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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. Mart

    Mart New Member

    Call me a hopeless romantic but I have only 3 episodes of the entire Star Trek genre:

    TNG: "Dauphin"
    Wesley falls in love with a Metamorph. It's in this episode where he grew up the most. It rips you a knew heart.

    TNG: "Offspring"
    Data becomes a dad. Everyone finally is convinced that Data could build a child. It was a highly poignant episode of his sentience well beyond when he was on trial without beating any drum."

    NS9: "Trails & Tribble-ations"
    You just gotta love it. It's out of your hands. Man, when they asked Worf what happened to the Klingon race I nearly split a gut. This episode is loaded with tongue in check humor. "I should've known he would be a surgeon with those hands." "Why do they all say that." "Ah, the great Klingon hunt. I bet they sing songs about that."
     
  2. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    Along the same lines, some years ago, someone in Tinseltown had the rights to film one of the biographies of Jessica Savitch, the TV anchorwoman who went too far too fast and eventually died young in an auto accident. Anyway, the studio head looked at the script and said something to the effect of --

    "I love it! But does she have to die in the end?"

    The resulting disaster was the movie Up Close and Personal.

    I'm not a Trekker, but I thought this was a good movie.
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored

    I couldn't believe how bad "Nemesis" was, and hope it will not be the final word on the series.

    I'll use the Bill Walton quote again: "Horrrrrible!!"
     
  4. njwiv

    njwiv Senior Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Beautifully stated. I am a huge fan of TOS (the original series), but I have grown to enjoy TNG. "All Good Things" (the TNG finale) absolutely beats the pants off of any of the TNG movies, and most of the TOS movies. Unfortunately, it is far too complex for the big screen. So much of what made Star Trek great was the variety of stories it could tell. A movie every two or more years can never measure up to good, episodic Trek -- it's just too limited in scope. As for DS9, what I saw of it (once the lower-tier networks -- WB and UPN -- came about, it was banished to off-hours), I really enjoyed. Connected to the other series, yet different and engaging. I never connected with Voyager and have only seen the pilot episode of Enterprise.
     
  5. Beatlelennon65

    Beatlelennon65 Active Member

    Am I the only one who likes Enterprise? I like Scott Bakula. Most of the other Characters are ok too. The one chick (Yoshi?) who is the translator needs to go. Most of the writing has been crap. There have been a few good episodes though. I would like to point out that the first 2 years of NG were pretty bad too. I have seen enough of the learn from our mistakes Enterprise, it's time for them to kick a$$ and take names.
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Why is the entire show shot out of focus and color desaturated like that? Bugs me.


    Voyager looked like Gone With The Wind in comparison.
     
  7. RDK

    RDK Active Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Favorite Trek films? Easily II and VI. I think Nicholas Meyer was the perfect director for this series and I only wish he did more than just these two. He seemed to understand the series and these characters better than anyone since Roddenberry.

    I disliked III at the time and I'm not sure if I've seen it since. I thought it was such a cop out to bring back Spock after killing him off so effectively in Wrath of Kahn.

    I'm also in the minority of those who didn't care much for IV. It's not bad - kinda fun actually for the character work - but I thought the save-the-whales story was too goofy and preachy.

    I don't remember the others very well at all. V was directed by Shatner and I remember it being okay but not that memorable. By this time the cast was really starting to show its age and some of the action that should have been exciting seemed almost amusing. "Hey, look at grampa wrestling that Romulan thundergoat!"

    After VI I really started to lose interest. Generations was good only because they finally killed Kirk off - but his death was terribly anticlimactic compared to Spock's in II.

    I think I missed a couple of the films after that, though I did see the last one. It was a frustrating experience because I thought it had a lot of potential and some very good action, but it was very uneven, overly long, and pretty damn stupid in spots. I think it could have been one of the great ones if it only had a little more thought behind it.

    Ray
     
  8. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    That is most definitely true. I'd say there are probably at least 30 episodes of NG which are far better than any of the NG films. The best NG film (probably First Contact, I guess) ranks about the same as an average episode of the series in my opinion.

    Whereas with the original cast, I'd say ST II and IV easily stand up to the very best episodes of the old series.
     
  9. -=Rudy=-

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

    Location:
    US
    I don't have Nimoy's book nearby to quote from, but the whole idea was that IV was to be the movie to "lighten up" after the heavy themes of II and III. The whales part may have been a little bit of a stretch, but it did tie the two centuries together. And they got to poke gentle fun at the series and themselves in the process.

    What would actually work for me is something similar for the TNG movies. Not an exact copy (which Hollyweird is prone to do), but maybe get "Q" involved, who deposits the crew in various locations throughout the earth...maybe like a holodeck session gone bad. And ferchrissakes, bring back Lwaxana Trio for this one! The interaction between "Q" and Lwaxana would be priceless. (There was actually a Star Trek novel that had the two meet.)
     
  10. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored


    To me the whole "look" of the show is all wrong! Too dark, like every other friggen' sci-fi product out these days. Kinda hard to imagine what they have on now eventually becoming the TOS universe.
     
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I dug 'em all...never cared for the spin offs...all of them! I did enjoy Data though...great!
     
  12. -=Rudy=-

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

    Location:
    US
    Maybe they just haven't killed the wicked witch and found the Merry Old Land of Oz yet!
     
  13. Mart

    Mart New Member

  14. Mart

    Mart New Member

    Do you mean the new "Enterprise" series?

    Of the different series-es, I prefer DN9 cinematography, but it was offset by considerably cheaper FXs were than TNG. However, DS9 was initially of piss poor content IMHO. In the 1st few seasons, I likened it to Babylon 5 as it was just a soap opera in space.
     
  15. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored

    I'd hoped during the first couple of seasons that Jake Sisco and Dr. Bashir were gonna get pushed out of airlocks!
     
  16. -=Rudy=-

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

    Location:
    US
    And those first couple of seasons are very critical. Look at someone like me, who was a big TNG fan, who tried to watch DS9 for those first couple of seasons but never could get into it. I never went back to watching it either. One other thing is that a lot of the aliens were just starting to become to gimmicky, like the Ferengi, or that chick who had the tire track acrsos her face.
     
  17. Andrew

    Andrew Chairman of the Bored

    I've started viewing the first season of DS9 again, this time on DVD. Like most series, the episodes are hit and miss, but fairly good so far. I recall the series getting better as time went on.
     
  18. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    Do I dare chime in? I am obviously biased on the subject of Star Trek. I was on staff for all 7 seasons of Voyager and di First Contact and Insurrection.

    First Contact is my favorite movie of the bunch.

    Personal reasons.
    1. Oscar nomination
    2. Got to create the Borg Queen, the sweetest assignment any Star Trek make up artist ever had
    3. Got to redesign the borg make up. My favorite villains from any Star Trek TV episode.

    So now you know my biases but I think it was still the best of the bunch. Alice Krige was by far the most compelling villain in Trek History (my biases creeping in?) She was intensely dangerous and at the same time so seductive. She could make you forget that inevitably the good guys would win. Major goose bump factor.


    The day we tested the Borg Queen look we had Rick Berman (executive producer) Brannon Bragga (co writer) and Jonathan Frakes (director and actor) come in the trailer just as Alice had her metallic contact lenses put in. She looked in the mirror and her entire posture and presence transformed in front of us. She turned and looked at us in full character and there was a collective deep breath and dead silence. Everyone in the room had goose bumps. Mine stayed with me for the rest of the day. Those are the moments I live for.


    First Contact also did something that none of the other movies ever did which was weave story lines in and out of each other to drive a collective (no pun intended) story line of made up of multiple plots all sharing a common theme about loyalty to friends and humanity. Cochran, Picard and Data all had to choose between their loyalty to their friends and higher duties to humanity and the temptation to give in to their personal weaknesses be it Cochran's fear of responsibility, Picard's hatred and desire for revenge or for Data's the desire to be more human.
     
  19. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    A note on the look of Voyager and Enterprise.

    I have not worked a day on Enterprise but both shows were produced by the same executive producer, Rick Berman and shot by the same director of photography and camera operator, Marvin Rush and Doug Knapp. Personally I like Marvin but we never shared the same aesthetic values. he likes a dark stark look. I think he is simply getting his way on Enterprise and was forced to compromise on Voyager. Another thing to note was the process Voyager went through by the time it was broadcast. The dailies were almost always dark, too contrasty and devoid of color. After the lab color corrected and adjusted value and contrast it looked damn near Technicolor or TV. We had to learn to ignore the dailies and the notes that went with them from the producers who never learned to ignore the dailies and trust our eyes on the set. Enterprise looks a lot like the dailies did on Voyager. I think they must have a different person doing post production.
     
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Scott, MORE!

    I'm a big fan, and love Voyager.
     
  21. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    A note on cinematography.

    The original series had a look that allowed you to see the actors at the cost of three shadows against any given wall behind the actor. Most fans don't notice but it is considered to be crude and bad lighting by todays standards. Personally I'd rather make the sacrifice and see the actors. A common bitch you will hear from make up artists is that DPs are more interested in lighting the sets these days than they are in lighting the actors. It must be noted that we as make up artists have an obvious bias on the issue.

    A common practice in TV shows shot on film is the use of tungsten balanced fluorescent lamps. The advantages are they don't cast hard shadows, They offer a lot of natural fill, they take up little space as opposed to a real tungstens lamp and a bounce card or soft box needed for diffusion, and they don't heat up the stage.

    I hate them! they are balanced to tungsten but they are obviously screwed up color wise. Complete bands of color are simply missing and you can't fix that after the fact. They also have a bizarre way of making things hard to discern. I don't know how else to say it but they manage to obscure everything. At the risk of offending many DPs including Marvin Rush they are IMO the lazy man's solution to lighting.

    A couple of great DPs I worked with on Tales from the Crypt were Rick Botta and John Leonetti. They never used fluorescent lights. They were and are real artists. I wish I could take one of them with me on every project I do

    And one final note on lighting. a little while back I had to recreate the Borg Queen make up for a 3D attraction being produced by the same company that produced the Terminator 3D attraction at Universal. That was the best the Borg Queen ever looked thanks to the meticulous lighting. Unfortunately the images from the "state of the art" 3D digital camera look like crap. Fortunately my pictures via my Leica M6 look amazing. I must say they are probably the best representation of what the Borg Queen really looked like in person in existence with the possible exception of the medium format stills shot in a special photo session during the making of First Contact. Those photos have never been released to the public in any way that I know of by Paramount.
     
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    This would be a good time to post a few of your M6 shots.;)


    By the way, I agree with you about the lighting situation 100%!

    Sven Nyquist would as well. :)
     
  23. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    I'm in Vancouver right now so it will have to wait. I'll see what I can do when I get back in the beginning of April. Is it me or were the Hammer Horror films some of the best looking films ever despite being very low budget?

    It seems that despite advances in technology (and there have been substantial ones, particularly in ways to place and move a camera) cinematography remains an art that has not always advanced with time but is marked throughout the history of film by the works of great cinematographers as artists much like fine art throughout the ages.
     
  24. Gardo

    Gardo Senior Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    After reading this, I don't think my goose bumps will ever go away. Alice Krige is in the Diana Rigg category for me. Haunts my dreams.:cool:

    Thanks for sharing all this, Scott. I teach film studies, among other things, and your remarks on cinematography and the artist are right no, IMO.
    :thumbsup:
     
  25. ZIPGUN99

    ZIPGUN99 Active Member

    I loved Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" from a few years back. That had the look of a Hammer movie.

    Freddie Francis, who directed many Hammer movies, was director of photography on Elephant Man, Dune, Glory, Cape Fear, the Innocents, and many others. He brings a little of the Hammer feel to whatever he does.
     
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