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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 19.23%
A 161 21.50%
A- 101 13.48%
B+ 83 11.08%
B 59 7.88%
B- 27 3.60%
C+ 40 5.34%
C 38 5.07%
C- 25 3.34%
D+ 11 1.47%
D 13 1.74%
D- 10 1.34%
F 37 4.94%
Voters: 749. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 11 2013, 04:23 PM   #1546
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

AvBaur wrote: View Post
★★★ (out of 5)

Well, that was kind of underwhelming...

It probably won't surprise anyone here that I've been a huge Star Trek fan since I was a child, but I feel I need to state that first because some of my frustrations with the film probably stem from its inconsistency with the lore and spirit of the Trek universe. I mean, those are hardly the movie's only problems, but I imagine someone unfamiliar with Star Trek beyond the 2009 movie might be much more forgiving of some of those flaws and be able to just lean back and enjoy the ride. Because the "ride" part is certainly the one thing this movie mostly excells at. The pacing is breathless, the visuals impressive, the actors charismatic, and the action often exciting, even as some of the action scenes, and indeed the entire structure of the film's plot, often feel like a mere rehash of its predecessor.

Despite greatly enjoying J.J. Abrams' first installment, I'll admit I went into the sequel with some reservations, due to some persistent rumors about the villain and to the marketing materials seemingly working very hard to downplay the "space adventure" element and the fact that this is, indeed, a Star Trek movie. It turns out at least some of those concerns were unfounded, as the parts with people in leather jackets running around planet surfaces shooting guns are much less prominent than I feared and the majority of the action does take place on starships in space, involving a lot of familiar characters and places. I was, however, right about the villain (or villains, as it turns out) being quite problematic. The movie has two major villains, one of them, Admiral Marcus, a personified jumble of convoluted conspiracy theories (not too surprising, given screenwriter Bob Orci's political views), the other, John Harrison/Khan, a blurred cypher without any background information or clear motivations, whose menace only becomes apparent in the context of the story when it's spelled out by a wholly gratuitous cameo appearance. I mean, everybody who has seen TWOK knows that Khan is bad news, but I felt this was never properly set up in this movie outside of the Old Spock cameo. I almost suspect they were hesitant to delve into Khan's backstory to avoid dealing with the whole "Eugenic Wars in the late 20th century" thing, but I do think some more more background info on the character would have been necessary. As it stands, it barely has any relevance to the story that Harrison turns out to be Khan and he could have easily been replaced with an original character to much better effect. The lack of clear character motivations makes for a pretty convoluted story, that paradoxically still manages to remain utterly predictable at every turn.

You may wonder at this point why I still gave the movie an "above average" rating, when I clearly disliked so much about it. Well, as I hinted at in the beginning, I do think there is a lot to like about it on a technical level, and I do think that many non-Trekkies will probably enjoy it a lot more than I did. (Which is ironic, seeing that they worked so hard to shoehorn in quite a few contrived Trek references "for the fans.")
In fact, I think most everyone who worked on this movie did a pretty great job except for the screenwriters, which makes this the second year in a row where my biggest movie-related disappointment of the year was co-written by Damon Lindelof (although to be fair, the other two writers have been responsible for a fair number of clunkers over the years, as well). I'll probably rewatch the movie at least once to see if I can ignore its problems and just enjoy the more fun elements, but for now, I'm going to have to say it was mostly a letdown for me.
THIS. Thank you. I thought I had woken up in a parallel world this morning when I started reading what others thought about it; did we really see the same film? I liked the 2009 one, but this? Nope.
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Old May 11 2013, 04:27 PM   #1547
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

I think Carol Marcus was introduced because they need another woman who isn't a nurse or yeoman.
Plus she looks good in bra and knickers.
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Old May 11 2013, 04:42 PM   #1548
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Ulva wrote: View Post
AvBaur wrote: View Post
★★★ (out of 5)

Well, that was kind of underwhelming...

It probably won't surprise anyone here that I've been a huge Star Trek fan since I was a child, but I feel I need to state that first because some of my frustrations with the film probably stem from its inconsistency with the lore and spirit of the Trek universe. I mean, those are hardly the movie's only problems, but I imagine someone unfamiliar with Star Trek beyond the 2009 movie might be much more forgiving of some of those flaws and be able to just lean back and enjoy the ride. Because the "ride" part is certainly the one thing this movie mostly excells at. The pacing is breathless, the visuals impressive, the actors charismatic, and the action often exciting, even as some of the action scenes, and indeed the entire structure of the film's plot, often feel like a mere rehash of its predecessor.

Despite greatly enjoying J.J. Abrams' first installment, I'll admit I went into the sequel with some reservations, due to some persistent rumors about the villain and to the marketing materials seemingly working very hard to downplay the "space adventure" element and the fact that this is, indeed, a Star Trek movie. It turns out at least some of those concerns were unfounded, as the parts with people in leather jackets running around planet surfaces shooting guns are much less prominent than I feared and the majority of the action does take place on starships in space, involving a lot of familiar characters and places. I was, however, right about the villain (or villains, as it turns out) being quite problematic. The movie has two major villains, one of them, Admiral Marcus, a personified jumble of convoluted conspiracy theories (not too surprising, given screenwriter Bob Orci's political views), the other, John Harrison/Khan, a blurred cypher without any background information or clear motivations, whose menace only becomes apparent in the context of the story when it's spelled out by a wholly gratuitous cameo appearance. I mean, everybody who has seen TWOK knows that Khan is bad news, but I felt this was never properly set up in this movie outside of the Old Spock cameo. I almost suspect they were hesitant to delve into Khan's backstory to avoid dealing with the whole "Eugenic Wars in the late 20th century" thing, but I do think some more more background info on the character would have been necessary. As it stands, it barely has any relevance to the story that Harrison turns out to be Khan and he could have easily been replaced with an original character to much better effect. The lack of clear character motivations makes for a pretty convoluted story, that paradoxically still manages to remain utterly predictable at every turn.

You may wonder at this point why I still gave the movie an "above average" rating, when I clearly disliked so much about it. Well, as I hinted at in the beginning, I do think there is a lot to like about it on a technical level, and I do think that many non-Trekkies will probably enjoy it a lot more than I did. (Which is ironic, seeing that they worked so hard to shoehorn in quite a few contrived Trek references "for the fans.")
In fact, I think most everyone who worked on this movie did a pretty great job except for the screenwriters, which makes this the second year in a row where my biggest movie-related disappointment of the year was co-written by Damon Lindelof (although to be fair, the other two writers have been responsible for a fair number of clunkers over the years, as well). I'll probably rewatch the movie at least once to see if I can ignore its problems and just enjoy the more fun elements, but for now, I'm going to have to say it was mostly a letdown for me.
THIS. Thank you. I thought I had woken up in a parallel world this morning when I started reading what others thought about it; did we really see the same film? I liked the 2009 one, but this? Nope.
Well, the only mention of Khan's backstory in TWOK is when Chekov tells Terrell that Khan is a criminal and a product of late 20th century genetic engineering. Then Khan says Kirk stranded them on Ceti Alpha V.

As far as Harrison's motivations go, they may have been less recognizable than Khan's in TWOK (who was motivated only by pure, blinding revenge) because they were more subtle or nuanced (protect his commrades -- eventually free them, then go from there).

The scene with Spock Prime bothers me. I hope there's context to it. Why can't Spock find out about Khan from the ship's library computers, like in "Space Seed"? And from what I've heard (not having seen the movie yet), Spock Prime really doesn't say anything helpful.
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Old May 11 2013, 04:59 PM   #1549
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Eddie Roth wrote: View Post
BorgPhil wrote: View Post

I just wish they had used the Klingons a bit more, and at the end we were promised an almost certain war by Ad Marcus, yet they were off on a 5-year exploration mission? Hopefully the Klingons are the main enemy in the next film.
I think the main enemy of the next film will be the Borg. Mark my words!
I would love the Borg. I know they set up a war with the Klingons, but if they use Klingons I'd rather it be while the Enterprise is on it's five year mission, so it's just them, something in the style of Balance of Terror where we can see the tactical side of Kirk.
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Old May 11 2013, 04:59 PM   #1550
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Ulva wrote: View Post
THIS. Thank you. I thought I had woken up in a parallel world this morning when I started reading what others thought about it; did we really see the same film? I liked the 2009 one, but this? Nope.
Haha, yeah, I was feeling a little bit like that, too.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:00 PM   #1551
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

ROBE wrote: View Post
I think Carol Marcus was introduced because they need another woman who isn't a nurse or yeoman.
Plus her knockers look good in a bra.
Probably. They changed the triumvirate to Kirk, Spock, Uhura because of that as well. Makes me wonder why they didn't even go the BSG approach and made Chekov or Sulu a woman.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:01 PM   #1552
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

@ franklin

yeah, I was thinking would they have known about Khan? would augments have been something people knew about generally? surely even in 2260 or whatever a major planetary war 250 years ago and the events we had in Enterprise would have been pretty common knowledge, especially to people in Starfleet. and like you say, he could have just looked at the computer.

but then again, that wouldn't have been as fun as an appearance from Nimoy
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Old May 11 2013, 05:01 PM   #1553
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

AvBaur wrote: View Post
As it stands, it barely has any relevance to the story that Harrison turns out to be Khan and he could have easily been replaced with an original character to much better effect.
I've seen several people make this comment. It would probably have been better if Harrison was not Khan, but an augment created by section 31. Possibly based off Marcus' DNA. That could also excuse the "magic" blood. The blood may not need to be "magic". It could have modified Borg nanites retrieved from wreckage from the Narada. The comics before ST:09 did say he had Borg tech, right. And we've seen them bring seemingly dead drones back to life.
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Old May 11 2013, 05:17 PM   #1554
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

my turn

The film was certainly entertaining and provided much more fan wank than i had anticipated...

  • Section 31
  • Tribbles
  • Carol Marcus (and mum)
  • Ketha Province
  • Gorn
  • Khan


It seems strange that the first movie wanted to completely move away from the original established world while this film seemed desperate to drag that old world Trek back with a vengeance....why not a new story....a new villain....cos to be honest this film basically just reminded me that the original world had more depth and more character (so much so that they had to mine it for this film) I suspect they'll get one more film out of it but not much more

I would have preferred that it was not Khan....maybe one of his supporters, comrades etc (and at one point during the film, i thought they were going in that direction and John Harrison was pretending to be Khan for some hitherto unknown reason but that idea was clearly wrong once we get to the end of the film....the first pod they opened....looked a bit like Khan to me...i was hoping that was a clue)

My other (and probably my main) gripe is the Spock/Kirk death reversal.....by the time that happened in TWOK, they had been comrades working/fighting side by side for decades and slowly they built a deep and profound friendship (and Spock still didn't cry) whereas in this film, they've basically been hanging out for a few years (three i think) and Spock crying over Kirks death just seems ridiculous to me (Quinto in general seems far more emotional than Nimoy ever was) They know the Spock/Kirk relationship is already entrenched in popular culture and so they use that fact to basically manipulate the audience rather cynically for story telling ends but it totally didn't ring true for me.....sorry but you can't change the time line, create a new environment and redefine the rules but still expect to get away with using classic Trek tropes, knowledge created by the old shows and character back stories.....JJ chose to abandon that old world (which is fair enough) but he can't then return to it when it suits him even though it is totally out of place in the new time line.....it's too lazy and too convenient

It's entertaining enough but these films are designed for the non-fan (with occasional fan wank thrown in to keep the rest of us quiet) and while that may result in some lack of respect for the originals, it keep the franchise alive and kicking and in the public consciousness....until such time as a new series can be produced for television, we'll have to put up with this glossy big budget version of Trek
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Old May 11 2013, 05:37 PM   #1555
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Still following international reaction on twitter and elsewhere...the bad reactions are usually dire, usually coincide with preconceived notions of Khan. I'd say these bad reviews are running at 5% or less. Im still seeing 25-30% calling it the best Star Trek movie ever and a larger percentage calling it better than ST09, usually because of characterization and the more complex plot, as well as superior villain.. Of course RT is still at 90% fresh after 60 reviews. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star...into_darkness/

As for myself, I'm still not a fan of the Khan idea, however, I've softened a lot since the rumors started..deciding to consider it like a Bond Blofeld, or Batman's Joker type antagonist analogy. Also, the appearance of Khan is mitigated for me by who's playing the role, I've been a Cumberbatch fan for a long time, and touting the Sherlock series well before it came to the USA (don't ask). Also simply thinking of it as an alternate history that can be told. When the Orci comics came out, the first issue was almost a duplication of the TOS episode, then it started to vary to a greater degree. People are going to complain no matter what...if it's too close, its not original, of it's too far afield, then it's not Star Trek. I'm going into the movie with an open mind.

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Old May 11 2013, 05:39 PM   #1556
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Btw, what's up with Captain April in the film? What of that Countdown to Darkness comics made it into the film?
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Old May 11 2013, 05:49 PM   #1557
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Ok, I will give it a C+.

SPOILERS

The cast is universally great to watch and it was a fun romp. I didn't object to the reveal about Harrison's character, although they could have put a bit of effort into establishing a more credible ethnicity. The plot would have worked as easily, if not better if it had been Joachim instead but as a villain, Harrison worked very well. I will also give a big thumbs up to the use of Uhura on away missions. I thought she was unnecessary in the opening mission (I'd have preferred them to use someone else more qualified) but used to good effect on Q'onos - she should have been on the away team to the Narada as well, since she was fluent in Romulan (as opposed to rusty in Klingon) but I digress. Good use of Scotty and Sulu as well and those who were worried that Uhura would usurp McCoy could not have been more wrong. Kirk's dressing down by Pike was like my thoughts had been vomited onto the screen - I loved it and the evolution of both Kirk and Spock was well done, as in the first movie. I loved the nods to the recent comic stories (I felt like I was in on the jokes) right down to what looked like Lt Boma on the security detail to Q'onos. Great cameo by Nimoy.

However, on balance, this was a very, very silly movie. The worst things were:

Dear god the movie was still soooo sexist. What is the matter with these writers? Very few women among the Starfleet captains at the conference. No (noticeable) women among the Dreadnought crew, no female security officers among Khan's security detail, and an all male security team on the Q'onos mission (another wasted opportunity to use Janice Rand dammit!). We did however get a load of female nurses and a female replacement on the phones so that certainly helped to even up the numbers... It was, however, good to see a female replacement at navigation (I was really hoping for Ilia but, while bald, the actress didn't pull off that kind of allure and also had an American accent) and the copper-skinned alien is still on board but they are waaay short on women overall and the gender roles could easily hark back to the sixties. Shame on them.

I felt a genuine pang of sadness when Carol announced that Chris Chapel has transferred off the ship and was much happier. If it's a prelude to using her character as the focus for an upcoming comic story then I'm ok with that but it felt like they were sweeping Majel's character under a rug and given her fairly recent passing after she gave her blessing to the reboot it felt really disrespectful. They even featured several nurses later on as a sort of slap. Chapel was a research biologist - her character would have been perfect to conduct the tribble experiment instead of McCoy - it would have been a respectful nod to the woman who gave a lot to the franchise. They wrote out some female characters in the comics too, such as Dehner and yet seem more than happy to include most of the men who were in the original stories. Why they don't view Chapel and Rand and the other women as worthwhile characters is a mystery to me.

I hate the way Starfleet is such an administrative shambles. They can transport light years but can't detect ships within visual range? The importance of Yeoman Rand comes to the fore when nobody checks transfer orders? Resignations and QUALIFIED replacements aren't resolved before you leave on a crucial mission? Starfleet command sits on its hands while two ships blast each oter in orbit and they have no defences in place to stop vessels crashing into populated areas. I'm assuming, based on my knowledge of physics, it would take a long time to crash into the surface, and the planet is moving really really fast. Harrison could have crashed at speed using his engines but Enterprise was free-falling - if her angle of re-entry was wrong she would have bounced off the atmosphere wouldn't she? It looked like the writers believe that the Earth is stationary - I don't think it is...

ENSIGN Chekov - the navigator and maths genius who qualified from Starfleet Acadamy a year ago - being promoted to CHIEF engineer instead of one of a dozen more experienced, oh I don't know, actual engineers? I would have been fine if tehy had taken the opportunity to introduce a new chief - preferably a woman - and have Chekov working as her deputy. Fine. But this was so contrived I actually put my head in my hands. Terrible script writing. Just terrible.

The timings were a minor gripe. They keep painting themselves into a corner by hopping star systems. Don't they know that fans were miffed at the trip to Q'onos taking only a few days in Enterprise. Here it happens in, what, 8- 10 hours? Given that Vulcan took only half an hour in the last movie I suppose we should view it as progress? The reluctance to accept that space is really, really big also grated in the last movie and it is generally unnecessary, or would have been if they had not invented transwarp beaming... What I don't understand about transwarp beaming is how you can find sensors powerful enough to scan your destination so that you don't die when you arrive - the planet is moving really really fast subspace signals take hours when far from home, and they can't even get a proper lock on moving targets at close range. I could get on board with Stargate's linked chain of relay stations ending on a receiving transporter pad but as shown in the movies I simply do not get how this is supposed to work - again I think it's just terrible, childish writing that doesn't pay enough respect to the original concept of what transporters were there for.

The homage to TWoK was hilarious. It was like watching a spoof. I don't know if that was the intent. I liked it but it was very obvious where they were headed. The only emotion I felt was when Spock's face cracked. McCoy's surgery on a torpedo was hilariously silly in VI - I loved the homage but once again - ship of 400+ people and your doctor is the guy you send? Daft. This is one instance where I could have seen some logic to using Chekov.

It was fun but I think I've enjoyed the comics' take on the franchise more. I'm ready for them to animate these characters now. I don't think the movies are going to satisfy me!
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Old May 11 2013, 06:00 PM   #1558
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
Ok, I will give it a C+.

SPOILERS

The cast is universally great to watch and it was a fun romp. I didn't object to the reveal about Harrison's character, although they could have put a bit of effort into establishing a more credible ethnicity. The plot would have worked as easily, if not better if it had been Joachim instead but as a villain, Harrison worked very well. I will also give a big thumbs up to the use of Uhura on away missions. I thought she was unnecessary in the opening mission (I'd have preferred them to use someone else more qualified) but used to good effect on Q'onos - she should have been on the away team to the Narada as well, since she was fluent in Romulan (as opposed to rusty in Klingon) but I digress. Good use of Scotty and Sulu as well and those who were worried that Uhura would usurp McCoy could not have been more wrong. Kirk's dressing down by Pike was like my thoughts had been vomited onto the screen - I loved it and the evolution of both Kirk and Spock was well done, as in the first movie. I loved the nods to the recent comic stories (I felt like I was in on the jokes) right down to what looked like Lt Boma on the security detail to Q'onos. Great cameo by Nimoy.

However, on balance, this was a very, very silly movie. The worst things were:

Dear god the movie was still soooo sexist. What is the matter with these writers? Very few women among the Starfleet captains at the conference. No (noticeable) women among the Dreadnought crew, no female security officers among Khan's security detail, and an all male security team on the Q'onos mission (another wasted opportunity to use Janice Rand dammit!). We did however get a load of female nurses and a female replacement on the phones so that certainly helped to even up the numbers... It was, however, good to see a female replacement at navigation (I was really hoping for Ilia but, while bald, the actress didn't pull off that kind of allure and also had an American accent) and the copper-skinned alien is still on board but they are waaay short on women overall and the gender roles could easily hark back to the sixties. Shame on them.

I felt a genuine pang of sadness when Carol announced that Chris Chapel has transferred off the ship and was much happier. If it's a prelude to using her character as the focus for an upcoming comic story then I'm ok with that but it felt like they were sweeping Majel's character under a rug and given her fairly recent passing after she gave her blessing to the reboot it felt really disrespectful. They even featured several nurses later on as a sort of slap. Chapel was a research biologist - her character would have been perfect to conduct the tribble experiment instead of McCoy - it would have been a respectful nod to the woman who gave a lot to the franchise. They wrote out some female characters in the comics too, such as Dehner and yet seem more than happy to include most of the men who were in the original stories. Why they don't view Chapel and Rand and the other women as worthwhile characters is a mystery to me.

I hate the way Starfleet is such an administrative shambles. They can transport light years but can't detect ships within visual range? The importance of Yeoman Rand comes to the fore when nobody checks transfer orders? Resignations and QUALIFIED replacements aren't resolved before you leave on a crucial mission? Starfleet command sits on its hands while two ships blast each oter in orbit and they have no defences in place to stop vessels crashing into populated areas. I'm assuming, based on my knowledge of physics, it would take a long time to crash into the surface, and the planet is moving really really fast. Harrison could have crashed at speed using his engines but Enterprise was free-falling - if her angle of re-entry was wrong she would have bounced off the atmosphere wouldn't she? It looked like the writers believe that the Earth is stationary - I don't think it is...

ENSIGN Chekov - the navigator and maths genius who qualified from Starfleet Acadamy a year ago - being promoted to CHIEF engineer instead of one of a dozen more experienced, oh I don't know, actual engineers? I would have been fine if tehy had taken the opportunity to introduce a new chief - preferably a woman - and have Chekov working as her deputy. Fine. But this was so contrived I actually put my head in my hands. Terrible script writing. Just terrible.

The timings were a minor gripe. They keep painting themselves into a corner by hopping star systems. Don't they know that fans were miffed at the trip to Q'onos taking only a few days in Enterprise. Here it happens in, what, 8- 10 hours? Given that Vulcan took only half an hour in the last movie I suppose we should view it as progress? The reluctance to accept that space is really, really big also grated in the last movie and it is generally unnecessary, or would have been if they had not invented transwarp beaming... What I don't understand about transwarp beaming is how you can find sensors powerful enough to scan your destination so that you don't die when you arrive - the planet is moving really really fast and they can't even get a proper lock on moving targets at close range. I could get on board with Stargate's linked chain of relay stations ending on a receiving transporter pad. As shown in the movies I simply do not get how this is supposed to work.

The homage to TWoK was hilarious. It was like watching a spoof. I don't know if that was the intent. I liked it but it was very obvious where they were headed. The only emotion I felt was when Spock

It was fun but I think I've enjoyed the comics' take on the franchise. I'm ready for them to animate these characters now. I don't think the movies are going to satisfy me!

Just a thought...we have to get used to the warp 10 scale no longer being valid in this universe...they are taking the element from Star Wars that makes storytelling easier...almost instantaneous supra light travel, in this case a transwarp like speed.

I don't necessarily have a problem with transwarp beaming, especially how it was described in the last movie. There have been science fiction stories in literature for years about long distance near-instantaneous travel, so it's not unprecedented.

ST has always played fast and loose with ranks. Again this is not really a big issue to me. Hardly indicative of bad script writing.
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Old May 11 2013, 06:09 PM   #1559
Relayer1
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

ROBE wrote: View Post
I think Carol Marcus was introduced because they need another woman who isn't a nurse or yeoman.
Plus she looks good in bra and knickers.
Understatement !
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Old May 11 2013, 06:19 PM   #1560
hux
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

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......anyone else think Noel Clarkes character was entirely unnecessary and we really didn't need to see the whole father/daughter stuff....i mean he's Khan....i'm sure if we just saw a massive explosion at the start of the film, we could easily accept that khan/Harrison could have done this (cos he's clever and such) without needing to see all the preamble nonsense with Clarke leading up to it...plus it would have shaved about 8 minutes from the film (which was necessary imo)
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