Star Trek: The Great Rewatching Marathon Page 13

Star Trek IV: The One With the Wales

Kirk and crew go back in time to rescue some humpback whales to save the future. Seriously, that’s the plot. How was this greenlit? No, better question, with that as the plot, how is this movie so good?

Geoff: Everyone loves this movie. Everyone. I don’t understand how you could not like this movie. It’s legitimately funny, it’s fun, you care about what’s going on.

Really, it works on the strength of the characters. The interplays between Bones and Scotty (“Hi di ya know he didn’t invent the stuff?”) to the many amazing interplays between Kirk and Spock (“I love Italian, and so do you”). I’m sure you could quote a dozen other great lines from this movie and I’d join you.

And then there’s the score. Look, Jerry Goldsmith was a genius, but I think Leonard Rosenman’s music works so flawlessly with the tone of the script I’m not sure the movie would have worked as well without it (or different music).

There is no bad guy in this movie. No one dies. There are basically no phasers. Everything works out. Yet it’s entertaining on a level that few movies, of any genre, are able to be. AND, it’s great sci-fi. Such a masterpiece.

Rank: 2nd

Carolina: Certainly the happiest of all the movies, this is a whole new and different tone. Without a doubt this is a comedy set in a sci-fi world. Throughout the other movies we've gotten quippy one-liners, humorous scenes, but this whole movie has scene after scene where I’m giggling or just straight out laughing out loud.

There's no villain in this movie, it's just a simple story where everyone gets great character moments. I like that there are carry-over consequences from the past movies. At the end of the last one I was left to wonder, does Spock get all his memories back immediately? Because the crew stole a ship, what's going to happen to them when they get back to earth?

Well, they follow through with all of this, some movies don't do that. With Star Trek, they continue with it.

I knew this movie is known as "the one with the whales." I had originally thought, space whales? Normal whales? Either way that sounds dumb, but the movie surprised me by mixing in time travel which leads to a fish out of water story, topped with a friendly environmental message. It's not subtle, but it's not annoying and does not stop the story dead in its tracks.

As far as technical aspects go, the production has improved significantly. III just seemed so much cheaper because of the effects and the way it was lit. Too flat. Nimoy certainly figured out a lot between that movie and this one. If you're having a bad day and just want a laugh but want a little sci-fi in there, this is the movie just for you.

Rank: 3nd

hk2000's picture

You cannot lump the so-called reboot with the rest of 'em, so they are last and not necessarily 11th, 12th and 13th, but last to anything based on the original timeline upon which all of the series that followed are based.The so called parallel universe or whatever reasoning they use to change the timeline completely destroyed any chance of those movies to be legitimately considered "Star Trek' movies. So there are 10 movies, really That I would order as follows

10- The Motion Picture- I still don't get it.
9- Final frontier- The idea is ridiculous
8- Generations- A great idea that was wasted- on so many levels.
7- Nemesis- Another great poorly done.
6- The Undiscovered Country- Well made and entertaining, but I sort of agreed with the "Villains"!
5- First Contact- Using the Zefram Cochrane character from "Metamorphosis" just worked.
4- The Search for Spock- The hocus-pocus ending had to happen, I guess!
3- Insurrection- Very entertaining, and dare I say, deep.
2- The Journey Home- Lighthearted entertainment.
1- Wrath of Khan- Probably the best sequel to a TV episode ever.

I won't dignify any of the new movies by ranking them here.

mikem's picture

Only one question. Why on earth would you consciously submit yourself to such a fiasco? If you were able to sit through the worst acting performances ever, Hayden Christionsen being the worst, you are indeed a better than I 'Gunga Din.'

sleepyninja's picture

'Star Trek: Beyond' at the #2 & #4 position? Really? I found it too action-centric, and the humor, dialog, and aliens uninspired, and would place it along with the Shatner-directed 'Final Frontier' travesty near the bottom of the barrel. With that said, I'm certainly not optimisic for the next installment with Justin Lin at the helm again.

Geoffrey Morrison's picture
I think I was still suffering from a Nemesis hangover. The lighter tone was so welcome.
David Vaughn's picture
Geoff, I liked it as well. It's a fun movie and I loved all of the humor.
thehun's picture

I guess I'm the only one who likes S.T. 1 despite it's obvious flaws. The long musical scenes and V'ger's exploration is a clear [to me anyway]"wink" at 2001 ASO,in style not thematically, and how Hollywood used to make "epics". Anyway I never found those scenes boring, and in retrospect it fits for the first movie, and to [re]introduce the entire ST world to larger audiences.
As for Beyond, I agree with it's detractors, that is among the worst the franchise has given us so far.

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larrymartin's picture

Boldly went where no moviegoer has gone before. Your detailed setup for the marathon and the collaborative ranking process make this a fun read. I am curious which one took the bottom spot for you both.
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