Star Trek: Nemesis

  • star_trek_nemesis_ver2Year:  2002
  • Director:  Stuart Baird
  • Series Rank:  #9
  • Year Rank:  #122
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • The Enterprise Crew:  Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Gates MacFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn
  • Villain:  Tom Hardy

I mentioned that Star Trek V was such a disappointment that it almost killed the franchise.  Even though this is a better film than that one, it was such a disappointment that it did kill the film franchise.  It would be another seven years before Star Trek would appear in theaters and that would be rebooted to younger versions of the original crew.  There are a variety of reasons why this film did what the earlier film could not but there are also things to enjoy about this film and in the end, I still think it preferable, not only to two of the original films, but also the previous TNG film.  Hell, it even has a villain played by an actor that I spent a considerable amount of time lambasting in my most recent Best Picture reviews and I still think it’s better. (more…)

Star Trek: Insurrection

  • star_trek_insurrectionYear:  1998
  • Director:  Jonathan Frakes
  • Series Rank:  #10
  • Year Rank:  #121
  • Oscar Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • The Enterprise Crew:  Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Gates MacFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn
  • Villain:  F. Murray Abraham, Anthony Zerbe

In 1989, Anthony Zerbe was a lackluster (though suitably creepy) villain in what turned out to be one of the best James Bond films (and certainly the most under-appreciated).  The actor seemed born to play a villain – he has an inherently untrustworthy look about him (ironically, right after watching this, we watched him in an old Mission: Impossible episode and I said the same thing – even when he was young he looked untrustworthy).  So why have him play the admiral who, it turns out, is in league with the villains?  Why would anyone have believed differently?  More importantly, why have him in the film at all?  The character, although an admiral, is basically ignored by everyone who he gives orders to, including Picard, Riker and the primary villain, Ru’afo. (more…)

Star Trek: First Contact

  • star_trek_first_contact_ver1Year:  1996
  • Director:  Jonathan Frakes
  • Series Rank:  #2
  • Year Rank:  #13
  • Oscar Nominations:  Makeup
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Visual Effects, Makeup
  • The Enterprise Crew:  Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Gates MacFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Neal McDonough
  • Villain:  Alice Kirge

In the period of just a few minutes late in Star Trek: First Contact, Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard delivers, in two different moments, the most emotional, powerful lines spoken in all the the countless hours of television and film that make up the Star Trek franchise.  They are at once an example of Stewart’s talent (the best actor to ever be a major part of the franchise), an anomaly in the franchise (wrapped in revenge, an idea supposedly non-existent at the time) and a measure of how well this film works in the course of the franchise. (more…)

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…)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 411 other followers