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JH Sounds

Star Trek Into Darkness

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So I saw it yesterday and I enjoyed it. I can't help but feel that they kinda shot themselves in the foot with the previous movie as far as scale goes. The stakes are probably never going to be that high again, although an all-out war with the Klingons could be interesting. Star Trek Into Darkness is weirdly talky in spots, but I guess that's just the timeline trying to mend itself. :) Also in this new alternate reality, the warp core is the primary power source for the ship? Okay then. It's funny how I was still startled by the reveal of the villain's identity even though I already knew at that point. There's just something about the way he says it that got to me. Now I'm just waiting for the eventual tie-in comic explaining that he got cosmetic surgery to conceal his identity, heheh. Oh, and was I the only one who expected Kirk to say "oh my..." as the life left his eyes? I guess they didn't want to remind people of that death scene.

So, what did you think of it?

EDIT: Apparently they still have impulse engines. When the warp core wonks out on the way to Kronos, Sulu says it'll take longer to get to the Neutral Zone, so there must be some secondary propulsion. Abadoss' explanation about the ship being too damaged later on makes sense.

Edited by JH Sounds

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I liked it. I was a little disappointed by [massive spoiler]Khan's reveal because I had spent so much time ignoring trailers and spoilers saying it was Khan that I assumed it was going to be a different villain. It felt a little like they took the easy route.[/massive spoiler] That said, it was still well done and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'd definitely see this again (and probably will, knowing my real life friends). I certainly recommend it.

Also, Benedict Cumberbatch is a fantastic actor.

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I liked it way more than Star Trek 2009. Had a few issues as a long-time Star Trek fan but nothing major.

Also, if you mean the warp core is essential to run most ship systems then yes it's now a primary power source. Though, in the prime universe it was used simultaneously with the impulse engines to power the ship. I also thought it was strange for them to make such an easily targetable system to be the main power source.

Also one of the writer's addressed your second point about the villain, JH, and said that that was a possible explanation.

Edited by kitty

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I liked it way more than Star Trek 2009. Had a few issues as a long-time Star Trek fan but nothing major.

Also, if you mean the warp core is essential to run most ship systems then yes it's now a primary power source. Though, in the prime universe it was used simultaneously with the impulse engines to power the ship. I also thought it was strange for them to make such an easily targetable system to be the main power source.

Also one of the writer's addressed your second point about the villain, JH, and said that that was a possible explanation.

I think

since pretty much everything else had been blown to bits, they just needed SOMETHING to power the ship and the warp core was still intact mostly

. If you remember, they ditched the warp core altogether in Star Trek (2009) and still had power.

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The biggest problem this movie has is that it has Star Trek in the title. As a fast-paced, slick-looking sci-fi action movie, it's not half bad. But as a Star Trek film, it fails miserably.

And don't get me started on J.J. Abrams. That man will not be satisfied until every frame has 100 percent color saturation and lens flares coming from every light fixture. The whole movie just tries so damn hard to be flashy and interesting and fails actually present anything really compelling.

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The biggest problem this movie has is that it has Star Trek in the title. As a fast-paced, slick-looking sci-fi action movie, it's not half bad. But as a Star Trek film, it fails miserably.

And don't get me started on J.J. Abrams. That man will not be satisfied until every frame has 100 percent color saturation and lens flares coming from every light fixture. The whole movie just tries so damn hard to be flashy and interesting and fails actually present anything really compelling.

1)It's a star trek film

2)J.J. Abrams is a good director stop whining about stylistic choices he earned the right to choose by yknow being a good director

3)I can guarantee you went into the movie with this exact same notion and in fact didn't even need to watch it to come say this here

4)your complaint isn't even about whether or not it qualifies as a "star trek film" since the only rubric you've judged it by is as a fastpaced slicklooking sci fi flick which you just said it wasn't half bad at

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1)It's a star trek film

Unfortunately, yes it is.

2)J.J. Abrams is a good director stop whining about stylistic choices he earned the right to choose by yknow being a good director

Right again. I'm not saying it's badly executed, its just all show, no substance.

3)I can guarantee you went into the movie with this exact same notion and in fact didn't even need to watch it to come say this here

Dead wrong. I was hopeful. The first movie had some issues with pacing, but overall, I liked it. This movie just went at top speed all the time. It never took the time to fully flesh out any details or explain why characters do certain things. None of the characters grow or change or learn anything. A bunch of stuff gets blown up and that's about it. There's nothing to gain from this movie except spectacle.

4)your complaint isn't even about whether or not it qualifies as a "star trek film" since the only rubric you've judged it by is as a fastpaced slicklooking sci fi flick which you just said it wasn't half bad at

I expect Star Trek to have a certain credibility to it. Franchises like Star Wars and Doctor Who thrive on the fantastical aspects of sci-fi. They revel in large set pieces and epic battles for no reason other than "it will look freaking cool". Star Trek, by comparison has always shown a certain restraint. It's a franchise that realizes not everything has to be some epic struggle for life and death. Every conflict in Into Darkness is either a direct mortal peril to the crew or linked to a larger consequence that could destroy the world. There's no middle ground. There's no intelligent consideration of the events on screen. We are just expected to accept that everything Kirk and Co. do is a life or death struggle, and that just gets tiresome after two hours.

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Right again. I'm not saying it's badly executed, its just all show, no substance.

then your problem is with the screenwriter, not the director

stop being a sheeple and complaining about J.J. Abrams because the rest of the internet does

Dead wrong. I was hopeful. The first movie had some issues with pacing, but overall, I liked it. This movie just went at top speed all the time. It never took the time to fully flesh out any details or explain why characters do certain things. None of the characters grow or change or learn anything. A bunch of stuff gets blown up and that's about it. There's nothing to gain from this movie except spectacle.

If you are unable to glean the statements, commentary, themes, and substance from a film to the point that you're sure there is nothing to gain from it at all, it's pretty much 100% certain to be your own myopia. This goes for almost any film or other such narrative medium.

There was a shitload going on inbetween (and directly on) the lines of this film, but I appear to be dead right in that you weren't really interested in reading any of it to begin with.

I expect Star Trek to have a certain credibility to it. Franchises like Star Wars and Doctor Who thrive on the fantastical aspects of sci-fi. They revel in large set pieces and epic battles for no reason other than "it will look freaking cool". Star Trek, by comparison has always shown a certain restraint. It's a franchise that realizes not everything has to be some epic struggle for life and death. Every conflict in Into Darkness is either a direct mortal peril to the crew or linked to a larger consequence that could destroy the world. There's no middle ground. There's no intelligent consideration of the events on screen. We are just expected to accept that everything Kirk and Co. do is a life or death struggle, and that just gets tiresome after two hours.

this sort of faux-scholasticism is becoming somewhat of a common theme among the more disgruntled of us these days. What does this "intelligent consideration of the events on screen" even look like? What past Star Trek film exhibited this feature that I missed? If you mean the more subdued, quieter tone of earlier films, that is again a stylistic preference of an older school of cinema. It wasn't any more or less "intelligently considered", it was just blocked out in a stage-like manner, and people standing on a hollowed out set talking in hamtastic tones was as exciting as the technology generally allowed. It had the same exact goal as the Klingon shootout in Into Darkness, to engage and excite the viewer.

Furthermore, When a film's primary theme is death, the uncertain/unknown, how we should or shouldn't react to it, how we as a species/society meet that challenge, mortal peril happens to check a lot of boxes in your action film's list. If it tires you, perhaps the film's themes aren't suited for you, as opposed to there simply being none. It's not the movie's shortcoming. In fact, some of the boldest indictments of our culture have I've seen in recent years have come wrapped up in action films. Iron Man 3 and Into Darkness both make serious statements about the United States' behavior, motivations, and thought processes as a nation during the era of the War on Terror.

If you're willing to give them an actual viewing.

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Battlestar Galactica makes serious statements about the United States' behavior, motivations, and thought processes as a nation during the era of the War on Terror.

Fixed. The real United Nations held a two day conference with the writers of BSG to discuss how they came up with the various solutions and compromises of the plot because they mirrored the current national tensions and terrorist activities to a fault.

What does this "intelligent consideration of the events on screen" even look like?

Spoilers:

- Uhura confronts Spock about his recent distance and lack of concern for his effect on others, specifically their relationship. This is never addressed for the rest of the movie. The closest we get is Spock saying "I'm sorry I got mad for you saving my life" at the end of the movie.

- Kirk learns that taking responsibility for his crew and protecting them from danger is the pinnacle of a captain's duty. This seems like something Pike maybe should have cleared up before handing him THE BEST SHIP IN STARFLEET. I have never liked the new Kirk. He's arrogant and dumb, and (up until the final 15 minutes of Into Darkness) has little regard for his crew members.

- The Admiral's whole scheme (which is basically the whole plot of the movie) is extremely convoluted at best. It's a string of fairly unlikely events that just happen to work. None of the deceptions or double crosses come off as a surprise. The Admiral backstabbed Kirk? Who cares? I just met the guy 30 minutes ago and he kinda seemed like a dick anyway. John Harrison is working against Starfleet and when Starfleet arrives, Kirk must use Harrison's advice to escape? Wow, yeah. Saw that one coming as soon as he surrendered to Starfleet. John Harrison is KHAN?! Yeah, again. If you know anything about Star Trek, you know that those Klingons would not go down that easily unless he was somehow enhanced. Combine that with Abrams' hack knowledge of the series, it obvious that the only well known Trek character that could pull all of this ridiculousness off is Khan.

- Why is the warp core broken? Is there any way to fix it? In the TV series, most of the crew have at least a working knowledge of the ship (especially the captains), yet in this movie, the Enterprise gets ripped apart without Scotty running the engine room. The whole movie hinges on characters fitting into a rigid caste system. You're a bridge officer? You'll be screwed if you go into engineering, despite the fact that entire engineering crew has been working under Scotty and knows at least as much as Starfleet Academy has equipped them with to run a starship.

Edited by Cerrax

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What does this "intelligent consideration of the events on screen" even look like? What past Star Trek film exhibited this feature that I missed?

Star Trek II is an apt example (in more ways than one).

A major plot point of that movie is about how Kirk believes himself better than death. How he was able to beat the "no-win scenario" by cheating, and that Kirk simply didn't believe in the "no-win scenario."

By the end of the movie and Spock's death, Kirk realizes that he "knows nothing:"

"I've cheated death, tricked my way out of death, and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing."

He makes the realization that there ARE no-win scenarios, and this time, his friend paid with his life for his arrogance.

Despite the flashy ship battles in Star Trek II (tame by today's standards), most of the action occurs between the people, and inside of the people.

This is true for most Star Trek films (the latter two being obvious exceptions). Star Trek was always about a humanist exploration of not only space but of the human condition and all of its possibilities. The resolutions found at the end of TV episodes were not as much "oh good, we saved the world/galaxy/universe," as much as it was a resolution or exploration of a major moral/ethical question.

The new Star Trek films have shot that aspect out the airlock and opted for more a "big explosions in space" approach. It certainly sells movie tickets, but it is a great perversion of Star Trek's roots.

There's nothing inherently wrong with liking the new Star Trek movies. But as Cerrax pointed out, they are terrible at carrying on the Star Trek legacy.

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I had this thought elsewhere, but I might as well drop it in here:

Some people have brought up the Alice Eve underwear shot, saying that the film is sexist because of it or that it was in bad taste. I don't mind the shot itself, it's just the way it was implemented that made no sense. It would have been way cooler and sensible if it had been at Starfleet Academy, maybe with Kirk passing by a futuristic tennis match on campus and seeing Carol in revealing sportswear. Just as he turns to get a look, Spock would interrupt and remind him to visit Pike. That would have been both titillating AND intriguing to the plot, IMO.

Edited by JH Sounds

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I had this thought elsewhere, but I might as well drop it in here:

Some people have brought up the Alice Eve underwear shot film, saying that the film is sexist because of it or that it was in bad taste. I don't mind the shot itself, it's just the way it was implemented that made no sense. It would have been way cooler and sensible if it had been at Starfleet Academy, maybe with Kirk passing by a futuristic tennis match on campus and seeing Carol in revealing sportswear. Just as he turns to get a look, Spock would interrupt and remind him to visit Pike. That would have been both titillating AND intriguing to the plot, IMO.

That scene typifies J.J. Abrams' directing ability. He does things simply because it will catch someone's eye. Watch Into Darkness or the original Abrams Star Trek again. Any scene that is intense and visually appealing has little to no motivation from within the plot.

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I was going to go see this movie early today, but then an episode of TNG came on TV and I decided to watch that and catch a later showing . . .

. . .and I just got out of that. I guess we all have a similar theme with our criticisms, just to varying degrees. I had fun, but it just feels so shallow. The characters all feel like the Diet® versions of the original characters. It's not the actors' fault, per se, it's just the format. I wonder how these guys would do with their own Star Trek series -- few crazy camera angles and cuts, more exploration. And THEN do some movies. Just my opinion; I know there's people out there less familiar with Star Trek who will really enjoy this film.

That said, Zachary Quinto doesn't fit the role very well for me. He's got big shoes to fill and not enough facial expressions to fill those shoes. He just alternates between constipated and condescending.

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The moral exploration of the original Star Trek certainly suffers at the hands of JJ Abrams. However, I did enjoy it for the action movie it was.

Still, if all science fiction becomes lasers and explosions... to quote a famous bald captain, "do you remember when we used to be explorers?"

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Star Trek II is an apt example (in more ways than one).

A major plot point of that movie is about how Kirk believes himself better than death. How he was able to beat the "no-win scenario" by cheating, and that Kirk simply didn't believe in the "no-win scenario."

By the end of the movie and Spock's death, Kirk realizes that he "knows nothing:"

"I've cheated death, tricked my way out of death, and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing."

He makes the realization that there ARE no-win scenarios, and this time, his friend paid with his life for his arrogance.

Despite the flashy ship battles in Star Trek II (tame by today's standards), most of the action occurs between the people, and inside of the people.

This is true for most Star Trek films (the latter two being obvious exceptions). Star Trek was always about a humanist exploration of not only space but of the human condition and all of its possibilities. The resolutions found at the end of TV episodes were not as much "oh good, we saved the world/galaxy/universe," as much as it was a resolution or exploration of a major moral/ethical question.

The new Star Trek films have shot that aspect out the airlock and opted for more a "big explosions in space" approach. It certainly sells movie tickets, but it is a great perversion of Star Trek's roots.

There's nothing inherently wrong with liking the new Star Trek movies. But as Cerrax pointed out, they are terrible at carrying on the Star Trek legacy.

Well said.

Also relyanCe I can't believe you used the word "sheeple" in reference to someone's well thought-out opinion. Come on. Not all "haters" hate on things because they are popular or popular to hate. These are valid criticisms from people who obviously have thought about what Star Trek means to them, and what they feel these movies did not deliver.

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Star Trek II is an apt example (in more ways than one).

A major plot point of that movie is about how Kirk believes himself better than death. How he was able to beat the "no-win scenario" by cheating, and that Kirk simply didn't believe in the "no-win scenario."

By the end of the movie and Spock's death, Kirk realizes that he "knows nothing:"

"I've cheated death, tricked my way out of death, and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing."

He makes the realization that there ARE no-win scenarios, and this time, his friend paid with his life for his arrogance.

Despite the flashy ship battles in Star Trek II (tame by today's standards), most of the action occurs between the people, and inside of the people.

This is true for most Star Trek films (the latter two being obvious exceptions). Star Trek was always about a humanist exploration of not only space but of the human condition and all of its possibilities. The resolutions found at the end of TV episodes were not as much "oh good, we saved the world/galaxy/universe," as much as it was a resolution or exploration of a major moral/ethical question.

The new Star Trek films have shot that aspect out the airlock and opted for more a "big explosions in space" approach. It certainly sells movie tickets, but it is a great perversion of Star Trek's roots.

There's nothing inherently wrong with liking the new Star Trek movies. But as Cerrax pointed out, they are terrible at carrying on the Star Trek legacy.

I'm quoting this again because it really rings true for me. I very badly wanted to join in with everyone praising the reboot of Star Trek, but I just don't see it. After watching so much of Star Trek and then witnessing J.J. Abrams take it on, the contrast is clear. It's not that the new movies are bad; they just aren't what I think of as Star Trek.

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"do you remember when we used to be explorers?"

Ironically this is brought up by Scotty in Into Darkness. The recurring theme for the Trek movies seems to be "have a certain set of ideals until the bad guys show up, then forget all that for two hours". Just when the conflict resolves and everyone gets on to the real, intended mission, the film ends. This isn't an issue exclusive to the reboot films either.

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Ironically this is brought up by Scotty in Into Darkness. The recurring theme for the Trek movies seems to be "have a certain set of ideals until the bad guys show up, then forget all that for two hours". Just when the conflict resolves and everyone gets on to the real, intended mission, the film ends. This isn't an issue exclusive to the reboot films either.

I think the problem isn't the content per se. Many Trek captains have ignored the Prime Directive and other Starfleet regulations several times. The trouble is that nothing in the Abrams Trek movies has any substance to it. One of my favorite Star Trek moments is from the Season 4 opener of DS9, which is a huge battle between the Federation and the Klingons. But the reason that battle is so great isn't because of the special effects (it was 1995), but because Starfleet (as well as Commander Sisko) did not normally engage in this kind of behavior. But in the very beginning of the movie, we see the characters ignore not only direct orders from an officer, but also the Prime Directive, which sets the tone of the rest of the movie. Within the first 10 minutes, the audience is made to understand two things, Kirk and Co. don't play by the rules, and the rules don't matter because they're the good guys. As soon as Kirk loses the Enterprise by breaking regulation, he immediately gets it back with out any direct consequnce. He learns nothing from it, and the whole point of taking it in the first place is pointless. There are so many scenes like this in the Abrams Star Trek movies.

Take for example (SPOILER): When the Dreadnaught class ship crashes into San Francisco. It was a big part of the trailer. Why? Because watching a sterling symbol of the franchise, as well as the best ship Starfleet has ever built crash into its own headquarters is incredibly powerful symbolic imagery. BUT, it wasn't the Enterprise that crashed into San Fran. So the scene loses all meaning. Now, instead of being a spectacular scene displaying the fall of the Federation's greatest endeavor, it's showing the Federation being destroyed by one Admiral and and a psycho with a vendetta. It undercuts the image of the Federation, which undercuts the main characters because they are part of that Federation. Not to mention the whole reason it comes crashing down in the first place is because of Kirk and Spock. Something that neither of them take responsibility for and would rather have Khan take the blame for. The whole scene just screams style over substance.

Edited by Cerrax

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I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and I'm not sure if it's possible but I hope it ends up being like the James Bond films where they can keep making new ones every 2 - 3 years. That's just how much I enjoyed this movie. I love Star Trek. And I want more. That's all I can say :)

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I thought it was pretty awesome. Had lots of fun.

I've never really been someone who breaks a movie down to discover faults. I like to take it in as a whole and walk away, hopefully with something, Cumberbatch was awesome.

Great actor, very freaky. Actually liked him better than the original Kahn in some ways. This Kahn really seemed like he was truly superior.

Star Trek is one of my greatest loves in fiction, TNG being at the top of the list. Honestly I think JJ's Star Trek movies really complement the big screen better than previous incarnations. However I think if you put this cast into a TV series I think it would flop. It's super fast and exciting, making for a great quick 2 hours, it would be hard to keep that pace on TV. On the flipside, TNG made a great TV show. It seemed to be more of a slow building mystery detective show with great dialogue and an excellent cast. I don't think TNG really translated well to the movies, except maybe First Contact.

I don't think you have enough time to recreate the essence of the thought provoking, intelligent, mystery solving Trek that we've come to know and love in the TV shows, especially when you have to create origin stories and context for the cast of [spoilers]alternate reality[/spoilers] characters that really differ from the Prime timeline characters. When the previous Trek movies came out, they already dealt with all the necessary character building in the TV shows so you could easily get into the thick of it.

These Movies are tons of fun, they don't feel like "my" star trek, because I feel like I have history with the Prime universe characters and that just takes time.

A movie is 2 hours, so we have roughly 4 hours with JJ's Trek, we have 178 44 min episodes of TNG.

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