Jun 4, 2013

Set phasers to geek

Well it's been what is quite possibly the longest abscence I've given this blog since it's inception. So the obvious choice for a post would be a stack ranking of the Star Trek films.

Yes I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness, and since I had a lot of fun drafting the James Bond films after watching Skyfall I figured I'd tackle another long running movie franchise. So yeah, ranking the Star Trek movies from worst to best.

Star Trek: Insurrection: The crew of the Enterprise rebel against their superiors to save a race of people who don't get old or sick after somehow halting the aging process somewhere around 43. I've only seen this movie once, and there's a reason for that. I hated this movie. Hated every goddamn second of the miserable creation. The plot was completely nonsensical and would rank as one of the worst TNG episodes, but for reasons I can't fathom (cocaine), this was given the big screen treatment, and was so terrible I vowed never to see a TNG movie in the theater again.

Star Trek: Generations: Fans were ready to see Kirk and Piccard team together to save a planet who's inhabitants were never seen nor cared about by the audience. It's so easy to not like this movie as the villain's plan to destroy a star to somehow change the trajectory of some happiness space cloud so that he could whisk himself to play time land is absurd enough, but to use this nonsensical plot device to get Kirk and Piccard together in the least climatic way possible was a letdown for even the most forgiving of Star Trek fans. Everything failed in this movie, the attempts at comedy, the misfires when it tried to be tender, and the dissapointment everyone felt when the two greatest captains in the fictional universe joining forces to go fisticuffs with some unmemorable villain was too much to bear.

Star Trek: Nemisis: Piccard and the crew face an adversary so diabolical you won't recall a single thing about him once the credits roll. Now some would say this is the worst Star Trek film, and it's difficult to argue with them, but I don't think it's the worst of the TNG films. It happens to be the only Star Trek film I've never seen in the theatre, which is a dubious honor I know, and I've only seen it once, and if good fortune permits I'll never see it again. After the dismal release of this drek production on another Star Trek film wouldn't happen for many years.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: The original crew of the starship Enterprise take their geriatric asses on a search for the Lord almighty. Oh and Spock's brother appears as a tour guide on the quest. If anyone tells you they like this film, then it's a good sign they're wrong about everything related to cinema. It's not only the worst film featuring all of the original cast, it's one of the worst Star Trek films ever. A failure both critically and commercially, this William Shatner directed bomb would do well to be forgotten as it adds nothing to the series. I've heard many a fan try to make apologies for this miserable drek, but there are none. It is crap, pure unadulterated horse shit.

Star Trek: First Contact: The Enterprise goes back in time to fight the Borg, who are hell bent on taking over pre-24th century Earth. It's not so much that it's a bad film, but it's just disappointing considering that the Borg is a great villain, but didn't have much to do besides emote themselves through a hive queen, which is sillier than it sounds if you can believe it. The humor is so damn corny it just falls flat. The Piccard channeling Ahab subplot almost worked, but if they just toned it down a bit and made it more subtle it could've been compelling. It's the best out of the TNG films for sure, but that's saying very little.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: Admiral Kirk leads his crew to San Fransisco circa the 80s to bring some whales back to the 23rd century to communicate with an alien probe that only speaks humpback and fuck I don't care. Sure, the plot is preposterous, and often times silly, but damn it it if I don't kind of like this film. It has a lot of charm and it's clear the actors are having a lot of fun with the script. Many fans hate this film, and it's not a conventional Star Trek film by any means, but it's fun and never takes itself too seriously.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: The Federation and the Klingons try to make a peace accord, and obviously there has to conspiratorial forces trying to make that not happen. Nicholas Meyer's return to directing a Star Trek film after the crowd pleasing Wrath of Kahn was less than triumphant, but certainly not terrible. Sure this movie wasn't stellar by any means, but it's fun watching Christopher Plummer be a Klingon, and the acting is far superior than the script should've allotted for.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: Admiral Kirk and his associates risk everything to find and resurrect their friend Captain Spock. While I like this movie, it can be a real downer. The cast really started to show their age, and it seemed like it would be the end of the series when I first watched it. With the Enterprise blowing up, Kirk's son getting killed before he could establish a relationship with his father, and the grim locales this movie doesn't really uplift the spirits, but it has some real tension and Christopher Lloyd made a good Klingon.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The crew of the Enterprise go in search of a big scary space cloud that threatens Earth. I don't think fans really were screaming for this kind of adventure for Kirk and company in their first big screen outing, but I enjoyed it for a lot of reasons. It's ambitious, interesting, and very thoughtful; however slow and prodding it may be. Sure it could've used a few more action beats, and less long sweeping shots of a space entity and even the Enterprise herself, but it's still a wonder after all these years, and I still find myself enjoying it.

Star Trek: Into Darkness: Kirk goes after an evil man who does evil things, and finds all sorts of evilness lurking about. JJ Abrahms second outing as director for the newly rebooted franchise has been a successful one, and it kept the right balance of action and character development. Sure the third act had more than it's share of lame cop outs, but still it's entertaining as all get out. With a memorable villian and familiar characters that are likable as well as interesting, Star Trek: Into Darkness makes a great addition to this long running series.

Star Trek: After a many years absence from the cinemas, JJ Abrahms rebooted the franchise. Originally met with skepticism, his creation became a solid hit for fans and non alike. Combining elements that made Star Trek so endearing, such as relatable and fun characters, with non-stop action, this movie is fun and engaging. Sure some of the plot elements don't rival Shakespeare, but it does everything it sets out to do incredibly well. The cast and crew did the almost impossible task of pleasing geeks, something I hope they continue to do for years to come.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn: Kahn and his crew seek revenge on Captain Kirk for deserting them many years ago on an almost inhabitable planet. Kahn is one of the greatest villains in not just Star Trek lore, but all of sci-fi, so his return from the original series' episode "Space Seed" was indeed a welcome one. Ricardo Mantoban plays a great villain, and it's one of his finest performances ever. Throwing such themes as the crew accepting their age and giving a tear jerking ending, The Wrath of Kahn will be a tough film to top.

"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away." - Gene Roddenberry


wigsf3 said...

Good Star Treks: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Bad: 1, 3, 5,7,9.

The two most recent movies are NOT Star Trek.

Riot Kitty said...

We just saw The Wrath of Khan again last week...I think I had only seen reruns on TV as a kid in the 1980s. Ricardo Montalban is pure awesome!