The Star Trek Saga- for better or worse.

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Since the latest incarnation of the series hit the stores on DVD and Bluray today….Just my quick rating of the various Star Trek movies. Bear in mind throughout that I am by no means a true (or even moderate) fan of the genre.  And of course they are all out on bluray now.

  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Crap.  Pure unadulterated crap.  Any time spent watching this is time you will never get back.
  • Star Trek IX: Insurrection.  I think this is a TV-movie foisted on the big screen.  The lack of any coherent plot really hurts.  Very close to becoming the worst in the series.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Fair considering the director had never seen the series this was bound to be a struggle.  It seems to me that only the cult following of the series ensured success.
  • Star Trek VIII: First Contact.  A great potential plot with the Borg is wasted.  Perhaps a fan of the Next Generation series would have enjoyed this one more as I sense Captain Picard’s first run in with the Borg is better explained there.
  • Star Trek VII:  Generations.  The great decline starts here.  Patrick Stewart is wonderful but only Shatner makes this seem like anything but a long TV episode.
  • Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home.  The final picture in a three picture story arc.  It’s a fair film and never takes itself too seriously.  The budget here is seriously constrained as much of the action (such as it is) takes place in modern day San Francisco.
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Well done without being over the top.  Plenty of over-acting chances for Shatner as Nimoy doesn’t appear much in this one.  No true weaknesses but no overwhelming strengths either.
  • Star Trek X: Nemesis.  Finally a film with the “Next Generation” crew which is watchable.  This is perhaps slated a bit too high in the list but oh well.
  • Star Trek (2009). Strangely I don’t have the love for this movie that others do.  It serves its purpose in introducing the characters but seems to hung up on catch phrases from earlier (later?) films.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Directed by Nicholas Meyer (the same as Khan) this final feature starring the original crew in its entirety returns some dignity to the series after the fiasco of Final Frontier.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Overall a superb film- great plot, good casting.  Montalban as Khan is wonderful.  The only shortcoming is the effects – you can see how Paramount kept the budgets for these films small.

Recommendations:  Unless you are a true fan of either the Star Trek saga or science fiction in general you are better off spending your money elsewhere.  Only Khan merits serious consideration for purchase.  The “Next Generation” films are available at this time only in a box-set and viewing the entire set must be a form of torture in most parts of the world and thus should be avoided.  The films featuring the original cast are available individually and one can pick and choose to one’s liking.  The latest incarnation is a bit of an oddity but does get rid of the sheer inane plots and TV feel of the “Next Generation” installments.

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