I, like a good science fiction nerd, went to go see Star Trek Into Darkness yesterday. I enjoyed it. It was a good flick. It was fun to watch. It was, though, a bad Star Trek movie. (Or, as my friend Mike Broder put it: it was a good Star Trek fan fiction.)
My credentials for making that analysis as a fanboy are pretty solid. My Star Trek geekness predates my other geeknesses. Proof: http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/6949
So here are
three five a lot of immediately obvious things wrong with the movie. (I’m sure there are more, but I’m tired and writing this fairly quickly.)
1. Why the fuck was the Enterprise parked under water? Seriously. No explanation was given and even the chief engineer (seemingly the only sane person in the movie) pointed out how stupid that was.
2. How do alternate timelines turn Latin men into British Caucasians?
3. This movie takes place six months after the first movie. Thus the level of emotional relationship between Kirk and Spock that took over seventeen years in the previous movies for an epic death scene is recreated in an alternate timeline is less than two years?
4. Kirk’s only true love is his ship – not Carol Marcus, so why the fuck is she going on the five year mission?
5. Speaking of which, Carol Marcus was never in Starfleet!
6. If they hadn’t started the five year mission yet, how the fuck did they meet Harry Mudd and discover Tribbles?
7. How does the Klingon Empire, a space faring race with a culture of WARFARE, not notice a fucking STAR SHIP sitting in orbit around their HOMEWORLD? Seriously. I’m pretty sure our current technology of things like, you know, TELESCOPES and communication satellites would catch on to something like that pretty damn quick. You’d think a warmongering military race would be watching their six on their own home planet IN THE FUTURE.
8. Along that same thought, how does NONE OF STARFLEET NOTICE THE ENTERPRISE FALLING TO EARTH? We know there are other star ships hanging around. We’ve seen them… in the beginning of the same damn movie. Not a single one thought, “oh, shit! Let’s go try and start beaming people off” or “intercept that with a couple of tractor beams” or even “SHOOT IT DOWN BEFORE IT CRASHES AND KILLS A CITY OR SOMETHING!” Nothing. Not a peep.
9. Communicators can reach from a star ship to a bar in San Francisco? REALLY?
WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED:
A. John Harrison should have been JOHN HARRISON – another super human from the SS Botany Bay. The closing scene where we see them all in cryo tubes? The camera should have passed one with a Latin guy with long hair… Khan. John Harrison should have been his own character.
B. Time should have been spent developing relationships through character interactions in the plot; not assuming their existence and rocking off the dime of classic motion picture death scenes.
C. Carol Marcus should have had a topless scene. Would never happen, I know, buy I would have been okay with it.
For once, Joey Snackpants’ anger towards these movies may be justified. (For once.)
So sorry Nina, but Iron Man 3 was a better flick so far this summer.
I saw on my IMDb app today that there is a new movie coming out (already came out?) called 360. This got me thinking about movies with titles that are just numbers and that, for shits and giggles, someone should totally create a movie marathon based on these. They should, of course, be watched in order and treated as a series. If you have a suggestion for one I don’t have, please leave it in the replies. Thanks!
There’s a story going around the Internet (source: joblo.com) that a list exists of 206 movies you must see if you ever want to work with Steven Spielberg as a filmmaker. I thought I’d see how I stack up. The ones in bold are one’s I’ve watched.
- 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet – Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda)
- 2001 (Stanley Kubrick – Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood)
- 400 Blows (Francios Truffaut – Jean-Pierre Leaud)
- 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini – Marcello Mastroianni)
- Adam’s Rib (George Cukor – Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy)
- Alfie (Lewis Gilbert – Michael Caine, Shelley Winters)
- Al Capone (Richard Wilson – Rod Steiger)
- All About Eve (Joseph Mankiewicz – Anne Baxter, Bette Davis)
- All That Jazz (Bob Fosse – Jessica Lange, Roy Scheider)
- American In Paris (Vincent Minnelli – Gene Kelly)
- And Justice For All (Norman Jewison – Al Pacino, Lee Strasberg)
- Annie Hall (Woody Allen – Woody Allen, Diane Keaton)
- Apartment, The (Billy Wilder – Jack Lemmon, Shirley McLaine)
- Apocalypse Now (Francis Coppola – Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen)
- All/Presidents Men (Alan Pakula – Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford)
- Baby Doll (Elia Kazan – Carroll Baker, Karl Malden)
- Bang/Drum Slowly (John Hancock – Robert DeNiro, Michael Moriarty)
- Barefoot In/Park (Gene Saks – Jane Fonda, Robert Redford)
- Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein – Vladimir Barsky)
- Belle De Jour (Luis Bunuel – Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel)
- Best Years/Lives (William Wyler – Fredric March, Harold Russell)
- Big Sleep, The (Howard Hawks – Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall)
- Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica – Lamberto Maggiorani)
- Big Chill, The (Lawrence Kasdan – Goldblum, Hurt, Kline, Close)
- Birds, The (Alfred Hitchcock – Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor)
- Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan – William Hurt, Kathleen Turner)
- Bonnie & Clyde (Arthur Penn – Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway)
- Breakfast/Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards – Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney)
- Breathless (Jean Luc Goddard – Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Segal)
- Bridge/River Kwai (David Lean – Alec Guiness, William Holden)
- Brief Encounter (David Lean – Trevor Howard, Celia Johnson)
- Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks – Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn)
- Bullitt (Peter Yates – Steve McQueen)
- Butch/Sundance (George Roy Hill – Paul Newman, Robert Redford)
- Cape Fear (J. Lee Thompson – Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck)
- Casablanca (Michael Curtiz – Bergman, Bogart)
- Celebration, The (Thomas Vinterberg)
- Champ, The (Franco Zeffirelli – Jon Voight)
- Charade (Stanley Donen – Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn)
- Chase, The (Arthur Penn – Brando, Duvall, Redford)
- Children/Paradise (Marcel Came – Etienne Decroux, Arletty)
- Chinatown (Roman Polanski – Faye Dunaway, Jack Nicholson)
- Citizen Kane (Orson Welles – Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles)
- Clockwork Orange Stanley Kubrick Malcolm McDowell
- Close Encounters (Steven Spielberg – Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr)
- Come Back/Sheba (Daniel Mann – Shirley Booth, Burt Lancaster)
- Cool Hand Luke (Stuart Rosenberg – Paul Newman)
- Conversation, The (Francis Coppola – Gene Hackman)
- Day/Earth/Still (Robert Wise – Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe)
- Days/Wine & Roses (Blake Edwards – Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick)
- Deer Hunter, The (Michael Cimino – DeNiro, Walken, Streep)
- Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet – John Cazale, Al Pacino)
- Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder – Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck)
- Doctor Zhivago (David Lean – Julie Christie, Omar Sharif)
- East of Eden (Elia Kazan – James Dean, Jo Harris)
- Exorcist,The (William Friedkin – Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller)
- Face In The Crowd (Elia Kazan – Andy Griffith, Walter Matthau)
- Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson – Karen Black, Jack Nicholson)
- Fly, The (David Cronenberg – Jeff Goldblum)
- French Connection (William Friedkin – Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider)
- French Conn. 2 (John Frankenheimer – Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey)
- From Here/Eternity (Fred Zinneman – Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster)
- Fugitive Kind, The (Sidney Lumet – Marlon Brando)
- Gaslight (George Cukor – Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten)
- General, The (Buster Keaton – Buster Keaton)
- Gntlmn’s Agrmnt (Elia Kazan – John Garfield, Gregory Peck)
- Giant (George Stevens – Dean, Hudson, Taylor)
- Gone With/Wind (Victor Fleming – Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh)
- Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir – Erich Von Stroheim)
- Great Escape, The (John Sturges – Steve McQueen)
- Godfather, The (Francis Coppola – Marlon Brando, Al Pacino)
- Godfatherr II, The (Francis Coppola – Al Pacino, Robert De Niro)
- Godfather III, The (Francis Coppola – Al Pacino, Andy Garcia)
- Graduate, The (Mike Nichols – Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman)
- Grapes Of Wrath (John Ford – Jane Darwell, Henry Fonda)
- Great Santini, The (Lewis John Carlino – Robert Duvall)
- Guess Who’s… (Stanley Kramer – Sidney Poitier)
- Guns Of Navaronne (J. Lee Thompson – Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn)
- Heiress, The (William Wyler – Montgomery Clift, Olivia/Havilland)
- High Noon (Fred Zinneman – Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly)
- Hud (Martin Ritt – Patricia Neal, Paul Newman)
- Hunter, The (Buzz Kulik – Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach)
- Hustler, The (Robert Rossen – Jackie Gleason, Paul Newman)
- His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks – Cary Grant)
- Holiday (George Cukor – Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn)
- I Confess (Alfred Hitchcock – Montgomery Clift, Karl Malden)
- Immigrant, The (Charlie Chaplin – Charlie Chaplin)
- In A Lonely Place (Nicolas Ray – Humphrey Bogart)
- In/Heat Of/Night (Norman Jewison – Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger)
- Indiscretion/Wife (Vittorio de Sica – Montgomery Clift Jennifer Jones)
- It Happened/Night (Frank Capra – Claudette Colbert Clark Gable)
- It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra – Jimmy Stewart)
- Jdgmnt/Nuremberg (Stanley Kramer – Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster)
- Julius Caesar (Joseph Mankiewicz – Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston)
- Kramer Vs. Kramer (Robert Benton – Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep)
- Last Detail, The (Hal Ashby – Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid)
- Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich – Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shephard)
- Last Tango In Paris (Bernardo Bertolucci – Marlon Brando)
- Lawrence Of Arabia (David Lean – Peter O’Toole)
- Little Foxes, The (William Wyler – Bette Davis, Teresa Wright)
- Lolita (Stanley Kubrick – James Mason, Peter Sellers)
- Lonelyhearts (Vincent J. Donahue – Montgomery Clift)
- Long Day’s Journey (Sidney Lumet – Katherine Hepburn, Jason Robards)
- Long Hot Summer (Martin Ritt – Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward)
- Lost In America (Albert Brooks – Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty)
- Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder – Ray Milland)
- Love Story (Arthur Hiller – Ali McGraw, Ryan O’Neal)
- M (Fritz Lang – Peter Lorre)
- Magnif. Ambersons (Orson Welles – Tim Holt, Orson Welles)
- Magnificent Seven (John Sturges – Yul Brenner, Steve McQueen)
- Man/Shot Liberty… (John Ford – Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne)
- Manchurian Cand. (John Frankenheimer – Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra)
- Marathon Man (John Schlesinger – Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier)
- Marty (Delbert Mann – Ernest Borgnine)
- Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese – Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel)
- Men, The (Fred Zinneman – Marlon Brando)
- Metropolis (Fritz Lang – Brigitte Heim, Theodore Loos)
- Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger – Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voiqht)
- Miracle/Morgan’s… (Preston Sturges – Bobby Watson)
- Misfits, The (John Huston – Clift, Gable, Monroe)
- Mississippi Burning (Alan Parker – Willem Defoe, Gene Hackman)
- Missouri Breaks (Arthur Penn – Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson)
- Modern Romance (Albert Brooks – Albert Brooks, Bruno Kirby)
- Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin – Charlie Chaplin)
- Mr. Smith Goes To… (Frank Capra – Jimmy Stewart, Claude Rains)
- Mutiny/Bounty (Frank Lloyd – Marlon Brando)
- My Fair Lady (George Cukor – Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn)
- Nashville (Robert Altman – Ned Beatty, Jeff Goldblum)
- National Velvet (Clarence Brown – Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor)
- Network (Sidney Lumet – Faye Dunaway, William Holden)
- North By Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock – Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint)
- Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock – Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant)
- No Way To Treat… (Jack Smight – Rod Steiger)
- Odd Couple, The (Gene Saks – Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau)
- On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan – Brando, Malden, Steiger)
- One/Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Foreman – Jack Nicholson, Danny Divito)
- One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando – Marlon Brando, Karl Malden)
- Ordinary People (Robert Redford – Mary Moore, Donald Sutherland)
- Panic/Needle Park (Jerry Schatzberg – Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino)
- Papillion (Franklin Schaffner – Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen)
- Party, The (Blake Edwards – Peter Sellers)
- Parallax View (Alan Pakula – Warren Beatty, Hume Cronyn)
- Patton (Franklin Schaffner – Karl Malden, George C. Scott)
- Pawnbroker, The (Sidney Lumet – Rod Steiger)
- Philadelphia Story (Georqe Cukor – Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn)
- Public Enemy, The (William Wellman – James Cagney)
- Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock – Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins)
- Quiet Man, The (John Ford – John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara)
- Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese – Robert DeNiro)
- Rain People, The (Francis Coppola – James Caan, Robert Duvall)
- Raintree County (Edward Dmytryk – Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor)
- Ramblin’ Rose (Martha Coolidge – Laura Dern, Robert Duvall)
- Real Life (Albert Brooks – Albert Brooks, Charles Grodin)
- Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock – Grace Kelly, Jimmy Stewart)
- Rebel W/out Cause (Nicholas Ray – James Dean, Natalie Wood)
- Red River (Howard Hawks – Montgomery Clift, John Wayne)
- Reflections in a… John Huston Marlon Brando, Julie Harris
- Requiem for a… (Ralph Nelson – Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason)
- Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski – Mia Farrow, Ruth Gordon)
- Runaway Train (Andrei Konchalovsky – Eric Roberts, Jon Voight)
- Safety Last (Harold Lloyd – Harold Lloyd)
- Sand Pebbles (Robert Wise – Steve McQueen)
- Saturday Night Fever (John Badham – John Travolta)
- Sayonara (Joshua Logan – Marlon Brando)
- Scarecrow (Jerry Schatzberg – Gene Hackman, Al Pacino)
- Scarface (Brian De Palma – Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer)
- Scent Of A Woman (Martin Brest – Al Pacino)
- Searchers, The (John Ford – John Wayne, Natalie Wood)
- Serpico (Sidney Lumet – Al Pacino)
- Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa – Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune)
- Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman – Max Von Sydow)
- Signal 7
- Singin’ In the Rain (Stanley Donen – Gene Kelly, Rita Moreno)
- Smiles of a… (Ingmar Bergman – Jarl Kulle)
- Soldier In The Rain (Ralph Nelson – Jackie Gleason, Steve McQueen)
- Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder – Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe)
- Sound Of Music (Robert Wise – Julie Andrews)
- Splendor/Grass (Elia Kazan – Warren Beatty, Natalie Wood)
- Stagecoach (John Ford – James Mason, John Wayne)
- Star Is Born (William Wellman – Janet Gaynor, Fredric March)
- Star Wars (George Lucas – Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford)
- Streetcar/Desire (Elia Kazan – Marlon Brando, Vivian Leigh)
- Suddenly Last… (Joseph Mankiewicz – Clift, Hepburn, Taylor)
- Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges – Veronica Lake, Joel McCrea)
- Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder – William Holden, Gloria Swanson)
- Sweet Bird of Youth (Richard Brooks – Paul Newman, Geraldine Page)
- Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese – Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel)
- Teahouse of the… (Daniel Mann – Marlon Brando)
- Tender Mercies (Bruce Beresford – Robert Duvall)
- Third Man, The (Carol Reed – Orson Welles)
- Three Days/Condor (Sidney Pollack – Faye Dunaway, Robert Redford)
- To Kill/Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan – Gregory Peck)
- Tootsie (Sidney Pollack – Dustin Hoffman)
- Tree Grows in… (Elia Kazan – James Dunn, Peg)
- Trip To Bountiful, A (Peter Masterson – Geraldine Page)
- Two Rode Together (John Ford – Jimmy Stewart)
- Verdict, The (Sidney Lumet – Paul Newman, George Mason)
- Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock – Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart)
- Viva Zapata (Elia Kazan – Marlon Brando, Karl Malden)
- Wait Until Dark (Terence Young – Alan Arkin, Audrey Hepburn)
- West Side Story (Jerome Robbins – Rita Moreno, Natalie Wood)
- White Christmas (Michael Curtiz – Bing Crosby)
- Who’s Afraid… (Mike Nichols – Richard Burton)
- Wild One, The (Laszlo Benedek – Marlon Brando, Lee Marvin)
- Wild River (Elia Kazan – Montgomery Clift)
- Young Lions, The (Edward Dmytryk – Brando, Clift)
In 1978, the 50th Academy Awards presentation took place in Hollywood. I didn’t watch them (I was less than ten years old) but I still have resentment for that year… a resentment that has been renewed thanks to watching the Oscars last night.
You see, the clever Woody Allen comedy Annie Hall took home the Oscar for Best Picture of 1977. A number of people who read this blog were born in the eighties and nineties, so there’s a good bet that many of them have never heard of that film. I guarantee they have heard of one of the movies that Annie Hall beat that year, though.
Star Wars CHANGED the motion picture industry. It showed that a meaningful story, good characters and amazing visuals can make of an impactful motion picture experience. The fine folks of the Academy, though, just couldn’t see it. Above and beyond being an great motion picture, Star Wars was also something else - innovative.
Innovation in film is what nurtures creativity. Hollywood has grown so lacking in it, though, that we are now going into a summer with the most sequels in history. There are a dozen or more reasons behind this, but lack of acknowledgement for true innovation by a filmmaker’s peers must play into it.
Last year Avatar lost out to The Hurt Locker. This annoyed me as a pretentious move on in order to try to break up the “boy’s club” for the Best Picture Oscar. Politics decided that winner; not innovation.
James Cameron’s work on Avatar changed the film making (and viewing) experience again. While (like George Lucas) Cameron enjoys the endless monetary profits of his venture, the Academy’s failure to acknowledge how much of an impact that movie had on the film industry and the art of film making by giving it Best Picture shows that they fail to see the importance of innovation. Why push the envelope if your peers won’t pay attention?
Thus, we get another Final Destination movie.
This year, The Social Network was up for best picture. While different than my previous two examples of Oscar follies, it is still VERY innovative. You see, the film didn’t “dumb down” aspects of a technical story for the sake of the audience. Computer movies have a way of making the tech jargon simplified (Wargames) or bordering on fantasy (Hackers) because, let’s face it, when those films came out people wouldn’t understand it otherwise. The Social Network was innovative by holding up a mirror to our society and SHOWING our own innovations in life. It took that first step into accepting how much we have all changed through our own technology which, if you think about it, is a very bold move.
Like it or not, you’re reading a blog and there’s a chance that you found this link via Twitter or Facebook. A decade ago, the only people doing this sort of stuff were nerds who understood those newfangled computer thingies.
Today, though, Uncle Jeb is connected to the internet probably looking up porn on his laptop in his trailer park.
Thus, a movie based on a play took home the trophy instead. I’m sure the King’s Speech is a great flick and I’ll buy it in April and watch it, but it just shows that the Academy is completely out of touch with it’s own creative works within it’s industry.
A BONUS FAILURE this year comes from their forgetting to acknowledge the motion picture contributions of Corey Haim, Peter Graves and Betty Garrett in the “In Memoriam Montage”.
In closing, it’s stuff like this that makes me wish that the YouTube generation would hurry up and change the movie industry the way digital audio change the music industry so the Hollywood can take a kick in the financial ass and acknowledge creativity and (gasp!) innovation again.
During the film I thought it – and then about a whole second later, Shannon said it out loud.
So they can receive a fax in the super cool Black Beauty Green Hornet-mobile, but they can’t upload an audio file from a USB drive? Seriously? They have to drive all the way to the newspaper to do this?
Did NO ONE think to, oh… I don’t know, put a freakin’ laptop somewhere in the car?!
If you’re making a movie about something as geeky as the Green Hornet, please remember that geeks think of shit like this.
2. Lethal Weapon – Nothing says Merry Christmas like buying your tree from a psychotic pre-complete meltdown Mel Gibson. Oh… and pre-crazy Gary Busey too!
So what is the greatest Christmas movie EVAH?! Find out on Joey Snackpants’ blog!!!