PDA

View Full Version : Star Trek [Absence of Colon] Into Darkness. SPOILERS


inflatable dalek
2013-05-11, 06:30 PM
That was a fun audition for Star Wars (the shameless cribbing from the end of Jedi when the ship Kirk is using starts flying through gaps like the Millenium Falcon through the Death Star being the most overt, but Lobot seemed to be serving on the Enterprise as well.


Felt a lot better structured than the first one, everyone got something fun to do and the whole film was gloriously camp OTT nonsense.

Main flaws: Carol Marcus was basically pretty wallpaper,for Scotty to get onboard the EVILprise unnoticed Section 31 must have the worst security in the galaxy and the whole "Starfleet suddenly realise making a newly qualified cadet captain was really stupid" subplot lasted about three scenes. Not to sure what OldSock told ShoutySpock that led to his plan as well, it's not that much like what happened in Khan (where of course Kirk basically fails, Khan dies because he chooses to set of the Genesis device rather than because of anything Kirk does and it's only down to Spock's sacrifice the Enterprise doesn't go the same way), considering Nimoy got a good send off last time an exposition cameo was pretty pointless.

Lovely stuff included all the space battles (the gravity going wonky on the Enterprise will I suspect annoy a lot of people but it was delightfully silly for me), Robo Mother****ing Cop chewing the bad ass scenery as he basically reprises his Enterprise character, genuinely nasy Klingons and just about everything Scotty says and does. Loved Checkov's face when he's told to go put on a red shirt as well.

Kirk's recovery from death trod a fine line for me (and Spock's "KHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!" basically shows why if you're going to do that sort of thing no one does it better than Shatner) but it just about worked. I'm not sure why they needed Khan's blood specifically rather than using one of the 72 other super villains they've got onboard.

It was also nice to spend more than a brief scene on future Earth in anywhere but San Francisco as. London looked pretty funky as well (I'm guessing they didn't do any filming here but the countryside and few streets we saw at ground level felt authentically British as well).

Of all the injokes my favourite was Carol using the pseudonym Wallace because that's the name of Kirk's old girlfriend from Deadly Years who was in early drafts of Star Trek II before Dr Marcus was created as a new character.

Actually, it'd be the best film ever if Robocop had seen the model of Archer's Enterprise on his desk and just picked it up and smashed it against the wall whilst shouting "What is this crap?!?!"

Cliffjumper
2013-05-12, 06:02 PM
Well, the advert looked like the worst ****ing thing ever, so I won't be going. Didn't see the last one either - if Pegg isn't onboard for scripting he's not worth watching.

Summerhayes
2013-05-12, 06:40 PM
Absolutely brilliant fun. The thing is, all the bits I remember are the bits that throw back to older movies.

It was basically a Wrath of Khan remake, wasn't it? But seeing Spock do the KKKHHHAAAAAAAAAAN was amazing.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-12, 07:14 PM
Well, the advert looked like the worst ****ing thing ever, so I won't be going. Didn't see the last one either - if Pegg isn't onboard for scripting he's not worth watching.

See, I'd have had you down as someone who wouldn't enjoy them, but then you blew my expectations by liking both Cloverfield and Inception when I'd have thought you wouldn't. It's like you're not a one dimensional comedy character after all ;)

Pegg is actually very good, easily the least like the original (though I actually prefer a fresh take to Karl Urban's DeForrest Kelly impression), but very sweet and funny. Plus, Deep Roy is his sidekick.

The trailers are a bit odd in that they include a surprising amount from the end of the Movie (Khan whupping Robocop's ship into San Francisco and the big wake that closes the film) and give the impression that it's yet another big blockbuster doing the Ledger joker as the villain.

Thankfully the later isn't the case, rather than having worked out every single thing that was going to happen out in advance; however unlikely; Khan just reacts instinctively and intelligently to the situation as it developed.

I'd say if you were able to sit through Generations there's more fun to be had in the last two films, as long as you're prepared to go with the conceit of a bunch of cadets all getting massive promotions so they can all serve on the ship together.


It was basically a Wrath of Khan remake, wasn't it? But seeing Spock do the KKKHHHAAAAAAAAAAN was amazing.

That bit just didn't work for me at all, felt like something from the gag reel that escaped into the film proper.

Ryan F
2013-05-12, 10:57 PM
Saw this on Friday and absolutely loved it.

Of course, it's Hollywood by-the-numbers, the plot is only really there to bridge the action set-pieces. But it was good, solid fun, nonetheless.

If you're prepared to switch your brain off for a couple of hours, and watch a bunch of fun CGI, some great fight scenes, and plenty of stuff getting blown up real good, there's loads of great fun to be had here.

There's a wit here, a sense of humour, a sparkle. The leads are all genuinely loveable, Cumberbatch is a compelling villain, and there's loads of nice little references that only the fans will get.

Cliffjumper
2013-05-13, 12:33 AM
I'd say if you were able to sit through Generations there's more fun to be had in the last two films

I dunno, it looks like Generic 'Science Fiction' (i.e. SPACE ACTION!!!!!) Film #789 to me. Same shit as Iron Man (or any of the Marvel shite... or Batman if the half-hour of the new one I could stomach before switching to Lawless is anything to go by), which is just a bog standard action film which happens to have a character from something else grafted onto it.

Cloverfield, on the other hand, is film - it's got people acting in it, it's directed, it isn't largely dependant on something that was created best part of 50 years ago, it doesn't feature great actors bending over and thinking of their offshore bank accounts (I actually caught some of Chaplin the other day... downright depressing that no ****er thinks of Downey as one of the great modern American actors until he starts dispensing one liners while drenched in CGI)... Ditto Inception.

**** that, basically. Mindless action I can get done better by probably a hundred, hundred and fifty films without having to go through the whole in-joke/smug **** route. I'll watch 2046 or Half Nelson or Bringing Out the Dead or Nightwatch or The Spies or Lady Vengeance or The Ghost Writer or any one of the stack of films I've got I need to watch that might not be the same thing I've seen before but most likely slightly worse.

EDIT: I mean, do you know who's in Batman 3? ****ing Gary Oldman. Gary Meantime Oldman. Gary Leon Oldman. Gary Sid & Nancy Oldman. And he's there doing Harry Potter for pretentious teenagers (yes, I'm fully aware he's done Harry Potter Harry Potter), in a shitty role any twat with a top lip for a fake moustache could do. Makes me want to spit ****ing blood. At least Caine's found his level as a shit version of Michael Gough, though.

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-05-13, 12:34 AM
See, I'd have had you down as someone who wouldn't enjoy them, but then you blew my expectations by liking both Cloverfield and Inception when I'd have thought you wouldn't. It's like you're not a one dimensional comedy character after all ;)

Pegg is actually very good, easily the least like the original (though I actually prefer a fresh take to Karl Urban's DeForrest Kelly impression), but very sweet and funny. Plus, Deep Roy is his sidekick.

The trailers are a bit odd in that they include a surprising amount from the end of the Movie (Khan whupping Robocop's ship into San Francisco and the big wake that closes the film) and give the impression that it's yet another big blockbuster doing the Ledger joker as the villain.

Thankfully the later isn't the case, rather than having worked out every single thing that was going to happen out in advance; however unlikely; Khan just reacts instinctively and intelligently to the situation as it developed.

I'd say if you were able to sit through Generations there's more fun to be had in the last two films, as long as you're prepared to go with the conceit of a bunch of cadets all getting massive promotions so they can all serve on the ship together.

I don't see why everyone made Star Trek 11 more than what it is: a standard big budget Hollywood spectacle that felt more like Micheal Bay-style action/sci-fi film. Other than Pine and Quinto the rest of cast were just doing very bad impressions of the orginal cast, the villain was lame and story made no sense, hell Star Trek: Generations convoluted time jump story with the whole Nexus energy ribbon thing made more sense (even Moore and Braga admited on the commentary track that they didn't do a good job of explaining it).


The trailers for Star Trek: Into Darkness have made me even less inclined to care about it then the last one, it looks and feels to me more like a bad sci-fi version of Mission: Impossible. I've seen almost every Star Trek film in the theaters and I have absolutely zero desire to see this one at all. I'll wait for Man of Steel.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-13, 08:04 PM
I dunno, it looks like Generic 'Science Fiction' (i.e. SPACE ACTION!!!!!) Film #789 to me. Same shit as Iron Man (or any of the Marvel shite... or Batman if the half-hour of the new one I could stomach before switching to Lawless is anything to go by), which is just a bog standard action film which happens to have a character from something else grafted onto it.

There isn't really anything quite like the current Trek films out there at the moment (though now I've said that someone will come up with 800 examples I've forgotten), mainly because no one's really doing family orientated space adventure at the moment. Of course, that's all about to change with the return of Star Wars, but there's also a big rompy epic quality that things like Transformers or Avengers can't quite compete with by being (generally) stuck to just the one planet.

I'd put both on the same level as First Contact: The plot's aren't really worth a damn (though as said, the latest one does do that side of things better, mainly by being dependant on character choices rather than magic red balls) but they're made with such utter conviction that side of things doesn't matter. Insurrection and Nemesis on the other hand had the daft plots thing down pat but no conviction to make up for that.

Cloverfield, on the other hand, is film - it's got people acting in it, it's directed, it isn't largely dependant on something that was created best part of 50 years ago, it doesn't feature great actors bending over and thinking of their offshore bank accounts (I actually caught some of Chaplin the other day... downright depressing that no ****er thinks of Downey as one of the great modern American actors until he starts dispensing one liners while drenched in CGI)... Ditto Inception.

Cloverfield is very much a revamp of an old idea even if unofficially, the intent there was very much to do a good American Godzilla movie with a conceit that would let them achieve it in the budget (that's a film I keep meaning to rewatch, left me a bit cold first time round but I think I was being a tad harsh on it). And Inception of course is a Twilight Zone episode meets Nolan's continual lengthy audition process for Bond, complete with snow fun that's deliberately based on the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Neither is really that much more original than taking Space Seed, Wrath of Khan and some minor recurring baddies from Deep Space Nine and throwing them all together.


EDIT: I mean, do you know who's in Batman 3? ****ing Gary Oldman. Gary Meantime Oldman. Gary Leon Oldman. Gary Sid & Nancy Oldman. And he's there doing Harry Potter for pretentious teenagers (yes, I'm fully aware he's done Harry Potter Harry Potter), in a shitty role any twat with a top lip for a fake moustache could do. Makes me want to spit ****ing blood. At least Caine's found his level as a shit version of Michael Gough, though.

Wait, you mean Gary "Lost in Space" Oldman? Gary "Fifth Element" Oldman? Gary "Keanu Dracula" Oldman? He's not exactly been averse to chasing the populist crowd his entire career.

Plus, he's exceptionally good in the Bat films (certainly he's the one who should have won best supporting actor for Dark Knight, the climax between him and Two Face on the roof is a stunning bit of acting), especially considering his Big Hollywood work can often involve eating the scenery most heartily. Not that there's anything wrong with that- next to Heather Graham's catsuit his insanely OTT Dr Smith is the best thing in Lost in Space- but his Batman performances were in a completely different league.

But I think casting (with often off the wall typcast beating choices) and actor direction is a real strength of Nolan's. There aren't many performances in the films of his I've seen where the actor wasn't doing some of their all out best work. Even Michael Cain might be doing his Michael Cain thing, but he's doing it damn well.

On the film itself, was I the only one who thought, when we saw the cube shapped dockyard the U.S.S. Robocop's Bitch Slap was being built in, that they were actually going to pull off the biggest switch and bait in cinema history and have the Borg turn out to be the real villains?

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-05-13, 08:21 PM
There isn't really anything quite like the current Trek films out there at the moment (though now I've said that someone will come up with 800 examples I've forgotten), mainly because no one's really doing family orientated space adventure at the moment. Of course, that's all about to change with the return of Star Wars, but there's also a big rompy epic quality that things like Transformers or Avengers can't quite compete with by being (generally) stuck to just the one planet.

Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel, Avatar and Prometheus all set on different planets and so is the very good (but not great) DTV Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (which features a scene early on where Bill Adama sees the Galactica for the first time in his life that was everything that should have been in Star Trek 11 which gets turns into a stupid and not funny at all barf joke). Also there is a beautiful looking film called Upside Down which is set on another pair of planets.

Insurrection and Nemesis on the other hand had the daft plots thing down pat but no conviction to make up for that.

I'll take the plot in Star Trek: Nemesis over Star Trek 11, because at least Nemesis had a plot. All Abrams and company had was great looking CGI special effects set peices and Nimroy, Pine, and Quinto.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-13, 08:35 PM
You mean the plot about a really pissed off former miner with a super advanced Romulan ship out to destroy the enemies of Romulus? The exact same plot both Nemesis and 11 has?

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-05-13, 08:46 PM
You mean the plot about a really pissed off former miner with a super advanced Romulan ship out to destroy the enemies of Romulus? The exact same plot both Nemesis and 11 has?

The former miner in Nemesis is a clone of the Captian and wants to destroy Earth to make his name and he creates more conflict between them then Nero who is a generic villain who gets lost in the background with the rest of cast. The fact that we can actually see changes in the lives of TNG crew. Riker and Troi getting married, and Riker finally accepting his own command, Data learning he has another brother but one who basically autistic. A backstory and a plot that is actually just told in the movie and not split up between a movie and a comic book series.

Sorry but Nemesis has a story and damn good plot. Star Trek 11 has a bunch of set pieces and stupid plot.

Prowl1984
2013-05-13, 08:56 PM
Star Trek into darkness was good, only beef was JJ Abrahms incessant need to "pay homage" to what's gone before. Like to the point of it not making any sense. I thought the whole point was to establish a new continuity and leave the old one behind. It's as if the writers thought "hey, it's the 2nd new Star Trek film, how's about we put in a whole heap of references and tributes to the original 2nd Star Trek film just so you know that this is the SECOND new Star Trek film!"

Since when was the Enterprise capable of atmospheric flight?

Also didn't get why Carol Marcus was a weapons specialist...surely after the destruction of Vulcan something like the Genesis project would take presedence?

Cliffjumper
2013-05-13, 09:11 PM
There isn't really anything quite like the current Trek films out there at the moment

Because all past media has blinked out of existence, right? There's no-one else out there doing spoof films but those Date Movie wankers, that doesn't mean they're halfway passable, especially not when Airplane's still in circulation. That's Dreamwave logic.

Cloverfield is very much a revamp of an old idea even if unofficially, the intent there was very much to do a good American Godzilla movie with a conceit that would let them achieve it in the budget (that's a film I keep meaning to rewatch, left me a bit cold first time round but I think I was being a tad harsh on it). And Inception of course is a Twilight Zone episode meets Nolan's continual lengthy audition process for Bond, complete with snow fun that's deliberately based on the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Because being vaguely influenced by something else is exactly the same as being another tired franchise remake/reboot/sequel, isn't it? TBH Inception is more widely influenced by Asian cinema than Twilight Zone for a start... Not exactly the same thing as having a prominent character apparently paying homage to an internet meme based on the film it's remaking, is it?

Wait, you mean Gary "Lost in Space" Oldman? Gary "Fifth Element" Oldman? Gary "Keanu Dracula" Oldman? He's not exactly been averse to chasing the populist crowd his entire career.

Fifth Element and Lost in Space let him off the reins - it's difficult to picture anyone else making such a good fist of either role; it's like John Hurt in Heaven's Gate, a good actor doing good work in a bad project. And as for Dracula, Oldman's performance is staggeringly good; he plays Dracula the vampire, Dracula the broken down old man and Vlad Dracul 100% convincingly. The populist crowd? Working with the director of the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now might have had a bit to do with it. I don't think Oldman was responsible for terminally miscasting Jonathan Harker now, was he?

His role in Batman 7, however, could be played by any twat ever.

Auntie Slag
2013-05-13, 10:05 PM
Gary Numan is 13 days older than Gary Oldman. And I really liked him in Leon.

Cliffjumper; I like reading the reviews your site, and just today I wondered if you would ever be reviewing the UK Zoids comics? Apparently a lot of them were written by Grant Morrison, or Zak Snyder, Simon Furman or Joan Collins... but Geoff Senior drew some issues. More big massive robots knocking seven bells out of each other and we never really talk about it here... in this Star Trek thread.

Cliffjumper
2013-05-13, 10:24 PM
Gary Numan is 13 days older than Gary Oldman.

That is an awesome fact.

Counter-X is kind-of on semi-permanent hiatus; I'm hoping to find time/motivation to go through and cauterise a few flesh wounds and finish off a few bits so there's not as much incompleteness, but the thing just makes me want to buy toys and comics and with a little one on the way that's not good.

(I'm buying lots of DVDs at the moment, but second hand the things are dirt cheap... this is the other main reason I'm not watching stuff like Star Trek 13 - it costs me eight quid to go to the cinema, 16 with the missus; for that money I can get 10 DVDs and chances are see at least one much better film and more than likely 10; it's even meant resisting Spring Breakers and The Place Beyond the Pines... So, shiny discs and the odd bit of vinyl, neither of which fire my completism...)

Instead I'm doing a lot more Grand Prix writing because I've already got all the resources needed, and I can do a lot of it without even basic research. And there's always a slight chance I might get around to sorting out the related vanity publishing I keep thinking about...

inflatable dalek
2013-05-14, 08:01 PM
The former miner in Nemesis is a clone of the Captian and wants to destroy Earth to make his name and he creates more conflict between them then Nero who is a generic villain who gets lost in the background with the rest of cast. The fact that we can actually see changes in the lives of TNG crew. Riker and Troi getting married, and Riker finally accepting his own command, Data learning he has another brother but one who basically autistic. A backstory and a plot that is actually just told in the movie and not split up between a movie and a comic book series.

Sorry but Nemesis has a story and damn good plot. Star Trek 11 has a bunch of set pieces and stupid plot.

Nero is directly personally connected to both Kirk and Spock- he kills the former's father and as a result completely screws up his life in the new timeline and blames Old Spock for failing to save Romulus and devastates young Spock by destroying Vulcan. He's also by far and away the most successful villain in the franchise: He completely and utterly wipes out all previous versions of Star Trek bar Enterprise. His motivation (though obviously Khan based) is relatable as well: A good man driven mad with grief at the destruction of everything he loved out to hurt the people he blames in the worst way possible.

Shinzon on the hand wants to destroy Earth because... he hates Romulans (to the point he can't even talk to some for more than a minute before throwing insults at them, he really never thought through the having to deal with Romulans part of ruling the Romulan Empire). It's completely non sensical and worse than that he's completely useless at it, the only villain in the movies who sets out to attack Earth but doesn't get near the planet.

Then you've got his impact on Picard, which is to make the Captain learn that if he'd made different choices he'd have been a different person. A lesson he already learnt back in the much better TV episode Tapestry. Data doesn't learn anything from B4 he didn't from Lore in several much better episodes (even Descent). And everyone else in the cast is just sort of there. Troi gets to be SPACE raped, the film gets so desperate to give Riker something to do he has to go fight a monster over a bottomless pit and everyone else is so inconsequential the director didn't even bother to learn Levar Burton's name.

Now, don't get me wrong, a lot of that is semantics. And I do think Eric Bana's performance as Nero is the main weak link in the last film (oddly he has a better hero/villain relationship with Pike than Kirk). Both films are deeply flawed in terms of plot, indeed I think the last Trek film to have a really coherent and well thought out plot structure was probably Khan (Country comes close, but there are a few bits you can tell the script was written very quickly), allowing for the fact The Motion Picture doesn't really have anything happen in it makes it pretty much the only one.

Voyage Home gets away with its odd moments (a alien that tries to talk to whales by destroying the oceans?!) by being straight out wacky comedy, the sixth film by having some well thought out chararcter moments and political commentary and First Contact and the last two by being wall to wall action adventure. The Borg one is especially impressive on that score considering that if you think about what the Borg are up to for even a second in that Movie your head explodes.

The others fail for different reasons, but Nemesis in particular is just so languid. Everyone looks and feels old and tired and fat, there's no energy to the damn thing. Kirk and company never felt that much past their best even when they were older. I think Baird has to take most of the blame for that, a better script would have been nice but Skyfall shows a good director can make a decent fist out of a John Logan script full of silliness.

Because all past media has blinked out of existence, right? There's no-one else out there doing spoof films but those Date Movie wankers, that doesn't mean they're halfway passable, especially not when Airplane's still in circulation. That's Dreamwave logic.

All I'm saying it's not really that generic, whether it's good as well is another side of things.

Because being vaguely influenced by something else is exactly the same as being another tired franchise remake/reboot/sequel, isn't it? TBH Inception is more widely influenced by Asian cinema than Twilight Zone for a start... Not exactly the same thing as having a prominent character apparently paying homage to an internet meme based on the film it's remaking, is it?


The KHHHAAAAAAAAAAANNNN bit is about thirty seconds of a two hour movie, and I seem to be in the grumpy minority of people who liked the film but didn't enjoy that bit (and my sister- who claims never to have seen the original film despite this blatantly being a lie- barely noticed it as it fits in with New Spock being a very angry SHOUTY Vulcan in general).

I think, especially as they're from the same production company and had Abrahms involved- that Cloverfield and Star Trek were both trying to do the same thing of bringing a type of film that had fallen by the wayside (at least in the West in the former's case) back into the mainstream with a spit and a polish for modern audiences. I'm no expert but I wouldn't bet against Cloverfield having it's share of "KHHHAAAAAN" moments for someone like Speng's as well. If they'd actually paid for the rights to Godzilla and put him in exactly the same film would it suddenly not be as good?



Fifth Element and Lost in Space let him off the reins - it's difficult to picture anyone else making such a good fist of either role; it's like John Hurt in Heaven's Gate, a good actor doing good work in a bad project. And as for Dracula, Oldman's performance is staggeringly good; he plays Dracula the vampire, Dracula the broken down old man and Vlad Dracul 100% convincingly. The populist crowd? Working with the director of the Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now might have had a bit to do with it. I don't think Oldman was responsible for terminally miscasting Jonathan Harker now, was he?

His role in Batman 7, however, could be played by any twat ever.

Oh, like I said, he's nearly always good value even when he's turned the camp up to 11 (possibly Dracula suffers for me because I didn't see it until after the Simpson's spoof?). It's just he doesn't do that in the Bat films, he gives a subtle nuanced performance that is exceptionally good.

Could anyone have played it? Well, in theory yes, any decent character actor could have and I do believe there are very few parts that are actor specific. But they did cast the best actor for this big supporting role and it paid dividends.


That is an awesome fact.

Tis indeed.


(I'm buying lots of DVDs at the moment, but second hand the things are dirt cheap... this is the other main reason I'm not watching stuff like Star Trek 13 - it costs me eight quid to go to the cinema, 16 with the missus; for that money I can get 10 DVDs and chances are see at least one much better film and more than likely 10; it's even meant resisting Spring Breakers and The Place Beyond the Pines... So, shiny discs and the odd bit of vinyl, neither of which fire my completism...)


I wasn't suggesting you go to the cinema anyway (knowing you're not keen and for all the fun back and forth not expecting you to like it), just might be worth keeping an eye out for the last one next time it's on Film 4.

If you do want to try something that's trying to be relatively original and do something a bit different, have you seen Looper yet? It's not perfect (the last act feels about one draft away from brilliance and the attempts to make Tommy look like a young Bruce Willis are more distracting that if they'd just left him looking like normal) but it is trying to be smart and thoughtful and doesn't sequel/remake/homage anything obvious.

Cliffjumper
2013-05-15, 07:43 AM
The KHHHAAAAAAAAAAANNNN bit is about thirty seconds of a two hour movie

It's a fair indicator it's being made by people of limited imagination and it's probably terminally playing to the crowd in the manner of The Avengers.; I suppose it is a remade sequel to a reboot.

I'm no expert but I wouldn't bet against Cloverfield having it's share of "KHHHAAAAAN" moments for someone like Speng's as well. If they'd actually paid for the rights to Godzilla and put him in exactly the same film would it suddenly not be as good?

Wait, are you sure you've actually seen Cloverfield? Because "monster attacks city" is more-or-less where the similarity to Godzilla ends, and that's only a factor if you insist on reducing both films to the most basic plot precis imaginable - which in turn suggests a basic lack of understanding of the medium's capabilities. I've seen all the Godzilla films up to about the mid-1990s, not to mention a lot of other tokusatsu. The basic format of Cloverfield means it can't pull off any intrusive homages; the nature of the film's delivery makes it basically the polar opposite to traditional monster movies.

Seriously, watch it again. And without a solid determination to reduce it to the most simplistic genre form you can; films aren't just TV with bigger budgets, it's not just about breaking the plot down into as basic a term as possible and trying to work out if it's the same basic plot as some episode of the Outer Limits.

But TBH if you don't like Cloverfield that's your loss.

possibly Dracula suffers for me because I didn't see it until after the Simpson's spoof?

Always a good reason to allow miscasting of a supporting role to override quality, that.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-15, 09:14 AM
It's a fair indicator it's being made by people of limited imagination and it's probably terminally playing to the crowd in the manner of The Avengers.; I suppose it is a remade sequel to a reboot.

The odd thing is the other direct call backs pretty much work perfectly. Indeed the Khaaaan moment comes right after Kirk's death behind the glass which on paper should be an utter disaster in comparison to the original but they actually pull it off. So I'm not sure why this particular one falls flat.



Wait, are you sure you've actually seen Cloverfield? Because "monster attacks city" is more-or-less where the similarity to Godzilla ends, and that's only a factor if you insist on reducing both films to the most basic plot precis imaginable - which in turn suggests a basic lack of understanding of the medium's capabilities. I've seen all the Godzilla films up to about the mid-1990s, not to mention a lot of other tokusatsu. The basic format of Cloverfield means it can't pull off any intrusive homages; the nature of the film's delivery makes it basically the polar opposite to traditional monster movies.

Like I said, no expert (seen a fair few and have the original Godzilla on DVD but would only class myself as an enthusiastic amateur) so the film could be full of direct references in dialogue, names and scene steals with me being none the wiser. If it isn't that's fair enough, though that's surprising considering it's from an Abrahms idea and the final script was (IIRC) by Drew Goddard, both of whom tend do that sort of thing a lot. Though it's odd they'd include the tip of the hat to Escape From New York but not the genre they were directly trying to do an American version of.

Seriously, watch it again. And without a solid determination to reduce it to the most simplistic genre form you can; films aren't just TV with bigger budgets, it's not just about breaking the plot down into as basic a term as possible and trying to work out if it's the same basic plot as some episode of the Outer Limits.

I wasn't determined to break it down to anything, it was the people making the film who were the ones talking about their desire to do a proper American take on the Japanese monster movie, I don't think going into a film expecting what the people behind it tell you they were trying to do is some sort of intentional enjoyment self sabotage.

But TBH if you don't like Cloverfield that's your loss.

Where it fell down for me wasn't so much the monster (none of my thoughts on the Godzilla homage side of things were intended as criticisms, I don't mind films that rework old ideas if they do them well) stuff but the human. This is one of those entirely subjective things that will vary wildly from person to person but I just didn't buy the guy holding onto the camera that diligently throughout. And how much they convince you of that is what found footage films stand or fall on.

Mind, I know that's an odd reaction as this is a film playing with 9/11 symbolism and we have that real world footage of people filming as they run for their lives with a building collapsing behind them so the suspension of disbelief shouldn't be that hard but it still kind of fell flat somehow. Defo one for the rewatch list though.


Always a good reason to allow miscasting of a supporting role to override quality, that.

Another film I've not seen for a good long while but my memory is it had bigger problems than that, but again, a rewatch could well be in order. Considering I keep meaning to watch Inception again anyway this thread is, if nothing else, inspiring me to go dig out some DVD's. :)

Cliffjumper
2013-05-15, 05:34 PM
If it isn't that's fair enough, though that's surprising considering it's from an Abrahms idea and the final script was (IIRC) by Drew Goddard, both of whom tend do that sort of thing a lot. Though it's odd they'd include the tip of the hat to Escape From New York but not the genre they were directly trying to do an American version of.

Why is that odd? Films are films. Very few compartmentalise them by genre, both in terms of audience and those actually making the films. Besides which, the only Abrams Godzilla quote I've found is :

"We saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own American monster, and not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla. But I wanted something that was just insane and intense."

That suggests no real attempt to create a homage or analogue, just a "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we could make an American monster as cool and talked-about as Godzilla - but even better?". Again, beyond monster-attacking-city there is no significant similarity.

This is one of those entirely subjective things that will vary wildly from person to person but I just didn't buy the guy holding onto the camera that diligently throughout. And how much they convince you of that is what found footage films stand or fall on.Hudd is established repeatedly to have incredibly bad decision making skills, up until Malena dies doesn't actually seem to be taking events particularly seriously (and her getting bitten by the parasite actually creates a need to keep the camera as an ad hoc nightsight) and is frequently called out on filming stuff by other characters and forced to justify why he's still got the camera.

Another film I've not seen for a good long while but my memory is it had bigger problems than that, but again, a rewatch could well be in order. Considering I keep meaning to watch Inception again anyway this thread is, if nothing else, inspiring me to go dig out some DVD's. :)It's got a ****-ton of problems. None of which are to do with Gary Oldman's performance or habit of occasionally taking on films that don't require him to act. Most are down to Coppola and Stoker, because the book's basically overlong dirge that Sangster a/o had the good sense to cut down to size and focus on the interesting bits instead.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-15, 08:15 PM
Why is that odd? Films are films. Very few compartmentalise them by genre, both in terms of audience and those actually making the films.

Abrahms and Goddard pretty much specialise in it though, Fringe, Lost, Star Trek, Buffy, Cabin in the Woods (it's hardly surprising Goddard also works well with that other culture vulture Wheedon) are full of it. Taking old ideas or neglected genres, reworking them for a modern audience and including an awful lot of self referential nods to great success. Couple that with [i}Cloverfield[/i] haing a set piece that's a deliberate recreation of a relatively minor John Carpenter film poster and it's not crazy to assume there's likely to be a lot of other stuff in there that might being nodding at stuff I'm unfamilar with.


Besides which, the only Abrams Godzilla quote I've found is :

"We saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own American monster, and not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla. But I wanted something that was just insane and intense."

That suggests no real attempt to create a homage or analogue, just a "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we could make an American monster as cool and talked-about as Godzilla - but even better?". Again, beyond monster-attacking-city there is no significant similarity.

And with that you have me in check mate. :( I do wish I hadn't had to throw out all my old SFX's as I would bet my left ball the making of material from the time had a lot more about the genre resurrection they were attempting, but there's no way I can back that up now. Curses. I told my mother those old magazines would come in useful some day but noooooooo.... she had to insist there wasn't room for them in the flat.


It's got a ****-ton of problems. None of which are to do with Gary Oldman's performance or habit of occasionally taking on films that don't require him to act. Most are down to Coppola and Stoker, because the book's basically overlong dirge that Sangster a/o had the good sense to cut down to size and focus on the interesting bits instead.

Yeah (and I had a feeling the problems with the film were to do with it trying to be faithful to something that's basically unfilmable but it's been even longer since I read that...) but I never said there was any problem with Oldman's performance. In anything.

On the subject of Trek 12... What the hell was going on with Pike's sideburns in this one? Had he just had an exciting time travel adventure to the set of a 70's porn film?

Cliffjumper
2013-05-15, 08:36 PM
Couple that with Cloverfield haing a set piece that's a deliberate recreation of a relatively minor John Carpenter film poster and it's not crazy to assume there's likely to be a lot of other stuff in there that might being nodding at stuff I'm unfamilar with.

The main (only?) reason it's in Cloverfield is that it's a ****ing excellent visual. It's stolen (which is what a homage basically is, you're just fessing up before you get accused of plagiarism, to paraphrase John Frankenheimer) because it looks good, not because of any intrinsic value in an association with Escape from New York (which is something of a polar opposite again apart from the setting; it's hard to think of two more radically different ways of doing a New York sci-fi film...).

I'm struggling to see what other homages there could be in the film, beyond perhaps some broad similarities between the parasites and the Alien franchise. Like I say I've got respectable working knowledge of the classic Toho Godzillas (they blend into one a little but that's because they're the same basic film) and really the whole mise-en-scene is different on an almost binary level that it's impossible for there to be any significant crossover. Hell, they could have straight-up thrown Godzilla into Cloverfield and it would have been a radically different film to any other Godzilla movie.

the genre resurrection they were attempting

And? Attempting to resurrect a genre does not automatically mean trading on what that genre has done in the past; Hell, it's usually quite the opposite (the most obvious examples being the periodic cycles of revisionist Westerns).

Franchises, on the other hand, are overly concerned with their own history. I just happen to think a sequel to a reboot that uses elements to a sequel to the thing it's rebooting is most likely pretty lowest common denominator and displays an absence of imagination. Is it that difficult to actually come up with a wholly original Star Trek film (or at least one with a plot that's wholly new to Star Trek even if it means knobbing some public domain book).

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-05-15, 11:54 PM
Franchises, on the other hand, are overly concerned with their own history. I just happen to think a sequel to a reboot that uses elements to a sequel to the thing it's rebooting is most likely pretty lowest common denominator and displays an absence of imagination. Is it that difficult to actually come up with a wholly original Star Trek film (or at least one with a plot that's wholly new to Star Trek even if it means knobbing some public domain book).

Also why go backwards into the Star Trek universe? I'm not interested in updating TOS episodes (which is what most of the IDW comic book series do) and seeing retellings of the first 6 films. Been there. Done that.

I think you could have done a new movie and or TV show set in the late 25th century or early 26th century, allowing enough time between the end of Nemesis and that start of a new era in which you could have any number of changes to the status quo to tell a new story with new characters.

I mean that is what Gene Roddenberry did with Star Trek: The Next Generation he set the start of that series 90 years after the events of any of films (IIRC TNG show started around the time Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came out).

inflatable dalek
2013-05-18, 08:32 PM
Franchises, on the other hand, are overly concerned with their own history. I just happen to think a sequel to a reboot that uses elements to a sequel to the thing it's rebooting is most likely pretty lowest common denominator and displays an absence of imagination. Is it that difficult to actually come up with a wholly original Star Trek film (or at least one with a plot that's wholly new to Star Trek even if it means knobbing some public domain book).


Revisiting and revamping the big iconic characters is hardly a new thing though, how many variations on the basic Robin Hood and King Arthur myths have there been as two British examples? Some good, some terrible of course, but there's not many that don't take huge swaths from previous versions.

Hell, we're all here because of a franchise that has spent nearly 30 years constantly redoing old ideas, almost from before it began if you count someone going "What can we do with these Diaclone toys?". You only have to look at Last Stand of the Wreckers for an example of how to do self referential full on fan-wank that still works brilliantly as a story in its own right.

That's not to suggest it should be the only way of doing things, but as with everything it's how it's done rather than what it's doing that matters most. And the approach on how to use what's gone before is pretty much the same as the Bay TF films (unsurprisingly considering it's the same writers), a nice esoteric approach to what to take from. Having Section 31 be the secondary villains or the Enterprise fight a Dreadnought Class Starship are as much leftfield choices as having the Fallen be Megatron's boss or the Wreckers ship being named for the IDW one.

And whilst I think you and I like the Bay films more than many here I don't think either one of us would call them great art. But they are good fun, which is what Into Darkness is.


And Wrath of Kham is just as much of a vulture as the current film. As well as bringing back a villain from a 15 year old TV episode there's very little in it that isn't taken from previous Star Trek episodes (unsurprisingly considering the first thing Bennett did once he replaced Roddenberry as producer was watch every previous adventure to look for stuff to nick).

Starting from the Kobyashi Maru being a homage to the battle in The Deadly Years (though thanks to the budget needing the reuse of effects shots the Klingons are now fighting by a previously Romulan star system) you've got a mad classics quoting villain out to avenge wrongs done years before (The Conscience of the King), Starship Vs. Starship couple with Kirk's doubts about his future (The Ultimate Computer), Kirk's old flame turning out to be involved (many episodes, but The Deadly Years is likely to be the direct inspiration for that as they originally actually wanted to reuse Wallace), Chekov screaming really, really loudly (half the episodes he was in, including the Deadly Years. Which would actually seem to have been the main inspiration on the film...) and space battle as a world war II submarine film (Balance of Terror).

The (intended) permanent death of a regular being about the only new thing it brings to the table. And none of that matters because it does it brilliantly and puts those mish mashed elements of direct callbacks and small injokes together in a well thought out script. It's probably the perfect example of how to reheat old ideas perfectly.

Now, the new film doesn't do it as well. But Wrath of Khan is, as much as it may make serious film critics roll their eyes, a serious contender for my favourite film of all time. A movie bringing Khan back and redoing the engineering scene (which in fairness are the only two elements taken directly from the second film, though there are a lot of other Star Trek ideas in it, the plots of both films really aren't that similar) was going to have a hell of a hard time winning me over. So the fact I wound up enjoying it as much as I did suggests it got something right.

As for original Star Trek ideas, I'd say actually revisiting a specific villain (as opposed to a species or a collective group of badies) with a new actor and revised background to fit current times is something the franchise hasn't done before, and wouldn't have been able to do before the big timeline revamp. So the irony is that by going back to Khan they actually are doing something they haven't done before.

Plus, though it's less obvious to us because we're versed in the comic book Big stories it took inspiration from, the last film did do something big and drastically original not just for Star Trek but, at least as far as I'm aware, not done in filmed media before. Trek has had villains who've tried to change history before but none of them have succeeded, the film is basically Crisis on Infinite Earths, a remake that's in continuity with all previous versions of the franchise.

That's a bit of a mind **** and far from the easy option (which would have been either a straight up reboot or just doing a prequel to the original series). Hence the slightly awkward scene where they have to explain what the hells going on to the more casual audience.

Still, I do admit, this is still a better Star Trek film that any of the last six "Proper" films:

AYy8o4nXZEY

Summerhayes
2013-05-20, 05:24 PM
On the film itself, was I the only one who thought, when we saw the cube shapped dockyard the U.S.S. Robocop's Bitch Slap was being built in, that they were actually going to pull off the biggest switch and bait in cinema history and have the Borg turn out to be the real villains?

I thought that and got really excited! Was quite a letdown when it wasn't, to be honest.