Shouting At the Internet
Repurposing this to keep track of vital statistics, specifically blood pressure and pulse rate.
Feeling: Okay, hungry
Pulse: 107 (which I’m not sure is right, it was counting 90 before the cuff tightened)
HAHA, JOKE’S ON YOU, I NEVER STOPPED CHECKING IT EVERY DAY BECAUSE I’M LAZY AND DIDN”T TAKE IT OUT OF MY “DAILY” FOLDER.
Really Lengthy Text Posts
Man I am super old. Like, what the hell, I have a beard and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be gray soon. My joints hurt too, mostly when it’s going to rain. Also I have old person complaints, like taxes, and kids who insist on running through my lawn.
When I had the 4th of July off, and I woke up in the morning, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do that day. This is a rarity in my adult life, as I’m sure it is in many of yours. I thought perhaps I should work on my monster manual, or clean my apartment.
The thought occurred to me that perhaps I might play Final Fantasy 6.
I argued with myself against the idea. The game is long, and the last few times I started it, I ended up quitting shortly thereafter for lack of time. And there are so many things which need to be done, surely I don’t have time to play a video game.
But I decided to go for it. From 10 in the morning to the time I went to bed, I relived the finest entry in the Final Fantasy series. And when I got home from work on Friday, I continued. And today, when my morning D&D game ended, I kept going.
This is the most fun I’ve had in ages.
What's up with LS today?
I made a rather lengthy Imgur post about what’s going on right now. It’s partially to explain for the Hiatus of Papers & Pencils.
Why “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a horrible piece of cinematic garbage
I did not like the 2009 reboot of Star Trek. I didn’t like it for a lot of reasons which aren’t relevant to what I have to say now. I will mention that rebooting a franchise by having a character go back in time and permanently alter history is not only lazy writing, but it is a profound disservice to those of us who knew and loved the original stories. And I will add that if you don’t know the difference between a solar system and a galaxy you have no business with creative influence over a science fiction franchise.
Given the fact that I didn’t like the original, I did not expect to like its sequel. I wasn’t even planning to see it, save for the fact that my ladyfriend wanted to, and I figured that even if I didn’t like the film, it would be fun to see it with her. (And, for the record, we did have a nice time together. Doesn’t mean the movie was any less shitty, though).
It should go without saying that there are spoilers below.
I also won’t be pretending I know any of the actors names.
Lets start with some things I did like. There’s actually a lot of them:
- The sound. Not the music, mind you, but the sound itself. From the sounds the guns make, to the sounds of the warp drive. They pack a punch which makes the viewer pay attention. Which isn’t always appropriate, but I think it was handled pretty well here. I particularly liked the punching sound effects, actually. There’s a particularly good scene where Kahn and Kirk are both beating guys up, and the viewer comes to understand just how strong Kahn is by the difference in the impact sounds of their punches. It’s quite well done.
- Some of the acting was very good. In particular, the actor who plays Uhura, and the actor who plays Kahn both did their jobs spectacularly.
- When you strip everything away from the movie, leaving only the skeleton of the plot behind, there’s actually a very solid foundation there. At first I was a little frustrated that they used the tired old “evil starfleet admiral” trope which is ridiculously prevalent in Trek. Buuut since this film is intended to introduce a new audience to the franchise, so using a classic trope of the series makes sense.
Mind you the plot’s outline isn’t perfect. There are things I would change. But it’s pretty good all told.
- I heard a lot of complaints going into the movie about the ending. The homage to Wrath of Kahn where kirk is dying and spock is outside the glass door looking in. But honestly I don’t think it was all that bad. It could have been handled a little better, but it wasn’t as schlocky as I’d heard it would be.
- A lot of people panned Nimoy’s cameo. “It’s pointless!” they said. “Serves no purpose!”
And I’ll grant that. The movie makes up a purpose for the scene, but its a flimsy one. However, given all of the movie’s other problems, and massive wastes of time, I really didn’t mind seeing a familiar face for a little bit.
That was an unfortunately short list. Let me try to itemize the shit I didn’t like.
- The fanservice shot of Dr. Markus. (sp?) I get that Kirk would totally peek at a woman who was changing. That’s his character. But why did the camera need to focus on her? I mean, even if you can forgive the fact that it was a blatant (SO BLATANT) excuse to get one of the actresses in her underwear, it was just weird cinematography. Weird to the point of being a little disorienting.
I don’t know a lot about film, but there are ways you’re not supposed to move the camera because it disorients the audience, right? I’m pretty sure they broke that rule here. And in a couple other places to boot, actually.
- What is the point of the 15 minute stretch of Movie where Kirk is removed of his command, Spock is reassigned, but then a bunch of people die, so they end up right back where they started on the Enterprise? Seriously, what was the point of this?
- This bleeds over into my problems with the first movie, but what is so gods damned special about Kirk that he gets to SKIP THE ACADEMY and be a captain? This is such absolute bullshit I can’t even articulate it.
Honestly think about this for EVEN A SECOND. Imagine a kid from Ohio. He’s a troublemaker. Doesn’t do well in school. But some Admiral in the navy “believes in him.” So he gets the kid to join the Navy. The kid continues to be a general fuckup at the naval academy. But this admiral BELIEVES SO HARD, so he gives this 19 year old fuckup the rank of captain, and puts him in charge of an aircraft carrier. And not just any aircraft carrier, mind you, but the newest, most technologically advanced on which has ever been developed.
Would you honestly be able to stomach that movie’s premise? Even for a nanosecond? It’s so unbelievably preposterous.
- Kahn, in the original episode and film, was famously played by Ricardo Montaban. He is one of the most beloved villains ever to come out of Star Trek. I bet the majority of Trekkies would even agree that he is the single most beloved villain to come out of Trek.
And they whitewashed him.
One of the most beloved characters in the franchise was Hispanic. Now he’s not. The white guy who played him did an excellent job, but I guarantee you there’s a hispanic actor out there who could have done the job just as well. This is profoundly disgusting.
- There’s this scene, right? Where a big scary ship comes up behind them at warp speed, and shoots at the Enterprise. It’s really bad. The good sound effects are particularly impactful in this scene. You really understand just how completely outgunned the crew of the enterprise are. This, combined with the truly disturbing scenes of the ship being torn to pieces and her crew being thrown into space…it’s one of the movie’s few scenes which really touched me. So many people dead, doubtless so many more injured.
To save what remains of his crew, Kirk goes to make a proverbial deal with the devil. He asks Kahn, in the med bay, to help him. Then the camera pans to…
Bones experimenting on a tribble! Oh, isn’t it goofy? Isn’t it a great reference to the original show?
Meanwhile, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE DEAD OR DYING, WHILE THE SHIP’S CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER SITS ON HIS ASS AND SATISFIES HIS INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY ABOUT SOMETHING WHICH DOESN’T EVEN MATTER.
- Speaking of bones and the tribble, aside from being an assault both upon the emotion of the scene AND upon the audience’s intellect, did anyone else feel as though it was the most obvious set-up ever? I’m not generally good at spotting this kind of stuff. But holy shit. The moment I saw it I knew, without a doubt, that someone’s life would later be saved by Kahn’s blood.
- LENS FLARES. Oh my gods did Abrams learn NOTHING from the mocking he received after the first one?
- There’s this one scene where the captain is receiving reports from his crew, and a guy with blue skin and a kinda weird, robot-ish voice has a single line. Later there’s some intense action going on down on a planet’s surface. The audience is invested. This is good stuff!
Then, it cuts to the ship so we can hear some minor piece of information. And for some reason, the camera starts at the back of this blue alien’s head, letting us see some computer parts attached to his skull, then slowly pans around his head so he can deliver his second (and last) line in the film.
This may seem minor…but why did this exist? It was not relevant. The character was not important. It meant NOTHING. Was there something cut from the final release of the film which would have made this shot useful? Or was it just Abrams pointlessly showing off all the shiny garbage in his movie?
- Spock’s acting. It was…oh my god it was so bad.
Now, I want to be fair here, so let me make clear: I don’t think this was the actor’s fault. It’s not as though he failed to convey what the director wanted to convey. He actually succeeded quite well in that regard. He deserves props for that.
The problem is that the director apparently wanted him to portray an emotional Spock. A major theme throughout this movie is Spock’s emotions, his adherence to logic and regulations, and the fact that nobody likes it. All of that is fine.
But they shouldn’t get what they want.
Part of the beauty of Spock’s character is that he’s so different from us humans. We can’t understand him. WHy would he want to live without emotion? HOW can he live without emotion? He’s strange, and alien—and we can still love him.
Gene Roddenberry was a man who envisioned a future where we would put aside our differences. Where we’d work together to make a brighter future for everyone. Where we’d meet entirely new peoples who were even more different from us than any group of humans our ancestors had ever encountered, but we’d become their friends. Because humans can be that good.
JJ Abrams is a man who envisions a future where everybody is white, and the aliens adapt to be more like humans. Because human is better.
- There’s a scene where a bad guy is firing at the Enterprise. The bad guy’s daughter, unbeknownst to him, is on the Enterprise. She says “Let me talk to him. He won’t shoot if he knows I’m here.”
This is an extremely logical plan. So logical that it shouldn’t require a moment’s thought. Any hesitation in this matter is tantamount to foolishness.
So what does Kirk do? He looks around, trying to figure out what to do. Markus repeats herself. Kirk continues to ignore her. Markus finally has to grab his arm and use her “super serious time” voice in order to get him to accept the most obvious course of action ever.
I feel as though I could go on forever with this. The above was written as one, long, unbroken stream of typing, without pausing to try to remember anything which annoyed me. If I took time to try and think of more, I’m sure I could double the length of this post. But I think I’ve said enough.