Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Cara007, Nov 1, 2013.
Other writers simply kill off beloved characters to piss off their fans.
Let's examine the sentence you quoted there of mine in its entirety.
I'd say I was pretty darn specific about what I was referring to. In that case, I was referring to "having characters appropriate or adapt lines from literature to their dialog"; I said so.
My post was about the recycling of elements. Each of my examples is arguably gratuitous. The examples were varied in their nature; from their variety, it should be clear that, while I found certain traits in common, I also found them to be dissimilar as well. In addition, they all were readily noticeable, and those that were confined to individual scenes had the effect of "bringing me out of the film".
If you want to make the point that what was done in STID is more extreme in certain key respects than any of the other examples I cited, then that's an assertion that I would agree with. However, if you want to argue that no other Trek film has gratuitously and noticeably recycled elements from other preexisting works, then I'll have to disagree.
Fine. Then the writing has to be idle, indolent, or sluggish. If it isn't, then it's improper word use.
Then state it's unimaginative and uninteresting.
No dramatic device (troupe or otherwise) can do work on its own. It's just a piece of a whole. A link in a chain may be weak, and the chain might be unstable because of if it, but the only work it has to do is bind the link below it to the link above it. It either does this or it doesn't. If it breaks and the chain falls apart, it does this because it was weak to begin with, not because it was lazy.
Likewise, if a troupe is unimaginative and uninteresting from the onset, then the story is DOA. A troupe can't just work hard, pull itself up by its bootstraps, and fix the story on its own.
So, no, a troupe can't be lazy. But this is all moot because it has nothing to do with what lazy writing really is.
And here we go. Total bunk.
In artistic criticism, words like these always reference the artist's perceived mental or physical state and how it affected the work.
A musical composition is uninspired because it is obvious the composer's heart just wasn't in it. For whatever reason, his muse went on holiday, and he continued to aimlessly muck about with the lyric or melody. It has nothing to do with the piece itself.
Lazy writing is that which is generally simple, formulaic, often hackneyed and clearly done with little effort. It is often used to describe procedural television shows. These shows often have script templates that are literally fill in the blank. The writer has half the work done for him before he even starts. Therefore, he can flick out a few keystrokes while he sips mojitos by the pool.
Of course, before all the shenanigans, this was the definition people were trying to prescribe to Orci. The implication being he opened the TWOK script and hit Ctrl-C then opened the STiD script and hit Ctrl-P, and finished it up with a find/replace for Kirk/Spock.
That's really unfair. For one, the scenes really aren't that similar. Second, he couldn't just pigeonhole the whole thing into his story with out making changes.
Rather, as Counterpart suggested with his examples from TUC and TWOK, he took something that had a certain association, fiddled with it until it was to his liking, and then molded it to fulfill its thematic obligation.
That took more effort than people give him credit for.
Except, as I just wrote, Orci did adapt his.
More importantly, however, the mirror was the whole point!
He took a scene featuring a piece of glass, literally mirrored the scene to create a figurative mirror out of that piece of glass that acted as the focal point to his story's main theme.
That's hardly lazy.
The worst Berman and Braga got was garbage mailed to their offices. The internet complaining can keep growing, but it'll never reach that kind of absurdity unless it turns into Gus Gorman levels.
As for the whole lazy writing talk. I call it lazy writing because it's too easy and fan servicy. It suggests that the writers have no ideas of their own and resort to calling back to what is considered the best Trek film of the franchise, which is very different from characters quoting (and citing) lines from Shakespeare (though I agree with McCoy's sentiment "I'd pay real money if he'd shut up"). I'm sure if they wanted they could do something more original without having to do homages to previous movies or TV shows. I'd like that to happen, see this crew forge on their own unique adventures. For whatever reason, they felt they had to do that radiation chamber. They probably figured "Trekkies will love it", and clearly you guys ate it up. I'm glad you enjoyed it, I just don't share your enthusiasm and wish they had taken a different route.
Of course, I see apologists say things like "hey, Trek did X before Orci, so it's nothing new", which only supports my argument that Trek should stop doing that, especially when it's feature films we'll only get every three/four years with a cast that might only end up with less films than the TOS cast. Less of the old, more of the new!
That's a tough one. Maybe if a franchise used more than one writer over the years?
Theft is theft. Theft implies a conscious intent to steal. What you're really saying here is that stealing constitutes harm - and congratulations, that's the whole point. If theft is harm, refusing to call it theft won't make the harm go away.
Really? I thought it was because people are in denial about the flaws of the film, but I guess it's those pesky words and their meanings again.
Sure it is. Putting aside the authority fallacy problem, what "empirical evidence" are you talking about here? Your own opinion? In what way does your opinion constitute "unbiased empirical evidence"?
STID's version involved kicking, with feet! And no one stuck a katra in anyone else. TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
See, here's the routine.
If Orci & Co. do something which others find objectionable, you just come along and tell them how they're using the words wrong. And it works for everything! It can be used to deflect literally anything AbramsTrek might do. It's a very simple rhetorical strategy - though some might call it "lazy" and "uninspired".
All excellent points, clearly and concisely expressed.
As with STXI, the more I think about STID, the more I like it.
Taking the mirror idea, and running with it, if one of the overarching themes of TWOK is that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, then there's a case to be made that one of the overarching themes of STID is that the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many:
The one is Khan and the needs of his are for him to see justice served. In electing not to execute Harrison without trial, Kirk is risking his own life and the lives of his crew for the ideal of due process as it applies to a man whom he knows for a fact to be guilty of capital crimes. Kirk ultimately pays the price while fixing the warp core, and Spock's screaming of Khan's name may be seen as an accusation that Khan is unworthy of the risks that Kirk took on Khan's behalf and of the sacrifice that Kirk had just made.
As it applies by allegory to the War on Terror in the real world, STID's story adds up to a condemnation of the notion that absolutely minimizing the risk to the people at large is a valid justification for violating the human rights of terror suspects, even guilty ones.
Note that, in this reading, STID's theme is more opposite to the theme of TWOK than TSFS's is; as TWOK and TSFS remain in harmony with each other, the theme of TSFS is more of a counterpoint to TWOK's theme than it is a polar opposite.
Am I reading too much into STID? Oh, I don't know. I think that the reading of it that I'm giving here works in the abstract, including the death scene in the warp core. Although the drone strike allegory was clear, whether everything I said was all intended, or whether, if it was, the film could have been better executed, those are issues that I won't contest one way or the other. That said, STID gets points from me just for being far more ambitious than the majority of Trek films, and it's given me more to chew on than most of them.
Ambition is admirable, but it can only take a film so far (heck, it's one of the reasons I rank it way above ST09). TFF is certainly ambitious. There are ideas in STID I love and in many ways it felt more true to Trek, so much I wish they had done things differently, like extending Kirk's thirst for vengeance until the moment he meets Khan face to face and when it looks like he's about to shoot him dead, he decides to place him under arrest, overcoming his desire for vengeance to the relief of Spock and others. The way it plays out, with Kirk deciding "nah, it's wrong" felt way too soon after Pike's death, especially after he just accepted Scotty's resignation. The filmmakers say they stopped it there because they didn't want to make Kirk unlikable. Ha, as if he wasn't ever unlikable before...
Then there's the whole 9/11 truther angle the flick tries to go for, with Marcus staging something just to start a war with the Klingons. That really doesn't sit well with me, and only makes things more convoluted.
I think you are reading my posts in an entirely different mental voice than the one I'm using when I write them. I am offended that the moviemakers apparently think their audience is stupid. I am offended by the myriad personal attacks I've had to put up with on this forum just for emphatically stating my opinions of these movies and not changing those opinions. I'm offended that when I do ask questions about them in an effort to understand them better, I get crap thrown at me (with the exception of two or three people who were courteous enough to give me serious answers).
I don't get offended when people defend their positions per se. That's part of the normal give-and-take of internet discussions. I do get offended when they do it as offensively as some have done here.
Yeah, that's how it was for me when I took the neighbor kids to see the second Superman movie many years ago. I enjoyed it enough to see the first one on TV later, but I can really take it or leave it, and had no interest whatsoever in the Smallville TV series.
If you want me to address one specific point, you shouldn't include others in that post. I chose which one I wanted to address, and misrepresented nothing.
If you did that, I'd be wondering why you couldn't come up with something original. And no, switching actions and dialogue around to different characters is not what I consider original.
Considering that Khan is a literate, well-read individual, I don't mind him quoting from famous literary works.
Transplanting and flipping the death scene and "Khan scream" isn't the same thing.
I agree that Kirk deciding immediately not to follow orders and execute Harrison by remote control dispels a lot of tension awfully quickly, perhaps too quickly. However, there are some structural considerations as to why this must occur.
First of all, in order to make the drone strike analogy, a face-to-face meeting between Kirk and Khan is possible only if Kirk has already decided not to follow orders. If he sticks to the plan given to him by Marcus, Kirk simply pushes a button, as it were, and Harrison is executed by remote control, with no meeting even possible.
Secondly, a confrontation has already occurred between Kirk and Scotty. Kirk was in the wrong at first, and afterwards he's been set right by Scotty.
That said, I could have used a line or two right before Kirk's ship-wide broadcast that he was going to disobey Marcus's orders, say of Kirk telling Spock why he had decided to listen to Mr. Scott after all (assuming there wasn't one; my memory's a little fuzzy on this, and I'm away from my STID copy). I would have appreciated it more having the dots connected up a little more explicitly, in terms of why Kirk had decided to do an about-face.
On the question of how STID was influenced by trutherism, I say, "Meh." Science fiction/fantasy is one of the literary genres where I don't fault narratives simply for being ahistorical; just because some elements in fact apply allegorically to the real world, it's too much to demand that all should. There are many films based on historical events that bend the truth in all sorts of ways, in many cases even beyond the point of breaking, and that doesn't make them meritless. A lot of those are good films. Gone with the Wind, anyone? Since STID implicitly purports to be nothing other than science fiction/fantasy, it can't even be construed as committing that sin.
Besides, I don't believe that events unfolded according to Marcus's plan anyway. Khan threw a wrench in that by weaving a plan of his own into Marcus's designs. At least, that's my current reading of it. When I get back to my copy of STID, I'll analyze it some more. Anyway, in that case, it could be said that both Khan and Kirk (and in any case Kirk at least) foiled the truther plot.
Gene Roddenberry once got so angry about Crusher fans campaigning for Gates McFadden to return and replace Muldaur/Pulaski, he famously said, "If I listened to the fans, Star Trek would be shit."
Not that long afterwards, McFadden/Crusher returned and replaced Muldaur/Pulaski.
I have no idea what I was really trying to say, there. Take your pick, apparently.
I guess I was trying to say two things simultaneously and my brain got mixed up.
Can a company rip itself off ?
Orci and Kurtzman just signed a mega-deal with Sony to write Amazing Spider-man 3 and Venom. Kurtzman will direct Venom, now we know why he's not returning for Trek 3.
True, I'd say after the ship abruptly dropped warp, that's when he decides not to use the torpedoes because of the risk that it might inadvertently start a war with the Klingons. Everyone seems relieved about it, until Kirk makes it clear he still intends to kill Khan, only this time he'll look him in the eye. "Marcus ordered me to kill him, I'm just adapting to our situation. You have your orders, Mr. Spock." Throw in a little conflict with Uhura or Bones coming up to Spock asking why he's not trying to persuade Kirk from doing what is clearly an act of vengeance and Spock says "he's the captain, we'll follow his orders", continuing that thread of family breaking apart that began with Scotty's resignation because of Kirk's vendetta.
Kirk may have foiled the truther plot, but then you have the whole thing with Khan crashing into San Fransisco reflecting the 9/11 tragedy, with none of the characters watching in horror because the film is way too concerned with "we gotta get Khan". It just feels insensitive. It would have gone a long way just to show the characters look at the viewscreen for a minute in horror, not saying a word. This is where I give ST09 points for actually handling the destruction of Vulcan much more tastefully, and even that already worked as a 9/11 attack allegory.
From what I understand, McFadden was gone because of a conflict with Maurice Hurley and once he left, Berman decided to bring back McFadden. I think it's too bad, because I liked Pulaski much better. Crusher didn't really bring much to the dynamic.
Too bad Space Seed and TWOK weren't written by Harlan Ellison. Now he would definitely find out if they ripped him off or not.
I put great sentimental value on bringing back Diana Muldaur in the role of Dr. Pulaski because of her guest roles in TOS. But her Pulaski was just too stiff and formal for me - compared to someone genially familiar like DeForest Kelly's McCoy. I wanted Pulaski to loosen up, and I was never sure whether it was the character or the actress doing poorly at times. That was "season 1" for her so maybe she would have evolved over time to be more than she was.
As for Beverly Crusher, her best and quintessential moment for me was when Q zapped her into a yapping irish setter for a moment. That was often the true essence of her character. She was frequently shrill, as Q described, and much too prone to poor judgement because her idealism overruled common sense and the reality of moment all too often. She might not have brought much to the dynamic because it was just too easy to dismiss her for being unrealistic. I understand it's the writers doing those things, so maybe I blame them for writing her poorly more than Gates McFadden's performance. But I always thought she seemed to walk funny, as if she was constantly aware that she was a model on a fashion runway. Doctors don't walk like fashion models - but actresses might. It was out of character.
Actually, I don't know if it was The actress, or the writers giving her character development, or the writers finally finding a better balance, but, Pulaski actually did start loosening up by the end of her Season, IMHO
I'm pretty sure it was entirely deliberate that she was stiff and brusque when first introduced - I mean: blowing off reporting to the captain when she comes on board? Over the course of several episodes, though—developing a good working relationship with Picard, overcoming her initial perception of Data, developing a friendship with Worf—I'd say Pulaski's character arc involved loosening up quite a bit. Of course, she remained someone who did not mince words when something needed saying, but I didn't see that as a negative attribute.
It's almost like speaking of it in this way is a figure of speech or something.
And you know, I'm actually not going to explain the difference between figurative and literal speech to you, which is what replying to this rather bizarre post would consist of. It is, however, a pretty fundamental concept which you had better learn about if you ever want to lecture people about artistic criticism and word choice and be taken seriously.
(And it's trope, not troupe. Subtle but important distinction. )
Separate names with a comma.