Saito S wrote:
TMP is the only film that attempts high-concept sci-fi" in the first place
Instead of high-concept
, I think the word you might be looking for is epic
A high concept film
is often thought of as a film with mass market appeal whose premise and plot can be summarized very briefly. The concept behind the film is so strong and clear (so high
), it doesn't need a lot of words to express.
Does TMP even fit this definition, the way Jaws
Kirk must lead a refitted Enterprise to stop an alien probe from digitizing Earth.
OK, that's a broad stroke that covers the film. But there's a lot missing.
The probe is really an Earth probe following its built-in programming, but the probe has been augmented with alien technology to digitize objects entirely instead of just scanning them. The probe doesn't recognize people as true life forms, it only recognizes machines. Spock is about to devote his life to logic by burying his human side forever when the probe awakens his human half. Convincing the probe to stop following its programming so literally, so that it won't just digitize Earth, requires convincing it that illogical humans really are the true life form that created the original probe. Doing so validates human illogic over machine-like like logic.
It's not getting summarized in a nutshell.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Arguable, TSFS fits the definition of high concept better.
What if Spock transfered his consciousness into McCoy in the last film, and what if it can be put back into his regenerated body? Kirk steals the Enterprise to recover Spock's body to take it and McCoy to Spock's home planet to rejoin his mind and body.
True, one might not be able to understand it without understanding Star Trek
or seeing the film before it, but that's one of the reasons I said "arguably".
Can a sequel be high concept? Honestly, I don't know. If it can't, the whole point is moot, and the idea that TMP is the only high concept Trek movie means nothing except with respect to TMP itself.
is not high concept either. But it is an epic
Huh. I've often heard the term "high-concept" used to mean "more intellectually challenging/more complex", at least when used in the context of sci-fi. Dunno where I got it, really, so it could very well be way off-base.
But yes, either way, what I meant was the definition I just used. "Contact" would be an example of it, as would "2001"; many hard sci-fi novels would be as well. Star Trek sometimes treads on this ground. Star Wars, on the other hand, is very much NOT it.
Just to give a better idea of what I meant, since I apparently fail at using terminology correctly today.
TNG was an ensemble series on television. On film, it became the Picard/Data show. TOS was about three characters with a supporting cast. That dynamic was maintained, more or less, in the film series (though McCoy doesn't always get as much to do as he did on the series).
TNG probably would have worked better as a series of telemovies, which would have allowed for more time to highlight the ensemble in a way that wasn't possible with four movies made over the course of a decade.
I dunno about telemovies, I'm not sure that would have worked, but I agree about what you are saying in general here. It's actually a bit of a strange reversal: TOS (the show) intentionally focused on a "big three", with the others being secondary characters. TNG, on the other hand, was much more of an overall ensemble from the beginning, and generally did a pretty good job of feeling like one... on the show.
With the movies, TOS - despite the original show focusing mainly on the big three - actually did a pretty good job giving the other characters cool things to do, meaningful lines, etc. On the other hand, the TNG movies, despite being based on a show that was much more of an ensemble than TOS was, narrowed
the focus, with each of the four movies being more "PICARD AND DATA oh and I guess there are some other main characters too huh?" than the last.