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Old April 22 2013, 11:01 PM   #167
Danger Ace
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Re: Is J.J. Abams "Star Trek" Sustainable?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Agreed. A movie that is nonstop action (like Van Helsing) gets exhausting very fast.
"Van Helsing" is a great example of what I fear may happen with the Trek franchise in that VH was a well polished production yet it failed because it felt very smug and self-satisfied ... as though all involved thought that it was good enough just to go by numbers.

Even Raiders of the Lost Ark knew enough to break up the wild action sequences, with quieter, more character-oriented scenes. ("Indy, maybe the Ark is not meant to be found.")
Another great example. I would also add one of my absolute favorite action-adventure films "Last of the Mohicans," the version starring Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Michael Mann. Almost non-stop action yet is able to tell an epic story. Even last year's James Bond movie, "Skyfall," gave us a well-motivated action film loaded with character - that film restored my faith in the commercial motion-picture industry and the action genre specifically.

Personally, I thought the last movie had lots of good character bits, between Spock and Sarek, for instance, or Spock and Uhura, or Kirk and Pine, etc. It wasn't just space battles and 'splosions.
Bits, yes. The Spock character fared the best in terms of character while James Kirk was developed in almost an aburb and cartoonish way going from birth to captain of the Enterprise so very, very quickly. The film sought to swing from one high-spot to another and, as you say, that leads to exhaustion.

It also can lead, in my opinion, to audience desensitization where the constant overwhelming of peoples senses causes them to become numbed or indifferent to the action thereby actual reaching a state of diminishing returns. That is why I worry about all the CGI heavy super-action sequences one after another. In and of itself, CGI is a wonderful ingrediant when skillfully measured out otherwise it can overwhelm the palate.


Regarding ideology, I tend to think that if you put (hopefully) interesting characters in difficult situations, emotionally or otherwise, themes and messages and such will just arise organically from the plot, without trying to deliberately impose them on the story.
I so very much agree. It is ideology and attitude. I am one of those that believes it takes just as much time, effort and resources to make a a "bad" film as it does to make a "good" one (or one that falls somewhere in-between). If one takes the time to tend their garden then much will present itself for harvest.

Which is why Nemesis upset me so. TPTB of that one clearly seemed to try and fool folks by pulling plastic carrots out of the ground then wondering aloud why no one was buying what they were selling.

For myself, when I sit down at the keyboard in the morning, I'm not thinking what Important Statement can I make about racism or global warming today, I'm putting myself in my character's heads and trying to figure out how they're going to react to whatever trouble I throw at them.
Not disagreeing with you ... just adding my take on it:

I don't believe folks are looking for "Star Trek" to be message heavy or preachy per se as most fans love spirited-adventure, however, it is more satisfying when embued with the illusion of meaning. That it represents something of noble quest beyond that of repetitiously slaying the big bad dragons.

Kirk and company have always been Arthurian in a futuristic Camelot. As such, fandom, I believe has come to hold it to a higher standard of expecting something more than just a hedonistic thrill-ride of CGI ad infinitum.

Again, all in my opinion and with repect to all others presented here.
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