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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

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

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Old March 13 2013, 12:32 AM   #211
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

mos6507 wrote: View Post
"Moral value" is not all that Trek should be. There is more going on than that. Trek IV operated on multiple levels. By that point Trek had built up a history, and pop culture in the 80s was reevaluating the hippie days. It takes about 20 years for society to really digest things and whether certain things were a passing fad or deserved a second look. That's why Trek was particularly important in the 80s, as with it came a sort of second-wind to 60s ideals in the otherwise right-leaning Reagan era.
I really feel like you're reading a lot into TVH that simply isn't there.

So Trek IV was very much an exploration of what relevance the 60s counter-culture had in the Reagan era, and the fact that it was a comedy was tipping its hat to the idea that wide-eyed idealism was not popular then. "Save the whales" had become a catch-phrase. THAT is why the plot revolves around the whales. The crew of the Enterprise were supposed to be from the future, but they were actually ambassadors of 60s counter-culture. Gene's utopian vision of a world without the need for money clashing with the need to pay bus fare.
The same 'still using money' bit is done in City on the Edge. It's not like it was brought in as some novelty. Even if I grant that your read of the film is correct (and I'm really not sure it is) I don't for a second believe that that played any role at all in the film's success. I'm pretty sure it was the aforementioned hi-jinks.

There's no way to judge the movie without understanding the era in which it was created. The same is true of Trek VI although the well it pulls from is more varied.
The full significance of the "nuclear wessels" gag is likely lost on anyone who's unaware of the global political climate of the time. But all it is is a gag not packing quite the same punch as it did at the time, because times change.

I'm really not seeing any thematic unity to the humour in the film beyond very standard fish-out-of-water tropes adapted to the fact that the crew are from the Trek future and are in then-present-day USA. What aspect of '60s idealism and/or its questionable relevance is explored by Scott and McCoy's wrangling the whale tank, for example? Or the hospital scene?

And assuming the truth of your interpretation, what thematic resolution is achieved in the film's denouement? That Gillian agrees to come with them? She was already an overworked and underpaid marine biologist dedicated to saving the whales - what resolution is achieved by her coming to believe Kirk/accept the 'vision' of the '60s? How can that possibly be any kind of payoff?

Whereas under my interpretation of the film, it's not trying to do or be anything other than good, silly fun, and so no such payoff is necessary. Gill makes a leap of faith in Kirk because she's nice, and we like nice people, so welcome to the future, Gillian. Roll credits.
A similar thing was going on, but less successful, in Superman Returns. It was meant to be a thought experiment about whether the world needs or is capable of believing in boy-scout style heroes in a cynical post-911 world. That's why it is so closely tied to the Donnerverse, because that represented an earlier, more innocent concept of the superhero vs. your Batman Begins style.
9/11 gets everywhere, sure. It's even possible to read ST09 through that lens - the greater militarism (or at least, greater military prowess) of the alternate reality's Federation, resulting as it does from Nero's destruction of the Kelvin can be read in light of post-9/11 US foreign policy. Nero's rage at Spock and the Federation can reflect jihadists' rhetoric about Western malfeasance in the ME prior to 9/11, etc.

Trek IV never singificantly altered the Trek vision to suit the era. However, it had to acknowledge that it was operating within a new cultural era. JJ Trek goes about it the other way, remaking Trek to be more fashionable to society as it is now, which is one that wants a thrill-ride and doesn't really want to think.
'Thinking' has never been popular among movie-going audiences. By and large, they prefer being made to feel something to being made to think about something. Rocky IV is as dumb as a sack of hammers, but at the time, it made people feel something. Casablanca's about as plausible as Days of Our Lives, but it succeeded - still succeeds - in making people feel for the characters. That - not thematic intricacy or strained political analogies - is what has typically determined the success of a movie.
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Old March 13 2013, 12:52 AM   #212
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

King Daniel wrote: View Post
^Still a better love story than Twilight!
Oh! Someone needs to take a picture of Janeway and Paris as salamanders and give it that caption.
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Old March 13 2013, 03:40 AM   #213
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Films in general are about taking us along on a trip to somewhere far away, be it Tatooine, the RMS Titanic, Pandora, or even the USS Enterprise. We watch these films hoping to connect with the story, we want to be there. That is not just good film making, that is good storytelling.

2001 is supposedly THE smart movie, but I could hardly feel with the characters (honestly, I thought of it more as a visual event than a story) now 2010 I enjoyed more, I was a part of the story.

Movies are stories, we want to be a part of that story, and with modern technology we can do that now. We have whole worlds for which we can escape to, that's the point.
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Old March 13 2013, 04:38 AM   #214
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

mos6507 wrote: View Post
The difference between a popcorn movie that you forget within minutes of leaving the theater (and I would classify Trek 09 as that) and a movie that sticks with you is the issues that it raises.
Don't take this the wrong way but you've been talking about Star Trek non-stop for three years now.
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Old March 13 2013, 06:18 AM   #215
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

DarthTom wrote: View Post
The TNG episode, Code of Honor makes Spocks Brain look like award winning televsiion. At least Spocks Brain wasn't blatently racist.
No, just blatantly sexist.

Although in Code of Honor's defense, the aliens were never originally supposed to be portrayed by only black actors.
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Old March 13 2013, 06:24 AM   #216
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
Although in Code of Honor's defense, the aliens were never originally supposed to be portrayed by only black actors.
But they were.
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Old March 13 2013, 06:30 AM   #217
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Code of Honour is a weak episode with some highly objectionable subtexts. Spock's Brain is Technicolor bullshit on Day-Glo stilts. I'd far rather watch the latter, but only because it's funnier in its awfulness.
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Old March 13 2013, 06:37 AM   #218
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Mr_Homn wrote: View Post
Although in Code of Honor's defense, the aliens were never originally supposed to be portrayed by only black actors.
The fact that episode is focused on Tasha Yar means it already gets one strike against it!
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Old March 13 2013, 07:57 AM   #219
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Kruezerman wrote: View Post
Films in general are about taking us along on a trip to somewhere far away, be it Tatooine, the RMS Titanic, Pandora, or even the USS Enterprise. We watch these films hoping to connect with the story, we want to be there. That is not just good film making, that is good storytelling.

2001 is supposedly THE smart movie, but I could hardly feel with the characters (honestly, I thought of it more as a visual event than a story) now 2010 I enjoyed more, I was a part of the story.

Movies are stories, we want to be a part of that story, and with modern technology we can do that now. We have whole worlds for which we can escape to, that's the point.
It's not either-or. Good fiction is able to keep us emotionally engaged, and upon more viewings or readings, themes and character arcs emerge.This is like saying: "I like how the French painting makes me feel when I look at it. Who cares what the artist was trying to say?"

If you're not trying to convey some message in art, it's not worth it. I don't like my time wasted and that's what a movie is without it. I go to think first, be entertained second. I just want something deeper or at least different.
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Old March 13 2013, 08:16 AM   #220
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

I kind of feel like if you're looking to Hollywood movies for intellectual stimulation, you've got bigger problems than not liking ST09 or STID.
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Old March 13 2013, 08:19 AM   #221
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
I kind of feel like if you're looking to Hollywood movies for intellectual stimulation, you've got bigger problems than not liking ST09 or STID.
Then shut down the movie houses! I liked Lincoln, not to get off topic.
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Old March 13 2013, 08:32 AM   #222
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

I thought it was well-made and DDL's performance was excellent as typical. But it felt like the movie had too great a sense of its own worthiness. And the reveal at the end - you know what I mean - felt like a reveal gag at the end of some sitcom episode. I half expected laughter and whoops from a studio audience. And didn't the film get one set of state's delegates' votes wrong, showing them voting against the amendment when they voted for it? Oops! /derail
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Old March 13 2013, 09:04 AM   #223
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
I kind of feel like if you're looking to Hollywood movies for intellectual stimulation, you've got bigger problems than not liking ST09 or STID.
Eh, I agree and disagree. While I don't look to Hollywood movies for intellectual stimulation, it is very much appreciated when I do find it. On the other hand, there are times when I have actually been surprised at the depths of stupidity mainstream movies will plunge just to bring in every dollar they can.

There are movies that I have loved on so many levels. For example, I love Lost in Translation. For some reason, that movie affects me deeply. I think part of it is the feeling of isolation and loneliness in a city bustling with millions of people all around you, but no one to connect with. Silly, maybe, but it remains one of my favorite movies. That and Broken Flowers. I loved the message in that one, too.

The Man From Earth is another movie that is very low on action, high on dialogue, but is something I love to watch. It just feels like I'm learning something important, even if it's only a part of the storyline and nothing more.

In that same vein, I love a good action romp with a nice message underneath, and that's one of the reasons I love ST09. It's not a masterpiece, but it's fun, lively, has some great characters, and calls back to my memories as a young Trekkie. Are there better Trek films? That's debatable, since each person is different in their tastes, but I would say so. Still, it ranks #1 in my list of top favorite Trek movies, and I still find it enjoyable to watch to this day.

I think if I enjoy it, and it means something to me, then that's all the justification I need. The same applies to others and their film choices. To each their own, you know?
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Old March 13 2013, 09:20 AM   #224
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

yousirname wrote: View Post
I thought it was well-made and DDL's performance was excellent as typical. But it felt like the movie had too great a sense of its own worthiness. And the reveal at the end - you know what I mean - felt like a reveal gag at the end of some sitcom episode. I half expected laughter and whoops from a studio audience. And didn't the film get one set of state's delegates' votes wrong, showing them voting against the amendment when they voted for it? Oops! /derail
What does that mean? Honestly, because the movie is supposed to not only be dramatic, but a piece of art. Art is important to those that take it seriously. And the movie is dealing with big subject matters. Slavery and the worth of a human being. The politics of getting a bill passed and building consensus among people who differing views. This is a big moment in human history, why wouldn't that be important?
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Old March 13 2013, 09:40 AM   #225
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Re: Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
yousirname wrote: View Post
I thought it was well-made and DDL's performance was excellent as typical. But it felt like the movie had too great a sense of its own worthiness. And the reveal at the end - you know what I mean - felt like a reveal gag at the end of some sitcom episode. I half expected laughter and whoops from a studio audience. And didn't the film get one set of state's delegates' votes wrong, showing them voting against the amendment when they voted for it? Oops! /derail
What does that mean? Honestly, because the movie is supposed to not only be dramatic, but a piece of art. Art is important to those that take it seriously. And the movie is dealing with big subject matters. Slavery and the worth of a human being. The politics of getting a bill passed and building consensus among people who differing views. This is a big moment in human history, why wouldn't that be important?
I think he means it's aware of it's importance, and applies that importance to itself, regardless of the quality of material contained within. That's just a guess, though.
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