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Star Trek: the Search for Lens Flares.

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Mark Suszko
Star Trek: the Search for Lens Flares.
on May 21, 2009 at 5:36:10 am

Just came back from seeing it and yes, I like it, well, I liked most of it. Thought the music was not up to par. But Abrams went a bit overboard with lens flares, having lots of incidental lighting built into sets and added digitally in post to create lens flares of a level not seen since you bought your first copy of Photoshop. Abrams admits to it, in an interview he said he got this idea that the flares implied a lot of cool techy stuff was happening just off screen, and he admits falling in love with them a little too much....

Some wag posted this sample on YouTube based on TOS footage, and I saw this BEFORE seeing the actual film:

youtube.com/watch?v=iAaX8Aq6smQ&fmt=18




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Mike Cohen
Re: Star Trek: the Search for Lens Flares.
on May 21, 2009 at 5:07:09 pm

I was considering posting a review on here entitled "Start Trek Episode I: The Phantom Vulcan."

I read the article about the lens flares before seeing the film and was a bit perplexed that JJ Abrams got so carried away with the effect, claiming to have guys on set shining flashlights at the camera. That, to me, borders on Lucasian - doing an effect for the sake of showing the effect "look what we did, la dee da!"

I found the music to be intrusive in non-action scenes, attempting to create tension where none was needed.

I found the inclusion of the odd cutesy character akin to Ewoks or Jar-Jar Binks. We know kids are going to see the film - my theater was chock full of them - no doubt designed to create cool action figures. I'm one to complain as I recall sending my dad out to Service Merchandise at the crack of dawn to get one of the first Yoda figures sold in Des Moines!

The villain was forgettable and not a very good foil to Spock.

Finally, and deride me for this if you like, I thought the acting was pretty wooden. Sure they got people who look and talk like the original cast, but it seemed like mere caricatures - I call it the Brady Bunch Movie approach - homage and/or satire as opposed to creating original endearing versions of characters we already know.

I did like the Dutch angles and other camera moves in the space battle scenes and the model shots (CG models are still models) looked pretty good. They have improved CG models to not look as much like obvious CG models.

Some of the tech reflects the ILM "landing gear" problem. In other words, we now have the technology to show landing gear and other such details in great detail during ship take-offs and landings, along with ramps, lights and ship controls (navigation/weapons) - (joysticks interacting with displays as opposed to random buttons with pretty lights) - all of these things are cool and add to the perception of realism, but when the camera focuses on the technology I think it distracts you from the story. Hence my comparisons to the Phantom Menace. Don't get me wrong, I love the Star Wars prequels, but one can always find things to criticize. I criticize with admiration!

I welcome opposing viewpoints.

Mike Cohen





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Mark Suszko
Re: Star Trek: the Search for Lens Flares.
on May 21, 2009 at 5:58:49 pm

I think this movie convinced me that I hate Eric Bana. What they wrote for him to do did him no favors, though.

There was a lot of pressure on Chris Pine who plays young Jim Kirk. I think he mostly got it right, particularly the mannerisms and vocal work were a decent reference to Shatner's more exaggerated mannerisms. Pine can't help it if the script is not great. Quinto as Spock did admirably. The actor playing McCoy was eerie. Simon Pegg was funny as Scotty. The CGI space modeling was very good. Sound design hit enough of the right notes in referencing and leveraging off the original Sound FX. I'll say again the music was somehow "off" for me, it didn't work all that well.


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Micah McDowell
Re: Star Trek: the Search for Lens Flares.
on May 26, 2009 at 9:55:09 pm

I was just about to post a new topic on this subject when I saw that someone already had....

I remember noticing in the opening shots a nice anamorphic-style lens flare, and I mentally noted, "that's a nice touch... makes the CG seem much more real." However, the same exact lens flare showed back up in almost EVERY shot for the rest of the movie.

By the end, all I could concentrate on was that stupid lens flare and I can only barely recall the storyline of the film. One lens flare may be cool; a silly blinding glare in every shot is just stupid.


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