Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Question: The Good, The Bad, The Trekkie

If we’re ever going to get along, politically speaking, then we need to learn to see the good things as well as the bad in the other side. In the hippy spirit of fake togetherness, tell me something you like about Obama....... wait, forget that. What’s your favorite Star Trek movie and why?

67 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

As strange as it may sound, I'm really coming around to The Motionless Picture. It's clearly the dullest of the films, but the more I think about it, it does the best job of capturing what Star Trek was really about. The rest are largely action flicks (except No. 4).


As for saying something nice about Obama, I'm glad that his term in office is limited!

Joel Farnham said...

Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan.

Wait ... are specifying which generation? Or are you just saying the Star Trek universe?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Any generation. The Wrath of Khan is probably my favorite to watch.

Anonymous said...

The Motionless Picture - that's pretty funny Andrew. I can't believe I actually saw that one in the theater when it originally came out and I was never really a fan of the original series.

Off the top of my head, my favorite would be No. 4, The Voyage Home. I need to see Nos. 5 and 6 again because I can't really remember them that well.

As for the Next Gen movies, I like First Contact best.

Sorry, but I can't think of a single nice thing to say about dear leader.

TJ

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, Of the new films, I like First Contact best as well. Star Trek VI was probably the best "film" film of them all, but it didn't feel very Star Trekky to me.

In terms of saying nice things Obama, consider it a trick question... there is nothing nice to be said! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. TJ, Explaining the appeal of Star Trek V (if there is any) is something I'll leave to Scott if he shows up. I know he's a fan of that one.

ScottDS said...

This is a very long, complex issue and it will most likely involve multiple postings, graphs, charts, etc. (Just kidding about the graphs and charts.)

First of all, it's great to see someone else warming up to TMP. Personally, I think the film has aged like a fine wine (Bones' disco-era civilian outfit notwithstanding.) It's a big film and it deals with big themes and big issues. It's not a Hornblower-esque space opera but is in fact a 2001-style, uh, experience (for lack of a better word). I showed it to a couple of geek friends who had never seen it before and they both got it. I first saw it on TV when I was 9 or 10 and I never thought it was boring.

The production design is first-rate and well-thought out (no Galaxy Quest-style chompers or brewery engineering set). The visual effects are immaculate and should've won the Oscar that year over Alien. Jerry Goldsmith composed one of the finest film scores ever for this film and was still conducting the Klingon music less than a week before the film's premiere. (The score also deserved the Oscar that year.)

People have said the film is lacking character moments but they're in there. Kirk's obsession, Spock's emotional journey and identification with V'Ger, Bones' issues, etc. I also love this exchange:

Bones: "Spock, you haven't changed a bit. You're just as warm and sociable as ever."

Spock: "Nor have you Doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates."

The film is far from perfect. It drags a bit and the supporting cast isn't given much to do except look at the viewscreen. The Director's Edition DVD fixed a few issues with the pacing but the Blu-Ray disc only includes the theatrical version since the DE was done at 480p resolution so all the new FX shots need to be up-rezzed. There's also more deleted footage that hasn't seen the light of day.

(continued)

Ed said...

I kind of love/hate them all. Most of them are better in principle than in action, but I still find myself watching them over and over.

ScottDS said...

As for Trek V, I'm simply going to copy some message board posts that I've written over the last year:

While Trek V is far from a perfect movie (it’s conceptually flawed, the visual effects are 95% awful, the Enterprise makes it to the center of the galaxy in no time at all, the ending is anti-climactic, etc.), it does have heart, and it wears that heart on its sleeve. The Big 3 are at their best in this film. I actually like the campfire scenes, including “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” This film asks the classic Star Trek questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Is this all that there is? Sybok is an interesting, charismatic villain who sadly isn’t served well by the script and I think Laurence Luckinbill turned in a fine (and underrated) performance. Shatner proves himself to be a decent director who happened to be saddled with a WGA strike, a Hoboken visual effects house inexperienced with motion control work (ILM was busy), a studio that wanted more humor in the film after the success of Star Trek IV, a serious lack of funds, and basically no ending when all was said and done.

The film has grown on me over the years. I would rank it ahead of Star Trek: Nemesis and possibly Insurrection as well. I think it might also have to do with where I am in my own life right now and for that reason, one of my favorite scenes in the film (and I’m sure it’s a favorite for many) is the observation lounge scene with Kirk’s famous line: “I don’t want my pain taken away, I need my pain!” For me, that scene is one of the top ten scenes in a Star Trek movie. I’ve come to appreciate the film for what it tries to do. Most films don’t set their sights that high but I believe this one did. To paraphrase executive producer Ralph Winter in the DVD making-of: “Too much enthusiasm, not enough discernment.”

And my list of likes and dislikes:

-Jerry Goldsmith's music (La-La Land Records released the complete score a few months ago... truly a holy grail of mine)... this film brought back the Klingon theme after a ten-year absence and introduced the four-note "friendship/adversity motif" which was also used in FC, INS, and NEM
-the Kirk/Spock/Bones material, including the campfire scenes and the observation lounge scene
-while 95% of the visual effects were awful, the aforementioned lounge scene used rear projection for the starfields instead of bluescreen which allowed the camera to move (and not be locked down)
-Laurence Luckinbill as Sybok
-the film has heart, which is more than I can say for most films made today... at least they tried!
-some of the dialogue: "I liked him better before he died," "You were never alone," and "I lost a brother once... I was lucky I got him back" among others
-they somehow manage to tie in the opening campfire scenes with the end of the film, re: dying alone and men like them not having families
-Spock's rocket boots... yeah, I like them!
-the nod to Sea Fever ("All I ask is a tall ship...")
-the scale is totally wrong but I like the "shuttle crashes into the bay" scene

DISLIKES:

-almost all of the visual effects shots are flawed in some way, most notably the lack of motion blur on the ship shots
-Uhura's fan dance
-the blatant reuse of the TNG interior sets
-the plot is conceptually flawed and nothing could fix the inherent problem of the crew "finding God"... producer Harve Bennett put it best when he said it read like a bad logline from TV Guide
-the ease with which Sybok hypnotizes the crew
-the ending just kinda... happens (see next line)
-Paramount's refusal to let Shatner finish the film
-David Warner's talents are wasted in this film (I thought the cigarette was a nice touch, though)
-the ill-conceived Scotty/Uhura flirtation
-the bad science re: the length of time it takes to get to the "center of the galaxy"

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I feel the same way sometimes about them. I like the casts and I want to see them in action (and I like the effects), but the films generally are disappointing when I'm watching them. But that doesn't keep me from watching.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Nice reference to my prior articles! You get major points for that! :-)

You know what actually got me thinking about TMP again? The Red Letter Media guy, who pointed out that the difference between the purpose of the series and the movies, i.e. science fiction v. action. And the more he talked about that, the more I realized he was right and that was what was missing from the films.

After that I watched TMP again and I appreciated it a lot more. And I really think I've come around on it. It truly is a good movie, it's just not a good action movie.

ScottDS said...

I also have likes/dislikes for VI and the TNG films which I'll post throughout the evening. :-)

As for me, my favorite is Trek II: Wrath of Khan but every Trek movie is one that I watch if it's on TV (and I own them all as well). Trek II is a near-perfect film. Sure it looks cheap at times and they reused footage from the first film but it's the only Trek film where everything (characters, themes, etc.) really gels.

Since you mentioned Trek VI, here's my list:

LIKES:

-the visual effects, give or take a couple of subpar shots
-Cliff Eidelman's theme and music for the space battle and sign-off (see more below)... it's a shame he hasn't been able to pull off an A-list career like James Horner whose Trek II was his first big studio score
-Kim Cattrall as Valeris (though Saavik would've been nice, which was Nick Meyer's original idea)
-the costume design and make-up effects... the Klingons have never looked better
-a much better use of the TNG sets... I love the moody lighting, the pipes, decals, etc.
-the Enterprise-A bridge in this film is one of my favorites bridges in all of Trek
-a great supporting cast: Christopher Plummer, David Warner, Brock Peters, Kurtwood Smith, Iman, Michael Dorn, Grace Lee Whitney, John Schuck, etc.
-some (but not all) of the historical references, especially "Earth, Hitler, 1938"
-Sulu finally gets his own command
-this line: "Then quite frankly, Mr. President, we can clean their chronometers."
-the second unit photography of the Alaskan tundra... really opens up the movie
-the space battle
-the courtroom scene
-the sound design (they brought back the sliding door sound effect!)
-the overall story is a good one and hasn't dated as badly as similar movies of the period (including Meyer's own Company Business)
-Martia, the Chameloid (especially the Kirk vs. Kirk stuff)
-the sign-off

DISLIKES:

-three words: "Right standard rudder"
-due to either budget or time issues, there are some nasty editing mistakes in this film (Mr. Valtane's position on the Excelsior bridge, some sound sync issues, etc.)
-the translation scene... I can understand why Nichelle Nichols would be upset with it
-while I love parts of the score, much of it is just forgettable atmospheric stuff (one wonders what Goldsmith or Horner would've done)
-while I applaud Meyer's attempt to get all seven main characters involved, some of it doesn't quite work (Scotty showing up in the mess hall for no reason)
-Paramount is sitting on many deleted scenes, including more material from the dinner
-Uhura's name is misspelled in the credits as "Uhuru"
-I don't mind the "Scooby Doo" ending... I watched this film in its extended form first so that's how I always thought the film ended
-the end after Kirk's little speech and people start clapping... what are Kirk and Co. posing for? :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, In terms of your statement about TMP, I agree about the characters. The film kind of assumes you know who these people are and it takes off from there. And when it does give you character moments, you need to understand who the people are to understand them -- just like the exchange you mention (which I also like).

I'm not as troubled about the extras because the show was always about the three main characters. It isn't until the later movies that they decided that everyone should get a certain portion of screen time -- which I think makes those movies feel artificial.

I also don't like the attempt to jam emotion/character in the Kirk character by giving him a son in the later films. The most emotional moment in all of Star Trek was Spock's death because he had become everyone's friend. Killing Kirk's kid felt like a way to clean up a plot-mistake. You can't just introduce a cardboard character and make us feel anything for him in the context of an action flick.

rlaWTX said...

holy Vulcan, Scott!

I liked the V'ger one when I saw it on TV as a kid - the Vger-Voyager thing stuck with me for some reason. Saw the end of it a week or so ago and felt nostalgic.

I know that I shouldn't, but I also like the whale one. They were goofy and seemed to know it. And now, watching goofy future mix with goofy past is kinda fun!

The one where TNG goes back in time was interesting too.

I know I've seen Khan, because my dad loved it. maybe that's why I don't remember it much... too much exposure.

And since I can't stick a # with the movie, you can rate my level of fandom ;)

as for Obama... ... ... ...

rlaWTX said...

OK - just funny instead of nice: my 91yo grandfather calls him O'Bammy - out loud, regularly. A few weeks ago he made one of his "check-in" calls to some old friend or another and got one of their kids and had one of his odd, too loud, repeat a lot because he can't hear conversations and in the middle he brought up O. Then had to explain who O'Bammy was. All I could do was cringe and laugh quietly...

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree with all of your comments on Star Trek V, though I do like Nemesis more (but not Insurrection). I also dislike Generations more -- that's probably my second least favorite (after Star Trek III).

My favorite line in V (though I love the one you mention) is "what does God need with a spaceship?"

Like you, I think V had a ton of potential, but it was held down by so many bad things that just sabotaged the film, i.e. it had a great concept and some excellent writing, but it was let down by everything else.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, "holy Vulcan" LOL!

I also liked IV (the whales) a lot despite the politics because it wasn't heavy handed about its message and it was fun to watch.

That's funny about "Obammy"!

I notice that no one really has anything nice to say about him. I think that's not a great sign for Obama. Even Carter got some grudging "he was honest" type comments.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, All good points about Star Trek VI. I agree with those too. I would add that I think one problem again is the attempt to give too much screen time to each character.

Also, there are some kind of dumb things like shooting the phaser in the kitchen rather than just explaining it.

But all in all, I think this was a much stronger film "film" than the others, though it felt less "Trekky" to me.

P.S. "Scooby Doo ending"? I've never heard that before and I'm not sure what you mean?

ScottDS said...

In the TV/home video/laserdisc/DVD versions of the film, we meet the character of Col. West, played by future DS9 actor Rene Auberjonois. At the end of the film, Scotty shoots the Klingon sniper out the window and they take off his mask, revealing Col. West as the sniper and part of the conspiracy. Trekkies refer to this as the "Scooby Doo ending" since every time Shaggy and the gang encountered a ghost, wasn't it always just some guy in a mask? :-)

Interestingly, his character is not in the theatrical/Blu-Ray version of the film which is why he's not in the credits. People walking out of the theater in 1991 had no idea it was a human with a Klingon mask.

As for Generations...

Generations was the first Trek movie I saw in the theater. I was 11 and it was Trek fever: the franchise's popularity was at an all-time high, Kirk and Picard were on the cover of Time, Voyager and UPN were gearing up, and DS9 was left behind as the red-headed stepchild of the bunch (which was nice since they were left alone).

I loved GEN at the time but I find it quite cringe-inducing today. Bring out the list!!

LIKES:

-I thought the movie looked beautiful and was shot very well... it really seemed like the filmmakers were trying to make a "movie"... and I loved the dark lighting on the Enterprise (the film was shot by Chinatown's John Alonzo who has since passed away)
-the visual effects... ILM knocks one out of the park (stock footage notwithstanding)
-the modifications made to the Enterprise-D bridge... too bad the ship was destroyed!
-Shatner... I also enjoyed seeing Koenig and Doohan but some of the dialogue is cringe-inducing ("I vas never that young")
-some familiar faces on the Enterprise-B bridge: Alan Ruck, Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez from Aliens), Tim Russ, etc.
-the stellar cartography scene
-the modifications made to the Enterprise-A bridge to turn it into the Enterprise-B bridge
-the opening title sequence w/ the champagne bottle
-the Nexus imagery... the shot of the ribbon rolling past the mountain (which was used in all the TV ads and trailers) is probably bigger than anything seen in Insurrection or Nemesis
-Malcolm McDowell is the man!
-maybe I'm an old softy but I liked Picard's Nexus fantasy
-Dennis McCarthy's music score is good (but not great)
-the space battle, especially the "Fire at will" line, followed by a shot of Will Riker (I don't know if this was intentional)

DISLIKES:

-to paraphrase the Ron Moore/Brannon Braga commentary, the idea of the Nexus was a good one but was too ill-defined and just opened itself up to plot holes
-Data's "Oh, shit" line doesn't sit well with me for some reason
-the whole "Let's go back in time five minutes before instead of, say, ten years" plot hole
-the idea of existing in the Nexus as an "echo"
-Soran's entire plan... they say he can't fly into the Nexus with a ship but how did he get there in the first place?
-too much technobabble, and it's worse coming from Scotty in the Ent-B scenes
-Captain Harriman's incompetence... but if he knew his stuff, he wouldn't need Kirk's help
-Paramount is still sitting on several deleted scenes that have never been "officially" released
-I don't mind Kirk's death but the filmmakers could've spared themselves years of grief if they'd let him live!

I know you're no Ron Moore fan but I strongly urge you to find the Special Edition DVD or Blu-Ray and listen to the Moore/Braga commentary. It's surprisingly candid and they admit all their mistakes.

T_Rav said...

Star Wars is better than Star Trek, any day of the week. There. I said it. Now go back to your silly little Trekkie debate.

As for Obama, I quite literally have nothing nice to say about him. I could say something else, but I'm not going to because I don't know who might be eavesdropping here.

ScottDS said...

Correction: they knew it was a human ("This is not Klingon blood.") but the sniper's identity was cut, along with all of Col. West's other scenes.

I might as well continue with First Contact :-) :

LIKES:

-Jerry Goldsmith's score, especially the theme (hopefully we'll get an expanded version one day)
-the opening pull-back shot
-the Enterprise-E... I have nothing against the design but I can see why some Trekkies would've preferred the Enterprise-D in this one... there was already an emotional connection
-the new uniforms and the crew's 21st century outfits along with Cochrane's ensemble (love the big coat!)... too bad they didn't get Deborah Everton to do the costumes for Insurrection (I don't like their civilian outfits in that one)
-the visual effects, with the exception of the Borg cube explosion (the cube just disappears)
-the cinematography... very effective... and not bad for a first-time director
-for a first-time feature director, Frakes ain't bad at all!
-Alice Krige, James Cromwell, and Alfre Woodard all turn in very good performances
-the holodeck scene and the return of Dixon Hill
-the EVA scene... we knew Hawk was dead meat
-the conference room scene with Picard and Lily and the Moby Dick references
-Geordi's ocular implants
-Michael Westmore's Oscar-nominated make-up for the Borg and the Queen
-the ending with the Vulcans (Star Trek: Enterprise totally perverted this scene for their Mirror Universe episode)
-the appearances of Barclay and the Holodoc
-they did their best to avoid too much technobabble

DISLIKES:

-the rushed opening and the 30-second space battle
-I know people say this about INS but this film, at least to me, always felt a little small... at least smaller than its reputation suggests
-Dr. Crusher doesn't have much to do... again (Moore and Braga mention this problem in their audio commentary)
-after this film is when the Borg became somewhat overused on VGR... it all started here
-as I said about NEM, why does every TNG film end with Picard and the villain fighting on some scaffolding?
-I don't have a problem with how it was presented in this film but the idea that war and poverty will simply disappear in half a century is a bit simplistic, let alone the whole moneyless economy idea
-some of Cromwell's reactions during the drinking scene... a little too corny for my taste
-the Enterprise's deflector gets shot up but no one thinks, "Hey, shouldn't we install another one before we re-enter that strange time vortex?"
-Hawk's line about deflector control not being a "vital system"

In the subsequent novels, we find out Hawk's first name (Sean) and we find out he was, uh, gay. They don't make a big deal about it but in the new Star Trek: Titan novels (the adventures of Capt. Riker), we meet Ranul Keru, a Trill man who was Hawk's boyfriend at the time.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Generations to me was so bad it was almost an insult.

Here are my list of likes:

1. The effects were very good
2. I like the lighting on the new TNG Enterprise.
3. Malcolm McDowell is a great actor
4. The idea of connecting the two casts.

Here are my dislikes... oh where to begin:

1. Kirk's death is pointless, stupid and impersonal. He might as well have died in a bar fight.
2. Plot hole city.
3. The characters are all rock stupid. Everyone keeps doing stupid things just make the plot happen -- like coming back five minutes before. A five year old would have realized to go back in time a week and save the Enterprise, but somehow Picard doesn't?
4. I don't like the inside of the Nexus -- it strikes me as truly fake, and they really blew a chance to be more profound.
5. Data's emotion chip -- it was pointless to the plot and took him completely out of character for no reason. It was the equivalent of dressing Riker up as a clown because he suddenly decided he wanted to train to be a clown.
6. How easily the Enterprise was overcome by a single, crappy little Klingon ship with a crew of 26. That's like a battleship being beaten by 5 guys in a row boat.
7. This disconnect, in that it feels like the like someone came up with scenes that would move the plot but never bothered to connect them.
8. The way this film was completely different than the television series, but pretended it wasn't. It was like they tried to make this into an action film while pretending they weren't, and that led to a huge disconnect for me. And by trying to be a little bit of both, they ended up being neither.

Not my favorite.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I see you've played this game before! LOL! I prefer to think that there's enough room for both Trekkies and Star Wars fans!

Yeah, I know what you mean about having nothing good to say about Obama. That's a tough one. And much of what I'm sure people would like to say is probably better left unsaid.

BevfromNYC said...

I like the one with Startrek IV even though it had Mrs. Spielberg. Thanks goodness she married a wealthy man and put us all out of our misery. Other than that, I loved the sense of humor it had. Very funny.

rlaWTX - I can't wait to be 91 years old! I want to be able to say any dang thing I want and who the heck are you to tell me different! Give you your Grandfather a big kiss for me!

As for ODL, actually, I liked when he pardoned the turkeys at Thanksgiving. That was nice of him. And he's really clean and articulate (thanks, Harry). And he is smart, so they tell me.

patti said...

i've never seen any star trek movie, so i'll go with saying that i like barry's cluelessness as to how far america will go to make him a one-termer.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, First Contact is my favorite TNG film, but there are serious problems with it and some of your likes are my major dislike.

In particular, I can't stand the Borg queen. She completely ruins the Borg. The Borg were so ominous because they had no personality. They were a relentless force that you couldn't corrupt or reason with. The Borg queen completely wipes that out and makes them just worker bees.

I also have real problems with the false morality moments in this one. This is modern sci-fi/liberalism and it drives me nuts. Picard is more than morally justified in trying to kill the Borg and in doing whatever it takes (including sending his crew on suicide missions) to do that. If they can't stop the Borg, the whole planet and many more will be destroyed and trillions of people will die. They signed up for this, they know they can be called upon to die, and they know the consequences of failure.

Thus, accusing Picard of being Ahab because he doesn't break down and cry in the middle of a battle whenever any one of his troops dies is utterly, utterly, utterly ridiculous. It's liberalism trying to have its cake and eat it too. This is "voilence is really cool, so long as you cry about it later" philosophy, which is a fraud.

In terms of messing with the history, forget that as a complaint because this is a franchise that doesn't respect it's history.

I also felt they again tried too hard to give each character screen time.

T_Rav said...

Darn it, Andrew, you're totally ruining my bomb-throwing attempts! Oh well. By the way, is it "Trekker" or "Trekkie"? Honest, I really don't know.

As for Obama, I was never one of those who said "He is just ruining this country." I don't know why; maybe my inner grad student was just trying to be cerebral or sophisticated or something. But as time's gone by and I see the crap that's gone down on his watch, my political temperature's risen higher and higher--I can't take any more of the man. So with that said, would it be uncivil of me to invite him to visit the RLM guy's house?

Joel Farnham said...

Scott,

In the original series, Year 2, "Metamorphosis" Zephram Cochraine was discovered on a deserted planet. He was kept alive by a mysterious energy being. He calls it the companion.

Glenn Corbett played Cochraine. Elinor Donohue played Ambassador Nancy Hedford.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy figure out that the Companion treats Zephram like a lover. Zephram gets upset and rejects the Companion. The Ambassador has a life threatening disease and nearly dies. The Companion enters the Ambassador and heals her in order to be closer to Zephram. Zephram and the Companion/Ambassador fall in love and stay on the deserted planet.

I don't think Cochraine is gay. I think it is that particular author who interjects PC bs into his stories. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Nice list of back-handed compliments! I can agree with those! :-)

As for Mrs. Spielberg, I'm amazed how much she was in at the time!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I can fully get behind liking Obama's cluelessness about the public's plan to toss him out! :-)

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

If I recall, the idea of a Borg Queen came from the studio brass because they felt the Borg needed a voice, a personality for Picard to confront.

This never bothered me till recently, but the whole "You needed a counterpart" business between Picard and the Queen - where did this come from? Even Moore and Braga admit they had no idea.

ScottDS said...

Mrs. Spielberg? Are you referring to Kate Capshaw? Since that isn't her in Star Trek IV. It's Catherine Hicks (later of 7th Heaven).

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, You have played this game before! Or are you telling me that you don't know that the difference between "Trekkers" and "Trekkies" is apparently fighting words?! LOL!

On Obama, I'm in the same boat. I didn't like or dislike him at first either. He certainly wasn't as bad as most people on the right claimed, but he wasn't good either. But over time, he's really worn on me and, like you, his every action seems to just raise my political blood pressure these days. In fact, I've reached a point with him that I can't even stand to see him on television anymore.

As for visiting the RLM house, no, that wouldn't be uncivil at all! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It sounds like a studio idea, and it's a bad one. It really shows they didn't understand what the Borg were or why they were so ominous. The Borg were ominous because they couldn't be resisted. The queen was a pretty lame standard Hollywood villain.


On Mrs. Spielberg, whoops. My mistake. I should have checked. But she was in a ton of films from the time.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - Ummm, did I say Mrs. Spielberg. Okay, I'm having one of those "senior" moments when all blond actress of a certain age look alike. You are right...of course you are right. Catherine Hicks. Whatever happened to her. I liked her in 7th Heaven...;-)

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Back-handed compliments? Why, I meant every word (and you have can't prove otherwise!)

AndrewPrice said...

Everyone,

I'm going to be out for most of the rest of the night, so I'm not blowing off any comments if I don't answer right away. I will respond when I get back.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott and Andrew - Other than she wasn't in any movie we were talking about today, isn't Kate Capshaw just an awful actress? I mean, I am thrilled she married Speilberg, so she wouldn't torture us anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I recall that episode, and First Contact conflicts with that history (as well as the history presented in the episode "Balance of Terror", where humans fought the Romulans before the advent of warp power.

I never got that Cochraine was gay either.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Did I say back-handed? I meant totally genuine. ;-)


And yeah, I don't think much of Capshaw either.

ScottDS said...

Bev -

I've only seen her in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and SpaceCamp. I can see why people would find her annoying in Doom but I don't mind. (I'm also in the minority because I like Doom as much as I like Raiders.)

I just watched SpaceCamp for the first time recently and, wow, what a crappy movie! It could've been a classic Spielberg-style 80s adventure (it was NOT a Spielberg/Amblin film) but instead, it's just a dated mess. Capshaw was actually one of the better things in it which should tell you everything you need to know about the film!

ScottDS said...

I might as well keep going. :-)

By the way, Andrew, you said I referenced one of your earlier posts. Which one?

Re: Star Trek: Insurrection, I should add that it's one of the few times I disagree with the crew's actions and it's funny watching this film post-Avatar (though it isn't as bad as that one in terms of the PC-ness).

LIKES:

-Jerry Goldsmith's score is quite beautiful at times
-Jonathan Frakes proves to be a capable director (he may not be Nick Meyer when it comes to storytelling and dramatic arcs but he knows the cast and how to make a shot look good)
-the opening with Data run amuck, cloaking suits, etc.
-the kid who played Artim was, surprisingly, not annoying (he could've made a decent Anakin Skywalker)
-the hot Trill helmswoman... too bad they didn't bring her back for Nemesis where they could've ejected her out of the ship during the finale
-the mystery aspect of the story, though this only lasts through the first act
-the Briar Patch imagery
-the rekindling of the Riker/Troi romance
-Anthony Zerbe as Admiral Dougherty
-the Enterprise looks good, inside and out... cool motion graphics in the turbolift, too (you see a tiny dot moving on the ship diagram... cool Easter Egg from graphic design genius Mike Okuda)

DISLIKES:

-the relocation via holodeck idea had been done just a few years earlier on TNG (the one with Paul Sorvino as Worf's foster brother)
-I like the idea of a manual steering column but the execution is subpar (it looks like what it is... a store-bought joystick!)
-Data's "Saddle up, lock and load" line... ugh!
-the crew's civilian attire... First Contact did it much better (I know... different time periods)
-most (but not all) of the attempts at humor, especially the "flotation device" gag and the "boobs" line
-a waste of F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, and Gregg Henry
-the alien race of attractive white people (if they looked like the bad guys, would we have sympathy for them?)... the Red Letter guy bashed Avatar using this idea
-a few of the visual effects shots (especially an aerial shot of the flying drones) are shoddy (ILM was too busy again)
-once again, we don't get to see the ejection of the warp core
-the scene where Geordi sees the sunrise could've been epic, but instead it is merely okay
-the lack of explanation for Worf's appearance

ScottDS said...

I just want to say that, having been a Trek fan now for more than half my life, Fry's line about Star Trek in Futurama always hit home for me: “But most importantly, when I had no friends, it made me feel like maybe I did.”

Anyway, here's my list for Star Trek: Nemesis. Away we go...

LIKES:

-the visual effects, this time courtesy of Digital Domain... the Data/B4 scenes and the space battles all look great
-Jerry Goldsmith's score (it took a while to grow on me)
-Riker and Troi... married at last
-having only seen her in Starship Troopers, I thought Dina Meyer was very good
-Tom Hardy... I thought he was just okay... more a problem of bad writing and a director not known as an "actor's director"
-the space battle, including the explosive decompression of the bridge (oddly, all three of director Stuart Baird's movies feature an explosive decompression)
-the Romulan and Reman costumes (though I'm not a fan of Shinzon's big shoulder pads!)
-the opening on Romulus... freaky stuff
-Picard's "I wait for the dawn" log entry
-all of the cool Mike Okuda graphics... more insert shots of control panels and things like that this time around

DISLIKES:

-no opening title sequence and since the music is re-edited during the end credits, we never get to hear a full rendition of Goldsmith's melancholy theme for the film
-the filmmakers' obvious attempt at duplicating the success of Trek II (and failing)
-for such a big budget, I have to ask, "Where the hell did the money go?"... are those fake painted backdrops I see on Shinzon's ship?
-Worf's uncharacteristic "Argh!" when the B4 hand grabs onto him on the planet
-I thought Data's death could've been more poignant if they didn't have B4, whose presence I felt was a copout ("We can rebuild him... make him faster, smarter, etc.")
-the bottomless shaft on the ship... didn't Galaxy Quest make fun of this ten years ago?
-we went from stellar cartography to a glorified Best Buy demo room!
-a total waste of Ron Perlman
-I hate the idea of evil bad guys having evil-looking ships ("Yeah, Shinzon's bad so we wanted to make his ship bad, too.")
-the rushed wedding scene and the non-explanation for Wesley's appearance (it's covered in one of the novels)
-Janeway's namedropping... "The Son'a, the Borg..." as if the Enterprise only goes on missions every two years
-the insulting idea that fans will be honored by such "references" as Defensive Pattern Kirk Epsilon
-many great character moments were left on the cutting room floor
-I thought this film (especially the wedding scene) was a missed opportunity for rekindling the Picard/Beverly romance
-why does every TNG film end with Picard fighting the enemy on some scaffolding with a control panel nearby?

And lastly, director Stuart Baird was all wrong for this film. He's a talented Oscar-nominated film editor turned journeyman director and at the time he had two films under his belt: the very fun Executive Decision (total guilty pleasure of mine) and the very blah U.S. Marshals... he didn't do his homework and in subsequent years, many of the actors have said how awkward it was to work with him... even longtime Trek production designer Herman Zimmerman who always comes across as a perfect gentleman recently said (publically) that Baird was a nightmare once production began. Nothing ever satisfied him and Zimmerman's set deorator (John Dwyer who had even worked on the original series) quit half-way through because he'd had enough.

StanH said...

I’m with T-Rav “Star Wars.” Though I grew up watching Star Trek, and have seen every movie, there’s just something about SWs.

Perhaps I’ll commit some kind of Star Trek, sacrilege, but I liked the newest one, It was a cool ride, a little thin in the script, but I didn’t have to listen to William Shatner’s staccato line delivery, and they found a way to weave Spock into the script, always a plus.

As far as Barry, man that’s tough, but here goes, his daughters seem very nice. Other than that he’s a scurrilous, anti-American dweeb. I’ve never been so ashamed of the man/boy in the Whitehouse in my life. I’m sorry it’s a kind of turrets syndrome when thinking of Barry…I broke the rules again…drat!

T_Rav said...

Thanks for the backup Stan! And on the subject of Indiana Jones movies, since that somehow got brought up, Scott's not alone--I liked Doom as much as Raiders (except for that annoying musical sequence). Actually, I like all the Indiana Jones movies equally. For only being three movies from start to finish, that is a great series.

BevfromNYC said...

Because we are talking about movies, I've just got to say...GWTW...that is all.

ScottDS said...

Bev - Ha!

Actually, I just downloaded a series of famous Golden Age soundtrack re-recordings which were done in the 70s with Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. They've been remastered and made available on CD, iTunes, etc.

And one of them happens to be highlights (I doubt it's the whole thing) from Gone with the Wind. Something to put on your holiday shopping list, perhaps? :-)

http://amzn.to/eOLMBF

Tennessee Jed said...

In a sense, I'm purposefully being contrarian here, but I'm going to say the very first Star Trek movie for one simple reason. Having been such a fan of the original television series, just seeing it up on the big screen with more moder effects was a trip I won't forget. I forgive them the weak spot, the overly long pans of the Enterprise in dock, the whole "veeger" thing. My wife, never a Trek fan, indulged me and went to see it with me and never complained (bless her heart.) She did the same when Gettysburg came out. The Klinons in that movie set the stage for next gen.

This oppinion and more than a buck will get you a great cup of coffee, but hey, it is what it is. Khan, of course, was a terrific villain, and certainly the San Francisco bus scene with Kirk, Spok, and the hippies, reminds me of Hawk (but not Nancy Pelosi.)

T_Rav said...

One final thing about Star Trek, since I don't have anything else to contribute:

KHAAAANNNNN!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

How did I know that GWTW would come up! LOL!

You all definitely have a great sense of humor.

And thanks Scott for the indepth opinion. I'll answer in the morning when my mind is a little more awake.

:-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, In particular, the "brewery engineering set" in particular. That was my criticism of the new Star Trek movie set.


On Insurrection, I have to say that I have few likes. It's competently framed and the setting is nice, but the rest of it is just awful for me. It's plot makes no sense, even moment to moment, the community makes no sense, the actions seem to be based on just getting something on film rather than making sense, etc.

It feels like they took a one hour episode (which doesn't need to make as much sense as a movie) and then tried to stretch it into a two hour film by adding special effects filler. So it ends up being neither a good episode or a good film.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, On Nemesis, I like the action aspect of the film and I like Hardy -- he does a good job.

But all the rest of the film is pretty much an out-of-character waste. Even the wedding strikes me as truly fake and tacked on. Plus, it's full of lame dialog... "Romulan ale should be illegal." Ha ha ha ha ha! ** rolls eyes **

I also thought the whole subplot with B4 was silly and artificial, and Data's death had no impact on me because (1) we had a replacement sitting right there, (2) it felt minor or pointless, and (3) they did it at the end of what we knew would be the last movie. So it really had little impact.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, P.S. The episode of Futurama really does a great job of summarizing the Star Trek experience. I love how he refuses to leave until he gets his quatloos! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, "his daughter seem nice" LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and T_Rav, Doom? Really?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I've actually come around a lot of Star Trek I, and I've really come to appreciate it for the very reason you mention -- it's the only one that is still like the original series.

Ed said...

Scott, I guess you've put some thought into what you like and what you don't haven't you?

ScottDS said...

Ed -

Someone was asking for likes and dislikes over on a Trek bulletin board and I guess over the span of a couple of days, I wrote those posts (I copied them from there).

Plus, having seen all these films countless times, they're pretty much stamped on my memory and, unlike so many other films, books, etc. I'm familiar enough with the material that I feel comfortable voicing my informed opinion (it's usually not so informed!). :-)

Ed said...

Scott, Have you read all the books? I read a couple years ago, but never kept up with them. I'm not even sure how many there are.

ScottDS said...

Ed -

There are literally hundreds of books, featuring both established characters and new ones. I started reading some of them after Enterprise was canceled.

I'm currently reading the DS9 relaunch (post-series finale), the TNG relaunch (post-Nemesis), the Titan series (the adventures of Capt. Riker), along with the occasional anthology like the Myriad Universe books, which are cool alternate histories (futures?) of the Trek universe.

It's all so daunting and even I have trouble keeping things straight. For more info, check out Memory Beta, the wiki for Trek lit. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott.... Holy cow! Are these established authors or fan fiction or both?

ScottDS said...

I don't read fan fiction. They are established authors (and the occasional newcomer).

Since 2005, I've read dozens of books in the aforementioned series. There are also cross-overs, anthologies, etc. Don't get me wrong - in the grand scheme of things, I've read only a fraction of Trek novels. Usually, there will be a gap of several months, then four or five will come out at the same time. It would be impossible for me to track down and read eeeeeeverything!

Right now, I'm looking forward to Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett, an original Star Trek procedural about the Dept. of Temporal Investigations, as seen in DS9.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, If I'm correct, some of the cast have written some of these novels too right?

If so, have you read them? Are they any good?

ScottDS said...

I've only read one: a DS9 novel titled A Stitch in Time by Andrew Robinson, who played Garak on DS9 (IMHO, one of the best Trek characters ever).

I read it back in 2004 during the closing months of film school and I recall enjoying it. I couldn't tell you much about it today. It really delves into Cardassian history and culture and some of it might've gone over my head at the time.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, He's one of my favorite characters from the modern universe. They did a great job with him.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, Doom is not a bad movie! Leave it alone!

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I actually enjoy Doom, just not Temple of Doom! ;-)

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