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Star Trek And The Conservation Of Dialogue Principle

23 May

thank you for smokingThere was a movie called Thank You For Smoking, and it had Robe Lowe in it as a Hollywood movie executive, and Aaron Eckhart as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry. In one scene, Eckhart’s character is trying to work a deal with Lowe’s character to get cigarettes placed more prominently and positively in upcoming blockbusters, and Lowe describes a scene he has in mind.

It’s set in space, and the idea is that two superhot A-List actors like say Johnny Depp and Scarlett Johansson have sex in a room with zero gravity, and it’s all sexy and graphic, and then they’re floating there afterward smoking cigarettes, and the smoke is spiraling around them and that’s exactly what Eckhart’s talking about.

“But,” he asks. “Wouldn’t the whole thing blow up, lighting up in an oxygen rich environment like that?”

“Well, yeah,” says the movie producer. “But that’s just like, one line of dialogue. ‘I’m so glad we got the whatever installed so we can smoke in space.'”

Very matter-of-fact, because it’s often that simple, and as far as watching the new Star Trek movie goes, don’t go complaining that they didn’t add the extra lines of dialogue for you. They’re already talking plenty. Some things just aren’t going to make sense, and they’re going to spare us the token explanations as to why.

Like you might be wondering why the Enterprise, which can teleport a grown Vulcan male out of the center of the volcano, can’t remotely operate whatever device he’s got down there with him. I think they may have even muttered something about how they can’t be seen by the natives – but you know, they’re usually teleporting from orbit, where the natives wouldn’t see them.

Well, the crust is rich in radioactive isotopes, and they’re screwing with the sensor array, and the device Spock has is too sensitive – the interference could reverse the polarity and then it wouldn’t work. Only way to do it is by hand.

Star Trek 1Or something like that. On the television show, they get pretty bogged down explaining stuff all the time, acting like this is science and not silliness with science stickers on it. I think the new Star Trek movie makes a pretty good decision realizing that it doesn’t need to explain everything.

Like why they could stun Khan briefly on the Bridge, but Uhura unloaded on him about eight times and he supershrugged it off, even with one Metric Vulcan Asskicking in him. That’s how the action needed to flow, don’t make them explain that. Maybe he took a bite out of a tribble before he left, who knows?

We could quibble about how they were beaming folks out of midair in the last one, and this time they can’t get a lock during the final fight scene because “they’re moving around too much!”

It was already awkward enough when Bones is suddenly had a dead tribble next to him and sort of stretched and said, “Yep. Better inject some of Khan’s weird ass blood into this dead tribble while you guys proceed with your action movie. See what happens.”

Everybody even sort of turns to look at him. Sure, Bones. You do that. Right here, why the hell not?

And of course a little dialogue tap dance regarding the need for an extraneous bra-and-panty shot for Dr. Marcus. Because she’s hot, and her agent said so, that’s why.

The problem always comes in when there’s no line of dialogue that could save them from the problem – like when Iron Man doesn’t have any extra suits. That’s dumb, Iron Man. You’re not dumb. Last time you had an extra suit in your car. Keep extra suits somewhere, you big ding dong.

A fine line I’m drawing there, I guess. Star Trek silliness is cool and you shouldn’t ask questions, Iron Man silliness is questionable but still cool, just not as cool as Star Trek. Also, did you notice that Star Trek wouldn’t even have happened if everyone would have just listened to Scotty with regards to seventy-ish torpedos which no one can see inside, and with regards to taking said torpedos on board?

ScottyHe basically had the whole movie beat if everyone had just said, “Hey, Scotty’s right, like he usually is about engineering and missiles. We usually do all right without mystery torpedos, anyway – right?”

All right, well, that’s my advice, and I’ve thought it through carefully for well over twenty-six minutes, so I can’t imagine there is anything inconsistent or hypocritical about it. I was going to bag on the Pope for a little bit, but I was too tired, and he really does seem nice. I guess just being a Pope freaks me out, that’s all.

Cool, now I’m going to use the gravitational pull of the Sun as a sling shot and go land on my couch. You have a nice evening, blogosphere.

 

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