Tag Archive: science fiction

Star Trek: Generations is an adequate movie, and that’s about it

Two words. Often, you’re asked to sum something up in two words. It’s some sort of weird cultural shorthand we have that seems to be a substitute for thinking too hard about something. Regardless, it seems like a good way to begin. And, well, “perfectly adequate” sums up Star Trek: Generations about as well as two words can. Not a train wreck you want to look away from, nor a fantastic jump to the big screen by the Next Generation crew, Generations is merely … fine. In some ways, that makes this movie a failure. As the film that bridges the gap from the original Enterprise crew to the new, it has to carry some major weight for the franchise. The original Trek was not only…
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Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country is a surprising but fitting ending for the original crew

There is something compelling about the idea of a franchise that has always been about exploring new frontiers ending its run by exploring a truly undiscovered frontier: peace in our time. It would have been easy (and obvious) to end things with a grand space adventure, with a galactic war or massive alien threat that puts Vygr to shame or with the Enterprise in some far-flung corner of the universe seeing sights we’ve never seen before. Instead, The Undiscovered Country centers around diplomatic missions, peace talks, and political negotiations. When talks go astray, it becomes equal parts prison story and police procedural, with a heaping helping of Hitchcockian spy-movie intrigue to keep the audience guessing until the big climax. This being Star Trek, that sounds…
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Star Trek: The Final Frontier is a movie you should never, ever watch

The rule of thumb on Trek films is said to be that even numbered films are good, odd numbered films are not. I’m of the view that The Motion Picture is a fine and enjoyable (albeit slow) bit of filmmaking, but if I concede that my view on that movie is an outlier, then I also have to concede that the even/odd theory works pretty well, because The Final Frontier is kind of a terrible. From the groan-worthy Kirk rock climbing sequence to the vague nature of what the crew are facing to the Klingons inserted into the movie solely to give Kirk a deus ex machina rescue in the end, very little about this movie works. Even the humor feels forced and out of…
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Star Trek: The Voyage Home is the best thing since Hot Pockets

“Save the Whales.” It’s kind of a shame that the unofficial slogan of a noble cause such as not killing a bunch of shit that doesn’t need killing has over the years turned into an object of ridicule, but it has. Now you mockingly reference the save the whales movement to insult people who are earnest in their support of the environment and protecting endangered animals. It’s simple, direct, and everyone knows you’re being snarky when you say it. Weird. Also weird is that the Star Trek franchise devoted an entire movie to an often cringe-inducing, heavy-handed lecture on why pollution is bad and hunting whales is even worse. But you know what the weirdest thing of all is? It’s how against all odds this movie managed to be so…
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Star Trek: The Search For Spock (aka the Search for a Good Movie)

On the surface, it may seem like a bad idea to devote a feature-length film to a slightly convoluted, comic booky story about bringing a popular character back from the dead, but the truth is … Who am I kidding? It IS a bad idea. The stakes have gotten more personal with each consecutive Star Trek movie, first with a threat that could destroy Earth and potentially endanger the entire galaxy, then a tale of personal revenge that also includes a device that could destroy a planet, and finally this story about a man’s sacrifice for a dear friend. That shouldn’t be a bad thing. People love Star Trek for the characters, after all, so a movie exploring the more intimate side of this crew’s…
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