Friday, June 5, 2009

Star Trek by the Minute 002


Previous: STbtM 001
OK, I just have to make one more comment about the initial shot on the Kelvin bridge I had to laugh when the Captain turns AWAY from the viewscreen and just stands there waiting for the camera to roll into position so he can read his line "polarize the viewscreen" - it's pretty funny!
Minute 2 starts with the evil ship coming out of the lightning clouds like a serpent from a sea tempest, dwarfing our little white heroes' vessel. As the exterior shots show, the evil ship is easily 20-30 times the size of the Kelvin. The Kelvin gets a "reading" and the enemy ship fires a torpedo and the Captain quickly and precisely orders weapons up, then armed, but gives the fire order too late. While the weapons commands are smart and fast, shouldn't he realize that he has no chance and should immediately try to evade and escape? Everyone in the audience did, and most have no military or command training. 

 We see the enemy torpedo fire up, complete with easily distinguishable GreenFlame(r): "Preferred 10 to 1 by discerning evildoers for malicious combustion." The torpedo MIRV's out and as seen here, hits at least 12 locations on the saucer, including what is on the side of the Kelvin's Bridge.  No interference from shields are detectable. By some miracle, the torpedo hitting and exploding on the port bulkhead of the Bridge 10 meters away merely jostles skipper and navigator a bit.

Overlooking these oddities, it must be said that the exterior battle scenes and internal sets are really spectacular – as is the music. Top marks for sexy style but failing grade for intelligent writing, for example: within less than 1 second of the ship's hull being largely shredded, Robau calls for a damage report, and the chief engineer instantly responds!  He apparently isn't helping any of his friends and crewmates who were just shown being blasted apart & incinerated, and had no need to even pick himself up (since no one called shipwide "Brace! Brace! Brace!" giving them warning of potentially lethal shocks to the vessel.  Neither does he need to check the status of anything before reporting: "The warp drive has been knocked out; Never seen anything like it!" Really? You are an engineer with all sorts of magical powers, but have NEVER seen a knocked out warp drive?  This engineer might like to invest in my bridge to the newly discovered Pyramids of Ponzi in the Madoff Cluster.

Another advance by the Abrams team to Star Trek: the Enterprise, finest ship...the flagship of Starfleet and pride of the Federation, has the latest in retro-grunge brick wall construction seen here, and featuring gate valves popular from the 1800's.

The second torpedo from the enemy rips open a hull breach and we see crewmen blown out with GREAT audio effects, as Phil the Bad Astronomer points out at:
But Phil does get some science wrong here: I've BEEN decompressed. One does not "outgas at both ends" unless an orifice is opened as we might only expect after losing consciousness after 100 seconds, give or take. Before then? A normal, healthy person can hold more than one atmosphere differencial without even feeling it.  This is why healthy scuba divers who assend with a closed glottis can burst a lung with no clue that they have pulmonary overpressure: the thoat is relatively strong holding pressure in, and as far as I can tell, we have few nerves capable of alerting us when the pressure imbalance is positive. (Caveat: depress from std to zero does feel piercingly cold and weird on your skin).  Sometimes, even good science guys make mistakes.

Next: STbtM 003

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Aspen Music Festival: Music with a View Concert

Distinguished theory and performance teacher provides expert knowledge during " Music with a View "at the Aspen Art Museum