Total Recall: Star Trek Movies

With Star Trek Into Darkness hitting theaters, we take a look the cinematic voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Star Trek

These days, cancellation isn't necessarily the end for a television series; between DVD sales, the Web, and the ever-expanding cable dial, if a show has a fervent enough fanbase, odds are someone is going to come along to take advantage of it. Such was not the case 40 years ago, however -- not that it mattered to diehard Star Trek fans, who so impressed Paramount with their passion for Gene Roddenberry's characters that the studio brought the property to theaters a full decade after the show was unceremoniously dumped by NBC. Three decades later, as we prepare to greet the twelfth Trek feature, Star Trek Into Darkness, your pals at Rotten Tomatoes thought now would be the perfect time to take a fond look back at all the Enterprise voyages that got us here -- from the beloved classics (The Wrath of Khan) to the ones that never should have made it off the holodeck (The Final Frontier). Where does your favorite rank? Read this week's Total Recall to find out!

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

45%

With a full decade between it and the end of the original series, you might think 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture would have plenty of time to work out all the kinks -- but alas, as the movie's dismal Tomatometer (and decades of fan gags about The Motionless Picture) can attest, all of Trek's time off didn't translate into an auspicious big-screen debut for the crew of the Starship Enterprise. The problem with the first Trek film -- aside from a dialogue-heavy storyline whose biggest villain was a cloud -- actually had nothing to do with the franchise itself; instead, it was a series of corporate shenanigans, including an aborted attempt at a second Trek television series, that left director Robert Wise with a patchwork script and neither the time nor the money to realize his vision. Although The Motion Picture didn't meet commercial or critical expectations (the Chicago Reader's Dave Kehr called it "blandness raised to an epic scale"), it performed well enough to justify a sequel -- and, in the bargain, kicked off one of the longest-running series in movie history.

Mode: HLS Link

Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan

90%

Sequels that expand upon their predecessors are exceedingly rare -- but then, 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is no ordinary sequel. After ponying up the then-princely sum of $46 million for the first Trek, Paramount was looking for two things: One, a scapegoat for the first film's $136 million global gross (which ended up being series creator Gene Roddenberry, who was exiled from the decision-making process for Khan), and two, someone who could head up a cheaper second installment. That someone was Harve Bennett, a Trek novice who quickly immersed himself in the original series in search of a compelling villain for the sequel -- and found him in Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), a superhuman with a thing for mind-controlling eels. Khan's thrifty aesthetic may have inspired Bennett and director Nicholas Meyer to cut corners wherever possible -- including reusing sets from The Motion Picture -- but the movie didn't skimp on storyline, much to the delight of fans and critics, both of whom rank the series' second chapter at or near the top of the franchise. "Here comes a sequel that's worth its salt," wrote Janet Maslin of the New York Times, concluding "It's everything the first one should have been and wasn't."

Star Trek III - The Search for Spock

78%

Leonard Nimoy a.k.a. Captain Spock, only agreed to return for The Wrath of Khan because his character died in the last act; fortunately for the franchise, he later had such a change of heart that not only did he come back for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, he directed it -- and did an admirable job of continuing the series' resurgence, piloting the third chapter to a respectable $76 million domestic gross and generally favorable reviews from critics like Time's Richard Shickel, who praised Nimoy for "beaming his film up onto a higher pictorial plane than either of its predecessors." Though further odd-numbered entries in the series would famously come to represent Trek at its worst, Star Trek III cemented Gene Roddenberry's creation as a viable ongoing concern for Paramount -- and set the stage for the film series' fourth chapter, thus clearing the path for Trek's eventual return to television in 1987 with Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

85%

Having explored the outer limits of space, Star Trek spent much of its fourth cinematic installment in decidedly more familiar environs -- namely, the America (specifically the San Francisco bay area) of 1986, thanks to a storyline, conceived by returning director Nimoy, that had the crew of the Enterprise traveling 600 years back in time to retrieve a humpback whale in order to... Well, it isn't important, really; what mattered -- at least to the folks who helped Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home to a $133 million worldwide gross -- was that it lived up to Nimoy's goal of showing audiences "a great time" with a feature that played up the lighter side of a franchise whose humor was often overshadowed by its big ideas. Weathering a number of pre-production storms -- including William Shatner's refusal to come back without a raise and the chance to direct the next sequel -- Voyage triumphantly emerged as what Roger Ebert referred to as "easily the most absurd of the Star Trek stories -- and yet, oddly enough... also the best, the funniest and the most enjoyable in simple human terms."

Mode: HLS Link

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

21%

After churning out three consecutive installments that pleased fans as well as critics, the Star Trek franchise was due for a fall -- and it got one in the form of 1989's The Final Frontier. William Shatner directed the fourth sequel, and helped come up with the storyline (which puts the crew of the Enterprise at odds with a God-like being who has nefarious plans for the galaxy), so he's taken much of the blame for what's regarded by many as the weakest film in the series -- blame that, to his credit, he's publicly accepted. But to be fair, Frontier had bigger problems than Shatner; for starters, the 1988 writers' strike left Paramount rushing to push out another Trek before the series lost its momentum -- and with a budget almost $20 million lower than that assigned to the first film 10 years earlier. Whatever the causes, Frontier was a failure; although it easily recouped its budget, its grosses didn't come anywhere near The Voyage Home's, and neither fans nor critics were charmed by the film's comedic elements (including the infamous Yosemite camping scenes) or its thinly veiled attacks on televangelists. "Of all the Star Trek movies, this is the worst," wrote Roger Ebert -- and for a time, it seemed likely that it would also be the last.

Mode: HLS Link

Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country

83%

It might have suffered a cinematic black eye with 1989's The Final Frontier, but the Star Trek franchise still had at least one thing going for it at Paramount -- namely, the 25th anniversary of the series, which the studio was eager to capitalize on, even if it wasn't willing to commit more than the $27 million spent to film the previous installment. Fortunately, the sixth Trek ended up in the hands of a director who knew how to make the most of minimal budgets: Nicholas Meyer, whose work on The Wrath of Khan was still, at that point, the critical apex of the series. Working from a Cold War-inspired story suggested by Nimoy, Meyer assembled The Undiscovered Country, whose 82 percent Tomatometer and nearly $100 million worldwide gross were not only fitting for a quarter-century celebration, but what ultimately ended up being the final voyage for much of the original cast. With series creator Gene Roddenberry passing away just prior to Country's release, and the future of the franchise in question, not a few critics were left feeling nostalgic -- like Hal Hinson of the Washington Post, who wrote, "If, indeed, Star Trek VI turns out to be the last of the series, it couldn't have made a more felicitous or more satisfying exit."

Mode: HLS Link

Comments

Dave J

Dave J

I seem to resonate with the RT list than the users list!

May 15 - 05:02 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

They're pretty much the same rankwise and the RT list in order is just the order they were produced.

May 15 - 07:51 PM

Giddi K.

Giddi Kroon

JJ Abrams Star Trek films are crap. He does not understand the franchise and they are just garbage.

May 16 - 02:50 AM

Randy Bartlett

Randy Bartlett

Star Trek IS the most successful franchise. They should stay with the Rodenberry vision. Many of the past directs and producers did not get it.

May 19 - 03:46 PM

Liiam Cruz

Liiam Cruz

Chris Pike isn't fit to clean WIlliam Shatner's boots, or Patrick Stewart's for that matter. JJ Abrams isn't fit to clean Gene Rodenberry's bathroom. Teh films peaked with The Undiscovered Country & First Contact. There is really nothing more to be said but it makes money so they will keep trotting out pointless sequels.

May 20 - 04:19 PM

Andrew Werling

Andrew Werling

Please stop watching them then. Wouldn't want you to suffer needlessly.

May 23 - 09:28 AM

Ethan Faidley

Ethan Faidley

First contact is so underrated. It got higher % than Wrath of Kahn and that's everyone's fave.

May 16 - 07:24 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Anyone who's planning to watch "Star Trek Into Darkness" have to avoid reading article "Parental Guidance: Star Trek Into Darkness" written by Tim Ryan since according to some of the users apparently leaked out some revelations regarding the new Star Trek movie which viewers didn't know about!

May 16 - 04:02 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Wrath of Khan and the 2009 Star Trek are my favorites out of these.

I've seen most of the Next Generation films but none of them really seemed to stand out or try and do anything new with the franchise.

May 15 - 05:11 PM

Ash Gilmore

Ash J. Gilmore

Same here.

May 15 - 06:07 PM

dork3021

Ian Parrague

First Contact was amazing!

May 15 - 06:18 PM

Stewart Hoffman

Stewart Hoffman

First Contact was the best of the bunch, but you're right. The Next Gen films were just ok, nothing special.

May 15 - 07:28 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

They (whoever THEY are) forgot who the characters were. Picard is the worst culprit. His bursts of anger and irresponsible actions were not on par with the character from the show.

May 15 - 09:15 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

I would say First Contact rises to the level of special. It's really a wonderful movie, and one of the best of Trek.

Generations is okay. Insurrection is bad. Nemesis is "this movie isn't even ready" bad.

May 16 - 01:09 AM

Giddi K.

Giddi Kroon

TNG films were the best. First Contact and Insurrection were perfect.

May 16 - 02:50 AM

Iam W.

Iam Waffen

"Insurrection was perfect"

Said nobody ever.

May 17 - 11:08 AM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

Never liked Star Trek. I'm not into older shows. I liked the 2009 one, so I'll give Into Darkness a go.

May 15 - 05:33 PM

Isaac T.

Isaac Tetreault

Same, tried to watch the first one, fell asleep not even half way into it.

May 16 - 05:56 AM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

I liked the worst action scene ever, though

May 16 - 12:03 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Although, I agree Star Trek is not the best series to watch in terms of it's "action" scenes since they're low budget and corny- it's main theme is about socializing and working together with other planets and the alien beings that live their besides the people of earth, and it's also about solving it's mysteries whenever they're trapped! Upon watching the original episodes starring William Shatner you "must" listen and grasp onto it's introduction first! The original episodes require viewers to use their minds because "Science Fiction" in general is not all about how much action it has or how the action has to be presented! Here, I'm going to copy and paste the introduction for you:

"Space, the final frontier
These are the voyages of the starship enterprise
It's continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To boldly go where no one has gone before."

Now, in my opinion if it wasn't for Star Trek, there also would be no "Star Wars" nor any other Science fiction movies that uses aliens and humans working together! However, the first real inspiration for any of the Star Trek episodes to me was 1956 "Forbidden Planet"!

May 16 - 02:55 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I don't know if this makes any sense or not but sometimes their tense complicated unpredictable situations can be all the action it needs in order for it to be involving!

May 16 - 02:57 PM

Ash Gilmore

Ash J. Gilmore

Same here.

May 15 - 06:07 PM

dork3021

Ian Parrague

First Contact was amazing!

May 15 - 06:18 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I'm sad Abrhams keeps everything secret. When there isn't anything secretive or surprising about Into Darkness I'm gonna be bummed. Why all the secrecy for a standard sequel.

May 15 - 07:24 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

I've never gotten why people want to know beforehand anyway. All it does is build up expectations that more often than not most movie's fail to meet.

May 15 - 07:38 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Abrams doesn't really keep everything a secret. He's just amazing at playing the press to make it act like he's keeping everything a secret, when he's really releasing a ton of information.

Know what 'keeping everything a secret' really looked like? Pretty much any film made before the internet, including most Trek films before Abrams. In a lot of cases, people wouldn't even know who was cast for roles back then, or what roles they were playing, until the poster came out.

May 16 - 01:11 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Mr Adams, you just blew my mind. Thank you.

May 16 - 02:45 PM

Michael Collver

Michael Collver

if you finally saw the movie now you both know why!!!!!!!!!!

May 18 - 08:47 PM

Stewart Hoffman

Stewart Hoffman

Khan is still number one for me - 09 Trek was entertaining and well acted - but the story just didn't make much sense to me.

May 15 - 07:26 PM

Stewart Hoffman

Stewart Hoffman

First Contact was the best of the bunch, but you're right. The Next Gen films were just ok, nothing special.

May 15 - 07:28 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

They (whoever THEY are) forgot who the characters were. Picard is the worst culprit. His bursts of anger and irresponsible actions were not on par with the character from the show.

May 15 - 09:15 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

I would say First Contact rises to the level of special. It's really a wonderful movie, and one of the best of Trek.

Generations is okay. Insurrection is bad. Nemesis is "this movie isn't even ready" bad.

May 16 - 01:09 AM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

I've never gotten why people want to know beforehand anyway. All it does is build up expectations that more often than not most movie's fail to meet.

May 15 - 07:38 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

VERY GOOD WORK AND RESEARCH JEFF GILES; Wrath of Khan is the best . . . Nick Myer music by James Horner who went on to do ALIENS, BRAVEHEART, TITANIC and AVATAR. Every odd numbered Star Trek suffers critically, but they are a beloved bunch like the Rocky series and Rambo series and even the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th series.
I hate when they are called franchises.

May 15 - 07:46 PM

Lee Augustus

Lee Augustus

Am I the only one who thought Search for Spock suckrd?

May 15 - 07:47 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

I agree. It's not even really a full movie to me. I always felt like they could have condensed the whole Spock-is-really-alive thing into about 15-20 minutes and made it part of a greater plot.

At the very least, they could have made a more interesting villain than the evil-for-the-sake-of-being-evil Klingon.

Interestingly, originally that movie was going to include Romulans and the "Bird of Prey" was going to be Romulan and I think that could have made for a more interesting plot, but the execs dumped that idea and made the Romulans be swapped for Klingons.

That's how we got Klingon Birds of Prey...

May 16 - 01:16 AM

DeadheadTrea

Trea Lindelow

Agreed. Probably my least favorite of the original cast movies. I just crack up hearing Reverend Jim as a Klingon.

May 17 - 08:14 AM

Andrew Schauer

Andrew Schauer

Have to agree. Liked the effects but it's like they took some of the best parts and lines of WOK and made them sound absurd. Especially Kirk's "Needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many" line at the end (hope I'm getting it right).

May 17 - 09:34 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Getting the line right makes a crucial difference in its meaning.

May 17 - 12:32 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

They're pretty much the same rankwise and the RT list in order is just the order they were produced.

May 15 - 07:51 PM

rhemming22

Rick Voss

Star Trek 5 frustrates me. Not because its bad, but because I actually liked the idea the film had and hated how it turned out. Its a shame it had such production troubles, I would have been curious as to how it would have been otherwise.

May 15 - 08:49 PM

Stewart Hoffman

Stewart Hoffman

Agreed. It had some nice moments though. Like when Cybok tries to convert McCoy and Spock by exploring their pasts. I've always liked that scene.

May 15 - 09:02 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

It is funny that the worst Trek film has one of the best Trek scenes -- and that's exactly what the McCoy scene is, IMO.

Star Trek 5 also has the 'so bad it's good' factor going for it. Every once in a while when part of me wants to watch Trek and the other part wants to watch something that cracks me up, I split the difference and put on Final Frontier.

May 16 - 01:20 AM

James Machalik

James Machalik

I enjoyed the Final Frontier. I liked the opening desert scene with the alien, his gun and Cybok. Mccoy's scene reliving his father's death, which he thinks he could have prevented, is deeply moving. The Final Frontier was cheesy, the effects were terrible; but yet there was a heart and a familiarity with the universe that somehow makes it all ok.

May 19 - 08:42 AM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

If Star Trek 5 had a bigger budget (and the time necessary to smooth out the script), it could have been very good. It was simply too ambitious for what it wanted to be, having neither the money nor the time (in terms of having a better script) to do it. It's a shame Paramount wasn't a little more patient with it, and a real head scratcher that after the giant success of Voyage Home, they'd be so cheap on the budget.

In a lot of ways, the failure of Final Frontier kept Star Trek from becoming fully and truly mainstream and kept it more of a niche thing. A very big niche, but still niche. The "reboot" looks like it's changed that, but only at the cost of changing the real meaning of Trek. They're still fun movies, but without being willing to tackle the issues of the Trek that came before, they can never stack up with the best of Trek.

May 16 - 12:56 AM

Stewart Hoffman

Stewart Hoffman

Having just watched Into Darkness I would agree. The reboots are entertaining, but empty. They've become product. Just repackaged ideas from past and better Trek stories. Blended together and stuffed into a large loud expensive firework.

May 16 - 07:58 PM

James Machalik

James Machalik

I agree...overstuffed and overblown; literally. I always whach all the old Trek movies after seeing a reboot. The reboots make me long for TOS movies.

May 19 - 09:04 AM

King  S.

King Simba

think nearly all the Star Trek films had interesting concepts or ideas at their core, even Nemises (meeting a clone of yourself and finding that he's turned into everything you despise simply because he was raised in a completely different enviroment) it's just that they're varried wildly in execution.

I mean, The Voyage Home arguably had the silliest premises of all the Trek films and yet it ended up being one of the best.

May 17 - 12:14 AM

James Machalik

James Machalik

The premise of IV was so silly as to be laughable. But it was done so well and with so much sincerity that it was immediately forgotten. The interaction between the characters more than made up for those annoying whale sounds, and the soccer ball alien probe. I especially enjoyed the resteraunt scene with Gillian where Kirk enjoyed his beer.

May 19 - 09:09 AM

Andrew Schauer

Andrew Schauer

I agree, in a lot of ways it was closer to the original Trek than many of the other films.

May 17 - 09:36 AM

Stewart Hoffman

Stewart Hoffman

Agreed. It had some nice moments though. Like when Cybok tries to convert McCoy and Spock by exploring their pasts. I've always liked that scene.

May 15 - 09:02 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

It is funny that the worst Trek film has one of the best Trek scenes -- and that's exactly what the McCoy scene is, IMO.

Star Trek 5 also has the 'so bad it's good' factor going for it. Every once in a while when part of me wants to watch Trek and the other part wants to watch something that cracks me up, I split the difference and put on Final Frontier.

May 16 - 01:20 AM

James Machalik

James Machalik

I enjoyed the Final Frontier. I liked the opening desert scene with the alien, his gun and Cybok. Mccoy's scene reliving his father's death, which he thinks he could have prevented, is deeply moving. The Final Frontier was cheesy, the effects were terrible; but yet there was a heart and a familiarity with the universe that somehow makes it all ok.

May 19 - 08:42 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The first Star Trek movie is so underappreciated. I know it doesn't help to have a few different competing cuts available, and perhaps there's too much self-aware reverence. But the story is classic sci/fi - A.I. searching for its creator. Douglas Trumball's excellent V'ger cloud FX and design is some of the finest visual work of its time. And Persis Khambatta. That's right.

As a general rule, I don't tend to trust people who don't think "Khan" is the hands-down superior entry. People who claim to prefer Abrams' version MUST have eel larvae in their ears. I'm as happy as any fan that Chris Pine didn't embarass himself, but seriously, the film was dumb fun; hardly in the ballpark of "Khan". I dunno. Maybe lens flares have a Caligari effect on susceptible viewers.

May 15 - 09:04 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Agreed. ST 1 is what Star Trek IS. Slow, thoughtful space adventures that culminate into humanity and our place in the universe. That's why the new version does not seem like Star Trek to me. It's action, action, action! Running! Comedy! More running! Groaning coincidences! More running! = Not Star Trek.

May 15 - 09:21 PM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

What I don't get is why The Motion Picture is held to a different standard than most of sci-fi. You're right -- it's a wonderful piece of science fiction, really getting at the heart of the original series.

I can understand why a lot of people find it boring and it's certainly not for everything, but neither is a lot of the sci-fi greats, up to and including Blade Runner. Yet, we don't get people making lame "Blade Walker" jokes.

May 16 - 01:05 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Well, when Blade Runner was first released it was dubbed but many as "Blade Crawler". Unlike Star Trek: TMP, though, Blade Runner managed to garner appreciation with time.

Then again, at least Blade Runner didn't feature the main character just standing there with his mouth hanging open for half the movie.

May 16 - 06:32 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Harrison Ford has a great "mouth agape" pose, and he does it liberally in most of his movies. You're going to give me a lecture about lens flares (of which Abrams used over a hundred, yes, somebody actually counted them - 1,013 shots with lens flare), and then proceed to complain about the amount of Shatner's awe shots?

May 16 - 07:18 AM

King  S.

King Simba

I wasn't actually lecturing, I just thought Pegg's reply was pretty amusing. However, while I too think he was way too harsh, I think he does make a few good points. I feel the lens flares problem has really been exaggerated and I think it says something about the overall quality of Star Trek that so many focus on something so trivial. It's like the original X-men and that "what happens to a toad when it gets struck by lightning?" line. So it wasn't nearly as badass as the writer intended. And yet to hear some you think it ruined the entire movie.

Regarding Star Trek: TMP I think pacing is a much bigger issue than some technical artistical choice. I get what they were going for (trying to capture the awe and terror of plunging into an unknown entity) and I'll give Robert Wise credit for not trying to imitate Star Wars like so many other sciense fiction films released after the first Star Wars movie, but I still think they took the concept of buildup and took it way too far. I think Dave has a point in that it might have worked better as a 45 minute episode (though admittedly it would have been hard making special effects on that level).

May 17 - 12:06 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I agree that lens flares are trivial, which makes it even more odd that Abrams would base his visual signature on something so trivial. The "toad" line may have ruined the X-Men movie if it was a recurring gag. Like a thousand times.

May 17 - 12:35 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Although, I liked "The Motion Picture" as well, the reason why it would have a hard time to resonate with it's new target audience was that it would've worked effectively had it been a 45 minute episode than as a two hour film! The movie's message or point is much harder to grasp if the film is re-introducing much of it's main characters- it didn't have to do that but the true Star Trek fanatics may have wanted it that way!

May 16 - 02:47 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Speaking of lens flares, Simon Pegg was asked about that in an interview recently and boy was his response harsh:

Q: Who made the first joke about lens flares?

Pegg: Probably some film student who wanted to demonstrate his or her knowledge of film terminology, thus elevating themselves to an assumed level of critical superiority, which gave them the kind of smug, knowing smile that indicates a festering sour grape, fizzing in the pit of their own ambition. It's become a sort of communal stick to have a crack at JJ with, mostly by people who didn't know what the fuck lens flare was, until someone started sneering the term all over their blog. It demonstrates JJ's supreme talent as a film maker that the main means of knocking him is to magnify a throw away artistic choice, into some sort of hilarious failing. Lens flare is essentially an anomaly caused by light hitting the lens and creating refracted shapes. Because it draws attention to the fact that we are looking at a filmed event, it actually creates a subliminal sense of documentary realism and makes the moment more vital and immediate. In the same way Spielberg spattered his shots with bloody seawater in Saving Private Ryan, JJ suggests that the moment we are in is so real and alive, there just isn't time to frame out all the light and activity. The irony is by acknowledging the film's artifice, you are enhancing the reality of the moment. It's clever and I love it. On set we call it "best in show" and our amazing director of photography, Dan Mindel has a special technique to achieve it. To the detractors, I offer a polite fuck you and suggest you find a new stick to beat us with, if being a huge, boring neggyballs is necessary for your personal happiness.

May 16 - 06:44 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Pegg sounds like he's dutifully defending his lucrative paycheck.

Personally, after seeing the film, me and two friends were immediately laughing about the lens flares, and another friend happened to be a manager at the theater who hadn't seen the film yet. He ducked into the end of a showing, and after about ten minutes, he came out saying, "Yeah, I just counted 12."

Unlike Spielberg, who only used flare shots sparingly, in specific scenes to heighten a similar sense of awe, Abrams deserves the scorn precisely because it's a "throw away artistic choice" that he saturated his film with. It would be equally valid criticism against anyone who indulged a single effect, as a cheap artifice. "It's clever"? How? Because the "subliminal sense of documentary realism"? Why didn't he just frame the boom mic in over 1,000 shots? (A: Because it's a BS rationale) It's not clever, it's gratuitous, and the truth hurts sometimes, Simon.

May 16 - 07:31 AM

DeadheadTrea

Trea Lindelow

I thought Simon's response to the question is well thought out. Lens flare is an artistic choice - watch a making of "A Hard Days Night" documentary. JJ does over employ it in the 2009 film though.

May 17 - 08:22 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

People aren't criticizing the "art" of the lens flares themselves. The criticism is that Abrams used them to the point of monotony and dull redundancy.

May 17 - 12:39 PM

zinc alloy

zinc alloy

nice to know I'm not alone ....I really like the 1st movie.......

May 16 - 10:02 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

They (whoever THEY are) forgot who the characters were. Picard is the worst culprit. His bursts of anger and irresponsible actions were not on par with the character from the show.

May 15 - 09:15 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Agreed. ST 1 is what Star Trek IS. Slow, thoughtful space adventures that culminate into humanity and our place in the universe. That's why the new version does not seem like Star Trek to me. It's action, action, action! Running! Comedy! More running! Groaning coincidences! More running! = Not Star Trek.

May 15 - 09:21 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

My list:

1. Star Trek: TMP
2. Khan
3. Undiscovered Country
4. First Contact (Borg!)
5. Search for Spock tied with Voyage Home
6. 2009 Version
7. Generations
8. Nemesis tied with Final Frontier
9. The worst fucking Star Trek EVER. I hate this movie with a passion. Do I need to name it? I N S U R R E C T I O N (swallows back vomit)

May 15 - 09:26 PM

Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

I agree with your list except I would exchange the theatrical version of TMP with the Director's Edition, which they claim cannot be put on Blu-Ray.

May 17 - 10:03 AM

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Honestly, not only is The Undiscovered Country my favorite Star Trek movie, but it's also my favorite movie about the Cold War and one of my favorites of all time, period.

May 15 - 11:42 PM

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

The Other Woman Short on Laughs

Total Recall
Total Recall

Cameron Diaz's 10 Best Movies

WonderCon
WonderCon

175 cosplay pictures

24 Frames
24 Frames

Experiments Gone Wrong!

Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile