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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 February 28 2014, 06:49 AM   #121
OpenMaw's Avatar
Location: Everett, Washington
Re: If they had any balls...

Shaka, I only abridge your quotes for the sake of post length. I'm not cutting you off mid thought to rant at you.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
This recent movie wasn't mindless action; ...
Well... Okay, being topical is not the same thing as being deep. The film is a formula to hang action set pieces on, which facilitate further setups for more action scenes. That is literally the structure of the film. The antagonists are formulaic to action films. The heavy/muscle(Khan), and the brain/mastermind(Marcus). It follows an action movie formula to a T, from beginning to end. The fact that it resonates 9/11, mostly through visuals, and that Marcus eschews the Military-Industrial Complex role does not, again, make the film all that deep.

There's nothing wrong with that, either. It's no different than The Doomsday Machine. That is a story designed around action. It has a topical message, too. Mutually assured destruction is asinine, and nuclear weapons are dangerous. It's just a thread to hang action sequences on. It's well executed too. Nothing wrong with that... But what if every episode was The Doomsday Machine? That would get tedious. Star Trek Into Darkness is argubaly the best executed (or neck and neck with Trek 09) since TUC, but it's themes as far as Trek is concerned are played out.

It's the same kind of thing we've been seeing for the last three films. Military espionage, military coups, aggression, war, revenge. STID executes it well, and it's never looked more vivid, but it's... A well traveled road for the Trek films. What is so wrong with wanting to see something else for a change? And why does that make me a close-minded nostalgia blinded hater in your eyes? I actually like the new films more than any of the TNG films. I just think we've traveled this same road enough now.

The two stand out scenes, for me, in STID, the opening on Niburu, and the moment where Kirk lost it in the corridor and confessed to Spock he had no idea what he was doing... That is the stuff i'm asking to see more of. Neither of which constitutes "boredom." It's called compelling character-driven story telling. Which should never be the "wrong" road, unless there is something very wrong with the franchise.

Why does Star Trek have a death and revenge fetish anyway? It didn't always. Sure, it can be fun, but so are some legitimate science fiction stories or, short of that, adventure stories with interesting science within them.

Just look at "recent" Trek film history. First Contact, themes of revenge. Insurrection, themes of revenge (Sona/Baku blood feud). Nemesis, themes of revenge. Star Trek 2009, themes of revenge. Star Trek Into Darkness, themes of revenge...

...We're running out of cans o' freeze-dried vengeance.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
*(BTW, have you check out most of the current Star Trek novels out recently? Many of them seem to have the same kind of plot seen in Into Darkness, especially the multi-series about the Borg invasion.)
I don't really read much of the expanded universe stuff beyond the odd comic here and there. I enjoyed Countdown and the "Crew" series. Otherwise I often find it to be too much connect-the-dots for my taste most of the time. It's interesting to know that it has become a trend though.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
I wasn't aware that Kirk & Spock (Scott too) didn't wrestle with moral quandaries over what to do with Khan/Harrison in the movie, or how best to proceed with stopping him.
It's just rather tired and been done repeatedly throughout the film series. We're retreading a classic villain in a revenge story with military and political machinations, all driven by violent action that begets violent action. There is no real deeper consideration at work. What's the deeper meaning? Spock didn't punch Khan to death. He abstained from revenge (barely) to save his friend. Fine, but that doesn't wash away the fact that this is old hat now and we could shake things up in that regard.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
and I'm sure that millions others not so blinkered by dogma of how Star Trek's supposed to be saw that as well. Bottom line, they were told a good story that entertained them-you weren't. You'll just have to deal with that.
I have no problem with the two new films overall. They're fine action-adventure-blockbuster movies, made with a level of precision and budget that we have not had in the franchise before, but they are only a fraction of the Star Trek potential in terms of the creative side of things.

It's not the films themselves that bother me. It's the hyper defensive attitude of those I have witnessed within the Trek community that when anyone says "I wish they'd do something beyond a action-oriented revenge story" the knee-jerk response is "THAT WOULD BE BORING!" That bothers me. No, let me rephrase that. It concerns me.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
I could care less about Gravity
Well, I think the point was that non-action oriented science-fiction works just fine in this day and age for a mass audience. The exact thing that you were saying would bore people to sleep is sweeping the awards and gaining critical acclaim.
"Paradise protests too much." SFDebris
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Old February 28 2014, 10:50 PM   #122
Vice Admiral
BigJake's Avatar
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: If they had any balls...

Shaka Zulu, first off, could you consider taking a chill pill? Maybe ease back on the Shrill-O-Meter a couple of notches? Seriously, every time you encounter some mildly different view in these forums I feel like your cardiac health is in jeopardy. That's no way to live, dude. People are going to go on having those opinions whether you stroke out over them or not.

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
Star Trek was an action-adventure franchise from the first pilot onward.
You seem to have developed -- and I have to agree with OpenMaw that this seems to be a closely-associated trope with hyper-defensiveness about JJTrek -- a rather extremely narrow view of what "action-adventure" means. If "action-adventure" means to you they can't leave Earth or it would be "boring," or that everything must consist of phaser battle or it would be "boring," then I don't think you should hold your breath for everybody else to sign up for the franchise being built that way in perpetuity. That's a hard sell.

I could care less about Gravity or anything else similar to it
That's your business, but if you want to claim that today's audiences are bored by space exploration action-adventure storylines, it helps if that claim lines up with what today's audiences are actually doing. Hell, you basically tried to claim that a movie based around action like that in the Nibiru sequence of STiD would be "boring," which seems bizarre to me. I'm not even claiming to much care for that sequence, being the sort of fuddy-duddy who groans at the idea of submerging starships for no good reason, but boring?

And what do you imagine citing the supposed amount of "pew-pew" from the pre-NuTrek films* is going to accomplish, exactly? If the fortunes of the overall film franchise are any indication, overreliance on phaser battles at the expense of other elements is absolutely not the way to a healthy future. They leaned on it more and more heavily over the years with less and less payoff until the effects budget got a shot in the arm with Abrams' advent (and yet I notice you're not chalking up NuTrek's financial success to FX the way you do TMP's... hmmm...). There are just way more possibilities to action-adventure formats than that.

You're right, by the way, that Gravity is a lot like Marooned. You're wrong to be making up defensive fantasies about who's claiming it's "original" or putting down JJ merely by mentioning it, but you're right about that much. And you know what? That's an action-adventure format.

"The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war." - Emerson
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