Original Opening Day for New Star Trek

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:40 pm

Ezra...I know a few tur-IFFIC shrinks! I'll drop of their phone numbers at a safe distance from your house!

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:53 pm

From the trailer, I immediately surmise two, count them TWO idiocies:

Idiocy the first: Floating motorcycles. Review Newton's Laws, JJ! Without contact with the ground, you can't control direction without using a tremendous amount of energy. Imagine sliding across a sheet of wet ice on one foot. Now imagine changing directions on a dime! I know, I know, anti gravity. But guess what? "Every action causes an equal and opposite reaction." Who gets to replace the divots on the ground (and on any other building or surface every time one of those damn things turns a corner? You? Me? The Government??? Not bloody likely.

Idiocy the second: Please don't tell me we saw the USS Enterprise being assembled.... ON THE GROUND!!! PLEASE don't tell me I saw that! In the future, along with a flying car and a portable nuclear power plant in every nuclear family's garage, it is apparently more cost effective to assemble a structure as fragile and awkward as the Enterprise on the ground, THENNNN somehow get it up through the atmosphere into space! Oh, wait: does it blast off FROM Earth? If that's so, then who in the hell replaces THAT divot?

Not even the Obama administration could pull THAT off!!

BOOOO!!!!

(I'm still going to see it, though....)

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Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:24 am

Duane -

Calm, Grasshopper.

Yeah, motorcycle. But if you bought the speedsticks (or whatever they were called) in Empire Strikes Back, you ought to forgive them the flying cycle. Ditto the flying car in Blade Runner.

As someone once said when asked about the sounds in space during Star Wars: "It's fictional. It's supposed to be exciting. For scientific accuracy, talk to NASA."

And Abrams addressed the Enterprise by noting that his version of the ship is not, in fact, "fragile or awkward", but robust enough for battle. We build ships in dry dock, then float them. (But yeah...)

Yeah, from an economic standpoint it doesn't make sense. But "It's fictional. It's supposed to be exciting. For scientific accuracy, talk to NASA."

(The speaker was either Asimov on Star Wars or Anderson on Space:1999, can't remember which. JMS and Ellison reierated the sentiment when challenged on Babylon 5's sounds in space.)
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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:24 pm

"for scientific accuracy, talk to NASA."

I can handle that to an extent, but, speaking for myself, they've gone too far with that attitude since Star Wars imprinted itself on everyone else's franchise. Now it just reads more like a Royal Dumbing Down! Feels like they're trying to remind me they know how stupid general audiences are, so why not make the movies stupid. That's why I gave up these franchises.

Since I first saw 2001 when I was a kid, I've been spoiled by that tantalization. SOME effort at or "homage", if you will, to scientific accuracy gives the material a certain dignity and intelligence.

Trek, tos, while very CLUMSY with the scientific elements, at least gave it a nod. No sound in space; linear Newtonian motion; nods to Darwinian evolutionary law. STUFF like dat!

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:53 pm

Good point about 2001.

Kubrick took the apparent limitation of lack of drama because of no sound and used it to great affect in amplifying the breathing sounds of the astronauts and the opportunity to use atmospheric music.

And using the silence itself.

Of course Kubrick was an artist wasn't he?
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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:19 pm

That long "breathing" sequence was AMONG the things that obsessed me from the beginning. It wasn't just for dramatic effect; it was saying something to the viewer a music score is usually supposed to, but in a way NO music could quite capture: the total isolation of space. And, more, it was consistent with what were being told about Bowman and Poole; that they were, in deliberate contrast to the only "human" character, Hal, machine-like drones trapped in an existence of routine and duty. THEY are the machines, equally isolated within themselves as they are to their external environment. The sound of their own breathing is the only real companionship they have.

Kubrick's film is about the condition of the human species internally as well as externally.

Over time, I rented a slew of sf films that came out after 2001. Some use that silence in space to incredibly dramatic effect. Like, lotsa noise inside the vessel, then cut to an exterior shot of the drifting ship, and you hear NOTHING. An ABRUPT nothing. Cut back to the interior, and you get all the noise again. I love that.

But, y'know, I yield to every era. Before Kubrick's film, you typically get noise in space, and all that. But many still held the script to science or at least the FEEL of science.

I'm a fan of the old film, Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Try to use THAT in a science class, and you'll be expelled from the school! I mean nothing beats the odd cliche of an asteroid burning in the vacuum of space!

But, the ironically claustrophobic world, despite the endless Martian wasteland, Paul Mantee is trapped leads to a sharp study of the human psyche and loneliness; the brick-by-brick (almost literally) procedures Mantee implements, and the plausible equipment he carries around with him, makes you FORGET the pulp elements. You buy into it because of the intelligence in the drama, and the plausible instruments he uses to keep himself alive and sane. THAT'S an example of when I can handle looseness with the science. The material simply has to have respect for intelligence. I think it's when the cliches spill too much into the DRAMATIC elements that I won't buy into ANY of it. Big reason I dismiss so much of the REALLY fuckin' tired and repetitive Trek franchise (like Voyager!).

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Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:22 pm

I might point out that the target audience for Trek and Wars is a bit different than the one for 2001.

Arguing physics inaccuracies for a film series that postulates faster-than-light travel and multiple alien species is, to me, the same as arguing that Angel is fake because vampires don't exist. For examples, please see the white papers detailing the inner workings of the TARDIS/the physics of SHADO interceptors in relation to lunar gravitational influences/the effect of man-in-the-moon Monoliths on proto-human pig hunting.

If Trek was setting out to tell a completely realistic story of mankind's far-future voyage into space, maybe. Otherwise...
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Postby Jan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:27 pm

The film is about relating the future to us, taking humans from Earth to space. They're taking a bit of a risk with fans by having the Enterprise built on Earth but it's the future. They have future materials, artificial gravity, inertial dampeners, and electric can openers, all of which are firmly part of Star Trek. Those ships can land, though they only showed it once or twice on Voyager. The old Enterprise was in the Earth atmosphere once.

I'm more worried about what looks like a tired storyline.

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Postby Duane » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:34 pm

I was being a bit silly in my post; I don't think it's possible to be 100% realistic when writing for Star Trek OR Star Wars. However, I see Star Wars as more of a fantasy than SF.

And no one had ever DARE say "How could a 10-12 year old James T. Kirk outrun a cop, throw a car into Park, leap out and stop himself from sliding right off a cliff?"

Hey, I've actually DONE that!!

**

Oh yeah, does EVERY wannabe dictator in the future have to be some bald guy holding a scepter with blades hanging out of it??

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Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:44 pm

Duane wrote:Oh yeah, does EVERY wannabe dictator in the future have to be some bald guy holding a scepter with blades hanging out of it??


This worries me more than the possibility of a tired storyline. I sincerely hope it's not a retread, but I'll wait to see if that's the case.

On the other hand, the bald Romulan dictator bears an uncanny resemblance to the evil guy from Nemesis, and that movie left me cold.
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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:53 pm

"I might point out that the target audience for Trek and Wars is a bit different than the one for 2001."

Right.

But...

So was X-Files

So was Altered States

So was original Andromeda Strain

So was the ORIGINAL Star Trek series (which I STILL buy into far better than any of these dumbrosky franchise movies).

So was Planet of the Apes

So was Forbidden Planet

So was War of the Worlds

Your statement kind of suggests, "well, since audiences are dumber than they used to be, we don't need to bother with intelligent an intelligent script".

Hey - if you buy into it, so be it. When I think it gets too stupid for MY taste I move on.

BTW, I don't include Star Wars in this argument because that IS "science fantasy". Scrapping all sense of discipline is part of that universe.

But if we were to, say, hear news about the reinventing of the Ellison/Bova Starlost, I would HAVE to see more discipline in these elements. I wouldn't be anal about it; I'd just want to see some intelligent respectability in the basic science.

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Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:12 pm

"well, since audiences are dumber than they used to be, we don't need to bother with intelligent an intelligent script".


Huh?

I was addressing the science (not) involved, not the script.

I weighed in not at all on the literacy of the script itself. Good eps of Babylon 5, for example, featured the same spaceship sounds and physics as the worst episodes.

Literacy doesn't require effects, and effects don't require literacy. (Examples: Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth as the example of a brilliantly told non-sfx story, and Dino de Laurentiis' Flash Gordon as a beautifully visual film with a turkey of a script.

Never mentioned script. Jury's still out on that one. But visually the new Trek seems very well done.
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Postby robochrist » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:17 pm

"Literacy doesn't require effects, and effects don't require literacy"

Of COURSE they do!

I mean if you give a shit about what defines a good film or show, or, more specifically, a good narrative. I'm from the proposition that "the play's the thing".

I don't give a rat's ass about how good effects are if they aren't "tellin' the tale"! Wanna a great example of that? One of those few landmarks in cinema that set precedence for all movies to follow: Kong, 1933 version. The effects were light years ahead of what audiences saw up to that time, but the movie endures because the writing USED the effects in astonishing harmony. THAT sets the rule for ME.


For me, the effects need to be integrated to tell the narrative. Hey: YOU tell me how much you wind up liking the Watchmen movie if the effects are groundbreaking but that great story is totally scrapped, just to showcase cool loud noises and computer game action!

I remember my conversations in the past with you along these lines, so I think we agree on very little here.

You can go see your popcorn movies. But they bore the HELL oughtta ME, dude!

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Postby Alan Coil » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:52 pm

Gentlemen, I am done with reading this thread.

Not that youse guys have done anything wrong.

The problem lies with me. I simply can no longer tolerate hype. I watched exactly NONE of the pre-Super Bowl hype/inane chatter. Just listening to it ruins the game for me.

The same is true for movies or comic books. The more I listen to/read hype about a movie, the more likely I am to feel blase about it. The last time I listened to/read too much was about Iron Man last spring. My friends were talking about it all the time, and by the time the movie came out, I was pre-disposed to thinking it would be mediocre. The same with comic books. I can't read articles of hype too much, nor read the solicitations in Previews, or I start to resent the title's presence.

It's just how my psyche controls my life.

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Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:16 pm

Rob - You're arguing with over a nonexistant disagreement.

I never said I prefer effects movies over "literate" films.

I simply observed that effects films do not require literacy, and vice versa. In point of fact, I've mentioned Man From Earth repeatedly as one of my favorite films from the last coupla years.

I remember my conversations in the past with you along these lines, so I think we agree on very little here.


Huh?

What conversations?

Yeah, I like popcorn films if they're done right -- but on the whole give me a literate non-FX story and I'm much happier.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.


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