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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 May 4 2009, 09:21 PM   #1561
The Super Brando
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

Timo47 wrote: View Post
Oh please, of course this is an empty-headed summer popcorn flick. It may be a step ahead of the stuff Michael Bay puts out, but that doesn't change what kind of movie this.
No really, it's not at all empty-headed. And I didn't mean to say that it is a step or two above Michael Bay, I was just using his name as an example of the empty-head popcorn flick. No, this is lightyears beyond that, this is a great well-rounded scifi film.

I'm not a film critic, so I can't articulate the strengths of the movie as well as I would like. But the character arcs (mainly Kirk and Spock) are done at a quality level far beyond the summer popcorn flick, and the plot is a solid scifi story without cheesiness or any holes that I noticed.

Make no mistake though, there's more action and a faster pace than Star Trek films of the past, but that hardly qualifies this movie for some of the hate I've read from the small minority on the internet.
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Old May 4 2009, 09:26 PM   #1562
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

I don't disagree with what you're saying, I think you're probably right. I'm actually glad the movie is getting such a great reviews and that there's a lot of buzz about it. I'm not a hater, I've gotten over the reboot argument, I'm okay with that. But I don't know why it is, but I'm still troubled with this whole destruction of Vulcan thing. I can't explain why that bothers me so much. It's an illogical emotional attachment on my part, and I know it. But it is what is.
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Old May 4 2009, 09:39 PM   #1563
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

^ I feel you there. For me, I was also kind of uncomfortable with such a huge loss. But after enjoying every other aspect of the film so much, that when it got to that part of the movie I was just willing to go wherever it was taking me.
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Old May 4 2009, 09:42 PM   #1564
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

The Super Brando wrote: View Post
^ I feel you there. For me, I was also kind of uncomfortable with such a huge loss. But after enjoying every other aspect of the film so much, that when it got to that part of the movie I was just willing to go wherever it was taking me.
Well I'm hoping that's the experience I have. I haven't seem the movie yet, just read the detailed spoilers in this thread. So reading about it, and seeing it, are two different things. And I'm hoping I like the movie so much that I can forgive them (even though I think it's wrong.)

I can't help but think that I'll be like I was when I first saw STII. I sat there in the theater thinking "Man this is a great movie, why are they ruining it by killing off Spock."
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Old May 4 2009, 09:42 PM   #1565
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

FlyingLemons wrote: View Post
That's sort of the reason why the Star Wars prequels sucked. You knew Jar Jar was an irritating walking irrelevance who wouldn't turn up in the other films, but sadly just went into hiding rather than ending up on the right end of a clone trooper's blaster.
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Old May 4 2009, 09:47 PM   #1566
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

Realistically, there is no way to get new screen Trek set within the same timeline as the first five series anytime soon. If Trek2009 is a success, than future installments will likely be set in that timeline. If it flops, then Trek goes back into a hole for awhile. Trek Prime has had a great run of almost 40 years on screen, and it continues in the tie-in materials.

At this point, Trek is becoming more like Robin Hood and King Arthur. They are all mythologies with multiple contradictory interpretations. The big difference is that people still know the details of the first Trek stories, while the others have been lost to the mists of time.
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Old May 4 2009, 11:34 PM   #1567
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

I saw it a bit ago at an advance screening and here's my kneejerk reaction:

Solid action movie, but not that great overall. I was very disappointed with how one dimensional Nero was (almost no character development whatsoever). I also thought the movie lacked any real substance beyond some basic Kirk-Spock friendship stuff. There was no real thematic exploration of the human condition or attempts to be culturally relevant via allegorical storytelling. In short, the basic goals of sci-fi and Star Trek were ignored, in my opinion.

There was a lot of good stuff. I love that JJ rebooted the trekverse via time travel so that he can (and did) do whatever he wants! That's the only way we can sense any of the characters are in any actual danger, which is awesome. The opening scene was freaking amazing. The comedy was mostly good, and not too cringe-inducing. It was EXTREMELY well cast (with the exception of Chekov).

Perhaps the best move JJ made was fundamentally changing Kirk and Spock's characters via previously unhappened deaths. The instant George Kirk died Chris Pine was playing a new character who grew up without any male role model - totally different from the Shatner's Kirk. Similarly, Quinto's Spock had to deal with a level of emotional trauma previously unknown by Nimoy's Spock. This really allowed the actors to create totally new characters so they wouldn't be compared to the old performances. Brilliant thinking, IMHO. Karl Urban should also be credited for nailing Kelley's McCoy down to the mannerisms.

My big disappointment was that the setup to fix the mistakes I previously outlined was there, but not taken advantage of. There was no exploration of the similarities between the losses Kirk, Spock and Nero faced, and why their reactions were different. The characters weren't even given a chance to understand that they lived, in many ways, very similar existences. After all, Nero said clearly that he wanted a "normal life" but that was taken away from him, while Kirk experienced the opposite - going from an extraordinary life to nearly living a normal life because of the death of his father. Spock, similarly, cannot live a normal life because of his mixed ancestry. Interesting parallels, with some key differences, and chances for empathy, bigger messages, etc. all lost because Nero, as a character, was nothing more than a shallow caricature of Khan.

And what was up with the last scene??? Kirk and Spock blowing Nero away flew in the face of the humanistic nature of Star Trek. I know they were angry, but one of the messages of Star Trek has always been putting aside differences, no matter how great they may be, so that peace has a chance to thrive. They could have had a very nice Balance of Terror-esque ending scene with Nero killing himself because he has no chance to win and he wants to reunite with his dead family in the Romulan afterlife, after talking with Kirk and Spock about how they are not so different and may have chosen the same path as Nero under different circumstances. Come on guys, that's Star Trek 101.

So, yeah, I have a longer review I'm saving for later this week, but that's my kneejerk. Good setup, lots of missed opportunities.
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Old May 4 2009, 11:37 PM   #1568
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

Nero killed billions of Vulcans and was about to kill Billions of humans... I can't quite see the people who just stopped him having a change of heart and reaching out to save him after that. I think their dealing with him was fully justified.
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Old May 4 2009, 11:42 PM   #1569
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

Jessop wrote: View Post
Nero killed billions of Vulcans and was about to kill Billions of humans... I can't quite see the people who just stopped him having a change of heart and reaching out to save him after that. I think their dealing with him was fully justified.
I think more attention should have been paid to the offer to help that they did make. When he rejected it really rang hollow to me and Kirk and Spock enjoyed killing him a little too much. I really think Nero could have explained that he made them feel pain similar to his so that they would understand what he was going through, and also so that they can see how, under different circumstances, Kirk and Spock may have gone down a similar path. Nero then blows himself up to reunite with his dead wife. That's a lot more poetic to me. And one of the messages of Star Trek has always been that at some point the killing has to stop. Kirk and Spock could have really cemented themselves as good guys by rising up in the face of great pain and doing the morally good thing, in this scenario. And then Nero can still kill himself so that the viewer is satisfied.
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Old May 4 2009, 11:44 PM   #1570
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

Dennis wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
No, thanks. Not when "marketability" means turning something thoughtful, something that at least aspired to SF's "sense of wonder" and "literature of ideas," into a big dumb summer action movie that will attract fanbois and mundanes.
Since that's not really true in any respect, it's not a problem.
Feel free to explain, since it's all very obviously true.

And the labeling of non-sf fans "mundanes" has always been a red flag of a pretty unthoughtful point-of-view.
Perhaps not flattering, but far from unthoughtful, and, again, very obviously true.

indranee wrote: View Post
so what is it that you WANT, exactly? no new Trek? cloned actors from the old cast? cartoons? is that it?

what do you want, exactly?
Speaking for myself, for this movie, it would have been nice to see the first mission of the classic crew together; the initial formation and bonding of the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triumverate.

indranee wrote: View Post
uhh, have you SEEN it? how do you know it's some "big dumb summer action movie"?
By reading this Thread. Sure, some people have made some asides about characterization and so forth, but mostly it's been along the lines of: The Kelvin blowing up is awesome! Vulcan blowing up is awesome! Kirk's father dying is awesome! Spock's mother dying is awesome! There's no more canon, so now anything can blow up and anyone can die!
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Old May 4 2009, 11:48 PM   #1571
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

The Super Brando wrote: View Post
I'm not a film critic, so I can't articulate the strengths of the movie as well as I would like. But the character arcs (mainly Kirk and Spock) are done at a quality level far beyond the summer popcorn flick, and the plot is a solid scifi story without cheesiness or any holes that I noticed.
What's the sci fi story? Do you mean just the time travel plot device, or is there anything beyond that? From what I've read here, the story is a straightforward revenge plot which is, to a large extent, successful.
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Old May 4 2009, 11:54 PM   #1572
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
The Super Brando wrote: View Post
I'm not a film critic, so I can't articulate the strengths of the movie as well as I would like. But the character arcs (mainly Kirk and Spock) are done at a quality level far beyond the summer popcorn flick, and the plot is a solid scifi story without cheesiness or any holes that I noticed.
What's the sci fi story? Do you mean just the time travel plot device, or is there anything beyond that? From what I've read here, the story is a straightforward revenge plot which is, to a large extent, successful.
The time-travelling and Nero's destruction of Vulcan are possible because of this mystical "red matter." But beyond that this really is the same old, tired revenge plot. At times the plot actually feels like an excuse to reboot the universe and get all TOS characters back together. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing at all...
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Old May 5 2009, 12:00 AM   #1573
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Speaking for myself, for this movie, it would have been nice to see the first mission of the classic crew together; the initial formation and bonding of the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triumverate.
And that's what this film leads up to. The next film will be just that.

You and I have VERY similar tastes in our Trek, and I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. I went in with virtually NO spoilers as I was VERY careful to go in "clean". And I'm really glad I did.

As I posted earlier I agree with the poster who said the weakest link was Nero and his "story". But I was SO engaged looking at everything (which was going by at a breakneck pace), that I was completely entertained (and amused at the little in-bits throughout).

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Old May 5 2009, 12:06 AM   #1574
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

You'd have to search long and wide to find anything "thoughtful" in the TNG movies. All four of which tried much, much harder than this movie does to become mainstream hits. The TOS movies have a little more substance to them, but nothing more profound than "save the whales" or "make peace with the Soviets". T.V. is really the only place that Trek ever attempted to be "deep".
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Old May 5 2009, 12:10 AM   #1575
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Re: World Premiere/Advance screening discussions [SPOILERS GUARANTEED]

thumbtack wrote: View Post
You'd have to search long and wide to find anything "thoughtful" in the TNG movies. All four of which tried much, much harder than this movie does to become mainstream hits. The TOS movies have a little more substance to them, but nothing more profound than "save the whales" or "make peace with the Soviets". T.V. is really the only place that Trek ever attempted to be "deep".
I think you're selling "make peace with the Soviets" short. That was a compelling allegory examining the difficulties in abandoning decades of prejudice and hate. I think JJ could have done something, using a simple message, with this movie. Maybe a terrorism allegory? I don't know, I'm thinking out loud.
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