Film Junk Podcast Episode #219: Star Trek

podcastmay11_09

0:00 – Intro / Reed’s House
4:51 – Headlines: Alien Prequel/Reboot, Deadpool Spin-off, Kiefer Sutherland Headbutt
17:20 – Review: Star Trek
1:22:30 – Versus: TOS vs TNG
1:27:50 – Trailer Trash: Gamer
1:31:46 – Junk Mail: J.J. Abrams Breaking from Gene Roddenberry’s Vision, Sci-Fi Fantasy Films
1:47:20 – This Week’s DVD Releases
1:49:00 – Outro

» Download the MP3 (51 MB)
» View the show notes
» Vote for us on Podcast Alley!

Subscribe to the podcast feed:
RSS iTunes Odeo My Yahoo!

Around the Web:



  • Cy-Ed

    Greg is sitting dangerously close to Reed.
    I fear for him.

  • AdamH

    I’m downloading this right now! Thanks for reading my Sci fi fantasy films Junk Mail Sean!

  • AdamH

    Holy shit, i just saw the length of the film review. 1 hour? Epic review!

  • Dmandirtyape

    Great show..Jay you pretty much summed up my thoughts on the film when dealing with Reed. You have guys have way more patience with Reed than I could muster.

    Uber Trekkies and film snobs need to get a grip – the movie was a hell of a lot of fun unless you went in wanting to hate it. It’s not 2001 (or even Star Trek The Motion Picture) in terms of thoughtful science fiction, but it was never meant to be in the first place. And a lot of the best old Trek wasn’t exactly deep sci-fi either.

    So I don’t understand the people bitching about this movie’s theme yet hold up something like Khan as some sort of existential Trek experience – They are analagous movies in many ways.

    Both are timeless tale of one man’s single minded revenge against the person who he blames for ruining his life. Nero is to Spock as Khan is to Kirk. Both villians eventually take a family member away from the protagonist. The time travel/genesis device are mainly just plot elements to provide a structure to the arc of events. (although in the new film it’s also used as a way to set up the new timeline)

    You wanna talk about “extreme” coinicidences? Khan is full of them yet everyone gives it a pass. Sure Khan was a more engaging and charasmatic villian, no arguement there. Name any other beloved sci-fi film and I can point out a ton of “coincidences” I think a lot of it is people just looking for reasons to complain about the movie.

    And Greg I agree with you totally about the whole armed miner ship discussion with Reed. That ship is from 100+ years in the film’s future. And oh yea.. its ROMULAN.. not exactly the most peaceloving race. Even mundane defensive weapons from the future would be devastating to Starfleet in the past (Anyone see the In a Mirror, Darkly episodes?)

    As for the New Trek not jamming Rodenberry’s utopian fantasies about peace love and non-capitalism in our faces – GREAT! Trek was never as insipid to me as when it went off on their dopey moral lessons. Sure a film can have a deeper meaning (Personally I loved Trek 1 with the V’ger storyline) but Abrams and crew did a smart thing by keeping that sort of thing to a bare minimum. And oh yea.. the Budweiser mention was not an accident – Some of the cheaper looking sets were built at a certain beer brewery that shall remain nameless.

  • Raph

    The best part was Reed looking for bloopers.

  • Damndirtyape

    Just realized a screw up in my previous post:

    Khan doesn’t actually kill Kirk’s goofy kid in the second movie – Some klingon does in the third.

    Just as well, he was annoying as hell.

  • Using the Lost “course correction” philosophy of time travel I imagined that the core characters still came together because in spite of changes, the universe wanted them to. This solves a lot of the nit picks.

  • AdamH

    No Ballad of Bilbo Baggins for the outro song Sean??

  • Hero Supreme: The confusing thing is that you can’t really have it both ways. Either there’s only one timeline and the universe forces things to happen the same way every time, or there are multiple timelines, and every tiny change leads to another variation. Reed was questioning Jay and I further about the time travel stuff after the podcast and I think he’s still pretty confused about it all.

    AdamH: I’ve used music from the Spaced Out CD a bunch of times before (“Music to Watch Space Girls By” used to be our intro song), so I just thought I’d throw in something different.

  • Sean: It does leave me a little unsettled that the time line will not return to normal. Maybe I just want to believe there is some sort of inertia toward making things “right.” On the other hand, I hope they do not just rehash old plots for future movies. I dont want another Khan or Klingon fight. They should take a traditional ally and make them the villains in the future-maybe some Vulcan or a colony of pissed off Tribbles :)

    If you really want to confuse Jerry, you should direct him to a video podcast at /film. They were talking about how since things have changed, old Kirk could still be alive in the future. Thus, Bill Shatner could potentially travel back in time for Star Trek 2. I don’t really like the idea, but it would blow Jerry’s mind seeing as how it would reiterate Pine and Shatner as the same character. Alternately, if Pine’s whole body got puffy, instead of just his hands, maybe they could use Shatner to play “puffy Kirk.”

  • Bob The Slob

    Greg is awesome…but he obviously doesn’t like Star Trek or even the idea of Star Trek…which kind of makes his opinion void on this movie review in particular.

  • The show would have been better if it didn’t become a black and white issue were everyone put Reed on the spot to make him prove why he didn’t like it. The whole “its good and to nitpick it is a waste of time” is such b.s. Why can’t the attitude on these movie discussions be “It was good lets talk about what could of made it better” I mean we are on a movies site because we like discussing movies, no?

    I offered this at Row Three (another site that is in the throws of you either support the film or you don’t):

    Just to be clear, I liked Star Trek, but it has some rookie screenwriting mistakes that could have been solved that would have made it so much better! That’s o.k. because like Altman said, “you learn more from the mistakes that filmmakers do then you do the hits” Basically all of my problems go back to screenwriting 101, action equals character.

    Example 1: the ice planet – Kirk should have made active and unique choices that display something about his character instead of simply running away and having Spock show up out of nowhere to save his ass. Abrams wasted this scene and it could have been fixed so easily. Example Solution: On his way to the outpost have Kirk come in contact with the beastie pursuing a human that turns out to be Spock and Kirk saves him through some creative actions. It does the same thing as whats in the film but uses the scene to give the audience more insight in to Kirk’s mind and problem solving; this will help them buy him as the natural leader of the Enterprise later.

    Example 2: Spock’s interaction with his younger version at the end of the film. Old Spock, unlike old mystical Obi-Wan Kenobi, does more damage in this film then good. Obi-Wan give advice not formulas and solutions. Here Spock is constantly stealing thunder from the new stars Abrams is trying to establish. There is no reason in the last scene between the two Spocks that the younger Spock shouldn’t be able to realize that Kirk and himself can do great things together. They just did some amazing stuff, why does old Spock have to steal his thunder by vocalizing it. Have a good scene between the young Kirk and Spock and put old Spock off to the side. By having the older Spock telling him what to think Abrams again pulls the rug out from under one of his main characters.

    That is two examples of were Abrams and the screenwriters didn’t maxmize every scene. I’m to tired to give more but you get my point.

  • “The show would have been better if it didn’t become a black and white issue were everyone put Reed on the spot to make him prove why he didn’t like it.”

    So you think we should’ve let Reed simply talk about ‘bloopers’ and continuity errors all night?

  • Dmandirtyape – The Wrath of Khan and this Star Trek script don’t even compare in levels of quality. In Khan you have a fully formed villain and scenes that build on each other to show the depths of his madness. This film has none of that. Likewise, in Khan you have a protagonist Kirk that answers every volley from Khan with actions and choices that display his heroism. This Star Trek’s Kirk is GIVEN his choices. And to top it all off you have one of the greatest selfless acts in modern cinema history in Spock’s death. That is true drama. This Star Trek is true popcorn drama.

  • Goon

    rus, FJ actually does the exact opposite from time to time, liking a movie and pretty much only nitpicking it – if old eps with Spiderman 3, Episode III, and I think Quantum of Solace, are all examples. To some degree Wolverine…

  • I am only 15 minutes into the episode and it has already made my life beacuse of the growing tension between Greg and Reed and the sense that at any moment they could begin a glorious fight. Who made the decision to seat them next to each other?

  • “So you think we should’ve let Reed simply talk about ‘bloopers’ and continuity errors all night?”

    Jay C.-
    No what I hoped would of happen is you would of given me MORE of your wisdom and insight in to the film, and film history, and moved past the like or dislike issue. Broke the film down in a honest exploration of “how it could of been better”

    I tune in for your insight on film not “it was good to nitpick isn’t necessary”

    In my opinion, a guy like Reed seems better at responding to discussions. You or Sean could of lead the discussion more to topics about the problem scenes, etc. and such and let Reed respond.

    This, like always, is just my opinion. Like Reed and Star Trek, I went in to last nights podcast expecting more.

  • I agree with Rus actually, the discussion started off very focused on small things and never really moved beyond that. Yet somehow we still managed to talk for an hour about it… go figure.

    Maybe we shouldn’t have tried so hard to extract specific things from Reed, it’s just that there was a sense that a lot of people wanted to hear from him, and he had this whole list of things to talk about.

  • it was the perfect formula for disaster: build up, Reed’s cultural touchstone, putting him on the spot

  • I wanted to thank again Lauren Ross of Edelman, the promotional firm handling Burger King’s Star Trek campaign, for providing Film Junk with the giveaway prize during this live podcast. DeadPaul, I hope you treasure your prize as much as I do. Congratulations!

    rus, you’ve mentioned many points since the movie’s release that I agree with. Now that you mention it, it would have been interesting if I had not said that I “hated” the film and instead we had a discussion on why people think the film is “great.” But I’m still more interested in why people are enjoying this film. To say that it is fun doesn’t help me because fun is so subjective, I think. But I realize it’s difficult for someone to explain why they think something is fun.

    My mind is still tangled with regards to writing a review. In the end, I probably can’t pass judgment on Star Trek. It would be like me explaining why I hate my kid. I guess I’ll spew a review from my stream of consciousness.

    BTW, in Wrath of Khan, it seemed arbitrary to me that Spock gave up his life in the end. I know there were scenes that foreshadowed and lent poignancy to his sacrifice, but I would have shown more of a sense of necessity or inevitability to Spock’s sacrifice.

  • “It would be like me explaining why I hate my kid.”

    stop the motherfucking presses!
    1. you have a kid!
    2. why do you hate your kid?

  • Goon

    I dont think he has a kid, that came across to me purely as metaphor.

  • oh he has a kid, Sean and Jay couldn’t find it when filming Reed’s House but it is in there…probably in the attic wearing some old hand-me-down Klingon diaper surviving on chocolate and old lasagna!

  • I feel so stupid listening to this podcast while going out for a walk. People mut think i´m high because of the grin on my face. This episode was too funny!

  • Well I wasn’t totally satisfied with the discussion either. I think it’s hard to dig into a film without getting into spoilers and I think we could’ve dropped the news, trailer trash and versus segments in favour of more discussion about the film. Maybe me and Reed can do a follow up where we talk about the idea of multiple time lines versus multiple universes.

  • I get way too many namecalls in this show. I wonder if Jay has read my comments here and on rowthree? I don’t think my stance on the film is anywhere near Reeds, nor did I expect it to be. I like Reed, but his opinion on films is both impossible to predict and extremely difficult to wrap your head around.

  • yeah, I thought Reed actually started to make a good point of “why is the new timeline really necessary” If it was really a story device to say to diehard fans we are starting anew, it actually is now the source of all the plot hole problems.

    I would have much rather seen a same timeline story with simply younger versions of the crew. The whole new trilogy could be the missions they take together prior to their 30s. I’m not sure, but it appears the one thing they couldn’t have done is have Kirk’s dad die while Kirk is being born if they didn’t do timeline change. Think of all the wonderful story lines from the original series they could have had at their fingertips to use as inspiration and expand on. Now they basically need to come up with all new storylines, seems like a waste.

  • schizopolis

    Hey guys..just listened to the star trek show…damn…reed needs to take a broadcasting class!! And greg should hold back his justified annoyance with reed until 2-3mins into the show….about the same stetch of time the audience is about flip its lid on reed! it would make greg look less of a bully…even though we know he prolly spent too much time around reed just before the recording.

    Now to Star Trek. I’m not a trekkie and barring some typical bad JJ Abrahms scenes (eg. corvette and ice planet), i had a lot of fun watching the movie! As one of the filmspotting guys put it, it was nicely executed “magic trick”. You have a blast while at the same time ignoring all rationale. However as a fan of film, i felt the movie being both a prequel and a reboot is a perfect example of wanting your cake and eating it to. There were plenty of minor nit picks, but I’ll only raise one, which i think is major.

    The whole time continuum device wasn’t necessary. I think Abrahms and his crew are talented enough to execute a good prequel without completely restructuring the original star trek storyline. Imagine if George Lucas did that for the STAR WARS PREQUELS and started a new timeline for Vader, Obi Wan, Luke, etc. Vader meeting the young Anakin would be seriously controversial making episodes 4-6 irrelevant. I mean there might be a case to argue that after 10 or so mediocre to crappy Star Trek movies, a timeline change for the prequel sounds refreshing. But all film devices should service the context of the film. Again I’m not a trekkie, but i’m pretty sure that the space time continuum is sacred in the star trek universe and starfleet’s prime directive is never to drastically alter it. But in the case of the prequel, the WRITERS ALTER IT, which is kind of a big fuck you to the entire Star Trek canon, isn’t it?? Or maybe, Abrahms and his team don’t realize it’s a fuck you and just think they’re being clever? Either way, it’s flaw worth discussing because i’d hate to see this become a common thing among movie prequels.

    I believe a good filmmaker doesn’t need to be cute and clever in telling a dramatic story and Abrahms over does it again. Ironically enough, Abrahms has said he was always more of a Star Wars guy than a Trek guy. And with this prequel, he basically remade Star Wars Episode 4 by utilizing the joseph campbell storyline of the hero’s journey . The Luke, Han, Obi Wan and Yoda character hybrids are there! Topped with a big commendation finale by a fleet of officers. In my opinion, at least Abrahms’ star trek prequel still surpasses star wars episodes one, two and arguably three. He just needs to cut down on the cute and clever altogether, instead of executing it better than Lucas.

    Take care,

    Schizopolis

    p.s. i know yoda wasn’t in episode 4

  • Greg

    @ Bob – Just because I’m not a fan of the show means my opinion doesn’t matter? Please. Last time I checked we were reviewing the movie, not the idea of Star Trek, nor what has come before. I judged the movie as a singular movie. As a movie I liked it more than I liked the other Star Trek movies. I compared how I liked it with the others just to give it context. I also don’t like Nickelback, but I can tell you they put on a good live rock show. My opinion is just as valid as anyone elses.

    @ Jay – I agree I think we dropped the ball with having other segments this time. Should have spent more time on the film.

    @ Schitz – I am a bully. I waited as long as I could.

  • schizopolis-

    “joseph campbell storyline of the hero’s journey”

    Lucas doesn’t own this its used by everyone.

  • There are classes in broadcasting? What do they teach you? How to enunciate?

    Jay and I had a conversation on Sean’s driveway about why it was necessary to change Star Trek canon. The only convincing argument I’ve heard is that it was necessary in order to sell the “reboot” idea to the studio. There is a perception that Star Trek is currently stale and that it needs to change its established history in order to be interesting again. I don’t agree with the perception, but I can understand this from a marketing standpoint.

    I do want to stress that I really don’t have any quibbles with changing Star Trek canon unless the changes don’t “improve” anything. And I don’t accept the argument that new storylines are possible as a reasonable improvement because it is possible to create new storylines from established Star Trek canon.

  • Goon

    “why is the new timeline really necessary”

    like any other prequel, if you know Character X grows up to be an old man and survive, you remove a sense of danger from anything in the prequels still holding the same timeline. A new timeline allows them to introduce new characters, rew relationships, make people actually at risk, scar them emotionally or physically or any other new thing in that worlds history. They can nuke the wine orchards where Picard is currently growing up and wipe him out. They can do anything.

  • Phil G

    As Spock was telling what exactly happened and that this alternate reality was created, I was thinking, well, that’s pretty damn convenient.

    One detail I really liked in the movie is where Kirk says to Spock, ‘You know, that’s a cheat, don’t you?” Of course it is, and a good one. But it was satisfying to hear them acknowledge it.

  • Rick

    I just found this little article on why ‘Sabotage’ may have been used, thought you guys might find it funny and/or a decent explanation….
    http://www.cinematical.com/2009/05/12/trek-talk-why-was-young-kirk-listening-to-the-beastie-boys/

  • Bob The Slob

    greg, i wasn’t trying to insult you…sorry. If anything I take back what I said because the discussion needed a non-fan opinion.

    I also agree with you frustration…Reed has a hard time getting out his thoughts, even when you guys were all pushing him. I look forward to his written review.

  • schizopolis

    rus in chicago….i know..joseph campbell is awesome and everyone should reference his stuff.

    Goon…i agree..that’s my point. the new timeline gives total freedom for the next movies. But then ANYTHING is fair game after that really. Is changing the timeline okay to pretty much make all the other star trek movies irrelevant? It’s the whole time continuum “cleverness” i question…i’m just not eager to pat abrahms on the back for that. again..i had fun with the movie.

  • FredFred Burger

    There’s an ad sticking through the video, it’s very annoying.

  • On the show Jay said “what kind of asshole listens to a review before they see the movie.” I listen to your reviews before I see the movie :D , only because I really want to hear what you think though.

  • Teo

    You were struggling to find some good prequels – well one that quickly came to my mind which seemed obvious…that i think qualifies as a prequel of sorts is Godfather II