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  #1  
Old 03-02-2008, 12:53 PM
Moonwatcher Moonwatcher is offline
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Default Nicholas Meyer vs. Robert Wise: Master vs. Also-ran

Has anyone heard the audio commentary on The Day Earth Stood Still? Nicholas Meyer makes comments that in his mind are probably complements but come of rather insulting. "A simple story told rather simply" I believe is the quote. Robert Wise then stutters and says things like... “Well, that’s how things were done in those days”, etc. Meyer then goes on to brag about how he introduced a book into the plot of Star Trek-The Wrath of Khan during the verbal exchange with Mr. Wise. After then hearing the remarks he made on the Star Trek-The Wrath of Khan audio commentary like, "I saw STMP and told myself... I could do better than that", I subsequently lost a little bit of respect for Mr. Meyer. I know I'm in the minority here ...but when I watch STMP and then TWOK, I see one film that has aged exceptionally well which was done by a master, and one film that is entertaining but almost on cartoon level, done by an also-ran. Just watch STTMP again and marvel at the staging of each actor in each scene..... Could you just imagine the scientific concepts that could have been explored if they had continued the series of films in that same “adult” format? We wouldn't be having some of these lame discussions about the Nexus, or being brought back from the dead, etc.
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:06 PM
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Sorry about the possible confusion, but my title is a bit off. It is meant to imply that Robert Wise was the master and Nicholas Meyer the also-ran!
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:58 PM
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Default Sometimes the Master stumbles...

Robert Wise was a great American director. His two notable entries into the Sc-Fi genre 1951’s “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and 1971’s “Andromeda Strain” were great movies.

However, Robert Wise as Director of ST:TMP left me thinking maybe this was a master pass his prime or someone who never fully understood Star Trek. The movie was slow and plotting. Many attempted to label it along with “2001: A Space Odyssey” as too cerebral. Hardly.

Visually the movie was outstanding with a tremendous Jerry Goldsmith score. However, it was totally lacking in character depth and the pacing of the movie was cumbersome.

Enter Nick Meyer who directed two of the most cherished Star Trek movies: “The Wrath of Khan” and “The Undiscovered Country.” Meyer was recognized by many as the savior of the franchise. He brought back many of the elements that made Star Trek unique. Could Star Trek survive if it continued on the course set by Robert Wise? Absolutely not.

edit: typos

Last edited by Gary Seven : 03-02-2008 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:25 PM
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Well men aren't perfect I see Meyers not as a person to be celebrated but a director to be celebrated. It's should be just so with every person you recognize for achivement. You don't know there character so don't use the film to understand them.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:31 PM
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Very well put "Saquist", you gave me much to reflect on.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:19 PM
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I'll add one caveat: it's hard to make Wise fully responsible for the story, pacing, etc. of TMP when he didn't write the script. There are elements of the film described which he wouldn't have had control over, either in characterizations or plot action.

Also, it seems to me that TMP's goal was to be more of a science fiction film instead of a TREK episode with a big budget. The film reminds more of 2001 than it does classic TREK, which isn't bad... unless you want that "same old magic" the series had.

It's a flawed film to be sure, but it think due to its nature when conceived and produced, it tends to stand out more 'alone' by itself because the franchise adapted after its release.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:38 AM
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I feel Wise got his due on TMP-DC. Even he now feels like the picture is "finished." I tend to agree. For a director that got saddled with so many problems, he pulls the proverbial "fat out of the fire."

He got saddled with a TV pilot script, that did not include Spock at the time of the project. He also got saddled with Trek:Phase II sets that needed work to make them viable for film instead of TV. Not to mention all the effects issues TMP had. He got saddled with Roddenberry(who was an amazing TV producer ,but stank at movie production, one only has to see "Pretty Maids All In A Row" to see that.) contantly looking over his shoulder. This Robert Wise, not some first time director!! he aslo had the curse of all the expenses from Phase:II being lumped in with TMP.

TMP actually only took 20 mil to make. The other 25 mil in that 45 mil number if costs from Phase II that carried over. Actors got paid in Pay or Play deals. A half built Enterprise model that was tooled for TV not a movie, so it got scraped, uniforms were redone for the same reason, props, ect ect.

So if you think about it, it's amazing this film ever got made!!
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionTrek08 View Post
I'll add one caveat: it's hard to make Wise fully responsible for the story, pacing, etc. of TMP when he didn't write the script. There are elements of the film described which he wouldn't have had control over, either in characterizations or plot action.

Also, it seems to me that TMP's goal was to be more of a science fiction film instead of a TREK episode with a big budget. The film reminds more of 2001 than it does classic TREK, which isn't bad... unless you want that "same old magic" the series had.

It's a flawed film to be sure, but it think due to its nature when conceived and produced, it tends to stand out more 'alone' by itself because the franchise adapted after its release.
Who is Wise?
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:49 AM
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Saquist,

'Wise' as in, Robert Wise, the director for TMP.

Okay, here's my two cents:

I believe that STAR TREK is not simply one thing or another. It is not specifically Science-fiction, nor is it specifically action-adventure. In that sense, I have come to believe that Star Trek is unique on several levels. For instance, I used to think that DS9 and Voyager were not Star Trek, because they were not set on a ship with the name Enterprise, their intros did not include the "To boldly go" monologue, and the general premise of each series was considerably different than what I considered iconic Trek, aka TOS and TNG. However, after thorough consideration, this is not correct. DS9 and Voyager each include special elements and the soul of what made Star Trek so wonderful in the first place.

The same is true with the films. TMP was a much more cerebral film, much more thought provoking and philosophical. TWOK was the traditional swashbuckling Kirk-beats-em-up style film. And to me, which film you like best indicates what you prefer to see in Star Trek. If you prefer TMP, chances are you also prefer more thoughtful, philosophical stories that deal strictly with the human condition. If you prefer TWOK, you enjoy Star Trek for it's unique action-adventure style, and the general family feel of the crew. There are several other parallels; for instance, in the case of pilot episodes,"The Cage" was far more cerebral and thought-provoking, much like TMP; however, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was more about swashbuckling action, and the sense of family that the rest of TOS had. Another similar comparison is, indeed, TOS and TNG. TNG was considered "boring" by many, much like TMP and "The Cage", for the same reasons of more intellectual, philosophical stories. TOS, on the other hand, fits better with stories like "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and TWOK. Depending on which of these types of stories you prefer, you may like Star Trek for varying reasons. I myself tend to lean toward the treaditional Sci-fi type stories, such as The Cage/TMP/TNG, but again, that's just the kind of Star Trek fan that I am.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:23 PM
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They are both great directors. But, being a great director doesn't mean that their Mothers brought them up with something basic, like etiquette and tact. Nick should have been a little more respectful to Mr. Wise.

Yeah, Nick. Your movies will entertain. But Robert's are American Icons. "West Side Story" "The Hindenburg" "The Day the Earth Stood Still" "The Andromeda Strain" among so many others...
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