Monday, May 30, 2011

To Boldly Go Where Every Fan Has Gone Before

So, doubt that I'm the first to do this... probably not the first to do it on a vanity blog, maybe not even the first to do it using blogger, but the SciFi Channel has been showing a marathon of all the Star Trek movies, in seemingly random order.

Some are really enjoyable, tight productions. Some are only for the dedicated fans. And some are unwatchable bilge. But, then, if you make more than a dozen of something that ain't cans of Coke, you're going to have some slippage.

Here's how I rank the films, with a few little notes as I remember them.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek (JJ Abrams version) -- there's a couple of flaws that really take down what could be a better movie. A long scene of Kirk drag racing in a stolen car would be mildly amusing if it weren't spoiled by being in the trailer for a year or so. Even so, the thought of someone 200 years from now considering a classic car being a joyride... I mean, it's not like kids today show their wild side by jacking a horse & buggy.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock --- this one ranks kind of middle of the road. There's nothing outwardly wrong about it, but also has no particular redeeming or memorable features. It's alright.

Star Trek: Generations --- Should be lower for the wasted use & travesty end to Kirk.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture --- this might have been a bit better if, say, about 35 minutes of establishing shots were taken out.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier --- Much has been written about the circumstances that killed this film. Industrial Light & Magic was unavailable to do the special effects, so it has some thin points. It had budget and writer problems so some scenes in the conclusion were cut. Shatner's ego probably transfers writ large on the screen. People acting out of character. But I think the biggest problem here is "Eddie & The Cruisers Syndrome". It's a solid set-up that fails to deliver on the potential it builds up.

Star Trek: Insurrection --- soap opery. Picard love stories made bad episodes, and this one's like a 2 hour long bad episode.

Star Trek Nemesis --- a lifeless, wandering film that's entirely too self-referential for (the end of) two series with plenty of other institutional knowledge to refer back to. Some hideous filming choices, a boring villain, a confusing rationale... and what the hell is a clone that doesn't look like the clonee?

I don't think I missed any.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

mmmm ecodisaster

2nd day of smoke coming in from a brushfire in the Everglades.

We oughta just replace the swamp with hickory trees instead of sawgrass. At least then the news would just be "Expect today to unexpectedly find yourself mildly hungry for BBQ."