Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 092: Kirk Takes Command

Continuing his aimless wandering around the Bridge as if lost, Spock continues to give every indication that he not only has no emotional control or maturity, violating the core principles of his culture and its ethical system, but that he is not one of Starfleet Academy's top graduates, a senior instructor, and a specialist in Bridge operations.  Staring at nothing, he drones: "Doctor, I am no longer (sigh) fit for duty.  I hereby relinquish my command based on the fact that I have been emotionally compromised.  Please note the time and date in the ships log."
As Spock starts to leave the bridge, Kirk looks hungrily at the captain's chair and Uhura gestures her support for Spock with an exchange of loving looks.  Spock, (the expert in starship Bridge operations) forgets again to hand off command to anyone before departing.

Sarek looks around the bridge to see if anyone is going to render aid to the apparently traumatized officer who may be having a breakdown.  McCoy does a great Helen Keller imitation at this point, portraying perfect obliviousness to what's going on just as do all the assembled 15 Bridge crew members and others such as these 3 wastes of life support.
Sarek then moves to follow Spock.

Again with another attempt at non-sequitur humor, Scotty states "I like this ship! Ya know: it's exciting."
Chief Medical Officer McCoy decides belatedly to come to life, and from the other side of the Bridge he says: "Well congratulations Jim..."  What? Why would he be talking to the mutinous stowaway Kirk directly like there are no other command officers on the bridge, like those right next to him (like Chekov) that were just recently acting as Captain or at least ship commander?  Perhaps its the doc's creative "prescriptions" talking, which is a hypothesis supported by his follow-up " we've got no Captain and no goddamn First Officer to replace him."  What kind of moron is this McCoy?  One wonders if, when the first two sheets on a toilet paper roll are used, does he become similarly paralyzed?  Are we to believe that there is no "chain of command" aboard this ship? Here is yet more ridiculous writing that seems sufficiently lazy to merit a claim that it insults the audience.

With his familiar look of a sexual predator about to drunkenly grope a vulnerable target, Kirk slurs "Yeah...we do!"

"What?" asks McCoy as Kirk steps up to the Captain's chair with Sulu intoning: "Pike made him First Officer."  Of course, Sulu is perhaps forgetting both that "Pike made Spock Captain", and that Captain Spock made the suspended cadet a prisoner when Kirk started violently attacking ship personnel.  Convenient memory lapses, it seems to this viewer.

McCoy seems to note how inappropriate this is when he exclaims: "You gotta be kidding me!"

"Thanks for the support" scoffs Kirk, pushing his hips out and spreading his legs in an apparent clarification of any confusion regarding whether he's got male genitalia.

No women speak in this segment.

Alternate Kirk issues his first orders as Captain of the Abramsprise in Star Trek by the Minute 093: Prep for Battle Stations

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 091: Vulcan Fury

What is contained in this segment is yet another senseless fistfight, contrived to put Kirk in the Captain's chair of the Enterprise despite being one of the least qualified people in the galaxy, and this bit of melodramatic adoration of yet more violence is truly embarrassing.  A believable and/or likable Spock would have learned something from his father and formative years, yet this film shows us a caricature of an emotionally stunted, sometimes savant,who is still a child and unable to stop from throwing violent tantrums whenever someone simply refers to his mother. badly  Spock has needed counseling and therapy during the past decades more than  promotions - much like everyone we've seen in Abrams' version of the Federation and/or Starfleet.  With this film's profound confusion of these organizations, it's sometimes difficult even to give meaningful criticism or praise for the writing because the story lacks a coherent , intelligible cultural setting beyond "Black ship bad, white ship good."

After Spock throws a couple of punches at Kirk, Kirk briefly gains his footing and tries counter-attacking, but by doing so, he relinquishes any objectively supported claim to superior emotional stability.  In fact, he demonstrates he is less qualified since he is not only now a mutineer, but the basis of his now violent aggression, an actual charge of treason might be plausibly sustained against him as a traitor to Starfleet, instructions from the prime universe Spock notwithstanding. 

After about 30 seconds of Spock beating the tar out of Kirk, followed by a silly mockery of choking,  note the complete lack of pressure in the screenshot, 

Sarek exclaims: "Spock!" After which our skipper moons about the bridge, with Kirk coughing in the background.

No women speak in this segment, but Uhura joins Sarek, Chekov, McCoy, Sulu, Scotty, the security manniquins, and crowds of other Bridge crew in gaping stupidly as their captain is attacked and ship controls and displays are smashed.

Next: Spock "relinquishes" his entire command because of emotional compromise in our next episode of Star Trek by the Minute 092: Kirk Takes Command.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 090: Your Mother!

Spock turns to Scotty and asks: "Are you a member of Starfleet?"

Scotty stammers: "Ah, mm, uh, um...yes. Can I get a towel please?"  in another failed attempt at non-sequitur humor. 

"Under penalty of court martial, I order you to explain to me how you were able to beam aboard this ship while moving at warp."  That's pretty clear: the ship's skipper, it's ranking officer, and an officer senior to Scott has made it very clear that this is a direct order, Scott must answer or be censured.

"Well..." Scott begins, when Kirk interrupts with "Don't answer him."

"You will answer me." Spock growls.

"I'd rather not take sides" smirks Scott in another bad attempt at non-sequitur humor.  Taking sides between Spock and Kirk is not an issue when a direct order has been issued, anyone can see that failure to obey is making a decision for which Scott is responsible.

The "security" personnel redshirts allow suspended cadet Kirk, previously put off the ship, and whose last appearance on the Bridge was marked by incoherent yelling at the Captain and a fistfight that he started, these guys just allow Kirk to walk to within centimeters of Spock, easily close enough to bite him, without making a move to protect their skipper, the ship, anything. 

"What is it with you Spock?" purrs Kirk, "Your planet was just destroyed, your mother murdered...and you're not even upset."

"If you are presuming to suggest that these experiences in any way impede my ability to command this ship you are mistaken." 

"And yet, you were the one who said fear was necessary for command. I mean, did you see his ship? Did you see what he did?"

"Yes, of course I did."

"So are you afraid or aren't you?"

"I will not allow you to lecture me about the merits of emotion."

"Then why don't you stop me?" taunts Kirk.

"Step away from me Mr. Kirk!"  This is a breaking point in the segment, in my opinion.  There is no reason for Spock to be giving additional orders to Kirk when it had been clearly communicated multiple times that Kirk is deliberately NOT going to obey, and is trying to provoke a confrontation.  The writer's justification is emotional unbalance, but that's a tired excuse that has been trotted out one too many times to rationalize character actions inconsistent with the situation in which they are placed, and which any believable or even likable character would do something very different.  Robau's desertion, George Kirk's suicide, young Kirk's criminality, the bar fight, the "enlistment", the "3-year" bragging, Nero's vengeance, on and on and on irrational emotions are trotted out to justify stupid mistakes resulting from lazy, incompetent writing.

"What is it like not to feel anger, or heartbreak, or the need to stop at nothing to avenge the death of the woman who gave birth to you."

"Back away from me..." Spock rasps dangerously...

"You feel NOTHING!" Kirk starts yelling, "It must not even COMPUTE for you.  You NEVER loved her!" 
Spock yells and takes a CGI swing at Kirk, while the security personnel are completely unprepared for the need of their services with the violent intruder they brought to the bridge.  One might think that the gradual escalation might have tipped them off, even if they had complete amnesia from the last barroom brawl on the Bridge.  Perhaps the non-cooperation of the prisoner? Nope.  What about the defiance? Not a clue.  The threatening approach or the hostile language? The escalation to yelling? Staring right at Kirk, they had no inkling.  It was probably because of some irrational emotions that you just can't question.

No women speak or appear in this segment.

Yet another stupid, unbelievable fistfight on the Enterprise Bridge consumes the duration of our next installment of Star Trek by the Minute 091: Vulcan Fury

Monday, March 15, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 089: Engineering Run

Spock orders “Bring up the video,” which Chekov does, but for some reason the screen displays

“OVERRIDE VISUAL.”  One would expect that displaying video would be a normal function of a video display wouldn’t we?  Why would playback require any kind of warning, especially when previous playback did not?  Simply displaying the video on the Bridge is shown as more cumbersome than opening valves that could flood Engineering or replaying fleet communications from a terminal in medical, but perhaps we can stipulate this was because Chekov’s panel feed was being sent to the main screen.

Without even looking down, Spock leans over a control panel located offscreen, hits a com button and calls “Security, seal the Engineering deck. We have intruders in Turbine Section 3. Set phasers to stun.”

We cut to one of my favorite examples of poorly-thought out components of the film: wasted space.  The interior of most ships in nuTrek appear incredibly wasteful.  It has been said that the Enterprise Engineering looks more like a dated brewery than a futuristic engine room, but I think that’s unfair since it clearly is more like a dated refinery as we can see above.  Kirk and Scotty dash around for no reason I can determine.  Why the sudden rush?  Prior to arriving, they were just sort of hanging out and kicking back with some ale on Delta Vega; Don’t they think Spock will want to talk to them immediately when they run into someone?

“Come with me…Cupcake!” says the goateed redshirt security grunt from the bar fight scene.

We cut to the bridge where “the intruders” are brought, for some reason.  It may seem like a little thing but on my vessel, the command and control brain of the ship is not the first place I would take unauthorized, unidentified potential enemies when the Federation was under attack.
Spock asks Scotty “Who are you?”

“I’m with him” another non-sequitur, perhaps for humorous effect?

Kirk: “He’s with me.”

Glaring (literally) at Kirk, Spock demands: “We’re traveling at warp speed, how did you manage to beam aboard this ship.”  That’s a pretty stupid question: who says they beamed aboard?  The most likely explanation would be that Kirk was not actually in the escape pod sent to Delta Vega, and instead he stowed away on Enterprise like he had before.  Cloaking technology could have allowed a ship to transfer them, the station or other ships in the area could have beamed Kirk from the pod back to the Enterprise before she went to warp, etc., but in any event it would be even more foolish to share such assumptions after one had made the error of taking them to be true in the absence of any evidence.

Kirk snarks: “You’re the genius, you figure it out.” 

“As acting Captain of this vessel I order you to answer the question.”

“Well I’m not telling, acting Captain.  (pause) …What now? That doesn’t frustrate you, does it, my lack of cooperation?  That doesn’t make you angry.”

It’s really a shame that one of the greatest opportunities to portray a primary virtue of Stoicism was wasted in this subplot of Spock’s emotional reaction to the loss of his planet.  One of the practices of Stoicism is to spend time everyday thinking about the loss of those we love, realizing that our time with parents, children, friends, colleagues, our time with everyone and our time alive will come to an end.  By spending a little time on this inevitability, we are able to better focus our attention today being more appreciative of the time we do have.  When we suffer the loss of those we love, Stoics are better prepared emotionally for those events, and are likely to have fewer regrets because they gave thought to their relationships and did not, with their behavior and attitudes, assume the things and people we loved were inexhaustible and eternal.  Such realizations seems far beyond the creators’ sphere of awareness.

As in the last Bridge scene, no women speak in this segment although a background scenic appearance on the bridge is tolerated for a fraction of a second.

Click in next time for more of Orci & Kurtzman's best debating strategies in our next episode, Star Trek by the Minute 090: Your Mother!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 088: Inert Reactant

With Scotty shouting underwater in the clear tubing at the beginning of this sequence, we have what would seems to be a "life threatening situation", especially if you've spent your teen summers as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.  The fact that Scott survived the untested transwarp beaming onto a ship far out of sensor range, much less transporters is bad enough, but in this throwaway scene we have another example of this Trek turning the chief engineer character into a complete clown. 

Also, in most cases of submersion, people trying to survive have an instinct to move upward, the same direction as buoyancy and air.  Perhaps he was in the tank and saw light coming in from the exhaust, so I'll give the film that mulligan.
In addition, Scotty the Clown has superhuman abilities.  Here's one illustration we might try: sitting down without exertion, we might exhale normally, and hold our breath as if we were underwater.  Without much of an oxygen exchange reservior in our lungs, the blood going through our alveoli has little opportunity exchange its CO2 for O2, and discomfort based on CO2 buildup begins within 10 seconds, after about 15 seconds, lightheadedness, panic, and loss of consciousness follows shortly thereafter if we are able to suppress our breathing reflex this long which is, for most people, past the "breath-hold breakpoint".  It is extremely unpleasant, as our bodies are conditioned to regard this as imminent death.  This is similar to electicity and other means of fooling the body into discomfort evolutionarily linked to death, and why it is so good for torture.  These methods allow for extended, repeated simulated death experiences that can go on for years, whereas actual situations that cause these reactions would cause so much physical trauma that keeping the victim alive becomes a real bother.  Once again we see science and technology as making life easier and providing greater capabilities, yet the additional responsibility that comes with such power remains tragically unknown to those who just want the latest gadget.
Let's go back to Chekov's unforgetable order "Hold on!" for some insight into why Kirk says "Hold on a second!" to Scott, who is being washed through the pipes of a turbine system in engineering.  What do Chekov and Kirk's lines have in common, are they pointless? Yes.  Can either intended recipient hear the instruction to "Hold on"? No. Could either follow the directions even if they heard them? No.

As if to indicate he senses his dialog is slipping into some of Chekov's silliest, Chris Pine says "Oh no," but is unable to stop from another "Hold on!" as he chases Scott around the plumbing.  "No! No!" he cries, dashing back and forth after Scotty.
Finally coming to a stop, standing and dumbly watching what now would certainly be an unconscious officer, Kirk gawks in horror at the giant salad slasher turbine (also conveniently in a transparent housing) toward which Scott is being drawn.  Miraculously, a a Scotty-sized "release valve" just happens to be upstream of the monster blades.  Kirk dashes over to a computer panel and in less than 3 seconds has them open, saving the ships future engineer, assuming of course, his violation of an unknown number of regs in addition to dereliction of duty by abandoning his post, unauthorized transport aboard the Enterprise and interfering with operations during a state of emergency or war, and any upcoming failure to obey direct orders issued under penalty of court-martial by the ship's Captain.

Miraculously, opening the release valve does not bleed the lines as one might expect, so presumably no damage to the ship occurred.  Also miraculous is that although Scotty goes into the valve head first, he falls feet first.  Also miraculous is that he falls an easy 10 meters onto a rock solid deck without dying or even breaking a pinkie!  Also miraculous is that he has not, as we indicated before, asphyxiated dispite plenty of time.  A silly and stupid way to insert a stunt scene in the film.

Kirk yells "Are you alright?"  and for good measure "Are you alright?" again.

 Spitting water, Scotty shouts back "Mah head's buzzin' and ahm sooked, but otherwise I'm fine!"
In a cut to the bridge, Chekov reports "Captain Spock, detecting unauthorized access to water turbine control board."

No women speak in this segment although a background appearance on the bridge is tolerated for a split second.

Kirk is back on the Bridge in our next installment of Star Trek by the Minute 089: Engineering Run

Friday, March 12, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 087: Transwarp Beam

Kirk leans out of the transporter alcove and says: "You know, coming back in time, changing history, that's cheating."  This makes no sense unless coming back in time was deliberate, which makes one wonder if this has something to do with Kirk's paradoxical comment at the end of the mind meld.

 Spock nods and admits "A trick I learned from an old friend."  Wow!  Spock just said that creating psycho-Nero, murdering everyone on the Kelvin, the Klingon ships, the planet Vulcan, and anyone else was "a trick".  As Wally Shawn would say: "Inconceivable!"

 Spock turns on the transporter and gives the Vulcan peace sign and says: "Live long and prosper." as Scotty and Kirk beam out and Keenser whimpers.  

As the transporter super genius and officer under Starfleet orders assigning him to Delta Vega, Scotty belongs at the controls sending Spock and nuKirk to the Enterprise, unless of course we magically know that Scott's "destiny" is to become galactically famous Chief Engineer of the Enterprise in this alternate reality, and also that everything will be perfectly fine with risking these lives with experimental, untested equipment using outpost scanners on a par with Mr. Magoo in a transport that has never, in the history of anyone in this universe, EVER worked!

 We have a cut to another gorgeous CGI establishment shot of the Enterprise at warp.

We see Kirk materializing in the ludicrously designed engineering section, rightly happy to be alive, having again survived by apparent miracle.  He looks around and then calls for "Mr. Scott!" and he hears a thumping noise.

He turns to the liquid tank behind him, and shouts into it, "Mr. Scott, can you hear me?"  After a few seconds, Monty emerges into a tube which is conveniently clear, allowing us to see him drowning.

No women speak or appear in any of the scenes in this segment.

Abrams creates an homage to Willy Wonka and John Yoo in our next episode of Star Trek by the Minute 088: Inert Reactant

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 086: Regulation Six One Nine

Spock pontificates: "Under no circumstances can he be made aware of my existence, you must promise me this."  An inexplicably broad and absolute statement from someone who is supposedly a genius and intelligent enough to draw fine distinctions.  Again, it appears that the writers' reach exceeds their grasp as it seems they simply have no point of reference to distinguish good, well-reasoned statements from bad.

Spock clearly indicates he believes in some form of deterministic "destiny" that smacks of Calvinism, even though his actions and even existence in an altered reality refute the claims inherent in his nonsensical claims.  In the Jewish traditions allied with Pirkei Avoth 3:15, ( the paradox of "the future is foreseen" and existence of "free will" is assumed to be "beyond human understanding", which translates roughly to mean "Will you shut up with the questions?" or "Close your eyes and repeat 'there are no contradictions' until it feels right.  This is known as self-delusion under normal circumstances, in the sense that "normal" indicates situations where people are thinking in a way we might call "downright reasonably".  Ah, clear, strong thinking!  So powerful, so noble! rare... especially during the writing of this mess.

Kirk, appearing rightfully confused at this point, asks "You're telling me that I can't tell you that I'm following your own orders?  Why not?  What happens?"  If Spock's destiny story were true, and if Spock knew what dire consequences would result from Kirk revealing what new Spock already knows, it could be invaluable to Kirk.  Of course, this precludes the idea of Kirk doing anything to change it because "destiny" would be violated.  However, we know that Spock's destiny reference was only inserted because the writers were unable, for whatever reason, to provide sensible dialog to justify the avoidance of characters taking the most obvious course of action.

In a failure of common sense so profound that Spock fails to even commit a fallacy, he insists "Jim, this is one rule you cannot break."  He follows that ludicrous claim with a completely unjustified, untrue, non-sequitur of "To stop Nero, you alone must take command of your ship."  In the first place, the Kirk he knew was a very different Kirk than the one to whom he is speaking, just like this Vulcan system is a very different place than the one he knew.  The previous Kirk was deliberately designed as a character who would embodied virtues such as mercy, intelligence, poise under pressure and careful thought in balance with action-oriented military virtues.  This nuKirk is a drunken, violent, tantrum-prone child  who is now claimed to be the ONLY person in the universe who can stop Nero?  That's a pretty large, steaming pile of manure Spock is trying to sell on the big screen, along with the implied claim that stowing away by faking an injury and deceiving Starfleet officers to do it qualifies an alternate Enterprise as "Kirk's ship" takes a non-trivial stretch of imagination and ignorance.  What about the idea that Kirk "alone" must command.  "You must be captain" might seem sensible only by comparison - but honestly: to make a statement indicating no other command officers can support the ship's mission on a team as relative equals?  That's another silly line. 

Kirk, seeming to accept Spock's lunacy, asks "How, over your dead body?"

"Preferably not...  However, there is Starfleet regulation Six one nine.  Six one nine states that any command officer who is emotionally compromised by the mission at hand, must resign said command."  The idea that a commander must RESIGN his entire command if emotionally compromised at ANY point in ANY mission is a ludicrous plot sham for two reasons: practical and philosophical.  The practical objection is that no organization of biological creatures could function this way unless everyone in command of every team followed something better than  Vulcan emotional control perfectly every time, so the rule would force massive turnovers (and likely confusion) in the most stressful situations: emergencies.  The philosophical objection is that the regulation is based on an unreasonable standard to expect from people.

Jumping out of the story universe, using this plot device is inconsistent plot-wise since Kirk has demonstrated even greater emotional compromise on the mission by getting into more fights, having greater violations of protocols, insubordination and refusing to obey a host of lawful orders.  

Kirk stutters: "So're saying I have to emotionally compromise you...guys."

Spock replies "Jim, I just lost my planet.  I can tell you, I am emotionally compromised." If we take this as true, then this Spock shouldn't be deciding what personnel are the galaxy's "only hope", and the specific assignments they need (of say, starship command) in a universe about which he is missing important information, nor usurping Starfleet's authority over its own  command. Then he says "What you must do is get me to show it."  Another nonsensical plot fraud skewed in order to escalate conflict.  The far more accurate and sensible plan would be for Spock Prime to explain to his younger clone the appropriateness of recusing himself temporarily from duty, but in Abrams' nuTrek violence and conflict are overwhelmingly preferred over principles, cooperation, respect for others, and other traits traditionally considered noble, but now we are told in the slick, corporate promotional propaganda those are just boring, stale old ideas left over from "your father's Star Trek."

From off-screen, Scotty announces "All right then laddie, live or die, let's get this over with..."  and Kirk steps into what must be a transporter platform, although we do not see much to suggest what these alcoves do, but it must be said they do look much like climbing frames.  

Keenser tries to join Scotty for the beam out, but is pushed back with Scott saying "Go on, ye canna come with me - go on." 

In the last ridiculous plot twist of the film, officer Scott is here actually shown preparing to abandon his duty post during an emergency, as suggested in Kirk's earlier conversation.  We can add Scott to those who would seem to need a Federation lawyer soon.

No women speak or appear in this segment.

Miracles never stop, even when they're not used to advance the "plot" with our next episode of Star Trek by the Minute 087: Transwarp Beam, in which Scotty survives materializing inside a starship engine's cooling system.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 085: Ample Nacelles

Walking around the shuttlecraft, Scotty offers: "So, the Enterprise has had it's maiden voyage has it?"  It's a minor quibble, but fleet personnel would seem more likely to say "her" and "she" rather than "it's" and "it" when referring to a ship, especially in a sentence regarding a "maiden" voyage.

Still slurring from the ale, Scotty adds: "She is one well-endowed lady!  I'd like to get my hands on her ample nacelles if you'll pardon the engineering parlance..." following Kirk and Spock through a side hatch.

Cutting to the interior, Spock sits at a dusty computer console and begins typing as Scotty continues "...except the thing is, even if I believed you, right?  Where you're from, what I've done, which I don't by the way...You're still talking about beaming aboard the Enterprise while she's traveling faster than light without a proper receiving pad."

While it is possible that there was conversation between "parlance..." and "...except", what appears onscreen suggests that this was essentially just a pause, and the audience is given no clue that any time has elapsed.  If what was shown onscreen matched what happened in the story, Kirk and Spock had not been talking about beaming aboard the Enterprise, as far anyone in the audience can tell, and those who are trying to make sense of the story and stay in the film? They are left stranded yet again.

Scott walks over toward Kirk and sees his crewmate Keenser sitting on a shelf and interrupts himself to say "Get off there! It's not a climbing frame!"
With a Han Solo homage/ripoff, Scotty tears a piece of the shuttle's interior bulkhead absently, while pontificating: "The notion of transwarp beaming is like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blindfold, riding a horse." Returning to look over Spock's shoulder, he asks: "What's that?" 
Spock answers: "Your equation for acheiving transwarp beaming."

Scotty sits, gawks drunkenly at the screen for nearly 3 seconds, and gasps: "Imagine that - it never occurred to me to think of space as the thing that was moving."

Kirk approaches Spock and says "You're coming with us, right?"  Um, coming with who?  Kirk is the one who Spock claims mysteriously "must" be returned to the Enterprise, yet Scotty and Keenser would seem to have alot of engineering yet to do at the station.  The outpost still appears unable to communicate with anyone or detect anything going on around it. anything going on right in front of it, much less around it, like fleet-sized battles, planetary distress calls that cross the Federation, destruction of entire planets, etc.  Simply leaving would be a direct violation of orders, not to mention abandoning your post during an emergency which appears to be the closest undamaged base to a disaster area.  If Keenser or Montgomery Scott left, they would properly be court-martialed, just as should Robau, George Kirk, Pike, and nuSpock each for abandoning their respective duties during an emergency.

Spock prime, getting even more religious, claims: "No Jim, that is not my destiny."  Kirk repeats quite rightly with incredulity "Your dest...?"  Then he points out: "The other Spock is not gonna believe me, only you can explain what has happened."

While his statement is untrue that *only* old Spock can explain, it would be the most sensible course of action.  Old Spock is relatively current on Nero, he may also be the only individual who can save the Federation based on his encyclopedic knowledge of future technology, and is undoubtedly the best option for convincing nuSpock to resign his command and accomplishing the nonsensical, but stated goal of "returning" Kirk to the Enterprise as its Captain in part of an on-again, off-again inconsistency about whether the timeline needs to be changed or preserved at any cost (which has been already explained in detail as an impossibility by nuSpock.  Someone either changed a basic premise of the plot halfway through, it seems, resulting in conflicting scenes shot out of order, or they never had a coherent setting for the film and just made up whatever seemed good around the time of filming

No women speak or appear in this segment.

In our next episode of Star Trek by the Minute 086: Regulation Six One Nine, old Spock crams almost as many ignorant logical fallacies, mistakes and impossibilities into as few seconds as any footage in the film.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 084: Future Sandwiches

Scotty explains: "I had a little debate with my instructor on the issue of relativistic physics and how it pertains to subspace travel.  He seemed to think that the range of transporting something like a grapefruit was limited to about 100 miles.  I told him that I could not only beam a grapefruit from one planet to the adjacent planet in the same system, which is easy by the way, I could do it with a life form."

His fellow officer shakes his head in disbelief at Kirk and Spock, indicating he thinks Monty's theory unlikely, certainly unproven.

Assuming that future Star Trek films will include some minimal science consulting, here is a note for development: grapefruits are a life form made of living material normally called "plants".  Actually, making that assumption about consulting in the next film seems outlandish given the huge cash this dreck hauled in.  And apparently cash reigns supreme, with racism, religious faith and "action" rounding out what Abrams' nuTrek is all about.
"So," Mr. Scott continues "I tested it on Admiral Archer's prize beagle."  This actually was a cute inside reference to Porthos.

 Kirk: "Wha? I know that dog...  What happened to it?"

Taking another big swig of ale, Scotty belches out "I'll tell you when it reappears. (cough)  I don't know; I do feel guilty about that though."  While meant to be funny, and perhaps soften the mook portrayal, his dialog and the confirmation by the officer with eyestalks establishes that  Scott (whose rank remains unknown) has an unconfirmed theory that may have already murdered at least one puppy, and an unknown number of fruits & veggies although technically, charges would probably be criminal negligence.

Spock asks: "What if I told you that your transwarp theory was correct; that it is indeed possible to beam onto a ship that is traveling at warp speed?"

 "I think if that equation 'ad been discovered I'd have heard about it," says Scott, as if one equation would be all it took to produce what is essentially, a revolutionary new technological capability far beyond anything currently known by the best informed specialists in that society.

"The reason you haven't heard about it Mr. Scott, is because you haven't discovered it yet."

"Eps..ah...wha...are you from the future?"

Kirk: "Yeah, he is, I'm not."

 "Well, that's brilliant!  ...  Do they still have sandwiches there?"  Again, this makes a mockery of the future chief engineer's character, and presents with in-your-face clarity that the film makers do not take their portrayal of this fictional world seriously and did not put forth the effort and thought required to have substantial characters use believable humor.  Self proclaimed time travelers from the future would not be questioned about sandwiches, they would be asked something credible either about the future or about the present that would support their claim.

Cutting to an outpost interior scene, we see what looks like a large shuttlecraft as Scott declares "Well, she's a wee bit dodgey.  Her shield emitters are totally banjacked, as well as a few other things.  On youse go!" as he waves Kirk and Spock away, before tossing a spanner up end over end and catching it with his right hand.

No women speak or appear in this segment.

In our next episode: Star Trek by the Minute 085: Ample Nacelles, Abrams' nuTrek continues to show us a new Scotty, distinct from the dedicated, competent, hard working and principled engineer of the past, preferring a drunken clown. 

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