The Last Star Trek Film You Watched

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by SJK91, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. SJK91

    SJK91 Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    The Final Frontier. How original, right?
    Greetings, all.

    This is my first post into the world of Star Trek, so I'm pretty pumped. Just a little backstory: After walking out of Star Trek Into Darkness very pleased (to the dismay of some of you), it hit me that I had NEVER seen any older Star Trek film, Kirk nor Picard. Well, that is about to change.

    Surprisingly, I wasn't able to find this thread anywhere on this site, so I dedicate it to the last star trek film you watched. Feel free to post, and be as detailed or concise as you want. Use this thread for first viewings and for lazy Sunday re-watches, too!

    I have started my trek into the films of Star Trek, and have just recently completed.....

    [​IMG]
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition)

    I'll just get this one out of the way - yes, Star Trek: The Motion Picture has some SERIOUS pacing issues. It is far too long, and likely could have been cut by at least 20 minutes.

    However...

    I was surprised by how intellectual the film is. I found the plot with V'ger quite fascinating - so much so that it almost made up for the lack of forward action in the story. Because pacing aside, TMP's strongest trait is its plot. It takes a while for things to get moving during the entire course of the film, but when they are moving, the film is can actually be fairly strong. I read that the director, Robert Wise, wanted this film to be the "spiritual successor" to 2001: A Space Odyssey. While TMP is obviously not as good as A Space Odyssey, I can appreciate the 2001 influence TMP has. And indeed, Star Trek: The Motion Picture does capture some of the tones of the Kubrick classic.

    Some people scoff at the fact that TMP is pretty much a reunion film, but (with the exception of the 3 hour long introduction of the Enterprise) I thought the re-introductions of the characters were done well enough. I can already tell that Dr. "Bones" McCoy is going to be a favorite of mine. Then there is (in)famous Captain Kirk. William Shatner is an acquired taste, that is for sure. But his screen presence is fantastic, and I thought Shatner whips up a very respectable performance.

    Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The excessive length can be incredibly tedious and should not be overlooked, but I found it to be the film's only significant flaw. (Albeit it is a fairly large one.) If you stick with the film and push your attention span to its limits, TMP contains a very interesting story.

    Oh, and I almost forgot: Jerry Goldsmith's score is a big reason why some of the overly long special effects shots didn't bore me (as much as it would have). Goldsmith's score is both haunting and elegant, and it makes for one hell of a soundtrack. Certainly one of the best sci-fi scores I've ever heard.

    Footnote: I understand that the Director's Edition of this film is better than the original theatrical version. I am almost unsure if I even want to watch the theatrical version now, as I did mostly enjoy this director's cut.

    1. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (1979) - 7/10

    Up next....

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition)


    A final footnote: If I should be posting this in another thread, I would not be offended if one of you moderators directed me to it! Much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  2. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    Rural North Carolina
    The last Star Trek film I watched was Star Trek: Into Darkness. The last original film I watched was Star Trek: The Voyage Home. It is still a favorite of mine.

    Once you have finished all the ST films, may I suggest watching Galaxy Quest? It is an homage to Star Trek's original series.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Into Darkness for me also.
     
  4. Faria

    Faria Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Location:
    Padova
    Into Darkness, and i didn't like it
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    Into Darkness, of course.
     
  6. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    Location:
    The Denorios Belt
    I saw Into Darkness a couple weeks ago, but upon getting home, I had to watch its antithesis: The Voyage Home.
     
  7. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    People's Gaypublic of Drugafornia
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
     
  8. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Location:
    Other side of the tracks
    Star Trek (2009), it was on FX today.
     
  9. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Location:
    Kingston, ON
    Into Darkness. I enjoyed the ride.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I watched TWOK maybe a week ago. I'll never get sick of that movie.
     
  11. SJK91

    SJK91 Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    The Final Frontier. How original, right?
    Continuing my very first trek into the films of Star Trek.....

    [​IMG]
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition)

    In order to somewhat prep myself for the viewing of this film, I watched the Original Series episode, "Space Seed," to get some backstory.

    The plot of TWOK is actually relatively simple and less cerebral than the film in which it followed, but I don't view that as a detriment. Having a simpler plot allowed TWOK to have far better pacing than TMP, and therefore makes for a more exciting viewing experience. Having the story that somewhat "checks up" on a villain of yesteryear was an interesting premise and I believe that TWOK pulls it off.

    The Wrath of Khan also features some nifty subplots that lifts the film beyond a simple revenge based sci-fi adventure. Kirk's worries about his age loom over the whole film, and when Spock is jettisoned into space at the very end, Kirk's realization of feeling young makes for a great moment. The addition of Kirk's son was also a nice touch - all this parading around space hasn't been without its consequences. TWOK does a great job in bringing the larger than life Kirk down to a humble human being.

    A special mention must also be made to the now famous 'Spock sacrifice' scene. The decision for Spock to sacrifice himself not only made for a neat twist, but gave the character a human trait not often associated with him. His eventual death with Kirk is a very good scene, too. Leonard Nimoy is just fantastic.

    Ricardo Montalban made for a decent enough villain of the week on TOS, but hot damn did he become one of sci-fi's greatest villains in TWOK. Khan is a deliciously evil and cunning character. He is smooth yet crazed. Brilliant, but at the same time, unstable. (He is also obsessed on cold-served revenge.) Montalban steals the show here and he is a very large reason why TWOK works so well. Talk about having a screen presence.

    Not to be outdone (naturally) is William Shatner. Like I said in my TMP review, he is one to get used to, but I feel I am already there. The greatest scene is the film is easily Kirk's confrontation with Khan via the communicator ("Khan you bloodsucker!"), and that truly is a feat. The two characters never actually meet in this scene, but through Montalban's and, dare I say it, Shatner's performances, the scene makes for one of the most memorable in sci-fi cinema. Deforest Kelley, James Doohan and the rest of the regulars are as reliable as ever, as well.

    Now, here is where I may surprise some of you. I do believe there is just one major thing Star Trek: The Motion Picture did BETTER than Star Trek II - and that was create mood. TMP painted a very mysterious and almost frightening image of space, and sometimes even went out of its way to do so. It doesn't seem to me this was fully realized in The Wrath of Khan - not to say that this is a fatal flaw, but one of my reasons for enjoying TMP was its ominous and intimidating depiction of space. (Perhaps this stems from the fact that I found Goldsmith's elegantly eerie TMP score slightly more effective than Horner's bombastic one. Though TWOK's score is still great.)

    Something silly, but it must be mentioned: For some odd reason I was annoyed at the reused special effects footage from The Motion Picture. Of course, this was pretty much a non issue and I understand that it was done for budgetary restrictions, but it was so damned obvious to me - particularly the reused shot of the Enterprise that was the final (and slightly iconic) shot of The Motion Picture. Did they think people wouldn't recognize that?!

    In the end, however, The Wrath of Khan is an improvement over its predecessor. With a great villain, simple but engaging plot and small but effective human touches, I can fully understand why many consider TWOK to be such a classic.

    1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition) (1982) - 8.5/10
    2. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (1979) - 7/10

    Up next....

    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

    *** - Minor revision: I'm changing TWOK from an 8 to an 8.5. The more I think about it, the better it was.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  12. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    In a finely-crafted cosmos... of my own making.
    First Contact, for me.

    Remember that home video wasn't what it is today, back then.
     
  13. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    Into Darkness.
     
  14. SJK91

    SJK91 Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    The Final Frontier. How original, right?
    I suppose you are correct. Never actually thought of home video as a factor for that.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    Star Trek 2009 with my six-year old son last night on FX.
     
  16. SJK91

    SJK91 Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    The Final Frontier. How original, right?
    Continuing my very first trek into the films of Star Trek...

    [​IMG]
    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

    So, the question that was on my mind (and likely everyone's mind upon first viewing TSFS) was - just how the hell are they going to bring him back?

    And then, the question I had after the film had ended: that was it?

    The Search for Spock is a somewhat messy film, and is incredibly uneven in terms of quality. For me, the film went back and forth from being pretty good to decent, to average more times to count. I'll explain.

    Although the title almost fools us that this is Spock's film, he is barely in it at all. The real star of the show is DeForrest Kelley, who - up until this point - gives his best performance as 'Bones' McCoy. That scene in the bar is great, and the scene in which Bones tells Spock that he "cannot lose him again," is also quite strong.

    The screenplay is also full of cute little zingers and dialogue exchanges. ("The word is no. I am therefore going anyway." "That green blooded son of a bitch! It's his revenge for all the arguments he lost!" Kirk asking how many fingers he's held up...etc.) Not to say that TMP and TWOK didn't have similar moments, but TSFS dialogue is mostly sharp and is clearly the script's greatest asset.

    However....

    The way in which The Search for Spock arrives at its ultimate conclusion is a bit of a rocky road. First of all, David's death misses the mark entirely. It's an awkward death followed by an awkward reaction from Shatner. For such an apparently HUGE moment, the film frustratingly glosses over the fact that Kirk's only known son has DIED. Maybe Kirk is really that much of a bastard, I don't know.

    It is very unfortunate that Kirstie Alley chose not to return as Saavik. I understand that the character is Vulcan, but Robin Curtis is incredibly stiff and just a poor actress. Coming back to David's death, her telling Kirk that his son is dead is plain awful. ("David. Is. Dead.") The scene was already struggling as it was, but that brutal delivery sealed the deal. Once again, I understand that she is Vulcan, but that scene should not have been played off that way. I understand that Curtis is also Savvik in Star Trek IV...I can't say I look forward to that fact.

    Christopher Lloyd is fine as the film's antagonist, I suppose, but it is safe to say that he is a huge step down from Khan. The Klingon villains of TSFS never seemed to give Kirk and company any sort of real threat. Kruge's ending fist fight with Kirk is also frustratingly anticlimactic.

    After three films, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is easily the weakest. The mysterious and frightening depiction of space seen in TMP and touched upon in TWOK is all but gone here. While it is shorter than The Motion Picture, TSFS does not have anywhere near as interesting as a storyline. And on first thought, I don't think TSFS does a single thing better than TWOK from a plot or action perspective.

    Overall, I'm disappointed with Star Trek III. It makes it even worse that it is the direct sequel to the stellar, and vastly superior Star Trek II.

    1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition) (1982) - 8.5/10
    2. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (1979) - 7/10
    3. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) - 6/10

    Up next....

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
     
  17. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Australia
    The last Star Trek film I watched was Star Trek Into Darkness
     
  18. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Star Trek Into Darkness, for the seventh and (probably) final time in the theatre!
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    Damn! I've only seen it four times. :lol:
     
  20. SJK91

    SJK91 Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Location:
    The Final Frontier. How original, right?
    Continuing my very first trek into the films of Star Trek...

    [​IMG]
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

    What a strange, joyous, wacky little movie. I honestly do not know where to begin.

    After viewing the first three Star Trek films within the last week and a half or so, I figured that I had a general gist on how these movies went. And then comes Star Trek IV, a cinematic curve ball that left me adrift - but mostly in a good way - I think.

    I find it quite fascinating that Leonard Nimoy directed both Star Trek III and IV, as both films are inherently dissimilar. First of all, the dialogue scenes that take place on 20th century Earth are, for the most part, HILARIOUS. This is the most quotable Star Trek film I have so far come across; the script is so good and so funny that it almost makes you forget that the story is - putting it mildly - bizarre beyond all reason. I am almost convinced that the tone of the film is what saves The Voyage Home from being a total mess. If The Voyage Home had treated itself the same way the first three ST films did, I don't believe TVH would have been as good of a film.

    The cast of the film is excellent. William Shatner's style of acting fits perfectly with the film's tone, Leonard Nimoy is beyond funny and at the same time valiant, DeForest Kelley is clearly in his element, particularly in the hospital scene, even Walter Koenig seems just a tad more comfortable as Chekov. Kirk and the gang jumping into the water upon saving the world makes for a strangely touching moment. This is the crew of the Enterprise having unfiltered fun. It's the first time we've seen that happen in the films, and I thought it was fantastic.

    The visual effects also have noticeably improved for TVH. Not to say that the previous films were unimpressive visually (quite the contrary), but ILM outdid itself for The Voyage Home.

    Through all the fun, however, there were a few instances when The Voyage Home crossed the line for me. Chekov's ill-fated escape from his interrogation goes too far into spoof territory for me, as does the scene where Kirk, McCoy, Chekov and Gillian escape from the hospital. The latter scene particularly reminded me of something right out of Benny Hill, dumb cops and all. Which brings me too....

    The score. Unfortunately, Leonard Rosenman's score for The Voyage Home is a massive step in the wrong direction (especially when you compare it to the marvelous works of Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner). Too often did it sound like some sort of oddball spoof for me. Even during the scenes in space, there is no Goldsmith inspired elegance or Horner inspired bombastic-ness. It is just blah. I'm not going to call it a terrible score, but it just wasn't the right sound for Star Trek - lighter tone or not.

    And then there is the story. It is just kooky. I actually found the whales fairly interesting, but The Voyage Home sorely lacks any motivation for its already severely under developed "villain." Even in Star Trek: The Motion Picture , we got an eventual semi-understanding of V'ger and its reasoning behind its actions. In TVH, all the probe wants to do is contact the whales. The 'why' is apparently irrelevant, and that is frustrating with a Star Trek film.

    So, with all that being said....

    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is certainly a fun movie with a splendid sense of humor. I just wish it would have fleshed out the story more, and had its silly scenes just a little more under control. I understand Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is the movie that broke the camel's back, so maybe after that one, I'll be yearning for The Voyage Home again.

    1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition) (1982) - 8.5/10
    2. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (1979) - 7.5/10
    3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) - 7/10
    4. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) - 6/10

    Up next....

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    Footnote: Upon more thought, I have added .5 to The Motion Picture.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013