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*** Official STAR TREK (2009) Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Stephen Orr, May 6, 2009.

  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Watched the BD the other night (only the 2nd time I have seen the movie), and it's a very good film. The casting is really tremendous. The people in the various roles made famous by other people do such a good job of inhabiting those parts that you feel that it is the characters you know and at the same time that you are seeing them in a new way.

    I will however, discuss a few things I did not like, minor in the scheme of things. Let's start with Nero's ship. It's terrible. I know it is supposed to look like some horrible, imposing creature in space, but it's just a mess. It doesn't look like much of anything, let alone a starship capable of more destruction than warships. I thought the movie folks failed big time in Nemesis with the silly appearance of the Romulan ship, but this is just as silly looking. (Meanwhile, the Romulans always had very good looking ships in TOS, TNG and DS9.)

    I know there is this whole elaborate backstory about Nero and how he was just a regular guy who got overwhelmed by extraordinary circumstances, etc. etc. But come on. Eric Bana plays him as a mustache-twirling villain who wants destruction simply for revenge. Explaining his motivation in a comic book isn't sufficient for crafting a good movie. NOTE TO STAR TREK WRITERS AND PRODUCERS: Enough of the Khan villain template! It was done successfully exactly once, and every time since hasn't measured up. Come up with something new.

    Enough, also, with destruction. No less than two planets bite the dust in this movie. Use the special effects budget to showcase something wondrous and awe-inspiring, not to blow shit up.

    Still, it was really a terrific movie. The origins of the relationship between the characters was handled so well that it felt honest. McCoy's comment to Kirk about Spock - "I like him" - was a highlight. Easily one of the best Trek movies, and certainly one of the best films of the year.
     
  2. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Nero's ship is the first civilian Romulan ship I think we've ever seen in Trek. It looked pretty scary enough coming out of that rift to me! And I can believe a late 24th century mining vessel might be able to kick some 23rd century starships around.

    And I didn't need the comic book to understand that losing your wife, unborn child, and your entire civilization all at once, might make you a little crazy and obsessed with revenge.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I’ve seen the JJ Abrams film twice in the theater and once last night on blu ray. Plus a rewatched a few sections while listening to the audio commentary. I have to say that I enjoyed it more this time. When I first saw it, perhaps it was a shock to the system to see this incarnation with the new actors. But above all, I had issues with the main MacGuffin. And I still do and probably will for a while. The MacGuffin is Nero’s time travel back that causes the death of George Kirk and to a lesser degree, the birth of James T. Kirk in space, rather then in Iowa. Though he does grow up in Iowa, so maybe that’s nitpicking. This new timeline is explained as an alternate reality. What’s funny is that now, this film is considered an alternate reality film. As such, it means that the TOS that we know still exists, as far as the writers are concerned. But the more I think about it, Nero came back in time and altered the life paths of our Universe. He literally came back and reset the timeline so new events will occur now. I didn’t see any evidence to suggest that the original timeline continues. Spock Prime at the end even says there are so few Vulcans left, he’s sticking around to help rebuild his world. At least Spock was able to save the Vulcan elders and the cultural history. So I suppose nothing is really lost. As I viewed the film this time, I did not remember the lines in the cave on Delta Vega where Kirk asks Spock if his other self knew his father. And Spock affirms that he did and he saw Kirk take command of the Enterprise. I rather liked that, it was so quick, it didn’t stick in my mind. Because I didn’t like how the film starts with Kirk being such a punk wasting his life getting into bar fights. I now realize that Pike sort of becomes that father figure he was missing that Kirk Prime had. I didn’t like how Kirk skipped 13 years in this film and missed being a brash young Lieutenant in the Prime Universe to Starship Captain in this film. But after seeing the film again, I know that the incursion from Nero messed things up. I had hoped that after Kirk and crew saves Earth at the end of the film, that he’d still have a few more years to go before they gave him command of the Enterprise. But in retrospect, this film is full of little moments that it’s a shorthand way to get from punk kid to Captain in one movie. I have the same feeling for Pike that I had the first time, I really like how he is portrayed in this film. Greenwood made the role his own. He had enough gravitas and strength of character to be a father figure to Kirk and leader of men. So I can now more easily accept the path of alternate timeline Kirk. And if it was intended or not, I thought Captain Pike was great as Kirk’s surrogate father figure. As far as McCoy goes, Urban was very good. But I felt the writers took it right to the line and perhaps crossed it by using too many of his often used phrases. “Dammit Jim!”, and “I’m a Doctor, not a Physicist” and such. I know they had to do it. I think they also brought in a touch of De Kelley from the films verses the De Kelley of the series. In the films, he tended to almost be a parody or exaggeration. I hated how they made Scotty less the serious and capable engineer and the comic relief and disgraced engineer who lost Archer’s beagle. The rest of the characters like Sulu, Chekov and Uhura I really liked. As most TOS hardliners, I had issues with Uhura and Spock together. But she did flirt with him once and only once in TOS, in The Man Trap. I guess Quinto Spock is still trying to deal with his emotions at this stage of his life, as the actor had said in interviews. The new Enterprise is another character we all love. I think the new version is a mix of hit or miss. I already commented earlier in this thread about what I don’t like about, so I’ll keep it short. It’s malformed and out of proportion! The extras on the second disc show the CGI artist say how they made it twice as large as the original. I think on paper they can say that, but to me, it looks about the same size based on window sizes and the size of the bridge dome compared to The Motion Picture version. I’ve seen the original Ryan Church design illustration and it’s a better design until the CGI guys and Chambliss, the art director, decided to amp up the engine size and tweak other areas. On another note, I can remember in the early 70’s seeing the original 1936 Buster Crabbe version of Flash Gordon. I thought it was pretty neat for what it was. But I liked Star Trek way better, it was more real to me. Of course, this is not exactly apples to apples. But there is a 30 year gap between Flash Gordon and Star Trek TOS. I can imagine what it must feel like for a young kid to see the original 40 year old Star Trek and then see the Abrams Trek. They will likely feel how I felt. I will be interesting to see how the kids today, who’ve seen TOS feel about the new movie! It is their movie now.
    Sam, I agree with you. The next film would be nice if there was less destruction and Khan like villains. But it seems the formula they feel they need. (TOS did have a fairly high destruction count too) Star Trek The Motion Picture had no villain and was more intellectual. And TMP is one of the best of the Trek films I feel. But they use it to measure what works too. The Voyage Home had no villain, but it did do very well. So that is the better measure. But I liked the first film’s harder Sci-Fi take, it just need that bit of humanity the series had.
     
  4. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Nelson,

    As I mentioned in some thread, Nero was to me a complete afterthought in this film. From my perspective, he wasn't necessary, and really didn't do too much to move the film forward. I was much more impressed (as it seems you were) with seeing the characters as their younger versions, and with all of the TOS references. These kept me entertained (and nostalgic) throughout the film. Perhaps when I watch it again, I will pay more attention to Nero and some of the other aspects included in the film that you brought up.

    That dialog in the cave is imperative for what will eventually occur between Spock and Kirk on the Bridge. I missed it when I saw it in the theater, so seeing Spock's (albeit provoked) anger was a bit of a surprise to me.
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I think the movie could have ended with Kirk being made first officer to Capt Pike on the Enterprise. Then you could have the sequel open with it being a few years later with Pike leaving and Kirk taking over.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Trekmovie.com has the cut scene written for William Shatner that would appear at the end of the film. Placed in the scene when Spock Prime meets and speaks with Quinto Spock and right before the last scene. The link to trekmovie below takes you to the story with details about. It says that there was concern that Shatner would not do it as he has said in the past he would not do cameos. Plus the concerns of Abrams.

    http://trekmovie.com/2009/11/23/read-the-star-trek-2009-scene-written-for-william-shatner/

    And here's the actual text:
    ALTERNATE SCENE B SPOCK PRIMEThen I ask that you do yourself a favor… put away logic, and do what feels right. The world you’ve inherited lives in the shadow of incalculable devastation… but there’s no reason you must face it alone. And from around his neck, he removes the PENDANT that until now, we’ve only caught glimpses of. Places it on the table beside his younger self. The feeling in his eyes is profound… SPOCK PRIME (CONT’D)This was a gift to me. Representing… a dream. One we were unable to fulfill.(softly)The way you can now. And moves to the door. Stops. Offers the VULCAN SALUTE: SPOCK PRIME (CONT’D)As my customary farewell would appear oddly self serving, I will simply say… good luck. Their eyes hold. Spock turns, disappearing into the corridor. Young Spock stares at the empty doorway a beat, his mind a jumble of thoughts. Looks to the pendant… and realizes it’s a HOLO-EMITTER. After considering a beat, he hits an activation button and a MOVING HOLOGRAPHIC MESSAGE materializes before him: CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK. WILLIAM SHATNER. As always, brash, wry, confident — and SINGING: KIRK/ SHATNERHappy birthday to you, happy birthday to you… (stops, grins)I know I know, it’s illogical to celebrate something you had nothing to do with, but I haven’t had the chance to congratulate you on your appointment to the ambassadorship so I thought I’d seize the occasion… Bravo, Spock — they tell me your first mission may take you away for awhile, so I’ll be the first to wish you luck… and to say…(beat, emotional)I miss you, old friend. … and we’re PUSHING IN on Young Spock, taking in the image of Kirk’s future self, the message, but above all — the clear, unquestionable friendship these two men had… INT. CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS As Spock Prime walks off down the corridor, he passes right by a man conferring with a nurse — the man pauses, turns… it’s SAREK. Suddenly overcome by a feeling that the stranger who’s just passed him is… oddly familiar. KIRK/SHATNER (V.O.)I suppose I’d always imagined us… outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching life swing us into our Emeritus years… INT. STARBASE ONE – HANGAR – ETERNAL NIGHT MUSIC BUILDING — glass walls reveal THE ENTERPRISE at dock, UTILITY CRAFTS floating around it, repairing. Standing at attention in rows, THE ENTERPRISE CREW — over four hundred of them wearing DRESS UNIFORMS — TRACK DOWN the faces, all proud: KIRK/SHATNER (V.O.)I look around at the new cadets now and can’t help thinking… has it really been so long? Wasn’t it only yesterday we stepped onto the Enterprise as boys? That I had to prove to the crew I deserved command… and their respect? And we STOP ON YOUNG KIRK. Composed, focused, proud. A man. And to every fan’s delight, finally wearing his YELLOW SHIRT. The FEDERATION COMMANDANT stands at a podium: COMMANDANTThis assembly calls Captain James Tiberius Kirk… Kirk breaks from formation, pivots, marches down the hangar — past UHURA… SULU… CHEKOV… SCOTTY. All Beaming. Notably absent, is Spock. Kirk ascends the stairs, snaps to attention: COMMANDANT (CONT’D)Your inspirational valor and supreme dedication to your comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of service and reflect utmost credit to yourself, your crew, and the Federation. By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby directed to report to Commanding Officer, USS Enterprise, for duty as his relief. Kirk turns. Walks to… PIKE. In a wheelchair now, wearing an ADMIRAL’S UNIFORM. Overnight, his hair’s turned totally grey — but despite his trauma, his pride’s overwhelming. They SALUTE each other: KIRKI relieve you, Sir. PIKE… I am relieved. He opens a BOX in his lap — glorious in repose, a MEDAL: PIKE (CONT’D)And as Fleet Admiral, for your… unique solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it’s my honor to award you with a commendation for original thinking. Pike containing a smirk, pins the medal to Kirk’s chest… PIKE (CONT’D)(a touch choked)Congratulations, Captain. KIRKThank you, Sir. Kirk turns to the crowd. Eyes shining. WILD APPLAUSE. OUR MUSIC SOARS. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his eyes: BONES… Same ship, different day. As Kirk rejoins his crew for hugs and congratulations, we go to the BACK of the hangar… SPOCK PRIME. Watching. Moved beyond words. He turns and leaves them to it… as he goes… KIRK/SHATNER (V.O.)I know what you’d say — ‘It’s their turn now, Jim…’ And of course you’re right… but it got me thinking: INT. STARFLEET HOSPITAL – EARTH – DAY Our montage comes full circle as we END on Kirk’s transmission: KIRK/SHATNERWho’s to say we can’t go one more round? By the last tally, only twenty five percent of the galaxy’s been chartered… I’d call that negligent. Criminal even — an invitation. You once said being a starship captain was my first, best destiny… if that’s true, then yours is to be by my side. If there’s any true logic to the universe… we’ll end up on that bridge again someday. Stops, grins. Because this is the part he needs to say most… KIRK/SHATNERAdmit it, Spock. For people like us, the journey itself… is home. Young Spock’s face. Lost in feelings that flood through him.
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Scott-

    Yeah, the cave scene for me was about Kirk understanding his destiny and what his life would be like in the other universe.

    The scene where Spock Prime later tells Pine/Kirk that he has to make Quinto/Spock realize he's emotionally compromised was a fun homage to This Side of Paradise. But to me, Pine didn't do it as well as Shatner did. It seemed so forced. "Your father was a computer, like his son!"
     
  8. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Nelson,

    Thanks for the cut scene text (Kirk). I just read it -- very interesting. I do wish (somehow) that some footage had been shot of this. Think of how great it would have been to see it on the Collector's Editions (SD or blu-ray).
     
  9. David Forbes

    David Forbes Supporting Actor

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    Oh my God, I LOVE that cut scene! I really wish they'd done it!
     
  10. Greg.K

    Greg.K Screenwriter

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    That scene with Shatner would have been awesome. It's too bad they didn't do it.
     
  11. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I noticed quite a few are comparing this film to the others, how it lines up or how the time line has been changed. As I see it, this film is a complete restart to the franchise so it cannot be compared to anything previously Star Trek.
     
  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    The blu-ray looked fantastic. I rented the film on the off chance that it might grow on me, but the problems I had with it seemed to be even more pronounced. The Supernova explanation for Romulus's destruction is still stupid. In fact, it is so stupid it should have been in a Roland Emmerich disaster film, not a Star Trek movie. Spock's Red Matter exposition still strikes me as badly written and poorly delivered. Nimoy delivers the explanation in a tone that makes it sound like even he thought it was inane.
     
  13. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Alias had a big red ball of mysterious matter to. That it appeared in Star Trek too was just a way for JJ to put his signature red balls into play.
     
  14. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Originally Posted by Will_B
     
  15. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    I have to chime in and say I really wish the deleted green girl scene had been left in. I love how it ties in with Kirk's test and how he constructed the whole thing. In fact, I didn't have a problem with any of the deleted scenes and would love to see an extended cut someday.
     
  16. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    If you listen to the commentary Abrams remarks about his decision to have Kirk eat an apple during the kobayashi maru test. Not only was it not a subtle touchstone to the adjacent scene from TWOK, he seems to be entirely unaware of its relevance.

    It make me wonder, given his often bizarre choices, how much of his success is just pure dumb luck.
     
  17. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Likewise. JJ could have left all the deleted scenes in and the movie, I think, would have flowed better and not have dragged the movie out too long.

    The extra on the Starships was fantastic. I work just a couple of blocks from the Long Beach Power Plant where they filmed the inside of the Narada.
     
  18. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Ron,

    I fully agree about leaving the deleted scenes in.

    We watched some of the special features tonight. In particular, we watched all of the deleted scenes; the making of the film ("To boldly go"); and the segment on casting. We'll probably watch the feature on 'Aliens' next.

    The deleted scenes added so much to the film. I believe some of them ought to have been left in, such as the young Kirk and his older brother scene, and the Rura Penthe scene with Nero. Spock's birth was also quite moving. I thought the footage for Nero added much depth to his character -- it informed the viewer of much with regard to what was occurring to him while he waited for Spock to arrive. Often, leaving out segments such as these really does do a disservice to the viewer, especially with regard to continuity. But I understand the constraints under which TPTB often have to work.
     
  19. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way about the deleted scenes. I think they would've made the movie better, some things would actually be explained (it's nice that Spock says Kirk cheated, but since we don't see how, we don't know if he actually did or not) and Nero would be a more compelling villain than he is now. Spock's birth was also an incredibly moving scene. Since most of these scenes aren't that long, I doubt that it would've interrupted the 'flow' of the movie.
     
  20. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    I wonder if Abrams -- with his attention to detail in various projects -- will ever attempt to distribute a Director's Cut of the film. That would be a real treat for hardcore fans. I'm not sure, however, who ultimately has the authority to grant permission for such an undertaking.
     

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