The Official STAR TREK Grading & Discussion Thread [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Agent Richard07, Apr 30, 2009.


Grade the movie...

  1. Excellent

    707 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    213 vote(s)
  3. Average

    84 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    46 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    77 vote(s)
  1. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 9, 2008
    But except for books read by about ten thousand people and the odd comicbook that universe is gone - to the general public, what they have just seen *is* the Star Trek Universe.
  2. Jessop

    Jessop Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 2, 2006
    Yes, and for those people they have the entire scene that explains pretty clearly that these events are now unfolding in an alternate timeline created by Nero's meddling.
  3. Rebel69

    Rebel69 Ensign Newbie

    May 8, 2009

    You could argue that everytime we've seen a change in the timeline in Star Trek that it's an alternate universe, such as the events in First Contact and TNG episode 'Yesterdays Enterprise' but what makes this one different? What makes this an alternate universe as oppose to a severe change in the timeline of this universe? Just because the writers have said it? I'm afraid not mate, they're saying that to make Star Trek fans happy while they sell the film to a new audience, time travel is time travel, there was nothing in the movie itself to prove that this is an alternate universe, just because Spock says that it's probably an alternate universe doesn't mean that it is, and just because the writers say it's an alternate universe doesn't mean that it is. And even if it were proven to be an alternate universe, that means one thing, the Star Trek franchise is dead, there is no more of the 'Prime Universe' as you describe it, only this new franchise in what you're describing as an alternate reality.
  4. Jessop

    Jessop Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 2, 2006
    The fact that the temporal time police didn't turn up to correct it, perhaps? It is different. Your argument would hold some water if Star Trek had portrayed time travel in only one way, but it hasn't and this interpretation is as valid as any.
  5. Rebel69

    Rebel69 Ensign Newbie

    May 8, 2009

    But it wasn't portrayed differently. A guy goes back in time and fucks everything up, old Spock follows him, there is nothing in the movie PROVING this to be an alternate reality, how can it be proven? It can't. You're trying to justify what they've done with the francise but whatever the writers say means nothing unless it's showed on screen, which it isn't, and a conversation on the bridge doesn't prove it either. If this truly were an alternate relaity, old Spock would realise he doesn't belong there and try to find someway of getting back to his own reality where he does belong. How can you blindly accept this nonesense?
  6. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 6, 2008
    Star's End
  7. Jessop

    Jessop Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 2, 2006
    Im not trying to justify anything, I and many others I am sure will gladly accept the intention, as exposited by the crew in the film themselves. You're the one getting all uppity about it. How can I accept it? Because it has resulted in giving this previously slumped franchise a breath of new life, given us a thoroughly enjoyable movie and removed the restrictions of a bloated and messy canon for a whole new set of stories to be told in this fiction.
  8. Rebel69

    Rebel69 Ensign Newbie

    May 8, 2009

    Stories which disregard the History of the franchise, stories with no regard for the original idea imagined by Gene Roddenberry, it's just an action movie in space, like fuckin star wars. I'm sure there could have been a way to breath new life into the franchise without destroying it. You're accepting the intention for the sake of having Star Trek back on screen but you don't care what it's done to future events because the writers have told you that it's an alternate universe
  9. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 20, 2007
    Yeesh, the darn thing only opened last night and this thread's already thirty pages in?

    I readily admit that I only read the first three pages, then skipped ahead by twenty-odd to get a post in. I'll go back later, but forgive me if I'm repeating points already raised.

    Long story short: I really wanted to like it, but I wound up deeply disappointed. This was not only not good Star Trek, it just wasn't a good movie, period.

    Short story long? Let me excerpt a bit from the lengthy review on my blog:

    I approached Star Trek with cautious optimism. ...A recent TV spot tag-lined “Forget Everything You Know” wasn’t encouraging... I’m a Trek fan from way back, and I’m showing up to see a new story set in the Kirk/Spock era because of everything I know, because of my affection for those characters and concepts, not despite it.

    Still, some new creative blood was called for. Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were reportedly sincere Trek fans: the L.A. Times went so far as to ask them about their favorite prose Trek novels, and they actually named four—and good ones, at that. So even if director J.J. Abrams admitted to not being a Trek fan, professing more of a Star Wars sensibility instead (anathema!), perhaps the story itself was in good hands. Leonard Nimoy’s willingness to be involved, reprising his role as Spock for the first time in 18 years, also seemed promising. Yes, as details leaked out it became clear that the film would not be a prequel to the original television series (as I would have preferred, all else being equal) but a reboot instead… but even so, it could be good on its own terms. It just needed to be handled thoughtfully and respectfully, with an understanding of the concepts and themes that had made Trek a success all along, and in numerous interviews the filmmakers assured us they were doing exactly that. So I was hoping for a movie I could like, maybe even love.

    But what they delivered wound up meeting almost all of my fears and almost none of my hopes. This was a big, stupid summer blockbuster, in the worst sense.

    ...Aside from names (of people, places, ships) and a few winking acknowledgments of the original, this movie jettisoned everything of substance. Trek always took a thoughtful approach to its subject matter. It was the most intelligent science fiction on TV by far in its own era, and for many years thereafter. It told stories about the human condition, with fantastic settings and situations that were allegories for the real problems of its day. It indulged in traditional “rubber science” SF tropes, of course, but in ways that were internally consistent and assumed its audience wasn’t completely scientifically illiterate.

    ...This may be far more expensive than any version of Trek on screen before, but in every way that really matters it’s playing to the cheap seats. It’s big, flashy, and frenetically paced. It has top-flight digital effects. The cinematography is awash in lens flare and harsh close-ups, the screen is full of plentiful explosions, and the music is notable only for being loud. It has lots of adrenaline, but no introspection. It has the absolute bare minimum of exposition necessary to string together the action scenes, the characters are sketched out in the broadest strokes possible, it’s about nothing in particular thematically, and its plot logic doesn’t stand up to thirty seconds of examination.

    ...My patience simply ran out. Every five minutes or so, there’s some story element that makes you want to slap your forehead and ask,”Didn’t anyone stop to think about this?”

    ...It conspicuously explains minor things that never needed explaining (Why is Kirk’s name “James Tiberius”? Why is McCoy nicknamed “Bones”?), but only grudgingly explains things vital to making the story work. The battle at the beginning, we eventually learn, involves the Romulan villain Nero’s arrival from over 150 years in the future (i.e., the late 24th century, just after the “Next Generation” era), and although he does nothing whatsoever for 25 years after destroying Kirk’s father’s ship, apparently that single act causes dramatic changes to the history not only of Jim Kirk, but somehow of the entirety of Starfleet. In particular (but for no discernible reason), the U.S.S. Enterprise isn’t built until years later than it was in the unaltered timeline, and Christopher Pike is now its first captain rather than its second.

    That’s the sort of continuity detail that might only bother a committed Trek geek (but I am one, and there are lots more glitches where this one came from), but nevertheless it betrays a sloppiness in the writers’ thinking about their revised history. There are other things, meanwhile, which jump out even to the most fandom-neutral audience member, things entirely internal to this film that simply don’t make sense.

    ...Why does the Enterprise, called out as Starfleet’s newest flagship, apparently have no senior officers or command structure whatsoever other than Pike? When Pike leaves the ship and transfers the conn to Spock, he immediately installs Kirk as replacement First Officer—even though Kirk at this point is still a cadet, is facing unresolved charges of cheating at the Academy, and is a stowaway on the ship. (If there are any command-level officers aboard, I could forgive them for concluding that Starfleet turns a blind eye to blatant nepotism, since Pike’s main reason to trust Kirk comes down to having known his dad.) Moreover, when Spock himself later leaves the ship, he turns the conn over to Chekov, a 17-year-old ensign. And when Scotty winds up aboard under completely unplanned circumstances, he promptly winds up in charge of Engineering, which we can only conclude had nobody running it before.

    When the planet Vulcan comes under attack, how does Spock know that his parents can be found in the Science Council chambers? The whole rationale for his transporting down in person to rescue them is that the Chambers are off-limits to communication (which makes no sense in itself), so they can’t be aware of the planet’s emergency evacuation—but if there’s no communication, how could he possibly know they were there? His mother’s presence in the chambers at all is especially perplexing, since in light of information established earlier in the film about Vulcan prejudice against her as a human, she certainly couldn’t be on the Council.

    It’s noticeably convenient for plot purposes (at least, in terms of setting up action setpieces) that the orbital planet-mining device Nero uses in the early stage of his attacks has the side effect of jamming both transporters and communications. Of course, given the staggeringly high tech level of Nero’s vessel compared to the Federation, you might suppose he’d think of intentionally jamming those things, and have the ability to do so from his own ship… but no, apparently not.

    It’s understandable why Spock, once in command, has an insubordinate Kirk arrested by ship’s security. It’s not understandable why he then has him ejected from the ship in a one-man pod onto a frozen, monster-infested outpost planet, rather than just confining him in the brig. Of course, that’s also convenient to the plot, since Kirk happens to run into Old!Spock and Scotty there, but it’s flagrantly illogical in its own right.

    It’s also odd that Old!Spock was living in a cave on said outpost planet, since we learn he was only 14 kilometers away from the Federation base in which Scotty was posted, with ample heat and food. He had no trouble getting there once Kirk arrived—but clearly hadn’t visited before, since he and Scott hadn’t met.

    Moreover, that outpost planet brings us into the territory of scientific gobsmackers. Apparently this outpost is within Vulcan’s solar system—possibly even a moon, since in Spock’s mind-meld flashback with Kirk he sees Vulcan’s catastrophic destruction loom large in its sky. Yet Vulcan is destroyed (in minutes!) by a manmade black hole—of a kind powerful enough, as we see in the very same flashback, to snuff out a galaxy-threatening supernova. (And let’s not even delve into the scientific preposterousness of the very concept of a galaxy-threatening supernova.) It’s inconceivable that such a black hole would devour a planet, yet leave the immediately neighboring planet(oid) completely safe and untouched.

    ...What two-minute Spockian flashback, by the way, is the closest thing we get to any hint of motivation for Nero’s genocidal rage. We learn that the Super!Supernova destroyed the planet Romulus; that Spock was slightly too late to prevent it from doing so; that Nero blames him for this; and that they both got sucked into the past by the resulting black hole. Why the Romulans themselves didn’t seek to prevent or flee their fate isn’t mentioned; why the Federation would respond to such a monumental threat by sending a sesquicentennarian ambassador in a one-man ship is likewise unexplained. Some of these TNG-era events are fleshed out and made at least marginally plausible by the movie-prequel comic book released in recent weeks… but in terms of what’s actually in the movie, these crucial story-precipitating events barely qualify as a plot sketch, and the villain’s motivations can only be described as “insane.”

    Inevitably and predictably, after destroying Vulcan, Nero moves on to attack Earth… and we again reach a point where, even judged strictly on its own terms, the story descends into raging implausibility. We’ve already been told that the rest of Starfleet (apparently all of it) is away in some inconveniently distant star system. And we’re at least given a quick in-story explanation for how Nero evades the Sol system’s remote security sensors. But once he arrives and sets his orbital mining device to work on San Francisco Bay, we’re asked to accept that the hometown of Starfleet Command, on the capital planet of the Federation, apparently has no other defensive measures whatsoever. People just run around in a panic planetside while the orbital platform merrily drills away, completely unthreatened by any ship, shuttle, plane, missile, or phaser—until Spock shows up in a one-man ship to save the day and immediately blows it out of the sky.

    ...All these are exactly the sorts of problems I’d feared. Orci and Kurtzman were the writers of last year’s big hit Transformers, and before making the jump to film they worked with Abrams on the TV show Alias… so they have a clear track record of telling stories that are big and flashy and action-packed, but which suffer from tenuous plot logic and amount to nothing thematically. Though I’d certainly hoped for better, and perhaps they sincerely tried, it’s no real surprise they brought that same sensibility to Trek.

    I’ll give credit where due: some of the performances are decent. Bruce Greenwood as Pike is a particular standout… although given the nature of the story, there’s no chance he’ll appear in any future films. Same goes for Nimoy, of course, on both counts. Zachary Quinto is passable if not great as Spock; Chris Pine is at best decent as Kirk, though a lot of that can perhaps be blamed on the writing. Karl Urban is terrific as McCoy, Anton Yelchin is undeniably charming as Chekov (although he really has no business being on board at all, unless the new timeline somehow got him born several years early), and Simon Pegg is cute as Scotty.

    All the familiar audience-reaction lines are there: “I’m a doctor, not a [fill-in-the-blank]“; “I’m givin’ ye all I’ve got, Cap’n!” But there’s just nothing beyond that. Character-wise, the story takes the most obvious, straight-line path to setting up the shipboard roles familiar from the TV series, even to the sheer absurdity of having Kirk promoted straight from cadet to captain at the end.

    This is all the more ironic and pointless, of course, since the story drives home with multiple anvils that this is not the same ship and crew we actually remember from that TV series. If Kirk’s new backstory and the destruction of Vulcan didn’t make it sufficiently obvious, the characters themselves figure it out eventually, with Uhura exclaiming “an alternate reality!” Sadly, though, no reset button is pushed at story’s end to restore the timeline we remember.

    What we’re left with is like a palimpsest of real Star Trek, scraped clean and written over, simplified and dumbed down to suit the worst Holywood stereotypes of what mass audiences want. The plot conflicts are big and obvious, not complex and subtle. The humor is broad, not witty. The moral dilemmas are nonexistent. The character nuances are trimmed away. The promised “optimistic” future of wonder and exploration and human potential is simply nowhere in sight.

    ...Good reboots are possible in Hollywood: new visions that add depth and sophistication to the source material. Daniel Craig’s James Bond, Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica. This is not one of them. It does not add, it subtracts.

    This is Star Trek in name only. If continuing the franchise means more movies like this one, it would have been better to let it die quietly.

    Among other things I've snipped out here are various geeky complaints about points of continuity, but for the record, those bothered me too. In fact, another one occurred to me even as I was writing this: has it occurred to anyone that Nero's revenge plan actually guaranteed the destruction of Romulus in the new timeline just as in the old? It was the Vulcans who created the "red matter" that defused the supernova, but with Vulcan destroyed, there's nobody left to do that. However, an altered timeline does nothing to change the internal processes of the star itself. It will presumably still explode on schedule, except this time with no way to stop it at all. 25 years cooling his heels, and yet it didn't occur to Nero that he could save his race; instead, he doomed it.
  10. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

    Oct 28, 2004
    Germany - with UHC since the early 1900s
    You got it.
    Now, shut up already!
  11. Jessop

    Jessop Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 2, 2006
    Indeed rebel, I don't care what it has done to future events because it has done nothing to future events. Believe it or not, all those things still exist, I can go grab The Wrath of Khan off my DVD shelf now and still love and enjoy it. I can watch this new film and any sequel they spawn and love and enjoy them too. It's fiction, man- get over it. You want to ignore writers intent, that's fine, I'm sure you and a couple of other sticklers will remain steadfast in your resolve. The rest of us can get on enjoying a reborn franchise in one of our favourite settings. Why don't you go and watch that Voyager episode Threshold and weep over the loss of it all? You still can you know, contrary to what you seem to believe those episodes still exist!
  12. DiSiLLUSiON

    DiSiLLUSiON Commodore Commodore

    Apr 7, 2004
    The Netherlands
    Exactly. Just imagine; all your Star Trek dvd's and books suddenly dematerializing right out of your cabinets. That would be a shock. :D
  13. jamestyler

    jamestyler Commodore Commodore

    Nov 26, 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland
    ...did we watch the same film here?

    Aside from the whole thing about the alternate reality on the bridge, the whole plot revolving around that reality forming around Nero travelling back in tme and such... there is the whole scene where Kirk asks Spock if the 'Prime' Kirk knew his father which... y'know... proves the whole alternate aspect of reality.

    Everything you need to know is in there. Outright denial of the explination doesn't mean it wasn't there.

    Considering the effort I made recently to get them all on DVD to upgrade my outdated video collection, I'd be pissed :p
  14. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 14, 2002
    9th level of Hell
    First off

    I don't think Gene had any problems with the idea of Trek being financially successful.

    Nor did he have a problem with Trek being able to do all forms of entertainment.

    In fact we (the diehards) have often marveled how Trek has been able to jump from serious drama, to light hearted farce, to morality play, to action, to romance, to adventure, to thriller.

    Why would any rational being think that Gene had a problem with Action? I mean seriously.

    The type of storytelling never seemed to bother him before, why should it now. The thing he wanted was the characters and spirit to be in those types of stories. If you do a war story let it be one that it features Trek's optimism and for it to serve teh characters. And thats really true for all genres.

    Gene never limited himself or his writers into one type of genre.
  15. The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 20, 2003
    1123, 6536, 5321
    "Just repeat to yourself it's just a show,
    I should really just relax!"

    Honestly, I have been a Trek fan for 20 years, I remember being 6 years old in 1989 and eager to see Star Trek V and in all my time as a Trekkie I have never been more thrilled to be a fan of this franchise than I am since I saw this film 12 hours ago. If you can't ignore any inconsistencies and enjoy the new flick I feel bad for you.
  16. Zeppster

    Zeppster Commodore Commodore

    Apr 2, 2006
    The writers for this movie wanted to make make a new future for Star Trek. I do agree with some of your points about it messing with the time line and having stuff like just letting Kirk jump up to first officer for no reason is wrong, but the movie did it's job creating it's own future. There can be shows and movies spawned from Star Trek because of this. That's something you really couldn't do with Nemesis. After Nemesis Star Trek was essentially dead.
  17. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

    Oct 28, 2004
    Germany - with UHC since the early 1900s
    This is bad... because?
    You can't keep up with it?

    Is this a criticism?

    An artistic choice and a by-product of shoting with anamorphic lenses.

    'cause no-one ever uses close-ups?


    Like during the destruction of the Kelvin?
    Or in the scenes with Spock and his parents?
    Clearly you don't understand what movie-music is supposed to do.

    No, of course it doesn't :rolleyes:

    No different than during TOS then.

    Other than loss, the dealing with that loss and finding one's place in the universe.


    Pike was and always will be her first captain.

  18. Butters

    Butters Captain Captain

    Nov 18, 2008
    The Summerland
    You realise that non of it is real of course. There will be no Constitution class Enterprise and that its all just one big story telling device, and that story telling devices in the sixties aren't really that popular or relevant anymore and that Star Trek has the ability to appeal, enthral and inspire a whole new generation of people who will embrace it only if it speaks to them. Screw the old stuff, those morality plays from 60s are more like convoluted history lessons than Scifi, and the more time stretches on, and the older TOS gets the less relevant it becomes.

    The world is a richer place with new Trek adventures in production, if this new iteration isn't for you then you'll just have to deal with it because anything in the mould of oldtrek just won't cut the muster anymore. Its this or nothing, and just this once I seem to be on the winning side.
  19. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Captain Captain

    Apr 14, 2009
    Seems like most of the issues from the negative reviews, is basically this is not your grandfather's trek.

    Too many explosions/raping my childhood/vulcan being destroyed. etc etc etc

    I can deal with that.
  20. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    No, I don't. Not one little bit.