Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Double Feature!

Mrs. TAE and I caught the Wolverine movie last night, then just went ahead and saw Star Trek too. Overall "Wolverine" was good, but I am getting tired of comic movies that basically just defecate on the comic canon for the sake of writing a fun, action-packed movie.

Star Trek was very good, and I think Mrs. TAE may have been converted to a Trekkie. Unfortunately for her, the other movies aren't nearly so action packed.
The opening scene involving a baby birth and paternal death moved me to tears, and it reminded me how strong my bond is with my own child.
I was very disappointed, however, that the woman cast as Uhura looked like she had an eating disorder. Like, imagine Beyonce minus 30 lbs. The original actress who played Uhura was an attractive, full-figured woman, and I found the Twiggie-ness of the updated Uhura distracting and disappointing. Young Kirk's hypermasculinity was also weird, as TOS Kirk was a ladies-man, but not so much that he made James Bond look celibate.
I was impressed with Eric Bana's acting skills, that man is a versatile and talented actor.

***SPOILER ALERT! STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW PART OF THE MOVIE PLOT.


I found a major issue with the "red matter" that was used to open black holes and worm holes. The plot is explained that upon the detection of the supernova, the Vulcans built a ship and gave it a big globule of "red matter" that could be used to stop the supernova from destroying Romulus. When Spock arrives at Romulus, too late to stop the planetary destruction, he uses a mere droplet of the giant (approximately 1 meter across) globule of "red matter" to stop the supernova. A black hole is opened and Nero and Spock are sent back in time. Nero captures Spock's vessel, including the massive globule of "red matter" and decides to use the "red matter" to destroy every Federation planet. A single droplet of "red matter" is enough to destroy the planet Vulcan.
This begs the question: if a single droplet of red matter was sufficient for Spock to accomplish his mission of stopping the supernova...then why did the Vulcan's place the massive globule of it in his ship? What purpose could the rest of the globule have had, other than as a plot device to enable Nero to exact his revenge via planetary destruction? Had it been mentioned that "a large quantity of red matter was sent with Spock, becuase the power of the red matter was not fully known" or somesuch, then all would be well. But Spock knew the exact amount of "red matter" to extract and inject into the supernova.
Or did he? Spock used a tiny droplet of the "red matter", and not only was it sufficient to stop the supernova but it also opened the black hole that sent Nero and Spock to the past...could it be that the single droplet Spock used was actually too much? If that is the case, it just further emphasizes just how ludicrous it was for the Vulcans to fill Spock's ship with a massive quantity of it.
Let me put it another way: if the single droplet Spock used was enough to cancel a supernova and open a stable black hole with what appeared to be 1 mL of the substance, and the total quantity Spock had in his vessel was about 1 meter across, that figures to be about half a million mL...that's enough to open a galaxy sized black hole. Fortunately, not all the "red matter" is used all at once...
OH WAIT, IT IS! Young Spock flies the elder Spock's vessel into a collision with Nero's massive vessel, detonating the remaining "red matter." Somehow the black hole opened by the massive globule of "red matter" is still the same size as the black hole opened by the single droplet elder Spock used.

I understand we are arguing trivialities here, and it was a fictional work, so I should just let it go. But when writing novels, you must shore up your plot holes, because people have time to put the book down, think about it, and analyze it. Too often in movies plot holes are gotten away with simply becuase the viewer doesn't have enough time to analyze what is going on, and the action/love/comedy scenes make you forget that what just happened was utterly illogical.

Possibly, "red matter" is a play on red mercury, a fictional substance some conspiracists claim is a necessary (but secret) ingredient in large-scale nuclear weapons. Read all about it, it is interesting stuff.


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3 comments:

evilrocks said...

Not to mention: why would you build those massive ships at the bottom of the gravity well?

Anonymous said...

FYI, The woman who plays Uhura is also a ballet dancer, which explains her twiggy frame. Now, it is a separate question whether ballet dancers should be so twiggy, but I bet their partners like it for them to be wiry.

Benjamin Dueholm said...

Well, it's like the great Russian author Anton Chekhov said: you can't depict a spaceship full of wormhole-opening red matter at the beginning of a film without it being crashed into a baddie spaceship by the end of it. Words to that effect, anyway.