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Nicholas Meyer Slams STAR TREK VI

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Star Trek director slams his OWN movie ‘I'm not happy to see it’ – Can you guess the film?
 
STAR TREK director Nicholas Meyer has lashed out at his own movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which starred William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, for endorsement of torture and naivety.
 
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Star Trek director slams his OWN movie ‘I'm not happy to see it’ – Can you guess the film?
 
STAR TREK director Nicholas Meyer has lashed out at his own movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which starred William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, for endorsement of torture and naivety.
 
Have a great day ! Tenha um otimo dia !
 

Well, I'm not sure if it's 'slamming' it; it's hard to look upon something one did 25 years ago (with arguably more primitive means) and tons of 'what-ifs' and be wholly proud of it.  And yes, I agree that the movie's optimism over the seeming collapse of the 'evil empire' (Klingons for Russia) may seem naive today, but that's only with the benefit of 25 years of hindsight.   Those were heady times. I think the story's optimism was in the right place; the fore front.  And usually the artist is the harshest critic of their own work anyway (unless you're George Lucas with his prequels... Hehe)..  But it's also a reason that I'm glad movies are taken away from their creators at at a certain point, because I love ST6.  In fact, it's my personal favorite of the TOS movies.  So while I understand Meyer's feeling (it's like looking at one's old high school yearbook and trying not to wince at one's hairstyle and clothes), I think he has nothing to be embarrassed about.

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Locutus   

A movie doesn't need to be prophetic to be profound.  Good story telling should be thought provoking.  You do not need to agree with everything it has to say.  When I first saw Star Trek VI, I was not naive enough to think that human conflict was somehow over just because the Soviet Union was in disarray.  But I loved the optimism of Star Trek VI, because that is what Star Trek is all about.  In some respects, it holds up a mirror to our present society and suggests what could have been.  

It is bittersweet that humanity did not seize the moment the Soviet Empire fell as the end of a long struggle.  But Star Trek VI didn't invent that optimistic outlook.  Gene Roddenberry layered that statement into his creation of Lt. Worf.  We enter upon Star Trek The Next Generation at a time when Klingons and Federation are no longer enemies, that they have resolved their differences.  But nothing is forever and sadly our history of armed conflicts may never end.  Star Trek recognizes that too.  Nonetheless, it is not naive to suggest that it doesn't have to be that way.

I do agree with Meyer that the mind rape scene could be an implicit endorsement of torture.  It is not pleasant to watch, but Nimoy does play it in a way that it is clear that torture can bring harm not only to the victim but also the perpetrator.  Personally, I wish it wasn't in the film, but it is still thought provoking.  That is more than can be seen in most Hollywood movies these days.

And Star Trek VI also still remains my personal favorite among the films.

Edited by Locutus

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Sim   

A movie doesn't need to be prophetic to be profound.  Good story telling should be thought provoking.  You do not need to agree with everything it has to say.  When I first saw Star Trek VI, I was not naive enough to think that human conflict was somehow over just because the Soviet Union was in disarray.  But I loved the optimism of Star Trek VI, because that is what Star Trek is all about.  In some respects, it holds up a mirror to our present society and suggests what could have been.  

It is bittersweet that humanity did not seize the moment the Soviet Empire fell as the end of a long struggle.  But Star Trek VI didn't invent that optimistic outlook.  Gene Roddenberry layered that statement into his creation of Lt. Worf.  We enter upon Star Trek The Next Generation at a time when Klingons and Federation are no longer enemies, that they have resolved their differences.  But nothing is forever and sadly our history of armed conflicts may never end.  Star Trek recognizes that too.  Nonetheless, it is not naive to suggest that it doesn't have to be that way.

I do agree with Meyer that the mind rape scene could be an implicit endorsement of torture.  It is not pleasant to watch, but Nimoy does play it in a way that it is clear that torture can bring harm not only to the victim but also the perpetrator.  Personally, I wish it wasn't in the film, but it is still thought provoking.  That is more than can be seen in most Hollywood movies these days.

And Star Trek VI also still remains my personal favorite among the films.

Agreed, and good points.

This "end of history" idea, by the way, was indeed not invented by Meyer -- in fact, many people shared it, including large parts of the Western foreign policy elite at that time. After all, Francis Fukuyama wrote his book about the "End of History" around the same time, which shaped the understanding of post-1991 policies for a decade or so. So Meyer is in really good company with this "naive" mistake.

Likewise, the endorsement of "rough interrogation"/torture was made in a time when it still appeared much more innocent, much more "fictional" than it did ever since 9/11 and the "War on Terror". Back in 1991, only few people would likely have assumed that only a decade later, such an incident would not be an isolated decision by an individual officer in an extreme situation, but that it would even be made official policy by the "leader of the free world".

It's easy to forgive both "naive" elements of that movie in hindsight. They don't make TUC a bad movie; they're just indications that this movie isn't timeless, but was made in a very specific era we're no longer in.

 

And agreed on TUC -- it's my favorite Trek movie as well. :)

TUC doesn't need to shy away from a comparison with the other two outstanding entires, TVH and TWOK (though TWOK is not my personal favorite and I'm slightly less fond of it than many seem to be).

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scenario   

And to be totally pragmatic about it, in the real would torture usually doesn't work. To hurt someone knowing that you'll probably not get what you want anyway is wrong. With what Spock did, he will know that it works. 

Torture is wrong. But in my mind ineffective torture is even worse. It can go on for days,weeks and never accomplish anything. 

Also with torture, the pain is the purpose. With what Spock did, the pain is a side effect. 

Edited by scenario

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And to be totally pragmatic about it, in the real would torture usually doesn't work. To hurt someone knowing that you'll probably not get what you want anyway is wrong. With what Spock did, he will know that it works. 

Torture is wrong. But in my mind ineffective torture is even worse. It can go on for days,weeks and never accomplish anything. 

Also with torture, the pain is the purpose. With what Spock did, the pain is a side effect. 

There's actually merit here.

Torture today is ineffective simply because, in the end, it really serves no purpose. Waterboarder waterboards and waterboarded says whatever he thinks will make it stop until the next time. That's why 24 was so often laughable. Dirty bomb going off somewhere at 5 and Jack Bauer has the guy in a chair and 20 minutes with a plastic bag and he has what he needs.

The reality is the guy knows what will happen and what he's risking and you've got to imagine he's prepared. He knows all he has to do is lie until 5:00.Jack has to keep him alive until then.

At 5:01 bad guy has won and it doesn't matter what Jack does since guy expected to die anyway, but he dies a 'winner.'

It's slightly different if he has a Vulcan there. Two minutes and they are assured of having what they need and saving millions.

I'm not endorsing it. It's still torture and a violation, but, I dare say you'd find many, if not most people totally cool with that scenario.

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And to be totally pragmatic about it, in the real would torture usually doesn't work. To hurt someone knowing that you'll probably not get what you want anyway is wrong. With what Spock did, he will know that it works. 

Torture is wrong. But in my mind ineffective torture is even worse. It can go on for days,weeks and never accomplish anything. 

Also with torture, the pain is the purpose. With what Spock did, the pain is a side effect. 

There's actually merit here.

Torture today is ineffective simply because, in the end, it really serves no purpose. Waterboarder waterboards and waterboarded says whatever he thinks will make it stop until the next time. That's why 24 was so often laughable. Dirty bomb going off somewhere at 5 and Jack Bauer has the guy in a chair and 20 minutes with a plastic bag and he has what he needs.

The reality is the guy knows what will happen and what he's risking and you've got to imagine he's prepared. He knows all he has to do is lie until 5:00.Jack has to keep him alive until then.

At 5:01 bad guy has won and it doesn't matter what Jack does since guy expected to die anyway, but he dies a 'winner.'

It's slightly different if he has a Vulcan there. Two minutes and they are assured of having what they need and saving millions.

I'm not endorsing it. It's still torture and a violation, but, I dare say you'd find many, if not most people totally cool with that scenario.

^
While the mind meld scene with Valeris is uncomfortable (it's a violation to be sure), it's not quite the same as mindlessly waterboarding someone hoping to get an answer (any answer).    Spock, right or wrong, was searching her mind (ouch!) for very specific information ONLY.     I would hope that he wasn't looking for anything beyond what the mission required (and the movie seems to bear this out); I'm sure he wasn't looking to see her sexual fantasies or repressed painful memories.   But if he were just inflicting physical and emotional pain on her, she could've given him ANY answer; just as I'm sure I would if someone were waterboarding me.    I would just belt out any lie that sounds plausible enough for my torturer to stop; true or not. 

But yes, at any rate, the scene is a total violation and kind of gives us a rare glimpse (in those days, anyway) of the darker side of Vulcans.   We've seen how hesitant Vulcans are to share in mind-melds; one can only imagine how horrifying an unwelcome one would be, especially for a race that tries so hard to suppress any outward signs of emotion.  The scene is uncomfortable perhaps, and yes, in 20/20 hindsight it could probably be easily reworked today to not be such an unconscionable act.   But again... 20/20 hindsight is a beautiful thing. 

From preproduction to final cut STVI was rushed out in 18 months.   For that kind of time?  I think Meyer and crew did a phenomenal job. 

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kenman   

The headline is is hyperbolic as hell, as he barely "slams" so much as gives some minor critiques based on how he felt then vs how he feels now about some of the issues he was broaching with the film...and then he does mention one scene (the Valeris mind-meld rape scene) and expresses some regret over it.  Most of his critique doesn't even so much aimed at the movie itself s much as his feelings on what the story was about...it sounds more like he is just disappointed in how the relations with the US and Russia have come since the fall of the Soviet Union.  When he made the movie he saw a brighter future, and things just haven't really come that way in his viewpoint. He looks at the movie now and sees his own naivete, and that is what he seemed to be talking about.  

But it is hard to disagree with him on the mind meld scene. It is kinda sick, but just necessary to wrap the movie up. I can see why he regret making noble Spock force himself upon a young girl.

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The headline is is hyperbolic as hell, as he barely "slams" so much as gives some minor critiques based on how he felt then vs how he feels now about some of the issues he was broaching with the film...and then he does mention one scene (the Valeris mind-meld rape scene) and expresses some regret over it.  Most of his critique doesn't even so much aimed at the movie itself s much as his feelings on what the story was about...it sounds more like he is just disappointed in how the relations with the US and Russia have come since the fall of the Soviet Union.  When he made the movie he saw a brighter future, and things just haven't really come that way in his viewpoint. He looks at the movie now and sees his own naivete, and that is what he seemed to be talking about.  

But it is hard to disagree with him on the mind meld scene. It is kinda sick, but just necessary to wrap the movie up. I can see why he regret making noble Spock force himself upon a young girl.

^
Yeah, it's less 'slams movie!' and more like 'has some minor regrets about movie.' 

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Integral   

I think Nicholas Meyer is being a bit harsh about the naivete part. Yes ST 6 definitely had that Cold War coming to an end feel to it- this gave the movie so much power and resonance to it. But the Federation and Klingons didn't have superweapons which could wipe out the other side within a day. Plus Russia did want to join NATO some years after the Cold War ended but somehow its requests were ignored.

Of course ST 6 didn't show the other side of the Cold War tactics: economic sanctions, market manipulation, ideological warfare (spreading communism or capitalism through dissident elements in the population) and use of proxies. It also didn't explore other elements causing conflict and trouble: Wahabbism, oligarchy, plutocracy, cultural Marxism... A TV/Film franchise can only show so much, this is a complicated world.

Today though, especially in the last couple of years, it seems the US, NATO and Middle-Eastern countries just want to put Russia in a vice grip: missile shields, deploying tank squadrons and aircraft in countries which have recently joined NATO and of course manipulating

The real irony is that while Russia moves further away from Communism, Marxism and other extreme left-wing politics, the West seems to be moving towards more extreme forms of left-wing politics: identity politics, hate crime, cultural Marxism... Some of the responses from prominent politicians in the West about Fidel Castro's passing almost smack of apologist talk: Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM, and Jeremy Corbyn the leader of the Labour Party in the UK. I'm thinking there's definitely a blind spot towards the worst elements of Communism and left-wing authoritarian regimes.

So that along with many other things would explain the "naivete". Cold War wasn't the only major source of conflict. Just look at ISIS and the Muslim World War raging right now.

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I too love Star Trek 6 so this is sad to hear. As Meyer said at the time he had done the best he could,.....

It was a great story and gave TOS movies a lot of credibility back after Star Trek V a good way for the old crew to bow out.

I can only look back at this movie with happiness as it very well could have been Bennett's Star Trek Academy. Thank the lord.

 

 

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And to be totally pragmatic about it, in the real would torture usually doesn't work. To hurt someone knowing that you'll probably not get what you want anyway is wrong. With what Spock did, he will know that it works. 

Torture is wrong. But in my mind ineffective torture is even worse. It can go on for days,weeks and never accomplish anything. 

Also with torture, the pain is the purpose. With what Spock did, the pain is a side effect. 

There's actually merit here.

Torture today is ineffective simply because, in the end, it really serves no purpose. Waterboarder waterboards and waterboarded says whatever he thinks will make it stop until the next time. That's why 24 was so often laughable. Dirty bomb going off somewhere at 5 and Jack Bauer has the guy in a chair and 20 minutes with a plastic bag and he has what he needs.

The reality is the guy knows what will happen and what he's risking and you've got to imagine he's prepared. He knows all he has to do is lie until 5:00.Jack has to keep him alive until then.

At 5:01 bad guy has won and it doesn't matter what Jack does since guy expected to die anyway, but he dies a 'winner.'

It's slightly different if he has a Vulcan there. Two minutes and they are assured of having what they need and saving millions.

I'm not endorsing it. It's still torture and a violation, but, I dare say you'd find many, if not most people totally cool with that scenario.

24 was totally ridiculous, not just because of the torture porn, but because if anyone who has been through or lived in LA would tell you, there is no way to get from point A to poit B with traffic in even an hour! This was gloriously spoofed in Robot Chicken where Jack is stuck in traffic for 23.3 hours, arrives late, and the bomb blows up the city. Ha.

 

I too love Star Trek 6 so this is sad to hear. As Meyer said at the time he had done the best he could,.....

It was a great story and gave TOS movies a lot of credibility back after Star Trek V a good way for the old crew to bow out.

I can only look back at this movie with happiness as it very well could have been Bennett's Star Trek Academy. Thank the lord.

 

 

The Undiscovered Country is one of my favorites, but it is so dated now. It's like watching 2010 where they reference the team up between cold war parties to save the ship. And did you all get that most of the 'famous lines' in the movie are from historic politicians, not just from old Shakespeare.

Only Nixon could go to China, No Peace in Our Time, Guess who's coming to dinner? (a movie reference), let them die!, (Immanuel Kant reference maybe)? we have reached the end of history, and others are from what various presidents and politicians said before the film was written, about other completely off topics. It was less a parable and more a lecture on post cold war politics. But yes, I sill like it. I'm surprised they did not include 'tear down that wall' somewhere, for the Berlin wall, but maybe there was no wall in space.

Saving the whales (TVH) and Moby Dick (TWOK, FC), were better choices, with less obvious lines.

We eventually got Starfleet Academy, as a game, and later implicit in Star Trek 2009.

"If the truth shall kill them, let them die." Kant

 

Edited by Chimera82405

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How dare Nicholas Meyer bash the greatest thing he's ever directed. The best of all Star Trek. The most mature space drama.

This makes me almost as mad as Spielberg being ashamed of directing "Hook", the best adventure movie of all time!!!

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5 hours ago, Sherlock Holmes said:

How dare Nicholas Meyer bash the greatest thing he's ever directed. The best of all Star Trek. The most mature space drama.

This makes me almost as mad as Spielberg being ashamed of directing "Hook", the best adventure movie of all time!!!

Except that he didn't really bash it.

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6 hours ago, Sherlock Holmes said:

How dare Nicholas Meyer bash the greatest thing he's ever directed. The best of all Star Trek. The most mature space drama.

This makes me almost as mad as Spielberg being ashamed of directing "Hook", the best adventure movie of all time!!!

*** sigh ***

Look past that click bait headline; he doesn't 'slam' it; he just regrets some things about it.   Frankly, most directors on audio commentaries have something or things about a movie they've done that they would do differently if they could.   Meyer's sentiments are pretty much that.  

Read past the headlines...

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kenman   

And as much as I enjoy "Hook," people of my generation tend to do so, but people older tend not to. If Spielberg looks back on "Hook" and thinks it wasn't quite up to his own personal standards, he is allowed. And if you disagree with his own self evaluation?  Not a problem.  Disagreeing is perfectly fine. And if Meyer has a few things he wishes he could've done differently on a film most of us tend to enjoy?  Well that is fine too.  It doesn't hurt my enjoyment of that film in any way...look at a yearbook photo of you or on old photos of you and some friends. Maybe you look back and regret the way you dressed or the way you might've been or some other niggle...but does it actually take away from fond memories you may have had with friends at the time? Not in the least. 

That is essentially all he did in this article, but it has a major clickbait headline because if it said "Nick Meyer reflects back on a popular Star Trek film he made and he doesn't shower it with his own self praise" just isn't gonna grab people, you know? 

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I guess it could've been worse click bait.    "Nicholas Meyer says STVI is a piece of garbage" or "Nicholas Meyer says that he's a sucky director" or "Nick Meyer compares his movie to Health Bill" 

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On 3/18/2017 at 8:13 PM, Sehlat Vie said:

*** sigh ***

Look past that click bait headline; he doesn't 'slam' it; he just regrets some things about it.   Frankly, most directors on audio commentaries have something or things about a movie they've done that they would do differently if they could.   Meyer's sentiments are pretty much that.  

Read past the headlines...

Hell, about a year or so after "Frequency" came out the director said he just came up with the perfect ending and wished he could reshoot it.

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5 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

Hell, about a year or so after "Frequency" came out the director said he just came up with the perfect ending and wished he could reshoot it.

And then you have George Lucas....who basically fixes things afterward that were perfectly okay to being with.  Hehe...:giggle:

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Just now, Sehlat Vie said:

And then you have George Lucas....who basically fixes things afterward that were perfectly okay to being with.  Hehe...:giggle:

Yeah, a far cry from Lucas 1.0, a guy who found a special effect without a purpose dull and uninteresting. :) 

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5 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

Yeah, a far cry from Lucas 1.0, a guy who found a special effect without a purpose dull and uninteresting. :) 

And testified before congress that colorizing movies was a desecration. :angel_not:

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Choose your words carefully mr. Meyer... The Undiscovered Country is still my favourite TOS movie...  It would be such a shame if I ware to feel... Disappointed by your comments regarding it... 

Well, I'm sure this was all just a small misunderstandment...

Have a great day, and oh, if you ever need more refined choices towards clothing, do by all means come by my shop.

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2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

And testified before congress that colorizing movies was a desecration. :angel_not:

I wonder where the Lucas Replicant buried the original?

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