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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Creatively and commercially, STAR TREK: NEMESIS flopped. Why was that?

There have been three theories doing the rounds over the years (the opinions of various magazine writers and others, of course).

One writer claimed director Stuart Baird didn't get it - and was the wrong man for the job. I know Marina Sirtis criticized him. He appeared to have forgotten Michael Dorn's name during the commentary for the film. And I read that he had called LaForge the wrong name several times. It's also been stated that he hadn't seen TNG. I, personally, feel that he sounded very detached during the commentary for the film, only really being enthusiastic about technical details.

Then there are some who have said that it was a Shinzon film that happened to guest star TNG characters. Others have said it was too derivative of earlier adventures. I don't recall anyone other than Picard doing much in the film. At least GENERATIONS, FIRST CONTACT and INSURRECTION appeared to attempt to give development to others (some more than others, I know).

The final theory I heard was that the film was released a bad time. Wasn't it December 2002? Wasn't it the same month as one of the HARRY POTTER and LOTR films? Some suggest a spring or summer release would have been better. But would it have mattered?

I saw the film at the cinema - and word of mouth being what it is, I recommended that others wait for the DVD or TV airing. Had it been as good as the fourth film (my favourite!), I'd have frog-marched my friends into the cinema and demanded they see it. I'd have walked up to strangers and insisted they buy a ticket. So maybe the "it was released in December and was up against Potter" theory is a bit of a cop-out.

Any views? Or any theories of your own? I am saddened that NEMESIS was the last word for big-screen TNG. I wanted one more movie after that, maybe even with John de Lancie's Q in.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It failed because it was DUMB.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The story was no good. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Three words:  Dune.  Buggy.  Scene.

Every good director knows that STAR TREK and dune buggies (and dirt bikes for that matter) don't mix.  Shuttles for EVA's or GTFO!  

Same reason STAR TREK: BEYOND failed too.  ;-)


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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 11:23am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Have to agree that it was a crappy story done poorly. A Romulan duplicate of Picard (who didn't really look like him?) Who killed the entire Romulan Senate? Data is destroyed but is actually not killed, and is yet ANOTHER duplicate?

To recall every detail for a more complete discussion, I would have to rewatch that movie again. Please don't make me do that. I've always been nice to YOU...
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 11:56am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I have no desire to recommend that, Eric.

I enjoyed TNG on the big screen, more than the small screen. FIRST CONTACT was exciting whilst I found INSURRECTION to be a good, solid story (I never understood the critics' views on it). How tragic that the last word for TNG on the big screen was NEMESIS.

I remember a "Star Trek Magazine" article, around 2004/05, where Michael Dorn was interviewed - and he claimed the TNG cast were definitely up for at least one more adventure. Shame. 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 12:33pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

To me, NEMESIS is the worst real STAR TREK movie, stealing that distinction from THE FINAL FRONTIER.



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

At least, in my humble opinion, THE FINAL FRONTIER has a good story buried in there somewhere. I did enjoy the encounter between Kirk and "God". The film could really have explored "God" more, I felt; and if it had done that, and other aspects had been different, I feel it could have been a solid entry.

In an alternate universe, there's a good version of THE FINAL FRONTIER. 
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Ron Goad
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Nemesis was just plain badly written. Baird may have been the wrong director for it but, the story was just terribly conceived.

Casting, direction, effects and editing cannot save a bad story.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 1:59pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

They brought in a screen writer who didn't know the property, but who was considered highly bankable (he had just written Gladiator).  My understanding is that he and Brent Spiner were friends, and Spiner talked him into it.  They then basically told him they wanted a TNG version of TWOK.  So he basically stole the structure of TWOK (death and return of Data, villain connected to the captain's past leading members of a race bent on seizing power who gains control of an illegal superweapon, etc.).  They then followed what became the TOS film recipe after ST IV, namely trying to plop in humorous character moments all over the place.  So it was all forced and contrived.

Though it was a much better movie, Nemesis is really where the problem began, as soon as they decided to jettison the character relationships which had been developed over years in the TV series, and just turn Picard and Data into Kirk and Spock and reduce everyone else to supporting cast who each got handed a 'moment' in each movie.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 3:10pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I think "NEMESIS was dumb" encapsulates it perfectly. 

It tried to mirror TWOK without any of the emotional history between some of the characters. That was the same problem with STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. 
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 5:36pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


NEMESIS is easily the worst of the TNG films, and (I feel) even worse than THE FINAL FRONTIER.

Almost everything about it is wrong, and the cast looked particularly tired.  I saw in once in the theaters, at the time, with my father... we both walked out with a shrug.

I've never added it to my collection, and I haven't bothered to even see it a second time, all the way through.  Truly a bummer of a swan song for the TNG cast & crew.



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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

THE FINAL FRONTIER is a harmless visit with old friends. Its heart is in the right place, despite its major flaws.

NEMESIS is easily the worst of the films. A disservice to the TNG cast and mythos. So unfortunate that's how we left the characters. "All Good Things..." was a much better way to see those characters off.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 27 August 2017 at 10:21pm
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply


The B-4 plotline was also just plain stupid, and willfully ignorant of the previous "Lore" episodes from the TNG series.

It's bad enough that they went to that particular well again, of a Data duplicate, but to not even acknowledge or name-check the past history of "that other Data"?

But then, GENERATIONS and FIRST CONTACT also showed & proved that the TNG producers gave less than a rat's ass about any and all previous continuity!



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Jason Scott
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Posted: 27 August 2017 at 9:48pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Hmm..I actually prefer it to INSURRECTION. As that previous entry was the low point of the TNG movies for me. It was just so inconsequential. And that scene at the end of the kid lecturing Data on him needing to have a little bit of fun every day, was just unbearable!

NEMESIS at least tried to progress the characters and have a larger than tv feel to it. And I liked that Dr Crusher and Picard had some discussion time in the movie. It never sat right with me that he seemed closer to the 'guest stars of the week' in the previous two films.

But yeah, there are no excuses for the dune buggy scene. I also don't like the killing of the senate at the start either. Feels like an unnecessarily brutal start to the movie.
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Aleksandar Petrovic
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Posted: 29 August 2017 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Patrick Stewart should've played his own clone. I think that he would've shined as Shinzon. Seeing Stewart in both roles, opposing himself, would've been a memorable movie. This was the original intention, but unfortunately they changed their minds.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 7:49am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Picard's "clone" being younger than he is serves as further support for my theory that all the adventures (in every iteration of TREK) are taking place in Picard's head, post GENERATIONS. The subsequent movies are a series of male menopause gratifications, ending with Picard beating his younger self.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 8:45am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Picard's "clone" being younger than he is serves as further support for my theory that all the adventures (in every iteration of TREK) are taking place in Picard's head, post GENERATIONS. The subsequent movies are a series of male menopause gratifications, ending with Picard beating his younger self.

In that context the gratuitous dune buggy sequence actually makes sense.   Add super-heroic gun shooting Picard in FIRST CONTACT and bagging the girl in INSURRECTION to that too.   He now has no familial obligations, with his brother and nephew killed offscreen in GENERATIONS -- which gives him permission to "be his own man".  Add all that up and you get a proactive male adventure fantasy with a cadre of capable associates that would make Clark Savage Jr. proud!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 8:46am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Patrick Stewart should've played his own clone. I think that he would've shined as Shinzon. Seeing Stewart in both roles, opposing himself, would've been a memorable movie. This was the original intention, but unfortunately they changed their minds.
+++++++

There were any number of Kirk vs. Kirk stories in TOS, but we never did get a Picard vs. Picard story!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Hmm..I actually prefer it to INSURRECTION. As that previous entry was the low point of the TNG movies for me. It was just so inconsequential. And that scene at the end of the kid lecturing Data on him needing to have a little bit of fun every day, was just unbearable!

***

I liked that.

Wasn't one theme in that film about stopping to smell the roses, appreciate life, appreciate time, etc? Not the main theme, but one minor theme.

I feel that INSURRECTION is underrated.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Greg K. - you cite any number of Kirk vs Kirk stories. Um... one? That's all I can think of, when Kirk split in two... "The Enemy Within."

Please remind me what I'm missing.

As for Picard vs Picard... I have dread that it would have been no more interesting than a heated debate in the conference room, Picard's office, or maybe the holodeck over Dixon Hill's desk...
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Greg K. - you cite any number of Kirk vs Kirk stories. Um... one? That's all I can think of, when Kirk split in two... "The Enemy Within."

Please remind me what I'm missing.
++++++++

"What Are Little Girls Made Of?" (although Kirk doesn't actually fight his android duplicate), "Whom Gods Destroy", and STAR TREK VI.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 30 August 2017 at 3:15pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Does anyone believe the December release date was a factor, if only a small one, in NEMESIS' dismal box office?
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 31 August 2017 at 2:40am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I have a vague memory of a TNG episode where Picard was kidnapped and replaced by his more interesting double. Can't remember the title, but I do recall thinking that the crew should have kept the clone (mind you, the rest of the beggars on that ship were a pretty smug and self satisfied bunch, so...).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 31 August 2017 at 6:24am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Not quite the same thing, but one of the few episodes I watched all the way thru involved Picard, Guinan and some other crew being turned into children by a transporter glitch. Eventually they were "restored", but not after some sturm und drang about Li'l Picard being unsuited for his role as Captain, even tho he retained his full memories and skills!

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