Levar Burton aka Geordi La Forge criticizes Star Trek 2009

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by serenitytrek1, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I doubt that "smart" films have ever made up the bulk of film produced world wide since the invention of the motion picture.

    Star Trek on film has never really been in the "smart" category. (TMP was more pretentious than smart) Even in TV its been slightly above average at best, rather than in the "smarts" department. ;)
     
  2. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The vast majority of Trek films weren't smart and the one's with TNG actors definately IMO were not.

    Generations: the villian chases after blissful eternal life by entering the 'Nexus," a space ribbon. Enterprise and crew try to stop him. [not high minded to me]

    First Contact: rinse-repeat the borg [no highmindness there]

    Insurrection: planet with simple folks who have found the fountain of youth. [err nothing to see here]

    Nemesis: well enough said.
     
  3. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    We're 0 for 11 on smart Trek films. It may be time to let the dream go and settle for good ones.

    TMP - The Changeling plus some nice effects shots that linger.

    TWOK - Roaring Rampage of Revenge, nice tension. Great character work, hardly smart.

    TSFS - Klutzy villains, technology is a double-edged sword, magic box resurrects Spock.

    TVH Fun time-travel romp wrapped in fluff with another lethal probe thing heading for Earth etc.

    TFF HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    TUC Stolid Cold War analogues, wow, peace with the Klingons, who'da seen that coming unless they watched TNG.

    Smart just isn't what Trek movies do.
     
  4. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Part of the problem IMO is that older Trek films liked to throw in some literary allusions to Shakespeare and even some quotes - dash that with some philosophy and poof Trek is 'smart,'

    Doesn't work that way. But some Trek fans take that approach as 'smart,' film making. Shakespeare quotes and storyines doesn't on its own make smart film making.
     
  5. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't as if there was nothing, just nothing all too thought-provoking or deep. Or, just broad or vague enough to evoke a theme, but not say much new. Thematically, I have it:

    TMP: What is there to life? Exemplified by Spock realizing that with all it knows V-ger is still empty because it can't feel, and that's the most important thing.
    TWOK: Growing old. Self-renewal. The Phoenix of Kirk's life starting again from the death of Spock, symbolizing the end of the past and the start of a new future.
    TSFS: Loyalty and friendship. The needs of the one.
    TVH: Ecology.
    TFF: Can't put it better than HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh! Wait, I know. It was, what does God need with a starship?
    TUC: Prejudice. Overcoming fears and forming an open mind. Duty.

    Actually, two of the better Trek movie themes were in GEN and INS.
    GEN: Facing reality v. the pull of eternal happiness. Maybe addiction.
    INS: The pure ideals of 1960s youth v. the 1990s yuppies who lost those ideals as they aged and desparately want to reaquire them at any cost and no matter how superficial and compromised they would really be if attained.

    The problem with those two themes is they may have actually been too deep for a commercial science fiction, action-adventure movie that most people are watching with a box of popcorn. I think they would've been very good TNG TV episodes, though.
     
  6. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd definitely class City on the Edge of Forever, Balance of Terror, The Inner Light and In The Pale Moonlight as smart TV. Similarly I'd call Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country smart films.

    Some fans think Star Trek shouldn't try to be smart and are comfortable for it to coast on as a loud, dumb action franchise. Which is fine as that's their taste in film but I'd like the films to better represent what made TOS, TAS, TNG and DS9 so great.

    Making out that Star Trek has always been stupid just isn't a valid excuse.
     
  7. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lucas apologists made the same argument about the Prequels. They tore down the original trilogy by saying that any pretensions it had of being modern-myth in the Joseph Campbell tradition were just overgrown kids trying to rationalize their nostalgia.

    It's a weak argument. The original trilogy is BETTER than the prequels, and at least the best contingent of prime-continuity Trek is just plain better than Trek '09.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A third of prime-timeline Trek was good, a third of it was average and a third of it terrible. Star Trek 2009 was an average film, better than some of the Trek that came before and worse than some of the Trek that came before.

    Within the context of the films, I rank it fifth and solidly above every single TNG film outing.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    The episodes mentioned are well done and have significant emotional impact. Not sure if that makes them smart. I see very little smartness in TWOK or TUC. They're pretty shallow. Fun films, actioned packed,but not very deep.

    Not sure if Trek is the best venue for smart SF. It can be emotional, thought provoking and preachy at times, but smart seems elusive with out really changing what Star Trek is.
    Star Trek isn't stupid and that includes ST09. I don't think that and neither do a lot of others who enjoyed the last film.
     
  10. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    It's also an argument which no one here has been making re: previous Star Trek films or Trek episodes. What has been said, if I'm not mistaken, is that Trek hasn't been so consistently "cerebral" and "thought-provoking" on television and on film as some would lead us to believe.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Stupid massive plot hole - why didn't Kirk just tale Edith to the future with him? Same result. She didn't have to die at all and Kirk could have lived happily ever after. If it's about keeping the timeline exactly as it was to the last detail, they'd already failed when the bum was toasted by McCoy's phaser.
    The Romulan ship is repeatedly said to not have warp drive, which is embarrasingly awful science - they'd never have a hope in hell against an FTL ship like the Enterprise. The Enterprise's phasers also mysteriously look, sound and act exactly like photon torpedoes.
    An it-was-all-a-dream episode where Picard learned to play the flute.
    Totally undermines Star Trek. When the good guys are no better than the villains, there is no optimistic future. Also, that "It's a FAAAAKE!" was probably the cheesiest corniest thing in modern Trek.
    Ceti Alpha VI exploded. Erm, why? How? Starfleet somehow missed this and mistook Ceti Alpha V for VI? There is no chance that could happen. An idiot would notice the planets were different to how they were 15 years earlier.

    Khan doesn't grasp the fact that space is three dimensional - which completely destroys any credibility he may have had. Super intelligent? I think you'd struggle to find a non-Augmented someone who doesn't realize space is 3D.

    And Genesis. Makes no sense in terms of Trek technology, in terms of real science, in terms of story.
    Where a Klingon faps to Shakespeare, the Klingons have a ship that can fire while cloaked (a technology they somehow never try again), where the Enterprise crew are treated awfully (Uhura doesn't know Klingon? McCoy doesn't know Klingon anatomy? Kirk's a racist?), and where an exploding moon in Klingon space somehow hits and damages a ship in Federation space but nothing else. The original ending had the Next Generation crew take over from Kirk's - until someone reminded them that the shows are separated by 80 years.
    Oh, and the Klingon/Federation peace was pre-undermined by "Yesterday's Enterprise" which showed the real peace stemmed from an incident 22 years prior to TNG.
    Nope:)
    I love Trek and I enjoyed all the episodes I just tore apart - but I like it for what it really is, not for what the 80's/90's hype said it was. It doesn't fit on the pedestal you're putting it on. You may dislike the new movies and their direction, but they're not fundamentally "dumber" than what came before. Just louder, more intense and less pretentious.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know, TUC is layered in metaphor.
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Metaphor that was as subtle as shovel to the head.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    A metaphor is still a metaphor. And TUC is layered in metaphor.
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    But its not a smart use of metaphor.
     
  16. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    Rocky IV is pretty metaphor-licious, I wouldn't call it 'smart' by any manner of means.
     
  17. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. :techman: Then again, Burton's is more a case of, "Hey! I'm still relevant over here..."
    Nope. Actually, due to his success with Lost, Abrams purchased time-travel technology. He destroyed the original timeline, changed history, raped childhoods and worst of all... my Star Trek won't play in my Blu-Ray player! Well, the VHS ones won't... it's a conspiracy!!
     
  18. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, facts have no place in a post that mentions Argo, at any rate. :p
     
  19. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Meh, the use of a metaphor alone at least generates the illusion of intelligence. And if there's one thing I've learned in life pretending to be intelligent wroks out very well indeed.
     
  20. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ben Affleck is a very good mainstream Hollywood director and Spielberg showed he's still got it with Lincoln. Plenty of great directors out there so don't dismiss modern mainstream cinema on the strength of JJ Abrams' oeuvre. People like him and Michael Bay make their dumb stuff as loud as possible in order to make the audience docile and defeated enough to accept it.