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

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Old March 24 2014, 04:47 PM   #151
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

- Starfleet and the Reliant fuck up royally and mistake one planet for another. And all because one planet explodes and shifts the orbit of another.

That is patent garbage. Firstly Starfleet should have flagged the Ceti Alpha system: OFF LIMITS. DO NOT GO THERE.

Setting that aside planets do not explode for no reason. They can be wrecked by the collision from another object, but they sure as hell don't shift orbits of other planets so drastically. If Reliant comes along and finds, hey this rock ain't where it's supposed to be, then they should be investigating what the hell is gong on. There's supposed to be x many planets and now there are only y and they're in the wrong place. WTF?

It's a convoluted setup for no reason. More simply, have an object (comet or asteroid) hit Ceti Alpha 5 and cause a nuclear winter type scenario. Reliant comes along wondering WTF and believing no one could be alive. They beam down and the story proceeds much as filmed.

Khan learns the Reliant is involved in the Genesis research project, hijacks the ship and heads for Regula One. But Regula One manages to get off a distress call. Signal received and Starfleet contacts the Enterprise to investigate and the film proceeds much as filmed.

You don't need any of the training ship bullshit. Kirk can have his midlife crises (if necessary) while he's still commanding the ship during regular operations. You can include Saavik and young Preston as new assignments if you really want to milk that. And the rest proceeds much as filmed except for Scotty's brain cramp. You can simply cut to Kirk in Sickbay over Preston dying and Scotty broken up.
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Old March 24 2014, 05:11 PM   #152
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

And I'm back to missing the original thrust of this thread.
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Old March 24 2014, 05:22 PM   #153
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

DonIago wrote: View Post
And I'm back to missing the original thrust of this thread.
What one likes or doesn't like about Meyer's take on Trek.
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Old March 24 2014, 05:24 PM   #154
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Warped9 wrote: View Post
DonIago wrote: View Post
I would say the point that matters is that while TMP didn't tank it also didn't set a course that TPTB, many critics, and many other people felt the sequels should follow. I suspect if the sequel had been more thematically identical to TMP it might have doomed the franchise, though of course I can only speak in hypothetical terms.
I can use the parallel of "The Cage" and "Where No Man Had Gone Before."

"The Cage" didn't sell as a series, but it sold as a concept. And GR grasped what worked in "The Cage" and what didn't. He didn't completely scrap everything for the second effort. He understood he didn't have to scrap the "cerebral" elements of "The Cage" but merely had to inject a bit more energy and action.

"The Cage" isn't really any smarter than WNMHGB, but there is a difference in overall execution. The characters became more accessible, but there really isn't that much more action. There is something more dynamic in the overall tone of WNMHGB. GR didn't throw everything away, but rather gave it a tune-up.

That's what I'm getting at. TWOK could have had all the extra energy and character without sacrificing the things that did work in TMP. But TPTB didn't grasp that. They only understood ignoring everything that came before to start from scratch to make something more conventional.
While accepting all that, one could also argue that it was TMP which sacrificed what had originally worked in the series, and TWOK which brought those elements back.

Understand that I'm a fan of TMP. It's one of my two favorite Trek films behind TWOK. It's the only Trek film which really feels like it takes place in a future time.
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Old March 24 2014, 05:31 PM   #155
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

DonIago wrote: View Post
I resent listening to someone bitch about how "stupid" films are when they went in with unrealistic expectations.

Is that better? You simplified and dismissed my argument, which I think I worded respectfully, so I can only assume you won't object to my doing the same to your own.
I did not go into the film with unrealistic expectations based on what had been done in Star Trek before. And so it isn't my fault if the film doesn't meet the standard I had become accustomed to. I didn't expect a perfect film, but I had hoped for a competent one.

What was wrong with TMP that was repeated most often? Needed more energy and character and maybe a bit more colour.

All easy fixes. No one said it wasn't stupid enough.
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Old March 24 2014, 06:47 PM   #156
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Exactly my point, or rather the point. See my point #2. Kirk and Spock are growing beyond their TOS limitations, why does Scotty have to be a flat character too? Isn't he allowed to break down? Or, is his function limited to being just a prop for Kirk to call on when he needs more engine power?

Again, I'm not saying that it was the best way of handling things. I'm just saying that this is a far cry from a "Spock's Brain" moment of making absolutely no sense. I'm saying that what it does is to show a member of the crew acting less than perfectly. What I'm hearing is that it makes no sense for the crew to be shown acting less than perfectly, and I'm saying that that makes no sense.
A fair point. I'm still not convinced that there was a serious intention of using that scene for Scott's character development, as opposed to a simple, convenient injection of tragic drama.

As far as Scotty being more or less an engine room "prop," that's more the direction the movies took. In the series there were a number of examples that not only give Scott more of a "life," but show him to be a broadly experienced and assured officer, quite capable of taking command of Enterprise and acquitting himself well. I guess I may have a personal dislike for a "reduction" of that character.

DonIago wrote: View Post
I would say the point that matters is that while TMP didn't tank it also didn't set a course that TPTB, many critics, and many other people felt the sequels should follow. I suspect if the sequel had been more thematically identical to TMP it might have doomed the franchise, though of course I can only speak in hypothetical terms.
That TPTB took an new direction is certainly correct. What I'm not sure about is if it was based on negative public reaction to TMP as much as a general Hollywood move toward more corporate control and less risk-taking. Certainly TMP's production "horror story" was grouped in with Apocalypse Now, The Blues Brothers, 1941, Heaven's Gate and so on as productions that had run out of control and threatened to bring down entire studios if they failed. I don't know how much of that thinking went into choosing the Bennett/Meyer direction for TWOK, but I suspect it must have been a factor. A subject for further research, I guess.

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
While accepting all that, one could also argue that it was TMP which sacrificed what had originally worked in the series, and TWOK which brought those elements back.
That is something that comes up again and again in TMP discussions, so I don't mean to single this one out in particular. But I don't get that. In 1979 there were 78 TOS episodes in reruns, which ranged from action to mystery to character drama to comedic. At the time TMP was made, how could there be a consensus on what "worked" in the series that was specific enough to provide a formula to apply to the big screen?

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Old March 24 2014, 07:04 PM   #157
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

I'm generalizing a bit here, but one could argue that TMP is akin to "The Cage", while TWoK is akin to WNMGHB.

Given how the two pilots fared at the time, this might well be a case study in people failing to learn from history and consequently repeating it.
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Old March 24 2014, 07:15 PM   #158
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

DonIago wrote: View Post
I'm generalizing a bit here, but one could argue that TMP is akin to "The Cage", while TWoK is akin to WNMGHB.
And I made that comparison earlier.
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Old March 24 2014, 07:34 PM   #159
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

To me, TWoK is more like a second season episode, TMP like an episode from the first half of the first season. I love the second season but those early episodes have a weird, disorienting feel I prefer. So it is with these two movies.
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Old March 24 2014, 07:39 PM   #160
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

I feel like TMP and TWOK are like two sides of the same coin. But sadly no subsequent film ever managed to really reconcile the two as they leaned more to the sensibilities of TWOK and the sensibilities of TMP were left by the wayside.

TFF could have been that kind of film, but it was botched in execution so it came out more like a "Spock's Brain."
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Old March 24 2014, 10:47 PM   #161
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

I'm not so certain. The Search for Spock always seemed to me to be a strange mix of STAR TREKs 1 & 2 ... the best of two worlds! And was very good, as a result. The cinematography of STAR TREK III is stunning! And -- SPOILER ALERT!!! -- when Spock's returned to the crew, at the very end of the movie, the tonality of it is so perfectly balanced. In Nicholas Meyer's hands, it would've just been presented as-is, take it or leave it. But Nimoy's direction here is very good and it's very touching.

When he walks by Bones, for instance, De Kelley's just looking all haggard and worn out. He looks at Spock's uncertainty and vacantness with a mild frustration, almost. Did it work, or didn't it? He's right in front of us and we still don't have the answer! It was wordless and Brilliant! Even though I know Spock is still making movies and never in any real danger, I don't know ... I've always felt the concern, there. And when Nimoy cocks his eyebrow in true Spock fashion, I can't help myself ... I just break out in a big ol' Tom Sawyer grin. Every time!
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Old March 24 2014, 10:52 PM   #162
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
I'm not so certain. The Search for Spock always seemed to me to be a strange mix of STAR TREKs 1 & 2 ... the best of two worlds!
I couldn't disagree more. In contrast to the cinematic TMP and the exciting TWOK, TSFS always looked to me like a TV movie. I guess YMMV.
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Old March 24 2014, 11:15 PM   #163
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Wow! A T.V. movie? Mmmmm ... no, I can't agree with that. The Genesis Planet is pretty fake looking and I won't even contest that. Especially the sequences involving Kruge choking the worm (hmm hmm hmmmm ... ) and when David makes the Ultimate Sacrifice. The set looks like shit and it's inexcusable.

However, the Pon Farr sequence is very moody and atmospheric and I think it works. But when Kirk offs Kruge, then heaves himself back up, over the lip of the cliff and looks around at Genesis imploding, as far as the eye can see ... the set he's on is lit so wonderfully, it almost looks like an actual location!

And when the ENTERPRISE limps past the Lounge windows in Spacedock, holy crap! That does NOT say Made-for-Television, to me. It's a very memorable visual and the emotional impact that Grace Lee Whitney helps sell with her subtle shake of the head is palpable.

Even when Uhura's about to beam the crew over and goes, "Oh, and Admiral? All my hopes ..." I don't know why, but I kind of feel a tug of sadness. This situation is so desperate and the uncertainty is so high at that moment, as to what's going to end up happening ... and they do this thing. All of them. I would be like, "I'm ruining my life over this crazy shit ..." It's just so big, dramatically ... I never felt it was anything but a big, event movie.
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Old March 25 2014, 03:34 AM   #164
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

While I think some could argue that the themes don't quite live up to "film standard" in TSFS (The film starts to lose a sense of scope by the time our heroes are heading to Genesis), it certainly spends it's money just as well as TWOK did, if not more so. Earth Space dock, Excelsior, Bird of Prey, the freighter, Grissom. There's a lot of 'money on the screen' at least in starship designs and creativity.


I've never, and will never, understand the argument that TMP is somehow more brainy than TWOK. In terms of the richness of the story, both are lush with themes. TWOK is less about asking questions, and instead focuses on telling a story straight out, but it still taps into themes of revenge, loss, anger, age, and death. It's definitely not mindless action. Sure, concepts like "Ceti Alpha VI exploded" are really stupid, but it doesn't stop the film overal from being poetical, thematic, and smart.


I'll actually go the opposite of Warped9 (No disrespect intended by that, either. ) I think that TMP should have been the film to acknowledge the passage of time far more clearly. It should have been ten years after the original series' five year mission. I'd have really dealt with the passage of time and the changes that had occurred. I think it would have fit nicely into the themes of the film. By the end the crew would all be back together again, whole, and off to explore the galaxy because they had answered V'ger's penultimate question in more ways than one. "There is so much more."

But since that isn't the case, i'd say the creative instincts in Trek 2 to embrace the passage of time were probably for the best. If anything, I wish they had followed through on the ending of TWOK more so in the films that came later. It ended on a hopeful and victorious note. Kirk has come to find his energy and youth again, he's ready to "gallop around the galaxy" once again. They should have gone on to have new adventures without Spock. It's funny to think that they spend so much time in TWOK grooming Saavik and then she just fades out of the film series.

I also agree with Meyer regarding Spock's death. If you're gonna kill him, do it well, and then own it. Why tug the heart strings just to go "Nah, just kidding!"
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Old March 25 2014, 03:56 AM   #165
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Re: Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

I asked this in another thread, but what was even the reason for going back to Genesis? They were surprised to find a living breathing Spock on Genesis, so what exactly were they doing there in the first place? Someone replied to me that the novelization of the film cleared up some of the confusion, but IIRC it's never made clear in the movie.
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