Okay, so the title of this blog is a bit misleading, seeing that I’ve written about my love of Star Trek before, and will probably do so again in the future. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to write about these films for the longest, but I never knew how to really get it started. However, I decided to give it the old college try today, so we’ll see how well it works out. Today’s blog post will be my ratings of all eleven Star Trek films from the bottom up. This should be lots of fun.
11. Star Trek Nemesis
Holy crap, this was terrible.
Nemesis is the last movie featuring the cast from The Next Generation, and it was about a Picard clone who wanted to take vengeance on Starfleet for the good of the Romulan empire…or something like that.
Truth be told, I only watched this one once, and the one time was more than enough. The story seemed so implausible and so disinteresting that I just wanted to turn it off partly through. The only saving grace was the impeccable score by Jerry Goldsmith. If this is the way they wanted to send the TNG cast off, then they really must’ve hated them. This guy was supposed to be the young Picard:
As opposed to the current Picard:
Okay…looking at that, I can sort of see it, but I’d have to be good and drunk to be completely convinced. Anyway, that one time was more than enough, and if I never see this movie again, I won’t complain in the least.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 0 dragon heads out of five
10. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
I considered making this the worst, but I decided against it; Nemesis earned that one.
This film introduces Spock’s half brother Sybok, and he’s a certifiable whack job. He said he received visions from what he believed to be “God,” and those visions told him to go and steal a ship and go to a place known to the Vulcans as Sha Ka Ree. For point of fact, this is Sybok:
The film was directed by William Shatner, and dear God was it horrible. I’ve seen some horrendously shot films in my day (Major League: Back to the Minors immediately springs to mind), but this looked BAD. Very bad. It’s almost as if he let his ego get control of himself and it went BERSERK! This was also the first film to display James Doohan’s missing finger. Out of respect for Mr. Doohan, I refuse to find a picture of that; you want it, you can look yourself.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 0 dragon heads out of five
9. Star Trek: Insurrection
This wasn’t as bad as Nemesis, but it wasn’t that good, either.
Insurrection was about a rouge member of Starfleet disobeying the Prime Directive by forcing a peaceful group of people who have a spring that holds some sort of Fountain of Youth. It’s the second of the four movies the TNG cast did, and it was okay. Not great, but not terrible. It watch it again if it were on AMC.
There are a couple of things I remember from this one. I remember the hideous looking antagonist, played by F. Murray Abraham:
And the fact that ship’s Counselor Deanna Troi said the water made her boobs perkier. For the sake of clarity, this is Deanna Troi:
Like I said, I’d watch it again on AMC. If it were given to me as part of the TNG film movie set, I’d watch it then, too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot tractor beam.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 1 dragon head out of five
8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
This was Star Trek’s answer to Star Wars. In my opinion, round one went to Star Wars.
This film was one of the most boring, driest films I’ve ever watched. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Enterprise; I like the way the Enterprise looks flying through space. What I didn’t like was all the gratuitous flying scenes in what appeared to be half the damn movie. Of course, what it did do was introduce a couple onboard the ship – a theme that would be revisited with the cast of The Next Generation.
The movie itself is about the original crew being reunited in a big budget film and having all of the glamour and splendor of being on the big screen. Too bad the uniforms went from the ones we remembered to the crew walking around in pastel-colored pajamas.
This is another one I’d watch again if it were given to me in the box set of the original cast films. But, seeing that I have four of the six – not to mention three of the six I really enjoy, I don’t see myself ever owning it under any capacity.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 1.5 dragon heads out of five
7. Star Trek Generations
This was the first of the films to feature the cast of The Next Generation, but they couldn’t have it to themselves.
This film killed off this guy:
I have some mixed emotions about this film. On the one hand, it was good to see the TNG cast on screen. On the other hand, they must not have thought too highly of that cast to pigeonhole Kirk into the film, only to kill him off. How Kirk and Picard would fare against each other in a great space battle was the thing of early internet fandom (hell, it still may be a thing of internet fandom). Instead, they go fight Malcom McDowell and let Kirk get killed by a damn bridge.
Best part of this movie was Data’s “Oh, shit.”
Otherwise, it’s one I’d either rent or watch in that box set. Otherwise, no thanks.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 2 stars out of five
6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
This movie appears to be based off of the superhero comic book continuity, because it’s apparent that no one stays dead in the Star Trek universe – except for villains.
I don’t think I’m spoiling this for anyone, but at the end of Star Trek II, Spock dies. If I didn’t mention it now, the title would be considered ridiculous. Anyway, they jettison Spock’s coffin onto the Genesis planet, and he comes back to life. That’s good, but it’s also bad. It’s good because they give Leonard Nimoy his job back. It’s bad because the Genesis planet is unstable and breaking up. So, Kirk and company disobey Starfleet orders and go back to save him.
This movie had some of the most inexplicable casting I’ve ever seen. Christopher Lloyd and John Laroquette as Klingons?
Robin Curtis replacing Kristie Alley as Saavik? I couldn’t find any decent pictures of Curtis’ Saavik, but I could find good and plenty of Alley’s rendition. Go figure.
Anyway, this movie was the middle of a loose trilogy of sorts, and it’s practically unavoidable as far as the series goes. With that in mind, it’s worth the watch for that alone. Watching the Vulcan mating ritual of pon farr is worth it as well.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 3 dragon heads out of five
The next five movies are practically interchangeable, and I just rated them at face value. Truth be told, any of them could hit the top spot if it wanted to.
5. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
I consider this movie to be Law & Order: Starfleet.
This movie kicks off with Captain Hikaru Sulu (about damn time!) captaining the USS Excelsior (a ship that was rendered inoperative in the third movie). He’s patrolling space when he notices a planet in the Klingon region of space. Spock volunteers Kirk to escort the Klingon Chancellor to a peace treaty, he winds up dead, and Kirk and McCoy are arrested and submitted to a military tribunal. Meanwhile, Spock, new recruit Valeris (Kim Cattrall), and the rest of the crew tear the Enterprise apart trying to find out how it happened, and disprove that they fired the torpedoes that attacked the Klingon ship.
I call it Law & Order: Starfleet because the middle of the movie is basically a great big detective yarn. The movie is notable for a few things; the almost blatant racial overtones, Iman, and a brief cameo by Christian Slater. No, really. This movie is also remembered as the last film featuring the original cast, and they got a pretty good send off here.
I can’t leave out the fact that Shatner was incredibly hammy in this one. Only the Shat could extend a two syllable word into a 10 second sentence.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 3.5 dragon heads out of five
4. Star Trek: First Contact
Out of the four movies featuring the cast of The Next Generation, this one got it right.
This movie is about The Borg going back in time and changing history by preventing First Contact. In the Star Trek Universe, First Contact is when humanity finally caught up with the rest of the universe and was able to reach warp speed. The crew of the Enterprise follows them through time and has to put a stop to it.
This movie is only the second movie to compare someone in the Star Trek Universe to Captain Ahab from Moby Dick; problem is, this time it was Captain Picard. This movie is notable for the scene that inspired multiple gifs:
And, the one where he basically tells Alfre Woodard to shut up:
This was the second Star Trek movie I owned on Blu-ray, and it was always one of my favorites. I’ll watch this one any day of the week, regardless of where it is in the movie.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 4.5 dragon heads out of five
3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
This was the first Star Trek film that was actually funny on purpose.
Oh, sure; the other films had humor interspersed in them, but this one actually felt deliberately humorous. This was also the first Star Trek to discuss environmental issues. How’d it do that? By creating a freaky looking probe that was looking for humpback whales – a species that had been long dead by the 23rd century. The crew of the Enterprise are due to return to Starfleet to face charges for disobeying orders (featured in ST III), but they decide to go back in time to get a couple of whales instead.
As you can imagine, this leads to a fish-out-of-water situation, where the 23rd century clashes with the 20th century with some interesting results:
This is another one I could watch regularly, and although it doesn’t really stand the test of time, it’s still an incredible film to watch.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of five
2. Star Trek
How do you reinvigorate a slouching franchise? Hit the reset button.
I’m taking the lazy way out and recommending that you click the link at the top to read my thoughts on this one. That hasn’t changed. This movie made Star Trek relevant again.
I love this movie, and I’ll watch it whenever I can.
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 5 dragon heads out of five
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
For years, this was the quintessential Star Trek film (for some, it still is). This movie was the answer to the critic’s lamentation of the first film, and it told a story like none other. It brought back the great Ricardo Montalban from his appearance in the episode “Space Seed” and created a Trek villain that – in my opinion – hasn’t been replaced since. It had the death of a beloved character (don’t worry, he got better), and a basic story that didn’t need a lot of expounding: antagonist feels wronged, antagonist plots to hurt the protagonist, antagonist succeeds, but then the antagonist wakes up dead.
Oh, and it had Kirstie Alley, who was still sorta hot at the time.
To be honest, this movie is the one that got me into movies to begin with. Not Star Wars, not Indiana Jones, this one. This is a movie I will always cherish for as long as I shall live. It is indeed my hope that when I reach those pearly gates, and St. Peter asks me if I deserve to enter the gates therein, I look him square in the eye, and yell:
Mr. Joseph’s Rating: 5 dragon heads out of five
Live Long and Prosper.