1. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Am I the only one who thought new 'Star Trek' movie sucked?

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by jazzabel, Oct 7, 2013.

    I love 'Star Trek' ok, mostly the stuff from the 'Next Generation' onwards, and I am always more than happy to give a new movie or a series a chance. I just saw 'Into Darkness' this past weekend and was shocked at how bad it was.

    There was no depth, no suspense, no innovation at all. It was the formulaic 'chiseled guys plus a British villain running around the makeshift spaceship, oh, Kirk still hasn't graduated, and btw, females are still a complete afterthought, let's blow most of our budget on a massive explosion scene towards the end of the movie' story that left me feeling empty and robbed.

    I adore Sylar from Heroes (Spock, aka Zachary Quinto) but his diction was bordering on ridiculous and that brings me to my other favourite, Simon Pegg. I never thought he could ruin anything, but make him do an overt Scottish accent and he will just about manage.

    I am still undecided whether it was the banal scenario or was the director the sole one to blame for failing to bring out the best in the actors, I think it was probably both.

    Is this the culmination of the long-running trend of dumbing down movies and relying more on special effects than writing, or is this just a terrible misunderstanding? Or are my expectations too high? What did everyone else think? Can this at all measure up to the 'Star Trek' we all love? Can this in any way justify 7.9/10 rating on IMDb?
     
  2. Morgan Willows
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    Morgan Willows Member

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    The problem with the new movie is that it's not actually Star Trek. I did a review of it a while ago on my tumblr that I'll repost here.

    Overall opinion: A halfway decent (if busy) action movie, but a terrible Star Trek movie.
    It’s one of those movies that didn’t really understand its source but tried so hard to imitate it anyway that it gave itself an aneurism. I sort of appreciate the effort but not the outcome.
    I like the acting; I hate that the characters don’t really go anywhere. I like the action; I hate that vital plot points were left unexplained to squeeze in a few more explosions. I like the story; I hate that there’s not enough of it because of the aforementioned explosions quota.
    As an action film, I’d say it’s a solid 7/10 (it’s a good popcorn flick but don’t expect more than that from it). As a Star Trek film, it’s a measly 2/10 (because it fails so horribly at being a Star Trek movie that there were actually points where I forgot I was watching something that was supposed to be Star Trek). It only gets those two points because Spock is finally being his snarky self and Benedict Cumberbatch's acting was amazing.

    Good Points
    -The cast does just as well here as in the first, especially now that they’re clearly more comfortable with their characters.
    -The music is amazing.
    -Benedict Cumberbatch is superb, acting with all small nuances of tone and expression he can muster (and he can seriously kick a**; after watching this, I want to see season 3 of Sherlock play up Holmes’ boxing talents because holy s***).
    -The effects do not disappoint.
    -The actions scenes are really intense.

    Bad Points
    -The story is very rushed. There are afternoon cartoons with better pacing than this movie.
    -The plot is as predictable as the weather in Death Valley.
    -It’s needlessly convoluted. There are way too many plot threads for how simple the actual driving elements are.
    -The really new story elements that get introduced don’t get explained. So if you don’t already know about the Eugenics Wars stuff, you get to miss out on the major driving motivations for a pivotal character.
    -The ‘bad guy’ is way too easy to spot as much because of casting as character behavior.

    If you’re planning on enjoying this, either forget that it’s supposed to be Star Trek or just pretend that it’s a wildly non-canon AU fanfic written by a noob.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, well done, it's a really good review. I wish I read it before I watched the movie. I still think you were too generous with the acting assessement, but I am not a big fan of action for action sake movies so maybe that part was a bit lost on me. I agree that Benedict was the best actor of the lot, though, I can't wait for new 'Sherlock' either :)
     
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  4. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    The Star Trek movie I saw in 2009 was an action Sci-Fi adventure with Star Trek characters, locations, themes, etc. Now before pissing Trekkies off, I never liked Star Trek as a franchise to begin with. I think it's cheesy, outdated and really, J.J. Abrams cannot modernize it with the two re-boots.

    I did enjoy some of the Next Generation episodes as well as the Enterprise TV series. I still think they're cheesy as hell. ST is really something I watch when I'm bored.
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree to disagree, I loved all 'Star Trek' series and secretly wish they bring out another one. The new movie I was referring to was screened this year though, although 2009 one wasn't a whole lot better, imo.
     
  6. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I care not what anyone says, I liked Into Darkness. I have always liked star trek, and I can say, this movie was not really star trek, but... It was still a fun summer action movie. It wasn't as good as the first Abrams reboot, but it was still a fun summer movie. I though that acting was decent, and I thought it stayed true in spirit (maybe not always tone) to Star Trek.

    I guess I didn't go into it expecting an amazing or innovative movie experience. I went in expecting a classic summer blockbuster, complete with lots of action and explosions and over the top nods to the source material. It was fun, what can I say. *shrugs*

    And while I agree with most of the criticism of the film... I still like it :p
     
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  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    My brother liked it but he's pretty easy going when it comes to movies. I found it, despite the artwork, music and energy
    rather dull and predictable. And am I crazy for thinking they've made Captain Kirk more bratty than cool? I always thought
    Captain Kirk was rather suave.
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Phoenix: It's ok, we all have guilty pleasures :D

    @peachalulu: I always found Shatner's Kirk ott but really funny and cool. Although Captain Zapp Brannigan merged with him in my brain. This new Kirk just needs to graduate already, imo.
     
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  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Captain Zapp Brannigan - yes! lol!
     
  10. Morgan Willows
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    Morgan Willows Member

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    Oh yeah, season 3 is going to be great, I wish it was here forever ago, haha.

    But, yeah, the big villain they had for this newest Star Trek, they didn't need. They could have used any random (or even a *gasp* original) villain and the plot would have worked just as well, especially since they wouldn't have needed any of the extraneous plot threads that way. They also set up this huge character arc for Kirk, what with Pike giving him that very frank dressing down in the beginning, and then they promptly... ignored it and let Kirk go right on being a headstrong leap-without-looking jerk. The whole "I could learn to be emotional if it weren't so overwhelming" thing they set up for Spock also didn't really go anywhere.
    The whole movie feels like a holding pattern or an opener more than it feels like a stand-alone film. It's setting up a lot of things and not following through on any of them. So either they plan to go into the Eugenics Wars and the whole Atomic Horror thing next movie or... it's just terrible writing and I have one more reason to want to slap J.J. Abrams.
     
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  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @peachalulu: The... what is that anyway, a mini-skirt? Tunic? I'm not sure I want to know :D

    @Morgan Willows: The opener comment is spot on. That was maybe why I was so annoyed, because they already had an opener - the previous movie! I could just about forgive it then, let them set it up, get used to it etc, but this time around, it was too much. Too little, more like it.
     
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  12. Morgan Willows
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    Morgan Willows Member

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    Strangely, I still like it. I agree with you, it's a fun movie and I have a copy of it that I watch now and then. I just think it fails terribly as a Star Trek film; it feels more like an AU fanfic to me. It's a very good fanfic, don't get me wrong, it's just annoying that they're trying to sell it as the real thing, I guess is the problem I have with it.
     
  13. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    Here's what my oldest son (who is only 7) had to say about the movie: "It was all exciting, Mommy, but can we not call it 'Star Trek' please? It wasn't really Star Trek. And that guy? He was not Kahn." My son has seen every Star Trek series, every movie, and is starting to read the books. He knows more about Star Trek than I do. He's a little bit of a nut about it all. I bow to his judgment.
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I love Star Trek. At least, all the Star Trek that Gene Rodenberry made. DS9 and Voyager and climb into a hole and fuck themselves.
    But TOS and TNG? I have most of the books, the technical manuals, the encyclopedia. I can tell every class apart just by looking.

    When the 2009 Star Trek came out I wasn't happy even before going to see it. I didn't think a reboot was necessary, and commented, "Apparently their going the Muppet Babies route, and we'll get to see how it all started." So I resolved not to give them my money. I bought a ticket to Planet Earth and snuck into Star Trek.

    I had also been very disillusioned with Abrams after Lost. The online Lost community made Star Trek fans look like rational, well adjusted, humans. And what's worse was the Lost fan's were jocks. Popular people, whose zealous devotion to a TV show now became somehow..."cool". When it was me and Star Trek I was a nerd, but when it was them and Lost, quoting tiny details was in vogue suddenly.

    And it was worse because, objectively, Lost was terrible science fiction. JJ Abrams doesn't write sci-fi, he just makes some shit up, doesn't explain it, and expects you to eat it up. Nothing makes sense, and the argument I heard from more than one Lost fan, just before being chocked into unconsciousness, was, "It's sci-fi, it's not supposed to make sense".

    That was the developing philosophy behind the movie. A franchise that had gone out of it's way to be scrupulously scientifically exact was now in the hands of a man who just...made shit up. Abrams was never a fan of Star Trek. His didn't like it as a child, and didn't understand why other people did. He was tasked with making it more "mainstream", even it it meant divorcing the franchise from is founding principles.

    So I went in skeptical and came out angry. What I saw wasn't Star Trek, it was an offensive caricature of Star Trek. The new franchise is like Star Trek blackface. And no one would listen when I explained, "Black holes don't fucking work that way. When you go into a black hole you die, you don't go back in time."

    The new characters are blown up and exaggerated versions of themselves, unsubtley taking their most well known attribute and magnifying into absurdity. The plot has holes you could fly a starship through, and Leonard Nimoy makes the stupidest cameo in theatrical history.

    Now with this new movie people are finally catching wise. When Spoke, unironically screams, "Khan!" for no reason I laughed in the theater and I wasn't the only one.
     
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  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I didn't bother with "Into Darkness" because I thought the first Abrams ST film was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen projected on a screen. It was turbo-stupid. I can't believe Orci and Kurtzman still get hired as writers. They don't seem to have a single brain cell between them.
     
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  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I think, as writers, it's our duty to fight bad writing, even when it grosses several hundred million.
     
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  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Jack Asher: Haha, thank you for the massive LOL. I do agree with everything you said, except that, I love DS9 and Voyager, but you are right, they are more space soap operas than real sci-fi. My all time favourite is TNG. I guess with the first series I just couldn't get over the early Godzilla-style special effects, it was before my time. But I grew up with TNG and even now, I am not losing hope that they'll make another (worthy) series.

    I never watched 'Lost'. I was too busy for tv first couple of seasons, and by then I kept hearing it's gone downhill. One of my favourite actresses from my old country, Mira Furlan, played a part in Lost, as well as Babylon 5 ( another show i never quite found the time for, but I know some die-hard fans).

    @minstrel: I so wished I didn't bother with it either. Saturday night 'can't be bothered to do anything else' got the better of me.
     
  18. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    @jazzabel I think Star Trek the Next Generation could be considered one of the most iconic shows of the 20th century.

    If you want to try Babylon 5 I seriously suggest skipping the entire first season. I've had friends completely abandon it, just from the pilot. But, it's absolutely worth it, in my opinion.
     
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  19. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, that might explain it, it was the first season I attempted. Thanks for the recommendation, I might try it out :)
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is a review I wrote in 2009 of Abrams first Star Trek movie.

    Review of Star Trek (J.J. Abrams)

    Major spoilers are in this review. Read with caution!

    I wasn’t planning on reviewing this film. I rarely review films and I was never really that big a fan of the original Star Trek series, so when this film originally came out I wasn’t very interested. But I took a trip to Toronto for the Labor Day weekend last September and this film was shown on the plane. As is usual for me, I didn’t have the headphones, so I just watched about half the movie with no sound. But the look of it impressed me enough to buy the DVD when it came out, and I sat down to watch it the other night hoping for something really cool.

    According to my highly sensitive laboratory instruments, this film is 30% cool and 70% what-the-fuck-were-they-thinking.

    So what’s cool? What is cool, basically, is the cast. I believed absolutely in the actors playing James Kirk and Spock. I believed in the actors playing Chekov and Uhura even somewhat Sulu. I believed Simon Pegg as Scotty, though I wish his part hadn’t consisted almost entirely of comic relief. Did I believe McCoy? Kind of, but he only has about six lines in the whole show and they’re totally over-the-top, as though the writers were trying to distill several seasons of irascibility and curmudgeonliness into what amounts to a cameo.

    So what’s the “what the fuck were they thinking”? That’s easy: the script. This is one of the most mindless and jawdroppingly-stupid science fiction scripts I’ve ever seen that did not, apparently, involve Dean Devlin. It’s hard to know where to begin talking about it. I have notes about how much a cardboard stock villain Nero is. Just a lets-destroy-every-planet-in-the-Federation kind of guy, based on some silly notion that Spock is to blame (in the future???) for not saving Romulus. I didn’t get his motivation at all. He was just pedal-to-the-metal evil the whole way, like a slasher movie ghoul. Brainless. He even puts on the slithery villain voice so popular in lowbrow movies.

    I have notes about starship design from a safety point of view. (Don’t sue me; for the past ten years or so I’ve been involved quite a bit in safety engineering.) Why is it that even centuries in the future when we’re building starships, those starship interiors seem to burst into flame at the slightest touch of an enemy phasor, or Bic lighter. Don’t they use flame-retardant materials in their construction? Don’t they have automatic sprinklers and foam in the crew compartments and passageways? These damn Federation starships are deathtraps! They could be made much safer using TODAY’S technology!

    Here’s more dumbness:

    We first meet Jim Kirk as a young boy driving a sports car at ridiculous speeds across the Midwest for no other reason, apparently, than that he has huge balls and can’t control the seas of testosterone flooding through him. He deliberately destroys the car and very nearly kills himself trying to prove to us, the audience, just how amazingly macho he is even though his voice hasn’t broken yet. This is one of the stupidest scenes in movie history. It was like watching a Star Trek spoof done by the guys who did Airplane!

    Right after Kirk introduces himself, we’re watching the equally-young Spock. This Spock is being bullied and insulted by a gang of utterly unemotional, super-logical Vulcan boys who, um, hate him because he’s a half-breed. So the Vulcan kids aren’t unemotional and logical, they’re just like the worst of human kids. Now maybe you might say that that’s the point, that the logic and control that are the hallmarks of Vulcanhood are disciplines the Vulcans impose upon themselves and are not inborn, but that’s very unconvincing to me. That’s just an excuse to let Vulcan boys be bullies.

    Right after that, we’re watching Kirk (now a young adult, in a manner of speaking) in a bar. Uhura is there and she orders a drink and Kirk is trying to get into her pants before he even knows her name. Some big dumb Star Fleet guys show up to defend her honor and Kirk picks a fight with them just in case we didn’t know how stupid and testosterone-overloaded he was already. This is not the kind of guy you hand the keys to your starship to. This is the kind of guy you train to be a professional wrestler and then you buy tickets to watch him get the crap beaten out of him by bigger morons.

    Then Captain Pike shows up and for the first time we see Kirk interact with someone he doesn’t want to either fuck or punch. Maybe this is because Pike kisses his ass. Dunno … don’t want to think about it.

    Then there’s the Kobayashi Maru test. Kirk doesn’t even try to make it look like he’s not cheating. If you thought he was a macho, self-adoring boob before, watch this scene and see just how comically macho and self-adoring boobs can be. Even Tom Cruise stands in awe of Kirk’s macho self-adoring boobery.

    So then Kirk is in front of some senior people at what may be a disciplinary session, and by pure coincidence, an emergency occurs and all the cadets have to report to ships for Real Life Star Fleet Duty. Kirk is not welcome on board. McCoy uses a ruse to get him aboard, even though nothing in any previous scene has led the viewer to believe that McCoy has much respect for Kirk, or would do this for any reason.

    Then we have an action scene in which the villain Nero is using a drill to drill from outer space down to the center of the planet Vulcan, and the plan to stop this involves about three Star Fleet officers parachuting from orbit onto the drill platform, stopping the drill using whatever tools they find there (machine guns, apparently), and using advanced hand-to-hand combat skills to punch the bad guys in the nose. (Note that unprotected humans falling from orbit is generally a bad idea, as the space shuttle Columbia astronauts found out a few years ago.) Unfortunately, one of the Star Fleet officers is lost during the execution of this brilliant, foolproof plan. The other two, Kirk and Sulu, leap off of or fall off of the drill platform and Chekov runs from the bridge to the transporter room to lock onto them and beam them back aboard the Enterprise just before they’re paste on a mountainside. This works, of course.

    But the villains have dispatched some Red Matter (very dangerous stuff, it seems) into the center of the planet Vulcan where it will form a black hole and destroy Vulcan in minutes. Spock, in command of the Enterprise, finds out about this. His plan? Evacuate the planet Vulcan – over six billion people – in a few minutes! And this even involves him transporting down himself to the planet’s surface to get his mom and dad, because they couldn’t be saved any other way for some reason. Even then, the Enterprise can’t save his mom.

    Somewhere around this point, I stopped trying to drink enough to keep up with the screenwriters and recognized that when it comes to ingesting brain-damaging chemicals, these guys have me beat by miles.

    So now Kirk and Spock have an argument. Kirk wants to take on the bad guys. Spock wants to fall back and regroup. Spock has Kirk thrown off the ship. Kirk lands on a planet where Old Spock From The Future (Leonard Nimoy) already is. At this point I realized I should have kept drinking along with the screenwriters, because THIS is a better place to admit they have me beat than that earlier one.

    BTW, I have a note here that says Old Spock talks about a supernova that will destroy the galaxy. The galaxy (if it’s anything like ours) is a hundred thousand light years wide and supernova blasts can’t go faster than light, so it’ll take a long time for the galaxy to be destroyed even if the supernova is big enough to do it. No immediate danger, in other words … but maybe I should take off my nerd hat and go with the stupid stuff. I’d save myself the trouble of writing this review, such as it is.

    Anyway, all of a sudden there’s Scotty and his equation that allows people to be beamed aboard ships going faster than light, and that saves the day. Kirk confronts Young Spock and manages to get him to admit that he is emotionally compromised and cannot continue as commander of the ship so FINALLY Kirk is in charge. Ta da!

    Scotty beams Kirk and Spock to the Romulan ship in a place where “there shouldn’t be a soul in sight”, but of course every Romulan is there and a gunfight starts immediately. Don’t these Star Fleet guys use any kind of body armor? They seem to like invading enemy ships wearing comfy cotton turtlenecks and Dockers or something.

    So of course the final showdown between the Federation and the world-destroying Romulan villains turns into a fistfight between Kirk and Nero in one of those Galaxy-Quest-like “straight on through the chompers” sets. Whatever. I’d frankly lost interest by this time.

    Oh, it turns out that Old Spock and Young Spock meet and chat and … and … I can’t remember. Who cares?

    There are screenwriters out there who work themselves to death trying to produce internally consistent, reasonable, and believable stories, and that this script got made into a major movie is a slap in all their faces. If it hadn’t been called “Star Trek”, would anybody have given it any respect at all?
     
  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thoroughly enjoyed that @minstrel. Especially this
    and this
    :D

    I forgot about the 'Red matter'. No, actually, I repressed the memory of it.
     
  22. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    So...apparently one drop of red matter can destroy a planet. But they have a giant tank of it...which causes a tiny explosion that just takes out a ship.
     
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  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I thought the film was ok. I'm willing to be forgiving when a re-imagining is taking place, but... The reenactment of the scene where originally Spock dies but now it's Kirk who dies... No. No, no, no. That scene belongs Leonard Nimoy. He grudgingly gave Shatner some screen, but that scene is Nimoy's. It's his. He should have a room in his house where it is stored for safekeeping. It's not Shatner's typical overacting that chokes me up in that scene. It's when Spock gets up, near dead, and still has the presence of mind and the sense of everything Starfleet means and represents to straighten his uniform and take pride in presentation. The new time line should have steered clear of it.
     
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  24. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I was entertained to be honest. I was willing to overlook moronic plot holes like them not being able to beam Khan off of a flying van moving 50mph. Like instead of throwing Spock over the edge so he falls 1000 feet to his death, Khan throws him so he remains ON the van. I'm still able to enjoy it because when I compare it to monstrosities like The Expendables, I feel better knowing the flaws could have been much worse.

    Of course I wasn't a strong follower of the original ST, so that might be another reason.
     
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  25. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wanted to write a few meaningful words on the subject : but naah... It sucked, it sucked big time, and it sucked both as a Star Trek film (which it is not, not really) and as a film (which it barely is - it is not a film as much as a load of 3d models with some unnecessary screams and words in between)... 2009 crap was somewhat watchable - I confess that I'd rather watch it than watching a kitten die. But "Into Darkness"? I'd kill a bunch of kittens with my bare hands and enjoy it before I choose seing it again... blaah
     
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