Star Trek: Generations

Now that we’ve finished Star Trek: The Next Generation, we can watch the first of the next batch of movies … it’s still going to take some time to get through the entire Trek …

Emmy says:
An outstanding exploration of the human condition. Wonderful screenplay and iconic sets let the characters of Picard and Data flourish, with great emotional impact for the audience. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Fan service for days, but a fitting passing of the torch from TOS to TNG cast in the film franchise. Good call-backs to many things from the series without detracting from the film for those who haven’t watched every episode over the last number of weeks. Some of the model work still lets down the impact of some scenes though. 8/10.

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21 Bridges

Emmy says:
The combat and chase sequences in this movie are well choreographed and executed. The audience knowing the ‘twist’ before the protagonist was not handled as well as it could have been. Not quite what I expected from the trailer but still enjoyable. 7/10.

Jeff says:
From something that looked implausible from the trailer – closing off Manhattan – this turned into a rather interesting (if predictable) action/mystery. Anyone who’s watched cop shows could see what was coming if they thought about it, but the acting was good and even the ‘bad guys’ were relatable and sympathetic. 7/10.

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Second star to the right and straight on till morning … the final outing for the Original Series crew.

Emmy says:
It feels like there was much more packed into this movie: dialogue, character development, action all ramped up. Visually holds up, although the Klingon blood looks terrible even for then. Wonderful illustration of prejudice in action, and over-coming it. Very enjoyable. 9/10.

Jeff says:
A fitting end to the original series movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation was already airing when this movie was made, so it made sense to bring peace between the Federation and Klingons. It’s unfortunate that the movie had to be so replete with racism metaphors for a show that had eschewed racism as it’s calling card. Still, a well told story with another great villain … but for some reason the Shakespeare quoting bothered me this time (too on the nose perhaps?) Now, on to ST:TNG, so there’ll be a pause before the next movie. 8/10.

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

The continuing story of retold plot ideas …

Emmy says:
The cringe is real with this one. So many attempts at humour just fell flat. The plot felt bare with no real substance behind it, and the character development was not really explored. Still a pretty movie. 6/10.

Jeff says:
There were interesting ideas in this film, and some sequences – like McCoy’s revelation about his father – were really moving. Unfortunately, the rest of this movie was terrible – unfunny ‘humour’, cliched characters, unsatisfying conclusion, open questions never resolved. The worst of the original series films, and possibly the worst of them all. 4/10.

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Going back to a simpler time …

Emmy says:
I was not prepared for the comedy of this movie but I found it very enjoyable. Odd premise executed well. The time travel does appear to be a cost saving mechanism and still manages to work. 8/10.

Jeff says:
The fun of friends (both the cast to each other, and the characters to us) being together and getting the job done. The set-up doesn’t really matter, they’re just a delight to watch. As it so happens, this IS a a good set-up and the environmental message is sadly still relevant over 30 years later. Continuing to use ideas and solutions that existed in the series, while making it fresh and interesting. No more “nuclear wessels” though, please? 9/10.

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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

The journey continues …

Emmy says:
This movie delivers a highly emotional story with action packed in. The small cast allows us to follow the characters intimately, feeling very much like a TOS episode. I do like watching the evolution of effects used for Star Trek. 8/10.

Jeff says:
While it is popularly believed that the odd number Star Trek movies are worse than the even, I have always liked this one. Some interested ideas, interesting development of Vulcan practices, and finally a great Klingon character … admirably performed by Christopher Lloyd. It’s a shame it is so hard to not hear “Doc Brown” in his voice, he deserves better. Next: my favourite of the original movies. 8/10.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The continuing voyage of discovery through the canon of Star Trek …

Emmy says:
Much more dialogue than the first movie, which made it feel faster paced. Awkwardly, Khan’s hair and outfit kept making me think of Jareth from Labyrinth. It was nice to have a follow-up to a series story. Effective and emotional ending still packs a punch even when you know what’s coming next. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Returning villain; recurring motifs; new locations and situations. This, more than Star Trek: The Motion Picture, is why Star Trek has continued. Without this film being as good as it is, I doubt there would have been another film … let alone all the series that followed. A classic in ever sense of the word. 9/10.

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Where can one go in isolation? Into space, of course. Watching all Star Trek in order. We’ve watched the Original Series, and the Animated Series, now onto the movies …

Emmy says:
This film is extremely self indulgent with so many long shots of the Enterprise and space. A light story delivered at a slow pace that seems to be reliant on nostalgia. Pretty and enjoyable. 8/10.

Jeff says:
It is hard to believe this film would ever be made today. In fairness, it wasn’t – the ‘Kelvin’ timeline took a different approach. Quite breathtaking how a soapy action science fiction series led to this action-less exploration of the human condition via a non-human intelligence. So much left unsaid. So many long takes devoid of dialogue but rich in reaction. An extremely weird movie, but sort of fitting for the first. 7/10.

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The Addams Family (2019)

Emmy says:
Great light entertainment with a wonderful underlying message. The animation is well done with good contrast between the Addams and the town. 7/10.

Jeff says:
I was excited when I first heard about this … the animation harking back to the style of the original Charles Addams cartoons. Following the fairly standard story of “these people living their own life are suddenly confronted with the outside world”, this movie doesn’t do much that’s new – but what it does, it does well. 9/10.

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Dune

Emmy says:
I found this movie very slow and not really engaging. The costumes are spectacular. The special effects have aged and the rubble of damaged sets looks weightless and paper mache like. Even with a huge amount of world building from the books being left out (I have not read these) I was able to follow easily enough. 6/10.

Jeff says:
I have always loved this movie. It made me want to read the books … and I did, and went on to read ALL the books including the prequels and pre-prequels. David Lynch considers it his one failure, and fans of the books (mostly) seem to hate it for having too little of the story in it. Interestingly, this time around I found it a little slow – I don’t remember feeling that way before (perhaps I was sensing the mood described above). There is so much here that I love and remember fondly, I guess I forgot about the slow bits in between. A good example of telling instead of showing, but there’s so much in the source material that’s internal it’s hard not to. It will be interesting to see what Villeneuve does with the remake. 7/10.

IMDb

The Invisible Man

Emmy says:
Elizabeth Moss has delivered an absolutely incredible performance with this movie. It took her less than 2 minutes to have me anxious about her situation with almost no sound. The voyeuristic positioning for the cameras certainly increased the feeling of paranoia. Music was wonderfully done with many patches of silence and loud obnoxious pieces that kept me on edge. I do love this interpretation of Wells’ Invisible Man. 10/10.

Jeff says:
From the first scene, I was tense and on edge. This movie holds you and doesn’t let go. This is one movie where you should know what it’s about before seeing it for two reasons: firstly, if this is going to give you uncomfortable connections to your own or someone you know’s past you might find this too unpleasant (it’s that effective!); and secondly, there are so many shots tracking away to an empty part of the room … you have to wonder if there’s something you’re supposed to be seeing there, which ramps up the tension for the audience. Cleverly crafted, compellingly conveyed, cathartic climax. 10/10.

IMDb

Fantasy Island

Emmy says:
Some great effects and setup. Problem is that the third act twist was completely jarring for me and didn’t gel with what had been presented beforehand, which completely broke the movies spell over me and I was jaded with the ending. To me this is not a case of insufficient information to understand the curve ball, but a case of conflict with previous character portrayal. Really enjoyed the movie until that point. 6/10.

Jeff says:
This has been panned by most reviews I’ve seen or read. I get that. It’s not great. On the other hand, it’s a darker version of the series it’s based on – which never wanted to explore the darkness of “getting your fantasy”. The remake touched on it, but didn’t last long enough. This movie had good effects, some interesting characters, a good premise, but spoils it. Some have said the ending makes no sense, and while I can create an explanation from what we were given that explains everything … I shouldn’t have to. This deserves better … but from the writers first. 6/10.

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