Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by otomo, Aug 29, 2013.
I enjoy Into Darkness more. But I've never been much into zombie movies.
nuKirk is a zombie now.
I didn't enjoy ID nearly as much as I did ST09, but it was still enjoyable. But FC is my favorite Trek film and, in my opinion, it is superior to ID in almost every way.
Agree, they are both good.
Using Red Letter Media as some sort of reference point for intelligent, considered film critique is akin to adding wikipedia links to your dissertation's footnotes. It's a bad idea all around. I find RLM puerile, frustrated, antagonistic, petulant, self-indulgent and seemingly unable to understand that all movies are "speculative fiction" and not required to meet his personal subjective tastes and demands.
Why, where's the difference between RLM and any other critic?
And regarding Wikipedia... it's looked down upon by old fashioned people because it's online and not printed in heavy books. It basically comes down to that. It's up to date, the crowd intelligence principle works, it is a great source to cover the basics and cites the references. You wouldn't cite it as reference because you should never cite a deriving source to begin with. But it's a legitimate source of base knowledge and a good starting point. And on some contemporary subjects it has also become the only source, because all other old fashioned source can't keep up with the pace.
The RLM reviews are only worthwhile as some sort of comedic experiment, so no, I don't find that they hold any merit as intelligent criticism. He basically sets out these arbitrary rules that all films must follow in order to be successful, in his opinion, when I find his "rules" completely subjective, restrictive and unimaginative. He forgets that films are art that is meant to make us feel something, not a process of crossing every 't' or checking every box each time. And our response to films is entirely colored by our own subjective experiences in life, who we are as people determines whether a specific movie works for us or not. It's not a matter of getting the wrong answer on a test and therefore you receive a failing grade. RLM's "worst" can be my "best" simply because who I am as a person is different and therefore something in me responded positively to the movie in question.
Regarding the wikipedia as reference, okay, granted I come off sounding like an old man, which I could be accused of being from time to time... the world has changed enough in my time that I should probably allow for valid references from online sites.
But isn't that true for any critic?
I can't count how many times I disagreed with an Ebert review, positive or negative. And while Ebert wasn't checking boxes on a list, there are many reviewers out there that do.
You probably have a point, I guess I'm just weary of the geek fanboy community citing RLM's words as if they were gospel, never to be disputed or refuted. Some people act as if RLM was judge presiding over a case and his verdict is law and it just pisses me off, because it's so incredibly lazy of fans to allow that.
Well RLM is part comedy, part criticism of course, but I find the reviews, especially of the SW prequels to be very insightful when they try to be. And by the way, no less an "establishment" critic than Ebert liked RLM's review of TPM.
I prefered STID over FC, in fact FC is one of the worst and I can't even sit through an entire viewing of the movie anymore (this is only my opinion and not trying to debate or trump anyone else).
Why I don't like FC:
- Bad acting/dialogue/script (except for Stewart). James Cromwell is a fantastic actor, but his portrayl of Cochran was so goofy and unbelievable.
- Riker and Troi...the Troi getting drunk scene and Riker's smugness about her being drunk...ugh...hated it. In their defenses though I've never liked Riker.
- Totally unbeliavable to me that Riker and Geordi were in the ship when it was launched and seen by the Vulcans. And the meeting at the end with Cochran trying to to the Vulcan salute...sorry, that was lame.
- Bad sound effects/CGI mainly at the beginning during the battle against the Borg.
- The Borg Queen and Data sexual suggestions...totally unnecessary and goes back to poor writing.
I guess I could go on, but that's all I could think of off the top of my head. Again, only my opinions and not a shot against anyone in the thread or anyone that does like FC.
Having rewatched FC, I still think it's very good (even the second best aside from TWoK) but has some big flaws, most notably how the Borg got aboard (when were the shields down?), the deflector dish scene feeling like a long setpiece (although not as long or flashy as those in ID) and going against the idea that all the Borg could communicate all the time and Picard and Cochran's storylines are good but a little choppy (especially Vengeful! Picard doesn't dominate, instead those scenes are well done but too unconnected to the other ones) and similarly Data being a captive seems forgotten by the crew until the end. Riker telling Cochran of the future so soon also feels a little out of character.
I especially don't know why they had an Ahab reference that didn't work followed by one that did, they should have just had the latter one that did.
And LOL that on the commentary Braga and Moore admit that Picard offering himself fully or as an equal doesn't make much sense (but it's still at least an interesting twist to the original story). Nonetheless, the characters and story mostly work, especially most of the interaction between the 24th and 21st century characters.
I find both FC and ID mediocre films.
I think First Contact is the best of the TNG films, which may be damning it with faint praise. I've still not seen Into Darkness, but comparing FC's effects against ID's of 17 years later seems rather unfair.
re: the debate about RedLetterMedia... I'd argue that RLM is a film student first and foremost, and he approached his reviews more as an entertainment product in themselves than as serious reviews of the movies under the microscope. Ergo, while he always raises some good points, I find his actual delivery of those points , wrapped up in filmic technique themselves, sometimes gets in the way of the point that he is actually trying to make. He's basically offering a running commentary of sorts, not a traditional 'critique' of the movie per se.
Personally I'm more a fan of reviews that cast a proper, analytical viewpoint over the entire thing. But I can't deny the broad popularity that the RLM reviews enjoy, so hey-ho.
I'm not at all familiar with RLM, but isn't that what most so-called "critics" do these days?
Yeah, I think it's become a real problem.
I've always preferred reviewers to take a more objective, outside viewpoint. Sure, by nature to review something one has to have some degree of personal opinion mixed in there. But the best written/presented reviews (IMO) are ones where the critic simply lays down the pros and cons objectively, then lets the consumer make up their own mind whether this thing will be their cup of tea. The key thing is to be as broad as possible while still offering a personal viewpoint somewhere in there. It's certainly how I've always approached writing my own reviews of things.
The trouble with RLM is he's a talented cuss, and he knows it. But he has also got increasingly more experimental as he has gone along as well, going off on tangents and indulging in elaborate inside jokes, to the point where sometimes the genuine criticisms he expounds get lost along the way. The fact that his earlier reviews were only a fraction of the length of his more recent ones, but were also in a lot of ways more concise and better presented, is very telling.
That, and the fact that it's incredibly easy to just take the "nit-pickers route" when writing these things. It's more challenging, in my view, to try and present both sides of an issue.
Im coming in to this a bit late, but honestly Ive never really understood why people say Picard is so out of character here.
Look at the way he reacts to Hugh in the first half of "I Borg". Troi even called him out on it, stating the residual effects of his assimilation, even though he had processed it internally. It was still a Big Scar. He's is in a completely safe situation with his ship in BFE on a routine mapping mission and he still nearly looses his shit, and shows the same intensity in I Borg as he did in First Contact. In fact, he came within a hairsbreadth of attempting to introduce a computer virus that would destroy the entire Borg, and it was his idea.
He even went so far as to berate Guinan, "IT NOT A PERSON DAMNIT, ITS A BORG!" Her entire civilization had been decimated by the Borg and she was less hateful to the Borg than he was.
The only reason he relented is because Hugh proved himself to Picard as an individual. Even then, in the briefing afterwards, you can see Picard's uncomfortableness even speaking about the Borg. "To use him in this manner, we'd be(slight pause, deep breath, almost shudders) no better than the enemy we seek to destroy." Showing that he was putting Hugh in the same shoes that the Borg had put him in, IE using him to introduce to destruction upon his entire people.
To quote Kirk:
"As a physician, you of all people should appreciate the danger of re-opening old wounds."
The Borg have assimilated your future and they're overrunning your ship, they're inside your head, and your entire future is at stake, PLUS these are the same beings that essentially raped your entire life and used you to kill over 11,000 people. Yeah, it didnt surprise me that he started down the same path as Maxwell and Decker.
FIRST CONTACT and INTO DARKNESS are both extremely successful and what they tried to accomplish, for one thing. For another, they both had amazing directors at the helm. Watch them both, together or seperately, because either way ... you win!
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