Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reviewing the Star Trek Movies

Everyone is asking what we thought of the new Star Trek movie. Before answering that, you should know what we thought of the others.

First, a few words on how we review movies:

To begin with, we rate movies along two axes. One is good/bad; the other is fun/not-fun. A movie can be good and fun (The Princess Bride), good and not fun (Das Boot), bad but fun (Independence Day), or bad and not fun (Ernest Goes to Camp). In addition, we sometimes rate movies on a scale of 1 to 101 Dalmatians (the animated one, of course).

That being said, here are our opinions of the various Star Trek movies.


#1: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Very good, pretty fun

A good science fiction movie, although not necessarily good Star Trek. Maybe 85 dalmatians.


#2: The Wrath of Khan

Pretty good, very fun.

Although we still want to know where they got enough mass to form a planet in the middle of that nebula. Maybe 80-85 dalmatians.


#3: The Search for Spock

Pretty good, very fun.

Very hard to separate from Wrath of Khan - they're really 2 parts of the same movie, aren't they? Maybe 70-75 dalmatians.


#4: The Voyage Home

Bad, somewhat fun.

Time travel is not Star Trek's forte. And why did the whale tank have to be transparent? Maybe 50-55 dalmatians.


#5: The Final Frontier

Bad, not much fun.

Maybe 50-55 dalmatians.


#6: The Undscovered Country

Very bad, not much fun.

Okay, guys, which ship was doing the gas surveys? Maybe 30-35 dalmatians.


#7: Generations

Not too bad, somewhat fun.

Crashing the saucer section was fun. But time travel again...oh my. Maybe 50-60 dalmatians.


#8: First Contact

Not too good, somewhat fun.

Impossible to reconcile this version of Zefram Cochrane with the one seen in the series. And...oh dear...time travel and the Borg? Really? Maybe 60-65 dalmatians.


#9: Insurrection

Quite good, quite fun.

Good sf, good Trek, a cool planet and a plot that makes sense. Maybe as many as 80-85 dalmatians.


#10: Nemesis

Very bad, not much fun.

Proof that Star Trek can be awful without time travel or the Borg. Maybe 30-35 dalmatians, maybe fewer.


#11 Star Trek.

Not that good but really fun.

Lots of nods to fans, some really good actors. But necessary to give up trying to piece together the sloppy narrative. Head off to save Vulcan with only two real officers and a bunch of third-year cadets on the Federation Flagship? Really? Make a third-year cadet who is on probation the First Officer? Did I mention it's the Flagship? Promote that cadet to Flagship Captain, over the heads of all the existing officers? Sure, why not?

Maybe 75-80 dalmatians?

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The Rush Blog said...

Well . . . I agree with your assessment of this latest TREK movie. I certainly don't agree with your assessment of TREK #1, which was a big fat bore to me; or of your assessment of TREK #4, which I loved.

The Rush Blog said...

And I certainly don't agree with your assessment of FIRST CONTACT. I liked it a lot better than you did.

Thomas Atkinson said...

Hey there, Rush Blog. Thomas here.

Yeah, we get that a lot. About the only Star Trek movie we don't hear much argument on is Wrath of Khan. I enjoyed #4, and saw it more than once when it was in theatres. But the more I thought about it, the more it came apart -- there's a lot that doesn't add up.

Likewise, I would have agreed with you about #1 when I first saw it, but over the years, I've come to appreciate its many good points. A lot of people seem to like the dvd "Director's Cut" -- I think just because they haven't watched the movie in a long time. It's better than people remember, and holds up very well to subsequent viewings.

Glad to see you here, and thanks for your comments.

Betts4 said...

85 Dalmatians! Oh my!!!

Packaging Supplier said...

Especially that Zachary Quinton. The one thing I can say positively about this movie is that the cast captures the characters from the classic TV show as they might have been when they were younger. Also, a lot of the effects were impressive but it's just another over produced super sized rendition of a franchise that doesn't have a simple story for entertainment. It needs lots of violence and destruction to fill the running time. With all due respect, Leonard Nmoy's scenes were laughable. Oh well.