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Nordling here.

My New Year’s Resolution this year was to write more features and editorial articles.  I’m taking much of this from Film Critic HULK at Badass Digest, who, in my opinion, offers some of the finest movie discussion on the Internet right now.  Now, I have no idea whether or not this will develop into a column.  In fact, you could see it as a continuation of a column that Drew McWeeny started in 2007, which was our 1982 retrospective.  At the time, 25 years had passed since that wonderful genre year, with movies like E.T., BLADE RUNNER, John Carpenter’s THING remake, POLTERGEIST, TRON, THE ROAD WARRIOR (MAD MAX 2 to those of you across the pond), and many others.  It was a great year for geek movies, and many of our readers now weren’t even born then so if you think this is just some trip down memory lane by some balding geek then feel free to click away.  In fact, I want to make this something of a nostalgia-free zone anyway, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

(And this is an aside, but if you want to read a tremendously great breakdown of POLTERGEIST, go to Badass Digest and read Devin Faraci’s write-up about the film, the controversy behind its making, and the legacy that makes the film an undisputed horror classic 30 years later.  A two-part article, read Part I here and Part II here.)

So, CLASS OF ‘82 is an attempt to talk about those great movies that year with some kind of analysis, a little (but not much) retrospective, and an exploration of why those films are not only as beloved as they are, but why they turned out as good as they did.  It’s easy to look back through the years with fond memories of childhoods past and better times, but I actually want to avoid that if possible, because, simply put, these movies are great without all that extraneous bullshit.  BLADE RUNNER doesn’t need nostalgia – it’s amazing all on its own without the filter of time buffing the edges off.  I’ve already been down memory lane when it comes to a movie like E.T.  That’s not what this is about, and if I ever decide to write something about E.T. again I’ll do my best to avoid all that and concentrate on just what makes that movie work as well as it does.  What’s much more likely, though, is that I’ll skip that one altogether, or have someone else write something if they’re interested, because I think I’ve said all I need to say on that movie at this point.  So…

I’ve been under the weather this past week, so I haven’t been posting at full strength.  Plus, it’s just a slow news cycle in general for movie news – if it’s not a best of list or Oscar talk, most news is held off until February or so.  So I’ve been spending much of the time watching movies at home, and this week STAR TREK: NEMESIS was on cable, so I watched it.  I hadn’t seen it since release, and I remember it as being pretty bad – nowhere near the cinematic horror show of INSURRECTION, but close.  NEMESIS finds a way to screw up a Tom Hardy performance as the villain, and the fact that he pulled his career out of this tragedy says a hell of a lot about his skills as either an actor or self-promoter, I’m not sure which.  But this time, maybe it was the cold rattling my brains, NEMESIS didn’t play that badly.  I’m under no illusions – I recognize NEMESIS as a terrible movie – but for someone just looking for something to play in front of me while I coalesced, NEMESIS was just the ticket.

But NEMESIS has a major problem, a problem shared by many of the STAR TREK films, including Abrams’ – it wants to be STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN so badly that the movie suffers for it.

As far as comfort movies go, for many of us, you can’t beat the STAR TREK films.  Are many of them bad movies?  Absolutely.  In a way, the best film of the series, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, broke all the movies after it.  Even J.J. Abrams' reimagining, which I love, gets by more on a ton of charm than good story.  If J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK were a pig, Samuel Jackson would eat it.  STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME probably is the most successful TREK film because it strayed away from that KHAN template and became something unique on its own.  Even when Nicholas Meyer returned for THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY he realized that KHAN shouldn’t be repeated, and instead told a more political story that was wider in scope.  But many of the TREK films after KHAN keep trying to return to that well, and keep trying to catch that lightning again, but what those subsequent films fail to realize is that it’s not just one thing that made KHAN so great.  It was many.

You can’t deny that KHAN has a great villain, easily the best in the franchise.  Ricardo Montalban is so good as Khan, in fact, that you sympathize with him a lot more than other sympathetic villains.  After all, he’s right.  Kirk did abandon him on Ceti Alpha V.  He may not have realized what was going to happen to Ceti Alpha VI, but he at least could have checked them out, if for nothing else a sense of duty.  Khan Singh was a tyrant on Earth, and Captain Kirk could have checked now and then to see that Khan wasn’t up to any mischief.  Even before they dropped Khan and his crew off, they could have checked the stability of the nearby planet.  And yet, maybe there was nothing that Kirk could have done.  But he still was responsible, and once Kirk made the decision to abandon them to their fate, the die was cast.  Khan’s anger feels righteous and honest, and Montalban plays Khan as so wounded by his loss that it strips him of reason.  There is always a part of me that wants Khan to win.  The TREK films since have never achieved that kind of sophistication with their villains.

If Khan was such an amazing villain due to Ricardo Montalban’s terrific performance, he’s matched by William Shatner’s Kirk, which in KHAN is easily his finest hour as that character.  People make fun of Shatner a lot as an actor, and I know that “KHAAAAAANNNN!” is a well-established and quoted line, done in jest, but in the context of that scene?  Shatner totally nails it.  Kirk is completely helpless, for the moment, to Khan’s machinations.  His scream is full of impotent sound and fury, and I think the reason it’s so loved is that it works so well.  But Shatner creates a rich character this time around, a Kirk dwelling on his mortality, and his place in the universe, and he is a man who knows in his heart that he hasn’t done right by a lot of people in his past.  He feels as if the ambitions and hopes of a young James Kirk have fallen to the wayside as this older, bureaucratic man has taken his place, babysitting recruits while standing behind a simulator.  The dynamic between Kirk and Khan wouldn’t be anywhere near the same if Abrams decides to bring the character into any sequels.  These are two men fighting, one to avenge the losses of his life, and one to prove that he still matters, that he can still make a difference, and who is trying to correct the wrongdoings of his past.

In NEMESIS, Commander Data decides to sacrifice himself to save the Enterprise, but since it not only has been done before in KHAN, the character itself is given a reboot inside the movie, which gives the sacrifice absolutely no weight.  When I first saw KHAN in 1982, audiences weren’t given that kind of reprieve, even with the extraneous coffin shot at the end.  I remember hearing a lot of crying in the audience that night, and the only reason I didn’t join in at the time was because I wasn’t as familiar with the character as I am now.  But Spock’s sacrifice should resonate with anyone who has ever lost a friend to tragedy.  “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”  “Or the one.”  It’s a moment of great nobility for the character, and part of me has always wondered what it would have been like if the character simply never returned to the franchise.  Of course, he did; fans demanded it and even Leonard Nimoy himself had second thoughts at the wrap party, where he famously told Harve Bennett that he looked forward to returning in the next movie.  Knowing that Spock does come back takes some of the sting out of it, but if you watch the movie without that baggage it becomes one of the best goodbyes from any long-standing genre character in science fiction history.  Even the way he adjusts his shirt as he stands before his Captain for the last time is one of those wonderful moments that I tend to think about when remembering this scene.  Spock and Kirk, separated by a barrier, also make that scene work so well.  Nicholas Meyer knew that restraint and subtlety carry more emotional weight than any histrionics and overacting ever could.  It’s an appropriately quiet moment.  And that scene may well be the pinnacle of acting for both Leonard Nimoy and Shatner.

Spock’s death just helps accentuate the bigger themes of THE WRATH OF KHAN – the fear of dying, the fear of growing old, and not serving your purpose.  The television show was about Big Ideas; it prided itself on that.  And yet, it was rare that the film franchise ever achieved such lofty heights, even with all the budget in the world.  Well, THE WRATH OF KHAN was all about Big Things and Big Ideas.  What’s more, the filmmakers weren’t afraid of sometimes stopping the movie cold to explore them.  Take the scene in Kirk’s apartment, when McCoy comes by to give his birthday wishes to Kirk.  It’s a wonderful character moment for the both of them, and it sets up practically everything thematically for the rest of the movie, and it barely moves the plot forward at all. Then there is the central conceit of the movie, or as Spock puts it, “the needs of the many.”  STAR TREK was always about the needs of the many.  Gene Roddenberry’s grand vision of an Earth in unison, together regardless of religion, creed, or background, exploring our future together, was never as strongly portrayed as in KHAN.  While, again, I love J. J. Abrams' reboot, that concept is barely there now.  Spock walks the walk as he goes down the ladder to his destiny, and the fact that he does something that doesn’t occur to Kirk until it’s too late says a lot about Kirk and Spock as characters.

Death permeates all through WRATH OF KHAN.  Khan himself is a symbol of it – relentless, always coming, always inside Kirk’s shadow and over Kirk’s shoulder.  Even though Montalban and Shatner never share the screen, you feel his presence throughout Shatner’s scenes, and while much of that is due to Montalban’s iconic performance, it’s also due to how the story links Khan with death thematically.  Kirk must face his mortality if he is to move forward as a person, and KHAN is about how we deal with that in our own way.  Kirk’s cheated looking death in the eye for his entire life and now has to pay for skirting it as long as he has.  “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario,” Kirk says confidently, but life itself is a no-win scenario.  You come out of it losing everything.  In WRATH OF KHAN Kirk struggles with the concept of death and comes out stronger on the other side.  “Young… I feel young,” he proclaims, because at long last Kirk understands his own significance and place in the universe.  To reference a much later film, Kirk has his staring-out-the-window-at-the-end-of-the-world moment from FIGHT CLUB and comes away from it a changed, and better, man.  In short, Kirk grows up.

Nicholas Meyer knew, even if subsequent TREK directors didn’t, that dealing with big ideas and themes made a film seem bigger in scale than if it had a huge budget and huge special effects.  THE WRATH OF KHAN is extremely intimate for a STAR TREK film – perhaps it was due to the reduced budget, the very low set count, or the excesses of the first film – but it never feels small.  Even the final battle, set against the background of a stormy nebula, isn’t about scale or grandeur but about two men facing off for the last time, and their emotional battle is even broader than the actual one.  It’s a game of chess played on the board of the vastness of space, and it remains one of the most intense climaxes in movie history.  And as Khan lives his final moments, he decides to be defined by his hate and grief, and becomes the instrument that will end Kirk’s life.  As he has usurped the powers of creation for his own vengeful purposes, he will strike out at his enemy, like Ahab throwing himself upon the whale.  STAR TREK II uses MOBY DICK so well that the book shows up later in the film series, as Captain Picard deals with his own Ahab issues against the Borg.  But it’s never used so successfully – Nicholas Meyer, who is a Renaissance Man in the best sense, knows how to strike the balance of theme and plot and makes those moments stick in memory.

I know there are many fans of the franchise that have serious issues with the new TREK iteration -  with Abrams’ direction (seriously, lighten up on those lens flares), the young cast, or Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s script, which if taken apart critically really doesn’t make nearly as much sense as it appears to onscreen.  As I’ve said, STAR TREK gets by on an awful lot of charm. So many of the films that come after WRATH OF KHAN try to capture that magic again, and I want to tell them all that it’s not possible.  Furthermore, they threaten to dilute that great film with each attempt.  It seems to me that what those writers fail to realize is the basic fact that THE WRATH OF KHAN is so great because of many variables, and not just how successful the villain is.  THE WRATH OF KHAN means something.  It takes us on an emotional journey, and it isn’t just a thrill ride.  It’s rich with feeling, honest in its portrayal of mortality, age, and friendship, and it respects the audience enough to take them through those feelings without dumbing down to them.  KHAN is the prime example of how filmmaking, done with restraint and temperance, can be much more effective than a film with an unlimited budget and unnecessary scale.  If there’s anything I want the filmmakers of the new TREK films to understand, it’s that.

Like I said, I don’t know if this column is going to be a thing or not.  I’m throwing it out there to readers who might be interested in writing about their favorite 1982 film, or even any filmmakers who might be interested in doing so.  I’m not so much interested in the nostalgia behind the movie as I am in what makes the movie work for you, creatively.  As always, thanks for reading.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by diseptikon

    Epic soundtrack made the movie that much better

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by rakesh patel

    The first time as a kid, that a major character died. Watching tv and moves in those days, the heroes always won the day. They always came back, not this time..( obviously the search for Spock wasn't a thought!) Honestly, as a fan of trek, my favourite movie of them all is the undiscovered country. I was old enough to appreciate trek, watched all the old series and in the middle of watching TNG. It was a great story, and it was a great farewell. 82 i'll always remember fondly, I spent the year in N.Z, watched Ghandi, Annie and E.T in the cinema in Wellington.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Perfect movie

    by Paul Denton

    I've always felt that Wrath of Khan is actually too good for Star Trek. And I love Star Trek.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    my problem with wrath of khan

    by mick vance

    is it's incredibly hard to masturbate to. i've never been one for kirstie alley, even in her younger days. this movie needed some three-titted total recall chick on the desert planet with khan...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    It was the first time we ever saw...

    by scottdude

    ...the Enterprise actually damaged in battle and for me that was an eye opening, jaw dropping moment. I guess the TV show never had the budget for it although every Trek show afterward found a way to show massive damage (Voyager probably did this the most). Everything else about Trek II was wonderful... the costumes (loved the new uniforms), the music, the editing, etc. Even Shatners permed toup looked stylin. I love this movie and watch it again at least once a year.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Love Wrath of Khan

    by hadrion

    Great analysis, totally agree. What JJs lacks in Khan-y-ness, it makes up in fun and energy :)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:23 p.m. CST


    by hadrion

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Pretty dead on.

    by shutupfanboy

    Khan is one of the great films of the 80s if not of all sci-fi. While I do prefer First Contact as the best Trek film, it does follow with a lot with what Khan did at least with the Picard part. I do think part three is criminally undervalued as the epilogue to this story where the needs of the few or the one outweigh the many.

  • They took a genere that had always been so wrapped up in it's own limitations, they grounded it, they made it REAL. Emotionally connecting on a level that anyone can understand. It's as UN-Star Trek as you can possibly get.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    I think the literary references helped.

    by tangcameo

    Wrath of Khan used Moby Dick and Dickens (lotta dick). Undiscovered Country used Shakespeare and Peter Pan. If Final Frontier has used Dante like it wanted to (and not hire Desiluo's son-in-law in a starring role) it might have been a hit.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Awesome commentary, Nordling

    by mastermold

    You nailed not only everything that was right about TWOK, but all the mistakes future Trek movies made in trying to replicate that formula. Hopefully this new movie Abrams and co. are making will be something that departs from that.

  • KHAN was to the 80's

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Kirk isn't helpless nordling..

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    He's um 'acting'.Lest you forget, he's in total control of the situation, albeit we don't know that quite yet. So it's just back to Shat being fucking hilarious and we can dismiss him being anything approaching great in that scene. Still a great movie though.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Nordling nailed it

    by Azazyel

    Its success is that it's really about something. I love The Undiscovered Country but for different reasons - a last hurrah. Too many movies these days miss the fact that it isn't about what digital effects you can pull out of the bag; it needs to be about something. "I DID NOTHING...except get caught with my britches down!"

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST

    The ear worms...

    by diseptikon

    My dad told me that they come from the sesame seeds on top of a child, this is terrifying.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Obviously i meant in the "KHAAAAAAN!!!" scene

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:33 p.m. CST

    This thing was perfect

    by rakesh patel

    but generally aren't things from your childhood always? In subsequent viewings, something about David as kirks son just grates me. but that's about it. Montalban's pecs were impressive! i think also as a kid it was cool to see a minority face as a lead on screen, not a lot of those on screen growing up, much less called khan. Spocks sacrifice i remember well, like nordling i recall the uniform tug, i remember thinking Spocks gloves looked like mickey mouses hands. -"Of all the souls I've encountered in my travels, his was the most ... human"

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Crystal Skull should have copied this movie

    by Setthera

    This movie is about growing old and losing everything you've spent your whole life fighting for. Skull ignored this and tried to make a 70 year old man an action hero.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Abrams' film did not deserve the name Star Trek

    by kungfuhobbit

    Star Trek was about morality and the hope for mankind bettering itself - absent in that Abrams popcorn action film Good article thanks

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST

    I always thought

    by wormcheck

    that the Genesis Device could have been expanded upon even more in subsequent series and films. The idea would be even more relevant today with the "Intelligent Design" vs Evolution arguments. Can't wait to see how Prometheus plays around with it.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:36 p.m. CST

    BS - Insurrection is better than Nemesis

    by Jaka

    I'll come back to this after I've read it all, processed it and formulated something that resembles an intelligent comment. But for now I'm just stopping by to call shenanigans on Nemesis being better than Insurrection. <p> Here's why... <p> Insurrection is nothing more than TNG tv episode with a larger budget. If you watch it as such it's actually very entertaining and very well made. In that context, what's wrong with it? Sure, it was a little disappointing at the time as a theatrical release. But to watch it now, with no baggage, placing where it belongs in the run of ALL ST films, it's just not nearly as bad as some people would make it out to be. Everything works and it feels like Star Trek. <p> Nemesis, on the other hand, will forever be a HUGE failure. It will forever be the last memory of the crew of TNG, which will forever leave a bad taste in the mouth of many, MANY fans. It will forever be the movie with Data's pointless death (as written BY THE ACTOR). Oh, he sacrificed himself! How noble! Bullshit. The actor wanted out, they could have just written him into a job at Starfleet Academy, or as an independent scientist. The death of a character was pointless. It will forever be the movie with a clone that looks nothing like Jean Luc Picard. And that entire plot is so far fetched and ridiculous - ridiculous to the point that it starts to not make sense. There's certainly not enough believable motivation for the characters actions. It will forever be the ST film that most looks like it wasted its budget on huge, unnecessary sets and "mood lighting". <p> More to the point and most important; of the original ten it's the Star Trek film that feels the least like Star Trek (even more than the damn whale movie). That's why it failed, and that's why it continues to get hated upon.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Great Article

    by FloristGump

    and very well pointed out, that the fact ST2 works so well is a collision of variables and not the thing everyone seems to identify as the success of the film, Khan himself. And as you say, Trek brings a charm and melancholy that other sci-fi simply doesn't. Maybe it's the actors who inhabit the roles so well, the iconic nature of Trek in the halls of sci-fi film and TV, who knows. But I would wager nothing will ever have the time and scope to evolve like Trek has, to see characters grow from their 30's t their 70's, like Trek did. Star Wars covers a vast timescale, and the films are finihsed. Trek could come back tomorrow on TV and be a huge success, but as you say, steer well clear of trying to replicate WOK - it can't be done. (I REALLY hope the writers of Trek 12 read this, it illuminates a plethora of great pints very well indeed. My last read of the night, you send me to sleep a happy Trek geek)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by Sean1701

    As a Trek fan, I felt like the producers & writers were so desperate for their own "Wrath of Khan" that they simply copied it without any thought or pretense. Picard feels the weight of age when Riker & Troi marry, a villian that is an an equal and, in a way, more than a match for the hero, and the issues of life & death. The final battle itself was in a nebula! Picard & crew faced their own "No-win scenario" and what Picard does, was, in a sense, cheating by doing what was unexpected of him, much like Kirk did with the Kobiyashi Maru. Wrath of Khan is in a class byt itself and anyone asking for JJ Abrams to use Khan must understand that the Khan we see in Part 2 and the one we meet in "Space Seed" are two different people.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    You just earned a fan Nordling.

    by Ironhelix

    Very well written and insightful. I always loved how Spock adjusted his uniform when standing before his captain that one last time. It drives home his sense of duty that he is carrying to the bitter end. I have been a military man my whole life, and I have always remembered that little moment from the movie.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by Nordling

    Kirk isn't "acting." Khan just stole Genesis, a real doomsday device. Captain Terrell is dead, Chekov wounded. The Enterprise is still severely damaged, and Kirk's hoping that they can avoid Reliant long enough to do what they need to do, but that's far from certain. What if Khan simply left? And the Enterprise was unable to follow? Or if Reliant had gotten their warp engines online and simply went to earth with Genesis? There is a ton of uncertainty going on in that scene, which is why Kirk's anguished "KHAAAAN!" is by no means an act by Kirk to get Khan to think he'd beaten him. For that moment, Khan HAD beaten him.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Taking down Reliants shields...

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    I fucking love that scene. I'm sure we were all like the crew in praising Kirk like a God. Oh yes. Immense.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Khan is overrated

    by vetepalapinga

    Sure it's good, but the beginning has aged so horribly it's laughably bad.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    There's one huge plot point in KHAN that I can NEVER believe...

    by Admonisher

    ...and no, it's not the fact that Khan recognizes Chekov. I can accept that Chekov might have been onboard the ENTERPRISE and standing just off-camera. :-) (And it's not Chekov failing to realize that the star system they've come to study is short one planet, either, although that does strain credibility.) No ... it's the fact that Kirk disregards protocol and fails to raise shields when confronted with the disabled RELIANT, which Khan has secretly taken over. Kirk knows the protocol. He knows the possible dangers. Why not just raise the damn shields, as per regulations? I mean, OK, I understand -- James T. Kirk doesn't "play by the rules." But when Kirk bends or overlooks a rule, it's because it works to his advantage somehow ... because he's playing a smarter (or dirtier) game, usually with high stakes, and the rules are in the way of his objective. He doesn't just ignore rules for the hell of it! The protocol he ignores can only protect the ENTERPRISE and her crew; it costs him nothing to follow; so WHY IGNORE IT? The only answer I can come up with is that the plot requires he ignore it. If Kirk raises his shields, the RELIANT has no trap to spring, and Khan will have to come up with some other way to catch Kirk unawares. So, in a nutshell: an otherwise smart character must do something stupid out of left field because the plot won't advance if he doesn't. I deplore that kind of sloppy writing in bad films, and it's almost worse in otherwise good ones. Anyway, rant over. :-)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Best Part of Search for Spock...

    by Sean1701

    when Kirk brings the Enterprise home. Out of all of the Enterprises, the movie version (or 1701-A) always felt like a part of the crew. Seeing her get blasted mercilessly by the Reliant in Part 2 shocked me. Watch the scene in Part 3 when the Enterprise enters spacedock and tell me (as a Trek fan) that you don't get a little choked up as the Enterprise slowly enters spacedock and the people sitting in the lounge (admiring the Exclsior) stand in reverence as she takes her palce. Knowing that Kirk brough her home always gets me.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by Azazyel

    I love the line from the captain of the Excelsior saying "Bridge, this is the captain, how can you have a yellow alert in spacedock"

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:04 p.m. CST


    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    I always saw that as Kirk knowing he had a card up his sleeve (Spock was in on it, communications being monitored). He knew Reliant was just as fucked as the Enterprise. The whole point of the movie was exposing Kirk's selfishness and his overcoming that (the needs of the many etc). A journey continued in III when his son and ship were lost. IMO.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Klingon BAS-TARD, you...KILLED my SON...

    by obijuanmartinez

    The entire Trek film series is littered with some pretty bright and stinky moments (ST:V). I still hang onto 'Khan' as a gem of my childhood, but also love 'First Contact' - I think it represents to the Trek film pantheon what 'Aliens' is to that franchise: A balls to the wall action flick that's a fun ride every time. That said, I really hope Abrams isn't doing a Khan retread for his 2nd foray into Trek...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Great, great article!

    by Wonderboys

    Thank you, sir. I've always said the same about STII, that it succeeds not because it has a great villain, that it has, but because has a lot of texture thematically. Everytime I see it, at the end, when Kirk says "Something Spock was trying to tell me. On my birthday." Im on the verge of tears... I hope Abrams and co. take all this wise advice and give us a great sequel...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by Sean1701

    Me too!Look at Captain Styles face when he is told that "someone is stealing the Enterprise!" The look on his face tells the audience that he knows who is doing it...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    ST: III

    by obijuanmartinez

    Gets pretty heavily trashed, but in addition to the milestone of Kirk's son getting aced by Klingons & and one of the Enterprises blowing up, we get Christopher Lloyd's really awesomely (IMO) unhinged Kruge the Klingon (blowing up his old lady at the beginning really made an impression, then there was shooting the weapons officer, telling his lackey to feed the dog, etc.), as well as the great performance Bones put in (carrying Spock's goods in his brain), then finally, the return of good ol' Spock!

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Yeah i better add nordlings piece was great..

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Unfortunately we can't read minds of actors pretending to be other people. I'm confident Kirk knew what he was doing purely cause he's Kirk. At that point in the movie it was pure Khan vs Kirk. The single minded bastard vs the single minded bastard.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    The Next Gen movies are pure, indefensible crap.

    by 3774

    Plinkett's humor can be beyond the pale, but his reviews of the Next Gen movies are spot on. Paramount crapped all over everything that came before, in an attempt to turn the cast into action stars. And that's not even considering the horrible pile of failed internal logic each movie tries to drag along. 'All Good Things' is the only ending I need.

  • BINGO.that's my biggest nitpick from the movie.Why didnt Kirk raise the shields as he should have done in the first place? why did he risk the crew and his ship by not following the protocol when the situation demanded it? even without the protocol,the most logical thing to do as a captain of a spaceship when you encounter another spaceship,regardless if it in on your side or not, which comes towards you without responding to your calls is to raise your damn shields just in's the most logical thing to do.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    that Poltergeist article...

    by Bouncy X

    was a pretty good read. i even discovered that the Simpsons Halloween story with homer in CGI was actually riffing a Twilight Zone story. i had no clue so that was a nice discovery. of course it makes the line about the TZ on the show make more sense now. lol as for Khan, i've always liked the movie for the ship on ship action. it was and still is just cool to see.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    It's the villain stupid

    by BigFatBaby

    Ledger's Joker Vader Rickman's Hans Gruber in Die Hard DeFoe's Goblin in Spiderman Behind every great super hero film is a super villain. And Kirk really is a super hero. And the key to a good villain is to treat that character seriously. An intelligent, charismatic, complex villain with legitimate grievances or psychological issues (or both) is much better than some rediculous villain who is pure evil and stupid.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST


    by paulloch

    when you consider the gulf between WOK and TMP. NOT a plot hole, Kirk says to Saavik to keep quoting regulations. The whole movie is about him dealing with getting older, glasses, regrets, old flames. A weakening memory and judgement (how many old people fall for phone/email scams) is a part of that list. NOT a plot hole, he recognizes Chekov from the crew manifests he fast forwards in SPACE SEED. Also, it's the first bit of pop culture to recognize that books would be an endangered species one day. And maybe valued rare antiques. Look at the way Shatner holds the book, like he hasn't held or read one in a while.

  • I don't agree that ALL the other Trek movies were trying to copy Wrath of Kahn. They surely wanted the same thrills, but I thought that Search For Spock was a powerful movie in its own right even though it, obviously, wasn't operating on as grand a canvas since it never even bothered to revisit the Carol Marcus character and it was saddled with the difficult task of resurrecting Spock while somehow not ruining the franchise for future movies. I also think that Star Treks 5 and 6 have their virtues, and that the parts that resemble Wrath of Khan are among them. I don't think there was a problem until Next Generation, where the characters were just not as melodramatic as the originals and didn't lend themselves over to the same kind of movie as Wrath of Khan. Actually, I'm not sure they lent themselves over to a movie at all, since I didn't like any of their movies. The Abrams movies have a similar problem because they're about youth and the journey getting started, not the tragic battle with death that Kirk faced later on. Phew. Anyway, nice article Nordling. I don't really agree with putting down the other Trek movies for the reason you do (and sorry, that's how it comes off), but I think it's very true that the Abrams Trek movies are not going to recreate Wrath of Khan and really shouldn't try.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    I liked the Star Trek with the Whales better...

    by Cinemajerk

    ...Kidding. I am not a Trekkie, more of a Star Warsie...but Wrath of Kahn was good.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST

    pink: say what you will but ST First Contact is the best TNG movie

    by sunwukong86

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST


    by Flexfill

    sat in a theater with my older brother and could not believe how good Star Trek had gotten (after the '79 motionless picture dashed our hopes). Saw all the great films of '82 in the theater that year, including Blade Runner, Road Warrior, Conan, Poltergeist and Tron. Khan was something special, topping the rest of these greats because of one thing... pathos. It had more meaning in every line and every scene than one movie could hope for. Simply amazing for its time and still holds up to this day. "There's a man out there I haven't seen in fifteen years who's trying to kill me... you show me a son who'd be happy to help him. How do I feel? Old." My brother's gone now, but this film remains and so does its legacy. It stands as the greatest science fiction film ever made. Empire is a close second as a space opera more than simply Sci-Fi.

  • and without any valid reason,rejects the insect which was controlling his mind all the time.Whereas Terrell just commits suicide instead of getting rid of the insect in the same way.I guess he is the one who gets killed because he was black...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Saavik, you keep on quoting regulations.

    by Nordling

    like paulloch said. It IS a lapse in judgment. Kirk did something stupid. He's not infallible. And it cost him.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST


    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Kind of makes me drop into a coma when it hits Vulcan. Stealing the Enterprise is the highlight, apart from Uhura locking that dork in the closet, and Sulu showing that bloke his cock. "Don't call me tiny!". Terrible acting all around.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Khan made me so terrified of Earwigs.

    by BigTuna

    Not long after Khan came out, earwigs began to multiply disturbingly. They were everywhere every summer. I kept thinking they're go in my ear like what happened in Wrath of Khan.

  • But she did told Kirk about the shield regulation when they encountered the Reliant, but then she got hushed by Spock while Kirk didnt give the command.That's why later Kirk tells her to keep quoting regulations.Not because he couldnt remember them but because he took his lesson that sometimes protocol is there for a reason and should be followed regardless of your personal judgement.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST


    by Nordling

    So why point out that regulation with dialogue at all? It may be frustrating to you that Kirk did that, but I think it makes a point - that Kirk's not perfect. And Spock, who rightly should have said something, isn't either.

  • instead of the sick bay.Good job there mr Scott.Next time just bring him to the kitchen of the ship and give him a glass of water.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    I still have that STII TWOK one-sheet from the day.

    by justmyluck

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    I never could put into words....

    by PrimalScream78

    why Wrath was so great. But reading this today I realized one thing. I have to stop trying to compare Trek movies against Khan. If I do there is a whole lot more disappointment than joy. I thought JJ;s movie was very good and I will always look forward to the next Trek whether TV or movies. From this day on though I will no longer try to figure out why I didnt like the next movie I will just be grateful there was one.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Khan works and is the best Star Trek film because:

    by ufoclub1977

    1. It's a strong enough story that you could actually sit down and tell someone the tale, campfire story style, and make it dramatic. make it suspenseful just by telling it verbally. This is the true test of a good movie. Can you do that? The story is balanced, builds up and the stakes are high enough to lead to number #4 on my list. This is a weaving of coincidences and causes that leads to a spectacular showdown of warfare within a great set piece, the nebula. 2. There is a nice contrast of settings and moments ranging from hostile wilderness planet to quiet meditation on Spock's chambers, and these contrasting moments alkl feature strong clever characterizations and plot points. Sure the low budget makes it very theatrical and fake in terms of aesthetic, but conceptually, you are jumping from a ship's bridge to a inner cavern biblical paradise garden. That's nice! and none of it is done for flash, like say the part in the new star trek where kirk is chased by snow monsters or when they fight on the platform to try to stop that drilling thing from happening. Those seem like empty spectacle form a story standpoint. 3. It makes you feel like you are traveling in ships. It strives to maintain travel times and locations that feel the right distance from each other psychologically. It translates a nautical feel to space, and that works well. I'd say the first Star Wars movie did this well too. Whereas Empire Strikes Back just seems like you're visiting one theater stage and then another, hopping set to set. 4. They kill off a main character through a series of gloriously orchestrated events and situations with meaning and deep resonance. That is sincerely a bold ass step. ( I hated that Spock continued to live in the movies after this in some half assed made-for-tv caliber resurrection story) 5. The score is incredible. This is a great score that was played nonstop on my turntable in 1982. Listen to that score! SO good! 7. The character arcs are well constructed and work! They have great clever lines and moments. The humor is within the reality of the story. "Did she change her hairstyle?" 8. Great great winding down and conclusion with Spock's voice over restating the old tv intro. This really wipes the floor with the newest Star Trek in terms of story and character arcs. The new Star Trek makes up for it with sheer style and cheerleader type energy, but it's not with any substance. This movie has substance to it. It's so well crafted. I was not into Star Trek at all until I saw this in 1982. This made me and many other non trekkies around the world suddenly fall for these characters and the idea of going around in some big ship. It made you understand the charisma of a captain, of a the staff with their peculiar strengths. It made you care, and the story was exhilarating. It opened the door for me to appreciate the old tv show which I had previously completely turned my nose to. damn this was written in a fit of stream of conscious style mind vomiting during a break in editing. Hope it makes sense. I don't want to read it to check.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Even the smallsupposedly 'small' scenes have impact.

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Bones giving Kirk his archaic glasses on his birthday. Just great really.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    I really wish I would've been alive in 1982.

    by Yelsaeb

    I was born 13 years too late. Anyway, Khan. Such an awesome movie. I'm not a Trek fan in any way, but the the Wrath of Khan is just is just so perfect.

  • something stupid.I get it.But it feels so much out of his character and his status.It is not a situation with a complicated dilemma where Kirk needs to make an important choice and he fucks up by choosing wrongly simply because he is not perfect.That i can understand and accept it. But here we have a situation where a 30+ years experienced admiral has already been warned by the HQ that there is something strange and potentially dangerous happening in their secret project base and he should take a look into it. He then arrives at the base and discovers nearby another ship of their own which doesnt respond to their calls while coming towards at them.A 30+ years experienced admiral who has already been warned about potential danger,would have immediately raised the shields without any second thought. It is not something to think about,it is not about remembering regulation,it is not about doing the right or the wrong thing,it is about natural reflexes which you gain throughout your long-lasting military career and your vast experience.

  • and not lapdog hacks who only work for money like JJ and Orci/Kutzman.FACT.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by Nordling

    he also hadn't been in the chair for some time. He was cocksure of himself, and he made a mistake that would have gotten all those students killed had this been a simulation. It's interesting that with a "boatload of children" that he makes such an egregious error. I think it's an interesting character moment. I understand why you have issues with it, though. It just didn't rise to that level with me.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Don't worry, you'll live all us old geeky cunts. Plenty more shite heading down the shitter from the major studios for you young ones. 1982 was the shit.

  • And they wonder why people make fun of them.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Yelsaeb, due to lack of edit function...

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    You'll outlive us old bastards post-forty is what i meant. But you'll never get what we experienced in theatre. Mwhahahaha!

  • Like Khan,it is Picard here who is Ishmael and who wants his revenge no matter the cost.But while in Khan's case it was the death of a woman which caused his hate and his need for revenge,in FC it was a woman who put some logic into Picard's head and saved him from destroying himself because of his revenge obsession. That's why i consider FC as good as WoK and sometimes even better.They portray the characters as REAL humans with their strengths and weaknesses.Not only as characters to simply entertain the audience but also as characters that you understand and relate to.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Ismael = Captain Ahab

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    why did Kirk and Khan never share screen time?

    by sunwukong86

    always wondered that

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I read that book that was never published about Insurrection..

    by Nemesis Enforcer

    Good read, and you can see why the movie turned into a giant shitburger. "Computer, activate manual steering column...." big joystiq comes up out of the floor. *insert picard facepalm meme*

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Inflatable Rubber Chest? 'Fraid Not

    by Matt Spriggle

    That was ALL Ricardo, baby. For proof, take a look at the Fantacy Island episodes the season after he did Khan. He's enourmous.

  • Same with the fighting in the nebula. Not being able to see the thing, or person, that you know is there, trying to kill you, is some scary shit.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    @nordling i agree.

    by KilliK

    On one hand it is a good character moment,it goes very well with Kirk's personality and the context of the moment. he is always overconfident and relies more on his abilities than the regulations and he is trying to give a lesson to the students that like him,they shouldnt always stick to the regulations so strictly.And then,ironically enough he makes a big fuckup but not following a simple and logical regulation. On the other hand,i expect from a more mature and experienced Kirk who takes the command of a "boatload of children" to be more responsible and cautious when facing an unknown danger. anyway.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Another appeal of Khan: He was a returning character from TOS

    by arcane1

    All TOS fans knew why Khan was pissed off before the movie even started, and it provided a connection and continuity to the whole thing, after TOS had been off the air for so long.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Perfect Movie, excellent article, Nordling.

    by richievanderlow

    Loved that write-up. All well said and I appreciate all you had to say there. Great stuff.

  • I was 10. Shit, I'm old.

  • And killing it so Sulu would have a smaller part on the set of Khan.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Rubber chest? FUCK NO.

    by KilliK

    that was the real deal baby. It has been confirmed by Meyer himself in his WoT commentary. And also Monteban himself has acknowledged that he was doing bodybuilding for years.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:28 p.m. CST

    =Knowing that Kirk brough her home always gets me. =

    by KilliK

    same here.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Yeah good write up Nordling

    by Kill List Hammertime

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    TWOK Recollections

    by Charles

    Don't forget Star Trek 2 was the beginning of the "unknown parent" angle. Later the Six Million Dollar Man would also meet the son he never knew he had! This would be come cliche and as noted above even permeated into Indiana Jones. Also the time period does play into it. I remember Entertainment Tonight having a phone poll should Spock die as was the "rumor" at the time or should he live? That was pretty big stuff in a non internet world of 1982. As I recall there was not much publicity for the film outside of Starlog magazine and shows like Entertainment Tonight reporting that the Vengeance of Khan was being changed to Wrath of Khan so people/fans would not to be confused it was Star Wars Revenge of the Jedi. Here in Houston we had a special convention the summer of 1982 hosted by Kerry Quinn also from Starlog magazine Mark Lenard that Walter Koenig had written before Shatner took the stage. To advertise the convention several of the actors made appearances at movie theaters around town. That was cool! I got to meet Sulu and Checkov in person because of that and get their pictures with the TWOK poster in the background!

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of David Bowie

    by Mel

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Now Here's A Movie That Old People Can Enjoy!

    by Lesbianna_Winterlude

    Unfortunately, I'm not old. It's okay.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    I have been....and always shall be...your friend.

    by seansarto

    That line still resonates with me today. Such great feelings it evokes.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Shared Screen time

    by khaosmatrix

    The Reliant and the Enterprise use the same set. So they filmed Khan's scenes first, and then repainted the set to look like the Enterprise.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Mentaldominance: That'll get an AMEN from me.

    by Crobran

    I was trained in classical piano since I was 5, and when synths began to evolve so much in the 80's, I was infatuated with them....but when sequencers began to become cheaper and more widely available, I started getting nervous about the fact that anybody could now sequence something that would require a lot of technique and skill to actually play. You're absolutely right - that's exactly what's happened. I still dig synths (and software synths) but they do so much of the work for you. I'd never equated that with moviemaking, but I think you're dead on with that parallel. We also saw it happen with games, as graphics became more sophisticated, especially in the 90's. Games became more about showing off the latest graphics processors' abilities than about engaging gameplay.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Space Seed

    by khaosmatrix

    Space Seed is why you cant duplicate ST 2. This sets up the entire story. This is the only movie where the back story is not the back story. Khan was the only man who was Kirk's equal.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    This article and this TB kicks ass

    by zillabeast

    It's not a full-blown spoiler review of THE AVENGERS, but it's pretty damn good. Well done, Nordling.

  • I know I'm nitpicking, just trying to keep it real.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    The lightcycles were cool as was the video game. so theres that.

    by dahveed1972

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:18 p.m. CST

    God, all the old farts are on here at one time

    by proevad

    Smells like ben-gay and old cheese in here. Great movie, and a good write up Nordling. It's the best Trek movie. Thought JJ's was going to beat it out, but then it kind of fizzled in the last half. Nice try though. Looking forward to the next one.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Also, I love that Takei calls people he hates "douchebags"

    by proevad

    It just sounds really, really geeky and cool. You know Shatner got douchebagged more than once.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:22 p.m. CST

    The one nitpick I have...

    by Gislef_crow

    Is why Kirk didn't go back to check on Khan. Or why Starfleet sent NOBODY to check on Khan and just forget he and his people were there. Chekov barely remembers it, Terrell doesn't know about it or see it in the ship's records. Even if they knew Khan was in the star system, you'd think that would raise a few bells in the Reliant's computer records. It's never explained, we're just supposed to assume that Kirk and Starfleet figured Khan wasn't that big a deal (having conquered a starship), and forgot all about him.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    My 2012 Birthday Movies and year started out..

    by KHjLL

    Worked in Minot a biker wanna be threatened to stab me... Punk... So the Year started out with INTRUDER - THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND - MI:GHOST PROTOCOL - HUGO - THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO... Now I drift off to ONCE UPON A TIME: MASSACRE TIME...Followed by ALEIN3

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Re: Jaka

    by Vektorix

    Gotta agree with Jaka on Insurrection. It's not a great movie. It doesn't hold a candle to Wrath of Khan. But of the four Next Generation movies, it is the one I can actually watch, because it IS a big budget, relatively well-written episode of the series. Generations was appalling in its contortions to bring Picard and Kirk together, and its story lapses. First Contact was big and loud and got to show off new ships and new uniforms, but Star Trek time travel is so stale that it gutted the Borg as a threatening force. And Nemesis...I think we're all in agreement that there is little to nothing redeeming about that film. Insurrection has serious flaws, but it flirted with some big ideas, didn't revolve around some "OMG the Federation is DOOMED if we don't stop this!" plot, and feels like part of the TNG canon. In the end, I'd take Insurrection above any of the other TNG movies, hands down.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:27 p.m. CST

    @choppah: yep.

    by justmyluck

    Nordling did *E.T.* for the AICN 1982 round-up: *Keep going back to the well!*

  • But it is way up there for me. I got to see both ST TMP and WOK in theaters I was only 7 and 10 when I saw them. WOK released a day before my 10th bday. Experiences that can never be repeated esp when your a kid.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:36 p.m. CST

    4got the...

    by KHjLL

    DOOLITTLE fish taco's...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Dahveed: take the original TRON in context

    by Crobran

    At the time it came out, that was far from rudimentary CG. We hadn't ever seen anything of that scale on the screen before, and it was mind blowing. And as to whether or not it's a classic, I'm sorry, but it is, given that a movie is deemed to be classic not by some kind of intrinsic quality of the actual movie, but by how many people consider it to be a classic, and going by that definition, Tron is absolutely a classic. But I'll grant you, while I love the movie, it's got some pretty bad writing in it.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Almost uniquely for a SF film, it has

    by Brian Hopper

    a nuanced sense of theme and character. As Nordling and others point out above, it is a very effective film in the way it explores the terrain of aging and mortality. The juxtaposition of Kirk and Khan is almost literary in its elegance. So all the bits involving Kirk's confrontation with his own mortality are carefully balanced against Khan's, yet each reacts differently. With Kirk, we see duty and fidelity to friendship and as always a reliance on his incredible resourcefulness and cleverness. With Khan, his confrontation with his past and liberation from exile create a longing for payback and as always with him a spark that ignites his intense egotism and ambition. Not to get to heavy into the literary theory stuff, but you rarely see a literary dyad like that in a film, much less one that is so effective. This is one of the many reasons Khan is such an effective villain. He's so human. That moment with Horner's Goldsmith-like echoing trumpets... 'Admiral? Admiral? Admiral.' and... 'On earth, two hundred years ago, I was a prince'. Etc. How rare to see a man confront his past like that on the screen. In every respect, as winning a Star Trek movie as is possibly imaginable, one of the great science fiction films and a high point in 80s cinema. Great piece, Nordling.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Recorded the dialogue on cassette tape

    by crimsoncinder

    I was too poor for a vcr growing up and when Star Trek II came on TV, I recorded the audio and played it till the tape wore out. It still holds up better then most of the movies too. I tried to watch Undiscovered Country the other day and it just felt cheaply made. I still can Watch Star Trek II though.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Tron behind the scenes

    by crimsoncinder

    You have to see the behind to scenes of the Tron movie to really appreciate the hurdles they overcame. From the out of order kodak film prints to having to compute each light cycle computation on a computer line by line. Its amazing the film was finished and completed.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Nah Insurrection is fine,just a bid-budget ST episode.

    by KilliK

    Nemesis is one of the most atrocious movies in the whole series,even worse than ST5 which at least tried to have some nice ideas.Generations comes close enough. I still cant believe that Picard buried Kirk,the most famous hero of the Federation,under a pile of rocks in a remote,barren planet instead of bringing him back to Earth. Ofc the same thing can be said about how Kirk treated Spock's corpse.Instead of bringing him back to Vulcan,Kirk shoots him with a photon torpedo in a new born planet which then is quarantined.i mean wtf? Yeah,yeah i know they did what they used to do in the long voyages in the old times,mainly because they couldnt bring the corpses back to their homeland.So it became a nautical tradition.BUT: 1.We are in the future.I am pretty sure a big starship like the Enterprise could store a corpse during the voyage home. 2.I am sure that the Federation didnt permit dead officers to be thrown out in the cold space because of some ancient tradition.Modern military prohibits this thing now and for the right reasons,so why not in the future? 3.Spock was a Federation officer but he was also a Vulcan,which means that he might have a different traditional approach on the burial of the dead subject.A fact which was confirmed by the events in ST3. 4.Spock had parents and surely the parents might wanted to have the dead body of their son,to see it for the last time and to bury it according to their own ways.Again that fact was confirmed by Sarek,the father of Spock, in ST3. In other words as much as i love ST2,it does have some scenes which dont make any sense if they are put in the proper context.(Spock's corpse sent into space,Scottie bringing his dead nephew to the bridge) They are put there because they work very well in the dramatic level (Kirk's speech for his dead comrade) but from a story/universe perspective,they simply feel illogical to happen.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST

    becoming, grrr

    by P

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    One of the better, more adult, pieces of work done on AICN

    by conspiracy

    Nicely done Nordling..and I do say you hit the points well. My Mother cried when Spock lie. Not sure this type of Sci-fi can be done might complain Bones and Kirk talk too much and that it took too long between the fights. Lets face it...today99% of the time Story exists just to get between CGI set pieces.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Besides the expert direction and taut screenplay

    by Roger Moon

    KHAN works so well because the acting is uniformly excellent. Every actor, but especially Shatner, Nimoy and Montalban, seems completely invested in their characters and the story as a whole. KHAN has a true sense of sincerity to it, and the themes it explores, especially the aging/mortality aspect, make the story exceptionally poignant. Yes, Shatner has been parodied until the cows come home but he was (is) a seasoned veteran of both stage and screen, an artist who had truly honed his craft. KHAN was his great shining moment as an actor. The same could be said for Nimoy and Montalban, too.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    gislef_crow...I agree, there are SOME lapses in plot and story...

    by conspiracy

    but on the whole the coincidences and story holes are minor and explainable in ways that more"recent" Star Trek stories/films are silly and popcorn-y fun as they may be. See fuckers...I can be diplomatic and am not completely tactless.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Worse thing snoit Generations, Kirk's last words...

    by mdk

    ..."It Oh my...ack." Wtk? How the fuck did they get the Shat to pull back on his innate hamminess anyway?

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:09 p.m. CST

    snoit? fucking autocorrect, meant "about" obviously

    by mdk

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:17 p.m. CST

    choppah...Babe I know went to see Prince last year.

    by conspiracy

    Said it was fucking incredible. Myself...I want to see the fucker play small venues. I hate Arena shows.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:18 p.m. CST

    killik: Semantics.

    by Crobran

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:18 p.m. CST

    I was in 9 in 1982 when I saw this film and it blew my mind!

    by Orionsangels

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    And now a quick post where I rant effusively about Montalban as Khan.

    by Brian Hopper

    Montalban as Khan is almost a gold-standard in terms of how to approach a villain in a science fiction or action film. I mean, that scene were we first see Khan... the way he takes off his protective clothing before confronting Chekhov and Terrell... melodramatically removing his head gear and giving that steely look. I still get goosebumps, and I remember clearly sitting in a theater in 1982 watching that moment and thinking: What in the NAME of all that is HOLY is about to happen here? It is just so freaking menacing. And then the incredible poignancy of his realization that his nemesis is now an admiral while he had to bury his wife and live his life on a 'barren sand heap.' 'THIS IS CETI ALPHA FIVE!' Goosebumps again. And then the earwigs. A scene that still gives anyone who watches it for the first time the serious creeps. The long track-in on Khan... 'There, that's better.' And at the end of it the cut to Kirk, wearing the glasses from McCoy and reading the book from Spock, both given to him for his birthday. What a compelling introduction to a film's antagonist. And Montalban nails it completely, and is so chillingly effective throughout the film... smart, ruthless, quick to take action and seize the initiative, magnetic, power mad... yet strangely human in his sense of lost potential, thwarted ambition, and the drive to rise again. And thus the perfect counterpoint to Kirk as he confronts his own past. Powerful stuff.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST

    This show would have worked if it was stop-animation.

    by MST3KPIMP

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    It's just one of those movies . . .

    by Atragon

    where it all comes together. And yeah, aside from a sharp script in general, it's actual use of THEME and the stakes of the movie. Fucking Chekov gets that shit in his ear in scene 1. Nice-guy Chekov, who never hurt anyone except his English teachers. From moment one, you're uneasy.

  • in fact it's about on par with the same quality, Sure part 1 is a totally different style directed by Robert Wise. But anybody who appreciates classic scifi cinema wouldn't have a problem with it's pacing. Wrath of Khan's wide praise is a totally forced manufactured snowballed hype fanboy feedback loop.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    fuck it, ill say it, khan is over rated. it is good but not the best Trek movie

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    yeah maybe that is heresy for some, but khan gets the free pass because star trek I sucked so hard that anything that came after it was bound to be better. i ant saying khan isnt good, but for my money undiscovered country and voyage home are better

  • these two words,cult and classic.

  • he never had a film after or before that he either wrote or directed that came even close to the balance and skill exhibited in Wrath of Khan. It's really a shame when a competent writer/director can make a film that good, but the ingredients or circumstances were never such that they could pull it off again.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Nicholas Meyer

    by mem_ory

    This guy is the main reason ST2 works so well. It was his re-workings of the script and the look and feel of the franchise. However as much as I agree that ST2 is a masterpiece I still throughly enjoy the rest of the TOS films (with exception to 5 which isn't as bad as it's made out to be, but not very watchable). I love The Motion Picture as it feels so ethereal and genuinely grand in scope. I love ST3 in that it made Klingons into a genuine threat and followed through with the Genesis planet's ultimate demise. ST4 works because Meyer finessed the script and gave the film series a much needed lark. It's too bad that 5 got stuck with Shatner as director and a limited budget. I think they could of used some of the same themes but with a more mature director and a larger budget had a much better movie. ST6 is pretty good again due to Meyer's involvement, but it's probably my second least favorite next to 5. By this time the cast was just too old and the film feels rather rushed.

  • they've just never tried a balls out truly science fiction Star Trek movie before. I say we go back to what Harrilon Ellison wanted to do for the Motion Picture, make Kirk and Spock fight fucking dinosaurs and then accidentally end up killing kennedy. I don't give a shit if too many time travel plots have been done, if Star Trek did it right i would jizz my pants.

  • they don't respect the source material enough ( the best original TV plots or best comic plots) to truly adapt it without turning it into shit

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST


    by Have_Penis_Will_Travel

    Ricardo Montalban didn't need a BRO

  • but he kept missing the target.Even in the bitter end,he failed to kill Kirk.i laugh at his superior intellect.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST


    by awepittance

    im not on top of my game tonight,

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    re: Now Here's A Movie That Old People Can Enjoy!

    by Have_Penis_Will_Travel

    cuck yew farley

  • which people rate as 2 of the worst star trek movies, this could be why hollywood mostly opted for watered down action/adventure plots with little to no real science fiction. Unfortunately in the hands of a skilled fill-making crew and with the right circumstances a star trek movie following the same feel as the show, even as a series of twilight zone like vignettes would feel less offensive to me. And understandably if they go the action route again at least make it filled with ridiculously good and creative eye candy to validate that this generic action adventure film takes place in the star trek universe

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    you mean ST5.Generations was was more similar to ST3.

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    killik: I get what you're saying, but...

    by Crobran

    ...there's no authoritative definition of what makes a film "classic" vs. a "cult classic." Your definition is authoritative only for you. Now, if put to a vote, I'm sure a film like Rocky Horror Picture Show would easily get voted into the Cult Classic category, but with a film like Tron, I don't think that majority is in your favor. How do you define the difference between a classic and a cult classic? (other than the presence of the word "cult" in one term but not the other)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:58 p.m. CST


    by rsdrum

    Great read, Nordling, really enjoyed it. Thanks! Looking forward to more. Zombie_Fatigue, ya beat me to the punch. It never occurred to me until I read this article, but one really has to wonder if Roddenberry or someone at Paramount said, "Give us our Empire Strikes Back"! One could certainly draw some parallels, most notably having a central character die/get encased indefinitely in carbonite. The overall tone is darker than TMP and TOS, which was new for Star Trek at the time. I'm sure there are at least one or two more parallels....not that I'm saying TWOK is an ESB ripoff AT ALL. Still my #1 favorite Star Trek film.

  • From the dictionary: Classic: of the first or highest quality, class, or rank: a classic piece of work. Cult: of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie. Some examples: Citizen Kane is a classic movie. Tron is a cult movie. Casablanca is a classic movie. Plan 9 from Outer Space is a cult movie. Lets try the reverse now: Citizen Kane is a cult movie. Tron is a classic movie. Casablanca is a cult movie. Plan 9 from Outer Space is a classic movie. Do you really believe that all the above statements have the exact same meaning? yes or no? be sincere.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST

    The prefix code.

    by kabong

    Khan should have read the starship manual.

  • least for Hollywood. Let me just mention a few films from that annus mirabilis, in no particular order: Gone With The Wind Dark Victory Stagecoach Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Gunga Din Wuthering Heights The Wizard of Oz Goodbye Mr. Chips Of Mice And Men Ninotchka Hunchback of Notre Dame Beau Geste Destry Rides Again Love Affair Another Thin Man And although it's a Hollywood film, Renoir's Rules of the Game came out that year, and it's often found in lists of the best films ever made. Now, if you want to say 1982 was the best year for genre films, maybe so; although 1968 was pretty great with Planet of the Apes, Charly, Fantastic Voyage, Barbarella, and, of course, 2001, which belongs on that list with Rules of the Game. But for films in general (and though it leans to genre, AICN is still a general movie site), I've got to go with 1939.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Choppah, it was too much to ask even in 1987

    by ufoclub1977

    Prince cancelled the Sign o' the Times Tour for the US, and released the concert film instead (after cancelling the remaining dates in England too).

  • Khan is talking to Kirk and freaking RECLINING from the sheer awesomeness of the moment. "Oh, I've done more than kill you. I've *hurt* you. And I wish to go on...*hurting* you." That is, and the kids say, pimp. Did anyone ever figure out what the electrical apparatus on Khan's arm was? He wore it throughout the entire movie, and it was never explained.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    awepittance, I think Meyer's done at least one other film as good...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...and that would be Time After Time, which mixes sf, suspense, romance, social commentary (on two time periods), a splash of horror, and great performances from Malcolm McDowell, David Warner & Mary Steenburgen. Oh, yeah, and a fabulous old-school score by Miklos Rozsa. I can't be objective here, it's one of my favorites; but I think a lot of people here might agree with me.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:18 p.m. CST

    And regarding the score by Horner -- let's not get crazy.

    by Greggers

    The Native American motif during Khan's attack on Enterprise was pretty inspired, but the rest seemed like a "sound alike" version of Goldsmith's STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE score. Horner even ripped the Blaster Beam sound that Goldsmith used. Horner's score was highly serviceable, but Goldsmith's score was sublime.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Horner's score

    by Keith

    It's bloody magnificent. So good, in fact, that Horner ended up rehashing it for years afterwards. "Genesis Countdown" is the best cue he ever did, with "Stealing the Enterprise" (from ST3) as a close second.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    greggers...The apparatus...

    by conspiracy

    I always assumed it was a way to control the creatures he put in folks ears. Didn't Terrel rip off something similar under his jacket sleeve just before the creature went amok and the pain made him off himself? Either that or it was something to help please the genetically superior ladies in his family.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Biggest Plot whole is that "Star Fleet Engineers" line.

    by Hesiod2k7

    OK. So, are you telling me that a civilization that can build faster than light, warp drive starships and transport objects from the surface of a planet to an orbiting space vessel via disassembling their atoms, and then reassembling them -- cannot mine out a fucking 20' by 50' hole in the middle of a planet in less than 6 months? Especially if it is adjascent to an already existing gigantic cavern? I didn't believe that shit in 1982! I agree that the whole dropping the shields thing was to symbolize that Kirk makes mistakes. was also to symbolize that Kirk was RUSTY! He had not been in command of a Starship for many years, at that point, and had been riding a desk (or whatever it was McCoy said). He was out of practice. There was no excuse for Spock, though. But, I think that was also a character point that Spock was being loyal to his captain and didn't want his protege to show him up. While Spock may have "no ego to bruise," he knew that Kirk did.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    I like Goldsmith's score for TMP

    by Keith

    Technically, it's better than Horner's, but I just love the bombast and rollicking fun of Horner's. Also, the fact that Horner scored both ST2 and ST3 back to back makes Horner's melodies and motifs, for me, THE soundtrack to the movie Treks. (Plus the fact that, unfortunately for Goldsmith, his lovely main theme from TMP became associated with its watered-down form for The Next Generation.)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    It's the best ever year for genre cinema. It's the year where the geeks take over Hollywood. And this is even without a Star Wars film released that year.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST


    by Crobran

    Hmmm....again, get where you're going. Tron would never be considered a classic that transcends all genres, and couldn't compete with the greatness of films like Citizen Kane, so if that's what we're going to say is what makes a film "Classic" or not, then I'll concede that Tron is not a classic. If, however, we stick within the genre of science fiction, Tron is definitely considered to be a classic of that genre. A search on Google for "+Tron +Classic -cult" turns up more than 16 million hits (which are a little skewed because the original Tron DVD is marketed as "Tron Classic") while a search for "+Tron +'cult classic'" only turns up just over 1.5 million hits. Tron was nominated for AFI's Top Ten science fiction films of all time, back in `08. Upon release, it received a pretty favorable critical reception. So - is Tron a classic in the same way that Lawrence of Arabia is a classic? No way. Is it a classic of the sci-fi genre. Absolutely. Where films are concerned, I tend to live in the sci fi realm more than any other, and therefore tend to couch my terms within that context. Taking my head out of that confinement and looking at the bigger picture of filmmaking....sigh...I'll have to give you the win on this oen.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    You nailed it, Nordling.

    by gotilk

    You actually, perfectly nailed it.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    The parallels to Meyer and Irwin Kirshner are uncanny.

    by Hesiod2k7

    Both directed the definitive movies in their respective beloved sci fi movie franchise -- yet didn't have many other such hi moments.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Time After Time: Underrated, under-seen, under-appreciated masterpiece. It also features a chase that you can almost track now using google maps for its realism. They turn on one street and ...I'll be damned... instead of movie magic, they actually end up on the street you would end up on if you were in the same chase. Uncommon. And David Warner (The LOBE) is perfection in it.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    @hesiod2k7 good point.that scene bugged me too.

    by KilliK

    The engineers could even have to dig,they could have easily transported all the unnecessary mass outside from the asteroid in order to create the internal hole.But i guess they used that line in order to make the Genesis technology look more impressive.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST

    @crisp_one i agree

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    A Night of Semi-Heavy Drinking

    by Have_Penis_Will_Travel

    $100 Trip to White Castles (varies) Late Night Rental for ST2:TWOK $5 Waking up in a pool of your own vomit: Pricless

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Joachim's death scene

    by diseptikon

    I remember as a kid when Khan addresses his mortally wounded comrade i thought he said "You are him" which always confused me. "You are him" you are who? Only many many years later did I realize that his name was Joachim which Khan says with a bit of accent.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Wasnt Joachim,Khan's son? according to the script?

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Eh...Space Seed was better.

    by darthwaz1

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Victor/Victoria The Last Great 60s Comedy

    by MHulot

    If no one else wants this one, I'm in.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Meyer's 'Time After Time' is definitely an underappreciated gem.

    by Brian Hopper

    McDowell, Steenburgen and Warner shine in it. The Rozsa score! And Nicholas Meyer's historical mash-up sensibility (also on display in 'The Seven-Percent Solution') really works beautifully. Totally charming film. Count me shocked, SHOCKED, that Hollywood has not yet appropriated it for a remake/reboot and thus ruination.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    The engineering cadet's death scene

    by Crobran

    made me feel like I was watching someone die at a Trekkie convention. This kid is dying and Kirk's way of comforting him is to recite some of his classic lines? It's sappy.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Q: Which 80s scifi movie is better: ST2:WOK or SW:TESB?

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Klingon bastard you killed my son...

    by MagicJesus


  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:04 p.m. CST

    A Warrior and a Madman

    by Valmont10E

    That was the tagline that jumped out at me back in '82. That and the picture of Kirk and Khan. Kirk in his very militaristic uniform. It made him sound like a badass and Khan really scary. And yeah I knew Spock died before I sat down in the theater. Bought the Movie Book they sold before showtime. And damn if I didn't totally forget he was gonna die cause I was so into the film. And then it happened and I cried. Spock wasn't just some movie character. I grew up with him on the show. He was a childhood friend. It was a powerful moment and a powerful film. And '82 was a great year in film. Road warrior, The Thing, and Blade Runner.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST

    1941 not a bad year for movies, either.

    by Brian Hopper

    Also, 1974. Actually, all of the 70s. And 40s.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Poor Shat gets a bum rap too often.

    by Clavius

    Ok, he's no Olivier but he actually does have skills, it's just that he's also been in a helluva lot of crap. But his performance is TWOK is, in my humble opinion, the pinnacle of his career. He's never been better. I mean that as a sincere compliment. He showed such restraint when it was required and made all the correct choices when it came to playing Kirk in this film. I cannot count how many times I've seen TWOK but each, and every time when it comes to the "his was the most.....human" line, it still sends a shiver through me. It's because of that brief quaver in his voice and how he almost painfully grunts out the word "human" because he's desperately trying not to lose it in front of the crew. Still makes me want to cry nearly every time. At the risk of treading dangerously close to dredging up some kind of gay-porn fanfic, Kirk and Spock genuinely loved each other, and they were about as close as two men who were not blood relation could be and still be called hetero. (I know, I'm sorry, but it's the best way I can think to put it). When Spock died, Kirk almost literally lost a huge part of himself, his compass, his anchor, and he's struggling with how he's going to go on without that. All of this comes through in Shatner's performance, he absolutely nails it. So a lot of people might snigger when they think "Shatner" but all they need to do is look to TWOK to see that the man CAN act!

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST


    by Mike plays out very much like an episode of the original series would. Tightly written, and doesn't meander very long.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST

    My TREK rankings...

    by KHjLL

    4 cuz its the first STAR TREK I saw just has that fresh first time thing... 2 Undiscovered Country FIRST CONTACT 3 5 1 10 9 7 Didn't know where to put ABRAMS guess I'll watch them all to figure it out... I've got a loose outline for another in the series that would include all of the GENERATION cast and SPOCK... Which would be cool if PARAMOUNT would do have ABRAMS reboot series and still crank out a few oldies... Would be epic... Something the franchise hasn't doen and I'm suprised but it would be one notch above like KHAN was for the franchise in damaging the ship not in story but in a epic sort of way... It would be like FRIST CONTACT and KHAN smashing into one epic film...

  • The reason the summer of 1982 had so many good movies was because there was an Actors Strike in 1980 and a Writers Strike in 1981. Some of the 1982 movies would have come out in 1980 and 1981 had the studios not put a hold on many of their big budgeted movies. I worked at a theatre at that time and we played a lot of shitty movies for those 2 years. The summer of 1982 was absolutely fantastic as far as great and sometimes classic movies go. I would even go so far as say magical and I doubt we will ever see anything like it again.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST

    my 1st post in 4 years

    by RedScab

    Great article, this for me is the perfect movie!!! Action, story, pacing, the death of Spock. This is the type of film that made me the fanboy I am today. Like Empire, this film really was the foundation of the franchise. You can tell that Abrams really tried for the same feel with his reboot. Esp with young Kirk eating the Apple during the Kobyashi Maru test. That was a nice touch. I was annoyed that JJ will be using Khan as the villain in the 2nd film. Will try to keep an open mind.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST

    1982 Rocks in my memory

    by Mace Tofu

    I saw all the big movies on opening night or the week before sneak previews. I had a gang of 4 or 5 geeks who were there too. Good times that summer as we did a movie a night. Every show was packed and even had to put up with front far right or left seats because we spent too much time smoking out in the parking lot. Ended up with front row center for Road Warrior and while the gang bitched about being so close it worked out as that pullback shot from pillar box to widescreen road kicked ass from front row center.(Whats great about my IMAX is the seating is reserved so none of that anymore Reserved kicks ass.) When I saw NEMESIS on opening night only 2 other people were in the theater lol My wife and I walked out after the movie was over thinking that would be the last Star Trek ever and Entreprise the show killed Trek for us on TV. JJ's STAR TREK was the last movie I saw with my wife in a theater before she passed away so That film will have more meaning for me. She was a cool movie buff and that is hard to find in a partner. One thing I notice is I respond more to the loss of characters in these films. The scene with Kirk and Spock in Wrath I lived that moment for real so now that moment carries so much more weight than when I first saw the film in '82. I watched Khan maybe 10 times with my wife and she made me sit through all TNG episodes. I think I saw Khan maybe 10 times during its original run in theaters. Maybe more, I watch way too much trek lol

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    gotilk & m6y, glad to see you concur on Time After Time...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...after I said I thought others here might agree, it'd have been embarrassing if I'd only gotten crickets in response. And gotilk has given me something new to admire about it: a chase scene faithful to the actual topography of the place it's filmed. I've only been to SF once, so I can't vouch for the contention myself, but I've seen other films play fast & loose with places I did know, and it's as deeply annoying as it is common. (I might add that I rather like Meyer's recent film Elegy. Pretty faithful to the Philip Roth piece it's based on, and Ben Kingsley & Penelope Cruz are terrific. (And Cruz has never looked better, even though it's not one of her most glamorous roles.))

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:45 p.m. CST

    And to fix my screw-up in a previous comment...

    by kisskissbangbang remark about Rules of the Game should have been "And although it's _not_ a Hollywood film...", which was my whole point. As Rick Perry said, "Oops." Bygones.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, midnight CST

    m6y, good point about 1941(the year, not the film)...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...any year with Citizen Kane _and_ Casablanca both coming out during it deserves immense respect, and a nomination in the "best year for films" competition. 1974 does, too. Those two decades you chose also sound right, though I'd want to think about that one for a while before fully agreeing. (And just for the record, and to destroy my credibility completely, I'm one of the few who thinks that 1941, the movie, isn't that terrible. I don't even think it's Spielberg's worst film. To be honest, l'll cop to enjoying all the Gale/Zemeckis-written films:1941, Used Cars, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and of course, Back to the Future.)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:04 a.m. CST

    mhulot, that's an interesting claim...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...Victor/Victoria as the last great 60's comedy...hmmm. Do you mean in tone, plotting or something else? I'd like to hear a little more of your reasoning on this, if you don't mind. And say hello to Jacques Tati for me, would you?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:10 a.m. CST

    @misterdarcy, hadrion, greggers, etc. re: Horner's STII:TWOK score.

    by justmyluck

    While it seems Horner was recycling that ST score for years, the more distinct phrases actually began with Horner's score for 1981's *Wolfen*. Have a listen: Yes, Horner did rip off Goldsmith's ST:TMP score (blaster beam and all); but for his earlier work on *Battle Beyond the Stars*.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:14 a.m. CST

    by justmyluck

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:16 a.m. CST

    No mention of love for James Horner's score?

    by Ben_Richards_Bomb_Collar

    Listen to this without thinking "Man, they don't (with rare exception) make em like that anymore." What a perfect movie. And for some reason "Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material." is my favorite Spock quote.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I saw it in 1982 at a first run theater for $1

    by disfigurehead

    Man what a classic. Nick Meyer loves beating the hell out of the Enterprise.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Thank You

    by mackmm

    Thank you for the article Thank you for that movie poster. I studied & loved that poster back then & haven't seen it in years! I remember a TV station aired Space seed the night before it opened.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:30 a.m. CST

    My love for Time After Time

    by A_Banned_Apart

    actually lessened my enthusiasm for Star Trek IV when it came out. While it's a lot of fun, I'd already seen a Nicholas Meyer film in which people time travel to modern-day San Francisco and which features a clever gag involving a pair of glasses. But I was, maybe, a weird kid.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST

    it worked well back then..not so much now

    by Rupee88

    I watched it recently and it was kind of a crappy movie. But very good for its time

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    I was 15 y/o in 1982

    by Rupee88

    Yeah was a good year for movies but set the bar too high for the rest of my life. Now I have to deal with this Transformers and Twilight crap..not funny or fun.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST

    TWOK humanized Kirk

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Until Khan, Kirk was fairly perfect. This time we got to see his fallible side, we got to see that Kirk could make mistakes. It was an important moment for the character, and some great writing as well. Ironically, Spock had already been humanized, so they took him even farther, and had one of the best and most moving endings a movie has ever had, and I'm not talking just science fiction films. It wasn't perfect (how could they not know Khan's planet had "blown up?"), but it was an exceptional film. They never topped it, not even close. Unfortunately, Kirk stopped being human after Khan, and turned more into a parody. His nadir was Final Frontier.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST


    by Aaron Lea

    Or maybe, Kirk just made a mistake. He is after all... human. I feel pt2 and pt3 showed Kirk's weakness finally catching up with him - his over confidence.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    This Is War starring young Kirk and young Picard

    by Julius Dithers

    Something funny about that.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Shatner's best acting

    by Aaron Lea

    Wrath of Khan was definitely the best performance of Shatner's career.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Kahn is perfect every other ST film is shit...

    by DOGSOUP

    ..that's what I'm getting from you people. But if that were true why even bother watching them?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    I think you meant 1941 as the year that both Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon were released. Casablanca came out in 1942.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    The Reason Wrath of Khan is the Best

    by In Action Man Reborn Requiem

  • On the original series, week in, week out, Kirk and crew would have these amazing adventures -- amazingly *dangerous* adventures. Death would be flirted with in a typical 1960s episodic television kind of way, where people would die, sure, but none of the main characters would ever be in any serious jeopardy. We knew that, and in a way, Kirk knew that too. But that's not life. Nordling discusses how through the story, Kirk grows up. But I'd argue that *the story* grows up too. We see the story transition from that safe, 1960s tv paradigm into something more complex and adult, something with repercussions that more closely resemble reality. And as part of the dialogue between story and audience, the audience grows up too. (Until the sequel, which seems to undermine all this psychological growth and brings Spock back to life. Alas.)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    The Reason Wrath of Khan is the Best Trek Movie

    by In Action Man Reborn Requiem

    is because Meyer went back to Roddenberry's original concept of "Horatio Hornblower in Space". Trek works best as a 19th century nautical adventure. That's why "Mater and Commander" almost feels like a Trek film. Hopefully Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman will come to understand this and the next Abrams Star Trek will be good. I fear however we will get another movie about "Daddy Issues" like George Kirk didn't die in Nero's attack and has been languishing in Klingon prison and Kirk has to rescue him or some such nonsense.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Master and Commader IS a Trek film.

    by Pixelsmack

    It came full circle. Trek inspired by the naval tales, then MnC inspired by Trek.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Hey Nordling...

    by JethroBodine

    I really liked your article. ST2 is one of my all-time absolute favorite "comfort films". But I wanted you to know that the part where you wrote that Khan is "...always inside Kirk’s shadow and over Kirk’s shoulder." is a particularly well written and very descriptive line, and it made me enjoy reading your article all the more. There's a big difference between writing a thoughtful interesting article and just cranking out a "fluff piece" for your movie blog, and personally I'd prefer to see even more interesting articles come from you (and everyone else at AICN). Thanks again for the article. I'd almost given up on reading anything of merit on AICN. Keep up the good work.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:46 a.m. CST

    @pixelsmack WTF are you talking about?

    by KilliK

    both ST and M&C are influenced by/based on Naval novels like Horatio Hornblower and Master and Commander. That's why they are so similar.Not because M&C was inspired by Star Trek,jesus.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:48 a.m. CST

    I wish AICN would quit talking about columns

    by John Brown

    How many columns have been started and then dropped in recent years on this site? And how many references to said columns start off each new column (as in, "Now I know I've fallen behind or completely abandoned my 13 other columns, but I think this one will be different")? I appreciate you saying you're not sure if this will turn into a column or not, but I would encourage everyone at AICN to drop the pretense and admit that sustaining a regular column is not an easy thing to do, especially for us ADD-challenged internet film nerds. If I were AICN, I would forgo columns for categories, as in a headline word that would start off each article like "Review," "Retrospective," "Rumor," "Report"...things like that. (Didn't mean for the alliteration, it just happened) You could look at each category word and know exactly what you're getting, but it wouldn't be about schedules and "regularity" would just be about recognizing the various categories of articles on this site and organizing them as such with no expectation of a "column." But that's just my thought.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Bah. I'm so tired of hearing about how great '82 was for films.

    by Playkins

    I was around for it, and it was no different than a lot of other years since. Hell, arguably the last few years have had just as many high-profile releases. The only reason everyone is so nostalgic is that we've had 30 years to become so. Fuck, 30 years since '82... I'm fucking old.<P> More to that, EVERYONE hated Blade Runner when it was first released. I didn't know anyone, INCLUDING hard-core film fans that thought it was anything magical. That's come with time, Nordling.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:17 a.m. CST

    by jeff

    F**k you Troll "playkins" and yes it was great you dumb mother f**ker.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:36 a.m. CST

    I reckon Generations is better than First Contact

    by the_scream

    Both films are flawed but Generations has more of a big screen movie feel to it while First Contact feels like a bloated episode of TNG. In Generations, the opening draws you in right from Kirks heroic sacrifice to the transition to the holo deck in the future. The film deals with death and legacy. It actually has some strong character moments and is fairly light on action. I also thought the plot was pretty clever and original with the main villain blowing up stars so he can force that energy wave to change course because it's all that mattered to him. The film unfortunately has some lame "other" villains in those Klingon sisters and ruins data with that emotion chip. The meeting of Picard and Kirk is also pretty underwhelming as is Nexus. First Contact is fun but simultaneously improves and ruins the Borg. On the one hand, they look great and are even more menacing, on the other, the Borg Queen completely undermines why the Borg are so memorable: they have no humanity or face of reason. The plot with Zephram Cochran is painful and the logic of the Borg traveling back in time to "assimilate" earth in the past. That is probably the weakest idea of any of the trek films as the Borg are interested in the technology of earth in the future to better themselves. They don't just assimilate civilizations for the hell of it. Whatever they would have gained in earths past, they would have already gained by assimilating a few starfleet ships in the future. Oh, and let's just forget how Geordi is just able to fiddle with the Enterprise at the end to get it to travel through the time again! First Contact is probably the laziest written film of the lot. But I still enjoy the overall direction and acting (Troi is pretty bad though).

  • They defeated the Federation because without Earth,it couldnt exist in the future.As a result they could conquer and assimilate the rest of the Galaxy without any resistance.That's why Picard also prevented the future Borg to make contact with the past Borg.There was no Federation in the past to oppose the Borg if they happened to arrive in the other side of the Galaxy. Actually the whole Borg plan makes sense.What it doesnt make any sense is why the Borg didnt attack future Earth with more than just a Cube and why they didnt use their time-travel technology in the safety of their homeland in the first place. Anyway.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3 a.m. CST


    by the_scream

    How were the Federation any kind of resistance in the future? They got lucky once with one Borg cube because Picard was linked to the collective. The whole reason the Borg invaded Earth was because they wanted to assimilate the new technology and society they encountered in the episode Q Who. Are you saying the botched one attempt and then decided to just wipe out the entire Federation, a collective of incredible technology and rich society to assimilate so they could assimilate everyone else? Nah, I don't buy it.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Damn I'm dumb.

    by Pixelsmack

    That's all.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:12 a.m. CST

    @the_scream What are you talking about? The Federation kept

    by KilliK

    kicking the Borg's ass throughout all the ST series.The writers kept watering them down since the conclusion of the Best of Both Worlds episode. And they only wiped out Earth,not the rest of the more advanced civilizations which already existed in the A-B quadrants of the Galaxy. The Federation was a federal republic of alien nations,it was not consisted only of Earth.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:15 a.m. CST

    What a disaster the Abrams Trek film was...

    by kwisatzhaderach

    but that's what you get when you hire the writers of Xena Warrior Princess and Transformers.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:18 a.m. CST


    by dynamicb

    Well then how come the attending physician is always on the bridge and not in sick bay?

  • doctor was always in the sick bay.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Artemis:best kahn like startrek simulator

    by Fourthwall

    Nothing feels more like startrek than this starship combat simulator when played with the startrek mod. Meant to be played with 6 or so networked pcs in the same room , everyone with a station and a captain giving orders Great Khan review!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:15 a.m. CST

    re: playkins

    by Baragon

    What you said was true: Blade Runner was despised on it's release. People who had read Philip K. Dick's original story said the Deckar in the movie was a fool. In fact there were several commentaries, letters and even strips in Starlog magazine blasting Blade Runner. It's only with time that movies like Blade Runner, Star Wars, Close Encounters, etc have achieved a favorable status.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:33 a.m. CST


    by JamesT

    The funny thing is that the video game actually saved the movie from possible obscurity.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:45 a.m. CST


    by the_scream

    There were two Borg stories after the Best of Both Worlds. The first told the story of an abandoned Borg and the second the story of a faction of Borg who removed themselves from the collective. The federation did not appear to have another encounter with the actual collective, which is why First Contact was able to utilize a story showing the rematch. Secondly, your argument is inconsistent. You say the Borg kept getting their arses whipped by the federation (even though this isn't true anyway) and then argue it makes sense to target only earth and then leave the rest of the federation to assimilate? So, why just target Earth if the entire federation of planets supposedly defeated them? But of course the real issue is that once a species can master time travel, they are basically invincible so travelling back in time to prevent first contact is just really convoluted whenm say, they could have travelled to the point in time where the Enterprise destroys the first Borg cube and just destroy the Enterprise, and assimilate earth at a much more useful point in time. Hell, they probably could have travelled to the future to assimilate even more advanced technology. These time travel stories always stuff up logic.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:52 a.m. CST

    relpirt: CE3K was highly praised on initial release

    by melonman

    It was both a critical and commercial smash, and Star Wars was a phenomenon that most critics warmed to. I know this because I was there at the time, not from reading third hand internet reports. Only dissenting voice which praised Blade Runner (and also The Thing) at the time was Starburst magazine in the UK, which applauded both movies as masterpieces (they had had access to making of pieces in previous issues and had viewed initial narrator-less cut of Blade Runner). Also BAFTA's did throw some nominations towards Blade Runner (pretty sure Cronweth's cinematography was highly praised).

  • Plus, Ford had come off RAIDERS and people were sort of expecting that in outer space. Needless to say, the VFX and action were farily limited, plus the dismal, rained-out view of the future turned popcorn audiences right off.

  • Very addictive at the time.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    by KilliK

    =There were two Borg stories after the Best of Both Worlds. The first told the story of an abandoned Borg and the second the story of a faction of Borg who removed themselves from the collective. The federation did not appear to have another encounter with the actual collective, which is why First Contact was able to utilize a story showing the rematch.= You ignore two things: In FC the Borg are defeated for a second time and their time-travel was a last minute secondary plan. In the story with the abandoned Borg,the Federation discovers a way to completely annihilate the Borg Collective but they backed out because of morality reasons. If your enemy is capable of creating "ultimate weapons" which can destroy you for good,you wouldnt take him so lightly.Dont you agree? =Secondly, your argument is inconsistent. You say the Borg kept getting their arses whipped by the federation (even though this isn't true anyway) and then argue it makes sense to target only earth and then leave the rest of the federation to assimilate? So, why just target Earth if the entire federation of planets supposedly defeated them?= You are making a mistake.The Federation was created because of the initiative of the human mankind and the influence of its civilization.It was Earth which united most of the alien planets under a federal republic and created an utopian socialistic society. The Federation is about unification,that's the whole point.Without it,the Borg could easily defeat the various alien nations because they wouldnt face a unified resistance from them.Divide and Conquer as they say. = But of course the real issue is that once a species can master time travel, they are basically invincible so travelling back in time to prevent first contact is just really convoluted whenm say, they could have travelled to the point in time where the Enterprise destroys the first Borg cube and just destroy the Enterprise, and assimilate earth at a much more useful point in time. Hell, they probably could have travelled to the future to assimilate even more advanced technology. These time travel stories always stuff up logic. = I agree,that is one of the main issues which i have with FC and generally with all scifi movies which misuse time-traveling.Only a few films have managed to properly use time-traveling in their stories without creating big plotholes.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    @the_scream ^^^

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    WOK has to be an exception

    by Autodidact

    Part of the problem with recent TREK movies (even INSURRECTION) is that they all try to be WOK in a way. I want to see another Trek movie/show that is based around ideas and concepts and the implications of exploring space, like TMP was.

  • at least they got the praise and recognition that they so much deserved in the later years.

  • ......The Wraith of Khan was The Empire Strikes Back for Star Trek, so good it marred all the following movies.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:51 a.m. CST

    dukeroberts, you're absolutely right...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...I meant Maltese Falcon and it came out Casablanca. I blame Bogey being in both. Or the alliteration with Citizen Kane. Or my own undying idiocy. Or all three... In any event, thanks for the correction.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Nevermind movies... 1982 was the early heyday of ARCADES

    by Autodidact

    Kids these days have no idea about arcades. They've seen a couple arcade machines here and there that cost $1 or even $2 per play, with graphics that suck compared to what their home consoles and PCs can do. Where are the movies set in 80s arcades? If I had any balls I'd take six months off and make a movie about running/attending a typical 80s arcade.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:01 a.m. CST


    by the_scream

    Good points I suppose but none of your logic is presented on screen. Yes they lose in First Contact and then go back in time to assimilate Earth when they fail. It is implied in the script that this was to defeat Earth during its weakest point in time but the writers failed to grasp that winning is nothing to the Borg. They wanted the current technology and distinctiveness of Earth. I suppose they could still be interested in Earths culture rather than technology or something? The other annoying thing about First Contact is the way the crew of the enterprise are able to figure out the entire master plan of the Borg in under a minute whilst they chase them into the past. There is no suspense or slow revelation. They just jump straight into tis convoluted plot and none of the characters seem all that alarmed. Time travel and Borg? Aliens that assimilate your past whilst you are caught in temporal rifts? All part of being in Star Fleet I suppose

  • had a crucial part in its story.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:03 a.m. CST

    playkins & relpirt, I well remember the bad reviews for Blade Runner...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...but as I've mentioned here before, when talking about motives for seeing a film, a director's track record counts a lot, and Ridley had previously done The Duellists & Alien, so I took the plunge. My date came with me because she was into production design, and even the worst reviews had praised that. To our surprise, we were stunned and moved by it. It looked great, had fine performances, and though unfaithful to the book on a surface level, actually engaged its philosophical themes. We recommended it to our friends, to little effect then; but how satisfying it was to see everyone come around as it went from failure to cult classic to classic. (Especially since that was probably the only time that's happened to me.) It was scorned at the time, you're right; but not by all.

  • TUC was a good (not great) movie, but Meyer went completely overboard with all the stated classic literature references throughout, whether it was Shakespeare, Peter Pan, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Cinderella, etc. I realize Meyer is a classic lit guy, but he wasn't nearly as subtle about it in TUC as he was in TWOK.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Fucking remember arcades, man!?

    by Autodidact

    Dark, smokey-ass places filled with nothing but arcade cabinets which cost a quarter to play. Smokey means the arcade cabinets back then had ashtrays mounted, and offered little perches to hold your lit cigarette while your hands were busy playing.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Saw it opening night in 1982

    by JAGUART

    It was the first time I had ever seen a theatre with three screens use two to show the same film to meet the demand of sell-out crowds. Later that year, WoK became the first film I ever saw on pirated VHS while attending a gaming convention. Kinda freaked me out when I saw some nerd chick performing a Vulcan salute and crying during Spock's death scene.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:10 a.m. CST

    There was no arcade in Last Starfighter

    by Autodidact

    Just a lonely arcade cabinet* installed on the porch of some shitty store in a trailer park. The only significant arcade scenes I can think of: 1. arcade scene in TRON (1982) 2. opening scene of WarGames (1983) 3. arcade scene in Terminator 2 (1991) * Some people use "arcade" to refer to a single machine but that's shorthand vernacular for game traders. "Arcade" to non-game-dealers means a dedicated space containing a collection of arcade cabinets.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Of this chili I can only say this...

    by Horgy

    Of all the bowls I have encountered in my travels, this had the most...cumin.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Last Starfighter

    by Autodidact


  • Maybe the producers had to pay Meyer a bit more than the usual Paramount TREK budget and demanded he thus pull out all the stops?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Oh ok.In that case Titl,City Hunter and Double Dragon

    by KilliK

    are movies with arcade scenes in them.Also the Accused where Foster is raped on an arcade machine inside an arcade room in the bar.

  • "If his chest were a cannon he would have shot his heart upon it".

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:46 a.m. CST

    killik... (you moron)

    by Autodidact

    The presence of arcade machines does not an arcade make. If you're inside a fucking bar, you are by definition not inside an arcade. Arcades only had games in them.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:55 a.m. CST

    1986was pretty damn good...

    by my liege

    Top Gun Crocodile Dundee Platoon Star Trek IV Aliens Ferris Bueller's Day Off Big Trouble In Little China The Fly The Hitcher Highlander Labyrinth Little Shop Of Horrors The Mission Short Circuit Transformers GoBots: Battle Of The Rock Lords...

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    In 1982...

    by GulDucati

    I was 11 years old, and these "big themes" went right over my head, but I still loved the movie and realized there was more weight to this film. Even at that age.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:06 a.m. CST

    @autodidact you defined arcade as

    by KilliK

    = "Arcade" to non-game-dealers means a dedicated space containing a collection of arcade cabinets.= The bar had a dedicated space containing a collection of arcade cabinets so by your own definition it is LEGIT. over and out baby.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:11 a.m. CST

    killik being an obtuse moron doesn't make you right

    by Autodidact

    Jodie Foster's character was not raped in an arcade you nitwit.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Autodidact my most favorite retard of the AICN talkbacks.

    by KilliK

    lets try this again just in case your worm-eaten brain manages to understand why you are wrong: You said that an arcade is a =dedicated SPACE containing a collection of arcade cabinets.= you said space,you didnt clarify that this space must be an individual place like a shop which contains only arcade machines.You didnt clarify that this space must not be part of a bigger space which serves a different purpose. In the Accused,Foster is raped inside a dedicated space in the bar which houses a collection of arcades.Ergo that movie does have an arcade scene. Moreover i just checked some sites in the internet which list movies with arcade scenes in them and guess what.they do have the Accused in their lists.HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Just wanted more episodes

    by menacingphantom

    As a kid who loved the prematurely cancelled show when the first Star Trek movie came out, I just wanted the equivalent of more episodes - sure, episodes writ larger because of what you can do with movies, but I didn't want every movie to be so damned self important and attempted monumental. That's why the two best movies are Wrath and the one with the whales. They are the most like episodes. Even Wrath goes a bit too far with Spock dying, though it did make great cinema.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Nicholas Meyer

    by BackStJoe

    Check out his excellent book: The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country are not only great Star Trek movies, they are great films, and a HUGE chunk of that credit should go to Nick Meyer. As for Nemesis...while it's a Wrath retread, there is still some solid stuff in there. I keep wishing they'd hand off the film elements to Frakes and let him re-cut it. There is a chance of a good movie in there, but Stuart Baird was a horrible choice for director.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Killik's favourite movie about Xmas

    by Autodidact

    To Live and Die in LA (1985)

  • I am going to the bar? or I am going to the arcade? It's about that simple.

  • You're ignoring where I said they were "Dark, smokey-ass places filled with nothing but arcade cabinets which cost a quarter to play." That does not describe the place where Jodie Foster's character was raped in The Accused. Now admit you're a fucking idiot.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST

    I'm going to be real controversial here....

    by baronweazle

    ....But as much as I love the Wrath of Khan, I think it's very overrated. It's a very fun B-movie. But that's what it is. You have Shatner and Montalban both going very over the top with their performances. Which is certainly funny, but at the same time it's one of many reasons I can never take the film seriously and therefore it has zero emotional resonance for me. I know I'm going to be hacked to shreds for this. But my favourite Star Trek film has always been the first one, commonly referred to as the motionless picture. Which even though it's very slow and has little to do for most of the cast, still feels like a proper film(not a movie), with a true scifi story and has this real grand feel to it. The best one after that(in my opninion) is the underrated 6th one. The best villains in the film series I think were the Borg in First Contact, who felt truly threatening. Like I said before I do love the Wrath of Khan, but overall it's just too campy for me. Also what's with all the homo erotic subtext? and why do Khan and Kirk not share even one scene onscreen together?(perhaps it would have been my favourite as well if that happened somewhere in the film).

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    ... "

    by Wookie_Weed

  • It all makes sense now.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:06 a.m. CST

    ps wookie_weed is several people

    by Wookie_Weed

    we share it around here. want a toke?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    One thing about Khan...

    by Hipshot

    Was that it was the first time they recreated the actual feel of the television show...which everyone had been waiting for. It wasn't about the characters was also about the experience of feeling we were watching a beloved show. All of the actors were still there, and still presentable. Fine script, nice effects, but don't underestimate the impact of the familiar.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    First Contact

    by JamesT

    This is as close to a Star Trek horror movie we'll ever get to see.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST

    TNG crew not good enough for a movie??

    by mcgillj

    I disagree with a previous post, although I do concede I never felt the TNG movies were up to standards as being BIG enough.. and people love FC and while its a fun watch it totally watered down the Borg. I would argue that 3 of the shows easily could have Bern films. Best of both worlds, all good things and chains of command. Starship mine would be a fun die hard, with a few additions and a bit bigger action. Sadly the flicks over damped the whole Picard as John McClane thing.. should have carried some Dominion war battles.. something big and epic.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Merrick, speak!

    by YackBacker

    I want Merrick in on this discussion. Fucking gentleman and Trek scholar.

  • place? what was it? a theme park to spend some happy family time with your kids? rofl =I am going to the bar? or I am going to the arcade?= but i never said that the place was an arcade.i said she was raped in an arcade room in the bar.contrary to you,i usually try to be very specific in what i write. You dont consider that the scene in that movie was played in an arcade room/place/space whatever? fine,but that's your problem. I, on the other hand, consider that scene to be played in an arcade room with or without your definition of what an arcade really is.It is a dark,smokey place,it houses a lot of arcade machines,the gal is raped on an arcade machine so yeah the movie does qualify for me as a movie with an arcade scene in it.You may disagree with that but you cant prove that i am wrong because we are both expressing opinions,at least in this case, and not established facts. comprende my dear village idiot?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:36 a.m. CST

    baronweazle, I love THE MOTION PICTURE too

    by YackBacker

    It is pure Roddenberry TREK, and KHAN is pure Gene Coon TREK. They both warm my Vulcanized heart.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Why does Star Trek II work so well? Two words.

    by v3d

    Emotional resonance. It runs all through this film. Thank You Nicholas Meyer.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    It has the BEST score in movie history...

    by abe

    It is so perfect I still haven't gotten tired of listening to it - maybe 1000 times by now. It's just a fantastic story that happens to be set in space. Sci-fi for sci-fi's sake is never good.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    As to the Shields Up issue... there was a plot significant point to it.

    by impossibledreamers

    This was about Kirk's getting long in the tooth and maybe not fit to do the job. As Kirk said to Savvik, "You go right on quoting regulations." Because she was right. He was wrong. And it woke up him and was the first step toward death (as symbolized by Khan) creeping closer.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Kirk's stumble in the eulogy always brings a lump to my throat.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Ι cant wait for Nu Trek know the new Star Trek movie

    by KilliK

    written by the Xena/Hercules writers and directed by a tv director who loves SW and has never watched ST.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Space Seed isn't on the Blu-ray or DVD's.

    by Smashing

    This to me is an almost criminal misfire, we live in an age where things like this are possible yet they oft miss this opportunity.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    I prefer Search for Spock

    by Pete Michaelson

    My favorite Star Trek movie has been and ever shall be The Search for Spock. I know it's Trek blasphemy to cite an odd-numbered movie as a favorite, but there are so many fantastic scenes and a real feeling of cameraderie amongst the crew. The "stealing the Enterprise" scene is probably one of the best in the entire series to my mind; when Captain Styles tells Kirk "if you do this, you'll never sit in the Captain's chair again" and Kirk gets that hardened look on his face before ordering Sulu to warp's epic. Also, of course, the destruction of the Enterprise, particularly when they're standing on Genesis and the crew is watching the ship burn up in the atmosphere. "My God Bones, what have I done?" Nimoy could not have made that scene any better, and it still tugs at my geeky heartstrings. I really like Wrath of Khan, of course; it's a great flick that sets up the next two movies perfectly and helped bring the series back down from the high-concept Motion Picture (which I also think is a great movie, particularly the recently released Director's Cut) to something more relatable. I just prefer the third movie overall. BTW, speaking of flaws in the script, why in the world were all these high-ranking officers with presumably still having careers ahead of them working on a training ship for Starfleet Academy? That's the one thing I always found irritating about Star Trek; no one ever really advanced in their career. Sure, they achieved higher ranks until you had four Commanders and one Captain working under Captain Kirk as of Star Trek V, but not until Sulu went over to the Excelsior did you ever see any of them really moving on. It happened on TNG too; poor Worf languished as a Lieutenant until Generations, for Pete's sake.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Trek movies work when they go back to the series.

    by shutupfanboy

    Khan and Carol Marcus were both TOS characters and it helped they had an established relationship with the crew. First Contact works, because the Borg were major enemies from TNG. They also had a history with Picard that played out nicely. When they try to make new enemies it fails. The one time it didn't work was with Lursa and B'etor, but Generations was flawed day one and they were sideline villains anyway.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Revenge is a dish best served cold

    by Jay Retread

    Did Khan ever know anything about Klingons? How did he know this saying?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    That poster always reminded me of lobby cards.

    by UltraTron

    You wouldn't know what I'm talking about. Also they killed Spock in this one. I'm still depressed from that. They killed Spock. It's such a fucking cop out. No! No! No! It's SAVE the main crew-REDSHIRTS die! How can they top killing Spock? Destroy Vulcan.. Sound of soft thud.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    undiscovered country is far better

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Khan is over rated

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Jim... I think you'd better get down here.

    by quentintarantado

    Kirk gives a glance at Spock's chair, and instantly he knows what happened, why the warp engines suddenly worked, why they all survived. Second to Spock's adjusting his costume (yes, those are Mickey Mouse gloves, he used them to fix something while the radiation was burning his face), that's my other favorite moment among dozens in the movie.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    "Mark VI" is a literary reference at the end. Spock's coffin is a Bible allusion.

    by SiouxCitySarsaparilla

    By the book.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Undiscovered country was geriatric anal polyp.

    by UltraTron

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Carol Marcus was in TOS?

    by Just_Some_Guy

    I don't think she was. I'll check memory alpha...

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    The guy that said Tron wasn't a classic:

    by UltraTron

    Uh. Well Disney thought it was to the tune of a 200 mil sequel. Too bad it sucked too.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Nemesis was beyond bad.

    by Just_Some_Guy

    Nemesis was not so bad it was fun or cheesey or neat. Nemesis was so bad it was just bad. Hardy was a good actor, but the whole clone thing never worked. They should have had Patrick Stewart play both parts (let him have hair, make-up, CGI him younger, etc.). Also, the dune buggy scene was just stupid! Really, really stupid!!! Wheels? Really? When everything else can hover, wheels? Then the terrible early-80s synthesizer music really was just kicking the movie when it was done. I love TNG. First Contact was good. Generations and Insurrection would have made decent episodes, but didn't work as movies. Nemesis should have never been made.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST


    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Not the first time a major studio has been wrong. Prolly read aicn fanboies and thought they had bigger audience than they really did

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST

    voyage home was better than khan

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Khan is more loved cause it followed that dismal pos the motion picture and it had a space battle and spock died.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST

    khan is the third best trek

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Space battle, montalban and spock biting the big one are why it overcomes its flaws

  • The villain is simply paint peeling. Possibly the worst idea for a villain in history. Ruins the entire film really. Hey I'm a kinda younger computer generated Jeff Bridges with a kinda attitude. Not really an attitude but kinda one. Yeah? Really? Because a new updated MCP would have completely fucking blown that shitty concept out of the Muther Fucking water. Duh

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Khan works because the characters are complex

    by ScreamingPenis

    I've seen the movie 100 times and I'm still figuring out things about them. The special effects and balls-to-the-wall Horner score are icing on the cake.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I love this. It was the second movie that ever made me cry.

    by Nerfee

    The first one being 'The Bears and I' (Disney-1974) Starring Patrick Wayne (!) and Chief Dan George. I don't know if there's a specific age at which hopeless nostalgia takes grip. I'm 34 and I can't remember the last time I bought a blu-ray that wasn't some legacy title from years ago. It's just that, when I have choice of something new or something from my youth, misty-eyed wayback bollocks wins every time.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    nordling oh please respond to me with your big black box so i feel Speyshul

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Ill even review Air Bud 3

  • hear the new level music cue from the arcade game Disks of Tron. Only it's played by an orchestra and just thinking about it sends chills. The other moment is when the lightcylcle sound effect from the Tron arcade machine is heard. Why not the sound effects from the actual movie Tron instead of the arcade machines? Because it's a decision that was so cool it's amazing they fucked up the character of Tron and the villain so badly. Don't even get me started on Tron not even being the focus of 2 whole movies.

  • Once trapped in the computer the son rises through a series of tournaments in the hope of escape, only to discover his own father is the MCP at the end of the rainbow - a man lost in his own virtual creation to such an extent that he forgot to see his own son growing up. Hollywood, is that you on the phone…?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST


    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    I did not know livestock could be classified as a spouse in your state! I wish you and the goa ... er missus - er the billy, ah fuck it , the poor stupid animal you forcibly rape every night but call your spouse , the best of whatever the fuck you call it

  • and he pauses- insert fart- it was the funniest thing my friend had ever heard. He starts laughing hysterically- everyone is crying and wondering why this guy is laughing his ass off

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Great commentary Nordling!

    by DoctorZoidberg

    Well written.

  • I love the anticipatory feeling I get when I see that swirling starfield and hear that that building chorus of trumpets while the bassoons come in underneath and everything swells until we get that awesome title. And the music starting with the Enterprise leading the Reliant into the nebula straight through to credits is probably the best sequence of scoring EVER.

  • It always bugged me the final solution to beat Khan. I know Khan is from the 20th century and therefore not used to thinking about a 3-Dimensional strategic field of operations and movement....but he's still a genius and has figured out how to operate a Starfleet vessel...seems he would have thought about that....but giving the benefit of the doubt on that one another question. I get Kirk and Spock's revelation that Khan may have 2-Dimensional thinking and therefore he would still be down on the same plane as they were when the Enterprise almost ran into Reliant and they exchanged fire forcing the Enterprise to flee up and away...but how does that equal the Enterprise just automatically descending right behind Reliant's position for the killshot? ANyone care to help out a fellow WOK lover?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST


    by Dollar Bird

    Nordling, you have gone up a few rungs on the respect ladder in my book. Good article. Nice points brought up. I agree with the whole, every-trek-since-has-wanted-to-be-WOK. I think that's why so many of them feel weak or forced. In fact, in my opinion, NONE of the TNG films were any good. I don't know why so many people like "First Contact". I'll never forget being in the theater and when Zephram Cochrane's rocket ship opened to reveal those warp drives, one nerd in the audience breathed, "Coooool." This resulted in the whole theater laughing at him. Then we had to endure Steppenwolf followed by cowboy hooting and the scene got so much worse. (Also, there was a running joke among my friends that most of the problems in the later seasons could be chalked up to Geordi's face/visor. When his visor became a plot point, we nearly died.) And I agree with everyone's weariness over time travel in Trek films. That and planets that explode. If, in Star Trek 4, all they have to do to go back in time is fly around the sun at warp 10 (which is warp 1 in STNG-era) it's no wonder none of the "First Contact" people seem dazzled by it. Why not just fly around the sun to solve everything? Maybe I'm missing some technobabble detail. Don't correct me if I'm wrong. Let's move on to "Generations", too, while I'm feeling some vitriol. That movie sucked, too. The whole conceit of some pink blanket flying through space to bring you to your own personal paradise was poor. And the whole "just wish yourself out" thing was weak. And weakest of all was Kirk's death, falling off a bridge. "Oh my" indeed. But WOK, great, great film. I also dearly love ST6. Fine send-off. Loved the political intrigue and didn't mind, as one reviewer called it back then, the "Hamasaurus fight between Plummer and Shatner". (Though I think Plummer deserves much more praise than being called a "Hamasaurus." He's pretty competent. I'd love to see him in some juicy role, like "Long Day's Journey Into Night" or something.) I'll shut up now aside to say: I'm looking forward to Choppah's thoughts on NIMH. (Another favorite of my youth. Saw it in the cinema and a million times on Showtime afterwards.)

  • Imagine if Empire didn't have Vader but instead the villain was a little hologram of Luke before his car crash that emitted from R2.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Wrath of Khan is still the second best Startrek movie.

    by UltraTron

    The original Motion Picture tagline: There is no substitute

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    ST VI

    by Lou Stools

    Yes, whomever said it above, Undiscovered Country felt cheap to me too...and rushed. I've always wanted to like it based on the great concept alone, and the preview for it during the Star Trek 25th Anniversary special at the time blew me away...but it failed in execution: slow and silly. Too many lame jokes ("Must've been your life-long ambition.") and odd scenes (The Klingon translation, crewman Dax, etc.). It had no sense of real danger and drama like TWOK had. Everyone was a smartass in that movie. Too bad. I read that Nimoy clashed with Meyer because Nimoy wanted to reveal something new about the Klingons...but Meyer wanted to keep it light. Shame.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST


    by Lou Stools

    My friend farted during STIV...timed perfectly when Gillian pecks Kirk on the cheek at the end: "See you around the galaxy." *ki--pfffbblltt--ss* Someone in the audience blurted out "Jesus!" And we just lost it.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Sorry Garfunkle. We don't hock trek here.

    by groorgman

    Wrath of Kahn....any star trek movie. Great to nap a baseball game.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    I am old enough

    by papabendi

    to have seen the first motion picture at the cinema. The OS was on constant rerun here in the UK in the 70s, so we were excited as hell when the motion picture was announced. I was 8 years old and still high on the Star Wars sci-fi boom. I remember walking out of the cinema with my dad wondering what the hell we had just watched. I didn't understand a thing that went on. When Khan came out I was very skeptical about seeing it. I was a kid who went to the cinema to see Sinbad and The Eye of The Tiger, Superman the Movie, Star Wars etc...I wanted action, not 2001: A Space Oddessy. Yet Khan blew me away, it had everything and more. The Spock death scene is to the Star Trek cannon what "I am your father Luke" is to the Star Wars cannon, it was a game changer....until the fucker decided to come back in the very next film. I rewatched Wrath of Khan over Christmas and Ricardo Montalban just fucking eats the screen. It got me wondering why he is only ever really known for Khan and Fantasy Island when in fact was one of those great actors who could steer a performance just about on the right side of ham, enough to make it memorable and entertaining rather than cheesy and over the top.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Raising the shields

    by ME_M

    The scene works. Kirk is about to give the order to raise shields (his mouth is open), when the Reliant signaled that they had comm problems. Khan needed to get within weapons range without the Enterprise raising the shields, but couldn't risk standard communications. ("Those furs do not conform to Starfleet regulations.") Khan knew he could stall them for a bit ("we are one big, happy family"), and then sent the signal when he anticipated that more silence would be suspicious.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    even with the extraneous coffin shot at the end

    by phifty2

    It sure as hell did. Hey I love TWoK but that shot said, "Spock isn't really dead as long as this film makes money."

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    The Motion Picture

    by Pete Michaelson

    I didn't like it when I was a kid either, but c'mon; as (presumed) adults now you guys can't watch it and appreciate the story? The V'ger concept is pretty awesome, and the way they slowly boil to the reveal is truly sci-fi worthy. I know it doesn't necessarily "feel" like a Star Trek movie, and there's some extraneous silliness in it (the wormhole sequence is absurd, and Koenig's slo-mo "photon torpedo...avay!" still makes me laugh to this day), but it really is a classic science fiction movie. If the Star Trek TOS cast hadn't been in it, it would be considered a high-brow science fiction movie with a cult following today, and geeks would at least pretend to like it so that they can seem "cool" to their peers.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Holy shit you guys are dorks.

    by phifty2

    I mean I am too but it took this topic to realize how much of my life I've wasted analyzing shit like this.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    After the bloat of ST:TMP, Khan strips away the story

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    to basic emotional elements: feeling old and useless, abadonment, revenge, honor, duty, friendship, even fatherhood. TMP had to compete with Star Wars, Close Encounters, The Black Hole, and such in the big screen sci-fi category and the producers felt it had to be a huge, effects driven spectacle. As anyone who watched the series knows, with its paper mache planetscapes and basic fx work, it was the stories and the characters that carried the series.

  • Best line for me; Scotty when Kirk says 'He'll die' Scotty grabs Kirks arm 'He's already dead sir.' Only Scotty could have told it like it is in that scene.

  • Although Khan is very intelligent i think his passion for wanting Kirk dead made him blind to common sense. If Khan thought things thru he'd not have followed Enterprise into the Nebula in the first place, it was an obvioius trap, or stratergy to even the odds for Kirk.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah....

    by Miss 45

    Khan was my first crush. The ear worms creeped me out something terrible. And I cried when Spock died. Childhood memories.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    same dynamic on x:wp

    by belledame

    never made the connection, but you're right. khan is so great because his motivation is just. the same was true for the villain callisto on "xena: warrior princess." she went too far in pursuit of revenge, but xena really had done awful things to innocent people.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Don't forget Spock dies TWICE in the movie


    The opening in the simulation is a brilliant idea, because when I saw it in the cinema my first thought was, "ah this is what they meant when I heard Spock dies" and put it out of my mind. By the time the real deal comes around, you're so caught up in the movie that it still comes as a shock. Just think too, this movie was to be called THE VENGEANCE OF KHAN until Lucas decided to call the third SW movie THE REVENGE OF THE JEDI and Paramount made them re-title it for a *second* time. Meyer's original title was THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (ie. Death). I'm going to have to write the TRON piece now, before someone beats me to it...

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    BTW... to my kids


    Ricardo Montalban is (and always shall be...) the Wizard Falta Algo! from Dora the Explorer.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    "The reason WOK works so well" One theory.

    by gregg benac

    I believe WOK works so well because of the relationships that were already in place. Any other movie would not have the advantage of the characters (and us) knowing each other so well. eg:"Best guess Mr. Sulu." The emotional beats were there too. "All right Khan, here it comes."The audience exploded with cheers in my theatre. "I feel old" (Relate to that more now.) When they enter the Mutara Nebula i was thinking to myself, "wow! a Duel between Titans in the deadliest battle ground in the universe? This ROCKS!" And the battle didnt disapoint. The capper for me? "Young! I feel young!" (Really relate to that now.)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST



    Please don't overlook LIQUID SKY either!

  • All TNG 's films with the noted exception of First Contact was lame. And don't get me started on Star Dreck 09. Well, this would be a good segue for Asi's rants. That Train is never late...?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    WOK is great because....the Romulan Ale scene!

    by Damned if I can login

    Think about it. Kirk says: "Romulan Ale....isn't this illegal?" A current analogy would be: "BC Bud....isn't this illegal?" heh....

  • about the Star Wars prequels.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    No, in 2035 we'll be talking about the sequels.

    by phifty2

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST odd absence by Portugals resident nerd...

    by conspiracy

  • I don't recall her name, but she was one of the women who counted the days since Kirk left her. "Six years, three months, and an odd number of mean you honestly don't remember?" That was of course, dropped.

  • Yes, there were a few that were, but I think it is unfair to subsquent movies to just say they were just trying to duplicate the success of Khan. I think there may be similiar themes, but the themes are fairly universal in movie history. The villian bent on revenge. The "Captain Ahab" Syndrome. The hero dealing with his own mortality. I think Khan is the best movie of the franchise and that it maybe be one of the best SCI FI movies of my lifetime, but I don't know if most of the subsequent Star Tek movies are trying to copy the Khan template or that they are just using a lot of universal SCI FI/action themes that happened to also be used in Khan.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    damned if i can login...Ever have a Romulan Ale?

    by conspiracy

    Not that great..and leaves your tongue blue.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Carol Marcos is not in TOS, but...


    Most Trekkers assume she is the "little blonde" that Kirk shares some banter about with Gary Mitchell in the second pilot ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") episode.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by SmokieGeezer

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Commander Kyle (on the Reliant) was in TOS tho'


  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Mr. Checkov isnt it? I never forget a face.

    by SmokieGeezer

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Wow...Rachel Weisz+ McAdams+Rape=Major Award

    by conspiracy

    I"m putting aside my $13 right now...and I'll bring lots of Kleenex...that will be a real "tear" jerker.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    Meyer Trek makes Starfleet too militaristic for my tastes. That aside, it's still a good film.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Killik, a stupid opinion is not equivalent to the correct one

    by Autodidact

    I find your language the opposite of precise. THE ACCUSED does not have an arcade scene in it. Jodie Foster gets raped on a pinball machine and there might be some video games nearby... but they're in a bar. To call that scene "an arcade scene" shows little understanding of meaningful communication. You are my number one rated dumbshit TBer... seemingly determined not to understand what words mean. And NO, the "arcade section of the bar" in THE ACCUSED was *not* "dark and smokey" the way real ARCADES were. I'm starting to think you can't be older than 25 (meaning you don't remember real arcades) or you'd see what an ass you're being.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Khan is the best film because of Khan himself.

    by FluffyUnbound

    Beginning in SPACE SEED, Khan is the best Star Trek villain BY FAR, in terms of "cool factor" AND in terms of comprehensibility. Too many movie villains either randomly want power, or they have some sort of contrived "You killed my mammy" storyline like the Romulan in Abrams' Trek. Khan wants power because he believes he deserves it. And that belief is explained to the viewer in a comprehensible way in SPACE SEED. And the naked admiration everyone but Spock has for Khan at the beginning of SPACE SEED is totally comprehensible as well. Khan isn't Skeletor or Cobra Commander; he's Julius Caesar. And that makes him something more than a cartoon villain. They almost ruin Khan by introducing a "Kirk killed my wife ROAR!" element to the character in WRATH, but luckily they do it in a way that inverts the cliche. Khan's original plan from SPACE SEED would have succeeded in WRATH. He's got a ship; he's got a crew. He's even got a doomsday weapon, so he's in an even better position than he would have been if he had beaten Kirk in SPACE SEED. He's won. His son begs him to realize he's won. But his determination to have revenge on Kirk destroys him and makes him fail. So Khan is actually motivated by TWO "villain motivations" - and one undermines the other. "You killed my wife!" isn't just a cheap screenwriter's bogus villain motivation here; it's a tragic flaw, a weakness the villain can't overcome and the pivot for the entire plot. That's on top of Khan's OTHER tragic flaw, his hubris. It's actually something of a beautiful little intricate character design. That's why when they try to remake Khan by trying to invent similar villains they fail. Because TV-series Khan was a wholly-conceived character before the movies even decided to use him. You can't create and establish that kind of character in the first ten minutes of a movie screenplay. The closest anyone ever came was Hans Gruber in DIE HARD, and most of that was Rickman's talent adding to the basic work on the page. How is a screenwriter supposed to give us a believable Charlemagne figure with backstory and not one but two tragic flaws and a believable motivation to attack the protagonist by page 10? They ain't, that's how.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I don't mind Nerding taking a walk down memory lane now and then

    by cookylamoo

    But this site is supposed to be Ain't it Cool NEWS, damn it. With the "Behind the Scenes" posts and the Horror Retrospectives and now this, it's more like Aint it cool, Nostalgia.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Oh and in addition:

    by FluffyUnbound

    Here's how awesome a character Khan is: He hates Kirk because Kirk marooned him and then his wife died. Or, at least, that's what he says. But you also get the idea that maybe Khan is lying about this - maybe even to himself - and that's not why he hates Kirk at all. He hates Kirk because Kirk beat him. Even though he's smarter than Kirk and better than Kirk. And he can't take that humiliation. He has to destroy Kirk because his sense of self demands it. THAT'S how cool a character Khan is. He's well-developed enough that he can have surface motivations and core motivations that both make sense. There isn't that much characterization in the entire prequel trilogy, even if you add every character up.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    The Horner score

    by ScreamingPenis

    Just wanted to add -- if you're honest with yourself, is there really a better film score than Star Trek II aside from Star Wars? The performance from the musicians is superb. It's almost like they were all on coke trying to outdo one another. The sad fact is that such a film score will never happen again. Orchestral music has been relegated to 30 seconds of background in favor of loudass special effects in today's movies. John Williams started something special in 1977 and by the late 1980s it had burned out. We also don't have studios willing to take a risk on a newbie composer like Horner was back then. It's all safe and predictable now -- they're there to take your money, not give you a slice of humanity.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Great Piece

    by DogPhish

    Well Done.

  • in addition to all the great insights already written by Nordling all you fine talkbackers, it could party be that Star Trek II was successful because it was different from The Motion Picture, and also Star Trek wasn't overexposed like it is now. Back then you had, what? The original series and The Motion Picture. Also, Wrath of Khan was more of an action/adventure kinda epic than the more big-geeky-sci-fi idea piece that the first one, The Motion Picture, was. Kinda like how Alien and Aliens sort of inhabit different genres yet they compliment each other well, instead of the sequel trying to repeat and lazily rehash the original note for note. Also, it is kind of a weird coincidence that: - Alien & Star Trek: The Motion Picture were scored by Jerry Goldsmith. - Aliens & Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan were both scored by James Horner. Just my 2 cents at least.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Not saying that I don't like The Motion Picture though

    by lv_426

    I'd rank it 2nd behind Wrath of Khan for best original crew Star Trek flicks. My ranking, in order from best to worst: 1) Wrath of Khan 2) The Motion Picture 3) The Undiscovered Country 4) The Voyage Home 5) The Search For Spock 6) The Final Frontier They're all pretty damn good though. Really the only questionable one is ST V: The Final Frontier.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Khan and Klingon Proverbs

    by Smartacus

    If you remember in Space Seed he spent some time reading up on things in sick bay. Maybe he studied up on the current state of the galaxy and came across some information on the Klingon Empire? With his "superior intellect" I'm sure he'd have had no problem remembering something as cool as the "dish best served cold" Klingon proverb. Hell he probably learned Klingon. Also we have no idea what kind of supplies the Enterprise left them with. They might have left them some computers and information on species that they might need to be aware of.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Carol Marcus is the blond Gary Mitchel steered toward Kirk...

    by Billyeveryteen

    The lump in my throat got too big as Kirk and Spock slid down the glass. I look next to me, to see my Father wiping tears from his face. I love and miss both.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    autodidact, ARCADES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by lv_426

    =Kids these days have no idea about arcades. They've seen a couple arcade machines here and there that cost $1 or even $2 per play, with graphics that suck compared to what their home consoles and PCs can do. Where are the movies set in 80s arcades? If I had any balls I'd take six months off and make a movie about running/attending a typical 80s arcade.= Yes. I fucking loved the arcade back in the day (later 80's into the mid 90's). So maybe I wasn't old enough for the golden age of early 1980's arcadom, but I know what you are saying when lamenting about there not really being anything like those beeping and bleeping palaces of electronic wonder. I have an idea for an old school arcade themed film. Although, more of an homage to the old school games from the later 80's and not really about arcades as the main subject (everything from Contra to Double Dragon to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to NARC, beat-em up brawlers and shmups if you will). You should make something out of your 80's arcade idea though. I bet there would be a healthy audience for something like that. Tron Legacy didn't really do much with the Flynn's arcade setting, which was a shame as the first Tron had that arcade vibe heavily throughout. I guess Tron Legacy was going for more of the virtual reality theme, ala The Matrix, than it was trying to feel like it were set inside an actual retro arcade.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Yah, they couldn't afford Goldsmith

    by ScreamingPenis

    You're right, choppah. There's an article somewhere out there about the backstory to the STII soundtrack. I think it talks about Horner and Goldsmith's daughter too. Worth a read if you can find it. Perhaps realizing that he was onto something good, Horner's soundtracks start to get repetitive, which is a major complaint about him. But STII was the original, before the repeats.

  • I don't care if he used some similar sounds and elements in both. Both scores are awesome and work great in each film.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    hulk might make good points

    by Handiana Jolo

    but who actually wants to sit through and read pages of material in ALL CAPS. I get that that's his schtick, I really do. But he could just capitalize everytime he says "HULK THINKS THIS" or "HULK THINKS THAT" without leaving caps-lock on for the entire "article." This is like the 2nd or 3rd time i think this site has tried to tell me this guy is one of the best things going on in the movie-related intertubes. I don't see how you guys can support that kind of dreck. Maybe the guy is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But relying on that gimmicky schtick only says to me that he doesn't think his writing is good enough to stand out on its own, and that he needs something else to draw the reader in. Unfortunately for him he's chosen a way to push readers away from him.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    early 80's movies were the shit!!!

    by starfury100

    ST-TWOK was freakin awesome when it came out..There was just something magical about the movies made back in the early 80's which made it a great time to be alive, and be a kid.

  • it would be Alan Silvestri. I remember watching the Back to the Future films and wondering why the Predator score was being used so much.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    I'm diggin this Arcade idea many ways to go with it.

    by conspiracy

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    STAR TREK II is the best sci-fi flick of all time.

    by Chris Moody

    I would probably love STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE if it was recut with better effects. The story is fantastic -- but the film is soooooo sllllooooooowwwww moving and monotonous. The film has the tone of V-ger-possessed Ilia. If someone were to recut the film and leave out the felt-like-20-minute fly around of the Enterprise or Spock's endless jetpack inspection of V'ger -- then the film would be infinitely better received.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Soft core..."Arcade:Some Slots take More than Coins"

    by conspiracy

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Action..or Gay Porn..."Arcade: A Fist Full of Joysticks"

    by conspiracy

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST

    ccchhhrrriiisssmredux...TMP IS the closest to TOS...

    by conspiracy

    and I agree...a really great SCI-FI movie in need of a decent edit.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    It also emphasizes just how badly STIII sucks...


    Spock should have remained dead. Kirk's son should have remained living. Genesis- even if it didn't work out the way it was supposed to, it was still an incredibly powerful weapon...wasted opportunity IMO. If there was any flaw with part II it's that Khan or his son should have survived, and the Genesis device shouldn't have been blown up and used as a cheap set-up for bringing back Spock. There were so many cool ideas in II that got flushed down the toilet...such a shame.

  • and Disney is openly looking to replace their new Marketing Head...most probably over the dismal buzz for that film so far. Fucks sake...$300+Million to make and market a film...insanity.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    KHAN is the "Best of Both Worlds" - LITERALLY

    by jorson28

    Pardon the quote of the title of the popular TNG episode, but "Khan" really is the best of both worlds. After the first film tried TOO HARD to be "intelligent" by telling a story that was so esoteric and existentialist that it put people to sleep (in spite of the scale), the new producer(s) and filmmaker on KHAN had the mandate to bring Trek back down a bit, if need be, so that like the television series, it could not only be cheaper but more action-packed and fun to watch. Plus, Khan was an established character. Fans of the series would go in knowing EXACTLY what they wanted to see besides just the main cast, and that would be Ricardo Montalban as the character they remembered from 1967. YET, it would be "new" because the actor would be older and the character would have an as-yet undiscovered history to him. Those that remembered "Space Seed" so well would go in hoping that the film answered the question that Spock poses at the end of "Space Seed" about the "crop" that sprang from what they planted on that day by dropping off Khan and his people the way they did. That's the commercial side to KHAN. The artistic side came via their decision to have Meyer direct, and Meyer was perfect because his tastes were not only literary, but literary in a fun way. He liked Moby Dick and the melodrama of Shakespeare. He liked (and still does, to my knowledge) opera and classical music - all elements associated with mythical adventure stories, which is exactly what the next Star Trek film needed to be at the time because that's everything that STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE wasn't. His detailed knowledge of all these things allowed him to distill and incorporate their most basic and appealing elements into the rewrite he finally did for KHAN before it went into production. In a way, the film is rich and complex BECAUSE it's so simple. One man seeks revenge against another man that is simultaneously and, at least for the moment, disenchanted with himself and his own life, and both are that way for similar reasons. As I think the above article describes in a far better and more detailed way, the very sort of carefree, "daring-do" ways of the younger James T. Kirk that have led to the regrets of the older James T. Kirk were the traits that probably compelled him to just drop Khan off on the nearest uninhabited planet and, in his sense of self-superiority, move on to the next adventure without ever bothering to consider the potential consequences of his actions. It's exactly those consequences that have made Khan the villain he has become and that compel him to do what he does when, at last, fate grants him the resources when Chekhov and his new captain accidentally find Khan while scouting a planet that they think and hope is devoid of any life, whatsoever. That, in and of itself, makes the film one that starts of with an incredible irony - that one of our main characters, in trying to find a planet devoid of life, should accidentally rediscover a very rare and significant group of lifeforms in Khan and what remains of his gang! So, in conslusion, my opinion is that, for all of the reasons stated above, "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" works because it is a distinctly commercial film with, perhaps, an unlikely high level of artistic merit.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    @ccchhhrrriiisssmredux and @conspiracy

    by Pete Michaelson

    TMP HAS been edited and gotten updated special effects. Take a look at TMP Director's Cut on DVD; the computer effects, especially of the Enterprise flying through V'ger, look amazing and the sequence has been pared down to a more reasonable time. It really is a great movie that just doesn't get enough credit. The Director's Cut version is definitive and really helps the movie stand-out as a classic science fiction story with big themes and ideas.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST


    by Mugato5150

    Um, there's a reason why TMP was closest to TOS. It was the exact same story as one of the episodes. "The Changeling", the probe NOMAD was looking for it's creator. TMP....where NOMAD has gone before. And just because someone finds TMP or 2001 slowly edited does not make them an ADD rattled Michael Bay fan. Sometimes, the movies are just unnecessarily slowly edited.

  • a deleted scene to pop up somewhere filling the gap between Kirk's decision to go back down to the plane where Khan was and then showing how they pop up behind him....what tactics Kirk used for would be cool to know b/c the whole Enterprise/Reliant battles use a lot of great space navy tactics.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    @ gideonthedane :

    by Chris Moody

    While the effects for TMP are hard to look at, my biggest problem is with the pacing of that story. It is as if the director was taking a Sunday drive in storytelling. They could wipe out 30 minutes of that film and it would be an IMPROVEMENT.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Worst Contact is just as bad as the other TNG films

    by SuperTrekkie

    Picard resolved his borg issues in I, Borg. Then all the sudden he hasn't. He's vengeful and weird and not Picard. It's just as stupid and nonsensical as the other TNG movies. I only think of the series as TNG.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Down in Front did a commentary on this film

    by Rtobert

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:13 p.m. CST

    @ mugato5150 :

    by Chris Moody

    Are you seriously comparing STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY? The pacing of 2001 was great! It was long -- but nearly every moment was vital to the story. The pacing of TMP was just bad. How long did Kirk need to fly around the Enterprise before the audience realized that he loved and was in awe of the ship? It reminds me of the Jim Carey film HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. They extended a 30 minute cartoon (that was taken from a 18 page book) into a 2 hour movie. It was a bit of a "stretch." But, where THE MOTION PICTURE got it wrong, WRATH OF KHAN got it right. You are emotionally invested in the characters. The plot was paced well. You were greatly interested in the outcome of the story. The director tossed out pointless fly-by's that were only meant to show off 1970s-era special fx. The story of TMP is great -- but the film could have been made much, much better.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Wrath of Khan is a ham&cheeze sandwich...

    by ObiBen

    ....with ham&cheeze on the side and a tall glass of ham&cheeze. And the KHAAAAN scene is Shatner forcefully emptying a full tube of Squeeze-A-Snak into the camera lens.

  • hell..I really like TMP. But it simply needed to be tightened up.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    great article, but NEMESHIT is NOT better than Insurrection

    by Kremzeek

    Not even close. Nemesis has to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Easily in my Top 25 most horrific films ever made by Hollywood. What's the biggest complaint about Insurrection? That it's "just an extended TNG episode". GOOD. That's why I will always defend it. Because, let's face it, First Contact is great, but it's not Star Trek (this has been discussed ad nauseum on AICN so I won't get into it again here). FC is Picard and Co. running around with machine guns kicking some ass. It's not "boldly going" anywhere. But the film is GOOD, so it's cool and most of us consider it one of the stronger Trek films. Then, for Insurrection they go back to the TNG "root formula" so to speak and everyone has a fucking hemorrage fit. Make up your minds, people. I stand by my assessment: Insurrection = Flawed (a joystick controlling the Enterprise?! Ugh), but ultimately a fun homage to "real Trek". Nemesis = Absolute shit. There are even some corns and peanuts sticking around on all sides... it's that bad. Not sure how anyone who loves film (or Trek) can defend it.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    coalesced? COALESCED?

    by PatientZer0

    You nimrod, the word you were looking for is CONVALESCED. AICN...where editors simply DO NOT EXIST.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Search for Spock needs to be higher ranked!

    by ZodNotGod

    I love that film too! It shows how truly heroic and decent Kirk is and how far he will go for his friends. "KLINGON BASTARDS! YOU KILLED....MY...SON!" Plus the Enterprise dies, something, at least at the time I saw it in 84, a real shocker. "My God, Bones. What have I done? WHat you always do. Turn dearth into a fighting chance for life." "That green-blooded, son-of-a-bitch! It's his revenge against me for all those arguments he lost!"

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    TMP rocks it too. The only Trek flick that is science-fiction.

    by ZodNotGod

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:05 p.m. CST

    STIII was pretty cool. Why all the hate? It's no STV

    by Orionsangels

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    "John Carter OF MARS!" - I just saved Disney $50 million in...

    by Hesiod2k7

    ...wasted marketing costs.

  • STIII had some cool moments. The Enterprise returning all damaged. When they steal the Enterprise. The destruction of the Enterprise. The Enterprise really is the star of STIII.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    When you quote Milton...

    by Zath_ras

    You gotta man up and take what comes. Khan, who was prepared to kill Kirk in a hyperbaric chamber, was a puss for expecting Kirk to check up on him.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST


    by heks

    That bit about being the most human is exactly what I was thinking. Even though this article didn't mention it, it made me think of it and I got misty eyed. It's the little catch in Kirk's voice that does it every time. Brilliant IMO.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    KHAN works because...

    by ZodNotGod

    as stated by fluffyunbound, he works because he just wants revenge. He doesn't want control of the universe, he just wants Kirks head on a stick. Actually, the death of his wife is more of a throwaway line as he pulls those things from the eels. I never took it as his total MO. It just fueled the fire. His sidekick, Joechim, points out, "We have a star ship, we can go anywhere we choose." But Khan just wants his revenge before they leave for parts unknown. Ricardo is great because he lives and breathes every line.... '....before I give him up...." the way its said, by any other actor wouldn't have been so memorable, but he spits it out with a venom and wounded ego.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Insurrection is ruined by the shitty performance of Picard's

    by ZodNotGod

    female love interest. Whoever that lousy bitch is, she needs beaten and her SAG card destroyed. Terrible performance, right up there with the awful Eddie Furlong from Terminator 2.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I thik the illegal Romulan Ale reference is to Cuban Cigars

    by Hesiod2k7

    As if there was some kind of trade embargo, or something. Or, possibly it is analogous to Absinthe. The revival of Absinthe as a liquer did not occur until the 1990's.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    One of my favourite nostalgic 1982 movie moments

    by Keith

    It's actually from ET. I love the Hallowe'en scene in that, because of the Star Wars characters in it (that the kids in Elliott's neighborhood have dressed up as). And I love the inclusion of Star Wars action figures in the movie as part of Elliott's world. In a way, it's more nostalgic than watching the Star Wars movies themselves. I've seen them dozens of times over the intervening years, and their associations have become smeared across three decades. But the scenes in ET really take me back to being a kid at that time, of growing up inside that cultural sphere where you and all your friends were surrounded with Star Wars paraphernalia. ET totally nailed that feeling of a shared culture. Have subsequent generations had anything to rival the sheer size and power of the Star Wars movie and merchandise juggernaut?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Serenity" is to "Firefly" what "Star Trek II" was to "Star Trek

    by ChickenStu

    Bold statement maybe but true.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Compare "Star Trek: TMP" to "Space 1999."

    by Hesiod2k7

    And you can see that it was influenced as much by that series (and 2001) as by Star Wars. The costumes in TMP are very similar in style to the ones from Moonbase Alpha. (Admittedly a 1970's vibe, but still).

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST

    X-Men 2

    by Keith

    Rips WOK off pretty egregiously. It swaps out A Tale of Two Cities for The Once And Future King, and it has one of the crew sacrifice themselves to save the ship from an impending explosion that will kill everybody. Then it has the camera fly across the scene of the death accompanied by a voice-over into the end credits, hinting at a resurrection to come. Only it all felt forced. It felt as though Singer just wanted to crowbar the movie's final reel to make it into ST2. I really like the first two acts of X-2, but the third act is fucking awful.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    'There was just something magical about the movies made back in the early 80's which made it a great time to be alive, and be a kid.' I guess I have no point of comparison. But I also agree.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Horatio Hornblower was NOT ROddenberry's idea...

    by ZodNotGod

    It was Meyers. Jodie Foster was raped in a bar on a pinball machine.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by Kremzeek

    Those are some really great moments you point out in ST3, but ultimately the film fails for me. It's just well.... really boring, frankly. Nothing happens (with the huge exception of the Enterpirse being destroyed of course, but that alone doesn't make the film good). And Lloyd (god lovem!) is awful as a Klingon. It's one of those "it's just the actor with a funny forehead on" moments. He fails to be a Klingon leader and is just Lloyd in... well, in a funny forehead. Funnily enough, I actually like ST5 better. I know, I know... Now you're thinking "everything Kremzeek says is now irrelevant", but hear me out... Sure, the final theatrical version of ST5 pretty much sucks, but I can't help but watch it knowing what was intended and what could've been. I have a lot of sympathy for Shatner's situation during the making of this movie. So, it helps me enjoy it way more than I should. Also, I love TMP:DC. Probably one of my fav Treks. I've never really rated the films by my preference before, but I think it'd look something like this if I did: 1 = Wrath of Khan 2 = Motion Picture: Directors Cut 3 = Voyage Home 4 = First Contact 5 = Undiscovered Country 6 = JJ Trek 7 = Insurrection 8 = Final Frontier 9 = Search For Spock 10 = Generations 11,100,299,001 = Nemesis

  • ET is a masterpiece. Carpenter's THE THING is terrific. WRATH OF KHAN (and all Star Trek, frankly) leaves me cold. TRON is an incredibly smart and entertaining, visionary film. BLADE RUNNER, too, maybe minus the entertaining part. As a year for geek movies, it was good. But a diet of only geek movies is kinda pathetic. And that's where we've been ever since. So 1982 is kinda evil in that way.

  • They go over to the Klingon ship and Gravtity is still turned off. Blood droplets are floating all over the place. When the gravity is turned back on, all the blood splashes to the deck. A very cool scene. It went off the rails when they sent Kirk and McCoy to the penal colony.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    gideonthedane re: TMP

    by Keith

    I agree. I watched the recut (and touched-up) version of TMP last year. I found it surprisingly compelling. So I guess the changes worked. It's also the only ST movie that has that streak of nastiness that TOS had smattered throughout. You know, those moments where someone would die horribly and the soundtrack would have those chords of aghast horror. (DUN! DIDUNNNNNNNN!) The Motion Picture has several of these moments. The destruction of Epsilon Nine, the erasing of Ilia, the transporter accident, even the ruthless elimination of the Klingon ships in the opening sequence. (I absolutely love that sequence, especially for Goldsmith's cue, which makes the Klingons feel like Mongol horsemen in space.)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    ST2 was the first flick I saw more than once in a theater

    by Blanket-Man

    Couldn't be bothered to see ET, Empire or Raiders even once in a movie house, but at least I got KHAN right way back when!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:38 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    One of the reasons people underrate Tron consistently is because it was so ahead of its time and influential that most of its strengths (the concepts, most of which were completely novel to the general public) just seem routine today (either in real life or in fiction), so they're almost invisible. The very concept of virtual worlds, artificial agents performing tasks for users, time dilation inside a nested world, the religious allegories of the users as barely-understandable gods etc. Do a google search for "Seinfeld is unfunny" for a good general discussion of this phenomenon.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    zodnotgod re: Hornblower

    by Keith

    Do you have sources for this? For years I had thought that "Hornblower in space" was Meyer's concept, but then I read somewhere that Meyer had elected in ST2 to "go back to Roddenberry's concept of Hornblower in space". So which is correct?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    First Contact doesn't do exploration

    by Autodidact

    But it has the most stylish direction (save for Nu Trek 90210 I guess) and the best effects of any Trek movie and some of the best effects of the 90s overall. I know TOS had crap effects but TMP set a high bar for quality FX in Trek movies. The effects in First Contact really hold up, apart from the CG gas clouds in a couple shots at the end. And it has the characters down. I like Zefram Cochrane, even though he's a bit cartoonish.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Khan has the pacing and color of the series...

    by matineer

    reds and oranges. But TMP is the only movie which involves "going where no man (or no one) has gone before. Khan -- and the budget cutting -- eliminated any chance of Starfleet exploration in further movies, which concentrated heavily on the Enterprise family. And STIII had to focus on resurrecting Spock. Khan also added militarism (the uniforms) and the aforementioned jettisoning of the primary mission (Roddenberry himself noted Kirk's phasering of Khan's creature -- feels good, but they needed to study it. I loved the movie, but until they got to Genesis -- an interesting SF concept -- it felt more like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea -- not a dig, that was a very entertaining SF show, which glowed with useless blinking lights and featured scenery chewing villains. Wise and Meyer gave us two alternate takes on Trek -- one epic and serious and intelligent, another bold and colorful. That's a simplification. I liked them both.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Scotty carrying his nephew to the bridge

    by Mattman

    is the ONLY flaw in the entire movie, if you ask me. It's hilarious dramatic. I expected Kirk to say, "Scotty, sickbay's a couple of floors up."

  • Which is also not a classic, though i personally enjoy it.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    i do appreciate the thoughtful response though. keep it up.

    by dahveed1972

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:42 p.m. CST

    The video games inspired by TRON were definitely classics.

    by dahveed1972

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    What is meant by 'classic'?

    by Keith

    TRON did a whole slew of things that had never been done before, and it was hugely influential. But it found only a fairly small audience among the general public. I don't really understand the intended point about 'the video game and computer revolution that came after'. What do you mean?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Davheed, no they weren't.

    by Keith


  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Point out the parts in 2001 where

    by Keith

    We see virtual worlds. We have an anthropomorphized representation of an artificially intelligent entity. We see time dilation in a nested world. We have the notion of virtual entities regarding their human creators as deities. We have the concept of data used as a weapon (trojan/virus style) to bring down a system. There is the concept of an AI entity going beyond its initial programming to amass new knowledge and extend its own abilities by absorbing other systems. Also point out all the computer-generated visuals in 2001. Either H/M/S or SMPTE timecode format will be acceptable for each of the moments in 2001 you'll be able to catalog. Thanks in advance.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Such an efficient script

    by Dreamfasting

    He's intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates 2-dimensional thinking

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Just played this in DC over the weekend!

    by MACenstine

    I'm a projectionist at Landmarks Estreet Cinema in Washington D.C. and we played Wrath of Khan on Friday and Saturday night!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Great Article. This needs to be said.

    by Costas Mendati

    If I may sum up, the movie was "about something." So few scripts aspire to be and fewer movies succeed.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    ST2 is the best because

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    1) it's not overlong 2) there's a lot of action and FX 3) Ricardo chews the scenery nicely 4) Spock dies, heavy drama 5) Kirk kicks clever ass in a few places The End

  • They may have taken the wrong lesson from the financial success of Star Trek (2009). Star Trek isn't about neat characters and fast ships in a universe with crazy aliens. In the best incarnations, it's about competent pseudo-military people, with human qualities, encountering big ideas on a grand backdrop divorced from the current world and known history. Make the next movie about big sci-fi ideas, exploring the human condition in unique ways, not about fan-service and crazy aliens and hot ships.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 1:43 a.m. CST

    ^ yeah,right good luck with that.

    by KilliK

  • Give a listen to James Horner's score for BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS -- which was released a full two years before STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. The BBTS score contains "prototypes" for the themes Horner would re-use and re-work for STII & III, KRULL, ALIENS, and even AN AMERICAN TAIL, over the next several years. I'm not knocking Horner's scores for STII & III; they are both amazing (STIII's "Stealing the Enterprise" is a particular standout) ... and his KRULL score also ranks high among my personal favorites. But BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS featured the first appearance of what would become Horner's "signature" 1980s sound.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST

    My Nitpicks

    by Bald Evil

    I love Wrath of Khan. I've watched it many, many times. It was the first movie I watched in HD after I finally got my HD TV. I love it enough that I can nitpick at it, and still enjoy it just as much. 1) How do you not notice that a charted planetary system is missing a planet? The system would have to be filled with debris from Ceti Alpha VI, or even the partially-destroyed remains of the planet still in orbit. For that matter, how does a planet explode? 2) Not raising shields according to regulations. It's not like no one's ever hijacked a starship before. It's kind of the point of the regulation. 3) The zip, I mean prefix, code. I guess I can handwave the laughably simple master code to the defenses of a starship, but... still. I've always thought that a more interesting way for that scene to have gone would have been to have the Enterprise raise their shields as per regulation, and KHAN have outmaneuvered them with the prefix code to lower Enterprise's shields. But that doesn't leave Kirk with a cool move, so... 4) The Ceti eels. It's gotta take longer than that for a grub to burrow to your brainstem. For that matter, why would a person resisting suggestion cause the grub any discomfort? And how could it get back out so fast? 5) Khan's crew. Why was Khan the only one who aged? I kinda doubt living on the barren hell of Ceti Alpha V for 15 years would leave everyone so clean-cut and youthful. 6) The Genesis device. Why not just transport it out of Reliant and don't rematerialize it? Or even just hold it in the buffer until the warp engines were working again? This would be easy to fix by just saying the transporters don't work in the Nebula, so it's not a big issue. I still love the movie. I'll watch it again next time it runs on HBO. Even the flaws are charming!

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:28 a.m. CST

    I Think Mr. Darcy Just

    by phantomcreeps

    Gave a big dose of shut the fuck up! And he is correct. Good job, Sir!

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:43 a.m. CST

    @autodidact my dear village idiot.

    by KilliK

    =I find your language the opposite of precise. THE ACCUSED does not have an arcade scene in it. Jodie Foster gets raped on a pinball machine and there might be some video games nearby... but they're in a bar.= according to you.see.that's the are merely expressing an it the correct one? contrary to you,i dont give a fuck.i am only having fun with you,especially when your definition of what an arcade is a bit ambiguous and leaves plenty of room for personal interpretations. = To call that scene "an arcade scene" shows little understanding of meaningful communication. You are my number one rated dumbshit TBer... seemingly determined not to understand what words mean. = well the other sites do call it an arcade scene and list it as a movie with an arcade scene.what can i say.either everyone else is clueless what an arcade is or you are simply a dumb fuck who cant even understand his own definition of what a definition.heh.guess what's the case. =And NO, the "arcade section of the bar" in THE ACCUSED was *not* "dark and smokey" the way real ARCADES were. I'm starting to think you can't be older than 25 (meaning you don't remember real arcades) or you'd see what an ass you're being. = i know how an arcade was back in the days,dont worry.what you dont understand is that you are referring to arcades as places exclusive places to go and play arcade games.I get it dont worry.What you dont get is i am following a less strict interpretation of what is considered an arcade.and i bet that's why the Accused is mentioned in the lists with movies with arcade scenes in them.You may disagree with that but that is only your opinion which i dont give a fuck about. comprende senior?

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 6:17 a.m. CST


    by NorthTronic

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    I defy you to produce any of these lists

    by Autodidact

    You're wrong. But in any case, regardless of the setting, that's not an "arcade scene"... it's a RAPE SCENE you fucking nitwit. The arcade scenes I listed all have something in common: They feature the lead actor at an arcade playing video games. Trying to lump the rape scene in The Accused in with those scenes and call it an "arcade scene" is hilariously autistic of you.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Do you refer to the photocopier scene in Office Space

    by Autodidact

    As the "grass scene"?

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    ="arcade scene"... it's a RAPE SCENE=

    by KilliK

    oh,now you are using the tiresome fallacy of playing with words and changing the subject of our debate? tsts. you are that desperate you silly boy? you can do better than that,you know it.give it a better try,come on,i ll be here.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Tiresome fallacy of playing with words

    by Autodidact

    You are clearly just trolling. If not, you're really dumb. The statement (quote from you) in the subject line of this post is literally nonsensical. The "definition" you keep citing follows three examples of what I consider an arcade scene to be. Even within your little game of trying to hold me to what i typed in that comment, you're dishonest/too stupid to see how The Accused doesn't fit in with those examples.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Story, story, story!

    by unfaithfullyyours

    And story! Everything comes from a central theme (age), there's no wasted air, good lines without getting "cute", real drama (when McCoy bumps into the upside-down body I jumped out of my seat as a kid), you're right that Kahn's kinda right, it's just really well-written. And everything else rises to meet that script, instead of dragging it down. And hey, sometimes in the film business, you just get lucky. BTW, that oft-quoted Kirk scream works because in the dialog leading up to it Kirk is absolutely furious. Pure rage. So it builds nicely, and Shatner sells it. My two cents anyway. I've never read the script but does it play as well on the page as on the screen? (The one logic thing that's always bugged me is why Scotty brings his nephew to the bridge. I know it's dramatic, but wouldn't he just go to sickbay?)

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    @ misterdarcy

    by ZodNotGod

    Shat’s “Star Trek Movie Memories” is one of the best sources. Its been a while since I read it, but Meyer is interviewed and discusses how he wanted to go all nautical and use the Horatio Hornblower in space vibe. Roddenberry never mentioned Hornblower as far as I know (could be wrong)… He always called Star Trek a western, “wagon train to the stars….”

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    @: kremzeek

    by ZodNotGod

    It’s cool, I don’t hate Part 5 anymore either. It has some of the best character moments from the franchise. Shat was at least thinking big, he gets points for that, studio interference and massive competition that summer led to a perceived notion of it being a complete failure which is just not true. It has its lousy moments, but it also has some excellent bits. Shat did a fine directing job in spite of it all. Plus, its no longer the worst Trek movie ever made, that belongs to INSURRECTION. NEMISS comes a close second. There is no way Part 3 belongs that far down on the list.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    YES! Shat can act! Meyer compared him to Spencer Tracy!!

    by ZodNotGod

  • you mean that you didnt change the subject of the debate which was the arcade scenes ? ok boss whatever you say.then i guess the arcade scene in T2 is not an arcade is a "search and pursuit" scene.because now we are talking about how the scenes play from a story perspective and not where they happen.uhuh. =The "definition" you keep citing follows three examples of what I consider an arcade scene to be.= I.that's the magic you do admit that you are expressing a personal opinion of yours right? an opinion,not a fact.i never said that your definition is wrong,i only used it in a less strict this such a big a problem for you,that you went like a spaz in your posts,insulting me and trying to prove me wrong?.jeez. = Even within your little game of trying to hold me to what i typed in that comment, you're dishonest/too stupid to see how The Accused doesn't fit in with those examples. = well,that's only your opinion. :) anyway.

  • These are space action adventure movies. The crew of the Enterprise are heroes. And what do heroes need? VILLIANS. Now, WOK stands out because it had a very memorable villian. The following movies aren't trying to copy it... they're just trying to be action adventure movies. The TV show was telling stories with memorable villians long before Star Trek II came along. It's a great film, but trying to make it out to be original and groundbreaking someway won't wash. To say that First Contact or Nemesis is trying to copy Khan... I don't buy it. Khan itself was simply adhering to the formula set up by the show in the first place. All the filmmakers are guilty of is trying not to re-invent the wheel.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Kirks infamous shout

    by Julian

    Although it can't really be described as a primeval scream of frustration as Kirk already knows they are going to be rescued by Spock in 2 hours thanks to their coded "Hours could seem like days" conversation. So while he doesn't like to lose, he apparantly just likes to shout.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Killik eat some eggs they've got cholene it's good for your brain

    by Autodidact

    You type nonsensical statements. I literally can't understand what you're trying to say in the opening question of your last post. Try to calm down and formulate a meaningful statement.

  • I've had smarter "debates" with my ten year old nephew.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    @autodidact cool story bro.

    by KilliK

    now go play with your cat or something.leave the discussions for the smart people,please.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST

    You're a cool story

    by Autodidact

    Why you mad though?

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    =You're cool=

    by KilliK

    since the day i was born baby.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    ccchhhrrriiisssmredux, only problem with the FX in ST:TMP was time...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...the guys they hired originally (Robert Abel & Associates as I remember, hired on the strength of their 7-Up commercials) spent all their money on unusable test footage; they had no film experience. So they hired Douglas Trumbull, arguably the greatest FX guy who ever worked in the business (although Willis J. O'Brien & Harryhausen have a mighty strong claim,too) to complete almost all the effects in six months. As he told his crew on the first day, "Let's pull this out of the shit." And they did. If they'd been hired in the first place, they'd have done substantially better than that.

  • ...the praise it deserves. Will you settle for my saying it's excellent?

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    misterdarcy, the Hornblower/Kirk influence is mentioned in...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...the Whitfield book, The Making of Star Trek, the one with Roddenberry comments in all caps. If I had more time I'd track down the reference, but I don't. Maybe this evening, if the discussion's still ongoing. Hope this helps in the meantime.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST


    by matineer

    Yes. Shatner tried. More of an accidental mission. Nothings cut and dried.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    @matineer where are you referring to?

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    WOK template

    by Keith

    I dunno, I think there are key elements in WOK that seem to be replicated in at least two other ST movies. Specifically, it's the Moby Dick aspect of it all (with Khan as Ahab), which WOK of course makes very explicit to the viewer. (Ahab: ' I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up.') It wasn't an especially common trope in ST before WOK to have a villain who was motivated quite specifically by revenge against an individual. But Nemesis and Abrams Trek clearly followed this pattern. I guess the question to ask is: "Is the revenge-fixated villain plot one would expect to turn up once every five movies in any case?"

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Debate on arcade scenes

    by Keith

    I have to say I never really thought of the scene in 'The Accused' as being set in an arcade. Arcades (for me) were places dedicated to games machines, inhabited almost exclusively by males aged 8-28, and full of the sounds of Galaxians, Gorf, Berzerk and Tron. I haven't seen 'The Accused' for many years, but in my memory that scene feels like a bar or a pool hall. Am I misremembering?

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST

    @misterdarcy nope,you are correct.

    by KilliK

  • I hope this is correct, need to bust out the DVD and check. But I absolutely *have* seen GR say precisely that Kirk was his Horatio Hornblower. I also have a first printing of The Making of Star Trek, I'll have to check it as well. In the late 80's (I believe) we finally saw the full episode The Cage, with B&W footage inserted into the ep in certain places so we could see the entire thing. GR does an introduction for this where he discusses the episode and the series in general, and he mentions the Hornblower/Kirk comparison, with a shot of Kirk using a sword. Seems as if I saw it somewhere else as well, it also has GR saying "Scotts have always been the best shipbuilders". And this is odd, since although Kirk and Hornblower are both quite the strategists, Kirk was the very much the lothario as opposed to Hornblower, who was much more reserved in his relationships with the women in his life. *aahhherm* (If you haven't seen the Gregory Peck film you won't get this obscure reference)

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    hesiod2k7 - you're probably correct about the Cuban cigars....

    by Damned if I can login

    ...but c'mon man, indulge me! Let me have my BC Bud least we could agree that it has a humorous, pop-culturey coolness to it! Besides, McCoy states that he only uses Romulan Ale strictly for medicinal purposes...which would correlate more with weed than with tobacco. huh huh huh.....Bones and Kirk are "cool".....huh huh huh

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    worst plot hole ever at the outset...

    by Boborci

    Like Chekov and the ship he came in on didn't know that an entire PLANET was missing when they land and find Khan? Do they, you know, take notes about the planets they catalogue.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST


    by Boborci

  • that is why folks don't like it. Because it is kind of the 2nd part of Khan but of course is not as good as Khan.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Great lines too....

    by Dogmatic

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    I...HAVE HAD ENOUGH...OF...YOU!!!!

    by Dogmatic

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Maltz! Tch'oooooyn TCHU!

    by Dogmatic

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    boborci...True enough...

    by conspiracy

    a Planet goes missing and they don't even comment on the debris field? don't dwell on the missteps, screwups, and holes so much here, ...every film has them...Khan just has fewer of them and the acting, pace and most of the writing is so good you don't mind the ones you find. Now...about that Ice Moon with a breathable atmosphere orbiting a scorching hot Desert Planet. ;)

  • Love it!

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    My worry for Abrams Trek II

    by Keith

    It needs to be less comedic than the first. I enjoyed the first as a popcorn movie, but it was played heavily for laughs. If they do that a second time, it means that Nu Trek has become a sci-fi comedy franchise with some action scenes, and any of the more weighty philosophical and conceptual stuff is forever inaccessible. But will they be able to tone the comedy down now, or will audiences be left disappointed by that? It's hard to go back to heavy stuff once the audience regards you as being light. (Note that STs 4-6 were markedly lighter than 1-3.) There's a comedy ratchet. Trying to think of examples of movie series that did take a firm step backwards toward darker material. Perhaps the Bond movies a couple of times (e.g. Moonraker->For Your Eyes Only).

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    It was well written, both plotting and dialogue.

    by DougMcKenzie

    All of Meyer's movies were fairly well in that regard., but it is what was missing from a lot of the other movies... especially the TNG movies. I look at Generations and can see so many poor decisions and lack of understanding of the franchise and characters. Kirk can create any world he wants in the Nexus and he is living with a woman he had a casual encounter with. I'm sorry Kirk's reality would have been himself with Carol and a child-age David not "Antonia" or whoever. Also Kirk's final words should not have been "It was fun", it should have been "David". That would also have dovetailed nicely with what happened with Jean-Luc at the start of the movie, and reinforced the theme of loss, both in Picard's ship and his family, with Kirk having done the same earlier. From that moment it would make sense to have Picard embrace Data more as basically his son. Then that would carry over more into Nemesis, would should have ended with Picard and Worf (as newly promoted FO, which made too much sense on so many levels for B/B to do it, even thou the EU wiped out their mistake and made Worf the FO anyway), having a dicussion about all the loss in their life. Picard losing his brother and nephew, and now his "son" Data, and Worf talking about losing both his wives and being estranged from his son, and never able to see his brothers again.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:10 p.m. CST

    @boborci and @conspiracy

    by ME_M

    The planet mix-up can be explained away. Don't forget, a solar system is a huge amount of space. The planet debris could have been on the other side of the sun, or mixed in with an existing asteroid belt. (Or swallowed up by the Doomsday Machine that blew up Ceti Alpha VI, heh heh.) Khan also mentioned that their planet's orbit was shifted, so it may not have looked out of place. I'm guessing that the Reliant crew knew how many planets were in the system, and counted their way in. If they had started at the sun and counted out, they would have figured it out something was off. We also know that Cap. Terrell was tired of the mission and wanted to get it over with. ("Maybe it's something we can transplant.") I'm guessing he took a shortcut in identifying the planet, rather than doing an extensive and complete scan of the solar system.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    boborci, (if you're the "real" one), since you're here...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...I'd like to ask for your thoughts (or those of your fellow scripters) on the section of Star Trek from Kirk's being beamed down to the iceworld to returning via Scotty's superteleportation beam. A lot of people who otherwise enjoyed much about the film found this section a little too rife with coincidence (not to say overconvenient) for its own good. I'm obviously one of those people, but rather than railing at you, I'd like to genuinely inquire as to why those scenes were handled the way they were, whether alternate scenarios were considered to get Kirk, Spock & Scotty together, the sort of thing you'd talk about in an American Screenwriter magazine interview, say. No gotchas here, I'm sincerely curious. While I'm at it, I've heard that the last writer's strike prevented you from doing more than a first draft for Transformers 2. (I've also heard this was true of Quantum of Solace as well.) Was this indeed the case? Finally, if the above still seems to reflect a hidden agenda, I'd like to say, since you were involved with Fringe, that the parallel universe "mythology" of the show strikes me as a very clever one; honestly, I think it's a better one than The X-Files had. Don't know if you had a hand in it, but if you did, there's some real respect here for it, even if I'm less than wild about some of your other stuff. And if you are the real McCoy, I also appreciate your willingness to enter the lion's den here. I admit I'm a lion, too, but (I hope) a fair-minded one. Thanks in advance for your time and attention.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Me-m...I guess....but I'm not buying it.

    by conspiracy

    1. In Star Trek films we see these guys detecting gnats skimming fruit from millions of miles away, intercepting interstellar transmissions, and generally being anal retentive about minor burps in magnetic fields...I doubt they'd just count their way in. And they would have noticed something was amiss with their star/planetary charts...or rather the Computer would have. MY cell phone can identify voice with about an 90% I supposed to believe the advanced AI of a Warp capable Star Ship in the year 223? can't at least pipe up and say.."Hey motherfuckers...this here planet ain't in the right spot...and we be missing another one?!"? 2. If it is part of the Federation, and therefore patrolled by ships of the Federation...wouldn't someone have alerted Starfleet that one of their planets blew the fuck up at some point during the intervening 25 years? much as it pains me to say it, Bob is is something that has bothered me since I saw it as a kid. It is a script/story fuck up...but overall Khan is so good it doesn't detract from the overall experience.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:41 p.m. CST


    by Boborci

    We had two weeks before strike to write treatment that bay prepped TF2 from. Also, Star Trek, Eagle Eye, and the Fringe pilot all started shooting the first day of the strike, so what we turned in that sunday night as writers or producers is what had to be shot during strike.

  • Horner's score is awesome during that scene

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Boborci, I appreciate the reply...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...I realize my other question can't be answered quite as concisely as the Transformers 2 one, and I realize you're a busy guy. But if you could manage a few words, I'd be quite interested to see them. If circumstances don't permit, though, I understand. Thanks again.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Kisskiss lets start with coincidences

    by Boborci

    I suppose you are referring to the Kirk and Spock Prime being on thisnplanetoid together? As 've argued before, they are both there precisely becausenof the locations proximity to vulcan. And both are on their way to the Starfleet outpost. Transwarp beaming? The precedent for that comes from Trek 4, where Scotty gives 20th century human advacned equation for transparent aluminum. Spock prime is from further in the future than any prevuous depictions, so why couldn't he have such an equation?

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 1:31 a.m. CST

    boborci, I hope there is no strike for the Star Trek sequel

    by chrisd

    I hoped that, if given the chance, you would have made some adjustments (improvements) in Star Trek 2009 if the strike had not prevented it.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 4:13 a.m. CST

    by Relugus

    WoK is indeed a great movie, with a fantastic script 9there are so many great, and genuinely clever lines) which shows tremendous insight into it's four main characters; Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and of course, Khan. Carol and David have good characterisation, too. The film explores themes and dieas without ever becoming ponderous, always keeping a steady pace. Although they never meet, the tension between Kirk and Khan is electrifying. Montalban is great, his performance captures perfectly a man with one overiding passion; vengeance. And we can understand why; an antagonist has to have a point, something many of the the other Trek films fatally missed. Shatner is at his best here. Whereas Kirk was a very typical male lead in the TV series, in WoK he feels real. Kirk is like a real person; his dialogue is earthy and not laden with technobabble, and while the script deserves great praise, alot of that is down to Shatner; he underplays for once here, proving highly effective in many scenes, especially when he shows Kirk doing seemingly mundane things; Shatner's actually very good at this. Kirk's portrayed as a flawed man rather than a perfect hero. The realness of Kirk is something I have always found really striking about WoK. STIII and IV conitnued this angle on Kirk, to great effect. Generations completely lost the realness established in II, III, and IV and I feel missed the whole point of Kirk. Kirk, Spock, and Bones make a perfect triumvirate, most notably in the scene where they discuss Genesis; instead ponderous exposition we get an illuminating and well written scene between the three of them. As others have said, a central set of underlying themes that tie everything together and give it shape and meaning. Most of the other Trek films (exceptions being III, IV, VI, and the reboot) kept missing the target and managed to ruin just about everything else.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    boborci, I've no time to respond, but I thank you again for your doing so.

    by kisskissbangbang

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    boborci, with all due respect...

    by RocketScientist

    But as a scientist myself, I can see plenty of reasons why Spock wouldn't have such an equation. Scotty is an engineer. The properties of transparent aluminum have an impact on his work. Spock might be further from the future, but transwarp beaming is nothing that he deals with on a day-to-day basis. That's the typical category of "I know where to look it up when I need it" information. Not to mention that on the last occasions we heard of him, diplomacy played a far bigger role in his activities than science. Whether he was actually up to date with current science is speculative at best and doubtful at worst. It could well be doubted that he had sufficient basic knowledge to actually understand the concept...

  • on the other hand, I won't apologize fdor a thing in the movie.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    rocketscientist -- that

    by Boborci

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    is why Spock used Scotty's equation.

    by Boborci

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Boborci - sorry....

    by RocketScientist

    that's just piling improbability on improbability. Not to mention that having an equation and being able to convey it to someone are still two entirely distinct things - especially under aggravated circumstances where both sides don't really have an idea about the issue. Transferring technical knowledge isn't that trivial. Transferring technical knowledge to a point where it can be applied even less.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Rocket scientist - you are actually arguing with

    by Boborci

    me about degrees of teleportation available to 24th geniuses in sci-fi movie?

  • the best it can be. I did not agree with some of the choices you made in Star Trek 2009, like the destruction of Vulcan, but since that is there, make the most of it. There are plenty of possibilities: the Klingons taking advantage of a apparently weakened Federation, secretly egged on by the Romulans. You could make a World War II movie in your new Star Trek universe; a lot of exciting things could be done. I am looking forward to it!

  • You assholes almost dragged me further into this before I went away to Flame more fertile, less respected the Star Wars article and John Carter's horrible marketing (Ross should be fired for hiring her...) Anyway...Conspiracy's wrap up... 1. JJ trek was an enjoyable popcorn romp...I'd like the next to have fewer forced "yuks" and tighter story but don't expect it...times, and audiences, are far different than in '82. I'm a businessman...I know the pressure that can be brought about to repeat past performance...and $350M is a tough goal for anyone these days. I'm not sure I'd stray too far from the path of the previous film is NOT a good time to take risks in Hwood. Good luck Roberto...and I mean that. 2. Wrath of Khan was ALMOST perfect...which is all you can ask of movies, especially movies based upon make believe. 3. We all spend WAY too much time and brain power on this shit..., I almost lost $$$ in the market by being here instead of watching my accounts. I might need an intervention... Good day all...I'm going back to Star Wars...might be time for a story if the TB is still going strong..

  • I'm fucking divorcing her, that's it!

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Khan's hair and outfit do not stand the test of time

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    all he was missing was a flying v gibson - i like all the trek movies, except for generations - i even like 5

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    abrams star trek is for people that hate star trek

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    i liked it, but i miss the real star trek - wrath of khan as it is couldnt get made today - it would be considered a bore - i saw it when i was 17 - the modern 17 year old doesnt have the attention span - even with modern effects thrown in, the same story and script wouldnt fly - hence the 2009 reboot - star trek for trek haters - as fun as the new trek is, i didnt care much for the new characters - i wanted to but i wasnt given enough time or reason to during the movie - new kirk went from being misguided and not knowing jack to being in space for the first time and not being impressed by it in the blink of an eye

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Star Trek reboot was a good solid movie...

    by Relugus

    The problem with it is that Kirk fits a little too neatly into a generic alpha male lead type. While Kirk was always that to an extent he did have quirks (yes, Shatner can tend to over-act, but what's often overlooked is that he is also good at the details and character quirks that make a character feel real). I prefer the slow, tense naval battle of Khan to the Star Wars whizzing and zooming of the later Treks. That's how you depict a ship-to-ship battle in Star Trek. Khan is still the best Star Trek movie and will likely remain so, as its hard to beat perfection.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    boborci, no, I am arguing about the narrative qualities....

    by RocketScientist

    ...of a deus ex machina.