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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+ 141 19.13%
A 159 21.57%
A- 99 13.43%
B+ 82 11.13%
B 58 7.87%
B- 27 3.66%
C+ 40 5.43%
C 38 5.16%
C- 24 3.26%
D+ 11 1.49%
D 13 1.76%
D- 10 1.36%
F 35 4.75%
Voters: 737. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 19 2013, 02:45 AM   #3016
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

teacake wrote: View Post
I don't watch Star Trek to think about US politics.
Ditto.

But this film certainly challenges us to think. Therefore is "cerebral".
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Old May 19 2013, 02:45 AM   #3017
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

teacake wrote: View Post
trevanian, reading this forum for years I don't think as a non-american that is even remotely "safe and trendy" to pay lip service or discuss these matters.
It's not - don't let anyone mislead you. It sort of was, when Dubya was still in office. Now, we nominate Zero Dark Thirty for Oscars.

Calling simple minded stuff like ST 6 "allegory" and pretending that it was thoughtful or observant is what seems to pass for "cerebral" where Star Trek is concerned. I'm not sure that there's ever been much in Trek that would challenge anyone more mature than a bright adolescent, but the original series was produced in a politically turbulent time and if the politics of the show were simple at least they were a little bit out in front of what we were accustomed to seeing in prime time. That hasn't been true for decades, and there's certainly nothing in the modern Trek tv shows that wasn't pretty well pre-chewed and considered mainstream "family safe" programming before Paramount would let it out the door. The producers learned to self-censor.
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Old May 19 2013, 02:57 AM   #3018
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

teacake wrote: View Post
trevanian, reading this forum for years I don't think as a non-american that is even remotely "safe and trendy" to pay lip service or discuss these matters.

I think Section 31 could provide a lot of opportunities to write bravely about government. I also think I don't care if Star Trek ever bothers to ramp it up to that because I don't watch Star Trek to think about US politics.
PRIVATE LITTLE WAR does come up more than occasionally on the TOS board, and it isn't because of the curvy chick, it is because of the parallels with what was going on in the world - that, and the fact that it has an ending that resonates because it actually advocates what could be perceived as an utterly subversive action.

But that's not for you - so much for TREK as allegory. Guess they better stick with safe subjects like saving the whales.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:03 AM   #3019
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

trevanian wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
trevanian, reading this forum for years I don't think as a non-american that is even remotely "safe and trendy" to pay lip service or discuss these matters.

I think Section 31 could provide a lot of opportunities to write bravely about government. I also think I don't care if Star Trek ever bothers to ramp it up to that because I don't watch Star Trek to think about US politics.
PRIVATE LITTLE WAR does come up more than occasionally on the TOS board, and it isn't because of the curvy chick, it is because of the parallels with what was going on in the world - that, and the fact that it has an ending that resonates because it actually advocates what could be perceived as an utterly subversive action.

But that's not for you - so much for TREK as allegory. Guess they better stick with safe subjects like saving the whales.
Or how about taking race relations, taking a black man and a white man, split them both in half, and put them back together to make hay out of race riots.

A lot of the political commentary comes from history as well. And that being the case, and history is repeated, it remains topical in multiple environments. Using sociology, as they did in TNG, allows for an exploration of general concepts that can be applied to several different societies, times in history. Just look at DS9 and its treatise on oppression, terrorism (pre-September 11th), and religion.

I like to have that layer to Star Trek, and I was surprised after '09 that JJ-Trek tried that. I thought he thought it was "too high-brow." I just don't think it was done well. But an attempt was made and they should be applauded for trying to make a movie that is more than just entertaining, but makes us think.

It simply will be watched more times by the general public because it has that layer than it would be to just be entertaining. The best art does this. And on occasion, it sparks a national conversation.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:06 AM   #3020
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
I just don't think it was done well.
It was done a hell of a lot better than painting two guys half-white and half-black, that much is certain.

The guys making these movies now sure don't have anything to fear from comparison to most of oldTrek.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:06 AM   #3021
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

trevanian wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
trevanian, reading this forum for years I don't think as a non-american that is even remotely "safe and trendy" to pay lip service or discuss these matters.

I think Section 31 could provide a lot of opportunities to write bravely about government. I also think I don't care if Star Trek ever bothers to ramp it up to that because I don't watch Star Trek to think about US politics.
PRIVATE LITTLE WAR does come up more than occasionally on the TOS board, and it isn't because of the curvy chick, it is because of the parallels with what was going on in the world - that, and the fact that it has an ending that resonates because it actually advocates what could be perceived as an utterly subversive action.

But that's not for you - so much for TREK as allegory. Guess they better stick with safe subjects like saving the whales.
You're a bit obnoxious here trevanian. I never said it wasn't for me, I said if they never go there I won't mind. I like trek for a lot of reasons, it doesn't have to be all things to me.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:07 AM   #3022
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
Still hasn't been a decent SW movie since EMPIRE IMO. Gary Kurtz is what brought balance to the Lucas, and w/o him it has been a lesser thing.
This.
The only thing Gary Kurtz did was cause ESB to go overbudget, just like he would do with The Dark Crystal and Return to Oz. You read comments from the people involved in ESB and they didn't know what Kurtz actually did on the set.

As for the political stuff, by Into Darkness's logic, killing bin Laden should never have been allowed to have happened. Thankfully the filmmakers aren't in charge of such things.

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Old May 19 2013, 03:16 AM   #3023
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
The only thing Gary Kurtz did was cause ESB to go overbudget, just like he would do with The Dark Crystal and Return to Oz.
Truly, a substantial contribution. "Facts are stupid things."


As for the political stuff, by Into Darkness's logic, killing bin Laden should never have been allowed to have happened.
And in a democracy that's a fair point for discussion - but not one you'll see being brought up in many summer blockbusters.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:17 AM   #3024
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
I just don't think it was done well.
It was done a hell of a lot better than painting two guys half-white and half-black, that much is certain.

The guys making these movies now sure don't have anything to fear from comparison to most of oldTrek.
I don't think "Let that be your last Battlefield" was childish, if you are suggesting that. Because it is supposed to show the absurdity of the argument, by doing something simple. If you think it's dated in terms of make-up, it was a shoestring budget and 45 years ago.

JJ-Trek brings it up "We can't have another Nero-style attack. We need to keep people safe, and I will do that by making us strong!" But there's no counter-argument except to put those words in the hands of the antagonist and we are supposed to instinctively think he's wrong. But there's no good argument to take Marcus' place. Spock would stand as a perfect counter-weight if he did more than quote the book. He has the experience of losing his home planet and has had to deal with that pain. Or introduce a character from a different culture that has already had to deal with this in their life, and it went to the point of totalitarianism.

They put it in the movie, but it's just a question, not an answer. That's why I don't like it.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:23 AM   #3025
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
Still hasn't been a decent SW movie since EMPIRE IMO. Gary Kurtz is what brought balance to the Lucas, and w/o him it has been a lesser thing.
This.
The only thing Gary Kurtz did was cause ESB to go overbudget, just like he would do with The Dark Crystal and Return to Oz. You read comments from the people involved in ESB and they didn't know what Kurtz actually did on the set.
Yeah, Gary Kurtz is responsible for the weather in a difficult location he didn't pick and didn't want to remain in.

I haven't read it in decades, but the MAKING OF book on EMP indicated that the shift on dollar/pound relations had the potential for hitting the budget enormously, and I think that was a big part of the jump as well. (am not inclined to look at the new EMPIRE making of, based on that guy's MAKING OF SW, which seems to ignore some sections of SW history that make the whole thing seem suspect to me.)

I'm not a devotee of Mr Kurtz, though I do love RETURN TO OZ; his comments about SW being more inspiring to future astronauts than 2001 seemed downright scary as well as stupid, but the guy knew how to budget and he seemed to be able to say NO to GL and sometimes even make it stick -- which presumably stuck in the latter's craw.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:41 AM   #3026
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
trevanian, reading this forum for years I don't think as a non-american that is even remotely "safe and trendy" to pay lip service or discuss these matters.
It's not - don't let anyone mislead you. It sort of was, when Dubya was still in office. Now, we nominate Zero Dark Thirty for Oscars.

Calling simple minded stuff like ST 6 "allegory" and pretending that it was thoughtful or observant is what seems to pass for "cerebral" where Star Trek is concerned.
Hardly - TUC's attempts at being smart were incredibly pitiful.

I'm not sure that there's ever been much in Trek that would challenge anyone more mature than a bright adolescent, but the original series was produced in a politically turbulent time and if the politics of the show were simple at least they were a little bit out in front of what we were accustomed to seeing in prime time. That hasn't been true for decades, and there's certainly nothing in the modern Trek tv shows that wasn't pretty well pre-chewed and considered mainstream "family safe" programming before Paramount would let it out the door. The producers learned to self-censor.
Indeed - and as you say even TOS wasn't doing anything truly radical, only radical for prime time network tv. But the "pre-chewed, mainstream "family safe" programming" has completely taken over the franchise to the point that no one is attempting to do something that would even challenge a bright adolescent at this point. "Challenge" is no longer a part of the equation.

And, I'm sorry, but any "political" allegory in STiD boils down to "lying in order to court war is bad". Thanks for that news flash, folks.

For those saying there's lots to chew on in STiD, please share what you think the movie presents. So far, the only thing I've heard is Kirk decides to disobey a blatantly unjust order to summarily execute a man, and takes him prisoner instead. As a few people have said - the movie managed to feel like really good Star Trek, for a minute, in the middle. Then it lost its footing and reverted to action movie tropes.

I want to be clear here - I keep bringing up TMP because I think it's the only movie which managed to do what some of the best Trek episodes did, even though it had strytelling problems. Even TWOK was a personal story, not one with anything cerebral in it.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:48 AM   #3027
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Slate Magazine - Star Trek Into Due Process: The Sequel’s Message About Drones, Militarization, and Blowback

even as it ramps up into a full-on action flick, Star Trek Into Darkness offers up a surprisingly nuanced critique American military power.

It’s no secret that Star Trek Into Darkness is meant as a post-9/11 allegory about American foreign policy. In fact, we’ve known this since 2009, when director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Roberto Orci revealed that they thought the sequel “need[ed] to do what [Trek creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory,” for “modern-day issues,” like torture, terrorist threats, and politicized wars. Star Benedict Cumberbatch, speaking to BBC America earlier this month wasn’t afraid to be more specific: “It’s no spoiler I think to say that there’s a huge backbone in this film that’s a comment on recent U.S. interventionist overseas policy..."
.
.
...While portraying the dangers of a police action, the movie also finds a clever way to suggest the strategic downsides of using drones. Since we can’t see both plans play out, the movie suggests these dangers in a slightly more abstract manner, through an image. It turns out that the 72 special torpedoes aboard the Enterprise each have a man or woman stored in cryosleep inside of them, the surviving members of Khan’s crew of supermen. In other words, the torpedoes have two of the risks of drone strikes literally built into them. First, the crewmembers represent the potential for innocent casualties—they’re not the target of the strike.
.
.
.
This theme of the dangers of blowback and militarization is made quite literal in the film’s final twist. It turns out that the warmongering Admiral Marcus is, in many ways, the Big Bad, and that it was he who awakened Khan in the first place, to fight the Klingons. (Given that the Klingons of the original series traditionally stood in for the Soviet Union, this parallels the U.S.’s support of the Afghan mujahedeen in their fight against the Soviets.) Marcus turns against the Enterprise, and is not afraid of using Khan’s terrorist attack to provoke a war with the Klingons. (Some commenters, including frequent Slate contributor Alyssa Rosenberg, see in this turn of events a hint of 9/11 Trutherism—the idea being that the Admiral was complicit in Khan’s terror attack because he needed a pretext for war. But it’s not Marcus who orchestrates the attack on London. It’s Khan.) Just like George W. Bush, Marcus invokes a terrorist attack in an attempt to start a war on a country that had nothing to do with it.
The "Truther" interpretation isn't too far a reach, considering that Orci is kind of an out-there conspiracy theorist. Weirdness abounds.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:48 AM   #3028
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
HaventGotALife wrote: View Post
I just don't think it was done well.
It was done a hell of a lot better than painting two guys half-white and half-black, that much is certain.

The guys making these movies now sure don't have anything to fear from comparison to most of oldTrek.
I don't think "Let that be your last Battlefield" was childish, if you are suggesting that. Because it is supposed to show the absurdity of the argument, by doing something simple. If you think it's dated in terms of make-up, it was a shoestring budget and 45 years ago.

JJ-Trek brings it up "We can't have another Nero-style attack. We need to keep people safe, and I will do that by making us strong!" But there's no counter-argument except to put those words in the hands of the antagonist and we are supposed to instinctively think he's wrong. But there's no good argument to take Marcus' place. Spock would stand as a perfect counter-weight if he did more than quote the book. He has the experience of losing his home planet and has had to deal with that pain. Or introduce a character from a different culture that has already had to deal with this in their life, and it went to the point of totalitarianism.

They put it in the movie, but it's just a question, not an answer. That's why I don't like it.
We might see that counterpoint in the third movie.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:58 AM   #3029
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
trevanian, reading this forum for years I don't think as a non-american that is even remotely "safe and trendy" to pay lip service or discuss these matters.
It's not - don't let anyone mislead you. It sort of was, when Dubya was still in office. Now, we nominate Zero Dark Thirty for Oscars.

Calling simple minded stuff like ST 6 "allegory" and pretending that it was thoughtful or observant is what seems to pass for "cerebral" where Star Trek is concerned.
Hardly - TUC's attempts at being smart were incredibly pitiful.

I'm not sure that there's ever been much in Trek that would challenge anyone more mature than a bright adolescent, but the original series was produced in a politically turbulent time and if the politics of the show were simple at least they were a little bit out in front of what we were accustomed to seeing in prime time. That hasn't been true for decades, and there's certainly nothing in the modern Trek tv shows that wasn't pretty well pre-chewed and considered mainstream "family safe" programming before Paramount would let it out the door. The producers learned to self-censor.
Indeed - and as you say even TOS wasn't doing anything truly radical, only radical for prime time network tv. But the "pre-chewed, mainstream "family safe" programming" has completely taken over the franchise to the point that no one is attempting to do something that would even challenge a bright adolescent at this point. "Challenge" is no longer a part of the equation.

And, I'm sorry, but any "political" allegory in STiD boils down to "lying in order to court war is bad". Thanks for that news flash, folks.

For those saying there's lots to chew on in STiD, please share what you think the movie presents. So far, the only thing I've heard is Kirk decides to disobey a blatantly unjust order to summarily execute a man, and takes him prisoner instead. As a few people have said - the movie managed to feel like really good Star Trek, for a minute, in the middle. Then it lost its footing and reverted to action movie tropes.

I want to be clear here - I keep bringing up TMP because I think it's the only movie which managed to do what some of the best Trek episodes did, even though it had strytelling problems. Even TWOK was a personal story, not one with anything cerebral in it.
I don't think it boils down to that at all. I think the speech by Marcus thinking he's justified in what he's doing is almost word-for-word what we have heard from people defending us having a counter-terrorism program that is ever-expanding. I'm going to post a link on here for you to watch:

Frontline's Top Secret America: 9/11 to the Boston Bombings

In it, it described the CIA acting as soldiers in Afghanistan, a black ops war, an ever-increasing infrastructure that is hidden from American sights, and CIA prisons called "black sites." It also describes the new security of the United States, cameras on every corner, computers that collect tons of information from the American people, and corporations now benefitting off this the way they used to benefit by making tanks. Where the infrastructure has failed in some cases, where it has very little oversight. It's vigilance of ordinary Americans that have prevented these terrorist attacks. It very costly in dollars as well.

Watch that and then listen to Marcus' words again. You will hear the same arguments. That is something we need to address because it hasn't happened yet, but there is a potential for abuse of this power, and very little political will to do anything. And if that day ever comes, we could be in a very scary situation. All it takes is a Marcus-like individual at the controls.

So what this movie tries to do is explore the anger after a terrorist attack. From Kirk's "let's get this bastard" attitude, not listening to his friends, to Marcus' actions, to Spock wanting to kill Khan for Kirk dying. It makes a speech at the end telling us, that a year later, we cannot act on that immediate anger or we could do something very dangerous. That's the material.

Sorry if I'm getting off-topic, but it deserves a little background.
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Old May 19 2013, 03:59 AM   #3030
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

even as it ramps up into a full-on action flick, Star Trek Into Darkness offers up a surprisingly nuanced critique American military power.

It’s no secret that Star Trek Into Darkness is meant as a post-9/11 allegory about American foreign policy. In fact, we’ve known this since 2009, when director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Roberto Orci revealed that they thought the sequel “need[ed] to do what [Trek creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory,” for “modern-day issues,” like torture, terrorist threats, and politicized wars. Star Benedict Cumberbatch, speaking to BBC America earlier this month wasn’t afraid to be more specific: “It’s no spoiler I think to say that there’s a huge backbone in this film that’s a comment on recent U.S. interventionist overseas policy..."
.
.
...While portraying the dangers of a police action, the movie also finds a clever way to suggest the strategic downsides of using drones. Since we can’t see both plans play out, the movie suggests these dangers in a slightly more abstract manner, through an image. It turns out that the 72 special torpedoes aboard the Enterprise each have a man or woman stored in cryosleep inside of them, the surviving members of Khan’s crew of supermen. In other words, the torpedoes have two of the risks of drone strikes literally built into them. First, the crewmembers represent the potential for innocent casualties—they’re not the target of the strike.
I would never have thought of that.. because I remember what dicks Khan's super men were in Space Seed, TWOK and the Eugenics War books

However even if they are monumental aggressive lunatics this is a war that has nothing to do with them and they are potentially going to die.
.
.
.

slate:

This theme of the dangers of blowback and militarization is made quite literal in the film’s final twist. It turns out that the warmongering Admiral Marcus is, in many ways, the Big Bad, and that it was he who awakened Khan in the first place, to fight the Klingons. (Given that the Klingons of the original series traditionally stood in for the Soviet Union, this parallels the U.S.’s support of the Afghan mujahedeen in their fight against the Soviets.) Marcus turns against the Enterprise, and is not afraid of using Khan’s terrorist attack to provoke a war with the Klingons. (Some commenters, including frequent Slate contributor Alyssa Rosenberg, see in this turn of events a hint of 9/11 Trutherism—the idea being that the Admiral was complicit in Khan’s terror attack because he needed a pretext for war. But it’s not Marcus who orchestrates the attack on London. It’s Khan.) Just like George W. Bush, Marcus invokes a terrorist attack in an attempt to start a war on a country that had nothing to do with it.
Except as J.Allen initially brought up there's debate about that. Marcus may have been behind that attack all along.
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