Moving is not fun, no matter how many times I do it. Whether it is across continents and oceans, states or to the neighboring town, it never gets easier. I am so glad that the Insufferable Movie Snob kept the blog going on, posting her detailed and funny reviews. If you haven’t already checked out her reviews you should do so now. She rocks! Here is a link to her last review.
My last movie/TV review post before my brief unplanned hiatus was on Star Trek Deep Space 9. Unlike The Next Generation, aliens of DS9 were more than just obnoxious caricatures and Star Fleet officers were not always perfect. Main and recurring characters experienced growth and change. The show had strong women characters who had more to do than just look pretty. I have be re-watching DS9 since the fall and I for one would like to revisit Terak Nor more than once. It has a wealth of episodes pertinent to this moment in history that we are all a part of.
When I asked which episode you wanted me to review, these were the episodes that came up in the comments.
His Way (6.20)
Its Only a Paper Moon (7.10)
Far Beyond the Stars (6.13)
Blood Oath (2.19)
In the hands of the prophets (1.20)
A Time To Stand (6.1)
Tears of the Prophets (5.26)
Once More Unto the Breach (6.7)
In the Pale Moonlight (6.19)
Most of these episodes are in seasons 6 and 7 when DS9 reached its climax. Because of the serialized nature of the show I think it would be better to go in chronological order. So people who haven’t watched DS9 before, can join in if they want to.
With that in mind, I will start at the beginning with The Emissary. I also think Duet, is a must watch of the season one episodes and we can end our season one watch with In the Hands of the Prophets. If you would like me to cover any other first season DS9 episodes leave a comment.
This is a complete list of season 1 episodes. Without further ado let’s dive in and begin at the beginning.
Since I have been sick the past two weeks, I have been remiss in posting reviews. To take my mind off the election results, I was watching the last episode of the Season Six Dominion arc, Sacrifice of Angels and was struck by the parallels between our times and the DS9 universe. It’s the best of all Treks in my opinion. I love the interplay between the various races, the villains who are unapologetically wicked but have human failings and Garak!
Do you have a specific episode you would like me to review. Leave your selection in the comment section. I will do a poll of the first four by Wednesday. Here is the entire episode list for DS9. DS9 is available for streaming on Amazon Prime and CBS.
Until then enjoy the Klingon Kitteh, one of my lols that got more than 1000 votes when it made to the first page on ICHC, a few years ago. Kittehs + Trek = Win Win!
Mr. Spock you will be missed. Which is your favorite Spock episode? Mine is Unification from the Next Generation. I miss Star Trek in its various avatars and its positive humanistic vision of the future. Most science fiction that makes it to the screen these days seems to be of a dystopian future, including the J J Abrahams reboot.
LoL by: two_kittehs
I miss Star Trek, is there a series in the works in the near future?
The review as promised. After seeing the 2009 Star Trek reboot my hopes for this latest Trek movie were not high. The reboot had major flaws, including but not restricted to an utterly unconvincing villain. This latest movie addresses that flaw to some extent. Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain is definitely an improvement over Eric Bana’s villain. Unlike the tattooed and bald Bana, Cumberbatch has a head full of hair and nary a facial tattoo in the movie and even his motivations and actions make more sense. I mostly blame the director and the writers for this sad state of affairs and not Bana.
I definitely liked this movie far better than the last one but it is not without flaws. The movie was a thrilling ride until the last thirty minutes.
WARNING: Spoilers follow
The movie begins with the Enterprise docked under water. Kirk and Spock are trying to save a planet by ignoring the Prime Directive.
The special effects were beautiful. Anyway, getting back to the plot, this results in Kirk losing command of the Enterprise and his rank, but don’t worry he will get both back in less than 10 minutes.
There is an attack on Star Fleet Archives in London, a huge explosion which destroys the building and its surroundings. It involves Cumberbatch and his blood, and a Star Fleet official with an ailing daughter. Immediately the Star Fleet high command summons a meeting in its San Francisco head quarters. Both Kirk who has been demoted to commander and Spock are present. Star Fleet must be awfully small if a recently demoted captain is a part of a high level meeting. The meeting takes place in a room with lots of windows. Was Dick Cheney’s bunker unavailable? Any how, there is another attack, through the aforementioned windows and most of Star Fleet big brass is eliminated including Kirk’s mentor Pike. Was it Abrams intention to make Star Fleet look like a joke? This crew doesn’t seem capable of tying its shoelaces, let alone undertake interstellar travel.
Meanwhile, Kirk has already figured out who is responsible for the attacks, it is one of Star Fleet’s own, a cadet named John Harrison. Harrison is none other than Cumberbatch. Who has already beamed back to an abandoned outpost in Klingon space.
Miraculously the Admiral who has convened the meeting escapes, I found that highly suspicious. More about that later. He reinstates Kirk as Captain and gives him back the Enterprise and sends him on highly secretive rogue mission to destroy Harrison. Enterprise is to be outfitted with top secret weapons. Haven’t we seen this before, an overreaction to a terrorist threat? And I don’t mean in real life, but in Trek, in Deep Space Nine, to be precise.
The rest of the movie is about the pursuit of Harrison who is not really Harrison, and bringing him back to earth to stand trial. Kirk soon figures out that things are not what they seem and both Harrison, and his on-board weapons specialist are not who he thought they were. Even his cargo of weapons is not what it seems. The weapons specialist turns out to be the Admiral’s daughter and Harrison is Khan. The admiral is who he says he is, but his intentions are far from honorable, as are his tactics. When Kirk figures that out, with help from his crew mates namely Scottie and Spock, he changes his mission from destroying Harrison/Khan to bringing him back to earth to stand trial.
The chase initially leads him and the Enterprise crew to Kronos where they encounter Harrison, who saves them from hostile Klingons, and relents to being taken a prisoner. He reveals his true identity while on the Enterprise and we find out the reason why he agreed to come back with them. We learn from Khan about the diabolical motivations of Admiral Marcus, who shows up in a huge ship, snarling, right on cue. Original Spock also makes a two minute appearance who tells the New Spock that Khan is a bad man, a very very bad man.
After many chases, firefights and fist fights, we have a final confrontation between Spock and Khan. Is it a battle of wits? Which one might have expected, since these two are supposed to be the brainiest men in the alpha quadrant. No, its a fist fight on what seems like a floating construction platform, where Khan goes from invincible to popsicle in a matter of minutes. How and why? Ours is not to question why but wait for a sequel to be explained why. I am hoping, that they also explain why Khan’s blood is magical.
Khan was an iconic villain in the original series, and the movies made thereafter. Since I have not seen either the movies or the episodes in which Khan makes an appearance, I don’t really get the significance of Harrison really being Khan. Is he supposed to be extra scary because he is Khan?
As for how an open society can retains its openness and its values, in face of the threat of terrorism, was handled far better in DS9, in the two part story, Homefront and Paradise Lost. It also had an admiral who goes rogue because he thinks that people around him are too soft to handle this new threat. The movie raised interesting questions relevant to the post 9/11 world but then degenerated into mindless and mind numbing summer fare. The cast, including Cumberbatch did an excellent job with the flimsy material they were given. The story did not utilize the characters of Dr McCoy, Scottie and Chekov well. If there is a sequel I hope that they are used for more than providing comic fodder. I for one thought that attempts at comedy were lame. Which is a shame because both Pegg and Urban, the actors playing Scottie and Bones, seem capable of much more.
We need a story worthy of this crew and the franchise. All in all a missed opportunity. Though it did provide a good hour and half of thrilling ride that transports you to a world of possibilities.
Credits (h/t : NYT Review)
Directed by J. J. Abrams; written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, based on “Star Trek” by Gene Roddenberry; director of photography, Dan Mindel; edited by Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey; music by Michael Giacchino; production design by Scott Chambliss; costumes by Michael Kaplan; produced by Mr. Abrams, Mr. Kurtzman, Mr. Orci, Mr. Lindelof and Bryan Burk; released by Paramount Pictures. Running time: 2 hours 12 minutes.
WITH: John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), Benedict Cumberbatch (John Harrison), Alice Eve (Carol), Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike), Simon Pegg (Montgomery Scott), Chris Pine (Capt. James T. Kirk), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr. Leonard McCoy), Peter Weller (Starfleet Admiral Marcus) and Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov).
I am huge fan of Sherlock and I like Star Trek so I am eagerly awaiting the release of the upcoming sequel to the 2009 reboot. I also happened to catch the trailer at the theater when we went to see Argo and it looked impressive. So to get up to speed, I got the 2009 reboot of Trek’s original series by J J Abrams, from my local library, since I missed seeing it the summer it was released.
I have caught reruns of a few episodes of the Original Series (TOS) so I am some what familiar with Kirk and his crew. But my exposure to Star Trek was mostly The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space 9 (DS9) and Voyager. To me DS9 is the best Trek. Voyager has some good episodes but was by and large a wasted opportunity. TNG can be a tad too preachy and feels some what dated now, but its cerebral Captain and thoughtful approach to moral dilemmas made it compelling viewing, when I first saw it in the early nineties. Of late though, Trek has been disappointing. I could not stand the Enterprise series at all, I did not make it beyond the first few episodes. The less said about the last Trek movie, Nemesis, the better. It was by far one of the worst movies I have ever seen, I could not sit through all of it. Even the actors seemed bored with the screenplay like I was.
I had heard good things about the 2009 movie and I was curious to see it. I am disappointed. It was action packed but lacked emotion or logic. I will say that this outing of the Trek is not as tired as the last one, but the Romulan villain played by Eric Bana was as compelling the Romulan villain played by Tom Hardy. Another Bald Romulan Baddie. Not scary at all, cartoonish and ridiculous. That’s what I concluded after watching the frenetic opening sequence with lots of explosions and our hero being born. Not a good omen for the rest of the movie.
The part where the movie worked for me was the introduction of Kirk and his crew. They were all good but Quinto stood out as the young Spock. Zoe Saldana, had nothing much to do except look pretty and kiss one of the leading men, you can guess who. Kirk’s promotion to Captain was a bit silly. Original Spock also makes an appearance and plays an important role. My reaction, to his presence, highly illogical.
What was yawn inducing was the plot of the planet destroying super villain, who wants to destroy Vulcan and then the earth. He is from the future, and he is pissed at Spock. The planet sized plot holes and logical inconsistencies in the script made the spectacle on the screen difficult to enjoy. BTW those worried about US supremacy in the future should rest easy. Because in the future’s future even planet destroying evil Romulan super villain speaks with barely a trace of an accent. However the mystery that confounded me for the rest of the duration of the movie was why earthlings in Kirk’s era speak with their accents intact but the Romulan in Kirk’s future doesn’t.
I was surprised by the high marks this movie received from both critics and audiences alike. It was a summer action blockbuster with less depth than The Independence Day. The movie was slick but not thought provoking which the best Trek can be, see for example TNG’s Darmok or DS9’s In the Pale Moon Light. This movie was all action without a strong story line to back it up. It was like junk food, delicious but without nutrition. Even the destruction of Vulcan and killing off Spock’s mother had little emotional resonance for me.
I do like the dynamic between new Kirk and new Spock, so I will give the sequel a chance and see it when it is released in May. Cumberbatch’s villain in the sequel is not Romulan and has hair, so that gives me some hope.