No one seems to have started this yet so it might as well be me.
The recent film has motivated me to revisit the previous ones and I'll be doing so over the next while. It's been awhile since I've really watched them so I may have something of a fresher perspective anew. I must also say that I'll be looking at the DE (or SE) versions of the films available on DVD of which I have TMP and TWOK and I'll pick up some of the others... Uh, I won't be bothering with the NextGen era films, but I saw some of them again recently when they were run on Space.
But for now.
The Motion Picture = B
I like TMP, but of course it isn't perfect. Time has shown this to be the one that has aged best. It looks gorgeous and shows us something that still looks very futuristic. Even the costumes look better as the '70s recede ever further behind us. The DE and restored footage also shows there's much more colour than is generally remembered after years of faded prints being rerun on TV. The re-edited DE also improves the overall pacing of the film and restores character moments that were missing from the theatrical release, and they're much appreciated. In the beginning things feel off, but it does echo the feeling that our friends have been separated for some time and are somewhat out of synch with each other. But by the end of the film everything feels warm and familiar again. Although the uniforms look better now, I still think they should have gone with something a little crisper looking and with more colour even if it was muted--I just think it would have provided something of a visual connection to TOS and would have looked a bit better. Because of Robert Wise's direction this film feels
like a genuine science fiction movie and I like that very much.
On the downside as improved as the DE is the story still needs a little more meat, and that's why I can't rate it higher than a B
. For years I wondered what it needed until I saw a '50s era film called Run Silent Run Deep
that perfectly illustrated what TMP was missing. IN RSRD we have a young up-and-coming sub commander overshadowed by an older more experienced officer for a specific mission. Consequently there is friction between the two as well as division between crew members who side with one or the other commanding officers. This kind of interplay between visual spectacles of Vger would have gone a long way to giving TMP added substance and tension.
The Wrath Of Khan = B-
It's easy to see why this film is one of the most popular. It has energy, good pacing and a decent share of character moments. It isn't a bad story about the costs of revenge. It's easy to like this film as it feels much like many of TOS' 2nd season episodes.
All films have logic flaws, but for me there are too many in TWoK to the point that they often jar me right out of the story. The other things that disturb me are conceptual ideas presented here. I really disliked the new uniform designs--they were simply too much of a departure from what cam before and look out of place. The militaristic veneer laced throughout the dialogue was layed on a bit thick. And relegating the Enterprise
to a training vessel rather than boldly going on the frontier just bugged my ass also while making the characters look a bit doddering.
The Search For Spock = B-
For me this is really an extension of TWoK and as such in execution it has pretty much the same strengths and the same weaknesses.
The Voyage Home = D
I laughed along with everyone else when I first saw this film, but subsequent viewings have greatly soured me on it. There are some okay character moments in it--my favourite being between Spock and Sarek at the end--but I really disliked the schizophrenic tones of the film: serious at the beginning, comedy in the middle and serious again at the end. And the comedy seemed more laughing at our heroes rather than laughing with them. When I think of good time-travel stories I recall "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" and "The City On The Edge Of Forever." Not this even though I understand why so many people like the film.
The Final Frontier = C-
There's a good story buried in this film, it's just a shame they failed to explore it. Instead they opted for over the top laughs. Again too many logic flaws for my liking to overlook. Some decent character moments, though: McCoy and his dying father, Spock's birth, Kirk's refusal to give in to Sybok's "healing" and Kirk confronting the Shakari entity. But this film looks like it was made on-the-cheap. And I really disliked seeing the Enterprise
portrayed as something of a lemon. I rather liked the soundtrack though.
The Undiscovered Country = C
Another popular film that resonates like TWoK not only in overall feel yet also in its strengths and weaknesses. I was also bothered by too many nudge-and-wink references as well as the reminders that this was a swan song. It felt like they couldn't wait to push our heroes off stage.
Generations = C-
An obvious passing of the torch, but waaay
too many logic flaws for my liking. I must say Kirk's death was moving, but it bummed me out as well, just as when Spock died in TWoK and when the Enterprise
was destroyed in TSFS.
First Contact = D
Other than good pacing I didn't like anything about this film. I don't hate it, I just don't like any of it. I really disliked their treatment of time-travel and I really disliked their portrayal of Zefram Cochrane. For me this was essentially TNG writ large on the big screen. Some okay TNG chracter moments, but also a lot of the things I dislike about TNG.
Insurrection = F
I hated this film. It was just stupid, stupid, stupid in any way I looked at it.
Nemesis = F
Same as above.
Star Trek = F
This film has a lot of energy and brisk pacing. But as I've elaborated elsewhere I see it as all adrenalin and zero smarts and logic flaws out the wazoo. I'm more disappointed and disheartened than angry because of what I feel is a greatly missed opportunity particularly with a reboot. That said I do see why many people like it--it's just that I can't agree.