Tag Archives: Star Trek

My Take on “the Five Sci-Fi Films You Must Share with Your Teen”

Yesterday, I read a list on the fantastic web site sciencefiction.com about the five sci-fi films to share with your teen. While the list is a great compilation of the best films of the last fifty years, I could not agree with a single entry on the list. Not one. It’s a list that unfortunately takes personal preference over what an actual teenage human would want to watch or even care to sit through. Here I offer my rebuttal: The five films I would share with any teen to actually get them to love science fiction movies.

 

Their list: 2001: A Space Odyssey – This movie will likely kill any teenager who tries to watch it with boredom. I myself, a film buff who loves sci-fi more than most, couldn’t get through 2001 when I was a teenager, no matter how hard I tried. The film is simply too complex, too slow, too abstract to show to a teenage mind. They will hate it.

My choice: Akira – If you’re going to confuse the teenage mind with crazy visuals and an abstract ending, I’d recommend Akira. There’s a lot to speculate about the what actually happens, but trust me, teenagers will respond to the young characters trying to find their way in a world that has nothing to offer them much more than they will to apes and astronauts in business suits. Teenagers will also like the anime style they are used to seeing from late nights on Adult Swim and the freaky musical score. Most importantly, the pacing is far more on their level, especially in the first half of the film-as compared to the silent floating spaceports and slow monotone computers of 2001.

Their list: Alien – A great film, yes. No doubt. But a teenage mind will only really grasp onto the gory chest burst and the “old school” creature design. Teens nowadays don’t appreciate the latex costumes and practical effects the way we do. They’ve seen too much computer effects, even of the same alien creatures from this film. They also won’t sniff a whiff of the feminist undertones; they will simply see another monster movie in space. They’re teens, what can you do?

My choice: John Carpenter’s The Thing – All the tension, all the paranoia, all the claustrophobia and dread of Alien, but the effects of the Thing surpass in terms of sheer gore and horror. This film even has its own chestburster scene if that’s what you really wanted your kid to see, but, if you remember, this one is a bit different; in that one dude’s chest opens like a gaping maw and literally eats another dude’s hands before a head falls off, grows spider legs and crawls away. The kids will love it.

Their list: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – WHY HAVE YOU NOT ALREADY SHOWN YOUR CHILD THIS MOVIE???  What are you waiting for? If your kid is a teenager by the time they see freaking Star Wars, its too late for them. Just abandon hope of making them a geek, because it’ll never happen. You blew it. Kids, both boys and girls, should know all the words to this movie by the time they are ten years old.

My choice: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – This movie rules, but the ear worm scene in the beginning is way too heavy for kids. Trust me. I still get the willies thinking of that scene and I’m 31 years old. But, by the time your kid is a teen, they’ll love Khan’s smooth yet menacing villainous tones and they’ll instantly get the humor behind Captain Kirks infamous “Khaaaaan!” More importantly, they’ll learn everything they need to know about friendship and altruism from Spock’s selfless actions at the climax, and it’s a lesson so dearly needed in our times. (And, yes, Star Trek Into Darkness does a lot of the same stuff but it fails to convey the same emotion or impact.)

Their List: Blade Runner – Again, this is a near perfect movie, one of the best ever to be sure. But, these kids today, they don’t respect the classics like they should. And this one is just a little too… how do I put it? It opens with a conversation about a turtle on its back. Throughout, we are presented with a bunch of creepy animatronic dolls, weird synth jazz music and Harrison Ford (their hero from Star Wars, which they’ve already seen a million times, right?) getting rough with a woman. Not sure that screams “sci-fi is cool” for todays generation.

My choice: Children of Men ­­– I really shouldn’t have to say anything. This is the best sci-fi dystopian film of the last twenty years, hands down. It’s gritty and gripping–from the opening blast, to the long takes of street warfare, to the haunting images of lost art delicately hanging in the background. This amazing film feels more real than anything else on this list,  and it’s one that any teenager can instantly obsess over.

Their list: The Matrix – The author of this list himself starts off this entry with “Let’s get this out of the way: Keanu Reeves is not a good actor and the Wachowskis are not good directors.” Okay, let me stop you there. The Matrix is a cool idea splattered on screen by a slop bucket of a production that never feels real or authentic, and is only further embarrassed by unwatchable sequels. The at-the-time revolutionary bullet dodging effects will be ho-hum to any teen today and the whole thing just feels dated, like the trench coats these “hackers” all wear.

My choice: Dark City – This film is both sublimely directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow), and amazingly acted all around by the likes of Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly and William Hurt, with leading man Rufus Sewell delivering the performance of his career. This one is probably most responsible for my love of sci-fi as a teenager. I saw it when I was 15 and it’s still one of my all time favorites. The film sets such a perfect noir mood in a sinister city that literally bends to the will of mysterious entities. There is not one single minute of Dark City that is not immensely satisfying and unbelievably intriguing. It’s the kind of film that allows your own mind to wander through the black horizons of imagination, searching out that one perfect day at Shell Beach.

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Films and Records?

If anyone follows this blog, you may have noticed that nothing has been doing here for about a month. Why is that? I was so stoked about actually writing things down and swearing on the internet. It felt powerful. I felt powerful.

But, I don’t know. Nothing has really been peeking my sarcasm of late. I’ve been working a little more, but that’s no excuse really. I’ve just stalled a little.

Plus, I keep thinking about the actual content on this blog. Why am I calling it Records, if I don’t review records? Why don’t I review records? Why this and that.

So I am going to try two things. One: I’m going to title it Films & Records as you see above. Two: I’m also going to review records.

Don’t worry. I’ve done it before, I know what I’m doing. I’ll also keep up on TV and other stuff too. We’ll see. Hope this explanation hasn’t run too long.

Now——————————————————————– Films & Records!

Film: Star Trek

I finally saw this, hoping to avoid first weekend crowds, it was us and all the old nerds. Guys and ladies about forty five or fifty five,  all saying the catchphrases along with the movie and laughing at all the little in jokes. One guy behind me even said,”That’s him all right,” after Karl Urban recited McCoy’s famous “Dammit I’m a doctor…” bit half way through. These were the hardcore fans, the ones who grew up on this and Philip K. Dick. The ones who could tell you every original episode’s title, plot, and alien babe that Captain Kirk nailed. And they loved it. And so did I.

The plot is just as much a confusing, impossible-in-every-way scenario as any other film in the Star Trek series. It involves time travel, an alternate reality, and Red Matter, which creates black holes. Nice.

The opening is an amazing introduction, full of action and special effects right off. The characters are all recognized accordingly, with Spock and Kirk meeting as adversaries at first. Turns out Spock created the infamous “Kobiyachi Maru” test that Kirk, and only Kirk, bested-by cheating. They’re all, “you cheated.” and Kirk’s all, “So?” It was awesome.

Oh yea, there’s a bad guy in this movie too! And he’s pissed. Seems he’s from the future and is a little ticked at our boy with the pointy ears over a destroyed home world. Hence the never even attempted to be explained magic red ball of 4 Dimensions. Gotta love those Trek’s.

In the end, Kirk finagles his way into the captain’s chair in less than a day-and after getting marooned on Hoth. There’s some yelling and warping and we get a sorta not as climactic as I had expected ending and the promise of sequels galore. It’s a whole new Trek

And now a rant for those who hated this movie for continuity sake alone: It’s just in my nature to like how different talents, whether they be film directors or comic book writers, take on well established franchises. There is nothing wrong with that. You have to recognize that franchises older than shit will eventually be tweaked. If they weren’t, you would have stale, lifeless installments of the same old shit that everyone thought was boring ten years ago. I give you Deep Space Nine and Voyager. They were boring. At least this movie is not boring.

Best parts- The ensemble cast. No superstar names here thank you. Chekov steals the show, Bones is awesome. Spock and all that. Well done. And the FX were top notch. I, for one, admired all the Enterprise updates.

Lame parts- Our ominous time traveler (no Spoilers here) just happens to be in the ice cave Kirk  haphazardly runs into, even though this individual knows of a federation outpost a mile away? Why the Hell is he in that cave? Also, the romantic subplot was kinda stupid. And forced. And unconvincing as much as it was disingenuous to the characters involved. But I guess thirteen year old girls gotta go to the movies too.

Record: The Decemberists – Hazards of Love


I live in Portland. So do the Decemberists. I’ll review their album Hazards of Love. It’s their second on a major label. After selling the fuck out with prog opera The Crane Wife, in 2006, bespecaled songwriter Colin Meloy and the group return to tell more intertwining and cryptic tales of love, and I assume, it’s hazards. By way of ROCKING OUT!

I’ve been listening to the Decemberists for some time, and each album seems to swell again and again, until there’s almost no room for all the orchestration and harmonics packed into the space. All that big studio money wouldn’t pay for a quiet or bleak album. No, this is the kind of money that buys electric guitars! All the instrumental oddities are allowed their cameo’s but for the most part this is the most straightforward musically speaking album yet.

Basically the album is one long road of transitioning from one song to another with preludes, interludes, reprises, and a four part title track. Four parts? That’s dedication. The band travels along this road dutifully, albeit with heavy steps. The shame is that they used to fly like trapeze artists.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable listen in a very generic way, but I can’t help feel that the charm of the Decemberists, the harkening to olden storytelling methods complete with olden instruments, is set aside for the elongated and Rock Band arena fodder.

There’s hooks out the ass yes, and good moments that resemble the Decemberists in some fashion. It just now sounds like they are trying to sound like something, rather than just sounding like it. Ease it up Decemberists. I know you’ve got it in you. Just relax and think back to Castaways and Cutouts. You can do it. I’ll still be here when you feel like being yourselves again. Promise.

-Charlie


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TREKtrospective! The Conclusion

In it’s continuing mission, the Starship Enterprise has journeyed through three successful films, battling confused plots, long winded villains, and even dueled with the Klingon menace. When we last left our intrepid heroes, they were on the planet Vulcan. Spock was back, Kirk’s son was dead, Bonesy was cracking wise ass remarks and the Federation of Planets was wholly pissed at the crew in general. So let’s continue with our Trektrospective!

I originally was going to review all the Next Generation movies as well, but you know what? They just aren’t that interesting. I never really followed or loved the Next Gen crew like the original. This Trektrospective, therefore, is only covering the original crew up through Generations, the seventh film. But let’s hop to it, a lot of Space to cover in one post.

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)/ aka “Double Dumbass on You!”

As the crew of the Enterprise is returning home from Vulcan, they hear of a dire situation on Earth. A giant phallic probe has taken up residence in Earth’s orbit and is destroying the planet. It seems the probe is attempting to contact someone, but the humans can’t figure it out. So the probe is vaporizing the Earth’s water, killing the power, and dooming the planet. Kirk and the crew, aboard their captured Klingon Bird of Prey, figures out that the probe is trying to call whales. Whales? All right I’ll go with it. Too bad the whales, Humpbacks specifically, are extinct in the 23rd-and a half-Century! Well, that seems much more plausible.

The crew decides that the only thing they can do is time warp and get some whales, bring them back and save the world. Simple enough. It should be noted that the crew figures all this out in about five minutes, while the rest of humanity is just dumbfounded. No one else thought of this, just Kirk and the gang. Fine. Let’s get on with it. They time warp by sling-shooting (is that a word?) around the sun(?) and come out the other side in present day, mid eighties San Francisco. As you can see, a lot of question marks to start this one off.

From here we get a hilarious fish out of water comedy of errors. The Bird of Prey, cloaked mind you, lands in Golden Gate park and the crew walks around town looking for whales, a container for said whales, and nuclear “wessels” as Chekov amusingly puts it. What a silly Russian accent, wessels! Kirk meets and seduces a lady scientists who has a couple of whales. Spock, confused and still a little loopy from the whole dying and resurrecting thing, makes a series of funny comments, and the rest of the crew basically bumble around like retards (movie’s word, not mine) for an hour and a half. Scotty tries talking to a computer, Bonesy compares 20th century medicine to the “damned Spanish Inquisition” and Sulu sweet talks a helicopter pilot.

They get the whales, go home, day is saved. They have some laughs, share some memories, and generally bemoan our present day environmental muck up. It’s a movie with a message: stop hunting whales!

People loved this film. It’s widely considered the favorite of the bunch, and probably the most watched entry in the series. I assume folks just love seeing the crew in a present day, accessible setting, fretting over things like money, and swearing.  Just watch!

The best part of the last clip is that they actually went on the street, filmed from a van and just went for it. Those are actual people and cops staring at them. Nice.

So once they return the whales to the 23rd Century, the whales say hello to the probe. The probe says hi, and leaves. End of movie. Plus Kirk and the gang are dismissed of all charges, Kirk is reduced to Captain (which he actually likes) and they get a new Enterprise. Yay!

This is a very good film, a bit on the sappy side, but overall pretty consistent to the characters and the overall tone of the Star Trek universe. Thumbs up!

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)/ aka “The Hated One”

So after the success of Voyage Home, the crew returned with another film. This one is widely considered the loser of the bunch, though it has some redeeming stuff. Really though,  it kind of stinks. It messes with too many beloved aspects of the franchise as a whole and just doesn’t fit well in the film canon. After the last three films, which were interconnected, this one comes out of nowhere and caught a lot of fans off guard with its theological implications, introduction of new familial characters, and hints at unwarranted relationships. Plus, it makes NO FREAKIN’ SENSE!

So we start with Kirk, Spock   on Vacation at Yosemite. Kirk is, get this, free climbing El Capitan! What? I mean, I know the guy is a danger junkie, but he’s not even wearing boots or anything, he’s doing it in his fucking uniform even. So of course he falls and Spock rescues him with the help of jet powered boots. Let’s move on. They get the call that there is a hostage situation in some region of some galaxy. It’s all kind of the same now, so I’ll skip the titles. They find that Spock’s previously unknown half brother, Sybock (what a clever name!) has the hostages and exchanges them for the Enterprise. Meanwhile, a young Klingon is following the Starship, bent on killing Kirk to boost his own status. Not very honorable, since he’s gone rogue, against Klingon wishes to do this.

So Sybock, though he is ALL VULCAN, is emotionally, not logically driven. Fascinating. His character goes against every facet of his race. Why? Who cares!

He forces the crew to go beyond the Great Barrier, a region of unexplored space, to find a God like entity that he has mentally encountered. Why is the this area of space unexplored? Who cares!

The crew get there only to discover that the entity is not God, as we had hoped, but a, get this, manifestation of Sybock’s arrogance(?) seeking to escape the Barrier. What? A manifestation of Sybok, located on an uninhabited planet at the edge of the Universe, who can’t leave but can convince Sybok (himself?) to come and get it. What the fuck is going on here?

Maybe this explains the backlash given to the film by fans and critics. While we were willing to suspend disbelief on about every aspect of the show and the films, this just goes too far. Maybe time warp is impossible, but we’ll go with it. A masquerading arrogance manifestation dressed up like God? Fuck you. I don’t buy it. No one bought it in fact.

Even the part with the Klingon is bullshit. He is about to kill Kirk when he is convinced by the higher ups to rescue him instead. The Klingon kills the manifested-alien-entity-whatever-the-fuck-it’s-supposed-to-be and we end with a peaceful celebration. Lame!

It should be noted that Shatner himself directed this. And I put no blame on him. The man, frankly, can do no wrong. But the overall tone and story in this one just misses. It almost killed the franchise, until . . .

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)/ aka “Yet Another Star Trek Movie (small yawn)”

Yea, yea, it’s getting a little tedious for me too, that’s why I’m skipping the Next Gen stuff. I’m getting a bit burnt out on the Trek. So let’s just get though this last little bit. The Klingons have less than 50 years to live. They want to make peace with the Federation. While visiting with Kirk and the Enterprise the Klingon ambassador is assassinated on his own ship after the Enterprise apparently fires on it. Kirk and Bonesy go to the ship to help, but get arrested. They are convicted of the crimes and go to a prison asteroid place where they are forced into hard labor. Spock and the gang try to figure it all out before it’s too late and blah blah blah.

I actually like ths one alot, it’s just got one of those plots you really have to see to appreciate. It’s half espionage and intrigue, half detective story. We discover massive conspiracies and it all ends well.

This was the last film to feature all the oiginal characters from the show. They literally sign off at the end of the film, so it’s a little bittersweet. There are a bunch of great scenes that pay tribute to the older Star Trek stuff, and this has overall one of the better and most believable plots in the series. Let’s just point out a few great aspects.

1) Kim Cattrell as a Vulcan. Before Sex and the City, this little cougar donned the pointys a la Kristie Alley and gives a perfectly void performance as the mysterious Valeris

Highly Illogical

Highly Illogical

2) Christopher Plummer as Chang. This is inspired casting. I read that Plummer was skeptical of doing it, and asked for less severe Klingon makeup. But there’s nothing less severe about his over the top performance as the evil Chang, a warrior witout a war, desperate to keep the violence alive.

3) Shakespeare References. This has always been a qualty of the show and film series, but this one really outdoes itself. Even the title is a line from Hamlet, although instead of death, this undiscovered Country is peace. Whereas Wrath of Khan was like a Moby Dick story, this one is all tragedy. Even Chang’s final words are the most quotable quotes from the bard.

4) Captain Kirk. Who is the man? Kirk! This movie really captures his essence, from his charm and wit, to his courage and leadership, to his deepest fears and mournings. We revisit his grief over his lost son, see him fight in that classic hand to hand Trek style with aliens on the asteroid prison, and seduce the shapeshifter (although that was really a set up). Kirk is the man, and with Bonesy by his side, it makes for one of the better subplots in the series.

And now here is the ending, also one of the best in the series, a true send off and final farewell.

sniff, sniff, excuse me. I have something in my eye.

Epilogue: Star Trek Generations (1994)

A quick note. This film is the last with any of the original crew. Chekov, Scotty, and Kirk make brief appearances. Kirk is stuck in something called the Nexus, a realm where time has no meaning. He is met there by Captain Jen Luc Picard, Next Gen’s leader. Picard is also stuck in this Nexus after an unsuccessful attempt at stopping an evil scientist from blowing up a star to himself join with the Nexus. There are so many holes and so much wrong with the plot I can’t even begin. Suffice to say that this one induces more eye rolls and sighs than all the others put together. Picard convinces Kirk that he is, in fact, trapped in this Nexus, to which Kirk responds with “who cares!”

Then Kirk changes his mind in a minute or two, wanting to again make a difference by saving the star system. They return to the evil sientist and stop his plan, but *Spoiler* Kirk dies. A heartbreaking scene, delivered fantastically by Shatner, who basically leaves Patrick Stewart, a Shakespearian actor himself, in the dust. This movie tried to introduce us to various characters from Next Gen, but it’s too crowded with subplots that go NOWHERE and characters I don’t give two shits about. Besides Kirk’s brief part, this is a down hill log jam of a movie. Best to Youtbue Kirk’s scenes and skip the rest. Unless the idiotic characters of Next Gen appeal to you. You nerd.

Obligatory rant time:

I just love how Next Gen’s crew are such a bunch of slackers. They spend their time either in the playroom of the Holodeck, playing dress up and pretend, or guzzling down Romulan Ale in the bar. A bar on a Starship? Please. Not to mention that there is apparently a school and a host of families on board. When did the Enterprise turn into a goddamn kindy-garten?

Then the crew acts about as incompetent as all Hell, letting mild mannered scientist guy get one over on them, losing control of their emotions, being outwitted by Klingons (guess that peace treaty business in VI didn’t last too long if they’re still at each others throat), and generally fucking up their own ship. The Enterprise gets totaled in their first movie? It took at least three films for the original to go down, and that was only to save the day. Fucking amateurs. Double Dumbass on them. If Kirk had seen any of that shit, he’d a lost his mind.

So that’s’ it. Star Trek is one of the longest running and most involved franchises around, thanks in part to some good films and great times. Live long and prosper.

So glad that’s over with.

-Charlie

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TREKtrospective!

starship-enterprise1

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Star Trek is one of the most beloved sci-fi series in television history. It had all the classic elements of fantasy, with strong heroes and despised villains. It dared to bring about a future with a real Utopian society that valued knowledge and understanding above wealth and greed. And at the heart of this hopeful future stood Captain James Tiberius Kirk and his crew, and the rest is nerd history.

The series and subsequent Next Gen sequels are nostalgic treasures to millions of fans worldwide who still don the yellow uniforms and pack phasers on stun. Anyone doubting the devotion of this franchise need look no further than the much anticipated prequel coming out this May. Here’s a trailer. I can’t wait.

“Enlist in Star Fleet.” That’s gotta be a t-shirt somewhere.

This will actually be the 11th Star trek film released. Paramount has been big screening Star Trek for 30 years. Let’s look back at the films that helped define a generation of nerds, myself included.

It’s my own little TREKtrospective.

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This first part of the Trektrospective will cover the first three films in the canon.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)/aka “Look at the pretty colors!”

This is the first film in the series. Some have called this franchise the most successful film series in history. Well it wasn’t really an overnight success. This intro was given mixed reviews, but ultimately paved the way for the next films in the series, none of which would be anything like this one.

The film is slowly plotted and slowly executed. There is a threat to Earth called VGER, Kirk and crew seek out and face this threat, world is saved. But it is in the delivery that this film exists.

Captain James T. Kirk is now Admiral. He helms the Enterprise to investigate this threatening menace alien cloud. This angers the actual Captain of the ship, Decker. But who cares?

kirk-portraitWilliam Shatner is James Kirk. I don’t mean he plays him, motherfucker is Kirk. It’s that simple. At some point the actor Shatner left and was replaced by Kirk. He truly embodies everything about that character.

(If anything this is the new film’s greatest challenge. How do we like a Kirk that isn’t Shatner? )

spock-portraitThe other original cast members are here too, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, the half Vulcan half Human hybrid (if this was X-Files), DeForest Kelley as cranky old Dr. Bonsey “Dammit Jim” Bones, James Doohan, George Takei, and the rest.

By this time, the characters had been part of a popular TV series – and Animated Series that everyone apparently never heard of or wiped clean from memory. But it’s real. Don’t try bones-portraitto deny it.

These characters were already pretty well known, so they got a limited introduction before the film blasted off! Boldly going where no film has gone before, a two hour sci-fi philosophy art house head scratcher with a few mild surprises and more than a few long pauses. Long. Really long pauses. Long.

So it turns out this menace known as VGER is actually our own Satellite, Voyager. It’s back! After all these years out “collecting information and bringing it back to the creator” story. I thought you didn’t care. You look so different Voyager. What happened? Aliens? What did they do to you? What did they do? Ohh! He’s a monster! A monster!

The film asks us, the audience, really depressing questions like, what happens when we die? Is this all there is to life? What’s the deal with the bald chick who might be a robot?startrektmp_00

To make up for this, the movie throws a bunch of pretty colors at us, as the Enterprise takes about twenty minutes to approach VGER and the thing just gets bigger and bigger and, um, well bigger. It is pretty, but the special effects look tame today so it doesn’t hold up as well. Overall, kinda dull, kind of good. Not bad, not great. Don’t worry, it gets better.

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)/aka “He who acts last, acts best”

I think the trailer perfectly sums up the important parts of this film’s plot.

Now Khan is pissed and takes out his revenge on an unsuspecting Enterprise. Khan is also trying to attain the Genesis device, which can create life from lifeless planets, but would render a life filled planet lifeless. Whoa.

Ricardo Montalban is the villainous Khan, Hell bent on revenge against Kirk, the man who exiled him to a barren planet which killed his wife. It’s Shakespeare if you think about it. And this movie comes down to a three way act-off. It’s actually quite brilliant and this movie is one of the most fun to watch in the whole series. Montalban really spars with Shatner throughout the film with his sly hiss and over the top deliveries. It’s line for line right to the end. Here’s some of the best.

“He tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!”-Khan

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”- Kirk

“Romulan Ale. Why, Bones, you know this is illegal.”-Kirk
“I only use it for medicinal purposes.”-Bonesy.

I like Bonesy. He’s a good time.

Shatner is most remembered with his “Khan!” heard around the galaxy. And then out of nowhere Nimoy steals the show with perhaps the saddest death in modern movie history! Seriously, Bambi’s mom has nothing on Spock.

And then there’s Khan’s immortal “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee!” line and Kirk’s eulogy to his fallen friend. Oh it’s just so sad! So many great lines and moments. Action! Intrigue! Melville references! This one has it all. This is the film that truly launched the Star Trek series. I won’t go on too long with praise. Just see it.

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)/aka “Leonard Nimoy directs himself back to life”

So the last movie ended on a real “Empire Strikes Back” style downer, Spock dies, his casket gets blasted to the planet that was created by the Genesis project, Kirk is sad, the crew is ragged, the ship is damaged, and now Bonesy is acting all crazy. Back on Earth, Spock’s father gets angry about Spock’s body being abandoned and he and Kirk discover that Bones is possessing Spock’s soul, his Katra.

They go back to the Genesis planet where Spock’s body has been reborn! But he has no soul, so he is Spock in body only. Think about that. He meets up with David Marcus the creator of the Genesis planet and Kirk’s kid no less, and Lt. Saavik, a vulcan from the planet Cheers. Spock was reborn as a part of Genesis’ power and he’s growing at a conveniently fast rate, just in time to get it in under two hours.  So the crew gets together and basically steals the starship to search for Spock as it says, and (spoiler alert) they find him.

Unfortunately so does a Klingon, played by . . .Christopher Lloyd? Whaaa? I can’t figure out if that’s cool or not. Look for yourself. star-trek-lloyd-as-klingon

Great Scot, he’s horrid. I mean, he has looked bad before, but. . .

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GAAA!!! What an ugly man. The makeup wizards in these must have had a field day with him.

So this Klingon Kruge, as he goes by, is a real bad dude. He’s no Khan(who wasn’t a Klingon btw), but he does the job real well. Kruge possess all the warrior bloodlust and honor of the Klingon race, a great character. He kills off crew members as punishment, he goes in for hand to hand combat, he’ll die before he surrenders.

The real shock of this one is not in Spock, since we could probably figure that out in the title, but in Kirk Jr’s (David’s) fate. David was introduced only last movie, we hardly got to know him, and then-tragedy. Kruuuuge!

This movie has some great scenes, the Enterprise’s self destructive farewell, Kirk and Kruge’s final battle, and the final ritual at the end to join Spock’s katra to his body. And Bonesy’s alright. Yay! I like Bonesy. He’s fun.

The series almost wrote itself into a wall in this one. It looked like, with the Enterprise gone, the crew’s advancing age, and Kirks’ shattering loss, there might not be anywhere left to go. But then the series took one of it’s most beloved turns yet, time travel. Next time on the Trektrospective, The Voyage Home.

For now, Animated Series!!

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