Friday, May 08, 2009

Star Trek review @ "The Escapist"

In which I wind up as apparently one of the lonely dissenters saying that, no, the new "Star Trek" is NOT in fact all that good.


I will say, though, that it provided plenty of material to make reviewing it a good deal of fun. There's few things worse than a movie that's both dissapointing AND dull.


tyra menendez said...

yeah, i had my thoughts of "big dumb action movie with star trek characters", when i saw the trailer. thank you for confirming that.

Joshua said...

I truly appreciate your honesty Bob. I avoided all reviews before seeing this one because I was trying not to go in with a slant to my views. If i step back and act like one of the masses, yeah it was a good film. But when i actually sat down to type out my thoughts the nagging questions attacked me and i watched your review. I watched it twice just to get over the initial shock of it.

One thing you mentioned that i now recalled was the use of lines from previous movies (ST2 and ST6 the main ones that come to mind) were used just to conjure up imagery of those films to hide the problems with this one.

Once again, thanks for the review. You helped keep me from making an ass of myself.

Anonymous said...

i liked it alot and I'm a huge Star Trek fan. All this anger over a movie you did not expect to get is ultimately self defeating. Just cause you didnt like it, which you are entitled to not like, doesn't mean you can throw a hissy fit. Cause it just makes you sound like a total moron who has a tantrum cause he doesn't get his way. You got to be a little more objective if you want to make a more compelling review. Just leave your personal emotions out of it, because in reality. no one gives a shit about another person's relationship with a pre-established franchise. No matter how much web 2.0 might tell otherwise. why do you think harry knowles is the laughing stock of the critic community

Clayton Jones said...

Bob I agree with a lot of your reviews, but after going "eh it's his opinion, he's entitled to it" after Watchmen, I'm seriously flabbergasted at this Star Trek review. How you could gush over Watchmen, a movie that simply succeeds in being an admirable attempt at an extremely ambitious adaptation, while you put down Star Trek which is both a strong adaptation and an excellent stand alone movie, is beyond me. The stuff you're accusing Star Trek of, ie giving it a pass because "hey they're saying the old lines in a new movie!" is exactly the stuff Watchmen was guilty of. "Hey it might not have the atmosphere, integrity, or humanity of the source material but... Rorschach said hurm!! OMG He's eating beans from a cannnnnn ommmmgggggg!!"

Don't get me wrong, I LIKED Watchmen. I saw it twice in theaters, which I'll probably also do with Star Trek. The difference is Star Trek is a movie that I love both as a fan of the series and as a moviegoer, where as Watchmen I enjoy as a fan of the comic and secretly call bullshit everytime one of my friends who never read the comics says they "totally got the movie."

Also Chris Pine was one of my favorite parts of the cast, and if you never got the maverick side of Kirk's character before, I'm not sure how much of Wrath of Khan you actually watched. Far be it from me to cite Harry Fucking Knowles, but he pretty much nails what works about Pine's Kirk in his writeup after seeing the early screening here: and also hits on a lot of the science based side of the cool stuff in the movie that apparently is going over many "Trekkies" heads because they were in such outrage over Beastie Boys making an appearance on the soundtrack.

But yeah, fuck a Tyler Perry cameo. Fuck it in the ass.

Seyi said...

I was gonna see this as soon as it, but I was afraid i'd get blown away by the graphics (like with transformers the first time I saw it around-what was I thinking?)

Thanks for the honesty, but it feels as if you're being overly cynical 'for the sake of it',or to be the Jaded Skeptic Guy(I know this likely is'nt true, but I get that kind of vibe).

Like Jones mentioned before you gave Watchmen idol-like praise despite its somewhat split reception yet feel some sort of...need to nit-pick on this (for lack of better phrasing)

I guess what i'm trying to say is,be a little more impartial

Seyi said...

*Little mistake there, 'as soon as it came out'

Joseph Valencia said...

It seems no one can criticize this movie without having some fanboy question their integrity.

Anonymous said...

So wait,you're of the opinion that the only people that have problems with the criticism must be fanboys, and if so, thier complaints are completely invalid? (Not to mention Bob himself is a blatant Nintendo fanboy)

If so you're a fucking idiot

Joseph Valencia said...

Star Trek has a 96% Tomato meter and is well on its way to a $70-$90 million first weekend. Your precious blockbuster is safe from the critics that you so loathe, so why not spare them your efforts to assimiliate them into the Fan-Borg collective?

Bob said...

Anonymous -
"Just cause you didnt like it, which you are entitled to not like, doesn't mean you can throw a hissy fit."I'm not sure you and I have the same definition of "hissy fit," but... actually, I'm... pretty sure that I CAN. Hissy fits are protected speech, I refer to the Supreme Court case of Neener v Neener ;)

Clayton Jones said...

I'm not really sure what the Marlins fan is talking about... only fanboys are sticking up for this movie... except for the critics who have given it very positive reviews... something something "Fan-Borg"? Is there a point you're making somewhere in there or has watching Wes Helms play on a consistent basis driven you insane?

Also I'm going to go on record that I called shenanigans on the Supreme Court's ruling on Neener v Neener and found the entire case to be a travesty of justice.

Joseph Valencia said...

Ew, a troll.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous -
"Just cause you didnt like it, which you are entitled to not like, doesn't mean you can throw a hissy fit."I'm not sure you and I have the same definition of "hissy fit," but... actually, I'm... pretty sure that I CAN. Hissy fits are protected speech, I refer to the Supreme Court case of Neener v Neener ;)"

My point is the idea that there should be a set of ethics involved in any form of review or judgement. Because, hate it all you want, have as much history as you want with it, but every one is given the right to a fair and impartial judgement. The minute you bring emotion and past into it, you sacrifice your impartiality in favor of emotion and history with the product which brings your opinion and review into question. And that is a fundamental right by your legal system (I'm canadian btw. We have the same right but its just just fun to assert my nationality on the internet. :)

Bob said...

Which is why I wanted to be right up front about the fact that the marketing was giving me a bad vibe leading into this. For what it's worth, there's a difference between being "impartial" and being "a blank slate." Impartial doesn't mean you don't have prior experience with things, it means you don't let them effect your judgement. I didn't.

I don't care that the story breaks continuity, I care that it's hackneyed and cliched. I don't care that the art-design is different, I care that some of it is cheesy. The dopey "This ain't your father's Star Trek!" ads annoyed me, but if a better movie resulted I'd have ignored or even dismissed said annoyance.

Anonymous said...

Dont read reviews if ya dont want opinion. one dude hates it, one dude doesnt. One dude doesn't like the fake physics, the other doesnt care much for astrophysics accuracy and says the 1st guys nitpicking over nothing. One thinks it should be about kirk, the other spock.
And everyone here who's whining over Bob's review?
Those are your OPINIONS coming out, not fact. so have a dose of your own meds and keep them to Y0UR$3LF.

Clayton Jones said...

Yes, clearly Marlins fan, I'm a troll. A troll who is trying desperately to understand your point and have an intelligent conversation with you. The epitome of a troll.

And to the dude above, thank you for explaining to me how reviews work, I had no idea previously. Also when you said this "And everyone here who's whining over Bob's review? Those are your OPINIONS coming out, not fact." my head exploded all over my computer and now you owe me a new laptop.

Awiin said...

Just saw the movie and before going into my opinions on the movie id just like to give you some background as to where im comming from. While yes i watched the original series alot when i was a kid i wouldnt call myself a Star Trek fan, i like it but im no fanatic.

Personaly i liked this movie and would have given it a 8/10 if it wasnt for the ending. To me the continuity changes where to big to let them slip, especialy when they had ways to keep the continuity intact and still not make the movie have a good ending. (Going to keep this spoiler free)

I should also say im a pretty rational guy when it comes to changes. Sure i had one problem with Peter Jacksons version with LOTR, namely Faramir. That problem i could however buy as for the most part the movie only cut out things that didnt do much for the story.

This movie however whent from 8/10 to 4/10 in the last 15 minutes.

Also can never be too clear about this, this is my opinion, not everyone agrees with me but i know im not alone - some continuity changes was ok and didnt go over the top but some on the other hand, one in particular did.

Ps. keep up the good work


Awiin said...

Just to clearify when i said:
"...continuity intact and still not make the movie have a good ending."
What i meant was :
"...continuity intact and still make the movie have a good ending."
The 'not' had nothing to do in the sentence sry ^^;


Joseph Valencia said...

Yes, intelligent conversations start with random bashing of the other guy's favorite sports team. You aren't worth the time, troll.

Joseph Valencia said...

That was directed at Clayton Jones btw, not Awiin.

CrunchyEmpanada said...

I don't understand at all. How is this cliche'd hackneyed writing, and yet you love the shit out of The Dark Knight? I just don't understand!

I didn't think this movie was cliche at all. Sure it had its silly moments, but uh, TDK had waaaay more.

Point being, I think you're being horribly inconsistent.

Anonymous said...

Guy above me:
Then Leave. Coming to a persons blog and wanting them to change is like going to and trying to convince them whites aren't better than everyone else combined.
You will be 'heard' but not 'listened' to.

Skinner said...

I love your take on stuff Bob, but I've been having trouble lately. I haven't really agreed with the last few reviews you've made of movies I've seen, a perfectly understandable thing since we both have seperate brains, but I've seen more and more this harping on things you perceive as "hardcore." You seem fixated on this idea that if it's marketed to this set, that it's always awful and shallow. It's like you've got some old high school wounds that haven't healed yet. I mean, jocks? Who still uses that term after jr. high? You seem to take offense that they find anything not dull brown and violent as "gay" but then marginalize anything they like because it's overdone and moronic, which is the opinion these folks have of the things you like. It tends to come across more like a kid yelling because the neighborhood kids don't like his stuff as much as he thinks they should. I'm not a very good Star Trek fan but I felt the movie was pretty good. It gave us an insight into the inner lives of the characters we're so familiar with. Spock learning the consequences of his emotional outbursts and curbing them later in life and about the same development for Kirk. I also disagree with your criticism of the coincidences in the film. All of these characters are needed for the original rollout crew but since Nero altered the timestream you couldn't just have them all on the ship and then have Kirk take over. The Top Gun reference is similarly lost on me. I didn't see Kirk and Spock as main character and wingman since they spent so much of the movie in direct conflict. They're the only two that you see as young kids to further establish their backstories. I felt the movie was more of a co-headliner for the two characters. I can't really argue with your opinion on the new bridge (I think it works fine) since there are experiences effecting such that I couldn't guess at but I feel like you're letting this "us versus them" feeling you have inside skew your views to make things almost impossible to enjoy if you feel like it's made for the enemy. I mean, come on, was Transformers really such a painful experience for you?

some fanboy said...

Hey, Bob I just wanted to contact you in some way and say, "THANK YOU!" I am the only person I know, both trekkie and non-trekkie, to have seen this movie and thought it was utter crap. It truly pains me to see a treasured, nerdy show that I've grown up on be turned into mindless, generic, uninspired trashfest.

I really want to Skype with you some time, if you wouldn't mind, and just rant a little bit about some of the other things that the movie did wrong. It would therapeutic for me, so give me a holler at if you want to exchange info. Also, yes I'm a guy and I'm straight and the exchange of information is totally not meant to be sexual or suggestive in any way.

Thanks again for showing me that I'm not a lone dissenter. Hope to hear from you soon. Peace.

Peter S. said...

I honestly don't get why people have such a problem with this movie. I personally thought it was highly entertaining big-budget popcorn cheese. I thought that while the humor seemed a bit forced and fan-servicy at times, I also thought a lot of it landed very well (especially Bones' "Are you out of your Vulcan mind?" I don't care what anyone says, that was pure genius). But, to each their own I guess. I won't fault you for having your opinion Bob since it's yours and you're entitled to it. Although if I may say so, what the fuck is your beef with Tyler Perry? I've never watched any of his movies and while I have no intention to, I must say I'm a bit shocked at your overwhelmingly negative opinion of him. I'd really like to know just what is it about him that you hate so much and honestly, he was in the movie for a total of roughly five minutes. It's not like he had a contract that stipulated Madea had to make an appearance and coach Chekov on how to enunciate properly or something. But, whatever... I enjoyed it, you think it fell flat on its face, and my opinion of you is not lessened because of it. Along with Peter Travers, you're one of the few movie reviewers who I honestly place any credibility in, and I'm a big fan of the Gamer Overthinker as well. Here's to hoping that you make it all the way to your own ScrewAttack feature!

Bass said...

I totally agree with everything you said except for your opinion on Pine. Usually, a the douchebag asshole with a dead dad character cliche is portrayed with a whiff of repentance and a whole, "I wouldn't BE a douchebag if my dad was still alive *sob*". And this movie goes OUT of its way to make that point. Yet, Pine didn't put a hint of that in his portrayal. He played Kirk as completely unapologetic. He made him honest and proud, and I think, made him bizarrely endearing.

So that's my only point of contention. Beyond that, I think you are right on the fucking ball. A vapid piece of shit movie with no substance besides Trek trappings, yet, it looks fucking brilliant. It is exciting and entertaining, if not particularly GOOD.

I'd easily stick it in the top 5 Trek movies of all time. It's better than the majority of Trek.

I'm just saying this because I feel as you do - a lonely dissenter whose opinion isn't a binary "Black holes don't work that way = shit film" or "Lasers and tits = awesome film" and as such, must be part of the former group.

And if I say anything other than, "This film cured my cancer" somehow I'm an old school Trek fanboy who is so jaded and bitter because only now, when my genitals are withered and useless, can liking Trek get me a girl.


gsthomas said...

Thanks, I enjoyed the review. I didn't think to movie was that bad until I went back this week and was watching some TNG. Overall I think it was way better than Transformers, but lacked the ham handed parallels to our world that are supposed to make us question our own ignorance and prejudices that I come to expect in a Trek story. Rather it just tried to tell the story of the characters we have come to love over the years. But even that was only simplistically done. Kirk's dad is dead, Spock is a mulatto and they all meet randomly.

Though my only explanation for Scotty getting caught in those tubes is that it was some kind of metaphorical representation of the loss of identity over the internets.

IntuitionJo said...

So, Bob, I feel you are totally allowed to have your own feelings towards the movie.

I want to say what I am about to say as not in ANY way a Trekkie's opinion. I never was a Trekkie, as I actually feel that the goal of Sci-Fi should be about the future of not humanity, but Earth itself, and I felt that Star Trek was never be able to do that.

There were a couple of problems I had with this Movie, both of which are MASSIVE flaws within a Science Fiction setting. The first is the problem that, well, the characters didn't act like normal people. I was truly pissed when Kirk didn't fight harder to illustrate the meaning of the Kobayashi Maru to Spock, and instead let him shoot him onto Delta-Whatever-Whatever.

The second is that the plot felt horribly, horribly irrelevant. You know what I mean. It actually scrapped details of the canon, and reset it into something totally different.

Honestly though, you made a good point. It is a forgettable film. forgettable films aren't normally bad, they're just average. I am grateful that I could actually not get bored while watching the movie, but the nagging feelings of the plot holes and inhuman reactions took away from the experiance.

P.S. I had no idea Sulu was a superhuman ninja.

Mark said...

MovieRobert (Is that what your family calls you?),

Glad to see the Escapist is giving you so much screen time these days.
Still haven't seen this yet, but your review is one of the first to point out mostly negative stuff (all others have seemed to be either good or "pretty good.") I'm by no means a Star Trek fanboy (having seen the movies, and only really experienced TNG in show-form), but I have likewise been pretty skeptical about this reboot.
But one thing I think you're being a little harsh with - the acting. As I said, haven't seen the movie yet, but you say the new kirk is awful. Isn't the *old kirk* awful? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love the original cast (the idea of a non-Shatner Kirk is crazy), but let's be honest - the acting isn't exactly great, to say the least.
But, maybe since this has been "mainstreamed," it gets held up to a different standard that the cult favorites do.

Anonymous said...

Mariner said...

Your not alone in your thoughts on this film, as this is the only review I've seen that actually talks about the film being bad as a film, though I'd actually say that the supposed "action" scenes were actually some of the most laughably pathetic choreography I've ever seen.

My biggest problem with this film it's very unapologetic level of seething cynicism of the very audience it's made for, from geek to layman, which is something I've noticed as a major theme in J.J. Abrams catalogue.

I think I'll actually make my inaugural blog post about that, but I do have to thank you for showing me that someone else wasn't ashamed to describe the movie they actually saw.