My text response to Confused Matthew's Star Trek review...

Let me start by saying, I really enjoyed your review, even if I disagreed with a large part of it. I didn't disagree with all of it, just certain things... however, your insight was extremely interesting, and you brought up a lot of good points.

Before I actually talk about the review, I'd like to explain something. My comment on your video stated that "1. Loved your insight, even if I don't agree. 2. Not so much Stan's... he struck me as a person who went into the movie hating it, thus wasn't open to anything BUT hating it. I think your review would have been better had he not been involved." I feel like I need to clear this up... I don't mean to insult Stan, or say he doesn't know what he's talking about or anything... what I mean is, a lot of his review just seemed like he wasn't willing to give the movie a chance, like he went in hating it already, and just spent the movie picking out things that he hated about it. The only reason I say that is because I went into the Dark Knight the same way, and had a similar reaction to that movie. IMO, his flat out, no matter what the movie did I hated it attitude kind of pulled away from your (Matthew's) review. It made it seem less credible.

Now, a lot of your points I completely agree with. For instance, Nero was not my favorite character... he was definitely interesting, but in terms of villains, I felt he was extremely weak. I don't know if it was Bana's execution of the character, or the character itself, but I just wasn't enamored with him... he was no Khan, and he was CERTAINLY no General Chang. He didn't say a whole lot, and the scenes where he was supposed to be "silent and intense" were pretty pathetic. Nero would do well to take a few lessons from Kirill*. And his motivation? I agree... pretty weak. My planet suffered a fate, so I'm gonna destroy all the planets in the federation? Good plan, man. You know what they say, and entire federation of planets for an eye.

HOWEVER - I do want to point out one thing. I think you're wrong about Nero knowing that Spock was trying to save his planet. It was my understanding that Spock told the Romulan Ambassadors that he would try to save their planet, and that he was too late, and as he was creating the black hole, Nero showed up from a mining expedition he was on, to find Spock, a black hole where Romulas was, and no Romulas. He then drew the conclusion that Spock had used the Red Matter to destroy Romulas... and he went street rat crackers, feeling the need to destroy Spock's planet and making him feel the pain he himself felt. It doesn't make his plan any more interesting, but it does make it a tad bit less weak.

Also - I'd like to address your problem with Red Matter. You stated that (and it could have been Stan, I don't remember) Red Matter did one of two things, even if you used it the exact same way: destroyed planets, and sent you back in time. If I'm correct, when Red Matter was used to create a singularity, the matter upon which the singularity was created was destroyed as the black hole was created. Because the black hole is created in the center of the planet, the planet thus collapses upon itself. However, after the black hole has been established, anything that's sucked into said black hole suffers a different fate than that of the planet. Let me also point out that the physics of the movie did not only hint at time travel, but alternate/parallel realities. Seeing as no one has ever been in a black hole, the physics and laws of how one operates are completely theoretical... so, anything is possible.

I didn't feel product placement was that bad, I saw the Nokia plug as sort of a cute little shout out, kind of a "hey, we're in the future, but some things withstood the test of time." I didn't even catch the Budweiser one, I was far too focused on Slusho in that scene.

The biggest thing I disagreed with was your complaint that we didn't get to know the characters. You were correct to a degree... we didn't get to learn every aspect of every character... but we did learn a bit. Enough to understand why each character reacted the way they did, and enough to want to know more about each character. I don't feel like this was a bad move... the contrary, I think it was a smart one.

As we've seen displayed many times in movie adaptations of comic books, it's never a good idea to put all your character's cards on the table in one movie... and definitely not in the first movie. It makes the movie slow and uninteresting... sure, you get GREAT character development, but the main conflict ends up arising and being dealt with in the last 30 minutes of the movie. I.E. X-Men, Spider-man, The Fantastic Four, etc. etc., so on and so forth.

Now, I feel I should say, I'm a sucker for character development... I love it, and a movie without it isn't worth my time. But character development without a plot isn't worth my time, either. I'd much rather have a number of movies, over which the characters are developed slowly, than 1 movie where the characters are completely understood, followed by a pretty good sequel with a GREAT conflict, but little to no character development, and wrapping things up with a third installment, in which we try to do everything we could have done well, had we not spent so much time talking about what Kirk was like when he got his first set of leggos. Look at the original series. Were the characters developed in one episode? No. They had season after season, episode after episode, to explore themselves, find out what they wanted, who they were, why they were that person, etc. etc. Which was then followed by movies that still further developed the characters. Even when it ended, there was still so much about each character we didn't know. That, to me, is AMAZING character development.

This movie doesn't have the luxury of following a tv show, because it's set before it, and it's directed toward a crowd that didn't watch the tv show. However, that doesn't mean it needs to spend all of it's time developing the characters. Abram's has always had a Mystery Box approach to his productions... he shows us this thing, and while he may show us a lot or a little about this thing, he will never show us EVERYTHING. It's what keeps people coming back for more... the need for answers you know you probably won't get. In Star Trek, I think he applied that to his character - we learn a bit about them. Who they are, where they stand in Starfleet, a bit about their personalities... but we don't learn them 100%. Or even 50%. We learn enough to get to know them, and enough to want to know more. And, as I said before, slow character development is a beautiful thing.

I'm going to be a nerd and use the Halo games as an example. I realize they're extremely popular, and surprise surprise, someone likes them, but my reasons for liking them surprisingly aren't like everyone else's. They're my favorite games because of the storyline and character development... and I feel like they're the perfect example for what I'm trying to explain.

Halo 1 introduced us to Master Chief, Sergeant Johnson, The Covenant, the Flood, Cortana, all that good stuff. We learned little to nothing about them, but we learned enough to want to play the second game and learn of their fates. In the second game we learn a LOT more about Master Chief and The Arbiter, while still having that air of mystery about them. (At the end of the second game, I was still unsure as to whether or not the Arbiter was on our side.) And finally, in Halo 3, we learn a bit more, while STILL having that slight air of mystery, the need to know more, even though we've learned so much already. The story comes to an end, whilst still leaving small room for expansion and elaboration.

I feel that, if the new Star Trek movies take this approach, not only will it help the movies, but it'll be reminiscent of the old series.

I don't want to spend too much time defending the characters themselves, but I will say, I don't think Kirk was too obnoxious, or that Scotty was merely comic relief... and I adored Bones.

Like I said, I respected your review, and honestly, it was a really good one. Most of your reasons for disliking the film were well thought out, and make sense. Regardless, I still love the movie, and want to see it again.

I'd also like to say that your review of Nemesis has made me want to rewatch the movie... I didn't really care for it the first time, but I wouldn't mind giving it another shot. Again, GREAT review, and I hope this isn't taken the wrong way - it's merely my response to your review. :)

(EdWood Scissorhands)

*I hated the Bourne Supremecy, but I felt the portrayal of Kirill was amazing... he had very few lines throughout the movie, and the most powerful/intense scenes he was in, he said nothing. It's why I used him as an example.

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