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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 144
# 18
12-04-2012, 02:23 AM
Speaking for my part, I don't hate JJ, and I'm okay with him changing things. It'd be more accurate to say I'm half-in, hold-out on the most recent film:

The good:
Liked the characters and their respective actors. They weren't much more than sketches, but those sketched were well executed and fun for what they were IMO (well... Karl Urban kinda felt like he was doing a joke impression more than an actual performance, but still)

Liked the production design for the most part, highlights for me being the Kelvin, starbase/spacedock, and the shuttles. My god, the Kelvin was awesome.

Pacing was very good. Action was good too. Don't mind at all that it was more action oriented.

Loved that they had the balls to blow up Vulcan. The movies in the past have mostly tended to be very reset-button heavy, more so than the TV series actually, which is strange since with most TV shows that get movies, the movies are seen as where you REALLY get your epic on and break out with the game changing stuff. Not since the original 1701 got blown up in ST-III has the been anything like that (I kinda don't count Kirk's death, as he was already out to pasture both in universe and franchise-wise anyway)

"I've got your gun": this is a small thing, but I'm really really glad the dialog in this film actually felt natural. Trek, especially the later series, was really bad at natural dialog. The use of "gun" instead of "phaser" or "phase pistol", or some other awkward and unnaturally overspecific term in circumstances where a real person would just use the simple/general term is a prime example.

Somewhat related to the above: "Hi, Christopher. I'm Nero.". I LOLed. It was humorously unexpected, and said a lot about the difference between the two characters.

The bad:
Nothing in the writing makes any sense. Underneath the shinies the whole thing is really is a mess held together with chewing gum and twine. Didn't notice on the first viewing so much, cause the pacing and such was good enough to keep me having fun anyway, but it became really glaring on repeat views, and has kinda ruined a lot of the movie for me. If I had one "this must improve in the next one or I'm gone" issue, this would be it. It's just appallingly badly written, and there's no excusing that.

Some of Kirk's enthusiasm at the shooty stuff felt wrong. It makes sense for the sort of person the movie paints him to be in this timeline, but I think this is what people are really keying off of when they say the movie felt un-Trek in it's attitude. We'll have to see if this gets more development, or if it actually was supposed to be representative of the flim's/filmmaker's/intended audience's attitude.

The Enterprise design itself: I can see where they were trying to go with this, but the parts just don't mesh. Too many bits out of scale with each other, too many bits blatantly borrowed wholesale from the Refit and others. Supposedly those weren't part of the initial design and were shoehorned in late at the request of JJ or a producer. Should've left well enough alone and stuck with the initial concept. Also: giant physical spinning fan blades in the bussard collectors? Really?

The engineering decks of both the Kelvin and the Enterprise utterly fail to look like anything other than the brewery they were filmed in. They don't in the slightest look like they're on a ship, they look like they're in a building, on the ground. It's utterly jarring in it's unconvincingness. Seriously, Starlost gets ruthlessly mocked for this exact smeg, but Star Trek gets a pass? And they don't look like high energy hardware, they look like chem hardware (cause they are: it's a brewery). I'm totally cool with them wanting to make these locations look more klugey and industrial, but, well, look at pictures of CERN, or hydroelectric plants, or nuke plants. Chem industrial and energy industrial look very, VERY different. Did like the corridors and bridge sets, though ('cept for the supermarket scanners. What's up with those?)

Terrible plot-relevant basic science issues that go beyond nerd nitpicking and into "these people should have their high-school diploma rescinded" territory. Basically like the very very worst eps of Voyager or Enterprise in this regard. Worse than brainless.

Single most glaring product placement EVER by virtue of having zero logic for the setting. I very very very strongly doubt that Nokia will still be a company in 300 years, and if it is, neither it nor it's products will be recognizable. The car I can believe as a private collector piece, but a (now outdated) modern smart phone? STILL IN USE? 300 YEARS FROM NOW?

#%^%@! shaky cam.

&*^%$#! lens flairs.

So yeah, half-in, half out. It's basically a Michael Bay movie with better editing, less flag worship, and more likable characters. Fun, but totally vapid. I don't have much experience with JJ (haven't seen any of his other shows/movies), so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I hope he was just setting the hook with the first one, and has been taking the opportunity to put more thought into the second one's writing.

Last edited by connectamabob; 12-04-2012 at 02:41 AM.