Thursday, October 29, 2009

Star Trek by the Minute 058: What’s the Matter?

STbtM: First /\ Previous

Sulu pulls Kirk back onto the platform and cries "Olsen had the charges." Kirk, still panting from hanging out on the platform with previously breathing Romulans replies "I know." "What do we do?" Kirk picks up one of the disruptors lying around and yells "This!", and Sulu follows his lead as the two of them demonstrate, yet again, suicidal ignorance by firing automatic weapons at a nearby vertical section, even though it appears to be made of heavy metal and perfect for ricochets that, if one were extremely lucky, would only blind the shooter and anyone else who happened to be standing around – especially if they did not bother to put on any eye protection. Whether an energy-based sidearm is a believable weapon to attack an armored building is another matter, but a much better response for the remaining members of the assault team would be to enter the access hatch, disable the beam, and gain some intel on the enemy. This is another example of character actions in the film that make no sense for the situation they are supposed to be in. They are armed and standing next to unguarded doors into the stronghold of their enemy – and they suddenly decide to start a lot of firing out in the open? I don't think so.

Eventually, the pair's firing succeeds in shutting off the beam with much fire extinguisher effects, and aboard the Enterprise, Uhura reports "The jamming signal's gone; Transporter abilities are re-established." We see over Chekov's shoulder a cool "TRNS-ONLINE" icon up on the main viewscreen, just where we would NOT put status indicators for secondary ship functions…come to think of it, primary functions would be a poor choice as well. Chekov announces that "Transporter control is re-engaged, sir." This is a very strange line. Were all the controls for the transporters disengaged because of some interference? Isn't exercising "control" something we would normally consider an "ability", and therefore already part of Uhura's status report? Regardless, this is great news - the moment has arrived to recover the survivors from the assault mission. The obvious thing to do is beam them up, beam them up immediately!

However Spock, if he were extraordinarily cautious, might still order Uhura to confirm disabling of the beam with the away team – or he might suspect his team did the rational thing and infiltrated the Narada. Assuming this, he might want to maintain subspace silence and instead finally order scans of the drill platform which should have been ongoing and scans of the Narada, also are being criminally neglected. As J.J. Abrams boasted, he's not a fan of the old Trek where actions somewhat followed a "plot", his new and improved Spock orders: "Chekov, run gravitational sensors, I wanna know what they are doing to the planet." This order is wrong in a couple of ways. If he doesn't know what they are doing to "the planet", why only run "gravitational sensors"? Wouldn't a full sensor sweep be what anyone would do? To be fair, not ANYONE would run a full sweep. For example, if we were characters written by extraordinarily sloppy writers who knew that "red matter", (a gravitational weapon) was going to be launched in the next scene, we might issue such an order as a quick foreshadowing to those moviegoers who are too stupid or stoned to follow a real plot. On the other hand, the line might just be incompetent writing by hacks with no respect for the characters. Whatever the root cause, Spock's order is nonsensical. Chekov replies: "Aye, commander…I mean Captain…sorry Captain." We may want to note that they are also completely ignoring the away team, who could be near death, dying, whatever. Bringing them back is urgent.

The other thing strange about this line is, would anyone call their home "the planet"? I mean, this was the completely unnatural usage which gave away the bluegill creatures in the TNG episode "Conspiracy". Would any of us call Earth "the planet" in this way?

Back on the Narada, someone seems to have a great deal of information as a crewman comes to Nero to report "The drill's been sabotaged, sir…" Somehow, the Narada Bridge crew is aware that this is no simple malfunction, they are under attack and sustaining damage more severe than they have ever suffered, even when being rammed by enemy ships. If we grant the magic ability of the Romulans to detect this attack, the thing to do is understand what is going on to cause it, and get information for defense. While the Enterprise Bridge ignores their away team's safety, the Narada Bridge crew ignores their own safety and their plan for revenge. The Romulan crewmember continues "…but we have reached the planet's core." Nero replies: "Launch the red matter" (a gravitational weapon).

In another homage/rip-off of Star Wars, an escape-pod like sequence follows with a pod proceeding past Kirk and Sulu who have apparently been just kind of standing around, kind of enjoying the view, we might guess. Apparently they have been waiting for the red matter launch and the platform retraction which would put their lives in jeopardy. They also seem to be the pitiful victims of lazy, atrocious writing as they run to the edge of the platform to report that something which looks very much like a bomb just went by them. They both actually endanger themselves, getting right to the edge of the platform in order to look at the thing. If this were a simple nuke, they both will be blinded instantly, depending on distance and intensity: incinerated, and a bit later hit with a shockwave. At long last, Kirk keys his communications to the ship in what surely now, after all this time, MUST be a request for extraction! Nope. He actually stares down at the gigantic ordinance that just dropped past and says: "Kirk to Enterprise, they've just launched something into the planet...into the hole they just drilled. Do you copy Enterprise?"

I don't know about you, but I'd have been backing away in order to put some of that Romulan armor plating between me and the ordnance, covering my eyes, and screaming "Enterprise, two to beam up…NOW!" long ago.

Of the 7 speaking roles in this segment, one female has a single line of 8 words.

Kirk finally requests beam-out in Star Trek by the Minute 059: Retract the Drill

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really need a new hobby!!

BurntSynapse said...

This one has a built-in limit.

muser said...

What if there's a sequel?

BurntSynapse said...

We'll see...

R. Anthony Steele said...

Almost guaranteed to be. Unless the actors ask for too much money.

Maybe NuKirk will channel Shatner (there could be a first time) and ask for his salary rate for the last few classic cast films.

Hoping for greed. That's a weird place to be in. Especially considering this film exists for greed and nothing but greed.

-RAnthony

BurntSynapse said...

Yes. It's strange to be analyzing something so bad as well.

Nemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nemo said...

There's another glitch I noticed immediately. The bomb pod is presumably heading for the planet's core but seems to be moving very slowly. Actually it seems to be roughly free-fall speed, let's subtract some aerodynamic drag (the "wings" attached to bomb pod) and say it's moving 10 m/s (Vulcan is supposed to have "considerably higher gravity"). Now Vulcan is Earth like planet so let's assume radius of around 6300 km. It would take the bomb pod an astonishing 175 hours to reach the core! That's more than a week! Yet we see the deployment interaction like seconds after it submerges into the drilled hole (omitting the fact that Kirk should have been crushed to bits by gravitational pull of the black hole).

Another error occurred to me during second viewing (and I already see it mentioned in the next post). If you look closely (or from a far, doesn't really make a difference) on the bomb pod, it really doesn't look like it's meant to do drilling on it's own, but we can assume the planet's core is molten and the hole drilled by the platform was immediately filled with super hot lava (at the very least). Especially with higher gravity one could expect the planetary engine be even more robust that Earth's. The liquid outer planetary core can span thousands of kilometers which would have to be drilled again or just burst with some high energy projectile or you know something. The pod would sure as hell never just fall into abyss like that and somehow magically end up in the planetary core.

Of course both of these error (ERRORS) are dwarfed by the stupidity of the whole situation, which I'm sure will get analyzed in future posts.
Why the hell not just drop the red matter say somewhere in orbit and let it consume the planet?? Why the frikken hell bother to deploy and retract platforms to drill some stupid holes giving everyone time to react and respond with force. For some perverted artistic style bonus? I am at a loss.

PS: Also I realized when reviewing this segment for confirmation, that the drilled hole is like 20x wider than the beam emanating from the platform (we can tell the scale by the disintegrated Olsen for example)

:)

..can't wait for continuing this ride..

John C. 'Buck' Field said...

>bomb pod is presumably heading for the planet's core...roughly free-fall speed...10m/s

I think that's WAY too slow, more like 100m/s, but I'd have to see it again to be sure.

>deploy and retract platforms to drill some stupid holes giving everyone time to react and respond with force...some perverted artistic style bonus?

Bullseye!

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