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

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Old September 23 2012, 07:15 PM   #121
Christopher
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Okay, since your reply is the only one at the moment, I'll respond to it, but then I'm gone.


CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Some of my points would have to do with separating criticism of the films from criticisms of the books. I think that right there is where some of our disagreement has originated. In particular, my criticism of the film 2010, doesn't necessarily apply to its novel, or to the novel of 2001. Similarly with you and your criticisms of the film 2001.
Yeah, a lot of this has been talking past each other about which version we were discussing. I've always come at the Space Odyssey universe from the books first, since I was a Clarke reader long before I saw either movie. And for decades now I've seen plenty of people mistaking the explanation in the film 2010 for something that the film made up, not realizing that it was basically the original explanation from the beginning. So I'm big on the idea that people should read the books in order to know what the original ideas really were. And since I prefer the Clarkean approach of clarity and detail -- as readers of my own fiction are surely aware -- I'm frankly not too sympathetic toward Kubrick's decision to leave everything all weird and mysterious.


A second point worth restating and elaborating on is that my criticism of the technobabble in the film 2010 in part has to do with the shift in tone, relative to the first film, in absolving one group on the project while blaming the other.
Okay, if you're just criticizing the way the movie handled it, that's fair (though I don't recall the movie's explanation being that different from what the 1982 novel 2010: Odyssey Two had to say; aside from the added Cold War stuff and the removal of a number of subplots, I recall the film being fairly close to the book). But I think of the explanation in terms of what Clarke wrote in the original novel, and in the second novel which was basically an elaboration on the same principle. And since that was all about HAL's character and situation, I really didn't understand your description of it as "technobabble." I guess we were talking about two different things -- you in terms of the movie's explanation in particular, me in terms of all three iterations of the explanation (both books and the second movie) as being basically a singular whole.


The dichotomy of splitting humanity into two groups is a theme repeated in at least four points in 2001: the two tribes of apes, the Russians and Americans, Frank and Dave, and then finally (in a broader sense) HAL and Dave. Arguably, the dichotomy of the Monolith and Dave is a fifth and even broader instance. In 2001, this dichotomy is universal. In the case of programming HAL, humanity is split into scientists and bureaucrats. I argue that it only makes sense if both are at partial fault. If the main function of an explanation is to shift blame entirely to one side or the other, then it is to be criticized as going against theme, even if in and of itself the explanation is otherwise fine.
Well, I didn't see it as absolving the human scientists so much as absolving HAL himself. I don't see HAL simply as a product of human technology, but as a person in his own right, and I feel sympathy toward his plight -- an innocent being created only to gather and present knowledge and to take care of his crew, but then forced to lie to them and unable to cope with the conflict between that imposed behavior and his fundamental nature. Which group of humans is or isn't to blame is beside the point to me; I'm approaching it more from HAL's own perspective. To me, the key takeaway is that HAL was more victim than villain, that he wasn't a stereotypical "evil computer" but, like most machines that go wrong, a victim of human error or human misuse.

I guess it's because I was always an outsider growing up and thus tended to sympathize with nonhuman characters in fiction. I've always had an affinity for AI characters, and I prefer it when fiction portrays AIs as sympathetic characters who deserve understanding rather than evil monsters. I like HAL, and I want him to be innocent. And the explanation Clarke gave in the original book, the explanation Chandra gave in the sequel book and movie, absolves HAL. And that's important to me.
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Old September 23 2012, 11:05 PM   #122
Maurice
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

I want to apologize for being involved in this thread wandering so far off-topic. However, since Christopher has made several remarks that I think are incorrect and unfair, I am going to address those, BUT, for those not interested, I am going to Spoiler Code it so you don't need to read it if you're not so inclined.



And, now, back to the OT, how about:

STAR TREK: The Movie That Sparks Endless Arguments

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Old September 23 2012, 11:15 PM   #123
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think 2001 is more a movie for people who want an immersive sensory and perceptual experience more than they want a narrative.
That's fair. I remember being blown away (if a trifle bewildered) when I first saw it in Cinerama back in '68 or so. And I really got into it when I caught it on the big screen again during my college years. But I've never seen the point of watching it on TV. It's not that kind of movie.

2001 is indeed an experience, like attending a concert or something. If you're in the right frame of mind, you can get caught up in the awesome cosmic sweep of the thing, But, yeah, if you're expecting a gripping narrative with sympathetic characters to root for or whatever . . . well, that's like expecting clever lyrics in a piece of classical music.

Meanwhile, while discussing those long SFX shots, it may be that that real influence was not 2001, but Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which had been a huge hit just a year before. That movie's entire climax is basically one long SFX light show, not unlike the V'Ger scenes, so that may have encouraged the filmmakers or the studio or whomever to include similar "Whoa! Look at the pretty SFX" shots into TMP . . . .
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Old September 24 2012, 01:00 PM   #124
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

middyseafort wrote: View Post
The tone has become more and more derisive and bullish in this thread. What started as a fun little thread has once again devolved in order to showcase how right one person is over another. This isn't the first time this has happened and I'm sure it won't be the last. Quite frankly, it's all unfortunately come from Christopher. I'm not making this personal, but it's hard to deny that instead of engaging in debate, we're being both lectured and ridiculed. For instance:

Christopher wrote: View Post

Oh, good grief, you couldn't be more wrong.
That sets the tone right there. Whatever may come afterward regards of accuracy or compelling argument is made lesser by this dismissive tone, which is a shame because some good points are made. And before I'm dinged on this — tone does carry in text and is set by syntax and diction. (Christopher and other Trek novelist aren't the only professional writers in this thread or on this board.)

And that tone continues to carry forth later in the same post when speaking on points made by Maurice.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Emphasis is mine.



And I don't think it's constructive to define every problem in terms of who to blame. A fixation on blame is not a healthy way to cope with problems. It's more important to understand how they came about and how they could be/could have been fixed or avoided, rather than wasting effort on some petty scapegoat hunt. Responsibility is a worthwhile concept; blame is just vindictive.
We're being lectured here. When in fact, it was Christopher who brought up "fault":



More than that, when all else fails there's an appeal to authority, as in:



First, comparing the process of solitary writing, that of a novel or short story, isn't an apt comparison. It's apples and oranges. More than that, the appeal to authority is quite apparent. I write and this is how I do it (and others too) so that's how all editing works.

I find that really belittling, Now, here's where I appeal to authority. There are many other forms of writing and each writing in itself unique. Take journalistic writing, which I have done professionally. Editing often happens in tandem with the actually writing. A reporter edits stuff that's not necessary while typing up the piece. There's often no luxury to throw everything into a piece then edit afterward.

Moreover, filmmaking is a whole lot of variables wrapped in a blanket of constraints. If this isn't finished, that affects this and it must be within this budget and timeframe. It is dependent on the work of others, which solitary writing is not.

Two, the appeal to Wise's expertise as an editor doesn't apply in this case. He was the director, the driver of the entire production on TMP, rather than the single cog in CITIZEN KANE. Nor does that expertise absolve him of missteps in judgement to get another production in the can. Different roles, different productions.

That and no one was second guessing. Even Wise, as Maurice has pointed out in the past and the director has been on record as saying, admits to missteps made, even in the editorial process.

Having expertise doesn't absolve anyone of criticism or being called out for errors in his/her work.

Third, there's a tone of authority and expertise in the post that's undeserved.

The post also assumes something that doesn't exist in Maurice's original post:


Christopher wrote: View Post
Emphasis is mine.



In your opinion based on a modern way of thinking about cinema, one conditioned by our modern generation when everything is so much faster-paced and people are so much more impatient. Personally I'm disappointed that so many modern films buy into that same rush-rush-rush mentality and devote so little time to moments of grandeur that deserve a more stately, contemplative presentation. I think those four minutes of flying over V'Ger are some of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring images in cinema history, and the best evocation of true alienness that Star Trek has ever managed to produce. They don't just give us a glimpse and a superficial impression; they let us really examine V'Ger and take the time to absorb it, as did the Enterprise flyby before. I, for one, appreciate that. They're also beautiful works of art by Trumbull, Dykstra, and their teams, and I appreciate the chance to really examine that artistry and soak in its details rather than just having it race by.
There was no opinion on "modern way of thinking about cinema, one conditioned by our modern generation" in the original post. Nor was there not one mention of "faster-paced" or "rush-rush-rush mentality." It's been grossly mischaracterized. What was actually being stated has been a part of cinema since the beginning. What do I need and not need. Being to the point with every shot, every line of dialogue. That's what was being brought up in Maurice's post, not a call for a more modern approach.

Consider other ponderous science-fiction films, such as 2001. Every shot was deliberate, meaningful. Can the same be said of every effect shot in TMP? Not really. And that's what was being argued, not "rush-rush-rush mentality."

And finally, this:

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Oh, come on. I could say the same about your characterization of some of the things I've said. It's just talking past each other and having different interpretations of the issue. I responded to the words you wrote. Those are my only insight into your meaning. If you think I didn't understand what you meant, then choose different words that convey it better. How am I supposed to know you were talking about having more FX shots than they needed when your actual words were "...waiting for the effects shots to come in," which suggests the exact opposite of what you subsequently said you meant? I can't read your mind, only your posts.
When all else fails, an ad hominem attack. Yes, the thread has truly become "I'm right, you're wrong. Write better. Nener nener."

Whatever interesting discussion was to be had has now been vaporized into wisps of smoke and ash.
Um, Middy, it was I who brought up fault, not Christopher. I said that Wise and Trumbull should share the blame for the pacing of TMP. Wise alone should bear the blame for the pacing of the Director's Edition.
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Old September 24 2012, 01:22 PM   #125
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Meanwhile, while discussing those long SFX shots, it may be that that real influence was not 2001, but Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which had been a huge hit just a year before. That movie's entire climax is basically one long SFX light show, not unlike the V'Ger scenes, so that may have encouraged the filmmakers or the studio or whomever to include similar "Whoa! Look at the pretty SFX" shots into TMP . . . .
The climax of CE3K (original version), from when Roy is put in a red jumpsuit straight on through the end credits, is one my favorite pieces of film to watch, and listen to. There's really nothing important said in dialog there either. It's a moving nonverbal experience, set to glorious music.

It's true it's a light show, but it's one in the hands of a master, and the climax of Roy's story on Earth is occurring within that light show. We see character interaction between Roy and Jillian, and Barry, and Claude and the Lead Alien, telling a story of hellos and goodbyes, of journeys completed and just beginning, so there's really a lot going on besides just the light show.
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Old September 24 2012, 04:43 PM   #126
Greg Cox
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Meanwhile, while discussing those long SFX shots, it may be that that real influence was not 2001, but Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which had been a huge hit just a year before. That movie's entire climax is basically one long SFX light show, not unlike the V'Ger scenes, so that may have encouraged the filmmakers or the studio or whomever to include similar "Whoa! Look at the pretty SFX" shots into TMP . . . .
The climax of CE3K (original version), from when Roy is put in a red jumpsuit straight on through the end credits, is one my favorite pieces of film to watch, and listen to. There's really nothing important said in dialog there either. It's a moving nonverbal experience, set to glorious music.

It's true it's a light show, but it's one in the hands of a master, and the climax of Roy's story on Earth is occurring within that light show. We see character interaction between Roy and Jillian, and Barry, and Claude and the Lead Alien, telling a story of hellos and goodbyes, of journeys completed and just beginning, so there's really a lot going on besides just the light show.
Oh, I agree. I wasn't intending to diss CE3K, which I saw at least three times in the theater. I was just pointing out that the success of CE3K may have influenced the way the SFX were handled in TMP . . . .
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Old September 24 2012, 07:37 PM   #127
Ryan Thomas Riddle
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Irishman wrote: View Post

Um, Middy, it was I who brought up fault, not Christopher. I said that Wise and Trumbull should share the blame for the pacing of TMP. Wise alone should bear the blame for the pacing of the Director's Edition.
Sorry about that. Should've read that a bit more carefully. My apologies to both you and Christopher on that point. Christopher continued the discussion on who was at "fault" or blame to which Maurice responded to, which is what I was responding to. Yet I screwed the pooch on who first brought up fault.

I appreciate you correcting me. Hate to misattribute statements to the wrong folks.
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Old September 24 2012, 10:30 PM   #128
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Oh, I agree. I wasn't intending to diss CE3K, which I saw at least three times in the theater. I was just pointing out that the success of CE3K may have influenced the way the SFX were handled in TMP . . . .
No, no, I didn't take you to be dissing CE3K in the slightest. Just the opposite actually. I was just throwing in my two cents on CE3K.

I think you might be right about its influence.

I was about to point out also that Trumbull was involved in all three films: 2001, CE3K, and ST:TMP, but the timeline of his involvement in TMP was different than the other two. I don't really know to what degree Trumbull had an influence on which shots were included in TMP. Also, CE3K could have easily influenced TMP independently of Trumbull's involvement.
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Old September 25 2012, 02:10 AM   #129
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Star Shrek. And recolor Kirk's skin green. No other changes.
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Old September 25 2012, 03:29 PM   #130
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

^Well, maybe make Spock a donkey. He already has the ears...
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Old September 25 2012, 04:21 PM   #131
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

Star Trek: Spacedock

Star Trek: To Baldly Go

Star Trek: Ppphhhoooooton Tooorpeeeeeedoes
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Old September 25 2012, 06:26 PM   #132
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Re: Rename The Motion Picture

STAR TREK: MORE EFFECTS SHOTS THAN EVER BEFORE!
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Old September 25 2012, 11:01 PM   #133
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Star Trek: That 70's Film

Star Trek: The Money Puller

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