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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old December 14 2009, 01:37 PM   #1
King Daniel Into Darkness
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TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

(Warning! Disappointed fan’s rant and rave)

Having seen a few episodes of TOS-Remastered (only now finally on in the UK, to coincide with the DVD release of STXI), and ‘skipped ahead’ and seen FX clips of later episodes on YouTube, I have reached a conclusion: It’s a complete waste of time and effort. If you’re gonna keep everything so close to the original, why bother at all?

It’s *far* too slavish to the original. Where’s the detail on the Enterprise? Where are the phaser banks? Torpedo launchers? Thrusters? Blemishes? Hull plating? I’m not saying re-imagine the ship, but a little bit of USS Kelvin-style hull detail would have made the world of difference.

The space shots really needed to be rethought from the ground-up, rather than doing largely identical shots with CG instead of the old models. Why do the ships still fly off at bizarre angles? The lack of details and odd movements make them look like little plastic toys rather than giant spaceships (the Romulan ship in ‘Balance of Terror’ was probably the worst example).

Another big disappointment was ‘The Ultimate Computer’ – the fleet that attacks the Enterprise were all originally reuses of the Enterprise because they couldn’t afford building and shooting a new model. What’s stopping them now? I would have thought seeing at least one new TOS design (it’s not like they don’t exist – try Franz Joseph’s old manual if you can’t make up your own!) would have been a given.

New sound effects would have helped a great deal, too – some of the scenes have an ‘unfinished’ feel.

There are a few bits I do like: I like when they ‘zoom out’ and expand the scene with a CG landscape, and the Gorn blinking was sweet (although he stops blinking during the fight). I like the nods to TAS (a CG Mr Arex in the background of an episode or two would have been beyond awesome). The planets look nice as well, as did the space station (from the Vanguard novels by the looks of it). But it all could have been so much more!

I think what could have been a brilliant redo of the TOS special effects was ruined because a few people in charge were afraid of upsetting the obsessive minority (who might write nasty things on their websites! All would be lost!)

It’s inexcusable that the professionally produced TOS-R would have inferior CGI to the recent James Cawley fan films.

Rant over. Feel much better now
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Old December 14 2009, 04:42 PM   #2
JohnChod
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

Personally, I didn't see the need for remastering any of the effects at all. It was certainly a way to make some extra cash off of the old girl and may even have mollified a few of the malcontents who claimed that they couldn't get into TOS because the effects were so "cheesy."

Like everything, TOS was a product of its time. If you're so hung up on making everything look spiffy, let's go back to The Ten Commandments, Cleopatra, War of the Worlds (original), Day the Earth Stood Still (original), 2001, etc. etc. and update all of their effects since they're so badly dated and look so fake. While we're at it, let's replace Bud Abbott and Lou Costello and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (and maybe even George Burns and Gracie Allen) with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell so that the modern audiences can better relate to them.

I guess I agree with your initial premise that it was a waste of time, but I emphatically disagree with your conclusion that the remastering needed to go farther. Just leave the original classic alone and let's appreciate it for what it was.
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Old December 14 2009, 04:56 PM   #3
Jeyl
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Another big disappointment was ‘The Ultimate Computer’ – the fleet that attacks the Enterprise were all originally reuses of the Enterprise because they couldn’t afford building and shooting a new model. What’s stopping them now? I would have thought seeing at least one new TOS design (it’s not like they don’t exist – try Franz Joseph’s old manual if you can’t make up your own!) would have been a given.
Still, seeing other Constitution Ships BESIDES the Enterprise interacting with each other is a cool bit of detail, because nobody would ever do that again because everyone thinks the audience is stupid.
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Old December 14 2009, 05:19 PM   #4
seigezunt
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

I think they had a fine line to walk on the new effects. You didn't want to introduce too many terribly new ship designs or details to the Big E, or the transition to the main scenes would be too jarring. They are a little jarring as they are.
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Old December 14 2009, 05:30 PM   #5
Nerdius Maximus
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

JohnChod wrote: View Post
Personally, I didn't see the need for remastering any of the effects at all. It was certainly a way to make some extra cash off of the old girl and may even have mollified a few of the malcontents who claimed that they couldn't get into TOS because the effects were so "cheesy."

Like everything, TOS was a product of its time. If you're so hung up on making everything look spiffy, let's go back to The Ten Commandments, Cleopatra, War of the Worlds (original), Day the Earth Stood Still (original), 2001, etc. etc. and update all of their effects since they're so badly dated and look so fake. While we're at it, let's replace Bud Abbott and Lou Costello and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (and maybe even George Burns and Gracie Allen) with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell so that the modern audiences can better relate to them.

I guess I agree with your initial premise that it was a waste of time, but I emphatically disagree with your conclusion that the remastering needed to go farther. Just leave the original classic alone and let's appreciate it for what it was.
I agree 100%. And anyone who just can't get into or watch classic Trek because of it's "Cheesy" effects is too superficial to understand what Star Trek is all about in the first place. And anyways, the new effects look like Playstation 2 cutscenes. Very cartoony.
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Old December 14 2009, 05:31 PM   #6
seigezunt
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

at some point, the new effects will become dated as well.
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Old December 14 2009, 06:02 PM   #7
Nerdius Maximus
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

seigezunt wrote: View Post
at some point, the new effects will become dated as well.
Which is what makes all this revising of old movies so ridiculous. We really think we've reached the point now where cgi is so realistic that you can't tell it apart from something filmed in live action. That's it, we've reached the pinnacle of what we can do, it can get no better. I think that's how George Lucas feels. To hear him talk, Jar Jar Binks looked like a living, breathing creature that was filmed alongside the cast. And that "Han Shoots first" scene was just terrible. It looks like an effect from "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show." But George Lucas thinks it really looked like Harrison Ford moved his head to the side to dodge that blaster bolt.
I've got news for him. CGI is still in its infancy. 30 years from now, people will look back on the movies of today and laugh. You'll probably be able to scan your image and insert yourself as a character in movies and games.
Which is why I maintain that it's pointless to go back and "perfect" old movies, because you just can't do it. Something more realistic is always around the corner. Remember all the hoopla over the T-1000 in T2? That's positively amateurish compared even to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park a couple years later. But it works, and it pushes the story forward, which is what effects are for. People have gotten to where the movies are all about FX now. They don't want intriguing plots, they want to be dazzled by cg eye candy. Let movies and shows remain a product of the times they were created in, damn it!
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Old December 14 2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

JohnChod wrote: View Post
Personally, I didn't see the need for remastering any of the effects at all. It was certainly a way to make some extra cash off of the old girl and may even have mollified a few of the malcontents who claimed that they couldn't get into TOS because the effects were so "cheesy."
Which has precisely nothing to do with why the VFX shots were actually redone: To keep the image/picture-quality of those shots on par with the live-action/on-set footage, which, because it wasn't run through optical printers again and again or was copied from copies, looks fantastic.
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Old December 14 2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

I hesitated on buying the remastered blu-rays until recently, because so many people here were raving about them. Prior to purchasing them, i had the original DVDs that were first put out, 2 episodes per disc. I loved that set, the color was gorgeous, the pictures clear...the only downside was that because they were only 2 eps per disc, the collection took up a whole damn shelf!

Anyway, i got Seasons 1 & 2 is tucked away as one of my xmas gifts. Season 3 is on pre-order.

The remastered discs look great. I tend to toggle back and forth between the effects (some of the new ones are really neat, but personally, i could have lived without them.) I really don't have a problem with the old cheesy effects. But they (the new effects) are neat to see.

While i don't highly recommend anyone upgrading, i am still glad i did. It freed up alot of space on my shelf, and my 25 year old son wants my old DVDs, which makes me vewwwy vewwwy happy. So, i think as long as a person has a set that doesnt take up a lot of physical space, save your money and don't upgrade.
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Old December 14 2009, 06:20 PM   #10
ST-One
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

JohnChod wrote: View Post
If you're so hung up on making everything look spiffy, let's go back to The Ten Commandments,
(Hollywood has) Been there, done that.
As I think you refer to the 1950s version of The Ten Commandments, I'm sure you are aware that this film is an almost shot-by-shot remake of the 1920s original by DeMille
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Old December 14 2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

I love TOSR. The new planets and angle shots alone are worth it. But we got so much more. New ships (and the TAS Antares class making some great cameos), real battles, different versions of matte paintings (and some great new ones as well)

what's most important for me is that most of the "important" episodes got very good treatment. Journey to Babel, The Menagerie for example. Amazing work.

In The ultimate computer we got the new space station with a docked connie, some ship-on-ship battle scenes, great angle shots of the fleet and a nice farewell shot. Why complain? It might have been done better, but we did get some good stuff.

The only real TOSR disappointments for me were Balance of Terror and of course Errand of Mercy.
In Ultimate I can see why they didn't use another ship.

There was really only the constitution before Khan, and they didn't really need a new ship for such a small fleet, especially considering those were supposed to be the cream of the crop. I certainly wouldn't have liked some non-canon vessel. MAYBE a TOS-ified Miranda. But using connies only was okay in my book.

In Errand, this approach did not work. What angers me most is that we DID see the scout in TOS. They should have used that design, even if it looks odd
And a huge cloud of D-7s could have worked for the Kling fleet as well, but it was done badly.
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Old December 14 2009, 06:29 PM   #12
Green Shirt
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

Personally, I didn't feel it was a waste of time nor money since I contributed neither of those to the project.
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Old December 14 2009, 10:14 PM   #13
EliyahuQeoni
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

JohnChod wrote: View Post
I guess I agree with your initial premise that it was a waste of time, but I emphatically disagree with your conclusion that the remastering needed to go farther. Just leave the original classic alone and let's appreciate it for what it was.
I agree 100%. The argument I hear the most is that people today (ie kids) wouldn't give TOS a chance and would dismiss it because of outdated SFX. Which I think is underestimating people a lot. My 10 year old has watched several TOS episodes, the original versions, and has never said a word about the SFX and enjoys it as much as he does the new movies, which he LOVES.
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Old December 14 2009, 11:06 PM   #14
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

The remastered effects really weren't for the old fans but for young future fans who really couldn't get past the old effects, people expect more these days than what we saw in the sixties with a low budget.
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Old December 14 2009, 11:41 PM   #15
Captain Randy Hall
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Re: TOS-Remastered: a waste of time

Well, I enjoy the Remastered series a lot. Sure, I still get a kick out of the original episodes, but that doesn't mean I don't have a good time with the new stuff.
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