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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 June 15 2014, 07:07 AM   #31
martok2112
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Re: I have a confession to make

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Old June 15 2014, 09:00 AM   #32
RainKing
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Re: I have a confession to make

"And EVIL will always triumph, because GOOD is DUMB!"

Man, I love that line.
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Old June 15 2014, 02:36 PM   #33
The Wormhole
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Re: I have a confession to make

Pasi Nurminen wrote: View Post
It would have worked better if the villain wasn't ultimately so cartoonish. Instead of blowing up Earth, if his objective had been more subtle, more nuanced.
The problem wasn't so much Shinzon was threatening Earth as it was his plans for Earth just get revealed just before the final battle, and even then, it's out of the blue with no motivation behind it. "I spent my whole life abused and tortured by Romulans, but I'm going to take my anger out on Earth."

One kind of gets the impression Paramount listened to the criticisms about Insurrection failing because Earth wasn't in danger, and felt a threat to Earth had to be shoe-horned into Nemesis.
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Old June 15 2014, 03:45 PM   #34
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Re: I have a confession to make

TWOK worked no threat to Earth
TUC worked no immediate threat to Earth
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Old June 15 2014, 05:14 PM   #35
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Re: I have a confession to make

BillJ wrote: View Post
Nemesis is actually the best of the four TNG films. It is also the most cinematic, which figures since it is actually directed by a real live movie person.
Not sure how that's the case. Carson, Frakes, and Abrams have done much more compelling work on TV than Baird has done on the big screen. Not to dismiss Baird entirely though, I think he's one of the best editors working in the business today and was happy that he went back to that profession after his brief run in directing.
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Old June 16 2014, 02:13 AM   #36
The Wormhole
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Re: I have a confession to make

MacLeod wrote: View Post
TWOK worked no threat to Earth
TUC worked no immediate threat to Earth
Well, it is a criticism people have always made (and some still do make) against Insurrection.
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Old June 16 2014, 02:16 AM   #37
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Re: I have a confession to make

I don't need Earth to be involved to get invested in the story. Insurrection had a lot of problems, but a lack of threat to Earth wasn't one of them.
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Old June 16 2014, 02:27 AM   #38
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Re: I have a confession to make

Problem is that most of the successful Trek films did feature Earth being put in danger, so it's become part of the formula on how to make a successful Trek film, with only NEMESIS being the clear exception as that tanked.
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Old June 16 2014, 02:50 AM   #39
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Re: I have a confession to make

Pasi Nurminen wrote: View Post
It would have worked better if the villain wasn't ultimately so cartoonish. Instead of blowing up Earth, if his objective had been more subtle, more nuanced.
My take was that the destruction of Earth wasn't one of Shizon's priorities. Rather it was a promise he made to the Romulan military in exchange for their co-operation, the Simitar could only be in one place at a time and Shizon needed the Romulan military to control the empire. Failure to live up to his promise relatively quickly would result in the military turning on him.

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Old June 16 2014, 03:07 AM   #40
The Wormhole
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Re: I have a confession to make

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Pasi Nurminen wrote: View Post
It would have worked better if the villain wasn't ultimately so cartoonish. Instead of blowing up Earth, if his objective had been more subtle, more nuanced.
My take was that the destruction of Earth wasn't one of Shizon's priorities. Rather it was a promise he made to the Romulan military in exchange for their co-operation, the Simitar could only be in one place at a time and Shizon needed the Romulan military to control the empire. Failure to live up to his promise relatively quickly would result in the military turning on him.

Except, the reason Donatra turned on Shinzon was because she believed he would destroy Earth. And it was this belief she expressed to Commander Suran to convince him to move against Shinzon as well.
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Old June 16 2014, 05:43 AM   #41
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Re: I have a confession to make

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Pasi Nurminen wrote: View Post
It would have worked better if the villain wasn't ultimately so cartoonish. Instead of blowing up Earth, if his objective had been more subtle, more nuanced.
My take was that the destruction of Earth wasn't one of Shizon's priorities. Rather it was a promise he made to the Romulan military in exchange for their co-operation, the Simitar could only be in one place at a time and Shizon needed the Romulan military to control the empire. Failure to live up to his promise relatively quickly would result in the military turning on him.

Except, the reason Donatra turned on Shinzon was because she believed he would destroy Earth. And it was this belief she expressed to Commander Suran to convince him to move against Shinzon as well.

Donatra was turning the military against Shinzon, not on principal, but because he essentially said to her "Romulans are second-class citizens." Donatra wasn't on Shinzon's side from the beginning. It wasn't Donatra standing up there saying "Why haven't you attacked earth?" That was Suran. The plans against the Federation were not known. Suran thought it was to conquer Earth. Whatever his motivation to change, Suran is the one who changed his mind, not Donatra.
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Old June 16 2014, 11:39 AM   #42
martok2112
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Re: I have a confession to make

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Nemesis is actually the best of the four TNG films. It is also the most cinematic, which figures since it is actually directed by a real live movie person.
Not sure how that's the case. Carson, Frakes, and Abrams have done much more compelling work on TV than Baird has done on the big screen. Not to dismiss Baird entirely though, I think he's one of the best editors working in the business today and was happy that he went back to that profession after his brief run in directing.
The problem with Carson and Frakes is that on the big screen, their small screen influences show all too well...that's why, to me, the first three TNG movies look more like two-part episodes. Those movies look much better in full-frame than in wide screen. (Personal opinion only. )

Abrams at least can project big screen feel, as did Baird.
(Baird also directed Executive Decision...another movie I fully enjoyed. )
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Old June 16 2014, 03:34 PM   #43
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Re: I have a confession to make

martok2112 wrote: View Post
MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Nemesis is actually the best of the four TNG films. It is also the most cinematic, which figures since it is actually directed by a real live movie person.
Not sure how that's the case. Carson, Frakes, and Abrams have done much more compelling work on TV than Baird has done on the big screen. Not to dismiss Baird entirely though, I think he's one of the best editors working in the business today and was happy that he went back to that profession after his brief run in directing.
The problem with Carson and Frakes is that on the big screen, their small screen influences show all too well...that's why, to me, the first three TNG movies look more like two-part episodes. Those movies look much better in full-frame than in wide screen. (Personal opinion only. )

Abrams at least can project big screen feel, as did Baird.
(Baird also directed Executive Decision...another movie I fully enjoyed. )
Could you elaborate on how Baird was able to bring something appropriate to "the big screen"? It's often a sentiment I see thrown around but no one ever really gets into how Carson and Frakes only made it seem "small screen" beyond "they come from TV". Like I said earlier, I'd argue their TV work alone has more going for them compared to Baird's work ("Yesterday's Enterprise" is just one great example). For the transition to the big screen, it's not like they merely stuck to the same ways they directed on TV. A good example for Frakes' transition is the opening shot of FIRST CONTACT where we pull back from Picard in the Borg ship.

If there's anything that makes the films seem more TV than movie, it's definitely the scripts as they don't do enough to really differentiate from the show (a sentiment that Frakes and Moore admitted). This is why one would feel NEMESIS is more cinematic because it does go bigger, it's just too bad it's clunkier and directed by someone who was out of his league. Baird may be a movie guy, but he doesn't transition well from editing in the same way like other editor-to-director transitions like Peter Hunt of the James Bond films who truly understood directing better.
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Old June 16 2014, 04:59 PM   #44
martok2112
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Re: I have a confession to make

MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post
martok2112 wrote: View Post
MakeshiftPython wrote: View Post

Not sure how that's the case. Carson, Frakes, and Abrams have done much more compelling work on TV than Baird has done on the big screen. Not to dismiss Baird entirely though, I think he's one of the best editors working in the business today and was happy that he went back to that profession after his brief run in directing.
The problem with Carson and Frakes is that on the big screen, their small screen influences show all too well...that's why, to me, the first three TNG movies look more like two-part episodes. Those movies look much better in full-frame than in wide screen. (Personal opinion only. )

Abrams at least can project big screen feel, as did Baird.
(Baird also directed Executive Decision...another movie I fully enjoyed. )
Could you elaborate on how Baird was able to bring something appropriate to "the big screen"? It's often a sentiment I see thrown around but no one ever really gets into how Carson and Frakes only made it seem "small screen" beyond "they come from TV". Like I said earlier, I'd argue their TV work alone has more going for them compared to Baird's work ("Yesterday's Enterprise" is just one great example). For the transition to the big screen, it's not like they merely stuck to the same ways they directed on TV. A good example for Frakes' transition is the opening shot of FIRST CONTACT where we pull back from Picard in the Borg ship.

If there's anything that makes the films seem more TV than movie, it's definitely the scripts as they don't do enough to really differentiate from the show (a sentiment that Frakes and Moore admitted). This is why one would feel NEMESIS is more cinematic because it does go bigger, it's just too bad it's clunkier and directed by someone who was out of his league. Baird may be a movie guy, but he doesn't transition well from editing in the same way like other editor-to-director transitions like Peter Hunt of the James Bond films who truly understood directing better.
I'll clarify ....the action and cinematography of the first three movies all work far better on the full-frame, 4:3 small screen than in their 2.35:1 aspect ratios....the visuals are very much small screen oriented, even if the effects are mildly improved. Yes, the pullback of the camera from Picard to reveal the Borg ship interior was indeed beautiful....and as I recall, was considered to be the longest pullback in cinema history....at least up to that point....that was about the only thing that looked "big screen" to me in all of First Contact...and in truth, in any of the first three TNG movies.

When I was watching Generations on my TV several years ago, a friend of mine walked up and asked "what season is this?". Apparently, he had not seen Generations, let alone all of TNG's television run. When I told him it was Generations, he just kinda said: "Ahh....ok.". I was watching it on VHS in full-frame, as I did not have a DVD player yet. But, even when I did get a DVD player (in the form of a PlayStation 2), and was able to get the widescreen version of Generations, it still just looked like an overblown television ep, as did First Contact afterwards...and years later, Insurrection.

Another big problem was in the terms of space battles. The space battles in the first three movies were done exactly as they were in the television show....one or two exterior shots, and a lot of internal shots of the crew getting thrown around, announcing "incoming fire" or "shields down to 'x' percent!" The fast paced nature of the space-battles only accentuated this drawback.

Nemesis excelled in this area....in all of its action beats really, even on Kolaran during the Argo chase. But as far as the space battle went, the ratio of external to internal shots was much closer to 1:1....giving it that big budget, big screen epic feel. If I have but one bitch about it....the torpedoes looked about as plain jane as they did in First Contact. (one thing I loved about Generations is that at least the torpedo effects were much more reminiscent of TMP). The torpedoes in Insurrection looked like they were ripped right from a TNG episode...not very impressive. But, Nemesis torpedo effects were truly disappointing.

The big problem I have with all of the space battles ever seen in the TNG (and beyond) episodes, and in all four TNG films, is that the large, lumbering starships move too much like starfighters.

Sorry, I digress....but yes, just watch the first three TNG films in full-frame, and you might see my points. I will not pronounce this as fact, for everyone has their own visual opinions. But even as I am an amateur CG movie maker, the differences are really quite obvious.

To television's credit, visual effects have come a long way, even rivaling some big screen efforts. It's also a reason why I was disappointed in Serenity as a big screen movie. Shows like Firefly and the recent STAR TREK offerings are too big for the small screen, but their transition to the big screen is mitigated by their performance on television. As with the first three TNG movies, I was more satisfied with Serenity when it came to video.

Star Trek TMP looked like a big screen film because it had ten years of downtime, and with George Lucas' revolutionizing of the cinematic experience, to say nothing of the efforts of SW/Battlestar Galactica veteran John Dykstra, the differences were night and day.
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Old June 16 2014, 08:24 PM   #45
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Re: I have a confession to make

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.
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