Star Trek Nominated For Producers Guild Award – Could Indicate Best Picture Oscar Nomination | TrekMovie.com
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Star Trek Nominated For Producers Guild Award – Could Indicate Best Picture Oscar Nomination January 5, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: CBS/Paramount,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

This morning the Producers Guild of America announced the nominees for the best produced motion picture of 2009, and in another franchise first. JJ Abrams Star Trek was on the list, along with two other sci-fi films (a PGA first). The PGA nomination is a major step towards a possible Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

 

PGA Nominate Star Trek
This year the PGA followed suit with the Oscars and expanded their list of nominees to 10. Here is the full list for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures (via producersguild.org):

Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures:

AVATAR
Producers: James Cameron, Jon Landau

DISTRICT 9
Producers: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson

AN EDUCATION
Producers: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey

THE HURT LOCKER
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Producer: Lawrence Bender

INVICTUS
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Rob Lorenz, Lori McCreary , Mace Neufeld

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE
Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness

STAR TREK
Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof

UP
Producer: Jonas Rivera

UP IN THE AIR
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

The 2009 Star Trek movie is the first film in the franchise to be nominated for this award. In fact 2009 marks the first year the PGA nominated any science fiction films (and they nominated three including Avatar and District 9). The only other genre films to be nominated in the past were the three Lord of the Rings movies. JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof appear to also have the unique honor of being nominated for best Motion Picture and best Television Series. In November Lost (created and executive produced by Abrams and Lindelof) was nominated for the PGA’s Best TV Drama Award.

The winners of the PGA Awards will be announced on January 24th.

Oscar Indicator?
In the past the PGA nominations have matched very closely with the Oscar Best Picture nominees. You can see in a chart at Awards Daily that in many years it is an exact match, with most others having just one film being different. However, with the expansion of 10 films for 2009, there is no telling if this high correlation will be the same again this year. Although JJ Abrams’ Star Trek is one of the best reviewed films of the year, so far most Oscar Watchers have considered it a big long shot for a Best Picture Nomination. That being said, the buzz may change with this PGA nod.

DGA is next
The next set of big guild nominations is the Director’s Guild which announces on Thursday. JJ Abrams should be considered a long shot for a nomination, but he was mentioned in an award season buzz article in Variety yesterday, which drew a comparison between Abrams work and that of another director getting some buzz:

J.J. Abrams reinvented the Enterprise just as Quentin Tarantino reinvented World War II, but "Star Trek" and "Inglourious Basterds" explored the same personal themes loyalty, honor, teamwork; the nobility of self-sacrifice vs. the futility of vengeance — each director had taken up in previous works.

Comments

1. Common Sense - January 5, 2010

Not holding my breath for a Best pic nom.

2. Buzz Cagney - January 5, 2010

Trek deserves a nomination for Best film. For pure bravado alone it would be a worthy contender.

3. Kenneth Of Borg - January 5, 2010

It is best film in our parallel universe

4. CaptainJ - January 5, 2010

Yes, very deserving. Why does best pic must go to unheard of films or overly critical and non-sci fi?

5. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - January 5, 2010

While I realize there is zero-point-zero chance of Trek winning anything like this kind of award, I think it is very important and telling for it to receive *any* such kind of nomination. There exists this odd bias in Hollywood that only the “right” kind of films can be Best Picture contenders, and science fiction films as a genre have rarely met that distinction. I recall an interview with (I recall) an Academy-type, or an “Oscar-watcher” (don’t remember which) posted here some months ago that a “Star Trek” movie “should never win Best Picture,” which is indicative of precisely that kind of bias. I suppose had Robert Wise’s effort not faced all its well-documented production difficulties, it would have been considered in the “scope” of the epic kind of movies considered for Best Picture…

This Trek was a wonderfully created and meticulously produced film event, and it richly deserves the nominations is has and will receive – not because it is “Star Trek,” but because it was a really good film.

Should *this* Trek win Best Picture? That’s highly debatable, but the point is that such pictures should never be *excluded* from the discussion *merely* for the fact that they are a particular “kind” of movie.

6. Lore - January 5, 2010

Off topic but I had to learn about Eggo Trek themed waffles on AOL.

7. Anthony Pascale - January 5, 2010

RE: Waffles
This week one of the gadget sites picked up on an old story of ours from last may written by John
http://trekmovie.com/2009/05/30/kelloggs-introduces-limited-edition-eggos-with-star-trek-images/
…this has set off a new wave of Trek waffle stories on some sites, but most are citing TrekMovie, although it is annoying that some arent and all are using our photos, some again without attribution

8. I'm dead Jim - January 5, 2010

I bought two boxes of those Trek waffles thinking I might be able to sell them on Ebay but am not sure how I could ship them without them thawing and spoiling and probably nobody would pay extra to have them shipped in a cooler with dry ice. So they’re still in my freezer. It may be more fun just to eat them.

9. Michael Hall - January 5, 2010

“J.J. Abrams reinvented the Enterprise just as Quentin Tarantino reinvented World War II, but “Star Trek” and “Inglourious Basterds” explored the same personal themes loyalty, honor, teamwork; the nobility of self-sacrifice vs. the futility of vengeance — each director had taken up in previous works.”

Good Lord. I just finally saw Basterds over the weekend, and whatever its merits (I admire and deplore Tarantino as an artist in equal measure), a more apt comparison with the theme of “teamwork” may actually be found in the TOS episode “Miri.” Teamwork, that is, as in “Bonk, bonk, bonk on the head!”

Seriously–who at Variety is paid to write this sort of drivel?

10. cbspock - January 5, 2010

Sorry but Trek 2009 doesn’t deserve any oscars. Avatar is going to clean house when it comes to the technical oscars.

11. Jeyl - January 5, 2010

Trek09 winning best movie?

No. No freaking way. Nothing about Trek09 in anyway resembles a well thought out or craftily executed movie when compared to other movies of 2009 that are far better than this piece of junk. Movies like Coraline, Up in the Air, Young Victoria, Zombie Land, District 9, The Blind Side, Moon, Avatar, Ponyo ect.

To think that District 9, a movie that has a budget less than 1/4 of what Star Trek had, that had a much better involving storyline and much better character development than all the Trek09 characters combined is kind of disappointing. One of the best achievements I think District 9 did for movies is putting a gawd awful looking alien who doesn’t speak english into a role that the audience can relate to. Most movie makers would sooner stay away from this form of story telling. Let me break it down.

- District 9 had budget of 30 million was able to create swarms of photo realistic aliens, convince the audience that they were characters and be able to follow the story through their point of view.
- Trek09′s budget of 150+ million gives us a week in a brewery and a lot of characters doing things that any normal person would not tolerate. And for all the money saved by shooting at a brewery, the best JJ Abrams could do in bringing us an alien is a regular human looking person who just has big eyes. Every other Alien in the film that doesn’t resemble a human is either in the deleted scenes or thrown in the background as background fodder with no dialogue and nothing to do.

Pixar’s “UP” was a better Star Trek movie.

12. British Naval Dude - January 5, 2010

If Starry Trek gets nominated fur’ that wee gold man, I will not only reveal my true identity on this here site, but I will also burn all o’ me pants and eat somethin’ that resembles a tribble. Possibly a small weasel.

Nonetheless, that thar’ Starry Trek and Inglorious Basterdos arrrrrrr tha’ best bonny films this year… errrr… last year?… but I haven’t seen that Clooney flick yet… and I luvs Clooney so much I named me pillow aftar’ him…

Uhhhhhhh… too much info? Good thing I didda not say anythin’ aboot’ me Cyrano Jones pee decanter… that would be embarrassin’…

But what do I knows aboot’ motion pictures? I’m a doctor, not a director.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

13. thebiggfrogg - January 5, 2010

“Reinventing WW II”? Wow, that is quite a task. Hope he edited out all that nasty Holocaust stuff. Drivel is right.

As for Trek as best pic: It was enjoyable, but it isn’t in that category (though God knows much of what passes for best pic by the Academy isn’t truly in that category either). Now, BSG as Best TV drama, that would be another matter. Sci fi shouldn’t be a ghetto, but, that said, the Trek pic was nothing breakthrough. Formulaic plot, plot holes you could drive a K’tinga cruiser through, etc. And set design? Budweiser engineering, anyone? Can’t say I was a big fan of the lens flared Apple Store bridge either (Poor Chekov and Sulu should be issued with sunglasses for their duty shifts). It was fun. And I liked the origin stories of Kirk and Spock, but it no ground was broken. More worthy sci-fi was and will be produced and those features ought to be considered in the future with the expansion in the best pic category (I’m thinking of things on par with Alien, Blade Runner, Gattica, etc.).

14. Red Skirt - January 5, 2010

Not surprising one of the biggest and most popular producers in Hollywood has his film nominated for a Producer’s award. But, as far as the Oscars are concerned, not even considering Star Trek’s worthiness for the moment, there is no way they will nominate two sci-fi movies in the same list. And Avatar overshadows Star Trek in all categories, including the top professional critics reviews, which carries a lot of weight in Hollywood. The fact that it is now the 4th largest grossing motion picture of all time and predicted to soon be number 2 behind Titanic, shows that it is also one of the most popular movies of all time and will continue getting all the buzz well into the nominations. Plus without any other notable category nominations, like cast, or director, it would be unprecedented to even nominate it for best picture. Star Trek simply does not have a chance.

15. cdp - January 5, 2010

While star trek may not win best picture it is certainly no where near the piece of junk that some people describe it as. I have found it to be a very enjoyable picture and as a star trek fan it is quiet an honor for it to be mentioned up there with some of the other great films of 2009. In my opinion Star trek is most definitely deserving of the nomination it has received for the work of art that it is.

16. Chadwick - January 5, 2010

Yea best picture oscar nomination would be great but not holding my breath for the award. Some people said the new Star Trek was kind of cooky, a bubble gum movie, but they are the people who either take it at face value or over analyze it too much and I have found in person experience both can ruin an enjoyable movie experience. As with everything in life…it all about balance, don’t take it at face value but don’t over analyze both are incorrect. Bottom line…the new star trek is not as intellectual as past star trek movies but it was a great ride, I enjoyed watching the movie and sometimes…thats all that matters.

17. Will_H - January 5, 2010

#9

They used teamwork to kill and scalp some Nazi’s, and I cant think of a better cause…well ok saving Earth was pretty good to. I honestly think there was about as much teamwork in each to be honest. Neither movie was packed full of it, but for what each had I think the other had in similar amounts. I was actually slightly disappointed by the movie, though. I love Tarantino’s stuff and had super high hopes for Basterds but it didn’t quite live up to what I thought, I think mainly due to more of a focus on the Cinima storyline and less on the Basterds. I just watched District 9, however, which I think went way too unnoticed. That was an incredible sifi film and I think that if I had not been a Trekkie I would have put it equal to Star Trek, maybe even a bit better due to it being a new idea.

Either way, Trek’s not gonna win anything, but at this point I think even being nominated is reason to celebrate because yes, Hollywood does have a bias on which films get in and win. They have to be overly deep or abstract usually, and are rarely fun films. I dont know about everyone else but a lot of times for me having fun with a movie is just as important, if not more so, than being touched by it. And for that matter, Star Trek had its touching moments.

18. Michael - January 5, 2010

If Trek 09 is listed just above UP..then it’s doomed from the start.
District 9? Come on!
Avatar was cool, but the story was not new..w/o the 3D gimick and cgi, the story pretty much is a disney/pixar flic.
The others blow compared to Trek/Avatar!
But we all know scifi is dirt the academy other than FX.

19. John from Cincinnati - January 5, 2010

Definitely the Best Film in the Alternate universe category.

20. S. John Ross - January 5, 2010

#18: “If Trek 09 is listed just above UP…”

The listing appears alphabetical, so placement indicates nothing in particular.

“Avatar was cool, but the story was not new …”

If you’re condeming films based on the novelty of their storyline, you’re damning ST09 right out of the gate, aren’t you? I mean “Black Hat in spaceship killed by White Hats in other spaceship, preventing the destruction of the Earth” isn’t exactly poppin’ fresh.

“But we all know scifi is dirt the academy other than FX.”

In fairness, it _is_ frequently garbage. Until Avatar zips past it sometime in the next few weeks, the best-selling genre film from 2009 is still the Transformers sequel, for example :(

21. Captain Jack Bauer - January 5, 2010

#18 Star Trek is listed above Up because the list is in alphabetical order (An and The don’t count in An Education and The Hurt Locker).

Definitely a good sign for Trek, but the SAG noms are the best indicator because the largest voting block in the Academy is actors.

22. Jerry - January 5, 2010

Give me a break. J.J. Abrams ruined Star Trek for me. And by the way, he deleted alot of people from his twitter and went private.

23. S. John Ross - January 5, 2010

#22: “Give me a break. J.J. Abrams ruined Star Trek for me.”

Egad, isn’t that giving him a lot more power than he’s earned?

He made a piece of tie-in merchandise; it should no more have the power to “ruin” Star Trek for anyone than a Trek-themed shotglass, comic book or action figure.

24. AJ - January 5, 2010

11:

Jeyl:

You may have a point about FX budgets. I wouldn’t be surprised if ILM, WETA and their ilk charge an extra arm & leg to add their names to the film credits. It’s lile the US government spending $150 on a screwdriver.

Several here have expressed opinions that ST09 did not impress on the FX side, especially with regard to the Enterprise’s believability. And for that, JJ paid top dollar. Maybe he’d do better next time to go to South Africa for his FX.

25. Rosario T. Calabria - January 5, 2010

Great to see Star Trek being recognized. Also nice to see so much sci-fi/genre represented.

26. Mustard Shirt - January 5, 2010

Please, lets not get carried away. An Oscar nomination is a massive, massive long shot. Don’t want people to be disappointed. No one can deny that Star Trek has been one of the best films of the year, but for the Academy to recognize this?… I’m not sure.

27. AJ - January 5, 2010

26

“No one can deny that Star Trek has been one of the best films of the year, but for the Academy to recognize this?… I’m not sure.”

It’d be nice for someone to recognize the Academy as being competent to judge films. Just reading that Variety quote makes me think that Hollywood is the LAST place to find competent criticism/evaluation of film.

28. The First Son of Krypton - January 5, 2010

GAH! As I have said many times, to many people, on many sites… and many times on this one. James Cameron’s AVATAR, written by James Cameron, Writer of James Cameron’s Titanic and James Camerons Alien and James Cameron’s Terminator (You get the picture)

AVATAR just isnt that good of a film, Its story has been done and re-done countless times, The Characters were not believeable and I thought the acting was average at best. It’s just idiots who bought into the whole “Oh look, Its Shiny” type advertising. Take the 3D element away and your left with a film that, whilst looks great, lacks any real substance.

Of course, the only other people who bopught into the film are Hollywood Execs and other directors and producers who want to go about kissing James Camerons arse.

Star Trek on the other hand should of never been developed, it should have been a box office flop, But wasn’t. I think that shows in itself that whilst the film is mostly (for nitpicky reasons) hated by the Trekkies, is loved by people who dont even like Sci-Fi. The film was fun, the actors all played they’re parts well and, in the case of Pine or Urban, deserve to be nominated for best actor and best supporting for those performances alone… However, Without shadow of a doubt, this award should be given to District 9, just for making a film that requires you to think again

But it wont, It’ll be J.C’s AVATAR, written by James Cameron… as will every Oscar its nominated for :( !!!!!!!

29. ety3 - January 5, 2010

Of the sci-fi films I saw this year, only two merit non-technical awards: “District 9″ and “Moon.”

Don’t get me wrong, I loved “Star Trek” and I really enjoyed “Avatar.”

But if any scifi film this year deserves a Best Picture nom, it’s “District 9.”

30. S. John Ross - January 5, 2010

#26: “No one can deny that Star Trek has been one of the best films of the year …”

I can’t deny that it’s in my Top 30.

#28: “It’s just idiots who bought into the whole “Oh look, Its Shiny” type advertising. Take the 3D element away and your left with a film that, whilst looks great, lacks any real substance.”

I never saw it in 3-D until my third viewing, and quite the contrary, I found that the 3-D added very little to the experience other than a $2 surcharge (the 3-D effects were nifty, but incidental). As for the advertising, I found it underwhelming at best … based on the trailers, I was prepared to dismiss Avatar entirely as just another video-game-looking movie, and went in with thin hopes and low expectations. Maybe that’s why the film blew me away so effectively; I had invested nothing in hopes.

“However, Without shadow of a doubt, this award should be given to District 9, just for making a film that requires you to think again.”

Definitely the best [mostly] live-action SF film of the year.

31. Eli - January 5, 2010

I see first son of Krypton hasn’t taken his depression pills yet today… :-)

While Cameron did great work bringing Avatar to the screen, the key to the film’s success in my mind was Zoe Saldana’s performance. She should definitely get a leading actress nomination for her role! I wonder how many motion capture suits she caused to burst into flames as they tried to record her fiery performance.

I will say this about the Oscars, Star Trek definitely deserves the sound design award over Avatar. Half of Avatar’s sounds were ripped right out of Jurassic Park! Every animal sounded like a Velociraptor!

32. Jim Nightshade - January 5, 2010

Yah I totally disagree that James Camersons Avatar has only adequate acting…as mentioned above ZOE gives an incredible performance that almost made me cry more than once…star trek? I smiled and laughed a lot but was never driven to tears….(I should of been when Vulcan died maybe if handled differently)–Likewise Trek looks great lots of work went into sets costumes etc all excellent…but Avatar blows it all away…When the gi was getting into his mech, instead of plastic and fake it looked like the insides of a tank…totally real…my father worked at the logistic center at ft lewis repairing tanks..as a kid I visited during their christmas parties and got to get in and ride the tanks. I know the look…Avatar created world with levels of detail an 3d never seen before…and the acting was stunning the story good…the first half of the movie increible….2nd half loses something but still….Avatar does deserve any accolades its getting and guess what Cameron will soon have a new number one movie of all time to pass his Titantic….Could be the man deservices the honor..he knows how to make movies obviously….

33. "Check the Circuit!" - January 5, 2010

The whole notion of a Oscar nomination may be a long shot…but isn’t it cool that it’s even being discussed by people outside of this website?

There was a nice gesture from Entertainment Weekly in the latest issue….an Oscar preview. They laid out their predictions of the movies they expected to be nominated. Then they added a blurb….For your consideration: Star Trek. They made a nice, succinct case for why it deserves to be considered.

Bravo EW!

34. Red Skirt - January 5, 2010

#30, John, I take exception to the wording that 3D added very little to Avatar. I hope you meant that it added very little to the story, which worked with or without 3D. But unlike UP and many other animated offerings, this is the first time I have seen 3D in a way which I felt totally immersed in it. Stuff wan’t just popping out at me, mostly I was able to into the world he created and feel like it surrounded me. Anybody who says it is just a gimmick hasn’t seen the movie.

But either way, I seriously doubt mere advertising has driven this movie to earn over a billion dollars worldwide in less than 2 weeks. If so, then every “idiot” on the planet must have been let out into the streets when this film opened. Besides, Star Trek had a much bigger ad campaign that seemed to hinge on the “oh look it’s shiny” efforts, from the lens flares flashing the camera, to Kirk screaming “Do It!”, to a big red (and shiny) alien creature chasing Kirk, etc. Surely then Star Trek benefitted from that same group of idiots that seem to be solely responsible for Avatar’s much greater success. Though if Star Trek had a much more intelligent crowd, it was not impressed in equal numbers as Avatar’s “idiots”.

35. Ceti Alpha 5 - January 5, 2010

As much as I love Star Trek XI, there is no way it’ll win anything.
Nominated maybe, win no.

36. Harry Ballz - January 5, 2010

If Star Trek ever won the Best Picture Oscar I’d swallow my gum, and I don’t chew gum!

37. captain_neill - January 5, 2010

Star Trek XI is one of the best films of 2009 but as much as I would love to see Star Trek get this honour I feel the movie is not strong enough to be considered for Oscar. Its not realistic to think about this as a possibility.

I had wanted past actors and past Trek movies to get this honour, Patrick Stewart should have beennominated for Best Actor for First Contact. Perhaps in a parallel universe Star Trek in all its shows and first 10 movies has won loads of Emmys and Oscars in the creative categories.

Is Star Trek XI a cool film? Yes it is . Is it the best Trek movie ever? No it isn’t. Its probably 5th place but one of my fav films of 2009.

Star Trek XI unlike some of the previous movies is probably more likely to clean out at the MTV Awards rather than the Oscars.

And I am a hard core Trek fan. If Trek XI was nominated I will be excited but given the calibre of film the Oscars go for it ain’t very likely.

If the Oscars is increasing the category and putting more mainstream films in for Dest Picture, then whats stopping them from puting the awful Transformers 2 into the mix. Now that will be a dark day.

38. captain_neill - January 5, 2010

As much as I loved the new Trek I felt it was a bit more dumbed down than previous Trek’s.

I don’t mind this but I am concerned that this movie is ging to make people forget about what came before.

Like past Trek movies this will get awards at the Saturn Awards.

39. captain_neill - January 5, 2010

I miss my classical music in my Trek

40. MvRojo - January 5, 2010

#36. Don’t worry, while there is a slight chance of a nomination, there’s 0 chance of it winning. This is a fact based on how the Academy is handling voting this year.

Voters have to rank the 10 nominees from 1 to 10. If any movie gets a “1″ on at least 50% of the ballots, it wins Best Picture. If no movie gets 50%, it gets more complicated. First, the film with the lowest number of “1″ ballots is eliminated and the “2″ spot on those ballots gets bumped up to “1″. Then, they check again to see if any film got 50% of the ballots (including the now reformulated ones). They repeat this until any movie gets 50%.

So essentially, the only way to win Best Picture is to either have the most #1 votes to begin with, or have enough #1, #2, and #3 votes to push you over 50%. This also has the weird effect that the movie with starts out with the most #1 spots could still lose Best Picture if it doesn’t have 50% of the ballots, and there’s a strong #2.

41. captain_neill - January 5, 2010

I do not feel that this is the best ever Trek movie. but the mainstream is making it out to be that and making the past 43 years of Trek seem wrong.

Am I wrong for thinking like this?

42. Michael Hall - January 5, 2010

“Am I wrong for thinking like this?”

Probably not. But with all due respect, Captain: if that’s your greatest worry in this life, you’re a lucky man. :-)

43. AdmNaismith - January 5, 2010

Didn’t the final Oscar ballots go out already?

44. ryanhuyton - January 5, 2010

I have said this before and will say it again: “Star Trek” will be shut out at the Oscars. No nominations. Not even one technical award nomination.
Ditto for “District 9″. Its all about “Avatar” this year. It will sweep in every category for which it is nominated except best pic. As much as I enjoyed “Avatar”, without the performances of Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Zaldana, Sam Worthington and the incredible(but not groundbreaking) CGI effects, this film would be a mediocre one at best. The other sci-fi nomineess will be “New Moon”, “Transformers 2″ and “Terminator Salvation”. As for the Oscar nominations matching those of the Producers Guild, that means nothing this year. “Nine” will most likely be nominated for best pic, as would “The Young Victoria”.

45. Christine - January 5, 2010

Someone earlier mentioned “District 9″ as a much more likely contender for Best Pic than Star Trek. …Really? Really?

I thought that, while it was… interesting, I didn’t think it even close to the quality that Star Trek was. And I’m saying that as a moviegoer, not as a Trek or even scifi fan. The acting was good, even the directing was good, and the aliens looked great. The plot was… okay, but the script itself had me cringing at points. I don’t see it at the same level as Trek and certainly not Avatar.

And “Inglorious..”? Well… it was very… Quentin Tarantino-esque.

46. PunkSpocker - January 5, 2010

I am totally holding my breath for the oscar nom! I inhaled on May 8 2009…eeear!

47. Brett Campbell - January 5, 2010

12 – As a British Naval Dude, shouldn’t you be burning trousers instead of pants?

Just askin’.

Saw Avatar this weekend. It was a better film than Trek.

48. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - January 5, 2010

Well, as much as the TOS purist in me failed to fully embrace JJ’s ST, (I love it for what it is) it is still family, so I am rooting for it. (against all hope). But I have to point out that District 9 and Avatar blow chunks. District 9′s allegory would have been ham-fisted even 40 years ago (and TOS still did it better). Avatar is Gump-esque. For all its beauty, is monumentally, impenetrably, derivatively, obnoxiously, stupid. It is patently offensive in its treatment of its brainless, murdering (ostensibly American) military. It will therefore clean up!

Star Trek was a superior time at the movies on all accounts. It was fun, basically true to its roots, and had some real moments. It will lose, unfortunately.

49. Zebonka - January 5, 2010

I didn’t see many films in 2009 so I don’t know what kind of competition there is, but SURELY there were at least 10 films better than Star Trek was, that are eligible?

I don’t deny that it was a likable, well presented and fun thing to see in the cinema, but once I got it home the flaws were painfully obvious. Anyone doing a good, honest appraisal of the movie would not give it an award for anything but sound design and visual effects.

50. Cobalt 1365 - January 5, 2010

Maybe Star Trek won’t get an Oscar nod, and that’s okay with me… it is getting onto a lot of people’s radar, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment in itself.
HOWEVER (and this is a big fat however)
If Star Trek isn’t nominated in any non-technical categories, then neither should Avatar. The acting was mediocre (I thought all the CGI detracted from the acting), the story was lukewarm (it’s as predictable of a movie as I have seen in a long time) and it’s characters (or should I say “caricatures”) were extremely black and white.

51. denny cranium - January 5, 2010

boborci
any thoughts if you’re reading this?

52. ryanhuyton - January 5, 2010

How about a poll of favorite sci-fi movie of 2009?

53. captain_neill - January 6, 2010

48

I understand

I love this new movie but its not the same as the past showssee the new movie get more recognition than the Trek we grew up loving is a bit sad but hey thats the mainstream.

Its not the end all and be all, I have other things in life to worry about. I am only commenting on the shame that past Trek’s never got this well respected and I feel a bit annoyed by that.

I am not a fan of the mainstream.

54. Boborci - January 6, 2010

51

yes. Just one thought: we are so lucky, as trek fans, to even be engaged in a debate about trek being nominated for anything!

Long live Trek!

55. captain_neill - January 6, 2010

the attention alone is good.

56. S. John Ross - January 6, 2010

#32: “John, I take exception to the wording that 3D added very little to Avatar.”

I’d be happy to change the wording.

“I hope you meant that it added very little to the story, which worked with or without 3D.”

As I said, I saw the movie twice in 2D, and it blew me away. I saw it again in 3D, and it still blew me away, but it didn’t blow me any _farther_ away. Take that as you will. Note that I made no comment on how it affected _you,_ and none of my comments are meant to describe your opinions and experiences. I’m sorry if that was unclear.

“Anybody who says it is just a gimmick hasn’t seen the movie.”

I wouldn’t know. Has anyone said that?

“But either way, I seriously doubt mere advertising has driven this movie to earn over a billion dollars worldwide in less than 2 weeks.”

I agree, obviously?

“If so, then every “idiot” on the planet must have been let out into the streets when this film opened.”

Huh?

“Besides, Star Trek had a much bigger ad campaign that seemed to hinge on the “oh look it’s shiny” efforts, from the lens flares flashing the camera, to Kirk screaming “Do It!”, to a big red (and shiny) alien creature chasing Kirk, etc.”

Quite. And this is relevant to my post in what way? Apart from how much I agree?

“Surely then Star Trek benefitted from that same group of idiots that seem to be solely responsible for Avatar’s much greater success.”

Um. What?

“Though if Star Trek had a much more intelligent crowd, it was not impressed in equal numbers as Avatar’s “idiots”.

I don’t think Star Trek was marketed to the intelligent at all (Yuppie douche kill bad guy! Cheer and consume beer!), but again, I don’t see how this relates to my post. Did you mean some of these comments to be directed at post #28, rather than my own post #30? You labeled them as directed to me but I can’t make heads or tails of it that way..

#48: “It is patently offensive in its treatment of its brainless, murdering (ostensibly American) military. ”

There are no military forces in Avatar. Period. There are _former_ soldiers given local power as _corporate security._ To take the behavior of entitled corporate mercenaries as commentary on the actual military (and on the U.S. military, in particular) is just going out of your way to invent an irrelevant complaint. If you feel that the abuse of corporate wealth is treated cruelly by Avatar, then so be it, but every “bad guy” in Avatar, every single one, is a corporate stooge.

57. Devon - January 6, 2010

#28 – Trekkies DO like it (I am going by user polls on Trek forums including this one.) Why should it have never been made or have been a box office flop? Those are extremely selfish things to say of you. Perhaps we should all wish the same for things that you liked?

58. Chris M - January 6, 2010

AWESOME!!!! :)

59. P Technobabble - January 6, 2010

My girlfriend and I went to see Avatar 3D yesterday, and we both enjoyed it. She liked it more than I did, so, IMO, it does for women what Cameron’s Titanic did for women. I thought Titanic was a decent film, but I was more impressed with the look of the film than the substance, and, ultimately, that’s how I felt about Avatar. Sure, the story is reminiscent of similar movies, but that didn’t bother me at all. I don’t think that made it any less of a good movie. The visuals, of course, are stunning. I, too, did not feel the 3D aspect really made it a better movie, it was a perfectly good movie.
When I asked my girlfriend what she thought about it compared to Star Trek (keeping in mind she was never a sci-fi fan until I started dragging her to these movies), she said “they are totally different movies, I liked each one for different reasons.” I think she is right. Comparing these two movies is apples and oranges, other than the fact they are both movies. I think it is also important to remember than some of us Trek fans tend to be an obssessively loyal bunch, and we could find plenty of faults with Avatar precisely because it ain’t Star Trek, y’know? When I was growing up, I didn’t want to like the Stones because I was a Beatle-freak. Thankfully, I grew up and got to appreciate what a great band the Stones are. I enjoyed Avatar on its own, not because it was better than Star Trek. It is completely different than Trek, obviously.
The techniques used to make this film are extraordinarily interesting, and I am curious to see what kind of effect they will have in the future of film-making.

60. Red Skirt - January 6, 2010

#56, John, my apologies. I was responding to your entire post in which you responded to #28 and just failed to point out where I was disagreeing with #28. Did not mean to confuse.

But, here’s how I see 3D. The first time I saw The Wizard of Oz was on my grandmother’s black & white TV. So when the change from Black & White to color happened, I never knew it. Yet, I still fell in love with that movie from seeing it that one time, because that movie has such power even today. When I first saw it in color, my jaw hit the floor. And even though years later after I had seen it in color, my boyfriend gave me the BluRay for Christmas, my jaw hit the floor again to see it in its restored splendor. That transition now almost ads another layer of depth. That’s what it did for me in Avatar.

With respect to your post to #48, the mercenary theme is a constant for Cameron going back to Aliens and The Abyss. It is much more a commentary on the Blackwater-type private militia industry which was targeted so expertly in 24 last season. So I agree with your assessment that it has nothing to do with our sons and daughters fighting at the direction of our president.

But that comment does make me think about Avatar’s message to a worldwide stage. The USA is defined more by our multinational capitalist presence than our specific military actions, e.g. MacDonalds. Here, another world is moving in and taking what they want. Despite being more powerful than the local population, this movie sends the message to rebel against the interlopers and fight back, making the ultimate sacrifices to free themselves from the injustice, not only against them, but against their god. Indeed in the end, their god takes decisive action, ultimately allowing the weaker group to drive out the more powerful one. In a world full of terrorism, seemingly responding to Western intervention in their affairs, what message does this send on the world stage?

And #59, I don’t think I have ever read such a sexist statement – “it does for women what TItanic did for women”? How about it works on a number of levels? I seriously doubt it is only women who drove TItanic to the highest grossing film of all time, nor are driving Avatar to soon join it in that rarified air. I believe I read that the opening weekend was by a large majority predominantly male. Yes I thought Avatar was intensely romantic, but so do a lot of men I know. At its heart it is a love story, just like Titanic, and both are extremely well told, regardless what one thinks of the actual story. Star Trek could use more of that. My favorite episodes were City On The Edge of Forever and the one where Kirk goes native, specifically because of what’s at stake for Kirk and the loss he experiences. In fact, one could eve say that of Star Trek II, in which he loses Spock, who for all practical purposes was his love interest. The one area I thought fell short was that there was no real loss for any of the main characters. Kirk lost his father before he was born, and Spock lost his mother, but there was never a sacrifice that tested the love or faith of the characters. All the deaths in Star Trek felt empty, except for George Kirk for whom I felt for his wife only, it did not carry to Jim as I think was intended. But everyone who died were peripheral characters, including all of Vulcan, whose only purpose was to advance the plot, not impact the story. In Avatar, I was personally invested in the death of almost every character in the film. The effect was palpable on anyone open to the experience, and that’s the difference between an Oscar calibre film and not.

61. dmduncan - January 6, 2010

It should be nominated for the Best Thorn in the Side of Snobbish Trek Fans award.

AND best picture. I love it! Love it! Love it!

62. P Technobabble - January 6, 2010

60. Red Skirt

Sorry, it is clear I am not careful enough in choosing my words. I meant
ABSOLUTELY no disrespect to the women of earth. It was not meant as a sexist statement AT ALL. Okay?
I should have said, “I, personally, found it to be a “love story/romance” the way Titanic was, and that wasn’t my particular cup of tea.
I hope this will cover it. I will endeavor to be more careful with how I word things in the future.
Walking on eggs,
Mike

63. Avatar, Star Trek and District 9 lead Producer's Guild awards shortlist - January 6, 2010

[...] Star Trek Nominated For Producers Guild Award – Could Indicate … [...]

64. S. John Ross - January 6, 2010

#60 “#56, John, my apologies. I was responding to your entire post in which you responded to #28 and just failed to point out where I was disagreeing with #28. Did not mean to confuse.”

No worries. We need a footnote function :)

“That transition now almost ads another layer of depth. That’s what it did for me in Avatar.”

That’s awesome. I enjoyed the 3D effects in Avatar, but I think lately the heavy use of 3D in films has numbed me to its impact (plus, I’m an anaglyphic photographer as a hobby, too, so I have 3D glasses on half the time …)

“With respect to your post to #48, the mercenary theme is a constant for Cameron going back to Aliens and The Abyss. It is much more a commentary on the Blackwater-type private militia industry which was targeted so expertly in 24 last season. So I agree with your assessment that it has nothing to do with our sons and daughters fighting at the direction of our president.”

Sully even points out, explicitly, that the soldiers back on Earth were “fighting for freedom,” (I’m pretty sure he used that exact phrase or something near to it) while the guys out on Pandora were just guns for hire. We don’t even know, for example, if the corporation cares if a would-be merc was dishonorably discharged.

65. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - January 6, 2010

56 “There are no military forces in Avatar. Period. There are _former_ soldiers given local power as _corporate security._ To take the behavior of entitled corporate mercenaries as commentary on the actual military (and on the U.S. military, in particular) is just going out of your way to invent an irrelevant complaint. If you feel that the abuse of corporate wealth is treated cruelly by Avatar, then so be it, but every “bad guy” in Avatar, every single one, is a corporate stooge.”

ME: While you are technically correct, I respectfully disagree. Granted, they are “former” military, and you note in 64 “Sully even points out, explicitly, that the soldiers back on Earth were “fighting for freedom,” (I’m pretty sure he used that exact phrase or something near to it) while the guys out on Pandora were just guns for hire. We don’t even know, for example, if the corporation cares if a would-be merc was dishonorably discharged.”

Sorry, but that is a distinction without a difference. The end of the movie shows these “corporate stooges” being slaughtered, and it is edited, and tracked musically, to be the emotional payoff. They are clearly American, and clearly the bad guys. To debate about whether they are proper active duty, or renegades, is small beer. Think of Ed Harris’ Marines in The Rock, the soldiers of Dances with Wolves, or the renegade military in Die Hard 2. There is some throwaway exposition that explains that they may not be “real” military, but they don’t wear little tags or subtitles saying the they are renegades as they are killed off one by one. We are intended to root against them. Quaritch is specifically identified as “Colonel”. I am sorry, but as a real life Colonel, I am offended. Deeply offended. Their depiction is not balanced in any way with a professional, honorable, military officer or enlisted man character, and even if it were, the overriding visual is one of punishment of the out-of-control military types. It is cheap, lazy, and inaccurate. It does do damage to our sons and daughters. If I had the money I would fund a proper movie portraying the factual heroism of our real life Marines at the Battle of Fallujah.

66. Mustard Shirt - January 6, 2010

#27 “It’d be nice for someone to recognize the Academy as being competent to judge films.”

Ha ha. Nice thought. They kind of lost a lot of credability with Titanic, Dances With Wolves, Dead Poets Society and Forest Gump etc etc.

67. Mustard Shirt - January 6, 2010

#30 “I can’t deny that it’s in my Top 30.”

You are but one person and, I can safely say, in the minority.

68. dmduncan - January 6, 2010

@65: Boy I knew some military and/or ex-military were going to have some trouble with Avatar. I didn’t so much, probably because I’ve met my share of enlisted and officers I felt should’ve been stuffed into a cannon and fired out over the sea, but by and large some of the most dedicated and smartest people I’ve ever known have been my fellow Marines.

And the hero of the movie was Jake Sully, a Marine, and a damned good one. I admired that portrayal. I felt a deep kinship with him and his attitudes. He reminded me of some things I had forgotten.

So that’s my take away. But I know not everyone who served in the Corps would take away the same thing

But that’s the Marines, eh? Chesty Puller probably would’ve pulled out his .45 and shot the projectionist. But Smedley Butler probably would’ve applauded.

69. S. John Ross - January 7, 2010

#65: “While you are technically correct [...]”

It’s not a technicality; I’m simply correct. If you are choosing (as it seems you are) to invent beliefs unsupported by details in the film, then there can be no constructive discussion on matters that you’ve invented on the film’s behalf.

“I am sorry, but as a real life Colonel, I am offended. Deeply offended.”

Well boo-hoo. But you’ve apparently decided that Quaritch is the film’s image of the military, and apparently have further decided:

“Their depiction is not balanced in any way with a professional, honorable, military officer or enlisted man character …”

Like, for example, two of the film’s heroes: Jake Sully and Trudy Chacon?

The hero was a Marine. The hero was a Marine. Just repeat that phrase a few times until it sinks in. Make it a cadence if that will help “Ain’t no sense in lookin’ down, no three-dee glasses on the ground, sound off …”

Sorry. Spent too long on Parris Island; this stuff sinks in. :)

70. S. John Ross - January 7, 2010

#68: “But that’s the Marines, eh?”

Funny story about Marines at the movies: saw Raiders of the Lost Ark on Quantico once, cheap Monday night showing at the base cinema … there’s that line where Sallah praises his children as “better than United States Marines, eh?”

For the next ten minutes of the film … I swear, ten minutes, full … no dialogue could be heard over the sound of barking ooh-rahs :)

I mean, go devil-dogs, but pipe the heck down; some of us paid 75 cents to see this picture :)

71. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - January 7, 2010

69 “But you’ve apparently decided that Quaritch is the film’s image of the military”

Isn’t it? By the way, I think the “boo-hoo” is a little uncalled for. :)

If you spent time at PI, then you have heard that “one ‘aw-sh*t’ cancels out a thousand ‘atta-boys’”. That Sully and Chacon were the heroes is cancelled out by the overriding 2 dimensional cardboard stock military bad guy crazy characters. I still say it is lazy writing, and not very brave. For instance, if this is the future, and the world is ostensibly more unified and multicultural, why wasn’t Quaritch portrayed as a former European colonel? Or an Asian? Just sayin’…

@70 “For the next ten minutes of the film … I swear, ten minutes, full … no dialogue could be heard over the sound of barking ooh-rahs :)

I mean, go devil-dogs, but pipe the heck down; some of us paid 75 cents to see this picture :)”

Absolutely classic! I have been in that theater! Main deck of Little Hall.

Here is the current schedule:

Current Showings

Wednesday, 6 January 1900 PG-13 2012
Thursday, 7 January 1900 PG Planet 51
Friday, 8 January 1900 PG Old Dogs
Friday, 8 January 2130 R Ninja Assassin
Saturday, 9 January 1830 PG Planet 51
Saturday, 9 January 2100 PG-13 Twilight Saga: New Moon
Sunday, 10 January 1530 PG Fantastic Mr. Fox
Sunday, 10 January 1830 PG Old Dogs
Monday, 11 January CLOSED
Tuesday, 12 January CLOSED

Movie Showtimes
Monday & Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday & Thursday: 1900
Friday: 1900, 2130
Saturday: 1830, 2100
Sunday: 1530, 1830

Admission
Adult: $2.00
Children (ages 2-12): $1.00

Still only 2 bucks!!

Look, I “get” Avatar, believe me. Beautiful film. I wish it wasn’t dumb as dishwater.

72. dmduncan - January 7, 2010

Look, I didn’t think Avatar lived up to the hype. The SPFX were great, the 3D was unnoticeable after about 30 minutes (I found it just didn’t add anything to the experience during my second viewing), and the story was text book James Cameron.

I liked the movie. I saw it twice. But I wasn’t totally blown away.

But Jake Sully was a great Marine, and Colonel Quaritch was a bad-ass bad guy. (I’m a fan of Stephen Lang now. He’d make an excellent Klingon).

Avatar should be required viewing on both MCRDs Parris Island and San Diego to illustrate the difference between good Marines and bad ones. Some Marines are too much warrior, not enough monk. This film might help restore balance to The Force.

Live long and prosper, Obi Wan Kenobi!

73. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - January 7, 2010

72 “Avatar should be required viewing on both MCRDs Parris Island and San Diego to illustrate the difference between good Marines and bad ones. Some Marines are too much warrior, not enough monk. This film might help restore balance to The Force.”

Now that is a good idea! When I used to do classes on NBC warfare (nuclear, biological, chemical) back in the 80′s, we always opened with the French knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where the French used the cows, chickens, and pigs as biological weapons. It killed!

74. S. John Ross - January 7, 2010

#71: “Isn’t it?”

The film offers multiple ex-military characters on both sides of the conflict. So, no … unless you decide, deliberately decide, to ignore that.

“That Sully and Chacon were the heroes is cancelled out [...]”

I was waiting for what you’d come up with that would amount to rationalizing that “the hero of the movie doesn’t count,” and there it is. Honestly I’d hoped for something less linear :/

“Absolutely classic! I have been in that theater! Main deck of Little Hall.”

A little slice of heaven, once upon a time (a long, long time) … movies, library, bowling alley, little convenience-store-scaled Exchange (where I bought my first copy of the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) … and not a two-minute hop across the way from Q-Town, where a bowl of chili at Godmother’s still waits for me :( Sigh.

“Look, I “get” Avatar, believe me.”

I really cannot. You choose see a one-sided negative portrayal of the military in it by reasoning that the villains “cancel out” the heroes (the heroes still win, despite being canceled out) … when the film explicitly by its own on-screen details provides a negative portrayal of corporate greed that can afford to buy itself ex-soldiers and the gear they’re used to as rent-a-cops and let them play out fantasies that the movie gives no indication the _real_ military has ever encouraged in them (the one and only line about the real military is that they’re “fighting for freedom” — which is exactly what the hero ends up living up to). That’s looking for an insult where none was offered.

“Beautiful film. I wish it wasn’t dumb as dishwater.”

It struck me as made by someone who must have spent a lot of time around Marines — *all kinds* of Marines, because there *are* all kinds.

75. Red Skirt - January 7, 2010

#72, whereas I and over 200 million other people to date did think it lived up to the hype and then some. Even Steven Speilberg is on record as saying “The most evocative and amazing science-fiction movie since Star Wars.” While you are clearly in the minority here, you obviously don’t have to like it. But as compared to Star Trek, it has a higher major critic rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It has captured the imagination of a much larger audience share without the benifit of a franchise fanbase, unlike Star Trek, and will most likely be nominated in numerous categories in which Star Trek won’t. Between the box office results, critical praise, significant peer nominations and likely wins, Avatar is proving itself to have lived up to all the hype for the vast majority of people. And the story is much deeper than anyone has given it credit for. I have seen it three times now and every time I found something new to embrace. Perhaps you just need to see it again. ;-)

I understand #71′s position, and I don’t think you can dismiss it, per se. On the surface, I do wonder what the rest of the world thinks about the message in this movie. In particular terrorist groups who are already sacrificing themselves in the name of their god, to rid themselves of the capitalist Western invaders, seemingly empowered almost exclusively by the US military. On the other hand, this movie does not depict the US military, but rather the kinds of corrupt militia and tactics that numerous nations and corporations employ. One can read into it any interpretation they want, but if you actually pay attention to the what is depicted, the portrayal of gun-toting, overbearing, malicious sovereign forces rings false and the argument is over before it gets started.

76. dmduncan - January 7, 2010

“72, whereas I and over 200 million other people to date did think it lived up to the hype and then some. Even Steven Speilberg is on record as saying “The most evocative and amazing science-fiction movie since Star Wars.” While you are clearly in the minority here, you obviously don’t have to like it. But as compared to Star Trek, it has a higher major critic rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It has captured the imagination of a much larger audience share without the benifit of a franchise fanbase, unlike Star Trek, and will most likely be nominated in numerous categories in which Star Trek won’t. Between the box office results, critical praise, significant peer nominations and likely wins, Avatar is proving itself to have lived up to all the hype for the vast majority of people.”

Steven Spielberg doesn’t speak for me, and all the women burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials were also in the minority, so I don’t know what difference that makes.

I like all of James Cameron’s movies, but he’s a prodigy at technical achievements without which his films are usually average on every other level.

This film was no exception. It’s James Cameron. Technically brilliant and good everywhere else, but not the best movie I’ve seen all year, and I still think Aliens was the best overall movie he ever made. I don’t expect fans of Avatar or Titanic to agree with me, but as Elvis sang, “That’s alright baby…that’s alright with me…”

77. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - January 7, 2010

@74 “It struck me as made by someone who must have spent a lot of time around Marines — *all kinds* of Marines, because there *are* all kinds.”

There certainly are. I have been up close with bad ones. But the overwhelming majority are the good kind. I only wish that there were a proportionate ratio represented on-screen. This is a larger problem than Avatar. I recall American Beauty and A Few Good Men in particular. Unfortunate. Bacon’s character in AFGM is a solid professional, and he is “cancelled out” or “overwhelmed” by Jack Nicholson’s characterization. Sure, Nicholson has moments of clarity, but he ends up badly.

“I was waiting for what you’d come up with that would amount to rationalizing that “the hero of the movie doesn’t count,” and there it is. Honestly I’d hoped for something less linear :/”

I can do nuance. I like linear! Takes less time to type.

78. dmduncan - January 7, 2010

I think Cameron improved his portrayals a bit since Aliens. More technically accurate. I smiled the first time Quaritch said “Outstanding!” You probably see bad portrayals of Marines in the movies because the writers and film makers don’t really know any, and either they don’t have a consultant or they ain’t listening to him. But Cameron did pretty good, especially with Jake Sully, I thought.

And kudos to whoever had enough of a clue to put Diego Garcia in Transformers 2. Having been there, I was stunned by that, and it even looks like they got an actual aerial shot of the place in the movie, if I’m not mistaken.

79. S. John Ross - January 8, 2010

#77: “I only wish that there were a proportionate ratio represented on-screen.”

These men aren’t *only* ex-soldiers, they’re specifically the _kind_ of ex-soldiers who seek out corporate mercenary work at the far edges of where humanity treads, and (historically speaking, at least) that does skew the odds _hard_ toward the less wholesome end of the spectrum. And once they’re running the show, the slope gets even steeper.

“Sure, Nicholson has moments of clarity, but he ends up badly.”

I thought it was a pretty good Bogart impression, overall, but I do (far) prefer the original. As do you, I imagine, if only for the speech at the end ;)

#75: “I understand #71’s position, and I don’t think you can dismiss it, per se.”

Indeed. Were I inclined to dismiss it, I wouldn’t have bothered to comment beyond the first snide remark. When I do _more than one_ snide remark, that’s a sign of respect :)

80. S. John Ross - January 8, 2010

#76: “It’s James Cameron. Technically brilliant and good everywhere else, but not the best movie I’ve seen all year[...]”

Oh, agreed. While it has squeaked its way happily into my Top 10, I’d have to be pretty sleepy or distracted to let it sneak into the Top 5 :)

81. dmduncan - January 8, 2010

Look, there is obviously a relationship between the corporation and the state because many corporations have interests directly related to our national security. High tech and oil. Without oil nothing moves. Without oil, trains are frozen on their tracks. Planes are parked on their runways. Cars and trucks are stuck on the highway. Without those moving, cargo doesn’t move. Cargo doesn’t move and grocery shelves grow bare, and then places like NYC and LA turn into war zones.

Now, short of a national catastrophe where everything stops moving suddenly, such as a multiple EMP strike might cause, then just slowing that process down a bit still causes a whole lot of economic trouble too.

So as Gen. Smedly Darlington Butler, two time recipient of the Medal of Honor, pointed out, America has been in the business of using its military to protect those corporate interests which are related to our national security — which is exactly what seemed to be going on in Avatar.

So I didn’t see them as mercs. I saw them as Marines engaging in MOOTW (Military Operations Other Than War). Sully got off the shuttle wearing a gray T shirt with the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblazoned thereon.

And just look at their sleeves, for cryin out loud. Rolled up, white side out, every one of ‘em. Marines.

Now from my experience, Marines generally have a little more depth of character than what I saw in Avatar. But it’s a movie, and they needed bad guys, so okay, fine. That it took place on another planet with blue people makes it easier to tolerate as a fictional representation, so I’m not going to feel too slighted by that, and besides that, Cameron created a very memorable bad guy in Quaritch, and a very heroic good guy in Sully.

82. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - January 8, 2010

@79 “Indeed. Were I inclined to dismiss it, I wouldn’t have bothered to comment beyond the first snide remark. When I do _more than one_ snide remark, that’s a sign of respect :)”

Honored, Sir. Back at ya.

83. S. John Ross - January 8, 2010

#81: “America has been in the business of using its military to protect those corporate interests which are related to our national security”

Indeed, but the film is _explicit_ that these are ex-Marines who’ve been hired up by the corporation. It is your privilege to imagine them otherwise (and I agree, had the film instead proposed that they were active-duty and protecting an American interest, I would have taken it without question, but the film was _explicit_ that they are mercs). It only makes sense to hire them all from the same pool, so men like Quaritch can keep playing soldier the way he likes (on the subject of personal belief not directly supported on screen, I personally belief Quaritch was booted from the Corps for something unsavory, and took up leading little corporate projects so he could be the kind of soldier the real Marines wouldn’t let him be – the kind we saw in the film). And similarly, it makes sense for everyone involved to keep to old habits, use old ranks, etc to live up to Quaritch’s “ideals.”

#82: “Honored, Sir. Back at ya.”

It’s been a pleasure.

84. dmduncan - January 9, 2010

83: “Indeed, but the film is _explicit_ that these are ex-Marines who’ve been hired up by the corporation.”

It must’ve slipped by me. I don’t recall if it was explicit or not.

85. chris - January 11, 2010

Whatever people’s issues with ST ’09 quite frankly, as a fan, these award noms (along with the commercial and critical success) should have every fan rejoicing. Think about where this franchise was when ENTERPRISE was cancelled and look at where we are now where a Star Trek movie, and even better a Star Trek movie that’s primarily about FUN and not issues or gravitas, is effectively a Best Picture contender.

Some unhappy fans need to get some perspective because the credibility boost Abrams has given the franchise is well beyond what I expected.

86. Trekker - January 17, 2010

Avatar is the dumbest piece of crap movie i’ve heard of, star Trek deserves to win best picture, writers guild, and director’s guild awards. JJ Abrams reinvention of the best television show ever is a fine display of good filmmaking, and I would be surprised if it didn’t win an award. Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry has created television the way we know it today, it opened the door to science fiction and influenced modern day life! I think that it is about time Star Trek gets the apreciation it deserves, not only by winning awards, but by those people who used to lauph at Star Trek and now, thanks to Abram’s film, can see the true beauty of Star Trek.

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