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Old November 5 2013, 10:00 AM   #61
Therin of Andor
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
I would think V'ger annihilating three Klingon warships would be enough for that rather than also including the destruction of a seemingly unarmed space station especially since the Klingon battle actually gave an impression of how unstoppable V'ger seemed whereas all you get from Epsilon 9 is that it's capable of destroying a defenseless com station(?).
What makes the digitizing of Epsilon 9 so chilling was that the Starfleet crew on the Enterprise had just finished watching the footage of V'ger destroying the Klingons and now it was happening again - live! - to friends, relatives, colleagues. And all they'd done wrong was a scientific scan.
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Old November 5 2013, 02:50 PM   #62
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
I would think V'ger annihilating three Klingon warships would be enough for that rather than also including the destruction of a seemingly unarmed space station especially since the Klingon battle actually gave an impression of how unstoppable V'ger seemed whereas all you get from Epsilon 9 is that it's capable of destroying a defenseless com station(?).
I don't see that logic. The Klingon incident was a replay of a past event. Showing a second "attack" helped drive home that this was an ongoing, approaching threat. The first attack was against an alien power, an enemy; but the second was against fellow Starfleet personnel in a Federation facility. It struck closer to home, both literally and figuratively. The emotional impact of that should be self-evident. Think about how much more strongly Americans were affected by Pearl Harbor than by the invasion of Poland.

Escalation is important to drama. In the first and second acts of a story, you need to show not only that a threat exists, but that it's ongoing and intensifying. If there had been no illustrations of V'Ger's threat between the Klingon incident and the Enterprise's encounter, the stakes wouldn't have felt as high. Moreover, it was necessary to show two separate attacks in order to demonstrate that the Intruder wasn't just targeting Klingons, but was targeting anyone that got in its way, Starfleet included. Without that, it wouldn't have been as clear that the Enterprise was heading into danger, and that Earth itself was under threat.

So yes, the Epsilon 9 attack was absolutely essential to the story.


Kruezerman wrote: View Post
I think the destruction of San Fransisco was less about "disaster porn" than it was about the attack on 9/11...
But that's just the problem -- lately, the two seem to have become interchangeable. Movies are playing on 9/11 imagery, but not to make a statement, simply to indulge in spectacle. 9/11 wasn't just about buildings falling down, it was about the human cost, the shocking emotional impact. And that's what was all but missing from STID aside from a token acknowledgment at the end, and that's what was completely and utterly missing from Man of Steel. And so if those were attempts to comment on 9/11 in some way, they failed profoundly. By contrast, the Marvel Cinematic Universe got it right -- the human impact of the attack was acknowledged during the climax of The Avengers, and the aftermath has been addressed in two subseuqent installments of the franchise, Iron Man 3 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's more than just empty spectacle there.

(Note that I do expect the makers of the MoS sequel to include some belated acknowledgment of the human cost. But since it was so cavalierly ignored in the film itself, I don't think that will entirely redeem it. At least in the MCU it all feels like it's of a piece, like it was planned that way all along rather than being an afterthought or patch job.)
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Old November 5 2013, 06:48 PM   #63
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Re: Khan #1 Review

I'm reminded of THIS interview with Damon Lindelof, about the current mentality of blockbuster screenwriting.

Damon Lindelof wrote:
"Once you spend more than $100 million on a movie, you have to save the world,” explains Lindelof. “And when you start there, and basically say, I have to construct a MacGuffin based on if they shut off this, or they close this portal, or they deactivate this bomb, or they come up with this cure, it will save the world—you are very limited in terms of how you execute that. And in many ways, you can become a slave to it and, again, I make no excuses, I’m just saying you kind of have to start there. In the old days, it was just as satisfying that all Superman has to do was basically save Lois from this earthquake in California. The stakes in that movie are that the San Andreas Fault line opens up and half of California is going to fall in the ocean. That felt big enough, but there is a sense of bigger, better, faster, seen it before, done that.”

“It sounds sort of hacky and defensive to say, [but it’s] almost inescapable,” he continues. “It’s almost impossible to, for example, not have a final set piece where the fate of the free world is at stake. You basically work your way backward and say, ‘Well, the Avengers aren’t going to save Guam, they’ve got to save the world.’ Did Star Trek Into Darkness need to have a gigantic starship crashing into San Francisco? I’ll never know. But it sure felt like it did."
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Old November 5 2013, 06:51 PM   #64
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Re: Khan #1 Review

But they already had stakes that affected multiple worlds -- the villain was trying to start an interstellar war. That's a much bigger threat than a ship crashing into San Francisco. So that explanation doesn't make sense.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:14 PM   #65
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Re: Khan #1 Review

To a general audience, an interstellar war that might happen is an abstract threat that has no visceral effect on the audience. The ship crashing into San Francisco is much more relatable to the casual viewer. Was it done well? Obviously there are many views on this subject. But if the aim is to rouse the casual viewer, the threat to San Francisco is far more clear than suggestions of a war that was never going to be on screen.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:33 PM   #66
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Ovation wrote: View Post
To a general audience, an interstellar war that might happen is an abstract threat that has no visceral effect on the audience. The ship crashing into San Francisco is much more relatable to the casual viewer.
I don't refute that. My point is that it has nothing to do with Lindelof's attempt to explain it in terms of movies requiring the fate of the entire world to be at stake. How does a ship crashing into San Francisco represent a bigger danger than Lex Luthor causing California to fall into the ocean? Lindelof is contradicting himself.
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Old November 5 2013, 10:37 PM   #67
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Christopher wrote: View Post
But they already had stakes that affected multiple worlds -- the villain was trying to start an interstellar war. That's a much bigger threat than a ship crashing into San Francisco. So that explanation doesn't make sense.
Out of the current Trek writers/producers, Lindelof strikes me as someone who doesn't really care about making sense and just wants to write what he thinks is "cool". He's the one who pushed for Harrison to be Khan, isn't he?
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Old November 5 2013, 10:45 PM   #68
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
He's the one who pushed for Harrison to be Khan, isn't he?
Yes.
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Old November 6 2013, 02:44 AM   #69
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Re: Khan #1 Review

So isn't it maybe too much to ask to have him make sense on his logic there?
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Old November 6 2013, 03:37 AM   #70
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Re: Khan #1 Review

I'm not asking him to make sense, I'm pointing out that he failed to.
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Old November 6 2013, 05:11 AM   #71
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Christopher wrote: View Post
But that's just the problem -- lately, the two seem to have become interchangeable. Movies are playing on 9/11 imagery, but not to make a statement, simply to indulge in spectacle. 9/11 wasn't just about buildings falling down, it was about the human cost, the shocking emotional impact. And that's what was all but missing from STID aside from a token acknowledgment at the end, and that's what was completely and utterly missing from Man of Steel. And so if those were attempts to comment on 9/11 in some way, they failed profoundly. By contrast, the Marvel Cinematic Universe got it right -- the human impact of the attack was acknowledged during the climax of The Avengers, and the aftermath has been addressed in two subseuqent installments of the franchise, Iron Man 3 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's more than just empty spectacle there.
I disagree completely, Into Darkness was there, even for a few moments, in the streets as we watched the people look in terror at the scene developing in San Fransisco. The "token" acknowledgement at the end was an entire speech about remembering the best part of us, the deaths a year (movie time) earlier were remembered in that speech. Was it a long, protracted exposition? No, and that would've killed the message they were trying to convey. It wouldn't have fit in the movie.

But while we're on the subject of spectacle, why would Into Darkness be special in that regard? First Contact showed a massive space battle in which at least dozen ships were shown to have been destroyed. Hundreds more could've been lost and God knows how many people dead. Where was the acknowledgement then? Or Romeo and Juliet where people died and a city's security compromised because of a blood feud and a piss poor romance?

Spectacle is something we are used to and something we as a civilization has enjoyed for many, many years. You say that the attack on San Fransisco was done just for disaster porn and at least insinuated that it was done in bad taste. I say otherwise, the attack could've been fleshed out more but it would not have been conducive to the message Bad Robot was trying to convey.

One last thing, 9/11 is still fresh in our minds, they do not need to remind us of the pain, but power through the message that yes, the world is going to get better if we act for it, not if we are angry or rash.
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Old November 6 2013, 05:30 AM   #72
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Re: Khan #1 Review

Kruezerman wrote: View Post
I disagree completely, Into Darkness was there, even for a few moments, in the streets as we watched the people look in terror at the scene developing in San Fransisco.
Yes, and there were in Man of Steel as well. But the point is that neither event contributed anything meaningful to the story. Both massive cataclysms could've been removed from the films without altering the story beats in the slightest. If the Vengeance had splashed down in the Bay and missed the city, nothing of any plot relevance would've played out any differently. If Metropolis had suffered far more limited and constrained damage, it would've actually made more sense in the context of the film's events and dialogue.


But while we're on the subject of spectacle, why would Into Darkness be special in that regard? First Contact showed a massive space battle in which at least dozen ships were shown to have been destroyed. Hundreds more could've been lost and God knows how many people dead. Where was the acknowledgement then?
In fact, one reason I dislike space battle scenes as a rule is because of all the unacknowledged mass death, the cavalier disregard for life. But at least in FC the destruction served a plot purpose by establishing the danger to the characters, the risk that what happened to the other ships could happen to the Enterprise as well. In STID, the city destruction was just going on in the background and had no effect on what the featured characters were doing.


You say that the attack on San Fransisco was done just for disaster porn and at least insinuated that it was done in bad taste. I say otherwise, the attack could've been fleshed out more but it would not have been conducive to the message Bad Robot was trying to convey.
Man of Steel's climax was in bad taste. STID's was just unnecessary and exaggerated to the point of being hard to take seriously. It felt tacked on to the climax, a token event to fulfill the studio's demand for a suitably cataclysmic finish.
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Old November 6 2013, 05:46 AM   #73
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Re: Khan #1 Review

You think your world is safe, it is an illusion; a comforting lie told to protect you.
Obviously not in the movie itself, these lines tell us why the attack happened. Because Vulcan was like an attack on Britain, hit hard but it wasn't a hit at home. San Fransisco was the hit at home. Just as 9/11 was, the attack was the end of our security. It goes to prove that even the most powerful military on Earth (or in the galaxy) could not put a stop to a madman, and many lives were lost. 9/11 was more than an attack, it was a blow to our thoughts of safety. It was an attack on our peace of mind where people were convinced that it wouldn't happen here, but it did.

It could never happen on Earth, much less Starfleet Headquarters, but it did.
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Old November 6 2013, 03:29 PM   #74
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Re: Khan #1 Review

^Which would carry more weight if the movie had actually paid attention to the attack and its aftermath as anything more than a bunch of CGI spectacle. It wasn't what the climax of the movie was about; it was an afterthought. You're absolutely right that that was the intent of the sequence, and indeed that was obvious from the start. But my point is that it didn't work as a commentary on 9/11 because the execution was far too superficial. The intent is clear, but the result fell vastly short.
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Old November 6 2013, 05:44 PM   #75
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Re: Khan #1 Review

I feel like "intent is clear, but result fell vastly short" is pretty much true of all of the allegorical elements of STID. A lot of the post-9/11 parallels etc. felt contrived and weak because it was all the result of a rogue agency. The "people with good intentions going into evils from trauma" thing is undermined when one of the characters is revealed to be a genocidal madman from the past. Stuff like that. That's just symptomatic of the entire movie, so the CGI disaster porn is well, gratuitous but fit in with the rest of the movie.
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