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Old 08-29-2010, 03:27 PM
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Default Star Trek Nemesis with Herman Zimmerman

I went to the Royal screening of Star Trek Nemesis last night at midnight and instead of Will Wheaten, due to shooting for something, Herman F. Zimmerman came along and took over. The event and interview was great! And it did go on for quite a while, but what he said was great and he got to spill the beans on what it was like working with Stuart Baird. He generally said it was a "nightmare" working with him because apart from everyone disliking him, he also made the set changes the way he wanted to do them and have the actors say the lines the way he wanted them to be said.

Zimmerman said, "Patrick was annoyed with him because whenever he would say a long, Stuart would tell him to say it a different way." The crew didn't seem to like working with Baird either. Zimmerman basically said Baird is the reason Nemesis flopped in the box office. There just wasn't enough money for the budget he was going for and yes, although it was nice having the cast and crew back again, having Baird there was a pain in the arse. He (Baird) was the one who wanted to change the lighting on the bridge and give it a more blue hue to it, in addition to adding a gimble to the bridge set.

Eventually, he talked about how he loved working on Deep Space Nine and how those sets were probably the most advanced and difficult sets he ever worked on in all of Star Trek. Then, after we applauded, the movie turned on and there we were!

I'm sure you can find the interview here at TrekMovie.com. http://www.trekmovie.com
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:05 PM
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I also think that it was mostly his fault.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:39 PM
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I think that Baird made an action movie out of NEM and that he created a fairly icy atmosphere with soulless characters.

But there is a bit of a scapegoat game going on, one person alone cannot mess up a movie. Last time I checked Stewart loved to do the stupid buggy scene and drove his character into this direction since the days of Captain's Holiday. And how about blaming Logan and Spiner for the appalling script? One human plus vampires from the dark side of the moon conquer the mighty Romulan Star Empire, such an idea shouldn't materialize in any form.

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Old 08-29-2010, 05:11 PM
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...Last time I checked Stewart loved to do the stupid buggy scene and drove his character into this direction since the days of Captain's Holiday...
Okay, this is very true and I remember that.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:04 AM
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Baird was a bad choice of director to be sure (he's an excellent editor though) but to put all the blame on him is incorrect.

As noted, Stewart was highly enthusiastic about the 'car chase' (I believe he even proclaimed it one of the reasons he was so excited about the film in an interview somewhere - really? All the morality plays and allegory and a car chase was all he ever wanted? OK).

However, I will forever lambast the the script for the film. As if it wasn't bad enough that it was a straight as can be TWOK remake (and massively inferior) it had miscast bad guys, dull action (starship ramming aside), a Picard 'meets' himself story that was done better in 'Time Squared', and more importantly, did not serve as an appropriate farewell to the TNG cast in the way that the final scene in TUC did.

The project was botched and troubled from the start, and the result shows it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:04 AM
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There really hasn't been much follow-up to these screenings of late, has there.

Aside from "don't forget: Star Trek Nemesis screening tonight" (thank you, I don't happen to live anywhere near LA though), I think the last time we've gotten an actual report was when Trekmovie posted George Takei's comments on STVI.

(I'll politely refrain from saying "I'm just saying," since I suspect everyone who says that knows damn well that he is clearly not 'just' saying or 'just' anything. But seriously, I would still be interested in knowing what was talked about at those other TNG films.)

I would have to echo most of the above comments regarding Nemesis. In an way I feel bad for the people involved, as I suspect they finally 'got' that they really needed to start looking for writers/directors outside their own little TV family to help them figure out how to make these things. And yet they still made the wrong choices and got burned by them. Whatever I happen to think about how they handled ST after Roddenberry's passing (my love of DS9 notwithstanding), that's just not an enviable position to be in. When you're actually trying to fix things and still can't avoid making them worse.

But yeah, that just was not a good movie. Right from the start the characters seemed off, and the tone was off. I can't stand dialogue like "You used to look up at the stars and dream about what could be..." (Be what? Is that somehow supposed to 'mean' something, or just come out sounding pretentiously poetic like it 'might' say something and you just 'missed' it?) Or, "You can change!" ... "I cannot!" ... "Yes you can!" Ugh.

I didn't have a problem with the premise itself, but it wasn't well developed. Shinzon hated the Romulans... no, he hated the Federation... no, he hated Picard... no, he hated the Enterprise... whatever. I also just couldn't buy shaven-headed Tom Hardy as a younger Picard.

And those Reman set designs were really ugly. What was the functionality of a huge staircase for a meeting room? Couldn't some of that money be spent on the Romulan Senate or Stellar Cartography instead... places where the film could actually have used more visual scope?

I loved Roger Ebert's comments about the constant re-routing of the shields during battle. Somehow I strongly doubt he had followed all of Voyager, and yet the cliche aspects of then-modern ST still jumped out onto his radar. What does that say about the franchise? Or about us fans? I just remember reading his review -not yet decided on what day I was going to go- and nodding my head thinking "Yep. Why am I not surprised?"
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:25 AM
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I doubt that Mr.Ebert has ever (frequently) watched Trek on TV.
His reviews are usually shallow but good and his key point is never totally off the track, be it the critique of familiar technobabble in NEM or the critique of a lack of a real challenge for the characters in ST09.

Anyway, NEM isn't bad because it is like VOY or because it is like the other TNG movie (gee, it's the virtual opposite of INS) or because the technobabble is too familiar, it is bad because the story is rotten at its core. Two subsequent movies with appalling pseudo-Romulan Khan copies and f**ked-up Romulans are two movies too much, at least storywise.


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As noted, Stewart was highly enthusiastic about the 'car chase' (I believe he even proclaimed it one of the reasons he was so excited about the film in an interview somewhere - really? All the morality plays and allegory and a car chase was all he ever wanted? OK).
I faintly remember that he even bought or rented the buggy afterwards. Stewart is a fine actor and I understand that he doesn't like to be typecast into roles of wise intellectuals like his role in X-Men after being most known for the role of Picard ... but bringing his own hobbies, preferences and enjoyments to Picard didn't do the character any good.

Last edited by horatio : 08-30-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:35 AM
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Well............I guess if you get given $12 million you have to spend it on something.

But to be honest, I kinda gloss over movie Picard nowadays and just remember his TV series heyday.

It's better that way.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:49 AM
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I think it got worse from movie to movie.

In GEN Picard was troubled be his loss and contemplating his decision for Starfleet and against a family but overall he was like in the series. When he tries to get through Soran's shields on the planet he seems unused to physical labour.

In FC he is a bit of an action hero and Borg temperatures allow him to take of his jacket yet I'd claim that it remains on the level of "Captain's Holiday". He gets some action, he doesn't revel but he doesn't mind it either. It's just part of the job. I like that he seems more competent at physical things than in the previous movie.

So far everything was OK but in INS things went south. This time the in-story reason for Picard in action-mode is the fountain of youth effect of the planet. Picard in a tight shirt and a leather jacket is just wrong, it feels like he goes through a mid-life crisis and wants to live a missed youth.
Not to mention the stupid romance. Picard likes strong and independent women like Vash or Daren, not some New Age spirituality "look sweetie, I can slow down time" broad.

Picard loves to drive dangerously with the Enterprise's new buggie, pure regress. If a Nausicaan had crossed his path I am sure he would have enjoyed a little fight. The nemesis idea wasn't so bad but obviously Picard and not Shinzon became Picard's evil twin.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
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I doubt that Mr.Ebert has ever (frequently) watched Trek on TV.
What I said. Anyway on that one point he was right on; that battle was the single most boring part of the movie. Almost nothing dramatic happened; it was all just a bunch of moves. Attack pattern Kirk omega, shields have dropped another 30 percent.

Quote:
Anyway, NEM isn't bad because it is like VOY or because it is like the other TNG movie (gee, it's the virtual opposite of INS) or because the technobabble is too familiar, it is bad because the story is rotten at its core. Two subsequent movies with appalling pseudo-Romulan Khan copies and f**ked-up Romulans are two movies too much, at least storywise.
It's interesting to note that, as you said, INS and NEM are nearly polar opposites to each other, yet between them they both managed to capture most of what was tedious about the Trek TV shows of the time (Compare to FC, which despite its flaws seemed to play to many of contemporary Trek's strengths).

I don't personally accept however that NEM, or any Trek film besides maybe STV, was already dead on arrival. As with most films, the STs usually just needed the right people to find the story within the woodwork and then saw it down to its proper shape. Unfortunately with ST, that often didn't happen.
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