Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek: Nemesis, based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Romulans are debating the terms of peace and alliance with Reman, the planet that the Romulans have enslaved for millenia.  As the debate continues the crew of the Enterprise are sent to aid in the negotiations by the Federation.

As they head to their mission the crew celebrates the marriage of Commander Riker and Counselor Troi.  While the crew celebrates a strange energy reading is detected on the edge of Romulan space.  When they investigate the group discovers an earlier version of Data named B-4.  They flee with the strange android as they are attacked by the native people.

When they arrive at the Romulan and Reman peace talks the Enterprise discovers that Data is not the only one that has a clone like creature.  Picard has been cloned in a secret mission to create high-ranking spies to infiltrate Starfleet.

What are they all to do when Picard is captured by his clone?  And how is the Enterprise crew supposed to negotiate peace when they, themselves, are in just as much danger?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction

-Creator: based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 117 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence and gore, very mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis,

-Page of Reference in RP1: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

I just…yikes.

This is not how The Next Generation should have ended.  With a whoosh of relief after getting through this film.  You know its bad when your cast found it a disappointment to act in. and they say it even 20 some odd years later.

I felt like there was potential with the plot.  The clones/duplicates, the idea and search for peace…a little bit of the Khan idea with the blood being the key to saving whoever.

But when you focus so much on the villains and not on the thing people are coming to see the movie for: the INCREDIBLE crew of the Enterprise, things are bound to fall apart. And quickly.

There isn’t much more to say about this.  There are honestly episodes of The Original Series that I would rather rewatch than watch this movie again. Yep. That sounds about right to me.

Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek: Insurrection, based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Data is sent on an undercover mission where he is to report on the Ba’ku people, a peaceful and calm race.  While he is there he malfunctions and reveals a joint task force between the Federation and another alien race called the Son’a.

When the Enterprise is informed that they are absolutely not needed, regardless of the fact that one of their senior officers is malfunctioning on a Starfleet mission, they grow suspicious and defy their orders coming for Data themselves. As they come to collect their colleague the crew gets more than they bargain for.

It turns out there is more going on than meets the eye and when the crew discovers just what caused Data’s malfunction and just why the Son’a are so interested in the Ba’ku people…things are not going to be as simple as the rescue mission was supposed to be.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction

-Creator: based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 103 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence and gore, very mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, Anthony Zerbe

-Page of Reference in RP1: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

This one was tough to get through as a rewatch.  I watched it a long time ago when I was doing my first real watch through of all of Star Trek as a teen and into my 20s.

After watching First Contact it was hard to come back to this moive.  Its like everything went back to what they kenw: an extended episode of the show that did NOT need to be 103 minutes long.  And the worst part for me is that the idea is really cool.

One alien race that is in a constant race to defy and beat death wanting to take over the planet of another race that is essentially immortal.  What’s not to love about that idea!

There is just so much more they could have done and this just felt like a step back in the world.  We had such wonderful things happening with First Contact.  More action and better effects, a great story and just a step forward…and now this.

Rewatching these makes me realize just how and why I am a huge fan of the Kelvin timeline films….

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek: First Contact, based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Jean-Luc Picard is startled awake from a nightmare.  His subconscious has decided to offer up his assimilation to the Borg six years earlier as the night’s entertainments.  While the Borg are threatening Earth, Enterprise and her crew are sent to patrol the neutral zone.  Starfleet seems worried that Captain Picard would be too emotionally invested in the situation to join the fight against the Borg.

But when the Enterprise learns that Starfleet is losing the battle against the Borg the crew disobeys orders and heads towards Earth to offer aid.  With their assistance the USS Defiant and the remaining fleet is able to destroy the Borg Cube, but not before it sends off a small part of itself towards Earth.

When the Enterprise pursues the portion of the Cube they end up caught in a temporal rift sending both ships back to the 21st century…landing on an Earth circa 2063 that has been completely altered by the interference of the Borg.

How will the crew figure its way out of this?  And will the Borg actually assimilate the entire population of Earth?  Will the Enterprise and her crew ever make it back to their own century?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction

-Creator: based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 111 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence and gore, very mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige

-Page of Reference in RP1: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

Ok so…this movie combines some of my favorite Star Trek tropes and characters into a film.

You get the Borg one of the best grey-style villains in the entire series.  You get time travel.  You get the morality and philosophy debates that come with the Borg being a thing.  You get to see old Enterprise crew further in their careers…

Its just a good movie.  Not on the level that we expect now over 20 years later.  But really its just a good movie.  It doesn’t feel like an extended episode of the show.  It is an actual movie.

And I believe, as do a lot of fans and critics alike, that this is the movie that really brought the shows back to life. 

Everything about this film seems to hold even years later.  The graphic and practical effects are well done.  The Borg, as always, look wonderful.  Costumes and sets are on point.  Just a generally good film all around.

This is probably my favorite of the Next Generation films.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek Generations, based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In 2293, former Starfleet officers Kirk, Scott and Chekov attend the maiden voyage of the new USS Enterprise-B.  what should be a simple shake down mission and hand off to the new crew from one of the most famous Enterprise crews to date turns into something more when they are called to help with a rescue mission.  As the crew of the Enterprise-B races to save the El-Aurian refugees things go from bad to worse and while the Enterprise and the refugees are mostly unscathed it is at the loss of Admiral James T. Kirk.

Nearly 100 years later the crew of USS Enterprise-D are on their new holodeck for a simulation honoring the promotion of Worf to lieutenant commander.  When Captain Picard learns of the passing of his brother and nephew as well as a distress call from an El-Aurian observatory, the crew is sent into chaos as they try to unravel more than just the personal connections they have with each other but with the universe at large.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction

-Creator: based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 118 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence and gore, very mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Malcolm Mcdowell, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, William Shatner

-Page of Reference in RP1: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

This is a fairly decent movie that passes the torch, even though we have had seven seasons of The Next Generation already.  It was nice to see some of the old crew back.  And having William Shatner reprise his role as Kirk is always a good time.

I’m honestly not as impressed with this movie as I was with the actual television series. This film feels like a long and drawn out episode…and not necessarily one that you want the extra time with.  And unlike a lot of the newer series and films that are coming out amongst so many genres this one lacks the ability for anyone off the street to come in and enjoy.  You really need to know what happened at least in part in The Next Generation series and to know some about Kirk to really make it enjoyable.

This is in stark contrast to what happened with the reintroduction of Star Trek with the new Kelvin timeline and the new shows like Discovery and Lower Decks.  While its always better to have some history with the past series you don’t have to know anything about them to really enjoy them.

This isn’t my favorite of the Next Generation movies.  Its just fine. Nothing spectacular.

Rating:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

UPDATED: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Full Series), created by Gene Roddenberry: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Set 78 years after Star Trek: The Original Series, The Next Generation series follows the adventures of the new Enterprise (NC-1700-D) and her crew.  Headed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a team of accomplished and diverse officers, the show focus on the years following an encounter with an immortal, sentient life force known only as Q.

Throughout the series new characters and life forms are introduced like the Ferengi, the Trill, and the Q.  new adventures, planets and discoveries abound during the seven season run.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Drama

-Creator: Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 7 Seasons, 178 Episodes (average 45 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-PG (for Science-Fiction action and violence, some sexual content, some adult themes and mild language)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Hulu, CBSAllAccess, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube ITunes, DVD, BlueRay, and look for the series at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Wil Wheaton, Denise Crosby, Gates McFadden, and John de Lancie

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

Please note this review will be updated as I continue to watch through the whole series….

Season 1:

This season is incredibly rough as are many first seasons of Star Trek.  Some episodes are alright while most are okay at best, horrible at worst.  While this is my favorite of the Star Trek series there is much of the first season that is difficult to get through.  From the questionable introduction of Q (usually the Big Bad of a series isn’t introduced in the first episode…and not as what appears to be a throw away character though incredibly charming and quite vexing), to the childish Ferengi, to the various bigger than their britches Starfleet personnel, this season is shaky at best. Save a few important episodes you can basically just skip to Season 2…

Season 2:

This is where the show starts to hit its stride in my opinion.  We get the introduction of Ten-Forward and Whoopie Goldberg’s character, the holodeck makes several appearances, more complex and nuanced storylines become commonplace, season long story and character arcs are worked into the show…its just overall a much better season than season one! 

There are some really great episodes and moments in this season.  I love Data taking on the mantel of Sherlock Holmes and Riker working with the Klingons in an officer exchange program.  We get more of the mysterious Q, more of the moments that Star Trek is really known for: explorations and first contacts even if some of them are accidental.  Unfortunately, we also get a clip show which are my least favorite types of episodes but we got a third season, so I guess it wasn’t so bad.

This is the season that really made me a Star Trek fan. 

Season 3:

This is one of the most complex seasons of The Next Generation.  From more interactions with the Klingons to the real introduction of the Romulans to this series, some interesting information on Q when he is dumped on the Enterprise without his powers, a few moments with Vulcans, new characters and current characters development…. There is so much more going on in this series from here on out.

And the BORG! The Borg….the final two part episode of this season into season 4 is one of the most renowned and well crafted episodes of The Next Generation.  It is often ranked in the top 100 best episodes of television ever…and I have to agree.  From here on this show is just going to be fantastic.  You can just tell from how this season is composed.

Characters have more depth.  We get to find out their hopes and dreams, their loves and their challenges… The planets and alien interactions are all there to continue our knowledge of both their races and of the crew on the ship. Story lines are more thoroughly developed and contain so much more amongst the whole universe that is surrounding the Enterprise.

This is where The Next Generation shows why it is one of the most popular Star Trek series to this day.

Season 4:

Season 5:

Season 6:

Season 7:

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.