True Review
Current Issue Number 85 Vol.28   August 2013
Now That The Accountants Are In Charge

You know the moment -- it comes when someone asks the name of a well-known friend from high school and neither of you can think of it. Or the name of a certain variety of rose. Or the author of that really great story that goes like this. . . .

Then, about an hour or two later, epiphany strikes – aha! Like Watson to Sherlock Holmes, you have the answer. But it’s too late.

So what do you call those moments between bewilderment and the solution to what’s been bugging you?

The accounting.

I was stewing after watching the recent “Star Trek: Into Darkness” atrocity.  Once again, the J.J. Abrams creative team have given us a comic-book world with characters plunging from thousands of feet, hitting steel, and getting up with nary a scratch; with arrows covering every square inch of sky and nobody, but nobody, receiving a nick; where in three minutes or less you can travel with a pre-trans-warp Enterprise and you are at the Klingon moon!; where science (which was respected throughout the original TV series, which made it all the more believable) is completely tossed out the window.

Just give the audience what works, what has been tried and true, throw in a ton of SFX, chases and explosions, and everybody’s happy. Supposedly.

This flies in the face of everything that “Star Trek” has always been about:

  • Experimentation.
  • Surprise.
  • Inventiveness.
  • Creativity.
  • Sincere to science.

From all appearances, the Abrams team appears to be creatively bankrupt. With two Star Trek “attempts” now under their belts, they continue to produce regurgitated versions of tired, old, rehashed themes, as in:

  1. The should-be-long-dead “Kirk vs. Khan” theme (I thought that thing so dead they were knocking down the tombstone!);
  2. Slapdash (plenty of special effects don’t make a good movie, not even close);
  3. Plots so full of formula you can go to Pinterest and get the recipe.


And what’s the worst thing you can do to a movie-goer?

Bore them.

Just plug in the numbers. Just do something simple, man. You get the stark impression that for the latest “Star Trek” movie, the conversation just HAD to go something like this:

Hey, Dude, like, what was the greatest ‘Star Trek’ movie like you can remember, man?”
“Oh, that’s easy, Dude. The second one. ‘Wrath of Khan.’ That was a real blockbuster.”

 “Oh yeah, cool. Let’s get something like that because, hey, that worked, right?”

There are crimes against humanity and then there are the crimes against the “Star Trek” empire and us fans who remember a time when you never knew what was coming.  We remember a time when the scripts were daring, extraordinarily speculative, pushing the envelope of story and creativity. A time when the characters only did what people could relate to, what made sense, and the storylines were completely thought out. A time when science mattered, when you didn’t have to suspend your disbelief using some form of heavy duty drug, because the story actually did that for you.

Those were the days!

Wake up and quit messing with our “Trek” universe, J.J.! The continuity that existed has been destroyed. The entire history of this creation has been obliterated. It is completely “comic book” now, and this movie is so bad, this is insulting even to the comix, which would probably do a better job.

And for the record, stop inserting suggestive scenes with people in their underwear, which have no purpose to the plot, which even you later admit were not well thought out.  What the heck? Quality, man, quality. Even the original series showed a lot of creativity in the relationships the crew had with each other.

Thankfully, the Abrams team is moving to the “Star Wars” universe, a place much better suited to their artistic vision. A place where nothing makes scientific sense, where characters are cutouts from box-board, and where stories can be slugged right along in time for release date.

A former Hollywood script writer was quoted as saying Abrams literally makes sure all his scripts are geared for 12-year-olds. But even most 12-year-olds can’t be fooled this badly.

Andrew M. Andrews

In This Issue

Mending The Moon The Best of Connie Willis Stoker's Manuscript After Death - Anthology

Nebula Awards 2013 Unnatural Creatures Make Good Art Death in the Vines

New Taboos - John Shirley Trust Me, I know what I'm doing Harlan Ellison's 7 Against Chaos Zipped Flesh 2

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