ST-TMP: your first time...

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Warped9, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    :techman: Same with "The Corbomite Maneuver," "The Immunity Syndrome" and "The Tholian Web."

    But in fairness those are fifty minute episodes where time is effectively compressed to create a heightened sense of tension. If any of those were stretched to two hours you might start running into problems. What do you add into that extra hour?

    This is where the comparison to "The Changeling" is apt. "The Changeling" is also all aboard ship (indeed more so than TMP), but the story is tightly told within fifty minutes. There's no extra screen time to fill.
     
  2. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was one of the things I love about TMP. Once we get into space we stay in space. I never liked going down to a planet. It always looks like Earth faking another planet. If, however, this planet location has some highly advanced technology that is essential to the story then it works for me. I want to see Sci-Fi not something I can see on another other show or movie.
     
  3. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, but it does talk about the weather and baseball an awful lot. It shows guys opening windows and complaining that it's raining and/or hot. It's a big triumph when they finally get the fan to work. Star Trek: The Motion Picture has more than just staring out a window and talking about how big V'Ger is. And even that fits within the Star Trek framework. They are explorers seeing this for the first time and marveling at how big it is. That's part of being on the bridge. There's the tension with Kirk and Decker that culminates with Decker saying "This is how I define unwarranted!" V'Ger is a mystery. I think with some editing, the story is fine.

    That's very literal. I like storytelling that is simple. Who would've thought episodes like The Inner Light or Family would've been popular? That works. It just depends on the story.

    Exactly, I couldn't agree more. I want stories that are unique to Star Trek. TMP is definitely one of those stories.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Well, if nothing us this thread has fostered discussion. :lol:

    Oops! Sorry for the interruption...
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    On the other hand, the opening spiel did say something about exploring "strange new worlds," not "gazing in awe from the ship." :)

    Beam me down, Scotty!
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Part of the drama in 12 Angry Men is that all twelve are in conflict with each other. By comparison, there is practically no conflict among the main characters in TMP; the conflicts among the characters are much more straightforward and easily resolved. 12 Angry Men is simply a bad example of drama to compare Star Trek to. You'd have to bring the Starfleet characters to the point of mutiny to have that sort of drama. It's absurd.
     
  7. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Despite V'Ger being nothing but a cloud in space, Kirk and Spock do get into space suits and Spock enters V'Ger. Spock mind-melds with it. They do explore V'Ger. We didn't see them on the bridge as they wiped away V'Ger to reveal "Voyager 6." The probe threatens them on the bridge of the ship, killing an officer. They have a probe, in the form of Ilia, to talk to, to learn about V'Ger. It's a small portion of the movie they are staring out in awe, probably 15 minutes at the most of a 120-minute movie.

    Sorry, we are a bit off-topic. We're still talking about the movie, but we want to know if this is good, cerebral, boring, or subtle Star Trek. Everyone has an opinion :lol:

    There is conflict. Decker and Jim are vying for control of the ship. Each suggestion from Decker breaks down into a fight. It isn't until Bones threatens Jim that he stops it. Spock is not present for part of this movie. They argue over what to do next "Jim, what the hell kind of plan is this?!?" "This is how I define unwarranted!" "Belay that Phaser Order!" It's pretty straight-forward in 12 Angry Men, too.
     
  8. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I think it is a lovely mess myself, but then again, I like ACTION JACKSON.

    I always liken the movie to a black hole, with Kyle sucking the life out of all the talented actors around him (he's great in TWIN PEAKS, but here he is just utterly uncharismatic.) Add to that the exposition issues and the all-over-the-place effects and the inconsistent score, and you still have something with really nice art direction.

    I watch the long version about half the time. It is a scream, since you have blueonblue eyes switching back to brown from cut to cut, plus there is concept art over the ENDLESS prologue that looks like something out of a Saturday morning catechism class (catholic sunday school for those fortunate enough to not be in the know.)
     
  9. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I saw TMP. I don't recall much yelling and screaming between the crew members. I never said there wasn't conflict. What I said was that there "practically" isn't any by comparison, and I even emphasized those words so that their effect wouldn't be lost. In other words, the interpersonal conflict in TMP pales by comparison with that in 12AM (hey, I'd never noticed that before; 12AM, how apropos!)
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    This isn't a bad point. And it's something I tried to address in my citing another Robert Wise film, Run Silent, Run Deep. In that film the conflict isn't restricted to just the young Commander and the seasoned Captain. The conflict extends to the crew as people are taking sides. No one flat out mutinies, but the tension is there. There's a touch of that again in the feature film Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea which is also something of a rough parallel with TMP.

    In TOS we saw tempers could flare, particularly in "The Galileo Seven," and throughout the series it isn't a Utopian one big happy family as it's painted in TNG. So the groundwork and precedent is there for internal shipboard conflict.

    TMP's misstep is they only scratched the surface of that possibility.


    One of the amazing things about TMP is that so much of it came together as it did considering all the bullshit that went into getting it made. By all rights it should have been a distaster...kinda like TFF. :lol:
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. That makes me wonder what TFF could have been like if Robert Wise had directed it. :)
     
  12. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    A critique leveled at TMP is that Decker seems to hate Kirk in one scene, next we see them sharing a grim joke about how weak their hand is. Again, though, I say this a strength. Decker is a professional first and foremost--the mission means more to him than command*. Plus, he and Kirk have a history--Kirk recommended Decker for the Enterprise and, if we go beyond the screen, Will is Matt's son and Kirk was friends with Matt Decker, deeply respected him, suggesting that Kirk may have taken a similar interest in Will's career that he did in Garrovick's or Bailey's. The simmering, conflicting emotions of resentment and respect seems very real to me, made stronger by the fact that Decker only let's it show three times--and the last time he does it, he's not angry about losing the Enterprise. He's angry about losing Ilia--grief-stricken and yet he goes right back to doing his job.

    Decker is perhaps the most Trek of Trek guest stars--he really belonged in that seat and we believe it.

    *Contrast this with Riker and Jellico in "Chains of Command," Exhibit A in how poorly TNG handled conflict (although Boma in "The Galilieo Seven" is easily as bad--Boma wasn't the second lead) and why I can't take Riker seriously.
     
  13. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I liked Action Jackson too--love Carl Weathers. I also like that Paul in the movie is depicted as he is in the book: avid, curious, strong-willed but fully cognizant of his place in House Atreides and the Imperium and, later, Fremen society. The Paul in the SciFi mini-series is written and played like a sullen, spoiled punk--at least he is at first.

    A comparison could be drawn with first season Kirk and what we hear of his formative years versus NuKirk but I ain't opening that can of Regulan bloodworms...
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    My point is that you can't hold 12AM up as a model of how Star Trek can work confined to the bridge, full stop.

    It's not that ST lacks character drama. ST has character drama. But it doesn't have that type of character drama, in which the lion's share of the dramatic tension derives from conflict among the characters, and therefore it can't stay confined to a single room and draw upon that sort of character drama within the main cast. It's simply not there.

    To say, "But Star Trek has character drama," is to totally miss the point that 12 Angry Men is not a model for how Star Trek could work among the bridge characters confined to the bridge or any other single room for all but a few minutes of the film or episode. That's what this whole sidebar has been about:

    The point is that what works for 12AM does not work for TMP. It can't.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think that line totally works because they're facing this giant living machine with "unbelievable technology" and it's using a method of communication that to them would seem like a message in cuneiform delivered on a clay tablet. It's not what he expects at all.
     
  16. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Exactly. Why would the most advanced tech he's encountered since the Guardian of Forever use so crude a method of communication? I know all about telegrams but if I received one in this day and age, I'd say, "Telegram?" exactly as Kirk said "Radio?"
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The story within TMP could have been told in an hour. And if shown on television it would work as is. But the tension and drama presented in TMP isn't really sufficient to be stretched to two hours. You need something more.

    And I say that as someone who likes the film.

    Interesting to ponder "what if?" Robert Wise had been involved earlier. Or if Paramount had simply been able to make up its mind sooner rather than wasting all that time and money on Phase II.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  18. Khan 2.0

    Khan 2.0 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    earth...but when?...spock?
    Its funny when you think Star Wars was out just 2 years earlier and the success of that prompted Paramount to switch from doing the Phase 2 series or low budget tv movie to the big movie. one of the inspirations for Star Wars was obviously star trek with its action packed romp style...so fans will have been expecting and wanting the Trek movie to jump straight back into that feel.....yet Star Trek TMP shunned that in favour of a lofty 2001 vibe...with time its interesting to see it as a more realistic 2001 version of Trek as theres Wrath of Khan etc to enjoy but its easy to imagine the disappointment fans mustve had in 79 when theyd been waiting for the movie for the best part of a decade.

    The anticipation of a huge budget Star Trek movie (with all the original cast) mustve been off the scale - esp with Star Wars just out near enough the previous year whetting everyones appetite for colourful space action ...they mustve been expecting epic space battles, phaser fights and Kirk Fu, nasty creepy aliens, klingons kicking ass, Kirk Spock Bones jokes/banter, that eerie uncanny Twilight Zone vibe alot of the season 1 eps had, light comedic moments, red/gold/blue uniforms similar to the tv show, colourful Ent interiors, beaming down to alien planets (all done on a bigger scale/more realistic) ....and instead they got 'Star Trek A Space Odyssey' or 'Star Trek Phase 2 The Movie'

    I wonder what the reaction would’ve been had it been the movie version of the TV Star Trek?
    It probably would’ve made Star Wars box office
     
  19. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    I wasn't even born when TMP premiered but I love the refit reveal.

    I think whether or not anyone likes that lengthy scene is down to whether or not one enjoys starship porn.

    And Jerry Goldsmith.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I myself was not a fan of Star Wars when it came out. Even at only 18 a lot of it struck me as silly (in comparison to Star Trek). That opinion still holds today even though I can now take SW for the romp that it is. But despite what a lot of SW fans have projected into it it's not that deep. There's no real meat to it.

    From what I recall there really wasn't an expectation for TMP to be like SW, but a lot of fans could have been hoping for something like a cinematic version of "The Doomsday Machine."

    TMP is something that I think perhaps works better now than it did in '79 because the expectations are no longer there. You can judge it on its own merits. As I said upthread it could well be that GR and Wise eschewed using SW as a template to aim for something different, which is much like what TOS often aimed to do. Also the kind of story Paramount seemed to be looking for a Star Trek feature was bouncing around for years and long before SW happened along and it wasn't anything like SW.

    Star Wars was like Flash Gordon. Star Trek was more like The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone or cinematically like The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet and Planet Of The Apes.

    That said there are Trek fans who simply revel in spaceship battles and such. But those things were always contextual in TOS. Unlike a lot of action films, be they sci-fi or otherwise, TOS didn't come at action from the angle of trying to fit a story around the action. The idea was to have a story that plausibly includes action in it.

    Now setting my own issues with TWOK aside it still isn't like SW. There is nuance and substance to TWOK that just isn't in SW. The action presented in TWOK fits the story and presented in a (somewhat) more credible manner than it is in SW. Granted some fans might not see that because to them spaceships shooting at each other is good enough, but the distinctions are there.

    I don't think it likely that we could have had or really expected a Abrams' approach to Trek in '79. I don't mean such a sharp reboot (and TMP was in some measure a reboot), but I mean in overall tone and approach. JJtrek is also a product of evolution as films have become ever more faster paced over the years. The kind of pacing seen in JJtrek and other contemporary action-y films wasn't really yet around in the '70s, at least to my knowledge.

    When I look back, for myself, I see certain films as signpost in the evolution of action in films: Star Wars, Die Hard, Terminator 2, The Bourne Identity. And no doubt there are films I'm overlooking or have never seen myself. I cite those examples because they appeared to become templates for what followed. But regardless of the examples we do see an evolution of pacing and overall tone.

    The expectations of film are also different from television particularly with sci-fi and films with visual spectacle to them. I am wondering if those distinctions could be beginning to blur with more and more people watching television on big and wide flatscreens. The canvas for television has drastically changed in the past 10-15 years. Television programming is now being made in the same widescreen format as cinema. That could bring a different level of expectation to television that simply didn't exist, or even have been considered, when we had the 4:3 aspect ratio and a screen no bigger than 27-32ins.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014