J.J. Abrams STAR TREK XI

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by ObiWanCon, Jul 27, 2006.

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  1. LilyHobbitJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 29, 2005
    star 5
    I have to say that I've never really been a Star Trek fan, but my friend dragged me to see the movie last night and I absolutely loved it.
  2. Hernalt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 2
    The first fifteen minutes could have been better if they had put the camera on the father and let the mother's voice come in over intercom for some duration, so that we could see the progress of his facial expressions across the terrain of what death must come, and THEN cut back to her and do the opposite. I found the visuals amateurishly spastic and jarring, when the narrative content suggested it should have been harrowing. Abrams did Cloverfield, with excellent POV work, and there are better ways to do harrowing. A missed opportunity.

    The Kirk-destroy-car scene was for this ADHD Fast and the Furious generation. To depict a rebellious, "genius-level" Kirk could be done with better genius. LOST tells me that Abrams is capable of better. A missed opportunity.

    There was very little tension - nothing like in Wrath of Khan, where a tense moment itself was thick, juicy, savory, delicious. No such moments here. Granted - asymmetric conflict.

    The battle scenes were on constant fast-forward and I couldn't get any feel for the mass and momentum of the ships. The rapid-fire depiction of the weapons did not lend itself to feeling their potency of destructiveness. Very video-game rattattat.

    Kirk to Captain in three easy steps = implausible strain = not compelling = no ring of truth = a wastage of vital viewer desire to give a crap. (Note that the black hole does not strain plausibility whatsoever, because Trek has never ever been about scientific accuracy, and should not pretend to start. But it has always tried to ring true to some kind of organized and systematic command structure. What I got out of it was a wannabe Mary Sue narrative.)

    Other than that, Quinto and Urban's staggering resonance goes without comment. "Hello Christopher. I'm Nero" had me laughing out of my seat, as did most everything out of Scottie's mouth, and many other lines. Anything in the Starfleet auditorium was absolute gold, especially Quinto's exegesis on the Kobayashi Maru exercise.
  3. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I was a little annoyed with the kid-kirk-corvette scene. It felt totally unnecessary except for the fact that it was in the trailers and previews. It did nothing whatsoever to advance the plot or character development. It was just there.

    A friend explained it to me later, with the missing information/deleted scenes. Problem is, without the supporting scenes, there was no reason to leave it in. It should have been cut as well.
  4. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    It does serve a purpose within the editing pattern- it's the companion sequence to Spock in school (or, at least the Spock and his father scene following the school bullies).

    Though the pattern is less obvious due to the deletions.

    Kirk is born / Spock is born (deleted)
    Kid Kirk's rough childhood (partially deleted) / Kid Spock's rough childhood
    Spock joins Starfleet / Kirk joins Starfleet
  5. Sven_Starcrown Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2009
    star 4
    The bar secene was much better at establishing Kirk as a rebel.
  6. Hernalt Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 2
    Rather, without the supporting young Kirk scenes, the pattern is obvious, forced, imposed rather than being subtle, organic, symbiotic. So what circa-corvette Kirk material got left on the cutting room floor?

    I don't think there was a single _bad_ Spock scene, although I don't buy the scene where Kirk is supposed to have demonstrated that Spock is, was, had been, was being or had been being "emotionally compromised" so as to relinquish command. Nothing in Quinto's performance allowed suspicion his Spock was "emotionally compromised", and we only have Nimoy-Spock's insistence that Quinto-Spock must necessarily be so. But it was argued in the same period that the two universes were different by virtue of the entrance of the Romulan mining ship. Ergo it cannot be argued that Quinto Spock's reaction to _his_ planet's demise is the same as Nimoy-Spock's reaction to Quinto-Spock's planet Vulcan's demise. Two different origins, two different shades of motivation. The dialogue out of Kirk's mouth to make Nimoy-Spock's argument, for lack of a better word in dealing with Trek, is illogical. Granted - the shtick was that he could not let on who put the argument in his mouth. The only thing Nimoy-Spock's argument in Kirk's mouth sells to the crewmembers is that Kirk is an ass who wants the captain's chair. A ham-fisted, yet earnestly performed, missed opportunity.

    Nevertheless, excellent acting and a well-done movie in its own right. The ensemble promises much for a sequel.
  7. Jedimarine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    Ok...so I finally saw this.

    The word that comes to mind over and over is "Frantic".

    It was just wildly paced.

    One thing that bugs me a bit...they got from earth to Vulcan in like 5 minutes...but the return seemed to take hours (well, however long Kirk was wandering on Delta Vega)

    What ever happened with the bug in Pike's head? Kind of a hanging plot point.

    It's rather amusing that while most stories try to tell us how a hero must make up his own destiny...shape his own fate...this movie tells us that no matter what cosmic events occur, your path is determined.

    Pike is like a dad becoming the football coach..."my son is quarterback...I know he's never played before...tough."

    Ok...some things I liked...

    Kirk was actually pretty good, I was surprised...he pulls off the brashness without falling into the clichéd mannerisms of Shattner.

    Bones was spot on...but even the trailers revealed that.

    Ship models...with the exception of Spock's ship...were nicely done.

    Things I really didn't like...

    The Vulcans were altered...I think they tried to make them more "human" in mannerism while trying to go for the "logic" centerpiece...it doesn't work...too much emotion comes through and it ruins the Vulcans...that raised eyebrow "curiosity" has always been the central piece to Vulcans, and it was absent. The "insults" joke with Spock as a kid was awful.

    Interiors of the ships...you want to go industrial, fine...but pipes and valves and a "factory" aesthetic would be odd on Nero's ship, let alone the Enterprise...This is not the guts of a sea going vessel, this is a space ship. They also abandon any notion of scale...apparently giant rooms are now the thing...now granted it added to the eerie appearance of Nero's ship...but it breaks the suspension of disbelief when it comes to the Enterprise.

    Why if humans are disregarded by Vulcans...would the fully human wife of Sarek be allowed into the most sacred of places in Vulcan society?

    WAY too much slapstick humor...this is NOT Star Trek IV...the "symptoms" sequence was absurd. Scotty in the pipes was also unnecessary.

    The worst thing:

    The lens flares...we get it...space..light isn't defused or deflected...so make an artistic point at the beginning of the film and put it to rest for the sake of telling your story. I don't know how many sequences were practically unwatchable because the lens flares made seeing things impossible...I wonder if it was a cover for shortcomings.

    final thought:

    I went into this movie fearful about the cast trying too hard to mimic the old and thus tripping over the big shoes they climbed into...in general, however, I must say I was very impressed with their efforts...a letter grade for each:

    Kirk: A-
    Spock: B
    Bones: A
    Chekov: B+
    Sulu: B
    Uhura: B-
    Scotty: C

    What I walked away disliking wasn't the cast or the plot, but the execution...and never having been a fan of anything by JJ Abrams, I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this...but it really was much too frantic, much too "blink and miss it" visual...much too "well you'll need to see it again to catch more stuff".

    I think if they escape JJ, this could have promise...but right now it's so much "trick of the eye"...it really is style over substance.
  8. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Kirk's step father was going to sell the car--an antique that belonged to George Kirk. Step-father was abusive. The kid Kirk drives past is his step-brother, who was running away from home because he couldn't stand the abuse anymore. Kirk was the golden child who could do no wrong, and the brother was always wrong. Kirk was angry about the car being sold, so he stole it. the cell phone from the step dad about "you'd better not even scratch that car" was the step dad. In order to tick him off, Kirk popped the convertable top, guarenteeing that the car would be damaged and not sellable. Totalling it was the final goal, but even if he were somehow stopped, the car would need serious work.
  9. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Wow. I really like that motivation for what he does to the car. In fact, it's pretty much a 180 from the "Kirk as delinquent brat" scene we got in the theatrical cut. I would really like to see the context edited back in for a 'special edition' release on DVD, because without it that scene is by far the worst in the film.


    Also, has anyone brought up the fact that the film either A) jumps around in chronology during the Kirk/Spock youth scenes or B) rewrites continuity about Vulcan aging?
  10. Sven_Starcrown Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2009
    star 4
    I wonder where he learned to drive.[face_whistling]
  11. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Imagine how advanced and accurate drag-race video games will be in 200 years...
  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I only just bothered to watch the deleted scenes from Ep 2 this week. It would be really nice to be able to watch the movie with the first Senate scene spliced back in. That would have vastly improved the movie by providing the one thing that was severely lacking: the actual reason for the explosion right at the beginning. It also makes JarJar's motion to give Palpatine emergency powers in Amidalla's name that much funnier and more ironic. Cutting that scene was a major mistake. The scenes in Amidalla's home would also be good to have back inside. The cut sections from Geonosis weren't that important, so leaving them out is no biggie.


    Getting back to trek, splicing that back into the movie would certainly help. There were a lot of minor details that didn't make sense. Spock beating the snot out of kirk was kinda weak. Also Kirk being so blatant with the Kobiyashi Maru cheat seemed kinda odd. Shatner's Kirk would have at least tried to play along. This Kirk is just a smug, arrogant prick. Was it just me, or did the Orion cadet's green make-up seem a little... uneven and inconsistent? Perhaps even a little weak? Reminded me of someone trying to cheat by diluting their water-based primary color krylon make-up. Sure, it can work from a distance, but up close, no.
    As far as the characterizations go, I think the best performance by far was the new McCoy. He was the only actor that not only nailed the roll, but expanded it without being inconsistant to the previous versions. Also, it provided a new reason for the nickname, since most modern people (at least the ones I know) don't associate doctors with their old slang term "saw-bones" anymore.
  13. goraq Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    Keiran posted:
    Imagine how advanced and accurate drag-race video games will be in 200 years...

    why do cars even need a wheel with the technology avaible is a mystery too me.
  14. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    He's a kid from Iowa. I would assume he learned to drive like every other farmboy learns to drive...tractors and beater cars around the field.
  15. goraq Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    Yeah, but that car was fast, wreally fast.

    By the way he did for a living?

    Slept with farm animals?
  16. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    I would assume that he started with slower vehicles like tractors or beater cars and moved on to faster vehicles for the thrill.
  17. Jedi-Anakin-Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2001
    star 6
    It was removed after he was rescued but it caused damage to his brain stem and paralyzed him, hence the wheelchair.


    (Wheelchair Pike, LOL)
  18. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Yep, it took the loss of a planet and it's billions of inhabitants but, at least so far, Pike's fate has been an improvement from his blinking light zombie wheelchair.
  19. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Not so sure: no Lena. So, who is going to face the Big Bubble Brained Aliens when they go to that planet? Pike showed restraint and control over his hormones. When did Kirk ever do that?
  20. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    True, buy the Lena thing was just an illusion anyways- he can live for real now.
  21. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    No, she did have a real body. Just a damaged one because appearently the super-genius aliens didn't hae a DNA scanner, and didn't think that the body might have been symmetrical, and appearently never considered repairing their mistakes or even physical therapy.
  22. Boba_Squeak Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2007
    star 1
    Furthermore, what about Kirk? Wasn't Nero the same guy with the same ship who killed his father and deprived him of a strong paternal figure from birth, resulting in all of Kirk's troubles from childhood to adulthood? Surely, he was much, much more "emotionally compromised" than the person he tricked and wrestled command from? Just one of many, many "huh?" moments in this movie, for me.

    I was set upon and utterly savaged on another board for giving my opinion of this movie, so I am contributing to this thread with some trepidation. That's the problem with holding minority views, I guess, whether it be loving mainstream movies others hate (e.g. the SW prequels) or hating mainstream movies others love (e.g. "Batman Begins", "Star Trek").

    The new Star Trek movie was riddled with plot holes and terrible cliches of the worst sort. It was clearly designed to appease as many people as possible, so Abrams and his writers went all-out, from shamelessly using melodramatic heroism for their opening scene ("I wuvvv youuuuu!" *splat*) to throwing in very improper words for Star Trek (e.g. "whore"), to the use of rock music and outmoded "bad boy" stereotypes, through to flashy action scenes with maximum sound and fury, to cheap gags about bestiality, inflating hands and helmsman forgetting how to take a ship to warp, to cheesy lines of the most unimaginative sort ("Your refusal would be unwise!" / "Hi Christopher, I'm Nero!"), right down to terrible exposition (Nimoy-Spock's whole explanation of time travel and red matter), to ... oh, I could simply go on and on.

    Another thing I found totally odious about this movie was the way it flushed Star Trek's higher ethos down the crapper, from the imperialistic depiction of Starfleet ("it's a peace-keeping armada" -- no, it isn't), to the heavily urbanised depiction of San Francisco (Roddenberry rolled back the number of buildings to stress that humanity was working to repair the worst of its damage to Earth, further symbolised by having Starfleet based there), even down to scuffing things up (e.g. the hulls of shuttles) in gratuitous emulation of Star Wars. Worse still, Kirk had little or no spiritual connection with the Enterprise, which was expressed in a manner approaching High Art once upon a time (see "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", a movie so disrespected it's untrue), and in a critical scene as Nero faces death, Kirk argues that they should show him mercy while Spock advocates against compassion and does so in the form of a one-liner, which I couldn't believe I saw or heard.

    The production values were really poor in this film, too. It sickens me to know they had a budget of $150 million and blew it on CG that isn't a tenth as ambitious as "The Matrix" (the original) or the PT or LOTR trilogies, even though all those films cost less (per movie). The set design was really bland and uninspired, too. The grungy look of Starfleet, embodied in the early bridge sets and, presumably, all the Engineering sets ("sets" might actually be the wrong word, though, since these scenes were filmed on location, in a Budweiser brewery!), as well as the ridiculously bright and OTT bridge for the Enterprise (complete with a crackable window instead of the much more plausible and congruent viewscreen), was all a complete abandonment of logic, truth and beauty, which was par for the course, I suppose. I won't even talk about the flat, close-up driven fake cinéma vérité photography or the bland, listless music, either (the music being a phenomenal strength of Star Trek's till recently).

    Nope. Didn't and don't like the new direction Star Trek has been taken i
  23. starwarsobesses Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2008
    star 1
    I loved this film. I loved then new direction this film took. I am a fan of the original series, but i still love the new movie. My favorite characters are Kirk, Spock and Mccoy. I also like how they included old Spock.
  24. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    Boba_Squeak, I would like, first, to applaud your bravery for posting so thoughtful and so scathing a critique of this film, despite its mostly rave reviews and current "beloved/revered" status among the sci-fi fanbase. Second, I must say I really liked the movie, a lot, and have said several times that it rivals or even exceeds the achievements of Wrath of Khan in terms of excitement, fun and sheer cinematic aplomb. That said, I've only seen the new movie once, and when I go see it again -- this weekend, I hope -- I'll keep your comments firmly in mind, reviewing it skeptically and critically, rather than letting it seduce me with its charm and buoyancy, as it did the first time. In short, thanks for presenting the opposite viewpoint in a way that makes me scratch my head and wonder if I was wrong, dead wrong, about my prior opinion.

    With that in mind, I'll let you know how my second viewing turns out. :cool:
  25. starwarsobesses Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2008
    star 1
    I seen this movie twice and i loved it every time i saw it.
  26. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Are you kidding? "Hi Christopher, I'm Nero" was a fantastic line.
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