Robin Bland

EW on Trek films

157 posts in this topic

Loved the article. Loved this movie !

Thanks for posting this link.

Gus

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I put this in Trek General because they're doing a whole series, but the first one is a pretty good essay on 1979's the Motion Picture:

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/29/star-trek-motion-picture-geekly?xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitter

Great article.   Even as an ardent lover of TMP, I have to say that was an honest and objective analysis.

He smartly points out both the pros and cons of the movie--er, 'motion picture.'   Hard to believe the author didn't see it in theatrical run (he probably wasn't even born yet) because he describes the awe and feeling of some of those early scenes to a tee; especially so when they were viewed in a theatre.    

And yes, it's safe to say TMP is very desaturated of emotion and vibrancy.   Even as a kid seeing it in the theatre I wondered if the crew were all nursing an offscreen  grudge against each other or something.   They didn't really start to 'feel' like themselves till the end of the picture, after V'ger's transcendence.  

I think the authors' line about the movie being a sort of "2001 for dummies" might be onto something (even if that's a bit harsh, IMO).   TMP is less a typical space opera-adventure, and more of a passive, full-on sensory experience (much in the way I view "2001" or even parts of "Avatar").

I wonder if there'll be an EW collectors' edition with ALL of the ST movie reviews (?).

 

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I'm always going to have a soft spot for this movie, even if it is all the things the writer of the article says it is. You're right about the characters - they don't really feel like the characters from the TV show until the very end. That's the thing about TWOK - they are instaneously, recognizably themselves again. 

I think it sort of is a more populist 2001, in the sense that it attempts to be a full-on sensory experience rather than engaging the audience by more conventional narrative motors. That's cool - A+ for ambition. I'd rather have an ambitious but flawed movie than a by-the-numbers workout. 

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I'm always going to have a soft spot for this movie, even if it is all the things the writer of the article says it is. You're right about the characters - they don't really feel like the characters from the TV show until the very end. That's the thing about TWOK - they are instaneously, recognizably themselves again. 

I think it sort of is a more populist 2001, in the sense that it attempts to be a full-on sensory experience rather than engaging the audience by more conventional narrative motors. That's cool - A+ for ambition. I'd rather have an ambitious but flawed movie than a by-the-numbers workout. 

^

This.

And yes, I too have a soft spot for TMP as well; it was the ONLY movie in the ST canon (still) to ever make me feel the awe, mystery and scale of space travel.   None of the other ST movies have ever really done that, really.    They're more episodic; like the TV series.  But TMP (as its anachronistic title implies) truly is Star Trek as a MOTION PICTURE.    And yes, the characters were riding shotgun to the experience; they were essentially tour guides.  Familiar faces to guide us on this extraordinary trip.  It was a unique experiment in ST; very ambitious, and on some purely aesthetic level it succeeded (IMO, at least...).

"The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning..." :thumbup:

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IMO, the worst thing about TMP is that it isn't a Star Trek movie. Just as you say above: The characters are bland and interchangeable, they're not the same as from TOS. That is my biggest complaint.

Which is a pity, because it's really not a bad movie. "2001 for dummies" hits the nail on the head, IMO -- including some of the greatness in scope of 2001.

But I feel it doesn't age as well as 2001, and it is supposedly much less impressive on the small screen.

So IMO, perhaps the best of the worst ST movies. TFF suffers from the opposite problem: It has very nice character moments that make it worthwhile rewatching for a true ST fan, but it's a very bad movie. (And INS and NEM are just awful on many levels.)

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Cant wait for their STAR TREK V review.

No kidding.

Gus

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Cant wait for their STAR TREK V review.

No kidding.

Gus

you-can-t-handle-the-truth-o.gif

Just kidding... :giggle: :P

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Haha, Sehlat, posting this pic just for you !

Bran Ferren shows director Bill Shatner the studio model of the USS Enterprise at Ferren & Associates in New Jersey.

"This shot will look incredible Bill !" Hahaha, we got the joke, Bran.

12187845_1112322332119227_64142598619101

Gus

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Haha, Sehlat, posting this pic just for you !

Bran Ferren shows director Bill Shatner the studio model of the USS Enterprise at Ferren & Associates in New Jersey.

"This shot will look incredible Bill !" Hahaha, we got the joke, Bran.

12187845_1112322332119227_64142598619101

Gus

When I see Ferren trying to convince Shatner of his work, the Stevie Wonder song "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" pops into my head... :laugh:

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Cant wait for their STAR TREK V review.

No kidding.

Gus

Haha! :laugh:

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Yeah, it made me want to rewatch it too, and I haven't had a chance to yet. Question is - which version? The DVD director's cut or original theatrical? The latter, I think.

I only think it's seen as a naive film precisely because it's Star Trek, and somehow it fell afoul of its (or Roddenberry's) own ambitions. At the time, it was both a response to and a denial of the success of Star Wars, both on the part of Paramount and Roddenberry himself. Yet, if you stripped it of its Trek associations and it was just an SF movie from the late 70s about space exploration in a future society it'd probably be held to be a mighty example of the genre in cinema. Still flawed, but less scoffed at. And, because it's Star Trek and it doesn't fit easily within any other iteration of that 'brand' it's uncomfortable for all those reasons. Unloved, and yet of all the cinematic Treks, one of the worthiest, most elegiac and weirdly beautiful entries. 

 

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Yeah, it made me want to rewatch it too, and I haven't had a chance to yet. Question is - which version? The DVD director's cut or original theatrical? The latter, I think.

I only think it's seen as a naive film precisely because it's Star Trek, and somehow it fell afoul of its (or Roddenberry's) own ambitions. At the time, it was both a response to and a denial of the success of Star Wars, both on the part of Paramount and Roddenberry himself. Yet, if you stripped it of its Trek associations and it was just an SF movie from the late 70s about space exploration in a future society it'd probably be held to be a mighty example of the genre in cinema. Still flawed, but less scoffed at. And, because it's Star Trek and it doesn't fit easily within any other iteration of that 'brand' it's uncomfortable for all those reasons. Unloved, and yet of all the cinematic Treks, one of the worthiest, most elegiac and weirdly beautiful entries. 

 

^
Very much this! 

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Although the Directors Edition is nice, I am more  a fan of the theatrical cut or even the Special Longer TV Version, which was only released in VHS and LD only in the 1990s (did a transfer to DVD-R a few years ago)

Gus

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Although the Directors Edition is nice, I am more  a fan of the theatrical cut or even the Special Longer TV Version, which was only released in VHS and LD only in the 1990s (did a transfer to DVD-R a few years ago)

Gus

Apples and oranges to me; the DC is an improvement and it is Robert Wise's preferred cut, but... the original is the version I fell in love with.   The original has a starkness to it that I admire (even the onboard computer voices sound more mechanical and strange...I like that).   The director's cut has more polish and the added foley effects are welcome.   Even the new CGI FX are seamless.

As for the longer cut laserdisc?  I had that version as well, but sold it on eBay years ago.   It didn't have anything that isn't on the DC itself or in the DC cut's bonus features, so I don't feel I've lost anything. 

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Yep. the Directors Edition was a great achivment for Robert Wise and i completely understand this. The new FX by Foundation Imaging is very, very good. That is what inspires me and PhineasBg to produce a remastered fan edit of STAR TREK V (but yeah, we are not Foundation Imaging, just 3 guys trying to improve on Bran Ferren terrible FX for that movie)

Remastered Great Barrier in STAR TREK V fan edit (FX done by PhineasBg and Wilk Jaspers) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS0xO_L1joI

Gus

Edited by GustavoLeao

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Yep. the Directors Edition was a great achivment for Robert Wise and i completely understand this. The new FX by Foundation Imaging is very, very good. That is what inspires me and PhineasBg to produce a remastered fan edit of STAR TREK V (but yeah, we are not Foundation Imaging, just 3 guys trying to improve on Bran Ferren terrible FX for that movie)

Remastered Great Barrier in STAR TREK V fan edit (FX done by PhineasBg and Wilk Jaspers) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS0xO_L1joI

Gus

I still think you guys bested them.  ;)

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The followup to last week's article about TMP focuses on TWOK:

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/05/06/star-trek-ii-wrath-khan-geekly

Great point the article makes about how ST might be better when made cheaper; forcing the writers/crew to be more resourceful (this is a point Meyer makes repeatedly in interviews and in his book, "View From the Bridge").

Khan-Death-Pieta-Spock.png

Enjoy!

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Ack!  I just posted this in a separate article... I'll merge them.   And something I didn't do last week; I really need to move this to the Trek Movies section.   Coffee hasn't kicked in yet... :P

Edited by Sehlat Vie

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Amazing. This reviewer actually "gets" STAR TREK.

I wonder (and I am scared of) what he will gonna say about that little gem called STAR TREK V THE FINAL FRONTIER.

12002752_1082759685075492_67214918885879

Gus

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Amazing. This reviewer actually "gets" STAR TREK.

I wonder (and I am scared of) what he will gonna say about that little gem called STAR TREK V THE FINAL FRONTIER.

12002752_1082759685075492_67214918885879

Gus

im-just-preparing1.gif

But seriously; the reviewer was kinder to TMP than most others... who knows?  I'm not a big fan of TFF,  but I will say it does have some redeeming qualities; great musical score (first and foremost), great location photography, some good character moments between the 'troika', and um.... uh... yeah; all of that:P

I'm also looking forward to the review of Generations... a very misunderstood movie, IMO.

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As you know, Sehlat, we have discussed this one before, I am a HUGE fan of STAR TREK GENERATIONS. Great acting from Stewart, Shatner and McDowell, great story by Moore and Braga, and wonderful FX from ILM. Best TNG movie in my opinion, the others were too militaristic and action-oriented to my tastes. GENERATIONS was a movie about those actors and their characters. And I am no afraid toa dmit that I am proud on Rick Berman work on the franchise for 18 years, he did some stupid stuff, but he also did great stuff.

12973391_10209145422851876_5439305047719

But yeah, I agree a 100% on the reviewer opinion on TMP and this new review of STAR TREK II was too good to be true. Looking foward on his reviews on STAR TREK V, STAR TREK VI (another favorite) and GENERATIONS.

Gus

Edited by GustavoLeao

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As you know, Sehlat, we have discussed this one before, I am a HUGE fan of STAR TREK GENERATIONS. Great acting from Stewart, Shatner and McDowell, great story by Moore and Braga, and wonderful FX from ILM. Best TNG movie in my opinion, the others were too militaristic and action-oriented to my tastes. GENERATIONS was a movie about those actors and their characters. And I am no afraid toa dmit that I am proud on Rick Berman work on the franchise for 18 years, he did some stupid stuff, but he also did great stuff.

12973391_10209145422851876_5439305047719

But yeah, I agree a 100% on the reviewer opinion on TMP and this new review of STAR TREK II was too good to be true. Looking foward on his reviews on STAR TREK V, STAR TREK VI (another favorite) and GENERATIONS.

Gus

STVI: TUC to me, is pretty much the quintessential Star Trek movie. 

It has everything; and it takes the entire franchise forward by advancing the overall mythology of the Federation and Klingons.   But it also begins to bridge the gap between TOS and TNG (Worf's grandpa the lawyer, the final captain's log, etc).   I love TWOK, but honestly, I think I prefer TUC overall.    

And GEN was for me (when I first saw it in 1994) the right movie at the right time of my life.   An optimistic reaffirmation in the face of tragedy and loss (Picard's family, Captain Kirk, etc.).   It was also a nice TNG-style redux of "The Cage" (the idea of being seduced into a comforting life of illusion to that of harsh reality).   Yes, I know (objectively) GEN has its issues, but this is one case where the parts of it that resonated with me resonated very deeply; and for that, I can forgive a few cinema sins.   

 

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