Saturday, January 5, 2008

Star Trek Script Review and Other Rumors

AICN apparently has hit the motherload of Star Trek sources as the site has a mini review of the Star Trek XI (not good) and other information. Below is the cut and paste of it all. Beware as SPOILERS are contained within.

The script review:
I saw your STAR TREK story and wasn't going to say anything, but since you know me... yeah, I can confirm the rumor you posted about the script. I wasn't going to say anything because I got slipped the shooting script and really didn't love it, but I respect J.J. Abrams so much that I'm withholding judgment on the final product (but wish this writer's strike weren't happening because reports are he's been itching to make some "on the set" changes and can't do it).

The problem with the script is all its blatant inconsistency with things in the TREK canon, not to be innovative... but because Kurtzman and Orci are lousy writers and have zero feel for Roddenberry's universe, even when attempting to reboot it. The dialogue is about on par with their past works and some of the liberties they've taken are insanely sloppy. (Forgive me, wasn't the Enterprise built in space and not Area 51?) It's remarkably unintelligent writing. (FYI: I also read their upcoming Fox pilot called FRINGE which may be the most blatant X-FILES rip off ever.)

The character of young Kirk is a travesty. He's the bad boy of the Academy, which is consistent in many ways, but the whole "Kobayashi" matter is overtly ridiculous. It turns Kirk into the worst scourge of all of Starfleet! At his graduation there are actual protestors outside the ceremony carrying signs stating: KIRK CHEATED! Talk about on the nose. They probably look like striking writers.

So, Kirk is put in command of a starship under great controversy and has to prove himself to not only Starfleet, but also his new crew who are wary of him and his bad rep. While this may sound okay, the way it's written is so ham fisted that it makes the TRANSFORMERS script read like Shakespeare.

Actually, the character of both young and old Spock works well and is consistent with the TREK canon, but I'm pretty sure that's because of Nimoy's involvement. Young and old Spock do meet and there's a clever, as well as TREK consistent, reason why young Spock's foreknowledge of events won't create problems in the future.

There's a lot of action in this piece, which is welcome, but the Romulan villains are perfunctory. My problem with time travel bad guys is what's to prevent them from looping back and trying their plan again and again whenever they fail? I'm sure Bana got a lot of money to do this inconsequential character.

I think curiosity and Abrams' rep will ensure this movie makes major bucks, but as far as re-launching STAR TREK with a whole new younger crew, no way. This is a novelty item that would probably not please Roddenberry purists, but would any of the recent Treks?

One thing's for sure, as lackluster as this script is... it's better than any Berman produced STAR TREK just due to the fact that it's big and has some scope. I just wish the character of Kirk weren't written as if in a dumb after school special. Shatner will have a field day ripping into the rather sleazy portrayal of his classic character. While he may have always been a skirt chaser, making him a lousy student seems like they're trying too hard to appeal to a real young audience who has the menu to Taco Bell memorized.

I could say more, but will withhold judgment due to a talented director, big budget and strong cast.
Look and feel compared to the Orginial Series:
I've seen some footage of the new Star Trek flick and I must say I am impressed. I am not a Trekkie and I am not working for the movie industry. It was due to other reasons I got to visit the production faclities and people showed me some scenes that showed what I would call "the Star Trek world". Let me explain. If you watch the TV series and many of the movies than - if you are a Star Wars fan like me - you always have the feeling that there is a discrepancy between the size of the alien worlds / the space ship(s) of the Federation and the locations where most of the scenes have been shot. In other words, the Bridge is more like a living room and does not match the size nor style of gigantic size of the Enterprise at all. It is certainly unbelievable because it's mostly the only place we get to see (and of course three or four other places, but all in all just 1 percent of the ship, I presume).

We'll, this movie is gonna end all that for sure. The "stage play" and Disney like nature of the TV episodes is gone, the "we'll only show you three locations but trust me, this really is a gigantic spaceship we're flying around in"-feeling will also be gone. I would argue that this movie is making use of the Star Wars like decors (as implemented later in the sequels and used immediately in the prequels) therefore expanding our universe more directly (leaves less room for imagination) and making the story a lot more believable, at least to me.

I thought it was very cool. Not sure if the Trekkies will like this move though.

By the way when I saw the new look of the Enterprise, I just wanted to go out and buy a model kit of that or something. I'm quite sure it will get as much positive response as the Milennium Falcon did. Yes, the stuff is that detailed.
Character hand-off:
i wouldn't take it that far. but it reminded me of the visual "handoff" they shot two weeks ago where nimoy's hand (vulcan greeting) is replaced in the frame by quinto's hand. j.j. actually spent a lot of time on it. finally, got it by setting up an extra monitor to help quinto hit his mark. it will only be a brief moment in the film, but apparently this sort of visual "handoff" from nimoy to quinto was important enough to warrant dozens of takes.
I don't know if the above is true or not but it seems to pass the sniff test and remains consistent with other leaked information. The leaked script, and its problems, sounds real as having read a few Hollywood scripts, its amazing how much cutesy points enter a script as the writers kind of pat themselves on the back for their own creativity. Normally those kind of things get leveled out (or magnified) through the film-making process and the many chefs involved. In this case, thanks to the Writers' Strike, all that stuff has to remain as is from the script (unless later Paramount wants to pony up for re-shoots after the strike ends) as any re-write is a violation of the strike for the writer involved.

As for the look and feel, I hope its better then the Original Series or some studio execs are going to wonder where their $100 million was spent. The hand-off, one assumes for symbolic and future sequels, seems like a real possibility and why not since its this movie represents the future of the franchise whether Trekkies want it or not.

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