A Semi-Hater Revisits Voyager

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by TheGodBen, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I wore the same KISS inspired makeup for Halloween when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I have a picture somewhere. :cool:
     
  2. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I fit in just fine, don't I? I am not all that serious and self-concious. ;) :p
     
  3. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Of course KISS. I don't know where I got that image of Clockwork Orange from. :lol:
     
  4. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I think you fit in just fine. And I like your avatar as well. :techman:
     
  5. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Consider it your reward for completing your exams, I have a feeling you will enjoy it. It's "fun". :p

    Brace yourself, I think this might be one of those rare cases where we disagree on something. ;)


    First a little back-story; when I first heard about Trek XI and that it was a prequel to TOS I was optimistic, but as parts of the plot began to leak I started to worry. As time passed I came to terms with the plot, but then I saw the first trailer and began to worry. However, trailers are rarely representative of what a movie is about, so I let it slide and I was actually quite impressed by the second trailer. As the reviews came in over the last month and the film received near universal praise, I was really excited that we might be entering a new golden era of Star Trek. Canon be damned, if its a good film then its a good film, and this story has the right ingredients to make a good film, so I might as well be optimistic.

    So now onto my review, some major spoilers ahead:
    Star Trek (**)

    As we were leaving the cinema there was a group of teenagers in front of me and I heard one of them say "It was good, but I don't like how it invalidates every other episode of Star Trek", or something to that effect, he probably didn't use the word invalidate. Well I had the opposite reaction, I knew going in that this was going to significantly alter established lore, and I knew that Vulcan was going to be destroyed and probably not restored by a reset button, so it didn't bother me that the movie changed things because that's what the movie set out to do. I was just hoping for a good film, and that's not what I got.

    I don't want to focus too much on the plot because it is fairly obvious that it is full of holes. Nero is destroying planets because he is a villain and that is what villains do in Star Trek. And he has a super-powerful ship because that's what villains have in Star Trek (and the plot just ignores the fact that it is supposed to be a mining ship so god only knows why it even has torpedoes). Shinzon had more motivation than this, and he's probably a better character too. Nero spends 25 years plotting revenge against a man who was trying to help him, and not once does anyone in his crew point out to him that he's completely mad and his time would be better spent by going to Romulus and actually warning them about THE DESTRUCTION OF THEIR WORLD!!

    Plot rules character in this movie, and that's ass backwards.

    Kirk's story is just as contrived, he's a "bad boy" who gets into trouble while listening to rock music, and for some reason a conversation in a bar leads him to join a regimented military organisation. He'd be kicked out after a month. And lets not get started on him being promoted from cadet to captain of the flagship for doing ordinary things, I think we can all agree that that is retarded beyond belief.

    Other plot contrivances include all of Starfleet being in a faraway sector for some asinine reason, the fact that the only 7 ships near Vulcan are all at Earth and need cadet crews for some reason (because that big-ass starbase was manned by cadets too?), Sulu stalling the Enterprise so they arrive after all the other ships were destroyed, Kirk meeting old Spock on Hoth, Kirk and old Spock meeting Scotty in a Dharma station on Hoth, old Spock refusing to join Kirk for reasons which he later admitted were made up, and the whole concept of red-matter which can either be used to destroy planets or send people back in time for no reason.

    (Edit: Actually, I spent quite a bit of time focusing on plot, didn't I? :lol:)

    Now, lets take a look at the characters starting with Kirk. There are moments when Pine acts like Kirk, but most of the time he's just a generic "bad-boy turned good" character and I never find those kinds of characters interesting. There is a handful of moments where he displayed the charisma of the original Kirk, but most of the time he was just meh. He wasn't bad or annoying, he just wasn't interesting.

    Spock has the best characterisation in the movie, but he still doesn't feel like Spock. Even old Spock doesn't feel like Spock, it feels like Leonard Nemoy passing the torch because that's what it is. There is only one line where Nimoy felt like the Spock of old and that is when he almost shows emotion as he speaks about witnessing the destruction of Vulcan, the rest of the time he feels more like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Quinto makes an interesting character from the material he is given, so I'm not going to judge him for not feeling like Spock.

    Urban nails McCoy. McCoy is my favourite TOS character and it is great to see Urban play him because he sounds and acts like McCoy. He has the mannerisms down and the only bad things I have to say about this character is that there wasn't enough of him and he was used a little too much as comic relief.

    Uhura was basically a nothing character on TOS so I can't really compare Saldana to her, all I have to say is that the Uhura/Spock romance didn't work for me and I don't know why they did it. Sulu was another nothing character for the most part, so I have no problem with Cho other than to say that the sword-fighting segment on the rig was clearly an attempt at a light-sabre fight. Yelchin as Chekov was okay, but they overplayed the joke about his inability to pronounce the letter v. I can't judge Pegg as Scotty because he came into the film too late to make a real impression on me, and he was mainly used for comic relief.

    The dialogue was a damp squib; there was no spark to it, there was no grace to it, it was just there. I love well-written dialogue, from the common everyday/believable dialogue of a show like The Sopranos to the graceful and clever/unbelievable dialogue of Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing. The dialogue in this movie ranges from poor to average, there is nothing special about it, it is just there. The only memorable lines from this movie are either memorable only because they were used in the trailers, or they were taken from previous Star Trek films. It's not as bad as Insurrection, you wont wince like you did when you heard "Lock and load" or the boob conversation, but you wont marvel at the beauty of language and that is a shame.

    The special effects can range from pulse-pounding to annoying. When they work they work, such as when the big E navigates the debris-field, but during the battles they have an annoying habit of whizzing all over the place. BSG also had this problem in some of the early episode but I feel they toned it down later on and they gave the battles a sense of majesty, but this film clearly didn't learn that lesson. When the effects are toned down they work, when they throw everything at you in one go it feels nauseating.

    And I'd like to talk about lens-flare for a moment, because I was uncharacteristically pissed off by it. I normally don't mind a little bit of lens-flare, I used to find it funny that people got upset over it, but this movie takes the cake. The heart of this film is a scene where Kirk confronts Spock on the bridge to try and get an emotional outburst from him, and three times during that scene the entire screen goes white for about a second because the lens-flare takes up the entire screen! For fuck sake, cut it out! Why would you intentionally do that to your movie?

    The music was alright but the only time it stood out for me is when it turned noticeably Lost-y, and that's a bad thing. I like it when a soundtrack stands out and becomes something you can hum, but that doesn't happen in this movie and I'm surprised because I like Michael Giacchino's work on Lost.

    The movie isn't all bad, I thought that Spock's story was okay although it could have been much better. McCoy is fun to watch. Some of the action works. There's two or three emotional scenes, "I married her because I loved her" comes to mind. There are moments when Pine almost gets what makes Kirk so fun. There is no reset button, which is a relief because it felt like they were heading that way towards the end.

    According to the scale I posted last week, 2 stars represents "meh", and I don't think that is true in this case. The truth is that this is a bad movie, it is mindless action with mostly poor characterisation, and a few good scenes and actors manage to raise it up to the level of "meh". There is no emotional or intellectual core to this movie, it is an action movie which hardly gives any attempt to be anything more. I don't care about these characters, I don't care about their situation and it just wasn't fun enough to turn my brain off while I was watching it.

    This film isn't an abomination, it is just a movie, and if you like action films then maybe you'll enjoy it but there was little here for me to appreciate. It's not the worst Star Trek movie, but it is not worthy of the near unanimous praise it is receiving.


    Before going to see the film I made a joke that at least one good thing would come from this movie; Voyager would be erased from the timeline. Having seen it I can now say that I would prefer to keep Voyager in the Star Trek canon, so I guess one good thing to come from the movie is that I now appreciate Voyager more. Halelujah! ;)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  6. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I don't want to turn this into the Trek XI review thread, but I've got to say it's nice to read someone say why they didn't like the film without complaining about continuity errors.*

    Personally, I loved it. It was well cast, it had a lot of humour and heart at its core, and just breezes by with infectious charm and considerable style. I didn't think it would be possible to revive a bloated and flagging franchise, but this film succeeds in spades. It did everything possible to remind me why I love TOS so much. The proof of quite how successful it has been probably won't come until the sequel, but they couldn't have done much better in revitalising Star Trek.



    *
    Though to be fair, they bend over backwards to make it clear that this is a parallel reality. All the TNG characters are still alive and well (sans Romulus and Ambassador Spock) in the original 24th century. Voyager still happened!
     
  7. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Ah, I expected the new movie to not do well under GodBen's scrutinizing eye...

    Yep, the silly time travel plot made to accommodate sad continuity humpers somewhat ruined the film for me, specially because it's the cause of most major plotholes:
    Nero's motivation and all that Hoth sequence.
    Frankly they should have just rebooted, frak canon! How can one oppose reboots after stuff like Batman Begins and BSG 2003 completely rejuvenating dying/dead franchises...?
     
  8. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I went to see the film knowing that it was going to change continuity, and the massive continuity changing event had already been spoiled for me. I can't criticise the film for achieving one of its goals, and the fact that there isn't a big reset button at the end is one of the things that that this movie got right.
     
  9. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I find it interesting to hear a Star Trek fan tell another Star Trek fan to just fit in - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations and all...
     
  10. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    ... and to use the word 'normal' when obviously everyone defines the word in their own individual way.
     
  11. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Only people who aren't normal would say those kinda things...
    normal is normal.
     
  12. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager


    OMG! [​IMG]
     
  13. Praetorian

    Praetorian Captain Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I'm happy to say I'm not normal. Who wants to be average anyway?
     
  14. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Thank God I'm not 'normal'! :eek:
     
  15. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I reject your normality and substitute my own. :techman:
     
  16. neogothboy74

    neogothboy74 Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    <--- has never been normal. And he's cool with that. :techman:
     
  17. Tachyon

    Tachyon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Yes, let's refuse being just another bricks in a wall. Tee hee.

    If such a thing as "normal" really exists, it equals ordinary in my book. And that may not necessarily be a super positive thing. ;)
     
  18. Dane_Whitman

    Dane_Whitman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    To be normal = lack of character.
     
  19. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    I declare Jaespol to be unmutual.
     
  20. Jaespol

    Jaespol Captain

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    Re: A Hater Revisits Voyager

    Normal to be means not being weird and fitting in with the majority of people and socialising with them etc.. but we shouldn't get bogged down with that because I don't really care who I'm talking to on the internet, that's where the fun is.