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Topic: STAR TREK: INSURRECTION (1998) - 20 years! Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 14 December 2018 at 1:51pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply


I remember being embarrassed that I'd seen Insurrection in the theater.  It was so terrible, with a plot that made absolutely zero sense.  The Mr. Plinkett review of Insurrection does a good job at pointing out the gaping plot holes.  It's more entertaining than the film by far.


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Peter Martin
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Posted: 14 December 2018 at 1:59pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I went to see Insurrection and had to twist someone's arm to come with me (they weren't a Trek fan). Oops. First Contact wasn't perfect, but it felt like it belonged on the big screen, had an interesting story and compelling villains. Insurrection was quite the contrast to this.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 14 December 2018 at 10:50pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

INSURRECTION was the only TNG film I didn’t see in the theater. I was so underwhelmed by the trailers and whatnot that I waited until it came to VHS.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 15 December 2018 at 12:23am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Okay, send the counselor to find him - no, wait, she's not a big enough screen person, and won't be dramatic at all. Besides... is she even in this movie? Are you sure? Has she contributed* anything?

——

She was too busy dealing with her boobs firming up. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 December 2018 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

That would explain what Riker was up to then as well...

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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 15 December 2018 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Saw this at the theater and remember almost nothing about it other than it was disappointing and that it felt like a script from the TV show that didn't get made extended to movie length. The only Next Generation movie that disappointed me more was Nemesis and it's a real shame that was the last Next Generation movie made. I'm hoping there will be enough good things about the Picard series for CBS All Access (which I subscribed to just to see Discovery) to get the stink of that final movie off but my hopes aren't particularly high after Discovery to be honest. 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 18 December 2018 at 2:26am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Yes, definitely a tv episode stretched beyond the limits
of endurance for cinema release, and the location looked
very much like the usual outdoor tv location for an
alien planet (cheap!)
The Gilbert and Sullivan sequence had me cringing in my
seat, uurrrgh!
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 3:09pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I for one am glad Mr. Hague typed this
instead of speaking it. It reads like a
Dennis Leary rant that if actually spoke,
may cause poor Brian to run out of air.
That said, all are very good points. I
find it to be ok not good or great. For me
its still watchable. More so yhan Star
Trek Disco.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 4:39pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

That is probably the way I'm going to go. I'm going to suffocate while choking on my own wormwood and bitter vetch. Most likely after watching a Star Trek episode.

I will say that I often enjoy Trek episodes, be they TOS or TNG, moreso than I do other programs just to watch the cast interact with one another. I have a greater affection for the cast of TNG than may be apparent here, and it is still enjoyable watching everyone onscreen, even in the "bad" episodes. I'll willingly rewatch a Season Three episode any day over any of the Abrams offerings, if only because it's those characters being played by those actors. 

There's something to be said for having something done by people who know how to do it well, even if it isn't coming together well this time out.


Edited by Brian Hague on 04 February 2019 at 4:45pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 6:20pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Charm goes a long way. The actors and the characters have carried many a bad TREK episode. Heck, the entire third season of TOS is only watchable because those people are fun to watch.

And so it is with TNG and the others, to varying degrees. As I often noted in my rewatch-reviews of TNG, there were often episodes and moments where I didn't find the characters/writing particularly likable or engaging, but still enjoyed them because of the actors and their charm.

The Abrams movies and STD rely upon flash and dazzle instead of likable characters played by likable actors. For a franchise arguably built on likable and iconic characters, it's a fatal flaw.

That being said, I think the Abrams movies' cast were failed by the writing and directing more than anything. Chris Pine is a charismatic guy, and he played a better Captain Kirk in WONDER WOMAN than in any of the Abrams films. If he'd actually been directed to play KIRK, instead of a badly-written rethink of Kirk, then it might actually have worked pretty well.

As an aside, I was listening to an episode of the INGLORIOUS TREKSPERTS Podcast, which guest-starred an STD writer. His comments essentially boiled down to TV is hard work, and so it's a miracle that anything good is ever produced, and people who want old characters to stay the same are just clinging to nostalgia.

So, in other words, lazy writing is okay because TV is hard work, and there's no need to respect the characters and stories created by other people, which have been embraced as modern myth by the culture. And so you end up with Harry Mudd as a violent murderer and Jim Kirk as a reckless fratboy jackass.

Edited by Greg Kirkman on 07 February 2019 at 11:18pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I agree that Pine could have played Kirk well, yet he would still never have quite been able to layer his performance as well as Shatner does. Shatner has a theatricality to him that Pine lacks, and Shatner's ease of command and ability to operate as both a pal and a commanding officer in the presence of his friends is deceptively masterful. The respect others had for his authority was unquestioned. I get no sense of that from the Abrams pictures. There's nothing specifically forbidding it. It's just that the cast isn't playing that note, and it hurts the story being told.

Abrams & co. thought they were shining up rusty ol' Star Trek to make it the bright, happy sequel GalaxyQuest never had. They believed that comedy was an essential element of the original series, which is true, in part, but their mistake was in thinking themselves capable of telling those jokes. 

Pine's character, for all of its failings, is still a fairly credible lead. McCoy and Spock, however, are simply affectations. Attitudes rather than performances. Shallowly written and ineffectively conveyed. McCoy's likeable and gruff. The end. Spock is a loose cannon beneath a thin, monotone veneer. The end. They're comedy fodder. They're on screen to be laughed at. From Abrams' perspective, it's not like Star Trek is any kind of serious franchise. It's not Star Wars, for God's sake... THAT you would have to do right. (Or at least put some real effort into.) 

I haven't seen Discovery's Mudd yet, but "Mudd's Women" does hint at the possibility that nothing good happened to Leo Walsh for Mudd to assume his identity. He is more devious and capable in that episode than he is in the later "I, Mudd." We tend to import the light comedy of that Mudd backwards, I think, into our take on the overall character. Again, I have no love for the idea of Discovery revisiting Mudd or for their casting choice, but a murderous Mudd doesn't strike me as too far afield for the character. 

INGLORIOUS TREKSPERTS, on the other hand, is enjoyable. It's a little like the guys from the film FREE ENTERPRISE getting their own podcast... which it is, so, that's all good... 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 11:01pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I agree that Pine could have played Kirk well, yet he would still never have quite been able to layer his performance as well as Shatner does. Shatner has a theatricality to him that Pine lacks, and Shatner's ease of command and ability to operate as both a pal and a commanding officer in the presence of his friends is deceptively masterful. The respect others had for his authority was unquestioned. I get no sense of that from the Abrams pictures. There's nothing specifically forbidding it. It's just that the cast isn't playing that note, and it hurts the story being told.
+++++++

As has been noted by many commentators, over the years, Shatner WAS Kirk from Episode One, Scene One. No one could ever hope replace him, or bring that same effortless combination of charm, humor, and strength of command which he possessed in the role.

Which is why I have serious reservations about recasting iconic characters like Kirk. Anyone else, no matter how talented, will always come across as less than.

I like Pine. He’s a solid actor, and he had an impossible job in taking over the role. I just think he’d have been better served if the character had been written AS Kirk, rather than the reckless commander and shallow womanizer which Kirk tends to be typecast as. 

And, yeah, the others are very much affectations. A collection of catchphrases, accents, and schticks rather than characters. Say what you will about the underutilization of the “seven dwarves” in TOS, but the secondary players always gave their characters dignity and the impression of inner lives beyond what we saw onscreen. The characters as presented in the Abrams films don’t feel like real people, much less dignified ones. They’re just there in the moment to crack jokes, yell at each other, or run around shouting (because that’s Abrams’ idea of drama).

Abrams’ equally shallow (yet far more reverential) treatment of STAR WARS proves that his bag of tricks is limited. Style over substance, schtick over characterization. It’s abundantly clear that he cast his TREK films based on how well the actors could capture the accents and attitudes of the original cast, rather than their ability to portray the characters.

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