Monday, May 13, 2013

Star Trek Movie Reviews, Part I: The Lower Tier

Having already done a thorough review of each of the previous 11 installments into the Star Trek film franchise, I won't delve as deeply into the movies. Instead I will offer a miniature "capsule" review that sums up those reviews and will begin with my least favorite Star Trek movie and work my way to my favorite.

I will also be using a new grading scale. Instead of the 4-star system I have used in past reviews, I will now use a 1-10 grading scale in which I will grade different aspects of the movie and add them together for a final score. Said grading scale is as follows:

Story: The strength of the story, any plotholes that exist and the overall writing (2 points)
Characterization: The characters as presented in the script. Are they believable? Are they developed? (2 points)
Acting: The overall action (2 points)
Entertainment: Is the movie entertaining? This includes pacing and direction. (2 points)
Music: The quality of the music. (1 point)
Visuals: Not all movies have visual effects, so this also represents the overall cinematography and visual presentation of the film. Obviously because music and visuals aren't as crucial (yet still a factor) to the overall quality of the film, they are given lower point values. (1 point)

And now, we will begin with what I believe are the "lower tier" of the Star Trek movies. These are the ones that just are plain and simple not good and borderline bad.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
The Final Frontier is easily the worst and most painful to watch of all the Star Trek movies. From it's horrible visual effects to its laughable laughing villain, it's an all-around mess. The portrayal of the Enterprise's secondary crew is horrible as they fall so easily under the influence of Sybok. The promise of finding God is so great that it can go one of two ways: 1) They actually find God and once you do, how do you possible continue exploring after that? Or 2) You don't find God but something terrible instead.

What I do give this movie credit for is the attempts it made to show the family dynamic of the crew who have served together for so many years. Though they're otherwise portrayed poorly, this is one positive aspect of their characterizations, particularly the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. The other thing that is right in this movie is Jerry Goldsmith's stellar score. Otherwise, you're best doing what Gene Roddenberry did; Pretend like this movie never happened. Full review

Story: .5 / 2
Characterizations: .25 / 2
Acting: .5 / 2
Entertainment: .5 / 2
Music: 1 / 1
Visuals: .25 / 1
3.0 / 10

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek's first foray onto the big screen is hindered by a story that recycles and mashes together plots from episodes from the 60s TV series and a cast that's stiff and flat. The film's pacing drags along with long stretches of time where there's little to no dialogue. Any sense of adventure from the original television series is unfortunately missing, replaced by boredom. Though Jerry Goldsmith's majestic score is one of the franchise's finest and the visual effects are outstanding for 1979, they're not enough to salvage this uninspired effort. Full review

Story: .75 / 2
Characterizations: .5 / 2
Acting: .5 / 2
Entertainment: .5 / 2
Music: 1 / 1
Visuals: 1 / 1
4.25 / 10

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