What's keeping me out of the theatre....

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Last week on Wednesday I was off work because I had to work Saturday over the Easter weekend. On that day around 2pm I opted to chill for a bit and turned on the TV. It just so happened that I channel surfed past SPACE and "Courtmartial" was just starting.

    Now I've seen this episode countless times. And while I enjoy watching things unfold even though I know it inside and out and backwards, beyond that I find myself watching the mechanics of how these things are put together.

    It was the proverbial nail in the coffin for me.

    For the last couple of years I've been reading and hearing about the next film. I'm as familiar as anyone with what we may expect. I've seen all the trailers and (having no intention to pay to see it) I had no problem reading the reviews and spoilers after the film's screening in Australia. On that point this film held few surprises and it's appears to be pretty much what I thought it would be.

    And that's why "Courtmartial" nailed the lid shut.

    "Courtmartial" is one of the best episodes of TOS. It ably delivers the kind of drama that TOS could be really good at. Every aspect of storytelling is well delivered (even knowing what we know about computer programming today). This was good science fiction. The writing is good, the acting is good and the story is good.

    Star Trek had action and space battles and run-and-jump and adventure. But they were grounded in good story. Sure the production and f/x would have been more elaborate with more time and money, but the production standard rarely if ever detracted from what was unfolding in regards to story.

    But for me one of the essential key elements of Star Trek at most times, and particularly at its best, was that it was smart. The show sometimes faltered but generally when I think of Star Trek I think of a wonderful balance of enthusiasm and intelligence in its storytelling.

    When I look at the trailers for the forthcoming film in addition to what I know about it I see lots of energy and hyper polished f/x. But I see next to zero intelligence. Granted it's a reboot, and that's fair enough, but what I see are essentially poor story ideas lifted from previous films and rehashed together yet one more time.

    And all that following other Trek films (and series) that have disappointed me brings me to appreciate TOS all the more.

    Yes, I can see where things could have been done a bit differently in individual episodes. But overall Star Trek hit the target they were aiming for, even with the occasional missteps.

    It wasn't just fun because of all the cool stuff we like to see in good SF. It was fun because even more so they generally took a smart approach to all the cool stuff.

    It's that wonderful balance of enthusiasm and intelligence that keeps bringing me back. And that essential element that will keep me out of the theatre.
     
  2. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    We get it. You don't like new Star Trek.
    Nothing to see here. Move along.
     
  3. Eddie Roth

    Eddie Roth Commodore Commodore

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    Germany
    Good points all. And I agree that Trek's strength has always been its intelligence, its willingness to put forth an idea and discuss it. But... what makes you so sure that the new film doesn't have that too? The reviews I read, while pointing out that the exploration of actual "big ideas" would have to wait until a sequel, all seemed to say that it was far from mindless popcorn entertainment.

    But I will not try any further to convince you, you are well known for not even liking any of the previous films except TMP. I just wish the praise (deserved praise) you hand out for Court-Martial could be done without taking stabs at a new film you haven't even seen. Court-Martial has always been good, it doesn't just now become that because Trek's going in a new direction.

    But your post then isn't really about Court-Martial, so in that sense what you're doing here seems a little like trolling. Maybe you should have posted this in the STXI forum instead...
     
  4. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Good luck with that.
    [​IMG]
    That generally goes over well.

    ;)
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Trolling? Because of a dissenting viewpoint?

    Then the point has been missed.

    I would love to see a new Star Trek that really delivered on the kind of things that made me love the original. It isn't that I'm predisposed to dislike something new.

    It's because those in charge keep failing on delivering the things that made Star Trek good.

    There are TNG and DS9 episodes I like because they did what TOS had done. But after that nothing.

    And I did read reviews that actually said what I'm suspecting: lots of action, some decent humour, but not much smarts.

    I will say, though, that if I can come across a download version then I'll see it. But I'm voting with my wallet and not paying.

    In the past I've been surprised by some films that I ended up liking to an extent because they proved to be better than I'd expected. But in each of those cases there was still some smidgen of interest and possibility that it might come off well. But I ain't getting it here.

    Here's the other thing. It isn't that we're relying on rose coloured memories of something we liked in the past. Today we can instantly access old films and TV shows. I've seen a ton of science fiction and sci-fi since I started watching TOS in 1970. Sadly not that much of it still holds up.

    Sometimes the value and strength of a work appreciates with age. And so it is with TOS. I'm more critical (in some respects) than when I was younger. And I'm impressed when something older still manages to hold me.

    There's nothing new (especially these days) in reinterpreting old work. But it's nice when (and if) then can bring something new to the old magic.

    Guess I'm still waiting.
     
  6. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Same song, alternate mix.
     
  7. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    People keep telling me that trolling is what happens when you keep posting in threads -- basically to tell other posters who started the thread not to post there. Sounds like Number Six is not just unmutual, but 'the troll to end all trolls' (what a concept!)

    A legit discussion of what you like about TOS that doesn't seem to be part of the movie sounds like a totally legit thread for this board (esp to me, since I have learned that dissenting views -- no matter how clearly presented -- are not allowed by at least one mod on the abrams board, a mod who DOES allow snipes and all sorts of pro-abrams trolling.)

    Be nice if this one stays open here, assuming other creatures don't descend to feast upon it.If it does, I'll swing back.
     
  8. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Why haven't YOU moved along?
     
  9. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    Why should I need to? I would like to enjoy this BBS as much as the next "fan." Without being told what I must hate to be in the club. Apparently liking Star Trek isn't allowed without backhanding people who like other incarnations.

    Who died and made you mod? I'll post wherever the f*ck I want, thank you.
     
  10. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Germany - with UHC since the early 1900s
    You haven't seen the film.
    All you say here (your opinion) may be right but also it can (and hopefully will) be totally wrong.

    Even if I wouldn't like what little the trailers and snippets from some scenes we have been shown reveal, I would still go to the cinema and watch this film on the big screen, simply (and perhaps stupidly - but that's why I'm a fan) because there are the word Star Trek in the title and it features the characters of James T. (or is it R.? I keep forgetting ;) ) Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy and the starship Enterprise.
     
  11. Mallory

    Mallory Moderator In Memoriam

    Joined:
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    Oregon, USA
    This is not what I wanted to wake up to. Keep it civil, on topic and NOT about other posters. Otherwise move on to another thread.

    I'm going to leave this open for now, but infractions will be given if this continues.
     
  12. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    A trailer is not a good way to judge a movie. How many times have you seen a trailer that barely resembles the actual movie?

    Doug
     
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's more than enough information out about this film, though, for a Trek fan whose enthusiasm is limited to TOS to have a good sense of whether it's for them or not. I certainly don't begrudge someone like Warped9 the right to assess the movie as something he doesn't care to see any more than I accept the criticism that I'm too excited about a movie I haven't yet seen.

    While trailers and clips can be misleading, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that deviated a lot from the expectations I'd formed when a lot of pre-release information was available. Often the movie is a little less satisfying than I'd hoped, sometimes it's delightfully better...but what almost never happens is that I see a movie I know something about and it turns out to unexpectedly suck. A reasonably astute observer can anticipate that kind of thing based on publicity and reviews.

    Nor does a preponderance of positive reviews necessarily mean that a film is worth seeing, if the content of the movie as described is clearly not to an individual's taste. I'm personally not a fan of slasher movies. If Roger Ebert declared "Buckets of Blood - The Final Chapter, Part III" to be the "finest slasher film in the history of the genre" and worthy of inclusion in the AFI list of 100 Best American Films I would not be too keen on seeing it.
     
  14. FarDreaming

    FarDreaming Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Maryland
    I know there are things I will just love about this movie, and things I will just hate. But I will not allow the latter to keep me out of the theater, if only to imagine what might have been if the writers had managed not to savage the timeline and sever it from TOS. It doesn't make the movie any less a good movie or any more a bad movie. It will just be just a disappointing movie for some of us.

    But this conversation cannot truly happen until each of see the film and are openly able to discuss at which point things started to get off track, or conversely, at which point we started to be reeled into this new vision. We need to see it and give it a chance in order to test the validity of our own opinions. In the end, I think they will only strengthen them, one way or another.
     
  15. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In TOS the words mattered. They were teleplays, still in the mid-60s, coming as they did just after the Golden Age - Playhouse 90 era. (NOT that every one is a gem. But GR fancied himself a writer, and he supposedly redrafted just about everything in season one.)

    This has been my disappointment watching DS9 in order via Netflix. The words on the page (as opposed to concepts/plots) just aren't that great.

    I am not a smash-bang fx fan. I agree that trailers are usually accurate, and the trailer for XI is off-putting, though I will still go see it.
     
  16. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, "we" don't.

    I don't think that fans who hold the minutiae of TOS sacrosanct need to see this movie in order to know that they won't like it.

    I'm reminded of James Edward Olmos addressing the folks at the Television Critics Association press tour back in 2003 regarding the new Battlestar Galactica:

    Needless to say, there would be multiple cases of cardiac arrhythmia, at least, in the executive offices of Paramount Pictures if J.J. Abrams said something similar to this in public about his movie. Nonetheless, it would not be unreasonable.

    I applaud Warped9 for expressing himself among other TOS fans in a forum dedicated to that series, rather than launching this topic up in the Trek XI forum where it would be inevitably be read primarily as a provocation aimed at the many, many fans of TOS and other Trek series who are excited about the new movie.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    Well said.

    Every Trek film that has come along has gotten my scrutiny. It was only after Generations that I stopped paying for them. Contrary to what some may think hope does not always spring eternal. Even so I've been intrigued enough upon hearing of this forthcoming project to appraise every tidbit of info that has come along. And how is it my fault if nothing I've seen has interested me?

    But this film is conceptually connected to TOS even if it's a reboot. And having the original subject matter immediately at hand is an effective way to measure the old against the new.

    I'm disappointed that the elements I like in TOS I've found in other things that aren't Trek related. Like SF literature or shows like Babylon 5, Stargate and first season Earth Final Conflict and films like Master And Commander.
     
  18. Gary7

    Gary7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know you're going to see it, Warped9. You're going to be way too curious, especially when you start seeing the postings of people raving about it.

    It's still "Star Trek"... resistance is futile. :borg:
     
  19. The Academic

    The Academic Commander Red Shirt

    TOS Court Martial is good, even brilliant TV, but it would make a bad blockbuster movie on the big screen...
    Apples and pears, my friends, apples and pears...
     
  20. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    I just saw Master and Commander the other day again on DVD. One of my favorite movies, especially since I am a big Nelson's Navy aficionado.

    I think that the pace, style, verisimilitude, action, and insight into the daily lives of the crew would make a good model for a future Trek feature.

    As much as I am looking forward to this upcoming movie, I am tired of every screenwriter and director looking to TWOK as the model for Trek films. I like that Abrams' motion picture actually has motion and seems to have a kinetic energy long missing in Trek, but I think alternating between an thrill ride movie and a well-paced, thoughtful film would be good for the franchise.