JJ's Trek - The critics - and STID

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by DarthTom, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 22, 2010
    Transformers is a perfect analogy. You have two preexisting franchises penned by the same writers, both appealing to lowest-common-denominator demographics. Trek used to be known as having an aging nerd demo, but because of the "reimagining" it's now hip to the same people who like Transformers, people who don't care about reviews or plot-holes.
  2. Franklin

    Franklin Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 22, 2006
    I'm sorry, but I'm going to call B.S. on this unless you provide some real demographic data to back it up. What is a "lowest common denominator demographic," anyway? How do I know it when I see someone who fits that description?

    I would also refer you to this link. It's not a purely random representative sample of Trek fans (if that could ever be obtained), but it's well done, and the results are interesting nonetheless:
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  3. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 6, 2008
    Star's End
    You just ask them.
    If they enjoy a movie you dislike then they are part of the lowest common denominator demographic.
  4. Amaris

    Amaris Abiding Eos Premium Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    United States
    This. If they're people you think are inferior because they dare to have opinions different from you, that is the lowest common denominator.
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Lancaster, PA
    You know, I sometimes shudder to think what today's internet critics would do to the fun old science fiction and fantasy movies I grew up on, like The Creature from the Black Lagoon or One Million Years B.C.

    "Ohmigod, how stupid does Hollywood think we are? Everyone knows that cavewomen and dinosaurs didn't co-exist! And what's with all the fur bikinis? Talk about pandering to the lowest common denominator!"

    Yes, yes, I know. Star Trek should be held to a higher standard than an old drive-in monster movie. But, at the risk of voicing my inner curmudgeon, I do sometimes pine for the good old days when we didn't take this stuff quite so seriously . . . or fret endlessly about whether it's "intellectual" enough.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  6. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    You mean, like, last week? ;)

    Don't fret--the number of people who take stuff like this too seriously is far, far outweighed by those who see it for what it is--entertainment.
  7. Garak

    Garak Salty Dog Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Nice avatar!
  8. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 23, 2002
    Devon, England
    That's almost exactly how I saw Star Trek 2009 - I waited till it was on a film channel, but that was my own apathy to the whole project rather than reviews. Still the only released Trek film I don't own a copy of.

    Whereas I took a day off work to go see Transformers Dark Of The Moon and Resident Evil Retribution.

    The fact STID is in 3D might convince me to see it on the big screen, but the trailer does little to help the cause. It looks a good film, it just doesn't look like a Star Trek film.
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    The film will be pretty repetitive, based on the trailers. More of the same, same structure, very similar set pieces, just more expensive.
  10. Devon

    Devon Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 5, 2005
    You're right, since it looks better than a Star Trek film. :)
  11. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

    Oct 15, 2008
    Stompin' on Tokyo
    I think a lot of people, fans and non-fans alike, that enjoyed the last one will check this new movie out. If the critical reviews are positive and if word of mouth is strong then this one will also be a big success.
  12. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 22, 2010
    In medieval times, storefronts used to avoid words and use pictures to describe what they were selling because the public was so illiterate. That's kind of where we are now with movies because they have to not only be mainstream for US audiences--they have to be able to resonate for international ones as well.

    Therefore everything waters itself down to "good guys" and "bad guys", so the dialogue (which is going to be subtitled or dubbed) won't matter and any localized cultural references will be few and far between.

    This is how Hollywood today operates.

    And you also have to think about the thought process that goes into deciding whether or not to plunk your money down for a ticket. Why is it that these CG kids movies are so popular, for instance? Over the weekend I will probably offer to take my daughter to see The Croods. I've already gotten wind of lackluster reviews of it. Why would I do that? Because I need to take her out and do something special since it's been a long time. The money I plunk down is not a validation of the movie. It's because the movies are a sociological phenomenon. We've got a 3D flat-screen at home now. We don't specifically need to go to the movies at all. But we go to "go to the movies". And that's what LCD is. The minimum entertainment experience people will want when they "go to the movies" is spectacle. And that's what Transformers, ST, Marvel comic book movies, that's what they all do.

    Back before home-video and all the other competition for people's attention arrived, movies were a more dominant medium that covered a more complete spectrum of topics. And that includes sci-fi. Compare Prometheus to Alien, for instance. Alien was a rather intimate horror movie compared to the epicness of Prometheus. The difference in tone reflects the different role that movies play in people's entertainment now vs. then. Audiences demand to be bludgeoned by shock and awe. If they want something more cerebral they will watch an HBO drama.
  13. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 30, 2013
    Paul Thomas Anderson doesn't seem to have noticed. Someone ought to tell him.

    Hollywood's always been primarily genre-driven. The difference, aside from short term influences like the economic circumstances of the last 4 or so years, has been that marketing departments have been more readily able to identify niche markets. So niche market films are marketed to their respective niches. Other films, mainstream or tent-pole fare, are aggressively marketed everywhere. And sure, they're tailored to satisfy a 'lowest common denominator' audience. They always have been. Hollywood studios didn't gradually transform from noble, art-for-art's-sake intellectuals to base purveyors of watered-down pabulum. They've always been purveyors of watered-down pabulum.

    There was a period from some time in the late '60s to some time in the early '80s where the culture of the primary market was undergoing rapid changes and it wasn't clear what kind of movies it would best respond to. Some small number of younger people were able to prove with unexpected successes that they knew better than the studios what would and wouldn't succeed. And so you got the much-vaunted time of the Hollywood auteur, many of the films made by whom are unwatchable today, their other successes notwithstanding.

    All that's happened since then is that marketing techniques have improved.

    Alien was a half-formed idea greenlit with a minimal budget solely because of the success of Star Wars, which underwent numerous rewrites by studio executives (Ash being an android is probably the biggest such change).

    All too often when examining the past, we commit a form of the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. It was thus, and so it was intended to be thus, and there were numerous justifying reasons behind its having been thus. When in fact most often these are primarily accidents of circumstance.


    HBO dramas aren't replacing something that movies have stopped giving us. They're an entirely new phenomenon giving us something movies have never been able to. The analogy I like to draw is that of short stories versus a novel.
  14. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well said. :techman: