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  #231  
Old 05-09-2009, 05:58 AM
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And here I thought the toy phaser was just "kiddified" with those spinning blue and red nozzles. Had no idea how accurate it was to the ones that appeared in the movie.
I wouldn't mind speculating that is was designed with toy sales in mind. An old studio trick with blackbuster movies once they sign away the toy licenses. What's sad is that if true, its the first time that Trek has designed stuff with this in mind. It's a shame.
I very much doubt that was the case. Playmates toys didn't get the license until production of the movie was well underway. Playmates did phaser toys for every series and movie except ENT and Nemesis (back when they held the Trek license in the 90s) and aside from scaling them to be held by kids, they were pretty close to the actual props.

I think it was more of a case of the production designer/art director wanting to design a phaser prop that had moving and light-up components and Playmates just tried to do as accurate a toy based on that as possible.
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  #232  
Old 05-09-2009, 07:01 AM
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Saquist Saquist is offline
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Part 1

Hmmm, where do I start?

I left the cinema yesterday afternoon not knowing whether or not I liked or truly despised this movie. However, my main feeling as I walked out was that it simply didn’t feel like Star Trek, and that worried my greatly. I’ve been a fan for over 30 years, since early childhood, and to not have the feeling for the first time ever was very disappointing. However, I’ll deal with that at the end of my review.
I think the best way to summarise my feelings about the picture would be to list the good and the bad:-
THE GOOD

- I warmed quite quickly to the exterior of the new Enterprise – at least when shown at a distance anyhow.

- I liked some little touches in the movie, such as how the Kelvin’s communicators looked like the old TOS ones, Scotty’s tribble (complete with the correct trilling), Kirk’s apple and Majel’s voice on the ship computer.

- As a general action movie there was enough in it to keep the pace chugging along throughout without moments of boredom.

- The main Starfleet uniforms were great. AT a distance they looking just like TOS uniforms. I also got a kick out of the similarities between Pike’s admiral’s uniform and Kirk’s TMP version.

- I liked the Nero character, even if he got little to do. I would have liked to see more of him and learn more.


- Nimoy!! What can you say. I was overjoyed to see him on screen again. Some people posting reviews have suggested that he was out of character in his scenes. I disagree. In fact I felt that this was the closest we had seen to the Spock I remember since Star Trek V.
style eels! Great stuff.

- Not exactly part of “the good” per se, but a lot of people moaned about Spock & Uhura’s lovebird act. Have to say I had no problem with it keeping in mind that these are alternate versions of the characters. In fact that only thing I was curious about was how it came to be as otherwise there wasn’t much point it in being present.
I noticed the communicators too and it really was nice to see Nimoy in the new film. Amazingly I didn't even notice the TRIBBLE!

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Part 2

THE BAD

- Recasting. Now, I promised myself well in advance that I had gotten past the recasting of iconic roles, helped in part by Nimoy’s endorsement and, more importantly, the alternate universe which allowed me to treat them as different characters. But despite the throw away line about alternate realities it was clear to me that the movie was trying to remind me on a regular basis that I was supposed to be watching Kirk Spock and McCoy and I was supposed to accept the youngsters, many of whom are younger than me (not that I should let that prejudice me), were the same iconic characters that I had grown up with over 30 years. For me, I just couldn’t do it. Maybe I am like Kirk in TUC, I’m struggling to get past my prejudices and move on, but for me the original characters are more than a few episodes and movies, they have been friends to go to when times were bad. Friends who allowed me some escapism. Friends who taught me about morality and difficult questions in life. The people that brought those characters to like are those characters. A character is more than what is written on a script page, it is also part of the living breathing person that plays him or her. For instance, Karl Urban did indeed give one of the best performances in the movie. But I just couldn’t believe it was McCoy, all I could believe was that it was a young Starfleet officer doing an impression of McCoy.

- The set designs. The Kelvin was ok and I could believe it was pre-TOS. However, I despised other sets, most significantly the Enterprise interiors. Abrams has spoken about his desire to do what Dick Donner did on Superman: The Movie, have the believability factor to what was on screen. Versimilitude Donner called it. Well here Abrams makes a fatal mistake. We aren’t just talking about a superhero in a costume, with everything else looking like 20th Century Earth, we are talking about how society will look over 200 years from now. In that respect I cannot accept that the Enterprise needs manual handles to go to warp and an absurd looking engine room that looks like the lower decks of a World War II submarine. Aside from a few trendy touchscreens thrown in, everything else on the Enterprise looked years behind the TOS version, and even looked less advanced than the NX-01, which was are to believe still existed as we know it in this reality. Not convinced in the slightest and Abrams better think carefully about this one for the sequel. It’s absurd that will such a budget that couldn’t create something truly futuristic looking, especially since they had gone to all that trouble of making the exterior of the ship more advanced than its sixties counterpart.



- Lens flares and shakey cam. I had read complaints about this but went into the movie open minded. I had no problem with it during the Kelvin scenes, but by the time the movie was half way through it began to annoy me. I’m a greater hater of shakey cam out of the two, and I am terribly frustrated that Hollywood directors think that the audience want to see these tired camera tricks all the time. This moviegoer doesn’t and I’m tired of seeing this in every action film I see these days. One of the redeeming features of Indy 4 was that Spielberg shot the movie old style, without shakey cam, and so despite its flaws I find Crystal Skull a lot easier to watch than movies like Iron Man. I like to see what is happening, not get a headache. But then I guess Abrams was just trying to be one of the cool kids.

- Kids in charge of the Enterprise. Talked about many times so I won’t go into detail, but from cadet to Captain? And for that matter the whole crew (sans Spock & Scotty) from cadets to senior officers? Utterly, utterly stupid.

- Ben Cross as Sarek. Bloody awful. I wish Mark Lenard was still around.

- Product placement. No, no, no, no. No room for that in Star Trek JJ. What a cheap shot.

CONCLUSION

Despite the recasting and the items under my “bad” list, none of what I mentioned above was enough to make me hate the movie. I could stomach them and suspend disbelief to allow me to watch the movie as “just another movie” and take enjoyment out of it and be entertained. In that respect is was a rip-roaring space action adventure and I would recommend it to any non-fan who likes action films. I can understand why it has gotten rave reviews from non-fans and newer fans alike. It will generate a good return, new fans and a sequel. Paramount have gotten what they wanted.

However, here lies the real problem I have with the movie, which is a serious complaint directed at the new “supreme court”. Abrams and his cohorts, including Nimoy himself, tell us Star Trek is about the characters. A lot of fans have bought into this when seeing the new movie and think that if there is a good arc for Kirk & Spock then that’s all that’s need. I respectfully disagree with this on every level. Star Trek was never about the characters, it was about the human experience, as told through the characters. This is the fundamental mistake with movie. It’s something that people like Ron Moore and, dare I say it, Berman understood about what Roddenberry was trying to do, but Abrams seems clueless in this regard. There was no exploration of humanity in this movie and no hint of a morality play. For this fan, that’s just not good enough. I was never a fan of Star Trek because I liked to see ship battles or fancy devices. It was about, for me, the social issues it made me think about. It was the thing about Star Trek that set it apart from things like Star Wars. It had greater depth, more intelligence and more morality than the other things out there. Majel is alleged to have said that Gene would have approved of the new movie, while I hope that he would have I feel that this is doubtful. If you go way back to “The Cage” it is clear what Gene wanted from the show. He wanted to make the audience think. Abrams Trek does not do that. For that reason I felt incredibly let down when I left the cinema. It felt like my intelligent Star Trek had died years earlier and had been replaced by yet another big budget Hollywood action movie for the crowds of lower intelligence out there that has simply had the Star Trek name slapped on it. Well, that’s what sells these days so I understand it. But I am just deeply upset that the market has turned this way and ripped the heart, or more importantly, the brain, out of my beloved Star Trek.

You see without the intelligence Star Trek is just like everything else....and nothing else has lasted this long as a result. I don’t see why people can’t see that. This movie will generate a couple sequels of big action. Paramount will make short term money on its reboot. But it will die out much sooner than the original did, because this nuTrek is far more a product of its time than TOS ever was and simply doesn’t have elements to withstand changes attitudes over the years.

Abrams has a chance to recapture this old fan with the inevitable sequel. He just needs to explore the human experience again – and there is no reason why this cannot go hand in hand with a big budget action film. I implore him to do it as then he really will have done justice to the Roddenberry legacy.

5/10
I can tell you really had standards for this movie.
There almost seems to be a difference between the young and older more dedicated fan. If I had to guess you'd been with Trek for a while. Remember the new Generation likes explosion an special effects for entertainment that's who Abrams had to cater to.

It's very intresting that you say that the brain was ripped out of Trek...graphic but intresting. Do you really think though that the characters were not as important as the events and moral implications?
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  #233  
Old 05-09-2009, 07:29 AM
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Summer Storm Pictures Summer Storm Pictures is offline
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Default ''Is it a story worth telling?''

Now that the movie is wide, I can say that to me it felt like it was done with a lot of heart--a whole lot of it. Alternate universes/realities/timelines notwithstanding, all involved in this film definitely loved or grew to love what many of us have for decades now. To them I say, welcome to the club and job well done. ''It was fun.''

I have beaten this subject to death, but it bears one final resurrection: Star Trek was never about hardware, it was about heart, and heart this movie had. I could feel the love the actors, writers and director had for our beloved characters. That was there. It can be there even those of you most stalwart ''old schoolers'' if you just let go.

If anyone has the opportunity to see an extra showing--close your eyes and just listen. You'll hear everything you wanted to ''see.'' Let your imagination fill in whatever vision you like. I guarantee you will ''feel it.''

My only ''issues'' are thus: Firstly the story lacked a bit. To my favorite personal question, ''is it a story worth telling?'' I have to answer, no, not really. There were plenty of other options that could have been explored if the writers had ''tried harder''--even within the bad choice of alternate time-lines/realities. To draw a comparison, the writers ''cheated'' the Kobyashi Maru test by changing the rules of the test.

My second issue was with the ''rush'' to arrange the backstory. The writing was often witty and our characters had some fun dialogue, but the storytelling fell apart early. There seemed to be a lot of shortcuts taken to throw our ''band of brothers'' together. In particular, I think the wild car ride of ''James Tiberius Kirk'' was totally unnecessary. It was the oddest choice made in the editing room. Almost anything else could have told us more than that somewhat shallow, somewhat self-indulgent sequence. The Spock childhood sequence was much better handled.

Finally, and most importantly, the tired old dog-and-pony show of time travel and alternate universes needs to be retired permanently from Star Trek storytelling. It has nothing more to offer. It is the easy way out of telling a good story.

Thanks for the ride!
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  #234  
Old 05-09-2009, 07:31 AM
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Armalarm Armalarm is offline
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sorry im too tired to read the whole thing, but the answer to your question is Yes, its worth telling
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  #235  
Old 05-09-2009, 08:37 AM
AyanEva AyanEva is offline
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Originally Posted by Commodore View Post
And here I thought the toy phaser was just "kiddified" with those spinning blue and red nozzles. Had no idea how accurate it was to the ones that appeared in the movie.
I loved the red-blue spinning barrel/nozzles! I only noticed it the second time around and I was like, "Sweeet." I liked being able to actually see that "this is kill" and "this is stun."
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  #236  
Old 05-09-2009, 08:38 AM
iamkiroksuncle iamkiroksuncle is offline
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Default Great movie - but flawed!!

When Nero first encounters the Kelvyn, the crew of the Kelvyn would not have known that Nero was a Romulan, as no one had seen a Romulan until JT Kirk's Enterprise encountered them in the "Balance of Terror" episode. Doesn't this bother anyone?
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  #237  
Old 05-09-2009, 08:42 AM
CaptArthron CaptArthron is offline
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(A)And that's the point Timster. BttF's time traveling logic is flawed in the world of actual physics and it's view point of time travel. Be it BttF, TimeCop, or any other time traveling tale...Well, let me put it as my professor did.

Your classmate hates that you beat him in everything. Sports...Academics...Women: You're always second fiddle to him. Little does he know, you've invented a time ship. You go back and time and find his father years before you were born. You take out your gat (gun), and you smoke 'em. BANG! Kinda severe, but your nemesis' dad is gone, so you happily go back to your time ship expecting to your friend to have disappeared and that you are now the Big Kahuna. To your surprise, you find that your "friend" is still there, but he's announced that he's engaged to Miss America! In your time line, nothings changed! What you did is just create an alternate time line. So, if Star Trek is supposed to be "above the normal sci-fi...more cerebral/less "actiony", wouldn't it be prudent for the writers to listen to the scientific consultants they hired (and they DID hire scientific consultants to get things right--from physics in space to the way things look) so this was still above the riff-raff of sci-fi fare? For me, a lover of science--specifically physics--they nailed it. "Spock Prime" didn't fade away. Vulcan of TOS still exists. Kirk (killed off in "Generations") is still dead--and would be dead at the time of TNG anyway naturally (without that awful Nexus business). And all of their adventures still remain. There tales, or "canon", if you prefer, is still in tact.



B. The moment Nero appeared and engaged the Kelvin, he created an alternate time line. As mentioned in point A, the "original" time line still is in tact.

C. Now here's a brain warp. What if YOU are the creation of an alternate time line? What if in another universe you were never meant to live? Well in fact, if quantum physics theory is correct, there are numerous "multi verses" and in one multi verse YOU died in childbirth! In another, you're a CEO of a massive conglomerate. Yet in another, you may be a beloved author, or philosopher. Even more, you may be a megalomaniac combating a real "James Bond" trying to foil your plans of world domination. In fact, right this very moment (according to some quantum physicists), you're probably deciding whether to respond to this post or not. If you chose to respond, you've created ANOTHER universe DIFFERENT from the one where you simply read the post and moved on. I actually think when I avoid a careless & wreck-less driver that at that moment another universe is born. Maybe I DID get hit and die and my consciousness flips over--across what scientists call "the membrane"--to the nearest universe where I avoided the accident. I don't like that thought, but perhaps...As Mr. Spock says, "There are always possibilities."

D. It's a movie. It's entertainment. Star Trek always seems to have folks proclaiming it to be "War and Peace", "Saving Private Ryan", or "The Remains of the Day." Andorians? The Gorn? Star Trek always had and will have a rock-em, sock-em element to it. When kids played Star Trek, it always had an element of "cowboys and Indians" to it...at least it did in my neighborhood. This film brings back the wonder and excitement that many remember from their childhood while deftly mixing in scientific fact and fiction together, layering it upon a very well written script and superbly acted cast as a foundation. I walked away saying, "I wish I had read those comics, but what a treat and what a way to re-introduce these characters to the world. 'Thrusters on full': The ship is ready to forge ahead into new frontiers and new adventures!"
I suspect your physics "professor" is either not a professor, is a very poor professor, or does not exist. If we are going by actual modern day physics, a spacetime curvature which results from a singularity (a black hole) could in theory provide travel to the past, however there in nothing in our current understanding of physics (which a proffessor could atest to) which would suggest that by going through such a phenomina you would end up creating an alternative reality. Sure you'd create an alternative timeline, but the orginal timeline would cesse to exist.
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  #238  
Old 05-09-2009, 08:44 AM
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Admiral Roth Admiral Roth is offline
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Default My 'Star Trek' Review

Saw the movie last night.

So, after having some time to digest it all I would like to say that I absolutely loved the movie.

Great performances by the cast:

Chris Pine was a great Kirk. He was a different Kirk, however, his performance was a lot of fun to watch. I really like the way we saw him progress from a young punk to the natural leader Kirk was destined to be. The Shatner-Kirkisms showed once Pine wore the Captain's uniform at the end of the film. Props to Chris for pulling it off.

Zach was equally as great as Spock. It was nice to show him so conflicted with his human emotions.

The rest of the cast was good too. Its too bad Simon Pegg as Scotty had very little to do in this film (but here's hoping he gets more screen time in the sequel).

The special effects, IMO, are some of the greatest ILM has come up to date. FLAWLESS. You really felt the beauty and scale of the Enterprise. Nero's ship was a monster as well.

I liked the story -- thought it was pretty engaging. And it was a neat twist on how the writers explain the new timeline, etc. I think it was done well.

Nice to see Nimoy back as prime Spock.

Now for the not-so-great things:

Nero. He was a disapointment to me. He lacked intensity in his scenes where he actually spoke. I just didn't feel this guy was so much of a threat. Nero as a villain felt flat in this one.

There was one piece of dialogue which I thought was wierd: Uhura's comment to Kirk at the bar when she says about him being a farm boy who has sex with animals. Now, yeah, it was a joke. But come on, not sure if we needed that.

All in all, a great cinematic piece of entertainment. 4.5/5
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  #239  
Old 05-09-2009, 08:51 AM
cmdrhawkncc72701 cmdrhawkncc72701 is offline
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Talking Love it!

SciFi.com did have some very valid points and I could add a few more, but, WHO CARES?!?! It was great!!! Fun, adventure, fast pace, WILD GRAPHICS and great acting that looked simple so that means it wasn't! Well done, cast & crew! Bring on Star Trek 2!
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  #240  
Old 05-09-2009, 08:56 AM
Timster Timster is offline
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Elizadolots: I'm not sure what is meant by the question "what is missing in bringing it together?" since the fact that the original crew is now together in this altered timeline is irrelevent to the central question I posed: why was it necessary to create a new timeline (putting aside the question of whether the canard of "both timelines exist" because of a throwaway line in the movie)? Why do we have to watch all future Trek movies in a Universe where:
Kirk's father and Spock's mother are dead?

Kirk does not serve his first deep space assignment aboard the Garrovick and encounters a deadly cloud that decimates half the crew and forces Kirk to be guilt ridden and obsessed, which ironically enables him to defeat the same creature 11 years later.

Captain Pike and a young crewman Spock do not encounter the illusion masters of Talus IV, creating one of the few "capitol punishment" laws in the futuristic world

Spock is not estranged from his Father for declining the Vulcan Science Academy invitation

Kirk is not responsible for Ben Finney's non promotion

Kirk and Spock do not encounter time travel for the first time with 1960's space pilot John Christopher and invent a way to get back via the slingshot effect.

Captain Kirk does not meet and fall in love with Edith Keeler in the 1930's.

The list is endless. Oh, wait, I forgot that the "new" Trek is just another timeline and that all these alternate timelines exist together in some parallel existence, which brings me to the next point, which Dominus spent a great deal of time in discussing (sorry, but you lost me with the quantum physics. I'm like Captain Janeway -- "time travel gives me a headache.")

I can live with the fact that alternate universes exist, since the TOS created this concept with "the Alternative Factor" and "Mirror, Mirror." But can we all agree that while these alternate universes still exist, would we want to make a movie about one of them and decide from this point forward we just want to watch the adventures of the ISS Enterprise and wait for Chekov to try and assasinate Kirk again? Not only because the characters (except perhaps Spock) were putrid, but because we like OUR characters in OUR Universe with OUR history and our future. We could take another exposure to these creeps (in fact, some Trek literature has been penned that has the "evil" Kirk popping up in OUR universe and causing all kinds of trouble) from the alternative Universe but in the end we want them to go back from whence they came so we can get on with OUR universe.

Alternate timelines are, however, quite another matter. I agree that in some theoretical sense these timelines could continue to exist. But the fact remains that there are many Star Trek episodes from just about every ST series that spend a lot of time in desperately trying to preserve the "natural" timeline and not "changing history, starting with TOS's "Tomorrow is Yesterday" episode through NG's "Yesterday's Enterprise" through ""Voyager's 'time police'" episode which postulates that Bill Gates actually came from the future. The whole DS9 tribute to the "Trouble with Tribbles" TOS episode starts with the time police questioning Sisko as to why he went into the past and the whole episode was centered on the DS9 crew going back to Kirk's ship and time and making sure that the future Darvin did not change "history."

I don't mean to get all uptight about the evils of a time "paradox" (like the 1988 movie Millenium) but if it is not a big deal to change timelines and have all these different timelines coexist, then what is the point of making the "preservation" of the timelines in each of these ST episodes a central plot point about which much suspense is generated? Why did Captain Kirk go and rescue Bones when he accidently poisoned himself and jumped through the Guardian of Forever. Why didn't Kirk and Spock say, "well we'll just live in an alternative timeline, no big deal?" When they went through the portal themselves and found out that in order to prevent Hitler from taking over the world they had to allow Kirk's love, Edith Keeler, to die in a traffic accident? Why didn't they just say, "these alternative universes can coexist so no problemo?" There are a ton of movies and television episodes (not just Trek ones) that deal with this concept of preserving a familiar timeline and those writers that just brushed off these concerns (see Dallas series where a whole year of episodes was stupidly chalked up to a dream, now seen as the "jump the shark" moment of the series) have properly been derided.

We want Kirk to see the conflict and pain of watching Edith Keeler die because we knew the importance of preserving OUR timeline with OUR characters and OUR history. And most of us who went to the new Trek movie wanted to see OUR timeline and OUR history preserved intact, not tossed aside so that some new timeline could be pursued and all our memories of these characters mean nothing since they will not and can not occur in this new timeline. The fact that they might exist in some alternate timeline (which one writer has pointed out is impossible) is both cold comfort and irrelevent in any event. What is the difference if the original timeline has not been "killed" but is just not to be lived in anymore?

PARAMOUNT HAS ABANDONED THE ORIGINAL TIMELINE AND SUBSTITUTED IN ITS PLACE ANOTHER TIMELINE WITH THE SAME BODIES BUT NOT THE SAME HISTORY FOR THE SIMPLE REASON OF LAZINESS. They could have easily not insulted those of us who were invested in the original series but they deliberately chose not to. Shame on them.

Last edited by Timster : 05-09-2009 at 09:11 AM.
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