Star Trek vs. TF: ROTF, Nostalgia vs. Novelty

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Autobot HipHop, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    Pretty much what I think.

    (tho the best part of Trek was seeing Uhura in lingerie, I kinda stop caring after that..)
     
  2. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    I think Star Trek had do deal with two tricky things in film making.

    Time travel which only Red Dwarf seems to get right and fate.

    Time travel, ouch is that ever a can of worms in a story but on the bright side at least it's not as bad as time travel with the Terminator films where so many trips back over load your logic with how can the machine keep sending back machines to the past when it never makes a damn bit of difference. I swear Skylab has an extra go to 10 line in it's programing somewhere.

    Fate, hey every action film has to deal with fate if you want to move a story along. Is it really all that different that people happened to be in the just the right place in Star Trek than it is for a magical cube to come to Earth so Sam's grandfather could find Megatron in the vast frozen wastes and then Bumblebee just happens to be in the one used car lot Sam's dad takes him to buy his first car? Fate putting a hero and his friends in just right spots at just the right time is pretty much as old as story telling itself.
     
  3. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    IF Star Trek was a straight up BSG reboot that didn't even pretend to tie into the previous canon, then I would agree with you.
     
  4. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    I enjoyed the new Trek film more than the ROTF film. My biggest criteria for the comparison would be that the plot, characterization and storytelling was believable and well-paced. I found those same elements lacking in ROTF.

    I absolutely refuse to argue about this. Those are my own personal observations.
     
  5. jamspeed

    jamspeed Follow me on Instagram _jamspeed_

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    Good post, glad I'm not the only one who sees Trek for what is - a flashy movie with a lot of poor/far fetched writing and concepts. Kinda like ROTF, the movie with the same writers and effects company who did Trek. Lets just enjoy (or not enjoy) these movies for what they are and quit putting one on a pedestal as a masterfully written film.
     
  6. Wolfguard

    Wolfguard Your own personal Jesus.

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    My problem with ROTF seems to be the more I see it, the more I want to fast forward some scenes and wish others were longer. The Twins, Wheelie, the roomate - none of them bug me so much as the pacing.

    Alice - cool concept and nod to Pretenders, but completely unnecessary.

    Desert Battle - really cool, but a bit too long.

    Final battle with The Fallen - not long enough.



    This.

    The whole aspect of the movie being connected to estabished continuity still works. It's all canon, and it started with OST episodes like "Mirror Mirror." Want to talk about odds? How about the fact that the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise was on the I.S.S. Enterprise, i.e. none of them had been killed, assasinated, posted elsewhere, etc. prior to that episode. A similar thing happens on DS9 when they venture into their own "Mirrorverse" - oddly enough, the same players are drawn to the same venue and/or to each other. It's all demonstrated in the TNG episode "Parallels" that this is what will happen within the Trek multiverse - that certain people will be drawn together despite the difference in the turn of events within the universe they occupy. So things being different in this new movie, such as the age issues with Pike and Chekov, the appearance of the Enterprise, etc - it's essentially a different quantum reality via Parallels, so there you go.

    As far as that novel, Killing Time? I read the synopsis. Similar idea, but not quite the same at all, plus we all know things will get fixed at the end. In other words, there will most likely be no sequals, where as this new movie will have a sequal, and the events which occurred are unlikely to be undone. Moreover, apart from that, who's read that book? Oh, I'm sure there are droves of Trekkies who have, but so what? I've been into Trek since 1975, and I don't care about 80% of the novels that are out. Even some of the ones which garner praise, I'm not really impressed with (Excalibur comes to mind.)

    All I know is Trek was a DYING franchise, and this movie breathed some much needed life into it. Trek was revitalised. Trek made money. Trek is in again.

    Mission accomplished.

    As far as Nero - I liked him. He's a waaaaaaaay better Romulan than those pansies in Nemesis. He succeded where most other villains have failed - he hurt the Federation and left his mark in that universe's history on a MASSIVE scale. The Romulans have always been my favorite race, and his character made them formidable again - 2nd to none.
     
  7. Autobot HipHop

    Autobot HipHop Covert Operations

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    I dont think people are saying that Star Trek is perfect masterpiece of storytelling bliss but from my point of view I think Star Trek's storyline and characters were treated with far more respect and care then the characters in TF ROTF. All of the characters in ST were far more interesting and fleshed out.

    To be honest, I can sit and nitpick about every single science fiction movie that has ever been made and find flaws and poor writing in spots... I mean it is science fiction afterall. But I think what Star Trek does so well is manage to capture the essence of what makes Star Trek a great franchise. And it starts with Kirk and Spock and also lies with the various crew members and the simple human need to explore. That is what makes Star Trek appealing at its core and makes JJ Abrams movie a fun romp through the galaxy. Abrams was able to capture Rodenberry's vision and expound upon that. That's what I would like to see with the TF franchise, in regards to the characters.

    On a side note, I also wanted to add that the music in Star Trek was spot on! I love the reoccurring main theme throughout the movie. it was Classic Star Trek. Also the reprised Tv Show Theme at the end was well timed and executed.
     
  8. ZeroMayhem

    ZeroMayhem Henshin a Go-Go Baby!

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    Yeah, pretty much that ^^^^

    Perhaps you aren't, but others: ????

    Still I do appreciate that you've (Autobot HipHop) taken the time to address some criticisms while also offering up examples as to why you think certain aspects of the film works. It certainly makes for a more interesting discussion beyond, "I thought it was great because of how great it was and anyone who disagrees now has to explain themselves to me."
    While I may not agree with all of your examples of characterization I can at least see where you are coming from on the subject.

    However my main gripe with the film is more the plot's writing (chiefly among them: Spock being late for no reason, the Red Matter, Kirk getting dumped on DV, Spock being used as a "get out of plot free" card, more so then the individual characters) and you seemed to have skipped over those parts of my argument. Then again what it all comes down to is how much fun someone has watching the movie. The issues I had with the writing made me enjoy it less.

    There is at least one issue that I agree with you 100% on:

     
  9. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    Maybe Spock wasn't late but the destruction of Romulus was early.

    I think the thing of Spock giving Scotty the formula for distant transporting to a warping ship was a nice thing sorta connected to when Scotty handed out the formula for transparent aluminum in the past in whichever movie that was. Maybe Scotty is the temporal conduit for how much of the universe's technology is actually 'developed'. Nothing is ever invented, only passed through from or to Scotty via time travel. :p 

    As for the Red Matter, it's a mcguffin. I doesn't really need much explaining, if any. It's a thing which does a thing. It's a writing tool so the plot can be set up or moved from point to point without having to think of a proper explanation. So in that respect the Red Matter worked perfectly. Maybe it'll get explained in some other Star Trek thing in the future.
     
  10. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    I assumed it was either because:

    - That little ship was in preparation/development for the mission. He makes a comment to this effect, that the ship needed to be "outfitted" (likely to carry and deliver the red matter, I'd guess)

    - There was an error in calculation or the variables changed, resulting in the demise of Romulus earler than expected.



    It didn't seem all that important to me, really. Bottom line, he didn't get there in time... and the reasons why wouldn't have mattered to Nero anyway.
     
  11. Awesomus Prime

    Awesomus Prime I rise, you fall.

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    Sure, Star Trek didn't have juvenile toilet humor. But, other than that, both it and ROTF are, essentially, the same type of movie. Both are huge, fun, explosive, effects-driven, summer blockbusters that reinvent an old sci-fi series, and both were very financially successful. In the end, it's really more of a matter of preference, than a matter of quality.

    Personally, I liked G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra more than either of them. And I don't even like the G.I. Joe franchise that much...
     
  12. Autobot HipHop

    Autobot HipHop Covert Operations

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    I think there are a lot more differences between the two movies, other then toilet humor, that are listed in the previous comments.
     
  13. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    I will happily join this club. :thumbs2: 

    Star Trek is one of the most amazingly overhyped pieces of mindless fluff to pop out of Hollywood's rear end lately... but I'm routinely poleaxed by just how uniformly peole enjoyed it. It strikes some sort of golden mean. It entertains. It's fun, and on that level, I guess it succeeds.

    It benefits from fairly tight pacing, decent effects, and a pretty good cast of stand-ins for beloved cultural icons. I enjoyed it myself, though I also did my share of eyeball-rolling at some of the stoopider stuff. :) 

    Now here's the question... who gets the credit? Kurtzman and Orci wrote both Transformers AND Star Trek. The writing is possibly the weakest element of Star Trek, so I think those two cheeseball hacks just lucked out. I guess we can say JJ Abrams has a bit more of a coherent vision than Michael Bay... barely. :) 

    True... in Star Trek, the old characters and their familiar foibles were the touchstone for the film.

    In Bayformers, they were nothing more than vaguely recognizable shapes and names with zero personality... a backdrop for a cast of paper-thin human characters to caper around doing vaudevillle routines, with a healthy dose of testosterone-driven flag-waving military fetishism for good measure.

    I don't mind having humans. I've long thought that Transformers need humans in order to create a context of wonderment. However, having the humans completely overshadow not only the Transformers themselves, but the entire plot, with stupid sub-sophomoric comedy routines, is a pretty crappy way to create "human interest".

    I mean, seriously... the scripts for both Bayformers movies were so resoundingly convoluted, conflicted and AWFUL, that I'm not sure a single person could write such garbage on purpose... I guess that's why it took 2 of them. ;) 

    I know a lot of people have already quoted you on these points... allow me to do it again. :thumbs2: 

    I'm sorry dude... but that's a pure bullshit reason. Throwing that out there is pretty much flinging feces in the face of the entire cinematic and scriptwriting craft. Are you seriously suggesting that you can't develop characters meaningfully inside of a 2 hour movie???

    I mean, it takes something called "skill" and "intelligence" to do it well... so maybe that's why it seems too difficult for Kurzman and Orci.

    Or maybe I'm coming down too hard on K & O... maybe they are smart guys who just don't give a shit. I mean, we're the ones who eat it up with a spoon, right? They get to turn in a mediocre product and laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe they're actually BRILLIANT. :redface2: 

    TRUTH.

    I love you for using these examples. :) 

    But they are good examples... because both are essentially action blockbuster thrillers. They are popcorn-crunching entertainment movies, and yet they do NOT feel the need shortchange internal plot logic, character development or narrative structure in order to achieve "entertainment". There is this prevailing notion among the dummies of the world that "entertainment" and "smart writing" cannot be reconciled, and that to have a well-written film, you ultimately end up with some kind of boring art-drama or oscar-bait movie. So sad...

    And what's sad about that... is that the only reason we even feel ANYTHING (if at all) when Optimus "dies" in ROTF, is because everyone makes such a big deal about it. Boo hoo. The truth is that Optimus has barely done anything in 2 movies to make us actually feel anything for him. He is barely a character... his appeal surfs almost exclusively on his recognizable design and voice, and the referential sound bites they keep writing for him (in between grandfatherly gems like "Any last words...?" and "I want your face!!!" )

    What we're implying is that EVERYONE should care when a character is given GOOD characterization. Or even ANY characterization.

    The goal here ideally would be for non-fans to walk out of a Transformers movie, and say something like "Y'know... I loved Starscream... what a great, deliciously treacherous villain!".

    Instead, the response is more like "I thought the grey one looked cool... no, not that one, the OTHER grey one. The jet one, not the one that talked like a 90's gangsta rapper."

    Y'know... maybe it's just because I am a fencer myself, but I HATED that too. I always sort of liked the way that Sulu was, un-stereotypically, a Japanese guy who doesn't do Japanese martial arts.

    Ugh... don't stare at it too long... it's like looking at the sun. The brain can only handle so much suspension of disbelief before going into shutdown. Save yourself! :) 

    I was waiting for that too... :) 

    Indeed... :rolleyes2 

    ... so... much... bad... slapstick... why???

    To be entirely fair, Pegg was given nothing to do, besides absolutely inane comic relief. I felt bad for him. Quinto was okay as Kid Spock, though he certainly can't channel Nimoy's mature gravitas. Most of the issues with them is in the writing of the characters, not their performance.

    I KNOW!!! Who knew Urban could act without a sword in his hand?? (or WITH a sword in his hand, even!).

    Really? Really?

    If by "deeper" you mean that ROTF had MORE stories, and none of them handled well.... maybe. :) 

    I've also heard that the sky is blue and water is wet. ;) 

    Not that I disagree with you about the contrivances in the plot, but wasn't the point of the Red Matter that it would accelerate a supernova to a black hole state? I mean, from there we only need to accept that a black hole is actually a portal through time and space, rather than simply an ultra condensed mass of heavy matter, right? I mean, that's a given of science-fiction! :D 

    That entire segment was ******ed on an epic scale. EPIC.

    :lol  True!

    I think this sums up what is fundamentally wrong with Bay's approach.

    Incoherent battle sequence with no particular order, goal, tension, or sense of cause-and-effect... just endless repetitive scenes of explosions, running in slow motion, and US army guys giving Bay hand jobs... er, I mean "running around showing off their cool toys and acting manly". CHECK.

    Climactic battle scene between the ultimate villains and the ultimate hero, involving Prime's ressurection, Jetfire's sacrifice, a confrontation between Fallen and Prime millions of years in the making, and the opportunity for a giant Transformer duel to end all Transformer duels... MEH.

    You can really see where Bay places the importance.

    Yeah... I really like the way they upped the ante on Star Trek villainy. We've seen Khan and the Borg Queen and a clone of Picard... and now for the latest and most EXPLOSIVE Trek movie... an irate space miner!!!

    Oh, and he has a mining ship... from the future!!! Be afraid!! :D 

    zmog
     
  14. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Nero was the LAMEST of villians to grace a Trek movie.

    Khan- criminal mastermind with 3rd world nation dictator mentality.
    Borg Queen- a queen alien behind a bio-organic race responsible of mass genocides

    Nero- Harry Stamper pissed off.

    The only way Nero could do as much damage as he did was by the demolition of his homeworld, the loss of 90% of his race and the lack of infrastructure.
    In other words- he got lucky.
     
  15. Awesomus Prime

    Awesomus Prime I rise, you fall.

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    Well, of course there are. One's about a crew of officers who explore the galaxy on a state-of-the-art star vessel, and the other is about a civil war between giant alien robots that morph into vehicles and weapons. Both are very different concepts.

    But, movie-goers still went to those movies for the same reasons. Cool special effects, awesome action, and a story about good triumphing over evil. Essentially they wanted a fun, explosive roller coaster ride, and in that aspect, both movies more than delivered (albeit in their own special little way). They're both the same type of movie. In the end, it all boils down to taste. Neither film was unwatchable, nor were they able to satisfy every single person who spent money to go watch them.
     
  16. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    Well, let's face it- unless you want the movies to be like the comics, which possess overdeveloped versions of every G1 character (who, in the first place, where extremely underdeveloped), you're not going to get solid Cybertronian Characters. Because the Transformers franchise has jumped around so much, you basically only have three solid characters- Optimus, stalwart leader, and Megatron, ultimate evil, and Starscream, treacherous bastard. If the movies had been based off of Beast Wars or Animated, we would have gotten great characters- but G1, Beast Machines, RiD, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron have had terrible and minimal characterization. No nostalgia chord can be struck because there haven't really been many characters.

    And I didn't particularly enjoy Star Trek, either. I've read a lot of Star Trek parodies and I felt that the movie was a parody of the characters- Kirk especially. The womanizer part of him was pretty freaking ridiculous. Spock came off as a huge dick, and the only character I could really like was Bones, because he realized how stupid every character was. Also, alternate reality= Fail. That's taking younger versions of characters and having Leonard Nimoy say, "You guys should be together, so get back and make friends with them!"
     
  17. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    What about Dr. Soren? Even Malcolm McDowell couldn't save that guy.
     
  18. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    I think this is it, really. Star Trek had to deal with an ensemble cast where everyone got a little moment and we got a sense of who they are and what they're like. RotF seemed to "short change" many of the characters, or just ditch them with no explanation. Wheelie had a personality, he was funny, he just vanishes from the film and is never referred to again.

    That's just poorly done, no matter how you slice it.

    Star Trek was nowhere near perfect, but to me and obviously others, the characters got the sort of attention we seemed to think was merited. We got fun moments between Bones and Kirk, we got those great scenes with Spock as a child and before the Academy. Sulu got to be badass, Uhura got a lot more to do than she ever had before, Chekov got some fun stuff to do that also showed off his innate brilliance, and so on.

    RotF didn't seem to give us a lot of that. All 'cons save Megs and Screamer were essentially fodder. Even The Fallen got little in the way of actual characterization beyond "evil megalomaniac".

    There we are again. Aside from broad "types", the TFs were, as I stated, for the most part not "people".

    Yay, me! But you hit the nail on the head. "Action film" does not have to mean "don't give a shit about plot or characterization". It is no more expensive to do those things well. They're words on a page, they're dialogue scenes that cost less to film.

    I doubt, in 10 years, RotF is going to be the classic Aliens is.

    Look everyone: Aliens (1986) - Memorable quotes

    Read those. How many of those lines are still quoted regularly?

    How much insight do we gain into the characters, their relationships, their inner lives? It's a lot, and there were a good number of them.

    Even the "secondary" characters like Hudson or Vasquez, they had their moments, and most viewers agree they had "good deaths". Hudson found his balls and went down in a blaze of glory, Vasquez and Gorman had a weirdly "sweet" moment before going out with a bang. This is because over the course of the film, we gew to know them in little moments.

    Audiences would never have been so gutted by the decision to kill Hicks, Bishop, and Newt offscreen in Alien 3 if we hadn't grown to feel something for those characters.

    So...who cared about the deaths of Jazz? Arcee? The Fallen? Anyone really care that Mudflap was apparently dead after Devastator sucked him up?

    *Crickets*

    That's a problem and a poor precedent to set.

    - Coeloptera
     
  19. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    I cared when Mudflap died. He got all eated up.
     
  20. ZeroMayhem

    ZeroMayhem Henshin a Go-Go Baby!

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    :lol  Of course! Then that means at the end of the film when the Red Matter creates the black hole that sucks in Nero's ship he's not dead at all, he just gets dumped into yet another timeline! Then again, that didn't have a super nova to go with it, just the warp core explosion that Scotty causes to save the Enterprise, so I guess Nero might actually end up in the Star Wars Universe about two years before A New Hope.

    All joking aside, Smog's post makes excellent points (and makes me happy that this little "club" isn't as empty as I first thought). :)