NuTrek's Faulty Moral Compass

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Brutal Strudel, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm just curious why "continuity tailgunning" has been kosher for nearly three decades but all of a sudden shouldn't be discussed in context of the Abrams films?
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Con-ti-nu-ity tail-gun-ning? :confused:
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Comparing flaws in current Trek with flaws in past Trek. It originated upthread from BigJake.
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, right. Apparently first used here:

    I still don't really understand what the term is "aiming at" so to speak (ha, ha), but it sure sounds disparaging. Provisionally, I think I've made the reasonable counterargument already:

    In other words, if there's a legitimate objection to nuTrek, it can't be in the attributes that are vulnerable to "continuity tailgunning" (assuming I'm using that term as intended). Instead, it must be in whatever it is that doesn't compensate for those attributes.

    So far, no one's really put their finger on what that is. However, as I mentioned and as I understand it, Crazy Eddie might have been trying here to identify pacing as an issue that was specifically incompatible with movie Trek's sort of fantasy science. I know that BigJake has mentioned the element of character, but I wasn't able to get my head around exactly what the objection was. BigJake has also characterized nuTrek as simply a nostalgia delivery system, but that in and of itself isn't a bad thing, and I'm not yet satisfied that manners have been clearly identified in which nuTrek fails to be more than just a shallow nostalgia delivery system.

    Apologies if I missed something.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just like every Star Trek movie or episode since "The Cage."

    Honestly, if I had to rate all of the trek movies on a scale, STXI would be in my top 4, along with TMP, STID and Wrath of Khan. TUC narrowly takes 5th place, but only because I don't think it was as good as STID.
     
  6. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Also, to the person who posted the dialogue from "Arena" showing Kirk's intent--over Spock's objections--to run down and destroy the Gorn: the point of the episode is that Kirk was WRONG. This is where we have to step back, stop treating Trek like reports from the future and look at it as a series of morality plays where the writing sets the moral tone. Kirk's blasting the defenseless Narada--not in the heat of battle (as was the case with Chang) but after Kirk has had time to make it from the transporter back to the bridge--is endorsed by the script; Kirk's wanting to blast the Gorn is not.

    Also: Gary Mitchell was an explicit threat, even before he killed Lee Kelso. Kirk resists marooning him, gives into the logic based on the clear and present danger Gary was rapidly becoming and boasted of becoming("Fools! I'll squash you like insects! "Spock's right, you know, and you're a fool if you can't see it...Man cannot survive if a race of true Espers is born.") and, even then, took no pleasure, no smirky, glib "Here's some compassion for you, Mr. God" when he had to kill him--instead, his last words to his best friend were "Gary, forgive me."

    And Gary had the means to do serious damage. Nero, probably not. It was poor writing--immoral writing--to make Nero helpless so that we, the audience, could enjoy watching Kirk and Spock stomp on his throat. And we make excuses for it.

    TOS tried not to be blase and casual about death--Kirk mourned the salt vampire. I wonder if this has something to do with the creatives learning about death up close, in actual combat, rather than through the various screens of tv shows, video games and movies.

    And bad writing can equal bad morals--I would invoke Ayn Rand but I fear the fallout.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It isn't any meaningful difference. Why would anyone take a chance Nero survives the transit through the black hole another time to wreck even more havoc?

    I get the point that you don't like Kirk was flippant about disposing of Nero. But it doesn't make the final decision any less right.
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know, I hadn't thought too much about it, but that's a very good point: the EDITING on STXI and STID is quite choppy in places. I get the sense that a huge portion of this movie ended up in Cutting Room Hell, which is reason number 4,861 why I wish that studios still released "directors cuts" of movies.

    That's the general idea.

    There are points where the pace slows down, the movie takes its time setting up characters and events. For example, it does fairly good job in the first half of setting up the characters and their respective backgrounds; Spock's "growing up" is depicted in a fade-in, so the audience gets that the bullying event in school is a turning point in his young life that comes back to haunt him again at application time years later. They handle Kirk's introduction to the Enterprise pretty well too; he drives up to the dock, sees the ship under construction and thinks "That Captain Pike might be onto something..." and goes over and signs up.

    It gets rough in a few places, and those are places where people seem to have the most problems. The transition from "enlist" to "Kobyashi Maru" is very rough, and so is Spock's mind-meld sequence. The climax and resolution are also somewhat rushed: fast transitions, fast pans, not a lot of reaction shots.

    And I think one of the reasons for this is probably Abrams' crew having to basically re-build half the movie in post-production because a lot of what was planned for the movie wound up in cutting room hell. Consider, for example, if the Kirk Hologram scene had been filmed as planned; the Shatner Voiceover would have stretched the resolution substantially and added a bit of introspection and credibility to underpin the idea that FATE ITSELF had put Kirk on the bridge, and that maybe something similar to this had even happened to Kirk Prime. The same thing, IMO, sort of damages the Enterprise's first encounter with the Narada; the script calls for an exchange of fire between the two, with the Enterprise taking heavy damage from multiple missile hits and the Narada taking almost no damage at all. They wound up having to condense this scene substantially and some of Pike's lines got shifted from the battle to the debris field dodge. Come to think of it, even the "too fast to Vulcan" trip is probably the result of a scene deletion; I have the impression that the Sarek/Miranda on a hoverbike scene would have gone in right after McCoy's "Unbelievable" and right before Sulu's "we're at maximum warp, Captain." Stick an external shot of the Enterprise traveling at warp speed, and that would imply some time -- at least a couple of hours -- would have passed.

    Slowing the movie down to a more reasonable pace would have required either omitting even more of the filmed material (which I don't see how they could have without compromising almost all of their character development) or stretching the movie's runtime at least half an hour to include more of the deleted material that would have fit between those rough cuts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Is he really wrong though? Not only did the Gorn destroy Cestus III, but they intentionally lured in a Federation craft. Probably to test its (the Federation's) defenses, much like we see the Romulans doing in "Balance of Terror".

    At the point that Kirk decides to pursue the Gorn, the information he has supports his decision. Much like the information he has in "Balance of Terror" supports his decision. The fact that the Gorn lured the Enterprise intentionally makes the "we were only protecting our territory" defense a little shaky.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:

    So many episodes end with them having a good chuckle even though 'x' amount of crewmen had just died. See: "The Galileo Seven"
     
  11. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Indeed, Kirk had a far better case that the Gorn was a threat than that the Narada was one. He was going to chase down and destroy the Gorn out of duty--but then, that Kirk was driven by duty, riven by doubt and still carried traces of the "positively grim" ("Shore Leave") "stack of books with legs" ("WNMHGB") he had been as a young man.

    And btw, is no one else troubled by the reactionary idea that a Kirk raised by a single mother--a widow, for God's sake--winds up a louche douchebag until NuDaddy Pike finds him? (Oh, and douchebag or not, Pine's Kirk is way too pretty to have to pay for it--let's not be silly.)
     
  12. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Apples, as you are so fond of saying, and oranges. More like apples and transistors, really. Yes, those scenes are shitty (and "Galilieo 7" is a shitty episode) but they aren't joking about being the killers. You don't really need me to point that out, do you?
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think there's a deleted scene that points to an "Uncle Frank" being part of Kirk's life in the first movie. Probably where the douchebag part comes from.

    I had a step-mom from the age of ten and it took me a good long while to shake all the misery she caused me.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And no where do I see Kirk joking about killing Nero. He offered Nero sanctuary and was rejected. He just didn't seem too broken up about dispatching someone who caused so much misery. Just like Kirk didn't seem too broken up about dispatching Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
     
  15. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Kirk's "You got it" is too close for my comfort. YMM(and D[oes])V, apparently, and round and round we go. Wheeeee!
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:

    It would be a pretty dull place if we all agreed. :techman:
     
  17. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    :techman: back at ya!

    You made some really good points. I haven't changed my view entirely but I have fine-tuned it.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I come to this board. There are many, many really smart people that challenge the way that I look at Star Trek here. Even though I don't always agree.
     
  19. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Good character interaction and sentimentality are different things to me. TWOK was an example of the characters (villain included) firing on all cylinders, which made the plot holes easy to overlook. Sentimentality is when movies are being slapped together to raise characters from the dead (TSFS), or getting built around a cast member's ego (TFF)... that sort of thing.

    [​IMG]

    This is of course the flawed belief that motivates continuity tailgunning (it's kind of a dog of a term, I know, but I couldn't think of a better way to describe it), but it is flawed. The "legitimacy" of a criticism of NuTrek has ZILCH to do with whether you can find some precedent for something vaguely more-or-less similar in old Trek. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Good product and bad product stands (or should be allowed to stand) on its own merits, period, I don't care what era of Trek it belongs to. (IMHO, YMMV etc.)

    Continuity tailgunning would work AFAICS (where "accurate") as a rejoinder to people who were claiming the old product was without flaws, or (where it misses the mark, which is pretty often) as an attempt to portray all prior product as sharing whatever flaw one doesn't one wish to admit to manifesting in some worse form in the new product. The first is most typically a reply to a straw man (I have seen virtually no-one even among the most vociferous who actually has objections to NuTrek because they genuinely think all prior product was delivered on the tablets of Zion), and the second is just a diversionary tactic. (This wouldn't apply to cases where people claim outright that "Prime Trek never did [such-and-such]," which are factual claims that can be refuted with citations. I'm talking about assuming any criticism constitutes such a claim and proceeding to "refute" it by saying "old Trek [supposedly] did this too," which is very different; that's what I'm calling "continuity tailgunning.")

    I am disparaging this as a debating tactic, most certainly I am, because I think it makes the Baby Squire of Gothos cry, and that it habitually clutters threads like this one with irrelevancies. (No judgment of anyone who has used it, of course, you're all perfectly lovely people in my book. I just think it's a mistake.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  20. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Also, black holes are magic gravity juice. Not objects with mass whose gravity is still determined by mass and distance. Just magic gravity juice. If a black hole forms from a tiny glob of goo, it doesn't have the gravity of a tiny glob of goo, it has enough to implode a planet, because it's magic gravity juice!