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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.

View Poll Results: Grade the movie...
A+ 144 19.38%
A 161 21.67%
A- 100 13.46%
B+ 82 11.04%
B 58 7.81%
B- 27 3.63%
C+ 40 5.38%
C 38 5.11%
C- 24 3.23%
D+ 11 1.48%
D 13 1.75%
D- 10 1.35%
F 35 4.71%
Voters: 743. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 3 2013, 06:47 AM   #961
Tom Servo
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

trevanian wrote: View Post
throwback wrote: View Post
There isn't diplomacy and exploration. What there is - is blowing stuff up. I think the ability to write and direct a story that melds the diplomacy/exploration with the action is beyond the capabilities of most triple AAA film writers and directors.
Whether it is beyond the abilities or not isn't even the issue -- it is beyond the INCLINATION of anybody who chooses to get involved. If it weren't, then somebody would realize you could do a smaller budget film that didn't need to do 600 mil for breakeven and it could still be immensely profitable without being stifled with the need to be a studio tentpole.

But everybody thinks that an effective TREK movie has to have everything very big (yeah, that worked for Emmerich's GODZILLA didn't it?) And for right now I'm NOT talking about box office, because that is not the measure of success we should be addressing, although some seem to think that is the be-all/end-all, and maybe they should be discussing this on the wallstreetbbs.com boards ...

Several years back we discussed here how TNG's THE CHASE could have been a terrific feature film, and before that how you could do a variation of BALANCE OF TERROR for a restart TOS feature (and no, I don't consider the Abrams pic to be that by a long shot.)

You could do a riff on an ep like RETURN TO TOMORROW and have a movie that could be quite successful. You play up the horror element of the possessed officers and the responses of the crew to deliver the requisite 'chill' but you also have an interesting situation that puts it squarely in the 'do we choose to boldly go' corner -- you honor the notion of the show AND deliver the gut-twister ... and you up the action quotient with some of these meta-gods in android bodies doing whatever meta-gods in android bodies do, but keep the emotional hook on the fates of those Ecrew stuck in the meta-gods' balls (sounds awful but if you've seen the show ... )

Point of all this being that nobody is looking to deliver a SERENITY-level effort (a really good 2 hr movie that isn't looking to tick off boxes to guarantee an absurdly high return), and yet that is presumably what you and I would be wanting to see. You don't need to spend TRANSFORMERS dollars to get a good movie, but as long as audiences pony up for that crap, I guess more and more folks are going to try to play that game. But it is like having a lineup of 9 hitters who are ALL swinging for the fences ... you're getting a shitload of strikeouts along the way.

And everybody -- except the mob that accepts all bright noises and loud lights as entertainment -- is losing at least something as a result. The shows needing 2000 VFX shots are bankrupting the VFX houses left right and center, because they're having to deliver more and more, and since they're having to do this in much less time, the final product is also suffering a lot of the time for it. The backlash effect on this is already happening, because skilled artists who don't want to uproot their families every four months to go to Singapore or Bangladesh to whatever is the newest cheap VFX company are located are now getting out ... they're going with domestic computer game companies that are relatively stable by comparison, where if they have 80 hour weeks they may actually get paid for all of that time. Ultimately we will have less brilliant artists in the field and loads and loads of craftsmen working at various levels of competence -- and in terms of effects, that doesn't promise anything SPECIAL. So again, the audience will lose, and the studio will compensate with an even greater volume of eye candy and noise, because the mindset of bigger-is-better seems to be default thinking now, not just a conservative-amurrican dream.

Kinda makes me think the next CHILDREN OF MEN we get is going to be made by people working on their own with their own money and distributing themselves via one of the emerging models for small features ... cuz the studios can't seem to consider genre films as anything other than tentpole franchises.

It's weird, but Paramount's cheapness in the 80s with the TREK movies actually makes a LITTLE more sense now, because they were guaranteeing themselves a profit and at the same time not having to UTTERLY subvert the notion of TREK in doing so. I think it was shortsighted for them to go as extremeo-cheap as they did, but when you look at what you get when you throw a ton of money at TREK -- TMP, for all its virtues and good intentions, still a mess fascinating at times but a mess, and Abrams09, which I've come to think of as a a vat, probably because of the moronic brewery and because I want to drown myself to avoid seeing any more of those unmotivated fuckin' lens flares -- extreme funding doesn't seem to create a better product, just the need for more extreme marketing (sort of like superior ability breeding superior ambition, rather than the former breeding a superior endproduct.)
Hold on a second though. As a VFX artist, who works every day with other VFX artists, we're all excited to see this film, despite what is going on in our industry. Don't make this a JJ Abrams or a Trek problem, this is an industry wide issue that has to do with every major VFX film. Ya, we're the craftsmen doing this stuff (granted I did it for After Earth and not Star Trek), but we're also part of the audience. Don't sit there and try to blame the issues of the industry on us the movie goer who likes this film. I agree it's a fucked up system, hell I work inside it everyday, but it's not like if everyone smartened up and liked supposedly more intelligent and small budgeted films that all of a sudden this would fix a problem. It wouldn't.

If this was a $180 Million version of Trek that you wanted to see, would you still be making this argument? It's not what you want to see, so somehow you're trying to take the fact that we enjoy these films and use it as the blame for an entirely different issue. And as someone who sees it from both the person who makes their living from this, and as a fan, I think you're wrong.
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Old May 3 2013, 06:58 AM   #962
trevanian
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

I think it is absolutely indicative of a bad trend, and to address one of your points, I can't imagine a circumstance where I'd be wanting to see a 180 million dollar trek movie, because it doesn't need that much money. Maybe if Nolan was making it, because he spends the money wisely, but I don't think he'd be a good fit creatively, though I like damned near everything he does.

Making more smaller shows definitely impacts the VFX community in a better way, because it gives the boutiques a chance to survive. And I've heard that repeatedly, not just in my own interviews with VFXsfolk but in the occasional thread on cgtalk and elsewhere.

One stop shopping for vfx can work (look at Dneg, they can handle a lot of different stuff with taste) but it shouldn't be a default. Going to ILM when it means you're really getting ILM and ILM/Singapore isn't really what ILM used to mean, not entirely. VFX facilities have rarely if ever been going concerns, but if you can't change the system or unionize, then to retain the artists, you need to do something, and if improving -- sorry, altering the frequency of relying on vfx to shore up shitty movies would do that, then you're impvoing stuff on two fronts.

HAVE A FEELING THIS IS GOING TO BE TOLD TO GET ITS OWN THREAD ELSEWHERE ...
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Old May 3 2013, 10:00 AM   #963
lurok
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

'Hang on a minute,' you find yourself thinking, 'that doesn’t make sen ... oh look, a Tribble.' ....
By far the funniest thing read so far...


indranee wrote: View Post
And also because Pine was always at pains to reveal that he wanted to play KIRK, not Shatner playing Kirk. I have no complaints about his portrayal. He was the heart of ST2009 and I'm pretty sure he's the heart of this one, as well.
This. What I loved about 09 was that all the actors played the characters, rather than just 'doing' the originals. That's main reason looking forward to this. Though a bit sad Cho and Yelchin seem to be missing out on the publicity junkets.
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Old May 3 2013, 11:35 AM   #964
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

donners22 wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
donners22 wrote: View Post
I'd rather have no Star Trek than a bad Star Trek film, regardless of how big its budget is.
A bad Star Trek film would be a box office failure; we've had examples of that.
By that logic, Blade Runner is a bad film and Transformers is a good one. I know which I'd rather watch.
donners22, I thank you!
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Old May 3 2013, 12:39 PM   #965
DarthTom
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Apparently Zoe had a little problem with her dress yesterday in London, LOL. Her co-stars rushed into help.




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Old May 3 2013, 02:19 PM   #966
Franklin
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Hollywood Reporter review by Todd McCarthy (BEWARE: VERY, VERY FULL OF SPOILERS):

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/mov..._source=feedly

He doesn't like the movie because:
-- The 3D "looks surprisingly flat," and is "bordering on cheesy."
-- The images are "pale and thin."
-- The visual quality "takes a few steps backwards," compared to the quality of previous big-budget releases.
-- A "rampantly hectic opening action sequence."
-- The moral issues are "marginally more engaging" than the "cranked-up action sequences" that seem to come every ten or fifteen minutes. They have a "rote, push-button feeling to them."
-- He says Abrams is less imaginative in this movie than he was in ST09. There is little sense of style or grace.
-- Overall, he says it's a "professionally capable but creatively humdrum outing."

He says very little about the performances other than the returning actors fit into their roles comfortably and the other actors fill their roles well.
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Old May 3 2013, 03:45 PM   #967
throwback
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

There is I think another factor to consider when evaluating films nowadays. Many of the films made today are geared for an international audience. Two-thirds of the revenues generated are from this audience.

If we have storylines that at script-stage feel too U.S.-centric, especially with big action or science-fiction movies, we try to come up with solutions that will make the movie feel more global.
- Tomas Jegeus, Co-President of 20th Century Fox International Theatric (http://entertainment.inquirer.net/16...seas-audiences)

So, Hollywood can justify making a film up close to $200 million, because they know that the amount needed to coup revenue - $600 million, two-thirds of it will come from overseas.

Here is another quote that I think reflects on what I have seen in the last decade or so.

The rise of the videogame along with the ability of special effects artists to realize wholly imaginary worlds has made the story world one of the three or four crucial elements in a blockbuster film. As little as a decade ago, Hollywood didn’t care about story world, because it slows down narrative drive. Special effects were designed primarily to heighten heroic action.

But videogames showed Hollywood the power that comes from having viewers immerse themselves and explore a world in all its facets. And there’s no medium that can do that better than the big screen film medium.

Many screenwriters believe that this aspect of the film is the responsibility of the director and the special effects artists. Wrong. A good story world is written into the script, and it is intimately organic to the story. That’s why you must make sure that every visual element contributes to the story. In other words every element should have story meaning embedded within it.
- John Truby (http://www.writersstore.com/5-keys-t...r-blockbuster/)
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Old May 3 2013, 04:32 PM   #968
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

throwback wrote: View Post
There is I think another factor to consider when evaluating films nowadays. Many of the films made today are geared for an international audience. Two-thirds of the revenues generated are from this audience.

If we have storylines that at script-stage feel too U.S.-centric, especially with big action or science-fiction movies, we try to come up with solutions that will make the movie feel more global.
- Tomas Jegeus, Co-President of 20th Century Fox International Theatric (http://entertainment.inquirer.net/16...seas-audiences)

This is true.

The videogame stuff...meh.
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Old May 3 2013, 05:09 PM   #969
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post
Mach5 wrote: View Post
OneBuckFilms wrote: View Post

I see mostly stubble, baldcap, eyebrows, ears and tatoos (stubble, tattoos and bald are not unusual, just distinctive and previously unseen).

Maybe a slight greenish tinge to the makeup under normal lighting (I might be misremembering a normal shot), which fits the Vulcan shared ancestry (Green blood, based on Copper rather than Iron).
Seriously, you see NOTHING strange about the guy's eyes and nose bridge?
Well, yeah, but it's not as distinctive as the TNG makeup.
On this I agree. I never liked what they did with Romulans in TNG. Those V-shaped ridges were unnecessary and plain stupid.
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Old May 3 2013, 05:38 PM   #970
indranee
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

gornsky wrote: View Post
indranee wrote: View Post
My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Here's McWeeny at Hitfix, who gives it a B+:

This part is great:
He pretty much read my mind re Pine's take on Kirk. I'm just glad he's getting this sort of review when most reviews are full of nerdgasm about Cumberbatch's character. And also because Pine was always at pains to reveal that he wanted to play KIRK, not Shatner playing Kirk. I have no complaints about his portrayal. He was the heart of ST2009 and I'm pretty sure he's the heart of this one, as well.

Only about 50 years later will most detractors of his Kirk realize what we got in bagging him for the role. I'm saying that because I grew up with people ragging on the Shatman. And look where he's today.

Good stuff.
I loved the Netfix review. It perfectly encapsulates everything I felt about the movie, particularly Pine's performance, the Kirk/Pike scenes, the Kirk/Spock scenes. After being a little cool on the 2009 reboot Kirk, I was amazed how incredibly fond I was of him by the end of this movie, and that's despite him still being an immature jerk at the beginning. I attribute this to Pine's performance. As the reviewer said, Pine's Kirk is somehow simultaneously cocky yet self-effacing, focused yet irreverent, independent yet needy. He's not the Kirk of Wrath of Khan, who has friends and experience to back him up. In fact his crew challenge him just as much as the circumstances. I like how this movie tears James T apart, shuts down every option and sifts through his soul to see what he's got left.

This film didn't give me the same intellectual orgasm I had with say... Arcadia. It has its problems and some dramatic devices just get in its way. But it's more earnest and familiar and Trek-like than I ever expected it to be. That was a pleasant surprise.
well said.
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Old May 3 2013, 06:27 PM   #971
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

trevanian wrote: View Post
And for right now I'm NOT talking about box office, because that is not the measure of success we should be addressing,
It is if you want sequels.
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Old May 3 2013, 06:59 PM   #972
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
And for right now I'm NOT talking about box office, because that is not the measure of success we should be addressing,
It is if you want sequels.
Some of us fans may want that. If JJ Trek fails early, it will mean no Star Trek for awhile. But eventually the studio will try again, cause it makes them money. And hopfully they will see Star Trek's original formula has more staying power than JJ Trek and go back to it.
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Old May 3 2013, 07:00 PM   #973
Captrek
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Franklin wrote: View Post
Hollywood Reporter review by Todd McCarthy (BEWARE: VERY, VERY FULL OF SPOILERS):

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/mov..._source=feedly

-- Overall, he says it's a "professionally capable but creatively humdrum outing."
That's how I describe First Contact.
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Old May 3 2013, 07:04 PM   #974
Flake
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

If STID fails to get the $$$ Paramount want then it will still make another one but I would imagine they would reduce the production budget and the advertising budget and simply move the movie to different time of the year where it has more time to itself.
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Old May 3 2013, 07:05 PM   #975
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
And for right now I'm NOT talking about box office, because that is not the measure of success we should be addressing,
It is if you want sequels.
More to the point, it's the only quantifiable measure of success. When one debates claims about "quality" it's just a matter of bashing one's subjective notions and prejudices against someone else's, and getting into pissing contests over that kind of thing with people who are biased against a movie is just a waste of one's breath and an unnecessary test of one's patience. Let them masturbate on their own.

Not to mention that it's convenient not to "talk about box office" when the numbers don't favor one's own opinion.

As for what "we should be addressing" - unless you've got a mouse in your pocket, the first person singular is more appropriate.
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