ST-TMP: your first time...

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

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, it is of course clear that V'Ger was speaking in the "holy language" of its creator, but at this point in the film, Kirk and crew don't know that.

    When I said that the primitive mode of communication could have been taken as evidence that V'Ger was trying to talk down to their level, I meant that from the perspective of what they knew at the time. From that standpoint of the film's narrative, it was a missed opportunity in not showing them trying to fit that piece into the puzzle, as part of their journey to figure out what was really going on. It would have been better to have them trying to make sense of everything by bouncing theories off of each other, instead of simply ticking off screen minutes in total confusion.
     
  2. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure we HAVE covered this before, probably 10 or 12 years back, with me objecting to 'radio' for the same reason, that subspace radio was commonly mentioned on TOS.
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think TMP fails to appeal to a broader audience or a specific one because of its content. TMP is not an origin story trying to explain who these characters are and where they come from. It rightfully assumes most everyone, fan or not, has a measure of familiarity with these characters and the setting.

    TWOK and much of all the films through to STID appeal to a broader audience, in spite of appealing to fans, because they're largely reduced to more simplistic elements. They're largely action/adventure oriented with little to no thought required.

    Crazily, of those films, it's TFF that has a big idea buried in it. Shatner's heart was in the right place, but the execution was lacking, and not all of it was his fault.
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Since TWOK made less money than TMP the opposite could be argued to be true: it appealed mostly to fans, not general audiences.
     
  5. OpenMaw

    OpenMaw Captain Captain

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    On the third hand, I doubt TWOK had an advertising vehicle anything like TMP.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I hate these kind of discussions where people draw conclusions like the above, which can't be proven or disproven.
     
  7. Synnöve

    Synnöve Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Concering WOK and to a slightly lesser extent TUDC, your statement is complete nonsense. While the thematics at play may be more in line with classic literature (and therefore more familiar), they are not simple and lacking in depth.

    TMP may have it's moments of intellectual stimulation in the sci-fi tradition, but WOK has great wealth of intellectual stimulation concerning the classic topics of revenge, loss, cheating death, aging, reconnection, etc etc.

    Just because the films have a faster pace and some action scenes doesn't mean they are the lesser of TMP in terms of thematic or intellectual depth.

    I love TMP and have a great amount of nostalgia, but I'll admit any day that WOK is an almost perfect movie because it's thematics are explored evenly through the film; each scene and story beat serves to further that exploration and further the story the follows it. With TMP this is certainly not the case, infect I'd argue that several portions of the film require little in the way of thought due to it's de-evolution in to a pure sensory experience.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Honestly, I'm not sure the "Big Idea" in TFF is really all that deep. The idea that the Kirk and company encounter a "God" that turns out to be insane, an alien, a child, or whatever had become cliche before TOS even went off the air. I remember Harlan Ellison poking fun at the cliche in a Starlog interview in the early eighties, long before TFF came along.

    Just because there's a lot of pompous dialogue about the Meaning of Existence doesn't mean an evil alien posing as "God" is all that deep a concept.

    Heck, at least TVH was about saving the whales, which is arguably a more serious idea than running into the Wizard of Oz at the center of the galaxy . . . :)
     
  9. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I always thought the accepted notion -- ad budgets notwithstanding -- was that the general public stayed away from TREK till TVH because of their 'blah' reaction to TMP, and that it took homevid views of TWOK & I guess for some reasons SFS to get audiences to even consider going again (along with the easy yucks TVH showed in spots pre-release.)
     
  10. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    How about running into Tim Curry there? I mean, Shat's notion was finding the actual Christian-concept Devil there, not the shaggy demon we got. Geez, for a Hollywood film, that idea was edgy enough to probably offend all the folks who boycotted LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and THE RAPTURE.

    I think TVH undercuts its own good intentions courtesy of Bennett, who tossed Meyer's bit that had Gillian CHOOSING to stay in the 20th, saying that we have to try to prevent the extinction.
     
  11. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No. Only 99% of it was. Shatner rammed being able to direct 5 down Paramount's throat. Shatner came up with the outline for it. Was heavily involved in the scripting process. He completely failed as a supervisor, however, when it came to directing a big budget picture. The FX company was allowed to fail, because of his incompetence by not following up. He just wanted to say "ACTION!" and have his way on the set, as Nimoy had done ... twice! It doesn't seem like coincidence to me, that the bad guy in 5 is a Vulcan. A laughing Vulcan, at that ... almost as a jealous jab at Nimoy. I don't think Shatner's heart was in the "right" place, at all. He was only thinking about himself and not, ironically, "the big picture." :borg:
     
  12. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    To the person objecting to the term "cerebral": the more appropriate term might be "philosophical" or maybe "existential".

    One of the big criticisms of Into Darkness had to do with how small the universe felt, where you can warp to Kronos in a matter of hours. There aren't a lot of science fiction films that effectively convey the vastness of space besides TMP.

    TMP is kind of like The Matrix in that it is more successful by raising issues that you think about after the movie is over, but as far as the movie delivering simply as a movie, it's missing things.

    What movies really need to work as movies lies more in the heart than the mind. The one moment where TMP rises to the occasion is Kirk and Spock holding hands. The lack of heart may or may not have been an intentional omission within TMP, but in that scene, it seems to be laying its cards on the table, and later on paid off with the Disneyesque merging of Decker with Ilia.

    So on the one hand, TMP wants to be appreciated for raising the big question "is this all there is?" and then saying in the end "all you need is love." But in order to say that, it needs to strip away almost all the love, which just doesn't make for a very fun moviegoing experience.

    That's why things that we remember most fondly are those little punctuated moments of humor like McCoy's dig about engineers always changing things.

    I think there may be some Meyer Fatigue causing people to backtrack on their praise of the films that followed. And I don't think it's really necessary to pit one approach vs. the other. No matter what you do, there's going to be tradeoffs. By going towards character-based stories, some of the philosophical ideas were sacrificed. It's not really possible to have your cake and eat it too.

    While people like to say TOS was not constructed to be an ensemble, it kind of turned into that in the end, by virtue of the attachment fans had made to them. I think ultimately the public preferred to kind of "hang out" with the characters they had grown to love rather than merely using the characters as a convenient vehicle to raise big issues.
     
  13. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I think you've maybe got 7% of that right, and the rest seems like horseshit. I've interviewed Ralph Winter before, and even he cops to the fact that the VFX mess happened because the producers weren't riding herd properly.

    Given the delay in production because of Nimoy directing THE GOOD MOTHER, the fx situation was always going to be a crisis, not just due to budget issues, but because so little time was available after shooting wrapped before release ... a company that had all its eggs already in the basket like ILM or DreamQuest could have done the work in time and had it look good, but they were busy (in fact, pretty much everybody in VFX was busy working on films for that summer.)

    The thing Bennett says about Shatner being easy to con is very telling; for all his experience in the business, Shatner didn't know when to act out to get his way, the way Meyer did to get an explosion restaged for KHAN, where he said take it out of my fee, and Paramount freaked and backed down.

    A lot of the crew on set were busting ass for Shatner, but there were folks who clearly weren't doing their jobs, or otherwise he wouldn't have had to run around micromanaging stuff that was supposed to be done hours earlier. Mike Wood, the show's physical effects guy (not vfx), told me in 1990 that Shatner was in an almost impossible situation with respect to schedule and studio support, that everybody was trying to make due with less than they needed -- not less than they wanted, less than they needed.
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Hmm. Bennett might have made the right call. It's a nice sentiment, but I'm not sure it fits the breezy, light-hearted tone of the movie.

    But who knows? It might have made for a sweet, heart-tugging moment.
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Gillian is needed in the 23rd century to help take care of George and Gracie, although the impression that one gets from dialog in TVH is that Gillian's incongruously off to get educated. I guess the Federation already has plenty of humpback whale experts with lots of experience dealing with actual whales. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah., but it's a big "so what"? So, you discover there is a God, and...?
     
  17. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Off to get educated about how to live in a world three centuries removed from the one she knew? I hate TVH almost as much as I hate TFF (I like my Star Trek--oh, how do I say this?--not stupid) but that line never bothered me.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Of course she needs to catch up, that's not the point. The point is that she doesn't mention the whales. The whales are forgotten by this point. They're just a MacGuffin to be sure, but at this point we learn that so is Gillian. She's superfluous to everything, even the whales. You'd think that she'd at least mention how she can't wait to get back to them.
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    While TVH seems to be a favourite of many and TFF a least favourite I actually rate TFF over TVH. There's just too much crap in TVH. I find TVH embarrassing and TFF a noble failure with some redeeming qualities.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  20. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Start even bigger theological wars than we already had over him, I guess. (point taken, okay?)