Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Movie Reviews: "Terminator Salvation" And "Star Trek"

The summer mega-movie season is off to a good start, with a couple of good sci-fi movies firing the first promising salvoes: "Terminator Salvation" and the re-imagining of "Star Trek", both starring that famous actor Anton Yelchin.

"Terminator Salvation" came out this week, and I must say it exceeded my expectations. I liked how they used realistic weapons for the human forces -- basically things that were available in our arsenals on "Judgment Day" when the machines launched the nukes under their control. Therefore, you see the punishment-absorbing A-10 Thunderbolt as the primary human air weapon, and they even use a submarine (either a Seawolf- or Virginia-class boat, based on the boot in front of the sail) as a "command center". (For some reason, the submarine has extraneous cables or supports connecting the main deck to the sail, which would be a really bad noise source; however, that's something that only us Submariners would worry about.) They did good job getting us up to speed on the characters and their motivations, and the John Connor character wasn't nearly as annoying and whiny as in previous films in the series. The special effects were good, the new machine weapons were interesting, and the action flowed nicely. Sure, you had to suspend disbelief occasionally (Why didn't the machines wait until they had 2 of the new Terminators to unleash their plan? you'll wonder otherwise) but not as much as in the last couple of movies in the franchise. Overall, it was worth my time to see it, and I give it four ugly-but-effective Warthogs out of five.

I was really, really worried that "Star Trek" was going to suffer from the "odd-numbered movie" curse we've seen in the series to date -- luckily, it avoided that fate completely. Sure, it's kitschy, but that's what Star Trek is supposed to be. It was nice seeing Leonard Nimoy as "Spock Prime", and I thought the casting overall was really good. The changes they made -- Spock acting more human (particularly with respect to random kissing) -- were generally OK, the action sequences were great, and they didn't overdo the use of the "mandatory" classic lines. Sure, there were problems -- the black-hole science was particularly bad, but the only thing that really detracted from enjoying the film for me is the continued problem of how StarFleet does promotions. This one was probably the worst of all -- Kirk goes straight from Cadet to Captain. Sure, it was needed to set up the sequel(s), but it was still distracting. Since that was the only bad problem, and the rest of the film kept me thoroughly entertained and they set it up nicely for sequels, I give it four Warp Core Dumps out of five.


Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Damn Joel, catching up on blogging?

As for Star Trek, I loved it. Strange that there is another M-class planet in the Vulcan system though.

Didn't have any trouble with matter teleportation, but the black hole pissed you off huh?

For me, the Kobayashi maru was to easy. I was hoping for something less obvious.

You had to love the green chick.

And Uhura was hot.

Ok. I saw it twice.

5/22/2009 5:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the greatest disappointments of my naval service was lack of the Kobayashi Maru. Would it have been so hard for NR to come up with something like that? And no, Vulcan Death Watches are not the same.

5/22/2009 7:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic, but has anybody seen this article about counterfit cisco switches on submarines.

5/22/2009 8:41 PM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/22/2009 10:22 PM

Blogger Don the Baptist said...


"the only thing that really detracted from enjoying the film for me is the continued problem of how StarFleet does promotions."

Yeah, the "hey make me your XO," line at the end was good for a laugh, too.

The Onion has a hilarious take, announcing that Star Trek fans decry the film as enjoyable and action packed.

I really enjoyed it. Nice to watch a little entertainment for once instead of Hollywood's usual two-hour sermon, lately.

5/22/2009 10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So there's a green chick in this one?
I'm gonna have to see it then. I wonder what kind of green make-up I can buy to convince my girlfriend to use to dress up like an orion slave girl. I'll even buy her 4" heels or platform boots for it too.

5/22/2009 10:52 PM

Anonymous MM1/SS (Nuc Type) said...

Star Trek was AWESOME

I am a long time Trekkie, and was hoping it would be bearable.

I want to go see it again. The movie is that awesome.

I was reading reviews where the critics were lambasting the "young" actors...basically saying they needed work.

However, if you watch the old Star Trek shows, and see that style of acting. This new Generation did a wonderful job.

And you gotta love how they left it open for another sequel...or is it Pre-quel?

btw, yes, the Green Chick was hot as well as Ohura's character. Both were yummy

5/23/2009 1:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This movie's plot holes are the type that I do not accept from any movie. Whether a viewer is a Star Trek fan or not, whether it is a Star Trek movie or not, we should expect that a movie make sense. We deserve movies that are at least consistent with itself. Anything else means that we accept our role that too much of Hollywood see us playing; dollars.

Really now- how hard are script/ story problems to fix?


5/23/2009 2:04 AM

Anonymous long time star trek junkie said...

OK, I hate any movie with time travel conceits in it. To me it says "lazy writing". But as a kid, I hung on every original broadcast episode for dear life, and then watched them in syndicated reruns about 20 times each before leaving high school.

But: they nailed the characters (with both passion and humor), and the return to some of the defining catchphrases was done in a winking way (as was young Kirk boffing a green chick: I'm sure Eddie Murphy laughed his ass off).

So, once I suspended enough disbelief to get past the lazy use of time travel, the bad physics and Star Fleet's whacky promotion system and the deep canyon someplace in Iowa: I loved this flick. 9.2 out of 10:-)

Not to seem like to big a geek: but didn't an earlier movie, TV series or the novelized book series say that these starships were constructed in low earth orbit (or did I imagine this??):
if so, the presence of a terrestrial shipyard came as a surprise too...

5/23/2009 5:06 AM

Blogger Nereus said...

"So, once I suspended enough disbelief to get past the lazy use of time travel, the bad physics and Star Fleet's whacky promotion system and the deep canyon someplace in Iowa"...

Personally I could supend belief for all of that and other things mentioned. Just one thing ruined in for me because it was impossible

Everyone in the shipyard was actually working.

5/23/2009 8:43 AM

Anonymous ex721lelt said...

Everyone in the shipyard was working because they 'morphed' in real-world structures and workers from a gas-fired power plant the company I work for owns near Bakersfield, CA - if you look very closely at the scene, you will see bulk stoarage tanks, Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs), and transformers from the facility - they took the basic structure of the plant and build-up the Starfleet shipyard on top of it. They even used some of the plant employees as extras - pretty cool.

5/23/2009 11:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the "fake" cisco switches - its a non-story. This guy castro picked up real but used/grey market stuff with fake serials and sold it as new. He could he purchased directly from Cisco. He's a crook who got burned by other crooks. Welcome to the world of military procurement with a side dish of minority set asides.

5/23/2009 3:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me a racist, but the Green Chick was just a bit off in color for me. I prefer my Orion slamewomen to be more of an emerald, like the original Vena.

5/23/2009 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...though this one, Marta, probably has the best overall form.

5/23/2009 5:46 PM

Blogger natasha said...

Watch Natsha Naked!

5/24/2009 6:00 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Nereus said: "Personally I could supend belief for all of that and other things mentioned. Just one thing ruined in for me because it was impossible

Everyone in the shipyard was actually working."

ROTFLMAO!!! I needed a good laugh.

5/24/2009 8:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, NR does have its version of the Kobayashi Maru... the IDE. You better not cause anything to go wrong... or you'll have an incident report to deal with.

I think it would be a learning experience if NR actually let you destroy the Rx just to see what would happen.

Very Respectfully

5/24/2009 8:09 PM

Blogger Bigbill said...

Part of testing the 626 IDE at NPTU before it went on line was a major loss of coolant casualty. It was interesting to watch all the parameters and realize just how in depth the software was programmed. Once it went on line, we could only use that feature to show how it would happen but not with watchstanders.

5/25/2009 1:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yvonne Craig played Marta. She was pretty hot as Batgirl too.

5/26/2009 7:47 AM

Anonymous need coffee said...

Terminator Salvation might have made Christian Bale a lot more money, but it definitely did not help to establish his reputation as a dependably good actor

5/28/2009 10:27 AM

Anonymous Jeff Lee said...

I liked the "Hey, make me your XO" part at the end. Could you imagine how different things would be if COs could recruit and build their own teams rather than having to do with whatever randomly selected dudes came through the detailer's chute?

6/02/2009 12:50 AM

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6/02/2009 6:54 AM

Blogger Atul said...

Hi, nice blog i had seen this movie, its a nice one, if you want to Download Terminator Salvation Movie , you can visit here.

9/25/2009 5:46 AM

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1/19/2012 2:45 PM

Anonymous Ericka said...

It can't really have effect, I think this way.

9/05/2012 10:08 AM


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