Thursday, 21 October 2010

Make it So

Last weekend (16th October) Film4 showed all 10 Star Trek films. Yeeesh that's a lot of Star Trek! Now I must point out at the outset that I am not a Trekkie! I'm firmly in the Star Wars camp. I know there have been many arguments over which series is better over the years, but to make a singular point here's mine as to why Star Wars is better: Lightsabers! There, said it!

Of course I didn't watch all ten films, that would be nuts. I saw some of the first film (The Motion Picture), but as we had friends over, it was muted. Which probably made it better as we could imagine what was being said, which was probably more interesting. Also great when subtitles say "ROAAR!"! I watched about half of Undiscovered Country (that's the one where they try to make peace with the Klingons and Kirk ends up in a gulag right?) That was fairly painful, with the usual wooden acting from Shatner et al. And Scotty is just terrible, as is his script: Bridge (could have been Spock at this point, I can't remember): "Try going to backup (reserve/auxiliary I can't remember) power!" Scot: "Shit yeah, good idea, why didn't I think of that, I mean, I'm only the fucking engineer!". Or something like that! Oh yeah, and Samantha (Kim Catrall) from Sex and the City is in it!

So the only two films I watched in their entirety were Generations and First Contact. Generations, yeesh. Shatner, bad; Patrick Stewart, alright I suppose, even Malcolm McDowell was bad. The plot was so obvious you could see it coming a mile off. Picard finds out relatives have died, and the plot revolves around the bad guy trying to get back to a different "reality" where everything is perfect, where you will never be so content. Mmmm, do you suppose Picard will end up there for a short while and his dead relatives will be there? Oh look, he wants to be in a Victorian Christmas day where his dead nephew speaks with the worst plummy English accent ever "Hello Uncle. I love you Uncle" (vomits quietly into a bucket). I think that this is another thing that routinely annoys me about Star Trek; there are often sections where the characters are not in the universe they live in. Well I guess they are, but they're not, they could be on a old sailing ship, or riding horses across a field, something that is totally incongruous to the film. I'm not denying it makes sense to use the holodeck, or that there are worlds in their universe where grassy fields and horses exist, that is fine, but it just looks dumb as part of the film. But that's just like my opinion man, perhaps I'm the only one!

Oh and as for the light comedy relief provided by Data and his emotion chip; well it's as bad as Jar Jar Binks.

On that cringeworthy note, on to First Contact, which I actually quite enjoyed. Probably mainly because Shatner isn't in it. Ah yes, now I remember, the Desperate Housewives episode! Hawk played by weird neighbour Dave Williams, and James Cromwell's sidekick played by weird neighbour Betty Applewhite. Still, this is the first film where the next generation crew made it their own, and a breath of fresh air it was. Directed by Riker (Jonathan Frakes) the script was far better than some of the old guard films, and the Borg make an interesting new enemy (to my mind; in the films; remember I'm not a Trekkie) as we were getting bored of Klingons and Romulans with dodgy make-up. Though some of the Borg outfits did remind me of an assassin cyborg escaped from a prison world in a Red Dwarf episode! Mercifully no light comedy from Data this time.
Well I've probably stirred up enough shit for a review of Star Trek, I couldn't face any more films that night, and besides, the new series of Desperate Housewives was starting on E4!

Still, I guess no blog on Star Trek would be complete without this: