Ghostbusters 2016

Imagine a scenario in 2012 where Mitt Romney decided to appear on Jimmy Kimmel with the cast of The Expendables 2. Jimmy then tweeted, “The entire cast of The Expendables is here next week and now @MittRomney is coming, too! Get your Man Cards ready.”

You would probably lose a ton of respect for Mr. Romney for a.) blatantly pandering to a certain demographic of men, and b.) doing so when nothing about him says “cigar chomping, beer-chugging dude.”

Now consider the following tweet from Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday:

“The entire cast of Ghostbusters is here next week and now @HillaryClinton is coming, too! Get your Woman Cards ready.”

Sad, isn’t it? It screams, “Vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. Seriously. I mean it.”

Ellen DeGeneres Hillary Clinton Ghostbusters

The weird thing about Mrs. Clinton’s May 25 appearance with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones is that no one has apparently warned her: Ghostbusters is literally the most reviled movie trailer in YouTube’s history.

The Hollywood Reporter covered the infamous milestone April 30:

Not only does it have the most dislikes for a trailer on the social platform, but it also makes the top 25 most disliked videos overall.

Things are not boding well for director Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters based on the film’s first official trailer on YouTube.

Released March 3, the trailer, viewed 29.2 million times and counting, is the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history, according to “MyTop100Videos” channel’s “Most Disliked Videos” list that was last updated April 16.

Mrs. Clinton, a pale political imitation of her husband, will link herself with a cast that will likely be a pale imitation of the original Ghostbusters. It’s the kind of pandering that only a desperate candidate would resort to because someone who was confident would want the stage all to herself.

If Hillary Clinton were confident that she represented the majority of women, then there would be no need for “Get your Woman Card ready” tweets by Ellen DeGeneres.

If Hillary Clinton were running a smooth campaign, then the cast of Ghostbusters would appear the next day and talk about her for most of the interview.

If Hillary Clinton had decent political instincts, then she would not appear with any cast that would allow critics a segue into discussions about “ghosts” that haunt the former secretary of state at night.

Again, I would be highly insulted if a male candidate showed up on a talk show with a bunch of “manly men” as guests because … “bros before hoes in the voting booth, bro!” I can only hope that millions of intelligent women feel the same way about the Clinton campaign’s shameless efforts with female voters.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

18 comments

  1. On a somewhat related note… this is why I can’t get that excited about DC’s recently announced “all female” project headed by Margot Robbie. Not that I think the movie can’t be good, because as a DC fan I really hope it will be. And DC/WB needs talented people to be invested in their film future, and this could be a great example of that commitment. But it just feels… off, for a few reasons. One, DC/WB has shown no ability to make a good shared universe movie. Even though I liked Man of Steel, it had problems that weren’t hard to identify, and Snyder and co. chose to double down instead of addressing them, all while adding in confusing (for non-comics readers) and absolutely unnecessary Justice League set-up. Even thought Suicide Squad is from a different team, I’m just hesitant to get too excited until I see a good DC shared universe movie. So why, when the entire future of the shared universe rests on the performance of one movie that wasn’t meant to shoulder the load, is DC/WB committing to spinoffs at this point? It could be that they just have that much faith in Suicide Squad, but I’m afraid it’s actually another, much stupider reason, which brings me to the other reason it feels off, related to your post.

    This announcement reeks of DC/WB sitting around saying: “Marvel’s doing great, but what are people complaining about from them? Their movies aren’t feminist enough? We can do that! We’ll announce a movie that will be the greatest feminist triumph the Salon/Mother Jones/Gawker commenters could ever imagine! And as a diversity bonus, we’ll have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy hooking up, because nothing says ‘I am a strong woman who doesn’t need to be someone’s love interest’ than making them love interests for each other!” I have a bad feeling that this is the real motivation. And DC guys I (mostly) respect like Mark Hughes and Sean Gerber just lap it up without another thought. I mean good grief, there’s already going to be wailing and gnashing of teeth if Finn and Poe don’t turn out to be gay in Star Wars VIII. Do the progressive internet hordes really have to ruin DC films too? Again, I don’t know if this is the motivation. I just wouldn’t be surprised if it is, and if so, it will be awful.

    Maybe I’m just too cynical. I hope it turns out great, I hope to see the awesome female characters together in an organic story that gives them a chance to shine. I hope the creative team in charge does their due diligence and puts story first, so that the characters won’t be associated with a bad movie that does them more harm than good. That would be the most frustrating thing, knowing that something that could have been so awesome was nothing more than ploy for political good will from the most insufferable fans imaginable.

    By the way, thanks for running a great blog. Love being able to hear a reasonable voice give their perspective on the things that interest me. Keep it up!

    1. “Why, when the entire future of the shared universe rests on the performance of one movie that wasn’t meant to shoulder the load, is DC/WB committing to spinoffs at this point? It could be that they just have that much faith in Suicide Squad, but I’m afraid it’s actually another, much stupider reason.”

      Never underestimate the stupidity of Hollywood executives. Heh.

      “This announcement reeks of DC/WB sitting around saying: “Marvel’s doing great, but what are people complaining about from them? Their movies aren’t feminist enough? We can do that! We’ll announce a movie that will be the greatest feminist triumph the Salon/Mother Jones/Gawker commenters could ever imagine! And as a diversity bonus, we’ll have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy hooking up, because nothing says ‘I am a strong woman who doesn’t need to be someone’s love interest’ than making them love interests for each other!” I have a bad feeling that this is the real motivation.”

      The funny thing about this comment is that some people will say you’re just throwing out a conspiracy theory when the studio executives and creative talent say this is the kind of stuff they want to do. Did you ever hear about the all-female Spider-Man spin-off (no pun intended) that Amy Pascal wanted to create over at Sony? It was supposed to be called “Glass Ceiling.” (See timeline just after 6:30)

      “Maybe I’m just too cynical.”

      You have good reason to be cynical. The creators have given you ever reason to question them, which means the onus is on them to earn your trust back.

      “By the way, thanks for running a great blog. Love being able to hear a reasonable voice give their perspective on the things that interest me. Keep it up!”

      Thanks, Trey! I appreciate it. I’ll keep writing as long as guys like you keep reading. 🙂

  2. Is it possible you’re taking this a little too seriously? First of all, Clinton didn’t write the actual Tweet. Second, the interview announcement is hardly a crime in the first place. Finally, what’s the negative reaction to the “Ghostbusters” trailer or the wording of the Tweet got to do with the content of the actual interview, the important part of this whole event?

    (Can we please let the “Ghostbusters” thing go already? We haven’t see the darn movie yet. The quality of the trailer or the gender of the cast is irrelevant to the actual quality of the movie itself. And, speaking as a non-“Ghostbusters” fan, it actually looks like it could be fun.)

    1. Is it possible you’re taking this a little too seriously?

      No. I’m drawing attention to political pandering. This is a woman who always seems to find a southern accent and diction every time she speaks to a southern audience. If that is “too seriously” to you, then you should rethink your definition of the term.

      Is it possible First of all, Clinton didn’t write the actual Tweet. Second, the interview announcement is hardly a crime in the first place.

      You accuse me of taking the issue “too seriously,” and then start using inflated words like “crime,” which I never used. Who is the one exaggerating around here? Not me.

      “Finally, what’s the negative reaction to the “Ghostbusters” trailer or the wording of the Tweet got to do with the content of the actual interview, the important part of this whole event?”

      Nothing, which is why the reaction to the Ghostbusters trailer is related to Clinton’s political instincts — not the actual interview that has yet to happen. I’m not sure if you’re being purposefully obtuse or you just are having reading comprehension problems today.

      Wait a second… Yep. Now the truth comes out:

      (Can we please let the “Ghostbusters” thing go already? We haven’t see the darn movie yet. The quality of the trailer or the gender of the cast is irrelevant to the actual quality of the movie itself. And, speaking as a non-“Ghostbusters” fan, it actually looks like it could be fun.)

      No. I’m not the one who hatched the idea to have Hillary Clinton and the all-female cast of Ghostbusters come together in a girl-power extravaganza. That was Ellen, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, and Hollywood executives. It offers up a legitimate discussion on political pandering and the rationale behind Mrs. Clinton’s decision to run for president. I’m sorry if that bothers you. Too bad.

      Question: Have you ever seen a horrible movie trailer that turned out to be a blockbuster movie? If so, please name it. In fact, name five for me. The Ghostbusters trailer was horrible. It was. Yes, it might defy the odds. No one denies that. However, the odds are not in its favor given everything that is known about its production, the trailer, etc., at this point.

  3. Whoa, I wasn’t trying to pick a fight here. Sorry if I used poor word choice, like with the crime comment. I wanted to discuss, not attack.

    I’m not much of a political party animal, but aren’t all political campaigns “pandering” to the audience in question? At least, that’s been my experience. A comedienne wrote the original post. Would that possibly mean the “woman card” comment should be taken with a grain of salt? (I actually don’t know, since I don’t follow talk shows or this host.) Is the interview a bad move on Clinton’s part? I honestly doubt that it’s going to make or break her campaign.

    I guess I was partially playing devil’s advocate, since if I’d heard this story from a normal news source I wouldn’t have given it any thought. Also, since the post really doesn’t give any real clues about the content of the interview, I’m inclined to reserve judgement until after seeing the interview itself (if I do).

    The “Ghostbusters” comment at the end was a tangent that, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t’ve even brought up, since it also had nothing to do with the interview in question (I’m not a expert in film or marketing, but I didn’t see what was so bad about the trailer, personally, but I’m an easy grader). We’ll have to see about the movie’s actual success, since movies with troubled productions can turn out great, such as “Ant-Man.”

    Okay, let’s see. Five bad trailers for good movies (your mileage may vary). “Star Trek: First Contact,” “X-Men,” “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Jurassic Park.”

    Conversely, you also get bad or weak movies with good trailers. The J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” movies, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End” being a few examples. The point is, while the trailer can give clues to the movie’s quality, it’s not the movie itself. Most of the reactions to the trailer I’ve read seem to forget that.

    1. Whoa, I wasn’t trying to pick a fight here. Sorry if I used poor word choice, like with the crime comment. I wanted to discuss, not attack.

      We are having a discussion. This is why I need to do YouTube videos — so people can see how laid back I am, even if I am direct and to the point. Being direct is not the same as being angry.

      “I’m not much of a political party animal, but aren’t all political campaigns ‘pandering’ to the audience in question? At least, that’s been my experience.”

      There is a difference between tailoring your pitch to an audience so they are receptive to the message you’re trying to deliver, and then pandering. And then there is a bigger difference between pandering and … “pandering that is so insulting that the politician should be laughed out of the room.”

      “A comedienne wrote the original post. Would that possibly mean the “woman card” comment should be taken with a grain of salt?”

      No. These people are active supporters of the Democratic Party. They attend and host fundraisers. They use their shows and creative talent to push political agendas.

      “Is the interview a bad move on Clinton’s part? I honestly doubt that it’s going to make or break her campaign.”

      When did I ever say or imply that a single “Ellen” show would “make or break” her campaign? I didn’t. You’re making up a point I never made and then reacting to it as if I did. If you think of the campaign as a mosaic, this interview is just one of many pieces that will go into the finished product. Most of the time a single piece will not “make a break” a campaign, but the idea that talking about it is taking the subject “too seriously” is absurd. In fact, not talking about the overall strategy is exactly what politicians would like. Just go along. Just go with the flow. Don’t think about it… No thanks.

      “Since the post really doesn’t give any real clues about the content of the interview, I’m inclined to reserve judgement until after seeing the interview itself (if I do).”

      That’s the difference between us. You have no interest in the strategy and tactics a campaign uses to manipulate public opinion to its liking — I do.

      Okay, let’s see. Five bad trailers for good movies (your mileage may vary). “Star Trek: First Contact,” “X-Men,” “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Jurassic Park.”

      You’re going to use Star Wars: A New Hope? Dude. I hope someone who was young in 1977 comments on that one. You do realize that when that movie came out people were lining up around the block to see it, right? That trailer may be awkward by 2016 standards, but I’d bet good money that had people’s jaws hanging open in 1977.

      “The point is, while the trailer can give clues to the movie’s quality, it’s not the movie itself. Most of the reactions to the trailer I’ve read seem to forget that.”

      I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you since that you can’t get more obvious than “the trailer is not the movie.”

      Most of the comments I’ve seen are merely acknowledging that if that is the best trailer Paul Feig can come up with given the budget and the hype, then Sony is in trouble.

  4. Well, the “woman card” thing could be literal. It started when Trump accused Clinton of “playing the woman card” (i.e., basically saying, “Vote for me just because I’m a woman,” and/or brushing off legitimate criticism by whining, “You’re a sexist and you’re only picking on me because I’m a woman”). The Clinton machine responded to Trump’s remark by printing up pink, wallet-sized “official woman’s cards” and offering them to campaign donors. So, when Hillary comes out on stage, don’t be surprised if the audience members are waving little pink cards while cheering.

    Clinton herself said, “If fighting for women’s health and equal pay is ‘playing the woman card,’ then deal me in.” Of course, that is not what Trump said or meant; the issue was her evading personal responsibility. Which she is still doing.

    “I’m not asking you to vote for me because I’m a woman. I’m asking you to vote for me because of the merits. And one of the merits is, I’m a woman.”

    Uh…yeah. Whatever.

  5. I have no intention of seeing this movie, and no, it has nothing to do with the main characters being female. In my opinion, they should’ve gone with an original property rather than slap the “Ghostbusters” name onto what looks like a bad SNL parody of a Ghostbusters film. But I guess that’s way too hard for Hollywood.

    Also, I’m not surprised that Clinton’s pulling a stunt like this. With very few exceptions, there’s no political diversity in Hollywood. They’re all in lockstep with each other. It’s pathetic.

    And both my parents were alive in 1977, and they’ve told me just how big of a deal “A New Hope” was when it first came out. It wasn’t like anything that had been seen before. Having seen the original trailer, I don’t think that it’s bad. By 1977 standards, it works well.

    1. I was a teenager in 1977, and “A New Hope” (we just called it “Star Wars” at the time, since the sequels and prequels had not been made yet) was a phenomenon. Good science fiction or fantasy movies had been relatively few and far between. A lot of fans said things like, “I’ve read about this kind of stuff in books and comics, but now I can see it on the big screen.”

      Today, big budget sci-fi/fantasy/superhero movies, with CGI special effects, are common, so the original film may not seem impressive to younger audiences. But it was George Lucas’ 1977 movie that proved that science fiction and fantasy could be big at the box office. Its success helped revive Star Trek, and paved the way for Lord of the Rings, Alien, Independence Day, Jurassic Park, and a lot of other movies (and TV shows) that probably never would have been made otherwise.

    2. “Today, big budget sci-fi/fantasy/superhero movies, with CGI special effects, are common, so the original film may not seem impressive to younger audiences.”

      Exactly. I don’t know how old Weblurker is, but he must be younger than I am. I was born in 1979, but I have two older brothers who saw Star Wars when it first came out. I have a really vague memory of seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater. I do remember my mom buying me a Nien Nunb action figure in the grocery store for some odd reason…

      The CGI for those early Star Wars flicks took everything to the next level. I’m not sure how anyone could say that trailer is bad unless they’re viewing it through a 2016 cultural prism.

      I’d have to go back and watch the X-Men and Jurassic Park trailers, but I don’t remember anyone giggling in a bad way when those came out. They may look silly in hindsight, but I do not for one second believe those were subpar trailers when they first aired.

    3. “In my opinion, they should’ve gone with an original property rather than slap the “Ghostbusters” name onto what looks like a bad SNL parody of a Ghostbusters film.”

      It’s a “Ghostsbusters” film, but yet it doesn’t even take place in the same universe…while oddly featuring the cameos by the original cast. Sony executives thought they could entice fans of the original simply by using the “Ghostbusters” name when, in reality, all they did was annoy people.

      “And both my parents were alive in 1977, and they’ve told me just how big of a deal “A New Hope” was when it first came out. It wasn’t like anything that had been seen before. Having seen the original trailer, I don’t think that it’s bad. By 1977 standards, it works well.”

      Yep. The key is to try and put yourself in the mindset of someone watching the trailer at that time in history. In many ways it was a totally different world back then. People really do take the CGI that we have available today for granted.

  6. “If you think of the campaign as a mosaic, this interview is just one of many pieces that will go into the finished product.”

    Okay, I see. Maybe the fact that I’m not very interested in celebrity news causes me to dismiss the implications of the situation, since my first reaction to the news would be: “Huh, interesting” and then not pay it any more mind. I guess I’m a little more worried about Clinton’s platform then the fact that she’s speaking with the cast of a movie as part of her campaign, and that’s subjective on my part.

    “Most of the comments I’ve seen are merely acknowledging that if that is the best trailer Paul Feig can come up with given the budget and the hype, then Sony is in trouble.”

    That position I can respect. It’ll be interesting to see how the movie actually plays out.

    “You’re going to use Star Wars: A New Hope? Dude. I hope someone who was young in 1977 comments on that one. You do realize that when that movie came out people were lining up around the block to see it, right? That trailer may be awkward by 2016 standards, but I’d bet good money that had people’s jaws hanging open in 1977.”

    “Today, big budget sci-fi/fantasy/superhero movies, with CGI special effects, are common, so the original film may not seem impressive to younger audiences.”

    “Exactly. I don’t know how old Weblurker is, but he must be younger than I am.”

    This poster is in his early twenties and counts “A New Hope” as one of his favorite movies, thanks to growing up seeing it on VHS. I’m also aware that it was a smash hit back in the day, that the effects were groundbreaking and still generally hold up today. I just subjectively don’t think the trailer sells the movie very well, when compared to other movies of the same era (like “Wrath of Kahn” a few years later).

    “I’d have to go back and watch the X-Men and Jurassic Park trailers, but I don’t remember anyone giggling in a bad way when those came out. They may look silly in hindsight, but I do not for one second believe those were subpar trailers when they first aired.”

    Those were probably the best ones of my list (which I did say upfront was subjective opinion and was actually made by going off my memory). In all fairness to JP, I did think the 3D reissue trailer was outstanding, so I might be making an unfair comparison.

    “It’s a “Ghostsbusters” film, but yet it doesn’t even take place in the same universe…while oddly featuring the cameos by the original cast.”

    Kind of like “Star Trek” (2009)? If it’s a complete remake, though, the cameos could be in-jokes, the actors playing different characters, or something. If it’s a total remake, it doesn’t need to line up exactly with the old films.

    “Sony executives thought they could entice fans of the original simply by using the “Ghostbusters” name when, in reality, all they did was annoy people.”

    You can’t help the latter, but if the movie is about a group of people using proton packs to save the world from ghosts, the “Ghostbusters” name is accurate.

    1. “I just subjectively don’t think the trailer sells the movie very well, when compared to other movies of the same era (like “Wrath of Kahn” a few years later).”

      In a world without the internet, cell phones, cable television, etc., what do you think got people so excited for Star Wars in 1977, Weblurker? It was the movie trailer. At this point you’re arguing that a Star Trek trailer that came out five years later was simply better than Star Wars, as opposed to one being good and the other bad.

      The difference between the Star Trek reboot — which needed to be done — and Ghostbusters is that J.J. Abrams generally tried to capture the essence of the original by staying true to the characters. He didn’t turn Captain T. Kirk into Captain Jenna T. Kirk, Spock isn’t a black guy, etc.

      In your previous post you asked if we could “let the Ghostbusters thing go.” Here is one reason the answer is “no”: Media outlets like Tech Insider are political cheerleaders.

      Here is a piece it published yesterday: “A new trailer for the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot is here and it’s much better than the first.”

      Wrong. Anyone who looks at that trailer objectively knows that it is not “much better” than the first. It’s essentially the same thing. If this movie were made for $75 million dollars I’d say, “Okay. Sure,” — but it wasn’t. It had a $200 million budget. If that is what Sony got for $200 million (not including promotional costs), someone needs to be fired.

      Tech Insider and others lie because they are ideologically invested in its success. Whether it’s good or not doesn’t matter because it pushes the “correct” message. I enjoy plenty of movies with female heroes, but I will always call out studios/creators when they try to shove their politics down my throat.

  7. On a tangent…

    “The difference between the Star Trek reboot — which needed to be done — and Ghostbusters is that J.J. Abrams generally tried to capture the essence of the original by staying true to the characters. He didn’t turn Captain T. Kirk into Captain Jenna T. Kirk, Spock isn’t a black guy, etc.”

    I don’t think he really succeeded in capturing the essence of the original, I think it’s closer to essence of what people that didn’t really watch the show may think it was about. It’s a minor quibble, but Kirk and Spock in the reboot were not like the Kirk and Spock I grew up watching everyday.

    Kirk is ‘roguish’ in only the most professional sense. JJ gives us a Kirk that’s roguish in the frat/college brat style that maybe JJ finds admirable, but has nothing to do with the Kirk we (used to) know. His success with the ladies in the show was often plot related, and we are never given the idea that he ever thought of women has bedpost markers. In fact most of his relationships, as ridiculously numerous as they are, are always pretty serious. Theres no proof that Kirk is a horny, rude, idiotic frat boy with a ‘tude that finally ‘grew up’. Most of his friends are impressed with his serious and professional demeanor, as if he’d always been that way. In fact one episode remarks on how he was bullied by a guy who is more like JJ’s kirk than the one from the show. JJ’s kirk is a projection from JJ of what he wanted Kirk (Han Solo LOL) to be. That’s fine honestly, but lets call it what it is.

    Spock…as much as like the first JJ trek…was the most disappointing. There’s no doubt that the original Spock carried some rage with him, but it was buried very…very deep. Spock is almost joyful, curious and easy going in a strange manner. JJ Spock, is an extremely angry, barely contained near psychopath. Logic? almost everything the guys does is spite, envy or just anger. Into Darkness ends with raging Spock, and raging spock was in both treks. Wrath of Khan is powerful because we never see Spock open his heart until he’s almost dead, and it’s done completely with his actions. When ‘Into Darkness’ Spock gets mad over Kirks death….well, look! Spocks mad! just like he always is. JJ sets the tone for the Spock he wants from the beginning, and though it can be interesting, the idea that Spock occasionally cuts loose and kicks the asses of his tormentors in a righteous bully-beating frenzy is something JJ created. JJ spit on the idea of emotionless aliens from the beginning, and portrays it as a fraud. I don’t disagree with him, but it’s not staying true to Spocks character in any way.

    In the show their friendship is obvious and strong…witness the ending of ‘Amok Time’ when Spock finds out Kirk is still alive and that he didn’t murder him.

    In the movies we get the sense they work well together and dislike each other personally, the only hint of friendship being when Kirk ‘dies’.

    Sorry, I reacted to their portrayals in the film much like you do to Slott’s spider-man, but ultimately, I accepted that these are fundamentally different characters, and from there can enjoy the films.

    1. “I don’t think he really succeeded in capturing the essence of the original, I think it’s closer to essence of what people that didn’t really watch the show may think it was about. It’s a minor quibble, but Kirk and Spock in the reboot were not like the Kirk and Spock I grew up watching everyday.”

      I guess I showed my bias with that Star Trek comment, huh? 🙂 I honestly don’t really have a retort to anything you said because it seems on the money. My only excuse is that I was never a fan of the original Star Trek series (the movies or the television show), so my fidelity to the characters is … pretty bad. I admit it.

      When I was a kid I always sort of thought of Star Wars vs. Star Trek the same way I did with Marvel vs. DC. You could kind of tell a lot about a guy by his allegiance. If you met a kid who liked Aquaman more than Spider-Man it was like, “Really, dude? Okaaaaay.”

      I did watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, though. I actually made time for that, which is incredibly rare. Even as a kid I didn’t watch too much TV. In hindsight, I’m sort of shocked that I never dated a woman who looked like Cmdr. Deanna Troi…

  8. lol, nothing wrong with not liking it. I’ve always stradled the fence of the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate…I like both. I actually enjoyed the mew movies quite a bit. The problem the trek crowd has is the problem of all rabid fanboyism….it can’t step back and take a broad view of what they are looking at. JJ made an enjoyable Star Trek movie, full of all the action and fun that the typical Trek snob would probably hate. The Red Letter Media guys have some pretty good reviews of the Trek films, just as enjoyable as their Star Wars stuff.

    Taken as separate characters their growth from the first to second film is decent.

    To me there is no reason to ‘like’ one over the other, they are completely different franchises, and comparing Star Trek to Star Wars is like comparing Star Wars to Captain America.

    1. The old Star Treks were usually about an idea as well as about characters’ actions. They were a bit like the original Twilight Zone that way. Now, a lot of times I didn’t agree with the idea they were about — Roddenberry was a militant atheist and I’m a Christian — but they were still about an idea, however it played out. The JJ Abrams movies, on the other hand, are super-heavy on story, moderate on plot (character motives and goals), and there are almost no ideas in their flare-happy heads.

      The complaints against the new ST movies are comparable to current complaints against the current Spider-Man series. At this time you could substitute one of a dozen “Generic Super-Hero X” in place of Spider-Man, with a few minor tweaks pertaining to tech and sub-plots, and the stories would be the same. Spider-Man stories these days aren’t “about” anything, thematically. They’re just flash, bang, color, and motion, and that’s very similar to the complaints about Abrams’ ST..

    2. “Spider-Man stories these days aren’t ‘about’ anything, thematically. They’re just flash, bang, color, and motion, and that’s very similar to the complaints about Abrams’ ST.”

      I don’t know if Abrams reached Slottian levels of mindless entertainment, but he certainly made Star Trek more of a “popcorn” flick. He dialed that aspect up many notches while turning down its cerebral side.

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