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Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old September 7 2009, 06:01 AM   #136
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Indeed it is. I tend to drool over Summer Glau.
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Old September 7 2009, 09:43 AM   #137
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Larraby wrote: View Post
That scene was totally unnecessary as the Narada was toast anyways. It was just a big excuse for the 'grand finale' where the ugly Nu-E is put in danger and to give every bridge member the obligatory screen shot of them smiling their faces off. This was a cringe worthy moment. Ugh.
As if unnecessary stuff was never shown in any Trek.

For me, the cringeworthy moments are more technical than other parts of the story.

First, when they arrive at Vulcan the E-crew are completely taken by surprise from the other ship's debris. Uh.. guys? You got long-range sensors right? Or even short range ones? USE THEM! And then Pike has to order the helm to make the ship 'duck' underneath the flying broken hull. Where the heck was the deflector?? Did they deactivate it??

Second, why couldn't Starfleet get on "full alert" mode when they heard of the news of a "lightning storm in space"? It is established early on that it is a highly unnatural occurrence so much so that even Kirk is alerted in a dazed and confused mode. So none of the eggheads in Starfleet could cross-reference the event with any of their history information??

Third, why would Nero even need the "subspace frequencies for Starfleet's border protection grids"? His ship is like in fricking God-mode! Narada was capable of taking out 47 Klingon ships and then the weak-ass Starfleet ships, why would he care to slip by the border grid when he could just shoot his way through?

Fourth, and the most jarring one: why even go through the hassle of drilling to a planet's core when you could just fucking shoot the red matter into the star of your intent-to-destroy system and go on your merry way???

Though even after all those irritations, this movie still is the most entertaining movie I have ever seen. Well yes I am biased because its Star Trek. So sue me!
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Old September 8 2009, 01:48 AM   #138
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

StarTrek1701 wrote: View Post
Larraby wrote: View Post
That scene was totally unnecessary as the Narada was toast anyways. It was just a big excuse for the 'grand finale' where the ugly Nu-E is put in danger and to give every bridge member the obligatory screen shot of them smiling their faces off. This was a cringe worthy moment. Ugh.
As if unnecessary stuff was never shown in any Trek.

For me, the cringeworthy moments are more technical than other parts of the story.

First, when they arrive at Vulcan the E-crew are completely taken by surprise from the other ship's debris. Uh.. guys? You got long-range sensors right? Or even short range ones? USE THEM! And then Pike has to order the helm to make the ship 'duck' underneath the flying broken hull. Where the heck was the deflector?? Did they deactivate it??

Second, why couldn't Starfleet get on "full alert" mode when they heard of the news of a "lightning storm in space"? It is established early on that it is a highly unnatural occurrence so much so that even Kirk is alerted in a dazed and confused mode. So none of the eggheads in Starfleet could cross-reference the event with any of their history information??

Third, why would Nero even need the "subspace frequencies for Starfleet's border protection grids"? His ship is like in fricking God-mode! Narada was capable of taking out 47 Klingon ships and then the weak-ass Starfleet ships, why would he care to slip by the border grid when he could just shoot his way through?

Fourth, and the most jarring one: why even go through the hassle of drilling to a planet's core when you could just fucking shoot the red matter into the star of your intent-to-destroy system and go on your merry way???

Though even after all those irritations, this movie still is the most entertaining movie I have ever seen. Well yes I am biased because its Star Trek. So sue me!
The film is horribly contrived and executed start to end, though the section you describe may contain the highest density of stupidity. I feel you're being very generous in having omitted so much, so allow me to fill in some of the blanks:

1) The awful inflatable hand and "numb tongue" jokes that precede this segment really drag the movie down to the level of farce (and not good farce). I know, I know: I'm hardly the first person on the damn Internet to talk about this, but it's so incongruous with the dire transpirations driving the movie forward that it reduces the world of Trek to that of an SNL skit.

2) When Kirk bashes away (with bulbous fingers) on a computer terminal, looking for Uhura, how does he know she's even on board? In the embarkation scene (i.e. scene of the cadets boarding shuttles), Kirk protests that his name wasn't called, which means the viewer must infer he listened to everyone else being assigned, including Uhura -- and Uhura was assigned to the Farragut (this was only changed when Uhura admonished Spock and guilt-tripped him into changing his decision, which Kirk wasn't privy to).

3) When Kirk does locate Uhura, he speaks in a very harried manner, unnecessarily putting Uhura on edge (not to mention her reaction to his cartoon hands). However, even as his articulation begins to fail, you can still clearly make out he's asking Uhura if the ship was "Romulan" -- yet Uhura, "unmatched in xenolinguistics", let alone contemporary American English, can't understand Kirk or this very distinctive noun, which Kirk has to say three times before she gets it.

4) Kirk, a lowly, sickly, black-clad and obviously non-commissioned individual, rushing to the bridge of the flagship vessel, and making it through the doors and into the heart of the ship's command centre, without meeting any resistance whatsoever, is something of a stretch. Although he's doing it for a good reason, seeing him argue with and talk over Spock while trying to get Pike's full attention also makes me cringe.

5) Why would Pike, a man who wrote a bloody paper on the original "lightning storm", not show the faintest hint of doubt or trepidation until super trooper James T. Kirk lectures him and makes him realise that he might want to get a clue? This is a blatant example of cheaply propping up Kirk's superior insight and mad skillz by making the rest of Starfleet, even its venerable captains, look like brain-dead, blithering idiots. It's a wonder anyone in Starfleet could even remember their own name before the advent of Kirk, let alone pass exams or conduct missions of exploration.

6) Uhura intercepted a transmission which involved the obliteration of 47 (ugh) Klingon war birds by one Romulan vessel, and she didn't think this was significant to report or pass on to anyone? How many ships were creamed by the Borg at Wolf 359? 39, right? And that was considered a massacre, was it not? Here, not only were a further eight ships destroyed, but they belonged to a warrior race, built and manned for battle, and this was done in the 23rd Century, by a single Romulan vessel, belonging to a species known for treachery. This should have put the fear of Zeus into these people, but then, I suppose if the distance to Vulcan, Starfleet's command structure and every other aspect of verisimilitude in this movie can be reduced to pap, why not be totally nonchalant about the decimation of entire fleets by a clandestine force, too?

7) The entire bridge argument and prelude to an action sequence is shot in close-up, and badly blocked and edited, to boot. When the argument begins, Kirk is roughly in the middle of the bridge, but by the end of the scene, just before the Enterprise drops out of warp, he's clutching a console at the rear of the bridge. Further, before he's shown clutching the console, another shot depicts him simply standing, as if waiting for an order, and his position relative to Spock also changes; in one shot, Spock is stood at Kirk's left, in the next, he's at Kirk's right. You have to watch closely, but it's very clumsily done, and I guess Abrams hoped his tossed salad style of photography and editing would confuse people too much to notice. Uhura also assumes her post amazingly fast, given that in less than ten seconds she: walks over to the console, relieves the crew member, dons the famous earpiece, scans for activity and asserts that she isn't picking up any transmissions -- talk about efficient.

8) Given that the Enterprise is still at warp and still heading towards this "trap", why doesn't Pike order an emergency stop to bring the ship short of Vulcan and send details back to Starfleet, or at least prepare the ship in an orderly fashion for battle, or even retreat? Instead, with all this foreknowledge, which amounts to jack sh*t in the end, they continue all the way to Vulcan and drop straight into the maelstrom, as Kirk predicted. Nothing changes. All Kirk's bluster amounts to is the screenwriters giving the character a platform from which he can demonstrate his supposed tenacity and brilliance of mind, which then leads to the major contrivance of Pike promoting him to second officer, allowing him to leapfrog into the captain's chair via another contrivance that isn't too far away.

9) When Pike orders that the Enterprise be dropped down underneath a piece of debris, Sulu has the silliest look on his face, which is very off-putting (although it's only a brief shot, almost subliminal), and then the Enterprise actually collides with another object, ripping plating and God-knows-what from the top of its saucer, in spite of the fact that a line of chatter that precedes this moment indicates that the "deflector shields are holding", and in spite of the fact that Sulu is meant to be a master pilot -- then again, Sulu did leave the "parking brake" on, so I suppose he can't actually be trusted to peel an orange, much less steer a starship. Personally, I just think the shot of the Enterprise sustaining visible damage was just put in to look cool, and not for any logical or weighty reason.

10) "Divert auxiliary power from port nacelles to forward shields." This line makes absolutely no sense. Not only is the Enterprise clearly vulnerable from all angles, which leaves the idea of diverting power to *forward* shields looking stupid and redundant, but there are no port nacelles; there is precisely *one* nacelle at port and *one* nacelle at starboard, and that's it. Maybe the screenwriters meant for Pike to say "aft nacelles", but even the adjective "aft" would be redundant; there are only two nacelles and they're both at aft. Or, if the screenwriters really did mean to have Pike order that auxiliary power be diverted from *the* port nacelle to forward shields, then that's plain dumb, since the ship is under impulse and doesn't need *auxiliary* power going to either of its nacelles, let alone both, so why not divert as much of it to where it's needed? To me, it shows the lack of care and thought behind the picture.

I could enumerate reasons why this film blows chunks all night, but I won't. I think ten points for five minutes out of a 2-hour movie is damning and draining enough. STXI gives me brain bleed -- and after INS and NEM, that's saying something.
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Old September 8 2009, 03:14 AM   #139
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

^Wow... just wow... I feel sooooo stupid! Silly me, I was enjoying the movie so much that it never occurred to me to nitpick scenes that deeply! Not even on the 4th or 5th viewing. Your "mad skillz" have convinced me... Ignorance Truly Is Bliss.
I will remain ignorant and enjoy this movie, even with the few flaws it has. That is why I know it is really Trek. Trek was never perfect, not since the first pilot in 1964.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I cannot stand DS9, but I just do not watch it. I would not take apart each scene just to say how much it "blows chunks all night". Poor me.
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Old September 8 2009, 06:42 AM   #140
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

There were many questionable situations, but only because Star Trek is legendary and I was looking at it as a fanboy. That Ewok thing Scotty had was dumb. I sorta did cringe when Spock and Uhura kissed, mostly because it was such a big deviation.

Tech stuff NEVER gives me pause in Star Trek. Sometimes fans are too smart for their own good and scientists are constantly disagreeing on things, not to mention all the bigillion explanations fans do for themselves better than the writers ever could.
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Old September 8 2009, 07:49 AM   #141
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
^Wow... just wow... I feel sooooo stupid! Silly me, I was enjoying the movie so much that it never occurred to me to nitpick scenes that deeply! Not even on the 4th or 5th viewing. Your "mad skillz" have convinced me... Ignorance Truly Is Bliss.
I will remain ignorant and enjoy this movie, even with the few flaws it has. That is why I know it is really Trek. Trek was never perfect, not since the first pilot in 1964.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I cannot stand DS9, but I just do not watch it. I would not take apart each scene just to say how much it "blows chunks all night". Poor me.
If only the above statement were true.

Anyone who believes that this movie was well written is just deluding themselves, as "the flaws of the many far outweigh the flaws of the few, or the one".

Hopefully, JJ will be busy with other projects as his directing style leaves little to be desired. As for the writers, I wish they could be jettisoned out of the nearest airlock.
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Old September 8 2009, 12:41 PM   #142
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Well said, Cryogenic.
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Old September 8 2009, 12:48 PM   #143
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

The destruction of Vulcan.
Vulcans are now reduced to basically nothing in the Federation. No more stories like Amok Time.

Spock' s Rampant Emotions
Uhura and Spock locking lips in full public display. T'Pol in Enterprise got hammered by fans for un-Vulcan like behaviour but Spock's just totally Wicked now!
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Old September 8 2009, 06:39 PM   #144
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Well said, Cryogenic.
Thank you, Jarod.

I may have gone over some of the same ground, but I tried to present new observations rather than merely repeating old ones (or, if I repeated old ones, I tried adding something extra).

It's a new day, so I'll resume. Another one that really bugs me is the Kobayashi Maru scene. Now, yes, this one has already been raked over the coals, and in this thread, also, but I want to focus on one part: the apple.

First and foremost, why is Kirk allowed to bring an item of food into a serious test? The scene presents it as the most natural thing in the world, not least because the Starfleet extra asks, "Is he not taking the simulation seriously?" before the apple is actually shown, in response to Kirk acting theatrically indifferent to being targeted by the Klingon war birds, and not because he brought a piece of fruit into the test -- implying one of two things: no-one noticed or no-one cares (both of which are slightly disturbing, not to mention absurd).

Then there is the fact that Abrams is clearly quoting a scene from TWOK (another clumsy, yet still vastly superior, film), but one-dimensionally. In the Nicholas Meyer picture, Kirk's apple-chewing is not only a sign of bravado, nor even a way to quench hunger (valid for the lying-low, biding-time scenario of II, but not really for XI's much simpler and less protracted circumstance), but a clear religious allusion, given that Kirk is in a place reminiscent of the biblical construct of Eden, which was created by a GENESIS device, and that Adam and Eve were punished for eating from the Tree Of Knowledge (an apple has come to symbolise the "forbidden fruit", even though it was not adequately described in the original text) -- the allusion here is simple but powerful: Kirk will be punished for his arrogance/defiance; while Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden for contravening the word of God, Kirk will lose his best friend to his worst enemy, the penalty for his presumptuousness, and be forced out of his paradisaical mindset and into a new frame of suffering and death.

Unfortunately, in STXI, Kirk is just, y'know, chewing an apple. There is no real subtext. It's a sign of his disregard for the "no-win scenario" and little else. Time and again, Kirk is proven right, while his superiors (or inferiors, I guess) lack the brains and the balls to actually take appropriate action, and Kirk succeeds not through mettle, perseverance or radical insight, but because he steamrolls over a mountain of incompetency to emerge "A1". In many ways, the apple-chewing is a motif; a motif that expresses the true measure of this film's cliche-ridden, superficial recapitulation of ideas already done better by other people in better movies, in a more astute and learned past.
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Old September 8 2009, 06:53 PM   #145
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
^Wow... just wow... I feel sooooo stupid! Silly me, I was enjoying the movie so much that it never occurred to me to nitpick scenes that deeply! Not even on the 4th or 5th viewing. Your "mad skillz" have convinced me... Ignorance Truly Is Bliss.
I will remain ignorant and enjoy this movie, even with the few flaws it has. That is why I know it is really Trek. Trek was never perfect, not since the first pilot in 1964.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I cannot stand DS9, but I just do not watch it. I would not take apart each scene just to say how much it "blows chunks all night". Poor me.
I'm with you!
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Old September 8 2009, 06:56 PM   #146
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Cryogenic wrote: View Post
In many ways, the apple-chewing is a motif; a motif that expresses the true measure of this film's cliche-ridden, superficial recapitulation of ideas already done better by other people in better movies, in a more astute and learned past.
Damn. I think you just summed Trek XI up in one sentence.

I generally try to avoid falling into the trap of thinking stuff from the past is better because it's old, but the movies Hollywood is making these days are terrible. Just awful, to the point that when an essentially competent movie like District 9 comes along, we have reviewers and audiences praising it like it's some kind of magic. I fail to understand the praise given to Trek XI, especially the folks who rank it--god help me--as the best of the Trek movies.
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Old September 8 2009, 07:02 PM   #147
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Larraby wrote: View Post
Sector 7 wrote: View Post
^Wow... just wow... I feel sooooo stupid! Silly me, I was enjoying the movie so much that it never occurred to me to nitpick scenes that deeply! Not even on the 4th or 5th viewing. Your "mad skillz" have convinced me... Ignorance Truly Is Bliss.
I will remain ignorant and enjoy this movie, even with the few flaws it has. That is why I know it is really Trek. Trek was never perfect, not since the first pilot in 1964.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I cannot stand DS9, but I just do not watch it. I would not take apart each scene just to say how much it "blows chunks all night". Poor me.
If only the above statement were true.

Anyone who believes that this movie was well written is just deluding themselves, as "the flaws of the many far outweigh the flaws of the few, or the one".

Hopefully, JJ will be busy with other projects as his directing style leaves little to be desired. As for the writers, I wish they could be jettisoned out of the nearest airlock.
[Bold in above quote for reference] Ah, yes... The fallback position comes out. "I don't like the movie so I will insult the intelligence of anyone who does." Unfortunately, such statements tend to call into question the intelligence of the person stating it.
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Old September 8 2009, 07:03 PM   #148
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Neither attitude adds to the discussion.
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Old September 8 2009, 08:07 PM   #149
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
Larraby wrote: View Post
Sector 7 wrote: View Post
^Wow... just wow... I feel sooooo stupid! Silly me, I was enjoying the movie so much that it never occurred to me to nitpick scenes that deeply! Not even on the 4th or 5th viewing. Your "mad skillz" have convinced me... Ignorance Truly Is Bliss.
I will remain ignorant and enjoy this movie, even with the few flaws it has. That is why I know it is really Trek. Trek was never perfect, not since the first pilot in 1964.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I cannot stand DS9, but I just do not watch it. I would not take apart each scene just to say how much it "blows chunks all night". Poor me.
If only the above statement were true.

Anyone who believes that this movie was well written is just deluding themselves, as "the flaws of the many far outweigh the flaws of the few, or the one".

Hopefully, JJ will be busy with other projects as his directing style leaves little to be desired. As for the writers, I wish they could be jettisoned out of the nearest airlock.
[Bold in above quote for reference] Ah, yes... The fallback position comes out. "I don't like the movie so I will insult the intelligence of anyone who does." Unfortunately, such statements tend to call into question the intelligence of the person stating it.
Enough, already.

You may not agree with Cryogenic's assessment, but there was nothing wrong with the way he expressed it. He was talking about specific details of the movie and was on topic; you're taking pokes first at Cryogenic and then at Larraby (though he could have done without the "just deluding themselves" bit, frankly.) Stop trying to make it personal, okay?
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Old September 8 2009, 08:36 PM   #150
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Those "monsters" on Delta Vega. Shudders.
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