09
Jun
09

June 9th, 2009, the 20th anniversary of Star trek V (the Final frontier)


Well this is a melancholy anniversary. “STV” was my first venture into the Star Trek galaxy and in those early days we were very excited about what we were about to do. The film had a great script. It was going to be Shatner’s directorial debut, Jerry Goldsmith was back, Herman Zimmerman was the new Production designer, Mike and Denise Okuda were on board, Nilo Rodis was designing the spacecraft, Greg Jein was the model shop supervisor, but one thing was missing,,,,ONE MAJOR element that was key to the visual look of Star Trek was not coming back and that was ILM. There were some heated exchanges between the higher ups and ILM about VFX costs during the filming of “ST IV” The shot of the Bird of Prey flying under the Golden Gate bridge and the cost of the mechanical Motion control whales was looked at in the light of being excessive and during these arguments the decision was made (to generalize the answer) we’ll show you ILM that we can get someone else to do the VFX and they’ll look just as good and for a lot less. And so be it, let the new VFX house grant their skills and talents to the legendary Star trek Universe. Greg Jein who was a veteran of the previous films and also a major part of TNG was picked to supervise the Miniature construction and also to build a great deal of the props for the show. Greg Jein for those that don’t know is one of the greatest model makers ever!!! (Stay Tuned for Greg Jein week in the near future) His assignment was to build all the miniatures, Shuttle craft’s two sizes of the Enterprise Shuttle bay, Oversized pieces of the Klingon Bird of Prey and so on. Once completed everything had to be packed and shipped to New jersey to be filmed. Greg is the nicest guy in the world but He was treated like complete ((#^&%#*^^&%)) on this one and so undeservingly so, but he kept a smile on his face thru-out the apocalypse hanging over his head… we had a great time working together despite all the bad and Greg’s dark and evil joking side was in full gear!! The film was doomed with every kind of production problem and in the end Shatner was made the proxy and the one who ultimately got all the blame. The film didn’t do well theatrically and sadly is considered the least favorite of all the films but if you look past all the bad there is a great heart beating thru the interaction of the original crew and the introduction of Spock’s brother. The scenes that play out between the actors in regards to finding their pain is brilliantly written and the performances are exactly what you would expect to see. As an introduction to Star trek I had the best time working for Greg and in all honesty I wasn’t ready for all the responsibilities he gave me and in many ways I feel I didn’t have the knowledge to perform as good as I wanted to!!!!! but he continued to nurture me on and I am so grateful for that opportunity. As always Jerry Goldsmith’s music scores as one of the high points of the film, and his theme entitled ” a busy Man” stands out as an incredible and iconic moment in Jerry’s brilliant ST themes. Herman’s work shines brilliantly with his beautiful klingon bridge as well as the Enterprise bridge. Twenty years have lessoned the pain to the point that I can joke and enjoy this one again so take all my comments in a light hearted way and can’t wait to hear everyone’s comments and feelings about Trek 5, So with that here are some images from the film and Happy anniversary STV.

 

teaser poster

teaser poster

 

another beauty by Peak

another beauty by Peak

 

the opening at El Mirage dry lake bed

the opening at El Mirage dry lake bed

a light moment between Kirk and Spock

a light moment between Kirk and Spock

 

One of Herman's masterpiece sets!

One of Herman's masterpiece sets!

 

The (god) planet was the Trona pinicles North eat of Edwards AFB, also where Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes was shot

The (god) planet was the Trona pinicles North East of Edwards AFB, also where Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes was shot

 

The elaborate Paint job on the Enterprise was brought down with what looked like a white wash of some kind.

The elaborate Paint job on the Enterprise was brought down with what looked like a white wash of some kind.

the white wash is very evident in this one

the white wash is very evident in this one

 

we used to watch silver paint swirl like Miso soup in the Acetone bucket at Apogee, looked a lot like the elements in this shot

we used to watch silver paint swirl like Miso soup in the Acetone bucket at Apogee, looked a lot like the elements in this shot

 

hey is that a cardboard cut out of the BOP???

hey is that a cardboard cut out of the BOP???

uuuuuhgg!

uuuuuhgg!

this was a nice shot!

this was a nice shot!

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72 Responses to “June 9th, 2009, the 20th anniversary of Star trek V (the Final frontier)”


  1. 1 Don
    June 9, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Ah, STV. The movie that put the “crap” in “Crap-tastic”! ;) I really do loathe this movie on so many levels. I find it ironic that the suits at Paramount cited one of the most iconic images created for the TOS movies – that of the BOP soaring down under the Golden Gate – as an unacceptable expense. It was a money shot that delivered the goods! So instead of the level of story-telling, we get horses painted blue, and an antagonist that is basically a light show! The shuttle crash scene looked like toys being thrown around, and the “whitewash” that you refer to made the old girl look unnatural in every shot.

    I know some feel that there are nice character moments in this movie, but I can’t get anything out of them, since they are sandwiched in between what I think is fundamentally bad film-making. I am a huge fan of the TOS movies and I tend to ignore this one, it means so little to me.

    There’s one plus side, though, and that is the design work. The new bridge, though lit poorly (flat) was a great move forward that got perfected in ST6. All the great Okudagram stations gave a new look to everything. I own a piece of Spock’s bridge station, as well as an Engineering station and the Enterprise diagram from the turbolift wall, all of which were also used in ST6. Awesome pieces! Kudos to Okuda! I also loved the “commando” uniforms worn by the crew when they went on the rescue mission. That type of element totally made sense to me, and I have always thought that every Trek production should have a version of those. I like them so much that I have one of Nimoy’s uniforms, as well as a stunt Kirk. The Assault Phaser is my favorite Trek weapon next to the original phaser from TOS (and yes, I have one of these as well, direct from the set!). Kudos to Greg Jein on that front, and Shatner, who set the tone for them.

    So ST5 is not a total loss to me, though from a story-telling aspect, there’s no lower point in the Trek movies, IMO. I’ll take TMP over ST5 any day. Though I’m sure that whatever you worked on, John, was a credit to the production!

  2. 3 Lt. Washburn
    June 9, 2009 at 6:57 am

    People often can’t just dislike something, they have to hate it. I’ve never hated this movie, in fact I think it has a lot of REALLY great moments. It needed a partial rewrite and some different choices, but I would keep a lot that was in it.

    Plus, I always thought the blue flame planet effect was cool.

    • 4 johneaves
      June 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

      yeah i have to say the script was awesome, just in the translation did it loose the heart!

    • 5 Don
      June 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      I can simply dislike many things. But STV is not one of them. I had (and still have) a strong visceral reaction to it. I didn’t WANT to have it, I wanted to like it. It’s Star Trek, it’s my boys! But, alas, I disliked it for the reasons mentioned.

      I can respect the fact that you find great moments in this film. Please do the same for my views. I don’t choose to hate it, I simply do. Just as I assume you do not choose to like it, you simply do.

  3. 6 Freak
    June 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

    This is not one of my Favoirte films, but it does have some great moments it.
    Like the camping scene at the begging of the film and scotty comment “I know this ship like the back of my hand.” Then knocking himslef out on a beam.

    I know Shattner wanted another go with the effects for this film after the Director cut of TMP was relasied. It would have been intresting to see, what he would change and what scene he would have put back in, that had to be taken out due to the FX not working out the way he wanted. (the rock monster comes to mind.)

  4. 8 deg
    June 9, 2009 at 7:11 am

    OK, I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, STV is my fav of all the Trek films. Why you may ask? One simple reason: To me, it is the film that best captured the spirit of the TV show bar none, as far as the show’s origina “feel,” as well as the characters themselves. I know The Shat got bashed for it, but I thought he was brilliant at bringing the true feeling of these character’s dynamic back into close and personal focus.

    For me, at it’s core, Trek is forever about these characters, and this is the best outing (without relying on any gimmicks, like IV’s fishes outta time theme), to bring “alive” the characters as I remember them from the show.

    As to E being white-washed: Good riddance to that mother-of-pearlescent disco-ball finish! This is a starship, not a disco-tech! What does God need with a disc-ball finished starship? It was “pretty” but enough already. There, I said it.

    Now, New Jersey? This is news to me. Who was doing the motion-control work on this show, John?

    And tell me more about why you didn’t fill ready for the tasks-at-hand Greg was handing you… baptism by fire, huh?

    I have the Peak’s STV and ST:TMP movie-posters hanging right outside my door in the hallway. Those two will forever be my fav Trek films, eh.

    And Gads! One of Jerry best all-time scores, ever!

    Happy B’Day and Live Long and Prosper STV!

    LLP,
    deg

  5. 9 deg
    June 9, 2009 at 7:21 am

    OH, plus this film was the ultimate catalyst in bringing my wife and I together, eh. :)

    PLL<
    deg

  6. June 9, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I’ll admit this is one of my least favorite Trek films, although Nemesis is at the top of my least favorites. It’s not that I think it was a bad film, I actually loved the plot idea and some of the charactor interaction was fantastic, infact this film was great as all the charactors got thier moments for a change too. So many good one liners thoughout the film.

    The special effects did ruin it for me a little bit, I didn’t realise it wasn’t ILM that did it (*slaps wrists for not watching the credits more closely!*). To me it felt like the film had taken a step backward in quality, the ships seemed to ‘sit’ on the background alot more in this film. Apart from the Shuttle crash, that looked a tad to fake, I didn’t really like the shot of the Enterprise going to warp and avoiding the Klingon Torpedo, although it was a cool idea for a shot, the way the ship went to warp looked a bit ‘jerky’ for the want of a better word.

    Set’s wise, loved them all, the new bridge was fantastic, although a tad to light, the new paint job in ST:VI really brought it together. The Klingon bridge was fantastic, especially with the ‘pericope’ targeting system! I really liked the observation room as well with the ships wheel. Although the turboshaft I felt was maybe a tad too tall for the ship ;-)

    What did you actually do on the film John? You said you were working with Greg, were you mostly doing model making or were you doing illustrating?

  7. 12 Lt. Washburn
    June 9, 2009 at 7:51 am

    One thing that gets me is how you’ll often hear the complaint that it’s a movie where the crew goes off to find God. But it’s not. It’s about the ship being hijacked, some of the crew being brainwashed, and others just going to see what this crazy guy will actually find if gets to where he wants.

    Some other points….the bridge design is amazing. I’m a little conflicted as the redress for STVI looks more utilitarian, but then it also looks more cold and technical. The V bridge is very comfortable. I want to live there, but maybe it’s a little too cozy. I still think it’s great.

    And if you pay attention, it has some of the best cinematography of the series.

  8. June 9, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I like this movie. It was the 2nd Star Trek movie I ever saw, ST4 was the first. I think it has a great blend of action, humor and a really good plot. And it featured my favorite Trek shuttle design (I was glad when they recycled it on TNG.) The FX are cool, even though it wasn’t ILM. I would like to have seen the movie that William Shatner *wanted* to make instead of what he was forced to make with budget constraints, an unrealistic deadline given all of the setbacks and the lack of ILM, but I like it. Of course, I’ve also read and enjoyed a lot of Shatner’s Sci-Fi novels, I’m a fan of his style and his work. Another sad note about this movie (aside from everything that John mentioned) is that this was Harve Bennett’s last big screen Trek venture (by his choice, though.) I really like what he did with the movies when he was producing them.

    On the plus column, I absolutely love the models and I’m looking forward to Greg Jein week. He’s one of my heroes because of all of his beautiful work on the movies and TV shows.

    • 14 johneaves
      June 9, 2009 at 8:21 am

      all the comments are close to being the same,, Love the characters and I do love that part of the film most!!! Sybok was brilliant as well as all the characters having their moments to shine!

  9. 15 ScottDS
    June 9, 2009 at 8:13 am

    (Cut and pasted from a previous blog entry I wrote)

    I first saw Star Trek V on television sometime after I became a Trek fan. If memory serves, it was airing on HBO rather frequently at one point and after seeing a few bits and pieces here and there, I finally sat down and watched the whole thing. Even then, I remember thinking something was amiss. Why does the ship have 78 decks? Why are they numbered in ascending order? Why are the visual effects noticeably subpar? And why did the filmmakers use the TNG theme? (At this point, I hadn’t yet seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture and was thus none the wiser.) I was not familiar with the unfortunate production history of this film and simply accepted it for what it was.

    While Trek V is far from a perfect movie (it’s conceptually flawed, the visual effects are 95% awful, the Enterprise makes it to the center of the galaxy in no time at all, the ending is anti-climactic, etc.), it does have heart, and it wears that heart on its sleeve. The Big 3 are at their best in this film. I actually like the campfire scenes, including “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” This film asks the classic Star Trek questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Is this all that there is? Sybok is an interesting, charismatic villain who sadly isn’t served well by the script and I think Laurence Luckinbill turned in a fine (and underrated) performance. Shatner proves himself to be a decent director who happened to be saddled with a WGA strike, a Hoboken visual effects house inexperienced with motion control work, a studio that wanted more humor in the film after the success of Star Trek IV, a serious lack of funds, and basically no ending when all was said and done.

    The film has grown on me over the years. I would rank it ahead of Star Trek: Nemesis and possibly Insurrection as well. I think it might also have to do with where I am in my own life right now and for that reason, one of my favorite scenes in the film (and I’m sure it’s a favorite for many) is the observation lounge scene with Kirk’s famous line: “I don’t want my pain taken away, I need my pain!” For me, that scene is one of the top ten scenes in a Star Trek movie. I’ve come to appreciate the film for what it tries to do. Most films don’t set their sights that high but I believe this one did. To paraphrase executive producer Ralph Winter in the DVD making-of: “Too much enthusiasm, not enough discernment.”

    • 16 johneaves
      June 9, 2009 at 8:22 am

      nice summation on the facts and where was this posted before??? thanks for putting it up!

      • 17 ScottDS
        June 9, 2009 at 9:40 am

        I occasionally blog at Film Score Monthly. That’s where this was posted.

        I don’t think WordPress will let me post the link to my entries so you’ll have to look for them under the name Scott Saslow.

        I have no formal music knowledge or education but I decided to take the initiative and write about something I enjoy after FSM’s man in charge sent out the call for bloggers last December. My last blog was a month ago; I’ve been busy and haven’t had the time to write a new one. I take my time with them. :-)

  10. June 9, 2009 at 8:13 am

    I remember a lot of shots such as the probe that the Bird of Prey shots down had a stop-motion look to them as there was no motion blur on the motion control photography !! I also remember seeing in Cinefex a rather poor Matte Painting of Mount Rushmore with a 5th head added, a coloured president…now who would have thought of that :) I’ll have to check back to the issue to see if it’s Obama !!

  11. 21 Max
    June 9, 2009 at 8:29 am

    The story was slow, the character interaction was wooden and drawn out(even Nimoy couldn’t pull off a convincing Spock). Having Uhura dancing nude on a sand dune? What are they thinking?
    This movie is bad worthy of being on MST3K, and proof that not all actors can be directors. Or they should be given a lot more experience before handed a movie.

    What I did like about the movie, the soundtrack(score), the hand phasers, and the E pictured in front of the moon.

    The Model work I was less than impressed with. They lacked dimension, they looked like toys on screen. Regardless of the skill of the model builders, how they are shot means everything. It stank of budgetary constraints, some guys can pull it, in this case, nope.

  12. 22 Scott D
    June 9, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I too loved the Bridge Set in ST:V. It was bright enough to give it a confortable feel, but the consoles were dark to give it contrast. The only thing I wansn’t too fond in ST:V was the Sha Ka Ree plot and how Sybok managed to befriend the entire crew of the Enterprise.

    BTW, talking about this made me remember the ST:V PC game, in which I just loved the BoP Combat simulatior. It was more than 10 years ahead of Bridge Commander, where you actually got to pilot the Enterprise and delegate crew to repair damage. Fun game.

  13. 23 Barrie Suddery
    June 9, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Not my favourite Trek movie, but then again I don’t have a favourite as I’ve always felt that Star Trek’s character’s worked best on TV where they could be explored week after week thus giving them greater depth.

    Having said that, I’ll echo what most here have said in that this movie really showed how close these characters have become after nearly a quarter of a century serving together. The VFX wasn’t that good, but by the standards of the time, not too bad either.

    Star Trek has always been about the people and this movie got that part exactly right.

    BTW, John, how does Greg Jein feel after all this time? Being poorly treated obviously didn’t put him off Paramount too much given he stayed on for TNG and others. I’m assuming the people who mistreated him didn’t work there for much longer or apologies were made and accepted.

  14. 24 CX
    June 9, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I liked some of the character interactions between the big three, but while interesting in some ways, I can’t say I cared much for the story itself, let alone the lame humor, and other things that make my inner nerd twitch – the nitpicking stuff basically.

  15. June 9, 2009 at 9:44 am

    There’s always Jerry’s BEAUTIFUL STV score, which eases the pain a great deal.

  16. June 9, 2009 at 10:03 am

    24johneaves:

    I am listening to it as we speak

    Ditto. :D

  17. 28 Snafu
    June 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I have the old Cinefex covering this movie: this was a difficult one for the poor VFX guys who got the deal.

  18. June 9, 2009 at 10:27 am

    in all honesty, V was a better star trek film than IV in many ways. IV leaves me feeling lacking, it is a stiff and saccharine movie. The actors gel better in this film.

  19. 30 Jonathan Burke
    June 9, 2009 at 11:06 am

    It’s funny that this is the anniversary of the film, because I unknowingly watched it last night as I’ve been cycling through the older films after seeing STXI.

    Echoing what deg said higher up, I really like this movie. There are lots of things wrong with it, especially visually, and it seemed like everything conspired to form the perfect storm against Mr. Shatner’s production. Still, it’s not as irredeemable as people say; it’s got heart and to me feels a lot more like TOS than the others films, even if technically it’s not the best TOS film, a lot like how I feel about TNG/Generations. The camping scenes are wonderful, IMO, even if they’re not perfectly dead on. I don’t even mind Scotty and Uhura’s little fling (lucky Scotty) and the E-A “being a lemon” was something of a dramatic conceit to allow some of the less probably stuff to happen and is easily explainable when you consider it seemed like they were grafting new Excelsior-level tech onto what was in-universe a 45-year old-design.

    And, there are still some nice things in the visuals that, if you let yourself stop being critical of it, can overshadow the crap even if it’s not perfect. The bridge set was beautiful, for instance, as was the forward viewing room, complete with ship’s wheel. The shuttles were terrific, and the shuttlebay was reasonable even if the size was fudged a bit. The Klingon interiors were pretty great, too. And I love Klaa’s 80s rocker Klingon style!

    Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s got heart and if you make your mind up not to nitpick it to death, I think those who dislike it will be surprised to see how much good, and ultimately, how much of an intriguing message the movie offers: family is where you make it, and God is where you find Him. :)

    (gets off soapbox)

  20. 31 DeanneM
    June 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

    A lot of differing views, for sure! I’ve not seen this but once or twice a while back, but I recall, as Lt. Washburn pointed out in #11, noticing that the cinematography was outstanding. I enjoyed the film overall because I wasn’t looking for the effects to dazzle me or the lighting or textures to be just right. The interactions of the characters, as often said here, and the overall writing were awesome and made for a great movie.

    It would really be something to see it the way Mr. Shatner would have done it *before* ST:IV was done…same budget and crew (plus you, John, of course!). Now that I have been educated some in the technical areas of the show, it will be fun to watch it again and nitpick! :)

    I think it would be fun to see any Trek movie MST3Kized!! Not because they are so bad they could drive a person crazy, but because I like that kind of humor. The MST3K treatment would be like honoring Trek in their own way, in my eyes. :D

  21. June 9, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Gotta disagree with deg here… the pearlescent finish on the refit Enterprise was brilliant (in more ways that one!) and totally “sold” the model. The new Enterprise in this summer’s movie is slowly growing on me, but the 1979 version is still my second-favorite incarnation of the Gray Lady. (Do I really need to tell you what my favorite version is?! :) )

    • 33 DeanneM
      June 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm

      Scott, did you see the pic that John posted a while back from Ryan Church’s website? I have it in my wallpaper rotation, and it is one of the few that stop me in my tracks to look at time and again! Beautiful…too bad they didn’t use it!

      http://johneaves.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/ryans-got-some-new-work-up-on-his-site/

      • June 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm

        Yes, I saw it. Ryan’s a great illustrator–I should hope to be one-one-hundredth as talented–but his take on the Enterprise took some getting used to. If I had seen this illustration before that infamous port-side image that was released last fall, maybe I would have warmed to the design a little sooner. Gotta admit though, ILM made the JJPrise look mighty awesome on the big screen.

  22. 35 Snafu
    June 9, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Pearlescent is KING!!! :) Don’t anybody dare diss our aztecs :D

    Re-reading that Cinefex: it seems they got the Enterprise model with the battle damage paint from ST II/III (now that I think of it, the new Enterprise-A in ST IV was shown in a way that avoided the damaged areas from previous battles: only her top and starboard angles, so could it be that ILM didn’t get to repaint her then?), a few bits and pieces missing, decals crumbling and wiring deteriorating. They had to repaint it. Also, pulling decent mattes was very difficult for them, being inexperienced with handling models with this kind of finishing. Add to that the time crunch… Well, the article is titled: “Star Trek V – Sharing the Pain”

  23. 36 Mr. Wilde
    June 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with deg. This movie has captured the spirit of the original series better than any other Trek movie. And Jerry Goldsmith’s score is one of the best Star Trek scores I’ve heard. It’s a shame that it was never released completely (or that the BEST cues were not included on the album). Set design was great, too. I especially love the bridge, which got then perfected in Star Trek VI.

    And the movie featured some very memorable and iconic moments. The Enterprise in front of the moon, the shuttle crash, Kirk, Spock and McCoy standing in the observation lounge next to a steering wheel with a plaque that says “Where no man has gone before”, while watching the Enterprise entering the Great Barrier. I absolutely love all those concepts, in spite of the fact that the execution was not so well done.

    And the story! I like it, I really do. An emotional Vulcan madman (!) seeking God, the answer to all life in the galaxy. And in the end, God turns out to be a powerful alien imposing many Gods in order to find someone who helps him to escape his prison in the center of the galaxy. Now if that isn’t epic, then I don’t know. Its execution wasn’t too good, but I prefer heart over technical quality ANY time.

    And if you imagine how this movie would have been with a bigger budget and Sean Connery in the role of Sybok… damnit! The powers that be shot themselves in the foot by not giving Shatner enough money and by putting its production too close to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade…

    I think that Shatner did a good job, especially with the characters. You can’t blame him on the quality of the visual effects, can you? You can blame Paramount on not allowing him to restore The Final Frontier for a DVD Director’s Cut like they did for The Motion Picture, though.

  24. 37 Mr. Wilde
    June 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I was hoping that in order to revive the franchise, the success of Star Trek 2009 would cause restorations of the old movies for Blu Ray (The Motion Picture, The Final Frontier and Nemesis Director’s Cuts for instance) and maybe a release of the complete soundtracks in a pretty nice box.

    Star Wars Special Editions & Prequels –> Complete Soundtracks released. Indiana Jones 4 –> Complete Soundtracks of all movies released. Lord of the Rings Extended Edition –> Complete Soundtracks released.

    Why can’t Trek be more like those franchises? ;-)

    • 38 ScottDS
      June 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm

      Paramount has a new music exec and has recently struck licensing deals with a few of the specialty soundtrack labels. I’m listening to LaLa Land Records’ new release of Elmer Bernstein’s Airplane! score as we speak. It was announced last month but all 3000 copies have sold out.

      A rep from that company said a boxset of expanded Star Trek scores is impossible but individual releases are possible later on. I’m not holding my breath but in another year or two, who knows?

  25. 39 Adrian Rowe
    June 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    OMG this movie sucked big time i mean im a big trekkie
    but as startrek movies this sucked the most.

  26. June 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Rob, I do believe the films are being released on Blu-ray. IIRC, Daren ran a entry on his blog, as he is on a coupla of the new commentary tracks.

    As to Trek vs. Wars marketing and product; I would venture to guess it’s because, Lucas is more organized and market-savvy as to his franchise, that’s why he is on top of it all the time. Plus, he’s only one-cook, while big studios all basically have a revolving door of suits making decisions and re-decisions.

    LLP,
    deg

  27. June 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    For me this film will always be Kirk, Spock and McCoy sitting around the campfire and discussing life.

    “Other people have families.”
    “Other people Bones, not us.”

    strikes a chord and an emotion.

    The VFX, certainly not up to par, still, were inventive in many ways and were “revisioned” in my minds eye as I watched it. The electron microscope photography for the God planet ws sort of cool well to me anyway.

    The distant view of Paradise City at night with the planets overhead was almost straight out of my mind’s eye as a child driving through the country at night and seeing the distant lightglows of towns.

    This one was one of my favorites.
    And the Goldsmith score – truly exceptional.

    (My next fave was Nemesis, because I worked on it!!)

    Thanks for posting this article.

  28. 44 Adrian Rowe
    June 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Show me your pain show me your pain !!!!
    They did then did afther that they killed “god” well what they thought was god.

    I did love the new Star trek movie even though Jim Leary ( another John Eaves fan)
    didnt i thought it took Star trek in to Mainstream.

    The FX were great and had alot of fun momennts.
    The acting was good and the story was great tooand to see old spock one last time was too cool for words.

    I look forward to the next movie ………….

  29. June 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    And I’m with you too, Rob. Some very very iconic moments, Real “feel” Trek, baby. And Kirk’s, I need my pain soliloquy. I have that memorized. It floored me, as still does. The whole self-tour of the big three, what a scene(s)!

    And Kirk’s sign on the toilet in the brig, OMG! Perfect!

    The only point I split with ya is, Connery as Sybok. I LOVED Luckinbill! And don’t get me wrong, I love Connery, but if he had been up there, all I would be thinking is, look, Sean with pointy ears. But, then again, he probably would have pulled it off really, but I loved Luckinbill in the part as well. He will always be Sybok to me.

    I love this film, eh.

    LLP,
    deg

  30. June 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Plus: “Phasers on stun!”

    ‘Nuff said.

    PLL,
    deg

  31. 47 Jim in NZ
    June 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    [quote]OMG this movie sucked big time i mean im a big trekkie
    but as startrek movies this sucked the most.[/quote]
    You’ll have to excuse my colleague – he’s more of a TNG fan…

    John, it was great to catch up with you again at WonderFest. Glad you got to have a look around Wright-Patterson – I went there two years ago and was blown away when I saw the XB-71.

  32. June 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Scott Gammans:

    Gotta disagree with deg here… the pearlescent finish on the refit Enterprise was brilliant (in more ways that one!) and totally “sold” the model. The new Enterprise in this summer’s movie is slowly growing on me, but the 1979 version is still my second-favorite incarnation of the Gray Lady. (Do I really need to tell you what my favorite version is?!)

    Snafu:

    Pearlescent is KING!!! Don’t anybody dare diss our aztecs

    Don’t get my wrong guys, I like the finish and feel she looked great in the dry-dock, et alii. I’m just not 100% down with it from a realistic (whatever that is, in sci-fi…, LOL) POV, for myself. Like I said, it was “pretty,” just a bit too much of a departure for me, from like you said Scott, the Gray Lady. I actually prefer the WOK look, as compared to the STV look. Both those looks are just both more in keeping with my idea of her finish, as instilled in me via TOS. And I like aztecs eh, just not preal-y ones. :D

    LLP,
    deg

  33. 49 Kevin H. Martin
    June 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I have always loved TFF (along with TWOK and TMP), matte lines and all. It has heart, feels like TOS, and is a self-contained story. More importantly, it focuses on the big 3, and Goldsmith brings it home in style. Cinematography is often nice, and the sound mix is just really really good, a step up from any of the others imo.

    I can nitpick any trek movie to death, so stuff like the 78 decks bitching is a meaningless complaint to me (I can go for thousands of words against ST3 & ST8 about stuff that actually matters, not lil continuity glitches.)

    I have always been able to come out of a trek movie opening day feeling unsatisfied (up until I stopped going to see them this century), but TFF is the exception to the rule. For me it is kind of like GOLDFINGER … not the very best Bond (that is of course FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, followed by the Daltonpics), but one I can always settle in to rewatch happily.

    I’m glad to see the info about Paramount and ILM re: ST IV … I know they pushed very hard to get a lot of stuff in-camera for TVH, but ultimately some of those shots (like the main under the bridge) wound up being matte shots, and not great ones at that. I just don’t understand why if they wanted to go away from ILM for TFF, that they didn’t go to proven cheap places for ship VFX, like the Skotak Bros. Those guys could have probably done half of TFF in-camera.

  34. 50 the bluesman
    June 9, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    John

    The film as plagued with production as you mentioned. And look at the competion of the summer of 1989,,,Batman, Indy 3.

    My thoughts on Trek 5 are that it missed it’s potential. I concur that the characters were well done and the design of the film was okay. I did enjoy the shuttle bay set.

    Disappointments…ann alien claiming to be God. The Enterprise being taken over by a rag tag buch of syboks cultmembers and the crew of the Enterprise giivng in to easy to Syboks Jedi-vulcan mind tricks. And probably the worst offense a placard that reads Deck 78.

  35. 51 Matt Boardman
    June 9, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    You know, I’ve always felt that this movie never really got a fair shake by fans and critics. Sure, it had it’s moments, but when we look at the series that started it all, what was it about it that drew us in? Certainly wasn’t the sets, as beloved as they have become. It was the characters. Well, there were a lot of great, great character moments in this movie. The scene in the lounge with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sybok was priceless. I loved Kirk’s rejection of Sybok’s offer to take his pain. I’ve often felt that way when I’ve looked back at some of the less savory moments of my life. Great comedy at just the right time and the look of the sets were spot on, in my humble opinion.

    And, who can forget the marshmellons? Does anyone remember the ST:V marshmellow dispensers that Kraft used to advertise on the back of their jet-puffed marshmellow bags? They looked just like the one that Spock used and I always wanted one!

  36. 52 Spock
    June 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    The film is defintely flawed, but it has grown on me over the years. I do like it better than 99% of the TNG films. The character interaction between Kirk, Spock and McCoy was at it’s best. The camping scene, good. Overall I think this movie was closest to the original series, too bad Shatner didn’t get his rock men. They would have beat Galaxy Quest to the punch..lol I did like Shatner’s line “what does god need with a starship?”

    The effects were a total let down. The shuttlebay looked wrong, but the new assault phaser was a nice addition, and the landing party uniforms was an interesting concept to bring back.

  37. June 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    My second favorite Trek movie after TMP. Sure it had it’s problems and if you’ve read either the Making Of Star Trek 5 or Shatner’s latest book”Up Till Now.” You would know the verious problems Shatner had, like a bad film magazine that kept putting a scratch down one side of the film. Paramount wouldn’t give Shanter the money for reshoots so they had to blow up the image to cut off the scratch. That’s why some of the shots look grainy, like Scotty hitting his head.
    “Damn it Bones you’re a doctor. You know pain and guilt can’t be taken away with
    a wave of a magic wand. They’re the things we carry with us, they make us
    who we are. we lose those we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away, I
    need my pain!”
    One of my all time favorite lines along with “What does god need with a starship?”
    I did a picture based on that line but I replaced god with one of my dogs as a giant angry floating head in space. “An Angry God” is my favorite piece of Trek music. Other than the main Them for First Contact nothing beats it.
    The next movie should have a Bar called Deck 78. :)

  38. 54 Buckaroohawk
    June 9, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Here’s the first thing I always remember about seeing ST:V in the theater with my friends: The teaser poster read “Why are they putting seat belts in theaters this summer?” Our reply was “To try and keep people from leaving.”

    Honestly, though, I really do enjoy this movie, despite its myriad flaws. It had so many strikes against it; constant script revisions, a huge cut in its budget, little faith or support from the “suits” at Paramount, the WGA strike, the fact that it was the first Trek film after the hugely popular ST:IV and the premiere of The Next Generation on TV, a VFX company simply not up to the task of producing Trek-level effects, more location filming than any other Trek film, and an enthusiastic but ultimately inexperienced director. When looked at in this light, it’s a wonder the film got made at all.

    Still, there is a really wonderful story beating at the heart of this movie and every now and then it rose up from all of the weight holding it down. Scotty’s dogged determination to get the ship’s systems back in working order despite all the chaos around him. Chekov’s attempt to deceive Sybok into believing that he is the captain of the Enterprise. Sulu’s deadpan delivery of the line, “Actually, this is my first attempt,” when told he must make a high-speed manual landing of the shuttle in the hangar bay. Uhura smugly calling Chekov’s and Sulu’s bluff when they tell her they’ve become lost in a freak blizzard. And most importantly, the scene in the forward observation room when Sybok tries to convert Kirk, Spock, and McCoy to his cause. DeForrest Kelley’s performance in that scene is simply staggering, and solid proof that he was Trek’s most underrated actor. The scene showing Spock’s birth is okay, but there is a better one in the “Deleted Scenes” section of the 2-disc Special Edition. This unused scene shows a young Spock’s dismay that Sybok has been exiled and forced to leave home. Young Spock wants to go with his older brother, but Sybok says he can’t. The amazing thing about this scene is that the parts are not played by younger actors. Leonard Nimoy and Laurence Luckinbill played the parts draped in shadow. Their faces cannot be seen, but their voices perfectly imply their character’s younger selves heartbroken that they must be separated. It’s a wonderful scene that would have served the film very well had it been used.

    Then, finally, it is Kirk’s turn. I remember wondering what source of pain would they use. Gary Mitchell? The death of his brother, Sam? Commadore Decker’s suicide in “The Doomsday Machine?” His separation from Carol Marcus? Spock’s sacrifice in TWOK? His son, David’s, murder and the destruction of the Enterprise in TSFS? Kirk had been through so much in the time that we’d known him, where might his his greatest pain come from? Kirk stands defiantly, however, unwilling to let Sybok’s “therapy” get the better of him, and he says, “I don’t want my pain taken away, I need my pain!” In that one moment, and in that single line spoken with perfect courage and conviction, Shatner summed up what it really meant to be James T. Kirk. Throughout this scene, with Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley in the roles they know so well, and with Luckinbill’s Sybok as catalyst, the heart of Star Trek beats loud and strong because, despite having been “cleansed” of their pain by Sybok, Spock and McCoy choose to remain at Kirk’s side, just as they always have and always will. It really is a moving scene and, for me, it justifies ignoring many of the film’s other problems.

    The one thing I’ve never been able to get my head around, though, is when did Sybok find the time to get a haircut? Watch the film again, and you’ll see what I mean. :-)

  39. June 9, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    This isn’t a bad film. I think the character moments between the crew are nice and we really see them more as a family and close friends than ever before. The concept is interesting. For some reason I thought the planet they were on was the genesis planet when I first saw it and that Khan was the person trapped there. Weird.

    Klingon Bridge is very cool. I like this sub feel.

  40. 56 Syd Hughes
    June 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    There were some truly great moments in STV, greater even than IV, I’d say. It was ruined by a nonsensical ending and VFX work that appeared to have been done by someone’s 14-year-old brother.

  41. 57 1701dfan
    June 9, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    I have to say, I find the film entertaining.
    Yes, the VFX are a little dodgy and the story a tad weak, but it is still Star Trek. In fact, it is more star trek than some of the other films.
    You can see and feel the chemistry between the crew members and Spock’s conflict within himself over Sybok.
    It has some of the most iconic images and lines. For instance, those immoratal lines: “What does God need with a starship?” and “Jim! You don’t ask the Almighty for his ID”.
    And who doesn’t love that heart warming scene at the end around the camp fire. 3 Friends, enjoying their times together. With the passing of DeForrest Kelley, that scene has much more poignancy now that it ever had.

    I also adore the brig cell scene where Scotty taps out morse code to tell the 3 amigos to stand back.

    I could go on, but suffice to say, I think this film has a lot going for it.

  42. June 10, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Jonathan Burke:

    It’s funny that this is the anniversary of the film, because I unknowingly watched it last night as I’ve been cycling through the older films after seeing STXI.

    Echoing what deg said higher up, I really like this movie. There are lots of things wrong with it, especially visually, and it seemed like everything conspired to form the perfect storm against Mr. Shatner’s production. Still, it’s not as irredeemable as people say; it’s got heart and to me feels a lot more like TOS than the others films, even if technically it’s not the best TOS film, a lot like how I feel about TNG/Generations. The camping scenes are wonderful, IMO, even if they’re not perfectly dead on. I don’t even mind Scotty and Uhura’s little fling (lucky Scotty) and the E-A “being a lemon” was something of a dramatic conceit to allow some of the less probably stuff to happen and is easily explainable when you consider it seemed like they were grafting new Excelsior-level tech onto what was in-universe a 45-year old-design.

    And, there are still some nice things in the visuals that, if you let yourself stop being critical of it, can overshadow the crap even if it’s not perfect. The bridge set was beautiful, for instance, as was the forward viewing room, complete with ship’s wheel. The shuttles were terrific, and the shuttlebay was reasonable even if the size was fudged a bit. The Klingon interiors were pretty great, too. And I love Klaa’s 80s rocker Klingon style!

    Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s got heart and if you make your mind up not to nitpick it to death, I think those who dislike it will be surprised to see how much good, and ultimately, how much of an intriguing message the movie offers: family is where you make it, and God is where you find Him.

    (gets off soapbox)

    Missed this… Here here, Jonathan! I right there with ya, eh.

    LLP,
    deg

  43. June 10, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Yeah Snafu is right I think about the whitewash paint job. ILM had done a basic white paint job to cover the battle damage, and carefully used limited angles of the 1701-A in the final scene. I remember hearing Bran Ferren inherited the model without any allocated budget to repaint it.

    I don’t believe the movie was well-served by the effects generally.

  44. 60 Bwack
    June 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Loved TFF. The effects didn’t bother me. The character interaction is wonderful. There are several Trek films I find less enjoyable to watch. (Not naming names here!)

    I was, in many ways TOS on the big screen, tinfoil and all.

  45. 61 Mario
    June 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    This movie actually remains my personal favorite of the Star Trek feature films. Repeating what many have posted here, the character interplay among Kirk, Spock, and McCoy was as good as it gets. The spirit of the original series was best captured in this movie and it was true to Gene Roddenberry’s vision. Perhaps with a bigger budget and Sean Connery it would have been better received by the critics and fans, but for my money, this was a solid entry in the Star Trek franchise (far better than the new movie that simply lacks the feel of Star Trek). Job well done Mr. Shatner and to the rest of the cast and crew of “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” – Happy 20th Anniversary!

  46. 62 Rob Walley
    June 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    There’s a lot wrong with Star Trek V, so much that it would take new VFX (Dochterman, where are you?) and some creative editing to bring it up to par with the other movies in the series. That said, when I want to see a Star Trek adventure that best captures the feel of the Original Series and the characters I love so much…I always end up back to Star Trek V. For all it’s faults as a cinematic production, Trek V does feel like an episode of the original 79. Shatner’s direction was actually a departure from what we had seen with Nimoy, Wise and Meyer and it worked well apart from the VFX. Goldsmith’s score is to this day the best part of the movie. There’s is a lot to like here and I really believe that a Special Edition could Make Star Trek V a film that most fans would love.

  47. June 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes STV quite alot. I always thought it was the one movie that “felt” like the TV show, if it had continued production for another 20 years. For starters, most of the movies dealt with threats to earth and the crew of the Enterprise are the ones who have to save mankind, er…the Federation. In Trek V, they actually had to go out and do some exploring. There was something kind of grand about having to go and explore this strange new world.

    Granted, there’s alot in the film that still doesn’t play very well. The humor is too forced, everyone looks too old, but the I thought the spirit of the piece was right. As mentioned, some of the sets were absolutely wonderful. For all of Bran Ferren’s lousy effects work, the view out of the Captain’s Lounge is some of the most awe inspiring stuff I’ve seen. Sure it’s just a star field, but by being a projection rather than an optical, Shatner had the opportunity to move people in front of it freely or move the camera during the shot and it really felt like the Enterprise was moving at warp speed.

    I love the whole God concept. I thought Sybok was played extraordinarily well. And I really like that shot of the Enterprise and the Bird of Prey over the God planet.

    Heaven knows, I enjoyed Trek V far more than Trek VI…

    Pierre

  48. 64 FSL
    June 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    On the story, I can feel Mr Shatner really put his heart into it. Design-wise, it was beautiful. Too bad the studio mucked it up.

  49. June 13, 2009 at 6:03 am

    I love all the Star Trek movies and TV series, with varying degrees. Star Trek V was by far the worst of the movies, but at least it is not alone, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Star Trek I, II, VI, FC, and XI are my favorites. Even as a kid I loved the motion picture to no end, regardless of how slow and cerebral it was, it had that 70’s style, that 2001 odyssey feel, The motion picture is a great movie. Star Trek II, what more is there to say about that movie which has not already been said a dozen times over, it is a fantastic movie, hands down. Star Trek VI is probably my favorite Star Trek movie, it was a story I think that hit me in my heart the more than the other trek movies, it was the ending of an era that you did not want to happen. I was never fond of Star Trek III, IV, or V. Back in time to the 80’s just didn’t cut it for me, it wasn’t a space movie, it was a time travel movie, no ships, no battles, just character driven. Star Trek III was as equally lackluster as Star Trek V but at least it had Christopher Lloyd and I loved his performance as a Klingon. Then we have Generation, Insurrection, and Nemesis, and don’t get me started on those lol, this is about Star Trek V. Regardless of how….(bad?) some of the Star Trek movies were, I enjoy watching all of them because they all have their own qualities and they bring something different to this wonderful universe. There were so many fumbles and slips in this movie, you wonder how it ever made it past the not only the editing room. Who was the person who said “yes this is good, this is done, print it.” How would someone think this movie is good enough to go out to theatres in the condition it was in. Other than the obvious issues like script, the VFX, something small that botherd me with Trek V and even the new movie regarded the turbo lifts. Even in the new movie, Captain Robau is coming down in the turbo lift to go to a shuttle and when see the ship you wonder where the hell he came from then there is nothing above the shuttle bay on the USS Kelvin!!! The bridge is forward and under the shuttle bay, if anything he should have been traveling upwards in the turbo lift not down. I just wonder how people working on a movie worth millions mess up something like that? In Star Trek V We know then when you travel up to the top of the ship the number should be going down..but what..the studio though people are idiots and would not understand why when going upwards on a federation starship the number of the decks are going down. And my god who’s idea was it to put 74 decks on the Enterprise, who at the studio approved an idiotic obvious mistake like that? You have all these brilliant people working on a movie, I am sure you have people who are meticulously looking over ever shot and you don’t notice basic things like that, or think that people will be oblivious and you give it the OK? Out of the whole movie that is what irked me the most, more then the 1701 white wash, more than the bad script. Regarding the look of the ship, we all know the Enterprise had this metallic look throughout the movies with changing color because of the special paint used, but the white wash gave the enterprise this glowing angelic feel, that even in the dark depths of the universe there is a beacon of light, hope flying around and her name is Enterprise. That might have been the idea considering this movie deals with god and the way the Enterprise’s warp nacelles are not only on its back but are angles backwards, its reminiscent of an angels wings folded back soaring and gliding. I did not have a problem with the CG effects (although they are obvious problems,) In the end I like Star Trek V. As with all movies I hate all the little mistakes that the studio thinks people will not notice and so the studio lets them pass…well WE WILL NOTICE. Studios need to be thinking not only about making a movie for theatres where people will see them once but the fact those movie will end up on DVD’s where people will watch them over and over and over again picking up more and more details and mistakes. Bottom line, yes some Star Trek movies are better than other, yes this movie could have and still could use some improvements, but in the end this is still a fun movie, and cannot be left out of the collection. HAPPY 20TH STAR TREK V!

    In the end I feel, I KNOW all the Star Trek movies need to be properly released as directors cut, include all that was filmed, redo the CG and VFX where needed and make these movies complete. I don’t understand the need to leave out parts when putting a movie on DVD, in a theatre yes, on DVD NO! Everything should be included.

    I just bought the original motion picture collection on blu-ray and I have yet to watch it so I am salivating at seeing these movie in high def and my 50” plasma. I know of some of the negative issues with the movies released on blu-ray but unless you have a 100” inch projector it should not be a problem. Hopefully the studio will restore and update these movies properly because they deserve no less. Bottom line, it will look better than DVD.

    • 66 johneaves
      June 15, 2009 at 4:19 am

      Hey there Chadwick, thanks for the long and heartfelt comment. There will always be mistakes on a movie such as these and if the mistake reflects in the dialog with the actors it is going to stay because the cost of a reshoot is astronomical to do and as far putting a film together there is a great deal of work and people involved working in different locations on different elements and on different versions of the script. some elements will be done, completed and shelved for editing and then suddenly two lines of dialog will change in the script revisions and then you have an unfixable glitch. a movie on the grand scale as Star trek is constantly changing as it is being made and decisions are made as problems are being solved so the amount of minors is very forgivable if you put it in the proper perspective…. for example the deck count of the Enterprise E chanfed in Dialog twice in the film due to lack of facts at the time of filming, and in all reality you can’t set up the sets and hire the huge crew to fix one word of dialog!! so of coarse it is easy to say why couldn’t that be fixed when your seeing the three years worth of work in a two hour viewing in a theater. Everyone involved see’s this stuff and they all wish they could go back and tweak this or that but in most cases you have one shot at doing it right and on occasion there are fowl ups!!

  50. 67 Bwack
    June 14, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Oh yeah, the set design was win. Especially the bridge, by far the best movie bridge. (including that tanning salon in STXI)

  51. 68 Ares B
    June 18, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    I freely admit I like TFF. I can forgive the FX and the minor mistakes (such as 78 decks) for the feel of camaraderie and high adventure.

    I had a gripe with the flight to the center of the Galaxy in short time, but with the TNG ep “Nth Degree” I can rationalize it – at least to myself. That show featured aliens appearing as big floating heads, who lived near the center and brought ships there to study by affecting the minds of individuals. It’s not a big stretch of imagination to think “God” as a powerful, criminally insane member of that species, who was imprisoned by his peers behind the Great Barrier until he could reach Sybok’s unusual mind.

  52. 69 aijaz
    June 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Well having read all these comments i thought id put my five cents worth in…yes TFF had some bad points, uhura dancing on the sand, some terrible fx, the glowing enterprise, the blue horses, the ambiguous ending but for all that the movie had some of the best trek moments i can remember out of any of the movies, all of which have been mentioned above, from the moment i saw McCoy peering at Kirk through the binoculars whilst he climbed el capitan i found myself chuckling and belly laughing all the way through the movie, who can forget those fantastic lines, what does god need with a starship, or you dont ask the almighty for his ID or i need my pain, my pain is who i am? TFF had the most true character moments to the original series than any of the other movies and without a doubt had the fx and script issues been sorted out it probably would have ranked as one of the best of the movies, i mean come on how can anyone not have smiled ear to ear with a tear in their eye when kirk goes to hug spock and spock just dead pans, please jim, not in front of the klingons! Absolute magic, shatners wit is evident all the way through this movie, at the ships wheel, the plaque, where no man has gone before, MAGIC! Mccoy asking is this for real and kirk replying if it is then life IS a dream….and to be honest people go on about connery this and that but when you examine laurence B’s performance it was outstanding just look at his eyes when Jim tells him he’s insane and he replies am i? the conviction of his acting was just outstanding! Jerry’s score what can one say about that Michael Giachano or whatever his name is could learn a thing or two about scores from Jerry after his abysmal effort on the latest trek, where on earth was the theme? And what the hell was with the chinese music for the vulcans? does Giachano know that vulcans are not chinese with pointed ears?! look at what horner did for vulcan music in TWOK and goldmsith does in all the movies! Well ive ranted and raved for long enough, just also want to add that TMP is still my favourite of all the treks, it looks epic, it is epic, the enterprise sequence still blows me away after 30+ years, sure it was slow and yes even boring but man just look at some of the shots of the enterprise and then compare them with the shots in the latest trek and you realise what im talking about and again Jerrys score is the most fantastic score which i know cue for cue note for note, can anyone honestly say they remember a single note from Giachannos score? TMP looks epic like dances with wolves, or out of africa or lawrence of arabia, you get a a real sense of scale and hugeness that i feel all the movies after TMP were lacking, its unfair of people to keep putting TMP down and im sick of people bashing it and not giving it the respect it deserves. It still made more at the box office than any, including, so far, the latest trek and at the end of the day if it wasnt for TMP we never would be where we are with all the subsequenst trek series and movies it spawned. Well Jim im gonna need a good nurse, not a doctor who’ll argue every little diagnosis with me, and they’ve probably redesigned the whole sick bay, i know engineers they love to change things! A great moment from TMP along with the spock crying sequence fan-bloody tastic, TMP rubbish? I dont think so! I could go on for another few thousand lines but gotta go! Live long and prosper!

  53. 70 James
    October 12, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Could we get the official word on why the shuttlebay exterior model was so tall? Was it built tall with the expectation that Panavision or something would stretch it out?

    • 71 johneaves
      October 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      It was tall because the set was built first and they went to the top of the permanents on stage with the construction to really give everything a massive scale!!! the translation to the miniature was one that caused all existing reference to be thrown out the window while trying to conform two vary different elements into a working combination of the two,, sadly it was in the model department where the compromise had to be made!!!

  54. December 26, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Definitely not a great Trek film, at the bottom of the list.

    It could have and should have been better, why if Paramount let Shatner do the film he wanted (minus his corny title ;)), then perhaps it could have just been known as a decent Trek film that just happened to have poor effects.

    Aside from the film being the film that Shatner wanted, the crew could have at least done more homework to fix obvious mistakes littered throughout the film.
    Some of the more corny scenes like Uhura’s fan dance could have had a pass (even if it does mean Bender’s parody of the dance in Futurama’s “Where No Fan Has Gone Before” doesn’t happen).

    If one couldn’t do convincing space shots due to lack of ILM (I’m sure the idea of getting a cheaper effects company, was only part of the answer, as it is often said that ILM was too busy doing effects for other films in 1988/89), then surely one should have brought the action from space, to the surface. It could have potentially had one of the great ground battles in all of Sci-Fi movies, had they say, taken elements of Mad Max 2 and brought it to Nimbus III. The idea could have been Nimbus III’s local indigenous species (humanoid) rebelling against the joint Federation/Klingon/Romulan presence who chose to inhabit the planet, to start that mutual understanding deal, the planet being the only inhabitable one in it’s system, which happens to orbit the 3 intersecting neutral zones.
    This could have been full of buggy/cycle based action where the rebels manage to overwhelm the limited defenses in “Paradise City” and capture it. Then you get another action scene in a larger drawn out Starfleet assault of the city.

    Speaking of the city, did it ever occur to them to try and scout a real city? Simply adding elements to an existing small city somewhere in the US or even Canada, it doesn’t have to be a huge metropolis, they could have simply gotten a small city of a several ten thousand, whose city already had pre-existing futuristic elements or reasonable skyscrapers. just have the locals effectively in lockdown for several months of preparation and filming, have them cast as extras, temporary removal of signage, modification of the exterior of houses, the stripes on roads etc. Just clever use of fake panels to alter the look of existing buildings, the placement of mock structures to make the city look bigger and add to it’s overall look etc, to turn what’s a simple small city, into something futuristic from another planet.
    Ok so that couldn’t have happened for obvious reasons, but it wouldn’t have hurt. :P

    Horses? Ok so Shatner loves horses, one could forgive him, thankfully it’s only limited to Nimbus III, but I’m sure the inhabitants use more than horses as a means of ground based transportation.

    All in all, it could have been far better, Shatner obviously was the poor choice for director, given the budget of over 27 million in 1989 dollars, there could have easily have been ways of making things cheaper here (such as faking a city like Paradise City) to add to concepts there (like the rock monster, or my idea of having ground vehicles and a ground based battle).

    Interesting thoughts, perhaps they should have given the green light to Shatner for his proposed “Director’s Cut” for DVD under the condition that he’d finance at least some of the project on a pre determined budget. It couldn’t have hurt could it? Or would the end result be a dramatically different film (not just fixing obvious errors and new space effects)?


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