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  #41  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
Trek optimisim!

Or, put more simply, as I alluded to before, I can criticise the 1990s phase of Trek because it's there for the witnessing, and I was there when it was happening. I can look back and see it laid out.

(Back in the early days of that era of Trek, I wouldn't have been able to predict the problems that would ultimately surface in the franchise. In 1994 I still loved TNG, enjoyed GEN, was getting into DS9 and even VOY appealed to me then. Oh, for the days of innocence when everything that was to follow in the years after that great 1994-1996 period was still unknown! )

However, we're in a moving forward phase now and until some concrete information about the story direction for the sequel comes around I'm keeping a kind of holding pattern on starting to form an opinion. Being another 'shallow blockbuster' (presummably as opposed to the 'genuis' of the last few Trek films) is a possibility. Of course, that just takes us into the yawnfest of what 'it' was or wasn't in the eyes of different people. Which is very old hat.

We'll see.



Well, there was hardly a swinging door of people in the TOS and TNG films either. Once you have Roddenberry shown the door, you have cast members of Trek responsible for directing five out of the ten Prime Universe's ten feature films, folks like Harve Bennet involved in writing/producing four out of the six TOS films, Meyer involved in three of them in various capacities as well.................

Looking back, it's somewhat true that in the past the Trek films have been somewhat of a cabal of the same faces in the main roles in their TOS/TNG incarnations (what with Harve Bennett, Nick Meyer, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner dominating the writing/directing/producing of all the films after TMP, and Berman & Co dominating the TNG films from GEN onwards. Sure they brought in some new faces for NEM.......................but look how well that turned out) so it does actually appear that historically the films tend to come under the yolk of a distinct group in blocks.

Which might actually bring things round to the merits of having a regular change vs keeping the same people. Since the results of the latter can definitely vary.

Keeping the people the same worked a lot better for the TOS films (until TFF) than it did for the TNG films (IMO, your mileage may vary, whatever) so perhaps you've raised an interesting point about having a team in place working as 'overseers' on more than a single film.

The current major team is still 'fresh' in terms of Trek...............and we saw how some of their ideasn were recieved in the film (some took certain things fine, some didn't at all) but of course if they stay too long the ideas well may dry up. It depends on how you want to view it though...........TMP kicked off the film franchise anyway by remaking a TOS episode, so there's a certain amusement to be had at the 'upset' over further episode remakes being possible.

This is, after all, what happened in the 1990s as well. Keeping the same folks so heavily involved in Trek from 1994 onwards ultimately did not do the franchise any huge favours in that case, because they eventually burned out on creativity, but maybe if they had been more selective and employed a steady rotation of players over the years then things might have been kept more on an even keel instead of getting to the point where all anyone can talk about is how Manny Coto turned ENT around when it was already too late for anyone to care since the damage had already been done by other factors..........................but, keeping several key people in the TOS films was generally more successful (again, forgetting the Shat-ego's TFF outing)..............soooooooo, where in the results spectrum might the Abrams team ultimately fall when we look back in ten or so years?

Hmmmmmmmmmm....................I'm kinda rambling on the page here but in my head I'm having a little mental tennis game now of the merits of keeping vs constantly changing key behind the scenes folks over multiple movies................hmmmmmmmmmmm................ ......

I think I'll go have breakfast and have some more tennis.
About the future, sure, in hindsight we are all wiser. But then again a smart fellow might have predicted the structural problems in 1995.
I know that you Anglo-Saxon folks will protest but the problem is commercialization. Of course you always want to make money, that's obvious. But over-producing like in the nineties or selling-out like now has creative implications which are disliked by some folks, e.g. you dislike what happened in the nineties and I dislike what happens now.

About blockbusters, there is nothing wrong with a shallow blockbuster. I merely caution against expecting more from the next movie.

About people in charge, it all hinges on whether you view the late nineties and early zeroes as being so monolithic. To narrow the issue down on the four TNG movies, I think they are very different from each other. There is the movie that feels like a TV movie / miniseries, there is the grand movie which is perfect, then there is the more TV-like movie that repeats certain themes from the series and last but not least there is the failed blockbuster. The only pattern I see is a constant switching between series-like- and blockbuster-like movies.
About Abrams and his bunch, if a team often works together you can expect good, predictable results and smooth work. You can't expect grand innovations (which was, I think everybody agrees on, a definite problem of too much B&B around the time of ENT).

About remakes, I wonder whether it is a coincidence that I tend to consider TMP and NEM as unwatchable and dislike everything remake-ish about ST09 (obviously I like what everybody likes, the epicness, the fast pace, the actors, etc.).
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  #42  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:56 AM
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Although now that I've chewed it over, I'm not sure it matters whether you keep the people the same or change them....................appreciation for the end results always differ for different folks anyway. It's not necessarily universally agreed anyway.

This is no more or less true for Abrams & Co than it was for the Berman & Co era films, or the mid-TOS films done mostly under Bennett & Co. Some like and some don't like what they respectively did.

There's a UK saying (which undoubtedly has international translation/equivalents) which goes 'What you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts' which basically just means that the positives and negatives of any sort of situation will usually balance each other out.
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  #43  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:04 AM
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That's not strictly true, neither First Contact nor even (technically) Insurrection were box-office flops. Certainly not the former, which is still his most successful film.

But once he tried to move into other features..........yep, they didn't work out financially. Although I've never seen Clockstoppers or Thunderbirds so I don't know if the box-office reflects how good the films are.

His TV directing was pretty good though.


First Contact made 92 million
That's a marginal success yes.
Insurrection was 70 million 28th on the top 50


http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1998&p=.htm

Frankly when I say flop I guess I mean "no where near the top ten"..or "top 20". First Contact was a better success it's number 17 on it's years list. But honestly I was meaning flop as in...poor stories because those movies really were on the wrong end of the quality marker for me.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:16 AM
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About the future, sure, in hindsight we are all wiser. But then again a smart fellow might have predicted the structural problems in 1995.
Maybe. If I was more interested in analysing it all back then who knows. I think it was around 97/98 that I started to realise things weren't going to go well down the line, but I was likely behind the curve.

Quote:
I know that you Anglo-Saxon folks will protest but the problem is commercialization. Of course you always want to make money, that's obvious. But over-producing like in the nineties or selling-out like now has creative implications which are disliked by some folks, e.g. you dislike what happened in the nineties and I dislike what happens now.
I'm not really upset by commercialising, and I'm not sure I see it as a problem - Trek has never not been a commercial venture. But that has it's own problems.

Saturation in the 1990s that happened, and now what some feel as the simplification of it all for the initial purposes of the reboot.

I don't see this as selling out by anyone other than perhaps Paramount themselves doing what they always do, which is seeking to maintain the revenue flow. When we get back to the nuts and bolts this all comes back to Paramount and the financiers. Just as they wanted the mulitiple series on air in the 1990s to make revenue, to exploit the Trek wave that TNG had helped kick-off, Paramount wanted to dust off Trek for the movies and try and make it popular again. I'm fine with that in principle because I know that Trek isn't a charity and needs to earn money for it's keep. One might agree to disagree about Abrams and Co being the 'right' people to have done it, and whether someone else 'could' have done it better, however, the end game was the same and so was the remit that anyone hired would have had to meet.

Quote:
About blockbusters, there is nothing wrong with a shallow blockbuster. I merely caution against expecting more from the next movie.
True, and I don't expect key ingredients to change. But sequels can be better than and also worse than the predecessor films. Right now, there's really no sure way to know how the Trek sequel will go, because we don't actually know beyond much speculation about the direction the story will take.

Quote:
About people in charge, it all hinges on whether you view the late nineties and early zeroes as being so monolithic. To narrow the issue down on the four TNG movies, I think they are very different from each other. There is the movie that feels like a TV movie / miniseries, there is the grand movie which is perfect, then there is the more TV-like movie that repeats certain themes from the series and last but not least there is the failed blockbuster. The only pattern I see is a constant switching between series-like- and blockbuster-like movies. About Abrams and his bunch, if a team often works together you can expect good, predictable results and smooth work. You can't expect grand innovations (which was, I think everybody agrees on, a definite problem of too much B&B around the time of ENT).

About remakes, I wonder whether it is a coincidence that I tend to consider TMP and NEM as unwatchable and dislike everything remake-ish about ST09 (obviously I like what everybody likes, the epicness, the fast pace, the actors, etc.).
Maybe. A lot of people get mad about remakes (Zardoz always used to) but I don't necessarily hold that as being a problem every time. They've been around forever. For the most part, it's whether the execution of the individual film is done well enough (for me).

I think the problem with NEM is that it's (to me) such a naked and brazen remake of TWOK - something that I genuinely think ST09 avoids feeling like, but that's just a personal opinion - that inclines me to be harder on it that just about any other Trek film. They didn't even try to take that structure and work other elements in.............which I think (if we take ST09's Spock story as a sort of inverse TWOK) they at least did in the Abrams film by marrying it to the story of the ship and crew coming together. With NEM they just went with a photocopy.

I don't even really mind TMP being a remake either - it simply is and that's all there is to it. But I still do appreciate the visuals of the film (until they start to repeat and get dull!) and sometimes when I'm in the right mood I actually enjoy it just fine.
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  #45  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:24 AM
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kevin kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by Saquist View Post
First Contact made 92 million
That's a marginal success yes.
Insurrection was 70 million 28th on the top 50


http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1998&p=.htm

Frankly when I say flop I guess I mean "no where near the top ten"..or "top 20". First Contact was a better success it's number 17 on it's years list. But honestly I was meaning flop as in...poor stories because those movies really were on the wrong end of the quality marker for me.
Ah,

Taking aside the story, when I'm using the word 'flop' I tend to look at what a film earned at the box-office versus what it cost to produce, etc. Though critical/viewer appreciation would also be a factor.

I don't entirely think in terms of critics's lists or where it lands for the year always. And I usually consider story separately.
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