Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?
In TNG's "The Vengeance Factor," Riker phasers some girl and the beam goes at an extreme downward angle to hit her in the chest. However, it appears that Jonathan Frakes was aiming at her head, so the outrageous angle was because the guys in post decided that having a girl get shot in the head wasn't family friendly or something.
"STAR TREK is... Action - Adventure - Science Fiction."
-- Gene Roddenberry, 1964, top of the first page of his original pitch and outline for Star Trek