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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Star Trek: Into Darkness -- FULL OF SPOILERS (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Star Trek: Into Darkness -- FULL OF SPOILERS
Aros
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Great flick. Better than I was expecting. Better than the critics are giving it credit for. I'll reckon it was also better than the 2009 reboot.

As a fan who enjoyed the first one, I might not have the same perspective as everyone else. There was a lot more tie ins to old Star Trek than I had anticipated. I thought they made the movie stronger, for the most part.

Better than anything else, it actually had a story. A real story. Pretty rare in movies nowadays. And they didn't try to shoehorn every character into it. Some characters didn't get more than half a minute screen time. But it's kind of hard to have a coherent story and give everyone their time in the sun.

I'd like to see how some of the subject matter goes over with neophytes. But from a long time trekkie, it certainly won me over.

Definitely in the top two or three Trek flicks.

[ May 30, 2013, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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Stephan
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Going to see it Sunday morning, can't wait. Thank you for the quick review.

Leaving this thread now, because someone will be a jerk and put in a spoiler.

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Geraine
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I agree Aros. There was the right amount of twists in the plot, and it was well acted, especially by Benedict Cumberbatch.

There were some callbacks to the reboot, and some funny little inclusions that made you laugh.

My only gripe was the 3D. I had purchased tickets for the IMAX version and didn't catch that it was 3D. The movie didn't have anything that screamed "HERE IS FOR YOU 3D LOVERS!" by throwing stuff at the screen, but the lens flare was distracting in 3d and didn't blend well with the rest of the effects and lighting. Every time there was lens flare it looked like a blurry spot on the screen and not a whole lot else.

Other than that minor distraction I loved the film, and ( I don't know how to say this in a non-spoiler way but I'll try) hope they make a direct sequel to this film instead of going off on a completely new story line.

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Jeff C.
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I'm seeing it tonight. I already know who the bad guy really is (hard to avoid that spoiler), but will it detract from it? Will I still enjoy it and are there still big twists?
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Aros
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I knew what was happening. I (and most of the critics) don't feel it will really hurt your enjoyment of the movie.
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kojabu
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I've heard that JJ Abrams loves lens flare, but I never noticed it until this movie. I saw it in 2D and the lens flare was out of control, particularly in some of the bridge scenes.

My only other complaint was that I thought one of the action scenes towards the end could have been a bit shorter, to the same effect.

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Dogbreath
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I really enjoyed it. I especially like how the Klingons are pretty TOS-looking, as well as all the references to TOS. The ending twist was so heavily foreshadowed that it was impossible not to see it coming, but that didn't really cheapen it for me. It was clear that the characters *didn't* see it coming, so their decisions and sacrifices were meaningful and important regardless.

As far as the main badguy: I didn't watch any trailers or read any reviews, but I still guessed it as soon as they captured him. Just guessing it sent shivers down my spine, though, and he was really well acted, so no complaints there. Honestly, the only way to make it *not* guessable would require fundamentally altering his character or backstory, and that would have had a very negative impact on the film.

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
I really enjoyed it. I especially like how the Klingons are pretty TOS-looking

TOS-looking in what respect?
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madvogon
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Unfortunately, referring to yourself as a trekkie proves you're a poser.
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Lyrhawn
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I thought it was pretty blah.

The Klingons weren't even close to being TOS-looking. They were TNG/DS9 looking, only different, more alien (which I kind of liked, actually).

I guess I'm a little surprised at the rave reviews this is getting. The plot was devoid of any surprises. Of course the bad guy was the bad guy, and of course what happened at the end happened at the end (spoiler free).

The only way to telegraph the surprises more than they did was to have Samuel Morse direct.

The science was sloppy. The plot was ridiculous. They tried to throw in stuff from the old TOS but they mostly flung it lazily at Trekkies and I found it annoying rather than amusing. The Scotty stuff was solidly funny. I'll give them that.

But the graphics were pretty and most of the jokes were funny. Other than that this is an utterly forgettable summer big budget flick.

I will say that Cumberbatch was pretty cool though. I look forward to seeing him play a Sith in Abrams' next movie.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:


I will say that Cumberbatch was pretty cool though. I look forward to seeing him play a Sith in Abrams' next movie.

I hadn't thought about that, but now that you mention it, Cumberbatch would probably be the best Sith (save Vader) to ever grace the silver screen.

I am pleased that American audiences are finally seeing just how awesome Cumberbatch is. I didn't think he could pull off the intensity that his character had, and was pleasantly surprised.

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Lyrhawn
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He was already basically a Jedi in the Star Trek movie. Just put a red lightsaber in his hand.
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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:

The only way to telegraph the surprises more than they did was to have Samuel Morse direct.

[ROFL]
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Lyrhawn
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More things that bother me:

The treatment of women. Dr. Marcus was there only to take her clothes off. She certainly wasn't there to serve her purpose from the original. And they certainly didn't care about her as a character. Uhura was in the first one to take her clothes off, and in the second one to be a shrill girlfriend who bickers at the wrong moments and acts like a petulant child. I know most of TOS is a bromance between Kirk and Spock (with a healthy amount of Bones thrown in), but come on. Having Uhurha on the bridge in the 60s was a big deal, she didn't really do much but just being there was impressive. But I feel like we've actually REGRESSED in these last two movies. Star Trek is chock full of strong female characters (though, admittedly, more so in the post-TOS and even post-TNG era).

I honestly didn't even realize what people were talking about with the Big Spoiler for the movie. I thought they were referring to a different bait and switch than the Big Reveal. But the problem with it is that it's a totally pointless, useless, actually damaging reveal to make. It does absolutely nothing for the story. If you aren't a Star Trek fan, it means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to you. If you're a Star Trek fan, then you get what's going on, and you have to be, because Abrams doesn't explain ANYTHING. But that's the problem, Abrams just throws it in there as if he's trying to appease the fan boys, but it fails because it's such a HACK job. He would have made the fan boys happier by ignoring it entirely and just leaving it alone.

I think you have to ask yourself two questions: Is this a good movie? Is this a good STAR TREK movie? And maybe a third question, is this a good SPOILER SPOILER movie?

I think the answer to all three is: No. For a variety of different reasons.

If you want to ask yourself two other questions: Was this a decent forgettable summer action flick? Sure. Was this a pretty good Star Wars movie? Not bad, actually.

If we make a spoiler thread, I'll break down the couple dozen plot points that are stupid or make no sense, but I'll wait a bit for that.

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BlackBlade
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Lyrhawn: I too felt kinda skeezy when Kirk wouldn't stay turned around when Dr. Marcus was changing. More importantly, I have no idea why she was even changing in the first place, or why she couldn't just find a closet or other room to do it in.

I kinda felt like they were trying too hard to sell Kirk as a "ladies man" kinda like the original Kirk, but honestly, it would have been nice if Dr. Marcus hadn't been all like, "Geez, could you turn around, or I'll tell you to do it again!"

Also SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT

When the admiral beamed her up, it was kinda dumb her response was to run away with her face in her hands....

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BlackBlade
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Lyrhawn: I too felt kinda skeezy when Kirk wouldn't stay turned around when Dr. Marcus was changing. More importantly, I have no idea why she was even changing in the first place, or why she couldn't just find a closet or other room to do it in.

I kinda felt like they were trying too hard to sell Kirk as a "definitely NOT gay" kinda like but honestly, it would have been nice if Dr. Marcus hadn't been all like, "Geez, could you turn around, or I'll tell you to do it again!"

Also SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT

When the admiral beamed her up, it was kinda dumb her response was to run away with her face in her hands.... [/qb][/QUOTE]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Lyrhawn: I too felt kinda skeezy when Kirk wouldn't stay turned around when Dr. Marcus was changing. More importantly, I have no idea why she was even changing in the first place, or why she couldn't just find a closet or other room to do it in.

I kinda felt like they were trying too hard to sell Kirk as a "ladies man" kinda like the original Kirk, but honestly, it would have been nice if Dr. Marcus hadn't been all like, "Geez, could you turn around, or I'll tell you to do it again!"

Also SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT

When the admiral beamed her up, it was kinda dumb her response was to run away with her face in her hands....

The Kirk thing is in keeping with every character basically becoming a parody of him or herself. They're all like their TOS personas, but TIMES A MILLION! Kirk doesn't just like the ladies, he threatens himself with whiplash every time a girl walks by. He's sleeping with the super sexy Orion girl, he's having a threesome with cat girls, it's impossible for him to not sleezily stare at a fellow officer when she changes for no reason. Kirk slept around in TOS, but he was also a professional, to a degree.

Spock's conversational tone is a running gag. Haha, look how logical Spock is! He's so silly! He's logical to the point of absurdity. Every time he opens his mouth the audience in my theater laughed.

Chechkov is a joke as well, whose accent is also hyped up into overdrive for comedic relief, and whose antics seem to be for jokes as well. Scotty is one of the worst. He had some good jokes in the original series, but Scotty was also a badass. He fought and drank like a sailor. This Scotty is the movie's Gimli. He's just there to fall down and be a goof.

Bones might be the only character solidly, accurately portrayed, except Bones was supposed to serve as Kirk's moral check. Whenever he went off track, Bones even more than Spock was the one who steered him back, because Bones was the everyman of the series. He still occupies a small portion of that space. The "I'm a doctor not a..." jokes are incredibly ham handed too.

In general every character is just an overdosed parody. Sulu is the only one who arguably comes out a little better. My problem with this, I think, is similar to the problems I and many have with The Big Band Theory. People watching aren't laughing WITH Star Trek fans, they're laughing AT Star Trek by lampooning it.

It's no wonder the plots have no heft whatsoever. Star Trek's saving grace, especially in the TOS era, was that for all the bad acting and horrible graphics and sets, a lot of the stories had a lot of meat on their bones, and it at least tried to be scientifically accurate. Now it's an intentional punchline without and pretense to higher purposes.

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madvogon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
<snip>
I honestly didn't even realize what people were talking about with the Big Spoiler for the movie. I thought they were referring to a different bait and switch than the Big Reveal. But the problem with it is that it's a totally pointless, useless, actually damaging reveal to make. It does absolutely nothing for the story. If you aren't a Star Trek fan, it means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to you. If you're a Star Trek fan, then you get what's going on, and you have to be, because Abrams doesn't explain ANYTHING. But that's the problem, Abrams just throws it in there as if he's trying to appease the fan boys, but it fails because it's such a HACK job. He would have made the fan boys happier by ignoring it entirely and just leaving it alone. <snip>

Personally, I loved the fan candy. There was so much of it. My only regret with this movie is a lost opportunity: Sulu and his katana would have been extremely useful in the boarding action against the dreadnaut.

I still look forward to the further shenanigans of Hartcourt Fenton Mudd.

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madvogon
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Actually, the funniest thing that happened with the Star Trek movie was the tobacco disclaimer, which was read word for word in the descriptive narrative. The redundancy of this disclaimer is self evident. According to current MPAA protocols, a lit cigarette or any other tobacco use is minimally a automatic R, and the movie was rated PG-13.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by madvogon:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
<snip>
I honestly didn't even realize what people were talking about with the Big Spoiler for the movie. I thought they were referring to a different bait and switch than the Big Reveal. But the problem with it is that it's a totally pointless, useless, actually damaging reveal to make. It does absolutely nothing for the story. If you aren't a Star Trek fan, it means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to you. If you're a Star Trek fan, then you get what's going on, and you have to be, because Abrams doesn't explain ANYTHING. But that's the problem, Abrams just throws it in there as if he's trying to appease the fan boys, but it fails because it's such a HACK job. He would have made the fan boys happier by ignoring it entirely and just leaving it alone. <snip>

Personally, I loved the fan candy. There was so much of it. My only regret with this movie is a lost opportunity: Sulu and his katana would have been extremely useful in the boarding action against the dreadnaut.

I still look forward to the further shenanigans of Hartcourt Fenton Mudd.

See the Mudd thing was cute/clever, I thought. I didn't mind that at all. I didn't mind having a tribble on board either, I thought that was funny as well.

Little stuff like that that's used as a nod to the fans really is pretty cool and I applaud it. But flinging lines at us? They made a mockery of the "the needs of the many.." line, as well as the spoiler line.

That's not fan candy, that's fan apples with razor blades shoved in them.

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Aros
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Lyrhawn, I wonder if anything could have pleased you.

This movie is relatively self-aware, homage, deconstruction of the original Star Trek, rethought in an alternate universe, wrapped around an action / adventure movie. As such both it and the last film have been near perfection.

If you don't like it, that's fine. But you're getting close to self-parody with all your hyperbole.

A couple of thoughts:
- You complain about the Klingons then admit you like them. Huh? I thought they were great.
- It's sad that the plot had no surprises for you. I thought that, other than a few well placed points of foreshadowing, it was difficult to predict what would happen next. That's the point of a tight script.
- I disagree with your comments on mis-characterization. Kirk was always a player, and there have always been eye-candy girls. I don't think anyone will agree with you that Spock was off-base. Though you'll have to remember that these are both younger, less disciplined versions of the character (and in Kirk's case, he's more rebellious due to an altered timeline). Scotty was very well done and came off as seasoned and competent. Checkov (which you spelled wrong) did a better accent than the original. IMHO Bones is the MOST off-base, and he seems to be the one spouting tag lines unnaturally.
- You seem to have a problem with the humorous characterization of some of the characters. Did you see Star Trek IV? It was considered among the best of the films (by most critics), and it lampooned Scotty and Checkov MUCH more than this film did.

It was a well put together movie. Not perfect, no. Better than most of them. And most non TREKKIES (Gene Roddenberry's preferred term) that I've spoken with loved the movie.

You can pick nits all day. But my hypothesis is that no film that appealed to both fans and laymen could have pleased you.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
This movie is relatively self-aware, homage, deconstruction of the original Star Trek, rethought in an alternate universe, wrapped around an action / adventure movie. As such both it and the last film have been near perfection.
I'm curious what you think was "homage" and "deconstruction." I see references to the original, call-backs, but no homages; merely taking what made the original at all interesting and cheapening it does not count as deconstruction.

quote:
And most non TREKKIES (Gene Roddenberry's preferred term) that I've spoken with loved the movie.
Yes. This has been my experience as well. The more you are familiar with and fond of Star Trek, the more you recognize this movie as a dismal failure. If you are not a Star Trek fan and were looking for something sublimely stupid with lots of blinky lights, this film no doubt fits that bill.

Interestingly, I felt exactly the opposite about Iron Man 3: that it was a movie that strongly rewarded people who knew quite a lot about the Iron Man comic, and probably didn't quite hit the same targets for the non-fan.

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Lyrhawn
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Aros -

I wasn't complaining about the Klingons, I was dispelling your description of them. I thought they looked great.

I'll admit the plot was more obvious if you're a Star Trek fan, but Abrams WANTS his plots to be guessable. He does it on purpose. His "twists" aren't meant to be mind blowing, they're just there to drive the action forward. None of the "surprises" in the movie were actually surprising. And by the way, that's part of the problem. I shouldn't be able to guess everything just because I'm a fan. He should be creating a plot independent of past Star Trek so that new and old fans together can be surprised.

I love Star Trek IV. It's probably my favorite after Wrath of Khan and First Contact. But I think you miss my meaning when it comes to the comedic angle. Parody is a subset of comedy, they aren't interchangeable.

I can't go into too much of it without spoilers, but the movie made absolutely no sense at all as a regular movie. Pretending it isn't Star Trek at all, it had absolutely no logical internal plot consistency, which is something just about every major movie reviewer has noted as well. They all basically agree it makes absolutely no sense at all, but it's fast paced with pretty pictures. Is that really what we're calling an awesome movie these days? What happened to good writing and stories that make sense?

The thing of it is, they would have made me much, MUCH happier if they hadn't tried to include any of the stuff they did from Star Trek. Abrams tried to suck the life out of previous Star Trek incarnations by invoking its most memorable moments and lines, but he did so in a way that sapped them all of their original power. That's not homage or deconstruction, it's zombifying and also a little insulting, because it presupposes that fans can be made happy simply with references and have no respect for the original material.

If he wanted to make me happy, he should have eliminated the big spoiler twist at the end. It was stupid, it had no bearing on the plot, it wasn't explained in even the slightest way, and was really just bad.

I'll admit it was always going to be hard to make a new Star Trek that would really make me happy, but actually, most of what I thought would be my biggest problems weren't. I think the cast is wonderful. I didn't think I'd like a new Spock or a new Kirk, but they're actually great!

My problem is that the stories absolutely suck. They're terrible. They're lazy. They not only don't pretend to be Star Trek, Abrams has specifically said he's rejecting Star Trek's entire underlying premise because philosophy and attempts at realistic science are too hard for today's masses, so he needed to dumb it down and flash it up. So if he'd actually tried to create something NEW. I mean NEW. Not poorly rehashed the Best of Star Trek with new flashy lights and quick cuts, then yes, I might very well have liked it.

Case in point is the relationship between Spock and Kirk. I won't spoil anything, but their relationship in this Star Trek means almost nothing to me. They hated each other through most of the first movie. Now it's a year later and the only reason we have to believe they are even friends is because they keep telling us they are friends. The only emotional resonance between the two of them is inferred from the PREVIOUS Star Trek, it's not actually demonstrated on screen.

They're just really, really bad movies.

SPOILERS IN THIS LINK!
This is one of many excellent reviews that gets at a lot of my problems with the movie

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Aros
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These movies will always be polarizing to the fans. Star Trek is such a big property that it means something different to all of us. My only disappointment with the new movies is that Bones should be a bigger character, on par with Jim and Spock. If there's something that's critical, crucial Star Trek to you, I concede, it might ruin it all. You'll start nitpicking all sorts of details. Look to RedLetterMedia -- you can pick any plot to death and make it seem absurd. Seriously. Especially if you're already disappointed that they've trashed something you love.

I like the interplay with previous elements, the twisting of familiar people and plot points in new (and different ways). I think that it's both effective as an homage and as a "what if" scenario. I like the fact that if the movie has to be dumbed down for the masses, that there's at least minor snippets of fan service twisted into new shapes. If we're going to get bright balloons, at least they're twisting them into interesting animals.

What I'm certain about:
- It's an entertaining movie.
- With maybe a little too much action.
- There's a lot of interesting details to notice.
- And a lot of rehashed plot and dialogue, some subtle and some not, used in different ways.
- Many tropes of the original series are exploited -- some lovingly and some (almost) mockingly.
- Fans will see a lot more details than non-fans. Some will be irksome and some will be loving.
- Non-fans will enjoy a rousing action movie with fun characters and more plot than your average popcorn sci fi movie.
- Appealing to the masses may be the ONLY way we see intelligent (or otherwise) Star Trek on television again. It has to make money or it's dead.
- At it's best, Star Trek was a lot more intelligent and thought provoking than new Trek. At it's worst is was dumber, more melodramatic, and more flaccid. Take off the rose colored glasses. This isn't dumber than Star Trek I, V, VII, IX, or X.

Long live Mr. Abrams! May this flick make so much money that Star Trek comes back to tv.

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Aros
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I can't wait to see what RedLetterMedia thinks of it. . . .
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Aros
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Lyrhawn, you realize that your link is played up for comedic value, right? And that 90% of those plot foibles can be explained by a little thought or logic?

Yes. The other 10% is right on. And just stupid. But again, you'll get that in any movie. We want to talk about dumb. . . .

Ironman 3 Spoilers (Tom?)*******************
- Why would Tony spend half of the movie trying to fix one silly suit, when he had 2000+ at his disposal?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
90% of those plot foibles can be explained by a little thought or logic?
Or the complete lack thereof. [Smile]

Iron Man 3 SPOILERS
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quote:
Why would Tony spend half of the movie trying to fix one silly suit, when he had 2000+ at his disposal?
He was hundreds of miles away and needed Jarvis to get the cranes set up. As soon as the cranes cleared access to the basement, he sent for the other suits. A better plot hole question: why, once he had access to a phone, didn't he call SHIELD? Or, given that he's the sort of guy who was so paranoid about suit access that he spent all his nights designing new ones and installing transponders in his skin to call rocket-propelled parts across a continent to him, how is it conceivable that he didn't have additional suits stored elsewhere -- like, say, Stark Tower in New York?
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The Black Pearl
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quote:


Interestingly, I felt exactly the opposite about Iron Man 3: that it was a movie that strongly rewarded people who knew quite a lot about the Iron Man comic, and probably didn't quite hit the same targets for the non-fan. [/QB]

Iron man 3 spoilers

Iron Man 3 sucked. At least 2/3rd's of the humor fell flat. And it also especially hurt the movie considering where the movie puts some of it's shittiest humor. Both villains are also terrible. But I hated the movie even before he meets Mandarin. Tony's narration doesn't work. It formalizes the relationship between him and the audience, as if the audience is a kind of shrink, and his narration comes off dry and awkward. Then Tony goes and wastes his speech for revenge on the ******* bodyguard (who should have died) The big scene that takes place soon after was ruined by the musical choice--as well as some of the other action--and one some of the hand to hand **** is ruined by bad editing. Tony (3rd) redemption arc also feels diluted. And that finale scene after they win and blow up the suits was pretty sublimely dumb, tom.

For me, all of my film making nerd (including trek fans)friends love Into Darkness, but my more bookworm friends don't.

[ May 21, 2013, 04:48 PM: Message edited by: umberhulk ]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

quote:
Why would Tony spend half of the movie trying to fix one silly suit, when he had 2000+ at his disposal?
He was hundreds of miles away and needed Jarvis to get the cranes set up. As soon as the cranes cleared access to the basement, he sent for the other suits. A better plot hole question: why, once he had access to a phone, didn't he call SHIELD? Or, given that he's the sort of guy who was so paranoid about suit access that he spent all his nights designing new ones and installing transponders in his skin to call rocket-propelled parts across a continent to him, how is it conceivable that he didn't have additional suits stored elsewhere -- like, say, Stark Tower in New York?
Why didn't he activate the suits during the initial attack on his house? Riddle me that one. [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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*grin* Well, I think the film does a pretty good job of showing that he's caught flat-footed by the attack and only barely had time to call on his insta-suit -- to save Pepper, even -- before hit by the blast and stunned into ineffectiveness. Of course, a larger criticism (of a piece with the ones I mentioned earlier) is that it's hard to believe he had such a huge blind spot regarding attacks on his inner sanctum that he didn't have some kind of contingency set up. I mean, he had special code words for Jarvis to launch all suits, blow up all suits, etc., so it's surprising that he hadn't thought to set up a protocol for "in the event of an attack on my garage, launch all suits." If the film had wanted to make Maya's visit unambiguously treacherous, they could have had her introduce a bomb or a virus or something once she was welcomed inside; by making her visit more ambiguous, the screenwriters were limited to exactly the sort of physical, external threats that you'd think Tony Stark, paranoid turtle, would have anticipated.

--------

quote:
Tony's narration doesn't work.
The narration is, I think, a bad idea -- as is the blowing up of all the suits -- unless you look at the film as what it is: a closing chapter to Robert Downey Jr.'s turn as Tony Stark. Listen to the narration and you realize very quickly that Downey isn't speaking as Stark; he's speaking as himself. It's self-indulgent to the extreme, but since an indulgence for self-indulgence is basically the price of entry, I'm willing to tolerate it (as opposed to, say, the narration in Blade Runner.) Where the film's plot gets wobbly -- and it does get wobbly in several places, although never as wobbly as Into Darkness -- it's generally because it's deviated from comic book logic to draw a stronger parallel to the actual biography of the lead actor.

I can understand why film school kids would like Into Darkness; the shots are very pretty. But pretty shots for the sake of pretty shots -- and at the expense of any logic or plot progression -- is exactly the same sort of crap that makes so many Malick movies unwatchable.

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The Black Pearl
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Narration doesn't work unless I recognize something that doesn't have some kind of distinct charm to it. Both of the percieved ideas, to me, are too dryly operatic. And they both feel too formal.

Veronica Mars is writing a diary. Michael Weston is writing a spy handbook. The narrator in The Assassin of Jesse James is telling you a piece of western folklore as you sleep by the campfire. These are cases where I think narration works.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I can't wait to see what RedLetterMedia thinks of it. . . .

RedLetterMedia did an okay job of point out the plot problems in the first one.

I really just can't fathom how you think they're all explainable. You'd have to actually explain them to me, because really, none of it makes sense. Most people agree none of it makes sense, but no one cares because the movie isn't about plot, it's about action, and I agree that on THAT score alone, it's a good movie. It's very fast-paced and intense.

What it comes around to is suspension of disbelief. I'm willing to give a lot of leeway in Sci-fi movies for the fantastic to be explained away, but man, Abrams didn't even try. The movie falls apart under even the lightest bit of scrutiny. It's not nitpicking. It's asking for the smallest bit of coherence that doesn't insult my intelligence.

And yeah, I think it's better than something like Star Trek: Nemesis. But you know, I think even Nemesis at least TRIED to do more heavy lifting than this did. The plot made no sense for a lot of reasons, it was contrived and thrown together with no explanations, but the underlying story between Shinzon and Picard, and between Data and whatever fake Data was called at least ASPIRED to something more. Into Darkness didn't do that. And that's why the action sequences rate it no better than average in the grand scheme of things.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I can't wait to see what RedLetterMedia thinks of it. . . .

RedLetterMedia did an okay job of point out the plot problems in the first one.

I really just can't fathom how you think they're all explainable. You'd have to actually explain them to me. . . .

First -- have you watched the RedLetterMedia review of the first one? They thought it was, literally, one of the best movies they've reviewed. And most critics think that this one is about on par.


SPOILERS**************************************
Second, that review you point out. I don't have all day, but here's a few rebuttals:
- All the volcano stuff is fairly easy to explain. Spock had to go into the volcano to place the bomb -- not necessarily detonate it. Cold fusion is just buzzwords to speak to laymen watching the film, but there's no reason the device couldn't have been powered by cold fusion. It was established in the first movie that the ships were more structurally sound and built ON the planet . . . why couldn't it be under water if it needed to hide close? It has shields. The plan was to remain (relatively) unseen, draw away the villagers, drop the bomb, and get out. Because of the interference, they had to change plans and get close to rescue Spock . . . so they had to leave their hiding spot. The only hiccup here? A more structurally sound Enterprise, established in the first movie.
- The loss of command. The point of this movie was to show growth. Kirk is still a rebellious, disrespectful alternate Kirk. An angry Kirk. This movie shows his growth from kid who doesn't take a lot of this stuff seriously to a man who'll die for his crew. Why can't he lose his command? It's basically showing him hit bottom of the barrel.
- Starfleet as baddies. Most of this stuff is evident if you pay attention to the plot. Peter Weller wants all of Khan's goodies. Then he wants Khan dead and to start a war, mostly to militarize Starfleet. Khan got the better of him by getting revenge and sticking his crew members in the missiles. It's pretty clear that if Spock can work out what someone will do with a 93.1% probability (or whatever) that Khan can too -- and he'd figure that Kirk wouldn't fire the missiles.
- Khan as a white dude is pretty easy too. Marketing. The first movie did terrible overseas. Star Trek always has. Cumberbatch is wildly popular with the overseas crowd due to Sherlock. By casting him, JJ was assured both a great performance and increased overseas box office. Does it ruin the character? No. And more money means a better chance at more movies (and possibly a tv series).
- Kirk teaming up with Khan. There's two bad guys. Why wouldn't Kirk think that Khan could help him? That's the point of Spock Prime getting involved. This is an altered timeline. How would anyone know?
- Death scene and reusing lines. I liked this. Some people don't. A common trope in alternate timeline science fiction is that certain events are relatively fixed. Someone had to die to defeat Khan. But this time it was Kirk; he was learning to lay down his life and be a real captain. Most of the reused lines can be seen the same way. But I agree that this self-referential behavior can shatter the suspension of disbelief. Ehh. I thought it was fine.
- Khan's blood. Probably the weakest part of it all, but why not? It was a simple plot device planted early in the movie. Kirk could die, but there was no point keeping him dead. That's been done before. I like the fact that no matter how much is "recycled", they don't try to make the audience out to be idiots. Of course Kirk won't die for good. Of course Khan will betray them. But the characters don't know that. And the Trek neophytes won't either. And I don't think it's the secret to eternal life. But maybe it can reverse some major physical damage and bring someone back from just past the brink of death.

It's pretty easy to pick something apart. A lot harder to justify. This seems to happen a lot when Lindeloff is involved. . . .

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Cold fusion is just buzzwords to speak to laymen watching the film, but there's no reason the device couldn't have been powered by cold fusion.
Can we all agree that this is, um, stretching? [Smile]

quote:
This movie shows his growth from kid who doesn't take a lot of this stuff seriously to a man who'll die for his crew.
Like the last movie? [Smile]

quote:
I like the fact that no matter how much is "recycled", they don't try to make the audience out to be idiots.
*polite cough*
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Aros
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Tom,

- Why is that stretching? Why can't a cold fusion device . . . make cold? Is that really a huge stretch? It's possible.

- After the first movie, do you really think he was ready to take over a starship full time? I think he still had a lot to prove. I wasn't convinced he was ready to be in command.

- My point with the "idiot" comment is that they weren't going to repeat the whole "wait until the next movie to see . . . did he really die? Will we resurrect him, just like we did Spock?" Nobody would have fallen for that.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why can't a cold fusion device . . . make cold?
Well, for one thing, making a volcano really cold won't actually stop the volcano, especially if it's big enough to destroy the planet -- and, of course, making enough of the planet's mantle so cold that it ceases to actually flow might well have other ramifications. For another: definitionally, a cold fusion device outputs energy. That energy might be used to -- very inefficiently -- achieve some kind of heat transfer, but that means that all the heat sucked out of the lava went somewhere and got hotter.

quote:
After the first movie, do you really think he was ready to take over a starship full time?
Oh, sure, we could have seen him struggling with the responsibilities of command. That could easily be nu-Kirk's thing, the one defining character trait that all modern film characters need to have for the purposes of script shorthand. But it doesn't need to be the central theme of the plot again. It's the same problem Doctor Who has, now that it's made the Doctor the Most Important Person in the Universe: all the stories become the same story.

quote:
Nobody would have fallen for that.
For that reason, "killing" him produced no dramatic tension.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Why can't a cold fusion device . . . make cold?
Well, for one thing, making a volcano really cold won't actually stop the volcano, especially if it's big enough to destroy the planet -- and, of course, making enough of the planet's mantle so cold that it ceases to actually flow might well have other ramifications. For another: definitionally, a cold fusion device outputs energy. That energy might be used to -- very inefficiently -- achieve some kind of heat transfer, but that means that all the heat sucked out of the lava went somewhere and got hotter.



Just to reinforce the point: "Cold fusion" as a source of power doesn't have anything to do with what that device does, which is apparently suck all the heat out of the local area. It would be like calling a cordless drill a "NiCad battery discharger." It would be narrowly accurate in a way that completely defies common sense.
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Lyrhawn
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Aros -

Don't worry, it's pretty clear we're not even close to being on the same page when it comes to movies.

Or basic storytelling.

Or logic.

You think I'm nitpicking a strong plot to death. I think it's an incredibly weak plot that doesn't require nitpicking, but rather a casual glance to expose its huge faults. We just have different thresholds for what constitutes a strong plot.

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Samprimary
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I'll take silly loud action movies playing dress-up as trek over the terrible brain-death the trek universe had drifted into (Enterprise? Nemesis?) but everyone here should be willing to accept that that's what this movie was: a big dumb action flick capitalizing on star trek imagery and iconic characters.

But besides that, I really don't understand why the plot had to be so weak? I was willing to toss it aside as much as I could, but even on two long islands I was still going "haha, wait, why .. why are they .. why wouldn't they .. don't .. isn't .. lol wtf who wrote this"

So I made it two long islands and a vodka tonic. BAM. problem solved.

But really, come on. That plot was so goddamned silly. One would think the body of trek as a franchise could offer more of an opportunity to have an actually compelling or cerebral element to an otherwise tightly woven plot. This should be easily avoidable.

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Samprimary
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also why does the thread title have "no spoilers" in it, that just makes it a giant trap now
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Lyrhawn
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I used to diss Enterprise as much as anyone else until I actually sat down to watch it all the way through. It carried through the first season on concept alone. Most fans were too busy going "ooo neat!" to realize it was sort of boring. Then Season 2 really was just boring. But they changed the show pretty seriously at the end of Season 2 when they decided to adopt something closer to a Buffy the Vampire slayer bad guy of the season approach in a more tight, focused narrative. Season 3 was a fun, solid season. But the damage was sort of done for its reputation at that point. Still, I think it gets a raw deal.

And I can't defend Nemesis. Nemesis was their attempt to make an action movie like what the current iteration is. They tried to do both action and classic Trek bigger meaning stuff but failed on both counts.

If this revitalizes the series and renews interest and gets it back on TV in a meaningful way, then bravo. If this is a sign of things to come, and this is what Star Trek is from here on out, then it wasn't worth it to me.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
that just makes it a giant trap now
It's like when the bad guy surrenders surprisingly easily and gets put in a transparent cage of some kind, really, during which time he talks about his motivations a bit before the power goes out and an explosion rocks the building.
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Samprimary
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Enterprise didn't really get a 'raw deal' except in the sense that they punted it out half-baked. You want a series to start strong and grow on that, not spend two seasons climbing up to where it should have been to start with, quality-wise.

Full disclosure: I didn't even make it five episodes into Enterprise.

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happymann
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What Samp said about spoilers...

There's been a rash of recent "bad guy gets captured but it's exactly where he wants to be in the first place" hasn't there.

Dark Knight, Avengers, this, etc. I'm sure I'm missing several. Is this a recent trope or am I just not thinking of its earlier iterations?

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Enterprise didn't really get a 'raw deal' except in the sense that they punted it out half-baked. You want a series to start strong and grow on that, not spend two seasons climbing up to where it should have been to start with, quality-wise.

Full disclosure: I didn't even make it five episodes into Enterprise.

None of the Star Trek series came out of the gate strong. Every one of them finished much stronger than they started. Just about all of DS9's forgettable episodes are in the first two seasons before they introduce the Dominion as the chief antagonist. ("Move Along Home" anyone?) Voyager was mired in the Kazon and Kes until it got much more interesting (both visually and storywise) when Seven of Nine was introduced and they mixed things up with the plots more than endless Kazon stories. TNG probably had the best start, but even they had a fairly blah first season until they changed the uniforms and switched up the plots a bit.

Every single Star Trek show did not not come out of the gate roaring and required time to find their place and get into a groove. Some found that groove faster than others, and some started out better than others. DS9 I think had the best opening episode of any Star Trek show, actually it's easily in my Top 5 list for best premieres because they managed to do so much with so little, wrote it excellently and deeply, and Avery Brooks acted the hell out of it.

Enterprise is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the gap between where it started and where it needed to be. But it got there eventually. The second season was a pretty seriously slog, and that's actually when I stopped watching. I didn't go back and watch Season 3 until much later, but I was pleasantly surprised when I did, and it changed my overall opinion of the show.

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Elison R. Salazar
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I went in with low expectations and ended up being a giddy with delight the whole way through, I guess I'm a terrible star trek fan [Big Grin]

Zachary Quinto makes a great Spock.

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Lyrhawn
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Tangentially related to this, but I just watched a few episodes of Sherlock.

I'm even more disappointed in Cumberbatch's character now. He's such a great actor, they needed to give him a lot more to work with. You could have had the most wooden stuntman in Hollywood act out Harrison's part with Alan Ricking doing ADR and it would have been almost as good. But BC has range, he could have played a far more dynamic role.

ERS -

You aren't a terrible Star Trek fan. Like I said, if you don't expect much out of it, it's a perfectly enjoyable film. It's just too bad that all it takes these days to make a great film is the expectation that it's nothing more than mindless entertainment. The very best of Star Trek really makes you think.

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Aros
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Lyrhawn,

You can't hold it against a "how good can it possibly be" yardstick. Old Star Trek is dead. The best we can hope for now is a fun jaunt through the Star Trek universe. How can your expectations be so high? It's JJ Abrams, for Pete's sake.

But it's fun. And entertaining. With more plot twists, depth, and better acting than most summer blockbusters. If the only Star Trek we can get it referential, self aware fun -- most of us will eagerly consume it.

I think we're on the same level and agree about a lot of things. It's just I gauge my expectations based on what I've come to expect from a jaded Hollywood. Too bad that Joss Whedon isn't carrying the franchise.

To expect that mainstream Hollywood will give us anything even remotely resembling thought provoking sci-fi . . . you must be living in the seventies.

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Aros
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It's like Star Trek -- The Ride.
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Lyrhawn
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I would rather it stay dead than be expected to enjoy its zombified corpse.
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