Nicholas Meyer's Interpretation of Star Trek

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Clark Terrell, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    This brings up a very good angle to this thread, actually: did all STAR TREK need was just to get away from cerebralism to get on track - regardless of whose capable hands it was in, practically? I suspect the answer is a resounding "yes," to be perfectly honest. And you know ...

    I'm sure affording Steven Speilberg would've been half the budget of STAR TREK II, right there, but just imagine what he could've done with it? He was at the zenith of his powers in the 80's (long before he went all Leftist Hollywood "guns are icky and can never be used to effect" conversion. Hell, can you imagine him having an innocent kid get eaten by a wild animal in one of his 90's movies?) And Nicholas Meyer, where the hell did he come from?

    He knew somebody, that's all. And his association with STAR TREK was a profitable one, but not a blockbuster one. And that ... THAT ... is never discussed. Robert Wise was a big name director, for example, and TMP was the last time STAR TREK bothered with one, in the movies, until 2009. The franchise could've done so much better with someone like Lawrence Kasdan on their team. Movies that would've been blockbusters at the time and cherished, today ... like GOONIES is, or something like that.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Scwarc also directed several episodes of Smallville, which always amused me.
     
  3. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Funny, I think some people would argue that TPTB did keep the (important) things that worked...but it begs the question of which particular things you're talking about, in any case.
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I would say it is not a matter of a hypothetical: the Paramount PTB, fans and critics did not want another TMP. that was a fact of the period. It was sterile, pretentious, and only worth seeing the TOS cast get together, but it was not Star Trek.

    The relevant takeaway is that TMP served as an expensive proof of concept (meaning movie budget to "up" the look of a TV series, not as a game changer), but it was not going to capture the imagination of the public/Trekker base to fuel a franchise. TWOK had all that was necessary to represent the concept to the satisfaction of the "suits," the diehard TOS fans, and the general audience.

    Adding any elements from TMP would have killed the film, thus ending ST right on the spot. The reception in 1982--and history is the hard evidence that there was no perceptible "logic flaw" in the plot, characterization and overall execution of the film.

    As mentioned to Warped, ST fans were not the type to just accept the Spielberg-ian showboat/fx nonsense which littered the 80's; they had an entire series to build expectations of the good--and what they did not want to see.

    Where was the universal outcry from diehard ST fans about the execution of TWOK? Nowhere to be found--or certainly not a number earning any attention.
     
  5. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Yeah, a pre-late 80s Spielberg would have been an interesting choice. He wouldn't have shied away from the 'darker' aspects of certain scenes of TWOK.

    It definitely would've taken the series in a different direction. We probably would have had uniforms closer to the 1960s series, and we possibly would have had a John Williams score that built on the Alexander Courage theme.

    I'm guessing we would have had something akin to the JJ Abrams films of today in terms of action and spectacle, but possibly with a little more depth in characterization and logic.

    Interesting....
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I give up. It's like no one hears anything.

    I never said make another TMP. I'm saying a second film could have been smarter than what they made without losing the things people liked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  7. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If there's a movie out there that -couldn't- have been smarter than it was, I'd like to be told about it.

    The only one that's readily coming to mind is "Primer", and frankly I'd call that intimidatingly smart for many viewers.

    It may unfortunately be the case that you need to ease back on what you demand from films if you wish to enjoy them, rather than believing that it is the films themselves that are at fault.

    Even the "greatest" films ever have intelligence issues. "Casablanca" relies on a ridiculous MacGuffin, LotR has a gaping plot hole ("Why didn't they have a giant eagle drop the ring in Mount Doom, or at least fly them to Mordor?"), and the list goes on...
     
  8. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I always love this argument: if you want to enjoy a film then turn your brain off before going into the theatre. :rolleyes:

    I like being an adult with a perceptive mind. I appreciate it when a film maker respects my intelligence and I'm offended when they don't.

    I shouldn't have to adopt the mentality of a 10-14 year old to enjoy a film. And I resent it when others suggests I have to do that.
     
  9. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    We hear you--but you have created a false dilemma of a kind. If the film had such "logic flaws" (your words), then you have spent pages failing to accurately address the counter to such an idea. That idea being the ST fans--the base in the know--had such near-universal priase/love for the film, when they were the exact crowd not wowed over by logic-challenged, pure adventure/emotionalism/fx, but had expectations based on their understanding of how TOS (and any spin-offs) should work?

    Remember, they were not the Spielberg / Zemeckis / Simpson & Bruckheimer type of audience to just sit there and let the budget / ripped concepts and noise wash over their common sense. They based their perceptions on 79 episodes, and were more than happy with the result.
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    - 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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  12. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And I'm back to missing the original thrust of this thread.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    What one likes or doesn't like about Meyer's take on Trek.
     
  14. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    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.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    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.

    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.

    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?

    Justin
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    And I made that comparison earlier.
     
  19. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    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.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    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."