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. john titor

    john titor Captain

    Jan 12, 2009
    the universe
    Any critical reactions?

    Before we get started I would appreciate it if we keep this civil and intelligent, ie no tantrums over opinions just because you disagree with them.

    I don't think this film is that great. Its good popcorn fun, but its a bit dumbed down. The science bit in Spocks backstory made no sense for a multitude of reasons, (eg red matter wtf?!)

    Kirk was basically Dennis the Menace in space, he was really difficult to sympathize with, he was a brawling agressive cheating asshole who essentially takes the p1ss out of Spock at a very sensitive moment, almost all of his species being wiped out. (And yes, I know Spock tells him to do this but I think his ascension to captaincy could have scripted better). And the promotions starfleet on crack?! Kirk, a cadet, randomly gets assigned as first officer, then becomes captain. Wtf!!!! Seriously, the only thing I can say in defense of this is that the film seems to realize the ridiculousness of the situation it puts forward, as shown by Spocks confusion when Kirk is appointed first officer.

    The pacing of the film feels like someone yelling at you really fast for 2 hours. Hmmm. Its all crash bang wallop. There's no time for reflection and the end message, that acting on feelings rather than rational decisions is so dumb because at the end of the day I will trust anyone who makes a rationally thought out choice rather than someone who does what they feel is right. In fact I think the message would have been better if they had mixed it up a little bit, to act rationally and with feeling, that would be a message I would agree with, but the one put forward is almost irresponsible because you can justify any action based on feeling.

    Good things about the film are the fx, spocks characterization and the fact that overall its entertaining. It was fun, explosive and ambitious in scale, it was also a respectful tribute to the Star Trek legacy and for what its meant to be, a revamping of Star Trek, a kind of Star Trek version of Star Wars (1977), its perfect. The exposition and dialogue can wait for the second film, but I do expect it.

    I think this film warrants a second viewing because I want to determine how it holds up beyond the explosions and action sequences.
  2. Rii

    Rii Rear Admiral

    Jul 22, 2008
    In the parlance of the poll I'd have to go with Above Average, although I'd prefer another grade between that and Excellent. A-

    The plot was needlessly convoluted whilst simultaneously prosaic to the point of being bland. Nero was a complete cipher, easily the most disappointing facet of film.

    My concerns regarding characterisation and dialogue were entirely unfounded. Everyone is spot on here, with Quinto's performance as Spock and Urban's as McCoy being especially noteworthy. Chekov is still an annoying waste of space, but perhaps one can consider that to be one of the many homages paid to the original series. The deftness with which the humour was handled was both surprising and welcome, as was Spock/Uhura.

    The film works on both the broadest and most minute levels, but it doesn't hold together as a coherent whole. Frankly, there's too much fanwank, too much time was spent catering to the existing fanbase at the expense of the film. Elder Spock's expository monologue is the product of the burdens placed upon the film by the studio's desire to placate the fanbase. Ditch the time travel bullshit.

    This was definitely Star Trek, and it was one hell of a ride. There's more to the franchise than was presented here, and I hope that future films can operate on a more intellectual level whilst preserving the praiseworthy qualities in this one, but there's no doubt about it: Trek is back.

    I'll be seeing it again later today. :D
  3. Daneel

    Daneel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 31, 2009
    I don't really feel like writing a full-fledged review at the moment, but I'll say Above Average, as I thought it fell a little short of excellent.

    It was lots of fun. Characterization was spot-on, the acting was solid, the action sequences and special effects were fantastic, the humour and references were appropriate and never too over the top, and there was enough of an emotional core to sustain the drama.

    Sure, I have some nits: some things seemed a bit rushed (I might have liked to see some more of Kirk and Spock's younger days, to get a better feel of who they were compared to who they become by the end of the film; another moment or two between Spock and Amanda could have given her death a little more resonance; elder Spock's interaction with his younger self was a tad blase (man, I wish I knew how to put accents on letters here ;)), likewise his interaction with Kirk was too exposition-heavy (I think it could have been stretched out a bit, with Spock more astonished and delighted, in his reserved Vulcan way, to see his old friend -- basically, making it more of a "big moment", albeit a quiet one). Some of the characters got short-changed (notably Sulu and Chekov), getting very little screen-time and development compared to others (although I fully understand and agree with the reasons for focussing on Kirk and Spock). The climax was suitably exciting, but I would have preferred to see a full-on, hand-to-hand confrontation to the death (or, at the least, to the crippling defeat) between Kirk and Nero.

    But I definitely liked it. I haven't been this jazzed about a Star Trek movie since First Contact, and I heartily recommend this film to my fellow Trek fans. It's a rollicking good time at the cinema. :techman:
  4. Tim

    Tim Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 25, 2005
    Red Sox Nation
    For me, the near-complete absence of Trek's core values (social commentary and a generally hopeful view of the future) is what disappointed me. It was essentially a Terminator-clone sci-fi action movie, but with characters and ships with which we are familiar.
  5. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 20, 2007
    inside teacake
    Well I enjoyed that absence. I think for Trek fans the values speak for themselves. The core connection of friendship spanning 139 years or whatever between Kirk and Spock. The brave sacrifice of George Kirk at what should have been a moment of joy and personal fulfillment. Pike's recognition of greatness in the young Kirk and his willingness to take a bet on it, to give this tearaway a chance. I was very glad not to hear any sermonizing, gazelle speeches or commentary about how humanity has evolved past the need for war.
  6. Natural

    Natural Captain Captain

    Dec 4, 2004
    Just saw this movie with my girlfriend (who isn't much of a ST fan at all) and we both loved it! Wow, what a surprise. I remember being so skeptical when the notion of a prequel first came about. I'm happy to be proven wrong. It's also exciting that a non-ST fan loved it so much. Gives me hope that the movie will do well and keep these coming.

    I know if you examine the plot, the frequent coincidences, and the random guy villain, you could probably come up with a whole list of reasons as to why this movie isn't perfect. But at this point who cares. The movie was entertaining and kept a smile on both of our faces throughout. It's been a long time since I've been captivated by ST (First Contact/End of DS9 era), so I'm not going to find excuses to diminish this experience. Alls I can say is, thank god for J.J. Abrams, and I can't wait for the next film. I'm really hoping this does as well at the box office as it should.
  7. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

    Jan 25, 2008
    San Diego
    Robert Scorpio's take

    Short and simple..

    This movie clicks with all things that make a modern movie great. The pacing, the characters, the nods to old fans, music, FX....all of it was spot on..

    If you're someone who doesn't like this movie then you are so out of touch with reality it wont matter what anyone says..

    But for you normal fans, the ones who are not wrapped in continuity, or some silly reasons others comment on, this movie is for YOU, and more importantly, the young crowd, which I saw this movie with, totally found it enjoyable...

    It is better than Nemsis..Insurrection..First Contact..TUC....V...Voyage Home..Search for Spock and TMP...Khan?? Close call. But based on what normal people want in a movie (meaning not trek fans) this is the better movie...

    I wont go into continuity diversions and new ship models and new relationships....because who cares.

    STAR TREK 2009 scores a hit.

  8. Tim

    Tim Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 25, 2005
    Red Sox Nation
    Interestingly, those are the handful of scenes that I truly liked in the movie. For me, those elements were lost in the wholesale genocide of the Vulcans and the hokey Spock/Uhura high-school romance. The movie was just a downer for me on so many levels.
  9. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 20, 2007
    Glad you and your son liked it, but in all honesty I'd be more encouraged if he'd been drawn in by some real SF rather than a Big Dumb Action Movie. I just don't see it being true to that thematic core the way you do. Is there anything specific that brought that aspect across to you?

    "Destiny" is not an acceptable reason for a story development, especially in a story so explicitly concerned with making a "fresh start."

    Nor is "it's a movie." In fact, any scene that forces me out of a story enough to think "oh, well, it's just fiction" is by definition failing its mission to engage the audience. And this movie was full of scenes like that.

    Thank you. Obviously I'm in the minority here, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone. :) I'm honestly surprised about how many people liked it, though, and curious about the reasons why. Ideally a discussion this this (minor flamewars aside) can shed a little light by drawing out what exactly it is that different people like about Trek in the first place. For me, it's never really been about big flashy battles and action scenes. Lots of movies do that stuff; not so many do thoughtful, character- and concept-driven SF. Obviously some folks have very different expectations.

    Yeah. I get the impression that a lot of people went into the theater with their minds made up whether or not they were going to like it, and that became a self-fulfilling prophecy, either way. I really tried to avoid that, and approach it on its own terms as much as possible. I came out disappointed.

    I haven't really noticed that phenomenon. Or, at least, I can't relate to it. I'm a TOS fan first and foremost; some of the later series are fun, but TOS is the template from which they're all drawn. And it's largely because of my affection for the original characters and concepts that I'm so disappointed by what this film did with them.

    Interesting how different our reactions are, and it may go to what I just wrote about expectations. I never thought of "kinetic energy" as a prime component of what Trek was about. To me, Kirk sitting on the bridge thinking his way through a crisis can be just as dramatic (actually more so) than Kirk space-diving out of a shuttle.

    The characters' emotions didn't feel real to me; they seemed too blunt and broad. They were written like caricatures of the characters we saw develop over time, just collections of some familiar "bits." And Spock, in particular, I've always thought was at his worst when writers forced him to emote openly (which this film did in spades); what makes him interesting is what's below the surface, the careful internal balance and control.

    The ship's interiors? Didn't feel half as "real" to me as any previous version. Every deck other than the bridge, especially, seemed to have a design aesthetic that could charitably described as "chaotic."

    You know, I have to admit... this is easily the best and most persuasive defense of that story bit I've come across. I really like it. I'm not convinced the filmmakers thought it through that way, because IMHO none of this comes across in the movie—you're bringing it in from past familiarity with what Starfleet's about, whereas the filmmakers were just trying to move the pieces into their assigned places—but it does make it at least a little easier to swallow.
  10. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 19, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Re: Robert Scorpio's take

    About 20 people on this board. I'm not one though. I wholeheartedly agree!
  11. startrekwatcher

    startrekwatcher Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2007
    Well I just got back and here's my thoughts. Sorry if I repeat anything but I haven't read the thread yet. I figured I'd post first then wade through it all. :lol:

    Above average; 3 stars out of 4.

    Taken on its as just an enjoyable action adventure summer blockbuster based on Trek it worked. It had a lot of exciting visual effects sequences--the Narada vs the Kelvin, Spock's ramming of the Narada with the ship from the future--, epic visuals--Vulcan's destruction-- and inventive stunts like the atmospheric jump to the drill. I loved the updates on the TOS uniform. The colors were vibrant and rich and looked good on everyone. I didn't mind the cosmetic license the designers took with the Enterprise from either the interior or from the outside. I loved the clean white look and have ever since seeing it on the Prometheus from Voyager's "Message in a Bottle" and the Engineering set paid homage to the original and looked like I envisioned if it had a bigger budget. The Enterprise was a beauty to behold as was the Narada.

    All the actors were well cast. I thought Chekov, McCoy, Kirk, Spock and Amanda did an excellent job capturing the mannerisms and essence of their original counterparts. Uhura felt a little different. On TOS, she was more of a gentle wilting flower or damsel-in-distress. Here she had a bit of spunk and sass which wasn't a bad thing. Scotty was a little over-the-top for my tastes. Doohan's Scotty was light-hearted and fun but Pegg needed to pull it back. From what little we saw this crew had chemistry and I liked all of them. If there was one thing that I felt was missing was the emotion. Trek is at its best when mixing its humanity with the action. Even weaker Trek films like Generations or Insurrection had those moments of reflection that were pretty much absent here. This was mostly jumping from one action piece to the next.

    I also thought Nero was more of a plot device than a flesh and blood adversary. I would have liked more interesting/intriguing definition to his motivations. And while I didn't mind the time travel aspect to the story but could it have been any more basic. It preserves TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT and allows from here on out for Abrams to play around and bring in races that in the original timeline couldn't appear and do shocking things like destroy Vulcan which I was surprised by but I would have liked a more interesting scenario than simply Romulus being destroyed by a super nova. I had a bit more faith that someone like Abrams who has come up with such inventive mysteries and situations on LOST could have done a bit better than this. It was pretty simple all said. And it was too bad we didn't get to see more of the late 24th century than the very brief glimpses via Spock's mind meld. It looks like there is some peace between the two worlds so to some extend Spock's efforts worked just how far we'll probably never know. Obviously, the writers didn't want to drag too much backstory from the Trek canon into the film but would it have been that confusing with a bit of exposition imparted to Kirk to catch up the new comers. I don't think so.

    As far as Nimoy's Spock's inclusion it might have been handled better. When I heard he was going to be in the film and that we would see the origins of the TOS crew it seemed an interesting way to merge these is to have Spock on his deathbed remembering these individuals and reflecting on his life maybe via a mindmeld with someone. I think that might have been more interesting and certainly more poignant. Given that this in all liklihood will be the last time we ever see Old Spock I would have liked a more satisfying use of him other than as a plot device and a more satisfying sense of closure akin to Sarek's sendoff in "Unification". Here they left it open. I can understand why he wouldn't have attempted to open another hole given he had no idea where it would end up and I understand why the writers didn't bring up the slingshot from Star Trek IV. But if this is ever the last time we see Old Spock it's disappointing that he didn't receive a better curtain call. And I found it a tad too convenient Kirk runs into Old Spock and then Scotty the way they did but I like Scotty's little alien buddy.

    On the superficial front, we needed more Chris Pine in his briefs. Three nods to ENT with Admiral Archer, Porthos and using Vulcan High Command. I could have taken it or left it. And wasn't that a Ceti eel Nero used on Pike but it sounded like he referred to it as something else. I guess the writers didn't feel the need to honor Balance of Terror since everyone knew Romulans and Vulcans related and looked identical. I liked the idea of the Narada being a mining vessel--ties into Remus being a mining world. Nice tip of the hat to Pike being wheelchair bound. I didn't really like the updated transporter effect. At first I thought the teaser took place in the 24th century because the uniform reminded me of those worn in the "All Good Things" future. And what good is looking like a Romulan do if Spock is wearing a Starfleet uniform when he beamed over the Narada. I guess Abrams decided to go back to Romulans looking like Vulcans without the forehead ridges.

    The Spock/Uhura romance I don't know what to make of it. It didn't get the way but I'm not that into the idea but then we didn't get a lot of insight into it and I think might have used a different alien other than the slave girl as Kirk's conquest.

    I guess my one complaint is it lacked substance and despite all these issues I had fun and enjoyed myself. I intend to see it again on Sunday but it wasn't all it might have been. It was too simple and bare bones without a lot of meat I like. As an action film it works as a Trek film it has its issues.
  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 20, 2007
    inside teacake
    Re: The story was awful. (Spoilers)

    The crappy villain is my one gripe about the film. Yes I am in mourning over Vulcan but I'd rather be in mourning than utterly bored. Nero sucked. A thug. Utterly forgettable. Soran was 10,000 times more interesting. Really, an insult to Romulans. Of course I'm sure Romulans have their own attack dog thugs but it's just a waste. Even Shinzon was more interesting to me which says a lot.

    Thankfully Nero really was a minor element and didn't get much screen time. His ship was very cool.
  13. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 20, 2007
    inside teacake
    Aww.. I wish you had enjoyed it as much as I did. The high school romance really was that for Spock I think, given his youth. It will be interesting to see how or if it develops.
  14. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

    Dec 30, 2002
    I really enjoyed this movie. A fun ride. Don't know if I'd say it was better than my personal faves -- First Contact and The Undiscovered Country (I was way too young when I first saw Khan to understand it or appreciate it, I suppose).

    Was Diora Baird actually in this movie? I don't remember seeing her anywhere.
  15. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Full of hot air.
    Re: Robert Scorpio's take

  16. donners22

    donners22 Commodore Commodore

    Jul 12, 2001
    Victoria, Australia
    Re: Robert Scorpio's take

    You expected something else from someone who deems their opinion worthy of its own thread?
  17. bismarck_1892

    bismarck_1892 Captain Captain

    Dec 12, 2006
    I want my money back!

    I never thought of myself as a "crazy" fan. But I am, today, done with the franchise. They should never permit a non-Trek fan to make a Trek movie. Abrams has destroyed, figuratively and literally, the Trek Universe. He destroyed Vulcan!

    I want my money back.

    The actors (all except Kirk) were perfect. The special effects were great. All was good. But he destroyed the series with over forty years of history. Horrible.

    I never thought I would be so dramatic but I want my money back. I purposely avoided all spoilers. I new that there would be changes, and alterations but I did not count on this nonsense.

    I seriously hope this film fails and that there would be no more. Enough is enough. The franchise should end.

    Crazy you say. Yes I am. I've said my peace. I don't see how true fans can enjoy this remaking or reboot or crap or whatever else one may call this .... ...Let me put a cadet in charge of the starship, and remake the movie into a pointless action flick for the average consumer... the fans.

    That is what this film is a big the fans. They could have done a good film without a complete reboot.

    Okay NOW I'm done.
  18. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    Re: I want my money back!

    You do know that, technically, you can request your money back while at the theatre.
  19. miraclefan

    miraclefan Commodore Commodore

    Dec 6, 2008
    The F U state of TEXAS!
    Re: I want my money back!

    Stay off the caffine dude! No, seriously I don't have a problem with anything they did because it IS a nu-universe afterall.
  20. Aike

    Aike Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 18, 2008
    Re: I want my money back!

    Bye, bye.