Archive for March, 2005

A Brief History of Star Trek Movies

Let me start by saying I’m a fan of the Star Trek franchise. I probably don’t qualify as a Trekkie, but I’ve watched large chunks of all of the various series, and I have seen all of the movies. Upon reading recently of the upcoming 11th Star Trek Movie, I was reminded of the Curse of the Odd, and wondered what portents it might hold.

The Curse of the Odd is my theory that every odd-numbered Star Trek movie sucks (to varying degrees of suck), and that every even-numbered Trek film is worth seeing. Before you agree or disagree, I’ll admit that there is an exception- but whether it’s the exception that proves the rule or a sign that the theory is flawed remains an open question. So, let’s review:

  1. Star Trek: On Ice! – Featuring a stark, lifeless bridge as cold as a Klingon prison planet and the worst Star Trek villian ever. Sputnik so would have nailed that role. Odd=Bad.

  2. Star Trek II: Khan! (Read aloud, the way Kirk screams into the communicator at his nemesis) – Brain worms and rich, corinthian leather. What’s not to love? Argued by many to be the best of the bunch. Even = Good.

  3. Star Trek III: Where’s Spocko? – Spock’s big screen directorial debut. Perhaps the best of the worst, but just not a standout. Even though it had Klingons and Spock’s daddy, it just didn’t do much for me. Odd = Bad.

  4. Star Trek IV: The Whale Movie – My personal favorite of the original cast films. Cheesey, yes, but good, clean, honest cheese. This film has some of my favorite movie soundbites (Kirk: “Double dumbass on you!”; Scotty: “Hell-ooo computer!”; Spock: “They are not the hell your whales”) and some of the silliest Trek moments of all time (Sulu flew a “Huey” during his Academy days?). This movie is just plain fun. Spock’s second turn directing. Even = Good.

  5. Star Trek V: Are You There, God? It’s Me, Sybek – or, why Denny Crane should never, ever direct a Trek movie. There are no words. Odd = Bad.

  6. Star Trek VI: Those Klingon Bastards! (again, with Shatner-esque feeling!) – “I’ll never forgive them… for the death of my boy!” Kirk may hold a grudge, but everyone else loves those wacky Klingons. Why can’t we all just get along? Even = Good.

  7. Star Trek: I’m Not Dead Yet! – The death scene he waited his whole life to portray as Shatner returns for his final hurrah, passing the torch the the next, um, generation. Or, to paraphrase Malcom Macdowell’s character, “Time is the fire in which I wasted two hours on this film.” Thumbs up to the crash scene effects, if not the whole stupid notion. Odd = Bad.

  8. Star Trek: Back to the Future – Time travel worked for The Whale Movie, and it works again here. For my money, best treatment of the Borg yet. The Queen/Data scenes lacked a bit, but overall a good flick. My favorite of the NextGen era. Riker’s big screen directorial debut. Even = Good.

  9. Star Trek: The Joysick Movie – Nothing sums up this piece of crap like the sight of a $30 wingman joystick rising out of the center of the floor of the bridge of the Enterprise on a pedestal so Riker can fly a mile-long starship one-handed. And let’s not even talk about Worf’s pimple. Riker’s second (and last!) Trek movie directing stint. Odd = Bad.

  10. Star Trek: Bald is Beautiful… Unless You’re a Romulan – and here we come to the flaw in my perfect little gem of a Theory. This was supposed to be a good Trek film! Ten is an even number, I tell you! Alas, not even the power of Mathematics could save this beast. A Romulan Picard clone? Someone should have initiated the self-destruct sequence long before that script started shooting. Combined with the dissapointment (Even!!), this is my vote for worst Trek film ever. Even=A Major Letdown.

So there you have it. What will #11 bring, besides a new cast? Will the Curse of the Odd hold out, or did #10 suck so bad as to warp the fabric of the Trek movie continuum, resetting the Curse? Only time will tell.

Email Outage

Due to battery problems with my aging powerbook, the fact that I’ve never gotten around to setting up my own mail server, lack of time, and general laziness, I haven’t checked my email for about a week. Today I finally broke down and transfered my mail setup to the iMac, and got caught up on my mail. If you’ve mailed me in the past week, sorry for the silence. I’ll try to reply to everything today or tommorow.