Star Trek: The Great Rewatching Marathon Page 9


Star Trek is back! This time everything is bright, flashy, and everyone runs a lot.

Geoff: The cold open of this movie is more interesting and has a more compelling story than a sizeable chunk of Star Trek movies. It’s a fun, flashy adventure that’s well cast and well made. It moves at such a pace that you probably won’t even notice it is not even remotely a Star Trek movie.

Yeah, yeah, everyone rolls their eyes when a Star Trek nerd says that, but let me be clear: I like this movie. It’s a great time. It’s not Star Trek. It’s space opera with familiar names.

And you know what, so be it. This is the only way we were going to see Star Trek on the big screen. Sure it’s not about anything. Sure it’s action scene after action scene, with only the barest of plots to connect them. Sure when you think about huge swaths of it, it doesn’t make any sense. But that’s the point, you’re moving too fast to think anything about that stuff while you’re in it. J.J. Abrams is probably the best director working in terms of getting you into, and out of, a scene. His movies cook. This movie is 2 hours long, and not only does it feel shorter, it’s incredible how much they fit in. This movie literally begins with Kirk’s birth and ends with him Captain of a starship. Hell, that happens 2/3 of the way through.

At his worst, though, you’ll think about it an hour later and realize… it didn’t make any sense for that to happen, or “why didn’t they do this more logical thing instead.”

So I’m of two minds. I appreciate this isn’t Star Trek of old, but I’m also not enough of a prig that I don’t enjoy it. It’s fun! After the soul-crushing hateblizzard of excrement that was Nemesis, I’ll take fun at the expense of sci-fi purity. Karl Urban channels DeForest Kelley. It’s equal parts eerie and wonderful. The special effects are fantastic. It looks and is shot interestingly. The alternate timeline idea is both brilliant and elegant. It doesn’t negate all the other shows and movies, but lets them tell any story they want (which they didn’t but whatever).

And, unlike MANY others in this franchise, it actually stands alone as it’s own movie. There’s stuff for the fans, of course, but you don’t need to know who these characters are.

J.J. Abrams has now saved two franchises. He’s not my favorite director by a long shot, but damn does he now how to get the pieces to work.

But holy crap those lens flares.

Rank: 6th

Carolina: I have found new respect for this movie. Before doing this marathon it was just a fun sci-fi movie for me. But now that I’ve seen all the Star Trek movies and fallen in love with the original crew, I love this reincarnation. Every actor does a great job embodying these old beloved characters. They had big shoes to fill, but they nail it.

There are so many nods to the original movies that as a newcomer you would just say that's neat, but if you're a Trekkie there are nice little winks and nods to the original movies and show. It's like the people who produced this said we also love this material and we'll respect it.

The fact that they use alternate timelines to tell this origin story is very classy. Not "erasing" the past movies keeps the fans happy while bringing in a new audience. As an extra bonus this could be watched as a stand-alone movie. They essentially had their cake and ate it too. Definitely one of the best reboots I’ve ever seen.

The only thing I can’t stand in the movie: TOO MANY LENS FLARES.

Rank: 5th

PQ A spotless image, not quite as pristine as Beyond but close. Ironically, it’s actually hard to watch on a big home theater screen. The lens flares jack up the APL so you’re constantly squinting at the brightness.

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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