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Critics Pan Nemesis 1058

Posted by michael
from the bombs-away dept.
CgiJobs writes "The critics aren't much impressed with the new Star trek: "The 10th entry in the Star Trek movie franchise ... is the dullest and drabbest of the lot"; "this ship-bound and lackluster entry tells a rather harebrained story"; "suffers from a nasty case of the cutes"; More at Google News. Of course, I'll still be going to see it." Calling this movie the worst of the series is a pretty harsh criticism...

Reader NCC1701E submitted a short write-up on the movie:

"First, the executive summary: wait for the video. Now, the Gory Details, in all their splendor. I somehow received an email invitation to an advance screening to the Paramount Theater in Times Square, here in NYC. I had to wait in line for 30 minutes, and there was some confusion in swapping my email print out for a pass. But they didn't even check names against a list; it was basically first-come, first served among those who had been inveigled there through various means. In the end, there were even some empty seats. The movie itself? Basically disappointing. IMHO, the weakest entry yet in the series. Production values and special effects were excellent. And it was great to see the movie in a big theater with Dolby sound. But NEMESIS is little more than a Western type "shoot out" movie. The bad guys attack. The good guys fight back, Then, there's more attacking and more fighting back. Then it happens again. And again. You get the idea. I'm a sucker for the hokey humanism that was the hallmark of Star Trek at its best. There was very little of that on display here. In fact, there was very little in the way of a plot. Just some mildly amusing cutesy scenes, plus some murky musings about the nature vs. nuture debate re: a Picard clone. So I didn't much care for the movie. And judging by the subdued response in the theater, neither did the audience. BTW, NY audiences can be cruel. This one snickered at corny lines that weren't supposed to be funny. The phrase "derisive laughter" leaps to mind. I predict NEMESIS will be a huge box office hit. But long-time fans may be as disappointed as I was."

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Critics Pan Nemesis

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:47PM (#4881321)
    Wow, talk about picking out the bad reviews. At rottentomatoes.com, the movie stands at about 50% positive reviews, with over 85% of the more popular reviewers thinking it was good.
  • Re:Too bad (Score:3, Informative)

    by JPelorat (5320) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:49PM (#4881343)
    It's easy to remember:

    Think about Star Trek V. Shudder. There ya go.
  • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x@snkmaiFREEBSDl.com minus bsd> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:50PM (#4881351) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it's odd == bad, even == good.

    And there were some very very good reviews [nbc4.tv] of nemesis as well!

  • by c_jonescc (528041) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:51PM (#4881359)
    ...where it's due damnit.

    Gabe from Penny Arcade said this exact paragraph earlier in the week about Equilibrium.

    Seriously, citing Gabe on this wouldn't effect the moderation you get, and it's pretty lame to steal words just to karma whore.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:51PM (#4881360)
    I seriously doubt that this could possibly be worse than Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which was one of the worst movies OF ALL TIME, if not THE WORST.

    The movie script was written by William Shatner during a Hollywood writer's strike. Shatner demonstrated quite clearly that he should stick to acting.
  • Critics (Score:5, Informative)

    by MoonFacedAssassin (539728) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:53PM (#4881382)
    The critics aren't much impressed with the new Star trek...

    Since when have the critics ever been impressed with Star Trek? I take anything a critic says with a grain of salt.
  • Rotten Tomatoes (Score:3, Informative)

    by klasker (861) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:00PM (#4881452)
    I think "panned" is a relative concept here. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 51% positive rank [rottentomatoes.com] and concidering the SF-bias in the media, I think it's probably safe to assume this is an entertaining movie for the average Star Trek fan. I'm sorry to see the Next Generation go.
  • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:15PM (#4881592)
    ...now Enterprise can't keep its story consistant with the events of the Kirk era that happen 100 years later.

    Far be it from me to be an "Enterprise" apologist, but I remember reading somewhere that there's an official explanation for this in the writers' guide or something. The story goes that when the events of "First Contact" happened, the time line forked in a serious way, due to the fact that Zephram Cochrane (or whatever his name was-- you know, Farmer Hoggett) was exposed to 24th century technology. The time line of "Enterprise" isn't the same as the time line of the original Star Trek, "The Next Generation," and so on.

    That's actually kind of a neat idea, and a new and different way of pressing the reset button on the whole Star Trek universe. I really wish they'd taken that idea more seriously, tying the series premiere closely to "First Contact," instead of doing the tired and nonsensical "temporal cold war" thing.

    Not that "Enterprise" wouldn't still suck, but at least it would make a little more sense in context of all the other Star Trek stories out there.
  • I liked it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:31PM (#4881763)
    I saw it on Wednesday night. I liked it. It's like a two part epidode with much higher production values. I think that what it should be. It's not supposed to be an arty foreign film or a Blade Runner. It's Star Trek. It's also better than Oscar winners "Gladiator" or "Braveheart"
  • by MacAndrew (463832) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:41PM (#4881835) Homepage
    The final battle when they meet the "God-alien" was to have been this furious battles of angels and devils and what have you. The studio put the kibosh on it partly out of fear of religious riots, but I think taste would have been enough. I shudder to picture Shatner's rendition of the battle, and the whole film was already SO arrogant -- and boring. I don't doubt that the studio interference didn't improve the film, either. Maybe they just didn't want to have to pay God residuals.

    Shatner has talked about this often (more details [lapam.mo.it]):
    William Shatner: "An awesome Godlike image appears, surrounded by angels, and demands that the Enterprise transport him back toward more populated sections of the universe. Kirk then challenges 'God,' and an argument ensues. As it escalates, 'God' begins showing his true colors and his image begins to transform, ultimately becoming unmistakably Satanic. The angels simultaneously change into hordes of gargoyles, the Furies of Hell. At that point, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, still suffering from the effects of their first real adversarial relationship, split up, with each man running in a separate direction. McCoy falls, breaking his leg, and is surround by the Furies, as is Spock. At the same time, however, Kirk has broken free, but even with a clear path toward escape, a last look back at the fates of his friends convinces Kirk to go back, risking his life in an effort to save them. Spock is first, and when he's been successfully freed, the pair immediately joins forces in an attempt to save McCoy, who's already been carried away by the minions into Hell. Descending together into the river Styx, Spock and Kirk fight off their hideous attackers and save their injured friend, with Kirk carrying McCoy on his shoulders as they flee."
  • Re:Too bad (Score:1, Informative)

    by WildFire42 (262051) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:57PM (#4881966) Homepage
    Here's my estimates, based on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being "Sucks kumquats" and 10 being "Rocks my World)

    Star Trek 1: (5) Ho-hum. About average. Was like a good episode might have been.

    Star Trek 2: (9) Right up there. Loved it, except for the little things they threw in at the end that kept Spock alive. Seemed a little hokey, but gave us Spoke back the next movie.

    Star Trek 3: (4) Advanced the movie "plots", so to speak, in that it brought Spock back, but other than that, relatively worthless.

    Star Trek 4: (7) Not too bad. I enjoyed the concept, even though it was a little far-fetched, even for a sci-fi flick.

    Star Trek 5: (1) Maybe not even a 1. Shatner should never write anything again. Ever. The end. (Of course I'm kidding).

    Star Trek 6: (10) Loved it. Perfect balance of plot, special effects, cool one-liners (hearing Spock say "Go to hell" was great), and characterization.

    Star Trek: Generations (6) Didn't think it was too bad. Had a relatively well thought out plot that made for a nice transition between the two crews. Although I hated Kirk's death scene, and it was a bit hokey.

    Star Trek: First Contact (8) Nice special effects, plot, and character development. Some cheesey one-liners and a bit of stupid humor in there, but gotta love battles with the Borg.

    Star Trek: Insurrection (4) Would have made a good two-parter episode, but how many times have we seen Picard violate orders from above? How is this any different than any of the other countless times he has?!? AND WHAT WAS WITH DATA FILLING EVERY SCENE WITH STUPID HUMOR?!?! Data was more annoying in this movie than Wesley Crusher ever was on any episode (sorry if you're reading Wil).

    Star Trek: Nemesis (?) Screw the reviewers. None of the big name reviewers have ever enjoyed a movie I did.

    Honestly, I'm sick of hearing what sucks and what doesn't. A lot of the reviewers thought that Austin Powers 3 sucked. I loved it, and apparently so did everyone else in the theater when I saw it.

    Ultimately, I don't see a movie to check on continuity errors, insignificant plot holes, etc. I watch a movie for entertainment purposes. In other words, I spend money to be entertained, and I don't find tearing a movie to shreds to be entertaining. Granted, hokey one-liners piss me off, but that's a different story...
  • by digidave (259925) on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:21PM (#4882171)
    I was at a preview screening at Toronto's Paramount theater. Nemesis is not a great movie, but it's not bad.

    There are at least 3 parts to this movie that are outright stupid. The whole audience actually laughed out loud at times. Other than that, it's a decent movie. I just don't think it lives up to the series. I'd rather have spent my 2 hours watching a couple TNG episodes instead.
  • by LionMage (318500) on Friday December 13, 2002 @03:53PM (#4882909) Homepage
    There's a rather clear and definable moment where Star Trek's quality suffered a containment breach. The moment Gene Roddenberry died.

    OK, look. I know that it's generally considered in poor taste to speak ill of the dead. However, can we please stop lionizing Gene Roddenberry? He may have been the guy who got the ball rolling, and he may have pioneered making science fiction more acceptable and mainstream for the mass media, but he made a lot of negative contributions to the series as well. Allow me to elaborate...

    Gene castrated many of the original stories. He rewrote City on the Edge of Forever because Harlan Ellison's version was too grim and dark and harsh for his overly-romanticized B'hai vision of the future. Granted, some of the castration was the fault of NBC, but not all of it. Years later, when Harlan Ellison critiqued Star Trek: The Motion Picture, he commented that Gene only ever had one or two story ideas which he recycled in every script he wrote. The most often used was: The Enterprise crew encounter God, and he/she/it turns out to be a child/simpleton/whatever.

    Have you ever read the writer's guide for Star Trek: The Next Generation? I have. I nearly puked when I read the character description for Beverly Crusher. It described her as having, and I quote, The walk of a strip-tease queen. Hopefully that got expunged in a later version of the document. It's this kind of inherent sexism in Gene's vision of the Star Trek universe that really makes me wonder about things, like Denise Crosby's exodus from TNG, or Gates McFadden's season-long departure. (Unkind people have suggested that McFadden left the show for a season so she could take acting lessons, and although I think this isn't entirely off-base, that's a pretty nasty character attack.)

    I'm pretty sure that Gene's antics on and off the set colored both the original series and TNG. He was carrying on affairs with two of the actresses on TOS, and rumor has it that wasn't the full extent of his indiscretion. He also tacitly gave his approval (through inaction, if nothing else) of William Shatner's sexual predation on guest actresses on the show. Those who don't know what I'm talking about, check into some of the filmed commentary that the SciFi Channel aired pertaining to guest stars and fans and their experiences on TOS. (They were aired as segments inserted with commercial breaks when SciFi aired the entire original Trek series a couple years back.) Some pretty pointed comments in there from at least one actress who didn't pull any punches.

    The utopian vision of the future of humanity would have been a lot better if it didn't get mired in Roddenberry's obsession with the carnal. Yeah, I ate that stuff up when I was younger, but now that I can look at Trek more objectively as an adult, I can see that Gene's influence was severely being moderated by the time TNG rolled around.

    Incidentally, for those who have stated that the first couple seasons of TNG sucked, I would note that in at least the first season, many of the scripts were recycled from the pile of scripts written for the never-produced Star Trek: Phase II series. This may have been a contributing factor, especially since some of the dialogue didn't neatly map from the original characters to TNG characters.

  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Friday December 13, 2002 @04:08PM (#4883054) Homepage Journal
    Or Buckaroo Banzai beyond the 5th Dimension?

    HEY! First of all, that's "The adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the eigth dimension", and second of all, its a docu-drama, not a comedy!

    Making light of the exploits of the great Dr. banzai...for shame!

    ;- )

  • My 2 centavos (Score:2, Informative)

    by ccnull (607939) <null.filmcritic@com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:31PM (#4883894) Homepage
    As the only film critic on earth who reads Slashdot regularly (not including Slashdot staffers, of course), here's my review of Nemesis [filmcritic.com].

    And yes, it is worse than Solaris [filmcritic.com]

    Oh, and the official word from Trekkies who haven't seen the movie yet is that it is awesome and I am an idiot who is "going to hell" for panning a Star Trek movie, per my hate mail.

    Cheers.
  • by Wordplay (54438) <geo@snarksoft.com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @08:16PM (#4884566)
    Well, of course. When ST1 came out, people hadn't been adequately warned yet. :)
  • by thechink (182419) on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:06PM (#4884783)
    I know you're trying an old joke at we Canadians expense, but the truth is Canada has a strong naval tradition.

    Canada's contribution during WWII in the North Atlantic was huge. From escorting transports to hunting U-boats, we kept the shipping lanes open. At the end of the war Canada had the 3rd largest Navy in the world after the US and UK.

    And right now, Canadian warships are stopping and boarding anything that moves in the Arabian Sea looking for Taliban and Al Qaida operatives. One of our many contributions to the "war on terrorism".

    So yes, we have warships.
  • Re:50%? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Saturday December 14, 2002 @05:55AM (#4886258) Journal
    The only reason I'd disagree is... I just saw Nemesis. It was pretty good. I mean, as a non-trek movie, it was total crap.

    It was miles, miles better than Insurrection. Insurrection was fantastically bad. It was like a bad episode that had enough extra budget that they could emphasize... all the worst parts. The day-time TV acting/directing/screenwriting was in full effect. Nothing was interesting about the plot, villains, action, characters, etc.

    Nemesis still has daytime tv acting in parts. It also has some fantastically lame humor. But, occasionally, the humor plays. This is new for star trek: next generation movies. Also, I felt they were better at exploring a few things that couldn't be explored in the TV show. Here they can actually change characters a little. They also seem as if they paid for a decent script. Somewhat decent. The space battles are miles, miles better than anything I can remember in a Trek movie. It was interesting to watch. It's not like it was great action directing, a la black hawk down, where everything that occurs is clear to the audience, and makes tactical sense, but it was certainly kindof neat.

    Iduno. I'm really really picky about movies. This one has hilarious, glaring flaws. Bad makeup, half the acting, some of the script. But it also had everything that made the series interesting, plus some other cool shazz. I'd say Insurrection was like one of their worst TV episodes, with the bad elements emphasized. Nemesis was like one of their best TV episodes, with the best stuff emphasized, and some semi-innovative elements added as well.

    So if you liked the ST:TNG show, you'll probably like Nemesis. If you didn't like the show, certainly don't bother. If you liked Insurrection, then apparently you'll enjoy anything. Watch a pinwheel. It's cheaper, and you won't notice the difference.

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