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Showing posts from March, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 092: Kirk Takes Command

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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 d…

Star Trek by the Minute 091: Vulcan Fury

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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…

Star Trek by the Minute 090: Your Mother!

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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 allo…

Star Trek by the Minute 089: Engineering Run

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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 Engine…

Star Trek by the Minute 088: Inert Reactant

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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 reservi…

Star Trek by the Minute 087: Transwarp Beam

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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…

Star Trek by the Minute 086: Regulation Six One Nine

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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, (http://sichosinenglish.org/books/ethics/03-15.htm) 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…

Star Trek by the Minute 085: Ample Nacelles

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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 poss…

Star Trek by the Minute 084: Future Sandwiches

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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...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" roundin…