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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 April 13 2013, 11:10 PM   #16
donners22
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

-Brett- wrote: View Post
Aike wrote: View Post
Her friend gave it 3 stars out 5 as a Star Trek movie, but 4/5 as a normal movie.
I find that there's no better indication that something is fundamentally wrong with a series than when something like this is said.

A good movie is a good movie is a good movie. If you have to make a bad movie in order to make good Star Trek, something is very wrong with Star Trek.

Nobody is saying that. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Let's use a somewhat facetious example. Say they decided to make a prequel Sopranos movie, but turned it into an action thriller with a hot young cast. It may be a spectacular movie, the best action thriller of the year, but despite having the same setting and characters (at least in name and superficial characteristics), it's a bad Sopranos movie.
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Old April 14 2013, 12:22 AM   #17
Christopher
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

To quote Keith R.A. DeCandido's recent First Contact Rewatch on Tor.com:
As a general rule, I hate Star Trek movies. Trek is primarily about the exploration of the human condition, and it’s much harder to do that in a two-hour movie, especially in the post-Star Wars age of spectacle. Every once in a while you get a decent movie out of it—The Wrath of Khan, e.g., which had some powerful themes about aging and consequences of past actions, plus a superlative villain—but mostly you get high-octane stuff that barely qualifies as Star Trek. There’s a reason why you rarely see any of the movies in a list of finest Trek tales.
He says that to preface a discussion of how FC does work as a Trek story, but it's one of the few. Personally I think Insurrection and particularly Nemesis did good jobs of telling Trek-style stories about ideas and the human condition (though I know KRAD doesn't agree about NEM, but hey, I don't agree with him about TWOK either), but they both suffered from the way action sequences were tacked on to force them into more of an action-blockbuster mode. So they didn't work as well as they could as movies, nor did they work as well as they could as Trek stories, because the respective demands of those two things pulled in different directions.

So really, there aren't many Star Trek movies that are good Star Trek stories, even the ones that are good movies. That's not because there's something wrong with Star Trek -- it's because Star Trek is meant for television, not movies. Different media have different strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths of ST don't translate well to feature films (though I think -- and admittedly have a vested interest in thinking -- that they translate very well to prose).
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Old April 14 2013, 01:21 AM   #18
thumbtack
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Or maybe the Khan rumor has been around for so long (since before the script was even written, remember) that it's taken on a life of its own. Repeat something often enough and people believe it's true whether it is or not.

Could be, I suppose. But I got the impression Germany doesn't know or care who Khan is; that they were just releasing a standard descriptive blurb for their theater owners.


Christopher wrote: View Post
To quote Keith R.A. DeCandido's recent First Contact Rewatch on Tor.com:
As a general rule, I hate Star Trek movies. Trek is primarily about the exploration of the human condition, and it’s much harder to do that in a two-hour movie, especially in the post-Star Wars age of spectacle. Every once in a while you get a decent movie out of it—The Wrath of Khan, e.g., which had some powerful themes about aging and consequences of past actions, plus a superlative villain—but mostly you get high-octane stuff that barely qualifies as Star Trek. There’s a reason why you rarely see any of the movies in a list of finest Trek tales.
He says that to preface a discussion of how FC does work as a Trek story, but it's one of the few. Personally I think Insurrection and particularly Nemesis did good jobs of telling Trek-style stories about ideas and the human condition (though I know KRAD doesn't agree about NEM, but hey, I don't agree with him about TWOK either), but they both suffered from the way action sequences were tacked on to force them into more of an action-blockbuster mode. So they didn't work as well as they could as movies, nor did they work as well as they could as Trek stories, because the respective demands of those two things pulled in different directions.

So really, there aren't many Star Trek movies that are good Star Trek stories, even the ones that are good movies. That's not because there's something wrong with Star Trek -- it's because Star Trek is meant for television, not movies. Different media have different strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths of ST don't translate well to feature films (though I think -- and admittedly have a vested interest in thinking -- that they translate very well to prose).

They could do a Trek movie about the human condition, but they'd have to keep the budget very low to compensate for low ticket sales.
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Old April 14 2013, 01:53 AM   #19
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

"Exploration of the human condition" is nothing but trekkie cant; it's generally come to mean characters taking one another's emotional temperatures and debating the obvious at length before coming to the "moral conclusion" that will reassure the audience that they're thoughtful and discerning.
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Old April 14 2013, 02:21 AM   #20
Christopher
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

thumbtack wrote: View Post
But I got the impression Germany doesn't know or care who Khan is; that they were just releasing a standard descriptive blurb for their theater owners.
Which they may have assembled by doing an online search and finding one of the many, many articles out there repeating the rumor that it's Khan. I think that's how the Entertainment Weekly "leak" that it was Khan got out last month.

Like I said... this rumor has been around for years, since before the movie was even written. Well, it was just speculation and wishful thinking at first, but the meme became well-established and eventually evolved into a rumor. That's why I'm so skeptical of it. It would be just as pervasive whether it's true or not. If what we were hearing about the movie were something that nobody could've guessed in advance, that would be credible. But when it's the one thing that has been guessed and speculated about more than anything else, the one rumor that fans have been assuming would be true since before the filmmakers themselves even knew what the movie would be about, then the eleventy-zillionth reiteration of that claim is not clear evidence of anything one way or the other.

Especially since the evidence I'm seeing from interview comments and from the Countdown to Darkness prequel comic suggests that the threat comes from within Starfleet itself. The number 31 came up in the comic.


They could do a Trek movie about the human condition, but they'd have to keep the budget very low to compensate for low ticket sales.
And that's a sad commentary on the moviegoing audience. Still, it sounds good to me. Low-budget science fiction can be smart, compelling science fiction -- see Moon, for example, or Chronicle.
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Old April 14 2013, 02:48 AM   #21
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

billcosby wrote: View Post
Based on what I've seen/read thus far, my guess would be that it rates lower as a Trek film because Kirk spends very little screen time:
a) on the bridge of his ship
b) in a starfleet uniform
Although the same could be said of most of the previous Trek films... they are always going rouge, against orders, etc.
Going rouge? Like Worf did when he joined DS9?

Seeing Kirk and crew disobeying orders and hijacking the Enterprise in their civilian outfits was pretty shocking in TSfS because it was so different than what came before. In the series and the two movies thus far, we rarely saw Kirk out of uniform. With the new rebooted crew, however, we have not yet had a chance to see them in uniform; we have not seen them doing routine missions. Having them out of uniform and going rogue now does not have the same impact it did back in the 80s.
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Old April 14 2013, 02:59 AM   #22
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

InklingStar wrote: View Post
billcosby wrote: View Post
are always going rouge, against orders, etc.
Going rouge? Like Worf did when he joined DS9?
Maybe "going rouge" is a new ST euphemism for "getting red-shirted".
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Old April 14 2013, 03:46 AM   #23
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

thumbtack wrote: View Post
With the new rebooted crew, however, we have not yet had a chance to see them in uniform; we have not seen them doing routine missions. Having them out of uniform and going rogue now does not have the same impact it did back in the 80s.
And with a movie coming out only once every 3-4 years, routine is not something we can expect. We've seen little in the way of routine missions in the Trek movies, usually at the beginning of the film and quickly interrupted by other events -- the routine training cruise in TWOK (which was far from a routine TOS-style mission for the ship), the Grissom's routine survey of Genesis, the Excelsior's 3-year survey of gaseous anomalies (which sounds like a mind-numbingly dull way to spend three years), and the E-E's first-contact mission with the Evora (itself not quite routine since normal first-contact protocols had been accelerated due to the Dominion War and the need for allies). We have never yet seen a Star Trek movie that was just about the Enterprise exploring a new planet or happening across a discovery while on its regular patrol. Which goes with what I said earlier, that Star Trek movies do not fit the usual mold of Star Trek stories very well.

In this case, the initial mission to Nibiru seems to be an attempt to portray the crew on a sort of mission-of-the-week, though it's one that diverges from routine in its own way and has consequences later in the film.
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Old April 14 2013, 09:49 AM   #24
donners22
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

^ That's a good point, and it's a hard one for them to address. At least the other films had the backing of the years of episodes (most viewers wouldn't have seen every episode, but if they had enough interest to pay money for a Trek film, they'd likely have caught a little bit of it) and the familiarity built up between the cast members.

I read something in the plot synopsis about the Enterprise crew being the only family Kirk has, and I wonder how on earth they can manage to convey that. Not only do they have very little time to establish the relationships, he's gone from being an upstart cadet to captain - frankly, I'd imagine there'd be a degree of resentment from those who were leapfrogged. Something which I would take for granted with the original cast and characters doesn't ring true with this one.
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Old April 14 2013, 12:25 PM   #25
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
"Exploration of the human condition" is nothing but trekkie cant; it's generally come to mean characters taking one another's emotional temperatures and debating the obvious at length before coming to the "moral conclusion" that will reassure the audience that they're thoughtful and discerning.
I'm afraid I have to agree. Trek's a well meaning show, but it's morals are pretty much on par with Stan's "I've learned something today..." speeches at the end of old South Park episodes.

IMO Star Trek (the original series, at least) holds up as a fun action-adventure in space with likable characters. And that's what most of the classic movies and the 2009 one delivered in spades.
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Old April 14 2013, 01:03 PM   #26
Flake
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

What was the moral conclusion of 'The Doomsday Machine' ?

Trek will not concern itself with morals when it is just trying to be fun, entertaining and action packed whilst looking cool and appealing to all
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Old April 14 2013, 01:20 PM   #27
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

King Daniel wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
"Exploration of the human condition" is nothing but trekkie cant; it's generally come to mean characters taking one another's emotional temperatures and debating the obvious at length before coming to the "moral conclusion" that will reassure the audience that they're thoughtful and discerning.
I'm afraid I have to agree. Trek's a well meaning show, but it's morals are pretty much on par with Stan's "I've learned something today..." speeches at the end of old South Park episodes.

IMO Star Trek (the original series, at least) holds up as a fun action-adventure in space with likable characters.
Is there no room for both?
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Old April 14 2013, 01:37 PM   #28
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

Flake wrote: View Post
What was the moral conclusion of 'The Doomsday Machine' ?
Something that would've been more evident to viewers during the Cold War than to viewers today. The term "Doomsday Machine" was coined by a US strategist in the 1950s. To quote Wikipedia:
RAND strategist Herman Kahn proposed a "Doomsday Machine" in the 1950s that would consist of a computer linked to a stockpile of hydrogen bombs, programmed to detonate them all and bathe the planet in nuclear fallout at the signal of an impending nuclear attack from another nation. The key aspect of the doomsday device's deterrent factor is that it would go off automatically without human aid and despite human intervention, providing a highly credible threat that would dissuade attackers and avoid the dangerous game of brinkmanship that brought the United States and the Soviet Union closer to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With a doomsday device on the planet, neither side would suspect the other of launching a sneak attack in attempt to destroy the opposing country's infrastructure before they could retaliate.
This concept showed up in a lot of fiction over the next few decades, most prominently in Dr. Strangelove. It was part of the fear of global destruction that people lived with every day. And I'd say the moral of the Trek episode of that name was that a doomsday machine was a terrible idea as a society's only hope of avoiding cataclysmic war -- that it was really just a continuation or culmination of the drive to destruction rather than an antidote for it. In short, the planet-killer was an allegory for the bomb. Kirk even explicitly said so in dialogue, complete with a big melodramatic music sting to drive it home to the audience.

Granted, "war is bad" is not a very complicated moral. But frankly the superficiality of "The Doomsday Machine" is why I think it's an overrated episode, and not a good exemplar of TOS's intelligence as a whole.
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Old April 14 2013, 01:44 PM   #29
CaptainDave1701
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

donners22 wrote: View Post
-Brett- wrote: View Post
Aike wrote: View Post
Her friend gave it 3 stars out 5 as a Star Trek movie, but 4/5 as a normal movie.
I find that there's no better indication that something is fundamentally wrong with a series than when something like this is said.

A good movie is a good movie is a good movie. If you have to make a bad movie in order to make good Star Trek, something is very wrong with Star Trek.

Nobody is saying that. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Let's use a somewhat facetious example. Say they decided to make a prequel Sopranos movie, but turned it into an action thriller with a hot young cast. It may be a spectacular movie, the best action thriller of the year, but despite having the same setting and characters (at least in name and superficial characteristics), it's a bad Sopranos movie.
I'll give it a 9 but you can't dance to it.
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Old April 14 2013, 01:44 PM   #30
Flake
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Re: Comments From Someone Who Has Seen Into Darkness

TBH I realized the whole cold war and 'MAD' thing after I posted

STID will have some form of moral on a par with Doomsday Machine that terrorism is bad or something
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