View Full Version : Star Trek: The Motion Picture
07-18-2007, 12:15 AM
I just realized this was written by Alan Dean Foster. No wonder I don't really care for this movie.
As an author he leaves much to be desired.
But as sleeping medication, I highly recommend him.
Foster has written for Star Trek.
And for Star Wars:
The Approaching Storm (AOTC prequel)
Splinter of the Mind's Eye (ESB prequel)
Transformers "Ghosts" (prequel)
Now I'm not exactly sure how much of the characterization of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy he authored into the picture (he didn't write the screenplay) but while the characters are a bit stiff (though Kirk and Spock evolve as "V-GER" does), it does feel like Star Trek for what it's worth. But maybe that's because a lot of Star Trek is boring in comparison to Star Wars or typical action genres.
However, other Trek movies came along (including the next installment Wrath of Khan) that proved Trek could be both exciting and action-packed.
But Foster should retire and give up scribing novels and concentrate on writing technical journals about how to use weed killers or something.
07-18-2007, 12:23 AM
The Ghost-1 or something was the callsign of Sector-7's spaceship they launched in the 1960's to try and find out where Megatron came from.
It's crewed by a very "Star Trek" crew (of course - Foster wrote it) and also details the military moving Megatron from the Arctic Circle to Nevada as well as how BumbleBee went down to the earth first.
But actually, in the G1 cartoon after the 1986 movie, Starscream's ghost came back to haunt the Decepticons and seek revenge on Galvatron.
07-18-2007, 01:14 AM
Splinter of the Mind's Eye is the shiznit. :mad: Luke trying to score with Leia and coming disturbingly close redeems carp EU like Legacy. Almost.
07-18-2007, 04:29 AM
Tycho, how could you forget to mention that ADF ghost-wrote the novelization to Star Wars???
ADF also wrote novelizations to:
The Black Hole
Clash of the Titans
The Last Starfighter
The Chronicles of Riddick
So the man can bore readers out of movies in any decade! :p
Also, ADF's only forays into Trek besides the movie are that he wrote all 10 books based on the stories told in Star Trek: The Animated Series... where's the vomiting smilie when you need it?
Anyway, TMP is considered to be the dullest, slowest, and least-exciting Trek movies, so it's no surprise that it's based on a story by ADF. But I actually like the film from a Star Trek perspective, it's got a very classic Trek story buried under all the bland colors and awful '70s costumes.
I would argue that Wrath of Khan is one of the most exciting sci fi movies ever, even over SW, because it builds these characters so perfectly and then has them use their strengths and weaknesses against each other in a battle fought by 2 Starfleet vessels. Director Nick Meyers made Star Trek cinematic and for that, we Trekkies should be forever grateful because he took Trek to another level.
07-18-2007, 04:46 AM
Yes. Alan Dean Foster is next set to write the novelization of The Simpsons' Movie.
With his excellent skill and non-stop symalies, he will render The Simpsons NOT FUNNY!
I can't wait for this one.*
*It's a joke. I have no knowledge of there even being a novelization to the Simpsons, I just picked it because having ADF wreck that kind of movie is the most ridiculous thing I could think of at the moment.
07-18-2007, 09:59 AM
ST: TMP made a conscious decision to be more "2001" (serious sf) than Star Wars (cheesy space opera). While it has a leisurely pace, the director's cut is far better than the old version.
Also, remember, TMP, like 2001, would spend a lot of time showing effects shots that didn't really move the film forward simply because back in 1979 there was still a very big "golly-gee" factor to a lot of the effects work. The shuttle to the Enterpise sequence takes five minutes! And, to be honest, I think the interior of the cloud stuff still ranks with some of the most beautiful images I've seen in film. It was very effective in the 70's because I remember seeing it when I was almost 4 in the theater and being spellbound. The soundtrack, which has become a minor classic, really helps as well.
The major problem with the movie is it doesn't have a real villain, therefore, we have a bit of a road movie for an hour that relies completely upon tension between Decker and Kirk for almost all of the drama. It's nice they allow Kirk some personal growth, but it doesn't do the job at all.
I like it well enough for what it is, but it is pretty boring all these years later.
07-18-2007, 11:17 AM
Actually, the writers of the Simpsons for the past five years or so have already successfully made them not funny.
07-18-2007, 05:32 PM
ST: TMP made a conscious decision to be more "2001" (serious sf) than Star Wars (cheesy space opera). While it has a leisurely pace, the director's cut is far better than the old version. The Director's Cut being the recent Special Edition one and not the VHS version, right? The Director's Cut that Robert Wise reworked just before he died is much better.
TMP I think is meant to be between the 2 extremes you mentioned. The problem is that it's VERY cerebral and at that time science fiction was snobby about that sort of thing, yet by being Trek and having a little human heart to it, it did open audiences to cerebral sci-fi while simultaneously making sci-fi more mainstream and less snobbish by bringing in fresh blood.
Also, remember, TMP, like 2001, would spend a lot of time showing effects shots that didn't really move the film forward simply because back in 1979 there was still a very big "golly-gee" factor to a lot of the effects work. The shuttle to the Enterpise sequence takes five minutes! And, to be honest, I think the interior of the cloud stuff still ranks with some of the most beautiful images I've seen in film. It was very effective in the 70's because I remember seeing it when I was almost 4 in the theater and being spellbound. The soundtrack, which has become a minor classic, really helps as well.Everyone talks about the Scotty & Kirk in the pod scene like it's epic, it's less than 2 minutes actually and it does an amazing job establishing a new scale for Trek which makes it important to the story since it proves what TOS could only hint at - that man really was LIVING in space and building great machines to take him to the stars. The problem with the shuttle pod scene is twofold: there's no dialogue at all, and it is slowly paced. Still, the music there really gives an emotional sense to what Scotty and Kirk are feeling looking at their beautiful rebuilt ship and it lends gravitas to what most consider a silly kids show.
The cloud stuff didn't work for me when I was younger, but once I got a bigger TV it helped, but it's still a little hard to view because many shots had no context - very similar to the "star gate" sequence of 2001:ASO. But when Robert Wise went and added those new CGI scenes (carefully crafted to match the look of the original effects) it largely gave context to the cloud and totally changed my opinion of it, now it makes some sense!
The major problem with the movie is it doesn't have a real villain, therefore, we have a bit of a road movie for an hour that relies completely upon tension between Decker and Kirk for almost all of the drama. It's nice they allow Kirk some personal growth, but it doesn't do the job at all.TMP and the pilot episode of TNG are very similar in a lot of ways, but the reason the TNG episode doesn't feel as slow and boring is because it has action scenes to punctuate the danger of the alien creatures and of Q's first appearance. TMP however has all the action scenes towards the beginning - Klingons fire upon and are destroyed by V'ger, a Federation communications station is eaten by V'ger before our eyes, the Enterprise is sucked into a wormhole and has to blast an asteroid, and finally the Enterprise is fired upon by V'ger (thankfully, Wise's redo on that scene salvaged it) - that's the halfway mark and the first and only action confrontation between the Enterprise and V'ger, after that the Enterprise is at V'ger's mercy, the only other "exciting" scenes of note are Ilia being zapped to death and Spock mind-melding with the probe sensor, both of which end in a rather flat manner and don't have confrontation.
I like it well enough for what it is, but it is pretty boring all these years later.I like it more now than I did as a kid, and I find it less boring, but I have to think of it as an episode of the show because as a movie it IS boring.
07-18-2007, 05:54 PM
As a kid I could not stand it and did not know why it wasn't as good as the show. I appreciate it much more now. I think the problem when I was a kid was that I had already seen good effects with Star Wars and also had a good story at the same time so I wanted a story not just good effects (imagine that).
I can now see they were really saying, "Look how much better this looks than the TV show!"
07-18-2007, 06:46 PM
The Director's Cut being the recent Special Edition one and not the VHS version, right? The Director's Cut that Robert Wise reworked just before he died is much better.
Yes, that is what I meant. The VHS version was a nightmare. I actually appreciate the long shuttle approach to the Enterprise, as much as for the reasons you mentioned, it also introduces the audience to the new and improved Enterprise, which seems to almost have a personality of it's own, and is obviously an object of affection for the crew.
07-22-2007, 11:29 PM
The ship is my favorite character in the movies! :D
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