Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by HaplessCrewman, Apr 22, 2014.
It's what Star Trek does.
All of those attempting to refute Dennis are missing the point. It's not about "good" or "bad", it's about commercial "success" or "failure". He is simply, and quite unambiguously, pointing out that the only measure of a film's success that can be objectively assessed, as far as those paying for its production, is money. Furthermore, that is the only yardstick that matters as to whether to make more such films in the same style/with the same creative team.
Anyone who doesn't like a particular film is free to hold that opinion. But whether anyone in particular likes or dislikes a film is irrelevant. A film, to its producers, is a success if it makes a decent ROI. Critical acclaim and support of the diehard "fans" is nice, but ultimately superfluous.
It's not hard, guys.
I actually do remember that specific point coming up and Makeshift quite specifically saying he was talking about good or bad, not commercial success or failure, which it seems to me -- even it wasn't reasonably obvious from what came before -- should have cleared that up. Right? But then after that we have a post by the estimable Dennis talking about box office as an "objective" standard or yardstick or what have you. And it is an objective measure of commercial success (at least short term) but unfortunately that has nothing to do with measuring quality which the guy he was supposedly talking to (or at least at or around) was specifically talking about and he knows that.
See how that's a problem? It's a problem. Responding with box office numbers to conversations about quality does not make sense. It is a non sequitur. It looks almost like the avoidance of a conversation about quality in favour of choosing to answer an unasked question about something else entirely and pretending that unasked question is what the other guy was really talking about. (And you can choose to bang the "studios care only about commercial success or failure" drum if you like, which is great, but it's pretty hard to make that relevant to audience members who are best placed to judge whether they liked the film. Which incidentally is why subjective does not mean the same thing as irrelevant.)
Then the point is still being missed.
Premise: I think the movie sucked, therefore it was a failure.
Counter: No. Your individual opinion is irrelevant to establishing success or failure in this case. The only objective measure is ROI. By that measure, the film was a success, because so many people saw it.
Premise: I don't give a shit what others think of it. It sucked.
Counter: Good for you. Still irrelevant as to success or failure.
Premise: But I want to talk about quality.
Counter: Again, good for you. Still irrelevant to success or failure, which was the original point raised. And I don't give a shit about quality...as a measure of a commercial film's success. Because it's irrelevant.
It all comes down to whether "I didn't like the movie so it's a failure" is a statement with value. To an individual, of course it is. But it's only binding on that one individual. Collective behaviour is the relevant issue for the producers, not individual disappointment.
Incidentally, I see nothing in any of Dennis's posts that argue that anyone who does not like a film with a strong box office should change his mind because the film made money. I do see that he argues such criticism does not equate with failure for the film itself. On that point he entirely correct.
Let's stop right there. Whose posts are you reading that second clause into, and why? Quote something.
And also: who (outside Ovation and Dennis) is defining "failure' as meaning "financial failure?" Because that's really the only definition of the word that citing box office can possibly rebut. It's perfectly fair to call a movie one hated a creative failure, or a narrative failure, or a failure to give one exactly what one wanted. It's a personal assessment that appeals to consensus have zero bearing on.
There are too many factors involved in the quality of a film to use any one film in isolation as a benchmark for a given creator's success. I mean, the same people made The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, but one was a much better film than the other.
Oh. I hadn't known that. I guess I've been drawing some erroneous conclusions from the information I had.
Orci's comments on TrekMovie over the years had demonstrated to me that he does know his science pretty well. But I guess I should know from his involvement in things like Fringe and Sleepy Hollow that he doesn't particularly feel the need to bring that to the screen.
It's the only one that's not personal opinion.
So? Is there any particular reason it should be relevant to personal opinion, then?
I asked earlier when was the last time someone changed your opinion of a movie by citing its box office revenue at you. Can you remember any such time? Because basically that still seems to be what you're expecting to happen here.
Which means you should dismiss that definition. Conversations are usually about personal opinions.
Maybe the more interesting conversation to be had is about the fact that box office is largely driven by personal opinion, which is why studios invest so heavily in influencing and managing those opinions and why argument-from-consensus has become such a common tactic. That's really the function of argument-from-profit, the same reason that marketers trumpet that such-and-such film is "the number one movie in the world" (for a week or a day or fifteen minutes or whatever) -- because how could all those people be wrong? And if you can get the conversation on the review aggregators going your way, you can back this up with "critical acclaim" -- because how could all those critics be wrong? And who are we to argue with them? The Health of the Body is paramount.
I understand why studios do this. I don't like it, but I understand it; it's their job, and if I were a studio publicist I'd probably have strong incentives to use the same tactics. What I don't understand is why fans sign on to act like they're part of Paramount's marketing apparatus. Is someone who hasn't been persuaded at this point by argumetum ad populum and the consensus strategy really going to be persuaded by one more guy telling him His Opinion Is Wrong Because Box Office? It doesn't make sense.
Will Paramount give the directing job for a film that comes out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek on someone who has never directed a film before? It doesn't make any sense, if they do that it will prove that the film studio just doesn't hold Trek in high regard.
I came across an article listing some directors that could do the gig. Some of them like Bryan Singer and Duncan Jones are good choices (putting aside Singer's non-film headaches) but at this point Paramount should be actively looking for a legit choice.
Brad Bird would be my pick, as he's good with ensembles and was the only director to deliver a genuinely good Bad Robot production to date. Sadly, he's busy with TOMORROWLAND.
What is a good movie? What is quality in a movie?
Space marines, dragons, giant robots and blue cat person sex, obviously. I covered that.
Come on. How do you measure good and quality objectively in a film?
A good movie is one that I like. A quality movie, that's a bit harder. I suppose it's possible to have great acting, writing and production values yet fail to entertain and engage.
Who said you do? You mostly measure it subjectively. But I'd like to thank you for asking that question because it just so happens I have treated it at length in this nifty feature over at my webzone and everyone is welcome to go have a look.
Hope that helps.
I'm still not reading your blog.
What I will say is that, for me, the new Trek films have captured Star Trek in a way that none of the spinoffs and films have done thus far. Watching these films is like coming home again: to Saturday mornings watching reruns of Trek in syndication.
At some point in my adult life, and I'm not sure where or when it happened, I stopped caring about plot coherency more than emotional truth. I bought Kirk as a person and his burgeoning friendship with Spock. McCoy's irritable but well-intentioned nature tickled me in almost the same way that DeForest Kelley's portrayal did. I don't care if Admiral Marcus' plot makes sense, because Kirk's reaction to that plot and his struggles to overcome it felt true and real.
Also, I'm right and you're wrong, so nyaah.
Separate names with a comma.