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. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 20, 2007
    Very sensible approach, since the standards are not the same. I have to disagree with your conclusions, though: I thought it failed on both fronts.

    And if you were willing to throw your sense of logic and plausibility out the window.

    I literally can't comprehend this: why would you have been willing, even hypothetically, to sacrifice what makes Trek good in order to get more of it? Having done so, why would you want more?

    Eep! No, no, a thousand times no! Anyone who thinks Trek should be more like Star Wars simply misconceives what Trek was all about from the start. (Unfortunately, that "anyone" apparently includes J.J. Abrams.)

    "As it should be" in the sense that the current writers should have creative discretion over the story they tell? Yes.

    But in the sense that these particular writers have anything worthwhile to offer, judging by this film? Sadly, no. It didn't actually add anything of value to Trek continuity—it just mined it for familiar trappings and a few character "bits," and discarded all the rest.

    I feel exactly the opposite. Even as disappointing as VOY and ENT were, we knew that at worst they were just superfluous extra floors built onto an already sturdy house with a strong foundation. By way of contrast, Abrams and crew have torn the whole thing down to the bedrock in order to rebuild. To switch metaphors, they threw the baby out with the bathwater.
    None of Trek heretofore is background for this. Everything all the way back to the original pilot is now superfluous. "Forget everything you know," indeed.






    Yep. All that and more.

    I agree with everything you've written, except this:
    That's way too generous. I'd say maybe a three.



    (I feel like I'm repeating myself here. ;) But it's nice to see a few more critical responses finally weighing in on the thread...)


    Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, and yep.

    You're talking apples and oranges here. Whether it succeeds commercially (a very strong likelihood) has essentially nothing to do with whether it succeeded creatively.

    (You doubt this? Exhibit A: Transformers, last summer. Same writers, BTW... :rolleyes:)

    That's a peculiar thing to suggest. I wasn't a fan of VOY or ENT mainly because the writing was too frequently subpar. That's essentially the same complaint I have about this movie, although the details of how it's subpar are different. IOW, I'm both lamenting the death of original Trek and saying the movie was bad—and the two statements are related.

    I'm glad to see Trek refocused on its original core characters, and I can't gainsay your obviously sincere enthusiasm for the movie. But honestly, I can't say that being "batshit crazy" was a characteristic I ever associated with original Trek, much less praised it for. I think perhaps you overstate your case. Original Trek did, in fact, build up a complex and fairly consistent backstory (notwithstanding a few hiccups), and that's a large part of what many of us love about it.

    Tomato, tom-ah-to, I guess. To me, it bubbled over with action-movie clichés and predictable story beats.
  2. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 20, 2004
    Wow, that was the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back.

    As Trek it was passable, the first half was quite good, but the second half was fairly boring because the lightweight quality of the plot became all too apparent.

    Still the cast was charismatic and it was overall entertaining. A decent reboot that has the potential to be a platform for a real Trek story later on.

    Could've been a lot worse but I'm far from convinced that anything truly interesting will come out of the franchise ever again. I'm sure Paramount's happy at the moment though.

    Just as a side note - Trek's thing is not social commentary. It's exploration of the human condition. This sometimes takes the form of social commentary, but when you look at episodes like The Enemy Within or The Cage, or the really strong movies like The Wrath of Khan - the stories have no social commentary, but are given depth by psychological themes.
  3. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

    Mar 12, 2005
    Suggestion for today:

    Some here have referred to Old Spock as Spock Prime. So he's from the Prime Universe. Him and Narada were sucked into a universe where the timeline split (as apparently it infinitely does) into what I would like to call for clarity the Secundus Universe.

    Our Point Of View is now in the Secundus U. Deal with it.

    For all those worried about the spin off series... why won't they happen? They'll just be different. Tuvok? Maybe he'll be there, maybe not. I'm assuming the Picard vineyards are still in France. And the Sisko restaurant in N'Orleans. I'm not worried. My POV is in the Secundus U. See?

    Does this preclude more Prime U stories? Not necessarily, but it does raise a bunch of issues. It does make it harder to explain why there are two very different Treks to noobies. It does make it MUCH harder to persuade a studio to invest in Prime U stories. For a starter, why would they? Financially, it's a bad investment, no matter what you personally think. I'd like some more Prime U stories, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Mind you, this makes a strong argument for the fan productions - if Paramount isn't going back there, maybe some licensing deal could be reached allowing money to be raised to make them viable.

    All this jumping up and down and wibbling "waahh, it's not my Trek anymore"... is getting real old. And keep in mind I watched Trek back in 1967, okay? I don't mind this change at all, Trek was burdened by all the baggage and production values, and I thought this has been necessary for a long time, more than 5 years. And that's fine by me. Because I can live with it...I can live with it. Computer – erase that entire post.
  4. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 20, 2007
    Hmm. I felt the dynamic was just the opposite of this: the main story was "defeat the evil villain," and the character stuff (some of which was actually decent) was strictly secondary. After all, the film didn't spend one second more than necessary moving all the players into their "proper" roles, any and all concerns over plausibility notwithstanding. (Heck, we didn't even get any decent K-S-M triumvirate interaction.)

    Realistically, based on the TV show, would you have imagined that this particular command crew (of all different ranks, ages, and backgrounds) were all thrown onto the ship at the same time, in the course of one pivotal adventure that also happened to be the ship's inaugural mission? Of course not. In fact, the show gave us backstory explicitly saying otherwise. And rightly so: that's just not how life works. That kind of thing only happens in Hollywood movies, for the sake of narrative expediency.

    :lol: You get a prize for the single most on-the-nose one-sentence summary of the film in the entire thread!

    Yeah, I agree. On both counts.

    Interesting distinction. I'm not sure it's worth arguing over, since in all sincerity it seems like a matter of semantics. To me, "social commentary" and "exploration of the human condition" are two sides of the same coin, and that coin—that casting of new light and critical perspective on aspects of life people otherwise take for granted—is intrinsic to what quality SF does. And "quality SF" is definitely a category that includes the best of Trek.

    And excludes this movie, sadly enough.
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  5. TGTheodore

    TGTheodore Writer Admiral

    Feb 9, 2003

    No! NO LATIN! It's pompous. Call the universe something else -- like "Bob".


    --Ted (A three year Latin student decades ago)
  6. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    Bob The Skutter
    I like it, Bob The Universe.
  7. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

    Mar 12, 2005
    ^ :guffaw: Well, if you can thinking of something with gravitas and without inflatus, I'm cool with that :D
  8. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

    Mar 23, 2004
    Gov Kodos on Mohammed's Radio, WZVN Boston
    I liked it quite a bit, with some reservations. I would have liked more of Nero. Some scenes like the ice planet monsters, Chekov's language troubles and the sewer bit could have been cut to make an encounter with Spock and Nero. The hero's can only shine with a good villain to be a contrast and there wasn't enough of the villain to satisfy. The movie is a fun roller coaster ride, short on story, but that is fine for now. Trek has been over-burdened with being "meaningful" which is a point that the Onion's satiric review spells out fantastically. This film can be a great draw to revive a sputtering brand name.
  9. erebus

    erebus Commander

    Aug 25, 2007
    profile pending deletion request 28/5/2009

    Nope, i thought it was great too; but then again i liked the whole look of the film. Even if some of it was too quick for my old eyes i could probably catch up after a few more repeat viewings ;)
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    Well this is definitely a different kind of Star Trek, and I can understand why some aren't too happy with the new direction.

    I'd love to see a return to more sophisticated and intelligent storytelling someday (DS9 is my favorite series for that very reason), but I gotta say, for right now I'm PERFECTLY happy just to see some Trek that's fun and exciting and has some dynamic, engaging characters again.

    After how dreary and lifeless the past couple of movies and series have been, this is just like a huge breath of fresh air.
  11. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 12, 1999
    Jack Bauer
    Excellent! Best. Star. Trek. movie. ever. I really need to see that again. I left the theater wishing I could walk back in and see the sequel. Pine, Quinto, Urban and Saldana were all very good. They really made those characters their own, The humor was great, so were the effects and action sequnces. Nice dialog. Just wonderful. The destruction of Vulcan and Amanda's death gave me chills. THe opening sequnce rocked from star to finish. The whole movie did! The previous ST universe still exists along side the new one. Long live the new universe!
  12. Sky

    Sky Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    Sadly yes.

    Now after seeing the film twice and thinking things over I'd like to change my vote from Above average to Below average. My first opinion was clouded by my happiness about seeing "the old gang" once more. I SO wanted to like this film and was expecting SO much from it.

    I have no problem with the idea of a reboot. I have a problem with godawfully bad storytelling and mindless action for the sake of action.
  13. Scotty

    Scotty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 26, 2000
    The Netherlands, Les Pays Bas, Holland
    I've seen the movie but I honestly can't decide. I'll be seeing it again tonight so maybe i'll have my mind made up.

    I'm in two minds about this movie. The movie loving side of me very much enjoyed the film. It had many great and memorable moments.

    The Trekkie side of me on the other hand perhaps wanted this movie to be something else than it was. That side of me also saw a lot of flaws.

    Trek might for me be this year's Indiana Jones KOTC. I grew to love that movie, but I had to see it a couple of times.
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  14. erebus

    erebus Commander

    Aug 25, 2007
    profile pending deletion request 28/5/2009
    I like to think that as a first installment, this film has established a natural framework which can easily accept the elements you have mentioned.

    Perhaps they have had to prioritise in this first film and even the original series took quite a few episodes to fully introduce those elements.
  15. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    I certainly agree there was some questionable logic in this thing, but not EVERY Star Trek story has to have an airtight plot you know.

    I mean, to me nitpicking this movie to death is like watching, say, "A Piece of the Action" and getting so completely hung up on the ridiculousness of the Mob Planet itself that you fail to enjoy all the great humor and character moments and twists and turns in the actual STORY.

    Even on TOS, sometimes you just had to roll with it. And this is another one of those times. Do I wish this movie had a stronger underlying plot? Of course. But that doesn't mean we can't overlook those problems and still enjoy the movie.
  16. Kpnuts

    Kpnuts Commodore Commodore

    Nov 25, 1999

    I loved it as well.
  17. candida

    candida Fleet Captain

    Feb 12, 2002
    I loved the film.

    Even though I am the sort of fan who knew that Delta Vega was in the wrong place, it didn't spoil it for me.

    What did occur to me in that moment was that there would be fans here complaining about DV being moved, and Archer being alive, and no Commodores, and the reference to a warp "core", and the Enterprise being built in Iowa, and no ship-specific insignia, and some who thought Robau's uniform was too Enterprise like and some who thought it wasn't Cage enough, and hell the Enterprise has grown and warp beaming and beaming from Saturn and what about the Temporal prime directive and surely we've never heard of red matter and

    well, generally, The Onion got it spot on, didn't they ?

    There is a lesson in this film - it's time to get some swagger back.

    After eight years or so, I'm off.

    Bye, all.
  18. Breadfan

    Breadfan Captain Captain

    Jan 3, 2002
    Part-time belly scratcher
    Good movie. Rated it Above average.:techman:
  19. El Chupacabra

    El Chupacabra Commodore Commodore

    Aug 1, 2002
    London, England
    Hmmm, where do I start?
    I left the cinema yesterday afternoon not knowing whether or not I liked or truly despised this movie. However, my main feeling as I walked out was that it simply didn’t feel like Star Trek, and that worried my greatly. I’ve been a fan for over 30 years, since early childhood, and to not have the feeling for the first time ever was very disappointing. However, I’ll deal with that at the end of my review.
    I think the best way to summarise my feelings about the picture would be to list the good and the bad:-
    - The special effects were stunning, particularly the opening battle. There can be no question about that.

    - I warmed quite quickly to the exterior of the new Enterprise – at least when shown at a distance anyhow.

    - I liked some little touches in the movie, such as how the Kelvin’s communicators looked like the old TOS ones, Scotty’s tribble (complete with the correct trilling), Kirk’s apple and Majel’s voice on the ship computer.

    - As a general action movie there was enough in it to keep the pace chugging along throughout without moments of boredom.

    - The main Starfleet uniforms were great. AT a distance they looking just like TOS uniforms. I also got a kick out of the similarities between Pike’s admiral’s uniform and Kirk’s TMP version.

    - I liked the Nero character, even if he got little to do. I would have liked to see more of him and learn more.

    - I liked the fact that Nero’s ship interior was relatively consistent with the look of the Scimitar from Nemesis. It made me believe that the ship originated from the same sort of grudgey, lower class mining background that Shinzon did, thus I could accept that Nero was from the post-Nemesis era.

    - Nimoy!! What can you say. I was overjoyed to see him on screen again. Some people posting reviews have suggested that he was out of character in his scenes. I disagree. In fact I felt that this was the closest we had seen to the Spock I remember since Star Trek V. Nimoy seemed to go through a phase of having Spock be extremely grumpy in TUC and Unification and it was refreshing to see a return to the character I properly remember from the golden days of Trek. Hats off to Leonard to still pull it off. He easily acts Quinto off the screen, but then I feel a bit sorry for Quinto having to play alongside the original, unlike his cast mates, especially Leonard as of all the characters I’d say that Spock is probably the one most unique to the original actor. Nimoy just has something about him, and almost alien quality that inhabits the character that, quite simply, only he can do.

    - A great score. Top notch, although I would have like to hear the fanfare earlier on, but I understand why it came at the end.

    - Khan style eels! Great stuff.

    - Not exactly part of “the good” per se, but a lot of people moaned about Spock & Uhura’s lovebird act. Have to say I had no problem with it keeping in mind that these are alternate versions of the characters. In fact that only thing I was curious about was how it came to be as otherwise there wasn’t much point it in being present.
    - Recasting. Now, I promised myself well in advance that I had gotten past the recasting of iconic roles, helped in part by Nimoy’s endorsement and, more importantly, the alternate universe which allowed me to treat them as different characters. But despite the throw away line about alternate realities it was clear to me that the movie was trying to remind me on a regular basis that I was supposed to be watching Kirk Spock and McCoy and I was supposed to accept the youngsters, many of whom are younger than me (not that I should let that prejudice me), were the same iconic characters that I had grown up with over 30 years. For me, I just couldn’t do it. Maybe I am like Kirk in TUC, I’m struggling to get past my prejudices and move on, but for me the original characters are more than a few episodes and movies, they have been friends to go to when times were bad. Friends who allowed me some escapism. Friends who taught me about morality and difficult questions in life. The people that brought those characters to like are those characters. A character is more than what is written on a script page, it is also part of the living breathing person that plays him or her. For instance, Karl Urban did indeed give one of the best performances in the movie. But I just couldn’t believe it was McCoy, all I could believe was that it was a young Starfleet officer doing an impression of McCoy.The same for the others, all good actors, especially the wonderful Simon Pegg, but I just couldn’t help wanting to see my beloved personalities of old. I think it will take me a long time to get beyond that, if I ever do.

    - The set designs. The Kelvin was ok and I could believe it was pre-TOS. However, I despised other sets, most significantly the Enterprise interiors. Abrams has spoken about his desire to do what Dick Donner did on Superman: The Movie, have the believability factor to what was on screen. Versimilitude Donner called it. Well here Abrams makes a fatal mistake. We aren’t just talking about a superhero in a costume, with everything else looking like 20th Century Earth, we are talking about how society will look over 200 years from now. In that respect I cannot accept that the Enterprise needs manual handles to go to warp and an absurd looking engine room that looks like the lower decks of a World War II submarine. Aside from a few trendy touchscreens thrown in, everything else on the Enterprise looked years behind the TOS version, and even looked less advanced than the NX-01, which was are to believe still existed as we know it in this reality. Not convinced in the slightest and Abrams better think carefully about this one for the sequel. It’s absurd that will such a budget that couldn’t create something truly futuristic looking, especially since they had gone to all that trouble of making the exterior of the ship more advanced than its sixties counterpart.

    - Plot explanations. I thanked god I had read Countdown because without that the plot of the movie seemed very silly. A Romulan comes after Spock because his homeworld was blown up and he somehow blames Spock for not sorting it out in time, all of which we find out in a couple minutes. Great. That’s it? So basically we are to empathise with Nero and understand his plight? Do me a favour. I couldn’t feel for him after such a small and thrown away explanation and saw the character as nothing more than Bana playing a crazy. I would have loved to have seen more. With that the soul was totally ripped out of the movie for me and Nero was just another bad guy of the week. Ironically the one thing I didn’t have much of a problem with was Nimoy being on Delta Vega at the right moment. With the other plot holes, this coincidence didn’t really matter to me.

    - Lens flares and shakey cam. I had read complaints about this but went into the movie open minded. I had no problem with it during the Kelvin scenes, but by the time the movie was half way through it began to annoy me. I’m a greater hater of shakey cam out of the two, and I am terribly frustrated that Hollywood directors think that the audience want to see these tired camera tricks all the time. This moviegoer doesn’t and I’m tired of seeing this in every action film I see these days. One of the redeeming features of Indy 4 was that Spielberg shot the movie old style, without shakey cam, and so despite its flaws I find Crystal Skull a lot easier to watch than movies like Iron Man. I like to see what is happening, not get a headache. But then I guess Abrams was just trying to be one of the cool kids.

    - Kids in charge of the Enterprise. Talked about many times so I won’t go into detail, but from cadet to Captain? And for that matter the whole crew (sans Spock & Scotty) from cadets to senior officers? Utterly, utterly stupid.

    - Ben Cross as Sarek. Bloody awful. I wish Mark Lenard was still around.

    - Product placement. No, no, no, no. No room for that in Star Trek JJ. What a cheap shot.


    Despite the recasting and the items under my “bad” list, none of what I mentioned above was enough to make me hate the movie. I could stomach them and suspend disbelief to allow me to watch the movie as “just another movie” and take enjoyment out of it and be entertained. In that respect is was a rip-roaring space action adventure and I would recommend it to any non-fan who likes action films. I can understand why it has gotten rave reviews from non-fans and newer fans alike. It will generate a good return, new fans and a sequel. Paramount have gotten what they wanted.

    However, here lies the real problem I have with the movie, which is a serious complaint directed at the new “supreme court”. Abrams and his cohorts, including Nimoy himself, tell us Star Trek is about the characters. A lot of fans have bought into this when seeing the new movie and think that if there is a good arc for Kirk & Spock then that’s all that’s need. I respectfully disagree with this on every level. Star Trek was never about the characters, it was about the human experience, as told through the characters. This is the fundamental mistake with movie. It’s something that people like Ron Moore and, dare I say it, Berman understood about what Roddenberry was trying to do, but Abrams seems clueless in this regard. There was no exploration of humanity in this movie and no hint of a morality play. For this fan, that’s just not good enough. I was never a fan of Star Trek because I liked to see ship battles or fancy devices. It was about, for me, the social issues it made me think about. It was the thing about Star Trek that set it apart from things like Star Wars. It had greater depth, more intelligence and more morality than the other things out there. Majel is alleged to have said that Gene would have approved of the new movie, while I hope that he would have I feel that this is doubtful. If you go way back to “The Cage” it is clear what Gene wanted from the show. He wanted to make the audience think. Abrams Trek does not do that. For that reason I felt incredibly let down when I left the cinema. It felt like my intelligent Star Trek had died years earlier and had been replaced by yet another big budget Hollywood action movie for the crowds of lower intelligence out there that has simply had the Star Trek name slapped on it. Well, that’s what sells these days so I understand it. But I am just deeply upset that the market has turned this way and ripped the heart, or more importantly, the brain, out of my beloved Star Trek.

    You see without the intelligence Star Trek is just like everything else....and nothing else has lasted this long as a result. I don’t see why people can’t see that. This movie will generate a couple sequels of big action. Paramount will make short term money on its reboot. But it will die out much sooner than the original did, because this nuTrek is far more a product of its time than TOS ever was and simply doesn’t have elements to withstand changes attitudes over the years.

    Abrams has a chance to recapture this old fan with the inevitable sequel. He just needs to explore the human experience again – and there is no reason why this cannot go hand in hand with a big budget action film. I implore him to do it as then he really will have done justice to the Roddenberry legacy.

  20. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 17, 2001
    San Antonio, TX
    I saw it again last night, this time in IMAX. I am still totally blown away. It was great seeing the original crew back in action once again.

    Hey, the movie made me think, it made me think of how bad Star Trek has been since 1991. :) Star Trek in the TNG plus days became self important, irrelevant, and then boring as all hell. Some of the fanbase became that way as well.

    Star Trek is fun and exciting again.