Cinecast Episode 309 – Be Sure to do the Worksheets

In case you have not heard, J.J. Abrams’ second installment in his version of the Star Trek universe is now in theaters. There seems to be some disagreement in the amount of enjoyment to be had. We parse it out. But we all agree on something much more fulfilling that allows and the audience to breathe (even godforbid, think) a bit. Mike Jeff Nichols’ (Take Shelter, Shotgun Stories) new film, Mud, featuring the ever-on-a-roll, Matthew McConaughey as well as fine supporting work from Michael Shannon and Sam Sheppard. We discuss all plot and character points in both titles (that is your *SPOILER ALERT* folks) Thus, if you want to remain in the dark, please just stop by later this week (Thursday night) as Andrew and Kurt get back to doing the live video version of the show with a double helping of “Game of Thrones” recaps as well as the Watch List that will include [rec]3, Jack Reacher, Great Gatsby and Catch Me if You Can.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


show content


show content


show content

 


 

[mp3player width=560 height=76 config=cinecast.xml file=http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_13/episode_309.mp3] DOWNLOAD mp3 | 58 MB
if player is not working, try alternate player at bottom of this post

 

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…

 


 

~ IN-HOUSE BUSINESS ~

– New Cabin in the Woods episode (Teeth)
– Kurt appearance on The MatineeCast

OPENING QUOTE:
Matthew McConaughey
in
Magic Mike

CLOSING BUMPER MUSIC:
“Real”
by
William Shatner

 


 

~ REVIEWS ~

Star Trek: Into Darkness
Mud

 


 

~ LATER THIS WEEK ~

The Great Gatsby review
– The Watch List

 


 

~ NEXT WEEK’S REVIEW(S) ~


– Fast and Furious 6
– Frances Ha
– The Iceman

 


 

~ COMMENTS or QUESTIONS? ~

feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew.james@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Andrew James
Guest

Really the only reason those original movies were a little slower was simply budgetary reasons. You better believe that if they had more money they would’ve been more actiony. You can argue that the budgetary constraints made the movie better (as I often do), but there you have it.

This weird grip on a nostalgia that doesn’t really exist is baffling. The same thing will happen when Star Wars comes out.

Kurt
Guest
Mark Stevens
Guest

Jesus, podcast snark runs wild.

I keep having to remind myself that Kurt is the guy who just lo-o-oves MR. NOBODY.

Kurt
Guest

I’d happily take Mr. Nobody over both these NuTrek movies. Yes, you can put me on record for that.

Yes, this was a snarky kind of episode, albeit, Andrew was trying mightily to convince us that this is what ST films have always been.

Kind of reminds me of the Watchmen review episode, but I’ve actually came around to that film over time. I know 99.99999% sure I’ll never be fully on board with this brand of speed-over-brains Trek film.

Goon
Guest

Kurt:
“Give it to Neill Blomkamp”

Considering your past about Nolan “wasting his time” on Batman movies, it’s weird that you’d advocate a director doing his own thing becoming part of the Franchise Horde. Careful what you wish for!

At any rate though, if I were to put someone in place to continue what’s already happening now, but better, I’d put Brad Bird in there. There’s already so much Mission: Impossible going on in this new Trek that might as well give it to the guy who did the whiz bang stuff better.

Kurt
Guest

I agree. it was a dumb thing to say.

Ultimately, I’m conflicted. I want Star Trek movies, I just want good ones and not the stuff that Team-Abrams are interested in making.

Goon
Guest

I rewatched Wrath of Khan this evening… in my head this was a 5/5 and the best Star Trek movie.

Nope.

In fact through the majority of the second act I was bored out of my skull.

Rick Vance
Guest

I should preface this by saying my only interaction with Star Trek is random Next Generation syndication and seeing Wrath, Undiscovered once each. Also seeing the 3 first Next Gen movies in the theater with my dad.

So I thought all the plot stuff was what really killed this movie for me, then I started thinking about it more and more and no it isn’t that.

The spectacle in this movie is boring and small.

I get really annoyed when people dismiss movies that go for spectacle as “turn your brain off” movies because not only is good spectacle the hardest thing to do well in movies good action is too.

Big summer action movies have all been chasing the same dragon since 2011 and that was also a movie with Leonard Nimoy in it (that actually did something with him).

Transformers: Dark of the Moon was a movie that does that kind of spectacle better than every movie that I have seen in the Summer for a long time, on big scales, on small scales. It also commits fully to its destruction and its violence and goes all in with it, to a surprising amount in a PG13 movie.

It just works.

Dismissing Star Trek Into Darkness as just an action movie is an insult to action movies everywhere. The only halfway decent / surprising thing was when they were shot out of warp.

rot
Guest

this, this hurts my soul.

I feel like there is a disease spreading through the internet and you are all infected and getting worse. A geek-autism tone-deaf of a kind of entertainment that privileges the experiential over the mechanics of expression. Unless of course there is somewhere lit bold GRINDHOUSE, or EXPLOITATION then you relax that quivering muscle in your skull, and reclaim your child-like wonder, wide-eyed and forgiving.

Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Avatar, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Avengers, Transformers, Fast and the Furious, they are in the business of selling experiences not pushing the envelope of narrative storytelling.

You feel them, you don’t understand them by deconstruction, nor is the intention of them to be works of art so studied. If there is something more to them, that is the cherry, but if we are going to evaluate work according to intent, let’s fucking stop with the one rubric for all bullshit.

They are adventure stories of an ilk that require two basic things: peril and characters you care about. They are experienced, you feel a rush in the moment, you feel excitement — whether or not elements in the movie are poor franchise decisions should not be factoring into your enjoyment, if it is, you are the problem. Unless you are doing a podcast called Mamo and are focused explicitly on the business end of films as properties with cultural significance, these kind of worries should not be rising to the surface in personal reviews. Divorce from the hive-mind long enough to realize the franchises do not require you to defend them. We are all here first and foremost because we love movies, we all have nostalgia, we all talk up the movies we watched when we were young and less militant about meanings.

Adventure movies like Abrams Star Trek are for that love of movies. They are less sophisticated BY DESIGN. With respects to Into Darkness, much of the byzantine complexity of plot is to save us from ourselves, as otherwise every plot beat would be spoiled in modern culture, Abrams & co. need to booby-trap the geek impulse so as to allow some spontaneity of experience to grow. The plot is rickety, but the plot is not the movie, and so long as you have some suspension of disbelief, and can allow yourself to get caught up in the accelerated pacing (which I also believe does try to turn off the analytic part of the brain) there is at least an invitation for fun to be had.

It is a Star Trek reboot, a deliberate gear shift, it is allowed to be a fun, goofy, space opera and that is what it wants to be (in comparison to the Crocodile Dundee-lite Voyage Home this is fucking high art).

Like I said, you need peril and characters you can care about. With Star Trek, a known commodity, we already love the characters. Is it really all that necessary to build from scratch a nuanced arc of character development to allow us the in for Spock and Kirk and Bones? Must the characters arcs perfectly intersect with the story arc to resolve satisfyingly for Robert McKee to give his consent for our enjoyment? You already have characters you care about, they are put in peril, and there is your adventure movie. Everything else is for the vultures and fetishists to pick at.

But Andrew enjoyed it, Goon enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, something like 83% on rotten tomatoes enjoyed it, but if you listened to this podcast you would think there was fucking anarchy in the streets over this affront to cinema.

Rick Vance
Guest

My problem with Into Darkness is that it didn’t work on the level you described not that it is or isn’t brilliant narrative or not.

Spectacle also has to be done well.

rot
Guest

@Rick

with this kind of movie a valid criticism is that the spectacle or the adventure component lacks a certain freshness, if it is relying on hackneyed conventions and over-familiar story beats than this slows down the momentum and affects one’s ability to get caught up in the peril. I think by design Abrams was trying to circumvent these common problems with blockbuster movies, down to the point that you did not know where things were heading at any point. The criticism that the callbacks made it over familiar… okay. I don’t think there was that many, in storyline (unless it is in the original tv show) it had practically nothing to do with the Kahn we know. Abrams takes expectations and subverts it, again BY DESIGN.

I think it was missing one strong action beat to end on, and so the spectacle of it diminished there, but otherwise I thought it was great.

Watching the tv show for the first time… it is hilarious pulp… I’m assuming maybe it gets more intelligent as it goes along but if this is the high standard of sophistication Abrams is supposed to be aiming for, mission accomplished. I think people are confusing Next Generation with Star Trek original series in their expectations of how clever the storytelling ought to be.

Rick Vance
Guest

We agree completely about original Trek but just not about the action / set pieces of this movie. The only thing that was remotely interesting was the 30 seconds that happened in mid-Warp.

rot
Guest

Must Abrams continue to desecrate this fine heritage?

Sean Kelly
Guest

“Can you tell me where to find the Nuclear Wessels?”

Sean Kelly
Guest

Even though everyone but Matt is skipping THE HANGOVER PART III, I thought I would give quick thoughts on the film after seeing it this evening.

I liked the first two, so it’s no surprise that I liked this one as well. After the criticism that part II was simply a rehash of the first, this one goes in a whole new direction and is more a true sequel (since events from the first film are returned to).

The film knows that the whole story is completely ridiculous and just goes the whole nine yards with this one.

This type of lowbrow humour is definitely not for everyone, but I enjoyed myself (and people who DO see the film should wait through the credits)

Sean Kelly
Guest

And when I say lowbrow, I mean stuff like a giraffe getting decapitated in the first five minutes (seen in the trailer, so not a spoiler).

rot
Guest

The old Trek movies are slow but that don’t make them heady. The early ones especially are slow because slow was how most movies were constructed (hell ET and Jaws are slow movies) – the speed of the modern blockbuster is culturally unique, the same way television in the eighties and nineties feels nothing like television of the present day. We live in a fast-paced world and much of cinema reflects that.

I would love to hear what exactly is sophisticated, hard sci-fi, clever, heady, about the Star Trek movies pre-Abrams. In the podcast you actually tried to say Star Trek IV is about environmentalism… that is like saying Crocodile Dundee is about cultural diversity.

Undiscovered Country is about Cold War politics but it is paid the most basic of lip-service, because it is actually a Sherlock Holmes whodunnit that exists to entertain more than enlighten.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I love the V-Ger concept in the first film ,and feel that it is the ‘hardest’ of the Star-Trek films in terms of Sci-Fi. Which might be why everyone dislikes it.

rot
Guest

admittedly that is the one Trek I haven’t seen since I was young, although the Film Junk crew mentioned that it is known as Star Trek The Slow-Motion Picture.

Planning to rewatch all the tv show and movies.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Will be picking up ST:TMP in BLU rather shortly. Might make my son ‘endure’ it.

(We watched CONTACT on the weekend, and he quite liked it…)

Kurt
Guest

Thanks for that! I just bought it. (Along With Westwolrd, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut and All The President’s Men.

#DealDay

Sean Kelly
Guest

Re: Movie trailers before Mud

Trailer packages are typically tailored for the film their preceding. If you see a summer blockbuster, you see trailers for other summer blockbusters. You see a trailer for an independent film (which Mud is), you see trailers for other independent films.

THE EAST is a weird case, since it’s an indie film with a mainstream looking trailer. Interested to see what the actual film looks like when it opens next week.

wpDiscuz