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Movies discuss Good Review of Star Trek in the Entertainment and Humor forums; The American Spectator had a great review of Star Trek: The American Spectator : Star Trek Here is one excerpt about one of the movie's ...

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    Scott's Avatar
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    Good Review of Star Trek

    The American Spectator had a great review of Star Trek:
    The American Spectator : Star Trek

    Here is one excerpt about one of the movie's flaws that really rubbed me wrong:
    It's another manifestation of the way in which, in the era of the cartoon movie, both film-makers and audience both suppose that nothing needs to accounted for as if it were an event in the real world. Fantasy means never having to worry about motivation or consequence . . .

    Only consider. The young Kirk is a hell-raising bad boy who first appears as a young teenager (played by Jimmy Bennett) in a vintage car stolen from his step-father, which he proceeds to drive off a cliff. Neither then nor subsequently does he appear to have any good habits of diligence or application nor does he ever crack a book. Yet he becomes in record time at the Starfleet Academy Spock's intellectual equal and, without effort but with his natural insubordination and impertinence intact, is transformed in a twinkling into a Starfleet captain and a hero to young and old alike. You've got to suspect that not worrying too much about how their hero got to this position of honor and eminence is obviously a necessity to the kind of people who are being invited to identify themselves with him.
    This is a movie that requires one to turn off his mind and conscience and be dazzled by special effects. The characters lack plausible motives. Even in a fantasy or sci fi world, plausible motives are need to have an interesting story and entertaining character development.
    Scott Roberts
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    I see what you are saying but I liked the movie. I thought they did a good job tying it into the original series, despite the things you pointed out. I'm sure many who grew up watching the original series would agree with me. It is just a movie. There are no such thing as aliens or life on other planets, but I disregard that. It's just good clean fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformedminister View Post
    I see what you are saying but I liked the movie. I thought they did a good job tying it into the original series, despite the things you pointed out. I'm sure many who grew up watching the original series would agree with me. It is just a movie. There are no such thing as aliens or life on other planets, but I disregard that. It's just good clean fun.
    The main thing that I did not like is that it portrayed evil in a sympathetic light. It is hard to identify with a character like Kirk, who is essentially a bad guy. Kirk was an insolent antinomian and that part of his character was glorified. It was not portrayed as a flaw.
    Scott Roberts
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    I've not seen the movie. But, a reality is that NOTHING in a movie appears there without a reason. From the set, to costumes, lighting, dialogue, character personality, . . . ad nauseum it is all there by design. It is intended to communicate. What it communicates is all dependent upon the producer and director. Having been around movies revolving around the Second American Revolution as a reenactor I was amazed at the detail that goes into communicating the message of the producer and director.
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    The logical problems in the movie were simply solved by creating a parallel universe, where history didn't have to follow the same path that it did in the original group of series, which was disappointing, but I still enjoyed the movie.
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    This review is a bit shallow. Where does the movie say that Kirk never cracked a book? We don't see his Academy years! He graduates at the top of his class. I think he cracked a few books! Also, even when he is a bar fly, in his pre-academy days, the movie presents Kirk as a knowledgeable, intuitive fellow. He just needs discipline for his intellect and Pike sees this potential in him.

    I think the reviewer chose not to see that which would refute his assertions. A classic mistake to make in a hit piece.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post


    I didn't go see Star Trek for any other reason than to watch a fairly clean and entertaining movie. I'm sorry, but I'm not Trekkie enough to gain any philosophical, theological, etc. value from the movie. I think some folks take modern movies too seriously. Regardless of the intent of the directors', producers', and actors' to "teach" me something, they'll fail. If I want some edumacation, I'll go read the Reformed & Puritanesque folk.
    Heh, I saw it and had similar feelings. The only part that really bothered me was how the Romulan ship somehow increased in mass after imploding so that it could almost suck the Enterprise into it despite full warp power.

    I mean, really, some things are beyond the pale. . . .
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    I actually think the Reviewer is on to something philosophically.

    It's sort of the reason why Harry Potter is a hero to many kids today: he's a natural. His poor friends labor at learning magic and practice only to have Harry walk up and do it better without much effort. Anakin Skywalker is another case in point.

    I realize it is only a movie. It can be assumed that Kirk probably read books but the idea portrayed is that, for a hero, things come effortlessly. He can buck the system because "...he's so good."

    That's not the way it works out in real life. In the West Point Class of 1846, McClellan was the Wunderkind, entering the school at age 16 and graduating 2nd from the top. All thought he would go on to greatness. He certainly did go on to be infamous. Stonewall Jackson graduated in the middle and struggled throughout to get to that point.
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    That is a very good point, Rich. One of the greatest hurdles I face in working with young men today is that they expect things to come easily. Whether it be school work, job advancement, enjoyment in marriage, it really doesn't matter. They have been fed a deadly double dose of 1. Egalitarianism in almost every arena of life (sports, grades, play, etc.) and, 2. Entertainment that does not show the struggle of life with the resulting victory and/or defeat.
    'There's nae jouking in the cause of Christ' - James Guthrie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    I actually think the Reviewer is on to something philosophically.

    It's sort of the reason why Harry Potter is a hero to many kids today: he's a natural. His poor friends labor at learning magic and practice only to have Harry walk up and do it better without much effort. Anakin Skywalker is another case in point.

    I realize it is only a movie. It can be assumed that Kirk probably read books but the idea portrayed is that, for a hero, things come effortlessly. He can buck the system because "...he's so good."

    That's not the way it works out in real life. In the West Point Class of 1846, McClellan was the Wunderkind, entering the school at age 16 and graduating 2nd from the top. All thought he would go on to greatness. He certainly did go on to be infamous. Stonewall Jackson graduated in the middle and struggled throughout to get to that point.
    All very true, which is why we should have kids study history. But isn't the problem of the effortless hero an old one? Errol Flynn movies were like that, and so were Harrison Ford movies. The Sky King TV series had a hero never running out of gas or money, never preparing for anything, just always acting by his wits. I think it's an American bent to elevate the intuitive, impulsive, and instinctive genius over the hard worker.

    I personally hold Thomas Edison in higher esteem than any cultural hero of the 20th or 21st century I can think of. But if you did a movie on his life that focused on his day-to-day actual work, most viewers would die of boredom. In reality, he was a hard worker and hard learner and hard taskmaster who also took huge contrarian risks routinely.

    Maybe if there was a brief scene with Kirk in a library pouring over physics texts and procedural manuals, it would explain things more in line with what we'd like. There was that scene of Spock and other Vulcan kids being drilled by their elders. I don't know. The worldview presented just didn't seem that out of the ordinary compared with other popular movies I've seen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawrenceU View Post
    I've not seen the movie. But, a reality is that NOTHING in a movie appears there without a reason. From the set, to costumes, lighting, dialogue, character personality, . . . ad nauseum it is all there by design. It is intended to communicate. What it communicates is all dependent upon the producer and director. Having been around movies revolving around the Second American Revolution as a reenactor I was amazed at the detail that goes into communicating the message of the producer and director.
    I agree completely. For example, the car theft scene was there for a reason, to give us insight into Kirk's character. Living by your own rules is fun, even when what you do is criminal and hurts other people (Kirk did irreparable damage to his stepfather's irreplaceable property). The whole scene was portrayed as "fun" and placed criminal activity in a sympathetic light. And criminal behavior and similar antinomian activity don't impede Kirk; they help him. They are good. Kirk is a character that you have to turn off your conscience to identify with. That is why I could not get into the movie. I would have much rather seen a movie about his heoric, self-sacrificing father. The first five minutes of the movie were the best.

    -----Added 6/2/2009 at 03:29:57 EST-----

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post


    I didn't go see Star Trek for any other reason than to watch a fairly clean and entertaining movie. I'm sorry, but I'm not Trekkie enough to gain any philosophical, theological, etc. value from the movie. I think some folks take modern movies too seriously. Regardless of the intent of the directors', producers', and actors' to "teach" me something, they'll fail. If I want some edumacation, I'll go read the Reformed & Puritanesque folk.

    If you get a chance, you might check out Brian Godawa's Hollywood Worldviews. It is quite good and describes the role of worldviews in movies and how movies teach and communicate those worldviews. Stories, whether movies or otherwise, teach a lot. People tend to be off guard thinking they are only entertainment.

    BTW, until the late 1960s the movie industry was governed by the Hays Production Code, which recognized the power of movies. Here is an excerpt:
    Hence, though regarding motion pictures primarily as entertainment without any explicit purpose of teaching or propaganda, they know that the motion picture within its own field of entertainment may be directly responsible for spiritual or moral progress, for higher types of social life, and for much correct thinking.
    . . .
    General Principles

    1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.

    2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.

    3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
    I think this is a wise an accurate view of stories, whether in movies or otherwise.
    Scott Roberts
    Ruling Elder, Lakeside Presbyterian Church (PCA)
    Southlake, Texas

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