Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's do the Star Treks...

Did Star Wars, and Infestation has popped up all over the place, and I've done Ghostbusters, and Transformers, and G.I. Joe, so, may as well finish off that continuity intersection with Trek, eh?

So, here we go...

Yeah, I totally had to toss that in to go with the Bill Murray Star Wars song.

Okay, now for the flicks...

Star Trek The Motion Picture

The film-

I've grown to appreciate it more as I've gotten older...but it still puts me sound to sleep if I watch it late, or in the dark.

Structurally, it's a total ripoff of "2001: A Space Odyssey".
It was even marketed that way, one of the early posters says something like "a 23rd century odyssey", or somesuch.

I still like it though.
The most cinematic of the Trek films.
Lot of the others are just big budget episodes.

Refit Enterprise is still my favorite Enterprise, very NASA-y, looks like if you gave 'em a trillion bucks, they could really go out and build it.

Still love my copy of "Mr. Scott's Guide To The Enterprise".

So, yeah, I dig this one.

The history-

Before my crummy neighborhood finally got cable, my grandparents were the first ones in the family to have HBO, and I saw Treks 1 and 2 a buncha times in bits and pieces over their place.
(Yep, same grandparents as the Alien/Blue Lagoon story)

I wasn't too into Trek at the time, so I didn't register it as much as I could've.

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

The film-

The best one.

Started the "even numbered ones are the best", A.K.A. "the Star Trek curse", deal.

Course, Nemeshits shattered that.

But hey, even "the Red Sox curse", broke, didn't it?

The history-

See TMP, HBO, grandparents...

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

The film-

Yeah, this gets a bad rap, just because of the whole "odds and evens", bullshit, but as said above, that's fucking dead now, let's move on.

Christopher Lloyd is fucking great in this, he helped establish the modern Klingons, and doesn't get enough credit  for that.

The death of the Enterprise is a pretty important event in the Trek timeline that can't be shrugged off.

It's got the "I!! Have had enough!! Of you!!", line.

It introduces the Klingon Bird Of Prey.

Introduces The Excelsior.

It introduces the modern space-dock.

All kinds of gravy in this one.

"Weaker than Khan"?
I'll grant you.
Still a good film.

The history-

This one completely missed me somehow, until I collected them all on VHS.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The film-

A.K.A "the one with the whales".
It's kinda doomed to be that in the popular vernacular, isn't it?

I mean, COULD do just the even numbered-s, and go from "Khan", to this one, and the flashbacks and throwaway dialog could bare-bones get you up to speed....but you really would be missing out skipping "Spock".

Nope, the "only watch the even numbered-s", thing is bullshit, you can't do it.

Khan/Spock/Voyage are "The Genesis Trilogy", and that's it.

And, it rivals the fuggin 'Wars trilogy, as far as I'm concerned.

And, it holds up to the ravages of time better, especially taking the Lucas CG assrapes into account.

The history-

First one I saw at the theater, it totally got me into Trek.
This, and the premier of TNG.
Went back, and caught up on the TOS reruns, got the Compendium, and the Mr. Scott's Guide, later on, collected the first 4 flicks on tapes, just plunged headlong into it.

I've seen 'em all in the theater ever since, never miss one.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

The film-

I go back and forth with this one.

Sometimes, I outright loathe it, other times, like now, I appreciate its charms.
Oh, don't get me wrong, it still stinks overall.

The good....

The Yosemite park stuff.

The bit with Bones's dad.

"I need my pain!!".

And of course "what does God need with a starship?".

It's the most like a big screen TOS episode, even being the only one of the film series  to open with a teaser.

The theme is a reprise of the TMP theme, making it the only one to have some musical continuity.

Much as I love TVH, the score stinks, this had better music for sure.

I dunno, I've excised this from my personal canon for a long damned time, but...with it in canon, Kirk is the guy who said "what does God need with a starship?", and without it, he isn't.
I gotta say, I like the timeline better where he is.

The bad....

The bits of the Yosemite Park scenes that make Chekov and Sulu look dumb...

Uhura feather dancing.

Scotty knocking his noggin.

Spock's eyebrows.
Shaved off, and penciled back on?
The makeup person needs a smack.

The "meh"...

I complained last time I viewed this, about Spock being lame compared to his TOS self...but...I see now, in Nimoy's portrayal across 3,4,5,6, and 11, that um...yeah, between his mindmeld with V'Ger, and his reincarnation, he's reconciled his emotions, and gained a sort of zen serenity, so...I call TOS Spock "Einstein Spock", and post-TSFS Spock "Yoda Spock".

TFF Spock is consistent with "Yoda Spock".
It's just the script that sucks.
So, I forgive Nimoy now.

The "hmmm..."

Heard the theory somewhere, that the really bad inconsistencies, like the center of the galaxy, and the Enterprise having 75 decks, can be swept under the rug with "it was all Kirk's dream".

The clue is the whole "life is but a dream", deal being reiterated throughout.
They really never left the camp site, y'see.
Kirk was just sleeping off McCoy's beans.

The history-

So, anyway, yeah, I'm contemplating finally upgrading this to DVD now....I gotta see the extras, just for the insights of the making of this thing.

Especially Shatner's commentary track.

Oh, and SyFy went on a tear of endlessly repeating Nemeshit for awhile, and...Final Frontier looks like fucking Van Gogh next to it.

I also find it...well..fascinating, that the most least loved Classic Treks are the one that most represented what Trek/Gene most pretentiously nerdily aspired to (TMP) and the one that most lovingly represented what the show actually was (TFF).
The debate will rage for centuries, I'm sure.

Oh, also, took my grandmother along to this one (the CB grandmother) she kept blurting shit out throughout.
Like, you see an owl at the camping scenes, and she goes "ol' swivel-neck!".
We never took her again.
Ahh, good times...

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The film-

A.K.A. "Star Trek: The Apology".

Yep, kicked ass, was a more graceful passing of the torch than "Generations", took it back to the feel of TWOK, good flick.

Lent credence to the "even numbers", thing though.

The history-

Funny thing, was shooting the shit before the trailers and shit in the theater about Sulu being the most under-used guy, and BAM, flick starts up, he's captain.
Neatest movie surprise ever.
True story.

Star Trek: Generations

The film-

Big screen TNG episode, and a weak one.

"All good things", was a better movie than this.

Fuggin' Braga admits in the commentary they actually conceptualized the full on crossover we wanted to see of the two Enterprises fighting, and...everything.
But...they thought it would be "too obvious", and "going through the motions", and thought it would be "brainier", to have it be this slow story about contemplating death...and then he flat out said "we don't really know what we were thinking, if we had it to do over...".

Yeah, thanks...

Ah, well, you can patch it up with the novels, I guess... need this for the continuity for those still...

The history-

Persuaded myself I liked it, like with Phantom Menace.

Star Trek: First Contact

The film-

A.K.A "The Only Good TNG One".

Yep, I'd put it up there with the other good even numbered-s....

The history-

This is as old now, as TWOK was when they started calling it a classic.
So, it's a classic.

Star Trek: Insurrection

The film-



The cinematography and the locations are beautiful...
Best location stuff Trek has probably ever done.

Frakes directs as well as in FC, so I don't blame him.

It's got some good ideas....I can't help but think that a good Trek movie is buried in there if you could just re-edit it, or something.

But, what we end up with is like, not just an episode of TNG, but one of the bland forgettable ones.
Like, remember the shitty Doctor Crusher based ones? Or, the shitty Troi based ones?
Or, the ones that revolved around children in some way?

Yeah, like that.
"The filler episodes", I called 'em.
They retroactively put one of "the filler episodes", in the fucking theater.

Un-fucking believable.

Um, I think it comes down to, and this is brutal, that TNG cast weren't meant to be movie stars.
TNG just doesn't do "epic", the way TOS could.

The history-

Really had that sinking "Phantom Menace", feeling walking outta this one.

Star Trek: Nemesis

The film-

Just all wrong.
Bad, movie, BAD.
BAD franchise killer!

The history-

Forget "Phantom Menace", this was like walking out of "Arachnophobia", (see my Princess Bride story).

Star Trek (2009)

The film-

Love it, or hate it.
It's pretty evenly divided.

I'm just glad to have Trek back in the saddle in any capacity.

The history-

Theater I went to had potheads lighting up.
Y'can't leave the dope alone for 2 fucking hours?
That shit reeks, and implicates you. Gosh, thanks.
Do acid at a sci-fi movie, assholes.
Then you aren't infringing.

So, that's the "official", Treks, but I count these too...

Forbidden Planet

The film-

Seriously, watch this back-to-back with "The Cage", it clearly inspired Trek so much, it isn't funny.

Swirly pointy badges, guns that atomize, a landing party visiting an eccentric scientist, ancient technology, Robby has a "chemical factory", in his chest that amounts to a replicator in all but name, various other forms of matter conversion that add up to the transporter, even if they don't directly use one..on and on...

Hell, just the look of the thing.

Yep, Leslie Nielsen was the first Captain Kirk.
No two ways about it.

This is to Trek what "Gladiator", is to Superman.

It's in MY canon.
Why ain't it in yours?

The history-

Own it.

Galaxy Quest

The film-

The custodians of "real", Trek neglected to give us a fun Trek movie in the 90's, so the makers of this took it out of their hands.

Thank you!

The history-

Nicely's rental.
Wish now I'd seen it at the theater.

Yeah, while I'm here, let's do the shows too...

Star Trek

The series-

The classic.

The DVDs of this are the closest thing I have to a Bible.
This, or my leather bound "Hitchhiker's Guide", quintology.

The history-

The reruns have always been on...but, my neighbor was one of those who was whole-hog into it, and got the 'zines with the gay fanfic and deterred me.
That made it look like "that show that makes you go crazy".

Thankfully, the local Fox affiliate cycled them all through again when TNG came out.
Caught up to 'em there.

And, I still maintain fanfic sucks.

Star Trek (Animated)

The series-

Season 4 of TOS as far as I'm concerned.

Look, the cast is in it, Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana produced it, TOS writers wrote for it, 5 of the episodes are sequels, and Paramount is making a buck on it again with the DVDs.

"Canon debate", over.

*Pulls phaser*
I said over.
Sit down.

The history-

Nickelodeon reran these about the time Fox was playing TOS.
Loved 'em.
Good times.
Own these now.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The series-

Hasn't held up so well....

Like I said above in "Insurrection", lotta crappy filler episodes.

Whenever it's on, and it's Troi, Crusher, or children, I change the fucking channel.

All the very best ones are in those "fan collective", sets.
Get those.

Don't buy the filler.
You'll only regret it.

The history-

Was total apeshit for this when it was brand new.

A big factor, I think, was fantasizing about having those computers to play with...well, now, Google and Youtube are the fucking library computer for real.
Watching some assholes play on the the internet is no big thing now.

There has to be something HAPPENING now, like, Borg or something.
That's why those big event episodes are about the only ones that hold up.

Shit, TNG's "magic computer bails us out", episodes are the Abby scenes in NCIS now.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The series

The best one since TOS.

Possibly the best period.

The history-

Um...I recall it having a hard time winning me over at first, but thankfully, I stuck with it.
I guess I was addicted to that safe cozy utopia of TNG.

Now, looking back, it's so much better than TNG it ain't funny.

Star Trek: Voyager

The series-

Mostly reheated TNG rehashes.
Least good of the bunch.

Although, I gruelingly combed through the episodes once, and it actually has about the same percentage of good, bad, and "meh", as TOS did.

The history-

Man, I was really Trek-loyal, I got through this whole damned show.
All 7 fuckin' years.


The series-

Lot of wasted potential, not enough time to find its way.
Creators were too burnt out, they should have handed it off to Manny Coto sooner.

And, the Xindi arc never should have happened.

Temporal Cold War never should have been in it.
Fuggin' Braga and his heroin addiction to time travel.

But um...yeah, it did some good ones.
John Billingsley and Jeffrey Combs were great.
Liked it over all.
Better than Voyager.

The history-

Like Voyager, I hung in there.
I'm stubborn.
Ayep, then Trek was good and dead until Abrams-verse...tch..

So, there, that's Roddenberry-verse.

Up, I dunno.


Paladin said...

Despite its odd-numberedness, ST3:TSFS has the "Stealing the Enterprise" bit, one of the most entertaining action sequences in all of the movies. I still chuckle every time I hear Captain Styles (the perfectly cast James Sikking) asking "Bridge, this is the captain. How can you have a yellow alert in Spacedock?"

hyla2 said...

&>0 - "KHAAAAAN!"

. . .

Sorry. Just had to get that out of the way.


hyla2 said...

Star Trek 4; The Voyage Home.

Ahhh. That was MY first real Trek experience too.

I mean, I KNEW about Star Trek, possibly had run across bits of the animated version, had seen images and all, was familiar with the terminology, characters, the shtick. You couldn't have grown up in this country at the end of the 20th century and not.

But seeing that movie in the theaters that summer with my little brother and old man was my first time actually watching anything Trek related. It was friggin' great!

'Captain! There be whales here!'

They were all great in that flick, but Doohan's bits still crack me the fuck up. Love that movie.

Although . . . I did spend much of the it wondering where the hell the Enterprise was . . .

Diacanu said...

I forget, did you ever say if you liked, or hated the new Reboot Trek?

hyla2 said...

I was . . . conflicted? But only a little. I've never been a die-hard Trekkie in any case. Like it, don't live it.

The new movie . . . I mean, it was a pretty kick-ass, experimental take on Trek, and I DID have me some frowny-face moments . . . but mostly over niggling little details.

I rewatched (reboot) Star Trek a few months back, at home via the Netflix. Eff whatever reservations I may have had.

LOVE that movie. Especially after checking out all the special features. And most glad to hear that J.J. Abrams and gang are hard at work on the sequel as we speak.

The 'reboot' (wish we could call it something else, due the stigma that category carries) . . . it's a breath of fresh air that a well beaten horse corpse of a franchise desperately needed.

Trek needed . . . to be reinvented WITHOUT being ruined. Respecting the source material without being constrained by it.

I think they achieved that. Yes. I digs the new Trek. MOOAAARRR! I sez.


Diacanu said...

Oh, good, I dug it too.

I had to tapdance in the main review cuz of the geek shitstorm you get sometimes.

Yeah, pretty much what you said.

hyla2 said...

Fah! Geek-shmeek. Fuck 'em if they didn't like it. What, Trek should just moulder away, sacred and untouched, kept alive only in some mastabatory loop forever?


You can still have the old stuff you love and revere, but the world grows and changes and moves on. If you don't want Trek to be the butt end of an old, tired joke until it ends up finally forgotten, you HAVE to let it reinvent itself for new audiences and go where it hasn't gone before.

Enough with the rehashery. SMOKE that rehash! It's about the future--let it move forward and have a future.

So there to the nerds.

Diacanu said...


...then that would seem to answer if you agreed (at least in basic principle) with my Bond rants.

hyla2 said...

Ack! Bond-inquiry-attack on two fronts!

Okay . . . So, now I got windows open for the Bruce Lee post, this one, AND the Bond post. SO lessee . . .

Okay, help me out . . . what am I agreeing with?


Diacanu said...

About rehashes, and the need to change things up.

I got pretty brutal on the audiences too. :P

hyla2 said...

Right. Yeah, but in the case of the Trek reboot, the general audiences frigging loved it, so . . .


Does that mean the public can get it right sometimes?

No. Except maybe by accident.


Diacanu said...

*Arms crossed, nose in the air*

Yeah, they get there, but they're just not evolving fast enough for my liking.

By the time they're safely showing Clockwork Orange in elementary school, I'll be a transparent levitating head, and won't care about movies anymore.

hyla2 said...

<: `

Sooo . . .

You'd be Zordon?

. . .

Not a bad gig. Except for having to put up with Alpha's 'Ai-yi-yi' horseshit all day.

Diacanu said...

Tch, see, dammit, then I'd be rotating the Rangers casts, and we're back into rehash-ville, it never ends.

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