clear to eliminate confusion. It's fine to raise questions, but not everything should be left ambiguous. Again, like TDKR, this is an ambitious film that needed its creator to step back and give it a critical look before releasing it as is. Prometheus also compares with another ambitious film, Avatar, which I think was a lot more disappointing. I still quite enjoyed Prometheus, but it could have been better with some clarifications and a little smarter thinking. This one comes in second.

Star Trek (2009) - This should have been a no-brainer: revisit and reboot TOS, my absolute favourite television series overall. It could have been done...but it wasn't. My issue isn't that it was rebooted---that was practically inevitable. My issue is that everything that I love about the original series and Star Trek in general went missing here. In previous films spun off the original series I can critique every one of them to some extent or other yet they all still managed to resonate with the original subject matter to some degree or other. Rather than criticize every single thing I disliked I think I can summarize by saying that the intent was to remake Star Trek into something else, to effectively make it more like another franchise, Star Wars. The argument has been used that ST09 is similar enough to TOS' lesser episodes and hence it's still faithful. I reject that view because those lesser efforts were in the minority and thus not truly representative of the majority of better work that enthused so many people and made the show popular. Would it not have been better to emulate and evoke the likes of "The Corbomite Maneuver," "Balance Of Terror" and "The Doomsday Machine" rather than the likes of "I, Mudd" and "Spock's Brain?" Hell, it isn't even on the level of "Spock's Brain" which has a legitimate SF story at the heart of it. At any rate I didn't recognize anything of what I love about TOS in ST09---the film and its elements had simply been pushed too far afield into a form that irritated me.

I hope I've been specific and civil enough.

Anyone else?
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?
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