One Year Later: Star Trek Into Darkness

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by HaplessCrewman, May 29, 2014.

  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not a bad piece, and yes it's describing something real albeit hard to really quantify at this stage beyond certain suggestive things here and there. [Oh, and I'm commenting on the run here so I don't have time to read the thread, but I'm just going to assume the "tiny clique of butthurt Trek fanboys" explanation has already cropped up, notwithstanding that that's fairly clearly not just what Singer is talking about, yes? Side-eye, for youse who are doing that. Side-eye for youse all. :p]

    I do think Singer maybe misdiagnoses some things. The YouTube comedy series that took the piss did so reasonably affectionately, not just as "backlash," and generally speaking I don't see much evidence that anyone has forgotten about the thrilling action sequences or likable cast. But some of the other things he talks about are things that I've seen come up in pretty widely-dispersed places on and off the Net and more often than not from non-fans (not just non-Abramsfans, I mean non-fans), so yes, I'd say they're worthwhile topics on the whole.

    Also worth noting that Singer nails an aspect of the appeal of Into Darkness that's worth remembering:

    Which I think is quite true.
     
  2. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Edited to add right up front: This is probably a post that's going to get a lot of TLDR (too long, didn't read) replies. Oh well, felt good to vent. :)

    Matt Singer quotes Khan:
    Singer himself says about this, "But as far as I can tell, neither Marcus nor Khan know Khan's crew are inside the torpedoes when they are given to Kirk. So, Khan's whole plan was revenge for the murder of people who hadn't been killed, and Marcus' whole plan was to give Khan the one thing he wants. None of it holds up to scrutiny, and all of it is unclear."

    What? Khan's quote is very clear. Khan put his people in the torpedoes. He may be masking his real motive for doing it, but he admits he did it. He says he was discovered. That had to be by Section 31, which would mean Marcus knows. So, found out, Khan has to save himself. He logically assumes that when Marcus gets ahold of the seventy-two torpedoes, he'll summarily kill Khan's crew to cover things up. Instead, Marcus doesn't, maybe deciding they're more useful as bargaining chips to get Khan back or for some other purpose, later.

    But Khan, in a fit of emotional rage fearing Marcus did kill them, goes very rogue and very public, and now Marcus must get rid of them. Whether it's the best way to do it or not may be arguable, he takes advantage of Kirk's willingness to go after Khan to get rid of the torpedoes more or less in plain sight. When Khan realizes Kirk has exactly 72 torpedoes, it occurs to him his people may still be inside and alive. The story could've been very different if Khan had been told there were 28 or 8 or 12, or 142 torpedoes. Seventy-two was the magic number.

    What in the world about that is unclear or doesn't hold up to scrutiny?

    As far as contemplating Kirk's ups and downs in rank goes, WTF? They take the Enterprise from Kirk at a meeting where Pike wasn't there to defend him. After a short cooling off period, Pike talks to Marcus, and in a great selling job, talks Marcus into letting him essentially take Kirk under his wing (let's face it, even Marcus would have to admit Kirk is exceptional). Also, Pike may have influence over Marcus that comes from them having a sort of mentor-protégé relationship, or at least Marcus greatly admires Pike and what he thinks (Marcus telling Kirk he talked Pike into jointing Starfleet insinuates that). Then, Pike is killed, and Marcus lets Kirk captain the Enterprise again because under the circumstances he thinks, "What the hell, he'll either be my scapegoat for war or get himself killed, anyway."

    As far as the, "Oh, shit," moments go. I thought most good action movies will full of quite a few of those.

    As far as Kirk being alive ten minutes after he's dead goes (movie time), so what? Spock was probably dead ten minutes on the Genesis planet before coming back to life. The only difference between his "death" and Kirk's was the time in between the movies for Spock.

    Here's the most inane and ego-involved line from Singer's piece, "Star Trek into Darkness isn't as great as its reviews suggest -- or as bad as its backlash." There were 215 positive reviews out of 247 reported on RT. What percentage of those reviewers have recanted their positive reviews a year later? Has the backlash on Youtube completely enveloped and negated all those positive reviews? Which by implication were all knee-jerk reactions to the movie, by the way. They were just unthinking tools, too unsophisticated to ask the right questions and be intellectually honest with themselves about how bad the movie really was. All 215 of them.

    The last part of his article is full of holes, too. For all we know, some medical branch of Section 31, or maybe even some mainstream Starfleet medical personnel have been or are studying Khan's blood for its restorative qualities. However, after the 1990s, as brought out on DS9, eugenics is an ethical third rail for humans. One shouldn't expect Khan's blood to be as common as flu shots.

    As far as using blood from any of the other 72 go, how does one know all 72 in the tubes are supermen (or superwomen)? What if only ten are? Or one in five? Or, even zero? McCoy knows for certain about Khan's blood. Is McCoy feeling lucky? Pick a tube, any tube.

    Singer says the movie is cynical. Gee, after seeing this country rationalize going after the wrong people (Iraq) after 9/11, maybe we're entitled to be cynical about our leaders and their motives. The ending of STID is positive and optimistic because it looks as if after their bad moment, the fever is broken. The war lust is gone. Marcus and all his ilk are just as responsible for the Vengeance crashing into San Francisco as Khan was, because they created and perpetuated the atmosphere that led to it all. By the end of the movie the evil has been exposed, and the demons seem to have been purged. Why not be sincerely hopeful at the end of the movie?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  3. Dexart

    Dexart Cadet Newbie

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    I can only echo the sentiment... ST:Into Darkness was a great movie, and will stand as such. Hardliners can poke holes into the plot as much as they want, they'll still hand over their money to the cashier, at the next Star trek movie premier.
     
  4. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The movie has obvious pot holes all of which I had expected after watching the 2009 film. I do think you have to switch off your brain for this.

    I went to see it 3 times. I don't usually do repeat viewings of any film at the cinema. Loved it each time. A well made and highly entertaining movie.
     
  5. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    :techman::techman::techman::beer:

    Well done.
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We know that Khan knew his people were in the torpedoes and how many of them there were, and that he'd assumed Marcus had killed them. Otherwise, pretty much none of the information as to why any of this rest of it is happening or what anyone's motivations are at any point is actually in the film. So it doesn't surprise me that people get confused.

    (Especially given that most of the scenarios that would fit -- including the one you come up with, which strikes me as pretty reasonable -- are kind of absurd unless Marcus and Khan are both sitcom-worthy buffoons, rather than the formidable adversaries they're portrayed as being.)

    Your rendition of the sequence of events supports Singer's view, frankly. Moreover Singer is talking about dramatic impact as well as plausibility, the rapid yo-yo-ing of Kirk's command rank didn't strike me as having much of either.

    So what? Really? So that robs the moment of drama, especially when it's deliberately put in frame with another movie that had the guts to leave the character dead at the end. I don't see what's unclear about that.

    Oh do tell.

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, movies getting overpraised is not exactly an impossible thing that never happens. Just ask yourself a couple of things. Would you be hitching your cart to this rhetorical horse for anything other than a Trek movie? Would you be taking it as personally for anything else?

    I mean, Singer's guessing about trends on relatively little concrete evidence, but all that does is make his arguments speculative, not automatically "inane" or "ego-involved."

    I don't think the reason Singer gives for that final moment falling flat (for some of us) is the best one.
     
  7. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yesterday I hung out with my cousin and as usual we love talking about movies. We actually saw STID in IMAX 3D together (as we've watched Trek in theaters together since the 90s), and he really liked that and at that time thought it might have been the best of the films he had seen. He's more of a casual viewer than a fan. Having been on Netflix, he revisited it and thought it didn't hold up well, for reasons that nobody here hasn't heard like the yo-yoing of Kirk's rank, his death/resurrection, the whole business with the torpedoes and such. And of course, the "not as good as the first", which I hear the most often and is the one criticism I actually disagree with, but I can understand why many feel that way.

    I thought I'd bring this up here because since it's relevant to this topic, and it's coming from someone who isn't a big fan like all of us here whereas fans tend to either be cheerleaders for the film or quite the opposite like booers. Makes one wonder how many casual viewers feel about the flick today. Tamatometers wouldn't be helpful in this case since a bulk of the votes were done on the time of release and many might not even bother to go back on the site and change it if their opinion of the film changed (this is one of the reasons I don't think such sites can be helpful beyond the time of release).
     
  8. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yet in-universe he's been mentioned in the same breath as Hitler, for some reason.
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    What about Khan's actions makes him a sitcom-worthy buffoon, exactly?

    As for Marcus, the movie never seems to characterize him as a particularly cunning adversary. He fails to realize that Khan might take advantage of Starfleet protocol after the London attack, and criminally underestimates Kirk (as evidenced b the "Aw, shit" scene) and his crew.
     
  10. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    They are also the most overtly "black." As a Klin--er, black man myself, I could not help but feel a little uncomfortable.

    Still liked the movie, though.

    (Cue "post-racist" shit-storm in 5, 4, 3, 2...)
     
  11. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd look at Franklin's scenario of what goes on between Khan and Marcus, starting with: "Khan put his people in the torpedoes,"" and ending with: "[Marcus] takes advantage of Kirk's willingness to go after Khan to get rid of the torpedoes more or less in plain sight." It's as reasonable a scenario as anyone could come up wiht... but for my money, it doesn't look like a game of chess between two grandmasters, or even one with any grandmasters involved at all.

    A survey of all the many ways the Klingons have been racially, erm, awkward over the span of Trek would actually be pretty interesting.

    I do nevertheless agree with Dennis that their design being genuinely intimidating was pretty cool to see. I was more disappointed that they didn't get much to do other than get shot up by Khan.
     
  12. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Again, I'll agree that Marcus isn't a grand master. I don't think the movie characterizes him as such, and I certainly wouldn't argue as such.

    I'm still not sure, however, how Khan's actions in the movie represent "sitcom-worthy buffoonery."

    Is it Khan's strategy to smuggle his crew out using the torpedoes you find silly?

    Is it Khan's assumption that Marcus -- ruthless enough to sacrifice the entire crew of the Enterprise, his own people -- killed Khan's crew when he discovered Khan's ruse?
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    There's a pretty well-written academic study by Daniel Bernardi that talks about this issue, among others, although since it came out in 1998 (and is a revision of Bernardi's 1995 PhD thesis) there's quite a bit of Trek that he doesn't cover.
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That looks fascinating Harvey, thanks for the link.
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    On the same subject, there's also this book by Micheal Pounds, but I wouldn't strongly recommend it. Pounds' contention that Number One was originally written as black (the end note supporting this claim leads only to The Making of Star Trek) is one of several head-scratchers. Bernardi has more credibility -- even though I don't give every argument he makes equal weight.

    If you do read Bernardi, and want to start a thread, I'm game. I'll just need some time to re-read!
     
  16. Beyerstein

    Beyerstein Captain Captain

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    I think the first Abrams movie is still fun and holds up pretty well.

    The second one is weird and I can't watch it without being reminded of Bob Orci's 9/11 truther and conspiracy theorist beliefs.
     
  17. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Funny how when Khan brags about how he cares so freaking much for his crew that he'll shed a tear over the prospect of losing them, he won't lift a finger to find out if his assumptions are correct. Saying that he "logically assumed" still makes this an assumption, which is defined as...

    suppose to be the case, without proof.​

    This intelligent "I am better!" superman goes on a killing spree based on assumptions. Really? When he had that one Section 31 guy infiltrate their secret underground London base, he didn't tell him to just check the records and see what was done with those torpedoes or it's contents? What if the torpedoes along with his crew were inside the base when he blew it up? Khan is more of a danger to his own people than anyone else in this movie.
     
  18. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    It's easy for writers who don't watch Star Trek to make those conclusions when the biggest thing associated with Khan was when he was a revenge seeking madman who was responsible for Spock's death and the almost destruction of the Enterprise. Remember this exchange in the Deep Space Nine episode "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"?

    Admiral Bennett: Two hundred years ago, we tried to improve the species through DNA resequencing. And what did we get for our troubles? The Eugenics Wars. For every Julian Bashir that can be created, there's a Khan Singh waiting in the wings.

    Recognize the problem? You should. Deep Space Nine takes place about 400 years after the Eugenics Wars. But did Ron Moore use Space Seed as a reference where Khan was identified as the least violent tyrant of all the supermen? No.

    "This is my personal screw-up. When I was writing that speech, I was thinking about Khan and somehow his dialog from "Wrath" started floating through my brain: "On Earth... 200 years ago... I was a Prince..." The number 200 just stuck in my head and I put it in the script without making the necessary adjustment for the fact that "Wrath" took place almost a hundred years prior to "Dr. Bashir." I wrote it, I get the blame."​

    But Joe Menosky's comment is my favorite because he says something that a lot of users here keep using in order to justify Khan being a genocidal murderer.

    "I heard they were going to point blank, have a statement that said the Eugenics Wars occurred in the 21st century. That was the rumor that was floating through the building. I think that people would have hit the roof if they would have done that, so maybe they just decided to leave it up in nebulous hyperspace. The point is, if they would have gone that route, then you would have had to come up with some theory about how history got screwed up. The records got destroyed, or something messed up the original dates."​

    Clearly coming up with the idea that records were destroyed or messed up is a really far fetched idea when it comes to the Eugenics Wars... DID THESE PEOPLE EVER WATCH SPACE SEED?!?!
     
  19. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting.

    The problem with using Khan in a 2013 movie is the time of the Eugenics Wars has passed in the real universe, and I don't think Trek has ever altered or made anything up in real Earth history that came before a Trek story aired. Changing the Eugenics Wars to the 21st century, maybe retconning them to coincide with the time of the Third World War as mentioned in TNG, would've made some sense, but probably would've also caused a lot of fans to hit the roof.

    But the out is here is easy. Khan's history is the same in both universes, but as I said before, impressions of who Khan was or what he really did can be very different in both universes. Given that Section 31 found Khan, there could've been more intensive research into this period than was done in the Prime Universe. Could be Khan was indeed a far more vicious person than he portrayed himself to be as in "Space Seed", or was understood to be by 23rd century Prime Universe history. Bear in mind that in SS, when he starts to lose is patience with the crew, he did get frustrated and resorted to threatening to basically execute them all. He didn't seem to have any moral qualms doing it.
     
  20. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    About the torpedoes: If your problem is Khan had no way of knowing if his people were still in the torpedoes on the Enterprise, point taken. However, as far as his motivations go, after his encounter with the Enterprise (starting with Sulu's threat) they are driven by the belief that they still are, and that's enough to move the story. Is that logical? Does it mean Khan is greatly discounting other actions Marcus may have been just as likely to take? Maybe. What could've been said on screen that would've made all this with the missiles more clear?

    About Kirk's rise and fall in rank: Kirk has been captain of he Enterprise for a year. He hasn't really matured, and probably still sees the Enterprise as his new hot rod to go from adventure to adventure. He may love it, but he's not wed to it, yet. His life isn't defined by it, yet. So, the poignancy of losing his command isn't as sharp as it would be if this had been later in his career. However, if audience drama can be better served by Kirk roaming the halls weeping, he will gladly defer to Singer's expertise. ;)

    About the reviews: Yes, Singer is guessing about trends based on little or no evidence (the "small n" problem). Speculation with very little to back it up is a guess, or just a poorly informed opinion. I'd be interested to hear more evidence to back up his argument that the movie hasn't aged well (at one year old!). Especially when it's contrasted with 215 positive reviews out of 247 of varying depth and quality, and varying degrees of like for the movie that also include legitimate beefs with it. That it's not considered so good now would be a stunning thing to show. Responding to that by calling the movie "overpraised" is also odd an interpretation that seems based on personally not liking it, therefore rationalizing the "gushing" of praise for it as exaggerating its quality. As far as me taking it personally goes. Meh. I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go 'round and 'round.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014