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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old December 19 2013, 01:18 AM   #91
BigJake
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

Opus wrote: View Post
Well, here's the reveal:

I lied.
It's not much of a reveal, Opus. One of the first quotes you used is right there in your sig with its source and year identified.

And I'll discuss it: trying to equate Abramskeptics with a few nuts writing in a fanzine in the early Eighties about the Wrath of Khan strikes me as pretty childish rhetorical gamesmanship. Yes, those poor bastards from '82 sound a bit loopy; so do more than a few on both sides* of the pro-/not-so-pro-Abrams divide, such as it is. OTOH there are very few, even among its fans, who would rate STiD as being artistically comparable to TWOK, so trying to front-load an assumption that all disagreement with your tastes is as irrational as these selected long-ago complaints about Wrath is IMO an exercise doomed to failure.

[* EDIT: Actually, one ironic feature of the present day is seeing some of the same complaints about Wrath in Interstat being resurrected by nuTrek fans eager to prove Abrams' work is better than Bennett's. It's been quite "fascinating" to see that. As at least one version of Spock would say. ]

Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
I betting that a number of fans who previously disliked/hated the SW prequels will suddenly find a new love for them when the Abrams directed Episode VII comes out.
Why? Have you seen anyone develop a new love for Nemesis because they didn't like STiD or ST09?

A Jewel Christmas wrote: View Post
Is the idea that in the future we'll all be nice to each other really a visionary idea? I wasn't alive in the 60s, but was that a totally alien concept?
In the depths of the Cold War it was a sentiment that could seem like something of a forlorn hope. Roddenberry most certainly didn't invent the sentiment, but that he went out of his way to make the Enterprise crew international and multi-racial was a genuinely distinguishing feature of Trek. (Though far from its main distinction, which wasn't in fact an ideology.)
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Old December 19 2013, 01:29 AM   #92
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

BigKrampus wrote: View Post
I think that was the one where the movies mostly sucked, despite being profitable. You see, sometimes a thing can be a financial success but an artistic failure, which means people don't look on it with fondness after having shelled out their hard-earned to watch it. (And if you can't conceive of a way that might happen that doesn't involve those people being crazy religious fanatics out to piss in your cornflakes, it's likely that the problem is you.)
I'm not a huge Star Wars fan but I think the claims that the prequel trilogy as an artistic failure are overblown. I think mainly by people who think it's fashionable to hate on them yet likely paid to see them multiple times in the cinema, bought them on home-video and bought the merchandise.

The original and prequel trilogies are analogous to TOS and Modern Trek. One was playful action adventure, the other tried to be a more serious "grown up" take on the respective universes.

BigKrampus wrote: View Post

Why? Have you seen anyone develop a new love for Nemesis because they didn't like STiD?
You always see new appreciation for older material when new material comes out. I like the Abrams films but I also like Nemesis more than I did a decade ago.
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Old December 19 2013, 03:35 AM   #93
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

BigKrampus wrote: View Post
I think that was the one where the movies mostly sucked, despite being profitable. You see, sometimes a thing can be a financial success but an artistic failure, which means people don't look on it with fondness after having shelled out their hard-earned to watch it.
I already mentioned the word 'popular failure' in my post that meant the same thing without so much verbiage.
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Old December 19 2013, 06:57 PM   #94
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

Bullshit. The prequels aren't just criticized because it's the popular thing to do, they're also criticized for being subpar. I don't think they're the worst things to ever come out of cinema, but they are certainly not that good. Plenty of bad films made it big at the box office despite not being good, such as TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.
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Old December 19 2013, 07:05 PM   #95
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
Bullshit. The prequels aren't just criticized because it's the popular thing to do, they're also criticized for being subpar.
I don't know? Many people criticize them for the same reasons they criticize the Abrams movies: it wasn't what they wanted done with the property. I think it's disingenuous that many, many people went and seen the movies multiple times and then try to count them as some kind of failure.

The prequels aren't my favorite films, but much like Nemesis, when I revisited them after several years away I didn't find them nearly as flawed.
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Old December 19 2013, 07:24 PM   #96
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

I'm talking about the criticisms that go beyond "a lot of people hate it, therefore I hate it too". Besides that, there are things Lucas did that many didn't want out of the prequels that you can't blame them for criticizing: Bad writing and bad directing.
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Old December 19 2013, 07:25 PM   #97
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

Set Harth wrote: View Post
There is actually a fair amount of similarity between the way PineKirk acts in STID and the way Kirk acted in TOS.
+1 -- Those who think STiD's portrayal of Kirk was off need to go rewatch TOS and stop projecting TNG sensibilities onto James T. Kirk's character.
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Old December 19 2013, 07:44 PM   #98
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
I'm talking about the criticisms that go beyond "a lot of people hate it, therefore I hate it too". Besides that, there are things Lucas did that many didn't want out of the prequels that you can't blame them for criticizing: Bad writing and bad directing.
I think if one watches them without trying to compare them to 'The Original Trilogy', there's a lot to like about them. But, I don't think they could ever live up to the original trilogy, I'm not sure the Abrams films will either.

The original trilogy of films were movies that were in the right place at the right time (much like Star Trek:TOS) and they hold a special place in many people's hearts, and any prequels/sequels are going to be judged in a much harsher light because of it.

To this day, Lucasfilm has had no issue selling the prequel trilogy over and over again (I'm betting Paramount wishes The Final Frontier and Nemesis sold as well) and was even able to spin the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series off of it. Not bad for a set of movies everyone supposedly hated.
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Old December 19 2013, 08:19 PM   #99
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

BillJ wrote: View Post
To this day, Lucasfilm has had no issue selling the prequel trilogy over and over again (I'm betting Paramount wishes The Final Frontier and Nemesis sold as well) and was even able to spin the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series off of it. Not bad for a set of movies everyone supposedly hated.
If there's any proof that the original trilogy is susceptible to nostalgia bias, it's pretty much the whole of Return of the Jedi.

I had never seen a Star Wars film until I was well into high school and that was the first one I saw. And I just didn't get it. The script was poor, the actors weren't interested, and most of the action was puerile slapstick. The direction was mostly flat, also. Yet the film constantly gets a free pass because it's part of the OT.

If you showed it and the PT to someone who had never seen or knew much about Star Wars, he'd almost surely say they were all about the same level of quality. In fact, he'd probably say Revenge of the Sith was better.
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Old December 19 2013, 08:28 PM   #100
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post

If you showed it and the PT to someone who had never seen or knew much about Star Wars, he'd almost surely say they were all about the same level of quality. In fact, he'd probably say Revenge of the Sith was better.
I actually do like Revenge of the Sith better.
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Old December 19 2013, 08:41 PM   #101
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

^THIS.

Face it, people just wanted clones of Luke, Leia, Han & Chewie in the prequel trilogy, and when they didn't get it, they went apeshit and claimed that Lucas had 'lost it' and a whole lot of other bullshit. Unlike Gene Roddenberry, Lucas didn't lose it, didn't believe that he was a visionary, and produced better work than Roddenberry did in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Saying that Jar-Jar was racist when the guy who was the voice and the body was a black man and saying the the Nemoidians were racist when the accent wasn't meant to be Japanese (or any other Asian race is proof of that apeshitness in the fans who hated it.

D. Trull said it best in his essay about how hard it is to write something like the prequel trilogy:

Any sequel to a successful movie automatically faces a hard time earning the audience's acceptance. People are going to complain if it's too much like the original, and they're going to complain if it's too different from the original. There will always be the cynical assumption that the new production is motivated solely by an attempt to cash in on the success of its predecessor. A sequel looks even more suspicious if it comes along many years after the original, when it looks like the filmmaker has run out of ideas and got desperate enough to fall back on a tried and true moneymaker from his glory days. And with a few notable exceptions, the plain truth is that most sequels aren't very good.

A prequel faces an even harder time of winning people over. When a sequel tells the events that happened before the first movie, people have a hard time understanding why they should care. If you already know how everything's going to turn out in the end, why bother? If the prequel goes back in time any considerable span, the movie may have few if any of the same characters or actors as the first one, which alienates the audience ever further.

Now, it's tricky enough to do a single prequel, in which all the characters and plot threads cleanly match up to the story the audience already knows. But imagine the challenge of embarking on a series of three prequels, over the course of which the audience will be left disoriented in a precarious state of dramatis interruptus, having the beginning and the end but waiting for the middle. The whole story won't be apparent and won't make sense until the end of the third prequel... assuming the audience still cares by then.

Sixteen years passed between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. Aside from the Indiana Jones series, Lucas has had no major successes during that span. He is perceived as an out-of-touch has-been, who came limping back to his old cash cow after his creative powers have all dried up. (Most people don't know or don't care that Lucas has planned on eventual prequels all along.)
Some other things that Mr. Trull said that also sum up what fans are:

Audiences demand that a new Star Wars movie has to be the most visually astounding and most action-packed movie of all time. But over the years audiences have become accustomed to monumental special effects in every big blockbuster, so they're much harder to impress. The intense expectation for action and effects also makes people impatient with dialogue-heavy dramatic scenes, which come across disproportionately as seeming boring and out of place.

Audiences demand immediate gratification and stories that are all tied up at the end in neat, easy-to-digest little packages. They don't have the patience to wait for two more movies before they get the complete story, and they don't have the foresight to envision how the first prequel will ultimately fit into the greater scheme. If everything was revealed and spelled out for us in the first one, there wouldn't be much surprise left to keep the next two interesting. But audiences don't care about what tomorrow may bring -- they want it all now, now, now!
Why I Love The Phantom Meanace
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Old December 19 2013, 08:51 PM   #102
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

BillJ wrote: View Post
MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
I'm talking about the criticisms that go beyond "a lot of people hate it, therefore I hate it too". Besides that, there are things Lucas did that many didn't want out of the prequels that you can't blame them for criticizing: Bad writing and bad directing.
I think if one watches them without trying to compare them to 'The Original Trilogy', there's a lot to like about them. But, I don't think they could ever live up to the original trilogy, I'm not sure the Abrams films will either.

The original trilogy of films were movies that were in the right place at the right time (much like Star Trek:TOS) and they hold a special place in many people's hearts, and any prequels/sequels are going to be judged in a much harsher light because of it.

To this day, Lucasfilm has had no issue selling the prequel trilogy over and over again (I'm betting Paramount wishes The Final Frontier and Nemesis sold as well) and was even able to spin the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series off of it. Not bad for a set of movies everyone supposedly hated.
I think on their own they're still bad and only got so successful because Star Wars is such a popular and beloved franchise. Let's not forget that kids/families play a huge factor into the franchise's success, which might also explain why REVENGE OF THE FALLEN was such a big hit despite being regarded among many as a horrible film. I know if I was 6 years old I would have eaten up these prequels with a big grin.
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Old December 19 2013, 09:01 PM   #103
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
Bullshit. The prequels aren't just criticized because it's the popular thing to do, they're also criticized for being subpar. I don't think they're the worst things to ever come out of cinema, but they are certainly not that good. Plenty of bad films made it big at the box office despite not being good, such as TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.
How I Met Your Mother had an episode about the Star Wars prequel split, and it hit the nail on the head. The prequels are not bad by any means, you're just not part of their target group.
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Old December 19 2013, 09:28 PM   #104
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
I think on their own they're still bad and only got so successful because Star Wars is such a popular and beloved franchise. Let's not forget that kids/families play a huge factor into the franchise's success, which might also explain why REVENGE OF THE FALLEN was such a big hit despite being regarded among many as a horrible film. I know if I was 6 years old I would have eaten up these prequels with a big grin.
It wasn't six-year old's who were buying tickets to the prequel trilogy. It was people who were six-years old when the original trilogy came out and they were pissed that Lucas didn't help them recapture their youth.

I think that's where Abrams succeeded and Lucas stumbled. When I watch the Abrams Trek films, I feel like I'm six-years old again sitting in front of my family's floor model color TV. The prequel trilogy never gave me that warm nostalgic feeling inside.

It'll be interesting to see Abrams take on the Star Wars franchise and if he can succeed where Lucas stumbled.
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Old December 19 2013, 10:15 PM   #105
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Re: STiD, Kirk and the Abrams Team

Corporal Clegg wrote:
If there's any proof that the original trilogy is susceptible to nostalgia bias, it's pretty much the whole of Return of the Jedi.
Nostalgia bias is pretty much the lifeblood of the Star Wars franchise at this point. However I don't know that ROTJ necessarily "gets a pass." The Ewoks were more generally despised than anything else in the franchise until Jar Jar Binks came along, and ROTJ was AFAIK the least-liked of the original trilogy films. It's still better than the prequels, mostly (with the possible exception of Revenge of the Sith), but that's not saying it's all that great.

Shaka Zulu wrote:
Face it, people just wanted clones of Luke, Leia, Han & Chewie in the prequel trilogy, and when they didn't get it, they went apeshit and claimed that Lucas had 'lost it' and a whole lot of other bullshit.
If there was actually anyone who wanted "clones" of any of the old characters instead of just wanting good movies, I've certainly never observed them in the wild; they must have been a small cohort indeed. Watching you rant and rage at what appear to be the voices in your head is amusing, but AFAICS you still have absolutely no idea at all why other people say anything or believe anything. (Dr. Trull's speculations on what "audiences expect" or "audiences demand" are not much better.)

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
I know if I was 6 years old I would have eaten up these prequels with a big grin.
Exactly. Basically the prequels trilogy was marketed to children with the idea of leveraging their parents' money. This obviously worked, in part because children aren't all that discerning. It is possible of course to market to children without your product looking like garbage to adult eyes, as Pixar (for instance) has amply demonstrated; Lucas just didn't do it.
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