Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why I Hate JJ Abrams And His Stupid Star Trek Movie

Don't worry, this is not a rehash of the movie. The review is still here, just scroll down a ways.

No, this has to do with the aftereffects of that misbegotten film, and the carnage that's been left in its wake. The battle lines that have been drawn over it, how open warfare breaks out whenever it gets brought up, not just when I'm around, but any time; I've come across many a scorched patch of Earth where previously a thriving discussion was going on...until someone brought up that fucking movie, and all hell broke loose.

A lot of it has to do with how the audience breaks down. I'll concentrate more on the Star Trek fan reaction rather than the general audience, because that's outside my purview. Besides, the average non-Star Trek fan generally doesn't go onto Star Trek message boards, so how they feel about the whole thing is pretty irrelevant, at least to this perspective.

Most fans saw the film, recognized it was six kinds of stupid, but had fun anyway being able to go to a Star Trek movie in God knows how long and enjoy the flashy lights, loud noises, etc., and generally have a grand old time. Many of my friends fall into this category. I happen to live with one who managed to enjoy it. Suffice it to say, though, I do not fall into this category. However, I have no problem with these folks. They're just not at as picky as I am when it comes to Star Trek. Different strokes, etc.

Then we have the group, a minority in my opinion, who think that this movie is the greatest thing since sliced bread, that it is better than anything ever put out by the original series or any of the movies. These are the kinds of folks who seem to be generally embarrassed to be seen as Star Trek fans, lest they be lumped in with those icky Trekkies, and with the box office success of JJ's little film, they finally have a chance to be a part of the cool crowd. Since the vast majority of the audience enjoyed the movie as well (although generally in spite of the actual film, not because of anything actually in it), this group feels quite comfortable crowing about how "Star Trek is finally COOL!" These people can only be described as delusional or disingenuous, as they ascribe some sort of technical or writing genius that no objective viewing of this film can possibly substantiate. Even the positive reviews of the film, which the Paramount marketing machine delights in citing, talk about how stupid the film is. For these fans, it's just an excuse to jump down the throats of that part of the fanbase they've always been embarrassed to be associated with.

Which brings us to the other segment of the fan audience.

The segment that sees this movie as a total betrayal of Star Trek, a two-hour pandering session where all of the stereotypes of Star Trek were celebrated and exaggerated beyond recognition, and find it rather insulting that this is presented to us as "capturing the essence of the original series." The assorted Saturday Night Live skits captured more of the "essence of the original series" than that misbegotten movie even came close to.

Three guesses which audience segment I belong to.

So, we have the one side, we'll call them "gushers", who delight in rubbing the noses of those of us in my group, I suppose "bashers" is as good a name as any, and since those on my end of the spectrum have had to fight tooth-and-nail to defend Star Trek from the get-go, it's only natural to take up arms and charge into battle over this issue as well. And, since we're talking internecine warfare, things have an unfortunate tendency to get personal, really really fast.

They see us as overly anal, permanently clamped onto the teat of the original series, and far too nerdy to join them in the Cool Crowd.

We see them as traitors to the cause, and more than a little delusional, not only over the movie, but on how they've not noticed that the Cool Crowd has already moved on to six other things since their glittering jewel of a movie slipped off the scene. So we also take a tiny bit of delight in how after all is said and done, the wannabe Cool Kids are right back in the ghetto with us nerds.

Which, of course, only makes the snobs even angrier, so the flame wars climb higher and higher into the black sky.

Caught in the middle, however, is that first group I mentioned, the big happy bunch in the middle that were able to put their Trekkie hats in the back seat for a while and just enjoy a big loud popcorn flick that happened to have a Star Trek label on it. And since they enjoyed the movie, then any attack from my side aimed at the snobs on the other side....sometimes falls a little short of its target and lands on the lap of someone who wasn't the intended target.

Now we're fighting folks who are normally friends. With the snobs cheering them on.

That, friends and neighbors, is the state of Star Trek fandom, thanks to that fucking movie. There were divisions before, but now they're blown wide open, without much chance of repair at this point.

And that is why I now completely and utterly DESPISE that movie with every fiber of my being. Not for what it is, but for what it's done.

That being said, I would like to apologize to those I have offended with my sometimes overly broad characterizations of those who liked the movie. I can only blame it on the fog of the perpetual flame war that this movie has inspired.

I hope you're happy, JJ. Fans have always had a habit of eating their own on occasion, but you're turned it into a fucking smorgasbord.



Chaya Morgan said...

I couldn't agree more!! It's hard to articulate the sheer amount of rage I have for all those idiots who think XI was true to Roddenberry. I've spent hours and hours of my life trolling message boards, and it seems 99% of the people I've encountered bend over backwards defending the gaping plot holes and crudely drawn caricatures of our beloved crew. You've nailed current ST fandom- before the movie, I can admit, I was huge huge dork for badly written TOS fan fiction. I can't even approach any of my old haunts now. There's an increasingly small place on the internets for Trekkers like us.

cblmc1296 said...

I get that this is year and a half old post. But from some of what I've seen on the boards (to which I am a newbie) the divisiveness you described still exists. It's a damn shame but I agree - the steaming pile of sh*t that JJ Abrams called "Star Trek" obviously contributed.

TysonAtTheMovies said...

And now, Star Trek will forever be in "Darkness" and "Lost" due to Jar-Jar Abrams.

TysonAtTheMovies said...

And now, Star Trek will forever be in "Darkness" and "Lost" due to Jar-Jar Abrams.

John Harden said...

BREAKING - J.J. Abrams exits STAR WARS VII: “I’m through with narrative film”

El Vaquero Zuvembie said...

"Through with narrative film"?
He never MADE one.

Okay, ST fan since I was 4 and it was on NBC.

For me it boils down to this, and it isn't even a Trek issue, it's a film writing issue-
If your characters are intelligent, then they must do something in the story that displays that intelligence in moving the plot forward, or in resolving the dramatic issue of the play.

In other words, the smart guy has to do something that makes you go "WOW. That was amazing, I never would have come up with that. It fits the guy perfectly. It fits the story perfectly". That's called good dramatic writing. And Abrams, Orci and crew can't do it.

You have to be smart yourself to write smart characters. If you don't get it, or condescend because you don't think the audience gets it...