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Author Topic: Star Trek  (Read 12885 times)

Eric Plumrose

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #75 on: 16 May, 2009, 07:41:20 AM »
Quite possibly the best STAR TREK film that isn't The Wrath of Khan. Even the dreary let's-change-the-timeline bollocks didn't spoil my enjoyment. Unlike the ignorant twats in the cinema who it's becoming far too common for me to scream at to shut the bastard fuck up.

And I really liked the fact that EVERY one of the main crew was at some point shown to be resourceful.
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Adrian Bamforth

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #76 on: 17 May, 2009, 05:44:55 PM »
I'm not seeking attention here but I really didn't like it!

For me, the original show was about using sci-fi to explore moral and philosophical ideas. In a way I see it being much the same as The Twitight Zone of Outer Limits, except with recurring characters. Look at the first ever Trek film: For me it really nailed what the show did best: Big philosophical themes, and moral quandaries, put on a bigger canvas.

As far as I could tell, the new film really didn't have any original sci-fi ideas or strong themes. It was an effects-heavy action film.

However, I personally have a strong disliking of time-travel plots: It's okay when kept simple (Terminator), fun (The Voyage Home), or just as a fun means of getting somewhere fun (old-school Doctor Who), but the inevitable paradoxes tend to make any kind of drama entirely worthless, since everything that happens is debased by becoming entirely inconclusive (anyone could just go back and change it all again). Lovely as it was to see Nimoy reprise his role, we now we have the situation when we are watching a prequel to a separate 'second' version of the characters, which takes away for me the point of having a prequel at all (imagine if they had done that with Star Wars!). And after saying how imperitive it was for Spock not to meet himself, he then walks right up to himself and explains how they can 'work' together!

Even then though, was there really any moments when the characters had to face any kind of moral dillemas or choices, or make any kind of argument...they just had to have bigger guns than the bad guy. The bad guy didn't have kind of argument, and was completely deluded (why would anyone ever think Spock was responsible?), making him somewhat forgetable. This might be what puts some people off the television show, though it is, essentially what it's all about, what it does best, and what differentiates itself from other stories.

It seems to me that, as a prequel, it could have bee a great opportunity to, if anything, explore the background to the Federation, and Vulcan culture. The Federation was basically explained in only one single line:"They are the peacekeeping amada" (when did they become that?) - though we really have little idea of who's in charge or what they are about, or why there are aliens all over the place, while Vulcan culture is illustrated be way of Vulcan kids doing maths! No ancient ceremonies or traditions: There was really nothing mysterious about them. The shared history of the Vulcans and Romulans is only mentioned once - they could have made the whole film about it! Conversely, the Star Wars prequels, if nothing else, took their time establishing the conditions that led to the later stories. Star Trek looked like it couldn't really wait to get the 'team' together.

'Star Trek' was a effects-laden action film, something Star Trek never really was meant to be for me...only worth watching if you like the way effects-laden action films are made these days. Take away the special effects and constant music and is there actually anything original or thought-provoking?

Robin Low

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #77 on: 17 May, 2009, 08:05:41 PM »
Quote from: "Adrian Bamforth"
I'm not seeking attention here but I really didn't like it!

To be honest, I think everything you said is true.

At the same time, I don't think enough people are interested in the old Trek anymore, and by old I include TOS, TNG, DS9, STV and E. I flicked on to an old episode of E this week, one involving the Vulcan/Andorian conflict. It had action. It had good character interaction. It had the optimism and goodwill of Roddenberry's vision. The Vulcans were interesting, awkward bastards. You could see the first stirrings of the Federation. It was infinitely better than STV and more rewatchable than TNG. And yet even the fans didn't go for it anymore, even though there was nothing wrong with it. Something had to give to make it popular again, and it seems that something was continuity and vision.

On the plus side, Enterprise remains a legitimate part of the backstory (save for its final dreadful episode, which the movie arguably renders irrelevant) and it's still a pretty enjoyable film. The important question is, where does it go?


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Roger Godpleton

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #78 on: 17 May, 2009, 08:14:39 PM »
This is going to sound slightly snobbish, but is vintage Trek really that sophisticated?
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Mardroid

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #79 on: 17 May, 2009, 08:24:23 PM »
Quote from: "Robin Low"
At the same time, I don't think enough people are interested in the old Trek anymore, and by old I include TOS, TNG, DS9, STV and E. I flicked on to an old episode of E this week, one involving the Vulcan/Andorian conflict. It had action. It had good character interaction.

I like Enterprise a lot, and I never quite got the dislike for it. Certainly no worse than other series (it's probably my favourite actually although some of the later DS9 and the Voyager episodes when they reached Borg space were good.)  I'm not as keen on it as I was, but it's certainly not bad.

Adrian Bamforth

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #80 on: 17 May, 2009, 08:56:12 PM »
Quote from: "Robin Low"
To be honest, I think everything you said is true. At the same time, I don't think enough people are interested in the old Trek anymore

Yes I agree, I think there's nothing left in carrying on as it was: There's only so long it can go on with the same kind of thing. I think the film was clearly make or break, so I can't blame them for going the popcorn route (and I did see quite a few young kids in the cinema), and clearly they've succeeded in their aim to keep the name alive. I just wish it had been a bit more thought-provoking or atmospheric.

This is going to seem WAY out of order but I can't get out of my head the awful Thunderbirds film where they just replaced them all with kids. Of course it isn't a fair comparison, it's not a bad idea to have a prequel, just wish it had taken it's time a bit more, created some atmosphere rather than get them all saving the world as soon as possible. As I said, there are big problems with the Star Wars prequels...mostly to do with green-screen...but this film makes me think about how well it was pitched by comparison.

Of course my ideal prequel would probably have been a big flop, I guess I'm just keener on seeing thought-provoking science fiction (or a good stab at it) than the survival of the Star Trek brand. I hate to say it...and it's WAAY over the mark...but watching it I kept thinking about that awful Thunderbirds film where they replaced all the crew with kids! Yes I know, it's an unfair comparison, this was a well-crafted action film, it's just it seemed too quick to have them all in position saving the world.

The original series not sophisticated? Well, maybe not subtle by todays' standards, but I will always remember some of the profound ideas: The planets that decided to play out their inter-planetary war via computer simulation...whuile the citizens happily go to the disintigrator when their name is 'called up' as a casualty - you actually have to think for quite a while about whether their way is actually best! (though I think Kirk's conclusion was perfect). These are things that can only be explored through the sci-fi medium.

Though of course new sci-fi twists are few and far between.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #81 on: 18 May, 2009, 09:51:46 AM »
Well yes, it wasn't perfect - but then again, what is?

I think they did the right thing here by concentrating on reintroducing the characters rather than focusing too much on a complex, airtight plot. I think this movie needed to be exactly this way in order to make sequels (and even a tv series) more likely. As Hitchcock said, you have to start with an earthquake and then build to a climax which is advice this movie seems to have taken to heart. Now the future seems assured, the next movie can be more plot driven because most of the heavy lifting's been done here and, what with actual Trek continuity being such a God awful mess, they have carte blanche to rework any and all of the series' greatest ideas with impunity. The possibilities are endless.

I'm not sure I agree that the new Enterprise bridge, engine room and general interiors don't work. I found them to be a refreshing mix of the very old 60s sets and the modern iPod mindset. It's the kind of design that I think fits in perfectly well with the "White Knight" attitude of the Federation and the engineering decks now actually look like a proper workspace. It never seemed plausible to me that virtually everything in a starship's engine room could be fixed by unscrewing the access panels of a handful of consoles or crawling about inside a Jeffries tube with a spanner that looks like a torch.

To my mind, they've tried to get the form right before tackling the substance and I think they've achieved this with aplomb. From the new-old uniforms (yaay for short skirts!) to the funky spinning jenny transporter beam, I loved it all. Even the acting was above average and there were a few outstanding lines of tingly-necked dialogue.

"Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved 800 lives including your mother's and yours. I dare you to do better."

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Professor Bear

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #82 on: 18 May, 2009, 01:44:41 PM »
I would argue the Trek movie outings have always been populist entertainment, with moral or philosophical musings superfluous.  They enhance the movies by occasionally giving them a bit of heart, but they're hardly a prerequisite for what has always been essentially SFX showcases with some punching of rubber-faced goons on a polystyrene set.  The slow-Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan being arguable exceptions, though TMP doesn't exactly have a great reputation outside genre fandom.

Enterprise, for all it's faults, was a serviceable product that got bogged down by a lack of identity.  It was still too insular to be  a breakout series, yet trampled over too many sacred fan cows (what those may or may not be is entirely subjective, obviously) to hold their loyalty in the long-term, as seeing a Tribble cameo is fine, but having Archer be the guy who did what Kirk already had, or even what he couldn't (beating a Gorn) every week sure got old, especially when coupled with the script jumping through hoops to avoid compromising continuity: the Federation doesn't exist yet so Spock was still the first Vulcan to join Starfleet, they never actually physically meet a Romulan so kirk's Enterprise was still the first ship's crew to see one, they didn't actually know it was the Borg and chalk it up to "hey, shit happens - let's destroy all records of our Borg cure and never speak of this again." so Picard and co were still the first to meet the Borg -  a couple of times is cute, but they just seemed to be doing stuff like that every other week.
Personally, I wish they'd stuck to the daft one-off episodes like the time they went to a planet full of cowboys, or that one where they're stuck on a disintegrating spaceship full of zombies.  Plenty of potential, that show, just no long-game plan or vision to see it through.

the shutdown man

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #83 on: 18 May, 2009, 02:40:30 PM »
To be honest, I gave up on Enterprise, and Star Trek in general when I realised that the whole thing had run out of script ideas and was re-using plots from previous series. One example that springs to mind is something happened to Hoshi, a transporter accident or something, and she was left wandering around the ship invisible and intangible, while everyone thought she was dead, which was basically the same plot as a TNG episode involving Geordi and Ro Laren from years before.
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #84 on: 18 May, 2009, 03:34:04 PM »
If that happened to me I'd spend all day in the girls' showers.
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Robin Low

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #85 on: 18 May, 2009, 06:11:18 PM »
Quote from: "Roger Godpleton"
This is going to sound slightly snobbish, but is vintage Trek really that sophisticated?

Yes and no. You really have to compare it with the sci-fi shows of the day, such as Lost in Space, to see how sophisticated it was. Also, bear in mind that a lot of the ideas we now consider tired old cliches were pretty new and original at the time.

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Eric Plumrose

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #86 on: 18 May, 2009, 06:33:27 PM »
Thinking back on it, why isn't the new film set in an alternative universe from the outset? That way, the different actors can be explained away as can whatever the continuity discrepancies are. Not only that, Nimoy can still make his cameo without resorting to having the timelines changed.
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SamuelAWilkinson

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #87 on: 18 May, 2009, 07:22:10 PM »
Quote from: "Eric Plumrose"
Thinking back on it, why isn't the new film set in an alternative universe from the outset? That way, the different actors can be explained away as can whatever the continuity discrepancies are. Not only that, Nimoy can still make his cameo without resorting to having the timelines changed.


'Cause by doing that you risk losing the hardcore nerd element, who are the only folk guaranteed to watch something like this.
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Eric Plumrose

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #88 on: 18 May, 2009, 07:27:39 PM »
Surely, though, they've already risked losing the hardcore nerd element. It's not quite STARFLEET ACADEMY but it's damn as near as the movie they always vowed they'd never make.
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Professor Bear

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Re: Star Trek
« Reply #89 on: 18 May, 2009, 07:39:33 PM »
Quote from: "the shutdown man"
One example that springs to mind is something happened to Hoshi, a transporter accident or something, and she was left wandering around the ship invisible and intangible, while everyone thought she was dead, which was basically the same plot as a TNG episode involving Geordi and Ro Laren from years before.

That was actually a rip off of two episodes of TNG - the 'twist' was exactly the same as that one where Troi fantasies the events of the episode.
Which brings up the most obvious failing of the TNG Treks - a holodeck that can create any fantasy a man can think of and he uses it to go sailing?  I can only speak for myself rather than the entire male population of the planet Earth, but I'm going on the record right now as saying that's not how I'd spend my time, and no, I wouldn't give a toss if someone walked in halfway through.