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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 March 1 2014, 11:55 PM   #31
Shat Happens
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

^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.
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Old March 2 2014, 12:04 AM   #32
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Shat Happens wrote: View Post
^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.
That word, cerebral, now seems to be embraced by fandom.But it is the word that almost killed Star Trek before it ever aired. I would think that it would be the one word that in fandom would never be spoken, like the Voldemort of Trek.
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Old March 2 2014, 12:12 AM   #33
Greg Cox
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
It's a matter of phrasing. When someone says, "It was trying to be 2001." it sounds like an accusation that the film is trying to immitate 2001.
No accusation intended. It's like comparing, say, The Maltese Falcon to The Big Sleep. Nobody's saying that they're the same movie or that one is imitating the other. But they're both the same type of hard-boiled detective story.

Similarly, you can tell that TMP wants to be same type of movie as 2001: a serious, intellectual sf movie about Big Ideas.

Whether they lost some of the fun and excitement of the old TV show in the process is another question . . . .
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Old March 2 2014, 12:12 AM   #34
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Shat Happens wrote: View Post
^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.
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Old March 2 2014, 12:21 AM   #35
Greg Cox
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Shat Happens wrote: View Post
^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.
"Cerebral" doesn't mean complicated or hard to figure out. It means a story that, perhaps, appeals more to the brain than to the heart or guts.

To my mind, the best stories work on an intellectual and an emotional and visceral level. "Cerebral" alone is great if you're making a movie for Vulcans, but, as Spock discovered in TMP, "cerebal" alone is not enough.

To me, Wrath of Khan works better as drama, full of grand passions and angst and excitement. Nicholas Meyer has a good sense of what makes classic stories work--revenge, betrayal, sacrfice, etc. That stuff never goes out of style.
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Old March 2 2014, 12:23 AM   #36
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
To me, Wrath of Khan works better as drama, full of grand passions and angst and excitement. Nicholas Meyer has a good sense of what makes classic stories work--revenge, betrayal, sacrfice, etc. That stuff never goes out of style.
Yes, but I still resent him layering in all sorts of unnecessary crap with it.

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Shat Happens wrote: View Post
^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.
"Cerebral" doesn't mean complicated or hard to figure out. It means a story that, perhaps, appeals more to the brain than to the heart or guts.
I did say "connotates" not "means."
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Old March 2 2014, 12:35 AM   #37
Greg Cox
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
To me, Wrath of Khan works better as drama, full of grand passions and angst and excitement. Nicholas Meyer has a good sense of what makes classic stories work--revenge, betrayal, sacrfice, etc. That stuff never goes out of style.
Yes, but I still resent him layering in all sorts of unnecessary crap with it.
To each their own, I guess. Khan is far and away my favorite Trek movie, with numbers IV and VI close behind, so I'm inclined to think Meyer made the right calls.

But, getting back OT, I do have fond memories of that opening night in 1979. It was great to have Star Trek back . . . and to see it in a theater full of enthusiastic Trekkies
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Old March 2 2014, 01:52 AM   #38
HaventGotALife
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Shat Happens wrote: View Post
^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).
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Old March 2 2014, 02:07 AM   #39
OpenMaw
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

I was four years old, in 1992, watching Star Trek The Motion Picture on a very large, very old, television set that my mother inherited from her parents. I was watching the "longer" version of TMP that had aired on TV some years earlier.

http://www.mediafire.com/convkey/e45...adoabxncfg.jpg

The opening scenes are very dramatic and atmospheric. The music, the entire soundtrack, has always been my favorite. Everything has richness and depth, and atmosphere.

The one thing I appreciated it, at least from childhood, is that Star Trek could be a little dark, scary, and mysterious. V'ger was the trigger for some of my earliest remembered nightmares. Adrift in the depths of space, witnessing some horrifying unknown pass by in the dark...

Even though as a kid I ate all the visual effects up as imagination fodder, I think the movie needs a good 20 minutes hacked out of it. Star Trek just isn't 2001. It does not need to be so overly long. Many repetitions of dialogue, useless scenes, and visual effects sequences should and can be easily removed from the film, and give the story/characters some breathing room. I honestly think you could get the movie down to 90 minutes and have a much more Original Series experience out of it. Wish I had access to the footage with just the clean dialogue, it would make the job of doing a fan edit so much eaisier.

There are actually several really strong character arcs within the film (Kirk, Spock, and Decker) but they are drowned out by all the excessive self-loving effects work. It's beautiful, but also totally unneeded, and you wouldn't lose any of the story told by those effects by trimming those sequences down.

It did leave a huge impression on me overall. I was always a bit of a reclusive kid, and Star Trek gave me an avenue to be myself.

I had always hoped that TMP would become a TV spin-off back in those days. Shortly after seeing it, Q-13 Fox had a "Star Trek Megathon" of the top rated TOS stories. I started collecting the movie era VHS tapes after that. Saw them in a strange order. TMP, TSFS, TWOK, TVH, TUC, and TFF. Yes, I ended on what is considered the worst. Still appreciated seeing more of Kirk, Spock, and Bones.
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Old March 2 2014, 03:35 AM   #40
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Reading Warped 9's description of the mishapen Enterprise primary hull, I'm reminded that, back then, even the most fx-laden visual masterpieces had at least one bad effect in it--Star Wars in 77, Superman in 78; even 2001 in 68 had the marginally convincing ape men. Visual effects are more consistently convincing these days thanks to cgi.
I've never seen the 2001 apemen called marginal before that I can recall.

I'd say background 'invisible' fx work is more consistent in the current era, but most pictures this century still have plenty of 'epic fail' shots all through them.

I think the highest consistent level of quality vfx was probably the late 90s, when CG was only being used selectively, to augment miniatures and traditional effects. Once the full changeover happened the work started going downhill, with relatively few exceptions (I'd say up till the last 5min GRAVITY is about 98% perfect, but running that against other extravaganzas from this century will just point up how a lot of CG doesn't measure up.)

Seeing TMP opening day, after waiting nearly 5 hours in line for the first showing at Century 22 in San Jose, was for me a very early climax ... namely, when the lights went out and the pic started. Seeing the dock sequence brought it up again to exciting levels, but then I felt the need to go to the backroom and had to suffer through the next 90-100 minutes ... apart from Goldsmith and the exterior space shots, I really hated that movie, from the split diopter madness to the horrid looking lighting on the actors aboardship. I even avoided the TV cameras outside because I didn't want to say something that would hurt general business. For many years I characterized TMP as the biggest disappointment I had ever seen in a movie theater (yes, even over ONE FROM THE HEART, Coppola's followup to APOCALYPSE NOW.)

And the thing was, I had read the novelization already, so I should have been prepared for things. But there were aspects in that which did not come through in the movie at all (like the real Ilia being imprisoned inside the probe), and despite the horrid prose, the novelization somehow kept me interested, while the movie did not (hard on the eyes with respect to costuming, lighting, etc.)

A few weeks later I caught a rerun of LIGHTS OF ZETAR and wrote in my journal, 'maybe TMP isn't all THAT bad after all.' That was after I'd seen it 4 times (had pre-bought the tickets and couldn't unload them), and I saw it a fifth time at a 2nd run theater, the Plaza in Campbell, where the print was amazingly brighter (for years I wondered if this was a print that didn't get printed down in accordance with Wise's instructions ... I still do, actually.)
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Old March 2 2014, 03:39 AM   #41
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Friday December 7, 1979. It was cold and snowing on the line of sci-fi fans that were standing outside my small town theater. A theater that was proudly displaying the posters for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
The line stretched clear around the block and down the nearby street. None of us were leaving.
I was 15 and my father had given me a stern lecture earlier that afternoon about my supposed idiocy. "You're gonna waste your time and my money standing in the cold and snow to watch that space sh*t???" he hollered. "NO!" I returned, "I'm gonna be IN the theater watching Star Trek!". I also reminded him that I would be spending money I saved from hauling hay the previous summer.

He almost grounded me for my half shouted return. (you see, my poor father was the kind of man who actually believed the moon shot was fake but "wrasslin'" was real.)

My punishment was that I had to walk to the theater from my grandmothers house and that was 2 miles away. (fortunately my friends met me at the theater and gave me a ride back to grandma's house after the movie)

Walking two miles, standing in the cold, enduring my closed minded pappy's loud and scary voice, and not having enough money for popcorn was HELL! But it was worth it!

Star Trek was back! They gave me big screen thrills seeing my heroes up on the big screen and Lord Have Mercy there was The Enterprise! In all her big screen glory and they gave me enough looking candy to fill both eyes!

I know that there are those who put the movie down and I know there are those who insult people for even liking this movie. But you know what??

None of them even come close to the chewin' I took from dear old Dad, so to them I say "Too bad! YOU don't get it!" I still remember that night clearly and it's one of my fondest memories of being in a movie theater. Right up there with Superman: The Movie, The Empire Strikes Back, Alien, Ghostbusters and (God help me) Rocky:III!

Those movies (and several others) really gave me movie moments I'll always treasure. That Enterprise Fly-By sequence could've gone on all night and I still woulda sat there and watched. It was magical to me!

Jus' Sayin'

P.S. (I didn't get to see Star Wars on the big screen because Daddy had a real problem with goin' to movie theaters and wastin' money on "space sh*t"! He was happy to spring for Coal Miner's Daughter though...great film too btw. I love Loretta Lynn!)

I did get to see SW on the big screen during the SE theater runs!

memoriessss.....pressed between the pages of myyy miiindd...
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Old March 2 2014, 04:08 AM   #42
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

I did not see it opening night. I saw it during the day months after it opened. I was a huge Star Wars fan at the time. I was about 8. TMP sucked me in in a way Star Wars didn't. Instead of space battles and lasers flying around, we were exploring something strange and unusual in deep space. While we were exploring we were testing some advanced new technology. Everything was new to all the people in the movie. I love tech and where it may be going and so I was fascinated by the Enterprise and by Vejur.

I didn't really know Star Trek at that time so I had no expectations when I saw it. It was a movie set in space that was fantastic.

I could say more but I can't think of the specific words to describe how it affected me at the time. However, I continued with the Star Wars movies and forgot TMP, except for a lingering memory of that space movie I wish I could have seen again.
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Old March 2 2014, 04:43 AM   #43
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

I was 20 years old on saw it open night with my girlfriend and our usual group of friends. Most of whom were long time Trek fans. I recall clapping when Gene and the actor's names came on screen. Also when each character appeared on screen. We loved the new looks for the Klingons and the Enterprise.

My friend got the idea to use TMP set a record for the number of times watching a film. So I wound up seeing it way too many times. The flaws really begin to jump out when you do that.
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Old March 2 2014, 09:38 AM   #44
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

what a great thread. Warped9 u should do one for each film
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Old March 2 2014, 10:49 AM   #45
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Re: ST-TMP: your first time...

Agreed. Great thread and great post Warped 9.

Sadly I can't contribute. TMP was before my time, and the only one I didn't see at a cinema. It sits fourth behing TWOK, TVH and TUC on my favourites list. But those four sit apart from the rest by some distance, I love them all.
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