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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 7:39pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Tru dat!
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 7:54pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Trek has wisely avoided getting trapped in using contemporary pop music in most of the features. Of any of the movies that *might* have justifiably incorporated Rock/Pop music on it's soundtrack, even 'The Voyage Home', which came out in the height of 80s soundtrack pop hits, avoided filling it's soundtrack with pop songs ('I Hate You' not only wasn't on the soundtrack album, but was essentially a 'gag' in it's inclusion)
'Sabotage' has become such a 'cliche' in it's use in soundtracks that it takes me out of the scenes they use it in (and now in TWO of the last three movies, at that). OTOH, 'Ooby Dooby' (a bit more on the obscure side) in 'First Contact' didn't bother me as much.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 8:18pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

('I Hate You' not only wasn't on the soundtrack album, but was essentially a 'gag' in it's inclusion)
+++++++++++

I'm delighted that it was included on the expanded soundtrack album which was released a few years back!
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 9:29pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I have to say that Magic Carpet Ride yanked me right out of FIRST CONTACT.

Mind you, I'm not a big fan of sountracks that rely on shallow pop culture songs to convey a mood nor am I fan of obtrusive orchestral soundtracks that blatantly tell you how you should be feeling during a particular scene.

My one exception is PULP FICTION, because it took what were somewhat-obscure Surf, Country, early Rock tracks and wove them into the fabric of the film in an organic way.   Even the Neil Diamond cover didn't feel obtrusive. 
 
(well, I guess Miserlou and Comanche aren't *that* obscure, but they were certainly off the radar in the early 90s as far as pop culture was concerned.  Now, they are almost inseparable from PF -- hardly anyone knows Miserlou by name except as "the Pulp Fiction theme" and Comanche as "Bring out the Gimp".  Not sure that's entirely a bad thing if it keeps these songs on people's playlists and gives them radio play.  I'm sure Dick Dale doesn't mind the extra royalty cheques in his twilight years.  He and his son are still touring!) 


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 22 July 2018 at 9:30pm
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 12:08am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It was almost much much worse.  The producers on Enterprise had to fight like hell with the UPN/CW folks, who kept pressuring them to have contemporary pop acts perform in the mess hall in each episode.  Of course, these are the same executives responsible for the greatest Star Trek script note of all time:  "What's a hull?"
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 5:02am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Well, they are getting their stuff like F-bombs and fist bumps in DISCOVERY.   Because you, the fans asked for it (No, we didn't).   Because STAR TREK needed these things to stay hip and relevant (No, it doesn't).   Because that's how 'real people' talk and act (Maybe, but this is fiction).   

I'll take an obnoxious pop song (hell, I'd take the insipid ENTERPRISE theme tune, twice) over this added garbage.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 10:34am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The fact that NuKirk—three years into his mission—is bored and ready to quit represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the character. 

Yes. I had a similar issue with Bruce Wayne in THE DARK KNIGHT/RISES. He spent over 7 years of his life training to become what would be Batman, then the vast majority of the rest of it either not being, or trying not to be, just that. 

As bad as BvS and ho-hum as JUSTICE LEAGUE were, at least their Bruce Wayne is still Batman 20 years in. On the other hand, he also kills dudes pretty casually...

I kinda feel about BEYOND as I do about JUSTICE LEAGUE. Still pretty bad examples what can be done with the respective characters, but a step in the right direction from what we got right before (ST:ID and BvS).



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:47am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

This is a major symptom of the negative and “realistic” mindset that’s creeped into genre fiction, over the years.

While guilt and responsibility motivated him to become a hero, Peter Parker still enjoys being Spider-Man. It’s as much an escape from his normal life as it is a self-imposed responsibility. It’s not a “curse”. It may occasionally cause problems for him, but without the fun and escapism of it, why would he still do it? Why would he constantly punish himself? Spider-Man is an inherently fun character. If his personal life sucks, and his life as Spider-Man is constantly consumed by a grim sense of responsibility, then he’s no longer fun. 

Bruce Wayne became Batman to exorcise his demons, and to prevent what happened to him from ever happening to anyone else. His wanting to quit being Batman in nearly every movie is just a cheap way of generating “drama” and “depth”. Um, no. He made a solemn vow to wage war on crime for the rest of his life, and being Batman—doing the right thing for the right reason—is what keeps him sane. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was just stupid. Wayne is Batman for a little while, quits for years after Rachel dies, then fakes his death so he can hang out overseas with a hot criminal. Ugh.

A great many problems with Batman films in general seem to revolve around the perceived need to give him romantic interests, and subsequent attempts to generate drama from them. “I’m in love, so I need to quit being Batman and live a normal life!”, or “The woman I love is dead, so I should quit being Batman!”. Oy.


And then there’s Kirk. Shatner played Kirk as always being thrilled by exploration and discovery (the act, not the show). Jim Kirk is a man who was born to lead. It’s lonely at the top, but being a starship commander is what gives his life purpose. Having Pine’s Kirk be bored after three years is just a cheap way of generating “depth”, and allowed for a fake-fanservice scene of NuKirk and NuMcCoy having drinks on the former’s birthday, a la TWOK. A callback reference designed to trick fans into thinking they’re watching real STAR TREK.

How about having an actual understanding of the characters instead of troweling on superficial details, and, oh, I dunno, writing something new and interesting with them? Is that so hard?
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I kinda feel about BEYOND as I do about JUSTICE LEAGUE. Still pretty bad examples what can be done with the respective characters, but a step in the right direction from what we got right before (ST:ID and BvS).
++++++++

In other words, too little, too late.


What we’re seeing now with a lot of with legacy genre properties are misguided attempts to rewrite/rethink the characters and the material, then negative backlash, then too-little-too-late attempts to get back on course.

Maybe, just maybe, if the first attempt was actually done with love, care, and respect...
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 1:07pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The ennui-engorged fanboys rule. Embarrassed by, even ashamed of, their hobby, they try to make it acceptable to their peers. "Look! I've got kid's characters fucking and saying 'shit' and not wearing costumes! Aren't I cool?"

Ke-rist, even Alan Moore kept them in costume! Granted, as fetishes...

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I have a sneaking suspicion that some of these people actively hate the franchises they’ve taken charge of, and are trying to destroy them and what they stand for whilst making some money and “daring” reputations for themselves in the process

Either that, or they’re just stupid people who don’t know how to tell compelling stories about interesting characters. They can only drag larger-than-life heroes down to our level, and replace optimism with nihilism. When you have Luke (Jake) Skywalker spouting Twitter-esque, snarky dialogue, and NuKirk happily blowing away a mass-murdering, Romulan war-criminal instead of rescuing him to stand a fair trial, then you know something’s seriously wrong.


As a wise man once said, “It has always been easier to destroy than to create”. What better way to make a name for yourself than by coming in and shaking up a beloved property by tossing out the rules, butchering sacred cowes, and shoving in soon-to-be-dated, of-the-moment social issues/politics to get people talking?


For all of the talk about the original STAR TREK’s examination of social issues and use of allegory, I think that the fundamental reason it has endured for 52 years is because, first and foremost, it told entertaining science-fiction stories about strong and compelling characters. Escapism with ideas beneath the surface. But, the characters and the drama always came first. The basic rules of good storytelling and characterization.

The first Abrams film shifted TREK’s gears, and took the franchise into action-movie schlock territory. The second bluntly tried to examine modern issues of terrorism, but then devolved into more action schlock and fanwank-rehashing. The third had a rather shallow “let’s all work together” theme. STD has patted itself on the back for its demonizing of Trump supporters via the reimagined Klingons. Preaching instead of generating conversation. And, if you don’t like “strong”, Mary Sue-type characters like Michael Burnham, then you’re a racist, sexist manbaby.

It would be nice to see a return to well-plotted stories rather than high-concept ideas and present-day politics executed in an incredibly shallow and action-schlocky way. Beloved franchises are bleeding out left and right, and fandoms are being torn asunder rather than being brought together by mutual love of good stories and characters. Divisiveness and evil are everywhere, and it does seem grimly appropriate that pop culture is reflecting that, I suppose.


But we still need STAR TREK to point the way, to give us optimism. And it’s not there. At least there’s THE ORVILLE, which is doing the TREK format right.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 23 July 2018 at 9:09pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I've been watching episodes recently of Gene Roddenberry's "The Lieutenant," and what I'm seeing greatly underscores what is wrong with modern incarnations of the various Trek franchises. None of them seem to acknowledge that Starfleet is not just a job, but rather a lifestyle and a calling that these characters have trained for and dedicated the next however-many years to. And they did so because they believe in what is being done by Starfleet. The notion that Kirk signed up on a dare from some old guy who challenged him about his dad makes the character lame. Lame enough that, yeah, three years in, he'd be looking for his next big thrill. Because space exploration... is somehow... what was it again? Dull..? Yeah, star mapping can take a long time. We've seen that on the show, but I didn't see anyone saying, "Man, I don't think star mapping is worthwhile. Let's stop doing this, and hey, go to Rigel! Who's with me, dudes?" 

Because that would be stupid. As the premise for BEYOND is stupid. Of course, that just makes it thematically in sync with the other two, which are both numbingly stupid. 

And Greg, Abrams has flat-out admitted that he thinks Star Trek is dumb and needed some good ol' fashioned Star Wars DNA spattered across its face to make it interesting. After all, GalaxyQuest, remember, was the only Trek film Abrams could stomach. Y'know what it was missing though? Cloverfield monsters and giant inflatable hands. THEN it would have been REALLY funny...

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