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Old 01-26-2011, 01:43 AM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,208

Originally Posted by horatio View Post
But isn't TFF a very materialist movie that uses the "aliens pose as gods" idea from Who Mourns for Adonais? There is Nimbus, an attempt to recreate paradise, a prophet who guides lost people to the real paradise which turns out to be a prison for just another false god (Eliza once made a great point here ages ago that the creature behaves very much like the Jewish God when he strikes down Kirk. Obviously no ambiguity Shatner intended although he should have but interesting nonetheless.) ... and then you have the Christian "God is us, the community" ending (although, as you have pointed out, Kirk, Spock and McCoy have found their comradery before). I can roll with that as a hardcore atheist.
These are interesting points. I like the metaphors and what-not... but in terms of story I'm kinda fuzzy on the whole "alien pretending to be God" concept (I didn't like 'Who Mourns for Adonais' either, although at least with that story the premise was mostly solid).

Like, I wonder what 'God' is doing there at the galactic core apparently just waiting to be discovered/freed/whatever. Versus what he was 'supposed' to be doing there (ie, what was the nature of Sybok's vision, since there obviously was 'something' to it, that he expected to find 'God'). The Sybok/Nimbus stuff was compelling... but when you get to the end and they've 'killed' God with a couple of torpedoes, you have to ask, "okay, really, what was all that even about? Did they throw in the Klingons because they knew they had a paper-thin plot? What's the final message? That spirituality needs to be personal and practical? 'Maybe God's not out there; maybe he's right here'? I like that, I even agree with it, but... Why did we need to go to the center of the galaxy for that?"

I do like TFF's political attitude, which seems refreshingly less conservative than STs II and III (which is not to say that I take anything away from TWOK despite the fact). Kirk's rescue-the-hostages-by-force mission fails in pretty much the way you would expect something like that in real life. And I like that the Federation is at least partly responsible for the poverty and neglect evidenced on Nimbus III. In this regard I think the movie was ahead of TNG (most of it anyway) in establishing the cynical realism that Treks like STVI and DS9 have become known for.

I also like the pain scene and not because they explain what drives McCoy and Spock but because these key events in their lives feel natural to their characters. The movie doesn't sink into stupid, popular "explain and psychologize everything" mode in these moments.
I liked that too. Also the scenes leading up to Nimbus III, Spock's divided loyalty, and even Sybok's subtle admiration for the fact that he was not able to divide Spock and his friends. I actually do quite enjoy the movie when I'm in the mood for it. But I press SKIP whenever anybody's about to sing, or Uhura's about to start flirting with Scotty. Oh, and the new limited edition soundtrack CD? AWESOME.

So I'd say that there were some good ideas in TFF but that's it. In TMP you have other problems but at least a cinematic experience, something that is worthy of the big screen.
That's about where I am with these films. I think the ideas come together better in TMP, but even the warmest moments in that film are not quite (at the very end, it almost feels like classic TOS, but still very distant and formal). V has a few absolutely beautiful character moments, as well as some of the best cinematography in all the ST feature films, if only the rest of the movie wasn't so awful that you woudn't even notice. And I do believe the first four TOS films have more of a big screen feel to them than V and VI (as much as I prefer the narrative scope and Nicholas Meyer-ness of VI over most of what's in TMP).

Last edited by samwiseb : 01-26-2011 at 05:43 PM. Reason: edited to fix a couple typos, even though it's too late to bother
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