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  #121  
Old 09-02-2013, 10:02 PM
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Yeah, I've never honestly believed that the B&B team brought about the downfall of Trek. Everything I've seen, I've pretty much enjoyed. Loving the hell out of Enterprise Seasons 3 and 4, even though I know that Manny Coto is somewhat responsible for giving Enterprise a bit of palatability that folks felt was missing from Enterprise.

In truth, fanboys were just looking for someone to blame, other than themselves, for ruining Trek. So their scapegoats were Brannon and Braga.

Just the same now as folks blame JJ Abrams for ruining Trek.

Hell, for all we knew, Roddenberry ruined Trek from the get go.
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  #122  
Old 09-02-2013, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
Yeah, I've never honestly believed that the B&B team brought about the downfall of Trek. Everything I've seen, I've pretty much enjoyed. Loving the hell out of Enterprise Seasons 3 and 4, even though I know that Manny Coto is somewhat responsible for giving Enterprise a bit of palatability that folks felt was missing from Enterprise.

In truth, fanboys were just looking for someone to blame, other than themselves, for ruining Trek. So their scapegoats were Brannon and Braga.

Just the same now as folks blame JJ Abrams for ruining Trek.

Hell, for all we knew, Roddenberry ruined Trek from the get go.
Some interesting observations there Martok. Have to agree that I think B&B were targeted undeservedly. Nothing wrong with any of the Trek incarnations. Enterprise could have gone to 10 seasons easily if more people had got behind it instead of dismissing it because of their preconceived views about Trek.
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  #123  
Old 09-03-2013, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
Yeah, I've never honestly believed that the B&B team brought about the downfall of Trek. Everything I've seen, I've pretty much enjoyed. Loving the hell out of Enterprise Seasons 3 and 4, even though I know that Manny Coto is somewhat responsible for giving Enterprise a bit of palatability that folks felt was missing from Enterprise.

In truth, fanboys were just looking for someone to blame, other than themselves, for ruining Trek. So their scapegoats were Brannon and Braga.

Just the same now as folks blame JJ Abrams for ruining Trek.

Hell, for all we knew, Roddenberry ruined Trek from the get go.
In a way, Roddenberry did. His Star Trek The Motion Picture certainly illustrates that without the talents of better people, he didn't have a real grasp into the characters or chemistry of ST. He had to create new characters just in order to turn ST back into something that he could actually produce. And even then, it seems that some of the best episodes of TNG happened not necessarily because of Roddenberry, but often because various people challenged his decisions. The BluRay extras are very enlightening in this regard.

I think Berman's most fatal mistake was trying to overprotect ST as though it were still Roddenberry's, and his restrictions often prevented people under him from working creatively. TNG composer Ron Jones couldn't work under him. Many of DS9's writers/producers declined to move over to VOY, thank you very much (Moore did, briefly after DS9 wrapped, and he later walked out with serious heartburn).

But to say "Berman and Braga" to me implies that ST didn't begin declining until the final years of VOY. And maybe that is point at which ST disconnected for many fans. Or maybe people just have short attention spans when they casually invoke "B&B" to refer to the larger Berman administration in general (which eventually did come down to B&B for ST's final TV incarnation). I tend to suspect it's the latter.

The ENT BluRays have some nice new content, including an hour-long interview with Berman and Braga. And it's actually quite refreshing how humble and honest they are about what happened with their series, even though I can't agree with necessarily everything they say.

I also don't think personally that Manny Coto saved the show. I think he helped them shift gears, and even may have improved it somewhat just in terms of episodic batting averages for quality, however there are as many things I don't like about his final season as there are things I happen to like.
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  #124  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:39 AM
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I guess it depends on the angle you're looking at it all from if there's differences over what was necessarily at fault.

Being more practical a set of factors beyond Berman and Braga probably did contribute over the years considering the decline wasn't an overnight event and wasn't attributable to one single episode or film where you can point and say.....'THAT was when it started'.

As much as I make no pretence about being a fan of Braga generally (borne out by his subsequent work anyway) probably the idea that Berman 'killed it with kindness' and a boxed in version of the Roddenberry vision might come closer to what I really think happened. Whatever, it did happen and as much as I don't dislike Abrams or his team I don't think the films magically turned it all around.

The first film gave it a jolt...........but as much as I enjoyed the second film it hasn't sustained that jolt (it did underperform relative to what Paramount spent and clearly hoped to gain but it didn't flop either. It's in the middle ground). My concern is that Paramount decides to continue the film franchise but start going cheap again on the film front.

Because put simply, while Darkness was broadly well recieved they spent far too much money making it.
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  #125  
Old 09-03-2013, 06:20 AM
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If the third movie truly focuses more on exploration and not so much high action, perhaps it won't really need as big a budget.

Then again, to create fully realized worlds to wow the eye and stir the mind could be a budget eater in itself.
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  #126  
Old 09-03-2013, 07:50 AM
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I guess it depends on the angle you're looking at it all from if there's differences over what was necessarily at fault.

Being more practical a set of factors beyond Berman and Braga probably did contribute over the years considering the decline wasn't an overnight event and wasn't attributable to one single episode or film where you can point and say.....'THAT was when it started'.

As much as I make no pretense about being a fan of Braga generally (borne out by his subsequent work anyway) probably the idea that Berman 'killed it with kindness' and a boxed in version of the Roddenberry vision might come closer to what I really think happened. Whatever, it did happen and as much as I don't dislike Abrams or his team I don't think the films magically turned it all around.

The first film gave it a jolt...........but as much as I enjoyed the second film it hasn't sustained that jolt (it did underperform relative to what Paramount spent and clearly hoped to gain but it didn't flop either. It's in the middle ground). My concern is that Paramount decides to continue the film franchise but start going cheap again on the film front.

Because put simply, while Darkness was broadly well received they spent far too much money making it.
I would agree with all of that. I also think the studio and UPN were equally responsible for what happened on the TV front. I think the same fans who invoke "Berman and Braga" are often quick to dismiss Berman's notion of 'franchise fatigue' because they want to live in a world in which we 'should' have been able to get more and more Trek, indefinitely, without the brand getting tired. And that was just never going to happen. It's not even practical. Even if they did refresh the writing, music and everything else, at the end of the day, just how many Trek shows do you actually need?

I don't know the final figures on Star Trek into Darkness. My guess is they could adjust the budget on a film-by-film basis without it being too obvious, unless the films continue to underperform. Even though studios often seem a film behind in adjusting for this. I just wonder how many films they think they're going to make. What with this second film seeming more like the second half of a first film.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
If the third movie truly focuses more on exploration and not so much high action, perhaps it won't really need as big a budget.

Then again, to create fully realized worlds to wow the eye and stir the mind could be a budget eater in itself.
Unfortunately Paramount won't go down the exploration route. Their will be a baddie as usual and plenty of action - that's a given.
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  #128  
Old 09-03-2013, 11:22 AM
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If the third movie truly focuses more on exploration and not so much high action, perhaps it won't really need as big a budget.

Then again, to create fully realized worlds to wow the eye and stir the mind could be a budget eater in itself.
Problem is, the franchise (long before Abrams) locked itself into the action-adventure type of sci fi and I don't think that the picture will necessarily alter that much.

Given the Earth-centric nature of most of the film franchise (I can only think of Insurrection as being the only one which never lets us see or takes place at some point or to some degree on Earth at all, the rest all feature it to varying levels) it's possible but realistically not a slam dunk.

And even Insurrection, the supposed hidden gem, still couldn't find a way to excise a couple of big starship battles and a fiery explosion taking down the maniacally screaming villain from what was 'expected' of a Star Trek big screen adventure.

But since a third film hasn't officially been greenlit...........again, who can say. Especially since it looks like there will be some rotation of key players, notably in the Director's chair.
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  #129  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:46 PM
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Aye, we've had this discussion in the past.

The only two movies that seemed to break the rule of Star Trek films being action-adventure were Star Trek TMP and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

While TMP was a financial success, it was far from a critical or even popular success. (Although it still remains among my favorites in the film franchise...and, as a side benefit, I find it to be an excellent sleep aid, which does not bespeak a lack of quality, but simply its serenity).

But yes, for the most part, the Star Trek films have largely become action adventure...and the JJ movies even moreso. Insurrection and Final Frontier failed to succeed largely because they took place on planets that the viewer didn't give two damns about. If Earth wasn't endangered or somehow involved, then the audience just didn't care. (Which is another thing that forces Trek to become crippled. The Wrath of Khan seemed to be the only film that managed to sidestep the whole "Earth is in danger" stigma and pull up a successful box office (for its time). That, and for the TNG films, First Contact.


Star Trek TMP ... Earth is endangered by alien probe seeking only to find its creator and join with it.
-Strengths: Excellent visual effects. Definitely showed the leap from small screen to big screen. A good, if heavy handed story. Return of our favorite characters, a new view of the Klingons, and the introduction of some new (if short lived) characters.
-Weaknesses: Supposedly wooden acting. (I just didn't see that at all. I thought the characters were spot on...redeveloping for the new medium they undertook...the big screen.) Lots of flying over country in terms of the long, long trek they took through V'ger's energy field just to reach the ship at the heart of the cloud.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan-- Earth is not endangered, except maybe only by extension if Khan is allowed to carry out his plans with a powerful Federation starship and a powerful, planet altering/creating device at his disposal.
-Pros: Again, excellent visual effects, and the budget (much smaller than TMP's) which went toward them, thanks to an ingenious use of stock footage. The interpersonal stories for Kirk and Spock, and McCoy to a degree. The original series always excelled in this area, and it showed in this film. The acting was solid, although I still find Kirk's "KHAANNNNNN!!! KHAAANNNNN!" to be rather ham-fisted. Loved the cat and mouse nature of the space battles...the strategic elements, and the lumbersome nature of two capital ships fighting each other (something I honestly have not seen replicated in any of the Trek films that followed).

-Khans: I'd be hard pressed to find any, except that we never really saw Khan in action like we did in Space Seed, and later on in Into Darkness. Other than that, this is the original series' crew's most solid film, aside from The Undiscovered Country.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Earth is not exactly in direct danger again, but it is in an implied state of danger if the Klingons manage to get a hold of the Genesis information to create a weaponized version of the device.

-Strengths: Beautiful story of loyalty, honor, courage, and sacrifice, much like its predecessor. We gain more insight into the Klingons, thanks to excellent performances by two actors generally known for their comedic prowess in other circles.

-Weaknesses: Visual effects were serviceable, but nothing really special...except maybe for Enterprise's demise. This movie seemed to look cheaper than the Wrath of Khan.


Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Earth is implicitly endangered by yet another probe, this time, searching for what happened to Earth's whales.

-Strengths: Light hearted adventure, taking place largely on Earth in its past, creating the inevitably hilarious "fish out of water" tale for the crew. Decent visual effects, and an interesting time travel sequence.

-Weaknesses: Again, I'd be hard pressed (as with Wrath of Khan) to find any weaknesses in this movie. I would say, if there was any weakness to this film, it would lay in the score by Leonard Rosenman. (Up until the excellent score of The Undiscovered Country by Cliff Eidelman, I would've still preferred the works of Goldsmith or Horner.)


Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. No danger to Earth at all in this film. There is a price on Kirk's head that Klingon Captain Klaa wants to collect, but unfortunately, it is downplayed by the forced comedic nature of this film which tries to explore common spirituality between humans and more passionate Vulcans.

-Strengths: The film has some good dramatic moments. The "blast from the past" sequence with Kirk, McCoy, Spock, and Sybok was a nice touch.
One of the best lines in the film series: "What does God need with a starship?"

-Weaknesses: Visually, and story wise, easily the weakest of the original series films...looks extremely cheap compared to even The Search for Spock, and the humor, as stated before, seemed forced, trying to capitalize on the more innocuous nature of humor in the previous film.


Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. My personal favorite of the original series films. Again, Earth is not endangered directly, but indirectly if conservative Klingon forces decide against the peace initiative started between Captain Spock and Chancellor Gorkon.

-Strengths: Improvement on visual effects over the last two films. Excellent acting as always from the cast, and I enjoyed Christopher Plummer as General Chang. A good "end of the Cold War" allegory, and a fitting end for the crew of the starship Enterprise in the TOS era. I think it would've been interesting to actually have seen Saavik be the traitor to the Federation, instead of inventing a new, sexy Vulcan female to have to take the fall. (Of course, that would've rubbed fanboys the wrong way, and we can't go around incensing fanboys now, can we? ) The return of the K't'inga class battlecruiser to the big screen after 12 years of neglect, (sorry, but stock footage from TMP for a simulation in TWoK does NOT count ) although I would've loved to see it in battle.

-Weaknesses: Over-reliance on the Klingon bird of prey as the main bad guy ship, as with Star Trek III and V. I sorely wanted the K't'inga class battlecruiser to be the ship that the Enterprise and Excelsior fought. The photon torpedoes looked really generic in this otherwise visually gorgeous film.

(continued in next post)-----
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  #130  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:47 PM
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Star Trek Generations. One year after TNG goes off the air, the crew of the Enterprise D takes to the big screen. Earth is not endangered at all, not even by Dr. Soran...not many fraks were given by the audience at all.

-Strengths: Excellent acting by the cast. The Enterprise D's crash sequence was somewhat good. Commander Data's reaction to seeing Veridian III coming large in the window: "Oohhhhhhh....sh**!"

-Weaknesses: Overblown episode. Small screen writers and directors trying to make a big screen event, and falling far short. Visual effects didn't look all that different from the series that was on the air just the year before. (Although it was nice to see a return to the photon torpedo effects I loved so much in ST:TMP ). There was just no quantifiable jump from the small screen to the big screen on a visual level.


Star Trek First Contact. Earth (in two eras of time) is again implicitly endangered by TNG's most popular baddies, the Borg. A bit easier to engage audiences with such a threat.

-Strengths: A bit of an improvement in the visual area, but still not quite up to big screen snuff. Good story, and some good character moments, especially between Picard and Lily. Loved the new phaser rifles.

-Weaknesses: Still looks like an overblown episode. Visuals filled up smaller screens (4:3 aspect ratio) a lot better than on the big screen. Enterprise E looks like a toy, rather than an impressive capital ship. Biggest weakness... movie blew its wad in the first ten minutes with a space battle that fell way short in terms of bang for the buck, and lasted about as long as a typical episode fight.


Star Trek Insurrection. Earth is in no way endangered. Instead, we are exposed to a conflict between two alien races that no one in the audience is familiar with, and not exactly compelled to feel for, unless you are so invested in Amnesty International that total strangers are worthy of your pity.

-Strengths: Good humor, but Worf starts his descent toward being more comedy relief than anything else. Nice tie ins with DS9's Dominion War storyline, good for fans and admirers...not so good for newcomers and casual movie goers.

-Weaknesses: Yet another overblown two hour episode in terms of story. Visuals were decent, but again, nothing we hadn't really seen on Voyager...so again, as with the prior two films, no big leap to the big screen.


Star Trek Nemesis. Earth is endangered, but only by orders of Praetor Shinzon, near the end of the film. The Reman Warbird Scimitar has a weapon of mass destruction aboard, but never gets underway to Earth.

-Strengths: Finally looks like a big screen film, largely because they had a big screen director and a big screen writer. Action fills up the 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio nicely. The space battle lasts practically the entire second half of the film. The Enterprise ramming the Scimitar was worth the price of admission. Tom Hardy as Shinzon...in acting terms, a breath of fresh air from previous heavies.

-Weaknesses: The attempt for this movie to be TNG's "Wrath of Khan". The fanboyish, and rather incorrect technical story devices of screenwriter, John Logan. This film essentially fractured an already unstable and factionalized fanbase. Essentially, almost the final nail in the coffin for a franchise that is about to be taken off life support.




Star Trek 2009. Earth is endangered, and a fan favorite planet is wiped from the galactic map.

-Strengths: Big budget investment results in big budget looks which makes for a blockbuster film. Excellent visual effects, except for the omni-present lens flares. Good story loaded with fun and good drama. Appeals to more than just the niche Trek audience, it draws in a general audience that would never have given Trek a second thought otherwise. Altering the timeline to allow fresh stories and fresh takes on beloved characters to be told. Edgier than Trek films from the past. Blows away all previous Trek box office records.

-Weaknesses: Those lens flares! Some of the liberties taken which again factionalizes some of Trek fandom, who seem to think that the original series universe has been swept under the rug, when it is constantly iterated that no such thing has happened.


Star Trek Into Darkness. Earth is once more endangered, this time not only by potential war with the Klingon Empire, but by the hidden machinations of Khan Noonien Singh.

-Pros: Again, blockbuster budget and visual effects. A much edgier Khan, who kicks more *** in two minutes than the original Khan did in Space Seed and TWOK combined. Highest grossing Trek film of all time.

-Khans: Perhaps an unnecessary revisit to familiar territory...at least this movie does not try to disguise its "Wrath of Khan"-iness unlike Nemesis.


Those are my opinions only.
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