Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Okay I’m back, its been a busy Christmas period for me and I hope everyone had a good one.  So here we go, continuing with the Star Trek run down.

The sixth film sees the franchise reunite with director Nicholas Meyer for the original crews last outing aboard the Enterprise.

We come into the movie discovering the crew about to retire with the exception of Sulu who is now the captain of the Excelsior.  The plot was really influenced by TNG, or The Next Generation for those who don’t speak Trek, with the Klingons now allies with the Federation, we get to see why.

One of the Klingon moons exploding and polluting the home world, which leads the Chancellor to seek peace so they can concentrate on cleaning up their planet.  Of course its Kirk and crew sent to
escort them to Earth.  However there is a plot to hijack the peace talks and Kirk and McCoy are convicted of killing the chancellor.

Top 10 Christmas Movies

Today I’m taking a break from my Star Trek run through to do a Christmas special.  So here is my top 10 Christmas movies.

10. Lethal Weapon
Although not technically a Christmas movie as such, it is set over the holiday season so it gets a mention.  As does…

9. Die Hard
Again not a Christmas movie but we can’t have one without the other.

8. Miracle on 34th Street
It’s the remake, I know that’s wrong of me, but it has Richard Attenbourgh in it so we can look past that.

7. Elf
Zooey Deschannel, enough said.

6. The Grinch
Jim Carrey’s over the top performance makes this movie.

5. Bad Santa
John Rutgers last movie with Billy Bob Thornton and Bernie Mac, its a growth movie with a nice Christmas twist.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Henry Selick, not Tim Buttons, animation is a sing a long classic.

3. Gremlins
Oh yeah, some Cory Feldman in the top 10.

2. Santa Clause the Movie
What Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without watching THE Santa Clause movie.

1. Home Alone
Well most won’t agree, but I love this as a Christmas movie.  John Williams score just makes this a Chris Columbus classic.

Again if you want to submit your own post it up on the comments. 

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

So before I get underway, I received some comments which I made concerning Star Trek III.  Although I believed that it was one of the weakest, others believed that this was by far the worst.  I happened to read a book written by William Shatners daughter about the making of Final Frontier and now have new appreciation for the movie.

Let’s look at the plot; Spocks brother turns up and believes he’s found god, but its not actually god but a being who kind of pretends to be god…kind of.  He hijacks the new Enterprise to take him into the centre of the universe to find god.  Then the Klingons turn up and have a go but there isn’t really any major action.

There a load of problems with this movie.  Most concerning the Trek universe, but we won’t go into that.  This movie is slow paced, which tends to put people off.  For me knowing what Shatner went through trying to make this movie, really makes we watch it more

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

This was by far the most watched Trek movie I had when I was younger.  My mum recorded of the TV, um naughty, from a channel which had adverts and was shown in the early afternoon.  Needless to say, all the swearing, if you could really call it that, was cut out and it wasn’t till I bought it on vhs that I realised, kind of like the Goonies in that respect.

So Kirk and crew take the stolen Klingon Bird of Prey, which they pinched at the end of the previous movie, back in time to find some whales to save the future.  That is as simple as it comes.  It does seem like the simpler the story for a Trek movie, the more popular it is, please take heed Paramount.

Landing in San Fransico in the 80’s, watching the crew try and assimilate to the culture makes this the funniest of the films.  Kirk trying to explain to Spock about “colourful metaphors” when they get abused on the streets a particular highlight.

This was also the first time we see a female captain for a starship in the Trek universe.  Although only on screen for, at most 3 minutes, this was the major talking point for most fans in the movie.

That’s a rap on the fourth movie, next time its Shatners turn in the directors chair.

NB: In regards to the Goonies comment, if you have only watched the movie on TV during the day you’re missing out.  Pick a copy of the DVD, the uncut version, and see what Mouth says in Spanish.  Absolutely hilarious.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Now we move on to the third installment or the Star Trek movie collection.

Nimoy directs what in my eyes is one of the weakest movies in the series.  It takes place where Khan left off.  Kirk’s son David is studying the newly formed Genesis planet with Of Saavik, who is now played by Robin Curtis, when the Klingons come a calling.  Led by Christopher Lloyd, they try to obtain the secrets of Genesis.

Meanwhile, the crew of the soon to be decomissioned USS Enterprise, learn that Spock isn’t really dead and have to go back to Genesis, by stealing the Enterprise, to rescue their friend.

The finale takes place on the Genesis planet, which is highly unstable, with Kirk facing off against the Klingon commander. 

The stand out performance in this movie is by far Lloyds ruthless Klingon, Kruge.  His no nonsense appraoch to anyone who stands in his way really brought new dimensions to that race.  Curtis isn’t too bad either, playing Saavik more Vulcan than Alley did in Khan.

All in all, for me its just a way to get to The Voyage Home, I wouldn’t really watch this but if there was nothing else on then, yeah, its always good to watch a Trek movie.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Unlike the Motion Picture, which could be described as an arty picture, the second in the Star Trek franchise was back to basics.  It is very much like an extended episode.  It draws a lot from the TV series even bringing back Khan from the episode “Space Seed”.

Khan tries to take revenge on Kirk he he holds responsible for leaving him on Ceti Alpha V and for the death of his wife.  He hijacked the USS Reliant and steals the Genesis device, which is developed by his ex and son, with the intention to use it against his nemesis.

The significant change in this movie are the uniforms.  Although its implied, but never really explored, in the television series, this is the first time its very clear.  The executives at Paramount weren’t sure how the fans would react to director Nicholas Meyers changes, also they weren’t to keen themselves.  However it was a big hit and all of this continues to be a major part in Trek.

This is by far my favourite Star Trek movie.  I can’t quite but my finger on why this is.  It could be the space battles.  They’re not like Star Wars, thrilling action with ship flying here, there and everywhere, but as it has been described, submarine warfare. It’s slow, but this really builds up the tension.

Next time Nimoys Search for Spock.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

So welcome to my run down of the Star Trek movies.  Starting with the Motion Picture going through all the original cast, then to the Next Generation and onto the reboot.

In the late 70’s, Paramount tryed to cash in on what Star Wars did at the cinema for science fiction.  Before George Lucas’ space adventure hit the theatres, the powers that be were going to create a second Trek series, named Phase II, but elected to go for the big screen instead.  However several things, including the story, moved to the movie, which ended up being a cross between Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odessy.  Okay there wasnt as much swashbuckerling as Star Wars and at times it just drags, who cares about looking through the view screen as the ship flies over the alien craft, not me.

Directed by the legend Robert Wise, who brought us such classics as The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Andromeda Strain and the musicals The Sound of Music and West Side Story.  What is interesting is that he also directed Run Silent, Run Deep the classic submarine movie, as all the space battles and ship movements in Star Trek have been comparred to submarine warfare, just something to think about.  He brings back all the old cast, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Checkov, Sulu and Scotty, plus a few new ones Commander Decker and Navigator Ilia, who were supposed to appear in Phase II.

The story: an alien ship is heading straight for Earth and is destroying everthing in it’s path.  The only ship in range is the newly refited USS Enterprise, which is commanded by Decker.  However the now Admiral Kirk, gets back his ship to intercept the craft.  It turns out its not alien but an old Earth probe trying to find it’s creator.

There are alot of positive from this movie.  The big one: the Klingons.  his is the first time they appear with ridges and have their own language, although it was invnted by James Doohan and had no structure until a few decades later.  Another is the ship itself.  For me the refted USS Enterprise is by far my all time favourite, the slick look and the incredable paint sceme just makes me happy whenever I see it.

In my opinion this is the weakest movie, too long, too up itself but without it we would have had the sequel, but that’s for another day…

…and, well, I’m looking forward to it!

But, John. If the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.

So this year sees the rerelease a the cinema, and on Blu Ray, of the first movie that my parents took me to.  In fact it was the onlymovie they took me to!  I remember sitting in this tiny cinema as a 10 year old, so excited.  All my friends had been to see it already and now it was my turn.  I wasn’t disappointed.  However the weirdest thing is that I always associate Jurassic Park with the UB40 song from The Sliver, as it was used for the trailer.

Hey ho, so what is there to say about this movie, dinosaurs, blood, Samuel L Jackson.  The only thing missing is the lack of fit women.  Okay it has Laura Dern but is she fit, really fit?  I don’t think so, it maybe her age, I don’t know there’s just something about her.  She also surrounded but a fantastic cast of male actors, Sam Neil, Richard Attenbourgh, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Peck and of course Samuel L Jackson.  There are others but they’re not really with a mention.

So it’s a movie about a millionaire who clones dinosaurs to create the most amazing theme park in the world.  For me the scene which really stands out isn’t the T-Rex attack, oh no, but the first time that Brachiosaur eating those trees.  Seeing that in the cinema was awesome.  Then there were the cars, full of colour, I always wanted one.

I know it’s short and sweet, and late, but there you go.  Over the next few weeks I will be looking at the Star Trek series of movies, so see you soon.

Top 10 Disaster Movies by The Movie Doctor

This week I thought I’d do something a little different and do 10 movies!  That’s right 10 for the price of 1, aren’t I good to you.  What follows is my run down of my top 10 disaster movies.  So without further to do, let’s begin with number 10 (like you hadn’t guessed)

10. Dante’s Peak

Not one of the classics but a good watch.  One of the best scenes is the river of acid, however the end is weak and what’s up with the death of one of the supporting characters.  You really feel when he’s about to die but the sound guys went mad and added a wilheim scream, muppets.

9. Volcano

In contrast we have the totally unbelievable story of a volcano which erupted in downtown LA.  The reason this film rocks, well it has Tommy Lee Jones. 

8. 2012

Big spaceship like boats to save the human race.  Really, you’re joking right?  This movie is one of the most spectacular, but a weak storyline and a predictable ending doesn’t help.  On the plus the whole Yellowstone explosion just makes it worth it.

7. When Worlds Collide

One of the George Pal sci fi double.  Most people say this movie is all about its special effects and the story is watered down crap, but this really dips into the idea of rich people spending their money to save life as we know it.  Yes its more “here’s our money we would love to help and want nothing in return”, rather than in 2012 when they pay for seats on the ships and screw all the poor people.  It’s a short film and an easy watch.

6.  The Day the Earth Caught Fire

Rubbish film, but the uncertainty at the end was ahead of its time so it deserves a mention.

5. Indepndence Day

The modern day War of the Worlds.  With its all star cast, cracking special effects and what I would consider to be one of Jeff Goldblums best roles, though it may have some thing to do with Jude Hirsh playing his dad.  The chemistry between the two is spot on.  Are two sequels necessary?  We will have to wait and see.

4. Twister

Jan de Bont’s awesome movie about some tornado chasers trying to get a new piece of equipment into one to get more information.  The team is lead by Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt who were married and are going through a devorce and well you can guess the rest.  Oh and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a bit part, classic.

3. Armageddon

The unrealistic cousin of Deep Impact, but more enjoyable.  An incredible line up headed by Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton and supported by Will Patton, Ben Affleck, Owen Wilson, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan and Lib Tyler.  Plus a special mention to Peter Stormore, his character is by far the best, the crazy Russian who appears not to know the cold war has ended.

2. Knowing

Alex Proyas can’t do any wrong, even though he did make the Crow.  Even Nick Cage is bearable and even borders on a credible performance.  If you want to know if blu ray is worth it, all you have to do is watch the plane crash sequence, it is our of sight.  Even though the end brings in the religious card, you can look past that and even smile at the movies conclusion.

Just a quick point before we look wd my choice for the number one disaster movie, I’d like to point out that I hadn’t forgotten War of the Worlds, Day of the Triffids, the Day After Tomorrow etc.  They didn’t make it in the run down as I believe I put the best examples into the countdown.  Also I’d like to take this opportunity to mention The Day After.  Accredited to single handed putting an end to the Cold War, unfortunately this little gem, directed by the great Nicholas Meyer, was a made for TV special and can’t take its place here.  Although I would recommend it, if you can find it.

So here it is…

NUMBER ONE…

On The Beach

The power of this piece is incredible.  The cast adds to that with Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Ava Gardener and of course Gregory Peck.  So what’s the story?  A nuclear war has wiped out most the worlds inhabitants, the only place left is Australia.  But for how long.  What would you do if you only had a few days left?  It has a lovely balance to the picture.  There are some nice scenes which distracts the audience front the impending disaster.  For me though, what really affected me was the scene when the young couple with the child have to decide weather to give it the suicide drug or just let it die.  It gets me everytime.  It was remade in the early naughties as a mini series which is just as affective.

So theres my top ten.  If you have any ideas for the next top ten drop me a line.  See you soon.

You know what your problem is Margo? You’re too aggressive. You need to chill-ax, you know?

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First off I’m sorry for being away for a week.  I’m a busy bunny, but I’m back.

No I know the Oscars are still a way off, however everyone is raving about Ryan Gosling’s recent two performances, I won’t be mentioning them as I haven’t seen them and that’s just not what I do here, so let’s look at one of my favourite of his flicks.

So when I was at uni, a friend of my would just give me movies to watch.  So one day he passed Lars and the Real Girl, to which I asked “is it funny?”, and his reply was “you’ll see”.

So I briefly checked the genre and it said comedy.  Now I sat down to prepare to watch a comedy about a man who falls in love with a sex doll.  How wrong was I.

It starts off alright, setting the scene and you can see it coming.  So when he finally gets “Bianca”, and he and his family sit down for dinner, I’m ready to laugh.  Now here cones the problem, this first incident shall we say, almost makes me wet myself, then it dawns on me, “I’m laughing at a mentally disabled guy!”.

This pattern continues through the movie, you laugh but then you feel bad.  But by the end, you forget about the comedy and even start thinking that the doll is a real person.

For me this is a powerfully moving movie, well written and well acted.  My only criticism is how quickly everyone excepted the doll as a person, but it may happy, I’m not from a small town in America, but in England he would have had his head kicked in. 

Even though it does sound like its up itself, self rightious movie, but its not like that.  It’s an easy watch, and Gosling is the man.  Finally I dare you not to cry at the end!