Why are the TOS movies better then the TNG movies?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by The Overlord, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Enough already.
     
  2. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    Xortex, you have earned an infraction for trolling. I am a girl and I like to think and feel.
     
  3. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Star Trek has always, without exception -- let me say it again: always -- worked better as a television series than as a feature film franchise. Even "good" or "successful" entries in the franchise, such as TWOK and ST09, pale in comparison to what Trek was able to accomplish on television. The format simply suits Trek much better.

    As for the movies feeling like glorified TV episodes, you have to remember that, first, Trek's roots in both TOS and TNG are in television, so there's going to be that natural tendency to do things in a more TV-like manner. Second, also keep in mind that the Trek films were largely produced and even directed by people with a TV background.

    Look just at the list of producers of the films: Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, and Rick Berman. All of whom made their careers primarily in television. The lone exception to this is TUC, which did not have a producer from a TV background. And when you look at other categories -- writers, directors, production designers, etc. -- yes, you have some who come from the world of feature films, but you have quite a few who come from the world of television.

    Is it any wonder that Trek films come out feeling more like TV episodes?
     
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The TOS movies were used to revive what had been a canceled franchise, and they expanded on what little we had seen in the TV series. Plus, TOS only had 3 central characters so it was easy to keep that for the movies.

    Also, the TOS movies were where these character finally started to show growth as characters that they never got to do in the TV series.

    The TNG movies, however, couldn't handle the ensemble cast so well and TNG had pretty much run its course by then anyways. There was little purpose to the TNG movies to begin with (and Paramount made them on the cheap, too).

    Frankly, the best ideas for TNG movies had already been done as TV episodes: Yesterday's Enterprise, Best of Both Worlds, heck even Descent.
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Very good ideas, Anwar. However, I'm going to argue that in its conception at least, First Contact was a good idea, at least on par with the best of TNG TV, but you're right about the three other TNG films for sure.
     
  6. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know it's a sentiment that many others disagree with, but I think that First Contact was excellent in conception until the point at which the studio insisted that there needed to be a single, identifiable "bad guy" in the film. If that was the case, they should have abandoned the Borg story entirely, as that was not what the Borg were, and gone in a different direction. Introducing the Borg Queen ruined the concept of the story.
     
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's what I mean when I say they could've made "Descent" the Borg movie. In that story, it made sense for the Borg to have a Leader; in this case Lore which gives a triple connection to the cast (Borg/Picard, Hugh/Geordi, Data/Lore) rather than making some new enemy for the movie.

    Plus, a better budget and more time would allow for Geordi and Hugh to actually meet again and hammer out some other kinks in the story (Crusher commanding the ship wasn't bad, but it could've been set up better than Picard just handing her the chair).

    Again, the problem was that TNG had too perfect a wrap-up in "All Good Things...". They had to make up new stuff for the movies while TOS could bring back old foes not finished off like Khan, or the Klingons (who were still enemies when TOS ended).

    Personally, even TOS could've done better with some things: It would've added to TUC if the Klingon General was Kor instead of new guy Chang.
     
  8. EliyahuQeoni

    EliyahuQeoni Commodore Commodore

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    Because TOS is better than TNG (It seemed like the obvious answer to me ;) )
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's more because TOS' formula was easier to translate to screen, and there was more to work with.

    Sad fact is, TNG really didn't need movies.
     
  10. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Captain Captain

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  11. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think its a misconception. I rank STNG: Two good movies, two mediocre or bad. 50% success. TOS: 3 Good, 3 mediocre or bad. 50%.

    I enjoyed the movies in general, I always felt there was something missing...ST09 had it in spades. It FELT like a movie and was also a good adventure.

    RAMA
     
  12. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's only misconception if you assume Trekkies and filmgoers alike are a hive mind. We are not.

    People have different opinions and different tastes. There's no stone tablets that say "and lo, the Great Bird looked upon the Trekkies and said 'thy shall view 5 awesome movies and 5 crap movies, and one which be-eth contended'. And it was good".

    Didn't happen. Some people think Final Frontier rocked, some people think Wrath of Khan was a pile of dogshit.

    More power to 'em.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Not to mention that some of us really enjoyed ST:TMP, ST III and ST XI, supposedly part of the set of cursed "odd numbered" movies.
     
  14. Eric Cheung

    Eric Cheung Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I believe Siskel and Ebert specifically refer to Insurrection that way, but I'm not positive and I can't look it up right now.
    High concept is a term used to refer to the process in pitch meetings of distilling a film's concept to as few words as possible. I actually learned this from an old Fall Preview issue of TV Guide which used the term in its entries for each new show. Often shows are described as "x meets y" or "Die Hard on a..." It actually means the opposite of how you've heard it used, especially when you consider its sometimes negative connotation (the Wikipedia article cites "Snakes on a Plane" or "Cowboys & Aliens"). "Hard Sci-Fi," or "cerebral," would be better terms.
     
  15. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think most trekkies think they were fairly balanced as series go, its only the knee-jerk high bluster, higher profile media/blog/internet news that needs quick blurbs where this gets repeated.
     
  16. Shatner_Fan

    Shatner_Fan Ensign Red Shirt

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    I read Star Trek Movie Memories again recently (a great book, highly recommended), and I believe one key reason the TOS movies were better than the TNG movies is good old fashioned CREATIVE TENSION. The book very candidly describes how it was a power struggle to make every single one of the 6 TOS movies. At various times, Roddenberry, Bennett, Meyer, Nimoy, Shatner and Paramount were all fighting amongst themselves. And fighting hard. They had knockdown drag outs, they cried, they cursed each other, they threatened to quit … and it was all because each one cared so much about the material and wanted to improve it. The end results of these clashes were usually better films.

    By the time Berman and the TV guys took over, they were a cohesive, formulaic unit and, aside from a few memos from Patrick Stewart or Brent Spiner trying to get larger and better roles, I’m sure people rarely spoke up and said, ‘This is bullsh*t, we need to do something else, or I walk!’ It was like Lucas and his total control over the prequels – not enough people disagreeing!
     
  17. Dr. Crusher

    Dr. Crusher Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I have to agree with a comment above about how TNG did not translate as well to the movie screen as it functioned on TV. I think TNG was more about the combination of diplomacy, examination of culture and ethics, and action all together in an equillibrium. Movies always rely far more heavily on action. TNG as a TV series never did, and when the movies were written that way--as they naturally would be--the essence of TNG really did get very lost. The TNG films never managed to accomplish the balancing act of a good plot and moments of the character chemistry that we enjoyed in the TV series, but the TOS movies certainly did all of that very well.
     
  18. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

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    Honestly I think think movies were just plain better in the 1980s.

    Dozens and dozens of successful entries in all genres. Real gems that are still great to watch.

    What are the memorable movies the 90s? I find them fewer in number the closer you get to the turn of the century. The modern action film is just quick cut ADHD garbage and the modern "comedy" is just gross out jokes.
     
  19. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    I think the Shat described this as just greed and glory seeking, as if Shatner always wanted to be a writer/ director all his life or is any good at it. Same with Nimoy.

    I think the thought this was all bullshit did cross Gates Mcphaden's mind once which is why she wasn't there for a few seasons. Who are you going to tell that to anyway? Rick Berman? He knew it was shit. How did you like his suits, though? :guffaw:
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I recommend reading "Fade In" by Michael Piller. There was an awful lot of disagreeing with Berman everywhere.