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  1. Star Trek Into Darkness has now opened in Australia. If you've seen it and want to discuss it, post here! If you want to discuss spoilers online from reviews or other postings of people who have seen it, do it here! The existing thread is to remain spoiler free, and can continue to be used to discuss the trailers, posters, pictures, magazine articles, showtimes, etc, leading up to when you actually see it. Enjoy!
  2. Let's get to it, shall we? Does this top John Carter (my favorite Giacchino score)? Not by a long shot. That score remains in another league of sci-fi scores, rubbing elbows with some of the greats. Does this top Star Trek (2009)? Yes, because it takes the best of that ultimately good but not knock your socks off score and evolves them into something more mature and musically a little more interesting. On top of that the quality increase over 2009 is aided by a much more full bodied mix courtesy of Joel Iwataki. For the first time in a long time, Michael's army of percussion instruments actually sound alive. Two evil villains work in tandem against the Into Darkness soundtrack, keeping it from reaching the realm of greater sci-fi scores. One is its ridiculously short presentation, the other the break-neck pace of the film, together forming a nightmare dynamic duo that destroys any hope of musical cohesion. And by that I mean hold on to your hats and nuts, this is the Michael Giacchino Star Trek Variety 3/4 Hour. There is no beginning, middle, or end. And that's my biggest disappointment with the music. There is no clear musical narrative. That may be a problem with the short presentation, but the fast action pace of the film also means even with a longer presentation we are unlikely to see a proper beginning-middle-end musical narrative. So if you're looking for a slow-build up and setting the musical scene (which even the original film had), you will be sorely disappointed. Instead what you do get is a mature, darker, and more challenging score with lovely ideas splattered across tracks that [in their disjointedness] span a rather curious array of sounds and styles. Furthermore, you can tell Michael Giacchino heard a great deal of complaining about the lack of "Star Trek" sound in the previous score. Consequently, Into Darkness sounds distinctly more Star Trek than 2009, but in the heat of the action it still largely retains the "excited action squirrel" sound (it's the best visual way of describing it to me) Michael has developed for himself by assigning his choppingly tremolo strings to the higher instruments as usual. The excited action squirrel sound is getting slightly tiresome as it robs some of the action of much needed gravitas. Additionally, a couple of major new themes are included. Harrison's Theme is strong, memorable, although a little flat. Giacchino is still a weak composer when it comes to tension and release. Even in the concert version of the theme (not included on album), he struggles to build and release musical tension. So it works to the detriment of the theme. But the theme's overall presentation with interesting synthetic textures and instruments combats some of the flatness, if not all. The London Calling Theme is lovely and conveys a nice combination of sadness, pain, and anger. Wish we'd hear more of it weaved through the album. The old (and some new) themes get taken into some fresh, exciting, and better territories. "Sub Prime Directive" is a perfect example of how noble and powerful Giacchino's Star Trek theme can sound. "Kronos Wartet" has an interesting start, but it ultimately descends into lifeless atmosphere before turning into a asthmatic version of Harrison's action motif. "San Fran Hustle" is a fantastic track taking a plethora of themes and motifs into some really exciting and fun territory. From the Star Trek theme to Spock's Theme (wow!) to the most propulsive take on Harrison's Theme to the "Matter I Barely Know Her" string motif to the Amok Time fight music. "The San Fran Hustle" is arguably the best action track Giacchino has written so far. It doesn't have too much "excited action squirrel" and it has some proper tension and release. Another neat little track is "Kirk Enterprises". This is the most quintessentially Star Trek track on this album. Listen closely around 2:09 to be transported in time to Jerry Goldsmith's Motion Picture. All in all, it's a very good score. It's more mature, more challenging, and more Star Trek. While it isn't as good as Giacchino's best, to be fair he is back from a long hiatus, the album is abysmally short, and he is writing to a very fast film. Hearing Into Darkness and his maturation I'm excited to hear what he has coming up in this "post-hiatus" chapter of his career. Blume's Temporary Score (until seeing the movie/Deluxe Album): 83% Other Soundtracks Mentioned: ST09 Score: 70% John Carter Score: 93% And finally, my Blume-Experience-Scientific track by track ratings:
  3. Since 3 episodes have now been released on Blu-ray, and season one will be released this year, I think it's good to have a thread about this fine series. I received my Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level only this morning and have watched the series pilot, Encounter at Farpoint. First of all, I have to say that this blu-ray looks rather spectacular. The early seasons of TNG always had that rather soft, fuzzy look to them, and since I only ever saw this pilot on VHS it's like seeing this for the first time. The image is crisp, sharp and detailed, the colors are vibrant. The Enterprise D looks breathtaking in 1080p. Save the revamped Enterprise from Star Trek TMP this is the most majestic Enterprise there has ever been. The other special effects are actually pretty good, considering the era and the fact that it's for TV. Some of the set design of Far point looks a bit cheesy, but all the Enterprise sets still work, and the bridge looks great. (I never noticed the Battle bridge resembled the bridge from TOS so much in it's lay out.) Also great that they did not attempt to convert this to 16:9. Ir looks great in the original format in which is was shot. The only dynamic criticism my nerd brain had was that they should have used CGI to replace Colm Meany, or atleast get him into the right color uniform. Now, the episode. It's actually not as bad as I remembered. It helps if you know that all that is wrong with this pilot will eventually fade away and TNG becomes brilliant. The story, by Rodenberry and TOS veteran D.C. Fontana is very old school Trek, it's concepts reek of the 60's. If this script would have been filmed in the 60's it might have been ok. But even in 1987 this must have seemed cheesy, melodramatic and frankly unoriginal. A lot of things do work though. Q may be a re-do of characters like Trelane, but John DeLancie is deliciously diabolical. And his trail against humanity is actually the most interesting part of the story. The acting is not very good. It's typical pilot-acting when the actors haven't really grasped yet what either the show or their characters are about. Frakes is decent, so is Spiner, but Sirtis and McFadden are awful. Westley isn't actually as annoying as he is in the rest of season one. Dorn makes little impact despite the fact that he's playing a "f*ckin' Klingon on the bridge of the Enterprise". The most important element is Patrick Stewart. In 1987 there was only one true captain of the Enterprise, even though at the time he was an Admiral, and wore a toupet. Creating a character and casting an actor who is in many way the exact opposite of William Shatner's swashbuckling, devil may care heartthrob Kirk is most likely what helped get TNG through the difficult first season and on to glory. Patrick Stewart in this pilot does not yet display the subtlety that his Picard would gain later. But many aspects of the character are already there. The stern, authoritative exterior, the brilliant voice, the sense of humour. Picard does come of a bit of an ass hole at first. Certainly in his first dealings with Riker. And having him surrender to Q somehow feels wrong. Stewart and DeLancie make this pilot! Oh and Deforest Kelly, who plays the ageing McCoy under a layer of crappy latex (Kelly is always great when he gets to exaggerate his southern accent). The music by Dennis McCarthy is very different in tone to what would become the norm for the series. Especially in the first half it's very cheesy and rather chintzy. A small 1980's TV orchestra trying to sound like a full symphony orchestra, with crappy 1980's synths to make it a little more dated. Thankfully also that would improve. There's a lot of things wrong with this pilot, but there's also a lot that is right. And it feels like Star Trek. More so then the 2009 film did. Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Some problem, Riker? Commander William T. Riker: Just hoping this isn't the usual way our missions will go, sir. Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, no, Number One. I'm sure most will be much more interesting. - Let's see what's out there. Engage!
  4. - Crazy Picard - Enterprise destroyed because they didn't just rotate the shield modulation and apparently Data and Geordi forgot how to save the ship like they did for the entire show in far worse situations - Kirk falls off a bridge, or on the bridge - Borg have time travel technology and go to the day before First Contact - Disobeying Starfleet orders constantly and helping the Ba'ku - Dune buggy, Schinzon and basically everything in Nemesis Now, the TNG movies are guilty pleasures, don't get me wrong. Yet, the original series movies due to their generally higher quality and the consistency of the characters with the show feel more like a natural continuation of that series. TNG movies do not. It feels like they were farmed out to writers and people who had no idea what the hell Star Trek was about.
  5. This is definitely a big enough title to warrant its own thread. The only thing that isn't clear on Intrada's website or forums - as far as I've seen - is exactly when it ships. Does anybody know?
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