Menagerie, re-mastered on the Big Screen

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Dulak, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2003
    The Bay Area
    ^At my showing in Century City, there were CBS/Paramount reps who handed out posters to the kiddies (some adults snagged them as well). In fact, it seemed as if a lot of studio reps were at my showing.
  2. InklingStar

    InklingStar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 14, 2003
    No studio reps in Olympia. The show was great though. It never looked better, and the sound mix was excellent as well.

    I stayed for the remastered season 2 preview, but they didn't have anything that has not yet been shown. Oh well.
  3. Cmndr J Crichton

    Cmndr J Crichton Commodore Commodore

    Oct 18, 2004
    /\It was still neat seeing the clips on the big screen, though.
  4. Indysolo

    Indysolo Commodore Commodore

    Mar 19, 2001
    Sunny California
    I'm just in from the AMC Burbank 16. I got 2 free passes out of the inept screening.

    Our showing had people from in attendance, in addition to many of the artists that work on the "Re-Mastered" project and even Bjo Trimble. I don't think anyone from the sound department was in attendance though. The screening was advertised as being in surround sound. We got it in glorious mono.....from the left front speaker the entire time! No one at the screening or the theater seemed to care. Through some fluke, the movie started re-playing after it ended ("One more time!") and we thought to get someone from the AMC staff in there to just check it out. They didn't seem to care and couldn't be bothered to check it out.

    It really ruined the experience for me. I was looking forward to hearing the music play big and loud in the theater. Silly me. I did complain and was offered one free pass (this was a $12.50 event, which is more than standard ticket prices) so I asked for two passes and the employee agreed.

    Our screening was "sold out" in that they weren't selling anymore tickets for it, but there were at lest 20-30 empty seats in the theater.

  5. Dale

    Dale Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 30, 2006
    Mt. Baldy, CA
    Ontario, CA screening here. Theater was about one-third full and the presentation was a little dark and the volunme was a little low (AMC, Matt, just like your experience). The Menagerie was not the best showcase for the new effects, IMHO... the old girl looked much better in the documentary beforehand and the preview afterward. I still think she looks fabulous on the big screen as-is (or as-was, as it were). Someone upthread said she looked like an ocean liner... I got that same feeling... lots of gravitas and heft to her.

    There were precisely two costumes in my theater... a TOS sciences uniform and a TNG engineers outfit. I was planning to go in TOS captain's gold with my wife as a redshirt but she chickened out thinking we'd be the only ones and we didn't do it... then when I saw the uniforms walk in I said "See?! I told you!"

    I think they could have chosen a better ep (or eps) to showcase TOS-R. The Doomsday Machine and The Trouble With Tribbles, for instance... both looked great in the S2 preview after the feature.

    And yes, our audience laughed in all the same places as everyone else's... "The women!" of course (in fact there were titters in advance of the line as soon as the landing party stepped onto the pads)... and the paper printout got a big laugh, too. Seemed to be a very partisan, Trekkie crowd... which was hardly unexpected.
  6. STIntergalactic

    STIntergalactic Captain Captain

    Jun 20, 2006
    I'm going to the Livonia show on the 15th...and I think you just lowered my expectations. I'm not nearly as excited now. :(
  7. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999
    NJ, USA
    Saw it last night. There was a very cozy crowd of 25 or so mostly Trekkers in one of the multiplex's smallest theaters. In fact, I think my wife was the ONLY person who hadn't seen the episode before, so she was the only one commenting at the surprise plot twists. :lol: The people were relatively "normal", again suggesting that old preconceptions of what most Trekkers are like aren't really valid in the real world.

    First the good: The best reactions were from the NEW CGI FX--lots of ooos and ahs--and also from the humor in the episode, preceding and following documentaries. The Enterprise looked and sounded great on the big screen. This, and a really good home theater is where TOS-R will shine. There were several shots where the big E looked as if it had come out of STTMP, but only with the classic design. It was wonderful.

    The bad:

    $25????? I thought it was supposed to be $9 for each person!!

    While it didn't ruin my viewing much, the theater showed the movie in stereo!!!! instead of surround sound. The print looked pretty good, but they projected it on what appeared to be an older screen, and the surface was visibly the newly HD picture didn't quite have the effect it should have (and no it was not pixelation). I am positive the HD-DVD version will actually look better on my HDTV when I buy a copy.

    Points of interest:

    For what appeared to be mostly Trekkers, there were some odd moments of laughter. I thought everyone had seen this before already. Do people normally laugh at some of the outdated elements of the first pilot? It never really occurred to me.

    The documentary was ok, though not informative. I would have liked to have seen more of the technical side of the restoration.

    All in all, it was a good experiece. Some people clapped at the end. It was great seeing so much detail on the big screen. The bad paint jobs on some of the props, rough construction, and cheap look of some of production--all the more visible in this format--only added to the presentation for me. But this viewing only convinced me more that the new movie should look LESS faithfully like the original, and should really offer its own big budget vision.

  8. rgb1701

    rgb1701 Captain Captain

    Jun 24, 2001
    Sorry for that ;)

    I think you'll have fun anyways.

    To be fair, we sat in the first row of the "stadium seating" section- very close. To mitigate the screen door LCD effect, just sit halfway up the stadium seating area or farther. During motion (most of the show), the screen door effect was less noticeable.

    Like other posters, the audio sounded mono at Livonia, too. I should have complained to get free passes like the other poster ;).

    I won't go to another Fanthom (whoever produced this event) event unless I hear they've demonstrated improved technical standards (though my wife and average people had no issue with the picture). I get the impression Fanthom provided the projectors for this one off.

    This is 2007, not 1999. Anything less than a 1080p projector in a commercial venue is inexcusable. Considering they touted the "HD" transfer, and then used a less-than-HD projector (1024 pixels across is less than even 720p at 1280 across!), is ridiculous. I had a 1024x768 LCD projector in my home theater back in 1999!

    Touting HD and surround sound, and not delivering either, is not a good way to do these events or market a new format (HD DVD). This was basically an ad for the new HD DVD TOS box sets, which I linked to at Amazon earlier.

    This further demonstrates the boondoggle that is HD, and in particular, the HD disc formats, HD DVD and BluRay, both of which I've boycotted for two reasons- the format war, and the DRM/usage restrictions.

    If Paramount/CBS sold the Remasterd TOS sets on SD DVD for the current going rate of the TOS season boxsets (about $50-$60 street), I'd probably bite, assuming all the new extras are on the SD DVD's. But at $130 and higher for the HDDVD dual format sets? No way.

    All that said, i like to throw Paramount/TOS a few commerical dollars once in a while, to show Paramount we still care and motivate them to put time and money into projects like the Remastered TOS and the next movie. But they need to be held to reasonable advertising and product standards.

    Send feedback to Paramount/CBS and Fanthom over these advertised technical/product quality issues.
  9. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 11, 2004
    Saw the screening at the Cinemark last night, I have to say the quality was pretty piss poor, I think my VHS copy running on a old 25" Color TV would've looked better, certainly not worth the $27.50 paid. That being Said I still have to say after 40 years the show still holds up. I want to see the new team match the fun and excitement of that show. I was also amazed how well the planet of Talos IV looked on the big screen, that set was pretty amazing and I don't think they enhanced it at all. so A+ for Content, F for Presentation, they certainly won't sell any HD-DVD's with that presentation. Best part thou was at the end the Computer running it crashed with an Active desktop error, the crowd was screaming Buy Macs ! Priceless.
  10. erastus25

    erastus25 Commodore Commodore

    Sep 27, 2006
    I agree with almost all of these sentiments. I saw it at the Fenway theater in Boston and the resolution was either 1024x768 on an XGA or something near to it. As a result, the presentation was not any better than the remastered standard def DVDs already released by season. It also seemed exceptionally dark and I was disappointed that there were no new extra features. The sound was good though.

    That being said, it was still worth my time. The Menagerie is the first Trek episode that I distinctly remember seeing when I was four or five years old. The Cage was also the first VHS I owned (a 7th year birthday present) back in the day. So, this particular episode has always held a special place in my heart. I also had the privilege of taking my girlfriend who is a newly converted Star Trek fan, and I think she was impressed with the number of fans and the positive output. Ultimately, despite the poor presentation the chance to enjoy one of my favorite episodes with my girlfriend and a number of Trek fans was well worth the price of admission.
  11. Dorothy_Zbornak

    Dorothy_Zbornak Commodore Commodore

    Jul 14, 2004
    Saw it in Toronto...agreed, it was too dark and grainy.

    It's also an incredibly tedious episode.

    Oh, and Rod Roddenberry needs to cover up.
  12. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Nov 25, 2001
    ^ I'm glad someone mentioned how low the light, or lumen levels were. I saw it at the NYC AMC Empire and was disappointed with the presentation. The light levels were WAY too low, as were the audio levels.

    After just seeing RAZOR on the exact same screen less than 24 hours before, I was really dissapointed with the Menagerie presentation. Not sure if it was just the calibration of the projector or something inherent to the source material, but the new Trek Remastered looks SO MUCH BETTER than it did last night....
  13. Mandra

    Mandra Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 8, 2006
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Dissapointing turn out in Ottawa, ON, the theatre was only 1/4 - 1/3 full. Nobody was in costume that I could see. I'm not a techie, and we were sitting at the back, so it looked and sounded just fine to me.

    It was the first time I've been able to watch a remastered episode. I very much enjoyed the background effects, mixed feelings on the digital Enterprise but it wasn't really an episode where we could see what she can do.

    Laughs in the expected places ("The Women!", paper printout).

    Overall I had fun and enjoyed it.
  14. rgb1701

    rgb1701 Captain Captain

    Jun 24, 2001
    So much for the technical execution review...;)

    ...Now for my take on the artistic/treknical issues.

    I was also pleasantly suprised how well the Trek/Cage design and dramatic aestetic was expressed in a big screen commercial event.

    Apart from the obvious TV Act structure and commercial breaks, I was amazed how well the Menagerie executed as a commercial dramatic presentation.

    This is a testament to TOS, its writers, directors and producers, as well as designers who worked on the show.

    The TOS minimalist design meme works to its advantage in keeping TOS relevant and watchable over the decades. I thought there would be more cringe moments due to certain TOS design elements and/or props. There were suprisingly few for me.

    The only time the theater laughed due to a "dated" prop issue was the paper printout on the Pike bridge, which I found puzzling. During the 80's and 90's, I thought the paper printout was a dated prop faux pau- I don't any more. I just automatically interpreted that scene as "Pike wanted a hard copy", not that "hard copies are the only output method".

    Yes, ePaper will be more prevelant going forward, but think Battlestar Galactica (new series). Far out in the field, you don't want to rely on digital/electronic Everything. You want legacy style options that are not suseptible to viruses, burn out, EM-pulse attacks, etc.

    For this reason, I never understood fans' issue with the mechanical TOS bridge chronometer, which has been removed in the Remastered TOS. For the same reasons I cited, you want mechanical, legacy style backups for certain functions. In addition to modern GPS and atomic clocks, current US Navy ships are required to have on board a sextant (mechanical, hand held star/solar navigation), and senior officers are required to know how to use it, and take regular readings with it as a backup and verification of all the electronic/digital doodads. Similarly, I've interpreted the TOS bridge chronometer to be the Old Skool master backup ship chronometer- yes, they have a quantum/string/subspace uber advanced time keeping system in the bowels of the ship, impervious to nefarious time-line tampering and chroniton particle radiation ;), but the backup chronometer uses good 'ole mechanical wheels :D. Or maybe it's the mechanical chronometer that would be impervious to chroniton radiation ;)...

    Plus, like current lawyers, some official communications types will probably always be preferred in hardcopy- think about the retaliation against eVoting machines and the desire to keep a physical proof of your vote. The Executive Orders book that Mendez opens is another example where Old Skool is preferred- for Official, formal, or Law related- Capital Punishment in that case.

    Overall, I've always thought the Pike bridge looked more futuristic/realistic than the TOS series bridge, with cleaner control panels and better aesthetic by and large, with no apparent "dated" elements. Those Cage designers were far ahead of their time. The uniform design and away team equipment and jackets were right on target, too. And there is no problem with the goosenecks :D.

    The only real prop cringe moment I had was the Pike communicators, considering the content and design of the average person's flip cell phone.

    But that's easily dismissed Treknically by assuming that the communicator (Pike and TOS series) were MIL-Spec devices, which are extra-rugged field service rated devices. Those of you who've been in the military and/or have been engineers working on military projects know that military/field scientific equipment is usually larger/ apparently less "advanced" (industrial design-wise) than consumer grade devices.

    After all, current cell flip phones can't communicate over a quarter million miles without external tower/satellite links, or last months/years without recharging, or auto-translate alien languages (retconned by ENT, which I agree with) like Trek communicators can ;). Plus, cell phones break when you drop them- I suspect a Mil_spec field rated communicator can take a LOT more abuse, which accounts for the size/packaging design. The real issue I have with the Pike communicator is not its size/functionality, but the decision to make it transparent, revealing the 60's era resistors, caps, etc, for no real reason. The TOS series communicator fixes this, and becomes smaller, and looks more like a MIL-Spec field device. If they'd simply made the Pike unit a solid color, there would be no real issue.

    The biggest technical mis-calculation to me were the medical-related issues. McCoy makes a proclamation about not having conquered the brain/machine interface. A lot of progress has been made recently in that regard, and I would expect full brain/machine/computer/digital interfaces by then, with complete brain/machine control and brain/computer voice control by then (most likely in the next 20-30 years).

    It's hard to believe that Pike wouldn't convince Vina to leave, given reconstuctive surgery capability by that time (it's pretty good now), which should basically fully correct the Talosian surgical errors and other damage from her accident, since she claims to "work" fine otherwise. Similarly, couldn't reconstructive surgery fix up Pike, with an internal artificial heart, etc? Yes, the accident was recent, and maybe it would take time to to the surgeries and replacements required, and I'll throw them a bone- perhaps his injuries are so severe, they require the fusion-powered chair he uses- plus, the life support chair and Yes/No light are cool ;).

    I also found that the female actors looked less dated to me- I believe the hairstyles and general female aestetic is making a comeback in pop culture at large, so TOS is "back in style" (except for the TOS mini-skirts- why didn't they keep the Pike era female outfits!? ;) )
  15. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Nov 25, 2001
    I thought the first half of the episode held up very well, even turning to my girlfriend and remarking that this is better than most stuff being made today, film or otherwise.

    Obviously, being made for a TV audience, esp. on of the late 60's it often repeats itself in dialogue and in dramatic beats, in case someone was out of the room or tuning in late.

    It's a good, solid story, that could use some editing if it were trying to be pitched to a modern audience.

    rgb, That was a great idea to look in the projection room, I'm sure I would have found a substandard projector in the NYC screening too. Even a good home projector would probably not be able to light up a screen that far away, really disappointing presentation.
  16. Electric Coleslaw

    Electric Coleslaw Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 8, 2001
    Ohio, USA
    I saw it last night in Columbus at Lennox. My only complaint was that there was a little “double image” going on in places at the ends of objects and faces. It wasn’t all the time but it was a bit annoying that it wasn’t perfectly focused and clear. Still was great to see it on the big screen. The obvious sales pitch for the DVD’s was a bit amusing. The best part was the theater erupting in laughter after Spock yells: “The women!!” That was followed up with Pike ripping open the girl’s jacket to get her phaser. A few people in the place uttered “Hey Now!” or “Woah!”

    I was also a bit disappointed that no one dressed up. My wife made a great comment that she was one of only five women in the theater. :)

    But after seeing the previews for the Season 2 DVD, I was wondering if they should have shown "The Doomsday Machine" on the big screen instead. The little snippets they showed looked impressive up there.
  17. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

    Nov 25, 2001
    I think showing the Doomsday Machine would be fun, but they would have to couple it with another, perhaps The Ultimate Computer (when they finish with it) to make it a two hour event.

    Still, I don't think it would be as well attended as this fist screening. And many people who went to this, wouldn't go again because of the poor presentation. If TPTB were really smart, they would show a few of these on CBS HD sometime as a special, far more people would actually see the improved effects and quality.
  18. rgb1701

    rgb1701 Captain Captain

    Jun 24, 2001

    I would throw them a few bones again for a Doomsday Machine/ Tholian Web (or other FX heavy episode) two-fer, but only if a real commercial grade 1080p projector were used, and some real meaty extras were thrown in. There should have been free posters/pewter collectible coins/exclusive action figure (for the same ticket price) or similar to make it a real special event.
  19. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 2, 2002
    The fact that this was the show's only two part episode probably helped in making the decision to show The Menagerie.

    Anyhow, saw it in Westbury, NY last night and had a ton of fun. Totally packed show, SRO. Thursday's show was already sold out before this one started. I hope Paramount's paying attention. This ain't TNG or Voyager selling out the seats, it's classic Trek, "cheesy" acting and sets included.

    My picture was fairly dark also, but I got used to it. Many of the effects looked quite good up there and some details really came out (most have been stated, but Vina's pale soles of her feet really startled me).

    Sadly, with all the highly touted upgrades, nobody ever bothered to fix the sound issues. The incorrect music in part two from the DVDs are still there (The Doomsday Machine score, for example, going into the episode titles). Other sound issues which bugged me included the "singing plants", extra layers of beeps on the bridge and the fact that the music seems to drown out some dialog.

    It was nice to see the final Vina transformation stabilized, but adding the wavering effect to all of the illusions was distracting. One thing I finally noticed since I was practically living this experience with them (and have since seen the uncut Cage a million times), is that some of the Pike story doesn't make sense. Without the scenes of Spock trying to leave orbit, the power going out and the information ransacking of the computer, the ending is disjointed. References to "storage of records" being crude as well as power coming back in the transporter have no set up. So, they seem to come out of nowhere. Plus, there's no real resolution to Pike's personal crisis of being too tired to command. The Cage, on its own, is a better story.

    I digress. It was a fun experience, one I would gladly repeat. We had the usual mixed crowd of guys in uniform, guys in Star Trek tee shirts (waiting on line discussing the plots like it was going to be on their college finals) and the "hip" guys well dressed and cracking wise at the rest. Typical convention crowd.
  20. rgb1701

    rgb1701 Captain Captain

    Jun 24, 2001
    I would assume that Paramount/CBS marketing/executive people are reading this- if not, they are remiss in their duties ;).

    At minimum, someone should send a link to this thread to them- great marketing feedback on how to do better in the future...