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Rick Berman Doesn't Know Why Nemesis Tanked 1210

Posted by Hemos
from the well-'cuz-it-sucked-for-one dept.
Steve Krutzler writes "Star Trek producer Rick Berman broke his silence today on the debacle that was the North American box office for STAR TREK NEMESIS. The film grossed $18.5 million in its opening weekend in mid-December, the lowest of any TREK bow, and its current domestic total stands below even that of the much-lambasted STAR TREK V. Read more at TrekWeb. Berman says he doesn't know why the movie failed and the future of more TREK movies is uncertain."
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Rick Berman Doesn't Know Why Nemesis Tanked

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  • Killing Data (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5224855)
    It failed because they killed Data, IMO.
  • by Soluxx (545237) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5224858)
    Maybe it tanked because Star Trek is dying out in mainstream culture. We still have Enterprise, which is interesting, and Voyager reruns, but I can't imagine that they get good ratings. Sure the cultists still worship Star Trek, but I imagine most people have become less entralled with it.
  • by sparkhead (589134) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:07PM (#5224876)
    in a better way, in previous Star Trek adventures.

    It was retelling of Wrath of Khan without the great characters.

    Just as "Generations" sucked, where they tried to put every element into one movie (destroy the ship, cold character gets emotions, major character dies, etc.), so did Nemesis.
  • Surprised (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224888)
    I went in with VERY low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I definitely thought it was better than IV/V/VI/VII.

    This was only a few weeks ago; it was a second-run theater but it was PACKED.

  • Obvious? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Faeton (522316) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224889) Homepage Journal
    I would think that the word "overkill of the series" has something to do with it?

    That, and the movie before that, Star Trek - Insurrection wasn't good at all. Remember: Once fooled, shame on you. Twice fooled, shame on me.

    The public might be stupid, but not THAT stupid

  • by spoot (104183) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:09PM (#5224905) Homepage
    If my memory serves me well, it did open right around LOTR and I'm sure that didn't help. But I'd say that the mair reason it "tanked" probably had more to do with the current state of affairs of the TV series. It didn't have a monster promotion machine of a hit (read HIT) series running on TV to drive fans and other folks to theatres. The series is tired, so I would bet most folks thought the movie would be "tired."
  • by deranged unix nut (20524) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:09PM (#5224919) Homepage
    1) The actors hadn't played the parts in so long, they had forgotten their characters.

    2) The actors had all aged a good decade since the last episode and aren't as appealing anymore.

    3) The plot had more holes than swiss cheese.

    4) Better movies were released at the same time.

    5) The previous movie was going downhill, why see another if the previous one wasn't worth paying for.

  • It jumped the Shark (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sailboatfool (178278) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5224963)
    Need I say more?
  • Re:Easy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5224964)
    "It failed because it sucked - plain and simple. It felt like an extended episode rather than a "film" (e.g., compare it with something like LoTR)."

    That doesn't explain a bad opening weekend. It 'sucking' (geez, is that the most sophisticated opinion of the movie you could muster?) would explain a sharp falloff after opening weekend.

    The truth of the matter is that it didn't have a lot of people rushing to theaters to go see it. It kind of fell off the radar with all the other movies out.

    Personally, I can't help but think people wanted to avoid crowds. You know those LoTR fans, casting spells and rolling dice and shit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#5224980)
    Nemesis was easily one of my favorite Trek movies. Say what you will about parallels to James Bond or Wrath of Khan, it was a couple hours of good, fun entertainment.

    Its predecessors were not.

    Star Trek 7, 8, and 9 were miserable, hippy-like mockeries of Star Trek. Star Trek 9 might as well have had a soundtrack by the Grateful Dead, it was so frickin' hippy-infested. They may as well have had the uniforms replaced with tye-dye hemp, and had Crusher start prescribing some ganja for "medical purposes."

    Rick Berman doesn't realize why Nemesis failed? Rick Berman and his "I sure do love beating this dead horse" mentality made Nemesis fail. He's a bit like Saturday Night Live -- If he doesn't have a good idea, he just resurrects some tired old idea that used to be good, and does it a quarter million times until he finally thinks of something.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:17PM (#5225015)
    I have to agree. The Star Trek franchise needs a 15-20 year hiatus. It's just our of ideas. Enterprise is like watching paint dry. I saw Nemesis in the theater and it was just an average 2 hour episode. I'm a huge fan of Star Trek in general, and TNG in particular - but the Star Trek universe needs a break.

    Unfortunately, Firefly got cancelled. It was 10x better than Nemesis or Enterprise. And there are no mid-season sci-fi replacements.
  • Nemesis (Score:2, Interesting)

    by merauder (518514) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:18PM (#5225030)
    Why did it tank? Well pretty much all the exciting parts were in the previews, in fact I thought the previews were better then the movie after I saw it. The movie felt rushed, and pieces of the plot just seemed absent. Ok, wedding with Riker, that was what a whole five mins when they have been working on that relationship since the original series? The whole he's your clone thing, face your demons was really kinda lame IMHO. I had a hard time believing that this was penned by a 'fan' of the series who knows Star Trek inside and out. When we left the theater it was like I having watched a lame episode of the series on TV (which happened from time to time). For it to be a final chapter in the movie series (ya right) it went out with a wimper and not a bang. But its not just this movie, the last couple have felt incomplete and rushed. The last Trek movie that I felt was really well done was 'First Contact'. ah well, my 2 cents.
  • Re:Dumb story? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lysander (31017) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:19PM (#5225047)
    not to mention a conveniently lethal, brand-new form of radiation.
  • by BeBoxer (14448) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:20PM (#5225057)
    Man, do I feel dumb. I don't even remember there being a Star Trek movie out over Christmas. Weird. They apparently only marketed it in media I don't pay attention to. Or maybe it's just the fact that there have been so many Star Trek movies that it just wasn't possible for my subconcious to register "Nemesis" as having an existence of it's own. Kind of like James Bond movies. My brain doesn't seem to be able to register the existence of new episodes of that series either. I'm just too damn old to waste brain cells trying to keep track of a dozen different Bond or ST flicks.
  • by gamgee5273 (410326) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:25PM (#5225113) Homepage Journal
    1) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
    2) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 3) Star Wars Episode II IMAX

    Now, I know Berman is thick, but to ask this question and to wonder why it happened outdoes any of the insipid things he's done since Gene's death. Paramount opened the movie smack-dab in the middle of two major, highly anticipated openings and one major "event" release (I think AOTC IMAX made more than Nemesis did, even). Berman needs to be replaced with someone who has a strong sense of SF and storytelling. J. Michael Straczynski and Harlan Ellison would be a great team to take on the franchise.

    That said, I found Nemesis to be fairly strong. My expectations were low when I went in, but I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I think it sets up a Star Trek XI that could, truly, be a massive hit (or mess), involving the TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager crews and could tie up the Romulan thread (especially considering that Scotty is still tooling around out there and Spock is still on Romulus!).

  • by rppp01 (236599) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:29PM (#5225157) Homepage
    I was a trekkie when younger - also a star wars fan. I am much less the 2 now, even though sci fi and sci fantasy still capture my interest.

    Why? Well, it isn't the characters, but most definately is the plot. Star Trek lacks history. It had it with TOS and TNG. Technology had advanced, and we could see that. Story lines were still based on the premise that people and aliens have feelings and personal demons to battle.
    With the advent of DS9 and Voyager, Star Trek left the historical line and issues between peoples and personal demons for outrageous story lines that included the borg chasing but never defeating a small ship in the middle of no where- neglecting the history of the borg as almost undefeatable. And a space station of mixed people. So much potential in that series, but it lost because they could not create enough internal issue stories.

    Star Wars had a huge following not only because of its ground breaking fx, but also because it had history. 1000 years of jedi rule. Empire that was how old? Jedi master was how old? Clone wars? Obi Wan knew Vader before The Fall? History was loud in the ears of Star Wars fans. I cared less for the post ROTJ books. I wanted more history. It was finally granted- and I was sickened.

    I think another area is culture. Star Trek was a 'perfect culture' that worked well in TNG, and was still rough and being learned in TOS. But there was culture. It was neglected in the newer series. Again, DS9 had the opportunity, but the ball was dropped in favor of a huge war that left me thinking 'eh'.
    I loved the culture of star wars- so many peoples, and yet corruption, love, hate, revenge, politics, all together loosely in a republic and empire. It works for me.

    I think that the rules were perverted so severely in Star Trek that it wasn't funny. Suddenly in one episode the tachyon field can be adjusted to deflet energy fields, while in the next they can't stop weapons from smashing the shields to '12%' and 'surrender'. Star Wars allowed for everyone to be able to die- and the heroes are either gifted or lucky- not suddenly supremely good at manipulating technologies and even nature.
    Time travel and cloaking devices should go. Why does it work here, but not there. Suddenly we can track a cloaked ship, but next time we are completly caught off guard. I understand the element of surprise, but people, come on.

    Rick, Star Trek is dying because you neglected what made it great. Sure, some story lines were campy, but until the end of TNG, it worked. Culture, history were enough to keep the story fresh. But you trashed those along with technology and left it utterly unwatchable.
  • Re:Yeah, smart... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wraithlyn (133796) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:29PM (#5225159)
    I know you're just kidding (well, sorta anyway.. one person's funny is another's flamebait ;).. but seriously, what better place to get a large, moderated sample of opinions from Star Trek's target demo?
  • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:31PM (#5225181) Journal

    Ask Slashdot why Nemesis failed. You just know you'll get a ton of insightful and intelligent answers out of a question like that.

    I got no indication that the poster was trying to make a joke. I think Paramount, Berman and Braga would do well to listen to the fans for a change instead of ramming standard sci-fi with the Trek label slapped on down our throats. The size and imagination of the Trek fanbase is legendary. There is TONS of free information out there for them to consider. Obviously, the studio wouldn't want to take some fanboy's idea verbatim or even hire fans to provide input. All they would have to do is cruise a few forums and get an idea what the fans want. Nemesis is a classic example of what happens when a studio is completely out of touch with their fans and thinks they can figure out what the fans want more than the fans themselves.

    It doesn't have to be slashdot. There are plenty of free forums where the so-called creative talent behind the Trek franchise could go cruising for inspiration and insightful analysis. After 30+ years of Trek, there's really no excuse for them the studio to get it wrong.

    GMD

  • by Steveftoth (78419) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:33PM (#5225206) Homepage
    1. Sex: Nobody wants to see any of the old flabby asses of TNG crew anymore. They are too old. Get a new sexxy crew if you want to direct a porno.

    2. Crazy Psychic Sex: Even worse, some guy sees a girl for the first time and has psychic sex with her. Doesn't make a good plot.

    3. Buggys (aka toys): Ok, must they introduce a new toy in every movie? I don't think that makes sense.

    4. Obvious plot continuations: Data will return, at least with spock you had to guess.

    5. No character development: Picard's clone wasn't developed very well. I felt nothing for him. The sex scenes should to have been cut and turned into scenes where this character was developed. Also, the exploration of 'would Picard turned out like this if he were raised in a death camp.' Was weak and not very thought provoking.

  • by trosis (602260) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:34PM (#5225214)
    Actually Nemsis was released within 5 days of the Two Towers. That was the biggest mistake Paramount made.
  • by YllabianBitPipe (647462) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:34PM (#5225217)
    As a fan of the Star Trek OTS movie franchise, here's some suggestions to Mr. Berman and how to make Trek better. Figure out the characters. The best OTS Trek moments came from knowing the characters well and seeing how they behaved in unique situations. The interaction between Kirk, Spock and McCoy was priceless. You have some pretty good characters in Next Gen. Re-familiarize yourself with them and how they interact and make a plot that is based around characters, not "let's blow some crap up and chase a villain". Get a hold of Nicholas Meyers and pick his brain. Maybe he will suggest to you, watch all the Next Gen Trek episodes in a marathon sitting and figure out some plot themes and arcs that span the series. You also have a really great actor in the form of Patrick Stewart. Give him something worthy of his talents other than shooting a laser gun. For example, in Nemesis, why didn't you let Stewart play Shinzon? He was a clone, right? You could have had some great acting moments there, plus a little nod to the Original Series "Good Kirk Bad Kirk" parallel universe episode. Lastly, I dread seeing a Deep Space Nine or Voyager Movie. Your last great hope would be to ring Nicholas Meyers and see if he has any decent ideas. If not, let it end.
  • by ChaoticCoyote (195677) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:34PM (#5225220) Homepage

    ...I can tell you why Nemesis tanked.

    The TNG Universe (and Enterprise) is formulaic, over-produced, slick to the point of featurelessness, and so politically correct it is painful to watch.

    In other words, it sucks. I have not seen it; nothing in the previews gave me any sense as to why I'd want to see it.

    I've been watching Trek since the original series. The original was fun, quirky, politically-incorrect for its time, and just plain fun. The dynamic of Kirk-McCoy-Spock was fun and stimulating.

    TNG started off good, and sank into mediocrity, boring characters, and political correctness. The Federation had gone from being an adventure to being a boring bureaucracy filled with faceless people who remind me of white bread. DS9 had some good moments, most of which were lost in Voyager and the movies. Where is the passion, the joy of exploration, the diversity of cultures? Bah, Berman's Trek is mostly about destroying any sense of individuality or culture or faith or initiative.

    Enterprise is an example of everything that is wrong with Trek. These are not bold adventurers; they are simpering fools who wouldn't last fiv minutes in the universe of Kirk and Spock. The only character I have any fondness for is the Chief Engineer, who exudes some personality (when he's allowed to).

    I do not want to live in the Star Trek envisioned by Berman and Braga; in my opinion, they destroyed the series with blandness.

  • by shadowlight1 (77239) <chris...feyrer@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:35PM (#5225229) Homepage
    A quote from his Nemesis review:
    " think it is time for "Star Trek" to make a mighty leap forward another 1,000 years into the future, to a time when starships do not look like rides in a 1970s amusement arcade, when aliens do not look like humans with funny foreheads, and when wonder, astonishment and literacy are permitted back into the series. Star Trek was kind of terrific once, but now it is a copy of a copy of a copy."
  • Re:Killing Data (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arcturax (454188) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:38PM (#5225264)
    Well he obviously survives or is brought back somehow.

    If you watch the last ST:TNG episode, "All Good Things..." Picard is jumping between the present, past and the future. In the future Data is alive and well other than the rediculously overdone grey streak on one half of his head.

    So how would Data survive? Many ways!
    - Q could bring him back easilly.
    - Time travel, after all this is Sci-Fi
    - Beamed out by the other Romulan ships in the area and help captive for a time for study.
    - Since he uploaded himself to B4 (think Spock grabbing McCoy's head and saying "Remember!") they could potentially rebuild Data and reload him from the image stored in B4. (I can just see "Star Trek, Search for Data!")
    - I suppose even the nanites which Wesley created in one of the episodes could stumble upon the wreckage and rebuild him from vaporized particles.
    - And the most likely and to revive him: Random annoying Star Trek plot device.
  • Nemesis tanked (Score:2, Interesting)

    by benvec (100944) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:41PM (#5225286) Homepage
    They are not kidding about waiting too long... Way too long, and it damaged the excitement. Star Trek is first and foremost a television show. It is a serial adventure. This is not like Star Wars, you expect a quick succession of episodes. Also the fact that Next Generation has been off the air for quite a while has, I think diminished some of that excitement and surprise that you expect of any new episode, especially one for the movies. Also the cast is getting older and are still locked into their roles of many years, unchanged. I think these factors and others contributed to the poor turn-out of Nemesis. Then, when you top that with a lackluster script and a main character (Picard's clone) who I found uninteresting, unrealistically motivated and capable of more than I think is possible, like taking over the whole Romulan Star Empire, it's even worse. The script broke no new ground. It absolutely re-hashed old ideas and I thought it pandered to what they thought fans would like and accept. They made a mistake of hiring a screen writer who was too much of a Star Trek fan and a director who was not enough of one. The movie did not advance anything or put a new twist on anything enough to make you want more and come back for another.
  • Re:Killing Data (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:42PM (#5225296) Homepage

    It didn't fail because they killed Data.

    No they didn't. [caltech.edu] It's all an illusion.
  • Enough Enterprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stonan (202408) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:43PM (#5225302) Homepage
    I've been a Trek fan for over 25 years. I do love the TV shows but the movies are lacking. I think we've all had enough of Enterprise being 'the only ship that can save/defeat/whatever whoever.

    The focus needs to change. What I would like to see for the next movie is an in-depth account of the final battle with the Dominion. They could show the leadup and the actual battle from all sides (Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Cardasian, etc.).

    Get away from the plodding one-on-one battles and do a full engagement.
  • by Milktoast (3812) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:49PM (#5225358)
    One reason why Trek is taking is because the writers are afraid to take chances with the characters. Since the TNG movies began - the crew of the enterprise has been stagnant. Nobody's been introduced, nobody has died, nobody's even been promoted (until this outing).

    Why should I care about the the latest "danger" if I know they'll just hit the reset button at the end of the movie? They couldn't even kill off a main character this time without making up some horribly improbable way to bring him back from the dead.
  • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:51PM (#5225383) Homepage
    (2) is an insult to the best of the series. Who could forget "The Best of Both Worlds" (Season 3 finale / Season 4 premiere), "Yesterday's Enterprise" (middle of Season 3) or "Cause and Effect" (middle of Season 5)?

    Remember when the Borg were actually scary? When the crew didn't have to blow up the ship/have Data swear/have every character do something memorable? When they actually had decent SF plots ("Cause and Effect", "The Inner Light") instead of trying to pretend it was a non-geeky action movie? See what happens when you forsake me, Berman! I said you'd come crawling back, and now you have!

    Oh, the show had its stinkers, too, but I think it had a much, much higher hit rate than the movies have. I'm just going to pretend that they never mentioned the Borg after "Descent", and let them go gracefully.

    --grendel drago
  • It didn't make sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ansible (9585) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:55PM (#5225434) Journal

    I think the movie failed because it wasn't satisfying, nor it it seem to make much sense.

    And no, I'm not talking the dumber-then-hell physics nonsense that usually permeates ST. I'm talking about the plot.

    Cuts. Check IMDB for the movie's quotes. How many of those were actually in the movie? The cut out a lot of background stuff that explained why this stuff was happening, and what the character's motivations were.

    For instance: That Romulan commander (woman). At first she appears she's going to be a toady for Shinzan. She was asking that Romulan admiral some pointed questions after the big ship goes to zap Earth, like she was trying to see if the admiral was going to betray Shinzan. Then, all of a sudden, she's betraying Shinzan? What? Why did she change her mind? Did we learn enough about her character to understand why she might change her mind?

    Over and over the point of the movie is that people are good when they aspire to be better than themselves. That's what is supposed to make Data better than B4. It's a fine sentiment, but where is it actually shown in the movie? Saying it is fine for a book or something. But you've got to have it be a central part of the movie, or it is just a plattitude.

    And how did Deanna learn to fight back against Shinzan and the Chancellor? Why didn't she do that the first time?

    Oh yeah, and as for physics... Ships with impulse drive can go like 0.99c. If you decide to ram another ship, you're going to end up with a big cloud of plasma and debris, not some lame "crunch".

    And the cloaking... why couldn't the Enterprise's brilliant engineers program the weapons to shoot right back at anything shooting at the ship? It doesn't matter if the Romulan ship is cloaked, it's shooting you right now! Right over there! Sheesh.

  • by supabeast! (84658) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:04PM (#5225521)
    Rick Berman needs to go. Rick Berman has needed to go for a very, very long time. Under Rick Berman Star Trek went from cutting-edge Sci-Fi to recycled plots and characters. The most refreshing thing Berman did was make Captain Janeway a woman, which would have been interesting were there not already female admirals. The most exciting thing Berman has done with Star Trek is cheesy sexual innuendo on "Enterprise;" other television shows broke that barrier in the 1980s.

    Star Trek fans have been sick of Berman for over a decade. His stewardship has done nothing but run Star Trek shows and films into the ground while Paramount marketing made it a commodity. Perhaps the failure of Nemesis will finally wake up Paramount and Rick Berman will get the boot.
  • by Forkenhoppen (16574) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:10PM (#5225584)
    It didn't matter how good they made it; thanks to the string of bad movies before it, the characters had completely lost credibility by the time they got to Nemesis.

    See, the big thing about the Next Generation series is that a lot of people really felt for the characters. They all had their own individual battles or things that made things difficult for them, even though this was supposed to be a utopian future. The ones that come to mind immediately are Data, who struggled to be human, and Geordi, who had no natural vision. And Picard, of course, with the Borg. (And his other little quirks..)

    So instead of seeing some real character development over those first few movies, with each of them struggling with their impediments or against them, and triumphing over them, which is what being a hero's all about, we see them getting them handed to them deus ex machina. LaForge--bam--has these newfangled eyes. Data--bam--emotion chip got fixed. Picard... is a special case; I'll get to him in a minute.

    Data, they should've done the following; stretched out the problems he had with his emotion chip. We see him responding poorly to it when he first gets it, but very quickly he overcomes this--and here's the kicker--in such a way that the audience never actually sees him overcome it. We, the audience, don't get to see this happen, and thus, we aren't able to really root for him. He has many minor struggles, but we never really see the big one, as it were.

    So when Data dies in Nemesis, he's no longer the same entity we know and love; we can't even tell what emotions he's feeling in a lot of those scenes where he finds B4, because we feel no empathy for this feeling Data. To the audience, he's totally different. So when he goes bye-bye, we feel a sense of loss, but not because Data overcame all and gave of himself, but because the writers took our Data from us, and never let us get to know him before kicking him out the airlock.

    LaForge, I don't really know what to say.. there just should've been more to his ocular upgrade. It just happens too quickly, and without cost. :(

    Worf---What the heck is he doing there!?!? The fact that he's there, doing the same old job, just screams TV episode to everyone in the audience. Especially after all that he went through in DS9, regaining the respect of his fellow Klingons... to treat him like the Worf from TNG is just unacceptable.

    Finally, the biggie; Picard. He's the one character that you've admired through the whole series. You sympathized with his problems with talking to kids. (Because he had to tell Wesley his father was dead.) You respected him because he was the voice of reason in times of war, conflict, strife. He's been the source of nobility in times of uncertainty. And you sympathized with him when he personally experienced what it was like to have his humanity ripped away from him by the Borg, and cried with him as he struggled to regain something of that humanity from his brother.

    Then the movies started.

    Generations started off the work on him by throwing him into the Nexus, and having him meet up with Kirk for some good 'ole fashuned cowboy-style fun. Okay... so it's his first movie in this role... but still, they managed to completely ruin the Guinan/Picard dynamic, and kill off his family. The former wrecked a very delicate and interesting relationship between the two; the latter destroyed something about the nobility of the man--from here-on he's lost something of his humanity, of his nobility, that his brother was providing him. Now, he just fights for the federation; his links to the average man have been severed, and he's now just another member of the military arm of the federation. This is a sad turn of events.

    Next comes First Contact. One word; borg queen. Whaaaaaa...?? Okay, if it, like, explained something about why the borg were doing what they were doing, or gave us some better piece of the bigger puzzle, then okay. Instead, she's just the new voice for the borg, who has the hots for Picard. (Huh???) And Data. (Double huh????) Other than that and the fact that it's a time travel plot, though, it was the most credible of all the movies.

    Then came Insurrection, and Picard's been reduced yet again. Now he's off on some planet playing hokey mind-magic... I think everyone's starting to suspect by now that Picard's really off his rocker. First his family's gone, then this borg queen shows up again, and now this mind-magic fountain of youth crap he's playing with some old hag....!?!? It's just ludicrous..! Remember how he cried after Best of Both Worlds? That's what we needed to see; him struggling with what he's lost, and trying to build on what he's gained, and instead we get.. this?!?

    Why Nemesis failed is because Picard was no longer the emotionally strong man he was in the series--and yet they pretend he still is. They've torn away at what makes him tick so much that to have him act like none of this ever happened--or that he came to grips with it all while we weren't looking, and hey, no biggie, nothing changed as a result--is just insulting the audience.

    So when you see Picard saying crap throw-away lines that use the words "unsafe velocities" or you see him laughing like a crazy man on the desert planet, so at ease with himself that it's beyond belief, you just can't help but realize that this isn't the same man from the series, or even the movies. This is someone completely different, who has more in common with someone like Storm from X-Men. ("Know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightening?") And that just plain sucks.

    I'm not even going to bother going into Riker, Troi, Crusher, or anyone else at this point because they haven't been the focus for any of these movies anyways. The problem with the movies for TNG has been that they've just destroyed the characters we've cared about too completely.. and any time they spend on any of the other characters would certainly finish the rest of 'em off.

    Berman, I hope you're reading this..
  • by Vortran (253538) <aol_is_satan@hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:17PM (#5225657) Homepage
    Dear Rick

    The screenplay was horrible! The writing for Voyager and TNG was wonderful. I remember plots within plots and sideplots and twists and turns.

    Nemesis was so one-dimensional, it hurt my head. I kept waiting for the "retarded" Data to turn out to be Lore or for some new technology to be introduced or for Troi to get pregnant... or a million things that might have been interesting with that much raw acting talent on hand.

    You gave a cast of superb actors the worst screenplay I think I have ever seen. It looked as though every interesting idea got tabled by committee or something. We ended up with a really flat uninteresting story. Whatever happend with Wesley going off with the traveler?

    Where are the other members of the crystalline entity's species? How about Species 8472? How about Janeway and Picard gettig together? What about the Voyager crew on Earth.. what about the reunion therE? For crying out loud, this could have been SO cool! It just plain sucked because it didn't live up to its potential. DAMN it could have been awesome! Instead it was just disappointing.

    The machine that has been Star Trek still has the capability of producing heart-pounding, thought-provoking and deeply interesting entertainment worthy of the cast and worthy of Roddenberry. Hop to it! We expect more.

    - a Star Trek fan

    Vortran out
  • by TGK (262438) <Killfile&Nephandus,Com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:19PM (#5225682) Homepage Journal
    One of the problems could be that the Star Trek alien races were little more than exagerated reflections of elements in our own world in the 1970s.

    The Borg: Making all that it encoutered part of itself, ever expanding. Faceless, lacking individuality and above all ENORMOUSLY huge. -- Red China

    The Federation: Defending free space, protecting free trade, espousing high minded idealism and the betterment of the individual -- The United States (free world).

    The Vulcans: Perfectly logical creatures devoid of emotion in nearly all respects -- A biological reflection of the beginings of the information age.

    The Klingons: Warlike and brutal, obsessed with combat and conquest. -- The Soviet Union

    One reason the series is dieing out is that these sterotypes and these ways of viewing the world are vanishing as the Cold War fades from our memory. China becoming part of the world for the first time, the Russians are our friends, and the "neutral territores" i.e. the third world is disappearing rapidly.

  • by gamgee5273 (410326) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:22PM (#5225719) Homepage Journal
    Well, people said that Stan Lee and DC would never happen, and it did...

    Yep, I made mention of it knowlingly, and I know it wouldn't happen, but that would be the beauty of it! Ellison and JMS working on Trek! Granted, it's only a Trekker/B5 geek's wet dream, and I can't imagine Ellison ever touching Trek again. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a nice shot in the arm for the franchise.

    While I'm on the general subject: For a darker Trek, I would say getting David Fincher (Fight Club), Alex Proyas (The Crow), or Darren Aronofsky (Pi) would be a good way to go.

    Again, this is all a pipedream.

  • by NetFu (155538) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:29PM (#5225776) Homepage Journal
    TNG was the first Star Trek *anything* that really went mainstream. But a LOT of the fans were really young -- I'm 33, love the original series because I grew up with it, but you can only stretch that so far. I love Enterprise (so far) because it's so much like the original series, but I never liked TNG for a lot of reasons. The TNG fans I knew were almost all teenagers, and that was in the early to mid-90's. And you know how quickly the tastes and attitudes of teenagers change -- maybe the demographics of the TNG fans has changed massively???

    Also, even though I never liked the TNG series much, most of the TNG movies were good enough for me to go see. I paid for Insurrection, I thought it was very, very weak, and that had a big effect on my not going to see Nemesis -- for whatever reason, the previews didn't make me decide I wanted to go see it enough to risk wasting my time again (on a side note, if movie trailers suck so bad that they don't tell you what the movie is about, I will not go to see the movie). I think it's likely a lot of the hard-core Trek fans like me who were left after most of the teen TNG fans lost interest felt they were screwed by Insurrection.

    The bottom line is I think the people who made this movie did NOT do their homework. $52 million is nothing to sneeze at, but if you spent $70 million to make the movie (according to IMDB.com), you got screwed. If you have a small target audience, you'd better damn well limit the budget.

    Maybe those same people need to WATCH the damn movies they are making (do your homework!). According to IMDB.com, Insurrection's budget was $58 million and it made a total of about $81 million. Maybe they didn't notice that Insurrection sucked and they stupidly gave the next movie a higher budget.

    I think this all comes down to business, and Paramount made some bad business decisions because $52 million in revenue is not a bomb, IMHO, unless you make dot-com-like business decisions.
  • by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:33PM (#5225812) Journal
    I'd suggest that Nemesis didn't suck nearly as badly as:

    1) Insurrection
    2) Enterprise
    3) Voyager

    If some friends of mine hadn't threatened bodily harm, I never would have watched it, despite being a big TOS, TNG, and DS9 fan.

    The reason no one went to see it is probably the same reason I didn't want to see it. The franchise has established a solid trend of being as boring as hell. The preview made it look like more of the same. You have aimed your criticism precisely and accurately.

    The movie itself was good, imho. Well, it was good for Trek. I wouldn't recommend it to non-trekkies at all. But that's a *big* step up from anything they've done recently.
  • by SubtleNuance (184325) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:38PM (#5225848) Journal
    Californians don't realize it, but they're held in contempt throughout the rest of the world
    HA! i rather like californians (not hollywood stars -- who are kooks no matter what) progressive, peacefull, enlightened.

    What, are you some kinda ignorant, rightinst, warmongering, plutocratic, fascist republican?
  • by pyros (61399) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:55PM (#5226003) Journal
    I think DS9 kicked ass, and I'm not lying. I liked the longer plots. Once in syndication, a format like TOS and TNG makes more sense, because (usually) each episode makes sense by itself.
  • by redtail1 (603986) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:20PM (#5226207)
    I wrote this after I saw the film...

    (mostly spoiler-free) For filmmakers the only audience reaction worse than disappointment must be indifference. And I'm afraid that's exactly what I experienced after watching "Star Trek: Nemesis" this evening. I felt like I had seen almost all of it before, several times, and sadly by the end of the movie even the fates of my favorite Star Trek crew didn't seem to matter as much anymore. Four years is a long time to wait between installments and it felt like too much time had passed since their last big screen appearance. Things I had waited to see for years finally happened and I was left with an ambivalent shrug afterwards.

    There were definitely some nice moments in the film, despite some stunningly weak parts of the plot which resembled non-sequiturs without explanations more than holes. And I sucessfully avoided reading spoilers about the movie so the big surprise did catch me off guard and it had emotional impact. But I was hoping for more than a mere rehash of the best Star Trek film or at least some more closure concerning the destinations of the less visible members of the crew. I have since read that those scenes were filmed, edited and then left on the cutting room floor along with Wesley Crusher's cameo. It's funny how I am starting to prefer the DVD director's cut editions of films over the versions which are initially released. To me, the additional material is usually worth some intermittent pacing and after watching a fully fleshed out story I still walk out of the cinema wanting more.

  • by ckaminski (82854) <ckaminski&pobox,com> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:25PM (#5226253) Homepage
    There's something to be said for one-off episodes and movies, but I have to admit as much as I hated the whole trek phenomenon after the 3rd or 4th season of TNG, I really got into the last couple seasons of DS9, because it had a serial format to it that made it compelling to watch next weeks episode. That whole serial format is what makes things like 24, West Wing, Farscape, Stargate SG:1 interesting to watch. There's no fear in me that the good guys are in trouble. No suspense, because you know Jordi and Data are going to save the day.

    No. We need death. We need strife. We need chaos. Heroic actions that lead to horrible consequences. Ala Lord of the Rings (sorry to insult LTR by comparing it to trek). But the trek series was never very serial to begin with, so this format might not work at all. I hate the fact that the Klingons kept getting beat down by the humans. Let's face it, a warrior race, based on strong tactical skill (al Queda) facing off against a strong enemy with powerful weapons, strong moral code (for the sake of argument) (U.S.A), etc. etc....

    -Chris
  • My dot oh two. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CleverNickName (129189) <wil@wilwhea[ ].net ['ton' in gap]> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:37PM (#5226359) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, Wil, got any comments?

    Well, I was going to burn my mod points in this thread, but I'll give it a shot:

    I think that the release date was incredibly stupid. It's almost like Paramount wanted to "bury" this movie. I have no idea why they released it when they did.

    But the release date shouldn't matter. If the story is strong enough, people will go to see it over and over again. As far as I can tell, this is where Paramount fumbled this movie.

    When Star Trek is good, it's about people. That's why my favorite episode is Inner Light. That's why I loved working on First Duty and Final Mission.

    The script that I read for Nemesis was about people. John Logan is a HUGE fan, who knows every detail about TNG. He infused the characters and plot with detalis that would make a Trekkie drool. He understood why people cared about these characters, and told an incredible story. I still haven't seen the final cut, but everything I've read indicates that they got away from that. I have heard that on more than one occasion the director proclaimed that he didn't care about Star Trek history and continuity. It seemed like he really didn't respect the fans or the franchise, so they ended up with yet another action movie with robots and laser guns.

    Sadly, I think that an action movie in space is exactly what Paramount wants.

    Marketing a Star Trek movie is insanely difficult. Mainstream audiences think it's just for nerds. They think that they need to watch seven seasons of TNG to know what's going on. Paramount knows that the hardcore fans will show up no matter what, so they focus their attention on convincing the mainstream audience that they'll like this movie.

    The trap they seem to fall into when they do this is to cut up the movie, take out stuff that's too "fan-specific," and focus on themes that appeal to a broader audience: babes and bombs. This usually alienates the hardcore fans, and doesn't excite mainstream audiences enough to see it more than once -- and that's where a movie makes money: on repeat sales.

    The few times they've managed to hit both audiences -- Star Trek IV and Star Trek II -- they've focused people.

    I'm hearing that this is the end of TNG, and it probably is. From what I've heard, some of the actors aren't interested in doing it any more, which is understandable, considering that they've been playing those characters for over 15 years.

    But I don't think it's the end of Star Trek movies. TPTB aren't stupid. If they were, they wouldn't be running this franchise. I think they've just gotten away from the heart of Star Trek. If they find that heart again, and hire some very good SF writers to defibrillate it, Star Trek will be fine. There's still some life in the old girl.
  • by uberdave (526529) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:45PM (#5226440) Homepage
    This movie had potential. It had the "Ooh! Finally a showdown between the Federation and the Romulans! This I gotta see!" kind of potential that should have sent trek fans to the theatres in droves. There are so many ways this could have been a much better movie. Eg. Ditch the whole clone of Picard plot, and replace it with a Romulan government destroyed, Federation steps in and helps the Romulans fight off the bad guys (possibly a violent splinter group of the reunification factions) and re-establish themselves, Romulans are secretly impressed that the Federation didn't take the opportunity to take over, but publicly give the Federation the cold shoulder. Add a side plot where Spock gets executed as a spy, and Voila! Blockbuster!
  • Heh. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by orenzero (453980) <toucan@mailbOOOl ... inus threevowels> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:49PM (#5226472) Homepage
    Get Avery Brooks to do one, dumbasses. And make sure Wheaton's scenes don't get cut.

    -oZ
  • Re:Babylon 5 ROCKED! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:49PM (#5226476)
    That about sums it up in my opinion. I really looked forward to the plot-within-a-plot approach - it's what kept me coming back after some of the really dumb episodes. A "big picture" underlying all the episodes. After the Shadow Wars though it did get a little dissappointing. Still, they touched on things that Gene Roddenberry and his famous social commentaries that never would have. Especially "down below" and the "Soul Keepers". Time travel conundrums that make you wonder about some of Earth's ancient religions. Instead of creating a utopian society where there was no such thing as money and where class didn't matter (it will never happen), Babylon 5 was "real". It had characters we loved to hate that were acted very well (will Londo live long enough to be Emperor or will G'Kar kill him first? ;-> G'Kar was AWESOME.). It even had decent production values. I still have a LOT of episodes on VHS (minus commercials). If a DVD set of the whole series (I know that you can get some episodes on DVD) ever makes it out, I'll be first in line for it. I identified with the show much more than some others. Sorry but DS9 was a joke - too much political correctness, already! Bring on the Borg, the Cardassians, stop with the mushy Ferengi - the first ones were *nasty* and they should have stayed that way : the show needed more conflict. Nobody wants to watch a sci-fi show where there's no conflict...at least, I don't. Good drama needs strong antagonists. Sadly there has been nothing since in the way of a series that could compete with Babylon 5 - the closest thing in my opinion would have to be the Frank Herbert's Dune mini-series that came out on the Sci-Fi channel in 2000, which I really enjoy re-watching on DVD.
  • by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:59PM (#5226569)
    The fact that Berman doesn't know why it tanked is the reason it tanked.

    Seriously, I mean, if producers knew that the movies they were producing were going to suck, do you think they'd produce them? (Well, maybe some of them.)

    So, when you take a producer, writers, and director who don't know how to make something good, they're very likely to make something awful, and that's what happened with Nemesis.

    The movie had no plot. Everything that happened in the movie that might have been interesting (like the naked wedding) was glossed over for a main plot-line that didn't go anywhere. Literally. The primarly segment of the plot happened in damaged ships in the Romulan neutral zone.

    And of course, the Remans were just a BAD idea. Talk about YASTPOTW! (Yet Another Star Trek Particle Of The Week.) It was a plot devices pulled out of someone's nether regions. They used it because they thought it was cool, but they never stopped to consider if it was a bad idea or try to develop it into something interesting.

    I have hated the last two Star Wars movies. Lucas totally sold out, and it's completely tainted my feelings about the three movies that came before. BUT, at least we get a proper introduction to some of the creatures. I mean, we actually get to see some interesting things about the Gungans.

    Of course, it's possible that I missed some of the character development. I was bored and maybe didn't pay attention well.

    The bottom line is that Star Trek has been going down-hill (except maybe Enterprise, but it's got problems too) since Roddenberry died. It's a case where other people just do not understand Roddenberry's vision but are arrogant enough to believe they can continue on with it. I don't know a small fraction of what it is that made Star Trek Star Trek when Roddenberry was around, and I have a feeling that, while Berman may know a lot more, he doesn't know it all either. And by 'know', I mean 'grok'.
  • by kakos (610660) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:00PM (#5226575)
    It's simple. We need a new perspective. The first five shows were from the perspective of the Federation, from a human perspective. Why not change the perspective to mix it up a bit?

    How about Star Trek: Obsidian Order? A sci-fi Alias-like show that follows an agent or two from the Obsidian Order? Or how about a show from the Romulan's perspectives? I'm tired of watching a show about the high-minded Federation who is always perfect. I want to see shades of grey instead of black and white. I want to see some depth to the universe.
  • by WesternActor (300755) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:05PM (#5226603) Homepage
    I was a hardcore Star Trek fan for a long time, but I thought Deep Space Nine was terrible. The acting was weak, the stories just as cliched as The Next Generation at its worst, and all the borrowing from Babylon 5 got old after a while. The first couple of seasons of the show, while not great, were at least cohesive and vaguely atmospheric; after that point, the show degenerated into a lot of boring pseudo-action, scenes on the Defiant (that seemed to exist only to get the characters off the station), and poorly thought-out story arcs. The show's final season was practically unwatchable, its attempts to tie-up storylines leftover from the previous years laughable... It lacked the warmth of The Next Generation and the intelligence of the original series. It had nothing going for it.

    Voyager, while highly flawed, had what Deep Space Nine did not: An interesting premise and a blank slate. Yes, Voyager dropped the ball, too, relying on the same tired cliches that made The Next Generation get old by the end, but when it was good (which it was frequently in at least its third and fourth years), it was very, very good, and much better than Deep Space Nine. But then it got so silly after a while, I stopped watching, even though I never once respected the show less than Deep Space Nine. Enterprise I saw about one and a half episodes of--it's not for me. More of the same.

    Nemesis, to bring this back on topic, didn't know what it wanted to be, so it ended up not being much of anything. The story really needed to take a stand for something. Anything! But it was vaguely a way to wrap up issues for the show, vaguely a way to get Brent Spiner out of more movies, vaguely a way to protest human cloning... (I got the feeling it probably went through a number of script revisions, some of which left remnants of good ideas behind, but none of which found a way to make the thing work.)

    To make a long analysis short (too late), there was nothing vital or lively about Nemesis. It worked only on the simplest, most basic level, but was too much like an episode of the TV show. In fact, with its very closed nature, smaller emotions, and intimate scenes, it probably would have worked beautifully as a TV movie or something. But a theatrical release needs to be bigger, it needs to do more, especially when the future of the franchise is in great jeopardy. If Berman can't see this, then I agree with the others who've stated it's time for him, and possibly Star Trek itself, to move on.

  • actually.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by _avs_007 (459738) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:12PM (#5226667)
    I wouldn't mind a Star Trek movie, featuring the cast of Voyager, after they returned to earth. Perhaps on a new mission. They should shoot it in 70mm, cause I'd like to see Seven of Nine on the bIg screen. However, I'd request they not feature a "particle of the week", or a visit from Q :)
  • Dr. Pulaski ruled (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Graspee_Leemoor (302316) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:15PM (#5226695) Homepage Journal
    "Remember that "Bones with tits" season-2 doctor? That was a direct result of Roddenberry insisting that Dr. Crusher be written out."

    The reason people stupidly prefer Dr. Crusher is because she is a likeable character, whereas Pulaski could be a real bitch at times. But she was human and she was interesting. Dr. Crusher was just like a Stepford Wife, or a 50s TV "Welcome home, Jean Luc, how was your day at work?" kind of stupid thing.

    graspee

  • by cthulhubob (161144) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:32PM (#5226852) Homepage

    I keep hearing good things about this Starship Exeter movie - I finally followed your link to check it out...

    Good thing I looked at the script before wasting any bandwidth - there's a HUGE plot hole right smack in the middle of the first page.



    Jennings:
    That's right Quince, the Andorians have successfully synthesized a cure for the Canopus plague.... Ten hours ago the Lexington achieved orbit of Andoria and attempted to contact their Planetary Council... There was no reply... For the last four hours Star Fleet Command has tried to contact the Council over emergency channels.... All we have received is dead air.

    Garrovick:
    Could the Lexington beam down a landing party?

    Jennings:
    Impossible. That would risk infection of the entire Andorian population... which could result in a world-wide plague of immeasurable proportions.



    Doesn't anybody else notice the problem with that?! If the Andorians have the cure for this disease, how is sending a landing party down to see them going to touch off a world-wide plague? That makes no sense whatsoever!

    Hopes dashed once again... this is why I never read fanfic - it seems like a good idea, but really the writing should be left to the people who created the damn universe to begin with.

  • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <.yoda. .at. .etoyoc.com.> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:35PM (#5226874) Homepage Journal
    Half the problem with the Star Trek Universe is that for every rule they break it in the next series with some superflous technology. So rather than be able to fall back on "The damn thing doesn't work", they end up having to write more elaborate reasons for why it doesn't work. They made the technology so perfect, or at least with enough loopholes in the rules to make them ineffective as a plot device.

    Take the transporters. They slap aftermarket filters to scan for viruses and weapons, and then every episode they have to invent a reason the virus or weapon snuck through. And the reasons get loopier as the technology grows more advanced.

    I don't want to even go into weapons and shielding. I just hold my ears and sing "LAlaLAlaLA" while they explain how the +4 vorpal metaphasic shield is rendered inoperable by the enemy of the week. Or how energy just seems to bounce off super enemies. (No matter how good a Knight's armor is, if you hit him with a baseball bat hard enough he WILL fly backwards.)

    Second is the completely inconsistent way that all the factions in the universe end up joining the federation. Hard to build a set of diplomatic complications when everybody is buddy buddy.

    Equally hard to believe are the extreme numbers of half-breeds in the crew. They tried to explain in one episode why all humaniods where so similar, but last I checked it's a pain to get a Horse and a Mule to mate and come up with viable organism. And they are decendent from the same common ancestor.

    Spock they explained reasably well in Spock's World. He is an artifical freak created with a tremendous amount of Genetic Tinkering on behalf of a very high-ranking government official in the Vulcan Government. All the other half-breeds just sort of "Happened."

    And the oomputers... Just read The Computers of Star Trek. Even long time fans throw their hand up at the "Technology" on that show.

  • Re:My dot oh two. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:36PM (#5226879)
    > I still haven't seen the final cut ...

    I guess if they can't get former cast members to care enough to watch the movie, they shouldn't be surprised when the fans skip it.

    For the most part, I agree with you. I'm a fan and had planned to see it, but after it opened all the fans said it sucked so I decided not to bother. They've had this franchise running for nearly 40 years now. If they can't make a movie that will interest the fans, they shouldn't bother...

    Maybe someday if it airs on TV (other than TNN) I might actually watch it. Then again, maybe I won't. I'm still considering undergoing hypnotic therapy to have all memories of Trek V supressed.
  • by CoreyGH (246060) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:47PM (#5226940) Homepage
    And Paramount has nothing to do with it. Some snippets from their website [st-minutiae.com].

    "Star Trek: Renaissance is a collaboratively written fan fiction project depicting events in the Alpha Quadrant after the Dominion War with an original ship and crew. The series is a mixture of political intrigue, exploration and character driven drama with a definite story arc running in the background.

    A new Star Trek series written with the same industry standards as a real TV drama, but from the fans, to the fans, by the fans - most of them people who were disappointed to the lack of ingenuity in Star Trek: Voyager. Like its canon cousins, the series is written in standard script format and divided into seasons, each lasting for 26 episodes."

    "The Dominion War has been over for a quarter of a century, but the painful scars of the conflict still run deep. The Alpha Quadrant rebuilds but in the process, a lot of compromises are made. Idealism and principles of the old are sometimes bent, sometimes broken.

    Alliances forged in the fires of war buckle as the galaxy looks for the troubled new century, a time of isolationism and prejudice. New and old enemies rise, both without, and within. It takes a resolved crew to face the challenges of this era. A new Captain. A new ship. The USS Enterprise."

    We've got a Captain that's flawed, alien shipriders that we're not sure we can trust and a Federation that could be withering from internal corruption. I've read the first few, and they have been GOOD. Easily better than the last 2 TV series AND movies to come out of Hollywood. If you've been thirsting for new Trek but with the same qualities that endeared you to the old Trek then you should stop reading this and click the link.

  • by gleep.org (609977) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:54PM (#5226988) Homepage
    Well I'm no die hard treker but I have been a fan since the original series and was looking forward to Nemisis. (even after seeing Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter) But I walked out of the theater thinking that I had just watched a remake (although with a makeover) of Star Trek II the wrath of Kahn, except of course that was a good movie. For those of you that have seen both don't you see some parallels? Not that Pickard's clone would last a second against Kahn but he did have a better ship then Pickard to make up for this. Also didn't the ending seem familiar... Even the data (two meanings there) transfer to his double? Now all we need is someone to track down Data's evil twin or give that primitive data a chance to process for awhile and "poof" the next movie is "the search for data... spock..." I think you get my point. And what was the deal with Troy and Ricker, didn't everyone prefer her matched up with Warf? Anyway, in the end I would have liked to see a new movie, as well as one that followed the series plot line... Data cannot be dead because at some point in the future he helps Pickard of the past resolove something or other (sorry not enough of a fan to be able to name the episode I'm thinking of). I refuse to comment on Voyager... but needless to say it was so predictable that without seeing the last season (or many of the episodes for that matter) I guessed the entire contents of the closing episode to a friend who was surprised I haddn't seen it. In the end I'd say that if they want to make another movie they need a better script. They have a good cast and backdrop for a story, now its up to the writers. I could almost invision a Tom Clancy style story playing pretty well in the Star Trek univers. That's my two cents take it or leave it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:24PM (#5227222)
    TNG was all about baby boomer political correctness and 'everybody will like you if you play nice' 80s crud. That's why I only watched the first 2 years.

    Then there is the generic episode:
    1. space is cool
    2. oops, theres an alien we haven't met before
    3. hey, here is 3 facts about unknown alien
    4. whew, we're done without any resolution of how/what/why the alien did stuff

    Fairly boring stuff considering that the only decent alien to come out of the entire TNG was the borg.

    I am still waiting on a series called 'Borg' where they are the main focus.
  • Re:My dot oh two. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wilhelm (5091) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:40PM (#5227345) Homepage
    I once read an interview of Arthur C. Clarke, who had said that almost all good sci-fi is about people. People interacting with other people, or with technology, in a technologically-advanced setting. Look at 2001 - it was (at its core) about the interaction between a man and a human-like computer. Star Wars? Groups of people fighting other groups of people. Most of Clarke's stuff is about how people react and interact with new technology.

    I, too, greatly enjoyed "Inner Light", and many of the other character driven eps, like "Face of the Enemy", "Darmok", "Lessons", even "Lower Decks", which showed us a few characters which we would never have seen otherwise. We get to learn about the characters as almost-real people, and to paraphrase Clarke, it's all about the people.
  • by Chris Canfield (548473) <slashdotNO@SPAMchriscanfield.net> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @10:37PM (#5228272) Homepage
    Back in the heady days before Enterprise was released / revealed / rehashed, there was an interesting theory that the reason one would do a prequal to ST:TOS was because there would be an inherent frailty in the crew and in the technology that would be utilized to build dramatic tension and put everyone into genuinely interesting and complicated situations. Knowing the future of Star Trek, we could have longer story arcs revealing in detail the depths which necessitated the creation of the federation and the failures of early human explorers from which this glorious and successful universe would expand.

    ST:TNG started with an episode proving that human beings were frail, weak little things subject to the whims of godlike aliens, and the wars of those stronger than us. The Borg dominated Trek lore for so long, due to their indestructable nature. And legend of the Klingon tenacity in pre TOS days is far and wide.

    So when Enterprise turned out to be more boring happy-happy nothing bad ever happens stuff, people realized that it wasn't resonating with them. Spiderman not only took people on a fantastic, original journey, but turned what could have been a stock kissy kissy ending into something complicated and real. Insurrection? They took something that by definition should have been complicated and painful (the reprocussions of the crew's actions WRT what was basically an order from starfleet), and turned it into a glossed over kissy-kissy ending. First Contact? Started the movie by destroying the indestructable Borg, ended the movie by destroying indestructable Borg lore, and in the middle destroyed the Borg several more times. Generations? Picard wasn't even slightly torn, Soren wasn't even slightly torn, Guinan wasn't even slightly torn...

    It's almost like Star Trek has been too afraid to be tense. It's too valuable a property to the studios to allow anything controversial, interesting, or potentially unpopular to come of it. You can't get much further away from the "Star Trek" formula than collecting whales in a modern day Monterey, but it is that sort of creativity and willingness to explore what defines the characters and the universe they find themselves in that made TOS so great. Wrath of Kahn? Very human scale with an epic presentation. Undiscovered Country? A truly epic scale brought focus in a human way. Insurrection? A good episode, but not worth 8 bucks. The Search for Spock? No dramatic tension at all.

    Sadly the 3 movies preceeding this one have all been duds. No disrespect to Frakes, who directed the last two movies and who did a decent job of turning badly underwritten scripts into something watchable, but there has been no return on the moviegoer's money since the Undiscovered Country over 12 years ago. Why does Berman feel he deserves the moviegoer's money? What has he done for us lately? All of the memorable Star Trek scenes have taken place in person to person shots, yet the past 3 movies have all emphasized spaceship crashes, explosions, and easy exits. "From hell's heart I stab at thee," was a beautiful line delivered by a man about to kill himself in order to destroy his enemy. To save the crew from the explosion a much beloved character is forced to give his life. The modern filmmakers took that to mean crowds like big, ringed explosions, and narrow escapes.

    Hire writers that value human interactions over plot convieniences, know what a federation is and how to work one into a script, and can utilize pain and suffering to resonate with an audience. Underbudget the movie so that it is forced to rely upon plot rather than effects. Capture human responses to events, rather than jumping into scenes directly after the painful part.

    And after all, if Star Trek goes on a 20 year hiatus... who cares? There will always be science fiction epics about man's interactions with the unknown. Star Trek has been dominating that scene for too long now, keeping more original shows like Andromeda or Babalon 5 relegated to the backwaters of TNN. Perhaps it is time, like Kirk dramatically stepping down for the captain of the new Enterprise, for the series to be laid to rest... for now.
  • by sheared (21404) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @11:08PM (#5228385)
    Could they slap a Star Trek label on the show Firefly and keep it around (as it was before it got canceled)? I'd love to see where 2-3 seasons of that show would go -- excellent writing, compelling story lines, and "realism" (kinda like Star Wars:A New Hope - things were allowed to be dirty).
  • by Dyolf Knip (165446) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @11:17PM (#5228446) Homepage
    Two words. Mini-series. The more I think about it, the better this idea gets. You get the best of both worlds (no pun intended) from movies and TV.

    The Star Trek universe is quite deep. In 500 years or so of timeline stretching across dozens of planets, races, and empires, there's tons of room for storytelling. Pick some unexplored aspect of Trekdom and make a couple 2-hour shows about it. It's time enough to get indepth with the characters (moreso than in a movie), but not so long that you have to kill the show coming up with the same stupid plots over and over again in 180 friggin episodes. And since the story only lasts a fraction of the time (which you can of course stretch over any period of Trek-time), you're free to do whatever you want, up to and including killing off (permantly!) major characters for no other reason than because it's a good plot device.

    I need to start keeping a list, but here's a small sample of ideas. The founding of the Borg Collective, the Dominion, or the Romulan Star Empire; I'm not too fond of these since they wouldn't really involve humans much. But how about the Klingon-Federation wars or the Orion Syndicate? The aftermath of First Contact and the impact of cheap space travel on Earth? How about some of the covert activities of Section 31 since the beginning of the Federation?

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @11:39PM (#5228545) Homepage Journal
    I don't normally write reviews about Star Trek films, as I usually don't feel strongly about them -- I consider them to be an entertaining way to waste a few hours and some of them are even somewhat decent -- usually the even-numbered ones. However, after having my intelligence insulted for two hours straight as I watched this abomination that is merchandising in action, I felt compelled to warn others that might want to waste $10 and 2 hours of your life that you'll never get back, and say "stop!".

    Star Trek Nemesis succeeds at being a 2-hour rollercoaster of action that is about nonsense. Nothing in the movie makes the least bit of sense, and the more you try and think about what you just saw, the more you realise that Paramount has just given up, and they figure if that if they make enough stuff blow up, the fans will still buy the crap at the conventions.

    Okay, so here's the plot (what little plot I could pick up). The Enterprise finds some pieces of an android that looks like another "Data". It is another Data, but it's a crude prototype of Data - more like an autistic child. This actually has nothing to do with the plot (much). The plot is, The Enterprise gets sent to Romulus, because the Romulans want to talk peace. Actually, they don't, but they have a new government, one that is controlled by people from Remus, which is a twin planet of Romulus.

    Now, listen carefully, here's where it gets complicated (and apparently, two more pages into the script, the writers forgot everything they tell us here). The Remuns are slaves to the Romulans, mining Dilithium, but their planet doesn't rotate, so they live only on the Dark side because the light side is too hot (huh, isn't Romulus in nearly the same orbit? (nevermind!)). Okay, so, these guys look like Nosferatu and they have extreme sensitivity to light (feel a plot point coming? Uh, no sorry, it was just gas...).

    Anyhow, their leader is a guy claiming to be a clone of Picard, and all through the movie, you're told these two look very similar. Except that they DONT look similar at ALL! (close your eyes, now they look similar, right?) I mean, yeah, they are both bald, but that's about it.

    Okay, so these guys also have a spaceship about the size of the Enterprise times 4, armed to the teeth with 80 gazillion photon thingies and 27 bazillion phaser guns and stuff. It also has a cloak. This guy sez he wants peace and to free his people on Remus, and he needs the help of the Federation. And Picard doesn't trust him.

    Wait a minute. This guy just overthrew the Romulan government and controls a spaceship big enough to defeat 5 Borg cubes, hasn't he ALREADY freed his people? (don't think, don't think!).

    AT this point, the copy of Data comes back into the story, and downloads some data from the Enterprise into himself. The Real Data is onto him of course. In the meantime, Jordy figures out that the spaceship is one giant weapon that can shoot a ray of some kind of super deadly radiation -- so deadly, the a human will die instantly from even the tiniest exposure to it (remember this point, because the writers forget it as well).

    So, turns out the bad guy Picard clone is with Romulan hard-liners that want to destroy the Federation by killing everyone on Earth with this Radiation. And, using the data from the copy of "Data", they can cloak, fly by Federation fleet ships and Radiate them too.

    Oh yeah, and Docter Crusher figures out that the clone is dying unless he gets a transfusion of blood from Picard -- how this is crucial to the plot, I was never able to figure out.

    So the Enterprise takes off and races back to Earth to warn them of the doom that is about to befall the Federation unless they act quickly. However, Picard is captured but escapes with the help of the Data Copy, who turns out to be the "real" Data, who switched with the copy and provided the bad guy with false information about the Fleet. Picard and Data make their escape rather easily (and pointlessly -- it feels like this part of the movie got made to fill up some time).

    Foolishly, the Enterprise flies right into a section of space where long range communication is impossible (but just about everything else works), and it's here that they get attacked by the cloaked ship the bad guy has. Now the movie goes from just plain silly to downright insulting stupid.

    The Enterprise can't target the bad guys because they are cloaked. Nevermind that Scotty figured out who to do that several trek movies ago, the Enterprise gets the shit kicked out of it because the bad guys have that super-duper array of weapons and they can fire while cloaked. Some bad guys beam onto the ship, presumably, to take Picard becaue they need his blood. So, do they beam onto the bridge? No, they beam into some hallway. So Worf and Riker go to stop the bad guys.

    Now, the bad guys are sensitive to strong light, remember? If Riker had said "Computer, raise light level in hallway to 250 percent" and blinded the bad guys, I would have never written this review. But Noooooooo, instead, we are treated to a stupid firefight in the hallways of the Enterpise, and yes, the bad guys are using lazer guns that shoot bright beams of light and cause blinding explosions to everything those beams touch, and not a single bad guy has any vision problem with that!

    Meantime, two Romulan warbirds show up. They are here to help the Enterprise kill the bad guy. They don't want to have the blood of everyone on earth on their hands. Sure, sure.... Great, first Star Trek ruined the Borg, now they ruin the Romulans. The Romulans are now nice guys. Yeah.

    The Bad guy dispatches both Warbirds pretty quickly, and then, in the one cool scene of the film, blows out the front portion of the bridge of the Enterprise, sucking Esign Red-Shirt into space before a force-field seals the breach. The Bad guy de-cloaks so he can gloat. At this point, the Enterprise has little power and no weapons. So Picard orders ramming speed.

    Now, if both ships had been destroyed and the movie ended with everyone dead, I would have said this was the best Star Trek film ever, and I would not be writing this review. But Nooooooo, instead, the ships do a little damage to each other, just their front sections are crumpled and intertwined. In fact, they do a nice effect to show you that the two ships SEEM locked together. But I guess the writers forgot that as well 2 more pages into the script (can I even call it a script at this point? Maybe I should say "Napkin")

    Now, if Picard had lead a team of commandos through the damaged sections and into the bad guys ship, since they are now joined, I would not be writing this review. But Nooooooo, instead, the bad guy just backs out, and the Enterprise just sits there and is "stuck to space" because the two ships come apart. Okay, you've just have millions of tons of metal crashing into each other and the two ships come apart like they are greased. Hasn't anyone in California ever been in a car accident? (forget it, don't try and think, this is a Star Trek movie)....

    So, the bad guy now has his ship crippled, none of the weapons work -- except, of course, for the big radiation gun. That's undamaged. Sure.... So, he decides the fire the big gun at the Enterprise. But guess what, it takes 7 minutes to charge up the big gun. Can anyone say Death Star? When are the bad guys going to learn that your main weapon should always be ready to fire instantly? And isn't everyone tired to death of this type of plot?

    So Picard beams over to kill the bad guy and stop the weapon. Except that the Transporter dies right after, so he's got no way of getting back. So Data decides to jump out an open hole in the Enterprise (caused by the crash earlier), and catches a handy-dandy protrusion on the bad guy's ship. Data's got some emergency Transporter gizmo that was shown earlier in the film.

    Meantime, the Enterprise starts trying to get away from the bad guys so that they don't get fried by the radiation gun. So Picard beams over and does battle with the bad guy but loses his hand phaser as they roll and tumble about. After Picard kills the bad guy with some sharp piece of spaceship, Data shows up, beams Picard out and then points his own hand-phaser at the radiation beam just as the ship is about to fire.

    Wait a minute. These guys were fighting right next to the Radiation beam building up to fire. Didn't they say that the slightest exposure was instantly fatal? Sorry, my mistake. I guess I was listening earlier to the dialog instead of just ohh'ing and ahhh'ing at the effects.

    So Data shoots the radiation beam just before it fires. The ship instantly explodes. Data dies. Isn't the Enterprise still in danger from the radiation? Ahh forget it, there's no science in Star Trek anymore.

    Everyone drinks a toast to Data, and then Picard has a heart-to-heart talk with the autistic version of Data from earlier in the film. -- i.e. the cheap copy of Data. And that's the end of the film.

    Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.....

    What's so sad about this film is that there were several germs of ideas that were never followed through on.
    #1) Germ of an idea one is that with this clone, Picard was supposed to be doing battle with himself. Several times, each one says about the other "I know how he thinks" -- except that they don't. Neither predicts the other's moves in the slightest. This germ of an idea was handled FAR BETTER in the Original Series Episode "Balance of Terror" and was done with one one-millionth of the budget.

    #2) Germ of an idea number two is that both the Picard Clone and the Data Clone can't seem to rise above what they are, and do more than is expected, and become "human", even though Picard makes impassioned pleas to both to do so. Neither does so, so the audience learns nothing from this exploration of our humanity. What was the point of introducing this concept if there's no follow through? Data shows a glimmer of hope at the end, but what they should have done was have the Data clone progress throughout the film, so that HE rises to the occasion and sacrifices himself to kill the bad guy. That would have made a nice irony as well, since the bad guy built the Data clone, and if his creation had killed him, that would have made for a better script, and I would not be writing this review.

    #3) Germ of an idea number three was all the build up about who and what the Citizens of Remus are like, and how harsh their world is, and how they are slaves, and how they are sensitive to light, etc. Yet, there was zero follow through on that, and in the end it seemed like a waste of time to even talk about it in the film. For that matter, how the hell did a slave civilization build a spaceship bigger than god without anyone noticing?

    Ah screw it. The MOVIE SUCKS -- PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

  • Re:My dot oh two. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CleverNickName (129189) <wil@wilwhea[ ].net ['ton' in gap]> on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @01:03AM (#5229045) Homepage Journal
    Just so's you know: posting in a discussion after you mod in it undoes your moderation, and you loose the mod points.

    The original poster was either trolling you or confused.


    I knew that, but thought that maybe it's been changed in all these crazy code upgrades. So if I was succesfully trolled, congratulations! The Troller can pick up his shirt at the award center.

    Personally, I believe the key to Nemesis's downfall was the lack of trombone playing by Riker. He had a perfect chance in the opening scenes, and that waste created an imbalance throughout the movie.

    In the original script, and when we shot it, Riker plays the hell out of the trombone during the wedding sequence, while Data sings "Blue Skies."
  • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <.yoda. .at. .etoyoc.com.> on Wednesday February 05, 2003 @02:45PM (#5232794) Homepage Journal
    Gene was very disturbed by the way writers managed to knit the transporters into all sorts of solutions for problems in TOS. He had invented the concept so he didn't have to land the Enterprise on every planet they visited.

    But the writers... They turned it into that miracle cure for everything. Grrr...

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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