STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Agent Richard07, Apr 18, 2013.

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Grade the movie...

  1. A+

    18.7%
  2. A

    20.7%
  3. A-

    13.1%
  4. B+

    11.1%
  5. B

    8.0%
  6. B-

    4.2%
  7. C+

    5.4%
  8. C

    5.1%
  9. C-

    3.5%
  10. D+

    1.5%
  11. D

    1.6%
  12. D-

    1.3%
  13. F

    5.7%
  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The friendship simply isn't well executed. They had two films, and it's still just "huh, we're supposed to be friends, right." Look at other films were two opposite strangers become good friends in just one or two films.
     
  2. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    I think the filmmakers were just trying to stretch out the formula from the first film because of how popular that was among audiences. Instead of showing Kirk and Spock as they would likely interact after a whole year in space working together, they repeat the beats from the first film by having the two not understanding each other all that well, even though they're supposed to be "friends" by this point. It's kind of like CASINO ROYALE ending with Bond having fully formed into the character we've come to know in the series, only for the next film to tell us "oh no, his arc isn't quite finished yet" because the first one was so well received they want to recapture that. Thus we get STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS that ends the same way the last film ended.
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What both of Abrams' films rely upon pretty heavily -- despite being very carefully crafted to convey as clearly as possible that this is not your father's Trek -- is prior knowledge of the characters and their relationship. Kirk and Spock are conceived and delivered (and in an unusual and somewhat painfully ham-handed way in ST09, we're explicitly told that they are) a destined dramatic unit in the same sense as Alfred and Bruce Wayne, or Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

    Within those parameters, the relationship between Kirk and Spock actually does take center stage. Their arcs are the most clearly conceived and delivered elements of either film's stories: ST09 is about them learning about and accepting their shared "destinies" (ugh), STiD is about them learning to fully understand and accept their friendship.

    But yes, it's quite true that we are told about more than we're shown the foundations of their relationship to a degree that's unusual even for a reboot; STiD in particular seems to rely on us reading an implied now-long-standing friendship into an onscreen relationship that doesn't really feel like longstanding friendship.

    I think he's likable enough*, but I'm mystified from what we see of him why everyone seems to have so much faith in him as a leader of men (apart from the fact that we as the audience are meant to cut him a break because of course He's The Main Character). I think this is a flaw in the conception of the NuTrek crew as a whole: they've been thrown together like a superhero team with an inherent "right" to their positions, but as likeable as they are separately, they don't feel believable as a competent, disciplined crew of a ship.

    * More than this, I think his relative rawness, lack of discipline and seat-of-the-pants style is actually a believable outcome of his changed backstory. It's just not believable that they keep putting him in command of their "flagship" with those qualities.

    These are the biggest problems for me by far: the massive, sometimes seemingly deliberate illogic of the stories (and settings and character concepts), and the mistaking of clever reference and fan-service for good writing. I don't mind clever reference or fan-service, mind you, but they're not a substitute for a story that makes sense.
     
  4. mendelin

    mendelin Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The keywords were: show friendship, express feelings, not just talk about it. They use old Spock with his words of "destiny" to establish relationships. This way is much easier than think about effective dialogs and actions.

    Yes, totally agree.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    But they did show Kirk and Spock's friendship in ID. You just aren't seeing it.
     
  6. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    It's not that some don't see it, it's that they don't find it all that convincing.
     
  7. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think Prime Spock has the clearest and deepest lines about Kirk and Spock. Is that a mistake? Yes. Let it happen organically. Don't change Kirk's mind because old Spock told him that Young Spock should be his friend. What bothers me more than this, is that Kirk is too self-centered to have the type of relationship promised in Star Trek (2009) by Leonard Nimoy.

    This Kirk knows how to do one thing well: rely on his own instincts to get things done. I said awhile back that they needed the Conference table--why did Kirk stun their ride on the planet? He wasn't briefed on the mission and, therefore, he couldn't tell that was his ride.

    Kirk does this all alone now. And that's not the job of a Captain. What's the point of having all this talent on the Enterprise if you never listen to anyone? This is why I say he's not likable. He's arrogant; he thinks he's infallible. And that was fine for the first movie. He's young and we never saw a young Jim Kirk. But somewhere along the way, the rough edges need to be smoothed. How you write that into a script? Apparently, you have him lose as many people as possible on the Enterprise and have him take responsibility for things that are out of his control. He flies off half-cocked and almost loses his ship because he's bent on revenge. Still, he saves everyone by not listening to anyone but himself. Scotty says "don't do it!" and he does it anyway. Does he need to listen to Scotty in that moment? No. But it's consistent with a character that knows only how to do one thing.

    I'm a basketball fan so I'm going to make an analogy. This is a superstar that doesn't trust his teammates. The reason Allen Iverson could lead the NBA in scoring all those seasons and never win a Championship, or sniff anywhere near the second of four rounds, is because he never relied on his teammates. He tried to do it all himself. Anyone who tried to get him to not take 30 shots a game (where 18-20 would've been better, using him as a decoy to break down defenses) is because he only knew how to play one way. He's the only player on the court.

    Meanwhile, someone like Tim Duncan has 4 rings. He's never led the league in scoring. He's been MVP, but it was controversial when he won it. He's the centerpiece, but other players like playing with him.

    Kirk doesn't rely on his team. And, therefore, I never see greatness in him. For all of his abilities, he doesn't know not to stun his ride. He's got the broad strokes--a home-run hitter that can't get on first base--but he doesn't work within the team concept.

    With one movie to go, I don't see this changing in time for the next movie (unless we never see the change, the most interesting arc for Kirk). Considering they will probably only do 3 movies, I don't think this is going to be a likable or great Captain. "But that was another life."
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or he was in the heat of the moment and got startled by a giant animal? Geez. It seems no one wants these people to act fucking HUMAN.
     
  9. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I want someone professional in his job. Training gets rid of things like nerves, because you can rely on the training. You seem to forget they are doing a job.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No I don't. The animal was obviously startled and up on two legs McCoy was behind it so Kirk couldn't see him. Just because that type of animal was suppose to be their ride doesn't mean that particular animal was their ride.

    Stun or possibly get trampled? I'm going to go with stun every single time and twice on Sunday's.
     
  11. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You forget his reaction to McCoy. It's not "I know I was going to get trampled." He instead says, "Oh, Great!" like he didn't know what he had done. Why did McCoy have no idea what he took?
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, it's the kind of error you'd expect at best from a talented but very inexperienced officer.

    Which to be fair is exactly what NuKirk is. Everything about him really does make sense... except his being a Captain at this stage of his life.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or it could have been "Oh, Great!", I fucked up?
     
  14. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That would be inconsistent with the character they are writing.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It really isn't. It's inconsistent with how you interpret the character.
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    On the scale of 1 to "not raising shields when the Reliant is approaching under proven bullshit circumstances", it's a 1.

    Kirk is imperfect, in any timeline, and no movie can survive a hostile reviewing. Anyone's favourite episode or movie can be similarly selectively nitpicked.
     
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Come on now!!! We all know Abramsverse Kirk is the only starship captain from any series or movie to make a major first-year cadet blunder! :guffaw:

    We also know that Abramsverse Kirk is the only starship captain in any series or movie that has a huge ego and thinks that he knows better than Starfleet Command! :guffaw:
     
  18. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Meh, there's imperfect and imperfect. TOS Kirk had a believable skillset for a Starship Captain, perfect or not. (And TWOK Kirk's errors came from rustiness*.)

    For my money there's a substantial air of desperation in the 'Failure to Zig-Zag / Raise the Shields' continuity tailgunning that's become fashionable since NuTrek decided to put itself in the same frame with TWOK. Intriguingly, a lot of this kind of stuff echoes in tone and specifics the over-the-top early fanrage against TWOK to which posters like yourself have been prone to compare dissent from NuTrek. Isn't that ironic? Don't you think? ;)

    NuTrek Kirk does have a believable skillset and make believable errors for an inexperienced officer. But he doesn't have a believable skillset for a Starship Captain. He's crafted this way, that's his arc in STiD: he starts out being unable to admit error or accept the qualities and judgments of his fellow officers (major gaps in a Starship Captain's character), and by the end of the film learns to do so.

    The only thing about that picture that really doesn't make sense is why he's Captain of a Starship in the first place. It's a hard question to avoid when the whole character arc is built around his not having the qualities of a Captain.

    Oh, and:

    "Hostile reviewing"? I've gone out of my way to be fair in my assessment of NuTrek's elements whether I particularly like them or not, so I'll thank you to knock this kind of nonsense off.
     
  19. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure what this means. Haven't people been vilifying Abrams Trek for things earlier Trek also did since the 2009 film?
    [ The most mind-bendingly hilarious example of which is still ( IMO ) a certain poster taking issue with the content of the "these are the voyages" speech. ]
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  20. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It means that when they put Khan in the film and mirror-imaged a specific sequence out of TWOK, the creative team of STiD encouraged comparisons between their movie and the earlier film which have happened, and which some people are plainly quite defensive about.

    (EDIT: Of course it can be fairly said that many, many other Trek films have made the mistake of trying to be Wrath, as pointed out here. But directly cribbing from Wrath is at a new level.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014