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Rick Berman Doesn't Know Why Nemesis Tanked 1210

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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  • by Guru1 ( 521726 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5224842)
    The Star Trek previews sucked. It had no 'new' plot, it seemed like an extension of any normal weekday movie. You weren't going back to earth, you weren't doing anything original. Didn't seem to be an exciting movie, so I skipped it. Get a better plot and people will watch Star Trek again.
    • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224894) Homepage Journal
      Not to mention releasing it between the new James Bond, and the Two Towers was just plain stupid.
      • by Sethb ( 9355 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:42PM (#5225300)
        Amen, Brother.

        I saw all three of those movies, but it was suicide to release Nemesis that close to LOTR:TTT, the hard core fans will go see Nemesis, but the mildly-geeky will go see LOTR, and forget all about Nemesis.

        Timing, Timing, Timing.

        I did enjoy Nemesis, though I have a few nitpicks, mild SPOILER WARNING.

        -Assuming Picard's clone-guy is at least 25 or so, that means they had to start cloning Picard back when he was just some random captain of a random ship (Stargazer?) Why'd they pick him?

        -Not even one throw-away line about Lore? What happened to him? You have a whole plot about another model of Data, and you don't mention Lore? What the hell? Even a line like "Lore's body was destroyed when the Enterprise D crashed." would have been appreciated.

        -Having Wil seen in the movie, but not talked to was rather distracting, they should have left his scene in.

        All in all, I enjoyed it, and I'll get the DVD when it comes out. It wasn't crap on the grand scale of Star Trek V by any means, but releasing a "decent" Trek when Paramount did was nuts. They should have put it out a month sooner or in January, when there was a distinct lack of geek-friendly movies.
    • by farrellj ( 563 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:31PM (#5225180) Homepage Journal
      Too many screenwriters only know SF as film & need a good SF writer to create a story, and help on the script.Too may cycles of recycling has made the ST universe boring...

    • by 47PHA60 ( 444748 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:51PM (#5225387) Journal
      I think that the fact that Berman is "confused" about the movie's failure while being "convinced" that it is a good movie might explain the problem.
    • by tigersha ( 151319 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:15PM (#5225633) Homepage
      Whats up with the stupid car thingie on the planet??! That reminded me of the chase in Diamonds are Forever. I mean, a dune buggy with Picard and Worf riding shotgun (Ok, riding Phaser) is NOT what I'd expect from an ST movie, somehow. For one, why the hell did the Enterprise not just beam them up when they were under fire??!!

      The problem with Nemesis is that the movie was directed by a action movie director who is not an Startrek fan (Stuart Baird) and he directed it like an action film. SO here goes to Paramount. THIS IS NOT JAMES BLOODY BOND!

      In one scene my friend (who is not a St fan and do not know the chars) leaned over to me and said "Picard, Jean luc Picard". That said it all.

      That said, the movie was not THAT bad. I really liked Shinzon's "I was lonely" line and of course, Deanna Troi in that skimpy little thing. Hmmmmm. I mean, this ST actually had an MPAA rating for "scene of sexual content". And its not Kirk porking aliens either.

      Data singing was a little embarassing. No wonder they killed him off :)
    • by j3110 ( 193209 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:22PM (#5225728) Homepage
      Yep... they could have shown any of the two-parter weekday episodes, and it would have been about the same quality. Just compare the movie to the borg episodes! Why did they have to get the stupidest plot ever? "Hey, let's throw some cloning into Star Trek!" What a dumb idea. Then they cut out Wil's part!?! What was he thinking? Multiplicity in space would have had a better plot.

      I don't know who wrote that POS, but it was not Star Trek material. Don't axe star trek because some idiot thought it would be a good idea to clone Pickard. It's the dumbest Star Trek ever. You can get away with stupid teen movies or stupid girly movies or even stupid action movies because people don't go to see them for their intelligence. Star Trek is about people being smart. They didn't need a damn clone if they had a kick ass weapon. A doomsday weapon and a clone and a retarded robot do NOT make a plot.

      I haven't even got to the ending. WTH? Data dies, the ship is nearly destroyed, and the romulans came to help??? It's a contrived and forced "Suprise" ending.

      Don't make dung and call it Star Trek, and people will come see it. People haven't stopped liking star trek, star trek has stopped being star trek. It's no longer new and political. People watch Star Trek because it shows them how it is possible to achieve a good bit of a Eutopia by not being stupid (at least in the original series).

      Star Trek has always been politically racy. The censors would scream at rodenberry quite often. Then he would just make the plot make fun of stupidity even more... like the half-black/half-white planet. What happened to those kinds of plots? Can you just imagine a story like that with todays technology so that it doesn't look cheesy?

      It's not dead, creativity is dead. It's dieing with the creator. It's quite sad actually.
  • by PantyChewer ( 557598 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:05PM (#5224856)
    Obviously its because they cut Wil Wheaton's scenes out of the movie.
    • by Faile ( 465836 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:14PM (#5224979)
      Yeah yeah karma whore and all that, but I couldnt resist :)

      10. After slugging down six Shirley Temple's in 10-forward, Wes stumbles to the holodeck, which he commands to "take me to hell." His broken body is later found on the empty holodeck in a pool of vomit.

      9. Wesley gets gang-raped by a group of female Klingons.

      8. Riker gets carried away executing an order from Picard to "knock the little snot around a bit."

      7. Data catches him tossing off. Uncomprehending, he requires a detailed explanation from Wesley, who dies of embarrassment.

      6. Extensive lab analysis of a green slime found on one of the control panels uncovers the fact that our favorite ensign has, once again, been picking his nose. He is summarily fired and commits suicide.

      5. Wes gets gang-raped by a group of male Klingons.

      4. On an earlier episode, Wes got to kiss a girl who turned into a Chewbacca-like creature. Here, she returns, and they once again get involved. (Un)fortunately, once she gets really heated, she mutates back into a wookie and forces Wesley to be her cringing sex slave. She then tears him limb from limb and eats him.

      3. In a rare episode involving characters from both ST and ST:TNG, Spock attempts a Vulcan mind-meld with Wesley. Wesley's head explodes. Spock barely survives, spending the next several days scratching himself and whining.

      2. Worf notices a Romulan ship on the scanners, and sends Wesley down to clean out the photon tubes. Later, someone makes a comment about the needs of the many having outweighed the needs of the few.

      1. Wes gets involved in a deviant sexual practice known as "tribble stuffing," not realizing that tribbles multiply any where. Even an emergency laser enema by Dr. Crusher fails to save him
  • 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 Skwirl ( 34391 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:04PM (#5225519) Homepage
      You forgot about Deep Space Nine reruns. They recently played the final season again locally and, I'm sorry, but that's some of the best mainstream sci-fi writing I've ever seen, since this was when they were competeing with, and emulating, Babylon 5. I have this dread feeling that they're going to jump the movie franchise straight to Voyager, the suckiest of the suck, and ignore finishing the hanging threads of DS9 entirely.
    • by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:05PM (#5225528)
      Maybe it tanked because Star Trek is dying out in mainstream culture.

      I think it's the opposite - Star Trek is distancing itself from mainstream culture. Consider the original series. Kirk and his crew roamed the galaxy exploring the frontier, basically doing good, but they wouldn't back away from a fight and they weren't afraid to break the rules in the service of a greater good. That's not just entertaining TV, it resonates deeply with the way Americans see themselves.

      Next Gen was California in the 1990s - the Captain took his therapist with him on board and no-one made a decision without getting a consensus from everyone that their feelings wouldn't be hurt. And Voyager - Janeway wasn't a captain, she was a self-loathing Democrat senator, never hesitating to put every other species' interests ahead of her crew's. Californians don't realize it, but they're held in contempt throughout the rest of the world - when some actress announces she's converted to Buddhism or taken to a macrobiotic diet or started wearing crystals, the rest of the world just rolls its eyes.

      Essentially, Star Trek is dying because the people making it make it for people like themselves, not the fans and not the general public.
      • by pcx ( 72024 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:16PM (#5225639)
        If I was a mod today I'd definately hit this one up. You've hit the nail on the head. It's really sad when the best trek since the original series was made not by Paramont but by a guy with a digital camera and too much time on his hands...

        I'll take good knock down drag out fight with an old style, evil, klingon and those futuristic miniskirts over self-introspective psychobable crap anyday of the week.
      • by Watts Martin ( 3616 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:37PM (#5226357) Homepage

        Please. The original Star Trek concept in both the shows Roddenberry had direct involvement in were presentations of socialist utopias, and that's precisely the way he wanted it. The only capitalists we saw in the first two series were buffoons and pirates. If there was any overriding theme in "Trek," it's the theme of being "post-epic," where humans have moved past things like global warfare and, from most appearances, monetary-based economics. If you check any history of the "Trek" franchise you'll see that there were only weapons on the first Enterprise because the network insisted it have more of a military feel.

        While there may be a lot of blame to lay at the feet of Berman and Piller as executive producers, being "out of sync with American culture" is not one of them. The original "Trek" was in sync, all right--in sync with the late '60s. It was far more stereotypically Californian than Deep Space Nine, which dared to do things Roddenberry would never have allowed--volatile, conflicted main characters, ongoing story arcs involving interstellar war without clearcut villains, and characters who changed over time. (As Harlan Ellison noted with respect to his "City on the Edge of Forever" script, Roddenberry was deadset against the idea of stories that would have affected characters permanently.)

        Lastly, your whole equating of "Trek" to California tells us a whole lot more about your attitudes than it does about Trek, or for that matter, about California. News flash: not all of California is Hollywood. Not all of Hollywood is Hollywood, for that matter. As shocking as it might be, Ronald Reagan was not governor of Oklahoma before becoming president.

        Wild idea: maybe "Voyager" sucked teabags because the writers had no talent, not because of their political affiliation.

    • by Wraithlyn ( 133796 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:16PM (#5225645)
      Maybe because we've now been exposed to truly exceptional television sci-fi, like B5 and Farscape, the same old recycled cliched Trek plots just seem so vacant and derivative.
    • It is dying... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sterno ( 16320 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:18PM (#5225671) Homepage
      The thing is that the original Star Trek series was something fresh and new. The Next Generation was a well done revival of the Star Trek universe that allowed things to play out for more than just a handful of seasons. But then they tried to take a good thing and exploit it.

      So DS9 comes around and that was pretty good, and at it's peak, it was better than ST:TNG IMHO. But then, comes voyager, and that had its moments but really went down the tubes. Now we've got Enterprise which had great premise, but not nearly as well executed as it could be.

      The other thing is that Star Trek has tended to be somewhat saccarine. It's in this future where humanity has made the utopian society and there's just enough bad guys around to give the good guys somebody to fight with. It's a very black and white universe and after a point, that gets pretty dull.

      Compare this to something like Babylon 5. There you've got a head of security who's an alcoholic, and his alcoholism actually becomes a serious problem. You've got the good guys and the bad guys but then you find out the good guys are actually just as bad as the bad guys, they just dress better.
  • 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.
  • by Tsar ( 536185 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:07PM (#5224884) Homepage Journal
    They'll eventually figure out the deep, dark secret of the ST:TNG series: Wil Wheaton [] was the glue that held that show together. He was the driving force that kept us all watching. His creative spirit guided the series, and to leave him out of a project is to incur the Wrath of Khan.

    Seriously, Wil [], got any comments?
    • My dot oh two. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) <> 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 RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:07PM (#5224887)
    Didn't it open the same weekend as Rob Schneider's The Hot Chick?

    My God, what was Paramount thinking of!
  • 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 gtaluvit ( 218726 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224895)
    saying something along the lines of "we don't know why the kids aren't buying more albums. This last boy band album was just like the others we've released, and they made millions."

    Perhaps they'll eventually learn that a good script with an original story line even off a commonly used theme (see Big Fat Greek Wedding) will make more money than a rehashed overdone clone.
  • by fudgefactor7 ( 581449 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:08PM (#5224902)
    Why ST: Nemesis "tanked":

    (1) The plot wasn't worthy of the talent arrayed; and,
    (2) The plot was nothing more than an episode turned feature length;, and,
    (3) It was all hype, no substance; and,
    (4) People don't want to see a main character (Data) die in a lame way, give the man some respect, will you?; and,
    (5) Retarded androids aren't funny.
    • 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
  • 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.

  • Dumb story? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Typingsux ( 65623 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:10PM (#5224921)
    A sect of the Romulan Empire?
    A super ship owned by a sect of the Romulan empire?
    Picards clone leading them?
    Bah, I've seen better on sites like this [] and many other sites like it.

  • by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#5224941)
    Rick Berman's First Post-NEMESIS Interview: Future of Feature Franchise Unclear
    Posted: 12:22:56 on February 04 2003
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: Star Trek: Nemesis
    In his first interview since the debacle of STAR TREK NEMESIS at the North American box office, producer Rick Berman says the future of the feature franchise is uncertain and he and the studio are not ready to jump back in immediately.
    "I don't think this is like falling off a horse, and you want to jump right back on it," he told Sci-Fi Wire. "There's a theory that there was too much time [between Insurrection and Nemesis]. There's another theory that there wasn't too much time. I, along with the people at Paramount, need a few months of perspective and thinking about it to then decide what's the best thing to do next."

    The exec is also cautious about explaning the film's poor performance.

    "There's no way of telling what happened," Berman said. "I'm convinced that we made a very good movie, and I'm also convinced that the movie was promoted properly. I thought the trailers and the television spots were all excellent. It's easy to blame that sort of thing, but I don't think we can in this situation. I think that the competition of other films may have played some part in it, but I can't be certain of that, either. It's very, very hard to tell."

    STAR TREK NEMESIS debuted in U.S. and Canadian theatres on December 13th and went on to the #2 spot in its debut weekend with $18.5 million, the lowest opening weekend gross of any STAR TREK picture. The film's domestic total currently stands well short of $50 million. 1989's STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER was the previous record-holder for lowest domestic box office with $52 million.

    Check out the original article here.

    It then linked to:
    ScifiWire Nemesis

    Trek Film Future Unsure

    Star Trek Nemesis executive producer Rick Berman told SCI FI Wire that several factors likely contributed to the film's lackluster box-office performance, and he added that the future of the film franchise remains uncertain. "There's no way of telling what happened," Berman said in an interview. "I'm convinced that we made a very good movie, and I'm also convinced that the movie was promoted properly."

    Berman added, "I thought the trailers and the television spots were all excellent. It's easy to blame that sort of thing, but I don't think we can in this situation. I think that the competition of other films may have played some part in it, but I can't be certain of that, either. It's very, very hard to tell."

    Berman sounded disappointed. "Obviously, you want a film to do well," he said. "You work for a long time, and you work for a long time, and if it doesn't do well, it's not fun."

    Berman went on to say that he's not sure what the future will hold for the Trek film franchise. "There's a theory that there was too much time [between Insurrection and Nemesis]," he said. "There's another theory that there wasn't too much time. I, along with the people at Paramount, need a few months of perspective and thinking about it to then decide what's the best thing to do next. I don't think this is like falling off a horse, and you want to jump right back on it. But we'll see."
  • Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MoxCamel ( 20484 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:11PM (#5224943)
    Star Trek has been squeezed for everything it's worth. Berman and Paramount have milked the franchise to the point that people are sick of it.

    Berman: Give Star Trek a 5 year hiatus, and come back with something fresh.
  • by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:12PM (#5224948) Homepage Journal
    Nemisis was the greatest movie of the year! What better plot than to have evil mirror images of the Star Trek Crew. This idea is so deep and spiritual, that surely they deserve more credit. And what's more, the survival of Earth was at stake! It sure doesn't get more exciting or original than that I can tell you.

    It's good to see Star Trek follow the quality ideas of such exciting shows as Andromeda, and StarHunters.
  • by Night Goat ( 18437 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:12PM (#5224950) Homepage Journal
    Nemesis tanked for the same reason that UHF did in 1989... too many other good movies for the fanbase to watch. The Two Towers was still in the theaters, the James Bond flick was playing, and so was Harry Potter. All of these movies have a good "sci-fi geek" following, so people just didn't have enough money or time to see Nemesis. That's how it was for me, I would have rather seen Two Towers multiple times than see Nemesis once.

    UHF was going up against Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the summer of '89. Plus, it's a weird movie. But it deserves more credit than it gets!
  • by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:13PM (#5224960) Journal
    It stopped showing in my area to soon. There were 3 movies on my list to see over xmas holidays. Harry Potter, LOTR, and Star Trek. I saw the first two as they came out first. By the time I was able to see ST it was gone. It was in the theaters for 2 weeks and then gone. No wonder it bombed! My friends and I were PISSED! I could not belive that it left that quick. The nearest theater showing it was 1-1/2 hours away. Guess I'll have to wait for it to be on DVD in 6 months now, where it will probably do real well.
  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr.nicholas ( 219881 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:15PM (#5224988)
    Berman says he doesn't know why the movie failed...

    Ummm... because it sucked?

    Seriously though, it's not that hard to figure out why this movie didn't do well

    1. Low Directorial (?) quality
    2. Stale main characters
    3. Impossible physics (two starships colliding in space and NOT being ripped to shreds??)
    4. A very old looking ageless android
    5. Predictable
    6. A never-seen-before enemy that we could care less about
    7. Complete and utter lack of tension
    8. Out-of-character dialog
    9. The feeling that flashiness was supplanting quality

    Granted most of those points exist for ANY Star Trek production you can name, but we expect more in movies. Or should.

  • why it sucked (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordYUK ( 552359 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:17PM (#5225017)
    When the bad guy was cold and evil and had it in for the captain specifically I felt like I was watching The Wrath of Khan. When the Enterprise was damaged beyond belief I felt like I was watching The Wrath of Kahn. When Data downloaded his mind, I felt like I was watching The Wrath of Kahn. When Data died to save the Enterprise, I felt like I was watching the Wrath of Kahn.

    So the next time I wanted to see Nemesis, I dusted off my VHS copy of The Wrath of Kahn and watched it instead. At least Spock comes back.

    How dare they allude to this being the last episode of the next gen crew and have Data die.

    For shame.
    • Re:why it sucked (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:13PM (#5225615)
      How dare they allude to this being the last episode of the next gen crew and have Data die.

      Particularly since Berman/Paramount already made the final episode of the ST:TNG series in which we see that Data survives to a ripe old age and becomes a professor at Cambridge after retiring from Star Fleet. That's why the fans don't care: we're not invested at all in the fate of the characters, because we know that the producers will just change it afterwards anyway. And no amount of CGI can save you if the audience fundamentally don't care what happens next.
  • by CommieLib ( 468883 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:19PM (#5225039) Homepage
    Ever since Star Trek VI, each movie has had less character advancement, plot, etc. than a typical episode of TNG, and any episode of DS9.

    I think what may be going on is "going for the big score" as opposed to "targeting the geeks". When you're doing a weekly series, you can target a higher IQ / continuity awareness / suspension of disbelief because you know your base. When you produce a major film, you necessarily (because of a greater budget) try to bring in a larger audience, so you are inclined to lower the bar for the audience.

    This doesn't explain Enterprise, which is dismal, nor does it explain Star Trek II, which is both the greatest movie success (whether it pulled the biggest box office or not) and HEAVILY dependent on continuity, IQ, suspension of disbelief.

    I liked Nemesis, it's just that we've done 4 movies on Picard and Data now, and that vein is dry. Unlike TOS, TNG was SUPPOSED to be much more balanced with respect to the entire cast. Are you telling me that a movie with Worf as the central character wouldn't work? I think it's worth a try.
  • What??? (Score:4, Funny)

    by SuperCal ( 549671 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:19PM (#5225041) Homepage
    What? There was a new Star Trek movie?
  • 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 JeffL ( 5070 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:21PM (#5225067) Homepage
    Disclaimer, I have not seen the movie.

    I think Rick Berman not knowing why the movie tanked is pretty much the reason it tanked. If the producer of a movie is so out of touch with an established fan base that he can't see why they didn't flock to see the movie, then perhaps it is time for somebody who does understand the fans and the story to take the lead.

    I like Star Trek, and now that it has found its feet a bit I am enjoying Enterprise (though I still don't know all of the characters' names), and I was planning on seeing Nemesis. But, after friends who are big Trek fans came back and told me not to bother, or catch it on DVD, I really lost all interest.

  • NEW. (or lack of) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flogger ( 524072 ) <non@nonegiven> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:22PM (#5225078) Journal
    This is why Nemisis wasn't a nemisis of a movie. It may have been new back when Kirk met his Anti-Matter self. It may have been new when things exploded when Dr. Who met himself. But 40 + years later. This isn't new. We all know what Ezra Pound preached right?
    Make it new.
    There needs to be some life breathed into the franchize. Right now, it seems to be on artificial respiration. Who, or what, can breath life into Star Trek? I have no answer.

    Also, the reason, I didn't go see the movie, is that I thought the previews looked like an action movie, not a trek movie. And I'm not going to take my kids to see it when it shows sexual action in the previews.
  • 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.
  • by ruzel ( 216220 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:30PM (#5225175) Homepage
    Clearly, the only way for the Star Trek series to get itself out of this rut (the only way it's EVER gotten itself out of any rut) is to bring back an old character and make him evil! Do I mean evil Khan? Evil Kirk? Evil Spock's brother? Evil Lor? No! I'm talking about Evil Wil!

    After years of being abandoned at the academy and getting dumped in trash cans and toilet swirlies, Wil wants nothing more than for Captain Picard to grovel at his feet as he gives him the galaxy's worst wedgie! "Ha ha ha! That's right Picard! Feel my pain! You could have been a father figure to me, but you kicked me off your ship!" In a shocking twist, Wesley's own mother shoots him with a phaser.

    "Et tu Mother?"

    "You know, I never like that little brat anyway."

    The only thing sadder than Nemisis will be the lackluster number of posts on Slashdot about the movie that no one went and saw.
  • 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 quag7 ( 462196 ) <> on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:35PM (#5225227) Homepage
    There seems to be this consistent need to preserve everything from film to film; plots get wrapped up too neatly at the end. At least at the end of Star Trek 2, it looked like Spock bought it.

    Babylon 5 understood this. You never could be sure at the beginning of each episode and season whether the characters were going to pull through, as it seems they almost always do in the Star Trek films. You know they're going to win. That's why I'm sick of it.

    They blew an incredible opportunity with Voyager. Wouldn't it have been interesting if Voyager returned home only to find the earth completely assimilated by The Borg and the entire Federation being decimated? Or maybe just have the Borg follow them home, to add a bitter note to their return?

    What about a Star Trek film which details the birth/genesis of The Borg - how they came to be? Star Trek films also have got to start killing characters and *losing* sometimes.

    And they really have to get a grip on their incessant need for cute humor. Humor once in a great while is fine, but they seem to really want to pack that into movies, and I'm just not interested in that. When I watch Star Trek, I want *epic* struggles. I want multilayered plots with twists and turns and powerful moral challenges (Picard trying to get his reign on his hatred of The Borg is the kind of thing I'm talking about.)

    The characters are too perfect, and they are too at the center of the Star Trek universe. The emotion chip for Data was one of the stupidest ideas ever; they completely ruined his character.

    I'm speaking generally of all of the Star Trek movies of course. Trek needs less action, and more cerebral plots. The shiny, bright Federation needs fascist factions and political problems within. More espionage, and most importantly - the *death* of some of the main characters. I want to

    It's always disappointing watching Star Trek because I know going in everything's going to end up fine. It didn't at the end of Star Trek 2, and Kirk lost his shit and let the hatred boil, adding a rough, imperfect edge to his character. No wonder that movie is most peoples' favorites.

    I'm just tired of the perfectly lit, wall-to-wall carpeted, Dudley Do-Right shit that makes up Star Trek films. I would hope the future would be partly that, but that should stand in contrast and struggle against darkness, greed, hatred, and fascism.

    I want to see The Borg infilitrate the federation and eventually earth. I want to see a Star Trek movie end with a helpless crew watching as Earth or Vulcan is assimilated.

    I want to see starships blowing up, and captains of them being pushed to the edge and sometimes losing it and acting immorrally.

    I want to see guerilla rebels resisting the Federation like the Maquis. And I want to be on their side.

    I want to see characters die. I want to see an end to all time travel plots, and want to see more plots that - as on Enterprise - require the characters to use cunning rather than tech to get out of scrapes.

    I want to see no more hippie political crap like in Star Trek IV. I wouldn't mind them dealing with political issues we have not yet faced, but this whole Trek-as-metaphor-for-present-social problems stuff is played out; it was played out after the first series where they dealt with all of the 60s problems like race, space hippies, etc. Star Trek 4 was a travesty.

    I want to see more darkness and less humor. All of this will make the victories of the main characters that much more interesting to watch, rather than just assuming that they'll triumph. Movies need to be treated as serials; plots need to continue from movie to movie and they have to leave us hanging. I don't want to see it all wrapped up at the end of the movie. That just ruins is and wrecks the tension. "Oh who cares that they're hanging off of a precipice, we know that can't be the end; there's still 17 minutes left to the movie."

    Most or all of this applies to the television series as well.

    Watching Star Trek in any form is an infuriating thing; if you're a hardcore fan, you grit your teeth and get through it for some reason; but my teeth have been ground down to powder. Berman needs to sit down and watch Babylon 5, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Space: Above and Beyond, and get some ideas.
  • by shadowlight1 ( 77239 ) <> 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."
  • by Starky ( 236203 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:43PM (#5225308)
    Of course the movie tanked. I think someone concluded that the best way to maximize profits for the Star Trek franchise is to minimize costs (and quality) figuring that the devout fan base would come see whatever schlock they dish out.

    The reason they have a franchise in the first place is because there is a long history of positive, intelligent writing. The writing on the latest installment could as well have been for a TV special. Heck, they produce a script a week for the TV show. Did they spend a week or two working on the movie script?

    The producers need to do something better to pull movie audiences in. Solicit top-quality writers and spend the time and money to produce an original, engaging, and intelligent script that is not simply a formulaic, rehashed TV episode, then surround it with top-quality production values, and audiences will return.

    If they continue to try to extract profits by minimizing cost and effort in the short term, they will find their franchise dwindling and will end up sacrificing profits in the long term.

  • Momentum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpish Scholar ( 17107 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:50PM (#5225374) Homepage Journal
    If you make a really good movie, people will show up next time.

    If you make a really good movie and then a really bad movie, people will show up at least one more time. (Example: STAR TREKs IV, V, and VI.)

    If you make a mediocre movie, fewer people will show up next time. (To some degree, a really bad movie is less harmful, since people hope it's a fluke, and the film makers might try harder afterwards.) Two in a row, even more so.

    If you make a movie where I have to turn my brain off in order to ignore the inconsistencies -- if you think shiny things and loud noises are enough to keep me in my seat -- somebody may show up next time, but it won't be me.
  • by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @03:51PM (#5225388) Homepage
    Maybe if there's a next movie episode they could slip through a wormhole into an alternate universe where all spaceships don't fly "right side up" in space. Just think of the possibilities in a reality with an extra, third dimension!
  • 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 Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:10PM (#5225582) Homepage

    And Bowie J. Poag Doesn't Care Why Nemesis Tanked.

  • 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 Windcatcher ( 566458 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:12PM (#5225596)
    1. Lose the Political Correctness. Seriously. We don't appreciate being preached to. We watch Star Trek for the science fiction, not to have some leftist Californians tell us how great their sensibilities are. I stopped watching Enterprise in the middle of the first season for this reason (go Farscape!!)

    2. Plot holes suck. I saw Nemesis with some friends of mine. After it was over, the most rabid Trekkie in the group announced, "It never happened. I never saw it." Yes, it is fiction, but that doesn't mean we won't be angry if your writers completely destroy our ability to suspend our disbelief. Worf, as a member of the crew? How did this happen? Wasn't crusher with the Traveler? And why put him in at all, if he doesn't even have any lines? We don't need a label telling us what garbage is; our noses can detect it just fine.

    3. Idiotic notions. How many times have we heard this line: "You're the only ship in the area..." I'm starting to get the impression that there is only one ship in the entire Federation.

    4. Terminal pacifism. Sit up, get the wax out of your ears, and listen up: people want to see the Federation kick A$$. A lot of us are tired of the "Oh, but we can't possibly hurt anyone" attitude. If the Federation was run by the USA, believe me, each ship would be loaded for bear with the biggest, baddest, nastiest weapons and gizmos imaginable. A lot of us on the east coast have thicker skins, so spare us the pacifism. Ever heard of Darwinism? The Federation would have been annihilated by now, and good riddance.

    5. Two (what am I saying?) ONE-dimensional characters. Ever watched Farscape? You should. The characters are dysfunctional. They have issues and problems. Like the rest of us. They're just as neurotic as the rest of us, and we can relate. We can't relate to the cookie-cutter folks you keep putting before us.
  • by Vortran ( 253538 ) <> 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 Phanatic1a ( 413374 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:39PM (#5225861)
    Nemesis reinforced just how important it is to remember to backup your Data.

    Thank you! Thank you! I'll be here all week, drive safely.
  • by ClevaNickName ( 610849 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @04:48PM (#5225946)
    I wasn't in it!
  • by NetFu ( 155538 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:10PM (#5226128) Homepage Journal
    Roger Ebert had a REALLY funny review [] of Nemesis and why he's not interested in Star Trek any more. It had me laughing for at least 15 minutes. Here are a few choice quotes in case the page gets Slashdotted:

    "There might have been a time when the command deck of Starship Enterprise looked exciting and futuristic, but these days it looks like a communications center for security guards."

    "Fearsome death rays strike the Enterprise, and what happens? Sparks fly out from the ceiling and the crew gets bounced around in their seats like passengers on the No. 36 bus. This far in the future they wouldn't have sparks because they wouldn't have electricity, because in a world where you can beam matter--beam it, mind you--from here to there, power obviously no longer lives in the wall and travels through wires."

    "I've also had it with the force shield that protects the Enterprise. The power on this thing is always going down." ... "I'm thinking, life is too short to sit through 10 movies in which the power is shifted around on these shields. The shields have been losing power for decades now, and here it is the Second Generation of Star Trek, and they still haven't fixed them."

    "I tried to focus on the actors. Patrick Stewart, as Capt. Picard, is a wonderful actor. I know because I have seen him elsewhere. It is always said of Stewart that his strength as an actor is his ability to deliver bad dialogue with utter conviction. I say it is time to stop encouraging him."

    "There is a scene in the movie in which one starship rams another one. You would think this would destroy them both, and there are a lot of sparks and everybody has to hold onto their seats, but the "Star Trek" world involves physical laws which reflect only the needs of the plot. If one ship rammed another and they were both destroyed and everyone died, and the movie ended with a lot of junk floating around in space, imagine the faces of the people in the audience."

    "I 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."

  • by xaoslaad ( 590527 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:40PM (#5226384)
    He doesn't know why? He doesn't know why? I hope he reads this site so I can clue him in on it.

    I was watching an episode of enterprise; the one with the Klingons abusing the subdued duterium miners. Well heads blowing up all around, phaser fire filling the sky, Klingons on the hunt, and the total fatalities: 0

    I mean good god I was sitting there screaming about how I was expecting Mr. T to come around the corner at any second. A visit to only reaffirmed that situation when someone with a similar sensation stated "I pity the fool who messes with duterium miners!"

    In the end they trap the Klingons in a ring of fire, not one with a signed eyebrow and what do my ears behold. Did that Klingon just say, "We don't want your dueterium anyways!" and stomp off like a small child back to his ship (teleported out anyways...)

    The Klingons I know would have teleported up, then back down directly behind the unsuspecting enterprise crew, slit their necks before they knew what happened, slain have the duterium miners as a lesson, and demanded the same yields. The two writers of that episode should have been hung up and bled dry for that sorry excuse of an episode.

    Nope Star Trek is just a T&A show now (thats TITS and ASS)... so anyways I digress. Rick Burman, obviously needs to pulls his ****ing head out of his ****ing ass.

    Go ahead mod me down for troll. But it's true. Star Trek was great. How the mighty have fallen.
  • by Quixadhal ( 45024 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @05:59PM (#5226563) Homepage Journal
    It's not really that hard to see why the entire Star Trek Empire is falling... the Eastern and Western Emporers (B&B) have put such a tight stranglehold on their creation, that it can't breathe.

    Star Trek has the classic problems of any television series that refuses to change. It has become stagnant. Bremen refuses to hire decent writers and let them run loose. He won't allow any cliffhangers that can't be resolved in 2 or 3 episodes. He also won't allow major characters to die, or fail, or turn evil, or just plain disappear from sight for more than 1 short story.

    Once you have a setting (which Gene provided for you), and a cast with some chemistry (DS9 and Enterprise, not Voyager), all you need to do is get some good solid writing. What makes good sci-fi? What makes good writing!

    Surprise! If I can predict how the episode will turn out before the first commercial break, it's not really that much fun to watch. Yes, I enjoy seeing T'Pol bounce around in her jumpsuit... but that's not enough.

    Suspense! If I know that everything will all turn out O.K. in the end, because the next episode will be out in a week... why do I care? In good writing, you are never quite sure if any character or endeavour will work out. Major characters can die too. They can also become evil, or just disappear without a trace. Watch Babylon 5 someday... see how the characters evolve, and see who survives and who doesn't.... and why.

    Common Sense! Enough with the time travel out of your ass already. There's a difference between asking us to suspend our disbelief and go with the idea of phased particle weapons, or warp drive; and smacking us with technobabble just to see how much blood pours out of our ears. Cause and Effect work well together, and can do wonders for finding holes in a plot.

    While I'm at it, might I also suggest not only sticking with it (don't change the direction a show is headed just because a week or two were unpopular), but letting the characters evolve over time? The Piccard of "All Good Things" was a vastly different man than the one in "Encounter at Farpoint"... and that evolution was part of the show's charm. You got the sense that he'd learned from his experiences, and that he had become a hero.

    Many people have complained about Enterprise... it certainly isn't a "Next Generation", but the chemistry is already better than TNG was for several seasons. If they would just toss them a few really GOOD scripts, I think we'd all be impressed with the results.

    *sigh* It will never happen though, it's too risky. B & B have grown too accustomed to their regular paychecks to risk failure. If they keep to the formula and let the show die a whimpering death, they can blame the fans, or competing TV shows, or sunspots. If they dare produce real stories, they might get blamed for those that don't do well.

    I think ST can be saved, if B&B will keep their damn hands off it. Hire writers who have proven track records, tell them they can do whatever they want -- but they have to ask before they can kill off major characters, and let the stories flow and stretch across seasons. See the "Thieves World" set of novels as a great example of cooperative and competitve storytelling in a common universe.
  • 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 DDX_2002 ( 592881 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @06:02PM (#5226594) Journal
    Berman can't see why Nemesis tanked because undead soul suckers can't see their own reflections in the mirror.
  • by DunbarTheInept ( 764 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2003 @07:04PM (#5227065) Homepage
    So, Rick Berman doesn't know the answer to, "Why did Star Trek do badly?

    Of course not because the answer is, "Rick Berman".

    Fans left in droves over the last decade because of his constant attempts to transform Star Trek into a touchy-feely franchise about emotions that occasionally had some adventure from time to time, instead of the other way around like it originally was under Roddenbery.

    Look at these two ideas that *sound* like a great setting for an awesome sci-fi series, but in practice they fell flat: 1 - A federation ship on it's own stuck too far away from home to get any help has to find it's own way home and make it's own repairs by hook or by crook in a totally alien section of the universe. Great idea, right? Yeah, on paper. But in practice we got some stupid show about a crew we don't like, who we wouldn't care if they all died tomorrow because they are that annoying.

    Okay, but how about this one: 2 - The adventures of the very first enterprise ship, back in the days before Earth had become powerful, back when it was just getting it's feet wet and making mistakes and learning the hard way how to make it in space. Sounds great, right? Yeah, but then Berman, putz that he is, instead gave us a show about feelings, and how humans are all stoopid, and where they actually spent an entire episode trying to learn what one crewman's favorite food was. (No, I'm not kidding!). It's like one of those terribly boring episodes in the middle of an anime series where all they do is eat and go shopping, but stretched across the entire series instead of just one episode.

    The best way for Berman to save Trek would be for him to quit and give the helm back to people who know how to entertain.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.