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  #31  
Old 09-23-2011, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
But more to the point, it is indeed a circular argument for which there is apparently no resolution, no reconciliation. Folks are going to think what they're going to think, and are not likely to change their minds if they're set in their ways.
All the conversation/debate in the world aside - I do tend to firmly believe that we (and I mean all of us without exclusions) will always see what we want to see.
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  #32  
Old 09-23-2011, 12:47 AM
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All the conversation/debate in the world aside - I do tend to firmly believe that we (and I mean all of us without exclusions) will always see what we want to see.
D'accord, mein amigo.
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  #33  
Old 09-23-2011, 01:01 AM
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From what I've seen of S4, I think it leans a little far toward using familiar ingredients for the sake of themselves. As if overcompensating for Berman Trek's prior tendency to ignore much of TOS (which in itself has always been more of a fascination for me than an annoyance). I still don't see quite what weaving together Klingons and Augments achieves besides giving the Klingons human-shaped foreheads (so much for "We do not discuss it with outsiders").
Khan Noonien Singh and Noonien Soong have very similar names. This was just a coincidence during the days of TNG but the Augment story showed what they have in common. I love the Eugenics background in TOS, be it in the case of Bashir or now, retroactively, a character like Data. Note that this very background was also used in the series finale Demons / Terra Prime.
The Klingon Augment story was not merely the politically logical continuation of the Augment story, it also showed that the Cold War we know from TOS is already in progress. The Klingons don't conquer the Alpha Quadrant species but they wanna match their military power. And last but not least, it showed that things are interconnected. You make genetic experiment and over a century later the repercussions are beyond anything you have (and could have) expected. This is an appropriate picture of technology.

Furthermore there was another Klingon non-warrior character (Judgement features a lawyer) who has a different honour concept than the warrior class. Much needed fresh air for one race that has become stale in DS9 and VOY.

Now the problem is of course that a lot of the above is just my interpretation (but then again there has to be something there which makes you ponder such issues) and that you cannot compare 22 episodes with one movie. But let me do it nonetheless via "Bound". What I like about this mediocre episode is that it tells something new about Orions. OK, ST09 also told something new about Orions, namely that not all of them are in the Syndicate, but in my opinion it went too far because there was nothing Orion about Gaila. Scrap off the green paint and she would have been human.
Again my old essentialistic stuff, if there are aliens they should behave like aliens. Of course not stereotypically, as I said I loved the new Sarek, but not de-alien-ified like Gaila either.


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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
I didn't find anything dumbed down about the movie at all. And it certainly tasted like Trek, and a fine steak dinner it was.

And it's these kinds of debates that ultimately end up in the whole "I'm more Trek fan than thou." category. Not saying that you're going there, friend horatio, but it does happen. It's happened on this board on multiple occasions.


And that's what sickens me about fandom.
I think we can endure different perceptions without getting into the petty "my Trek dick is bigger than your Trek dick" territory. I find it great that for most people ST09 feels like pure Trek and I wish I could feel the same.
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  #34  
Old 09-23-2011, 01:11 AM
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The shortest answer to paragraph 1 would be about five words long.

'It was called Star Trek'.

I do understand your refusal to believe that this film was in any way a risk but that doesn't ultimately alter the fact it was. Since those two words had no real strength to them by that point and someone was either going to have to shoot it in the arm with something (and yes I realise this is merely a fresh extension of the previous thread's discussion but since we seem doomed to a cycle around it may as well do it all again) or leave it alone for a lot longer.

Even 'playing it safe' guaranteed little at the outset because of the generally tarnished nature of the brand in the wider sense of the word. It also seems to have 'tasted' just fine to many a fan, since we're not talking about universal dislike for it WITHIN fandom both older and newer either, so the film still seems to be about the same reception-wise as the rest.

Some liked it, some didn't, some were 'meh' on it.
Fact? I don't think so. I am eager to hear your explanation of this "fact".

I don't have facts, I merely have the impression that the movie has been intentionally designed to reach a wider (shall I say Jarjar Keenser?) audience than Trek movies before and that its very large budget goes hand with playing it safe audience-wise.
Furthermore the semi-reboot speaks for their desire to not piss off hardcore fans. What I am saying is, have more guts. Cut Keenser, cut the fanwank and just tell your story. Which means in general terms, don't try to make a Trek movie and don't try to make a mainstream movie, just make a good movie.
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  #35  
Old 09-23-2011, 01:27 AM
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A sinking TV series (ENT), an all out disaster of a tenth film (NEM) and the general malaise of the franchise coupled with wider 'stigma' and 'nerdiness' over the words Star Trek by then which I can hardly imagine anyone can deny was the state of affairs of the franchise by 2006 when the last film project went into very early prep. Sadly dwindling in every conceivable way doesn't bode immediately well for embarking on a project which will be larger than any attempt you've made before to try and bring some life back to a property that was no longer as prosperous as it had been.

(I can change the word to 'impression' if it suits you better - I'm happy with my impressions regardless of which word it is anyway. I don't mind)

The further complication is this idea that Star Trek should be (or was ever) intended for some mythological specialised audience in the past (which 'my impression' is - nonsense). They just previously tried to bring in the wider audience on the relative cheap because the general returns weren't there and they wanted to maximise their profit. Every Trek film in the 1990s was supposed to be accesible to the 'fan' and the 'newcomer' and not be specifically for one or the other - and the only time in the TNG films that they came close to that was with First Contact. Not to mention cheap tricks like that X-Men crossover. (EDIT follows) I believe the reason for that attempt in the 1990s was because in the late 1970s and 1980s the first four Star Trek films were large equivalent blockbusters in their day and in the terms of their day. Particularly TMP and TVH. Their grosses don't look like a lot today, but in the 80s these were huge hits. These were mainstream successfully popular films that were in the Top Ten hitters of their years of release - until Shatner's TFF ego-trip blew that up and collapsed the success of the film so that afterwards they never quite hit as broadly again. Until 2009.

(There's a question for us - did the Shat himself actually kill off the movie franchise when he decided he could write, direct AND act in one? And proved he couldn't?)

I don't tend to believe GR would have especially liked the Abrams film, but I do believe he would have killed for it's results.

The additional problem is that even despite putting out a large expenditure and large marketing push major films can STILL bellyflop and crash on release when the source material is essentially from something with a narrower core fanbase at the time (heavy marketing will often buy you a good opening weekend but after that you can still collapse - to wit, Cowboys & Aliens and Green Lantern this year) which Star Trek could easily have done as well when it came out.

That was the risk. No question in my mind of it.

Now, I think you actually know all this just fine well about my 'impressions' and shouldn't need it spelled out by me again (unless you don't actually read what is written since we just did this less than a week ago!) but I've done it for the hell of it.

Finally, it's lucky that the flick was pretty good. That's just my impression though. One can implicitly insult the impression of the intended audience all one wants. It's by extension also insulting the plenty of fans who liked it as well in doing so, which I reckon we all mostly want to avoid doing if we can help it. But in all honesty, given some of the complete tripe (again my impression) that was being done on some of the later pre-Abrams films and weekly TV series I'd have to wonder what the writers of it actually at times thought of the remaining Trek audience by then that made them think such general mediocrity and averageness would be swallowed.
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Last edited by kevin : 09-23-2011 at 02:54 AM.
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  #36  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:53 AM
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I think our differences arise because you focus on existential and I focus on essential issues. You analyze the question of whether making a Trek movie was risky, I analyse whether this specific movie was a safe or risky bet.
I totally agree with your point, it was risky to make a Trek movie. But once that decision was made they designed their movie to reach a wider audience than any Trek movie before (at least I haven't noticed any cute little alien that is in there to make the movie appealing to kids in previous Trek flicks) while sugercoating it with enough fanwank (far more than in any previous Trek movie) to make it appealing to the hardcore fans.

Insult? Whom did I insult? My opinion that ST09 is a crappy, braindead blockbuster plus the arguments that explain this very opinion does not constitute an insult just like your opinion that everything Trek since GEN or VOY or whatever was utter crap is not an insult either. I cannot stand this postmodern, political correct doctrine that you have to relativize your position and that's why I enjoy this debate in which people hold their ground but are nice nonetheless.

Talking about nice, I will now insult a certain type of fan. I couldn't care less about being stigmatized as "nerd" because of a stupid TV show I watch and I couldn't care less about the petty, gutless creatures who actually do care.
I simply like the more philosophical stories, period. If somebody else likes stories with more action that's fine with me. But if somebody has an opinion which is based on the opinions of others he is a spineless wanker.
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  #37  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
A sinking TV series (ENT), an all out disaster of a tenth film (NEM) and the general malaise of the franchise coupled with wider 'stigma' and 'nerdiness' over the words Star Trek by then which I can hardly imagine anyone can deny was the state of affairs of the franchise by 2006 when the last film project went into very early prep. Sadly dwindling in every conceivable way doesn't bode immediately well for embarking on a project which will be larger than any attempt you've made before to try and bring some life back to a property that was no longer as prosperous as it had been.

(I can change the word to 'impression' if it suits you better - I'm happy with my impressions regardless of which word it is anyway. I don't mind)

The further complication is this idea that Star Trek should be (or was ever) intended for some mythological specialised audience in the past (which 'my impression' is - nonsense). They just previously tried to bring in the wider audience on the relative cheap because the general returns weren't there and they wanted to maximise their profit. Every Trek film in the 1990s was supposed to be accesible to the 'fan' and the 'newcomer' and not be specifically for one or the other - and the only time in the TNG films that they came close to that was with First Contact. Not to mention cheap tricks like that X-Men crossover. (EDIT follows) I believe the reason for that attempt in the 1990s was because in the late 1970s and 1980s the first four Star Trek films were large equivalent blockbusters in their day and in the terms of their day. Particularly TMP and TVH. Their grosses don't look like a lot today, but in the 80s these were huge hits. These were mainstream successfully popular films that were in the Top Ten hitters of their years of release - until Shatner's TFF ego-trip blew that up and collapsed the success of the film so that afterwards they never quite hit as broadly again. Until 2009.

(There's a question for us - did the Shat himself actually kill off the movie franchise when he decided he could write, direct AND act in one? And proved he couldn't?)

I don't tend to believe GR would have especially liked the Abrams film, but I do believe he would have killed for it's results.

The additional problem is that even despite putting out a large expenditure and large marketing push major films can STILL bellyflop and crash on release when the source material is essentially from something with a narrower core fanbase at the time (heavy marketing will often buy you a good opening weekend but after that you can still collapse - to wit, Cowboys & Aliens and Green Lantern this year) which Star Trek could easily have done as well when it came out.

That was the risk. No question in my mind of it.

Now, I think you actually know all this just fine well about my 'impressions' and shouldn't need it spelled out by me again (unless you don't actually read what is written since we just did this less than a week ago!) but I've done it for the hell of it.

Finally, it's lucky that the flick was pretty good. That's just my impression though. One can implicitly insult the impression of the intended audience all one wants. It's by extension also insulting the plenty of fans who liked it as well in doing so, which I reckon we all mostly want to avoid doing if we can help it. But in all honesty, given some of the complete tripe (again my impression) that was being done on some of the later pre-Abrams films and weekly TV series I'd have to wonder what the writers of it actually at times thought of the remaining Trek audience by then that made them think such general mediocrity and averageness would be swallowed.

I enjoyed that, Kevin.
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  #38  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:58 AM
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My bad - Galileo 7 was slated for November so it looks like two issue stories. Three issues would be better.

If they want to update these stories properly then they need to do a NuBSG style update on the supporting characters. If Pavel Chekov can be produced from a different sperm and egg and be born four years earlier then Lee Kelso can now be Leanne Kelso - let's face it, it's not as if Kelso is going to have a rabid fan base - he will probably be dead in three panels' time. If they pulled a switch off with Starbuck, they can do it with a few minor supporting characters.

Otherwise look what we have: No Chapel, no Yeoman Smith, no Yeoman Rand, and no Dr Denher. Instead the extras we have Chekov, Keenser, Mitchell, and Kelso - all guys.
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  #39  
Old 09-23-2011, 04:12 AM
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I think our differences arise because you focus on existential and I focus on essential issues. You analyze the question of whether making a Trek movie was risky, I analyse whether this specific movie was a safe or risky bet.
I totally agree with your point, it was risky to make a Trek movie. But once that decision was made they designed their movie to reach a wider audience than any Trek movie before (at least I haven't noticed any cute little alien that is in there to make the movie appealing to kids in previous Trek flicks) while sugercoating it with enough fanwank (far more than in any previous Trek movie) to make it appealing to the hardcore fans.

Insult? Whom did I insult? My opinion that ST09 is a crappy, braindead blockbuster plus the arguments that explain this very opinion does not constitute an insult just like your opinion that everything Trek since GEN or VOY or whatever was utter crap is not an insult either. I cannot stand this postmodern, political correct doctrine that you have to relativize your position and that's why I enjoy this debate in which people hold their ground but are nice nonetheless.

Talking about nice, I will now insult a certain type of fan. I couldn't care less about being stigmatized as "nerd" because of a stupid TV show I watch and I couldn't care less about the petty, gutless creatures who actually do care.
I simply like the more philosophical stories, period. If somebody else likes stories with more action that's fine with me. But if somebody has an opinion which is based on the opinions of others he is a spineless wanker.
Whether one agrees with the 'Star Trek' stigmatization or not it still existed (just as it does for Star Wars and a variety of other franchises and pretty much anything if you start to really think about it) and was at times perpetuated by fans themselve's. That's just unavoidable.

It also helps to remember that the whole idea of the film was designed to appeal to a wider audience, so I don't think you would find that subliminal aspect of the film absent if someone else had came in to make the film anyway. Since that was the prime objective from the studio's position. If it then took on a structure after that which fit a familiar feeling template and executed it well it would be utterly no different from the other films which have zero innovation and risk-free stories that are equally familiarly structured. Except they didn't execute them as well.

I also like something with a little humanistic introspection and sci-fi can often do that very well - if it's well enough written in the first place. Which is something that Star Trek cannot lay claim to being best at all the time. Often solid enough mainstream sci-fi stories can be married with action (well, Trek has long since had explosions and space battles locked down so there's nothing different there either) as well. So the two aren't mutually exclusive from each other.

I'm certainly in a position to be as hypocritical as anyone else when it suits critically. And yes, I have never not said I found VOY crap. In my opinion that's precisely what it was after an OK first couple of seasons.
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  #40  
Old 09-23-2011, 04:19 AM
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Indeed, there doesn't have to be a trade-off between, well, let me call it substance and dynamism instead of philosophy and action.
An idea alone doesn't suffice (TMP,TFF,GEN,INS) and action alone doesn't suffice either (TSFS,NEM,ST09). TWOK, TUC and FC are good movies precisely because they feature a decent balance between these two factors. TVH is obviously also a good movie but doesn't fit this categorization due to its setting.
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