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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 July 31 2013, 03:32 AM   #1
Lance
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When did the perception of Insurrection change?

I read recently that the reception for Insurrection was actually pretty good back in 1999. The critical reception at least. I do remember most of the newspaper reviews I read were quite complimentary, although the "two-part episode on the big screen" soundbite was thrown around even then as I recall. But talk of the plot, the acting, the direction, the action sequences... it seemed to be relatively well received at the time.

And yet, history holds it in very low regard, usually as one of the worst Trek movies. Certainly Jonathan Frakes and Michael Piller both talked in the years afterwards about how they realised during the test screenings that they just didn't have as good a movie as they'd hoped for. Is it simply one of those films that was critically well received, but the actual audience (ie. paying customers, or "butts on seats") were indifferent? I seem to recall something very similar was said of Superman Returns as well.
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Old July 31 2013, 03:44 AM   #2
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

I seem to recall their were some good reviews and some bad reviews for the movie when it came out.
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Old July 31 2013, 03:51 AM   #3
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

Insurrection has a 55% rotten score at Rotten Tomatoes.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star_trek_insurrection/

Consensus: Although not terrible, the sluggishly paced Insurrection plays like an extended episode of the TV series.
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Old July 31 2013, 04:40 AM   #4
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

^^^ and the irony is that fans generally clamor to have TNG as it was on television rather than the different entity it became in the movies.

And here INS is likened to an eps of the series... and still not good enough. Tough crowd.
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Old July 31 2013, 04:53 AM   #5
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
^^^ and the irony is that fans generally clamor to have TNG as it was on television rather than the different entity it became in the movies.

And here INS is likened to an eps of the series... and still not good enough. Tough crowd.
I like Insurrection. I think it's more faithful to the tone of TNG than First Contact and Nemesis were.
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Old July 31 2013, 05:15 AM   #6
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

I thought the Son'a were weak villains. I didn't care about their objective, though I did like the idea of Starfleet secretly involved. The Ba'ku scenes seemed most like TNG to me in terms of its metaphysical themes. But the big reveal in the relationship of the two cultures felt like schmaltzy audience manipulation. I loved seeing Anthony Zerbe doing Star Trek, as I'd been a fan of his work since the 60s.
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Old July 31 2013, 05:20 AM   #7
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

I thought the Son'a were pretty average TNG level villains of the week. I get were people consider this a TNG episode, cause it has all the hallmarks of one.
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Old July 31 2013, 05:21 AM   #8
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

Most of the humor in the TNG films falls utterly flat, and it is especially at odds with the material in INS, where you have a serious story -- one in which our gang is arguably on the wrong side of the equation -- that is consistently undercut by cutaways to other storylines and time-filling distractions. It always seems like the laughs in TNG flicks are based around viewings of Earl Holliman in FORBIDDEN PLANET, which is pretty old-fashioned even in the 50s.

For Trek it seems WAY wrong, like having the 'Geordi shaving' bit from CODE OF HONOR as the B-story for CHAIN OF COMMAND.

I always think of INS as Trek's equivalent to Bond's THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, which came out a year later. Both had the best of intentions, but failed to deliver a genuine movie experience that thrilled, and even the serious dramatic stuff missed the mark some of the time.

I think they spent their money very unwisely on it too. Berman didn't want to have to show the length of the holoship any time you looked out of the bridge, so the ship was redesigned to get ... guess what? the usual starfield again. Boring, especially when you can use some spectacle, or even visual interest. Instead, to wrangle an elaborate but uninvolving multiple beamup shot when a bunch of Blonde People get beamed off the surface, you have a VFX vendor tying up the roto staff for 3 MONTHS on assembling that single shot. Dramatically, it'd've have worked better to show the huge group running, pan off them to Data and hear the screech of a huge beamup effect, then swish pan back to an empty field with them gone. Would have also cost just about ... NOTHING.

I don't think my perception of INS has changed much at all. I saw it once out of habit, then a second time because I was writing an article about it. Didn't even buy it on laserdisc, and that was the only one of the first 9 where I was content with a widescreen VHS (till I found a dvd for 4 bucks several years back.) The 11th hour miniature FX work really helps the movie visually, and I have to think the original ending would have been the squibbest of all squibs.

I still watch it more than the others, because up till recently FC just didn't work for me at all, and GEN, while a fascinating mess at times, is still mainly a mess. And NEM is just DOA.

EDIT ADDON: MELAKON, I agree about Zerbe, though it'd've been interesting to see Hackman in the role. I think he was up for either the Admiral or Ruafo, but lost interest (they probably wouldn't pay enough is my guess.)
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Old July 31 2013, 07:36 AM   #9
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

SchwEnt wrote: View Post
^^^ and the irony is that fans generally clamor to have TNG as it was on television rather than the different entity it became in the movies.

And here INS is likened to an eps of the series... and still not good enough. Tough crowd.
Fans are never happy unless they can complain.

SeerSGB: I fully agree. I love FC, I think it's a great action film. But in its core, INS is far more Trek, even with its flaws. Sure, I cringe a bit at the boob joke. Yeah, the pimple was overdone. But there are so many other moments, that really make this film very funny (I seem to be missing several memory-engrams...there they are) or heartfelt (I'm not letting of him) and truly sticking up for what our crew believes is right.

The silly thing is, fans are going nuts in a good way when Kirk went AWOL during TSFS, stole the Enterprise and actually blew it up to safe one man. Picard does it, but atleast still brings the Enterprise home, and saves 600 lives.
And yes, all this talk about saving billions of lifes because of metaphasics.... When Kirk says sometimes the needs of the one (which can be read as the few) outweigh the needs of the many, fans again loved it.
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Old July 31 2013, 08:54 PM   #10
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

Even though it was like an episode from the series, it was an episode that was already done before.....Journey's End
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Old July 31 2013, 08:56 PM   #11
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
I like Insurrection. I think it's more faithful to the tone of TNG than First Contact and Nemesis were.
That's my take on it, too. It's the only TNG movie I actually like. The others I tolerate.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:09 PM   #12
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

Mage wrote: View Post
The silly thing is, fans are going nuts in a good way when Kirk went AWOL during TSFS, stole the Enterprise and actually blew it up to safe one man. Picard does it, but atleast still brings the Enterprise home, and saves 600 lives.
And yes, all this talk about saving billions of lifes because of metaphasics.... When Kirk says sometimes the needs of the one (which can be read as the few) outweigh the needs of the many, fans again loved it.
When Kirk saved one life he wasn't causing any others to suffer (at least not any others who didn't have some idea what they were getting into). It can be (and has been) argued that by enabling the Baku to have the planet to themselves Picard is in fact causing (or failing to help) the suffering of many others who could have been helped by the ring particles.

That said, yes, INS feels more like a TNG episode than FC or NEM...but people going to see Trek on the big screen want something that feels, for lack of a better term, bigger than a tv episode. Kinda like how the TOS movies were bigger than the TOS episodes.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

My perceptiøn of Insurrection didn't change. I thought it sucked then and I think it sucks now.

Still on a personal level, it has the distinction of being the only Star Trek I didn't get to see in the theater. That's related to the fact it sucks: they pulled it off afer one week because nobody was watching it.

I rented a dvd after. Money wasted.
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Old July 31 2013, 09:43 PM   #14
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

Insurrection was fine. I also remember good reviews, stressing the aspect that it was brighter than First Contact. Nobody cried doom when it came out. It wasn't as good as First Contact, but it was solid and good fun. The bashing started when Nemesis sucked as well. And now, 15 years later, everyone is like "Oh I hated it from the start" when most of them thought it was okay back then
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Old August 1 2013, 03:46 AM   #15
Lance
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Re: When did the perception of Insurrection change?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Insurrection was fine. I also remember good reviews, stressing the aspect that it was brighter than First Contact. Nobody cried doom when it came out. It wasn't as good as First Contact, but it was solid and good fun. The bashing started when Nemesis sucked as well. And now, 15 years later, everyone is like "Oh I hated it from the start" when most of them thought it was okay back then
I've often wondered what would happen if things like this were shown to an isolated group who had no access to alternative 'opinions' about things. What would they think? I wonder if it would ever be possible to get a completely objective opinion about a movies actual strengths and weaknesses?
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