I have a confession to make

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Pasi Nurminen, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  2. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    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. :) )
     
  3. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  4. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  5. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    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.

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    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.
     
  6. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, those shots from Generations you selected are beautiful...and do make it feel a bit more "big screen". And the space battle did have a couple really cool shots ,cinematorgaphy-wise.

    I totally get where you're coming from on the lighting in Nemesis...although I did like the lighting when the Away Team goes to meet Shinzon for the first time aboard the Scimitar...before Shinzon reveals himself. The lighting of the underpassage where Riker fightsnthe Viceroy was very niceky done too...almost an homage to ALIEN. I also liked the lighting of the Romulan Senate in the opening scene of the movie. Beyond those two shots, I get what you mean about the lighting not being nearly as impressive as in Generations. I'll definitely give Generations beaucoup points in that area. The Ent-D closing on Amargosa Station was also a nicely done shot.

    Apologies if typos...sent via iPad. :)
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The bit in GENERATIONS where the wine bottle goes tumbling through space before "christening" the Enterprise-B is gorgeous and very cinematic.
     
  8. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought the cinematography in Generations was stunning, by far the best of the four TNG outings, and those pictures prove it. There's no confusing them with the series, Nemesis was the second best in this regard with some great shots, but some that fell flat also. The other 2 just looked flat out cheap to me (bar some of the mountain scenes in Insurrection)
     
  9. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    In spite of my previous stance, I can definitely give Generations some major points in the cinematography department...yes, even above Nemesis. :)

    For me, the biggest factor of big screen wow in Nemesis was the space battle....one of the more weighted reasons, the battle took up practically the entire last half of the film...and it was chock full of battle porn goodness. :)
     
  10. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    ... AGREED! The cinematography in "Generations" is outstanding! Gates & Marina look absolutely gorgeous in this movie, in a way that was never really recaptured, again. Their hair looks very healthy in this picture too, I'm noticing. In later features, it never quite has the same "body" to it. By the time we get to NEMESIS, however, no effort - at all - is made to "youthify" their appearance, outside of their being under a coat of paint thick enough to stop a bullet. Everyone, in fact, is presented as very haggard-looking and in desperate need of a long rest, somewhere. The lighting on the bridge, especially shows where the priorities are in this movie, as only the console displays are allowed to look fresh and vibrant. And the upping of contrast on Colaris III was so obviously computer enhanced that the effect is distracting. Even in the worst smog, I've never seeen people shine like they had a lightbulb up their ass ...
     
  11. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even though the ending of Generations was shit, how it looked at least and the location were both great looking, it was just the lack of ambition in what was supposed to be the climax of the film and the dreadful way Kirk died let it down.

    The saucer crash feels much more like the big ending to the movie for me. That scene still rocks, and the clever use of models means it still holds up well today.
     
  12. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Now, when it comes to Kirk's death, at least he didn't die the way it was originally written and shot...with Soran shooting him in the back.

    But, my thinking is: that would've been a realistic, if moreso ignominious death for Kirk. Where is it written that all heroes must go out in a blaze of glory? I've always felt that no matter how big a hero he was, he was still written as a human being, subject to the same frailties as any of us real-life folk. I've just never been a subscriber to the "blaze of glory" aspect of heroic myth.
     
  13. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd still rather he strapped his ass to the rocket and reprogrammed it to destroy something else, then ridden it to a fiery death than 'oh my'
     
  14. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Captain Captain

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    Indeed, Ron Moore originally envisioned his death to be very reminiscent of how John Wayne died at the end of SANDS OF IWO JIMA where after what seems like a certain victory, after all the heroics, he gets shot in the back. I like the idea behind that, but the main problem with why it wouldn't have dramatically worked is that Kirk wasn't around for the whole adventure. Killing him after only just bringing back 15 minutes earlier from a long absence is just not satisfying. I know Rick Berman was reluctant to use Kirk at all because he felt the TNG crew should stand on their own, that it doesn't need Kirk to tell a great story. I think he should have swallowed his pride here and went along with having Kirk around longer. You either go all the way with Kirk or you don't use him at all.
     
  15. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Well told. :)
     
  16. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I've seen NEM exactly once. Yawned my way through the battle scenes and Data's death. I've never watched it again.

    Funny how the TNG movies changed my feelings for the main characters. Insurrection made me angry at the main characters. Nemesis made me feel nothing at all.
     
  17. TheAdmiralty

    TheAdmiralty Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't hate it. The story is crummy, but it has lots of great character moments, and is the most cinematic of the TNG movies. Data's death, while tacked on and a lame attempt to replicate Wrath of Khan, is still very sad. The whole thing just has a lot of weight behind it, because it's the last go around for the TNG crew I love so much. It's my no. 2 TNG movie (a very distant second) and I prefer it to TMP, The Final Frontier, and JJ's movies.
     
  18. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    +7
     
  19. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Pretty much sums up my feelings of the movie too.
     
  20. martok2112

    martok2112 Commodore Commodore

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    Hahahaha.....if I'd have found three more points, I'd have bowled a strike! :)
     

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