Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Star Trek by the Minute 057: Have Guts Enough to Get the Point

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In a sweeping shot over the drilling platform, we see Kirk and Sulu fighting Romulan miners. There are some silly stage-fighting exchanges of blows until Kirk ends up hanging by his fingers off the edge of the platform. In an overhead view, we again see the problems that the effects crew had in visualizing large objects and distances. The drilling beam is about 15-20 meters in diameter, so while the platform is shown very high from the surface, many times the altitude of the cloud layers, the drilling beam terminator point is fairly large when it should be hair thin, if visible at all. The Romulan tries a few Frankenstein-like stomps on Kirk's fingers for some reason, when all he needs to do is keep Kirk from climbing back up.

Sulu's embarrassing fight scene continues with neither participant actually trying to hit the other in a vital organ, but making lots of wild arcing sweeps with their weapons. Finally, Sulu blocks a straight down chop by the Romulan's battle axe, completely stopping a crushing, full force blow with his sword held aloft in one hand and the axe is half a meter from Sulu's hand. There has never been a more unbelievable cinema combat defense. Sulu pushes the Romulan onto one of the flame vents, and he looks at Sulu like a cartoon coyote, then down at the vent, then back at Sulu, and is engulfed in flames. Is this a hilarious tribute to Saturday morning Looney Tunes villains, or insulting cinematic drivel? You decide.

Meanwhile, the Romulan is still ignoring what's going on behind him in order to stomp on Kirk's fingers, at which point his commitment finally pays off in a pyrrhic victory: he steps on Kirk's fingers…immediately followed by Sulu's sword bursting through his chest like the queen's tail ripped through Bishop in Aliens or the chest burster did in all of the films. Like them, the emerging object is covered in appropriately colored gore, white, red or in this case, green.

The Romulan decides to use his final moments of consciousness to stage a dramatic, leaping somersault off the platform without even trying to take one of his killers with him.

No women appear or speak in this sequence.

After the battle is over, Kirk and Sulu pick a very dangerous way to use some of the firearms lying around in our next segment of Star Trek by the Minute, Episode 058: "What's the Matter?"

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