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Walter P. Thatcher

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Likely to be lost in what will undoubtedly be thousands of responses to this post from rabid Trek fans (like myself). Paramount has never known what to do with Star Trek. As RAH pointed out, the films have always looked low rent. The fact that Paramount put the Six-Million Dollar Man producer in charge of films 2-5 says a lot right there. Space Adventures with William Shatner on a TV budget.

Star Trek II is one of my favorite movies of all time. I recently re-watched the film in 4K with a critical eye to sets and backgrounds. The improved clarity reveals so much cheese and duct tape holding some of the sets together. To fully engage with the original cast films, one has to often engage with the story and overlook the TV production quality.

I will disagree with RAH in terms of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It is the one film in the series that benefits from a theatrical budget and stands up better today than some of the other films. It's the most "science fiction" film of the series.

And don't even get me started on the JJ Abrams reboot filmed at the Apple Store.
Also, the improved clarity reveals limitations of make-up designed for an older film/video technology. Once a viewer can see the joins of the hairpieces, the areas make-up didn't make it, and the no longer disguised facial silicone appliances. I think it's similar to when TV broadcasts went from standard to HD necessitating a new HD make-up because the increased video definition revealed what in-front-of-camera personnel really looked like.
 

ScottRE

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Well, none of that is new to the 4K films. The original series blu rays suffer from too much clarity. I would never want to see the 60's series in 4K and still lean on the DVD releases as the best version we've gotten. You can still see some details they never wanted us to notice, but a not nearly as much as the HD prints.
 

ScottRE

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Likely to be lost in what will undoubtedly be thousands of responses to this post from rabid Trek fans (like myself). Paramount has never known what to do with Star Trek. As RAH pointed out, the films have always looked low rent. The fact that Paramount put the Six-Million Dollar Man producer in charge of films 2-5 says a lot right there. Space Adventures with William Shatner on a TV budget.
Well, then it would be almost always, since TMP was a hugely budgeted film with expansive sets and top flight effects work.

And Paramount putting a successful TV producer in charge was actually the best move they could have made. They were gonna lower the budgets no matter what and imagine if someone like Charles Band or Roger Corman got a hold of it. Star Trek was a TV concept and more of a character piece than a space epic. They still got larger budgets than they would have if they made them TV movies, like the average 60's reunion film. The first four Trek films did a lot with the money and didn't look cheap in theaters. Even today, as Fathom keeps releasing The Wrath of Kahn on the big screen, it always looks more expensive than it was. The mistake Paramount made was pushing past The Voyage Home and then insisting cheap laughs were the reason Trek 4 was a success and to make sure each successive film was a borderline comedy.
 

ScottRE

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Yikes. Now we’re complaining about too much clarity??:rolling-smiley:
Honestly? Yes, when it comes to TV shows of a certain vintage that use the lower resolution and bad TV signal as a way to hide make up seams and FX technology limitations. Seeing the joins in Spocks ears or the seam where Shanner's toupee meets his scalp were not details we were meant to see. And with each higher resolution, the worse the original effects look. The original series was never meant to be seen with the clarity we have now. A 4k release would make these things worse, not better.

The movies are a different story, they were meant to be seen on a gigantic screen.
 

Robert Harris

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Honestly? Yes, when it comes to TV shows of a certain vintage that use the lower resolution and bad TV signal as a way to hide make up seams and FX technology limitations. Seeing the joins in Spocks ears or the seam where Shanner's toupee meets his scalp were not details we were meant to see. And with each higher resolution, the worse the original effects look. The original series was never meant to be seen with the clarity we have now. A 4k release would make these things worse, not better.

The movies are a different story, they were meant to be seen on a gigantic screen.
Through a double dupe, run through average anamorphic optics of the day.
 
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minor correction

the original 4 movie collection actually came out in September of 2021, the one you referred to was the repressing
 

Tino

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Yes, when it comes to TV shows of a certain vintage that use the lower resolution and bad TV signal as a way to hide make up seams and FX technology limitations.
So you think those shows did that deliberately?
 

Josh Steinberg

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Absolutely!

Filmmakers working on film for theatrical release did that too.

In those days, the original negative was never the final product - the idea that we’re seeing scans directly from original negative at perfect quality would have been totally foreign to filmmakers until this new digital era.

Generational loss going from negative to intermediary stocks to release print was one of many tools filmmakers had to hide seams in their work.

And for television productions, they were well aware that the negative was only the beginning of the story, not the final word.

When you read about people doing things like “tests” back in the day with camera, lighting, different labs, etc, part of the reason for do so was to see at what point the seams stopped showing.
 

Lord Dalek

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Well, none of that is new to the 4K films. The original series blu rays suffer from too much clarity. I would never want to see the 60's series in 4K and still lean on the DVD releases as the best version we've gotten. You can still see some details they never wanted us to notice, but a not nearly as much as the HD prints.
Also the effects were heavily chewed up by constant recycling of the same model shots instigating those new cgi ones everybody hates.
 

Walter P. Thatcher

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Absolutely!

Filmmakers working on film for theatrical release did that too.

In those days, the original negative was never the final product - the idea that we’re seeing scans directly from original negative at perfect quality would have been totally foreign to filmmakers until this new digital era.

Generational loss going from negative to intermediary stocks to release print was one of many tools filmmakers had to hide seams in their work.

And for television productions, they were well aware that the negative was only the beginning of the story, not the final word.

When you read about people doing things like “tests” back in the day with camera, lighting, different labs, etc, part of the reason for do so was to see at what point the seams stopped showing.
Stop-motion animation comes to mind.
 

JoshZ

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The mistake Paramount made was pushing past The Voyage Home and then insisting cheap laughs were the reason Trek 4 was a success and to make sure each successive film was a borderline comedy.

That complaint is certainly true of Star Trek V and Insurrection. But I would not call ST VI, Generations, First Contact, or even Nemesis "borderline comedies."
 

ScottRE

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Star Trek VI is peppered with as many gags as Star Trek V. And they're mostly at the expense of the tension. Some of them are funny, a lot of them are not. The Undiscovered Country had aspirations to be a dark, gritty political thriller, but it is done in by misplaced humor, self referential dialog and Nick Meyer's obsession with anachronistic naval terminology and references.

I was only speaking of the classic cast films. Although I think turning Data into a Borscht Belt comedian wasn't the best choice to kick of his emotional journey.
 

JoshZ

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Star Trek VI is peppered with as many gags as Star Trek V. And they're mostly at the expense of the tension. Some of them are funny, a lot of them are not. The Undiscovered Country had aspirations to be a dark, gritty political thriller, but it is done in by misplaced humor, self referential dialog and Nick Meyer's obsession with anachronistic naval terminology and references.

I would disagree with you on whether the humor in VI was "misplaced." It sounds like you prefer Star Trek to have no humor at all, which to me is almost as bad as the other extreme. The best of the franchise balances the two aspects.

I was only speaking of the classic cast films. Although I think turning Data into a Borscht Belt comedian wasn't the best choice to kick of his emotional journey.

Fair enough on that.
 

jayembee

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I would disagree with you on whether the humor in VI was "misplaced." It sounds like you prefer Star Trek to have no humor at all, which to me is almost as bad as the other extreme. The best of the franchise balances the two aspects.

Agreed.

I love the film, but it had two problems to my mind, and the level of humor was not either of them. First, Meyer pushed the Klingon obsession with Shakespeare past its limit. Secondly, the whole sequence on Rura Pentha ground the film to a halt. I realize that Meyer was trying for a quieter (relatively speaking) sequence in the same manner as the sequence in the Genesis Cave in Wrath of Khan, but unlike that previous instance, it just didn't deliver the goods.

Well, OK, there was the Uhura-doesn't-speak-Klingon bit that was probably a "misplaced" bit of humor. But, generally speaking, the humor to be found in Star Trek tends to be having fun with the characters. The humor in IV and V, on the other hand, tended to be having fun at the expense of the characters (it's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of The Voyage Home).
 

B-ROLL

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Agreed.

I love the film, but it had two problems to my mind, and the level of humor was not either of them. First, Meyer pushed the Klingon obsession with Shakespeare past its limit. Secondly, the whole sequence on Rura Pentha ground the film to a halt. I realize that Meyer was trying for a quieter (relatively speaking) sequence in the same manner as the sequence in the Genesis Cave in Wrath of Khan, but unlike that previous instance, it just didn't deliver the goods.

Well, OK, there was the Uhura-doesn't-speak-Klingon bit that was probably a "misplaced" bit of humor. But, generally speaking, the humor to be found in Star Trek tends to be having fun with the characters. The humor in IV and V, on the other hand, tended to be having fun at the expense of the characters (it's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of The Voyage Home).
I'll just say the audience stood up and cheered when Spock used the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on the guy with the boombox in IV.
 

Blimpoy06

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Humor in Star Trek is perfect when it is witty. Such as, "No, I come from Iowa. I only work in outer space." from Star Trek IV. Versus cute. As in the Star Trek VI "If the shoe fits" search for gravity boots in the crew quarters and everyone giving Three Stooges expressions while a respected character is oblivious that the room they are searching doesn't belong to a humanoid species and couldn't possible wear the boots.
 

Lord Dalek

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Humor in Star Trek is perfect when it is witty. Such as, "No, I come from Iowa. I only work in outer space." from Star Trek IV. Versus cute. As in the Star Trek VI "If the shoe fits" search for gravity boots in the crew quarters and everyone giving Three Stooges expressions while a respected character is oblivious that the room they are searching doesn't belong to a humanoid species and couldn't possible wear the boots.
That's still a good bit (and its Chekov delivering it in the way he used to do on TOS by culturally apropriating every thing to Mother Russia, so that's why it works).

Scotty banging his head into low hanging doors and Uhura doing an erotic fan dance? Those are not good bits.
 

Jason_V

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Star Trek VI is peppered with as many gags as Star Trek V. And they're mostly at the expense of the tension. Some of them are funny, a lot of them are not. The Undiscovered Country had aspirations to be a dark, gritty political thriller, but it is done in by misplaced humor, self referential dialog and Nick Meyer's obsession with anachronistic naval terminology and references.

Nothing in VI is as egregious or cringe worthy, in my mind, as Scotty bonking his head RIGHT after he says he "knows this ship like the back of his own hand." Or the Uhura fan dance. Or the Enterprise being a disaster.

Uhura and Chekov going through books to read Klingon isn't a great scene in VI, for sure. Kicking the alien on Rura Penthe in the "knee" gets a laugh, but really isn't funny. So I get both of those.

Also...very patiently waiting for the digitals to upgrade...I have a full three day weekend to watch them if they manage to update on iTunes before the weekend... :)
 

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