Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by F. King Daniel, Sep 8, 2012.
Star Trek: This is not your stupid-friends' Star Wars
That did occur to me. Originality is not my strong point, though I still think that they would work for TMP.
Yeah, I take your point about forgoing In Thy Image or The Human Adventure. I just find the phrase 'The Motion Picture' somewhat pompous and needlessly wordy.
To be fair, I appreciate that it was a different era and the term 'motion picture' was more commonly used then than it is now. But...it just doesn't work for me.
Taking a riff from Spaceballs:
Star Trek: The Merchandising
Well, look at it this way: it'd be weird to call it ST:TM instead of TMP. Then it would sound like it meant "trademark" or something.
I wouldn't rename it, to be honest. I like the title. There, I said it.
I'm not saying I'm overly keen about 'The Movie' either. But it did work for Superman! But hey, horses for courses!
Star Trek the Film
Beat me to it. In the cinema, watching "Superman Returns", I had goosebumps from the nostalgia. Sadly, I came home and quickly got the feeling many people disliked the movie.
After re-watching the TMP Director's Edition with the commentary, I would have to revise my earlier statement to say more accurately that the fault lie with both Wise and Trumbull, with regard to the starship porn cuts, etc. Even Wise saw the need for reducing some of the scenes to run shorter. He said so, for crying out loud!
And as for those other examples, I have yet to speak with any classic film fan who complains about the pacing of TMP, who also complains about the pacing of those other films you cite - especially 2001!
If there's any "fault" to be assigned, it's with the distributors who insisted on an inflexible release date and therefore forced Wise to deliver an unfinished rough cut to theaters. The cut we saw included all the FX footage only because they hadn't had time to trim it down yet, to make all the editorial decisions about how much of it would best serve the film's overall pacing. Again, you're completely wrong to accuse the filmmakers of making bad or inept decisions. They weren't allowed to make the editorial decisions they wanted to make, because they were forced to deliver the film before it was ready. It was the only film in Wise's entire career that was released to theaters in a form he wasn't satisfied with. He even tried to convince the studio to let him finish editing the film properly and send out a final cut to replace the rough cut while it was still in theaters, but they refused to cough up the money to let him get the film right. He had to wait 22 years for the opportunity to complete the film.
I think the pacing of TMP is fine, whereas 2001 is a crashing bore. Although that's probably because the slow parts of TMP have great music to listen to, while a lot of 2001 is just tedious silence. I've never liked the way Kubrick dealt with music.
I'm the opposite. 2001 is a masterpiece, my second favorite movie. The space scenes in the film come both with music and without, and the choice of which way to go, and then how to handle it, depends upon the tone of the scene. There's an incredible amount of tension in the scenes that are the quietest; one example that immediately comes to mind is reorienting the pod for the emergency space walk. The scenes making use of the Blue Danube are pure pleasure, and the Ligeti pieces are astonishing. But, 2001 provokes all kinds of reactions.
And the theme was just a touch better there than the original.
While I think the pacing of TMP leaves much to be desired I can agree with you on 2001. This is one of the most over-rated movie in existence.
^I've always said that 2001 is a sci-fi movie for people who hate sci-fi.
I think 2001 is more a movie for people who want an immersive sensory and perceptual experience more than they want a narrative.
The narrative is there, it's just presented nonverbally. I believe that much of the film concerns itself with relations among archetypes, rather than characters per se.
I liked the reviewers' suggestions
The Motionless Picture
The Motion Sickness
Where Nomad Has Gone Before, however, has to win it all.
Okay, maybe "narrative" was the wrong choice of words. Maybe "more than they want explanations." Kubrick went out of his way to avoid explaining anything that happened in the movie -- which is what makes him such an odd pairing with Arthur C. Clarke, who explained everything in the novel version. (I remember people complaining about the film 2010 explaining why HAL went crazy, calling it an unnecessary retcon on the movie's part -- but that explanation was already there in the novel of 2001, written simultaneously with the original film. And of course in the novel 2010 that was then made into the movie.)
The shattered wine glass was all we needed to know about why HAL broke down. He broke because he was made by human hands, because humans have accidents. While I didn't mind the explanation given in 2010 (I'm not going to look it up in the text, but I seriously doubt it was called a Hofstadter-Möbius loop or a "Hofstadter" anything in the book, since Gödel, Escher, Bach was published in 1979), in and of itself it was ultimately yackety technobabble of no consequence, except possibly to help establish that HAL was "cured". Furthermore, like most technobabble, it raised more questions than it answered, and on close inspection wasn't really convincing.
I think it's unfair to criticize 2010 too much for any of those reasons, though (and also it'd be unfair because of the reasons you give), because ultimately 2010 was a different kind of film than 2001, for a different audience. I enjoyed 2010 much less, but I was still entertained by it. And they got enough of the band back together.
2001 is brilliant. And, fond of it as I am, TMP is badly paced with a weak script.
I don't think it's fair to blame the distributors. Paramount block booked the film for that date and what were the theaters supposed to do if Paramount delayed it?
The TMP producers and Wise are both to blame for not getting the film done to their satisfaction by the contracted date. As a producer myself, I know that when you see a looming deadline and potential problems meeting it, you reassess. There's no reason Wise couldn't have tightened up the edit of the live action stuff while waiting for the effects shots to come in. And re the effects, the responsible thing to have done would have been to trim down the number of shots and concentrate on a few really memorable images as opposed to a whole lot of shots that aren't necessary even if you want them. For instance, we don't need four minutes of flying over V'ger, we just need a handful of OMG THAT THING IS MONSTROUS shots to sell the hopelessness of the Enterprise's mission.
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