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Have Star Trek films run their course?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by -=Rudy=-, Mar 13, 2003.

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  1. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
    I've been a fan of Star Trek films since I discovered ST:IV back in 1987. :) Since then, I've purchase and repurchased these titles on Laserdisc and, now, DVD. I used to watch the Star Trek original series in endless reruns, but never had an interest in the films at first.

    One thing I've found is that after ST:VI (The Undiscovered Country), I didn't care for the Trek films as much. ST:VII wasn't bad, even if the story line was a bit far-fetched. But I find that when I want to watch a good ST film, I'm pulling out any of the first six (except for ST:V...I know very few Trek fans who like this one).

    Not to knock the Next Generation crew by any means--I like the TV series a lot more than I do the original Star Trek episodes. But in film, it just seems like they haven't had good stories. One of the films is a regurgitation of The Borg Episode (aka "Best of Both Worlds"), but now for a big screen...and a ridiculous idea that the inventor of warp drive is a slightly deranged alcoholic. The following film, while decent, really was nothing more than a two-hour TV episode. Not all that thrilling, in other words. I haven't even bothered to go see the latest (and possibly the last) Star Trek film. From what I'd read, "outsiders" wrote and directed it, and some of the characters were reduced to bit parts in the script. In earlier films, too, it bothered me when they gave Data emotions, and gave Geordi eyesight. Took away just a little more of their uniqueness, IMHO.

    Back to the original six movies, though--I'd have to rank IV, VI and II as my favorites, followed by III, I and (grudgingly ;) ) V.

    I have only recently begun getting these on DVD. Unfortunately I have IV on DVD--I think it is the next one to come out in a two-disc "Special Edition." But the first three are now available in "Special Editions", and those are what I've bought so far.

    Anyone with similar, or opposing, Star Trek movie thoughts?
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    By the way, I love Star Trek V. I don't care about the plot, I enjoy seeing the characters actually CARE about each other. That makes it for me.

    At any rate, you think the films nose dived after VI?

    Well, DUH! The cast left!

    Did you like Grease II?

    :)
     
  3. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Haven't seen it, but I heard First Contact is arguably the best of the lot (and hands down the best of the Next Generation movies). Even better than the fourth.

    I've only seen the first, some of the third, and Generations.
     
  4. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
    OK, one by one:

    THere is just something about V that I didn't like...I think it may have been Shatner's directing. Seemed a little self-centered at times. It certainly isn't as bad as many Trek fans make it out to be, but it's not quite what I was expecting. I will give the film this: the movie as Shatner envisioned it didn't get fully made. He did recently approach Paramount to re-do a few scenes for the DVD release (especially the ending), but they would not fund the project.

    Well...duuuh, yeah, the cast left after VI! :D :laugh: But since I was such a big fan of the Next Generation series, I feel somewhat let down by the quality of the films that followed. Again, not BAD by any means (I've suffered through worse!), but they just don't seem any better than a two-part TV episode. Nice stories, but just blown up for the big screen. The original Trek movies took on far more ambitious story lines than the original 1-hour episodes in most cases. Maybe the level of the Next Gen TV series was so high that it sort of disappointed me when the movies weren't that much more grandoise (for lack of a better word) than the TV series.

    I don't even get into Grease I, Steve. ;) It's not a bad little movie, really, and seeing Olivia in those pants--OH MY!!--is worth catching the ending for. It just seems like a happy-go-lucky version of American Graffiti. A fun movie without a message, in other words. The Mrs. did drag me to the theatrical re-release a few years back, and we did see it in a stage production in the early 90's.

    How about The Sting II? Never did watch that one. I love the first one for Newman and Redford...watching them play off each other is a delight. But wasn't it Mac Davis and Jackie Gleason in the second one? Ouch.
     
  5. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    IV is probably the best of the lot. I agree with Steve that there are good things in V that have been obscured by the negatives. But yeah, Star Trek has run its course. One could argue ENTERPRISE is one show too many, but I said that about VOYAGER, too. My sister loves 'em both, so what do I know?:rolleyes:

    ED:cool:
     
  6. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I agree that for whatever reason, they have yet to make a decent movie featuring the next generation cast. And although I prefer the original cast, I'm a big fan of the next generation series (once it hit its stride around the third season or so). I think part of the problem is that the Next Generation series relied on fairly cerebral and complex technology/sci-fi storylines, whereas the original series had simpler, more action-based and character-driven stories. In making the Next Generation films, I think they've tried to simplify things and ramp up the action, and this takes away a lot of the charm of what made that series good in the first place.

    I recently re-watched the final, 2-hour episode of Next Generation, and I found myself thinking "why can't they make a movie as good as this episode?" But then I also realized there's no way a storyline that complex, self-referential, and paradox-filled would ever get made into a major studio film. I'm sure the studio would say "it's too confusing." I think the only way they will make a good film now would be to just try to get a good story and not try so hard to make a film that is universal and appealing to non-fans. I doubt that will happen though, but I imagine they'll make at least one more film.

    As for Star Trek V: I don't rank it as low as the bloated, special-effects-driven first film, but it's my second least favorite. For me the main reason is that Spock (in my opinion) acts wildly out of character throughout much of the film. And the insertion of an really emotional half-brother that has never been mentioned before seems a cheap stunt. Still, there's lots of enjoyable moments in the film... I love seeing Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley do their thing, as the great archetypal characters they are...
     
  7. Beatlelennon65

    Beatlelennon65 Active Member

    I havent seen the last one, some say it was good, others say it sucked. Eben if it was directed by an outsider, sometimes that is a good thing as it allows fresh blood to come in and do things that they didnt know they couldnt do. I liked 4,2,3,6,7,1,and 5 in that order. After that, I cant remember. Think about this. The original series was on 10 years before the first movie and about 30 years before the last original cast movie. This young cast was able to do movies in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Special effects changed quite a bit and new people came along to write scripts. The original TV show was such a product of the 60's whereas the Next generation seemed more sci-fi and technical for lack of better words. If the NG cast started making movies 10 years after the NG was over and continued for 20 years, you would see a difference in stories. Maybe the franchise needs a top name director to do a movie. Can you imagine a Star Trek movie directed by somebody who has had a few blockbusters under their belt? It's kinda like the James Bond series, which has actually been pretty good with Pierce Brosnan. It's good now, but a name brand director would make it great.
    I like the Enterprise series, but I think it suffers from bad writing. Hopefully it will change course and take off next year as I really like the cast. Maybe they could do a time travel movie with the NG crew. I never really watched/liked Voyager or DS9.
     
  8. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
    I never got into DS9 either. I tried to watch it for a season or two but it didn't hold my attention as much. One of my buddies calls it a "soap opera in space." I think it was the lack of action, as compared to ST:TNG. Voyager I never did get interested in. I don't have trouble with a female captain, but I didn't care for the actress in that particular Captain Janeway role.

    For the first Star Trek movie, the Special Edition I believe has some new edits in it, which makes it flow a little better than the previous versions. There are also some minor effects enhancements, things you don't really notice until you hear about them in one of the documentaries. It's still tedious to watch, but not as bad as the previous home video version with the 12 added minutes of footage. They probably could cut another 15 minutes out of it to pick up the pace. :)

    The VI movie is special to me--it somewhat mirrors the breakdown of the cold war. Special-effects-wise, it was the best the original Trek crew would have. It was good drama, with some good writing. And that explosion of the Klingon moon will rattle the house if you crank it up loud enough. :D

    It could be that the serialization of the ST:TNG series contributes to my lukewarm reception to the films. In the series, you saw the same cast every week, already knew what made them tick, and all that. The films just continued that. Maybe the timing was a little too close to the series. That break between the original series and the films just built up a lot of anticipation for the films. Maybe if the Next Gen crew took a hiatus for a decade, broke up the crew a bit (maybe get Riker his own command), and other new twists, we'd see the same crew in a different light.

    One thing about the most recent Trek movie is that I don't mind if a new director comes in, but maybe it's the *type* of director or producer that makes or breaks it. It's like they made a direct effort to get someone with proven talent who could ensure box office success...and oh, by the way, it's a Star Trek film. I'll probably get it on DVD as cheaply as possible, but "Insurrection" I've only watched once and don't really have a burning desire to watch it again.

    Hey...at least I'm shaking the Trekkies out of the woodwork! ;)
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I enjoy the original cast and the next generation crew but what can they do with Star Trek that they haven't done before? That question includes the many spin-offs and the one that's currently on TV. I could say that about so much coming out of Hollywood. Star Wars, James Bond, Terminator. When something good does come down the pike milk it til its way past dry.

    Why do they keep taking 1960-70 TV programs and turning them into horrible movies where the characterizations are intentionally untrue to the original? Why do they keep "re-imagining" the old classics into inferior new movies?

    I enjoyed the first 2 Mad Max movies. That saga took a horrible turn when it became Americanized (hate to sound unpatriotic but its true) with "beyond thunderdome". I hear they're doing another. What are they going to call it? Fat Max?

    Try to convince me that some mogul in Hollywood isn't trying to conceptualize a sequel to the Titanic. I dare you.

    I'm surprised they haven't "re-imagined" 2001: A Space Odessy.

    Now you got me started...
     
  10. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    I resisted ST:TNG for a couple of years. I was aided by having seen the first episode, which is IMO very weak. I also saw "The Naked Now" and was very piqued by the naked plagiarism of the original series. Later, when I became a fan of the NG series, I relaxed and acknowledged the humor in it all.

    When I was finally won over, I was won over all the way, and until the uneven final season I was always pleased, and sometimes overwhelmed, by ST:TNG.

    I too think the ST:TNG films have been a bit disappointing, given the high quality of the series. That said, I very much enjoyed most of Generations, First Contact (especially the lovely Alice Kriger, and never mind the silly portrait of Cochran), and Insurrection. I actually liked the fact that Insurrection had a TV movie feel to it; it seemed more faithful to the spirit of the series that way. The major revelation in all this, as in the series, is what a good director Jonathan Frakes turned out to be. His work in the series was top-notch, and I remember many breathtaking moments in First Contact.

    The problems in each case stem from the script, I think. The story supervisors needed Roddenberry's horse sense to keep the show on course, and to keep from succumbing to too much market research.

    The last ST:TNG movie had a few interesting moments, but for the most part it was very, very weak. Laughably so, on occasion. An ignoble end to that part of the franchise, and I can't see a DS9 or "lost in space" (er, "Voyager") or "Enterprise" movie coming along soon.

    My ST movie favorites, in order:

    VI, IV, II (three-way tie for first)
    First Contact (despite the stupid stuff)
    Insurrection
    III, Generations (tie)
    I (I just watched the new DVD and it's still very hard to make it through--just too much gas)

    I've not seen V, but on Steve's recommendation I will.
    :)
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Oh oh. Hope you like it ok....

    Make sure you ignore the plot and go for the camaraderie and deep feelings among the big three. It's a touchy-feely Trek. :)
     
  12. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    US
    That is one aspect I like about V...we do see more of the three main characters and the bond between them.
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    That's the only reason to even watch the thing. I've watched it a lot recently. I like stuff like that. Same reason I like the Avengers; that bond.
     
  14. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    No problem here with touchy-feely Trek. That's why I like the end of VI so well. And it's why my two favorite episodes of TOS are Who Mourns For Adonais and The Empath.

    Of course, I don't mind when things explode well, either.
     
  15. Beatlelennon65

    Beatlelennon65 Active Member

    I will rent V when the SE DVD comes out as I havent seen it all the way through since it came out. I was hoping Shatner would be able to re-edit it for a director's cut. I never have seen the Avengers. Maybe it will be on A&E or PBS or something.
     
  16. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    You are in for a real treat, my friend.

    :thumbsup:
     
  17. JonUrban

    JonUrban SHF Member #497

    Location:
    Connecticut
    I think that II and IV hold up the best to repeated viewing.

    AS for TNG movies, they are all interesting, but I find myself not really re-watching them.

    However, there are episodes of the TV series TNG that are better than any of the films. "Darmok" comes to mind. A great story, simple yet incredibly effective. I could watch that one over and over.

    As for DS9. I watched it, but never really got into it until the very last season, when they had the war with the Dominion. That was great. esp the way they got the Romulans to join the war.
     
  18. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-)

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    I'll second that. Kinda interesting that I feel that way too, since I can't stand any of the other NG movies.

    If pinned down, I'd say that First Contact is the best, followed by STII (Kahn), and then Undiscovered Country.

    First Contact gets the nod for several reasons:

    Great story - reference back to earlier Trek episode about warp drive inventor Zefram Cochrane
    Great chemistry between the characters.
    Great pacing... this movie MOVES.
    Great supporting actors/characters (James Cromwell steals the movie!)
    Great villain: The Borg Queen (could have stolen the movie if James Cromwell wasn't there!)
    Only Trek movie to work Steppenwolf AND Roy Orbison into the plot!

    jeff
     
  19. VeeDub

    VeeDub Senior Member

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I think there may be some new ways to explore (so to speak) the Star Trek idea/myth/etc., but it seems like the "Rick Berman & Co." ideas have run their course. In spite of "outsider" direction and screenplay writing (I think) on Nemesis, this particular group should pass the baton to an entirely new staff, much as they received it when launching TNG for TV.

    I'm not a die-hard, repeat and re-repeat viewer, but I did manage to hang with all series through Voyager, having seen every TV episode through the first year of Enterprise before giving up this year (although I've probably seen 95% of the episodes exactly once). As of mid-Voyager, they seemed to be heavily recycling/recasting a lot of the same basic storylines from DS9, TNG, and "Original" with only slight technical twists. Enterprise has easily been the most lightweight (& not in a good way) of all series, and therefore the least interesting. It seems like there is virtually nothing at stake each week--a far cry from, say, TNG's "The Best Of Both Worlds."

    Anyway, just my more-than-2-cents.

    For the record, my fave movies are II & VI. Nicholas Meyer really nailed the tight, tense storytelling approach with these. First Contact is also quite good, but not as dramatically well-realized. IV--good. Nemesis, Insurrection, III--decent. Generations, I, V--uh, watchable.

    Mark
     
  20. Tony Caldwell

    Tony Caldwell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arkansas
    My Trek favorites in order:

    VI
    III
    II
    IV
    V
    I

    I like all of the original cast movies a lot, except "The Motion Picture". The new DVD version is a big improvement though. Shatner should have gotten the same chance to re-edit V. Wasn't there a writers strike going on when he was trying to make the fifth movie?

    I haven't really liked any of the Next Generation movies, but I thought that "Nemesis" was the best of the bunch. It is still not as good as any of the original cast movies (at least to me), but it is my favorite of the NG movies...

    Tony
     
  21. Mart

    Mart New Member

    my favs are ...

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    ... where Kirstie Alley is indoctrinated into human idiosyncrasies under high intrigue that delivers great entertainment value while the crew battles wits with Ricardo Montalban.

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    ... where we haven't much plot but great writing. We have a classic love story with killer lines ... "Ah, the greats"; "He did too much LDS in Berkeley"; "They will be again. That's the beauty of it."

    Star Trek VII: Generations
    ... where the Kirk dies twice. I guess he wanted to make a point. He didn't want to become the next Tasha Yar. :D Anyway, Malcolm McDowell made for a ruthlessly methodical villain. Plus, you have Brent Spiner going insane coping with the corrupting influences of emotions for some more ironic sources of required humanity in that sterile commune during critical moments.
     
  22. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    Well-played! LOL.
     
  23. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    "Darmok" is an extraordinary episode. Easily one of my top five in that series. One of the best things I've ever seen on television.

    I'm also partial to "The Inner Light," "Yesterday's Enterprise," and of course "The Best of Both Worlds." I thought the two-part closer was also fine.
     
  24. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Location:
    Vermont
    Star Trek: Generations was the worst, IMO. Why? Plot discrepancy. In one of the original cast films(III, I think)Kirk said that he knew he would die alone. Well, die he did, in Generations, but with Picard by his side. It would have been a better film if they didn't try to shoehorn both casts in together. V, BTW, was Shatner's directorial debut, which hurt the film overall, but Steve is right, the comraderie among the cast makes it. Not to mention the groaners(the one about whiskey and beans, for example)!
     
  25. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    The fifth movie starts of well, but it gave me the impression of being one of those films where they ran out of money and had to finish it quickly, including massive re-writes. I really liked First Contact, but it had its share of plot holes and a not too well thought out scheme by the supposedly uber-villains, The Borg.

    I actually liked Deep Space Nine a lot and thought it was perhaps the only ST TV series that actually finished strong. I could see how viewers might have jumped off during the first couple seasons, though.

    Regards,
     
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