Star Trek: Generations

  • star_trek_generations_ver2Year:  1994
  • Director:  David Carson
  • Series Rank:  #8
  • Year Rank:  #45
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • The Enterprise Crew:  Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Gates MacFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Whoopi Goldberg, William Shatner, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Alan Ruck
  • Villain:  Malcolm McDowell

It had been made clear at the end of Star Trek VI that the original crew were flying off into the sunset (or the second star on the right).  So, us Star Trek fans were anxiously awaiting what would happen with the future of the film franchise.  They had considered rebooting it back to the Academy days when they made the sixth film.  There was talk of a TNG film, but TNG was still on the air – would a film take place between seasons?  In the end, they would finally announce that the next film would be a combined film, with members of the original crew handing things off to the Next Generation crew.  The show would wrap its final season in May with the film being released in the fall.  And, the key thing that became a selling point, was that Kirk would die. (more…)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

  • star_trek_vi_ver2Year:  1991
  • Director:  Nicholas Meyer
  • Series Rank:  #5
  • Year Rank:  #32
  • Oscar Nominations:  Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Visual Effects
  • The Enterprise Crew:  William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Kim Cattrall
  • Villain:  Christopher Plummer

I got home on December 6, 1991 at around eight o’clock or so.  There was a message on the answering machine from my brother John that said “Second star to the right.  Straight on till morning.  I saw it opening day.”  I called him back and got his machine.  I left the following message: “If I were human, I believe the proper response would be ‘Go to hell’.  I wasn’t home when you called because I saw it twice.”  It was not a lie.  After school got out on that particular Friday, I went to the Century Cinedome with my best friend John.  We watched the film (for free – John worked there).  Then John started his shift and I watched it again before going home and checking the machine. (more…)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

  • star_trek_v_ver2Year:  1989
  • Director:  William Shatner
  • Series Rank:  #12
  • Year Rank:  #107
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • The Enterprise Crew:  William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig
  • Villain:  Laurence Luckinbill, Todd Bryant

The Film:  Star Trek IV had brought the ending that every Star Trek fan wanted: a new Enterprise, all set for new adventures with the original crew.  Yes, there was a new crew on a new Enterprise on television, but we were still enjoying the original crew on film and we knew there would be time for the new crew to make its way to film after that show was done.  So, we were off on new adventures, and where did it bring us?  Right into Star Trek V: Plotholes. (more…)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
(or, as my mother knows it, “the one with the whales”)

  • star_trek_iv_ver1Year:  1986
  • Director:  Leonard Nimoy
  • Series Rank:  #3
  • Year Rank:  #10
  • Oscar Nominations:  Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • The Enterprise Crew:  William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig
  • Villain:  man as a species

The second and third Star Trek films had given us villains: a classic villain from the original series as well as the major villainous race.  For the fourth film, they decided to look inwards and see what we have done to ourselves.  By looking at our history as the real villain, it reduced the drama throughout the film and allowed the focus to turn towards characterization and humor.  While the tri-part relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy had been the focus for two films, this time it allowed that to sit on the sidelines (it would come back in the fifth film) and focus was placed more on the relationship between Kirk and Spock, allowed to start again a bit thanks to Spock’s resurrection.  Meanwhile, the other characters were allowed their own moments and we also got the “fish out of water” story with our intrepid crew moving back in time and coming to San Francisco in 1986, complete with colorful metaphors. (more…)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

  • star_trek3Year:  1984
  • Director:  Leonard Nimoy
  • Series Rank:  #6
  • Year Rank:  #23
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Sound Editing
  • The Enterprise Crew:  William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Robin Curtis
  • Villain:  Christopher Lloyd

Where could the film series possibly go?  Spock was dead.  The Enterprise had been badly damaged.  Indeed, the film begins with the ship being decommissioned and the officers being moved on to other assignments (another tidbit I know from reading the novelizations: Sulu was supposed to become Captain of the Excelsior and that was derailed by the Genesis issue).  What could possibly happen next? (more…)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
(or, as my mother knows it, “the one with the ears”)

  • star_trek_ii_the_wrath_of_khanYear:  1982
  • Director:  Nicholas Meyer
  • Series Rank:  #1
  • Year Rank:  #5
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • The Enterprise Crew:  William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Kirstie Alley
  • Villain:  Ricardo Montalban

I have been writing in various ways about this film for a long time.  Before I was even doing regular posts about film, I included it in a piece about a dozen neglected films and my Top Sci-Fi films.  Then, at the start of my Oscar posts, I included it as one of the Top 100 films to fail to earn a single Oscar nomination.  Later, it would win five Nighthawk Notables and be my “under-appreciated” film of 1982 where I would write a full review of the film which I will try not to re-iterate, but will rather attempt to write something about this film that I haven’t focused on before, so you should go there for a in-depth look at the climax of the film. (more…)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

  • star_trek_the_motion_picture_ver2Year:  1979
  • Director:  Robert Wise
  • Series Rank:  #11
  • Year Rank:  #75
  • Oscar Nominations:  Original Score, Art Direction, Visual Effects
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Original Score, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • The Enterprise Crew:  William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Stephen Collins, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Persis Khambatta

There’s a scene early in the film that emphasizes everything right with this film and everything wrong with it, all at the same time.  Admiral Kirk has just beamed up from Earth to Space Dock (because of problems with the transporters, he can’t beam directly aboard the Enterprise).  He has a nice conversation with Scotty about how they’ve just given the Enterprise back to him so that he can go out and save the Earth.  Then they depart in a shuttlecraft along the length of Space Dock to board the Enterprise.  The score is magnificent (more on that below).  The special effects are so vastly superior to anything that had ever been done on the show (Trek fans, of which I have always been one, should be grateful that the first film took so long to come about so that Star Wars could come out in the meantime and revolutionize visual effects).  They show great sweeping shots of the Enterprise, a truly impressive model, not just the little thing hanging from a wire on the original show.  Then they show more.  And it goes on.  And on.  For several minutes.  It feels never ending and it’s not the only scene that feels like that. (more…)

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