Print Story The new Star Trek
By ucblockhead (Mon May 18, 2009 at 10:06:35 PM EST) (all tags)
Not bad.

I'd given up on Star Trek movies, but what with JJ Abrams taking over and the general positive buzz, I figured I'd give it a shot.

It's not going to win an Oscar, most assuredly, but it was a pretty good action movie and perhaps the second or third best Star Trek movie.  They used a nifty bit of writing to save the franchise from canon complaints, though it does seem odd that essentially every other bit of Star Trek media now didn't happen...other than "Enterprise" I suppose.  They did a pretty good job at getting actors to replay old roles, though many of the bit players were mere caricatures.

There were, of course, scientific gaffs a mile wide.  But it wouldn't be Star Trek without those.

The special effects were surprisingly poor, I thought.  I guess I've gotten used to Battlestar Galactica because I found the battles confused and a lot of the other effects simply overblown.  One of the things I've liked about BSG is that you always get a sense of who is where and always feel like there are rules being followed.  Not so much here, where everything is too close up, to frenetic and too random.  (Or, for that matter, "Serenity", for which the big battle scene was also less random flash.)

I also found the Enterprise itself badly done.  There were too many wide-open fifty-foot ceilings, making it look like a sound stage full of stuff, not the interior of a space ship.  That, combined with the dinky little bridge the size of my living room was just odd.  Again, on BSG, the Galactica interior always looked like something built for function where space is at a premium.

But it certainly moved along at a nice clip, contained all the necessary action (if a bit of it was overblown), and all the right callbacks to the originals.  Abrams does well with character, but I don't think he's really gotten special effects.

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The new Star Trek | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
YOU TAKE THAT BACK MISTER by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue May 19, 2009 at 12:29:49 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:48:28 AM EST

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the dinky little bridge by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:57:49 AM EST
Even on ST:TNG the bridge was (comparatively) tiny. On BSG the bridge was also the CIC, and other things besides. I don't think the Enterprise even has a CIC.

The bridge on an aircraft carrier is pretty damned small, too.

BSG was, considering its religious bent, a very technical show. Many of the props were actual military equipment (the phones used throughout the ship, for example, are TA-1s), and they used bullets and missiles rather than variations on Ray Guns. The technical improbabilities weren't too improbable.

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Dinky bridges by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:42:05 PM EST
It wasn't so much that it was dinky as that they made the bridge half the size of the old one while making other parts of the ship look like warehouses.  Bridges are small because space is precious but with this Enterprise, space didn't seem remotely precious.

The BSG bridge is the best one I've seen.  It looked like someplace people actually worked.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
The best special effects by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:18:31 AM EST
are those you don't notice instantly. I'm sick of CGI and horrible scripts designed to show off nothing more than what a bunch of fucking nerds can do with Bryce, Adobe and a monstrous fuck-off Beowulf cluster of a rendering farm.

One of my favouritest films EVAR has special effects that you can't tell were used, and there were no computers involved. Bringing Up Baby (1938) had a couple of scenes with a big, toothy cat and somewhat less ferocious (and more predictable) actors. You can't tell which scenes were composited.

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I agree completely by gzt (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:08:42 AM EST
Buster Keaton films, too, were very tricky in their time. Modern people who don't know a thing about cameras don't even realize there are tricks - very hard tricks.

[ Parent ]
CGI by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:44:30 PM EST
I think CGI destroyed the Star Wars series.  When you had to use models, you had to give attention to what is actually going on.

Bladerunner is, in my mind, the height of SF special effects.  Few CGI films match it in terms of pure beauty and realism.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
What impressed me about the by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:22:10 PM EST
"making of" bits in the Lord of the Rings DVDs was that CGI was the absolute last ditch method of special effects. Want to scale Frodo down to hobbit-size? Do it the old fashioned way: park him 3 feet down the table from "Gandalf", when he looks like he's just across from him. Need a big-old fort for the big battle? Carve one out a a quarry. Use actors for the foreground, extras for the mid-ground and don't start using CGI till you need the outer walls and computer people in the background.

Don't think too many more movies will see that type of budget for a while.


[ Parent ]
It certainly wasn't the worst Trek film ever by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:24:40 AM EST
But I agree about the space battles - I don't see why they didn't flesh them out more.

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The new Star Trek | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback