Friday, May 15, 2009

2009 Star Trek Movie


I did see the Star Trek movie. In two words: Eye Candy. The movie is full of them. I know J. J. Abrams wants to take Star Trek to new direction, and I think he succeeded. However, I'm not sure I want to follow the franchise as-is. If you strip away the eye candy and old homage lines, you come up empty. Story, in this movie, is the glue that sticks one action sequence after another. And I thought Batman: the Dark Knight was bad! What is it with these people? Do you necessarily dumb down the material to appeal to the masses? You do realise, of course, that the implication is that the masses is nothing more than jello-brained monkeys incapable of critical thinking?

The performances of the actors are fine. The acting is eeriely reminiscent of the old actors. So kudos to the actors. The special effects are definitely mind-blowing! This is even more intense than Pirates of Carribean trilogy, and I thought that was over the top. I'm curious as how Mr. Abrams is going to top this one. This certainly broke all records of extravaganza in the movie making.

Other people would have their own pet peeve, of course, but I think Simon Pegg is weak as Scotty. Not that he doesn't act well. He does, and his accent isn't too shabby. But his face isn't too much like Scotty, but Shaun of the Dead. Karl Urban, however, nailed Bones nearly perfectly. There are times when I forget I'm watching a different actor instead of DeForest Kelley. I personally think Winona Ryder is perfect as Amanda. She doesn't have too many lines, but I thought her facial expression is the perfect balance of Compassion and Strenght. She communicates not via words, but facial expression. Very impressive.

The rest of the actors are fine. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and others. I will highlight the excellent performance of Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime). It seems to me that whenever Spock Prime is on-screen. He became the anchor other actors lean on. Leonard Nimoy has excellent screen presence compared to the rest of the crew.

I will also put a note to the crew from Industrial Light and Magic. Brilliant works of art, to be sure.

Now, comes the spoilers and disappointment. It turns out the story if so full of holes that I really didn't want to watch it again. Too painful. This is the only movie that I left as soon as the credit rolled, instead of waiting for the short scene at the end.


When the Romulan emerge from Black Hole: BH drags things IN. At least show it coming out on the periphery. Also, BH isn't flat like Port-a-hole. Get real!

Lots of hanging structure there, and it was depicted as massive. Not only that, numerous deadly torpedoes came out of it to harass U.S.S. Kelvin. Imagine my surprise to learn later than this isn't a warship, but a mining ship! Since when a mining ship carries that many torpedoes? Unguided explosives, maybe, but not missiles. Also, is it my imagination that the size of the ship shrunk when Spock was attacking it at the end of the movie?

The numerous shuttles leaving U.S.S. Kelvin, while Captain George Kirk single-handedly manned the ship, fending off those torpedoes. Huh? Why are there so many people on the ship when a few suffice?

Ramming the enemy ship. Interestingly, those torpedoes decided to stay out of the way when just moments before, they were attacking fiercely.

I think the scene where Jim Kirk did joyride can be safely skipped. It did establish the character as reckless and rebellious. The Wild One? A new personality, to be sure. Perhaps to show the character change as happened when he met Spock Prime, but I think this was handled poorly.

On one scene, he was speeding thru wheatfield. On the next, a tremendously towering cliff. I don't know Iowan farmers would put their farms on mountain tops.

The bar scene introduces Christopher Pike. But it seems that Jim Kirk is the only civilian there. Is this a Federation bar?

The Kobayashi Maru scene could be done better. I forgot to notice whether the enemy is Klingon or Romulan. A nice introduction for Spock.

Speaking of which, the pit classroom is gross inefficiency for space. A holographic projector can fit more people, given the same amount of space. This is especially true if the projection was done via holographic spectacles. And what's with the building hanging from the cliff. Eye Candy.

The Kirk cheating hearing is done in front of everybody? Highly unusual procedure. The disciplining process, maybe, but the hearing itself is usually a private affair with few selected people.

There's funny bit on how McCoy smuggled Kirk into Enterprise. Fine acting on that one.

I find it hard to believe that several Federation Starships didn't last long enough for Enterprise to catch up. Obvious plot device. Also rather improbable that Vulcan with its high technology and 4 billion people, in fact, did not maintain either a fleet of spaceships or atmospheric ones. Later on, Spock's Research vessel shot the drill quickly enough.

The parachuting action is well done and very exciting, but the defending Romulan was hidden in a cabin INSIDE the drill end? Highly unusual feature. Also, the Romulan ship must be at or near atmospheric location. Enterprise should be able to just shoot it from space, or at least hiding behind the curvature of the planet.

You don't really need to drill to the center of the planet to drop a black hole.

Look at the amount of material to create the black hole. It's the same amount Spock is using to collapse a supernova? Does that make sense? Later on, the whole orb was used to collapse the ship. I'm surprised that the whole thing didn't just implode immediately, taking the Enterprise with it.

Kirk was abandoned on Vulcan's moon. Or is that a twin planet? Anyway, they're close by. Did you notice that one is desert, while the other is snow?

You would think that collapsing a sun, even one that goes supernova, may in fact spare the planets from the flames, but will certainly doom the inhabitants to cold dead space.

It's funny how there's a Federation outpost nearby, but Spock didn't send Kirk there. Neither did Spock Prime seek refuge there before deciding to watch the planet Vulcan implode. Another obvious plot device.

Transporting two humans across vast distances requires more energy that what a simple outpost can muster, I think.

You would think that someone as smart as Spock would simply say "Security, put Kirk into the brig for further questioning later." No fuss. No muss. Also, he would have established a new chain of command so that when he became invalid, there's a successor chain of command, other than the guy he just throw out of ship.

Earth is as defenseless as Vulcan. Is that right?

Who designed a spaceship to be composed of multi-level planks with no safety fence, anyway?

How did the Romulans capture Spock's ship? And how come they can't do it again?

From cadet to captain in one mission? I may be missing something, though.


I read Countdown Graphic Novel. It does a great job explaining some of the technologies involved in the movie. A few things I got wrong:

1. Nero and Spock worked together in creating the red substance.

2. It's not a mining ship. It's a nano techno war ship.

3. Supernova was on another solar system, so imploding it won't turn Romulus into a cold, dead dustball.

4. Spock was an outcast in Vulcan.

I think that's about it. I only glanced it real quick, but these are the relevant items that I've discovered in the graphic novel. Still too many plot holes in the movie, though. I wonder if there ever was a novel that describes the movie that would make it less ridiculous. Maybe I should read that, too.

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