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Why is The Final Frontier a GOOD movie?

Vger23

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Report this Dec. 09 2009, 9:51 am

Quote (Narada @ Dec. 09 2009, 3:48 am)
Quote (Vger23 @ Dec. 08 2009, 2:39 pm)
I didn't read any of the replies here before posting. The intent was to avoid having my response influenced by responses already given. Therefore, I apologize upfront if any of the points I make are duplicates or repeats of what others have said.

I am not sure I could stand up and say ?TFF? was a ?good movie.? I think that might be a bit of a stretch. What I do know is that for whatever warped reason, I actually ENJOYED TFF more than I enjoyed TVH or TUC. I would not presume to claim that TFF was a better film than either of those classics, but for whatever reason, TFF appeals to me more.

I have written at least two painfully long passages about why TFF COULD have been a good movie. Most of that is based on the idea that the story of TFF was a very good one, and the execution and detail of that story was NOT very good. I won?t go into rehashing all of that again, as it would take far to long and is not really in the spirit of the question posted here. Suffice it to say that I believe with a more competent writer, Shatner?s fundamental story idea could very well have ended up as one of the BEST Trek movies ever.

The problem is, it wasn?t. As a movie, it was pretty much a mess. And that?s a tremendous shame based on the potential that existed in this story.

So, I don?t necessarily believe that TFF is a good movie, but I can certainly list the reasons I find it highly entertaining and enjoyable (See, it is possible to have a bad movie also be very entertaining! For me, they are not one and the same):

1. CHARACTER INTERACTION: The charm, wit, and warmth of some of the BEST of the original series episodes is very well duplicated here. Aside from the foolish self-parody that sometimes comes up in this film, the characters are very well written and played. This is especially true of the Kirk / Spock / Bones trinity, which really is at the heart of this story. ?

2. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: ?There are some great moments in this film which show the crew as real people and not just Starfleet officers. I thought that was a rare and special touch. There are also some moments in this movie that do really well to acknowledge the bond of friendship that these people have developed for one another, and those moments are really worth their weight in gold. I thought that developments for McCoy?s character (the euthanasia scene) and Kirk?s character (denying Sybok the ability to take his pain away) were very good.

3. THE OBSERVATION LOUNGE SCENE: Indeed, the entire scene in the observation lounge is CLASSIC Trek. I believe it does not get enough credit as a great scene because it sits within a movie that many people prefer to imagine doesn?t even exist. To witness Kirk?s revelation that his pain is what keeps him going, and the acknowledgement that he NEEDS his pain is one of the best Kirk scenes in the franchise. Sybok?s failure to manipulate the trio solidifies their complimentary and impenetrable strength as brothers and as a unit. In fact, in a brilliant subtle performace by Luckinbill, he actually smiles knowingly when he realizes he has failed to convert them, almost as though he is proud and even pleased that their friendship is so strong.

4. SYBOK: Many people criticize the Sybok character. I?ve never understood that. I believe this to be one of the more interesting and non-traditional antagonists in the movie series. The idea that Spock might have a half-brother is fascinating and, at least to me, not NEARLY as far-flung as some fans like to pretend it is. When you consider that Sarek is 102 years old at the time of TOS, and Spock is in his mid-30?s, it is extremely reasonable to assume that Sarek had a wife before Amanda. When you also consider that Kirk and McCoy knew nothing about Pon Farr or T?Pring in ?Amok Time? due to Spock?s very private nature, it becomes even less of a stretch. Here is a character that has an interesting background and an honorable goal, and just happens to be going about it in the wrong way. I think he paints the picture of an obsessed fanatic quite well, blinded by all concerns other than his own goals. I think it?s a nice touch that, at the end of the film, he realizes this and is able to make amends and save the crew.

5. THE GREAT BARRIER / SHA KA REE: To me, there is no single more exciting or anticipated moment in the entire movie series than watching the Great Barrier slowly looming larger through the observation windows, wondering just what exactly awaits our heroes on the other side. This truly was a journey ?where no man has gone before,? which is an element that has been lacking from the movie incarnations of Trek. It?s a shame that the payoff did NOT live up to the level of anticipation that was built, but it was still a fun and exciting moment that reminded me of the excitement I felt at times watching the original episodes for the first time.

6. THE SOUNDTRACK: Jerry Goldsmith?s second-best offering besides TMP adds depth and an epic quality to a film that, more often than not, failed to actually deliver those qualities.

7. THE FUN AND ADVENTURE: Shatner?s version of Trek was much more well-paced and fun than some of the previous installments had been. Unfortunately, often this sense of ?fun? was overridden and ?fun? became ?foolishness,? but there are several times where IT WORKS, and when it does it is classic and memorable.

So, that?s my take on TFF. It is the most flawed of all the 11 Star Trek motion pictures, but there is just too much good stuff in to for me to not enjoy it thoroughly.

So... ?Good movie?? No, probably not. At least, not in a traditional and objective sense.

?ENTERTAINING movie?? Yes, for me, absolutely!

:cool: ¿:cool: ¿:logical:

Good comments here.

Thank you!

I have some pretty extensive feelings on TFF. I think it's very unique becuase of the potential the story had (versus the highly flawed yet still strangely entertaining and endearing finished product).

I had posted a long time ago some of my thoughts on how the "flaws" could have been cleaned up and some key plot elements simply expanded upon, and you would have had a much tighter and more serious movie. It was a HUGE passage, so I'm probably not going to type it out again, but it was a lot of fun to write.

Kdbtrekkin

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Report this Dec. 09 2009, 2:08 pm

Quote (Ali88 @ Dec. 07 2009, 7:11 pm)
I wanted a seperate thread dedicated to the reasons why TTF is a GOOD trek movie

A thread in contrast to TheChronicOne's thread on why TWOK is a bad trek movie

I think William Shatner was just trying to make a movie about a search for God

Harve Bennet said that Star Trek V stands unique amongst the trek movies because it was really the one that dealt with the meaning of life

The theme of "pain" was very good

Kirk's speech on "I NEED MY PAIN" was trying to say that we all have of our own pain and memories but we need them because it reminds of us of our lvies and of what we've been through and who we really are and and if we lose it, we lose ourselves

The scene with Kirk, Spock and McCoy discussing God briefly at the end was great

When McCoys asks "Is God really out there"?- that means "can we find God by exploring the universe"

Kirk replies "maybe he's not out there Bones, maybe he's right here- the human heart"- that means "maybe we can find God by exploring ourselves"

I agree about the God thing and the Pain thing, also really liked the campfire scene.

As for VGR response very nice, except I don't agree it was more enjoyable than TVH or TUC, those are 2 of my favorite TOS movies.

Kornula

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Report this Dec. 10 2009, 8:56 pm

Yeah, I started this thread a year ago. Glad to see it still resurfacing from other fans who appreciate the attempt Shatner did.

BTW;  one aspect of Final Frontier I love is that it fills a movie screen.  Something only the TMP has managed to date.  Nemoy's attempts fill the TV screen qutie well... if you like 2 dimensional imagery.   Up until Trek "0"   each film at least had a strong story (even Nemisis which just copied and pasted Khan beat for beat)    We were taken on a journey step by step.   Strong characters, weather you were familar with them or not, brought everyone along for the whole journey.

.... granted "row, row, row your boat" is a bit much to swallow

whoman69

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Report this Dec. 11 2009, 12:00 am

I could make a much better argument that TMP could have been a good movie with some adjustments.  The main problem with that movie was pacing and the fact the special effects were all done last minute.

This film was just a mess.  They just tried to set in too much goofy humor that fell really flat.  The "villains" were pathetic, especially the Klingons.  It was almost as bad as when they searched for Eden.  There were some nice points.  I thought the bit about McCoy's father was interesting.  Shatner couldn't decide if he was doing satire or a serious movie.  If you're doing satire then the search for God is a poor topic.  I'm sorry, this movie just had way too much wrong with it.

WkdYngMan

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Report this Dec. 11 2009, 12:14 am

Quote (whoman69 @ Dec. 11 2009, 12:00 am)
I could make a much better argument that TMP could have been a good movie with some adjustments. ¿The main problem with that movie was pacing and the fact the special effects were all done last minute.

This film was just a mess. ¿They just tried to set in too much goofy humor that fell really flat. ¿The "villains" were pathetic, especially the Klingons. ¿It was almost as bad as when they searched for Eden. ¿There were some nice points. ¿I thought the bit about McCoy's father was interesting. ¿Shatner couldn't decide if he was doing satire or a serious movie. ¿If you're doing satire then the search for God is a poor topic. ¿I'm sorry, this movie just had way too much wrong with it.

Apparently the film originally started off darker than it ended up being, but following the success of "The Voyage Home" it was said that Paramount wanted this film to be "light hearted" as well.

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