Vlogger's Proposed Changes to "Insurrection"

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos, Oct 7, 2021.

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Would these proposed changes have made a better or worse Insurrection film?

  1. Better

    5 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Worse

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. PCz911

    PCz911 Captain Captain

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    best review of the film EVER!
     
  2. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    His direction was largely the saving grace of the film. Sorta wish he had done NEM as well, though the script was loaded with so much rubbish that it's probably for the best. Baird got the bulk of the tone right and a couple scenes excel due to his handling, but there's only so much a director and cast can do with a script that's overstuffed with nowhere to upchuck it to.

    Not sure which one is worse. I used to think NEM was just worn out, but in talking to a mirror and accepting a dare from my mirror image I did look up both. INS is definitely the one lacking in creative plot ideas even more than NEM. NEM was a mess, but it had more that was at least original - all things considered, including cut'n'paste scene beats and dialogue from TWOK and TSFS. Both scripts needing tidying and decluttering, but NEM would have ended up a better outing after the clutter removal and polishing.
     
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  3. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Writing by committee happens a lot in the business and many decisions had created a lot of success. Disney is a force in this process. Hard to imagine, based on how much these projects cost, there wouldn't be a union of minds to get what they want on screen.
     
  4. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do think it's interesting and weird that Insurrection largely feels like a rejection (by Piller) of the darkness of Deep Space Nine in season 6, it was developed and probably even written largely before it but the firmly rejecting the ends-justify-means philosophy does seem to be in response, at the very least contrast.

    If the plot had occurred in Deep Space Nine, Sisko would have struggled with himself about whether he should remove the inhabitants for 5 to 10 minutes and then removed them in another 5.
     
  5. Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos

    Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Based on the story as portrayed in the film, you might be right. But, using the vlogger's suggestions, perhaps not.
     
  6. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    Or he'd be smart enough to realize they could have a huge medical complex on the other side of the planet and not bother the one small agrarian village at all...
     
  7. YetAnotherSubspaceAnomaly

    YetAnotherSubspaceAnomaly Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    Most of the suggestions made in the video seem to have the goal of making the crew’s decision unquestionably ethical, and Starfleet’s position indefensible. How does that make anything more interesting?

    What needed to happen is what happened during the writing process for First Duty: everyone in the writers room meaningfully debates the morality of the characters decisions and puts that discussion into the script.

    The failure of Insurrection was that it took a complicated moral problem and treated it as simple because Our Heroes Are Right. Removing the complicated moral problem doesn’t help, because it just makes Starfleet look stupid and evil. Addressing the complicated moral problem in any sort of thoughtful way is what Insurrection failed to do.
     
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  8. Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos

    Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It would have been more interesting because it would have made more sense.
    That was certainly a failure of "Insurrection."
     
  9. YetAnotherSubspaceAnomaly

    YetAnotherSubspaceAnomaly Lieutenant Junior Grade Newbie

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    No, it would have made significantly less sense. The more you change a “moral dilemma” to make one side clearly in the right and the other clearly in the wrong, the less of a “dilemma” you have. Every time you make a change to make the Enterprise crew “right,” you make Starfleet and the Federation more “wrong.” That’s also a plot hole. The Federation supposed to be based around certain moral and ethical principles. If it’s actually full of mustache-twirling villains then the fictional world stops making sense.

    If you are going to have an intra-Starfleet conflict in your story, the best way to do it is to have both sides convinced that they’re in the right and having good arguments for their positions. That’s what makes it a moral “dilemma” instead of a simplistic good vs. evil story for children.
     
  10. Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos

    Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    What he pointed it out is there was virtually no real dilemma at all in the film (as portrayed). He is right. It was nonsense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
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  11. PCz911

    PCz911 Captain Captain

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    Indeed! THIS is why I really dislike this movie! There is an easy and logical solve that everyone seems oblivious too… ugh! What happened to our crew, did they immediately get stupid? Horrible, horrible plot.
     
  12. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don’t know….I think it’s much simpler than that.

    INS fails because it’s just not interesting. It’s a boring, small-scale movie with awkward pacing, corny humor, and totally uninteresting villains. It’s like if they made S1’s “Justice” into a major motion picture. You just can’t do that. It’s like I always say, when your $70M tent pole sci-fi franchise film is less interesting than 3/4 of the one-hour episodes from the series it was based on, you’ve done something dreadfully wrong.

    That’s why it sucks…not because the plot details are flawed. It sucks because it’s tepid and mediocre as a total piece of work at the “macro” level…not due to any nitpicky minor details. It blows on a tone and intent level.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
  13. Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos

    Trelane_Squire_of_Gothos Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it sucks for all of the reasons you stated + plot defects. Why should we have such low expectations for Star Trek film plots?
     
  14. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    Star Trek writers often forget how large planets are and just treat them as one location. Seriously, if I had a farm here in Atlantic Canada, and some one builds a hospital in Austrailia, how would I know and why would I care?
     
  15. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would've wanted to see Michael Piller's original version of Insurrection, before Patrick Stewart started weighing in, before Rick Berman asked "Can you do this? Can you do that?", and before the studio mandated a deadline of the Holiday Season of 1998.

    Basing a story off of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness sounds legitimately interesting. Having Picard and Starfleet having a substantial disagreement over something on a larger scale sounds interesting. Star Trek: Picard is proof of the latter when Picard wanted to continue helping Romulan Refugees and Starfleet refused. "We were trying to save lives." "Romulan lives." "No. Lives."

    Here's the synopsis from Wikipedia for Heart of Darkness:

    Charles Marlow, the narrator, tells his story to friends aboard Nellie, a boat anchored on the River Thames near Gravesend, of how he became captain of a river steamboat for an ivory trading company. As a child, Marlow was fascinated by "the blank spaces" on maps, particularly Africa. The image of a river on the map particularly fascinated Marlow.

    In a flashback, Marlow makes his way to Africa, taking passage on a steamer. He departs 30 mi (50 km) up the river where his company's station is. Work on a railway is going on. Marlow explores a narrow ravine, and is horrified to find himself in a place full of diseased Africans who worked on the railroad and are now dying.

    Marlow must wait for ten days in the company's devastated Outer Station. Marlow meets the company's chief accountant, who tells him of a Mr. Kurtz, who is in charge of a very important trading post, and a widely respected, first-class agent. The accountant predicts that Kurtz will go far.

    Marlow departs with sixty men to travel to the Central Station, where the steamboat that he is to captain is based. At the station, he learns that his steamboat has been wrecked in an accident. The general manager informs Marlow that he could not wait for Marlow to arrive, and tells him of a rumour that Kurtz is ill. Marlow fishes his boat out of the river and spends months repairing it. Delayed by the lack of tools and replacement parts, Marlow is frustrated by the time it takes to perform the repairs. He learns that Kurtz is resented, not admired, by the manager. Once underway, the journey to Kurtz's station takes two months.

    The journey pauses for the night about 8 miles (13 km) below the Inner Station. In the morning the boat is enveloped by a thick fog. The steamboat is later attacked by a barrage of arrows, and the helmsman is killed. Marlow sounds the steam whistle repeatedly, frightening the attackers away.

    After landing at Kurtz's station, a man boards the steamboat: a Russian wanderer who strayed into Kurtz's camp. Marlow learns that the natives worship Kurtz, and that he has been very ill of late. The Russian tells of how Kurtz opened his mind and seems to admire Kurtz even for his power and his willingness to use it. Marlow suggests that Kurtz has gone mad.

    Marlow observes the station and sees a row of posts topped with the severed heads of natives. Around the corner of the house, the manager appears with the pilgrims, bearing a gaunt and ghost-like Kurtz. The area fills with natives ready for battle, but Kurtz shouts something from the stretcher and the natives retreat. The pilgrims carry Kurtz to the steamer and lay him in one of the cabins. The manager tells Marlow that Kurtz has harmed the company's business in the region, that his methods are "unsound". The Russian reveals that Kurtz believes the company wants to kill him, and Marlow confirms that hangings were discussed.

    After midnight, Marlow discovers that Kurtz has returned to shore. He finds Kurtz crawling back to the station house. Marlow threatens to harm Kurtz if he raises an alarm, but Kurtz only laments that he had not accomplished more. The next day they prepare to journey back down the river.

    Kurtz's health worsens during the trip and Marlow becomes increasingly ill. The steamboat breaks down, and while stopped for repairs, Kurtz gives Marlow a packet of papers, including his commissioned report and a photograph, telling him to keep them away from the manager. When Marlow next speaks with him, Kurtz is near death; Marlow hears him weakly whisper, "The horror! The horror!" A short while later, the "manager's boy" announces to the rest of the crew that Kurtz has died. The next day Marlow pays little attention to the pilgrims as they bury "something" in a muddy hole. He falls very ill, himself near death.

    Upon his return to Europe, Marlow is embittered and contemptuous of the "civilised" world. Several callers come to retrieve the papers Kurtz entrusted to him, but Marlow withholds them or offers papers he knows they have no interest in. He gives Kurtz's report to a journalist, for publication if he sees fit. Marlow is left with some personal letters and a photograph of Kurtz's fiancée. When Marlow visits her, she is deep in mourning although it has been more than a year since Kurtz's death. She presses Marlow for information, asking him to repeat Kurtz's final words. Marlow tells her that Kurtz's final word was her name.

    There's a way to adapt that story on late-'90s Star Trek terms and make it into an interesting film.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
  16. PCz911

    PCz911 Captain Captain

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    How the heck did this movie go from heart of darkness inspiration to what it was? Talk about polar opposites. The only “horror” was the movie we were left with.

    interesting story summary. Never read the book, closest I ever got was ‘apocalypse now’.
     
  17. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh I agree, and I don't have low expectations for Trek films.

    I'm just saying, that in the grand scheme of things, the little nitpicks about INS are massively insignificant compared to the fact that the movie is flawed at its very foundational core:

    It was written and produced intentionally to be mediocre and light, thinking that they needed to go the TVH route and "lighten up" after an emotional 2 films. What they didn't take into account was:
    1. This cast is NOT equipped to pull off the light humor and charm that the TOS cast could pull off. It's a great cast, but that's NOT their appeal or strong-suit.
    2. INS was not a third movie in a trilogy arc, like TVH was...so it wasn't nearly as effective
    3. You can't, in 1998, make a $70M tentpole sci-fi action/adventure film that is criminally less engaging than 3/4 of the $1.5M 1-hour TV episodes of the series it was based on.
    4. Very rarely can you create a good, coherent, dramatic story when the studio, producers, writers, actors, key grips, director, composer, cinemetographer, caterer, casting director, animal trainer, and best boy all have significant script input.

    So, as I said, the fact that Worf randomly shows up, the lack of Dominion War mention, and even the "we hate that it's about saving privileged white people" thing is completely insignificant when you're talking about the real reasons why this movie wasn't good. It sucks because it's foundationally flawed.

    TWOK has (yes, seriously) as many nit-picky flaws as INS has...but it's not a foundationally flawed movie...so it can overcome those things because it's bold, engaging, took risks, and was wildly entertaining. INS was none of those things. It was just tepid and bland.

    And, from my chair, "tepid and bland" are the worst possible sins a Star Trek production can commit.

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022