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May 20, 2013

Star Trek Into Obscurity ***SPOILERS***
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:24 AM * 164 comments

If you absolutely have to talk about the herd of laser unicorns that so unexpectedly appear at the climax of the latest Star Trek movie, but do not dare do so in public because your friends will look at you sadly for spoiling the film for them, THIS IS THE PLACE to talk about the laser unicorns.

For here there be SPOILERS!

Comments on Star Trek Into Obscurity ***SPOILERS***:
#1 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:34 AM:

Spoiled laser unicorns. Fortunately Scotty will eat anything...

#2 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:40 AM:

No really! He will! After those months and months in the frozen icebox base in the first one with the C-Rations and no decent sandwiches.

Or so I fan-imagine anyway.

#3 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:42 AM:

So, after all that (and I did basically enjoy the thing, despite its blatant flaws) --

-- anybody have a theory what the subtitle is supposed to refer to?

#4 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:48 AM:

Fewer lens flares than the first one.

#5 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:56 AM:

Well I found that much more entertaining than Iron Person, although I have a few grouses.

I am with Felicia Day when I ask where the fuck are the women? It's several centuries into the future and there's still only one female sitting at the big Table Of Important Command People? And FOR FUCKS SAKE, WOULD YOU GIVE THE FEW WOMEN IN STAR FLEET SOME FUCKING PANTS ALREADY. (this is merely the most obvious reason that the costume designer for this film deserves a kick to the cash and prizes area.)

Also, this is the first (and hopefully only) example of Chekov's (Anton) Tribble ever. First I see the completely random scene involving a tribble, I marvel at the stupidity, and then the movie gets going again and we completely forget about it until about 3/4 of the way through when I thought, "Hey, whatever happened to that dumb tribble scene? Oh... Important Plot Point".

Because seriously - WTF, Bones just *happens* to have a dead tribble lying around? For why? Is randomly injecting unrelated bodily fluids into dead pests an accepted mode of scientific inquiry in the future, or was McCoy just bored and poking at the dead thing for funsies? During the credits, I formulated a list of other possible reasons for Bones to keep a tribble around:

1. In the interests of testing the effects of static electric bonds in an artificial gravity environment, rubs dead tribble on head, attempts to stick to the wall.
2. Space can be lonely; cuddling. So much cuddling.
3. Tells him he is a good dead tribble, and a pretty dead tribble. Feeds him.
4. Hacky Sack.
5. In order to keep vital parts warm in the cold vacuum of space, has a special dead tribble codpiece in EVA suit.

Still, I liked the film an awful lot and will probably see it again in the theatres, even if I am mentally putting leggings on the female crew-members.

#6 ::: kythuen ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:06 AM:

@Nerdycellist - mostly agreed! But on the tribble front, I think in addition to Important Plot Point reasons, it was part of a pattern of establishing that events from the original series were also happening in this universe. They also mentioned the shuttle they captured during the Mudd incident.

#7 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:11 AM:

As soon as I heard that Bones had injected Khan's blood into the dead tribble, I knew it was going to be used to bring someone back to life.

You know, that kinda makes Kirk a vampire of sorts. I wonder if he needs periodic infusions of Khan blood to stay alive!

That part was stupid, but overall I liked this movie a lot. There were a lot of stupids in the movie, actually, but most of them were refrigerator moments rather than flying snowmen.

Some critic on The Takeaway said the plot was overly complicated. This just makes me think that critic was an idiot whose ideal plot must be a Saturday-afternoon black-hats-vs.-white-hats Western.

#8 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:20 AM:

I liked it, too, and I'll also see it again. There are a lot of valid criticisms you can make, and Carol's underpants scene was omg so insultingly gratuitous and also oy, the lens flare, but it was undeniably fun.

I am convinced that shooting up the tribble with Übermensch juice will prove to have created the canonical Magically Reproducing Tribble. Which doesn't explain how it happened in TOS, but there it is anyway.

I have also decided that Professor Chandani Singh, who ran the Übermenschen program at Amritsar Community College, created 73 Übermenschen of various ethnic phenotypes but named them all after assorted members of her family. And that's how you end up with the whitest white guy evar being named Khan Noonien Singh.

#9 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:34 AM:

Could someone please explain the opening red-weeds scene? Including stashing the Enterprise on the bottom of the ocean to hide it? What's the matter with orbit? Better comms from orbit, for one thing. They're doing all their stuff with a shuttle, anyway. Also; there's just one volcano, and that volcano will destroy the entire planet, but it can be prevented from erupting for all time by freezing the top layer of lava? Really?

Did the 3-D effect in that entire sequence seem designed to make View Master look good by comparison?

#10 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:40 AM:

As to what Bones was doing with the dead tribble:

He was trying to cure it.

This had more to do with a drunken bet than with medical science.

#11 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:51 AM:

I enjoyed but*.

*Given that a big reason for the reboot was to free the franchise from the overwhelming weight of canon, I was hoping that we would see more new frontiers being explored, instead of the retreading (though entertaining enough) of old material.

#12 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 02:57 AM:

Amitabh Bachchan could totally play Khan! Kal Penn as Khan, reuniting with John Cho! Ben Kingsley as Khan! Alexander Siddig (formerly Siddig El Fadil, Dr. Bashir from DS9) as Khan! Naveen Andrews as Khan! Aamir or Shahrukh Khan as Khan! Aasif Mandvi as Khan! Heck, Hari Kondabolu or Kumail Nanjiani or Aishwariya Rai as Khan!

Actually onscreen I don't think you ever see his name spelled. So maybe it's Kahn, a traditionally Jewish name. Why not. Makes more sense.

Anyway, seriously, the whitewashing of Khan and the sudden bubblebrainness of Uhura (you did not get where you are by engaging in relationship discussions while approaching an enemy planet), plus the plot holes... underwhelming. It is a summer blockbuster that is barely Trek, just like basically all the post-Generations Trek movies.

MetaFilter thread about Trek's greatness and about the new movie - had some interesting insights.

#13 ::: Zora ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:09 AM:

Someone else who watches Bollywood!

Amrish Puri would make a great Khan, if he weren't dead. Khan khush hua!

#14 ::: Dylan ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:52 AM:

@Jim: In the 2D version, it seemed pretty obvious that the costumes and special effects were deliberately cheesy in that opening scene.

#15 ::: Devlin du GEnie ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 07:04 AM:

I enjoyed the story but the cinematography drove me batty. Every conversation was shot in extreme close-up. It was claustrophobic.

#16 ::: Ken Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 08:14 AM:

Movie #3: Kirknicula!

#17 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 08:37 AM:

re 15: Yeah, I started counting the pores Pine's and Cho's chins after a while.

re 9: First thing I was thinking was "cannibals!".1 Second: "Chekov's gun the size of a planet"... which of course was never picked up and used, unlike the tribble.

I liked the banter in the first half, and Karl Urban's uncanny reincarnation of Deforest Kelley is always a pleasure to watch. Bruce Greenwood's Pike was one of the strengths of this reboot. After that, though, the plotting laziness started to get to us (went with my comic nerd daughter and Trek nerd son). Too much of it relies on in-world knowledge, which the writers then did not respect. Take Khan himself. We already knew that Cumberbatch does excellent unemotional sociopath; the problem is that (a) the original Khan is a very emotional sociopath and very aware of the power of emotion, and (b) the original episode establishes that Khan simply is not this hopelessly embittered creature at this point in his life. The racial disconnect is just frosting on the cake; this Khan is not, himself, a particularly enticing character, and while he makes sense within the plot (everyone obviously really wishes they could just stick him back in that cryotube) it makes for dull plotting. And the stealing of entire scenes2 was really irritating. Hollywood is going through one of its "we've ruin out of ideas" phases, and this really shows it. It was entertaining enough in a way, and the ship visuals and sets are really, really impressive3, but the story mechanics really make clear that they don't know how to tell a new and interesting story in the universe.

And can I rant about the interminable fist fights?

1 Actually, the first thing I was thinking was how much money they spent on the production credits at the beginning.

2 Am I the only person for whom Kirk's trip through the warp core brought Galaxy Quest to mind?

3 At last those dinky fins at the end of the warp nacelles finally have a purpose!

#18 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 08:46 AM:

All the way through, I was thinking, "Look, someone filmed Trek fanfic!" This had good and bad aspects.

Good: since this is an AU (reboot), although similar things are happening (Mudd, tribbles, Khan), they don't necessarily play out the same way this time. Therefore I had a brief moment of "wait, could Khan possibly keep his word? That would put Kirk in a difficult position afterwards. This could be INTERESTING!" But of course, no. Still, fun while it lasted.

Bad: the ham, cheese and corn quotient was pretty high, and Spock yelling "KHAAAAAAAN" was so out of character it slung me out of the story.

I enjoyed Cumberbatch's performance. Is it whitewashing if the previous actor was the wrong ethnicity for the role too? (Though at least not Anglo....)

I'm guessing the White Mud-Covered People from the Red Plant Planet will show up in the next movie as some kind of sinister cargo cult.

It was fun while I was watching it, but I doubt I'll want to see it again. The car commercial, on the other hand, is hilarious.

#19 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:05 AM:

I personally loved the role-reversed Wrath of Khan warp-core scene. I guess I'm a sucker. We'd rewatched Wrath of Khan the night before we went to see Into Darkness, so the emotional impact of that scene was fresh. And the role reversal in an AU -- especially after the "original-universe Spock vaguely but darkly alludes to his death" -- really grabbed me. I was waiting for a version of that scene, but I wasn't expecting the role reversal, so it was surprising and affecting.

I maintain my position that JJTrek is simply AU fanfiction -- in good and bad ways. It can be a cover version that brings something interesting to a well-known melody. It can also edge into self-indulgent bits that just don't work.

I don't know if this reboot can stand on its own without borrowing emotional resonance from the originals. I'm inclined to doubt it. JJ would have to slow it down a notch and spend some time on characters and ideas -- and for the love of God get a better dialogue writer.

But as a cover version of Wrath of Khan? I thought it really worked.

#20 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:11 AM:

*high-fives Lila* Cross-posted "Trek AU fanfic" reactions.

I totally bought Spock yelling "KHAAAAAAAAN!" though -- his emotional control had already broken down in that scene. Also as previously mentioned, I'm a sucker.

(Can I also add that the "Benedict Cumberbatch wearing dramatic coats and turning up the collar so he looks cool" quotient was very high, and I liked it?)

#21 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:20 AM:

Jim @ #10 -

I deliberately left out tribble resurrection just because that is even dumber than tribble hacky sack, although taking into account "drunken bet" it would probably fit on my list. ("what, you want me to revive this interstellar equivalent of the Norway rat - one that is born pregnant and does nothing but eat? {puts down bottle of Laphroig} I'LL DO IT!") I suppose when I re-watch it I will discover that is the canonical explanation.

I left the white-washing of Khan off my list. I had a discussion with a friend about it, who also reminded me that the original was not ethnically appropriate. I noted that in the 60's, all non-white people were alike for casting purposes. We have no such (or SHOULD) conventions now. They could at least have given him a different middle name perhaps to imply he came from a blended family. Alternatively, all the casting suggestions in this thread work.

#22 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:33 AM:

re 21: I have to say that Lazarus the Tribble was a pretty bad effect.

#23 ::: JDC ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:46 AM:

First off, there should never be hats in Star Fleet. Second, is this the first time that Star Wars fanfic has stolen scenes from Godfather III?

#24 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:47 AM:

I would have been willing to have almost any South Asian (or Latino in tribute to Ricardo Montalbán) actor as Khan. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a superb villain, but the whitewashing was annoying.

#25 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:48 AM:

Also, the underwear scene was completely gratuitous.

#26 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:05 AM:

I went into the movie expecting "The Wrath of Khan sans Khan." When it turned out to be "Alternate Universe Wrath of Khan" I was more interested in how JJ and company tweaked the originial plot. So I was actually mostly okay with it.

Things I didn't like: gratuitous underwear scenes. Couple bickering while on a mission.

The rest I could explain away/account for in the Meta Story and/or Watsonian/Doyleistically. In the opening scene when Scotty is yelling at Kirk about the Enterprise not being made to sit under water and some important power gizmo was in danger of shorting out, I went "Yea, they're breaking the laws of physics etc., are aware of it and really don't care as long as it look cool/fun/action-y. Time to turn off the fact checking analytical brain functions and enjoy the cheese and corn.

Jim @ #9 in order:
It was an unaired ST:TOS episode from the alternate time line.
Space has been done to death; this is the all-terrain USS Enterprise.
It's harder for the natives to see, and therefore Kirk won't get in trouble for pulling another boneheaded stunt. If he followed the rules and/or used common sense, he wouldn't be on Earth and in the council chamber when the Big Bad Villain came to shoot up the place. It was already established in the previous movie that while incredibly smart, Kirk can be very, very stupid at the same time.
The cryo-whatsit that stopped the eruption is handwavium science. It's entirely possible that Spock set it to freeze anything over a certain temperature and so solidified all the magma on the planet for a time. After all, the Enterprise didn't crumple like a tin can when Kirk used it like a submarine.

#27 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:14 AM:

10
That sounds almost reasonable ... in the original series, also.

#28 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:23 AM:

nerdycellist @ 4... I am with Felicia Day when I ask where the fuck are the women?

Unless they're there for sexual gratification, they're mothers who are either absent (Kirk's), or too present and thus smothering (Spock's). One is off who knows where. The other gets crushed along with her hubby's planet.

All this to say that the above, plus the absence of pants for women, and Abrams's overrated and lousy storytelling abilities are why my wife and I are sitting this one out.

#29 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:32 AM:

Wait a minute. That tribble subplot is real?

(saving $10 for better things)

#30 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:34 AM:

Jim Macdonald @ #9:

I don't remember them saying that the eruption would destroy the planet. I do remember them saying that the eruption would wipe out the people, which I took to mean that it was a geographically compact civilization which happened to be located inside the eruption's zone of destruction.

About the 3D, I can offer no useful experience; I may sometimes be persuaded to watch the 3D version of a movie, but never when the 3D is a post-production effect inflicted on a movie that was filmed in 2D.

#31 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:41 AM:

Classic Trek (bad) physics, especially in/near earth. Worse than usual messing around with travel times, "twenty minutes in enemy space". No one seems to ever use a computer. Improbable use of transporter with moving targets.

but my biggest snark is that it feels like the major action happens in a couple of days or less.

#32 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:49 AM:

I feel I must re-iterate my enjoyment of the film, but one more bitch: Does costume design get really shitty for 3D? Or maybe just fabric usage? As with The Hobbit, I saw this in 2D and was pretty shocked at how cheap the fabrics looked. The duty uniform tunics looked like they were made of a poly-spandex blend and in several scenes, Chris Pine's torso began to take on a truly Shatnerian cast. Since I've seen him in person and know him to be a typically slight Hollywood actor, I can only blame this on the costuming. Also, the bathing suits were truly egregious, both in fabric and style (someone should have outfitted these folks with supportive garments if they were going to cram them into spandex onesies) and the uniforms on Marcus' crew were just plain terrible. The only costuming choice I liked were the dress uniforms, which were very nicely tailored, but even there, I have to agree with JDC @#23 that NO HATS. NOT EVER. Euch.

(When I watched the 2D, regular frame-rate Hobbit, Galadriel's and other elves' costumes came off as extremely cheap with lousy draping. I wasn't sure if that was "we ran out of money", or if it looks better in 3D.)

#33 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 11:08 AM:

Victoria @ #26: I went into the movie expecting "The Wrath of Khan sans Khan." When it turned out to be "Alternate Universe Wrath of Khan" I was more interested in how JJ and company tweaked the originial plot.

I think I might have preferred "The Wrath of Khan sans Khan". We find out that Cumberbatch's character is a genetic superman from the past some time before he tells Kirk his real name, so there's a period of time in between when I was wondering if they'd decided to make him a different genetic superman from the past. That might have been an interesting movie; they could have done parallels without risking direct comparisons.

The other thing that might have worked is "The Something Else of Khan" - I mean, if they'd stuck to the course they charted in the early part of the film and made it a completely new plot that happens to have Khan in. As it is, when the latter part of the movie starts borrowing all the famous bits from "The Wrath of Khan", it makes the changes look less like a bold departure and more like the filmmakers lying to themselves and/or the audience about what story they're really telling. (Especially the thing about Khan spending the first half of the movie being someone else. They could have got away with that if they'd done something with it that wasn't just "Oh, surprise, it really is Khan after all".)

Speaking of the latter part of the movie borrowing all the famous bits from "The Wrath of Khan", the warp core scene really bothered me because if you're going to redo such an iconic scene you really ought to do it better, otherwise it's going to look like you're just stealing the original's goodwill. And the new version is bigger and shinier and actionier, but that was never what made the original so powerful: it was the emotional weight, which in our case we have not got. Part of that was because originally it happened to Kirk and Spock near the end of their careers, when they'd known each other for decades, and here it's at the beginning, so there's not the same weight behind it. And partly it was because you just know the people in charge of this go-around are not going to let Kirk actually die.

#34 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 11:25 AM:

They should have made Khan a Frenchman.
("Don't go there, Serge.")
Drat.

#35 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:23 PM:

The Wrath of Cannes?

There. I went there. Boldly.

In spite of my two X chromosomes.

#36 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:44 PM:

lila @ 35... Or the French Khan Khan...

#37 ::: Steve C ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 12:47 PM:

I liked the point that Caroline and Lila made about this Trek being fanfic. It does have that feel.

As I mentioned in the open comments thread, I thoroughly enjoyed STID (although I think there should be a colon between the T and the I). The plot moved along briskly and the acting (particularly Cumberbatch) was good.

When I saw the Enterprise under water, I was thinking "whaaaattt?" but I rationalized it by thinking that a ship that can accelerate to light speed in an instant has some pretty hefty bones. Besides, the look on Scotty's face when that giant fish appeared on the viewscreen was hilarious.

Captain Pike's death and Spock's mind meld was a very emotional moment. And of course it wouldn't be an Abrams film without Daddy issues all over the place.

Now a few quibbles. This AU warp drive is too friggin' fast - something that bothered me about the first outing. I think they employed this to move the action along, but I kind of missed the stately way the Trek ships moved in the earlier movies and series.

Kirk is still pretty juvenile when it comes to women. I wonder if Abrams was making a comment about Kirk's horndog ways from the TOS.

As for the inversion of the bits from TWOK, it worked for me.

#38 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:34 PM:

Serge #36: The assassination team is on its way.

#39 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:35 PM:

Am I the only one who thinks that after what is obviously a terrorist bombing, it's just fucking stupid to gather all your most senior people in one place that not only isn't a bunker, but is near the top of a tall building and enclosed in unsecured glass? Don't they have shields for buildings like that? And it may be too early for holomeetings, but don't they have SKYPE?!?!

Fragano 24: Someone on Tor.com pointed out that given that Khan is a terrorist (even crashing a large flying vehicle into an iconic building, HELLO) casting him with a South Asian could have been seen as race-baiting.

ibid, 25: Yep, to repeat my own Tor.com comment on this, as usual they gratuitously feed the female-erotic audience while frustrating the male-erotic audience. They have a completely gratuitous underwear scene for Carol Marcus, but they didge in a gratuitous blocking object when the camera angle would otherwise quite naturally show us a shot of Chris Pine's ass in skintight Spandex! Would that really have pushed their PG-13 to an R? I don't think so. Maybe his butt just isn't of sufficiently heroic proportions.

#40 ::: DaveMB ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:35 PM:

Aside from "we've been caught by the earth's gravity", which could possibly be justified as continuity with the Bad Science in TOS, the thing that most annoyed me was Kirk, on the Enterprise on the Klingon border, picking up a cel phone to call up Scotty in the bar on earth. If their communicators have been enhanced by Scotty's magical transwarp transporter to allow instant communication from anywhere to anywhere, we have two problems. One is that "simultaneous" is just not well defined across interstellar distance, but no one ever gets this right so never mind. Worse is that instant communication between the Enterprise and Starfleet Command destroys the entire premise of the show, which is that Kirk has an independent command and always has to decide what to do without calling back to clarify his orders.

I think they did some nice things with the character development. The volcano, the underwater Enterprise, Kirk's really temporary death, and all the too-long video-game-derived scenes were ridiculous. But it was worth the $8.50 for the matinee, and I'm glad I saw it without spoilers.

#41 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:39 PM:

The movie surpassed my moral minimum-- no coercive interrogation by the good guys, which is even more surprising in a movie with a terrorist plot.

Admittedly, Kirk beats Khan when Khan is theoretically a helpless prisoner, but you have to start somewhere.

#42 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:40 PM:

Fragano @ 38... Katch me if you Khan.

#43 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 01:40 PM:

The death of Captain Pike (Admiral Pike, shurely) creates a continuity issue from TOS that need to be resolved.

As the Five-Year Mission starts at the end of the film, I am curious as to how the continuity issues such as the presence of the tribble and the reference to Harcourt Fenton Mudd are resolved (if ever).

I don't know who else's stomach was doing flip-flops from the Spock-Khan fight on those automated air-transporters. I was reminded of the Sakharine/Captain Haddock fight in The Adventures of Tintin.

#44 ::: Steve C ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 02:18 PM:

So what will future entries in the series be like? Since we've seen that Abrams likes to invert scenes from older movies, wouldn't it be reasonable that...

That pissed off probe from The Voyage Home comes looking for the ship that disturbed its slumber on the volcano planet. The Enterprise goes back to 21st century Hollywood to beat the hell out of a certain movie director.

or...

Spock's brother shows up on the Planet of Galactic Peas. They penetrate the great barrier at the center of the galaxy and impregnate God.

or....

Carol Marcus invents the Genesis device which turns ordinary matter into a rockin' 80's band with a balding drummer/vocalist.

#45 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 02:54 PM:

#44: No, in this alternate timeline Peter Gabriel never left Genesis and Phil Collins remained just a drummer.

#46 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 02:55 PM:

Xopher Halftongue #39:

Hmm. I take your point about the race-baiting.

Also about the lack of balance in gratuitous tease shots.

#47 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 02:56 PM:

Just got home from the flick -- first, despite the flaws I enjoyed it.

Second, for ghod's sake lose the close-ups on the conversations, they make Chris Pine's amblyopia way too apparent.

Third -- that someone in the Enterprise crew was going to get a Khan transfusion was in the cards from the time we see the little girl get one. The dead tribble...eh.

The role reversal worked for me, mostly because we hit the "needs of the many/few" in the first act.

The fights go on way too long for me -- why is every director trying to out Woo John Woo?

#48 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:20 PM:

Cumberbatch's Khan was a powerful performance, but:

a) logical, like Nimoy's Spock, not passionate, like Montalban's Khan

b) who you callin' a Sikh, paleface? Ricardo Montalban was a brown guy playing a Sikh, another brown guy. Khan Noonien Singh should not be played by a white guy, particularly with extra-pale makeup.

Costume issues:

Debbie's complaint: the tiny dresses on Zoe Saldana and other women erase their rank, which is worn on the sleeve on the male shipboard costumes. Where are the sleeves? TOS women had sleeves and miniskirts.

My issue: the grey tweed dress uniforms with the little hats, that was the uniform on the Death Star. Is JJA jumping the gun on his Star Wars films? Is he suggesting an identity between Starfleet and the Evil Empire? And with the big peaked caps, doesn't that suggest Nazi SS uniform, as worn in the Old Series:

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Schutzstaffel_uniforms_and_insignia

Plot issue: where was the Great Theme? Needs of the many/few was an easter egg, not an overarching moral compass for the film. The other TOS films (Next Gen films are basically extended episodes, but even they consider some moral/ethical issues), as well as the old episodes, talk about moral, social, ethical themes. This was just wham, bam, TERRORISM TRUMPS ALL LAWS AND MORALS. Was that the Great Theme?

Nibiru confusion: Jim@9 has covered most of it, but we were wondering: salt-water corrosion? To stay underwater they need shields, or the pressure would probably collapse the hull. Shields can resist massive pressure, viz. "Who Mourns for Adonis." If shields are up, how would salt-water get in?

#49 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:27 PM:

Why am I getting the impression that JJ thinks his audience is 99% young white males?

#50 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:27 PM:

I'm astounded by the wimpy weapons the Federation fields.

The Dark Starship takes simultaneous direct inboard hits from 70+ photon torpedoes and it's still maneuverable?

Also: When the Enterprise is falling out of orbit it goes into a flat spin?

Also, what's so special about Khan's blood? Wouldn't the blood of any of his 70+ companions, who are handily right there and immobile, work just as well? Is it worth trying?

#51 ::: Steve C ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:35 PM:

About Khan's special blood - my take is that he was the leader and therefore awakened, and that his blood had unique qualities.

As for the torpedoes, hey, it was a rush project, and they had never been tested. In fact, I'm pretty sure some IT project leaders I've worked with had descendants that worked on those torps.

#52 ::: Richard ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:44 PM:

Where did the dead tribble come from? Well...it the 2009 movie, Scotty and Keenser had one with them at the Delta Vega outpost.

Later, they both join the Enterprise's permanent crew, of course they bring their tribble with them! But then there's the torpedos, Scotty draws a line, Kirk steps over...and before you know it, Scotty & Keenser leave the Enterprise so fast, they don't even have time to grab their tribble.

And of course, locked away in disused quarters, no one thinks to actually feed Scotty's tribble. Until the smell. The awful, awful smell. So really, the bigger question is who brought Scotty's deceased tribble to Bones rather than just flush it down the toilet and buy a new one?


---
Alternate theory: their civilian shuttle was appropriated in "the Mudd incident", which might also have provided the requisite deceased tribbles.

#53 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:55 PM:

Evacuate the ship. Over Earth. Right. Why not, since we've seen it twice, evacuate everyone to the saucer section, let the engineering hull blow up, and land in the Mojave?

Star Trek ships seem to reflect the design fads of the era when they were created. The slant and slight upward peak of the rim of the TOS saucer section always reminded me of the vestigial fins on my parents' '68 Dodge Coronet wagon. And the curvature of the Next Gen ships looked rather like the windows and trunks of cars being produced in the late '80s.

#54 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 03:57 PM:

Sumana Harihareswara @ 12: I am SO SO SO with you on Alexander Siddig or Naveen Andrews as Khan. (It isn't as if Abrams & Co. don't know what Naveen can do, acting-wise ***cough***LOST***cough***.) I mean, yes, Cumberbatch is a terrific actor, but...as KHAN? Give me a fricking break.

And I speak as one who hasn't seen the film yet but was looking forward to a thread like this because KHAN, dammit.

#55 ::: Ross TenEyck ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:08 PM:

I liked it.

A friend of mine of Facebook succinctly commented, "Worst retkhan ever."

I was troubled by the whitewashing, but on the other hand I liked BC's Khan enough that I would hate to lose it. So I dunno.

One thing I was pleased to see was a pretty explicit message that just because someone commits an act of terror doesn't mean that you get to completely suspend due process and just go and kill them if you have realistic alternatives.

I appreciated the flip of Wrath with the warp core scene. And having Spock yell, "KHAAAAAN!" OK, I'm a sucker.

It does seem to me that Abrams-and-co. have decided that it's the Kirk/Spock relationship that made the original series, and what will make the reboot. I don't think they're entirely wrong, but I do think they're seriously neglecting the rest of the ensemble.

The Spock/Uhuru relationship gives me mixed feelings. The first is, "Oh, hell, no, you DO NOT have relationships with someone in your chain of command. Bad, bad, bad, bad." The other is that I appreciate the fact that, for the most part, they're not making a big deal out of it. The relationship is there, occasionally it comes up, but most of the time it's not a major plot point.

I agree with the person up-thread who said that warp drive is too fast in this universe. I also think that they're being much too sloppy with things like communicators and especially transporters. Magic tech like the transporters is story death unless you rigidly define what it can and can't do and stick to it. Abrams-and-co. clearly don't care.

#56 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:26 PM:

Syd @ 54... I am SO SO SO with you on Alexander Siddig or Naveen Andrews as Khan

Did you know that Siddig is the nephew of Malcolm McDowell?

#57 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:31 PM:

Am I the only one who's noticed that they always call him Khan, even everyone else gets called by their last names? McCoy, Sulu, Chekhov, Kirk, Uhura...and Khan.

I suspect that Khan may be his surname, so 'Khan Noonien Singh' is parallel to 'Kim Jong-Il'.

Jon 48: a) Remember, this is Khan without the decades on Ceti Alpha Six, the death of his beloved wife, etc. In the TOS episode he was calmer. And we don't know what suffering Admiral Marcus' "research teams" may have subjected him to.

b)What's your take on the issue of Khan being a terrorist and therefore casting him with someone from the subcontinent could be considered race-baiting? Absent such considerations, I DO think that Alexander Siddig would have been great casting for the role. But that will have to happen in an AU, because I don't want to lose BC's performance either.

P J 49: *nods* Young white hetero males. As a gay Trekkie from way back (I have permanent cartilege damage from trying to "Spockify" my ears when I was a child), I resent the hell out of the assumption (JJA's (and others'), not yours) that all Trekkies are hetero boys.

#58 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:41 PM:

56
I thought about adding that, but decided that they probably don't think that far. (Although I don't know why not. It isn't like they can't possibly know anyone who isn't hetero.)

#59 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:48 PM:

Xopher: stupid, yes. Implausible? Yes. Impossible? Well....

My kids' high school had a policy for bomb threats that involved evacuating the entire student body to the bleachers around the football field...without checking either the bleachers (for bombs) or the surrounding area (for snipers). There was a definite fish-in-a-barrel vibe.

My nominee for The Great Theme is "Rules don't apply to Captain Kirk, nor do his actions have negative consequences". See also any other straight white young able-bodied male sufficiently anointed with greatness by the scriptwriters.

On Xopher's point about eye candy equality, I nominate "The Avengers" as a laudable counterexample.

#60 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:53 PM:

P J 57: Don't get me started on the homophobia of the people who've been running the franchise since the Rodenberrys died. I don't wanna go there.

Lila 58: SMH. Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain. (Henceforth abbreviated as ASTGTCIV.)

Also, note to self: see The Avengers.

#61 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:56 PM:

All this talk of Mudd & tribbles; are we (they) conflating Mudd with Cyrano Jones?

#62 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 04:59 PM:

You're right, Jacque. Mudd does not appear in "The Trouble with Tribbles." That's Cyrano Jones (who's going to be busy for 17.9 years, IIRC and Spock's estimate is accurate).

Mudd was in "Mudd's Women" and "I, Mudd."

#63 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:07 PM:

Sumana Harihareswara @12: MetaFilter thread about Trek's greatness:

Though technically a spinoff or sequel to the original show, TNG is in most respects the "real" Star Trek.

Um, no. I think what we have here is a classic example of the old saw, "The golden age of science fiction is fourteen." Or, in the case of Trek, nine (in my case, anyway).

Speaking from my perspective as a first-generation Trekkie, TNG is the bastard stepchild, lovable and worthy of respect in it's own right, but in no way "real." As the famous old Klingon saying goes, "mileage varies."

#64 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:12 PM:

re 50: It seems a recently developed property of movie weapons that they have a plot/intensity modulator installed which regulates the damage done as to what is appropriate to make the story work.

#65 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:29 PM:

Jacque, I watched TOS when it was first on, when I was six years old. I can't stand to watch it now, because the acting is terrible, the plots are hokey, and the sets are cheesy.

I still watch TNG and enjoy it.

Also, TNG had seven seasons. TOS had two and a half. There's just a lot more there there.

#66 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:35 PM:

Xopher: As I said, MV. :-)

#67 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:50 PM:

65
Xopher, it had three full seasons. I'll grant that a lot of the third season had bad scripts, so it probably should count as half.

#68 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:52 PM:

More snark.

I want to see the fight between James Kirk and Teela Brown.

#69 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 06:55 PM:

Sorry-- here's the correct link. I tried to clean off facebook link crud, and overdid it.

#70 ::: Shandra ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 08:34 PM:

It totally annoyed me that Uhura was having Relationship Chat on the shuttle drop. And the elevator scene where Our Heroes transformed into an episode of Friends. ("It's not just you.") I don't mind personal stuff, I would just like it to be adult personal stuff.

It's an adolescent film. It was lots of fun, but the vibe is totally teen.

#71 ::: A.J. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 09:37 PM:

Shanda @ 70:

Agree. Although, in the original continuity, Kirk and Spock keeping their relationship a secret despite the chain of command issues is at least as unprofessional.

#72 ::: J. Random Scribbler ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:24 PM:

Ah, good catch on the Mudd vs. Cyrano Jones thing; I'd forgotten that Mudd wasn't in the original "Tribbles."

Ultimately I liked the movie despite many nitpicks.* What got me worked up the most was the whole reactor scene-- on one hand I'm a sucker for such stuff, but on the other hand I kept thinking "They're going to cop out and bring Kirk back with Khan's superblood". Then I'd get sucked back into the moment, then jarred out of it again as the "copout" thought returned... repeat until emotional whiplash ensues.

Obviously, Kirk wasn't going to stay dead, but it really felt cheap to bring him back with no consequences. Because Kirk and Spock didn't have much history together** the scene already had less impact than the original, so Abrams really should've found some way to add consequence instead of just handing Kirk a "get out of death free" card.

I'm pretty sure I would've liked the last act of the movie a lot better if I didn't know about the original version, though some of the lines might've sounded odd. Still, I found more to like than dislike about this movie, FWIW.


* Isn't Kronos supposed to be really far away? Why wasn't the incident response meeting held in a secure bunker? How come the Enterprise only has one big warp core when they had a bunch of smaller ejectable units in the 2009 movie? How does a ringful of antimatter (or whatever) get past a security scanner? et cetera, ad nauseam.

** "...have always been your friend" apparently means "for just a year or so" in this case.

#73 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:25 PM:

After a few hours of digesting the film, it just hit me -- Into Darkness is NOT a re-write of ST:TWOK, it's "Spaceseed." We're dealing with the mentally competent Kahn (IMVHO much more frightening) not the revenge-obsessed grief-warped Kahn from Ceti Alpha 5.

All the writers did was garnish this episode with some of TWOK's trimmings...perhaps laying a false scent...

What's even more worrisome, instead of killing him they put him (and his family) back on ice...

#74 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:49 PM:

Jon Baker @ #48: This was just wham, bam, TERRORISM TRUMPS ALL LAWS AND MORALS. Was that the Great Theme?

Lila @ #59: My nominee for The Great Theme is "Rules don't apply to Captain Kirk, nor do his actions have negative consequences".

Interesting that those should be the first two suggestions, because I would have said that the film's intended themes included "Terrorism doesn't trump all laws and morals" and "Captain Kirk learns that rules do apply to him, and that his actions can have negative consequences".

They may not have been very well executed, but I think those intentions were there.

(If anyone in the movie holds the opinion that terrorism trumps all laws and morals, it's Marcus - who's the villain - and ragey-grieving-Kirk - and the point is that when it comes down to it, despite having his desire for revenge validated and encouraged by Marcus, he opts to uphold due process.)

#75 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 10:54 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ #43: The death of Captain Pike (Admiral Pike, shurely) creates a continuity issue from TOS that need to be resolved.

Does it?

The whole point of all the "oh noes! Nero has changed history!" business in the last movie was so that they don't have to be tied down by TOS continuity any more than they choose to be.

#76 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 11:10 PM:

Xopher Halftongue @ #39: Someone on Tor.com pointed out that given that Khan is a terrorist (even crashing a large flying vehicle into an iconic building, HELLO) casting him with a South Asian could have been seen as race-baiting.

I don't accept the given.

It wasn't inevitable that this movie would feature Khan as a terrorist who crashes a large flying vehicle into an iconic building. That was something Abrams and co. chose to do. If they were concerned about the racial implications, they could have given Khan something different to do, or chosen somebody else to be their terrorist.

#77 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: May 20, 2013, 11:30 PM:

Soon Lee at #11: Boldly going where they have gone before?

#78 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 12:15 AM:

Paul 76: That's a point, but in general the script is decided, at least in storyboard, before casting. They didn't have to make Khan a terrorist, but once they did...they were caught in a fork.

I think they really shouldn't have gone there, at least with crashing the flying thing into the iconic buildings. Leaves kind of a bad taste in my mouth.

#79 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 12:25 AM:

I'm not much of a Trekkie. I may be wrong on this thing.

Fitting Uhura into the [checks TV Tropes] Sassy Black Woman box seemed a little "one giant step backwards for mankind" to me. I was waiting for her to do the neck thing.

... as for the "no leggings" thing- I didn't even realize that they'd taken the old Star Trek uniforms and taken some fabric off them.

Also, I kept looking at James Kirk and seeing Sterling Archer.

#80 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 12:27 AM:

Actually onscreen I don't think you ever see his name spelled.

I'm pretty sure you do in the original episode. Spock looks him up on Wikipedia brings up a record about him on the computer.

#81 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 12:32 AM:

79
I wouldn't have thought it was possible; there was very little there that could be taken off. (The pattern that was available called for marking the hem two inches below - well, there was a reason for wearing leggings and shorts. I must say that, done in a two-way stretch fabric, it was really comfortable.)

#82 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 01:17 AM:

Paul A. @74: "If anyone in the movie holds the opinion that terrorism trumps all laws and morals, it's Marcus - who's the villain..."

This is my primary problem with the movie in a nutshell. If the script had *committed* to Marcus being the villain, it would have had solid impact. (Only slightly diminished by its similarity to Iron Man 3!)

Instead, after waving Harrison around as an apparently-psychotic terrorist distraction, the script... kept waving Khan around as an apparently-psychotic terrorist antagonist. There's one line in the middle where he says he thought his crew were all dead so he decided to take revenge -- and then he's on Kronos and it stops making sense again. I suppose he spent some of the rest of the movie plotting to kill Marcus, and then... what? Pissed at Scotty for stunning him from behind, so he takes it out on San Francisco?

The whole end of the movie was spliced in from some other movie (about a feud between Kirk, the Good Guy, and Khan, the Bad Guy).

#83 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 01:27 AM:

Nerdycellist at #5 writes:

> (this is merely the most obvious reason that the costume designer for this film deserves a kick to the cash and prizes area.)

I haven't seen it yet but I had lunch with a friend who had yesterday and the *only* thing she mentioned was the poor fit of all the costumes.

At the time I told her her take on the film was possibly unique...

#84 ::: Kellan Sparver ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 02:19 AM:

I diagnosed the first movie as a bit too in love with the Trek mythology, the catch-phrases and all that, but I had hoped that they were doing all that to build a bridge to the rebooted canon, and that subsequent movies would start to, well, boldly go to new places. Star Trek: Into Darkness says that hope was misplaced.

Xopher @39: Yep, to repeat my own Tor.com comment on this, as usual they gratuitously feed the female-erotic audience while frustrating the male-erotic audience. They have a completely gratuitous underwear scene for Carol Marcus, but they didge in a gratuitous blocking object when the camera angle would otherwise quite naturally show us a shot of Chris Pine's ass in skintight Spandex!

Screw fanservice, gratuitous or otherwise -- how is it nearly fifty years since "Shore Leave" first aired, and the Kirk-Spock relationship is still left at this wink-wink nudge-nudge homoerotic subtext?

(And if Kirk's death scene wasn't homoerotic, I don't know what is. That JJ Abrams ruined it for the sake of a cheap callback made me angry in a way I hadn't expected. And then there was how easily Kirk was brought back to life. The first time through, when it was Spock, it took them a whole bloody movie! I sometimes feel like JJ Abrams is a five-year-old kid playing with million-dollar action figures. He knows what's exciting, but he doesn't understand why people care.)

Someday I want a Trek-like show which takes a relationship like that seriously -- I wonder if I'm going to have to wait another fifty years for it.

#85 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 02:29 AM:

#39: Am I the only one who thinks that after what is obviously a terrorist bombing, it's just fucking stupid to gather all your most senior people in one place that not only isn't a bunker, but is near the top of a tall building and enclosed in unsecured glass?

When Rudy Giuliani finally agreed to build an emergency-command center in New York City back in 1996, the city's emergency management director recommended a site in Brooklyn: it was a safe location, had a low profile, and could be built quickly. Giuliani refused. He wanted a location he could walk to from City Hall, so the command bunker ended up in... the World Trade Center.

And yes, that was after the first WTC bombing.

So it may be stupid, but at least there's precedent.

#86 ::: Antongarou ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 03:58 AM:

nerdycellist@5 : actually Tribbles would make pretty good lab animals as long as you restrict their food intake, for much the same reasons as fruit flies(short lifespan, reproduces at the drop of a hat), so it is not unlikely for Bones to have some around for that use.(NOTE: I have not seen the movie)

#87 ::: Antongarou has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 04:00 AM:

Would the the gnomes like tea and freshly baked sourdough bread with jam or honey?

[The gnomes would love it. A faulty filter has been adjusted. -- Robee Durque, Duty Gnome]

#88 ::: J.D. Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 08:13 AM:

#39: Am I the only one who thinks that after what is obviously a terrorist bombing, it's just fucking stupid to gather all your most senior people in one place that not only isn't a bunker, but is near the top of a tall building and enclosed in unsecured glass?

It's a feature of the Abrams ST Universe that Starfleet has the most inept security ever. Note that when Scotty discovers the "secret" spacedock where they're building Vengeance--a highly classified and probably illegal superweapon-- he just flies right in with the rest of the construction crew, then gets onto the ship without being seen. I don't know if it's a result of all those years of peace, but these people apparently have no clue as to how vulnerable they make themselves.

#89 ::: JD Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 08:17 AM:

Oh, and Carol Marcus can apparently get onto the Enterprise---the flagship of the fleet, mind you--without anyone checking the name she uses to see if any such person exists until AFTER they're in space.

It's a miracle there aren't more bombings.

#90 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 09:49 AM:

ST:ID wasn't a reboot of The Wrath of Khan; it was a reboot of Space Seed, where Kirk first meets Khan. Only in this universe, the Federation had already found the Botany Bay, revived Khan and was using him (covertly) to develop a new fleet of warships. Of course Khan has other plans, which Kirk ends up foiling.

#91 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 11:02 AM:

Sandy B. @79: "the neck thing," Gracie?

#92 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 12:20 PM:

re 82: My sense here is that they assembled the plot out of two different story ideas which didn't fit that well together. One of the stories was the Kirk/Spock "we have to work with this guy even though he gives every sign of going to double-cross us at every possible step."1 This was handled, I thought, reasonably intelligently: the two of them make mistakes, but they aren't glaringly outrageous mistakes. If they could have driven that plot off of something else, I would have been a lot happier. Admiral Marcus and his plan, though, are preposterous, which undermines the choice the crew is having to make as to which treachery they deal with any any given point.

BTW I didn't read the crashing of the OEBS2 as a terrorist act, but as a kamikaze "take-them-all-with-me" final gesture, which didn't happen to kill Khan.

1 ... which is another deviation from the original character, who certainly made everyone uneasy but who wasn't so patently treacherous. Of course in WoK he was so unhinged as to unable to maintain either such pose.

2 Obviously Evil Black Ship

#93 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 01:03 PM:

Phil Foglio on why he doesn't intend to see this movie:

In both of these 1960′s inspired futures, humanity had persevered and somehow, gotten it right. Things were looking pretty good. There wasn’t any war, or disease, or overtly stupid people, and all our challenges came from annoying aliens or bad robots. It wasn’t our fault. We were over that shit. However, once we were mired in what Gary Trudeau called “A kidney–stone of a decade”, this simple optimism became passé, and “realists”, who could not figure out how to solve the problems of the world today, blithely assumed that we’d never be able to solve them ever, and that the future would be just as craptastic as the present, except we’d be hitting each other with flying cars and the murderer would turn out to be the robot butler.

#94 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 02:15 PM:

I skipped the first reboot film in theatrical release. I saw it on video later at a Hugo nominees showing, and loathed it.* I especially wanted the Chris Pines' Kirk to do an ignominius slow painful tortured death--and the people responsible for the production and direction to do so, too...

I was in the military when the first pilot training classes were opening to women and was acquainted with one of the first dozen women in the USAF who went to pilot training. That was more than 35 years ago. I was appalled that the gender ratio on Voyager and the reboot, was worse than in the original show. The original show was pushing the social roles for its time--a female officer on the bridge crew and one with dark skin at that,, at the time that women other than nurses on medical missions were banned from ship duty and banned from being on military flight crews except for nurses on medevac planes--, the first interracial kiss, an interracial crew. The original show was on not long after the official legal abolishment of racial segregation in the USA, and at least one of its episodes was pointedly about the idiocy and offensiveness and appalling consequences of judging people and discriminating against them based on skin colors (the particular episode, there a continuing war in a planetary system between people who one faction were were right side white and left side black, and the other faction were right side black and left side white).

There's a Kickstarter effort trying to raise funds to produce a series based on David Gerrold's Star Wolf books, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2137726026/david-gerrolds-the-star-wolf

I would MUCH rather see that..

* I've been to spacecraft manufacturing facilities, at least five different ones. They are -inside- and climate-controlled. I've worked in space systems RDT&E. The Enterprise being built outside in the midwest, blew my willing suspension of disbelief clear out of the galactic cluster. Chris Pines' Kirk was far from the only extremely large objection I had to the film, it was one of many.

#59 Lila
The Avengers' gender ratio was even worse in the film, than in the original comic... in the comic there were almost always at least two women in the group, even in the 1960s (from among the Wasp, the Scarlet Witch, the Black Widow, Mantis, one of the Inhumans was an Avenger for a while I seem to recall, and others). As for eye candy, the women in The Avengers were all or almost all showing cleavage and/or skintight clothing particularly against boobs and hips, with no sleeves. The male characters, Thor I think was sleeveless. I kept waiting for some gratuity tossed out such as the character playing Captain America to at least take his shirt off (where's Prince Namor in old-fashioned men's bathing trunks--not those horrible long ugly baggy pants abominations--when you need him??!!!

#77 Erik
Used condoms?

#95 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 02:38 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 94... I too would much like to see Gerrold's "Star Wolf".

#96 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 21, 2013, 02:38 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 94... I too would much like to see Gerrold's "Star Wolf".

#97 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: May 22, 2013, 03:37 PM:

Jacque@91: It turns out to be called the "neck roll", as seen about 0:42 in this video . (Hi gnomes! Want some coffee?) Lt. Uhura didn't do it, that I noticed, but I was waiting for it.

#99 ::: heckblazer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 12:24 AM:

Naming the planet with the Prime directive violation Nibiru got a laugh out of me as Nibiru is what Zechariah Stitchen called the planet he claimed ancient astronauts came from.

#100 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 10:48 AM:

Sandy B.: Ah. I do remember noticing Whoopi Goldberg doing that in, I think, Jumpin' Jack Flash, ca. '86.

I would speculate that Uhura didn't do that, because she predates that mannerism. I actually think of it at least as much as a Valley Girl mannerism.

#101 ::: paul ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 11:34 AM:

I'm thinking that the overarching theme is "War is necessary to maintain the vigor of the species/race/culture/whatever." Which is sort of a riff on Admiral Marcus, but in a more democratized (!) way.

That trope makes sense of the crappy security for the emergency meeting room and starfleet academy itself, and of the secret base near Jupiter (am I the only person who read that at first as a borg ship?) and even the stupid hats. Despite a long human history of warfare, despite just having fought the romulans an klingons, despite the whole damn world having been laid waste in a nuclear war before the invention of the warp drive, apparently the current generation of military (or is starfleet purely exploratory) leadership has no clue that the weapons they're making and installing everywhere might actually be used.

Also: starship: light. Buildings and water: heavy. When you ram the first into the second, the first will not keep its shape.

#102 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 11:42 AM:

JJ Abrams defended his eye-candy balance, ineptly, on Conan. This page has a slightly-NSFW video showing the shots of Eve and Pine, and showing a deleted scene of Cumberbatch taking a shower.

My points would be:
1. There's a difference in the way the scenes are shot. Lingering body shots of Eve, matter-of-fact dressing shots of Pine.
2. Eve is all candied up in sexy underwear; Pine is wearing tighty-whities.
3. JJ, you cut the scene with Cumberbatch. It doesn't count for the eye-candy balance!

#103 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 01:07 PM:

Cop-out deleted soapy Cumberbatch notwithstanding, When the men's uniforms include speedos instead of slacks, then we'll talk about gender parity.

Also, I really liked this movie, but I'd like to make it clear right now: I will not pay to see another iteration of Star Trek until the women are given pants. When the Fast & the Furious franchise is doing better with misogyny, you know you're in trouble.

#104 ::: GarrettC ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 02:54 PM:

I thought the Big Theme was the thing Kirk was telegraphing in the final Big Speech. Star Trek as a series, from its conception, was largely about mankind's enterprising spirit. It was about discovery, learning, and adventure (as opposed to action). It was also about being progressive, but I think that bit got lost somewhere in translation.

But the danger a reboot runs is simply turning Trek into an action movie. Of abandoning that spirit of hope and discovery.

Which is sort of where we are in real life. The '60s were the space program and the moon and hope and civil rights. The 2010s are terrorists and drone attacks and lolspacewhatisthateven?

So I think the Big Theme was about, "hey, there's this wonderful point of view that we're in danger of losing to this other, kind of crappy point of view, and this is supposed to re-affirm it."

The real problem with that is that it lacked for balance. The movie clearly wanted to be a dumb action movie more than it wanted to be what it said it was in Kirk's speech at the end.

#105 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 04:25 PM:

I've been reflecting on the death scene swap for a few days, and last night I realized that Abrams didn't do it just to rewrite the sequence.

In TOS, Spock's death is devastating to Kirk because it's the first time he has faced danger but has not gotten off scott free -- in Into Darkness, Kirk's death makes Spock realize that he DOES care and that he IS Kirk's friend, and (as far as Spock knows at that moment) he has lost something of great value. The scenes are bookends = a lost lifelong friendship/the loss of what would have been one.

Ever since Kirk the Younger relieved Spock of command after Vulcan died, Spock has been suffering PTSD. I don't know how much more the scriptwriters could have done to make this obvious -- if showing Spock trying to become one with the volcano and sniping at Uhura isn't enough...what is?

And points to Quinto for actually shedding tears.

#106 ::: Lori Coulson has been gnomed ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2013, 04:27 PM:

Must have screwed up the punctuation again. Anyway, good afternoon, gnomes -- how 'bout a cup of tea?

[Three spaces in a row did it. (Spammers love to throw in random spaces between words in an attempt to defeat filter scripts.) --Irij Woseff, Duty Gnome]

#107 ::: Howard Bannister ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 09:54 AM:

...I would have loved to love this movie. The first one was a lighter, fluffier, action-ier Trek, one unburdened by continuity.

And then, well, this.

Sexism dialed up to 11, check.

I don’t know. I think it’s nice that in this day and age, a white male can still be cast as an Indian played by a Mexican. White men really have come a long way!

The movieguyd guy is so on point with that one.

I love Benedict Cumberbatch, I think he's a great actor. I think his performance was pretty good.

It was utterly overshadowed by the original Khan. WoK is the wrong piece to remake, in any way, because it just doesn't work.

If he had remained just John Harrison the whole time, a genetically engineered supersoldier that Adm. Marcus was using, with no reference to Khan--it would have been a much better film all around. Cumberbatch's performance could have been judged on its own merits, you wouldn't be bringing up all the memories, you wouldn't have somebody say 'I swore never to tell you this, it's totally wrong now listen good while I tell you all about it.'

#108 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 11:07 AM:

Paula Lieberman... Gerrold's Kickstarter for "Star Wolf" has been endorsed by Leonard Nimoy himself. Details here.

#109 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 12:33 PM:

Howard Bannister -- one flaw in your argument -- Abrams isn't rewriting TWoK, Into Darkness is a rewrite of "Spaceseed."

We're seeing Star Fleet's first encounter with Khan and they're lucky they got off lightly too. Please notice he and his cohorts have been placed on ice, in lockdown, for their convenient return at a future time.

In TWoK, Kahn has gone completely round the bend, he's lost his wife and most of his people. All he wants is revenge, and his goal is hurting ONE person, Kirk.

While Into Darkness Kahn has two goals, first determining if his people still exist and freeing them, and second, taking down Star Fleet so they aren't a threat to his future plans. Personally eliminating Kirk isn't among those goals, killing the Enterprise and its crew is simply collateral damage -- they're in his way.

And I'm willing to bet that if the crew of the Botany Bay are revived in some future film...that Spock is the one Kahn will be gunning for...

#110 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 12:53 PM:

How about this:

John Harrison, genetically-engineered super-soldier, has a mad on for the Federation, and is being used by renegade Admiral Marcus to militarize space.

Kirk and his 50% female crew go to capture Harrison, and get their butts kicked. Kirk figures there's only one person who can help him, and flies off to Ceti Alpha V where Khan (played by Amitabh Bachchan) is in self-imposed exile after the Eugenics Wars. After some banter ("Why is this my problem? A good war will improve the health of the species!") he learns the name of the villain. ("Harrison? I know that SOB. Son, he's way outside of your league.")

Khan agrees to help, there's action and adventure, and Kirk and his crew, with the surprise help of TOS villain now-a-good-guy Khan, wins.

The end.

#111 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 01:18 PM:

I like it! Too bad Hollyweird is afraid to think out of the box...

I'd go see your version of the film in a heartbeat.

(Just put the ladies in pants instead of skirts, and save the skintight stuff for the guys. ;-D)

#112 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 01:48 PM:

Ladies in pants, skin-tight uniforms for everyone (except Harrison, who gets a long swirly coat), and lots of shower scenes. Enterprise has a well-washed crew, facing well-washed villains in space!

Oh, and what makes Harrison so special are the nanites in his blood, which have the unfortunate and inevitable side-effect of inducing homicidal rages and megalomania. So you can't just inject his blood into someone without condemning them.

And ... lose the tribble. Really.

#113 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 01:56 PM:

Yeah, the tribble was groan-worthy, there had to be a better way to give McCoy the mcguffin.

Every time I saw Cumberbatch in the long long coat I kept expecting him to pull a katana out of it.

#114 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 02:29 PM:

Hear hear! Pass the katana! He totally needs one.

#115 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 02:45 PM:

Somebody call Clancy Brown's agent!

#116 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 02:45 PM:

Oh, and *please* take all writing tools away from JJ Abrams.

#117 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 02:46 PM:

Lori: OMG YES CROSSOVER.

#118 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 03:35 PM:

lila @ 117... Just make sure not to say "Highlander sequel" while TexAnne is around.

#119 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 08:44 AM:

Lori Coulson @ #109: Abrams isn't rewriting TWoK, Into Darkness is a rewrite of "Spaceseed."

Remind me: "Space Seed", was that the one with the dramatic scene where one of our heroes watches helplessly as his friend and colleague dies behind a radiation barrier after saving the ship? Was that the one with a significant scene involving a body in a torpedo? Was that the one where people say "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" and "KHAAAN!"?

Into Darkness recycles plenty of bits from TWoK that weren't in "Space Seed"; I don't recall that it recycles any bits of "Space Seed" that weren't also in TWoK.

#120 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 01:43 PM:

Simple -- in "Spaceseed" we're dealing with a sane Kahn, in "TWoK" he's gone completely insane. There is nothing in the new time line that says everything has to happen in the same sequence it did in TOS or to the same characters.

I'm not arguing that the plot isn't weak, I'd have preferred that they hadn't gone back to the well of the original series. But I can see SOME reason why they did what they did...and despite the flaws I did enjoy the film.

I've never been one to genuflect at the altar of "everything must be as it was first filmed/written" -- I find it more enjoyable if the references are subtle, but I've never seen any indication that Abrams understands that concept. Very few directors do these days, and the ones that can/do are not shooting summer blockbusters.

#121 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 02:33 PM:

120
yeah, 'reboot' should be 'go in a different direction' - preferably not video-game-style action. The best part of TOS and its movies was the characters and their interactions.

#122 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 02:58 PM:

I've crashed a crippled starship into the streets of San Francisco and miraculously survived. I've taken a leap onto a building and somehow made it alive to the street. My plans are wreckage; I must improvise or die. Starfleet is moments behind me. I must lose myself and escape, or my story is over!

What's my next move?

Obtain a trenchcoat, of course.

It's just a coincidence that later on, if I happen to engage in a brutal fistfight atop a speeding Chris Foss aircar or atop another identical Chris Foss aircar, onlookers will easily be able to distinguish which stuntman represents me, and which stuntman represents Spock.

#123 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 03:03 PM:

(Disclaimer: I watched this film because I had an admission pass to one of those dinner-movie places. During occasional transactions with the waiter, or during a bathroom break, I may have missed details vital to the plot. If so, please enlighten me gently.)

#124 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 04:27 PM:

I never go to see any reboot with any expectation that it will be anything like the original that inspired it. I've given up trying to watch reboot films of my favorite 1980s vintage shows because Hollyweird insists on turning them into comedies.

With Star Trek TOS there were a handful of gems amongst quite a bit of dross. Even the less-than-stellar shows often had good character development, which is something the film makers miss frequently.

How we get the powers in the film industry to value "story" over "action" I don't know. I happen to enjoy the new Trek actors' take on their characters, and I'm sorry Abrams didn't trust them enough to give them more interaction rather than one more "spectacular" hand to hand fight.

#125 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 08:21 PM:

Unnnghh. Meh.

Saw the movie this morning, at the $6.50 early bird special. A pretty packed theater, including lots of older fannish types. (I know my own.)

For $6.50, I think I an OK deal. A nice slick slam-bang adventure with weird half-assed shout-outs to a show that was once very important to me but that I grew out of.

Abrams is a skilled hack. He makes good mass market entertainment product. You watch it for some thrills and then go do other stuff. I don't expect integrity or consistency or much thought out of him.

It is not that you can't go home again, it is that what the new tenants did to the place would just make you depressed.

#126 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 09:35 PM:

I enjoyed it, but kept thinking that the emotional resonances they were setting up within the reboot timeline would have been much more effective if they hadn't obviously been trying to mirror WoK.

Also, I seem to recall a gorgeous setting of the TOS theme as part of the credits music, but cannot find it anywhere on the youtubes. Was I imagining things, or...?

#127 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 10:53 PM:

paul @101
secret base near Jupiter (am I the only person who read that at first as a borg ship?)

No, you aren't. My immediate reaction to that shape was "well, this just went in an unexpected direction," and I was vaguely disappointed when that turned out not to be the case.

#128 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 11:18 PM:

Admiral Marcus's nefariousness was terribly telegraphed. As soon as he said "war is coming" you could tell some kind of cowboy black ops stuff was in store.

#129 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 12:18 AM:

My first reaction when I heard there was something near Jupiter was that they'd found a black monolith....

#130 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 09:37 AM:

estelendur @ #126: Also, I seem to recall a gorgeous setting of the TOS theme as part of the credits music, but cannot find it anywhere on the youtubes. Was I imagining things, or...?

If you were imagining it, so was I.

#131 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 01:26 PM:

estelendur and Paul A. It is not your imagination --

End Credits for both Star Trek and ST: Into Darkness include the TOS theme. Giacchino manages to get several older ST motifs into both scores. Aside from the TOS theme, there is the little four note chime and the horn fanfare used in many of the movies based on TOS.

(My favorite piece on Into Darkness is the piano motif used for the villain...which first surfaces in "London Calling.")

#132 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 02:06 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 122... crashed a crippled starship into the streets of San Francisco and miraculously survived

I take it that the antimatter containment fields didn't fail.

#133 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 08:10 PM:

Lori Coulson @131: the soundtrack as illegally uploaded to YouTube does not, unfortunately, seem to have the parts with the TOS Theme in. Now listening to play "catch the motif".

Also, I really want Sulu to be given his own command, sooner rather than later. He sits in the chair well.

#134 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2013, 02:44 AM:

The only way they could have made Admiral Marcus more nefarious was by casting Lance Henriksen in the role instead of Peter Weller.

As for the tribble, I wanted to know why it wasn't reproducing like mad on McCoy's desk and/or causing a cuteness epidemic. Or, in the alternative, being used as a weapon against the Klingons.

#135 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2013, 07:39 AM:

FRagano @ 134... Where does Curtwood Smith fit in this scale of nefariousness?

#136 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2013, 01:04 PM:

Estelendur -- I have both soundtracks. The cuts with the TOS theme are:

Star Trek: "To Boldly Go" and "End Credits" The credit track is over nine minutes long, and the TOS theme occurs at the beginning.

Into Darkness: "Sub Prime Directive," "Kirk Enterprises," and "Star Trek Main Theme."

The four note chime and the horn fanfare are short enough to fall under the "fair use" standard, and so are not credited. Next time I listen to the soundtracks I'll try to remember to note where they occur.

#137 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2013, 01:01 PM:

Lori Coulson @124: How we get the powers in the film industry to value "story" over "action" I don't know.

Same way you get them to value writing over special effects. ("And that would be...how?" "Quiet, you!")

#138 ::: Steve C ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2013, 05:49 PM:

I think Christopher Walken would make a very menacing Star Trek Admiral.

#139 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2013, 06:22 PM:

Jacque @137 -- no, it's by demonstrating that they sell more tickets by having more story than action.

Which does not seem to happen.

#140 ::: Kellan Sparver ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2013, 12:31 AM:

Tom @139: They might sell more tickets with better stories in the US, but the foreign box office is increasingly important, and apparently movies which are heavier on the action than the story translate better. Or at least that's apparently the way studio heads are justifying the increasingly sad state of Hollywood storytelling to themselves.

Then again The Avengers grossed $623M domestically and $888M overseas on a $220M budget, quite on par with the most recent Transformers outing's $352M/771M on a $195M budget, so obviously good storytelling can still sell well overseas. I'm not sure the excuse holds water, really.

#141 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2013, 08:58 AM:

I wonder if good storytelling makes it any easier to recruit good actors? My impression is that, even though they've read the script, it's difficult for actors to assess the storytelling until they see the finished film.

I'm sure it's more pleasant to be associated with a good film than a bad one, and more fun to work on a film that gives you something to work with as an actor, but maybe those forces aren't strong enough to affect the industry as a whole very strongly.

#142 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2013, 10:10 AM:

I'd think that these explosion movies must be a bore for actors. They probably spend most of their time with a green screen.

#143 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2013, 11:09 AM:

Tom Whitmore @139: it's by demonstrating that they sell more tickets .... Which does not seem to happen.

Jamming story and writing into a 30-second trailer is orders of magnitude harder than showing action and special effects....

The crowning irony is that story and writing are much cheaper than action and special effects, so why not do both? (As with, say, Avengers...?)

janetl @142: I'd think that these explosion movies must be a bore for actors. They probably spend most of their time with a green screen.

When they're on the set at all. I've heard Robert Carlyle comment that he doesn't like big budget movies because one minute of screen time costs two hours in make-up and four hours in his trailer waiting for the (for example) squibs to be set. Was it Peter O'Toole who said, "I act for free. It's the waiting they pay me for."

#144 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2013, 11:18 AM:

Jacques @ 143... Edward G Robinson said that. O'Toole might have too.

#145 ::: ChrisB ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2013, 12:01 AM:

One problem is the speed of technological development. In the last film a simple mining ship from a hundred years in the future was able to shred all the current generation of warships; here a guy from three hundred years in the past was able to design better proton torpedoes than the current models. If either is true, the other is unlikely.

#146 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2013, 12:18 AM:

ChrisB, probably true, but easy to retcon: they showed Khan the last 300 years of weapons development, and he absorbed it, slept on it, and by morning his supergenius brain was coming up with design improvements.

#147 ::: The_L ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2013, 12:36 PM:

I'm a bit late to the party, but did anyone else feel like yelling, "Mickey!" when the suicide-bomber dad first appeared? (Yes, same actor. We even checked.)

#148 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2013, 10:24 PM:

I wasn't that quick on the update for Mickey. But I did want to shout (much more obscurely) "Detective Sakelik!" for the extremely buff navigation officer with the shaven head.

#149 ::: Carrie S ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2013, 11:09 PM:

Xopher @#60: Also, note to self: see The Avengers.

Yes, really do. Eyecandy for all tastes.

#150 ::: John Peacock ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2013, 10:08 AM:

I love this! I only just got to see the movie last night, so I've been saving this thread until I did (even though I'm pretty good about being able to partition spoilers in my brain).

I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet that Bones mentioned in passing that he synthesized Kahn's blood for Kirk's revival. Does that mean they now have the Super Soldier Serum available for the next near fatal accident?

#151 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2013, 11:31 AM:

Serge Broom #135: I preferred him in RoboCop.

#152 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2013, 11:36 AM:

Fragano @ 151... Who? Peter Weller or Curtwood Smith?

#153 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2013, 11:37 AM:

John Peacock @ 150... he synthesized Kahn's blood for Kirk's revival

Madeline Kahn as a Starfleet captain?

#154 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2013, 02:41 PM:

Serge Broom #152: Kurtwood Smith, though, come to think of it, Peter Weller was better in RoboCop as well.

#155 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2013, 10:05 AM:

The_L @ #147:

It would take more than that to make me yell in a cinema while the movie was running, but yes, me too.

#156 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2013, 11:48 PM:

This is not your father's Star Trek

#157 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2013, 12:32 AM:

It's not the Star Trek you're looking for, and it can go on its way?

#158 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2013, 12:31 PM:

I enjoyed the movie, most lapses aside.

But (there's always a but) I couldn't believe Spock slugging it out with Khan on the flying transports. Spock saw (I think) Kirk failing with haymakers, so why is he using them? Spock should be thinking in terms of using his enemy's own strength and momentum against him, which also has a non-violent connotation.

Still, pretty good.

#159 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2013, 01:48 PM:

Spock's stronger than Kirk. And also not thinking very clearly.

#160 ::: Howard Bannister ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2013, 11:44 AM:

I hated the whole 'everything comes down to fisticuffs' thing they had going on.

I hated the gravitas-free unbelievable resolutions.

I hated the staging of most of the fights.

But I have to admit, the way they played with the fight at the end--Spock's nerve pinch being only semi-effective, his use of a mind meld to escape a head-crushing--was just inventive enough a use of previously established skills to almost, almost make me smile.

But, yeah, Spock loses Kirk, goes all Pon Farr, no, do not want. Spock, even in the face of great loss, is not Action Spock. Even in NuTrek, which is not OldTrek, it flies in the face of the character as established.

#161 ::: Robert Enders ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2013, 11:36 PM:

To all the people complaining about Carol Marcus' underwear scene:
Was this worse than Uhura's underwear scene in the previous movie?

#162 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2013, 11:45 AM:

In a word, yes. And that word is "gratuitous."

#164 ::: Howard Bannister ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2013, 01:43 PM:

Yeah, what Jim said. The first one was a little gratuitous, but it tried awful hard to make the moment at least a little plot relevant. This was a 'stop the action, we need T & A' moment.

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