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May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations" 
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
Jeff Wilder wrote:
tico285 wrote:
Well Star Trek has always been silly and with its fair share of "coincidences". What's obvious is that it's fondly remember because we saw it young and we exempt it from a lot critical thinking.

As a Movie-Generation Trekkie I never thought another fantasy series would just crush Star Trek.

AGOT > BSG > DS9 >> ST-Reboot


What about Babylon 5?


I bought the Babylon DVD seasons pack and they are on queue (even if the first miniseries special effects were so terrible, I cringed)

I liked a lot of Atlantis, I just never got into it entirely.


Fri May 17, 2013 8:47 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Taleswapper wrote:
Fantastic article, James... interesting ideas with how you order the "groups" of Trek fans, at least I assume you came up with this yourself? It's the first I had heard of it.


Yes, these are my designations.


The easiest way to tell a member of "The Next Generation Generation": They're the ones who'll say things like "Picard is better than Kirk because Stewart acts circles around Shatner" or "Deep Space Nine was the best series." I can say that because I'm one of them, and I've said those very things. I have always had a hard time getting into the original TV series because the acting and effects are so hammy overall. The great episodes like "The Trouble with Tribbles," "The Doomsday Machine," "Balance of Terror," "City on the Edge of Forever," etc. are undeniable, but the middling to bad ones (you pretty much listed the worst in your earlier post, James) are unwatchable in a way that TNG and DS9 very rarely were.


Mon May 20, 2013 3:54 pm
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
Gwaihir wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
Taleswapper wrote:
Fantastic article, James... interesting ideas with how you order the "groups" of Trek fans, at least I assume you came up with this yourself? It's the first I had heard of it.


Yes, these are my designations.


The easiest way to tell a member of "The Next Generation Generation": They're the ones who'll say things like "Picard is better than Kirk because Stewart acts circles around Shatner" or "Deep Space Nine was the best series." I can say that because I'm one of them, and I've said those very things. I have always had a hard time getting into the original TV series because the acting and effects are so hammy overall. The great episodes like "The Trouble with Tribbles," "The Doomsday Machine," "Balance of Terror," "City on the Edge of Forever," etc. are undeniable, but the middling to bad ones (you pretty much listed the worst in your earlier post, James) are unwatchable in a way that TNG and DS9 very rarely were.
My mother grew up with the original series and she never liked Shatner much either, she said he was usually too one-dimensional.


Mon May 20, 2013 4:10 pm
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
Gwaihir wrote:
The easiest way to tell a member of "The Next Generation Generation": They're the ones who'll say things like "Picard is better than Kirk because Stewart acts circles around Shatner" or "Deep Space Nine was the best series." I can say that because I'm one of them, and I've said those very things. I have always had a hard time getting into the original TV series because the acting and effects are so hammy overall. The great episodes like "The Trouble with Tribbles," "The Doomsday Machine," "Balance of Terror," "City on the Edge of Forever," etc. are undeniable, but the middling to bad ones (you pretty much listed the worst in your earlier post, James) are unwatchable in a way that TNG and DS9 very rarely were.

Yep, you've also about exactly described my feelings with ST, being very much a TNG/DS9/Ver, and only a passing interest in TOS. That said, I find the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot films are "Star Trek" in name only. They are not in the spirit of ANY of the series or previous ST films. I don't "hate" them as such, but I just don't see the point of their existence in the context of ST. If they had simply developed a new ST IP (i.e. in the Star Trek universe but minus the "names") this could have been ENTIRELY avoided. Which begs the question: how much faith did the studio have in the Star Trek reboot sans the old school Star Trek characters? Answer: None. Now why is that exactly?
I wouldn't be surprised to see ST: TNG rebooted in due course with a young Jean Luc Picard played by none other than Jason Statham, re imagining him as a bad ass. Statham is also British, so that's fine, right?


Last edited by nitrium on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:30 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
Because their logic starts and stops with "Why take a chance on an original IP when you can stick to franchises?"

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Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:37 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
I love the idea of Statham as Picard, I would totally pay to see that!


Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:09 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
Ken wrote:
Because their logic starts and stops with "Why take a chance on an original IP when you can stick to franchises?"

If they had been truly interested in maintaining the franchise, they would have made a true ST movie, and not invoked bullshit like parallel universes to "explain" the discrepancies. Reboots I'm actually fine with, e.g. Nolan did it successfully with Batman, avoiding any stigma from Burton's films. My issue is entirely in the fact that they've sold it as part of ST canon (highlighted by casting Nimoy). They could easily have used the ST universe, but avoided trying to connect it with the original series/movies. But they didn't. Why is that? Nolan didn't need Jack Nicholson, so why did Abrams need Nimoy? Why make a connection where there is none?


Last edited by nitrium on Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:12 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
Vexer wrote:
I love the idea of Statham as Picard, I would totally pay to see that!

Why am I not surprised? :lol:


Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:12 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
nitrium wrote:
If they had been truly interested in maintaining the franchise, they would have made a true ST movie, and not invoked bullshit like parallel universes to "explain" the discrepancies. Reboots I'm actually fine with, e.g. Nolan did it successfully with Batman, avoiding any stigma from Burton's films. My issue is entirely in the fact that they've sold it as part of ST canon (highlighted by casting Nimoy). They could easily have used the ST universe, but avoided trying to connect it with the original series/movies. But they didn't. Why is that? Nolan didn't need Jack Nicholson, so why did Abrams need Nimoy? Why make a connection where there is none?

Hell if I know, but I will point out that there's nothing inherently wrong with the approach. They very easily could (and should) have used it as an excuse to branch far afield of the original events, instead of cherrypicking whatever they want and using the divergent timelines as an excuse.

As far as the people actually responsible for getting these things made go, they very well might think that this is fully in keeping with the Star Trek tradition. Sometimes, the genesis of an idea doesn't come from someone who knows much, cares much, or even fully understands the property.

"Yes, let's get some more Star Trek movies. People know Star Trek, right? But no more of this spinoff crap--it has to be those old guys that everybody knows! Wait, better yet, they have to be younger, sexier versions of those old guys! With lots of action! Excellent. What? What do you mean, it doesn't make any sense? Not my problem. Let creative worry about that."

I know it sounds stupid, but people get insanely rich by thinking this shit up.

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Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:35 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
nitrium wrote:
Ken wrote:
Because their logic starts and stops with "Why take a chance on an original IP when you can stick to franchises?"

If they had been truly interested in maintaining the franchise, they would have made a true ST movie, and not invoked bullshit like parallel universes to "explain" the discrepancies. Reboots I'm actually fine with, e.g. Nolan did it successfully with Batman, avoiding any stigma from Burton's films. My issue is entirely in the fact that they've sold it as part of ST canon (highlighted by casting Nimoy). They could easily have used the ST universe, but avoided trying to connect it with the original series/movies. But they didn't. Why is that? Nolan didn't need Jack Nicholson, so why did Abrams need Nimoy? Why make a connection where there is none?


They're going to have to figure out something to do after 2016. Most of the current cast members are under contract for three films. Quinto has already said in no uncertain terms that, when the contract is done, he's finished with Spock. Doesn't want to be typecast (see: Nimoy, Leonard; mid-1970s). Pine in particular would require a huge payday to stay and a film-to-film contract. So there's a very real possibility there will be no new Kirk and new Spock after 2016. This leaves a few options:

(1) Recast Kirk & Spock. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
(2) Reboot again - not likely, although who knows?
(3) Keep as many current cast members as possible and mix in new characters - very likely.
(4) Jettison the entire new cast and bring in an all-new cast playing new characters (possibly on a different ship in the same general time frame) - less likely that (3) but also possible.
(5) Open the vault and pay Pine and Quinto what they want - Paramount is cheap.
(6) Reboot TNG. Probably not since Paramount's goal of "mainstreaming" Trek wouldn't be served by fragmenting the franchise.
(7) Bring back Shatner! Won't happen but, truth be told, more people saw him play Captain Kirk in 2013 than saw Chris Pine play the same role. (Oscars)

Bottom line: Those who are dissatisfied with the current group of actors probably don't have to wait long until there is a change. It's not going to be another 40 years. Of course, it's possible the next iteration will be worse. After all, the stupefyingly dumb view of Paramount appears to be that the less "Trek-like" the movies are, the better they will play. This defies logic since an examination of INTO DARKNESS' box office indicates that the majority of it came from fans.

My personal belief is that Trek 2016 will be the last STAR TREK movie (outside fan-made productions). By the time we arrive at a potential Star Trek 14 (2019/2020), it's likely that the movie industry will have undergone such a massive shift that a mid-player like Star Trek will be viable.


Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:55 pm
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
I've always enjoyed the Abrams Star Trek films for what they were: clever space operas which draw in both casual moviegoers and Trekkers alike. They may lack the scientific or philosophical depth of the previous television programs or movies, but they still work well as enjoyable summer blockbusters.

The Original Series is a relic of a time gone by. The 1960s were a much more innocent, hopeful, and radical time for American society. Rapid advancements in science fed people's imaginations; film and television placed greater emphasis on social values, be it in To Kill a Mockingbird or The Twilight Zone. Things changed drastically in latter half of the twentieth century and the first few years of the twenty-first century. Post-9/11 America is a much different place, and the world as a whole has become much more cynical and unfriendly. For this reason, NuTrek has also changed: it is much darker, but is never as dour as, say, Star Trek: Enterprise. If anything, the 2009 film did a good job establishing many of the franchise's best tendencies, while Into Darkness offered some opaque social commentary. Originally, Trek was something of a political laboratory; now, it is more adventure-oriented, with such themes blending more into the background of the movies. There isn't as much debate or discussion of such ideas, and it only seems fitting. If anything, people go to the movies more and more to get away from their problems.

The definition of "geek" has also changed a great deal since Trek's inception. Nowadays, Doctor Who is cool, and Star Trek, just as with any other "fandom"-based film series (think the Nolan Batman films, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings), is popular. As a result, the focus of the franchise has changed to bring in more and more people.

I am a fan of the alternate reality envisioned in the Abrams films. It makes room for new beginnings, while also keeping the rest of the Star Trek lore intact. Just as in Skyfall, Star Trek Into Darkness is loaded with countless references to previous installments in the series. In fact, one sequence is lifted entirely from Wrath of Khan; I like to think of this scene as an homage, rather than an instance of plagiarism. It nods to the fans, while also reminding them that the basic conventions of Trek are still intact. In many ways, Into Darkness felt like the first half of a two-part movie, and I have a feeling that it will tie in greatly with the third (and perhaps final) film. Sure, the new series is much darker than other films in the franchise, but it still maintains optimistic. This isn't another dystopian future.

I have a feeling that Abrams Trek films will be (unfairly) maligned in the years to come. It just seems as if everyone enjoys them into the moment, but then manages to find holes to poke. The movies aren't perfect, but they're certainly much better than many other blockbuster franchises at the moment.

James, what do you think the future will hold for the Abrams films? Will they be held in high regard, or will they kicked to the curb as soon as his iteration of the series ends?


Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:01 pm
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
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By the time we arrive at a potential Star Trek 14 (2019/2020), it's likely that the movie industry will have undergone such a massive shift that a mid-player like Star Trek will be viable.


What do you mean by this massive shift exactly?

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Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:37 pm
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
KWRoss wrote:
Quote:
By the time we arrive at a potential Star Trek 14 (2019/2020), it's likely that the movie industry will have undergone such a massive shift that a mid-player like Star Trek will be viable.


What do you mean by this massive shift exactly?


I'm thinking along the same lines as Spielberg, who spoke about this last week. We're approaching a point where the current distribution structure will become unsustainable. I'm not sure how things are going to look in another five or six years but I don't think it's going to be the same as today. Tiered pricing is almost guaranteed and many, many theaters will likely close. We may actually be headed back in time when smaller multiplexes are in better shape than larger ones.

A lot of smaller movies will probably be released primarily to the home market, maybe with some simultaneous theatrical exhibition. Big movies will dominate multiplexes but prices will be elevated (Spielberg estimates about $25 for a ticket to a blockbuster during its first weekend). Star Trek doesn't fit into either category - it's not a tiny franchise and it's not a $1B (worldwide) mammoth. Its future after 2016 is most likely on television.


Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:04 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
James Berardinelli wrote:
KWRoss wrote:
Quote:
By the time we arrive at a potential Star Trek 14 (2019/2020), it's likely that the movie industry will have undergone such a massive shift that a mid-player like Star Trek will be viable.


What do you mean by this massive shift exactly?


I'm thinking along the same lines as Spielberg, who spoke about this last week. We're approaching a point where the current distribution structure will become unsustainable. I'm not sure how things are going to look in another five or six years but I don't think it's going to be the same as today. Tiered pricing is almost guaranteed and many, many theaters will likely close. We may actually be headed back in time when smaller multiplexes are in better shape than larger ones.

A lot of smaller movies will probably be released primarily to the home market, maybe with some simultaneous theatrical exhibition. Big movies will dominate multiplexes but prices will be elevated (Spielberg estimates about $25 for a ticket to a blockbuster during its first weekend). Star Trek doesn't fit into either category - it's not a tiny franchise and it's not a $1B (worldwide) mammoth. Its future after 2016 is most likely on television.


I cannot see how Spielberg's Broadway model will work. It seems more likely to completely collapse movie attendance which is already in decline from cheaper entertainment options. For Ironman to stay in a theater for a year or more as he suggests is not realistic in a world of downloads and piracy. Then there is the price as there is always a price elasticity to demand for any product and if the price goes up too high people will see no utility in the product and stay away except for a small group of diehards. I have heard many times from people who avoid movies that they think aren't worth $13 dollars and will wait for VOD. They save their money for Ironmans at $13 but if you go over $25 they will just stay home. The NFL is having the same problem with falling attendance and rising prices that they are now trying to make the stadium experience as good as the(almost free) home HDTV with offering more multimedia for the fan. Even Broadway has to pump up the spectacle to justify prices. The movies will have to add a lot of bells to make $25 fly. I would like a multiplatform model with a movie opening in a theater for the first 2 or 3 weeks then have a simultaneous distribution on VOD,DVD and mobile devices. This would satisfy everyone from the people who like the communal experience of a movie audience without NFL level prices and those who like to watch at home. I believe studios were going to use such a model but backtracked under complaints and threats from the National Association of Theater Owners

http://www.examiner.com/article/first-volley-fired-war-of-simultaneous-release-dates


Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:20 am
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
You're so right about the NFL comparison. I was thinking along those lines too, where the "at home" experience of HDTV offers a level of multi-tasking you just don't have at a stadium. But maybe all the bells and whistles aren't really that necessary for movie theaters. A better idea is just to make the customer service aspect better. Keep them cleaned and well-maintained. Don't dim the projector so much. Start the movie on time or at least limit some of the trailers. JB wrote about this somewhere and it makes sense, although it requires theaters to put in a little more work and spend a little more money on staff. Hey, you get back what you put into it.

As for Star Trek, perhaps going back to television makes sense. It's where it started, after all. And given how people go nuts on Twitter/Facebook way more often regarding TV shows than movies, this could greatly benefit the franchise.

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Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:32 pm
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Post Re: May 13, 2013: "Star Trek Generations"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2003/sep/06/books.featuresreviews

I remembered reading this article years ago. Basically what Boorman was warning about then, Spielberg's warning about now.

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