Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Movie Talk - Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Spock: Hmm... Fascinating. It seems I have come out of retirement at the wrong time.

This segment of Movie Talk is brought to you by Marion's Antiques and Spirits. They have all you need: Romulan Ale, Denubian Slime Devils, and Tribbles.

As you can tell by the title, this is a look at the first six Star Trek movies. I just had to start with these. Of course, I'm saving the Next Generation movies for another time and the reboot and its sequel will be discussed later this month after I've seen the new movie. With all that said, Engage!

As I stated back in my intro for this month, the movies were what drew me to the franchise. I've watched them all and enjoy them all... some more than others. Are they perfect? Find out below. I have the first three movies on DVD/VHS (yes, I have VHS tapes) and the sixth movie on VHS. I do need to eventually get the fourth and fifth movies. I haven't done a re-watch with them since I've seen them enough times. What I have done is re-watch SFDebris' reviews of those movies. If you haven't heard of SFDebris, then where have you been for the last few years?!? All kidding aside, SFDebris is an Internet reviewer who looks at all sorts of Sci-fi, primarily Star Trek. Check if him out if you want. If you're really looking for a thought-out review of the movies, then definitely check his site out.

Star Trek: the Motion Picture aka "ST: the Motionless Picture", "ST: the Slow-Motion Picture," or "The One with the Hot, Bald Chick In It"
The first movie of the franchise reunites the crew of the Enterprise. A big threat is coming towards Earth devouring everything in its path and only Admiral Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise can stop it. While this movie (as well as most of the odd movies) is regarded as bad, I still like it. It's cool to see everyone rounded up and back on the ship again. The plot is pretty interesting. There is a bit of exploration done here with V'Ger which is cool. It all ultimately plays out like a pilot to a TV show and it's funny since the ideas for this movie came from a failed attempt of a TV show. The music is also pretty cool. The opening theme from here is the same one used for TNG's theme.

Kirk: McCoy, what happened to you?
McCoy: When they drafted me, they threw me in this dang jumpsuit! And what happened to you? You're blending in with the wall!

Is this movie perfect? Far from it. As I stated with those nickname titles, this movie has a lot of padding. The plot, while interesting, gets slowed down with all of the lingering on the special effects. For example, there is a scene where the camera pans over just about every inch of the Enterprise for like three minutes... and that's not the only scene where the effects and props are given long looks at. Also, the costumes are not that good. It's like someone came and said "We need more white, more gray, and more tan, dang it!" I will say that Spock's Dracula outfit was pretty nifty. Overall, while it's not the best movie, it's certainly not the worst.

Favorite Quotes:
"Why is every object out there we don't understand is called a 'thing?"
"Spock, this "child" is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. Now, what do you suggest we do? Spank it?"
"My oath of celibacy is on record, Captain."

Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan aka "Perfection"
This sequel has the Enterprise deal with an old enemy by the name of Khan. During the movie, we also get a look a some weird device called the Genesis Device. Hooray for pseudo-science. Also, a long-standing cast member dies.
It's definitely one of the saddest scenes ever.

So, what is there for me to say about this movie? It's awesome. It may even one best movies ever. I think one of the reasons I like this movie a lot is because of the characters. We get an arc for Kirk for him feeling age coming on him, and we get a great revenge arc for Khan, who's played brilliantly. There's also the death of Spock (oh yeah, Spoilers for a 30 year-old movie!!!) which is sad and tragic. It hits the right notes for me especially since Spock is one of my favorite Trek characters. I have no complaints about this film. Add an awesome space battle, great music, and some nice humor to the list.  It's simply perfect.

"He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!"
"I don't believe in the no-win scenario."
"Are you out of your Vulcan mind?"
"To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"
"I haven't faced death. I've cheated death. I've tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing."
"I have been and always shall be your friend... Live long and prosper."

Star Trek III: the Search for Spock aka "The Undo Button of Star Trek"
This movie continues from the events of the last movie. Basically, Kirk and the main crew have to face the odds in getting back to Genesis (the new planet) and finding Spock's body. While the odd movies get a rep for being bad, SFOS doesn't deserve it at all. It may not be a perfect movie, but it is one of the better movies in the franchise. We get Klingons, Spock playing Lazurus, and Kirk on the run. My only complaints about the movie is that it basically undid some of the things from the last movie. David, Kirk's son, dies and Spock comes back from the dead. While the latter isn't bad, it does suck that we don't get to see Kirk in that father role anymore.
Dang... yeah, that's all I got.

Other than the retroactive feel of it all, I still like this movie. A lot of stuff does happen here. Kirk and the crew are on the run from Starfleet, McCoy has Spock's soul or essence, and the Enterprise is destroyed. As I said before, it's not perfect, but it's not bad either. It's "average" bordering on "above average."

"The word is no. I am therefore going anyway."
"That green-blooded son of a bitch! It's his revenge for all the arguments he lost."
"Gentlemen, your work today has been outstanding and I intend to recommend you all for promotion... in whatever fleet we end up serving."
"What you had to do. What you always do: turn death into a fighting chance to live."
"I have had... enough... of YOU!"

Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home aka "The One With the Whales"
This movie continues from the events from TSFS as Kirk and the rest of the crew have to travel back in time to the 20th century to get some whales... That sounds weird, but "oh well." An alien probe comes to Earth and the only thing that will stop from destroying the Earth is the whales. While the plot is a little out there, it's still a pretty good movie. One of the things I like about the movie is the humor. For one thing, it's humor that works and is not forced in any way. The whole movie feels like a conclusion to the last two movies as well. I see why these three movies are packaged together. They are a trilogy of some sorts.

Wow, they do really fit in with a 20th century San Francisco!

I really don't have any complaints about this one. While it doesn't have all of the awesomeness of Wrath of Khan, it's still a pretty good movie.

"Oh, him? He's harmless. Back in the sixties, he was part of the free speech movement at Berkeley. I think he did a little too much LDS."
"Your use of language has altered since our arrival. It is currently laced with, shall we say, more colorful metaphors, 'double dumbass on you' and so forth."
"Are you sure it isn't time for a colorful metaphor?"
"Well, like they say in your century, I don't even have your telephone number."
"Behold the quintessential Devil in these matters: James T. Kirk, renegade and terrorist."
"You're proposing that we go backwards in time, find humpback whales, then bring them forward in time, drop 'em off, and hope to Hell they tell this probe what to do with itself!"

Star Trek V: the Final Frontier aka "What Does The God Wanna-be Really Need With A Starship?!?!?!?"
In this movie, the crew of the Enterprise-A have to deal with Spock's half-brother as he hijacks the ship on a mission to find God... Yes, it's this movie. I really don't have much to say about this movie except that it's my least favorite. My three main gripes about this movie are these:
  • The humor - Unlike the humor in the fourth movie, the humor here is forced. Really Forced. The reason the humor worked in TVH was because it was basically a stranger in a strange land story. When we got back to the 23rd century, the laughs stopped. In this movie, we didn't have that story. The stuff that was supposed to come off as funny kinda comes off as annoying.
  • The characterization - While the main three  (Kirk Spock and McCoy) are played decent enough, the rest of the crew just look off. They get taken over by Sybok's persuasion-thingy quick without little reason. Also, what was up with the whole "Naked Uhura" part?
  • The story - How exactly does Sybok and his people take control of the Enterprise? How does his power of persuasion work? What does the God Wanna-be really need with the Enterprise? Why is the Enterprise in disarray at the beginning of the movie because it was fine at the end of TVH? In other words, the story is weak.
Sybok: What are you going to do, Spock? Spray me for weeds?

Is there anything good about it? Well, I do like the relationship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. That's probably the only thing that makes the movie worth watching to me. Other than their relationship, this movie doesn't have anything going for it.

"What does God need with a starship?"
"I do not believe you realize the gravity of your situation."
"Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!"
"Please Captain, not in front of the Klingons."
"Jim... if you ask me, and you haven't, I think this is a terrible idea. We're bound to bump into the Klingons, and they don't exactly like you." 

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country aka "The Cold War In Space!!!!"
In this movie, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise is called upon to help negotiate peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Unfortunately, he and McCoy get charged with killing the Chancellor of the Empire and it's up to Spock and the rest of the crew to figure out the conspiracy going on. This one is right up there with WOK and TVH. The conspiracy aspect of the whole thing was interesting. It was awesome to get a bald Klingon spouting Shakespeare. Finally, it was also cool to see Kirk deal with his prejudice against the Klingons.
Chang: Can you hear them now?
Kirk and McCoy: No. 
Chang: Worf, can you do anything?
Grandad Worf: Do I look like Comm. Worf to you? I'm not that Worf! I can't even defend these pa'tak!

I really don't  have any major complaints about the movie. I do think that there were a couple of dumb scenes. One example is the scene with Uhura and the Klingon outpost. Also, what was up with the pink blood for the Klingons? Other than the minor gaffes, it's a pretty good movie.

"I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I could never forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion, and I'd like to believe him, but how on earth can history get past people like me?"
"Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end."
"There is an old Vulcan proverb: only Nixon could go to China."
"This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man... where no *one* has gone before."
"Note to Galley; Romulan Ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions."
"If I were human I believe my response would be "go to hell."... If I were human."


Well, that all I got to say on those. I'll save my ranking of all of the movies for a later date. Peace, God Bless, and may the power protect.... wait, may the force.... Ah, live long and prosper!

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