Movie Review: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

“The battle for galactic peace has begun…” (Screencap from Wikipedia, poster by John Alvin.)

Premiere: December 6th, 1991

Synopsis: The moon that provides the Klingon Empire’s energy suffers a major disaster, releasing ozone onto the planet. This potentially condemns the empire to a maximum of fifty years, should the planet not reign in it’s military expenditures. The Federation is ready to broker a treaty between them and the empire, and sends Captain James T Kirk and the Enterprise out to make a truce. Thing is, Kirk doesn’t trust the Klingons – something about them stabbing his son and wrecking his old ship doesn’t endear them to him.

Just after a series of awkward talks between the Klingon Ambassadors and the Enterprise (appointed ambassadors), the latter ship fires on the former’s ship, killing the Klingon Chancellor. With no knowledge of who did it, Kirk and Dr. McCoy stand trial and face life in prison, and the two forces appear on the brink of war.

Review: Well, it took far longer than I expected (again, my apologies), but here we are. The last movie solely based off of Star Trek: The Original Series, and the last film produced during Gene Roddenberry’s lifetime (he died a month and a half before the premiere, but got an advance screening two days before he died).

After the utter disaster that was Star Trek V, nobody was sure what to do with Star Trek VI. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was the franchise’s 25th anniversary, and that TNG had done alright in the ratings so far, Paramount probably would’ve sunk Star Trek into history. After waffling around as to what the plot would be, the end result is actually a genuinely moving film – an arguably overlooked classic in the Trek canon.

(Warning: spoilers. Proceed at your own peril. Or disappointment. Hey, it’s a movie.)
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Movie Review: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

This movie’s name was almost prophetic.

Premiere: June 9th, 1989

Synopsis: A Vulcan by the name of Sybok promises the desperate eternal knowledge, with just one requirement – they need a spaceship to get to the source. Thus, they decide to storm the capital city of “The Planet for Galactic Peace” and hijack the ship that responds. Hilariously enough, the ship is the still broken-down Enterprise A. Sybok lures the crew of the Enterprise in, and through the power of reading “hidden pain”, directs it to Sha Ka Ree.

Review (SPOILERS):

Wow. Two hundred posts. Not a major milestone, but still a bit cool. If I celebrated my 100th with the best Star Trek movie, I may as well “celebrate” by looking at what many fans consider to… not be the best movie.

But first, being that this is something of a minor landmark for this blog, I figured I’d start with a mention of the show that really started it all.

I’ve mentioned time and again that Red Dwarf is, if not my all-time favorite show, one of my top five favorites. If I might give a brief elaboration on my favorite episodes, some of them, in hindsight, are quite theological. “The Last Day” questions whether people should constrain themselves strictly to their religion’s set of values, if they subscribe to said values. “Lemons” gave something of an analysis of Jesus – to many, he is the great prophet, and to many others, the greatest teacher ever. Most importantly, “The Inquisitor” wonders whether or not we should actively strive to live life to the fullest, and whether we get another shot.

What made these all stand out is that they all did so while being downright hysterical. Whether the comedy connected to the theology, or divulged from it, I was rolling.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier also tried to mix theology with comedy. The results? Let’s just say, it almost killed the franchise stone dead.
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Movie Review: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Will driving down Lombardi Street help? (Image from, via Google Images, made by Bob Peak.)

Premiere: November 26th, 1986

Synopsis: Coming off their refreshing, life-renewing trip to Vulcan, the Enterprise crew – uh, the Bounty crew – begin their long trip back to Earth, where they will face a court-martial, and risk a long jail sentence. Unfortunately, Earth is intercepted by a probe (yet again) that threatens the planet with disasters of biblical proportions. Interpreting the signals as whale sounds, the crew realize that the probe’s calling out for other whales… which, since the whales are dead, is kinda hard to do.

Therefore, using scientific mumbo-jumbo, they go around the sun and wind up in 1986 San Francisco. There, Spock and Kirk talk to Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), a marine biologist at the Cetacean Institute in Marin County, to try the hell to gain access to two damn whales; Uhura and Chekov look for the nuclear wessels in Alameda, causing a bit of a mess-up with security; and Scotty, Bones, and Sulu try to create a tank, all the while messing with modern minds with their medicine and lack of keyboards.

Review: In short, this movie is TMP, as written by the creators of Captain Planet. If it was actually pretty good.

In long, this is often cited as a fan favorite, up there with Wrath of Khan, First Contact, and Trek 09 as the fan favorite. The Voyage Home was the most commercially successful Trek film, and many have argued that it was due to it’s more casual tone – that nobody really needed a deep knowledge of Trek history to get into it.

Does it still hold up, however?

Actually, it still does. Continue reading

Movie Review: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

(Note: yes, you read that correctly. It’s Trek III, not Trek II. For more on why, I refer you to here.)

A dying planet. A fight for life. The Search for Spock. (Poster by Bob Peak, taken from Wikipedia)

Released: June 1, 1984

Synopsis: The Enterprise comes back from its most recent excursion, beaten down and with chunks of its crew – including its science officer – dead. As the NCC-1701 dry-docks, Dr. McCoy begins acting bizarrely. Meanwhile, Lt. Saavik and David – Kirk’s son – have been left behind to orbit the Genesis Planet, and discover that Spock has been revived as a child. Due to some proto-matter in the Genesis device, the body of Spock has mere hours to live. Unfortunately for them, they wind up intercepted by Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), the commander of a Klingon vessel, and are kidnapped.

Kirk and Spock’s father, Sarek, deduce that Spock transferred his katra – living spirit – to McCoy, and that McCoy must give Spock’s body the katra soon, or else the doctor will die. One problem, though. Not only is Spock’s body on the Genesis planet – where even discussing the planet is forbidden due to the political controversy involved in its creation – but the Enterprise is due to be scrapped. Determined to save the lives of his best friends, he and a skeleton crew commit Grand Theft Starship, taking the Enterprise out of dock for what is certainly her last tour.

No prizes for guessing what crew meets what commander.

Review (QUITE A BIT SPOILER-Y): Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is my all-time favorite movie. Its themes are a loving tribute to the works of Shakespeare, while still forming its own identity. Its characterization is beautiful. Its special effects are great, considering the $10M budget. Its dialogue is fantastic. And the ending… so poetic, so tragic, so beautiful.

It’s almost impossible to top Wrath of Khan… even with a direct sequel. So, how did they do?
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Movie Review: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Released: December 7th, 1979

Eh… I can think of at least a few comparisons. (Taken from Wikipedia.)

Synopsis: The year is 2273. Monitoring station Epsilon Nine detects an energy being heading to Earth, destroying three ships of the Klingon Empire and said monitoring station en route. Starfleet dispatches the newly refitted Enterprise to investigate. Headed by Admiral (temporary Captain) James T Kirk, the departure is sullied somewhat by a dispute with Captain (temporary Commander) Willard Decker (Stephen Collins). Commander Spock also boards, noting that while on Vulcan removing his emotions, he sensed the energy being. Also aboard is Navigation Officer Ilia (Persis Khambatta), who once had a romantic relationship with Decker.

Being that this ship is newly refitted and that most of the controls need to be tested, you can probably guess that this will end well.

Review (SPOILERS, MAYBE): Y’know, for a movie which almost screams “disco” in its costumes and sets, Star Trek TMP is actually a rather slow, cerebral movie. It’s common knowledge that the movie has something of a reputation for its slow pacing and lack of “action” sequences, in favor of special effects and a 2001: A Space Odyssey experience. The question is – does this detract from the movie, or give it a charm?

Well, it depends on your viewpoint. In my view, the movie has a good idea, but it wasn’t meant to launch the movie franchise. Even if it had to launch the movie franchise, just a few edits could’ve really improved this movie… mainly in the special effects department. Continue reading

Movie Review: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Image stolen from Google Images, as well as being a screencap from Futurama. Don’t sue me, FOX!

Wow. My 100th official post. A pointless milestone that will be forgotten in a few years time. Better enjoy it while it lasts.

I started this blog (when it was called “Geek Zone”) as a class project in High School. I was to post some of my assignments to this blog. In the meantime, the class was also given free reign to post whatever else they wanted to this blog. I went with episodic reviews. After the class ended, I… kept reviewing TV shows. First Red Dwarf, then Gravity Falls, then certain episodes of The Simpsons. Then the blog got renamed, because, well, I wanted a new name.

So, what could I possibly do for my 100th post? What thing could I review for my 100th official post? It has to be monumentus, brilliant, epic… and other synonyms for “great” that I can’t think of.

Ladies and Gentlemen… after the jump…. Continue reading