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- View topic - Star Trek
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Star Trek 
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Heinlein Biographer

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:33 pm
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Post Re: Star Trek
I don't really have trouble with the reboot aspect of it. The Trek universe is not sacrosanct, and the science was mostly babble to start with.

What I do have trouble with is how very crap-bad the storytelling was -- no regard for internal consistency of story or for internal consistency of characters (that bit about dropping Kirk off th ship is the worst idiot-plotism in the story. Technically, Kirk was not even a stowaway; he's supercargo assigned to the medical department; he should have been brigged at the very most.

This is one-from-column-a-two-from-column-b filmmaking, written without regard for the sensibility of the viewer.


Sun May 10, 2009 7:36 pm
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Post Re: Star Trek

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sun May 10, 2009 8:00 pm
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Sun May 10, 2009 8:40 pm
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Heinlein Biographer

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Mon May 11, 2009 7:22 am
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Star Trek
This is really weird - it feels like we're not quite talking about the same film.

You say you don't hold movies to any standard higher than entertaining you, but then you're saying the movie completely failed on that count because it did not meet certain standards of realism and behavior that no Star Trek before it ever did.

You're also twisting my comments into a new space-time continuum. I pointed out that the first pilot sucked so badly the series almost didn't happen; the second pilot (nearly all guns'n'guts) sold it. The first movie was a huge letdown; the second one was probably the best of the whole set. None of this has anything to do with later episodes being exceptional even though they were intellectually driven. Of course Star Trek (every iteration) had some fine brainy episodes, and cerebral elements all throughout. None of that has anything much to do with what I've said. I was, and am, talking about the extremely complex needs of THIS film - the first to completely break with forty heavy years of preceding history, burdened with being a success in its own right and also successfully restarting an immensely complex franchise.

The producers looked at that sucky first pilot, and the dismal first movie, and said something like "If we're going to do a reboot, we can't do a slow, brainy, cerebral script that will appeal ONLY to a subset of prior fans. We need to please the biggest subset of prior fans AND rope in a whole new generation of admirers, too." And they did, by making an action-driven romp that wasn't exactly devoid of brainy spots.

I still read it that you are holding ST2009 to unreasonable standards. One is a standard that no prior ST ever met - portraying a sensible military structure and behavior. Another is a standard that only select episodes met: a truly brainy story about the big questions that didn't drag like a freshman philosophy lecture (or the first pilot and movie).

I'll concede, if it makes you happy, that the sequence of ejecting Kirk from the ship was almost nonsensical. But it worked on this level: Spock had NO command experience and made a very poor decision; he saw Kirk as a cancer that would continue to eat at his tenuous command even from the brig (from which he would escape in minutes anyway); and the film HAD to get Kirk into contact with Spock Prime quickly, without a lot of dissipated story time. Yes, it's absurd - but I don't think it's a disbelief breaker when accepted within the wonky ST story world and the limitations this film had to bear. (My big "huh?" - that warp travel now seems to put planets just minutes apart.)

It's just Star Trek. I didn't go see it with the slightest expectation of having my consciousness raised, my philosophizer exercised or my interest in manned exploration of the universe recharged. By expecting nothing more than a damned good slam-bang summer film, I got that plus the bonus of some very good parts, like a very complex and nuanced villain, some truly fun plot twists... and, yes, some additional charge in how much fun it will be if we get our encounter-suited butts out there in the void again soon.

If you and Bill went expecting something of so high an order, something that no ST film or 99% of the episodes ever delivered - that none of the episodes ever delivered without flaws - then of course you were disappointed. It's too bad; you missed a helluva movie. I suppose you both grump through Citizen Kane, too, because no one could have heard Kane say, "Rosebud." :D


Mon May 11, 2009 7:38 am
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Mon May 11, 2009 7:52 am
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Post Re: Star Trek
I'm with Jim on this one; I loved it. I thought the casting was wonderful, and for me it had just the right amount of homage to the original series. It had some terrific lines, and the Silicon Valley audience I was part of also applauded several of them.

I say this as someone who was never a serious Trekker. I've seen only a fraction of the episodes of the original series and never got into any of the follow-ups, beyond understandable fantasies of an hour on the Holodeck with Seven of Nine. I saw all the previous movies, though, and, for me, this one outstrips them all. *My* biggest problem with suspension of disbelief was spending 2/3 of the movie trying to remember where I'd seen Anton Yelchin (Chekov) before (he played the son in Huff).

I'm looking forward to seeing this one again, and have high hopes for the rebirth of the franchise.

Dan

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Mon May 11, 2009 9:16 am
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Mon May 11, 2009 10:00 am
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Mon May 11, 2009 10:35 am
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Post Re: Star Trek
Here's a perceptive review that I think nails why the movie works in spite of its flaws... and may hit the bullseye on why the storyline is so wonky:

http://chud.com/articles/articles/19369 ... Page1.html

CHUD is not terribly safe for work, BTW.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Mon May 11, 2009 12:56 pm
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