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Texas Libra

Star Trek (2009)

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OK, so there's the old thread about it that was posted several months ago, but that was more of a thread for thoughts about what it might be like. Now that the movie is actually out, it's time to post what you call actually thought about it.

I just went to see it last night at 7PM at my local IMAX theater. In short, for me to say it was well worth the 3-year wait is a vast understatement. And I think I have the authority to judge anything related to Star Trek considering I've been a fan for nearly 20 years now. Although it definitely its mission of attracting a new generation of fans, which I'm all in favor of. This might sound cheesy, but I feel like my life was changed forever after seeing the movie. It just had that effect on me because it was so honorable to the original yet so different.

Spoiler

It's most tragic through to have Vulcan destroyed, so Trek will definitely never be the same again, so we'll see how well things do in the sequel in 2011.

I say go see it, you won't be disappointed. Post your thoughts below.

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I'm quite interested in seeing it. But I'm being forced to watch wolverine this weekend instead, so I don't know when I'll get a chance to. But good to hear that it doesn't flat out suck. :P

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Khorus said:

I'm quite interested in seeing it. But I'm being forced to watch wolverine this weekend instead, so I don't know when I'll get a chance to. But good to hear that it doesn't flat out suck. :P

You should mention to the party who is forcing you to see W over T that the Trek has 95% on the Tomatometer and Wolverine has 36%!

I'm not a Trek fan (I used to watch some of the TV episodes sporadically here and there). I saw the movie last night and I thought it was pretty good. One thing I didn't understand were the light glares. What are they for? I found them, as well as the style of photography, to keep me at a distance from connecting to what was happening on screen. I dunno, something about Abrams' direction choices and film style don't resonate with me. :-/ Very slick film tho. (I just don't really like slick/stylized films) I posted a response to a negative review which nearly everyone on RT was bashing for being a bad, trolling review on www.rottentomateos.com. Below is my post in full:

1. "Abrams' swish pans and light glares are far from the dazzlingly tactile Minority Report. Battle scenes don't develop or vary; it's remote-control entertainment." --Armand

I found this movie on par with Minority Report (I'm not really a fan of Spielberg) but those light glares were really annoying. What were their purpose? If they happened about 90% less frequently they probably would have added to the film, but they were SOOO overdone and over frequent that they ended up just being very annoying, distracting and removing/disconnecting you from what's going on on the screen. I'm surprised more people haven't been bothered by this.

2. "Abrams directs action where you can%u2019t see anything%u2014 just blur, like in Cloverfield." I haven't seen Cloverfield, but more and more movies are falling victim to this neo-stylized frenetically-hyper action photography that, for me, has the effect of detaching me from the action and the story and keeping me from connecting to the characters. What's going on on the screen? I kinda get the idea it's cool, but the camera is too busy trying to out do itself that I'm unable to connect to the action in any meaningful way. When photography is too frantic, stylized and slick, a wall of detachment goes up between the viewer and what's going on on the screen.

"The overture cuts from a woman giving birth to a space battle (mawkishness and sensationalism) with no aesthetic tension or rhythm." I think Armand (and myself) simply do not find Abrams' style and technique effective. The opening scene did not pull me in either.

Now, Andrew Lesne is the man as Director of Photography on the LOTR films. Those films are the quintessential example of effective, powerful, moving cinematography that results in the viewer being pulled into the action and *connecting* with the action and characters. And thanks to Peter Jackson's vision, the film made you feel like you were *there*--it felt so *real*. It's almost as if Abrams was going for the exact opposite effect. Like he was trying to keep the film light, trifling, candy pop entertainment: dazzle and pop. The light glares and fast cutting hyper filming have no resonance. As a result, the unfolding moving pictures and sound have the opposite effect of helping the viewer suspend disbelief to get caught up in a fantastical world.

I formulated a speculative theory as to why Abrams was so excessive with the light glares. Since this is a prequel, maybe he was trying to give the film a certain kind of feel; intentionally trying to keep the story at a distance as a prequel. Perhaps with the sequels he will stylize them less and have them be more 'in the present'.

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Khorus said:

I'm quite interested in seeing it. But I'm being forced to watch wolverine this weekend instead, so I don't know when I'll get a chance to. But good to hear that it doesn't flat out suck. :P



My roommate is really into X-Men, and is going on a date with a guy who is really into Star Trek. They decided to just see one and then sneak into the other :)

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magicsofa said:

My roommate is really into X-Men, and is going on a date with a guy who is really into Star Trek. They decided to just see one and then sneak into the other :)


Why aren't you taking your roomate out on that date?

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Overall, I very much liked it despite some flaws. I'm definitely looking forward to sequels. The cast was surprisingly good, particularly the new Kirk guy.

Visually, it was gorgeous (though I have to agree about slightly excessive use of "neo-stylized frenetically-hyper action photography"). I saw it on a fairly big screen, but it still wasn't big enough to do it justice. There's an IMAX theater in Seattle, so perhaps I'll see it again when I get there next week... if it isn't sold out.

Oh, and yeah, I like how the engineering section of the Enterprise for once actually looks capable of physically supporting at least the weights of the people working there (let alone powering a starship), as opposed to the cardboard-mounted lava lamps of past renditions.

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I thought it was pretty good, with some exceptions. It's not the best Star Trek film ever made but it's certainly not the worst.

The Nokia product placement annoyed me. I never thought I'd see that sort of thing in a Star Trek film, of all things.

I think they set themselves a difficult task due to the fact that they were bringing back the original characters with a younger cast. This meant that they now had to engineer a plot that would bring them all together on the Enterprise in a way that was plausible. Some aspects of this were pulled off well (the friendship between Kirk and McCoy, for example), while others seemed contrived and implausible.

The main examples of this were things like: Kirk being left as First Officer by Pike, when he was still only a cadet, and subsequently being promoted to Captain at the end of the film. Similarly, the flagship of the federation fleet is being piloted into a battle by a 17 year old cadet who doesn't know how to work the controls?

The love affair between Uhura and Spock was ... odd. It didn't add anything to the plot and just seemed bizarre more than anything.

The plot also seemed overcomplicated due to the fact that they wanted to preserve canonicity in a way that made sense. I'm not even sure I completely understand why Nero is supposed to have been attacking Vulcan and the other planets. If they're hoping to appeal to a wider audience they might have shot themselves in the foot in that respect.

I will say that the performances by the Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock) and Karl Urban (McCoy) were great. They all played their characters very well.

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fraggle said:

I'm not even sure I completely understand why Nero is supposed to have been attacking Vulcan and the other planets.


Did you read the Star Trek: Countdown prequel comic series? It explains a lot, if not everything.

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Bloodskull said:

Why aren't you taking your roomate out on that date?

I can think of any number of reasons why that could be a bad idea. Maybe the first is that when you break up with your roommate, you suddenly lose half your rent payment :P

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Quasar said:

I can think of any number of reasons why that could be a bad idea. Maybe the first is that when you break up with your roommate, you suddenly lose half your rent payment :P

That and the fact you don't actually need to pounce on every single woman you meet like some kind of rabid dog.

I mean, what if she's completely ugly?

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Joe said:

That and the fact you don't actually need to pounce on every single woman you meet like some kind of rabid dog.

I mean, what if she's completely ugly?

magicsofa didn't even say his roommate was a woman.

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fraggle said:

magicsofa didn't even say his roommate was a woman.

What if HE's completely ugly???????

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fraggle said:

magicsofa didn't even say his roommate was a woman.


What if IT's completely ugly???????

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What attracted me to Star Trek series was the exploration of human nature, philosophy, etc. I heard the movie has none of this and is essentially an action adventure film that reintroduces the characters of the original series. I'm looking forward to it though.

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I agree with the first two criticisms by Hellbent. The lensflares/glare was annoying and the stupid frantic-cam was as bad as ever. I felt like the camera was generally moving around a bit too much in some places also - they really seemed to like circling around the bridge during battles.

I'm not sure why they made Engineering into an oil refinery. And why did it need all those giant stainless steel boilers? Is the Enterprise steam powered? Also the Romulan "mining vessel" looked like a space artichoke.

Still, it is basically a character reintroduction and I have it say it was fun to see the interaction between all the leads. Karl Urban really got Bones right, IMO.

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Maes said:

What if IT's completely ugly???????

You mean like this?

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Skeletor said:

What attracted me to Star Trek series was the exploration of human nature, philosophy, etc. I heard the movie has none of this and is essentially an action adventure film that reintroduces the characters of the original series. I'm looking forward to it though.


One of my favorite movies as a kid was "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." My favorite scene was when the shuttlecraft was circling the enterprise showing off the cool effects and the beauty of the enterprise.

This movie lacked "the great question." It was all about seeing different worlds, experiencing things that we can't even imagine and showing a bright future where humanity is at peace and explores the galaxy. The original show challenged you to think a little bit.

Having just seen the movie, I was disappointed in that the plot was lacking, it tosses out the old Star Trek mythology entirely and it lacks "the great question." On the other hand, the visuals were fantastic, the acting was superb, and the characters were well developed.

Another major gripe I had with the movie is that it did not incorporate the old Star Trek theme songs and music that everyone knows. I believe it was an original score, not nearly as memorable or awe inspiring as the "classic" star trek theme.

Oh, and it also reeks of "Franchise Opportunity" and "product placement"

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leileilol said:

If you have to read a comic to get a movie then the movie isn't a good movie.


You don't "have" to, it's just more of a thing for the fans I guess. And I'm a fan (obviously). It's optional since you don't have to be a fan to see this movie anyway.

Ichor said:

You mean like this?

(horta picture)


Good god, would the offspring of a carbon-based humanoid and a silicon-based rock creature result in a...carborundum-based life form????

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After seeing it I said something like "that was just like Star Trek... only different." Because after building up a somewhat inconsistent canon over a span of around 45 years, just about the only thing they could possibly have done at this point without making the problem worse was to start over from scratch. They even made it explicit that this was taking place in an alternate universe. (Maybe a little too explicit... but it would have been neat if someone said "gee, it's too bad we'll never know what would have happened if Nero hadn't have shown up!")

Anyways, the plot was a bit too convenient at times but the casting was excellent. All in all it was pretty good and worthy of being an even numbered movie (because there was no Star Trek: Nemesis)...

(And appropriately, Reaper/Eomer is in the upper corner of my screen as I type this.)

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I watched the movie, it was sweet. Classic Star Trek is back, baby!

Well, the only gripe was that catch-phrases for Checkov and Scotty were missing. I mean, come on! Also you didn't actually get to see Nurse Chapel, although she is mentioned.

Patrick Pineda said:

Another major gripe I had with the movie is that it did not incorporate the old Star Trek theme songs and music that everyone knows. I believe it was an original score, not nearly as memorable or awe inspiring as the "classic" star trek theme.

What, you mean something like the 3-minute version of the original theme song that is played? Did you watch the entire movie?

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MikeRS said:

Well, the only gripe was that catch-phrases for Checkov and Scotty were missing.


I don't think "nuclear wessels" were appropriate for this movie, and he did at least play upon "v"s pronounced as "w"s. As for Scotty, he did say "I've given her all she's got, Captain!" near the end as they're trying to escape from that last black hole.

Did anybody else catch Majel Barrett's voice as the computer in a couple of scenes?

Saw it again last night, this time for free, and I plan on seeing it at least 1 more time this week.

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Texas Libra said:

I don't think "nuclear wessels" were appropriate for this movie, and he did at least play upon "v"s pronounced as "w"s. As for Scotty, he did say "I've given her all she's got, Captain!" near the end as they're trying to escape from that last black hole.

I was thinking more on the lines of "Red matter was invented in Russia!", although for some reason I forgot about Scotty's line, so that was covered.

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The Nokia product placement


WHAT

The main examples of this were things like: Kirk being left as First Officer by Pike, when he was still only a cadet, and subsequently being promoted to Captain at the end of the film. Similarly, the flagship of the federation fleet is being piloted into a battle by a 17 year old cadet who doesn't know how to work the controls?


WHAT?

The love affair between Uhura and Spock


WHAT.

From the second trailer onwards everytime i saw this mentioned i felt myself muttering "that's going to be so shit". Glad to see i wasn't off.

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Wow, I feel like an idiot. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio played Kirk.

When I saw the trailer for the film (I haven't seen it yet) with the song 'Ladies and Gentlemen' by Saliva playing, the new age special effects and shots of the love scene between Spock and Uhura; I immediately knew it wasn't going to be like the Star Trek I grew up with.

I might get it when it comes out on DVD, but it doesn't look like the average Star Trek movie I'd expect.

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deathbringer said:

WHAT

WHAT?

WHAT.

From the second trailer onwards everytime i saw this mentioned i felt myself muttering "that's going to be so shit". Glad to see i wasn't off.

This isn't exactly the topic you should walk into if you haven't seen the movie; also you are very far off.

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I thought it was an excellent movie, I haven't seen a good [new] space film in a while. I'm not a big Star Trek fan (I really only watched TNG series which I liked) so I wasn't expecting to be blown away like I did today.

I didn't mind the lens flares, but I think it's because I like how futuristic lights are and I like how most games' utilize bloom graphics.
I thought the main cast portrayed in the new movie were really good actors and the story progressed without going into too much detail. The shaky/circling camera only bothered me in the very beginning, I guess I got used to it or they loosened up for the rest.

The special effects was my favorite aspect of the movie since I haven't seen good large-view scenes since Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies, I especially liked Spock's future shuttle. Also the anonymous background characters getting killed, etc. took it from those cheesy movies where they try to hide the action (Later Mummy's & Transformers come to mind).

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DeumReaper said:

I didn't mind the lens flares, but I think it's because I like how futuristic lights are


Err - no. There's nothing "futuristic" about lens flares. In fact, lens flares are due to OLD obsolete optical effects that modern photography/film/etc eliminated years back. However, the movie going public came to associate lens flares with movies, at which point the Rule of Cool came into play. Lens flares are artificially created and added back into photos and films to satisfy the public who had come to expect them.

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