I see. I'm strictly talking about cinematography as opposed to just the effects, but I get what you mean. I had that sort of experience even with the TOS films in pan-and-scan as a kid (except for TMP, TFF and TUC, my mom always got me widescreen editions if they were available at our store). However, I think you're selling cinematography in GENERATIONS short. It may be the same sets in general, but the way they're lit and modified did not give me the same TV feel from the series and I like how Alonzo (one of the best DPs IMO) actually made use of the aspect ratio to compliment the sets (adding consoles to the sides was a very nice touch too). It's always been a much richer looking film to me than most of the other films.
I agree about the battle in GENERATIONS not doing enough. I blame that mostly on the script that relied too much on meaningless techno-babble ("plasma coils!" ugh!), however I think they did get some nifty shots from that battle as at one point the camera is circling around the front of the Enterprise's secondary hull at a fast pace, which was nothing like we ever saw in the TV series. I wish we had more of that dynamic. Still, the drama isn't there because there's no strategy beyond "technobabble this and we'll win". It's
F/X wise, the battle in NEMESIS is better, but I don't think the execution really makes it all exciting. There's too much meaningless firing and such, whereas in TWOK every shot had to count and it only increased the tension.
To get back to GENERATIONS, what I love most about it is that they got to use the sets and f/x in ways we never got to see on the TV series so it made the film feel more unique. My favorite being the use of sunlight illuminating the sets. IMO, it's one of the better looking films along with TWOK, TVH, and TUC.
As for NEMESIS... I find it for the most part pretty boring photography. Most of everything comes of flat, which is surprising because Jeffrey Kimball is well known for his stylish photography in films like TOP GUN, BEVERLY HILLS COP II, TRUE ROMANCE, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II, ect. When he does try to do something unique for Trek, it comes off less stylish and more tacky. I'm thinking of something like when Troi is tracking down the Simitar with the light shining on her. Other than that, I'm never left with much of an impression.