Wikipedia:Peer review/Star Trek: The Motion Picture/archive1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

This peer review discussion has been closed.
Listing to get any sort of comments. The cast, music, and home video sections aren't complete, but those are relatively minor and rather than sit on my hands waiting for the sources I figured I'd put it up here to gather feedback. -- Der Wohltempierte Fuchs (talk) 03:11, 17 March 2009 (UTC)


Some thoughts:

  • The lead section does not mention any of the lead actors in the film. For readers new to the topic, it may be useful to mention/link to the actors and their characters. Also, the premise in the first paragraph seems to assume the reader's knowledge of Star Trek. Can the premise be a little more expositional? Like the fictional universe, the era, the civilization setup (on a high level)? It seems too specialized to start off with the presence of the cloud.
  • The last paragraph of the lead section says, "...the franchise was revived with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Was it not already revived with this film? How about "continued" or something of the like?
  • "Plot" section: Also seems to assume too much of the readership's knowledge of Star Trek. Maybe be more expositional?
  • Two sentences at the end of a couple of paragraphs seem uncited. Can they be properly referenced?
  • "The show developed a cult following, and talks of reviving the franchise began."
  • Though the space opera Star Wars performed well at the box office a few weeks after Kaufman's film was cancelled, Paramount believed a film was still not viable."
  • Any plans for "Themes"?

Just some preliminary thoughts... the article is a lot to absorb! I will read it in full depth later on and ask about anything else I come across. —Erik (talkcontrib) 15:38, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

    • Can you elaborate on what you think needs more exposition? I've tweaked everything else, I believe. As for themes, there's not much (surprisingly), and I think it would be better off in various sub-articles or related pages, rather than here. --Der Wohltempierte Fuchs (talk) 12:04, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Readers unfamiliar with the film may read the premise with the mentality that it's current or in the near future. I was suggesting something like, "In the xx century, when the United Federation of Planets encompasses the galaxy, Starfleet Admiral James T. Kirk... blah blah." Better written than that, obviously! But a way to provide a setting for readers, like we would do for other science fiction films or historical films or other non-contemporary films. The "Plot" section could start out similarly. —Erik (talkcontrib) 16:53, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Comment: Not a review: I haven't read much, and can't promise I will, but the lead has some magaziney prose, for example: "a revolving door of acclaimed writers", "took a shot at", "silver screen". OK in a newspaper article but not encyclopedic. Also, the phrasing of the last part of the lead's final sentence: "ths edition was received better than the original by critics" is very awkward. Brianboulton (talk) 09:19, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Laser brain's comments

I'm going to keep my comments about the prose to a few general items because I have a more serious concern. This is a much-studied film from a much-studied genre; there are entire college courses dedicated to science fiction film. There is no discussion here of themes, styles, or any scholarly analysis, and it exists in droves. A simple search in JSTOR reveals a lot, but I'm concerned that you also didn't use the sources Erik suggested on the article Talk page. I wouldn't classify any of your sources as academic, and there is an entire body of academic work out there. Film journals, visual effects journals, specialized journals on women's studies (why was the probe a woman, etc.), and so on.

  • MoS: Problem areas so far seem to be misuse of italics ("carte blanche" is in common use in English and doesn't require italics), use of hyphens (date ranges should have en dashes), and non-breaking spaces (need them between things like $15 million and Phase II).
  • "A powerful alien force hidden in a massive cloud of energy is detected heading on a direct course for Earth." Unless there's a really good reason, we need to avoid using passive voice. Even if the subject isn't precisely known, we can write something like "Earth observers detected a powerful alien force hidden in a massive cloud of energy heading on a direct course for Earth." Also, "energy heading directly for Earth" or "energy on a direct course for Earth."
  • Check redirects.. Willard Decker redirects to something else.

I will be more than happy to copyedit the whole thing once content issues are addressed. --Laser brain (talk) 20:02, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I've sent away for the American Cinematographer, Cinefex and Cinefantastique articles already; the StarBurst ones appear irrecoverable as interlibrary loan has failed to find the issues anywhere. While there should be good info to bolster the production section, specifically the effects, I'm not seeing the same sort of critical analysis that can be used for themes here. JSTOR turned up jack in the way of nontrivial mentions of the movie. --Der Wohltempierte Fuchs (talk) 21:38, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
How about I cut you a deal. If I can find academic criticism and analysis and send you the PDFs, you write a section. If I can't, I shut my pie hole. :) --Laser brain (talk) 21:53, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough :) --Der Wohltempierte Fuchs (talk) 22:23, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
All right, crap. I couldn't find anything that seems very useful. Will commence hole-shutting. However, I will come through again shortly and look more closely at the prose. --Laser brain (talk) 18:41, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Jappalang's review

I based this on the version about two days back. In case, the issue is not valid, please ignore.

My first impression of the article is that it is too long. I do not think the first movie for Star Trek requires this much detail, much of it seems to be mired in trivia—things that makes you go "okaay...", but not (necessarily) of great impact to the movie itself. The article seriously needs ruthless copyediting. I spotted repetition of nouns that start off consecutive sentences, noun-gerund constructs (including Tony1's pet peeve of "with ... -ing"), wordiness, contractions ("he didn't have enough"), tense errors ("was light with a low density of light", "was made to be flooding with"), and other stuff. Basically, I started off picking on grammatical issues in Plot, but after that, it was overwhelming and I abandoned this from Cast onwards. Only extreme examples are pointed out in those sections, and the copyeditor, who takes up the task, should be aware of the issues pointed out earlier.

Images

  • File:St1-cast publicity shot.png: I will say that this image might be a 50-50 case, depending on how tight one goes with interpretation of NFCC. One might argue that there should be plenty of "free" images of each of the main cast out there and that the uniforms (it is not a wide variety, basically two—yellow and grey) and bio-reading belt buckles (seen as simple black plates) do not need illustration (insignificant)... Maybe adding that this is the only time(?) the full cast (major) is seen together could help, but again there could be an argument that a collage of free images of the main cast could do almost just the same...
  • File:St1-enterprise clears moorings.png: not too sure that this image can effectively show the redesign of the ship (the features are indistinct). Fans of Trek would know, but those less familiar might be unable to tell.

Plot (x)

  • "A powerful alien force hidden in a massive cloud of energy is detected heading on a direct course for Earth."
Change to: "A powerful alien force hidden in a massive cloud of energy is detected to be heading for Earth."
  • "The cloud destroys three Klingon starships and a Starfleet monitoring station en route.": The monitoring station is moving to the cloud?
  • "As it is the only ship in intercept range, Starfleet decides to dispatch the Enterprise to intercept the cloud, requiring its new systems to be tested in transit."
"As" should not be used as an explanatory. Double intercepts?
Change to: "Because no other starships could reach the cloud before the anomoly reaches Earth, Starship dispatches Enterprise on an intercept mission. The starship's new systems would be tested in transit."
  • "The Vulcan Spock arrives as replacement science officer, explaining that while on Vulcan he felt a consciousness that he believes holds the answers to their mission and which he believes emanates from the intruder."
Double "that"
  • "An alien probe appears on the bridge and attacks Spock and abducts the navigator, Ilia. Ilia is replaced by a robotic probe, sent by "V'ger" to study the crew."
Repetitive: "and ... and", "... Ilia. Ilia ...".
  • "... an alien race of living machines that interpreted its programming ..."
"its" refers to the alien race or the probe? Use "V'ger's".
  • "... to learn all that is learnable ..."
Change to: "... to learn all that can be learned ..."
  • "The machines made V'ger into something capable of fulfilling that mission ..."
Change to: "The machines greatly(?) upgraded V'ger to fulfill that mission ..."
  • "having learned all that is learnable on its journey home, V'ger finds itself empty and without a purpose."
Change to: "having learned all that it could learn on its journey home, V'ger finds its existence empty and without purpose."
  • "Only through its creator can V’ger begin to explore illogical things, such as other dimensions.": huh?
  • "Offering himself to the machine as the creator, Commander Decker merges with V'ger, creating a new form of life."
Change to: "Pretending to be the probe's creator, Commander Decker offers himself to the machine, merging with it to create a new form of life."

Cast (x)

  • I think that for cast members with no quips for this movie, it would be better to lump them together into a single bullet as "Other actors from the television series who returned for this movie are: ..."

Early development From this point on, not going into prose details, but mainly on content and linkages.

  • Details over the various scripts can be further summarized.
  • "Paramount fielded new scripts for Star Trek II (the working title) ...": Star Trek II is the title of this movie, or did they already start planning for the sequels?
  • The cast not talked about, but they are suddenly introduced in the third as: "The Star Trek cast grew anxious about the constant delays, ...". How were they aware of the ongoing script writing process? Did someone tell them they were going to be hired on for the movie?
  • "Povill was rehired ...": when was he hired on, and discharged?
  • "... for Paramount to either being production or cut its losses and cancel the project.": Huh?
  • "The writing-by-committee effort was turned down despite the best efforts of Kaufman to save it.": when was this proposed or even started?
  • "once again, Star Trek was in limbo.": dramatic?

Phase II and restart

  • "Among the changes since the cancellation of the original series was that Leonard Nimoy was not willing to return for a weekly television series.": Huh? His unwillingness to return is a catered-for change?
  • "Fruitless attempts to persuade Nimoy otherwise led to the ...": I doubt "otherwise" is proper here...
  • "Star Trek's constant changes meant that every color from blue to goldenrod was used.": significance of this? What is "goldenrod"? I doubt the number of colors from blue to goldenrod is a common knowledge, nor is it a well-defined figure.
  • "... machine forms of life ...": "... mechanical forms of life ..."?

Design

  • Seriously, do we need the full breakdown of set construction costs?
  • "Utilizing one side of the set that for an unknown reason had been sculpted differently than the rest of the frame, production illustrator Michael Minor created a new look for the area which became Chekov's new station.": vague sentence; it does not tell us how the new station would look like. This is a prime candidate for a fair-use picture (a bridge shot) if the new station cannot be described in words (the old design—the semi-circular bubble—is perfectly described).
  • Too much detail in the bridge design? Unless something is prominently displayed in the screens, I do not think minute details should be discussed at all.
  • "For the redesign Michelson felt that the transporter should look and feel powerful.": seems like a comparison with the ole transporter. Do you mean more "impressive", or "sophisticated" instead of "powerful"?
  • "He added to the designs a sealed control room to protect technicians from the forces at work during matter transport.": comes across as an in-universe explanation.
  • "with a fully usable 360 degree circle": a what?
  • "To save money, construction coordinator Gene Kelley struck sets with his own crew immediately after filming, lest Paramount charge the production to have the sets dismantled.": this sentence produces a sense of confusion; why should Paramount charge their own film crew to get them to dismantle the sets later. I think it is better to explain that if they had not dismantled the set, Paramount would charge the dismantling by contractors(?) to their budget.

Props and models (x)

  • "A and then B ...": I think this structure is pretty much frowned upon for encyclopaedic writings, not sure though...
  • "McQuarrie redesigned the Enterprise with a flat hull, and his models were eventually used for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds (Part II)".": move this to the end of the paragraph and change "McQuarrie redesigned ..." to "He also redesigned ..."; the wording "were eventually used" seem to suggest that his designs were not used for the movie, but this is not explicitly stated. Furthermore, what did Adam do?
  • "Sets and models including the Enterprise, the space dock and the orbital office had to be redesigned and remade to be more detailed and therefore look more impressive on screen."
Change to: "McQuerrie had to redesign the sets and models that were meant for the television series; the Enterprise, space dock, and orbital office were remade with greater details to look more impressive on the bigger movie screens."
  • "transparent images of the sets": transparent?
  • "The completed model was supported at five different points as each photographic angle required.": not terribly sure what this sentence is trying to say. Does the model have to be supported at five different points in any situation, or does it have five points of support to allow it to be filmed from any angle?
  • "the final price tag was $200,000.": final price (I think "tag" is redundant) for what? The table or the setup (table and transformers)? The dry dock? The model? The entire setup for any shots that involve the Enterprise?
  • Sidenote: know if we can buy this eight feet long Enterprise, heh?
  • "While many of the props stood in for items previously seen in Star Trek—phasers and handheld communicators, for instance—all the props were redesigned."
Change to: "Many of the props were updated designs of items previously seen in the television series—phasers and handheld communicators, for instance."
  • " The only prop that remained from the original television series was Uhura's wireless earpiece, ...": was this the same earpiece, or did they reproduce it when she asked?
  • "The props came with a hefty $4000 price tag": $4000 for the props? Why is that hefty for ~350 items? If it is referring to the phasers, is it each or for the whole lot?

Costumes and makeup

  • "His first task was to redesign these uniforms, meeting Wise's requirements of not detracting from the action.": how is "redesigning the uniforms" not "detracting from the action"?
  • Minute details (insignia design, uniform types) discussed.
  • "fifty mask masks": huh?
  • "her hair eventually regrew without issue, though she kept her shaven locks even after production had ended.": why should the conjunction for the last clause be contradictory (why the "even" as well)?

Technical consulting (x)

  • "Trek fan Jesco von Puttkamer was furnished by NASA as advisor to the film.": I believe humans, even if they are Trek fans, cannot be considered to be inanimate objects that can be decorated.
  • "The press prompted at least one constituent to writer to her senator ...": constituent of what? "To writer"?
  • "The debacle prompted Roddenberry to solicit Paramount's publicity department and ask them to release more publicity to stem further rumors.": aside from the "publicity... publicity", "release more publicity" is pretty much an awkward (and incorrect) phrase.
  • "The executives selected Asimov as a consultant, deciding that if the writer decided an intelligent machine consciousness was plausible, the ending could stay."
Change to: "The executives consulted Asimov: if the writer decided a sentient machine was plausible, the ending could stay."

Filming (x)

  • What is the point of the first paragraph of fluff?
  • "light spilling through grillwork": what is this?
  • "the company had broken for the day": uncertain if the tone is encyclopaedic.
  • "Any changes in dialogue or ab-libbed lines were similarly recorded.": similarly recorded to what?
  • "Wise was very patient on set; bets were placed on when he would finally lose his temper, but when he never lost his cool pool organizers returned the money.": doubt the betting pool is worthy of mention.
  • Unnecessary trivia and details abounds...
  • "The planet Vulcan was created ...": they created a planet?
  • "Yellowstone was only selected after shooting by Turkish ruins proved to be too expensive.": Turkish ruins can shoot?
  • We do not need a breakdown of who and who went to reconniter the park, especially when the products of their reconnaisance do not seem to be specifically singled out later for mention.
  • "production feel behind schedule when it was unseasonably cloudy for three days straight.": were they falling behind schedule or did they feel they were falling behind schedule?
  • "Any further scenes to recreate Vulcan would be impossible, as the set was immediately torn down to serve as a parking lot for the remainder of the summer.": immediately torn down after falling behind schedule?
  • "The brilliant explosion of an engine room console that causes the transporter malfunction ...": that is worded ambiguously, it gives the impression that the engine room console causes transporter malfunction; hence, its explosion would be a good thing...
  • "As August waned ...": tone.
  • "Enterprise's V'ger approach"
Change to: "Enterprise's approach on V'ger"
  • "Khambatta's appearance as the Illia probe in a shower proved difficult as the actress' conservative Indian upbringing meant she would not appear nude as called for in the script."
Change to: "Khambatta's appearance as the Illia probe in a shower proved difficult; the actress refused to act in the nude due to her conservative Indian upbringing."
  • Are the paper-thin doors truly an obstacle to her? On a general filming sense, do these little injuries matter? A summarised account in her cast profile seems more appropriate. The same with Koenig. Alternatively, they could be lumped (in compact form) into a paragraph on the hardships suffered by the actors, or injuries suffered on the set.
  • "delivered their final lines at 4:50.": am or pm?
  • "4000 watt lamps, ...": MOS considers starting a sentence with numbers as ill-advised.
  • "While postproduction still loomed for much of the crew, Wise and Roddenberry were grateful for the opportunity to catch their breath and take a short vacation.": uncertain this is encyclopaedic.

Post production

  • "the very latest": needless emphasis.
  • "including looping the Vulcan ceremony into a Vulcan language": would it not be better to say "dubbed the Vulcan ceremony scene with a fictional Vulcan language"?
  • "Employing a staff of 60 people, Dykstra still found the work time-consuming, as Paramount's directives including creating effects that had not been seen before, completing them on time and keeping the price down while they were at it.": bad grammar.
  • "V'ger's whiplash bold": what is this?
  • "Robert McCall, known for designing the original posters to 2001: A Space Odyssey, provided Trumbull with concept art to inform Spock's spacewalk sequence.": to inform who?

Music

  • "who would later compose the scores Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis,": missing a "for".
  • "and so it is extremely expansive.": not sure of the intent here...
  • "'and played with an artillery shell.": how?

Critical response

  • "Godfrey called the effects stunning, but conceded that the special effects ...": the conjunction should be "and" instead of "but".
  • "Kroll, Martin, and Arnold agreed that the effects were not able to carry the film or gloss over its other deficiencies;": in light of the earlier sentences, "On the contrary, ..." should start this sentence.

Home video

  • "the editions' 2.17:1": misplaced apostrophe.

All in all, I think serious pruning should be considered, and after that, a heavy copyediting. Jappalang (talk) 10:44, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Comments from Ealdgyth (talk · contribs)

  • You said you wanted to know what to work on before taking to FAC, so I looked at the sourcing and referencing with that in mind. I reviewed the article's sources as I would at FAC.
    • Current ref 127 ... what was this published in? I have an article title but no publication
    • You list Rioux and Shatner and Sackett & Rodenberry as short notes but they aren't listed in the references, although some others are. Let's be consistent here and list them at the bottom too. Check for others that should be.
Hope this helps. Please note that I don't watchlist Peer Reviews I've done. If you have a question about something, you'll have to drop a note on my talk page to get my attention. (My watchlist is already WAY too long, adding peer reviews would make things much worse.) 13:24, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment: To weigh in about the length of the article, I hate to seek out any trimming. Sure, the article is bursting at its seams with information, but I like Wikipedia's film articles being the go-to places for comprehensive coverage. Topics like reception can be pretty succinct ("writing/casting/editing was good/mediocre/bad"), but production is specific information that stands out for that particular film. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the coverage is at its maximum. Copy-editing seems to be the key approach, IMO. —Erik (talkcontrib) 22:17, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Copied from here: I fully expected to look over the article to see an overlong plot section, but what you have is remarkably concise. As for the rest, I don't think the article is too long at all, though if you could get over your distaste for fourth-level subsectioning it would go some way to altering the perception of the article as too long. At a push, the set construction breakdown could be lost without detriment, but the first port of call should probably be a further copy edit to eliminate redundancies. Steve TC 21:57, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Oh yeah, I know it needs work on that end... as to my fourth level heading hating, what do you think could be broken down? --Der Wohltempierte Fuchs (talk) 22:09, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Well, I'm going to be completely honest and say I can't read the whole article right now, but a quick scan reveals that the "Filming" and "Post production" sections are the most likely candidates for further sectioning. The latter, for example, could be split between the visual effects and editing; specific aspects of principal photography (e.g. locations) I'm sure could be identified to split the former (though its second paragraph is also ripe for moving to one of the development sections or the "Post production" section). Steve TC 22:33, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I don't think that the article is too long, just long winded. I think there is an issue with succinctness. Plus, most of that "Phase II" stuff isn't directly relevant to the film article. Some of it is, but it seems regurgitated from the "Phase II" article. You could trim that significantly and just leave a link to "Phase II". The Rotten Tomatoes thing, remove it. 28 reviews is hardly representative of critical response from modern reviews. You can use the reviews they have, but it's misleading to present a sampling number that cannot possibly be generalized back to the critics of today.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 22:09, 28 March 2009 (UTC)