Friday 5 December 2014

After seriously considering what I can offer the world to make it a better place, I've decided to start a really expensive line of shoes

Why yes, I am watching all the Star Trek films this week in chronological order For Like The Umpteenth Time, how perceptive of you!
I'm only begrudgingly and incidentally enjoying them, though, as the rewatch has been prompted by needing to check out the quality of a blu-ray box set edition of all 10 original movies (to make sure the discs aren't borked) to evaluate its fitness as a Chrimbo prezzie, but I have to say that I liked The Motion Picture a lot more this time out, even if it still drags a bit.  The close proximity of the viewings this time around made me notice how some of Final Frontier was directed to call back to the style of The Motion Picture, and that Undiscovered Country's final line from Kirk is actually a clever allusion to the line he delivers at the end of Wrath of Khan.  The actual final shot of the Enterprise from UC is, in my humble opinion, absolutely perfect even if the actual film is well-made and played nonsense, but I never noticed before how great Yosemite National Park looks in FF, even when that final, brilliant panning matte shot is ruined by the obtrusive insertion of credits about fifteen seconds too early and what was - by then - the theme of The Next Generation, a show the producers clearly wanted to start making movies about so they could finally ditch these old geezers.
And then Generations.   Blech.  The deleted scenes include the original ending, in which Kirk goes out like a trooper fighting a physically superior opponent in hand-to-hand combat, finally getting the upper hand with the deployment of the patented Kirk Double Axe Handle Blow before buying the farm on a wisecrack when he's treacherously gunned down from behind, which is a bit of a contrast with the actual re-shot ending they went with, in which Kirk and Malcolm McDowell play tag for a few minutes before Kirk trips on a stair and breaks his neck because he is a hundred.  The official ending basically makes him look like a chump to put the new crew over with audiences, though possibly if that is the desired effect, it's ruined by the new crew losing their ship on their first adventure and constantly being taken to the cleaners by panto Klingon villains and stock footage from previous Trek movies - the stock footage thing is particularly at odds with the notion of the franchise moving forward, I would also think.  I am going to do a Fanboy Thing from this point onward and just ignore all of Generations in much the same way that the rest of Trek itself has chosen to do.  It is for the best.
Of the others, Voyage Home is very much of its time, particularly the scene where Kirk tries to hide his futuristic communication device (a mobile phone) but made relevant by the chemistry between the leads, and Search For Spock remains a functional but not very interesting addition to the series.

I briefly considered watching the two reboot flicks after the original movies, but discounted this for two reasons:
1 - the intended recipient of aforementioned Chrimbo prezzie already has the first one on blu-ray, and
2 - despite being capable of watching absolutely anything if it's sci-fi - to the extent that at one point it was lamented that Tank Girl was not yet available on blu-ray - when I took them to the cinema to watch the second one, they leaned over to me during the bit where Kirk is trying to kick a giant sparkplug to make a space engine work again and said "this is going on forever, isn't it?" and it remains the single Trek film I've seen only once.  Which was too many times.

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