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View Poll Results: Is Star Trek Generations more of a TNG film or TOS film?
TOS 0 0%
TNG 4 57.14%
TOS/TNG 2 28.57%
a mistake 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 07-01-2014, 04:24 AM
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horatio horatio is offline
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Originally Posted by Roysten View Post
I agree with the argument that the death of a character doesn't have to be sentimental or crack up its audience to be a good scene, but I don't personally feel that a scene that happens to be sentimental is going to be necessarily crap, one example that comes to mind is the death of K'ehleyr, I think that seen is done very well and does a lot for its characters without doing much in the scene nor having much dialogue.

The death of Data on the other hand was pretty crap, it attempts to pull all the sentimental heart strings in the aftermath and ends up being hokey and coming across pretty flat for me, even though Data is one of my favourite characters.
I think that these are two good examples of emotional deaths that work and do not work. A scenes is not automatically good just because it is sentimental (or because it is not sentimental), it is more complex. For me personally the most important death of a fictional character is Hamlet's despite never having being much impacted emotionally by it.
There are also plenty of movies that deal with issues like death, loss, debt, guilt and so on without being sentimental, i.e. overwhelming the audience with emotions. They rather move the audience quietly, i.e. it is not something that makes you cry and after five minutes it is over but something that impacts you not that massively but for a longer time.
And at least to me Kirk's death achieved precisely that as he died quietly and virtually alone in the middle of nowhere.



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Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
ST isn't some artsy-fartsy pretentious experimental foreign flick.
I never compared Trek with anything and merely mentioned some other movies to show that your claim ("If you did not move your audience, it's usually not because you simply chose not to.") is wrong. But thanks for telling us that you do indeed just watch Hollywood movies and take them as benchmark.
Some of us are a bit more open (you do realize that for most people in the world Hollywood movies are "foreign flicks" and that unlike you these people don't mind the land of origin?) and watch all kinds of movies which has the benefit that you don't wrongly think that a movie has to do this or that. If you think that this is pretentious and pseudo-intellectual, so be it.

Last edited by horatio : 07-01-2014 at 04:37 AM.
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  #32  
Old 07-01-2014, 06:51 AM
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I think the whole thing is boiling back down to differing interpretations of both how the scene was intended and how it's recieved. For me, it's not trying to be a foreign cinema style ending which is why I'm going to appreciate it as such. I think it was aiming for Hollywood standards and on that measure I don't think it achieves what 'I' think Berman, Braga and Moore wanted it to.
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  #33  
Old 07-01-2014, 04:44 PM
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"you do realize that for most people in the world Hollywood movies are "foreign flicks"
Not meaning to antagonize or take sides in this, but ^ is a good point! LOL!
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  #34  
Old 07-01-2014, 05:28 PM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
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I never compared Trek with anything and merely mentioned some other movies to show that your claim ("If you did not move your audience, it's usually not because you simply chose not to.") is wrong. But thanks for telling us that you do indeed just watch Hollywood movies and take them as benchmark.
Some of us are a bit more open (you do realize that for most people in the world Hollywood movies are "foreign flicks" and that unlike you these people don't mind the land of origin?) and watch all kinds of movies which has the benefit that you don't wrongly think that a movie has to do this or that. If you think that this is pretentious and pseudo-intellectual, so be it.
Where have I actually told you any such thing? You merely took license to assume as much because it was convenient for you (Here's just another example of the behavior I'm talking about). Not that you'd care, but the last couple foreign films I saw (what else would you have me/us/whoever call them?) were Blue is the Warmest Color and Ida, in that order. I now fully expect your assertion that I watch only watch Hollywood flicks to creep back up in some future discussion, though. Whatever.

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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
I think the whole thing is boiling back down to differing interpretations of both how the scene was intended and how it's recieved. For me, it's not trying to be a foreign cinema style ending which is why I'm going to appreciate it as such. I think it was aiming for Hollywood standards and on that measure I don't think it achieves what 'I' think Berman, Braga and Moore wanted it to.
This. It is after all a Hollywood picture based on a franchise that's a Hollywood production. If the producers ever tried to claim they had always meant for the ending to seem dry or detached, I'm sure jaded fans would've had a field day over it. It may be comforting to believe the sunken cake came out exactly as intended, but I don't think most people share that assumption. I know I can't.
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  #35  
Old 07-02-2014, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I think that these are two good examples of emotional deaths that work and do not work. A scenes is not automatically good just because it is sentimental (or because it is not sentimental), it is more complex. For me personally the most important death of a fictional character is Hamlet's despite never having being much impacted emotionally by it.
There are also plenty of movies that deal with issues like death, loss, debt, guilt and so on without being sentimental, i.e. overwhelming the audience with emotions. They rather move the audience quietly, i.e. it is not something that makes you cry and after five minutes it is over but something that impacts you not that massively but for a longer time.
And at least to me Kirk's death achieved precisely that as he died quietly and virtually alone in the middle of nowhere.
I think it depends a lot on what and how the creators intended the scene to come across and also at the end of it how each individual responds to what they see on screen.

Without seeing specific commentary from the writers I guess we can only guess at what they intended to try and achieve. To me though a scene is either written/performed well or it's written/performed badly and whether it's sentimental or non-sentimental, quite shallow or with a subtler depth is immaterial to the quality of the scene and it is really quite subjective, so to me what the audience gets from that scene depends on that individual.

One death scene that might be described as more complex rather than being a simple tug on the heart strings which springs to mind is that of Marritza in Duet, may not quite follow this discussion though as this was a one time character so the audience wasn't exactly emotionally invested in him.

I agree that a scene which is subtle and doesn't barrage the audience with "now you must feel sad!" and provokes a more thoughtful reaction that stays with you is powerful, Hamlet is a good example. I agree with Kevin in that I don't think the creators of GEN were attempting to do anything other than the typical Hollywood death and if Kirk's death managed to achieve something a little subtler and thoughtful, which I think they did manage then (no offense to the writers) I think it was a bit of a fluke.
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  #36  
Old 07-02-2014, 01:04 PM
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I agree. Fluke or no fluke, if someone can take away from the scene more than maybe even the writers thought was in it (I watched 'Generations' the other night actually out of curiosity because it had been a while but I didn't actually make a pass over the commentary although it has to be an older one as that's from the 2001/2 twenty disc DVD set I have with the Special Edition DVD's) then they would probably be delighted some people took that away with them.

Marritza's death is a little more emotionally complex because it's more important in the development of KIra's character but I think you feel the death (or I do I know that) because of the confession scene between him and Kira before his murder. So, you're not left crying at the death itself I think, but the continuation of the senselessness of it all, and yet it's a common enough type of act of violence even today in various places. The justification 'He's just a Cardassian' doesn't work any more for Kira and that I think is the main point of that scene.

But in that sense even, with 'Duet' being one of my favourite DS9 episodes because of the scene between them, I think that's an episode that doesn't deliver a sentimental, thoughtless death but one that lingers beyond the act better than 'Generations'.
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  #37  
Old 07-02-2014, 01:21 PM
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Marritza's death is a little more emotionally complex because it's more important in the development of KIra's character but I think you feel the death (or I do I know that) because of the confession scene between him and Kira before his murder. So, you're not left crying at the death itself I think, but the continuation of the senselessness of it all, and yet it's a common enough type of act of violence even today in various places. The justification 'He's just a Cardassian' doesn't work any more for Kira and that I think is the main point of that scene.

But in that sense even, with 'Duet' being one of my favourite DS9 episodes because of the scene between them, I think that's an episode that doesn't deliver a sentimental, thoughtless death but one that lingers beyond the act better than 'Generations'.
This reflects my thoughts as well, you just articulated it better
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  #38  
Old 07-02-2014, 10:29 PM
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The 2001/04/whatever DVD is the right one for listening to the Moore/Braga commentary. The BluRay has it as well. I don't recall who's on the BluRay's 'newer' commentary, and I have yet to listen to it.

If you bought the 2009 DVD you're kinda screwed. If you got the 1998/99 DVD with non-anamorphic (laserdisc) transfer you're even more screwed.

I just watched the movie myself just now.

The death scene's not bad, it basically just says "Here's Kirk, he's dead." And it's like you almost don't believe it happened because it just seems kind of indifferent.

Meanwhile on the subject of 'sentimental', that Xmas scene is just as embarrassing for me as I remember. If STV had never been made, this could easily be the worst scene of all the ST movies.

And speaking of manipulative, why did it have to be a fire? Of anything that could have killed Picard's family, why did it have to be "they burned to death?" One of my idiot neighbors was caught in a fire a couple years back. I still shudder at hearing his screams while I rescued his pathetic @$$.

Other random thoughts:

Champagne bottle: I've always felt worked better in concept than actuality. I can't ignore that there's a drydock from which it was launched. So what, the camera's just pointed 'downward' in every single shot so as not to catch the dock or ship?

The Enterprise-B stuff really does feel like TNG. Like someone didn't really know these characters or couldn't write humor for them that didn't seem timed or rehearsed. Not to mention hearing Scotty talk about quantum resonance bursts or whatever.

Why do those camcorder lights cast such narrow beams on the faces of Kirk and his friends? Does the 5pm News look that raw in the future? If we ever shot our news anchors like that my boss would have kittens.

I remember that forward viewscreen from STV (but not VI, strangely enough).

Shot of the trio inside the damaged B still holds up nicely.

Tracking shot of the HMS Ent always bothered me. Like the scene wanted to have it both ways: by having a really impressive establishing shot but still keeping the 'reveal' that they're inside a holodeck. That's like starting the Kobayashi Maru off on an exterior shot.

I've never understood why everyone gives Data crap for shoving Beverly. Her dialogue and plasticky smile are so annoying she's just asking to be dunked in that moment. I make serious social blunders all the time, but at least I understand why in retrospect. Here it's completely arbitrary how everyone reacts.

John Alonzo's lighting/cinematography really is hauntingly beautiful. I've never thought about this before, but it really is mostly the D where it shines. The B interiors by comparison seem lit more or less the way we'd already come to expect with ST on the big screen (not bad, but nothing breathtaking either).

I always liked Data's obnoxiousness in this film. I don't see the connection however between 'emotion' and suddenly figuring out a joke after seven years. I think it's more complex than that. I also understand why his emotion chip was abandoned in later movies. For a neverending 'quest' to become more human, it's kind of a cheat.

Klingons had already started to go WAY over the top by the time this movie was made. They only became even more 'jerky' and obnoxious on DS9.

Stellar Cartography is still my favorite scene. It's painful how much the shrunk it again for Nemesis.

It's also the only scene in which I actually like the music. Although "Time is the fire" was not bad either.

Delta Vega haters forgot to complain about the scale of the Veridian system in stellar cartography. Must be a VERY tiny system for the planets to appear that large.

I don't like the way Picard talks to people in this movie. Maybe he deserves to have Kirk throw a recycled line from Scotty ('Relics') into his face.

This movie had (emphasis on past tense) ILM's best ST work to date. But a lot of the effects still felt like small-screen TV concept-wise. For example that chintzy 'bubble' whenever a ship's forcefields are comprimosed. This being a movie, I always felt they should have just gone all the way back to the drawing board. I've never liked continuity existing merely for its own sake.

LOVE the extra who ruins Data's "YES!" moment. If they ever replay this movie in theaters, be sure to take one of those 'cat' laser toys in and shine it at the extra for all to see. Yes!

I never liked the teddy bear.

Think I read somewhere that they intentionally made the trees taller to seem like an alien planet. It think it backfired scale-wise.

Would be funny if they accidentally piked up a hiker during that 360 areal shot of Picard over Kirk's grave and didn't realize it. That would give away the actual scale of those rocks. I just wish I could go back and see how the movie looked before I visited the place. I remember thinking it all looked vast and dizzying. But maybe I just wasn't noticing the giveaway details.

Picard mindlessly tosses aside that artifact that his archeology friend picked up for him.

They never should've gotten rid of this ship. Yes, it was awkwardly shaped. The model didn't photograph well on a big screen. It was cheesy as hell having families aboard, and having a counselor sit next to the captain. How dated can you get? But it was who these people were, and it was TNG. Why not just shrug and own it, "warts and all"?

Seems kinda gratuitous to end the movie with three unnamed starships simultaneously jumping out. What's wrong with fading to black on a beam-out?

Thank GOD they brought back Jerry Goldsmith next time! I would've preferred someone else get a chance, but I suppose they were dead-set on having it be someone familiar.

Fun movie! Not particularly good by any stretch. But if you're gonna have your guilty pleasures on BluRay this might as well be one of them.
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  #39  
Old 07-03-2014, 02:11 PM
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I have the 20 disc 10 film boxset like Kevin, can't honestly remember which year the commentary is from, will have to rewatch that and the movie somepoint soon considering all this animated discussion on the matter.

For what it was I thought the death scene was good and that the underplaying of Kirk's death was effective. You could argue that he should have died against an advissary on the bridge of the Enterprise but to me the scene almost reflects that with its shear departure from that kind of glorious death (and of course the joke of he died under a bridge rather on it).

As for the Xmas scene I liked the premise and the idea that Picard was settled in a comfortable environment very different from commanding a starship but the children were corny and brought the scene down for me. I enjoyed the bits with Guinan.

The fire was a shock, definitely set the tone of Picard's mood for the rest of the film though.

I agree that the Ent-B scenes felt like TNG rather than the TOS films, maybe that's why they fall a bit short, though I would reitterate my previous comments about Shatner-Doohan-Koenig having no onscreen chemistry and very forced dialogue.

I hadn't considered the comparison between the Ent-B and Ent-D lighting, there is certainly a start difference in the quality there.

The Klingons were definitely more annoying than threatening here, it always amazes me that they actually destroyed the Enteprise. The scenes with Lusor and B'tor could have been so much better and they didn't at any point come across as cunning or dangerous like Chang before them or even Krudge.

With First Contact being an 8-9, Final Frontier being a 2-3 I always gave Generations around a 6. I don't think I'd ever considered this movie to be fun, in fact the tone is quite serious and quiet, especially compared to Voyager Home, which I would consider a fun movie. If I was ever introducing someone to Trek by a film it wouldn't be by watching Gen. It's almost a reaction to "All Good Things" and tries to get as far away as possible from what that double-episode was saying. My bottom line with Gen has always been, quite good, quite enjoyable, a lot wrong with it, not the worst but certanily not the best.
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  #40  
Old 07-03-2014, 08:44 PM
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Well hopefully it's fun enough to justify the fact that we keep coming back to revisit it. At least you and Kevin with your 20 disc boxsets have an excuse in that you can shrug and say "oh well." I on the other hand bought each 2 disc special edition separately. And then held onto the ones that I thought had better film transfers than their counterparts in my BluRay sets (which is most of them).

I don't remember the exact year of the Moore/Braga commentary either, because I didn't save that DVD after I got the Blu. However it looks like the 'newer' commentary has David Carson and Manny Coto. Might be interesting. The only other Generations release was a bare-bones film-only disc containing the former laserdisc transfer of the movie in glorious 4:3 letterbox. I would've donated that one to the library when the special edition came out.

It's definitely the children that sink the Picard Xmas scene. Plus that ethereal music that never seems to really go anywhere. How many kids does he have in that scene anyway? It's hard to picture him married to someone who just stays home popping them out in between cooking fancy roast goose dinners every Xmas. I don't even buy that that's what Picard really wanted. Now 'maybe' with his recent tragedy he's at a place where that's what he thinks he really wanted. EDIT: Yeah, it's hard to mess up though with Whoopi Goldberg. Being able to get her may have been one of TNG's finest accomplishments.

Lack of chemistry seems an excellent way to describe the TOS scenes. I could be projecting what we already know about them offscreen, but I'd swear Koenig and Doohan look like they don't even want to be filming with Shatner.

I would never recommend this film to anybody either. For me it's maybe slightly higher than STV, Insurrection and Nemesis. And it may even be time to watch all the movies again and reevaluate (something I still haven't gotten to this time since Into Darkness). But it's not even a good film. Always refreshing though when someone besides me ranks The Voyage Home more towards the top.
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