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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old November 12 2012, 12:26 PM   #16
Tiberius
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

Christopher wrote: View Post
I actually think there's a lot to like about Nemesis. Shinzon is an intriguing adversary who has a stronger relationship with the protagonist than any other Trek movie villain (despite nominally being a clone, he's more of a surrogate son for Picard from a dramatic standpoint)...
I gotta disagree with you there, Christopher. Shinzon came out of nowhere with a lame excuse of a backstory in a cheesy attempt to make it personal. It's never personal unless there's a history between the characters. That was completely lacking in this case. Shinzon could have been anyone, and nothing would have been different.

...and whose story allows for some classic Trekkish exploration of philosophical questions: How much of our identity is destined by our birth and how much is shaped by our choices and experiences?
Issues that were not really explored in the movie.

Are good and evil intrinsic or learned?
Shinzon could have been anyone and this issue could have been explored as a result of him being a slave. Is he evil because of how he was treated as a slave? It would have worked if he'd been anyone.

I also think there's some nice political nuance with the Romulans and Remans, multilayered intrigue and betrayal that feels rather Roman and unsurprising from the writer of Gladiator. If nothing else, I was pleased to see the Romulan Star Empire actually depicted as an empire, i.e. a state that had subject races, which was a refreshing departure from the monoracial "empires" Trek usually gives us.
True, but I think that the issue is let down by the fact the Remans had never been established before and also that horrendous make up.

I think its weaknesses have more to do with the intrinsic conventions of Hollywood feature films that undermine good storytelling, like the emphasis on gratuitous action in SF films and the demand for relentless pacing. The biggest flaw of the film is that a vital dialogue scene between Picard and Data, one that sets up character and thematic arcs that are fundamental to the story, was cut out altogether because it was "too slow," whereas the completely pointless and problematical dune-buggy chase was left in to meet a quota for action. And those decisions fall on the director, editor, and producer, not on Logan.

The problem with the way feature films are done in Hollywood is that the writers have essentially no power, unless they're also producing or directing. The credited screenwriter for a film may have very little actual input into the final version of the script, or may be just one of numerous contributors. Writers are generally seen as just hired contractors brought in to assemble the story the director or producer wants to tell. So having a given writer's name on a screenplay is no guarantee that its quality will be at all consistent with other films credited to the same screenwriter.
Agreed. The quality or lack thereof of a movie is not the fault of one person.

Although I'm hoping maybe that could start to change, since it seems some writers are becoming more influential in the game. Joss Whedon can now write his own ticket in Hollywood. TV writer-producers like Whedon, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Zack Stentz, and Ashley Miller are becoming feature producers or directors. DC and Marvel have big multimedia divisions that are under the creative control of writers like Geoff Johns; 20th Century Fox has hired Mark Millar to be the creative head of their Marvel movie strategy. Hopefully in time the rest of the industry will come around and give screenwriters more influence.
Yeah. It seems crazy that Hollywood takes the power of the story away from the people who understand storytelling the best.
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Old November 12 2012, 08:47 PM   #17
Galileo7
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

Shinzon and Picard's clone storyline was mundane.
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Old November 12 2012, 10:04 PM   #18
inflatabledalek
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

I can't speak for his other films, but Skyfall (which, it's worth noting he also shares the writing credit with two other- more established Bond- writers) has just as many deeply silly plot holes as Nemesis. It's advantage is it's a much, much better made film. A perfect example of Big Dumb Action Film making.

The same applies to First Contact, it's an extremely silly plot hole ridden film, but stands up much better than Nemesis because of how its made.

So whilst that doesn't excuse it being a mess, I do think the same script being directed by someone who could do it with more OMMMPH would have gone down much better. Hell, a director with a bit more pace to his work would have likely left enough room for the aforementioned Picard and Data deleted scene whilst still hitting the same running time.
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Old November 13 2012, 12:06 AM   #19
jayrath
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

This will be my last post on this topic in any thread. It has all been discussed so often.

Filmmaking is a highly collaborative medium. It is arguably the most collaborative medium of all. When there is a success, there are many who are responsible. The same is true when there are (perceived) failures.

Even TNG cast members have gone on record as saying that this installment "sucked." And I am loathe to argue with them.

It's also true that it's hard to tell, when you're an individual working on a film, just how the completed result will look. Your own part is so small -- even if you're a featured actor. You have to trust that someone else has a vision of the greater, finished whole. Usually this is the director. In the past, when Hollywood had a very strong studio system, it was the producer.

Whether you love or hate "Nemesis," there is fault and credit all around. Every last technician made it what it was and what it was not.

I did not enjoy the film myself. I was astonished that I felt perfectly free to go back out into the lobby halfway through to refill my popcorn. Others love it. Good for them.

I refuse to judge the audience. Surely there is a lot in the thing to like. Perhaps art direction?

But please let us stop looking for just a few villains or, alternately, heroes, who are responsible for any Trek movie or even episode. That's just simplistic. It's like blaming a moth for the run in a silk stocking. Many, many are responsible.

Perhaps they should have spoken up at the time. Perhaps they spoke up too much in approving the screenplay. Perhaps they did not offer their own suggestions. Perhaps they trusted the director too much. Perhaps they did not trust him enough.
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Old November 13 2012, 12:50 AM   #20
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

I blame Gates McFadden.
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Old November 13 2012, 01:39 AM   #21
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

There's a lot of places to point the fingers in regards to Nemesis. But the foundation of it's failure did lie in the premise of the script. You can't just handwave in a villain like this and declare it intimate and personal without it also seeming forced and artificial. Tomalak and Sela, despite being able to count the number of appearances each had on one hand, at least had something of a history with Picard that you might have staged a personal connection with.

Suppose Tomalak was forced into early retirement because of his shaky history in the border incidents with the Federation. He blames Picard for this and is the focus of his revenge and desire for redemption. After he and a loyal group of officers manage to secure control of a few vessels and maybe an installation covertly, he launches an operation to steal Lore and reactivate him(I think the actor would've been available) as the perfect lure for Picard and company. It would've made more sense than being able to detect a random android a sector away.

So we have two classic villains, one wanting revenge for being shut down and the other wanting revenge and to display the Enterprise's broken hull on Romulus for redemption confronting the heroes. That might've been a fun movie and one full of personal connections and conflict with the heroes instead of a clone that "feels" like Picard and an android that fell out of a plot hole in the sky.
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Old November 13 2012, 05:39 AM   #22
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

well, I'm not sure there actually WAS tons of stuff that went "wrong." Sure, Shinzon's motivations needed work, it's a bit too much of a "Picard and Data show" yet again, and it "borrows" from TWOK too much, but it also takes risks, it's ambitious, it's dark and cinematic, and it's a big improvement over INS.
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Old November 13 2012, 05:40 AM   #23
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

The idea that we as-the-audience have to be familiar with the villain is silly. We don't have to have seen the previous relationship to grok it. So long as the story is well written and the conflict is interesting we can meet the villain when the hero does and still be right there with him/her. The problem is that the idea of the Picard clone as an antagonist is silly and illogical. As to the themes, hell, fenetically identical twins don't end up the same even when raised in the same homes, let alone being raised in utterly different alien environments. It was a dumb idea wrapped up in car chase and shuttle chases and 'splosions.
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Old November 13 2012, 08:11 AM   #24
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

With the original pitch for NEM being the ENT-E crew fighting against their Mirror Universe counterparts. We should be thankful they didn't follow through with that idea with how the DS9 crew ruined the Mirror Universe with their multiple stories. From there it was going to a long lost son Picard never knew he had, but that became a clone of Picard because it seemed more practical than the long lost son angle, and was easier to digest than a fanboy Mirror Universe movie.
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Old November 13 2012, 08:14 AM   #25
R. Star
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

Yeah space orcs and mini me as the villain digested real well.
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Old November 13 2012, 08:56 AM   #26
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

Oooooh that is artic ice cold man. Lmao good show.
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Old November 13 2012, 09:52 AM   #27
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

Galileo7 wrote: View Post
Shinzon and Picard's clone storyline was mundane.
Nah, but the storyline of Picard thinking he had a clone/offspring had also already been done, and not that long before, in the TV series. "Bloodlines": The return of Daimon Bok ("The Battle"), trying to trick Picard into thinking he had a long lost son with Miranda Vigo.

Not to mention that Data having a brother was old news, too.
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Old November 13 2012, 09:58 AM   #28
USS Intrepid
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

I really don't mind Nemesis. Indeed, it's probably just nostalgia but I do enjoy watching it. I still believe there's a much better moie than we got hidden away in there somewhere, and I'd love to sit down with all the original footage and recut it.
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Old November 15 2012, 10:47 PM   #29
slappy
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
  • Too much emphasis on Picard and Data, with only minor involvement of the rest of the main characters
Agreed.


Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
  • Too many out-of-character moments for prominent characters (Picard's "unsafe velocities," for example)
I disagree. People point to Picard as being written out of chacracter, but he's different than he used to be. It makes sense. He's not the same guy. Time has passed. Picard from Encourter at Farpoint isn't the same guy from Nemesis, nor should he be.


Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
  • Poorly developed plot with too much focus on recreating scenes and scenarios used in previous films.
  • Poor continuity with The Next Generation television series (no mention of Lore, for example)
  • Deletion of several character-building scenes (Data and Picard's discussion in the latter's quarters) in order to include more action in the film
Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
  • Use of an alien race (Remans) never before featured on Star Trek
Didn't bother me. You don't have to mention every single race for that race to be a factor. Not to mention, they were underlings, undesirables, slaves. There's no reason for you to have seen them. Made mention, maybe, but it's hardly a requirement. They don't constantly talk about albino people on Breaking Bad, but they exist. It just never comes up.


Admiral_Sisko wrote: View Post
  • Lack of believable reasons for various plot events (Shinzon's existence, the construction of the Scimitar, the thalaron weapon, etc.)
I agree about Shinzon, but not necessarily the other two. A superweapon is kind of a sci-fi staple. It could've been done much smarter than that, but in and of itself I don't have a problem.

The Schimitar makes sense to me. It's not so much a superweapon as a one-of-a-kind gigantic tank. A fleet of starships could've cut it down in no time flat, but the Enterprise was alone.
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Old November 17 2012, 05:31 AM   #30
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Re: Now That John Logan Has Proven Himself, What Went Wrong With Nemes

For me, the biggest problem with NEM is that Shinzon's motivations are cloudy. We're told he self-identifies as a Reman and is a Reman nationalist... but out of nowhere, we discover that he hates Picard and wants to destroy Earth.

I mean, I guess I can understand the idea that he'd irrationally come to hate Picard. But the idea that he'd turn his genocidal rage against Earth instead of Romulus as the end of his life approaches just doesn't make sense. Romulus has been oppressing and terrorizing the Remans for centuries; as a Reman nationalist, Shinzon's goal should be to destroy all life on Romulus before he dies.

ETA:

And the purple rubber outfit. Seriously, whose idea was that?
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