Sunday, September 23, 2018

9 Questions I Have For Star Trek 6

I watched Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country back to back with The Final Frontier. I don't really have anything constructive to say about it, so instead of a review, I've prepared a list of questions I would ask this movie if it were a sentient entity.

Why are the Klingons Dying?
At the start of the movie, there is an accident on a Klingon moon where they mine moon minerals or whatever. The moon is destroyed by the accident, and because of this, the authorities proclaim that the Klingon race is going to die out in fifty years or so, without ever drawing any strong connection between those two things. It's just like, ope, this mining planet blew up and now the Klingons are all going to die.

Why is the Federation so Fucking Racist?
So the Klingons are dying and stuff and they come to the Federation for help and every single person in the Federation is just like "mmmyeah fuck the Klingons". They're a galaxy wide federation of planets, presumably consisting of dozens if not hundreds of different peoples, and everybody except Spock is racist as shit.

Why is David Warner There?
David Warner appears in the film, but playing a different character than he did in Star Trek 5.

Why Do Movies Love to Use Out of Context Shakespeare Quotes?
Lots of movies do this, but this one ups the ante not only with its inappropriate name (in case anybody doesn't know, the "undiscovered country" is a euphemism for death from Hamlet. Here, it's a euphemism for... peace? I think?), but also by having the villain just spout memorable lines from Shakespeare plays seemingly at random.

Why is Klingon Blood Pink?
In this movie, we learn that Klingon blood is pepto bismol pink. I want to know what possible O2 carrier they could have to make their blood that colour.

Why is Michael Dorn There?
Michael Dorn plays Colonel Worf who's like TNG Worf's grandfather (?) and also a really shitty Klingon lawyer. That pretty much answers my question, I still think it's a stupid idea.

What Terrible Sin Did Iman Commit in Her Past Life to Deserve Kissing William Shatner?
Iman is easily one of the most beautiful woman on the planet and she kisses William Shatner right on his nasty mouth.

Why is Christian Slater There?
WTF is going on with this movie.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Star Trek 5

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Image Source
I have a confession to make. I've been a big ol' dorky fan of original Trek for as long as I've been able to be a fan of things, but when it came to the movies, I'd only ever seen 2-4. I still haven't actually managed to sit through Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but now I can say that Star Treks 5 and 6 have come along shit all over everything I hold dear.

In this movie, a rebel Vulcan (Laurence Luckinbill) hijacks the Enterprise and takes it on a quest to find God at the centre of the galaxy. Also, there is a Klingon (Todd Bryant) who is mad at Kirk and chases them for some reason. Also, David Warner is there.

There isn't a whole lot I can say that's good about this movie honestly. Even from the opening scene it's a bad movie - my boyfriend just put it on unannounced and for probably the first five minutes or so, until the bad Vulcan reveals he's a Vulcan, I was like "what is this? Is this a movie? Is this that scientology movie?"
To emphasize my point, according to Wikipedia
the first solo free climb of El Capitan was
in 2017, by this guy.

Don't get me wrong, the movie is 100% the fun kind of bad rather than the soul-crushing kind of bad (which, spoiler alert, the next movie almost achieves), and I enjoyed every minute of it, so bear that in mind I guess.

This is the one that Shatner directed and came up with the story for, so there's a lot more attention than usual drawn to how cool Captain Kirk is. For example, there's an early scene in the movie where he's just casually free-climbing one of the world's most challenging rock formations which is... I'm not going to say impossible but it's certainly not possible for a seriously out of shape 60-ish year old dude.

I was interested in the budget for this movie which, according to wikipedia, was 33 million dollars in 1989 money (or ~67 million dollars in 2018 money), which I guess is not that much money to spend on a movie. Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that the production values are pretty low. That works well on the TV series, but doesn't really lend itself to a movie.

The acting and dialogue is awkward and bad at worst, and fucking weird at best. There's this whole thing where Uhura and Scotty act like they've been fucking this whole time, which is all well and good I guess, except that there was never any indication at any other point in the movies or TV series that I can summon to memory that Uhura and Scotty were fucking, or were going to fuck. One of the things I really like about old Trek is that, for the most part, Uhura is not a potential romantic partner for one of the male leads but a character in her own right (the sexual tension between Uhura/Spock and Troi/Riker are both things that annoyed the living shit out of me about the new Star Trek movies, and Star Trek: TNG, respectively). That said, if Uhura were to fuck another main character, fucking Scotty is less obnoxious than fucking Kirk or Spock. I have mixed feelings about the situation.

Speaking of weird and perplexing dialogue/acting, this movie has one of the strangest scenes I think I've ever seen in it. Here's the whole scene, totally out of context, but the part I really want to talk about is towards the end. Kirk and Bones are trying to decide what campfire song to sing. Instead of singing American Pie or Mr. Brightside like normal people, they settle on Row, Row, Row Your Boat of all things. Then they struggle to remember the lyrics. To Row, Row, Row Your Boat. But that's not all. Later, when some freaky space shit is happening, Kirk solemnly mutters, "Life is but a dream". Yes, the central theme of this movie revolves around Row, Row, Row Your Boat. The mind boggles.

There's actually one pretty good scene in the movie where Vulcan-Satan is revealing peoples' daddy issues and we get to Bones - turns out his father was dying of some horrible, incurable disease, so he mercy killed him just days before the cure for the disease came out. Which is like... holy fuck. It explains why Bones was always such a grouch through the series (fun fact, my personal Star Trek head-canon is that Bones was a closeted alcoholic and chain-smoker, which this pretty much corroborates).

Buuuuut there's also just a lot of other weird, poorly planned out shit. For example, the Klingon ship that's chasing the Enterprise is there at one point, and whoever's on the bridge is like, "There's a Klingon ship - they're cloaked!" I'm sorry, but is not the point of a cloaking device to evade detection? Ships can't fire when cloaked in Star Trek, so I don't understand the point of cloaking at all at this point. The whole subplot with the Klingon ship is just there. It doesn't serve any function, nothing happens because there is a Klingon ship chasing them, and the whole problem is easily resolved by a tertiary character who also doesn't serve any other explicit function in the movie.

I have a couple of personal problems with the main plot as well (that is, the search for God at the centre of the galaxy).

Problem 1: As the most rational people in the galaxy, do Vulcans actually believe in God? And if so, why?

Problem 2: If there is a God, why would it live at the centre of the galaxy rather than the centre of the universe? And when it turns out that the surface of the planet it lives on is just the American desert through a purple filter, why is nobody disappointed?

Problem 3: The crew of the Enterprise is awed and not at all suspicious when they first meet this God, despite having literally met fucking Apollo in *ahem* season 2 episode 2 (spoiler alert, he was kind of a dick).

Problem 4: The crew surmises that the entity is not, in fact, God, because it is needy and vindictive, which, having skimmed the Old Testament, sounds very much like God to me.

Anyway, this movie is stupid as fuck but I had a lot of fun watching it. Would recommend to fans of bad movies, and Star Trek completionists. Normal people probably won't get anything out of it.

- There's a cat/woman stripper with three tiddies (+3)
- David Warner appears in the film (+1)
- Uhura's fan dance (+/- 1?)
- The Great Barrier is brightly coloured and exciting (+1)
Total: (+5)

- Movie wants us to believe that Shatner can climb El Capitan (-1)
- Horrible green screen (-1)
- People from earth are referred to as "Terrans", a thing that pisses me off (-1)
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat (-2)
- The dialogue is, like, 80% puns (-1)
- They go to Paradise City but there is no green grass or pretty girls (-1)
- Half of the movie is Sybok locking Kirk, Spock, and Bones in different rooms (-1)
Total: (-8)
Final Score: -3

Directed by: William Shatner.  Written by: David Loughery.  Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Laurence Luckinbill, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, George Takei, David Warner, Todd Bryant.