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Tino

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The thing I hated most about Uhura's fan dance was the dubbing of her singing voice with Machun from Hiroshima. Like, why?! Nichelle sang several times on Star Trek and had a beautiful voice. It didn't even sound like her. That scene was just bizarre in every way.
It was the most cringeworthy scene in all of Star Trek. I mean…. What were they thinking?
 

Josh Steinberg

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It was the most cringeworthy scene in all of Star Trek. I mean…. What were they thinking?

There’s plenty in Trek that makes me cringe more.

Just last week, rewatching the TNG two-parter Best of Both Worlds, after the admiral introduces Picard to Shelby, Picard notices the admiral fixating on her weirdly and asks about it, and the admiral calls it “just an old man’s fantasy.” I’d call a senior military official sexually harassing one of his female subordinates while bragging about it to a male subordinate to be far more cringy than Uhura volunteering to do a nudie dance to distract some cult desert dwellers, but that’s just me.

I’m sure there are equally bad or worse examples of lines and scenarios that haven’t aged well to be found, it’s just a matter of which ones come across worse to each of us as individuals :)
 

jayembee

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I just watched the UHD of Nemesis last night. Still not a great film, but I found it a bit more enjoyable than I did in my previous viewing (back when it was first released to theaters). I have to agree with Neil's statement at the beginning of his review:

"Star Trek: Nemesis is a good film. An imperfect film, with faulty wiring and missed opportunities, but a good film, nonetheless. Tom Hardy’s Shinzon is a worthy adversary for Picard and company, and he delivers a memorable performance."
 

Sam Favate

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I put off watching the last TNG film on 4k, since it is not my favorite, to put it mildly. But I got to it last night. And I still think it is the worst of any Star Trek film... but it was better than I remembered. And by that I mean it was not unwatchable, but it was still bad in so many ways.

The Romulans and the threat they pose were the most persistent antagonists the Next Generation crew faced in their 7 years on TV, so it makes sense that there would be a movie with them. I enjoyed the scenes on Romulus, in the Romulan Senate, etc. However, the Romulans aren't the main antagonists of this movie! It's the never-before-seen Remans and a human clone they follow!

Why do the Remans have to look like Nosferatu? To tell us they're bad people? That we should fear them? Couldn't they be a faction of the Romulans whose actions make us fear them? Do they have to look like goblins? Star Trek should be better than the old trope that good-looking people are good, bad-looking people are bad.

Tom Hardy's clone of Picard is, at times, a laughably bad character. His mannerisms and speech patterns remind me of Dr. Evil (who was his contemporary in movies at the time).

Patrick Stewart, in the first half of the film, gives what is probably his worst performance as Picard. He is completely out of character most of the time, from the best man's speech which is all about him, to ordering Worf and everyone else to attend the next ceremony naked, to driving a dune buggy like a kid who just got his license. It's all so jarring that you think "That's not him!" There is also no reason for him to feel any sympathy for his clone. He's used to Romulan dirty tricks, and he should not be surprised they'd stoop to something like this. (Indeed, we see this idea revisited in Picard Season 1 and Season 3.)

The movie has too many conveniences. Where did the Soong android come from? The Romulans found it and used it to lure Picard to a planet near the Neutral Zone - why? Couldn't they have just requested a meeting with Picard? Did Soong leave android bodies around the galaxy? All in nearly-working condition? That's not consistent with what we know about him. So, Picard has his clone in the movie and Data has one too. Too convenient.

If the Remans have this telepathic ability which allows them to violate Troi (a terrible sequence for a beloved character and the audience; one which should not have happened), how is it they are still virtual slaves of the Romulans? They have a powerful ability their leaders do not. Surely that would allow them some political muscle.

Seeing this movie through the lens of the three seasons of Picard, it gives it more clout. It can't be ignored (like I would like to). You can see in this film that it's entirely possible Picard could be in a relationship with Crusher. How LaForge would feel immense guilt over helping Data leap to his death.

No character, not even the often-ignored Dr. Crusher, fares as badly in this film as Worf. He's useless for most of it. No mention is made about why he is back on the Enterprise at his old station after he's lived on Deep Space Nine for many years and was recently promoted to Klingon Ambassador to the Federation. It makes a strong character seem pathetic.

And the answer for that is that Rick Berman and Paramount were chasing that unknown "general audience," people who have seen a little bit of Star Trek and might plop down their ticket money for a TNG adventure on the big screen. But it's the real fans that got you to the big screen and no movie that fails to please the fans is going to make it with that elusive general audience. Star Trek Nemesis treats the audience like they're dumb. No movie will ever achieve success that way -- at least not with Star Trek fans.

As I have said before, this movie makes Star Trek V look like a Best Picture winner. At least that movie, for all its many failings, has the original cast inhabiting the characters we love one more time. Nemesis can't even manage that, since so many moments are out of character for our crew. John Logan, fresh from his Oscar win on Gladiator, wrote this, and I am not impressed. I wasn't impressed with Gladiator, or his James Bond films. He's a film maker I try to avoid when I can. Stuart Baird, the director, was criticized for not knowing anything about Star Trek (there's Berman chasing that general audience again) and it shows. (There's a reason franchises like the James Bond and Harry Potter films use the same directors over and over; they know the material.) Baird was a good film editor, but he's out of his league here.

Thank goodness Michael Chabon, Akiva Goldsman, Terry Matalas and more rescued the TNG crew with Picard, particularly season 3. That's a much better ending for this crew we followed for a generation.
 

jayembee

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No character, not even the often-ignored Dr. Crusher, fares as badly in this film as Worf. He's useless for most of it. No mention is made about why he is back on the Enterprise at his old station after he's lived on Deep Space Nine for many years and was recently promoted to Klingon Ambassador to the Federation. It makes a strong character seem pathetic.

I don't know how true it is, but I've seen it said that one of the perks they gave to Michael Dorn for moving over to DS9 was that he'd get to return to the Enterprise for every TNG film. So they had to figure out how to work him into the plots, not always successfully.

Anyways, you pretty much nail the weaknesses of the film across the board. And, like you, when I watched the UHD, I found myself surprised that it seemed better than I remembered.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Regarding Shinzon and his plot for B4 and the Soong androids in general, you asked about this on the previous page in this thread and I provided an explanation at the time. While I understand the plot point isn’t to your liking, an inarguable opinion, I think it’s internally consistent within the Star Trek universe.
 

Sam Favate

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I don’t think that’s necessarily a prerequisite for making a good film. Nicholas Meyer and Harve Bennett didn’t know anything about Star Trek, but Wrath of Khan turned out pretty well.
True but 1982 fandom vs 2002 fandom are quite different, plus I’d argue Meyer and Bennett were more respectful, not having a lot of out-of-character moments.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I don’t see those same moments as being out of character as you do - I found them to be delightful, actually - but reasonable people can disagree on these things and still be friends :)
 

Josh Steinberg

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Interestingly, I’ve heard Meyer speak in person before and read his autobiography, and he’s actually very emphatic on the point that in order for him to do what he does and make a good film, he feels it’s necessary not to be beholden to the history of the franchise and to focus solely on making the best individual film that he can. I don’t think he went in with the intention of being disrespectful, but I don’t think he went in feeling in any way revenant towards what had come before. But it’s also true that different filmmakers have different processes. Some of the very best Trek episodes and films have come from people with no other experience with Trek, and some have come from people with extensive experience.
 

Sam Favate

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I agree that Meyers’ book is terrific. He’s obviously very smart and it shows in the films he’s made.
 

jayembee

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Interestingly, I’ve heard Meyer speak in person before and read his autobiography, and he’s actually very emphatic on the point that in order for him to do what he does and make a good film, he feels it’s necessary not to be beholden to the history of the franchise and to focus solely on making the best individual film that he can.

Something I've always said in arguments about an adaptation with respect to fidelity to the source. The primary responsibility of a filmmaker is to make a good film. Fidelity -- or perhaps strict fidelity -- should be secondary. As an adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I think Blade Runner is wanting. But I would not want to live in a world that did not have Blade Runner in it.
 

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