Star Trek

Star Trek 2009 Spock Kirk

Star Trek
Time/Place: 4:10 showing at Ocean Ranch 7 (thanks, Tex) w/ Nick

In my Summer Movies 2009 post, I made it clear that I was not a fan of the original series and had no real interest in seeing this new version.  I’m a Star Wars kid πŸ˜‰ (not that they are mutually exclusive, I know, I know).  My friend Nick was curious to see how bad the movie turned out (his preconception, not mine), so we made it happen.  I was able to go in knowing very, very little about Star Trek (I knew Spock, Kirk, McCoy and Scotty – and a couple of key points, but that’s it), so I had no hopes or expectations.  That’s a good thing, because if I had, they probably would have been crushed.

It’s rare that I see a movie in theaters that I’m not interested in, and so far every review I’ve done has been a favorable one.  Let us hold hands as I now break that streak, shall we?

Star Trek was a really bad movie.  Just… really bad.  I know certain people got lost in the story and didn’t understand the convoluted plotline, but I did understand, and it was still bad.  The movie rarely stopped, it was on a steady pace of action beats, but somehow it was insanely boring.  I don’t know how that hack J.J. Abrams did it, but he managed to maintain a fast pace that was yawn-inducing.  The first time I checked my watch was at 5:30, and I slowly realized it had only been an hour – it felt like 4.

LENS FLARES!  OMG!

I don’t know what the sam hill is wrong with this guy and his cinematographer, but Star Trek is awash in nearly every scene (not an exaggeration) with lens flare.  It was so thick at times, that it covered half of the screen as characters were talking.  I read a quote from the cinematographer regarding these technically technical mistakes as something beautiful to add a feeling of magic and wonder to the movie (lens flares are usually done on purpose, though they are an issue of certain camera lenses taking direct light – which they aren’t meant to do).  I don’t know about magic, but it was certainly distracting.  Magical distraction, perhaps?  I know a number of reviewers are harping on these flares, as they normally will on inconsequential details, which I find juvenile… but the movie’s not any good regardless, so I’m all for it ;-).

Why isn’t it good, though?  Name your reason: story, direction, story, character, story, and an ironic lack of logic.  The two main characters are Spock and James Kirk, but they are at odds with each other through nearly the entire movie and neither one is very likeable… so we don’t really care if they live or die.  These aren’t faults of the actors, though… they all seemed to do what they could with the weak script.  I personally believe that Eric Bana realized what a bad movie he was in and proceeded to ham it up as the villain.  He was fun to watch for that reason – like he was in on the joke with us.  Scotty was fun, too, though he wasn’t in it very much.  I absolutely loved that Winona Ryder was in it for some reason, playing an old woman.  The scenes of her as a younger person weren’t even in the final cut, so it’s really weird to see.  Haha, I nearly forgot one of my favorite (read: powerfully moronic) actor cameos in the Starfleet Acacemdy – but I’ll let you discover that one for yourselves ;-).

Beyond the poor story, which I’m not conversing in detail on purpose, the worst element in the stew of bad elements that made Star Trek was the constant attempts at humor.  I never realized the Star Trek world was so gosh darn zany!  There was never a sense of danger because of the misplaced “hilarity,” and there was never a sense of fun because the situations were ultimately too dire.  It was like someone telling an off-colored joke at a funeral.  When a key character’s hands balloon up in an allergic reaction and they are hilariously then racing to tell someone information that will save all of their lives – I tilted my head in a confused dog-like manner and queried, “Really?”  It was all so uneven.  Humor in the original Star Wars movies always fit – but it was relegated to appropriate characters and situations.  You never saw the Emperor cracking fart jokes while telling Luke Skywalker to kills his own dad.

Star Trek was bad, but it had a simple fix – at least, something that would have set it in the right direction: a straight restarting of the franchise.  What they attempted to do was transition from the old Star Trek world into a new one, and that just caused for a lousy story.  If they were going to start over, than they should have done just that.  Oh well, they’ll make their money, the general public will be mindlessly entertained, and I’m at no real loss because I was never a fan to begin with… but now I never will be – and that’s the real opportunity lost.

Grade: F

P.S. Apparently I’m feeling very paranthetical today – don’t ask me why :-).

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About Mark Mushakian

Just a man who loves God, women, kids, dogs, movies, and every other lovely thing in life :)
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14 Responses to Star Trek

  1. danny says:

    shanley used at least 8 dutch angles in "doubt" and critics were on him about that. no doubt they draw attention to themselves and didn't much help the story progress. shanley states in the audio commentary that he just liked the look of them, so he kept them, despite the howls from the producers.

    lens flares are a similar issue, done for visual dynamicism (a real word in some languages) and i understand your gripe about them.

    also, this film "star trek" has a 95% fresh rating from rotten tomatoes. "transformers", which i still have not finished because it is SOOO bad, has a 57% rotten rating. that rating is indicative of a poor film. i don't know how you are going to account for a critically acclaimed film like "star trek" being a "really bad movie", but good luck with that! πŸ˜‰

    Like

  2. Mark says:

    I account for the fact that I form my own opinions. Would it be better if I were a sheep?

    Also, you constantly reference Rotten Tomatoes as if it is the pinnacle of knowing whether or not a movie is good or not. It is an entertainingly silly site – the reviews that stray from the norm have a very high comment count solely because they dare to be different… and the comments are hardly very intelligent sounding. Regardless, opinion is opinion, and there is absolutely no solid definition of what a good movie. So, yes… I think Star Trek failed in every single regard – which is why I gave it an F :-).

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  3. danny says:

    uh, mark, rotten tomatoes is a place that collects reviews from major film critics of the day. it is also a place for slobs and intellects, who are non film critics, to voice their opinions. one critique will not sway me. a conglomeration of voices has my full attention and must be taken seriously.

    they said a black man would never be president.

    i honestly think it is essential that one form his own opinion (based on whatever). but when i think of "bad" movies, i am thinking of something like "catwoman".

    but if it is merely your opinion, you should resist the desire to using the words "we" in your opinions, unless you are referring to yourself and your poopie. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Mark says:

    I'm actually writing an entry right now (your comment interrupted me – how DARE it!) about what makes a movie good. You may very well disagree with that, too, yet it will only prove my point further :-).

    Star Trek WAS bad like Catwoman – cheesy, horribly thought out, poorly shot, etc..

    "a conglomeration of voices has my full attention and must be taken seriously."
    – Must they? Is the world still flat? You first say a large mass of opinions needs to be taken seriously, which insinuates that they are more than likely correct, yet you then follow that by saying a large mass of opinions stated a black man wouldn't be President, insinuating that this large mass was wrong… so which is it? πŸ˜‰

    As you said, a person should form their own opinions (which I know you and I both believe)… so my refuting of Rotten Tomatoes was to question the point of it. If I am to form my own thoughts, why would it even matter what ANYONE else said – even if it's the entire world? Unless you were just trying to be ornery ;-). Movies are art, and therefore judged by personal opinions, so there is no definitive… but that's what my new blog is about :-).

    I generally use the word "I" in my reviews, but yeah… in being conversational with my blogs, I will sometimes slip a "we" in there. It's in the sense of "we as an audience," which comes from working on movies – trying to figure things out from the audience's point of view. Even though any review is going to obviously be one person's opinion, unless it's previously mentioned that it is a shared thought with someone else, I see your point. I'll try and keep an eye on that.

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  5. danny says:

    of course, i haven't seen star trek yet. i could be wrong, i think you didn't like iron man either. but you are obsessed with dark knight, which i found to be not as powerful as batman begins and with an extremely anti-climactic ending to boot.
    however, critics loved dk (dark knight, not danny kneip. i think we will agree the majority of voices hate danny kneip! πŸ˜‰ )

    yes, i think you want to take seriously the voices of the majority. YOU insinuated that the majority is correct – i don't believe that is true. i think there are conversations to be had from both sides and then the best plan can be formulated for positive, forward movement.

    if you voted and followed the election, you would know obama was elected by a landslide vote. a large mass of people said this wasn't possible – that particular mass voted republican and now that party is in shambles, much to my amusement! πŸ˜€

    if we are judging films based on personal opinion of art, which is fair, then why disparage the voices of rottentomatoes? possibly some of the major film critics know a bit about film and their critiques are actually valid? πŸ™‚

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  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox says:

    Star Trek was a terrible movie.

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  7. Nick Reiber says:

    He wasn't saying the majority is right, just that every persons opinion is the right answer for them.

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  8. Mark says:

    The most commented entry I've ever done – and it's a freaking Star Trek review. Oh, internet… you're so crazy :-).

    Like

  9. danny says:

    i get what he's saying, NICK! >:-0

    everybody can have their own opinion of the movie and that's great. but that's a cop out when i'm trying to determine if a film is good or bad.

    if you love "cutthroat island", i am probably not going to ask you to recommend a movie to watch; i'll just assume you have terrible taste in movies.

    there is so much more to explore about the "good and bad" of a film than just your own, already-biased opinion. why not see the film from a new perspective? why be closed off to that opportunity and simply say, "well, poop! i'll never be a fan of star trek now"?

    to me, it's a cop out. sorry πŸ™‚

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  10. Mark says:

    Haha, it's partially coincidence, but I love that the most comments I've ever garnered for one entry are on the first Review I've ever given an "F" to. During my entire site's existence, I've promoted lovely ideas and beautiful movies, but leave it to human beings to jump on the negative.

    Apparently MarkMushakian.com does have SOMETHING in common with Rotten Tomatoes πŸ˜‰

    Like

  11. dannykneip says:

    we are boldly going where no entry has gone before.. πŸ˜‰

    Like

  12. dannykneip says:

    I have reread this entire thing, Mark, and your letter grade for this film still stinks! πŸ˜‰

    Like

  13. Pingback: Star Wars: The Force Awakens | www.MarkMushakian.com

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