Khaaaan!!!! Or not. Alerting spoilers (or not) with JJ Abrams
Not that there's anybody named Khan in our new Star Trek movie.
Because for the past four years, we've always said "spoiler spoiler spoiler" when anybody asked if the new villain would be Khan, because even if we told you that it's NOT Khan that would be a spoiler and everybody hates spoilers...
...but whether it's Khan or NOT Khan, he's definitely played by Cummerbund Bumberbshoot, but we can't tell you his character's name because THE NAME is the ACTUAL SPOILER... even if we told you that it's NOT Khan because....
...I'm sorry, hang on a minute....
Oh hey George, can I call you right back? I'm talking to -- wait, who did you say you are? -- George, I'm talking to Creative Crow about Cumbershoot Bumbleboot.... yep, yep, definitely told 'em I'm definitely not tellin' 'em whether he's Khan or not. I know, right! Annnnnyway... Okay, gotta go... bye, George. Ha ha, that's right, I said 'by George!' [Rolls eyes, makes jerkoff motion.] No, no sir, the honor is all mine. Dream come true. Okay. Bye-bye then. Bye.
I'm sorry, where were we?
Right. I was explaining that we didn't make this movie for Star Trek fans, so we didn't want to get bogged down in that whole KHAN thing. You know, KHAAAAAN!! Ha ha! You know, IS there Khan in this movie, or, you know, is there NOT Khan in this movie, and.... Because we really didn't make this movie for that audience.
We made this movie for boys who want to titter -- ha! I said titter! -- at women scientists in their underwear.
Look, forget scientists. Forget Khan. Khan who? [Looks under desk.] Khan? I don't see any Khan.
[Stands up, looks behind chair.] Wait, who were we looking for?
[Opens door, sticks head out, yells.]
[Turns back to us. Chuckles. Sticks head out again and yells]
LINDELOF!!! Where's Khan? Is he in this movie? Who? No, I said Khan! What? NO, dammit...I said...
[Flops back in chair, spins it around as he laughs and laughs.]
Let's just... I'm not saying that Khan IS or is NOT in the movie. I'm saying that, when a woman tells you to look away while she's uhm...changing clothes in front of you....well, we're gonna put in the commercial that we're NOT gonna look away, because, I mean if we actually DID look away when she told us to, then there really wouldn't be a joke at all, would there? I mean, why bother putting it in the movie at all, right?
Unless you saw her undies in the first movie. Because we're not going to show her underwear this time too. That would just be... Or Spock's mom. That's just...
But there also might not...well, Spock's mom, because that's.... but there may not be a woman with a speaking part in the rest of this entire "enlightened future utopia" franchise who doesn't drop trou when she thinks a man isn't looking at her -- but he really is! Ha ha!
Unless her name is Khan! Ha ha! Because I'm not saying there's anyone named Khan anywhere in this movie! Maybe it's his sister, Barbie! Barbie Khan the SCIENTIST! Ha ha! Spoiler alert! Everybody hates spoilers!
On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being "Khan-con!" and 10 being "Spoiler Alert!" I rate this, "Set Your Phasers to Stunning Undies, Gals!"
[Tim Wilson] "[Rolls eyes, makes jerkoff motion.] "
That was actually my review of the film.
Lindelof on Twitter yesterday: "I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress. We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to make light of something that some construe as mysogenistic. What I'm saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future. Also, I need to learn how to spell 'misogynistic.'"
I don't know, I thought it was one of the more entertaining films I've seen this year. Even though I think the movie would have been better had they not done a quick, Iron Man 3-esk wrap up at the end, I suppose it didn't matter. In an interview on Stern last week, Abrams said he was making a movie more for regular movie fans than for hardcore Trekkies. Since I'm not a Trekkie at all, I didn't mind whatever liberties they took with any of the original concepts. I wouldn't go as far as to call this a mindless summer movie; because if this is mindless, then what would we call Fast and the FuriSIX next week? We need to have a basis of comparison here, people. Also, missed title opportunity there, Universal. And for the record, I plan on living life in the fast lane next weekend, if not only to experience a sixth weekend in a row of loud noises and explosions. Must keep the summer of hearing loss going for as long as possible. If I cared more about Star Trek, I might have cried about a million things about this movie, but I don't, so i give it an 8 out of 10.
-I loved the opening scene. It totally reminded me of Indiana Jones, where the first scene starts right in the middle of an almost completely unrelated adventure to the actual story of the film. I'm not surprised that this happened, as J.J. Abrams has his mouth firmly placed on Spielberg's buttcheeks. Metaphorically of course, they are both happily married men.
-This may very well be the most visually appealing and colorful action film since we saw the Fruity Pebbles glow in the dark planet from Avatar.
-I really liked the twists and turns the film took. The were some moments when I genuinely felt surprised. Or moments when I was like "Really, is this how the movie is going to be? I mean, I GUESS they have the right to do whatever they want, right." I rolled with the punches, and for the most part I dug the choicest they made.
-Anything involving the ship doing basically anything was awesome. It looked way better than last time around, and it looked great before.
-I forgot how much I liked all the characters and their relationships with each other. I probably should have rewatched the '09 Star Trek again before I saw this. I love the sassy banter between Kirk and Bones. But also the sassy banter between Spock and Uhura. But especially the sassy banter between Scotty and that rock midget thing.
-At first I wasn't all that impressed with Cumberbatch's villain portrayal, but as he slowly started to get more outwardly maniacal and smirky, his character became one of the more interesting dudes in the film. Plus, I'm sure that silky baritone voice and those strong face bones were melting all the ladies' hearts in the theater. Seriously, was he able to play polo from birth? I wonder if his parents from the planet Super Britain draped him in what we now know as the regular British flag and left him on a farm in regular Britain. "Me boy saw what yer son Benedict did with the tram, he did." "Oye father, what was oi suppose ta do? Let all them folks perish?" "Ayyyye."
-Whenever I hear that a movie was actually shot with IMAX film, as was the case with Into Darkness, I make a point to see it in IMAX 3D. And as I assumed would be the case, the IMAX screen and sound were incredible, and the 3D was just alright... But at this point, just being alright is pretty good in 3D standards. To be fair, the light speed travel stuff looked legitimately cool in 3D.
-I didn't much care for the conflict resolution at the end of the movie. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the final action sequence, and the crazy destruction of future San Francisco; but I just didn't much like how abruptly and unspectacularly Khan was ultimately defeated.
-On that note, I feel like Khan's super strength varied from "unstoppable" to "eh, kinda strong I guess" depending on how convenient it was to that particular scene.
-The big emotional moment/twist was genuinely good, but it gets underplayed by the fact that they reverse it, basically with magic, like 20 minutes later. That could have been a "holy s***" talking point kind of moment had they followed through.
-Wasn't enjoying how the Klingons looked.
-I guess it lacked the sense of wonder from the '09 one, but made up for it in other areas.
-There were some logic flaws, as is expected from this type of high expectation franchise film. But nothing that destroyed the experience.
-Yeah, Alice Eve's character merely seemed like a pointless excuse to show a woman in her underpants. Didn't get much else out of the character. They were NICE underpants, I guess? Probably got them at Future Victoria Secret. That's where all space scientists / weapons experts shop.
I guess I do actually have relevant contributions to make on this film now that you're all talking.
I can't say I wasn't entertained by this film. At minimum, it was action-y and I wasn't bored. I'm not a trekkie and I've never seen Wrath of Khan, but I've absorbed enough of it over the years to feel like I was watching something too familiar. It was sort of an uncanny valley feeling. Or un-Khan-y. LULZ.
I've decided I hate Damon Lindelof's stupid face too. I was reading an interview with him earlier, and this dude just doesn't get it. The interviewer blames backlash with Prometheus on residual anger from LOST, giving him an out on that. Naw, dude's just a crap-ass writer, COME ON.
Story was kind of a mess. Way predictable at times. Defeat of Khan after all that build-up was nothing. Death scene was sad, but I was like well duh they're not killing this dude for real because that's not how it happened before and also it's HIM. There were never any stakes. Mostly all the characters were one-dimensional. Uhura has so much more potential. Her scenes are almost exclusively alongside Spock, to make HIM interesting.
I suppose my biggest gripe is that I didn't really care about anyone, and if the villain were anyone less awesome than Benedict Cumberbatch, I'd be SUPER bored with it I'm sure.
However, I'll give 'em one thing in the story. There was a point at the beginning of the second act when I was wondering who was actually the good guy, if they were trying to play to my expectations (and fan expectations) and pull a switcheroo. Naw.
I went to the first screening in our city, jampacked with trekkies. I'm talking hard core, people dressing up. Guy in Starfleet uniform makes very obscure reference to an episode, 90% of the audience laughs their ass off. (I know it was obscure because it took too long for my husband to explain it to me.) These dudes applauded throughout the movie. So they were happy.
I dunno, it was a fun film to watch but after it was over, I wasn't thinking about it anymore and I don't really care if I ever see it again. On a scale of big silly action movies that I just made up, I'd put Thor at the horrible end and Speed at the awesome end. This probably falls halfway in between. Maybe a little lower for the underwear. MATCHING undergarments? Pft. Thanks for perpetuating unrealistic expectations of women.
[Scott Roberts] " "Me boy saw what yer son Benedict did with the tram, he did." "Oye father, what was oi suppose ta do? Let all them folks perish?" "Ayyyye.""
No comments. I just want to silently appreciate this from afar.
I own several Trek movies at home, but this will not be one I feel the need to see again. Nor was the last one. A few tiny spoilers ahead.
I saw Star Trek: Into Lensflare last night. I'm still trying to make up my mind about some of it, but I have made up my mind about not liking Damon Lindelof scripts.
The short summary might be: Abrams and Lindelof took the original Wrath of Khan movie and put it in a blender with a handful of ADHD meds. Some of the mixture works, some of it teeters on the brink of unintended comedy. It's all the key scenes you remember, re-interpreted in a parallel universe. Very much like the results of a google/you tube search for fan-made clips. Some of those you tube clips will be attempts at reverent, straight-up homages, others will be parodies, and others will be Mary-Sue fanfic re-interpretations based around some tiny point nobody else cares that much about.
Plus something has to blow up every five minutes.
And maybe that's why I felt a little more let down by the sequel. The first movie is an origin story of how the band gets together, and while that movie had huge problems with it's motivating "big bad", the origin story arc carried it along okay.... this one's problem is that it isn't breaking any new ground, when it's basically an homage remake of a sequel to an original TOS episode. It's not really an ensemble piece about the crew, it is a mano-a-mano lead-actor vehicle, using the ensemble as set dressing and support. You didn't need to know a THING about Trek or have seen the first Abrams movie, to understand this one's basic plot.
Some little bits here and there that I noticed:
The 3-d-centric camerawork was needlessly abrupt and kinetic, in order to keep up a sense of movement. There are two transition scenes where the camera POV gets physically smacked into a new position and if you're watching this in three-dee, you're going to feel whiplash as if someone took a fungo bat to your head. Once, it's dramatic. Twice, it's pathetic.
They kept the stupid brewery, but added a cooler new warp core area with the added budget and money saved from not trying too hard to be original.
They wasted the introduction of tribbles.
Even MORE G.D. lens flare.
Zoe Saldana is too good to be in this, but she's actually the best-written character this time, along with Simon Pegg, who has a marvelous contribution.
The Klingons look familiar but just different enough to be interesting. And there was absolutely nothing for them to do - this was a complete waste of their introduction.
Captain Pike's Asimovian sideburns are a veiled reference to Roddenberry. Hell, Pike's entire dialogue end to end is a tribute to Roddenberry, and maybe that's why it sounds a bit cornball.
The fan service with the disrobed doctor Markus is also supposed to connect back to the "original" ST: TWOK movie, in that this is the only chick (out of all the ones Kirk bangs across the universe) that eventually gets pregnant with his bastard son at some future point. This is unimportant and irrelevant to the new film except that a scene near the very end suggests Abrams is not done with this plot line and is setting up a sequel to the homage to the .... oh forget I brought it up; the sub-referencing would make even Dennis Miller's head explode.
This movie has a lot of fan service in it, and one part of that was how they tried to satisfy a faction of trek fandom that was long insistent on doing a plot line about "Section 31", the shadowy CIA of the Federation, something that wasn't a part of TOS, but came about later in TNG and the Deep Space Nine series.. The fans in that faction have been beating a drum for that plot line ages, and I'm not sure they're going to like the answer they got.
It was probably a mistake to re-make the Khan story line, even though they re-mixed it like something by Skrillex. I would have enjoyed seeing something really new in the story department, something that kept the flavor of the original and flowed from its premise, but really surprised me by going where the show had not gone before.
This is not that movie. It's a triumph of big noises over big ideas.
I hope I've established my credentials as somebody who likes big loud goofy MOVIES maybe even more than I love FILLLMMMMMMMMMMM. I'm not at all kidding when I say that FF6 is my most-anticipated movie of the year, with Catching Fire right behind it.
Seeing Star Trek made me even hungrier for FF6. Pleasedon'tsuck, pleasedon'tsuckpleasedon'tsuck. My trekker-tude is moderately high. I'm old enough to have watched, and loved, and been terrified by the original series when it first aired. I got most of the way through DS9 and the one where they're trying to get back home...see? can't remember the name, but I really liked it....but not enough to watch through to the end. They get back home, right?
But sweet bippy, I LOVED the 2009 Star Trek. I've surely seen it a couple dozen times, maybe more. That was the disk that pushed us over the Blu-ray brink, and we still watched it regularly...but I don't know when we'll watch it again. This one succeeded in sucking nearly all the fun out of THAT one.
It has also finally closed the door on any good feelings I had for Damon Lindelof, a guy I once genuinely loved in a pop-culture way.
I'm going to step away from specific criticisms of the movie to speak to a larger issue, which is the Abrams-Lindelof syndicate needing to drop Star Trek. Harry Potter was a cute little series until Chris Columbus stepped aside after the first two. The third, with Alfonso Cuaron at the helm, almost created its own genre. There wasn't just one Star Trek director before, heck, there wasn't even just one Star WARS director.
Maybe Lucas directed the best movie in the franchise (A New Hope), but maybe he didn't. That one is always going to be magic, but I'm going to say that The Empire Strikes Back may be better. it's possible that Abrams could pull off a Star Trek '09 edition number and make a movie that vies with IV and V as the best to date -- even if Lindelof is involved.
The problem is that 4 years away from these Star Trek characters was too long an absence to explain, so they didn't even try. How long HAD passed? They tried to catch up a little bit by skipping ahead a year in the last scene, but they're still stuck with actors who'll be in their mid-30s to mid-40s in a couple of years. Chris Pine is already 33, Simon Pegg already 43...which isn't a problem per se. Daniel Craig is 2 years older than Pegg, and I want to see him playing Bond well into the "I'm getting too old for this sh|t" years. 20 more years is maybe another 5 or 6 movies, right? But Bond EXPLAINS it. He's being driven by revenge, he's burning out, etc etc.
I don't mind writing this one off as a sophomore slump from a guy who's actually a senior now, about to graduate, and has better things to do with his time than try to clean up his own mess. And this one was just a big ol' mess for me.
Unresolved to me:
-- What McCoy was doing in this picture. He was mostly Don Knotts with a temper.
-- What Scotty was doing. He was so dispensable that the movie just plain wrote him out for a chunk.
-- What KHAN was doing in the picture. Seems like we could have had just about as many explosions, Spock-Kirk quippery (I loved Quinto's Spock before, and it was even better this time), and sulky Uhuru (GIRLS! Whaddya gonna do, right?) without resorting to Khan and someday having to explain how Dumbleboot Thatchercatch gets awesome hair, the pecs of a god and A TAN at some point in the future. Oh wait. Never mind.
-- Why Khan wasn't just punching people in the throat. That whole "squeeze their heads like a zit" thing was the equivalent of a Batman villain talking. Entertaining enough, but clearly a plot device to allow our hero time to kick him in the balls or something.
-- How this felt both so underbaked and so overwrought when they had four years to figure it out. Not like they didn't have anything else to do while they were working on this, but that's kind of the point. This just didn't have the feel of a movie that got much focus. It's like every one of the principals delegated a couple more tasks than they should have, because they were doing other stuff.
You know who's great at that, though? Spielberg. I'd rather see somebody young with a chip on their shoulder do the next ST. Hey Michael Bay is JJ Abrams age! LOL I love ya, Bay-by, but I keed. How 'bout Justin Lin? He's shown he can manage a big franchise with verve. LOL
But even though he always has a ton on his plate, nothing that Spielberg has ever done, including his cartoons where NOT delegating is impossible, felt to me like it didn't have his full attention. Even stuff that doesn't have his day to day name on it, like Falling Skies, feels like he's paying attention all. the. time.
Anyway, back to an unresolved issue for me:
-- If Lindelof will ever get that playful sex jock Kirk in his boxer briefs is NOT equivalent to his non-consensual invasiveness in jokes that the script makes at the expense of every woman in a major role who's not Spock's mom.
Here's the irony. The Fast & Furious franchise has obviously used women as leering eye candy, but it's all consensual. If you've spent any time at all walking along an LA or Miami beach these days, or around racing culture in general, as creepy as it can look on screen, it's not that far out of whack from what's out there in the world. There is indeed also plenty of waxed male pulchritude on display solely as eye candy in a way that's more or less equivalent in quality if not quantity...
...but the thing you've NEVER seen in a Fast & Furious movie is non-consensual skin. At no time are male characters and female characters put in imbalanced positions. There has never been a joke made at the expense of a woman character's dignity, and a male character has never once been put in an inappropriate situation with a woman. Never. Maybe this will be the first FF movie where a woman undresses "no peeksies!" in front of a man that she's already acknowledged has a reputation for impropriety....or the script manufactures some other kind of ridiculous underwear joke....but I'm thinking not.
There has also never been a woman character in a FF movie who passively aggressively sulked for a frame that I can remember. Zoe and Uhuru deserved a lot better than spending half the movie in a snit because her boyfriend was leaning more toward saving an entire planet than keeping their square dancing date for Saturday night.
Just for grins, it's worth noting that Fast Five had a HIGHER percentage of women in the audience than Star Trek '09: around half, compared to around 40% respectively. I can't say that it's entirely because women characters (as opposed to women as scenery) fare so much better in FF movies....but in fact, they DO.
This is just one of a pile of story threads that I feel Lindelof bungling more of, rather than less of, as time goes by. It has nothing to do with hewing to any canon, including his own very nicely rebooted canon via ST'09, but everything to do with either not keeping his eye on the ball, or just going through a slump that included the whole last season of Lost.
But no way are any of Star Trek's macro problems gonna get fixed with another four years on somebody's back burner.
I think it's probably true that Trek doesn't really belong on the silver screen, with the attendant baggage that brings. Trek is much more effective, both dramatically and economically, in episodic form, on TV. Especially in the new era of TV production where multi-episode and seasonal plot arcs let characterization and plot build up over time.
A Theatrical Trek movie seems to demand the most ultimate and dramatic dangers every time. Threats have to be galaxy-wide and ALWAYS put Earth in the crosshairs. Stories about how we deal with aliens or the ethical issues of exploring space, exploring concepts of technology, science, and our response to it as a culture ... things the TV series found easy to do, in any of it's network iterations, seem too hard to do in movie form.
The movie has to stay under about 100 minutes, now budget sufficient contractually-obligated camera time for each of the crew plus double that time for the Kirk/Spock/McCoy trio, plus, you have to budget time to develop the villain or any aliens from scratch. And the regulation CGI shots of the ship and some "pew-pew-pew" battle stuff the nerds demand. Leaves little time for an actual plot. About ten minutes' worth. Which sounds about like what Lindelof delivered.
A season of great episodes would be way more satisfying than 100 minutes of... whatever that was that I saw this week. Hollywood doesn't understand Trek. Or to put it another way, Hollywood isn't set up to do trek in anything but the crippled form it is giving us.
Comparing ST:ID to the FF franchise is very enlightening. I've only seen the first one and I can't recall it to know if you're correct so I'll take your word as a fan and decent human being.
I came across an interview with Michelle Rodriguez today in which she addresses the matter of female characters in the films. It seems that the women that played these roles may have been more responsible for them not being degraded than anyone else, at least at the beginning of their development. She may be playing up her involvement, but she's also kind of a hard ass so I don't doubt she insisted on not being treated like meat. I can't see a producer liking such an outspoken woman (or man) in a high profile film like Star Trek, but I'd hope that most people would be able to speak up if they feel their character deserves better.
Kind of more relevant to this specific reply than to a review of Star Trek, but worth passing along to the forum.
[Kylee Wall] "she's also kind of a hard ass so I don't doubt she insisted on not being treated like meat."
I'm a huge fan. I also never miss a chance to shout "Tailies Represent!" when I see her name, both for her, and an acknowledgement of Lost when it was still awesome.
Not to overemphasize the gender justice of the FF series, but other than Resident Evil, I can't think of another franchise where women characters have stood so strong....again acknowledging the bikini babes as gleaming as anything out of the Bad Boys franchise, but the characters themselves have been aces, even more so as the series has gone on.
[Mark Suszko] "A season of great episodes would be way more satisfying than 100 minutes of... whatever that was that I saw this week."
I loved Star Trek '09 (which was also a great example of how to do a franchise origin story), the Khan and Voyage Home movies were a gas....but you're exactly right, Mark. Star Trek is at its best when it can spread out.
Game of Thrones is budgeted at $60-ish million a season. Three of those, and you're around the production budget for Into Darkness ($190 million). Figure a promotion and distribution of very nearly that much as well, and there's no question that a HBO-style production could cost less and make more.
Although I couldn't imagine HBO wanting it. Maybe Cinemax? They've taken a much more action-y approach to original programming. Not SyFy though. LOL But your point is extremely well taken.
One of the reasons we care so much about these guys in the first place is that we've spent so much time with them. The original series aired 79 episodes in 3 seasons! They've been part of my life for 47 years!!!
Then guys like you and me, we followed them to cartoons. I was also a huge fan of the licensed fiction that started in the 80s, some truly outstanding storytelling. Jeez, I think I read the first hundred of those. LOL These were by real live writers who took some real chances in stretching the bounds of the storytelling. One of my favorites is a Spock-centered book called Ismhael, by the great Barbara Hambly, happily available on Kindle for $6.74, highly recommended summer reading, including just for casual fans looking for diversion.
The movies haven't even been icing on the cake. They've been the sprinkles on the icing. They've been a lot of fun. But as much as I love cake, and as many times as I've eaten whole cans of frosting, I can't imagine wanting more than a handful of sprinkles.
In any case, I really like this Abrams-assembled cast. I think they're perfect. I'd love to see them work for 3 or 4 seasons on actual stories that aren't all the same, because you're right Mark, they're going to be more or less the same from here on. They HAVE to be in order to motivate a $200 million picture, but they DON'T need to be for a series that could go for 3-4 seasons on the same money.
LOVE this idea.
Here's J.J. Abrams from Conan, kind of frantically defend himself about the Alice Eve underwear shot, by revealing there was a shot deleted from the movie. CUMBERBATCH IN THE SHOWER. SHOWERBATCH. I was waiting for there to be a joke, but I think Abrams was actually serious about all of this. Is Conan really the preferred outlet to defend yourself against sexism/misogyny?
I love the idea of a new Star Trek episodic too.
It would make sense to do it now. These two films have mostly successfully managed to appeal to Trekkies and mainstream audiences alike, and I don't think it's purely because of things exploding. The cast is great and the world they've constructed is working. Now do ten episodes on cable where you can give characters the attention they deserve, build a bigger story than one villain being a poohead, and actually capture the original spirit of the show, which is generally not a lot of fighting. You'll get better stories and actual stakes that mean something.
Or you can, with the right writers. Look at Battlestar Galactica, for example. They ended seasons where you truly didn't know if a main character was dead, and whatever happened to this character then affected the series for many episodes when the new season began. This sort of thing doesn't work so well with a film franchise, especially when the next one isn't coming out for another 4 years. So what do we get? An easily defeated villain and a reset button.
So come on, surely you can get all these characters to sign on for TEN episodes, right? Zachary Quinto totally would! I mean, he did American Horror Story twice and the second season was crap. Chris Pine and Zoe can still do film, Simon Pegg can keep being cool, and the rest of them can keep doing whatever it is they do.This would be great. Someone make it. I would take more than ten episodes and I think it'd be a much stronger show with more than ten (but I think it'd be a much harder sell to the bigger stars that don't really want to be playing Trek characters 8 months a year so hey whoever is listening out there, I'll take ten please.)
If you ever told me I'd be defending Star Trek as a television show on the Internet, I would have laughed a lot. I don't even.
I think Abrams & Lindelof gave the studio exactly what they asked for. But the studio set low expectations. They asked for a conventional summer action movie you could watch stand-alone, without knowing anything about Trek. I'd go Scott and Tim one better and say that this is a standard template disposable action movie with a veneer of Trek clumsily pasted over the top. The studio looked at this like a real estate investor "flipping" a house property: Put in just enough investment to enhance the curb appeal and get an offer, then leave town with the cashed check before the lack of planning and the shoddy work underneath starts to become evident.
[Mark Suszko] "this is a standard template disposable action movie with a veneer of Trek clumsily pasted over the top."
I'm basing all of this off of an Interview Abrams had on The Daily Show last week; but he quite literally said that he never watched any Star Trek before he made the 2009 film. I mean, I guess he watched some of it in immediate preparation for the shoot... but leading up until he got the actual job, he didn't even enjoy Star Trek at any point in his life.
Then for Into Darkness, he decided he didn't *want* to watch any more episodes of the show, because he wanted to make something that was more his vision, and less a replica of something already created. If you still think it was basically just a replica of old ideas, then that's probably Lindelof's fault or something (I wonder if he enjoys being a scapegoat for everything?). I'm working super duper hard at the moment (sandwich break!) so I can't find the Daily Show interview to post here right now, but I'm sure it's on the Comedy Central website.
But that could possibly explain why we watched a standard summer action movie under the guise of Star Trek. Because that's what Abrams expected to do from the start! Make a bunch of awesome set pieces and special effects scenes, but use the Star Trek Build-a-Movie Kit that the studio provided for him (don't try and buy one on Amazon for yourself, they cost $190,000,000, I checked).
Also, for the record, I'd like to once again say I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness.
[Scott Roberts] "But that could possibly explain why we watched a standard summer action movie under the guise of Star Trek. Because that's what Abrams expected to do from the start!"
I don't have the least little problem with that. He certainly proved that you don't have to be a fan of Star Trek to make a great -- genuinely GREAT -- Star Trek picture. I was GLAD to hear that he was at the helm of this one. I just didn't like the outcome.
Look, the fact that ANY movies are good is a miracle. There's an almost infinite number of things that can go wrong, with hundreds, even thousands of people having to do everything right.
I had said from the very first trailer, though, that I didn't think this one was striking the right notes, but the last trailer and the last couple of commercials got me truly psyched.
And while my subsequent posts have been about sexism, recall that my first one was a belabored joke about their arrogance and condescension in general, as well as their general not-having-a-clue-ness...NOT because JJ's not a fan. He made a great first picture, and Lindelof is a HUGE Star Trek fan. That should have been enough, right? LOL
But the fact that I'm pinning my hopes for the summer on Fast & Furious 6 should tell you that my expectations for summer movies aren't unreasonably high. LOL
My son came in from watching Trek into Darkness last night and his capsule review was:
Well, he's no Roger Ebert, what can I say. I teased a few more details out of him. He agreed this wasn't anything like the trek he knew, it was just an average action movie in star trek clothing, empty, unsatisfying calories.
We re-watched ST: Wrath of Khan this weekend, Much better, if also flawed and a little dated.
I loved this movie. Saw it today in IMAX 3D. Ear to ear smile from the Paramount logo for me.
Good action and effects with a predictable but enjoyable story and characters we love. In an ensemble of this many people unfortunately the non-Spock/Kirk/Bones characters become props to move the story along and comic relief. Oh bother.
If Star Wars 7 is half this good it will be better than Phantom Menace which is the bar set by Lucas. In comparison Clones and Sith were OK as sequels to a sucky origin story.
Recently I watched Wrath of Khan on Blue Ray and learned from the bonus material that Nimoy requested the death scene but test audiences were suicidal after screenings so ILM shot that sequence with the coffin on Genesis. Taking the Khan plotline of two story parts and compressing into one parallel universe story with a switcheroo of heroic deaths was clever and unexpected. As soon as we learned the not unexpected identity of Poopiehead Underpants it seemed likely that Wrath's events would follow.
So we end with essentially the beginning of the original series, or any series. I suspect we will next join the crew at the end of the 5 year mission unless they let someone else direct sooner while JJ is off on Tatooine making sand castles.
PS. The IMAX was awesome. The 3D was appropriate.
I'm not sure we saw the same movie.
Plinkett was not kind...
You are such haters! :-) Me and most of the universe really enjoyed it. Audience Rotten Tomatoes rating is 92%. I give bonus points for putting the Beastie Boys in again and having Scotty yell,"Get down from there." Yes, the twist where predictable, but that was okay because I enjoyed the ride.
Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance
Utah Video Productions
Check out my Motion Training DVD
Check out my Vimeo page
Khan steals an advanced transporter device the size of a golf bag, that makes all the Federations's warp drive starships irrelevant, as it can send him from Earth all the way to the Klingon home planet, in a moment.
And he just sits around there, waiting for Kirk to come get him there... instead of zapping away again? Or using the device to send bombs anywhere in the Federation, at will?
The Klingon home world's territorial space is completely undefended and it's surface largely wasteland?
Khan is a genetic superman from India. Played by a caucasian. At least Montalban wasn't caucasian.
Section 31 designs a secret mega-starship to prosecute a war, one that is five times as large as the Enterprise, but capable of being run by a handful of men, or even just one guy. Why? How is this a good idea to an organization as paranoid as Section 31? And with all of space available, they hide it at Jupiter, only a stone's throw from Earth?
Earth has literally NO other starships parked in orbit.... like, EVER!?!?!?!?
The starfleet admirals meet in a real room, apparently having forgotten all the neat telecommuting and remote video tech they have? Really?
Khan allows himself to be re-frozen and put back with his batch of supermen into a deep freeze of interminable duration, with no guarantee any of the them will ever be thawed out again, and in fact, with the knowledge that they very well could just all be euthanized at any point while asleep.
I can come up with more problems, but the biggest ones are the badly thought out motivations of Kahn himself and Section 31, and behaviors by starfleet and the characters that are inconsistent with common sense.
Old Spock tells New Spock he can't reveal spoilers from his timeline, then tells New Spock everything he needs to know about Kahn anyway. Wouldn't Old Spock basically give the Federation a list of every Big Bad galactic threat he and Kirk ever faced in his timeline?
Mark, if you ask questions like that then you need to watch this:
Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance
Utah Video Productions
Check out my Motion Training DVD
Check out my Vimeo page