What Movie Have You Seen Today?


#121

Lazy writing? I don’t agree.

While it is all speculation on our parts, I believe Abrams planned to build Snoke up to play a larger role - but then Johnson suggested to undercut him (so to speak). The fact that Abrams did not insist on playing out Snoke´s arc only tells me that he wants to keep things unpredictable. But I would be very surprised if Snoke´s backstory were not mentioned in Episode IX.

As for Kirk´s death - yeah, it was definitely the role reversal that Abrams wanted. Still, Kirk could not stay dead. Just like original Spock could not.

Whether one finds the Genesis project in Star Trek II more believable as an explanation for having Spock return (and grow up so fast) in III - than the Tribble blood for Kirk´s survival in Star Trek Into Darkness… in the end, it´s all the same. Beloved characters most of the time survive and will be brought back from the dead. Which in itself is always, IMO, hard to believe. But I swallow the explanations in both films because - heck, it´s Star Trek, it´s space opera, and I want my heroes to live.

Would a much more elaborate explanation for Kirk to survive have been better? I doubt it. I actually am relieved that they did not concoct a much more complicated bending of scientific rules for that.

In other words: if the Tribble blood (in itself a fun nod) does not convince you, what would have?


#122

Brilliant :clap:

We’ll find out in IX whether Abrams had a plan, or if Snoke was merely a hollow trope used for dramatic effect with no afterthought toward story.

Old-spocks Genesis rebirth: yes, imo better than new-Kirks tribble rebirth by a million light years.

Why? Because it came from the core story, rather than a cheap incidentle add on nod to tribbles used as a get out of jail free card, but has no other relevance to the proceedings. He wants all the drama of a core character death and then pretend that didn’t happen because there was a brief otherwise irrelevant tribble scene crowbarred into the middle of the movie to serve this very purpose. Elegant it is certainly not - it makes the genesis/Spock rebirth look like Conan-Doyle.

There was the big idea to reverse roles and no idea how to resolve it.

And after setting this president doesnt that mean that everyone can be brought back from the dead now they have this tribble formula?

So why wasn’t it on hand, or even mentioned in Star Trek Beyond? Because it’s catastrophic to jeopardy. It’s the kind of problem a writer inherits from a previous installement that’s impossible to reconcile – the kind of problem a crappy writer leaves for someone else to make sense of, while they head off and cash their checque and say, “Hey, I did a great job on that script and by the way, emporer, they’re very nice new clothes you’re wearing!

They didn’t even acknowledge this new immunity to death in ST Beyond because it undermines everything drama tries to accomplish. A lazy cheap trick that is best forgotten. Just as Johnson did when he dispatched the Big Bad Snoke he’d inherited from Abrams.

The tribbles illustrate clearly how Abrams will take whatever liberty he wants with the narrative regardless of how it undermines everything in order to fix the plot holes he digs himself in to. It’s either lazy or inept. What he should do is go back and rewrite until it feels right, but instead he sticks some gum on and hopes it holds together.

With these cheap tricks along with the whole of Lost turning out to be a cheap trick with no end game ever conceived I think there’s definitely a pattern.


#123

To me, the biggest problem with the tribble blood is how, as odd-jobbies, put it, ruins the drama. There is no consequence anymore. Death has been cured. Super blood fixes everything. Now, granted, Into Darkness had many problems, but this was the worst offender. I, unfortunately as Abrams is one of my favorite directors, have to admit that he sucks at pay-offs. Kirk sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise crew and prove that he isn’t completely reckless, but dying and returning from a lame half-baked MacGuffin ruins his entire arc. STBeyond is so much the better for having left Into Darkness in the past without even a passing mention. Then there’s the cringeworthy treatment given to Uhura and Dr. Marcus that wouldn’t fly in 2018 and really didn’t either in 2013 and the white-washing of Khan. Just a mess.

Point is, I think Abrams himself did have a plan for Snoke, but by allowing Rian Johnson creative freedom, that was upended. Abrams played it way too safe with The Force Awakens. Snoke was created because the films needed a big bad so it basically copied the Emperor. The Last Jedi was all about being different. This is why people hated it. Honestly, it would’ve been too easy for Rey’s parents to have been Luke and some rando or Obi-Wan or someone we knew. Why should it be? It makes more sense that she wouldn’t be related to them as she was found on a DIFFERENT planet and there are literally trillions and trillions of beings in the galaxy. How would it be possible that these intergalactic wars only ever come down to the same family? Additionally, Snoke adds nothing to the story. I have no problem with him being killed off or of Rey’s parents being drunks.


#124

Okay. I was not fond of the Lost finale either. But to attribute that to Abrams disregards the fact that Abrams had left the show at that point and Damon Lindelof was the driving force here.

Did Abrams start LOST without knowing the outcome? Maybe, maybe he did have another solution in mind. One should not forget that the internet became dominant during LOST´s initial showing, with people discussing the finale of the whole series after the first season already - and coming up with several possibilities. Which made plotting narratives with surprises effectively near impossible. Since any possible outcome already was plastered all over the internet.

Is Abrams great at inventing premises and bad at finding fitting finales? Well, one might argue that there is no fitting finale for mystery narratives. Any explanation will naturally disappoint because it suddenly reduces a myriad of intriguing possibilities to one idea. So, I would go easy on Mr. Abrams there, just as I enjoy the work of Stephen King who also often gets accused for great starts and weak finishes. It just comes with the territory. And I dare you to name a mystery show/movie which had a totally logical and surprising and satisfying ending.

By the way, just to get totally nerdy here: it is not exactly the tribble´s blood that saves Kirk - it is Khan´s superhuman blood serum that gets mixed in with the tribble while Kirk has to be frozen to prevent his brain from dying. As a quasi-scientific solution and a narrative come full circle (Khan kills, Khan keeps alive), I find that fitting and satisfying enough. And I also get why the Federation does not want to go down the road of "hey, let’s drain Khan some further to experiment how to reverse the effects of radiation).


#125

Isn’t it made quite clear? It’s Khans blood that had healing properties, it’s not further explored by Starfleet because the research was outlawed because of Khan being the homicidal monster he is. That’s far better established than Spocks revival ever was, both in the film and the franchise as a whole.


#126

Have to admit I totally forgot about Kirk or Tribbles in ST:ID - and I even wrote a review at the time…


#127

When you rewatch both Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness, they each telegraph their endings. Star Trek II (1982 version) kills off the entire bridge crew (except Kirk) in the Kobayashi Maru simulation at the beginning of the film. Star Trek 2 (2013 version) has a line in the pre-title opening where they’re trying to save Spock from the volcano, and Kirk says, “If places were reversed, if I were there and Spock were here, what would he do.” To which McCoy replies, “he’d let you die.” This sets up Kirk’s sacrifice at the end. My bigger complaint about the ending is the terrorist city destruction trope again. True Star Trek would have explored the ethical implications of keeping Kahn around and trying to dispense some justice without just freezing him in lieu of trial and imprisonment.

As for the other Star franchise, Snoke’s purpose was to assemble remnants of the Empire into the First Order under General Hux. He’s done that, obviously isn’t anybody’s daddy in the Skywalker family, and so isn’t as interesting as Kylo Ren becoming the Big Bad in Ep. IX. TLJ has weaknesses, but Snoke’s demise isn’t one of them. It would have happened in the next movie anyway. I’m glad Rian Johnson didn’t make us wait around for that. As for Rey’s parentage, what else were they gonna do? Make Han and Leia even worse parents than they already are by abandoning their child? Have Luke or Obi-Wan father a child against Jedi code? There’d still be an uproar. Besides, Anakin’s mother was a nobody as well. And where did all these other Jedi come from if there were no Skywalkers before? The Skywalkers saved the Jedi from dying out, but don’t exist to monopolize it. That being said, I’m down with Luke’s character getting cynical and embittered. The real world/galaxy has that effect.

You guys are sure making me glad I didn’t see Lost though! :slightly_smiling_face:


#128

By all means, do. Only stop before the last two seasons, by that time most of the originality has worn off and the strong reek of desperation has been oozing out of the writers room, soiling everything it touches.

No, seriously. Lost is a pleasant enough entertainment - but do not expect anything from it. It’s allusions are much more serious than the actual substance. Skip the last season or two and read the books that feature in the show instead.


#129

Season 5 of Lost isn’t the worst. Season 6 is the one that is just a giant middle finger to the audience.


#130

Not a middle finger - it just throws both hands up in the air.


#131

It greatly suffered from the departure of Brian K. Vaughan. During his run there was an intriguing air of “The Prisoner” present in Lost, something that was dropped entirely. The show went through several iterations of mystery and intrigue only to end up in new age mysticism, largely because everything else was already played out.

The disappointment wasn’t so much the letdown of the solution but the fact that there hadn’t been a solution before. Compare it to an Agatha Christie mystery where the murderer is decided by a dice throw - Christie (as far as I know) never worked this way, nor do any mystery writers worth their salt. But television is an entirely different business and as long as it goes the show will go on.


#132

Old friend of mine, a mystery writer of some repute now, has done Exactly this.


#133

No, seriously - I know a few writers whose output suggests they couldn’t care less and who make up their solutions out of thin air. But I think in the end it’s always showing. And in the long run it undermines the reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief.

No mystery writer worth his salt should resort to this.

By the way, Vaughan himself is very guilty of the pull-solution-from-top hat method, as readers of Y can attest to…


#134

In this particular writers case, it was more the novel focussed on how the deaths changed the people in the story, so the murder was actually inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but I do get what you mean. I got really angry at an episode of Castle once purely because the reveal made zero sense. “Six sodding writers and you had to pick a random character for the reveal?!?!?!?!?”


#135

That’s just what I mean. The basic premise of mystery is that there is, obviously, some mystery, some kind of riddle as to who did what for which purpose - but the premise also demands that there must be some solution; we just cannot see it yet since we haven’t got all the necessary information to compute.

The solution can in effect be anything - even supernatural - but it must be a rational solution of the cause/effect type. But if it’s random, if it completely ignores the facts of the story or contradicts them, or isn’t related at all…that would not be mystery but chaos, entropy. Why bother with a solution then at all?

By the way, is that writer a secret or could we drop a hint here?


#136

I’ll tell you that they live in Edinburgh, but other than that I can’t say.


#137

Narrows down the suspects…


#138

To 3. Who all live on the same street.


#139

Which is a nice mystery in itself.

But I agree with Dustin: any narrative has to be structured before one writes it down. Sure, on the way one might find better solutions or even a better ending. But in this genre one must always look backwards to lay out clues in a sensible fashion and to pay off character turning points. Otherwise the ending feels just tagged on.

In LOST there were so many really interesting backstory ideas that the final explanation just felt too weak for me. As if the creators of that final season disagreed with what had come before and bended it to their will.


#140

I was watching Iron Man 3 last night and its climactic battle in the shipyard seems to be the one DAF should have had.