Shat Happens wrote:
^your use of the word "cerebral" reminds me of the classic explanation why "where no man.." was made after "the cage" and all that history.
Coming to think of it, STII was made folowing the same reasoning, it seems.
I don't think TMP is all that cerebral. To me "cerebral" connotates with something difficult to understand and I certainly don't think TMP is difficult to understand.
It is understandable that TPTB could want some extra jump and energy for the second outing. But what I disagreed with was all the other changes that were made. The look of TMP didn't have to be radically altered, but only tweaked. I also strongly disagreed with Nic Meyer going out of his way to make the crew look old and the Enterprise
only a cadet ship. For me it was an unforgivable act of revisionism after the promise of TMP that the adventure was just beginning...again.
One element of TWOK that still bothers me---more so today than originally---is that it set something of a precedent: big bad villain comes back (or comes out) to wreak havok and destroy everthing. It also cemented an idea that to be interesting in the present you had to mine the past. Fanfic does it. Comics have done it. Fan films do it. Successive episodes and big screen films do it.
Part of the problem I have with it is it makes the universe seem small.
I didn't see TMP until I was 10. I had grown up on TNG and Star Trek IV was the first movie I saw. TMP seemed to be the hardest to understand, at 10, of the movies I watched. Each movie had a hook--Khan wants to kill Kirk. Kirk wants to rescue Spock. We need to rescue Whales. Sybok wants to find God. Kirk needs to make peace with the Klingons.
I don't think there's a dramatic moment in TMP. I don't mean that there's nothing about it that isn't dramatic. But without knowing the characters from TOS, and no analytic mind to compare and contrast, TMP was hard to understand. Why isn't Kirk in command of the Enterprise? They never address the time lapse directly. It's all done subtly. Who was Decker? Why should he be in the film (not giving equal weight to the characters)? What is V'Ger. It's mostly in dialogue. We don't see it, like the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon or the Phaser hits in TWOK. V'Ger isn't very imposing. It's not a ship. Star Trek is about running into a ship. Everything else put me to sleep.
So I couldn't
enjoy TMP at 10. The musical cues aren't there. The voices are soft and subtle. It's not visceral. You have to understand the chain of command. You have to listen
to this movie to get all of its drama. Subtle, not cerebral.
And that's the word I would use: Subtle. It assumes you know the Star Trek characters inside and out. I think Gene assumed that he could do what he wanted with the franchise since it was so popular. Just a guess.
As an adult, I learned how to listen and compare and contrast. I learned how to give equal weight to the characters, whether guest stars or not. I felt for Ilia dying as Decker felt. I felt the danger of the attack by V'Ger on the Enterprise before Kirk opened his mouth. I saw the breakdown in the Chain of Command when Decker and Kirk were battling over who would run the ship, and didn't need Bones to sum it up for me. TMP is no longer a mystery, but you have to want to think about characterization and plot and putting yourself in the circumstances of the characters on the screen. It's not candy, this is like a Filet Mignon, green beans, and a baked potato. Everyone loves candy; it's universal. But some get as much pleasure out of Mignon as they do out of a bag of M&Ms. It's just a matter of taste.
I like "The Cage." I like TMP. I wish Star Trek was always this imaginative (and subtle).