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Star Trek Premiere Gets Standing Ovation, Surprise Showing In Austin 437

Posted by Soulskill
from the set-phasers-to-awesome dept.
MrKaos writes "Proving that science fiction can still be great entertainment, J.J. Abrams appears to have impressed Star Trek fans at the official world premiere of Star Trek, who gave the film a five-minute standing ovation at the Sydney Opera House in Australia today. Meanwhile, mere hours beforehand, flummoxed fans at the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, TX, deceived into thinking they were seeing a special, extended version of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, were pleasantly surprised when a disguised Leonard Nimoy greeted them and announced they would be seeing the new film in its entirety. ILM's influence on the film is reported as visually stunning, and lucky Australian fans are scheduled to see the movie first, as it opens a day before the American release."
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Star Trek Premiere Gets Standing Ovation, Surprise Showing In Austin

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  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:07AM (#27503779) Journal

    .... I'd hate to see this guy [stardestroyer.net] have to do another plot synopsis ;)

  • Wait...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnarlyhotep (872433) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:10AM (#27503815)
    "Proving that science fiction can still be great entertainment"

    When was this something that needed to be proven? I've found plenty of entertaining science fiction around. Did I miss the elitist newsletter that told us all we had to say science fiction was crap now?

    Jeez, miss one meeting...
    • by enilnomi (797821) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:21AM (#27503987)

      Did I miss the elitist newsletter that told us all we had to say science fiction was crap now?

      No, you just didn't see Transformers.

    • by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:22AM (#27503993) Homepage Journal

      Jeez, miss one meeting...

      Speaking of which, your dues are not current. Please remit $263.81 as soon as possible. We also voted you "Most likely to annoy others at the theater by leaving to go to the bathroom during a pivotal scene".

      Congrats, I understand this is the 4th straight year you've won the award. ;P

    • Re:Wait...what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by clang_jangle (975789) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:36AM (#27504229) Journal
      That's just the uninformed younger generation. They haven't had much opportunity to experience great science fiction, since they don't read novels and few great science fiction films have been made in their lifetime.
    • Re:Wait...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by xouumalperxe (815707) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:01PM (#27504705)

      I've found plenty of entertaining science fiction around. Did I miss the elitist newsletter that told us all we had to say science fiction was crap now?

      Hell, did I lose the memo that said that crap scifi (or is it syfy?) can't be entertaining?

    • Re:Wait...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:33PM (#27505191)

      I think what he meant was "Proving that science fiction can still be great pop-culture entertainment".

      There's a big difference between what a sci-fi fan finds entertaining (speculation about future technology and society, viewing the problems of today through the lens of fantasy) and what the average guy on the street finds entertaining (I'm going to resist the temptation to lampoon the average guy's tastes).

      Don't believe me? Look at the most popular 'sci-fi' movies in history (truly popular, not just cult classics) and think about whether or not they are really science-fiction the way you think about it. Pop-culture sci-fi uses the futuristic/technology aspects as plot devices to make a fantasy story work. What makes the new Star Trek movie interesting is that it seems to be both science-fiction as well as pop-culture science-fiction at the same time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MrKaos (858439)

        There's a big difference between what a sci-fi fan finds entertaining and what the average guy on the street finds entertaining.

        Exactly! Most of the Science Fiction Entertainment I get is from Sci Fi Books. I grew up reading Clarke (read 2001 when I was 9). I just read through all of Alastair Reynolds 'Revelation Space' series, I thought 'Marrow' Robert Reed was great, I've consumed most of Bear's writings. I've got boxes of Science Fiction books downstairs that I've read but haven't got around to getting

      • Re:Wait...what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by afabbro (33948) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @04:56PM (#27509475) Homepage

        Don't believe me? Look at the most popular 'sci-fi' movies in history (truly popular, not just cult classics) and think about whether or not they are really science-fiction the way you think about it. Pop-culture sci-fi uses the futuristic/technology aspects as plot devices to make a fantasy story work. What makes the new Star Trek movie interesting is that it seems to be both science-fiction as well as pop-culture science-fiction at the same time.

        I've always thought that Star Trek was science fiction, while Star Wars was space opera. Star Trek usually explored some science fiction concept in each episode. You might say the ideas were crap (they sometimes were), but each episode introduced a new idea, explored it, etc.

        On the other hand, you could take Star Wars and redo it as a Western without any loss of story. The space setting is merely a style. Same thing is pretty much true for Battlestar Galactica - the story is great, but it's not really science fiction in the sense of exploring new ideas. You could retell either BSG or Star Wars as Westerns or Fantasy or sword and sandals, etc.

        That's not to say that Star Wars or BSG are bad, just that they are space opera - stories with the trappings of space - not science fiction. On the other hand, there are plenty of movies that are not set in space that are science fiction.

        • Re:Wait...what? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @05:22PM (#27509861)

          While I agree with the analysis of Star Trek v. Star Wars, I'd argue BSG touches a lot of 'true sci-fi' topics, particularly the lines between machine and sentience, and the dangers associated with creating more and more intelligent machines.

          Also I'd say its more than just a space opera because it explores the practical implications of multi-world society, and seems much more realistic than Star Wars in terms of social commentary and realism... although I realize that doesn't necessarily push it more into sci-fi rather than just being generally more substantial.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DJRumpy (1345787)
      A recent Slashdot study found that 10 out of 10 prefer the 'Elite' SciFi as opposed to the 0 out of 10 who prefer the 'crap' ScyPhy...
  • refunds (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:11AM (#27503835)
    Those guys in Austin should demand a refund! They paid for a ticket for The Wrath of Khan, but that's not what they got. If it were me I'd be raising hell.
    • It was free (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tylersoze (789256) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:26AM (#27504077)

      Well actually it was a free screening. I got there too late and was turned away because the theater was full. It would've been cool to see Nimoy. I say I would have walked out since I really wanted to see Khan, but honestly I'm sure the atomosphere was totally electric after Nimoy came out. I think all the good reviews coming out from that are more than likely colored by that fact. I'm sure I would have been caught up in it too even though I could give a crap about seeing the new one.

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:54AM (#27504593) Homepage

      Those guys in Austin should demand a refund! They paid for a ticket for The Wrath of Khan, but that's not what they got. If it were me I'd be raising hell.

      The story I heard via word of mouth was that they were actually going to play Wrath of Khan, with ten minutes of sneak-preview footage from the movie that hadn't been seen before as a bonus. However shortly after Wrath started playing, the old and damaged film caught fire and was destroyed. Then Nimoy revealed himself, and instead of showing the 10 minute teaser, they showed the whole film.

      linky [originalalamo.com] I found on a Drafthouse blog, btw.

      I can't imagine (though I guess it's possible) even Spock himself would dare show the full movie without authorization. So that may have been planned. The destruction of a print of Wrath... probably wasn't.

      The last time I had a film burn up (actually it was the projector bulb that exploded, side effect was the print was destroyed) all I got was a lousy refund. Getting to watch a world premiere of a movie I'd probably be interested in, rather than having my night out ruined, is way way better than a refund.

      I seriously fucking wish I had been there and I may have been but I didn't even know they were running Wrath. Why do I not check the Drafthouse web page more often?!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Why would they have had the entire film print there, just in case? It doesn't make sense...
        • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:26PM (#27505089) Homepage

          Why would they have had the entire film print there, just in case? It doesn't make sense...

          Because the movie was about to be released for-reals, so they'd need to be given a print?

          But you're right, I'm thinking it was planned, except that doesn't explain the film melting which the blog says the owner was surprised and upset over, or having the writers for Khan there who started an impromptu Q&A session between when the film melted and Nimoy showed up. So either this was all theatrics (certainly possible at the Alamo) with some rough execution (also possible ;), or the only intended surprise was Nimoy's visit but the owner managed to work something out.

          Either way, it sounds pretty cool to me. :)

          • by MrKaos (858439) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:20PM (#27505873) Journal

            But you're right, I'm thinking it was planned, except that doesn't explain the film melting

            It must of been planned. What better way to ensure you have a group of hard core Trek fans there than by say 'it's an extended Wrath of Khan'. The burn up must of been staged and Abrams was testing the film on the hardcore fans to gauge the reaction. Got to give it to him on knowing his market.

          • by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:23PM (#27505913)

            Paramount created about six minutes of brand-new Khan film that included a simulated melt/burn. This was what they played. It was all part of the show.

            There had to be a reason to stop Khan and then have "dead time" to fill while the projectionist loaded the movie they intended to premiere.

          • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:08PM (#27506625)

            Because the movie was about to be released for-reals, so they'd need to be given a print?

            But you're right, I'm thinking it was planned, except that doesn't explain the film melting which the blog says the owner was surprised and upset over, or having the writers for Khan there who started an impromptu Q&A session between when the film melted and Nimoy showed up. So either this was all theatrics (certainly possible at the Alamo) with some rough execution (also possible ;), or the only intended surprise was Nimoy's visit but the owner managed to work something out.

            Either way, it sounds pretty cool to me. :)

            The problem is, the movie isnt due for release for another month - there is no reason at all for a cinema which is not doing one of the premier screenings around the world to have a full copy of the show on site a full month ahead of its release, that would be a security risk.

            I don't think there can be any doubt that this was planned well ahead of schedule.

      • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:25PM (#27505075)
        A lamp burning the film would only destroy about five feet of it. The damaged print can be prepared and the show completed (trust me, I've done it). You can't "destroy a print" in a projector, unless it's silver nitrate, and you need a special projection booth with fire suppression in order to run those legally (and the Austin Drafthouse doesn't have that kind of booth. Trust me, I've run films there).
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:50PM (#27505389)

        "I can't imagine (though I guess it's possible) even Spock himself would dare show the full movie without authorization. So that may have been planned. The destruction of a print of Wrath... probably wasn't."

        Oh, come on. What are the statistical chances of Nimoy being present when any film, let alone a Star Trek film, let alone on the day before release of a new Star Trek film, bursts into flames in the projector and they happen to have the whole new film ready to go rather than only 10 minutes of it? The odds against must be astronomical. (We'll call it the "Nimoy paradox")

        It was a dramatic setup. I like it, actually. It's funny (reminds me of a trick Monty Python used to use). But the whole thing was almost certainly staged.

      • The story I heard via word of mouth was that they were actually going to play Wrath of Khan, with ten minutes of sneak-preview footage from the movie that hadn't been seen before as a bonus. However shortly after Wrath started playing, the old and damaged film caught fire and was destroyed. Then Nimoy revealed himself, and instead of showing the 10 minute teaser, they showed the whole film.

        Wow, that doesn't sound at all unlikely. By the way, did you know that because of a bizarre lexicographical quirk that the word "gullible" isn't actually in the dictionary?

    • Re:refunds (Score:5, Funny)

      by bickle (101226) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:11PM (#27504865)
      Me too. I'd be yelling "CON!!!!!!!!!!"
  • by 14erCleaner (745600) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:15AM (#27503875) Homepage Journal
    I guess he didn't wear his ears.
  • visually stunning (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:17AM (#27503907)
    I like how the "visually stunning" link goes to a tech article about the equipment used for the Sydney showing. Maybe Soulskill can fill us in on how that ties in to ILM.
  • Review? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1NO@SPAMverizon.net> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:18AM (#27503933) Homepage
    It got an ovation, great. But are they allowing anyone to release any reviews? Was some of the ovation left over from the shock of what the actual movie was?
    • Re:Review? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:01PM (#27504693)

      It was a screening to people who would actually take time out of their lives to go see a remastered version of Wrath of Khan. Which isn't anything against those folk, that was a good movie. But in terms of objective "this was a good movie on it's own merits" reviews, do you honestly expect to see any?

      This was a binary choice: either they all loved it because it was the next Star Trek movie. Meaning it didn't stink as bad as Nemesis. Or they burnt down the theater because it was the next Star Trek movie and it stunk as bad as Nemesis.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quothz (683368)

      It got an ovation, great. But are they allowing anyone to release any reviews?

      TFA is a review.

  • All trekkies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:23AM (#27504007)

    The audience consisted of trekkies, but I'm wondering; does that make the 5min. standing ovation more, or less impressive?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ultraexactzz (546422)
      It's an odd-numbered film, so I'm thinking it would be more impressive. Uphill climb, and all that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        The guy from Spaced [wikipedia.org] (I think his name was Simon Pegg) always used to say that odd-numbered Trek's ALWAYS sucked. He was a wise man, that one.
        • by BobNET (119675) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:57AM (#27504637)

          Just as there are no sequels to the Matrix [xkcd.com], Insurrection is the most recent Trek movie made. That makes this the tenth, so the odd-even rule still stands...

          • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:07PM (#27504791) Homepage

            Sorry, but it's not like ignoring Nemesis would result in the Trek franchise being unsullied, so I don't see it the same as the fact that there is only one Matrix movie. There were already bad Treks, including even numbered ones, and that's just part of the series charm... I guess.

            No what really happened is that Nemesis was a real movie, and a real shitty movie. Nemesis was not just an even numbered Trek that sucked, it was an even numbered Trek that sucked so hard that it dragged everything around it into itself until its huge mass of suck collapsed and formed a singularity, making a wormhole into another dimension where the old odd-even rule simply doesn't apply any more.

            Nemesis broke the pattern, literally. It's busted. We're in a new world where anything can happen, including good odd-numbered Treks. Also, I think Neptune is slightly more purple in this universe.

    • by Atzanteol (99067) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:41AM (#27504331) Homepage
      More. How many trekkies do you know that can stand for 5 minutes?
  • These are fans (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:28AM (#27504103) Homepage Journal

    there opinion needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

    I hope it is worth it.

    • Re:These are fans (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mea37 (1201159) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:46AM (#27504447)
      You mean like how Star Wars fans went easy on Lucas for Episodes I-III?
      • SW != ST (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        Star Trek fans have a different mind set the Star Trek fans.

        Star Wars: "You better be better then our memories of the first time we saw Star Wars bitch!"

        Star Trek fans: "Alright, another Star Trek! Let's be excited for the privileged!"

        Oddly enough, even people who are a fan of both have those attitudes toward the respective franchises.

        I suspect it has to do with the roots of the franchise. ST was hard fought by the fans SW came out of the gates blowing people away.

  • Nuclear wessels (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:32AM (#27504159) Homepage

    FTFA:

    Anton Yelchin's Russian accent in his portrayal of Chekov does get a bit annoying.

    What do you expect Yelchin to do with that part, now that Koenig completely immortalized bad accents for Chekov?

  • Christopher Pike? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scubamage (727538) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:32AM (#27504171)
    Just curious, is Christopher Pike the captain of the enterprise? I saw some guy introduce himself as Kirk in the trailer. However since this is supposed to be predating the early series, Kirk wouldn't be captain yet. Pike would. Or is this yet another one of the billion plot holes?
  • by realmolo (574068) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:41AM (#27504333)

    Remember, this was a screening attended by trekkies and Harry Knowles-type movie dorks. These aren't people that know what a good movie is.

    Hell, the trailers for the new Trek movie seem to indicate that Abrams took inspiration from - God help us - the Star Wars prequels.

    It'll suck. Like almost all science-fiction movies from the past 15 or 20 years. And I'm a sci-fi fan.

  • clever PR move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SethJohnson (112166) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:42AM (#27504351) Homepage Journal


    Most stuff like this gets previewed in Austin in order to buy Harry Knowles' endorsement. It's not a high barrier to entry. Studios usually just massage his ego with a visit to their set, an advance screening on his birthday, or bring him up on stage to introduce a screening [youtube.com]. As if he knows two shits about anything (that youtube link is to a video of him introducing the Star Trek premiere mentioned in TFA).

    Seth
  • I'm not impressed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:59AM (#27504653) Journal

    "gave the film a five-minute standing ovation at the Sydney Opera House in Australia today."

    The Star Trek fans did exactly the same at the end of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and that is one of the worst movies of the franchise. I suspect the applause had more to do with seeing Star Trek *return* than any relation to artistic merit.

    On the other hand:

    Maybe I'm just being cynical. Abrahms produces a lot of crap. Lost sucks (boring - slow as molasses), and Alias was also lousy except for the brilliant first season. I am not expecting anything from him.

  • by kalirion (728907) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:00PM (#27504675)

    When even I look at the new Spock, I see Sylar. I'm all for actors branching out, but Sylar is just too strong a character for me to forget him quickly, no matter how good the acting is.

  • by kurrentgmail.com (1527657) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:05PM (#27504755)
    You know there was ONE huge trekkie there that was actually mad he wasn't seeing the special extended version of wrath of khan and was forced to watch the new movie.
  • Duh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by monkeySauce (562927) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:08PM (#27504815) Journal

    lucky Australian fans are scheduled to see the movie first, as it opens a day before the American release.

    And if it wasn't opening a day before in Australia... they wouldn't get to see it first?? (before the U.S.)

    In any case, Australians are NOT scheduled to see it first, as it opens TWO days before the U.S. in Belgium, France and Switzerland.
    http://www.startrekmovie.com/releasedates/ [startrekmovie.com]

  • Superficial? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hdon (1104251) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:09PM (#27504825)

    Quote from one of the reviewers:

    This 11th film is easily the best looking, most expensive, best produced iteration in the franchise. This film is going to be absolutely massive. It's epic in scale, and it's easy to see where the $150 million went.

    Is anyone else actually excited by this kind of thing? Who here can say they enjoyed Reloaded or Revolutions more than The Matrix? I was really hoping for reviews to tell me how compelling the acting and story were, but it really seems to be all about the expense. Am I missing something?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 77Punker (673758)

      This is how they get non-trekkies into a Trek film.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by chihowa (366380)

      Who here can say they enjoyed Reloaded or Revolutions more than The Matrix?

      What are you talking about? There weren't any sequels to The Matrix. [xkcd.com]

    • Re:Superficial? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by chrysrobyn (106763) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:20PM (#27505879)

      Is anyone else actually excited by this kind of thing? Who here can say they enjoyed Reloaded or Revolutions more than The Matrix?

      There was only one Matrix movie. Sequels were rumored, but WERE NEVER FILMED. Accept this fact and you can be a happier person.

      I was really hoping for reviews to tell me how compelling the acting and story were, but it really seems to be all about the expense. Am I missing something?

      Have you seen Star Trek movies before? You were really hoping to hear about compelling acting? I enjoy Trek movies as much as the next guy (well, not to the point that I go to cons with funny ears or prosthetic foreheads, but I was disappointed when they canceled Enterprise), but to say that you enjoy Trek movies for something other than the awesome special effects, thematic elements and the glimpse at a whole other reality seems disingenuous.

      Wrath of Khan, factually the best Star Trek movie, was made for $11 million. Nemesis was $60 million. Of newer films, I enjoyed First Contact, which was made for less than $50 million. I think we can safely say that budget is not related to the enjoyment factor of a Star Trek movie.

  • Australia? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mdarksbane (587589) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:12PM (#27504883)

    But that means all of the cams will have crappy Australian subtitles!

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:24PM (#27505057) Homepage Journal
    Several interpretations for that;

    First they got angry with the movie, destroyed all the seats, and then started hitting and slapping each one for going to see it. In a lights out, you only see a lot of standing people and the clapping sound.

    Or.. the seats were all taken by the actors, red shirts, extras, old series characters, etc, so the people that went to the cine had to be standing. The movie finished, the director said "ok, now lets go for a beer to forget this" and got an ovation.

    PR always give weird twists to stories.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:36PM (#27505235)

    There's a big Hollywood trend for shakey-cam shots, be it Michael Bay, the Bourne movies, Battlestar Galactica, whatever. It'd bad enough when the camera is bobbing and weaving in a conversation between two people sitting down in a comfortable room, absolutely nausea-inducing in an action scene, and seems to have made its way into space as well. Given the limitations of model work, the old Star Treks always had a sedate and stately feel. When Babylon 5 really blew the doors off the idea of using CGI for space battles, they still used admirable constraint while pushing boundaries. Some of the battles by season 5 got a bit muddled, though.

    Just going from the trailers of this movie, it looks like we might almost have a Blair Witch level of confusion and nausea in the space battle. The frantic clips appeared to be a kaleidoscope of beams, explosions, and whirling pieces of ships. Does it get any better in context?

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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