Revisiting the films...

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Warped9, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^While I agree that that's the right direction, the Bones stuff would have been too on-the-nose that early in the story (as it was anyway). It'd have been better if Bones knew something was up but didn't have the "Answer" ready to dispense at the end of the first act. Kirk needed to recognize this in himself, and make a choice to not follow that path.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough. It was only a suggestion, but it underlines my original point that it wouldn't have taken much to inject some extra dramatic juice into the story.

    The other little thing I'd suggest is to tighten up the Vger flyover a bit more than the DE already has. Fact is these are experienced Starfleet officers who've seen all kinds of weird and BIG weird shit. The ogling over Vger seems just a bit much.
     
  3. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    One of my issues with TMP stems more from the fact that the film is so overtly Spock/Kirk oriented that a lot of what they do in the film could easily have been done by the other crew members.

    For example, the scene where the Enterprise comes under attack by V'Ger. I would start it out just as it did in the film with Spock telepathically feeling V'Ger's puzzlement over not getting a reply from it's attempt to communicate with the Enterprise. However, where things play differently is that after the Enterprise survives the first attack, it's UHURA who figures out that Spock was correct and that V'Ger was communicating in a means they didn't pick up immediately. I would than have her be the one who programs her communications computer and transmits the message just in the nick of time.

    See what I'm saying? The one area of the film where communications plays a key role in over coming an obstacle in the story, and they don't give it to the one character who's sole job is communications. Watching the Special Longer Edition of the scene where the Enterprise first comes under attack is almost embarrassing since all she does is try in vein to contact Starfleet command. Why? What are they going to say? Good luck?
     
  4. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I am reminded that another successful movie from around the same time, The Blues Brothers, spent considerable time "reassembling" characters from a story that nobody knew. There seems to be something about the dynamics of that kind of situation that interests people.

    Good point. While I agree an internal conflict would have been good for drama, it would be a lot harder to pull off in TMP. In RSRD Lancaster is introduced as basically the good guy and underdog and the audience has a lot to identify with in him. Gable is introduced as also a good guy but maybe a little off-balance after having his last boat sunk from under him, and the audience doesn't really know whether his obsessive focus on one mission will pay off, or if he'll go too far and Lancaster will have to bail him out.

    Not much chance of that in TMP. Decker basically has the status of a "guest star" to the audience and they're never going to sympathize with him against Kirk, nor really question who'll be right in the end. Even internally, anyone who's anyone in the crew lines up behind Kirk without question; only one whining nobody ensign voices any objection. Unlike RSRD, where the new captain starts with no support from anyone except for his own yeoman whom he brought with him, and Lancaster who is too professional to not back up his CO. A few more dissenting crewmembers may have raised the tension a little, but really Decker's position was a non-starter.

    If anyone is interested and has the MGM HD movie channel, Run Silent Run Deep will be shown on June 10, 10 pm Eastern.

    Yes, that context is so important. Expectations of SF films were a lot different then. Star Wars, of course, broke the mold. But a lot of people saw that as a victory for the genre, not the formula. TMP was a big spectacle with mind-blowing effects, like 2001, and 2001 had been very successful. Also, I don't think there were a lot of good action-SF scripts around yet that were not shameless ripoffs of SW. The direction that GR and Wise took was not a clear dead-end then, as some people now seem to think.

    I like TMP but definitely have to agree. The framework is there for some really nice character growth, but the audience really has to fill most of the blanks on their own. I give them credit for at least setting it up, which is more than I can say for some of the other films.

    I don't read too much into that. Historically, serving warships have been used for peacetime training cruises of cadets/midshipmen. In the 1920s and '30s a number of US battleships assigned to the East Coast were used that way. Not exactly the newest front-line units, but certainly combat-worthy and part of wartime plans.

    Yes. Despite being a huge success, TMP as a production had run out of control and the studio felt it had dodged a Heaven's Gate-type bullet. GR et al wouldn't be trusted with something that big again. The new team were experienced pros, plugged the existing characters into a clean-slate movie and delivered a fine, marketable and ultimately successful product. It was basically a re-set button situation, though. Why is Kirk fretting about wasting away behind a desk again? Didn't he work all that out in the last movie?

    As a standalone film TWOK is pretty strong. As part of something that even then had considerable history behind it, not so much. But that is my devoted-fan-from-childhood perspective, and I have a hard time faulting the movie on that basis alone.

    These reviews have been great with a lot of good points to start discussion. In my opinion.

    Justin
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Regarding the standalone thing, I'm not sure why anyone would have expected, especially back in 1979, for Star Trek II to pick up on plot threads from the previous film. The original series had consisted almost entirely of standalone episodes that rarely if ever referred back to previous episodes. And most movies and TV series weren't all that serialized back then. Look at the Bond films, the Pink Panther films, etc.

    And it's not like TMP ended on some sort of cliffhanger . . .
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    re TMP I suspect some of the ugliness in the scriptwriting process tainted Roddenberry as much as the production overruns. The management at Paramount had to be quite aware of the endless Michelson-Roddenberry battles over the script and the problems that resulted.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The production overruns were pretty much unavoidable. First Paramount wants a series and spends a boatload of money on it. Then they switch gears and want a feature film. All the production costs (and other things) spent on the series is wasted money because it's unsuitable for a feature film so they have to start again almost from scratch.

    But the real failure is not having a finished script before going ahead with anything else. That was begging for trouble.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The costs from previous aborted productions certainly contributed to the immense cost of the production, but by many accounts Roddenberry was a rather lousy producer on the movie (partly as a result, no doubt, of his constant re-writing of the ever-changing script) often absent when he was needed.
     
  9. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wasn't that the station in TMP but turned upside down?
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    ^^
    Yep. It's simply the orbital office from the previous film, upside down (with some slight modifications...I think).
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not aware of these absences, but the script was THE problem. Roddenberry's meddling aside, the fact that Paramount announced and locked in the date of a feature film with a name director before the script problems had been licked was a serious misstep, even if I understand it from a cost perspective (sets already built, soundstages occupied, etc., so the thing was costing them money every day they weren't shooting).

    Re Regula I, yes it was the TMP Space Office complex, flipped over with the top and some of the office pods removed, and a put extra details (like the observatory dome) tacked on.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek III - The Search For Spock (1984) ***

    Kirk defies orders and goes back to the Genesis planet to retrieve Spock.

    This is very much a direct follow to The Wrath Of Khan. The beginning is slow and it takes awhile for things to get really going.

    Funny, but the Enterprise looks a lot more damaged and beat up than it does at the end of TWOK. It’s also not photographed as well as the previous two films. It’s far too brightly lighted and without sufficient shadows. Actually I’m not fond of quite a few effects in this movie. The blurring Enterprise at speed looks really cheesy. A phaser beam that can hurl someone over through the air??? While there are some nice shots, particularly some of the Vulcan scenes, this film doesn’t look as polished as the previous two.

    It’s also hard to credit that this story is supposed to take place immediately after TWOK as the characters look distinctly different. Scotty looks like he’s put on weight and Uhura is sporting a completely different hairstyle.

    We next get a really big continuity gaffe as Admiral Morrow states the Enterprise is twenty years old and slated to be decommissioned. WTF??? The ship is actually easily thirty and it was extensively refit only ten years ago. My, things get obsolete fast in this Starfleet. On the flip side we get top see two new starship designs: the pregnant guppy looking Excelsior and the dopey looking Grissom that is challenged in terms of visual balance. Yeah, we’re modernizing.

    I also have to say I don’t care much for Robin Curtiss as Saavik. She isn’t horrible, but she’s just flat and doesn’t have Kirstie Allie’s nuance. Captain Esteban of the Grissom comes across as a real putz. Actually most of the characters in this other than the main cast don’t really come off well.

    And WHO designed the costumes in this film? They all look like slightly updated variations of what people in the ‘50s thought people might dress like in the future. Whose idea to put those stupid looking hats on Starfleet security. And who the hell designed Chekov’s civilian clothing? Seriously, WTF??? McCoy’s bar scene looks REALLY ‘80s and it’s a cheesy looking set with cheesy looking aliens and costumes.

    It gets mildly interesting when Sarek appears, but this film doesn’t really get going until Kirk and gang steal the Enterprise. Interesting, though, that only four or five people can run her even on automatic when we were once told that a starship couldn’t be run even with a crew of twenty. Starfleet officers look really bad in this film. No one outside of the Enterprise crew comes across well or even competent. They all seem so close-minded and unimaginative.

    There are quite a few decent character moments throughout this film, particularly during the latter half. Kirk’s reaction to David’s death is moving. The hand-to-hand fight between Kirk and Kruge is okay and I like Kirk kicking Kruge off the cliff edge. The ending scene with Spock’s memory just beginning to return is really the payoff for the whole movie. The main theme is essentially the same music as used in TWOK yet there are some new pieces and some of them are quite nice. The music accompanying the theft of the Enterprise as well as the battle between the Enterprise and the Klingon Bird of Prey are particularly good.

    In the end it’s an okay outing, but just isn’t on par with better work we’ve seen in TOS and the first two films. While technically I’m rating it the same as TWOK I have to give TWOK the nod for feeling a bit more polished overall.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    As far as the automation goes, it's been twenty years. There had to be some advances in streamlining starship control.

    I've always liked this film. It brought some of the fun factor of TOS to the big screen outings.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, I can't argue that. It's part of that, through the characters, that works for this movie and makes it bearable.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As to the VFX in ST3 I this is the film where the effects go wholly ILM style and it shows. In TWOK there's still a nod to the style of TMP in terms of the lighting on the Enterprise (notably in the sneak attack sequence), but by this movie they've fully dulled down the Enterprise and are shooting it like Star Wars model. Minus Probert and Mike Minor we start getting starships minus key features like warp nacelles, etc. There's some really sloppy slapdash work in the film, like the explosion of the E's bridge, which is clearly sitting on a flat table and not a saucer, and the closeup of the torpedo launcher wherein you can see they superimposed a shot of the saucer over the partial model and completely misaligned it.
     
  16. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    The music playing while they steal the Enterprise is among my all time favorite Trek pieces. Great stuff.

    The film does have its flaws, but I've always had a soft spot for it.
     
  17. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is my favorite film of the 11+. It has a huge heart, gives everyone something to do, has Shatner's best work, and sports a beautiful companion score to TWOK. I love this film without reservation or apology, it just moved me from the first time I saw it opening night. It was the first film to show just how much these people mean to each other and the last where everything was played straight. After this, TVH would be a comedy and the final two TOS film would just take the characters too lightly, as if they had to poke fun to make up for their advancing age rather than dealing with it. Star Trek 6 had humor just as broad and distracting as Trek 5.

    This was also the last film where I felt Shatner was really playing "older Kirk" rather than "Shatner in a costume." The humor is all character based and appropriate, there's a feeling of maturity, again for the last time, and real risk here. I'll always prefer the first 3 films because of this maturity and the efforts to take it seriously. The first 3 felt like they were made for the fans while the last 3 were obviously tilted toward crossover appeal (Paramount: "keep it funny, that's how we got non-fans to see the one with the whales!")
     
  18. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well the twenty year line I suspect has more to do with when ST was produced as between the film being produced as it would be slightly under twenty years.
     
  19. susanmary428

    susanmary428 Ensign Red Shirt

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    I think TSFS is a natural companion to TWOK, obviously, and I think some of the criticisms given above are a bit unfair. To say that McCoy's cafe scene was very 80's is a bit redundant, because let's be fair, it was made smack-dab in the middle of a very 80's decade. It isn't fair to judge the costumes or effects on a nearly 30 year old movie based on what we're used to seeing in movies or television today. And until you mentioned it, it had never crossed my mind that Scotty was heavier in TSFS than he was in TWOK. Was it really impossible for Uhura to change her hair on the ship? They have personal time, right?

    I don't know, maybe it makes me less of a Star Trek fan that I haven't paid attention to those details. But does anybody stop and say, "Hey, that model was clearly on a table when that explosion happened, but it was 1984 and this is a great movie"?
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Somethings can look dated and it doesn't bother you. And then some other things can look dated and it really jumps out at you. For some reason parts of TSFS look more obviously dated than parts of TWOK. I'm just calling out what I'm seeing.
     

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