Do fans want the prime timeline back? Part 2: Poll edition.

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by bbjeg, Sep 6, 2013.

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Do fans want the prime timeline back?

  1. I'm a fan and I want the Prime timeline back.

    56.0%
  2. I'm a fan and I don't want the Prime timeline back.

    16.4%
  3. I'm a fan and wouldn't mind if it came back.

    11.1%
  4. I don't care, just give me Trek!

    14.6%
  5. I don't know.

    1.9%
  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Asking for "statistical proof" of a statement that didn't quote any statistics is game-playing, Bill. If I had said "most" people regard the Abramsverse as garbage you would have a point.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So it was a drive-by slam that you actually couldn't support.

    That, to me, is intellectually dishonest. But hey, whatever makes you sleep better at night.
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suppose, to take your numbers, if the 22,000 dislikers on Rotten Tomatoes do not qualify for you as "many" people you are entitled to your opinion, Bill. (I would point out that 10% of a sample does in fact meet the common threshold of "statistical significance" if that's what you prefer.) But since I don't support drawing conclusions from Rotten Tomatoes "statistics" your demand that "proof" be provided in a context irrelevant to the comment remains... well, let's just say it remains what it is. Like I said, I welcome intelligent challenges and honest engagement. I hope to eventually see some from you.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Details like Chekov not being in "Space Seed" or Khan's crew being multi-ethnic? :lol:
     
  5. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you for the question, Geoff. No. More along the lines of details like "is there a plot that makes sense" or "does the fantasy tech set up some in-world rules and then stick to them" (the latter being the subject I was originally responding to).
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Less than one out of ten is insignificant in the world of entertainment and doesn't qualify as "many people thinking that Into Darkness is garbage".

    I can respect the fact that some people don't like the film but I don't try to misrepresent fandom or general audiences by speaking for them. I let the actual numbers and movie-goers speak for themselves. All I can say is what I think and present the numbers that are available.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I don't think most people care about either if they have a good time. They probably don't care about consistency between the source material and the current incarnation either. The ones who do care are probably "Trekkies" or their equivalent.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm a Trekkie and I go to movies to be entertained not pick them apart. :techman:
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love that people are going around demanding and trying to provide "proof" of their opinion about the last movie. ;)
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    "Many" and "most" refer to more than one opinion.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It makes no sense for me to run into random threads and tell everyone how much I dislike various elements of the franchise and how many people think they're trash.

    It serves no purpose.

    Plus, if you're going to talk smack be prepared to back it up.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the short term, no. The question is, for a "Future of Trek" thread, what "future Trek" actually aspires to.

    If it is making relatively forgettable popcorn cinema, then worrying about details like craftsmanship and good writing is to some extent superfluous. If it is making films that are well-regarded as SF and have some longevity and relevance in the long term to people outside the franchise, that's a different question.

    Although [Geoff's] arithmetic may be a bit suspect (22,000 is more than 1 last time I checked), I'll concede that using the word "garbage" in my initial post was ill-advised and guaranteed to provoke defensiveness and attempts at derailment. So, bad call. I'll take another snap at bringing this back to the question I was addressing, and try to be more constructive.

    My point is that a large amount of opinion on Abramsverse Trek -- like or dislike, and yes, I'm speaking impressionistically rather than statistically -- concede that it is essentially junk cinema. Junk cinema is not necessarily unenjoyable; I myself don't hate everything about the Abramsverse films -- the cast is delightful, some of the set pieces are of themselves entertaining -- but it's in much the same register in which I enjoy Conan the Barbarian or Big Trouble in Little China or (he says grudgingly, but it's unavoidably true) Inception. It's still junk cinema. I like it because I like it, but it's not particularly good filmmaking and I don't feel like I'm on the grounds to justify it as such. If someone complains, my response is: "don't overthink it, just enjoy the ride."

    That's fine for popcorn cinema that one expects to be disposable for oneself and others, and even from those who love the Abramsverse films, that's the basic defense we largely hear: it's fun, it's a thrill-ride, don't overthink it. Pressed, many will claim that the writing isn't any worse than most Trek films -- which is true, but then most of the Trek films are forgettable and largely irrelevant to the broader film landscape and deserve to be so -- and defend it mainly in the terms that if you aspire to more, you're being some variant of OCD spaz. (An example I don't choose at random, I've seen that actual phrasing on these boards. And I will give Abrams this, at least his films are good as popcorn cinema, something The Final Frontier and the TNG films can't say; irrational Trekkieness plays in not at the point where one aspires to better movies, but where one is vindictive enough to actually rate almost any film at all as being worse than The Final Frontier.)

    So, I am not saying I unconditionally hate everything about Abrams' films. At the very least he had the wherewithal to assemble an incredible cast who will -- from my standpoint -- hopefully have the chance to feature in something with a bit more ambition. I am, however, enough of a Trekkie to think Trek is capable of being visually thrilling, entertaining and still intelligent. Those are the attributes that IMO would guarantee "future Trek" some real traction and legacy, rather than a couple of periodic "forgetbusters," and they're what I assume people interested in discussing "future Trek" are aiming at.

    I hope that clarifies a few things. And I apologize to BillJ for my implications of his being dishonest or unintelligent, I am sure he is neither and just passionate about the films. I get it, and I've been there. (Archived somewhere on the Net is my many-years'-ago defense of The Matrix: Reloaded. It's not like I've come to my current perspective without some experience in being on the other side of this kind of discussion.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Well I feel that if you have a "good time" at a film you're more inclined to go to the next film in the series. You remember that "good time". Similarly if you like an actor's work or a director's work. With a series of films like Trek, Star Wars or the Matrix you have to keep and grow an audience, one misstep and they're gone. Trek had it's share of missteps with STV, Insurrection and Nemesis. (And on TV with Voyager and Enterprise) It's hard to recover from those missteps. That Abrams has revived the franchise after those missteps are credit to his ability as a filmmaker (love or hate his technique) I happen to feel that his Trek films have more depth than a lot of folks given them credit for. So he is making films that are "visually thrilling, entertaining and still intelligent". They are more than disposable popcorn cinema.
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would agree with this, except that I remember the way my appreciation of The Matrix: Reloaded palled on actually thinking about it, and I was not in fact inclined to go see the next film in the series.

    (Apologies for cutting this statement off before the end, I'm just responding to what I think is relevant.)

    I'm not really convinced that Abrams has "revived the franchise," although make no mistake, I thoroughly appreciate that he has made the TOS universe relevant again. What will tell the tale is what happens when or if the franchise decides to again try something more than just popcorn cinema. All he's really done thus far is sell popcorn cinema wrapped in the trappings of the Trek "brand." It's more than Trek was doing prior to that, obviously, but "intelligent cinema" it does not make.

    Abrams does excel in clever touches, which are sometimes confused with "intelligence." We saw this in Lost, which amassed a fanatical following based on turning an entire television series -- however incoherent its character and plot arcs turned out to be -- into a vast Easter-egg hunt. But Lost also lost a lot of viewers in its later seasons to this confusion of cleverness with intelligence, and I get the feeling that the same thing may have happened with the Trek movies, which lack overall coherence or believability but are chock-full of clever touches (most notably, I think, the inversion of the TWOK death scene, which made some people SQUEEEE! and other people recoil in contempt; I'm even someone who thinks that particular touch was genuinely clever and fun, right down to Quinto's "KHAAANN!" yell, it's the unintelligence surrounding it that balks me).

    I also think that a strength of Abrams is that, over short stretches, he's really excellent with character touches and beats. I love the Uhura-Spock romance, for instance, even if I don't love that it wound up reducing Uhura to "Spock's girlfriend" in STID. (I'm familiar enough with original Trek to know that any Uhura that gets to do anything at all but connect phone-calls is an improvement.) I love his employment of the characters and that they all get something important to do, in contrast to Kirk, Spock and McCoy doing most of the heavy lifting. In service of genuinely intelligent and coherent plotting and writing, it would be Great Stuff. And perhaps yet will be.
     
  15. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    Right here buddy.
    I get what you're saying, "a large amount of opinion", but what's being said is a larger amount (x9) enjoyed it (or at least paid to see it again ). It's fan base vs general audiences and the gross numbers, even after you adjusted the previous movies ticket price due to inflation, back up "Into Darkness".

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=startrek.htm

    I enjoyed it, even though it shuffled previous ideas. I took it as a homage movie.
     
  16. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, I get you, what I'm saying is that the "junk cinema" assessment doesn't track to who liked or disliked it. I didn't dislike STID as pop cinema and in fact paid twice to see it (theatre and PPV); I just don't think it's intelligent filmmaking with a long-term appeal.
     
  17. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Well like most of the TV shows he's produced in the last few years, he really wasn't all that involved in Lost past the first couple of seasons. You'd have to look at the people who actually ran that show to blame for any of it's problems or excesses.

    As for intelligent cinema, not sure if Trek's really cut out for that role. At its heart its an action adventure story that occasionally plays with interesting ideas. It tends to get stodgy and stale when it tried to be "intelligent".
     
  18. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Trek can certainly manage basic narrative coherency and adherence to its own rules. Any movie conceived with quality in mind can manage those things. I'm not even talking about high-concept stuff, which I happen to think could be managed in a Trek film but is not the basic benchmark for "intelligence" I'm talking about here.
     
  19. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I guess I'm not seeing any real incoherence or rule breaking in the recent films. The idea that these films are being made with out quality in mind is rather baffling to me.
     
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't hate it the way Devin Faraci did, but he's a useful guide to some of the major complaints. I particularly agree with this:

    IMO that's dead on.