Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Star Trek: The Next Generation Movies

Today and tomorrow I'm taking a look back at the four movies based on Star Trek: The Next Generation. These movies were, for the most part, fairly decent. However, they seem to be a bit forgotten since they came during the post-TNG black hole of interest in the Trek franchise.

Since I'll be talking about Star Trek - and constantly referencing things like ship classes - I advise non-dweebs, nerds, or dorks to turn back now. However, if you do that, know that pussies who don't give Star Trek a chance are just doing themselves a disservice. Dweeb with me.




STAR TREK GENERATIONS

-Movie 7. Watching this right after the end of the show. It's like the show didn't even end.

-I know this one has Enterprise-B and Enterprise-D.

-My Excelsior boner isn't what it used to be. Enterprise-B looks pretty unimpressive to me.

-One of the comm officers is a young Aaron Pierce. The captain is an older Ferris Bueller's Friend From Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

-Enterprise-D's bridge looks different from the show. That right there was a big mistake on the part of the producers, because it was sure to incite nerd rage all across the internet. Personally, it isn't something I particularly care about, though it is a bit baffling. Why not just use the bridge from the show, for continuity's sake? Or at least an explanation as to why the bridge has an entirely different layout now. Did the Enterprise get a refit when we weren't looking? Even a throwaway line like "I still haven't gotten used to the interior remodeling..." would have avoided upsetting some of the fans who felt like the movie was ignoring the show.

-This has the same feel that Serenity did after Firefly. Everything seems "sped up" and far more dramatic.

-Data's cat is AWESOME.

-...but Comedy Data gets really annoying really fast.

-Know what's weird? Halfway through the movie and Riker has barely been in it AT ALL. I wonder if this continues for the rest of the movies. It feels like Data has usurped Riker as co-main character.

-Wow, these Klingon women have heaving breasts. That's definitely new. You can really tell the movies apart from the show. Once Hollywood producers get their hands on something, it invariably skews a little more towards the lowest common denominator.

-This movie drags on quite a bit. This is a problem with most of the Trek movies. Even Wrath of Khan drags on quite a bit in the middle. The two new (I call them Trek 2.0) movies are better about this, but they're pretty well-designed in general.

-This is probably why Star Wars has always been bigger than Star Trek at the box office. Trek movies can have some sizable lulls, while Wars is continuously exciting. I guess.

-As far as this movie goes... I REALLY want it to be great, but it isn't. It's super-average. As far as Trek movies go, it's above The Motion Picture and The Final Frontier and below the rest. Shame, this crew deserved something blow-away for their movie debut.

-Enterprise-D absolutely whooped the hell out of that Klingon Bird of Prey. Ship is overpowered 'yo. That was a good way to bring people who didn't watch the show (and only watch the movies, I guess) that Picard's Enterprise-D is much more powerful than Kirk's Enterprise-A. Since -A always had a lot of trouble overcoming a Bird of Prey.

-...and half of Enterprise eventually blows up, the other half crash landing on a planet. Wow.

-I'm a little bit torn here. On one hand, I'm sad to see the Enterprise-D be destroyed, given all I've been through with it. On the other hand, having watched most of The Next Generation, I'm kind of glad that we'll get something new, because Enterprise-D has been "old" for a while.

-However, if I didn't know that there would be more movies and we'd get a new Enterprise, seeing D in ruins like this would be very sad.

-Now the part I do remember, the Picard flashback scenes. Good stuff here. I remember this because Xenosaga 2 has some similar scenes. Xenosaga 2 isn't very good, but it sure does have some interesting cutscenes and areas. Glad I played it one time. And one time only.

-This is a lot like "All Good Things" (the final episode of the show). Picard is seeing people from his past that he doesn't have around anymore.

-"Time has no meaning here" that must be nice.

-Yeah, the Picard family scenes here are the reason why I liked this movie the first time I saw it, and the only things I remember about it from way back then. Good stuff, like I said.

-The Kirk/Picard stuff is great even if this... doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It pulls my strings the way Picard is seeing people he lost long ago. Why does this pull my strings? Because it's so impossible.


-Seeing Kirk and Picard on the same screen is bizarre. And awesome.

-Data crying for what I believe is THE FIRST TIME EVER when he finds The Orange Menace (that is, his cat) is a great moment.

-This movie isn't very good, but it does have some really nice moments here and there. I like it.



STAR TREK FIRST CONTACT

-Movie 8. This is the best of the TNG movies, as seemingly agreed on by Everyone.

-Personally, I like Enterprise-E the most out of the seven Enterprises in Trek 1.0 (the five letters, original, and Bakula Proto) at this point. Yeah, I have a bit of an Excelsior (B) boner, and C is all-around cool. C should have been the Next Generation ship, honestly. But then we wouldn't have gotten that incredible "Yesterday's Enterprise" episode. Back to the ships, the original (and A) are timeless. The NX Bakula Proto is probably my least favorite of the ships. It's a bit bland-looking and just doesn't have a whole lot going for it. Enterprise-D is okay, not a big fan of it but I had a whole series to start liking it. But Enterprise-E... this one is sleek and sharp. I like ships that have a sharp look to them. Ships that are long and pointy. I like the Super Star Destroyer. Enterprise-E is similarly cool. The only reason anyone would have to dislike it is that it isn't Enterprise-D, which is fair enough. The way I look at it is that after seven seasons and one movie of Enterprise-D, I'm down with a new ship. At the same time, it does kinda make Movies 8-10 not feel entirely like TNG movies.


-I don't like that it just starts with them in Enterprise-E. I'd liked to have seen how they got the Sovereign. The old movies made a huge deal out of it every time the protagonists got a new ship. Hell, movie 7 just made a really big deal about Enterprise-B's launch and it wasn't even an important part of the movie. That was a little bit bizarre.

-As cool as the new ship is, it's weird that they just jump right in like this. Gives the movie even more of a "TNG except not" feeling. How'd they get this ship? Why is it a warship as opposed to an exploration ship? (Edit: I'm being told that Deep Space Nine, which I have only seen the first season of thus far, explains some of this)

-Whoa, is that Defiant? Worf is on it and everything.

-Yeah, it was Defiant. Does that make this a DS9 movie as well? No. But it's cool that DS9 at least gets a sort of shout-out. I'm a fan of continuity being shown.

-Speaking of the post-TNG shows, one of the ships in the Borg battle looks a lot like the NX Proto-Enterprise. Why would one of those still be in use? They didn't even have shields, but I suppose this could be an upgraded one that has more modern technology. Still can't be all that powerful. It's understandable for Starfleet to be throwing everything they have at something that is technically in Earth's perimeter.

-And Enterprise-E Sovereign looks a lot like the U.S.S. Voyager, except way more badass.

-This movie wastes no time getting action-packed, unlike... well, every other Trek movie ever.


-They really beat the crap out of that Borg Cube. This ain't the Federation of...uh... seven to ten years ago when the battle of Wolf 359 transpired.

-Enterprise-E has Quantum Torpedoes! Because Photon Torpedoes are so "last hundred years".

-Everything is happening so fast! It's like TNG in fast-forward.

-Okay, I need to know what the deal is with Riker/Worf/Troi. I was waiting for all of TNG for Riker and Troi to get back together because I like both of them so much. Instead, at the end of the series she gets together with... Worf? He was worried about what Riker would think, Troi wasn't too bothered because that was ancient history, and Riker... well, it turned out that he wanted to get together with her again all along, but thought that he had all the time in the world. Then it was too late. But now, in this movie, we have Worf and Riker with a lot of tension, and neither man is with Troi. So what the heck happened in the meantime? Who knows.

-Speaking of which, Worf showing up in movie 8 is pretty abrupt. It's like he just vacates the Defiant in the middle of space and rejoins the TNG crew as if nothing happened. Reminds me of Ramirez suddenly dropping into the present in Highlander 2 and everything carrying on like "whatevs".

-Our heroes beam down to Post-WW3 America. I wonder if everyone speaks Chinese... or just swears in it. (Firefly reference HOOOO)

-The big question of whether or not Zephram Cochrane was killed in the attack, thus ending the future as we know it... could they just go back up to the Enterprise and fly back and forth at warp speed until the Vulcans notice, thus keeping everything more or less the way it was? Except the Vulcans would probably be all "what the fook" at humans having a hyper-advanced ship when they couldn't even warp the day before.

-...Troi is so cute.


-With the faster pace, increased action, actual menace lurking, sharper ship, and dark uniforms... this is like TNG badass-ified.

-Movie is good, a lot better than the previous one. During Star Trek Generations I could barely keep paying attention a lot of the time, but this movie is keeping my interest.

-Also has some Voyager stuff, like the Borg Queen and the hologram doctor.

-Worf saying "assimilate this!" as he blasts a Borg... yeah, I definitely couldn't see that happening in the show. Hollywood!

-Also weird to see Picard and Worf at each other's throats. Reminds me of Mal and Simon hating each other in Serenity, or Duncan and Methos hating each other in The Source. Like "where did this come from?"

-For some reason, movie producers feel the need to introduce tension between characters when a show gets movie-ized, in addition to adding lots of violence and a general sense of things being in fast-forward.

-Good movie, very good, not great. It's better than most of the Star Trek movies, but not as good as the top tier (that is, II, III, and IV). It's a bit of a bummer to know that this movie is the best it'll get from here on out.

-The Borg are good villains, but I'm looking forward to seeing how DS9 tops them with The Dominion.

-So who would win in a battle between The Borg Collective and the Star Wars Empire?

-At the end, when Cochrane went to talk to the Vulcans, I kept expecting him to whip out a gun and shoot 'em. No, I'm thinking of the Mirror Universe version. Speaking of which, I'm going to watch the beginning of "In a Mirror, Darkly" to see how closely it followed this scene.


BONUS - ENTERPRISE SEASON 4 EPISODE 18: IN A MIRROR, DARKLY

-This is the notorious Mirror Universe episode of the Bakula show. Just watching the first scene, which heavily ties into the movie I just saw. Except in this universe, Cochrane shoots the Vulcans and takes their stuff instead of working with them to develop starships. Why? Because the Nazis won WW2, or something to that effect.

-Wow, that scene was identical....up until he pulled the gun, and there was no sign of any kind of change-over at that point. If they re-did everything for this show, six years or so after the movie I just watched, then well done. This episode is from 2005, so it's well after First Contact.

-The intro credits really do look like footage from a Bush-era national anthem montage at a sporting event. Because when I think of America the Beautiful, I think of tanks and cruise missiles!

-The first scene after that shows our heroes torturing a guy. Bakula voices objections... not to the torture, but to it not producing enough results, Reminds me of 2004-era Democrats. Going along with something bad because you think it'd make you look wimpy if you don't is incredibly cowardly.

-But enough political soapboxing. Tune in for the next installment as I cover Insurrection and Nemesis.

3 comments:

  1. The Imperial fleet would destroy the Borg. There is absolutely no question. It would beat anything in Trek most likely.

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  2. The Dominion are different, but very well done.

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