Earlier this month, I commented on Now Playing.com’s Batman Retrospective, but now it’s the turn of Star Trek. Back in 2009, the team at Now Playing recorded a retrospective series on the Star Trek movies, from the 1979’s The Motion Picture, right up to J.J. Abrams 2009 reboot.
Well, I’ve listened to 11 podcasts, covering the six Classic films, the four Next Generation films and culminating with the reboot. Overall, I have no objections to their views, concluding that 1. was boring, though somewhere had an interesting story; 2. was the best; 3. could have been better; 4. was up there but not the best; 5. was hilarious (The podcast that is!); 6. was like Murder She Wrote; 7. (which they went to light on in my opinion), was bloated with sub-plots and wasted Kirk; 8. was the best of The Next Generation movies; 9. was full of plot-holes; 10. was rubbish but had great SFX and 11. was okay, but was far from perfect.
I pretty much agree with most of that, with the exception of Star Trek Nemesis (#10). I find it interesting that back in 2009, Tom Hardy, who starred as the villain Shinzon here in an early Hollywood role, back in 2002 was just referred to as “The guy who played Shinzon”. In the past three years, Hardy’s international fame has exploded, with film’s such as Inception, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy and of course, Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but in 2009, they just didn’t seem to know he even was. He just wasn’t Patrick Stewart, whose younger clone he was supposed to be.
Personally, I feel that even though Star Trek: First Contact (number 8) was the best TNG film, I feel that Nemesis brought a lot more to the table than most Trekers would have you believe. I am a Trekie, a life long one as well, but I feel that The Next Generation films lacked the scale or flair to be on the big screen in the same way that the Classic ones did, but by the time that they came to Nemesis, they went with a minor action director but long-standing editor, Stuart Baird, who added some of that to the franchise.
Classier visuals, stunning VFX and a more theatrical take, though I do agree with them that the story was not as good as the esthetic and that the film was out of character to the rest of the TNG films, this was not a bad thing. Those films, with the exception of First Contact, were benign, safe and more a kin to the TV series rather than an exciting 2 hours in a cinema.
All in all, give Star Trek: Nemesis a break. Granted they did admit that the effects were great and praised several key plot elements but in the end, it was a “Not recommend” from the team. I Love your reviews guys, agree with a lot of what you say but as for Nemesis, I couldn’t disagree more. I feel that it did more for adding that measure of theatricality to the franchise than Abram’s reboot ever did…