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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 September 10 2009, 07:02 AM   #166
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
My two most cringe inducing moments in this film:

- Kirk hitting on Uhura. That just didn't work for me. He's just not supposed to do that.
Why not? he's just met a hot girl in a bar while drinking, and he's made out to be an attempted ladies' man at least in that stage of the film, hitting on Uhura then makes perfect sense.

If he were to keep hitting on her after they're assigned to the Enterprise? Then that complaint would make sense.
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Old September 10 2009, 11:42 AM   #167
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

SilentP wrote: View Post
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The Kobayashi Maru also had no impact on the story.
I'd contend that the opposite is true, in terms of understanding this version of Kirk's character.

It demonstrates his absolute refusal to accept the 'no-win' scenario; firstly by showing the fact that where every other cadet just takes the test once, 'fails' and moves on, not only does he take once, he takes it twice (something which seems to escape a few people's notice, or deemed irrelevant), which is probably how he learns that the scenario itself is rigged.

After figuring that out, he shows the Academy what he thinks of such a test (whether or not the purpose of the test that Spock tells him even occured to Kirk already) by rigging the test so that he can win. When brought up on charges of cheating, he declares that cheating is exactly what the test does already, it's just that he's engineered it to favour himself instead of the opposite.

Unfortunately, the attack cuts short any final resolution on what the hearing over the incident may of had. For all we know, this argument could be what the PrimeKirk used when found out and gotten him the commendation for 'original thinking'...either that or the commendation is the best thing they could come up with in terms of resolving the situation.
And what does that add to the whole story of the movie? All of that is dealt with in 5 minutes, and then totally forgotten about.
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Old September 10 2009, 12:27 PM   #168
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
And what does that add to the whole story of the movie?
It adds an initial conflict between him and Spock, and a new way to have the characters first interact with each other. Besides, even if it doesn't add directly to the movie, it can be used to add to the character himself.

All of that is dealt with in 5 minutes, and then totally forgotten about.
It can be used to plant a seed for scenes/revelations in later movies. Little nuggets scenes like this can be placed for later use in other movies. For example, a cadet that was competing with Kirk at the Academy bearing a grudge against him, and use this, amongst other things, as fuel to keep said grudge burning (as many people like to point out, Kirk never got seriously punished for his actions there, or at least reprimanded for some of his 'misdemenours).
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Old September 10 2009, 04:54 PM   #169
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Best excuse for every useless scene! "Might be continued in a sequel!" Fascinating!
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Old September 10 2009, 05:39 PM   #170
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
And what does that add to the whole story of the movie?
SilentP wrote: View Post
It adds an initial conflict between him and Spock, and a new way to have the characters first interact with each other. Besides, even if it doesn't add directly to the movie, it can be used to add to the character himself.
I agree completely with this.

But I think there's a deeper point about this film that a lot of people are missing. I think in some people's case, it's because their DNA is hardwired to be contrarian. In other people, maybe they weren't breast fed enough. (Sorry, I was a psych major, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, etc)

To quote John Malkovitch, some movies are art movies, and others are "popcorn" movies. Being a popcorn movie doesn't mean it cannot be enjoyed. It doesn't mean it has no value. It doesn't mean that it can't be quality. But it means that it was meant to be a fun ride, more than a philosophical reflection of the human experience.

For example, in the Sci Fi genre, one could say that while Blade Runner was an art film, Star Wars (A New Hope, 1977, the first of the good trilogy) was a popcorn movie. Being a popcorn movie doesn't mean Star Wars wasn't a great film, but it means that despite its touching on spirituality (the force) and aestheticism (the Jedi knight) and clever dialog Star Wars was never intended as a "think piece" it was an adventure movie.

Star Trek XI is a popcorn movie. That's why, as I said early in the thread, nothing in it really made me "cringe"—when I ride a roller coaster, I don't say "it was a lot of fun except the styrofoam rocks by the third turn had a chip in the paint." I either like it or I don't. So did it play fast and lose with Trek lore, internal consistency, etc? Possibly. But I don't go on a roller coaster to give me new insights into human development. I found it a well paced adventure movie, and I loved the fact that it was populated with characters and a milleu I knew and loved. In other words, I liked the ride.

Getting back to SilentP's point, by setting up a conflict between Kirk and Spock, it set up what was to be a source of some of the tension and fun of the ride. That was enough for me.
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Old September 10 2009, 05:52 PM   #171
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

SilentP wrote: View Post
All of that is dealt with in 5 minutes, and then totally forgotten about.
It can be used to plant a seed for scenes/revelations in later movies. Little nuggets scenes like this can be placed for later use in other movies. For example, a cadet that was competing with Kirk at the Academy bearing a grudge against him, and use this, amongst other things, as fuel to keep said grudge burning (as many people like to point out, Kirk never got seriously punished for his actions there, or at least reprimanded for some of his 'misdemenours).
Yes. Kirk neither got reprimanded nor, apparently, suffered any jealousy or hatred from any of his fellow cadets, in spite of the fact that we see Kirk acting like a dick ("At ease, gentlemen!") from the moment he enters the shuttle for new recruits. I mean, since 23rd Century humans are, apparently, just as retarded as 21st Century ones, if the bar fight scene is anything to go by, haters should have been all over Kirk at the Academy like a rash. His friends would have been challenged, Kirk's academic efforts sabotaged, his reputation knocked to rubble and Kirk himself would have had the snot kicked out of him, time and time again. Instead, it seems he just breezes through everything, conveniently making friends with two people he's going to serve the rest of his career with, as well as stereotypically bedding a hot Orion, while overhearing details of a very significant transmission, before flagrantly cheating on a test, sneaking onboard the Enterprise and destroying Spock (by far, the more level-headed, and less "emotionally compromised", of him and daddy-less Kirk) to, again, cheat his way to the captain's chair, and then mount an attack that's as audacious as it is stupid, and miraculously come out unscathed, with an official promotion to captain, of the flagship vessel, no less, waiting in the wings, which, of course, every last soul claps to, taking us to the final scene where everyone is exactly as they were, minus years, charisma and IQ points, in the original series -- oh, how clever, how credible, how remarkably preternatural, how edifying and uplifting of you, Abrams.
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Old September 10 2009, 06:37 PM   #172
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Yeoman Randi wrote: View Post
A moment where i cringe is when the computer on the Jellyfish warns Spock that he is on a collision course and if the red matter ignites the ship will be destroyed.

i'm like, duh~
Blame Geordi LaForge. In COUNTDOWN, he's the one primarily responsible for programming the Jellyfish onboard systems before it goes back in time.
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Old September 10 2009, 09:17 PM   #173
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

Have I already mentioned how utterly cringe-worthy that Nokia ad was?




PhasersOnStun wrote: View Post
I think in some people's case, it's because their DNA is hardwired to be contrarian. In other people, maybe they weren't breast fed enough.
Hey, M'Sharak, I'm sure this guy just tried to insult me and other posters.


For example, in the Sci Fi genre, one could say that while Blade Runner was an art film, Star Wars (A New Hope, 1977, the first of the good trilogy) was a popcorn movie. Being a popcorn movie doesn't mean Star Wars wasn't a great film, but it means that despite its touching on spirituality (the force) and aestheticism (the Jedi knight) and clever dialog Star Wars was never intended as a "think piece" it was an adventure movie.

Star Trek XI is a popcorn movie. That's why, as I said early in the thread, nothing in it really made me "cringe"—when I ride a roller coaster, I don't say "it was a lot of fun except the styrofoam rocks by the third turn had a chip in the paint." I either like it or I don't. So did it play fast and lose with Trek lore, internal consistency, etc? Possibly. But I don't go on a roller coaster to give me new insights into human development. I found it a well paced adventure movie, and I loved the fact that it was populated with characters and a milleu I knew and loved. In other words, I liked the ride.
First: Star Wars was a much better film than this one. Basically, the story of this movie is a total and pretty obvious rip off of Star Wars, too. So that's already a negative point.

Second: none of the criticism against this movie I've read here so far is as pettifogging as bitching about styrofoam rocks.

Third: I would have loved to see the characters and the milieu I knew and loved. But I didn't. So I couldn't like the ride.

Last edited by JarodRussell; September 10 2009 at 09:30 PM.
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Old September 10 2009, 09:43 PM   #174
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Hey, M'Sharak, I'm sure this guy just tried to insult me and other posters.
Nah, just irreverent. People take things over-seriously in every forum, on every subject. I can too. Sometimes it's hard to not get sucked in. But sometimes, I think stepping back helps.

First: Star Wars was a much better film than this one.
I agree. I used one of my favorite films as an example. Actually, the Malkovitch quote comes from him talking about "Con Air," a thoroughly mediocre movie that he was in. The context was "I like my popcorn movies," which was an interesting statement, because he had just been very critical of some art movies that he had been in. In other words, Malkovitch was saying that while he'd pull apart the art movies he was in to analyze them, for the popcorn movies he could just sit back with his family eat and enjoy the ride.

Personally, I didn't enjoy Con Air, I found it a waste of time. The reason was that it was simply not a ride I enjoyed. OTOH, I did enjoy The Rock, which I think I'd seen the year earlier. I think both were equally banal and implausible and all, but one I found fun and the other I didn't. I never really analyzed what I didn't like about Con Air, I just didn't like it.

Second: none of the criticism against this movie I've read here so far is as pettifogging as bitching about styrofoam rocks
In my opinion, some of the comments about technical stuff, could a given device or algorithm or sensor or whatever do a certain thing or not is the equivalent of the styrofoam rocks. I mean, all these things are fantasy! It's one thing if someone is a 2009 realistic crime drama pulls out his pencil and it turns into a cabbage. We have no pencils that do that. But in a sci-fi movie, why not? If Star Trek can have a "replicator" that can give you chicken soup out of nothing, or a "transporter" that beams you around, why not a pencil that can transform into a cabbage? Perhaps the next movie will be "Star Trek XII: Attack of the Pencil Cabbage!!"

Third: I...couldn't like the ride.
Fair enough. But that still doesn't change my basic opinion that this is an adventure movie, and if one likes it or not is all well and good, but the fact is that STXI wasn't designed to be anything deeper than popcorn fun, and therefore should be judged on that level, rather than nitpicked.

If you want, just write me (and the other people who have put around $380m into the movie) off as shallow and easily pleased. I'm totally cool with that.
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Old September 10 2009, 09:52 PM   #175
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

It would take too long to get into, so I'll just sum it up with two words.

Time travel.
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Old September 10 2009, 10:27 PM   #176
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
PhasersOnStun wrote: View Post
I think in some people's case, it's because their DNA is hardwired to be contrarian. In other people, maybe they weren't breast fed enough. (Sorry, I was a psych major, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, etc)
Hey, M'Sharak, I'm sure this guy just tried to insult me and other posters.
I've replaced the portion of his paragraph which you omitted (emphasis mine) and I'm not sure it reads like an insult at all. If you wish to discuss it further, please do so by PM, not in-thread.
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Old September 10 2009, 10:45 PM   #177
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

What really get me is that this is considered 'canon'. Yes it's a movie and on screen. When you think about all the fantastic trek that has been produced thru the years that isn't canon, things like the episode "Yesteryear". Dozens, maybe hundreds of incredable novels. Various fan productions, fanzies, fiction, videos and plays. FASA gamer, blueprinters and suppositions on this very site.

And THIS is canon?

The targ/sehlat-like mammal with fangs was more than enough and THAT one creature was intimidating and fast-moving enough to have chased Kirk into the cave. They should have stuck with that.
I like this idea that the thing with fur we saw in the film, was in fact a full size mature sehlat. "Journey to Babel" said teddy bear size. "Yesteryear" showed a brown bear size animal.

Those were babies, this is mama.

Last edited by M'Sharak; September 10 2009 at 11:09 PM. Reason: superfluous quote tag removed
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Old September 11 2009, 01:41 AM   #178
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

PhasersOnStun wrote: View Post
First: Star Wars was a much better film than this one.
I agree. I used one of my favorite films as an example. Actually, the Malkovitch quote comes from him talking about "Con Air," a thoroughly mediocre movie that he was in. The context was "I like my popcorn movies," which was an interesting statement, because he had just been very critical of some art movies that he had been in. In other words, Malkovitch was saying that while he'd pull apart the art movies he was in to analyze them, for the popcorn movies he could just sit back with his family eat and enjoy the ride.
I beg to differ. "Star Wars" is not a "popcorn" movie; it's an art movie disguised as a "popcorn" movie, and one of the greatest films ever made. Not only is the editing, dialogue, performance aesthetic, music and Kurosawa-like photography and story markedly better than virtually every blockbuster movie ever made, but "Star Wars" has a very carefully-deployed set of themes, motifs and ideas, done in a highly integrated and deeply cinematic way; as much care and consideration is devoted, for example, to the film's titles, the way the camera pans down at the start, and the composition, length and arrangement of each shot, and so forth, as you would find in anything made by Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman or any of the other grand masters of film.

PhasersOnStun wrote: View Post
Third: I...couldn't like the ride.
Fair enough. But that still doesn't change my basic opinion that this is an adventure movie, and if one likes it or not is all well and good, but the fact is that STXI wasn't designed to be anything deeper than popcorn fun, and therefore should be judged on that level, rather than nitpicked.
I think that that's part of the problem; a very significant part -- STXI wasn't designed to be anything other than a frivolous action movie/obvious money-spinner, and neither Abrams nor his writers are talented enough to inadvertently, individually or collectively, transcend the extremely limited parameters of their juvenile mindset, or the basic mandate they slavishly followed in crafting the picture, and certainly not the corporations that may have helped fund this monstrosity.

Abrams thought he had some tricks up his sleeve, but he didn't.

Primarily, he plundered the carny pleasures of SW and tried to graft them onto ST, but this only proved he doesn't understand ST *or* SW; both are more high-minded than Abrams' dim, gimmick-ridden, TV-oriented, ADHD mind can comprehend, and clumsily porting the surface appeal of one to the other, and doing even that in a specious, chintzy fashion, seriously diminishes both, on various levels. How glorious it was, back in the day, when ST and SW peacefully co-existed, each adding to cinema in their own way -- SW in 1977, ST a little later in 1979.

Abrams also tried exploiting a visual tension between the grungy innards of Engineering (and other locales) and the slick interior of the Bridge. We're clearly meant to admire the latter, by way of contrast, and our implicit understanding of the Bridge of the Enterprise as a design marvel, which clearly quotes the aesthetic principles of Apple, just as does EVE, the more "advanced" robot, in "Wall-E", which is all a kind of 21st fascism, helping to prop up Steve Jobs and his empire, though few seem cognizant of this pernicious consumer meme and the silent visual brainwashing of Apple (auspiciously, its website also hosts the majority of film trailers released today, including STXI's). To be honest, that's reason enough to hate Abrams' commercial vehicle, which also includes a blatant Nokia advertisement and grotesque fealty to Budweiser (ignoring Uhura's "Budweiser Classics" line, the fact that Engineering was shot in an actual Budweiser brewery should be cause for concern).

Gene Roddenberry was not a perfect man, and he knew damn well he needed the talents of others to shape and realize his ideas (TV works that way, and film works the same, times a million), but he would never have stood for this. Product placement that serves the story and the film's structural ambitions is one thing (in the ST film canon, see "The Voyage Home"); the relationship between STXI and its corporate entities is something entirely different, and a very scary "entirely different", at that. Not only is such branding caustic to ST itself, but it's also a dangerous way of controlling society and killing dreams through the unreal reality of cinema. The speculative humanism of Roddenberry's universe (which, as many GR haters are at pains to point out, began in the simplistic land of TV, with a crude but effective "Western" paradigm, but which Roddenberry EVOLVED for the big screen, because, like all great minds, he was thinking forwards, not backwards; the latter point being too profound, apparently, for GR haters' thinking to encompass) is completely buried by STXI, and the last vestiges of it have finally been fully and unrepentantly replaced, and completely cheered on, or so it seems, by all the banalities of modern cinema and modern life and its unconscious adherents.

Remember the bald-headed Ilia in 1979? How radical an idea that still is -- that this woman is bald and highly desirable; the member of an advanced, highly sensual race, in fact? GR was making a simple yet bold statement there. 30 years on, it's still the height of shame for a woman to shave her head or lose her hair; flowing locks are seen as a sign of fertility in Western countries, while the absence of locks is regarded with a mixture of fear, pity and derision. Where is there a single hint of a non-conformist idea of that import anywhere in STXI? There are no such hints and no such ideas because STXI doesn't have the imagination, intelligence or conviction necessary for such hints and ideas behind it. In many ways, it is an *anti* ST film, not only buoyed but styled by people obsessed with flash and fury and money and wealth, which is why the film hurtles as it does, why the camera spins, why the protagonists fight, why emotion is handled with Hollywood mawkishness, not dignity and restraint, why filthy-rich companies can not only get their names dropped, but define the look of entire sets and scenes, why the film had the ass marketed out of it for six months straight, seeing release in Summer 2009 instead of Winter 2008. It's cynical product of the most abject kind.

Sorry for the long diatribe. There's just something odious, to my way of thinking, about being accused of nitpicking, and being told that STXI should be accepted for what it is when what it is, in the words of a person who has just made exactly these assertions, is a shallow action film; a shallow action film that neither aspires nor achieves anything close to truth or beauty, but contentedly sits in the morass of consumer conformity -- the great, wretched sin of the modern age.
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Old September 11 2009, 02:28 AM   #179
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

SilentP wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
My two most cringe inducing moments in this film:

- Kirk hitting on Uhura. That just didn't work for me. He's just not supposed to do that.
Why not? he's just met a hot girl in a bar while drinking, and he's made out to be an attempted ladies' man at least in that stage of the film, hitting on Uhura then makes perfect sense.
If it was just two random cadets, I would agree. I meant that *Kirk* should not be hitting on *Uhura*. That should be off-limits, even in their cadet years!

If he were to keep hitting on her after they're assigned to the Enterprise? Then that complaint would make sense.
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Old September 11 2009, 02:35 AM   #180
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Re: Moments that really made you cringe or disliked

You've certainly given this quite a bit of thought! Far be it from me to either criticize or take away from your opinion, but to show how opinions differ:

Cryogenic wrote: View Post
How glorious it was, back in the day, when ST and SW peacefully co-existed, each adding to cinema in their own way -- SW in 1977, ST a little later in 1979.
Personally, my opinion is that Star Trek: The Motionless Picture's one contribution to cinema was to show how an almost unimaginably dull film can spawn engaging sequels. I've no doubt that you enjoyed the film and found much to both enjoy and think about and that's great, but as much as I wanted to, I really don't like it at all. To me it plays like Kubrick's discarded outtakes from 2001 using the Star Trek characters.

I don't expect you to agree, nor do I suggest that my opinion is the final word. My point is simply that we all see things through our personal filters, differently. What I find entertaining—and the sort of entertainment I look for in cinema—is clearly different than yours. I'd disagree on most of what you wrote, but as an academic I'm very impressed with the thought you put into it.
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