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Friday, May 17, 2013

Movie Talk - The Next Generation Movies

I think this is the moment where the movie franchise jumped the shark and beat the final boss.

This installment of Movie Talk is brought to you by the idiots who thought having a joystick controlling the Enterprise was a good idea... Yes, that actually happened and it was kinda stupid.

I decided to change my mind about the Next Gen movies. Since the new movie is coming out this week, I decided I might as well knock these movies out too. I don't have much to say right now, so let's see if these movies are actually good.

Background
I 've seen all four of these movies on VHS, DVD, and even the cinemas. I don't remember when I first saw Generations. I know I rented it somewhere in town. Star Trek: First Contact was the first Trek movie I actually saw in theaters. I showed up at the part where Picard and the crew are arming themselves before they go into the lower decks. I actually saw two other movies that day: Space Jam (yep) and 101 Dalmations. I saw the last two on video. I remember that most of my 7th grade class was going to go see Insurrection in Lawrenceburg but they ended up seeing Jack Frost instead. I don't whether that was a good thing or not.

Unlike with my look at the other movies, I wanted to watch these movies again. It has been a long time since I've seen these movies.  I saw Insurrection on Netflix and I own Nemesis on DVD. I've seen First Contact enough times to know what happens and I just recently bought it used. As for Generations, I guess SFDebris will have to do. I could have bought it, but it was either that or First Contact. I chose the latter and I feel like I chose wisely.

Star Trek: Generations aka "Star Trek: the Fan-Fic", "Star Trek: The One Where Kirk and Picard Make Eggs", "Star Trek: The One Where Data Was Annoying", and "Star Trek: The Ribbon in the Sky Keeps on Going..."
In this first TNG crew outing, the crew of the Enterprise-D have to deal with madman named Soran, those hot-looking Klingons: the Duras Sisters, and a malfunctioning/annoying Data...Hmm, what else happens here... Oh yeah, Jim Kirk shows up via "Magic Ribbon in the Sky" to help Picard beat Soran. I don't remember how I felt about this movie back then. I guess I liked it, I don't know. I do know that this movie is definitely not the best Trek movie by a long shot.

I think I know why I bought First Contact instead of this one. I just don't really feel a connection with this one like I do the others. While things do happen in the movie, it has a "meh" feel to it all. I really don't know what to say about it. Even Kirk being in the movie feels off. I know one thing I can say about this movie is that Kirk's death (Spoilers!!!) sucked. Instead of going out on a high note, he goes out with a whimper. Data finally gets his emotion chip and it's mostly used for comedic effect... and if I remember correctly, it wasn't great comedic effect. The "Mr. Tricorder" bit was funny in a stupid way. I do think the scene where he and Picard are talking in the Astrometrics Lab was good. The cast for the most part did act well.

Mr. Tricorder: Geordi! Get me away from this  ^@@#*$ robot!!!

The villains (Soran and the Duras Sisters) seem a little lackluster, but it's Malcolm McDowell so that helps matters. There's also that big, big plot hole called the Nexus aka "Magic Ribbon in the Sky." Why didn't Picard go back to sometime before he transported to the planet? He could have went back to a time before Soran kidnapped Geordi. I know Kirk had to show up eventually, but they could have done it better than this. Overall, this may be my least favorite TNG movie.

Favorite Quotes:
"You know, if Spock were here, he'd say that I was an irrational, illogical human being by taking on a mission like that. Sounds like fun!"
"Life forms! You tiny little life forms! You precious little life forms! Where are you?"
"Now, if you'll have to excuse me, Captain. I have an appointment with eternity and I don't want to be late."
"Perhaps you still will... somehow I doubt this will be the last ship to carry the name 'Enterprise'."

Star Trek: First Contact aka "Star Trek: Borg Shoot 'Em Up", "Star Trek: Another Time Travel Adventure", and "Star Trek: The One With the Creepy Borg Queen" 
In this next Trek movie, the Enterprise must once again face the Borg as they try to assimilate a 21st century Earth in the past. While there, the crew must save their own future by helping Zefram Cochrane achieve "First Contact." I have to say that I really like this outing. Does it have flaws? Yeah, it has a few. Fortunately, this movie does try to kick it up a natch by being a little more fun and scary (yes, I said it) than the last one. So, what do I like about the movie? Let's slim it down to three main things:
  • The action - There's a lot of action in this movie. It's a little more fast-paced than most movies in the franchise. We get a short but awesome space battle, some nice phaser-to-Borg action on the Enterprise, and a fight that actually occurs on the hull of the Enterprise.One thing that helps out the scenes (and the movie in general) is the score to the movie. The score is probably my favorite of the four and maybe even the movie franchise as a whole.
  • The characters - I thought that the crew was well represented for the most part. Heck, I even like  a drunk Deanna... that statement sounds so wrong, but what I mean to say is that she was funny. Anyway, I thought Worf was actually well-handled here unlike what we'll unfortunately see in the last two movies. We pretty much get the BMS Worf here. It looks like all of the main cast got some sort of moment to shine a bit. While Picard does come off as some gun-crazy nut out for vengeance, I still like his "The line must be drawn here!" speech. Finally, Zefram Cochrane was a hoot. It kinda makes you wonder if the stories you hear about great figures from history are either true or a bit exaggerated.
  • The Borg - The Borg come back in a big/scary way. Their new designs look even more zombie-like than they ever did on the show. The whole atmosphere of the assimilated Enterprise just looks creepy. I even got to admit that had some some weird dreams involving the Borg when I first saw this on video. Luckily, none of those dreams involved the Borg Queen. I know that a lot of people don't like her and I can see why. It pretty much gives a face to the Borg. Still, I'm pretty much indifferent with her as a whole.
While some may not like a PO'ed Picard, this looks freaking awesome!

So, are there any negatives to this movie? Well, there are a couple. Sometimes, it moves a little too fast paced. We really don't get a lot of time with Picard and his issues with the Borg. also, while there is a lot of action on the Enterprise during the Borg takeover, it feels a little redundant at times. Then there's the Borg Queen seducing folk. I have one word for that: EWWWWW. Other than those things and the fact that the Borg can now time travel (which is something they never do after this movie), this is still an pretty good movie. It's definitely my favorite TNG movie. 

Favorite Quotes:
"I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And *I* will make them pay for what they've done."
"Assimilate this!"
"Resistance is Futile!"
"Borg? Sounds Swedish".
"Forgive me: the Borg do not evolve, they conquer."
I don't care. I don't want to be a statue."
"You told him about the statue?"

Star Trek: Insurrection aka "Star Trek: An Erec... Let's Not Go There", "Star Trek: AHHHH!!!",  "Star Trek: Another One Where Data is Annoying", "Star Trek: Enterprise Joystick!!!!", and "Star Trek: Zzzzzzzz....."
In this 9th Star Trek movie, the Enterprise are called to a planet in a nebula called the Briar Patch to deal with a malfunctioning Data.They also meet the Bak'u, a race of immortal, technology hating, pacifists. When it's revealed that the planet is basically a fountain of youth and there are those who want to get rid of the Bak'u, the crew steps in to help out. Also, hilarity ensues with Data... and Worf. Yayyyyy... As you can pretty much tell, this is not one of my favorites. It's unfortunately down there with Generations for me. I remember that I had recorded this off of TV when it came on... and then knowingly recorded over the tape. I think I recorded a couple of episodes of Enterprise over it or something.

Hmm... Well, here's one reason to shave your beard!

Anyway, it also has a "meh" feeling to it. Unlike Generations, it at least tries to be as action-packed as First Contact. Unfortunately, it also has that lame humor that the last two movies had. While First Contact did the humor a little better, this movie is not as successful. I will admit to singing along to "A British Tar" though. I will say that the overall plot was interesting and different. Unfortunately, the Bak'u and the Son'a (the main villains) are really not that interesting. At least the villains were weird and the leader loved to yell. Also, Picard gets to woo someone... who looks "okay?" Overall, while I do think it's a little better than Generations, it's still has some "Meh-ness" to it.

Favorite Quotes
"Saddle up, lock and load!"
"Smooth as an android's bottom."
"How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong? Hmm? A thousand, fifty thousand, a million? How many people does it take, Admiral?"
"In 300 years, you never learned to swim?"

Star Trek: Nemesis aka "Star Trek: Attack of the Clone," Star Trek: Mind Screw", and "Star Trek: Oh My God! They Killed ----"
In this final adventure of the USS Enterprise-E, the crew must deal with the coming threat of Shinzon, who's revealed to be a clone of Picard. Also, Data finds another "brother" by the name of B4. This movie is lauded by most to be the worst of the series. I don't agree with that. While it isn't by any means good and has its shares of problems, it isn't the worst to me. The acting for the most part is good. Data actually feels like Data from the TV show and not the wanna-be comedian from the other movies. Heck, even Tom Brady, who looked really thin back then, is pretty good as the villain. Yes, he does act a little... dumb at times, but he does put in a good performance. The theme that's given to Picard's and Data's arcs is a "Nature vs. Nurture" theme, and I guess it works a bit. Another thing I like is the final space battle which is pretty good.

Worf: There are Two Picards!!!!
Riker: Worf, you're not flipping out again, are you? Remember those two bridges?!?

Now here are some problems. Like some of the others on this list, I feel "meh" about the movie overall. It's not that I don't like it, but it's not perfect either. I the "violation" scene between Shinzon, his right hand Reman, and Counselor Troi was unneeded here. Some characters get overshadowed by Picard and Data, which is really a fault of all of the TNG movies. It would have been cool to see the overall plot revolve around the others. I also remember that there were some good deleted scenes that didn't make it on to the final movie.

 I also thought that Data's death was a little flat. It does remind me of Spock's death from Wrath of Khan. While both are tragic, Spock's death carries more of a sting than Data's especially when you have B4 waiting in the corner with Data's memories. Overall, the movie's not great, but the movie isn't trash either.

Favorite quotes:
"He's a tyrannical martinet who will never, *ever*, allow me to go on away missions."
"I will always be puzzled by the human predilection for piloting vehicles at unsafe velocities."
"I do not think it is appropriate for a Starfleet officer to appear... naked."
"First time I saw Data, he was leaning against a tree in the holodeck, trying to whistle. Funniest thing I ever saw. No matter what he did, he couldn't get the tune right. What was that song? I can't remember the song..."

............................................................................................................

Well, that's all I have for today. While these movies may have not been perfect, there are things to like about them all... even the "meh" ones. It looks like I may not be seeing the new movie till next week, so I have a little more to do, and then my overall ranking of the 12 movies will start. Peace and God Bless.

NEXT TIME: 3...2...1...REBOOT!!!
 

1 comment:

  1. That picture at the top of the article with Riker and the joystick always makes me laugh because I have that same picture and it's autographed by Jonathan Frakes. Got it at a convention. Yeah, a real jump the shark moment for the franchise

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