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Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis--why were they so clunky? [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis--why were they so clunky?


PatD
05-18-12, 02:38 PM
I've been looking through my ST TNG blu ray movie collection, and with the exception of First Contact, they had a good size chunk of deleted scenes that have a plot points and threads that would have either elaborated on certain aspects of the story or just would have taken the respective movies in worst directions. Not a good sign. I had seen all the movies before, but it was just so disheartening to watch how "clunky" and poorly thought out 3/4ths this movie series was and how they simply didn't do the TV series justice.

Or to put it another way: why does the classic two-parter, "The Best of Both Worlds" seem far more cinematic than Star Trek Insurrection which had nearly 40 times the budget of the former? Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis needed some serious polish. They had more time and way more money--what gives?

Star Trek: The Next Generation (now a quarter of century old) a deserved better cinematic legacy.










(And from a total nerd stand-point: why did they have to kill off Kirk, Data, and the Enterprise-D? Brilliant. Leave your audience with a rotten feeling coming out of the theater. Grrrr!)

islandclaws
05-18-12, 02:53 PM
I saw that one with the Borg in it once.

Meglos
05-18-12, 03:07 PM
(And from a total nerd stand-point: why did they have to kill off Kirk, Data, and the Enterprise-D? Brilliant. Leave your audience with a rotten feeling coming out of the theater. Grrrr!)

Oh, come on! The death of Kirk was totally redeemed by Data's teary reunion with his pet cat! :mad:

Shannon Nutt
05-18-12, 03:39 PM
To be perfectly honest, all the Star Trek movies from Star Trek V on were pretty clunky...it's just that Star Trek VI and First Contact had better scripts than the others. But none of them were as "cinematic" as the first four films...everything from Star Trek V on looked like an expanded TV show...until we got to JJ's Star Trek, of course.

PatD
05-18-12, 03:45 PM
To be perfectly honest, all the Star Trek movies from Star Trek V on were pretty clunky...it's just that Star Trek VI and First Contact had better scripts than the others. But none of them were as "cinematic" as the first four films...everything from Star Trek V on looked like an expanded TV show...until we got to JJ's Star Trek, of course.

You have a point about V through X looking on the cheap side, but at least they didn't have goddamned lens flares blinding the audience for a good 2 hours straight!













(Jesus, I hope the next JJTrek movie is *not* filmed with handy cams all the way through again--this is Star Trek not United 93!)

Mike86
05-18-12, 04:20 PM
I've always enjoyed Generations a lot and don't understand why so many people dislike it. Yes Kirk dies but honestly it still isn't really that bad if you ask me. I liked the stuff with Data and the emotion chip and Malcolm McDowell was a decent villain.

Insurrection was sort of boring I'll agree and really felt like it was just a left over script from The Next Generation that was reworked into a movie. It wasn't necessarily bad but it just didn't feel like movie material I'll agree.

I haven't watched Nemesis in a long time so I can't really comment on it. I do remember when I originally saw it I was sort of disappointed though. It felt in ways like they were trying to make it The Next Generation's version of Wrath of Khan but just didn't match up at all.

milo bloom
05-18-12, 04:28 PM
Star Trek: The Next Generation (now a quarter of century old) a deserved better cinematic legacy.






Actually, this is kinda the problem. TOS ran for three years, it was cancelled after it's 1st, 2nd and 3rd seasons. It got a short run as an animated series, but really grew it's fanbase in TV syndication in the 70's. It was creating an unheard of fanbase that devoured every novel, picture book, t-shirt, the hunger for Trek was unprecedented.

So Paramount started looking into re-launching the show and then Star Wars hit and everybody wanted scifi movies so Paramount took all the design work and made The Motion Picture. Even being a not-so-great movie (though it has it's fans, including yours truly), it still made a good bit of money, and showed Paramount that the fans wanted to see more adventures of the crew.


A few years later, after a few more TOS movies, TNG was launched on Trek's proper home: TV. It had a rough start by most accounts, but ran for seven full years and won over all but the most stubborn fans of the original show. It had a good run, and when it was decided to end it, they got a helluva sendoff episode. And it should have ended there. Picard and company had seven full seasons of stories. There was no call from the fans for more* because the TNG crew had received their fair shake. It really shouldn't have affected how the movies came off, but it did. Generations was a product of writer fatigue (the same people wrote the incredible All Good Things... and then had to immediately start writing a movie script). They caught a second wind with First Contact and should have ended it there. Both Insurrection and Nemesis suffered from problem after problem. Insurrection started as fairly dark re-telling of Heart of Darkness, but was changed due to demands by Stewart and Spiner who were given script override authority as part of their deal to come back for the movies. Nemesis suffered from just being dumb. The director thought Geordi was one of the alien crewmembers and just generally had no exposure to Trek** aside from general awareness.

If you know where to look on the interwebs, there's a book by Michael Piller who wrote Insurrection detailing all that went wrong during the process. Paramount didn't want it published, and after he died a few years ago, the book "fell off a truck" and onto the internet.


*though in retrospect I would have rather seen one or two more seasons than the movies we ended up with.


** compare to Nicholas Meyer, who wasn't a Trekkie before doing Wrath of Khan, but prepared himself by watching every single episode of the original series, and being intrigued by the episode Space Seed.




-----------------------------------------

I've long felt Generations, Insurrection and Nemesis would all benefit to some degree from having a lot of their deleted scenes restored. They wouldn't be revelations on the order of a BladeRunner or a Legend, but would at least benefit from having a little more meat on their bones.

TGM
05-18-12, 05:29 PM
Nemesis wasn't half bad. The other two mentioned were shitty, like 2 of the more boring episodes of the television show.

WeylandYutani
05-18-12, 05:47 PM
No, it's Insurrection that is the underrated one of the TNG crew movies. It plays like a two-part episode but a pretty good one. Nemesis is the worst Star Trek movie ever made. Even worse than V which still has some things going for it(ie. the Jerry Goldsmith score.) Just unwatchable even though it did introduce Tom Hardy.

Dr. DVD
05-18-12, 05:53 PM
I also agree that First Contact is where they should have ended it. The ending really brought everything full circle IMO.

Mike86
05-18-12, 05:56 PM
Like I said earlier I don't exactly remember all of Nemesis (I should watch it again) but I think I remember one thing that disappointed me a lot was that it felt like a really weak send off for The Next Generation crew. I had always hoped for a follow up of some sort to it.

Dr. DVD
05-18-12, 05:59 PM
I have heard the novelization of Nemesis actually makes it seem like a good story. Apparently a whole subplot got dropped.

Shannon Nutt
05-18-12, 06:27 PM
You have a point about V through X looking on the cheap side, but at least they didn't have goddamned lens flares blinding the audience for a good 2 hours straight!


He shoots, he scores. You're damned right about that. I really didn't notice it the first time I saw STAR TREK, but when I watched the Blu-ray it really bothered me...it's annoying to the point of distraction.

PatD
05-18-12, 06:35 PM
I've long felt Generations, Insurrection and Nemesis would all benefit to some degree from having a lot of their deleted scenes restored. They wouldn't be revelations on the order of a BladeRunner or a Legend, but would at least benefit from having a little more meat on their bones.

I must disagree about Next Gen not deserving a few feature films. It accomplished something none of the other 4 Trek shows ever could on TV--high ratings. I think they earned a few trips to the silver screen for that.

However, I agree with you on making "director's cuts" of the TNG movies. You're right, it probably wouldn't have made much improvement--and First Contact is the only one that is polished and "clicks" all the way through, so it wouldn't be necessary.

But I think Generations *definitely* needed work of the 3 in question. There's a mess of deleted scenes that never even made it to home video, like this one:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hrDt3Bn88_k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

It would have added an even darker edge to Soran and would give more dimension to his line: "His heart just wasn't in it".

Also there's the whole bit from Insurrection featuring Quark (from Deep Space Nine) wanting to build a resort on the Bak'u planet. Picard orders Worf to take him and some Dabo girls away.

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/en/images/3/32/Quark_on_Baku.jpg

Supermallet
05-18-12, 07:10 PM
Generations suffers from poor direction. Everyone feels like they've been told to emote more and more and more a thousand times. Patrick Stewart is a good enough actor to actually pull it off, but everyone else (including poor Malcolm McDowell) is overacting like crazy. The worst is Brent Spiner with the emotion chip, ugh. Also the lighting is so bizarre. There are tons of shots that are way underlit so that they can throw a shaft of light on someone's face for no reason except that it looks "cinematic." They were just trying too hard.

Bringing back Kirk could have worked, and Shatner does a good job, but they botched it in the execution.

Insurrection is very underrated. Yes, it's basically a two-parter of the TV series thrown together on the big screen, but if it had aired during the run of the show it would have been one of the more memorable two-parters. Again, Brent Spiner is the worst of it, with the poor stabs at humor falling flat.

Nemesis was just a lazy re-write of Khan where it felt like everyone just wanted their paycheck so they could go home.

Defiant1
05-19-12, 12:33 AM
I loved the cinematography in Generations. John Alonzo's (a true legend in the cinematography world) work was phenomenal with moody, dramatic lighting that was so different from the bright, even look of the TV series.

Supermallet
05-19-12, 12:59 AM
Out of context, it's good work. But in the context of the series, it's out of place and again, feels like they're trying so hard to say "Look, we're making a big movie!"

Shazam
05-19-12, 01:21 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h06WKYFYdlo

B5Erik
05-19-12, 02:09 AM
I like all of these movies to varying degrees.

Generations I'd give a B. There was a lot to like there, but the death of Kirk was weak and the whole, "Nexus," thing wasn't well thought out.

First Contact is fairly good, I'd give it a B+, but I actually enjoy Generations more. I think Generations is more entertaining.

Insurrection is actually quite good, I'd give it a B as well. Frakes did a good job in working with his cinematographer to get some of that John Ford type stuff. Yeah, it plays like a big budget two part episode, but it's a good one.

Nemesis. There was so much potential with that one, but the script wasn't very good. It was too much of a Khan rehash, as has been noted. There were elements there that could have made for a great movie, but the script was really pretty lame in spots. And Picard's frozen inability to react at the end was totally out of character. I'd give this one a C-. Watchable, but barely. It deserved to tank.

Personally, I would have liked an epic final Next Gen movie with a combined cast including people from DS9 & Voyager. They could have, and should have, brought Nick Meyer in to do it. It's a shame that Nemesis was the final Next Gen Trek movie.

Josh-da-man
05-19-12, 08:39 AM
Also the lighting is so bizarre. There are tons of shots that are way underlit so that they can throw a shaft of light on someone's face for no reason except that it looks "cinematic." They were just trying too hard.

I seem to recall that reading that the "mood lighting" of the Enterprise interiors in Generations comes down to them recycling the television sets in the movie and they ended up looking terrible on the big screen in the test shots, so they dimmed the lights to cover up any flaws.

Supermallet
05-19-12, 10:39 AM
I wonder if that was the impetus for destroying the Enterprise in the film, or if they did that to raise the stakes beyond the TV show.

Regardless of the reason, it was a stupid move. First, it had already been done in Search for Spock, and second, the Enterprise-E was an incredibly ugly ship with no personality. To me that diminished the other three movies, seeing them ride around in this butt-ugly ship. At least in Star Trek IV they gave them back the exact same Enterprise as the one that got destroyed.

Numanoid
05-19-12, 10:40 AM
I know I'm pretty much alone, but Nemesis is my third favorite Trek film (after II and VI), and one of my favorite movies of all time. I've watched it at least 30 times, and the epic space battle still wows me, the music still amazes me, and the emotional impact of several scenes hasn't waned. In fact, I think it's one of those movies that gets better with each viewing, and unfortunately I don't think most people ended up going back to it more than once (I know a lot of people who claim to be fans that still haven't even seen it, based solely on its reputation). The poster for it hangs proudly in my home theater light box.

Ranger
05-19-12, 11:16 AM
I think it's like the Star Wars prequels - overall, you think the movies suck but you still enjoy some parts.

Generations: I just love this shot, makes the whole movie worth it.
http://www.scifiideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Soran_enters_the_Nexus.jpg

First Contact: decent story. Cool how Data tricked the Borg queen. A bit overrated though.

Insurrection: interesting villains. The rest is pretty weak.

Nemesis: I was very satisfied with the ending. Yhe villain was a bit weak.

Dr. DVD
05-19-12, 02:40 PM
I will admit, the ending to Nemesis did feel like a decent send off point. Rest of the movie was a bit weak, but it felt like closure IMO. Of course by closure I mean I felt like I most likely wasn't going to make an effort to see other TNG movies in the theater if they made more of them, so maybe that means it was a fail. ;)

brayzie
05-19-12, 05:20 PM
I didn't like the Enterprise in Nemesis either. It seemed like a step backward in design and elegance. Combined with their monochromatic uniforms, they looked less like peaceful explorers and more like they were ready for war.

Josh-da-man
05-19-12, 05:41 PM
I didn't like the Enterprise in Nemesis either. It seemed like a step backward in design and elegance. Combined with their monochromatic uniforms, they looked less like peaceful explorers and more like they were ready for war.

The Federation had just finished a lengthy war with the Dominion.

Mike86
05-19-12, 05:45 PM
I wasn't a big fan of the Enterprise E design either. It was awkward looking for some reason to me. The uniforms were okay but a bit on the plain side if you ask me. My favorite uniforms are still the red and black uniforms from Star Trek II-VI.