SF's House of Countdowns and Reviews

Discussion in 'The Cutting Room Floor' started by Spider-Fan, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Before all else, I shall note that this thread is approved by Hunter Rider :up:

    As a man whom likes to discuss films, and wishes to keep himself in writing practice and thinking critically, I have opted to follow CFE's example and start writing reviews and having an occassional countdown for films I see. My prime focus will be on franchise films, but I am willing to take movie requests (I welcome suggestions too, as they will help me maybe find some films I otherwise would no have considered viewing). Through this thread, I hope you learn a bit about what I look for in a film, and see a bit of what my tastes and interests are.

    As to not overflow the site with my own countdowns and such all the time, I am keeping all countdowns I do in this thread. I will sig what the current countdown and review is, as to make it easier to follow this thread.

    Reviews will be posted basically whenever I can post them, but I'll try and not let no more than 3 days go by without a review. My goal is to keep up with this though. You guys can pester me if I start to get lazy :up:

    My first set of reviews in this thread will begin tomorrow with a countdown from best to worst, and my first franchise I shall be reviewing is Star Trek!!! All 11 films in the series!!!

    I hope you guys enjoy reading my thoughts on these films, as I look forward to sharing them with you :)

    Remember, this thread is kid tested, Hunter approved :up:
     
    #1
  2. Johnny Drama

    Johnny Drama Sex Panther

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    He should know better :o
     
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  3. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    You know you'll love my reviews, Drama :cwink:
     
    #3
  4. Johnny Drama

    Johnny Drama Sex Panther

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    Why? Are you writing them naked? Do you take "review requests"? If so, watch and review the following movies:

    The Secret Of My Sucess
    Once Bitten
    Uncle Buck
    Earth Girls Are Easy
    Amanda And The Alien
    Zapped!
     
    #4
  5. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    I do take requests, but it may take a while for me to get to something. Whether it be I can't get a hold of the film, I'm in the middle of a countdown, etc. I'll try to get to requests when I can, though :)

    I've seen just about all those films you listed before, so that helps :up:
     
    #5
  6. Wiseman

    Wiseman Well-Known Member

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    I want to see a review of The Ice Pirates
     
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  7. [A]

    [A] Well-Known Member

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    *subscribes* This thread does not reek of snobbishness
     
    #7
  8. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Never heard of this movie :csad:
     
    #8
  9. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    SF is no snob :word:

    I like the attention pre-countdown so far. Hopefully I deliver with my first review :up:
     
    #9
  10. Gilpesh

    Gilpesh Well-Known Member

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    Well, there's the first lie in what I expect to be a thread full of lies. LIES!
     
    #10
  11. Wiseman

    Wiseman Well-Known Member

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    and genital warts
     
    #11
  12. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    You're full of lies!!! :cmad:
     
    #12
  13. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    Welcome to my first countdown. I know you're all excited to see where your favorite Trek films fall into my rankings. Will this be a predictable list? Or will there be a sleeper pick no one expected. Who knows. Well, I do, but you don't :o

    So without further delay, LET THE COUNTDOWN COMMENCE!!!

    #11 - Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

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    In the final film for the cast of the Next Generation, the long awaited search for peace between the Federation and Romulan Empire may finally be possible, but this peace doesn't come from Romulans. It comes from Shinzon, leader of the formerly enslaved Remans in the Romulan Empire. The Enterprise is sent to discuss the prospect of peace with Shinzon, but the Enterprise soon finds out that this proposed peace is nothing more than a diversion in a plan to destroy the Federation once and for all. The Enterprise races against time and searches within themselves as they face off against Shinzon in a battle that will change things in the universe forever.

    There is a phrase when people are told what Trek films to watch, and that is that the even numbered films are good and the odd numbered ones are bad. This generalization forgot to say except when it comes to Star Trek: Nemesis. This film tries to be a worthy addition to the franchise, but ultimately fails miserably in many areas.

    The first area I want to cover is the central conflict in the film itself. Any Star Trek story has an underlying moral quandry or big idea driving the action. Whether it be things as complex like should we let one person die at the cost of many, or simpler things like what makes us human, Star Trek always had a point. This film opted to use the nature versus nurture question. Picard has to face a clone of himself, whom was raised in a harsher world and became a very evil man because of the hardship, which makes Picard struggle with the fact that had he lived Shinzon's life, he'd be exactly like him. I find this logic faulty and off putting. Picard may be right, but it is a stupid point. They lived non-identical lives and are established people. The issue of what if I lived his life loses all meaning due to this fact, and makes the character arc seemed more forced than anything.

    Data is also given a doppleganger in this film in the form of B4, a prototype of Data's line that is found destroyed on another planet prior to the main plot taking over the film. This robot looks exactly like Data, but doesn't evolve as an individual like Data does, making him stupider. B4 is also extremely annoying as a character. He asks simple questions like why all the time, and since the character lacks Data's charm (despite being played by Brent Spiner also), his scenes are like listening to kids in the backseat asking "are we there yet" every 5 seconds. If he was supposed to provide humor for the film, then the filmmakers failed miserably with this character.

    This film is also very fast and has little character development. There is a subplot where Shinzon has his right hand man help him enter Deanna Troi's mind, but it happens for one scene toward the middle and isn't addressed again til the end of the film. That is poor pacing. The film has no time to breath or set things up. This makes us not care enough about what is going on, and hurts the stakes the film is trying to build.

    This film definately feels like an ending for the Next Generation crew, but the ending arcs for the characters are not that satisfying. Data is killed in a quick scene, and it is hinted that he is replaced by B4, whom is basically Data being sent back to sqaure one. So all of that progress and character development was a waste. Poor way to kill off one of the most interesting characters in the show. However, it's nice to see Ryker become captain of his own ship and marry Deanna Troi, so at least we get good closure somewhere in this film.

    As far as acting goes, the performances are mostly good, except in the case of Tom Hardy in the role of Shinzon. It's not that he is a bad actor, but the sound he makes when he ends his sentences can be annoying, especially in scenes he is trying to be intense, and the character himself is poorly written, but this is the script's fault for picking a poor quandry to base a villain around.

    I will compliment the film on the look of the Remans, though. The Remans have a cool design and the make-up on them is fantastic. I think there was a lot of potential to explore in a film about the Remans, whom don't get that much attention in the Star Trek series until this film. However, that doesn't mean the overall look of the film is good. Shinzon's ship looks computerized a lot in the movie, which hurts the final battle most notably. The score for the film is satisfactory, but in comparison to the rest of the series, it seems fairly weak, despite being done by Jerry Goldsmith.

    The Star Trek franchise suffered a huge blow when this film bombed at the Box Office. It was put on a long hiatus and considered to be stale and past its time. Basically, this film had a Batman & Robin like effect on Star Trek, and there is good reason it had such a bad effect on the series. This is the kind of bad movie that is just bad and very frustrating to watch. The nature versus nurture debate and even the idea of a doppleganger has potential, but this film doesn't utilize the idea's potential at all. This film was meant to be the end for the Next Generation crew, and they deserved to be sent off in a better movie. The fact this is their last mission is disappointing, to say the least.

    2/10
     
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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  14. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #10 - Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

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    Space, the final frontier...or is it? In the 5th installment to the Trek franchise, we see Kirk, now downgraded to Captain of the Enterprise, and the rest of the crew on vacation from duty. However, that vacation is soon cut short when an exiled Vulcan, named Sybok, has taken high ranking Federation hostages. The Enterprise go to face Sybok, whom subsequently takes command of the Enterprise for his search for a being that might be God past something called the Great Barrier, which is considered to be impenetrable. What lies in store for our fair crew beyond the true final frontier?

    This Star Trek project gained steam when Shatner resigned after the widely successful Voyage Home, but there was a stipulation in the contract that he was also to be given the directorial reigns of the 5th film in the series. This is never a good sign :csad:

    Shatner's first directorial effort is blatantly obvious in this film in many ways. First, the special effects. Many shots in this film are very poor, even for films made in those days. Most of the bad shots are moving space ships and such. Also, the film is very uneven. The film does inject a lot of comedy in a plot that should have been a bit more serious, and this breaks the flow of the film at many points.

    The main character's also have problems in the way they are written. In this film, Kirk starts off climbing a mountain with no gear. He says it is because it is there. However, when Sybok wants to go through the Great Barrier, Kirk goes on this long monologue about if man is supposed to push that far. Weren't you just climbing a mountain cause it was there? If that is your life style, then why are you saying the Great Barrier is too big a mountain to climb? This is a major inconsistancy, and poor writing. We are also given the second straight film in which Spock has no common sense at all. In Voyage Home, it is forgiveable since he had just died and the comedy around it was funny. In this film, the jokes get annoying at times, and makes you wish for an intelligent Spock once again. Not Nimoy's fault, as it is again poor writing.

    When mentioning bad characters, let's not forget, SYBOK! Spock's evil half brother, religious nut whom acts like a human...with pointy ears. This character also is given some power to make people see the time of their worst hurting and heal it, thus making them his slaves essentially. The scene he does this for Spock and McCoy is a great scene, and one of the film's better points, but that doesn't change the fact that this power he has is not explained well. The character is also over-the-top to watch, which only adds to the cheese this character is loaded with.

    Now, the cheese factor in this film is not all bad. The campfire scene with McCoy, Spock, and Kirk is quite charming and funny, and the cornball elements of the film make this film entertaining on some levels. It allows you to rewatch it, knowing it is bad, and laugh at how bad it is. This is a strength a film like Nemesis didn't have, which makes it less enjoyable.

    I do like the film's theme though. When the Enterprise crew and Sybok meet "God," he is not what anyone expected. Not even the audience. I liked this approach to God. It is fresh, and the added element by Kirk later that true faith comes from the heart and not knowledge was a good send off. Thus ending this bad film on a higher note.

    Shatner's first go at directing was a failure, but it was not a film without its charm or moments. While easily one of the worst of the series and being a bad movie by all accounts, it does have enough entertaining bits too keep it from complete disaster. Star Trek V has the heart and optimism the series thrives on, just not the execution.

    3/10
     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  15. gwynplaine

    gwynplaine L'homme qui rit.

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    I hope you do 70's SciFi movies, Soylent Green, Silent Running, 2001, heck even Woody Allen's Sleeper etc... They just don't make them like that anymore. (I still haven't seen Moon though.)
     
    #15
  16. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    I could do those fairly easily. I own all of them, sans Sleeper :up:
     
    #16
  17. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #9 - Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

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    After the events of Wrath of Khan, the crew of the Enterprise make their way back to Earth, leaving Saavik with David to study the new Genesis planet that was formed. Upon returning home, McCoy is acting very weird and Kirk is given two startling bits of information: the Enterprise is to be decommisioned and Spock might be alive! Spock's father, Sarek, asks Kirk to bring Spock's body, which is on the Genesis planet, and Spock's soul, which Spock apparently placed in Dr. McCoy before dying, back to Vulcan so he can possibly be resurrected. Along with the main stars of the series, Kirk and his skeleton crew steal the Enterprise and head for Genesis. What they don't know is renegade Klingons, led by Commander Kruge, have become aware of Genesis and are trying to take its secrets. It's up to Kirk and company to find a way to beat these Klingons and rescue Spock.

    Like Final Frontier was for Shatner, Search for Spock is the first film in the series directed by Leonard Nimoy himself, though this wasn't the first film Nimoy had directed. Nimoy had gotten the "itch" to play Spock once again after Khan, but that was of course a problem. Nimoy had to work Spock back in, and unfortunately, this film feels like one big excuse to do so.

    I think the film's biggest problem is the theme. Wrath of Khan had this ideal that the needs of the many outweigh those of the few and themes about dealing with death and life. This film completely goes against these themes addressed in Khan so well, and kind of devalues the film in the grand scheme of the series. The Genesis planet was a symbol of hope in Khan, while in this film, the planet is unstable and doomed. See the contrast? When you watch this right after Khan, the transition is jarring. This film doesn't feel well plotted out in message like Khan was, and it seems Nimoy and the writers were more concerned about bringing Spock back than continuity within the series.

    Another poor bit of writing comes from Kirk in the film. In this film, Kirk GLADLY puts his crew in danger of death and allows his son David to be killed (more on this in a bit) just so he can go and save Spock. The lengths Kirk goes to in order to accomplish this task, which also includes sabotaging Starfleets new flagship ship, makes Kirk seem like a complete and utter jerk. He is just not that likeable in this film for that reason, other than the "I've had enough of you" quote toward the end, which is classic Kirk. If there was ever any doubt whether the character of Kirk was in love with Spock, this film crushes that idea.

    I'd also like to address David and the Genesis planet further. First off, David's death is a pivotal point in the series as it turns out, but I don't get why this scene is so highly regarded. It's not like Spock's death where we get a touching moment and funeral. In this film, David jumps a guard, gets stabbed and dies immediately. Had this character had been more developed, perhaps the death would be more impactful, but as it stands, David is the biggest glorified red shirt in the history of this series. Cause it turns out he existed only to die. The Genesis planet in this film is also one big device, like David was. The Genesis planet in this film grows too fast, which allows Spock to conveniantly reage to where he was when he died. How conveniant :o

    Commander Kruge is also a character to note in this film. While not as bad a character as Sybok or Shinzon, he is still a poor villain. He stumbles upon Genesis completely by accident, and tries to uncover its secrets for no specific purpose. Just because the script deems it so. He is also played VERY over-the-top by Christopher Lloyd. He has a few cool moments, however. Like when he and Kirk face off in the negotiation for the hostages. That part of the scene is far better than David's ultimate fate. Also, the battle he and Kirk have on the dying planet is awesome. These moments add to him a little, but don't change the fact he is one of the most random villains in the history of villains.

    With all this bad writing and such going on, what does this film offer you may ask? Well, the visuals in this film are actually rather good. It is appealing visually, for its time. I think Nimoy did a good job with the camera and such. The make-up and such is all good too. The Klingons have a great look in the film. The crew of the Enterprise also offer that great chemistry that we've come to know over the years. Shatner acts Kirk well, despite my critique on how Kirk comes off as a character in the film.

    While this film is frustrating on many levels, it still has things to offer visually. It has some noteworthy scenes, but those scenes are outweighed by poor ones. Nimoy's first attempt at directing a Star Trek film was more successful than Shatner's future attempt at it, but not that much better. This film has the heart of Star Trek in many ways, but lacks the message and underlying theme the series is known for. This film was made just to bring Spock back, and in that way, it succeeds. At least Nimoy learned from his mistakes in this film.

    4/10
     
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  18. Nirvana

    Nirvana Slowly Losing My Mind

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    I want to see SF review Vertical Limit.
     
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  19. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    I can vaguely remember that movie, but not too well. Saw it ages ago.
     
    #19
  20. gwynplaine

    gwynplaine L'homme qui rit.

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    Cool. Looking forward to more of your reviews.:up:
     
    #20
  21. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #8 - Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

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    In the 9th film of the series, and 3rd film starring the crew of the Next Generation, we first find Data malfunction and attack Starfleet members and villagers on the homeworld of the anti-technology people, the Ba'ku. The Enterprise crew are sent to apprehend Data, but find mystery around the situation. The planet seems to make everyone on the crew feel younger, and the Ba'ku haven't aged in hundreds of years since they arrived. Even stranger, the Federation is aiding an alien race, known as the Son'a, in trying to relocate the small Ba'ku group, since the Son'a have much need for the planet's regenerative properties. This aid violates the Prime Directive of the Ferderation, which is to not interfere in the affairs of civilized societies. Picard and the Enterprise crew decide to alert help the Ba'ku stay on the planet, and send people to signal to Starfleet High Command and alert them of what is happening to get aid for the Ba'ku.

    This film marks the 2nd attempt by Johnathan Frakes, whom pulled double duty playing William Ryker in the film, at directing a Star Trek film, with the first being the highly regarded Star Trek: First Contact. However, unlike Leonard Nimoy, Johnathan Frakes' second film failed to achieve the quality of his previous film, but to his credit, First Contact was a higher place to start at than Search for Spock was.

    Despite that fact, Insurrection suffers from many pitfalls First Contact didn't have. The primary one being the pacing. This film starts off with an action sequence, but the film is very dry. Many Star Trek movies are dry like Insurrection, but the plot development wasn't as interesting to follow.

    That may suggest the film should have been trimmed down, but that really isn't the case. While the film keeps the plot developing, the film doesn't focus enough on the characters. Picard falls in love with this woman on the Ba'ku planet, named Anji. This romance is paper thin at best. We see the two talk about the situation, their loves and such. They hold hands once or twice and stare at each other too. But, that is as far as this romance goes. There is this unexplained stopping of time effect that is done a few times, but these scenes still lack chemistry. I don't feel like these characters are that into each other, and we don't see them do anything really intimate, like kiss or consider kissing each other. They just kind of stare. It's uninteresting to follow, and feels forced more than anything.

    Like the other films for the Next Generation crew, Data is the other character of the crew most focused on. Data has this relationship with a boy of the Ba'ku, whom teaches Data concepts like playing. Data is a saving grace for this film. His interaction with the anti-technology Ba'ku, and their coming to trust Data is one of the highlights of the film. The arc has a good mix or comedy and drama, and Brent Spiner has great chemistry with the other actors.

    The villain of this movie is Adhar Ru'afo, leader of the Son'a and played by F. Murray Abraham. While this character is a bit shallow, even in the reason he hates the Ba'ku, Abraham does a good job in the role. He elevates the character by playing him subtle, but with a great anger inside him that comes out at key moments in the film. Without Abraham's performance in this key role, I think this film could have been a lot worse.

    While the pacing is extremely flawed, the film shines at a few moments. The trick played on the Son'a during the self destruct countdown is absolutely classic, and one of the better moments in all the Next Generation films in the series. The Son'a are also very well designed characters both in make-up and overall design, so the make-up and costume departments really shine in the film.

    This film has a good message about the rights of people to stay on their land on not be pushed out, but the message is stated so many times throughout the film, that is loses some meaning. It has been stated by many people that this film feels more like an extended episode of the show, and that is true. Insurrection is not a bad film, just not a particularly good one. The film has some shining moments, but many uninteresting ones also that bog it down. While there is nothing that is really horrible about the film, it is a disappointing downgrade following up the vastly superior First Contact.

    5/10
     
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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  22. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #7 - Star Trek: Generations (1994)

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    The captains of Enterprise both past and present meet in a tale of epic proportions. We start off with Kirk over seeing the launch of a new Enterprise with some press, but things go wrong and Kirk takes command during a rescue mission. This mission seems to take Kirk's life, as a hole in the ship is found where Kirk went, and Kirk is gone. We then come to the future, where Picard and his crew must investigate a Romulan attack that leads one survivor seemingly, Dr. Tolian Soran. However, it turns out that Soran is working with the Romulans in an attempt to alter the path a phenominon known as the Nexus, which allows a person to live out their fantasies forever. However, altering the path of the Nexus requires blowing up the star of the populated Veridian III. Picard must stop Soran, save his crew, save the star system, and save himself from being wrapped up in the alure or the Nexus. But, Picard has an ally in this venture. An ally in the form of the legendary Captain James T. Kirk.

    Star Trek: Generations gave us something fans had always wanted to see, but never could due to the Next Generation taking place far into the future in the meeting of the two iconic captains of the Enterprise. This film was the beginning of the series focusing on the Next Generation crew, and had massive hype around it. This was also the first film to have its own official website for the film. While this film has a lot of things going for it before even getting to the film itself, it does feel like one big excuse to bring the two captains together.

    The film focuses on two crew members of the Next Generation, once the film jumps to that time period. As with all the other films that come after this one, they are Picard and Data. Data's side story in the film is that he installs the emotion chip into his posotronic brain, which he was afraid to do so before this film, but decided to do it when he failed to grasp the concept of humor. This story is done well in future films, and was a sound idea in developing Data's desire to be human, but this story gets annoying fast. Data's overrunning of emotions tries to be funny, but the comedy fails. The story doesn't seem forced, but the lines of dialogue and situations are poorly written, and end up coming off as annoying and a bit distracting from the bigger things going on in the film.

    While Data's story is not very well executed, the struggle of Picard is done much more justice. In the film, Picard gets word that his brother and nephew on Earth died. This hits Picard very hard, as he realizes that his time for starting a family is almost gone, which means the Picard name is going to die with him. When Picard sees the Nexus, he sees his family alive, and he has a wife and family of his own. Picard faces his inner desires, but chooses the real world over this fabrication the Nexus offers. While I wish his scene in the Nexus was longer, the script does a good job at keeping Picard's inner struggle paramount to the story.

    When we find Kirk in the Nexus, we see him struggling to find an image to keep himself in there when approached by Picard, but in the end, Kirk wants nothing more than to serve the Enterprise. The interaction between the captains is well done, and though Kirk's end in the film is considered widely to be a weak moment in the series, I think he the last words he says are fitting for the character and a worthy scene. It also passes the torch of the series to Picard.

    The idea of the Nexus is very sound. The concept of facing your inner desires and being trapped in an artificial heaven was a clever idea by the writers of the film. It is a good plot device in bringing both captains into the same period, while advancing the characters. However, this film I feel rushed Picard's stay in the Nexus a little, which shows the film's true motive in being an excuse to bring Kirk and Picard to the same place for a crowd pleasing struggle with Soran. Since the film is not that long, more screentime could have been added and not have disturbed the flow, or we could have lost one of Data's annoying scenes and got more Nexus Picard. But, the creative team didn't do that, and it slightly bogs the overall story down.

    While many Trek films have had bland or uninteresting villains, Soran is a breath of fresh air. While seemingly not the most intimidating Trek villain, he is an effective mirror character for Captain Picard. Both Picard and Soran get sucked into the Nexus. Soran, whom is played remarkably well by the great Malcolm McDowell, will do anything to be in the Nexus, as it is his obsession. While not the greatest villain in the series by any means, Soran is able to still stand on his own in regards to the series.

    Star Trek: Generations had a lot of hype to live up to, and while it perhaps didn't meet the expectations many had for it, the film still turned out well. Though the film could easily have been more with the potential the Nexus offered from a story perspective, the film succeeds in the prime goal of putting Kirk and Picard on the big screen together, and passing the torch to the crew of the Next Generation. The film is entertaining, and offers some nice visuals.

    6/10
     
    #22
  23. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #6 - Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

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    In space, a mysterious entity has killed Klingon warships, and is making its way toward Earth. In response to this potential threat, the Federation dispatches Admiral James T. Kirk to inspect the entity, much to the anger of the Enterprise's new Captain Willard Deckard. While tention between the two mounts on the ship, the Enterprise comes face to face with the entity knownas V-ger. V-ger's power and mystery knows no bounds as it comes closer to Earth for a purpose unknown. It is up to the Enterprise to unravel V-ger's mysteries and save the Earth from possible destruction.

    Initially to be a pilot for a new television series known as Star Trek: Phase II, Paramount decided to give the project big screen treatment with the success of Sci-Fi films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They even got legendary director Rober Wise to bring the franchise to the big screen. The film turned out to be a bigger project than initially thought, needing a vastly increased budget, but the results were a film ahead of its time.

    Robert Wise's inspiration from 2001: A Space Oddyssey and Star Wars are VERY apparent while watching the film. Most of the ship exteriors share resemblance to how they were designed in Star Wars, but that is not a bad thing at all. The Enterprise looks great, and the shots of V-ger are downright beautiful. The shots of V-ger are some of the best visuals in the entire series. Star Trek also takes some notes from 2001 in the way the film is structured, which can be very off putting for some viewers watching this film. There is a sequence where Kirk and Scotty are going on the Enterprise for the first time in the film, and we get many shots of the Enterprise and them looking out into space. This sequence lasts several minutes, and scenes like this occur throughout the film. These slower moments do give the film a slow pace that adds a lot to the feel, but there are times when these are too slow and drag on. While the effects are very dated in some points in the film, some shots are still able to standout amongst later installments in the Trek series.

    While this might not be the deepest Star Trek film in the series, this might be the most intellectual of the series. All the plotlines in the film are part of the big picture, and the themes of creation and purpose presented in the film are very big concepts. The main characters in the film all are in need of something in order to be whole. Kirk takes command away from Deckard because he hates that he took the promotion to Admiral and needs the adventure being the captain of the Enterprise offers. Without it, Kirk isn't whole. Notice Kirk says "I need you" to both McCoy and Spock on the ship when they come aboard. Deckard is in love with the female crewmember Iilya, and it is that desire that brings him to become one with V-ger later in the film, since V-ger made Iilya part of its programming.

    The most interesting characters in the film are V-ger and Spock, however. The two characters are mirrors of each other thematically. Spock starts out the film on Vulcan trying to purge himself of all emotion, and is almost successful until he hears V-ger calling to him. Spock thinks V-ger holds the key to what he is searching for, which V-ger does. V-ger is an mechanical-organic lifeform that is searching for "the Creator" on Earth in order to complete its purpose. V-ger has no emotion and is pure logic, which makes V-ger an incomplete lifeform. Much like Spock. The Creator offers V-ger what it lacks, humanity. These ideas of being complete and creation are very grand and well developed in the film.

    The costumes is one thing in the film that sticks out. They designed new outfits for this film that were done away with when Wrath of Khan was made. While the white uniforms and Kirk's Admiral outfit are pretty cool costumes, the blue outfits look rather off. They used a very bad shade of blue for them, and they look ugly on most of the characters. Only person with a blue uniform that looks okay is Deckard. No one else does, and it is rather distracting.

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture wasn't what a lot of people expected it to be, but that isn't a bad thing. The film has very solid writing and great effects, though the pacing is somewhat off at points. The film could probably have shaved several minutes of screentime and been tighter. Despite that, this film remains a vastly underrated film, and is the film that feels most like the show in many respects.

    7/10
     
    #23
  24. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #5 - Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

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    Following the events of The Search for Spock, the Enterprise crew, with the newly resurrected Spock, head back to Earth to face punishment for their crimes of commandeering the Enterprise and going to the forbidden planet of Genesis. However, the Enterprise arrives at Earth perhaps too late. Earth is under attack from an alien probe. The Enterprise realizes the probe is attempting to get a reply to the message from humpback wales, which are now extinct. The Enterprise must travel through not only space, but time in order to save the Earth. They must bring back humpback whales from a time when they were still alive: 1986. The crew must complete their mission, while getting used to this strange period before it is too late.

    After making many directorial missteps, Leonard Nimoy learned from his mistakes. This film is sharper, crisper, and this film doesn't feel like an excuse to accomplish a certain goal. This film actually has a point to make, in its commentary on perserving endangered species and making sure they are around for the future. While the theme is obvious, the film has enough focus elsewhere to make you not feel like they are hammering the point home too hard. While some Trek films have been a bit preachy and lost some impact due to this, Voyage Home is able to maintain the impact of its point.

    Nimoy's best idea in developing this film may have been tapping Nicholas Meyer, director of the beloved Wrath of Khan, to write the final script. Meyer's presence may have been small, but the difference is noticeable when you compare this film to Search for Spock. The writing is much wittier and more fleshed out. He may not have been the prime hand at crafting this film, but he gave Nimoy better material to work with. Now, the writing does fall in a pit with Amanda, the whale caretaker in the past, running to Kirk so quickly after hearing his...explanation on who they were and how to save the whales. That and her desire to leave her time so easily. But, these are the only bits of questionable writing I feel the movie has.

    Of all the Trek films, Voyage Home is easily the funnest. The film is very light-hearted, and is infinantly quotable. Much of the humor is centered around Spock, whom in this film is still recovering from his death and thus a bit more aloof and goofy. This interpretation is charming in this film, while the same characterization of Spock would be annoying in Final Frontier just after this film. When we see the Enterprise crew walking through the streets of San Francisco in the outfits they have on, including Spock's karate looking outfit, you can't help but laugh and smile from the awesome absurdity of it. The film only continues to hammer you with laughs and fun afterward. From Chekov asking where the "nuclear wessels" are, to Kirk's "double dumbass on you" line, and especially to watching Spock try and use cursing in his vocabulary in talking with people, this film is just entertaining to watch.

    The film has no real villain, which can be a problem for most franchises, but lucky for us, Star Trek is not any franchise. The problem the Enterprise faces in communicating with the probe is definately a more than adequate situation to center the film around. This method also is true to the nature of Star Trek in that humans are dealing with beings and ideas bigger than themselves so we can look inward at humanity more effectively.

    Another major asset to the film is the visuals. The space battles and such are normally good in Star Trek films, but Voyage Home had a tougher task than most. They had to make the world of the future and the world of the 80's mesh together at the same time, and the method the film goes about accomplishing that task is nothing short of brilliant. On top of making these two times mesh on visually, the film also offers some great cinematography, especially in regard to shots on the ocean.

    Voyage Home more than makes up for the disappointment of Search for Spock, and the quality spike is rather stark and amazing. Filled with laughs and a good time, this is a Star Trek film that much like the JJ Abrams film of today yielded a new generation of Trekkies in its time by connecting with the audience, and for good reason. Some writing may be shotty, but these bits don't impact the whole of Voyage Home very much.

    8/10
     
    #24
  25. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014 Champion

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    #4 - Star Trek (2009)

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    JJ Abrams give Star Trek a facelift in this reboot of the long running series. In the future, a crew led by a bitter Romulan named Nero decides to take revenge on Spock for not saving Romulus. This quest for vengeance leads Nero to the past, before Spock was born. While Nero waits to exact his revenge, Kirk and Spock ascend the ranks in the Federation. As their destinies clash and the two share an icy relationship on the Enterprise, led by Captain Christopher Pike, Nero emerges to exact revenge. In a story spanning time and altering the future, Spock and Kirk must find their destinies and defeat the evil Nero before he destroys Starfleet.

    Unlike many Trek films, this film tells you what it is immediately. Right off the bat, they kill James Kirk's father in the first action sequence. This scene is well paced, well scored, well crafted, and moving. George Kirk is in the film no more than 10 mins, but the respect level he earns for what he does in those 10 minutes is incredibly high. Star Trek has many great scenes with a self-sacrifice, but this one in particular is probably my 2nd favorite of all of them.

    This scene is also a direct violation of Trek continuity, as Kirk's father was alive in the previous continuity. This was not the only moment that violated Trek continuity either. This film can't be pieced together with the others so it would seem, but instead of angering fans, JJ Abrams delivers a brilliant explanation: the timeline is altered. By having Nero alter the timeline, Abrams can make Star Trek is own and keep the fans happy. Genius move by Abrams, and it is just as brilliant on film.

    The next pitfall the film has to overcome is the new cast. Filling the shoes of the previous cast was a tall order, but once again, it proved to not be impossible. Chris Pine brings that fun loving side of Kirk we all know and love along with his passion to come out ahead. Karl Urban has the best character introduction and the best bits of comedy as the still not perfected at his craft McCoy, and Simon Pegg did much of the same as Scotty. Zachary Quinto I feel had the hardest role, though. He is easily the most different feeling of the characters as this Spock feels much more emotional and angry than Nimoy's Spock did. It's hard to say whether that difference is good or bad, and kind of depends on how you see Spock. I think Quinto was great, considering what happens to Spock in the film, but there are moments I feel he could have been more distant. Spock is the hardest role to play of Star Trek though, so I think him being perfect in the film was a lot to ask for. The others are fairly minor overall, but they work well off the main characters in the film. This cast has great chemistry, which was paramount for the film to work.

    The film does have a flaw though. While the film tries to get around the villain by making him not the prime focus of the film, the fact still remains that Nero is not that strong a villain. This fault doesn't go to Eric Bana, whom did well with what he had. The film leaves Nero floating around for long periods of time before he is seen again, and it takes too much focus from him. We get his problem with Spock letting Romulus die established, but Nero doesn't have great character moments. Best way to describe him is a weaker version of Khan. He doesn't ruin the film by any means, but this point also can't be ignored. The score is not really memorable either, but that's not really a flaw as it isn't noticeably bad.

    Talk of rebooting the series with new actors was not new. It was almost done several times, but new sequels with the original cast and shifting the focus to the Next Generation crew was done instead. The character's portrayels are so iconic, many believed it couldn't be done. However, not only does JJ Abrams succeed in giving new life to the series after the disaster of Star Trek: Nemesis, he has also managed to spawn a new generation of Trekkies, much like Voyage Home did back in the 80's. Abrams took a difficult task, only made harder with plot points that are in direct violation of established continuity, and produced one of the strongest films in the series. JJ Abrams deserves a lot of credit for this, and I hope he continues to make Star Trek his own.

    8.5/10
     
    #25
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009

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