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

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Old May 31 2014, 04:45 PM   #61
BigJake
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

HaplessCrewman wrote: View Post
I think Matt Singer at The Dissolve pretty much covers it.

http://thedissolve.com/features/one-...into-darkness/
It's not a bad piece, and yes it's describing something real albeit hard to really quantify at this stage beyond certain suggestive things here and there. [Oh, and I'm commenting on the run here so I don't have time to read the thread, but I'm just going to assume the "tiny clique of butthurt Trek fanboys" explanation has already cropped up, notwithstanding that that's fairly clearly not just what Singer is talking about, yes? Side-eye, for youse who are doing that. Side-eye for youse all. ]

I do think Singer maybe misdiagnoses some things. The YouTube comedy series that took the piss did so reasonably affectionately, not just as "backlash," and generally speaking I don't see much evidence that anyone has forgotten about the thrilling action sequences or likable cast. But some of the other things he talks about are things that I've seen come up in pretty widely-dispersed places on and off the Net and more often than not from non-fans (not just non-Abramsfans, I mean non-fans), so yes, I'd say they're worthwhile topics on the whole.

Also worth noting that Singer nails an aspect of the appeal of Into Darkness that's worth remembering:

The film is just one “Holy shit!” moment after another. (“Holy shit, Khan got that guy to blow up that building! Holy shit, Khan killed Pike! Holy shit, Scotty just found something behind Jupiter! Holy shit, Khan just surrendered! Holy shit, Khan is Khan!”)
Which I think is quite true.
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Old June 1 2014, 05:16 AM   #62
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Edited to add right up front: This is probably a post that's going to get a lot of TLDR (too long, didn't read) replies. Oh well, felt good to vent.

Matt Singer quotes Khan:
He used my friends to control me; I tried to smuggle them to safety in the very weapons I had designed. But I was discovered. I had no choice but to escape alone. And when I did, I had every reason to suspect that Marcus had killed every single one of the people I hold most dear. So I responded in kind.
Singer himself says about this, "But as far as I can tell, neither Marcus nor Khan know Khan's crew are inside the torpedoes when they are given to Kirk. So, Khan's whole plan was revenge for the murder of people who hadn't been killed, and Marcus' whole plan was to give Khan the one thing he wants. None of it holds up to scrutiny, and all of it is unclear."

What? Khan's quote is very clear. Khan put his people in the torpedoes. He may be masking his real motive for doing it, but he admits he did it. He says he was discovered. That had to be by Section 31, which would mean Marcus knows. So, found out, Khan has to save himself. He logically assumes that when Marcus gets ahold of the seventy-two torpedoes, he'll summarily kill Khan's crew to cover things up. Instead, Marcus doesn't, maybe deciding they're more useful as bargaining chips to get Khan back or for some other purpose, later.

But Khan, in a fit of emotional rage fearing Marcus did kill them, goes very rogue and very public, and now Marcus must get rid of them. Whether it's the best way to do it or not may be arguable, he takes advantage of Kirk's willingness to go after Khan to get rid of the torpedoes more or less in plain sight. When Khan realizes Kirk has exactly 72 torpedoes, it occurs to him his people may still be inside and alive. The story could've been very different if Khan had been told there were 28 or 8 or 12, or 142 torpedoes. Seventy-two was the magic number.

What in the world about that is unclear or doesn't hold up to scrutiny?

As far as contemplating Kirk's ups and downs in rank goes, WTF? They take the Enterprise from Kirk at a meeting where Pike wasn't there to defend him. After a short cooling off period, Pike talks to Marcus, and in a great selling job, talks Marcus into letting him essentially take Kirk under his wing (let's face it, even Marcus would have to admit Kirk is exceptional). Also, Pike may have influence over Marcus that comes from them having a sort of mentor-protégé relationship, or at least Marcus greatly admires Pike and what he thinks (Marcus telling Kirk he talked Pike into jointing Starfleet insinuates that). Then, Pike is killed, and Marcus lets Kirk captain the Enterprise again because under the circumstances he thinks, "What the hell, he'll either be my scapegoat for war or get himself killed, anyway."

As far as the, "Oh, shit," moments go. I thought most good action movies will full of quite a few of those.

As far as Kirk being alive ten minutes after he's dead goes (movie time), so what? Spock was probably dead ten minutes on the Genesis planet before coming back to life. The only difference between his "death" and Kirk's was the time in between the movies for Spock.

Here's the most inane and ego-involved line from Singer's piece, "Star Trek into Darkness isn't as great as its reviews suggest -- or as bad as its backlash." There were 215 positive reviews out of 247 reported on RT. What percentage of those reviewers have recanted their positive reviews a year later? Has the backlash on Youtube completely enveloped and negated all those positive reviews? Which by implication were all knee-jerk reactions to the movie, by the way. They were just unthinking tools, too unsophisticated to ask the right questions and be intellectually honest with themselves about how bad the movie really was. All 215 of them.

The last part of his article is full of holes, too. For all we know, some medical branch of Section 31, or maybe even some mainstream Starfleet medical personnel have been or are studying Khan's blood for its restorative qualities. However, after the 1990s, as brought out on DS9, eugenics is an ethical third rail for humans. One shouldn't expect Khan's blood to be as common as flu shots.

As far as using blood from any of the other 72 go, how does one know all 72 in the tubes are supermen (or superwomen)? What if only ten are? Or one in five? Or, even zero? McCoy knows for certain about Khan's blood. Is McCoy feeling lucky? Pick a tube, any tube.

Singer says the movie is cynical. Gee, after seeing this country rationalize going after the wrong people (Iraq) after 9/11, maybe we're entitled to be cynical about our leaders and their motives. The ending of STID is positive and optimistic because it looks as if after their bad moment, the fever is broken. The war lust is gone. Marcus and all his ilk are just as responsible for the Vengeance crashing into San Francisco as Khan was, because they created and perpetuated the atmosphere that led to it all. By the end of the movie the evil has been exposed, and the demons seem to have been purged. Why not be sincerely hopeful at the end of the movie?
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Old June 1 2014, 05:23 AM   #63
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

I can only echo the sentiment... ST:Into Darkness was a great movie, and will stand as such. Hardliners can poke holes into the plot as much as they want, they'll still hand over their money to the cashier, at the next Star trek movie premier.
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Old June 1 2014, 08:39 AM   #64
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

The movie has obvious pot holes all of which I had expected after watching the 2009 film. I do think you have to switch off your brain for this.

I went to see it 3 times. I don't usually do repeat viewings of any film at the cinema. Loved it each time. A well made and highly entertaining movie.
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Old June 1 2014, 01:42 PM   #65
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Franklin wrote: View Post
Edited to add right up front: This is probably a post that's going to get a lot of TLDR (too long, didn't read) replies. Oh well, felt good to vent.

Matt Singer quotes Khan:
He used my friends to control me; I tried to smuggle them to safety in the very weapons I had designed. But I was discovered. I had no choice but to escape alone. And when I did, I had every reason to suspect that Marcus had killed every single one of the people I hold most dear. So I responded in kind.
Singer himself says about this, "But as far as I can tell, neither Marcus nor Khan know Khan's crew are inside the torpedoes when they are given to Kirk. So, Khan's whole plan was revenge for the murder of people who hadn't been killed, and Marcus' whole plan was to give Khan the one thing he wants. None of it holds up to scrutiny, and all of it is unclear."

What? Khan's quote is very clear. Khan put his people in the torpedoes. He may be masking his real motive for doing it, but he admits he did it. He says he was discovered. That had to be by Section 31, which would mean Marcus knows. So, found out, Khan has to save himself. He logically assumes that when Marcus gets ahold of the seventy-two torpedoes, he'll summarily kill Khan's crew to cover things up. Instead, Marcus doesn't, maybe deciding they're more useful as bargaining chips to get Khan back or for some other purpose, later.

But Khan, in a fit of emotional rage fearing Marcus did kill them, goes very rogue and very public, and now Marcus must get rid of them. Whether it's the best way to do it or not may be arguable, he takes advantage of Kirk's willingness to go after Khan to get rid of the torpedoes more or less in plain sight. When Khan realizes Kirk has exactly 72 torpedoes, it occurs to him his people may still be inside and alive. The story could've been very different if Khan had been told there were 28 or 8 or 12, or 142 torpedoes. Seventy-two was the magic number.

What in the world about that is unclear or doesn't hold up to scrutiny?

As far as contemplating Kirk's ups and downs in rank goes, WTF? They take the Enterprise from Kirk at a meeting where Pike wasn't there to defend him. After a short cooling off period, Pike talks to Marcus, and in a great selling job, talks Marcus into letting him essentially take Kirk under his wing (let's face it, even Marcus would have to admit Kirk is exceptional). Also, Pike may have influence over Marcus that comes from them having a sort of mentor-protégé relationship, or at least Marcus greatly admires Pike and what he thinks (Marcus telling Kirk he talked Pike into jointing Starfleet insinuates that). Then, Pike is killed, and Marcus lets Kirk captain the Enterprise again because under the circumstances he thinks, "What the hell, he'll either be my scapegoat for war or get himself killed, anyway."

As far as the, "Oh, shit," moments go. I thought most good action movies will full of quite a few of those.

As far as Kirk being alive ten minutes after he's dead goes (movie time), so what? Spock was probably dead ten minutes on the Genesis planet before coming back to life. The only difference between his "death" and Kirk's was the time in between the movies for Spock.

Here's the most inane and ego-involved line from Singer's piece, "Star Trek into Darkness isn't as great as its reviews suggest -- or as bad as its backlash." There were 215 positive reviews out of 247 reported on RT. What percentage of those reviewers have recanted their positive reviews a year later? Has the backlash on Youtube completely enveloped and negated all those positive reviews? Which by implication were all knee-jerk reactions to the movie, by the way. They were just unthinking tools, too unsophisticated to ask the right questions and be intellectually honest with themselves about how bad the movie really was. All 215 of them.

The last part of his article is full of holes, too. For all we know, some medical branch of Section 31, or maybe even some mainstream Starfleet medical personnel have been or are studying Khan's blood for its restorative qualities. However, after the 1990s, as brought out on DS9, eugenics is an ethical third rail for humans. One shouldn't expect Khan's blood to be as common as flu shots.

As far as using blood from any of the other 72 go, how does one know all 72 in the tubes are supermen (or superwomen)? What if only ten are? Or one in five? Or, even zero? McCoy knows for certain about Khan's blood. Is McCoy feeling lucky? Pick a tube, any tube.

Singer says the movie is cynical. Gee, after seeing this country rationalize going after the wrong people (Iraq) after 9/11, maybe we're entitled to be cynical about our leaders and their motives. The ending of STID is positive and optimistic because it looks as if after their bad moment, the fever is broken. The war lust is gone. Marcus and all his ilk are just as responsible for the Vengeance crashing into San Francisco as Khan was, because they created and perpetuated the atmosphere that led to it all. By the end of the movie the evil has been exposed, and the demons seem to have been purged. Why not be sincerely hopeful at the end of the movie?


Well done.
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Old June 1 2014, 07:11 PM   #66
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Franklin wrote: View Post
What in the world about that is unclear or doesn't hold up to scrutiny?
We know that Khan knew his people were in the torpedoes and how many of them there were, and that he'd assumed Marcus had killed them. Otherwise, pretty much none of the information as to why any of this rest of it is happening or what anyone's motivations are at any point is actually in the film. So it doesn't surprise me that people get confused.

(Especially given that most of the scenarios that would fit -- including the one you come up with, which strikes me as pretty reasonable -- are kind of absurd unless Marcus and Khan are both sitcom-worthy buffoons, rather than the formidable adversaries they're portrayed as being.)

As far as contemplating Kirk's ups and downs in rank goes, WTF?
Your rendition of the sequence of events supports Singer's view, frankly. Moreover Singer is talking about dramatic impact as well as plausibility, the rapid yo-yo-ing of Kirk's command rank didn't strike me as having much of either.

As far as Kirk being alive ten minutes after he's dead goes (movie time), so what?
So what? Really? So that robs the moment of drama, especially when it's deliberately put in frame with another movie that had the guts to leave the character dead at the end. I don't see what's unclear about that.

Spock was probably dead ten minutes on the Genesis planet before coming back to life.
Oh do tell.



Here's the most inane and ego-involved line from Singer's piece
Yeah, movies getting overpraised is not exactly an impossible thing that never happens. Just ask yourself a couple of things. Would you be hitching your cart to this rhetorical horse for anything other than a Trek movie? Would you be taking it as personally for anything else?

I mean, Singer's guessing about trends on relatively little concrete evidence, but all that does is make his arguments speculative, not automatically "inane" or "ego-involved."

Why not be sincerely hopeful at the end of the movie?
I don't think the reason Singer gives for that final moment falling flat (for some of us) is the best one.
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Old June 1 2014, 07:50 PM   #67
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Yesterday I hung out with my cousin and as usual we love talking about movies. We actually saw STID in IMAX 3D together (as we've watched Trek in theaters together since the 90s), and he really liked that and at that time thought it might have been the best of the films he had seen. He's more of a casual viewer than a fan. Having been on Netflix, he revisited it and thought it didn't hold up well, for reasons that nobody here hasn't heard like the yo-yoing of Kirk's rank, his death/resurrection, the whole business with the torpedoes and such. And of course, the "not as good as the first", which I hear the most often and is the one criticism I actually disagree with, but I can understand why many feel that way.

I thought I'd bring this up here because since it's relevant to this topic, and it's coming from someone who isn't a big fan like all of us here whereas fans tend to either be cheerleaders for the film or quite the opposite like booers. Makes one wonder how many casual viewers feel about the flick today. Tamatometers wouldn't be helpful in this case since a bulk of the votes were done on the time of release and many might not even bother to go back on the site and change it if their opinion of the film changed (this is one of the reasons I don't think such sites can be helpful beyond the time of release).
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Old June 1 2014, 08:04 PM   #68
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Jeyl wrote:
I'm not saying Khan is a misunderstood good guy, but he sure wasn't Hitler.
Yet in-universe he's been mentioned in the same breath as Hitler, for some reason.
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Old June 1 2014, 08:16 PM   #69
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

BigJake wrote: View Post
(Especially given that most of the scenarios that would fit -- including the one you come up with, which strikes me as pretty reasonable -- are kind of absurd unless Marcus and Khan are both sitcom-worthy buffoons, rather than the formidable adversaries they're portrayed as being.)
What about Khan's actions makes him a sitcom-worthy buffoon, exactly?

As for Marcus, the movie never seems to characterize him as a particularly cunning adversary. He fails to realize that Khan might take advantage of Starfleet protocol after the London attack, and criminally underestimates Kirk (as evidenced b the "Aw, shit" scene) and his crew.
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Old June 1 2014, 08:36 PM   #70
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Dennis wrote: View Post
Abrams's Klingons are alien and intimidating, something that the oldTrek version never really managed.
They are also the most overtly "black." As a Klin--er, black man myself, I could not help but feel a little uncomfortable.

Still liked the movie, though.

(Cue "post-racist" shit-storm in 5, 4, 3, 2...)
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Old June 1 2014, 08:36 PM   #71
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Harvey wrote: View Post
What about Khan's actions makes him a sitcom-worthy buffoon, exactly?

As for Marcus, the movie never seems to characterize him as a particularly cunning adversary.
I'd look at Franklin's scenario of what goes on between Khan and Marcus, starting with: "Khan put his people in the torpedoes,"" and ending with: "[Marcus] takes advantage of Kirk's willingness to go after Khan to get rid of the torpedoes more or less in plain sight." It's as reasonable a scenario as anyone could come up wiht... but for my money, it doesn't look like a game of chess between two grandmasters, or even one with any grandmasters involved at all.

Brutal Strudel wrote:
They are also the most overtly "black." As a Klin--er, black man myself, I could not help but feel a little uncomfortable.
A survey of all the many ways the Klingons have been racially, erm, awkward over the span of Trek would actually be pretty interesting.

I do nevertheless agree with Dennis that their design being genuinely intimidating was pretty cool to see. I was more disappointed that they didn't get much to do other than get shot up by Khan.
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Old June 1 2014, 08:53 PM   #72
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Again, I'll agree that Marcus isn't a grand master. I don't think the movie characterizes him as such, and I certainly wouldn't argue as such.

I'm still not sure, however, how Khan's actions in the movie represent "sitcom-worthy buffoonery."

Is it Khan's strategy to smuggle his crew out using the torpedoes you find silly?

Is it Khan's assumption that Marcus -- ruthless enough to sacrifice the entire crew of the Enterprise, his own people -- killed Khan's crew when he discovered Khan's ruse?
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Old June 1 2014, 09:00 PM   #73
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

BigJake wrote: View Post
Brutal Strudel wrote:
They are also the most overtly "black." As a Klin--er, black man myself, I could not help but feel a little uncomfortable.
A survey of all the many ways the Klingons have been racially, erm, awkward over the span of Trek would actually be pretty interesting.
There's a pretty well-written academic study by Daniel Bernardi that talks about this issue, among others, although since it came out in 1998 (and is a revision of Bernardi's 1995 PhD thesis) there's quite a bit of Trek that he doesn't cover.
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Old June 1 2014, 09:25 PM   #74
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

^ That looks fascinating Harvey, thanks for the link.
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Old June 1 2014, 09:36 PM   #75
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Re: One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

On the same subject, there's also this book by Micheal Pounds, but I wouldn't strongly recommend it. Pounds' contention that Number One was originally written as black (the end note supporting this claim leads only to The Making of Star Trek) is one of several head-scratchers. Bernardi has more credibility -- even though I don't give every argument he makes equal weight.

If you do read Bernardi, and want to start a thread, I'm game. I'll just need some time to re-read!
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