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Review “Of Gods And Men” Act 3

The third and final act of the independent Star Trek: Of Gods and Men saga is available starting Sunday June 15th. TrekMovie.com was given an early preview of this excellent action-packed conclusion, replete with Trekkie nods and a great starship battle.
[SPOILERS]

 

Morals are for men, not gods
– Gary Mitchell, "Where No Man Has Gone Before"

This time, it really is "Of Gods and Men"
Of Gods and Men
 ultimately reveals the meaning of its title, with battles on the Guardian Planet between gods and starship battles between men. The story is set mostly in the alternative reality, as the restored Chekov and Uhura work with former enemy Harriman to battle Kirot Prime and his Galactic Order. At stake is the restoration of the proper timeline.

The episode begins where Act 2 left off with a bit of a quick (and too convenient) resolution to the "to be continued" cliffhanger. The action then moves to the big reveal (pictured below) that the main villain, ‘Kirot Prime’ is actually Gary Mitchell. While this is an inspired nod of continuity, the reveal loses a bit of drama because Gary Lockwood’s Mitchell has been recast (with Daamen J. Krall), requiring Nichelle Nichol’s Uhura to let the audience in on who he is. Besides those minor issues, there is much to like about this chapter of OGAM.


Ol’ silver eyes is back

Of Acting and Actors
The acting in this episode is excellent with Gary Graham, JG Hertzler, Alan Ruck, and Nichelle Nichols again carry much of the load. Also Chase Masterson’s Xela is finally given something to do besides sitting in her chair looking green and pretty. Masterson shows that there is an actress under the Orion make-up. The cameos here are excellent, and unlike cameos in most entertainment, actually work to help the narrative. For example, Grace Lee Whitney’s Rand has a moment where she is beamed down to the planet during Gary Mitchell and Charlie’s titanic battle of the gods. She merely stands there, yet it speaks volumes because it distracts Charlie, who in the episode "Charlie X" is in love with Janice. Also it was a delight to see Arlene Martell (T’Pring from "Amok Time") play a Vulcan presiding over a marriage ceremony which concludes the mini-series.


Who you callin’ a slave?

Of Narrative and Character
Unlike Act 2, which was mostly character moments, Act 3 is mostly about action. There are excellent starship battles, including a very cool use of the saucer separation capabilities of the GSS Conqueror. The battle on the planet is compelling but perhaps isn’t as strong as its notions of a battle of the gods. Yet OGAM doesn’t forget the importance of character in this chapter. Characters are redeemed and there are nice moments such as Uhura singing "Charlie’s Our Darling" to connect with the troubled super-being. The theme of OGAM is the right to self determination, to live and let live. While stronger in the second chapter on this idea, the theme is not forgotten here. The final wedding scene also has a very is also fun character moment, complete with TOS-like episode-capping humor.


Uhura can still sing

Of Effects and Cinematography
Act 3 delivers by far the best effects of the entire mini-series. While still not Network TV quality, the space scenes are very good, helping the narrative and characters. The scope of the battles and the huge variety of ships is reminiscent of some of the exciting battles from the Deep Space Nine Dominion War arc. There are also some nice homages to Generations and The Wrath of Khan, especially in meaning and symbolism. Yet, OGAM still has its own look, with Director Tim Russ continuing the almost documentary-style cinematography of previous chapters. Adding to the effects is the music by Justin R. Durban, which has a dramatic quality adding to both the visuals and the narrative.


That’s a lot of ships

Of Gods and Men Together
Now that all three acts are available, it is highly recommended to watch them as one entire film. Almost like the Star Wars films, OGAM plays differently when watched together. OGAM is ambitious, yet there were limited resources. Despite the inclusion of so many professional artists and actors, it must be remembered that OGAM is still an independent fan film. Yet, like Phase II’s recent episodes, OGAM must be considered one of the best examples of the fan film grene and as close as they get to ‘the real thing,’ despite some limitations in effects from earlier chapters or the occasional set or art design flaw. What is really important for Star Trek fans is here: good acting, a science fiction narrative that has both action and metaphor, a social theme, and a discussion of modern events utilizing futuristic notions.  


Koenig’s Chekov and Ruck’s Harriman fighting for freedom

Act 3 of "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men" will be available for download Sunday June 15th at 5:01 PM Eastern. A special preview was sent to those on the OGaM e-mailing list Saturday. And don’t forget to stay for the credits, there is a great gag reel.

For more information, visit StarTrekOfGodsAndMen.net

 

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RTC
June 14, 2008 7:23 pm

I assume download is available June 15, not August…

Act 3 was the best by far. I still wasn’t entirely blown away by this production overall, but a good effort and worth the watch.

K'ShaQ
June 14, 2008 7:27 pm

Who from the original cast stars in this?

Irishtrekkie
June 14, 2008 7:30 pm

Chekov And Uhura

Jeffrey S. Nelson
June 14, 2008 7:56 pm

Wellman is excellent as Charlie X. Hope the new Gary Mitchell actor is equally good. Wonder why Gary Lockwood wasn’t available as Mitchell. Robert Walker, Jr. seems to be a recluse.

Jai1138
June 14, 2008 7:59 pm

I generally enjoyed it and certainly appreciated the effort but it still seems like a bit of a muddled mess to me.I like Tim Russ’ handheld docu camera style but its at odds with a few stiff, slow performances — it’s a bit like watching a well-meaning student film at times. The epic fleet battles certainly recall the Dominion war imagery but only make one really appreciate the work done on DS9 and the (admittedly better financed) visions of Douglas Trumball and, later, ILM on the features. And as much as the geek in me enjoyed it, throwing in so many characters, incidents and ideas from the great Trek mythology made it more like self-involved silliness rather than legitimate drama.

That said, it was great seeing Uhura and Chekov (among others) in action one more time.

June 14, 2008 8:07 pm

Not bad. Just watched the preview and since it’s been a while since I watched the other installments, my continuity is a bit out of sync, so this new act on its own is ambitious and it’s nice to see a few familiar faces. It’s a shame they couldn’t get Gary Lockwood to join the cast.

Overall a fitting homage and possibly we are now finally seeing the ”end of days” for the ”old school” Star Trek both in the fan realm as well as the ”official” realm. As we draw closer and closer to next summer’s release of the ”new vision”, it’s entirely possible that fifteen minutes into the new movie, the fifteen minutes of fame all these fan-pro-hybrid-produced, Star Trek-inspired endeavors well become irrelevant, but not before they give all us fans — particularly we ”first generation” fans — a wonderful trip down memory lane.

It is fitting that Spock/Nimoy himself is the one who will take us across the threshold.

Bravo OGAM, bravo STNV and bravo all the other fan films and labors of love. Your hard work, blood, sweat, sacrifice and tears have ”been fun.” Thanks for the wonderful trip.

Geoffrey Alan Holliday

SciFiMetalGirl
June 14, 2008 8:37 pm

Looks like a pretty stellar cast! Very cool!

Blake powers
June 14, 2008 8:55 pm

I just watched it on my iPhone. I’m so thankful they included us In there preparation. The 3rd is by far the best. P.s. The gag reel cannot be missed. (chase masterson is super hot in it)

June 14, 2008 9:46 pm

Arrrrrr…

That be the true new era of Trek…. Fan-made or pro-alumni made movies… like me own humble show on me webbypage…

But true… if fans do know most aboot Trek, aboot what ta’ expect ta’ explore… we can re-visit old friends in many ways forever…

JJ’s flick may be something new ta’ tha’ table o’ Trek… which be sorely needed ta’ surprise us… but like Mr. Data, I may be a bit be-fumbled aboot it…

Go indy films go….

Arrrrrrr… just include emerald nudity next time…

jimj
June 14, 2008 10:12 pm

#8-Apparently you are an *ss man, huh? LOL I guess Orion Slave Girls do wear undies-OOPS-should I have said *CREDIT SPOILERS*? Ha-ha!

One thing I can say about this whole thing…it made me appreciate the formerly “weak” Captain of the Enterprise B from Generations! Frankly, that guy can act and I now admire him. Just tells me how lousy the writing really was in Generations, especially for his (not until Tuesday) character.

The dude that played Charlie was not bad at all, but I thought the guy that played Mitchell was kind of lame. Just my opinion, not that it’s worth much.

JARED WYNN
June 14, 2008 10:14 pm

i wasn’t too impressed by it, lots o’ trek nods though, but the gary mitchell twist was a bit of a stretch i thought. a good piece of trek cheese.
star trek: new voyages/ phase II is way better than this’ll ever be.

JARED WYNN
June 14, 2008 10:15 pm

chase masterson is still hot, even if she’s green

thebiggfrogg
June 14, 2008 10:22 pm

I have enjoyed these, but I had to roll my eyes with the inclusion of Gary Mitchell in the mix. This is getting a bit too fanboyish, self-referential (admittedly this is a fan film, so perhaps my argument is a bit weak), “Wouldn’t it be cool if. . .if. . . if. . .if” ad infinitum. This is continuity run amok (tipping the hat to Ron Moore’s comments). I hope XI will not break continuity significantly, but I hope that there aren’t too many non-essential cameos and hyperactive continuity. I have that much faith in XI anyway. Admiral McCoy in TNG was great, having a dozen people pop in and out of the episode or thirty references to TOS continuity would have been too much. Makes me glad that the fans aren’t in charge.

Allenburch
June 14, 2008 11:31 pm

I just watched a sneak peak of Part 3 after re-watching the first 2 parts. Definitely the best fan made film ever made. The story, nifty effects along with superior ensemble strength make this 90 minute film canon worthy.

toddk
June 15, 2008 12:38 am

thats whats nice about alternate realities, cannon can go out the window, and the entire production, nicely done. I wouldnt mind seeing some touch ups on the space battles. Would like to see this on DVD sometime!

Petey
June 15, 2008 12:59 am

With the third act, OGAM truly crossed the line from being a Trek sequel to a Trek fandom clusterfark. With not one, not two but several references to just about a dozen TOS episodes, OGAM just descended into poor fan-fiction.

A pity though, it was a great opportunity for many of the old cast and guest stars to make a cameo appearance.

Alex Rosenzweig
June 15, 2008 1:00 am

#6 – I think that if Abrams’s film diverges from the Trekverse so much that all the other fan films could even be considered “irrelevant”, it will in fact be that film that is irrelevant, not the work done by the many teams of fans creating new stories in the world of Star Trek.

I don’t expect that, of course, but I still worry a bit.

June 15, 2008 1:52 am

Just watched the third act of OGaM—Tim Russ has directed an independent film masterpiece. I have always loved independent films, as the actors and director seem to care more about their work. I did not see the early 3rd act twist of Gary Mitchell being the Kirat Prime—im sure most fans were like me, expecting it to ultimately be revealed as Charlie. The visual effects are above average, especially considering the fact that this was not a high budget production, and its nice to see Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig finally get to show their acting abilities.

All around GREAT film—and if anybody knows where i can get a copy of part 3 email me at superpaperdudelives at yahoo dot com or add me on myspace— myspace dot com slash bnl_nut then enter my last name as webb

Marcellus
June 15, 2008 2:42 am
I personally think Pike could have handled Mitchell. Anyway, this act was a bit too messy. For one thing, if you have to do an exposition in the final third of the movie, you’re doing it wrong. And is it just me or did this space battle seem a little confusing? The Rebel fleet arrives, the USS Conqueror single-handedly defeats a dozen ships, then an even bigger Galactic Order fleet arrives, and the Order still manages to lose? I can’t tell who’s having the upper hand at a given moment, between all the one-hit fatal explosions on both sides… Also, Mitchell’s powers failing – that really came out of nowhere. Last time I checked, he won the anticlimactic god-fight… Why are the main characters returned to the Guardian after Charlie changes the timeline back? Since he killed his earlier self, there was nobody on M-622 to send the distress signal. And why does Uhura decide to marry Stonn? Just because they were married in the alternate timeline? So, does everyone have two lifetimes’ memories now? Even those who were killed in the other timeline? On the other hand, I really liked the character moments mentioned in the article (Janice Rand distracting Charlie and Uhura singing “Our Darling Charlie”) and the references (e.g. the gift tribble – neutered, fortunately). The dialogue is good as well. Walter Koenig got the best lines throughout the film, my favourites being “I’m a freedom fighter, not a doctor” in Act 2 and “I’ve never outranked… Read more »
Marcellus
June 15, 2008 2:45 am

correction:

[…] and “I’ve never outranked everyone else in the room before” in Act 3.

CanuckLou
June 15, 2008 4:55 am

Found the third act to be a mess frankly. Unbelievable character turns and an overabundance of space ship shots which quickly turned into a chore to sit through.

Nichelle Nichols shines though.

As for Gary Mitchell – guess he never heard what happened in Star Trek V or he could have answered the question – ‘Why does a God need a starship?’

Josh
June 15, 2008 5:44 am

I thought the story was fun, acting was good, but the Visual effects were like a bad video game.

capt mike
June 15, 2008 6:27 am

I watched all 3 parts and i very much enjoyed them all. I thought the gary mitchell story was a bit overdone but all in all a very good fan movie. The fx was great especially for a limited budget. So when it comes to the fx don’t judge it harshly as it was a small budget they had to use to make the film. I thought the humer and story was the best though and like the tos series it was nit the fx that made the show it was the writing and this had great writing and great acting and great music. I hope they do another fan made movie as that would be great but at least they gas us some closeure on some of our tos stars. Such as checkov making it to admiral and uhura marrting ston and harriman maybe on the counsel.of corse we know what happens to scotty and spock and kirk but never realy knoew about the others. so for me thos was about closer and i for one realy enjoyed this film.

capt mike
June 15, 2008 6:29 am

I also think ogam should be nominated for the independent film award or the cannes film festivile as well. I bet it would win some awards there as well.

NCC-73515
June 15, 2008 8:41 am

Did you notice the Fesarius? :D

Smike van Dyke
June 15, 2008 8:54 am

Wooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Now I’m excited! That’s the best Trek ever! All these characters, ships and stuff…just wow!

Okay, of course it’s little more than a geek fest. The SFX are still not on par with Phase II but at least they are as good as B5 12 years ago.

Now Gary Mitchell is the part I liked best. Overdone? Totally! And that’s the great thing about it. Seeing Gary Mitchell as the Emperor…ahm…Curate Prime…okay, that really satisfied the Star Wars geek in me…

It’s an all out geek fest…the movie I thought I’d never see…

Hopefully it will be available on DVD at some point. I guess it will also have its influence on the new movie…A world without Kirk…that’s so JJish…

NCC-73515
June 15, 2008 9:11 am

I agree. Bringing Mitchell back was the best element of it.

Mr. Bob Dobalina
June 15, 2008 9:23 am

It was…well…It was free. And it was better than the fan films out there. I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

dennisn1271
June 15, 2008 9:35 am

Thanks for all the hard work and making something fun for us all to see!

It’s great to see all the actors again from the Trek universe. And of course now that this is done……..

We need more.

Spocko
June 15, 2008 9:54 am

Nice to see Chekov finally become an admiral.

June 15, 2008 10:40 am

Just watched the third one, BEST OF THEM ALL!!!! Chekov’s line “Let’s Get the Hell outta’ here” and later the tribble added a nice touch of nostalgia in a subtle way. I thought the Mitchell and Charlie characters were portrayed EXCELLENTLY, yes, it would have been nice to see Gary Lockwood and Robert Walker, Jr. in it, but these did just fine.
For those who note that the special effects were not up to par and other nit pics, hey, it’s an independent film, and it’s FREE, didn’t have to waste gas to go to see it, didn’t have to pay an admission fee, didn’t buy over-priced popcorn and soda, didn’t get my feet stuck to the floor, well, you get the message.

Blake powers
June 15, 2008 10:49 am

I hope they make more of them.

Commodore Wesley
June 15, 2008 10:54 am

I for one enjoyed all 3 segments. I doubt anyone but Trekkies and Trekkers would enjoy it, so I didn’t mind all the TOS self-references. Walter Koenig and the actor who played his freedom fighter comrade; Alan Ruck; and the actor who played the commander (“kill them slowly”) did the best acting in this series, IMO. Also IMO, there’s something about Nichelle Nichols’s acting that bothers me since the end of the TOS movies. About half the time she’s great; but suddenly she’ll overact, or seem insincere, or something. However, the only other thing I’ve seen her in, besides STOGAM, is “Snow Dogs,” so admittedly, that’s a very small sample. Maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I always enjoy seeing her; my nostalgia runs deep.
I doubt it will ever be on DVD; wouldn’t a license from CBS/Paramount need to be obtained in that case? My understanding is that fan productions (STNV, etc.) are exempt as long as no money is charged. I hope I’m wrong; I’d love to watch it on my TV instead of as a grainy, low res, choppy, streaming video on my computer screen!
Thank you, STOGAM!

Commodore Wesley
June 15, 2008 11:04 am

P.S.: The actor who played Charlie seemed weak, to me. If he had seemed genuinely terrified, or sobbing, etc., instead of just wincing in pain, Uhura’s singing to him to encourage him would have worked better. Too bad Uhura didn’t include the last line, “We know not what he’ll do…”. That would have added a dramatic zing, IMO.
Chase Masterson, and the actress who played the Orion in “Whom Gods Destroy,” have added one more hue to my personal list of attractive skin colors for women! Bring on the green ladies!

Jeff
June 15, 2008 12:31 pm

The actor playing Mitchell came across as pretentious to me. But his new CGI eyes and energy blast was really well done. The weak dialog remained consistent with the other chapters. Over all hair , make up and costumes could have been better. I do however applaud the space battle sequences.

NCC-73515
June 15, 2008 12:41 pm

The final fight scene was an excellent mix of Generations and Nemesis!

June 15, 2008 1:06 pm

Really a cool concept of having Gary Mitchell and Chalie X fighting. Who would have thought of that. Would have been nice to have the original actors but oh well. I really enjoyed this.

Lotta great special effects shots in this one the best one of course was Chase Masterson in all her Frank Frazetta-esque, breast heaving glory. Never seen or knew a death scene could be done so hot. Wow!

US Taxpayer Dude
June 15, 2008 1:06 pm

Oh for the days when actors did not spit and scream… Gary Lockwood so so cool – in the original (1960s lol) sense of the word.

Fun though a few moments of thespian self-reflection would have improved it greatly.

June 15, 2008 1:08 pm

Also…really cool to see all the little cameos at the end from Arlene Martel Celeste Yarnell to Laurence Montaigne and others. Fun.

eagle219406
June 15, 2008 1:15 pm

I liked the miniseries but in some ways it brought along some questions. One I just noticed in the beginning of Act 1 that Uhura said that Sulu was in the Gamma Quadrant. I thought they didn’t start exploring the Gamma quadrant until DS9 when they found the wormhole.

The other was the wedding at the end. I did not notice that was T’Pring presiding but the wedding itself made me wonder what happened between her and S’tonn.

THis is to the person who was wondering about Gary’s Eyes changing to normal, Remember WNMHGB. When Gary got too weak he would temporarily revert back to a normal human. He was weakened in his fight with Charley.

Blake powers
June 15, 2008 2:48 pm

they could technically charge for the DVD couldn’t they just as long as they didn’t make a profit?

June 15, 2008 2:58 pm

38

And yes, Gary Lockwood did have a cool, detached coolness. How did Kirk put it in another episode…”the detached, semi-divine deity”.

Ryan T. Riddle
June 15, 2008 3:22 pm

This is very entertaining despite it being a kitchen-sink production. I enjoyed it. Although, I thought that the connection between certain beats wasn’t all together there (Stonn and Uhura in the normal timeline, something easily fixed by an additional line in the log entry). Also, the battle sequences that took up most of Act III were a bit hard to follow what ship was on what side. (Yes, I know that the GO ships had painted halls but they all got lost in the soup).

But bang up job to all. Congrats.

Captain Dunsell
June 15, 2008 7:06 pm

I think it was a great film! Well done on many levels. Good Show!

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
June 15, 2008 8:05 pm

Very well done!! A great deal of fun here. I would love to see SciFi allowed to show it with Gingered up effects and music. One pet peeve would be the actors portraying Charlie and Mitchell. The actor portraying Mitchell was simply all wrong and though the actor portraying Charlie was quite good and very believable as an older Robert Walker Jr. wouldn’t have made more sense to cast younger actors in these roles, since when to immortal Demi-Gods age???? And I could have done without Nichelle breaking into song which is officially more awkward than her fan dance song, as talented and as beautiful as her voice truely is. With that being said Exeter guys, what the F??? You guys are killin me man, killin me I tell ya!!!

CmdrR
June 15, 2008 8:18 pm

Fanboytastic.
Couple of nitpicks, because you know I must as a Trekkie. I agree that Charlie X looked too old. Shouldn’t he be 57? In the (early I think) 24th century, 57 should look much younger. They definitely could have covered the liver spots. As for Gary Mitchell, I like the actor’s take on it, but that really wasn’t Gary. They could as easily have come up with a new malevolent demigod. Also, they need to cgi over all the make-up mistakes on Chase Masterson. Not that she doesn’t dazzle, but it’s distracting to see the pink bits. (Never thought I’d say those words in quite that way.)
Nuff about the negs.
Super cool to see virtually my entire vintage Technical Manual played out on screen. They had dreadnaughts and tugs. I think the Fesarius could have wiped up space with the rest of the fleet, but that’s just my guess.

Overall, it’s a fine effort. I think it would benefit from some surgical editing, especially the first two segments. But, it’s fan fun.

Thanks guys. You’re keeping Trek alive.

Irishtrekkie
June 15, 2008 8:23 pm

Just watch it , wow it was brilliant , i mean its like they made a movie , and put in everything a star trek fan would want, and decent effects to be fair , brilliant work .

New Horizon
June 15, 2008 8:35 pm

Now I’ve seen the entire thing.

It was ambitious, and a wonderful achievement….but to me it really wasn’t Trek. #47 said that they put in everything a Trek Fan would want, well…I guess I’m not a Trek fan, because I didn’t want any of the convoluted stuff they put in. This felt more like Star Wars than Star Trek, kind of like DS9 and all the battles.

They just tried to do too much, with too little time. I thought the Charlie story would be explored far more than it was…and that whole explanation of Gary Mitchell…gah…so forced.

Anyway, a very nice attempt…but probably the least Trek spirited fan film I’ve seen in awhile

Rich
June 15, 2008 9:41 pm

What would have really benefitted this would have been a “previously on OGAM” flashback before this section of the show. I was lost for a while.

Also is it just me or were the spacial coordinates a little funky? “Bearing 840 Mark 9” or something like that?? I thought the first number represented an angle, so 360 should have been the highest number used? Maybe I am wrong. Can anyone confirm?

You can tell the cast had a lot of fun with this from the end, but I can’t believe Garrett Wang’s gay slur about George Takei. He should be ashamed.

Oh well. It was entertaining, if confusing. Glad they had fun. I give it a C.

Sam Belil
June 16, 2008 5:34 am

I absolutely enjoyed this one!!!! The acting was great and the special effects were damn good! I had no problem at all with the actors playing Mitchell and Charlie, they both did admirable jobs. Charlie X making the utlimate sacrifice to right a wrong! The people who took the time to produce this absolute “labor of love” deserve to be applauded big time!
All I have to say now is you spoiled me, so….”Give Me More!!!!!”

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