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Star Trek V: The Final Word

Matthias Russell

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POSTS: 7705

Report this May. 20 2011, 5:02 am

What did you like and hate?  Is it canon or not?  Should it be put on a pedistool or forgotten?  From gravity boots to god, there is a lot to talk about.

2takesfrakes

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POSTS: 3682

Report this May. 20 2011, 6:55 am

STAR TREK V was released as a movie, by PARAMOUNT - it's cannon.


But let's start from the beginning, shall we?


From the moment we see some Nameless, Pathetic Loser, with his
0fficial GILLIGAN'S ISLAND Pebble Rifle ask Sybok, "how can I
repay you ..." for my EMOTIONAL rescue, and the Vulcan replies:
"Join My Quest," red flags abound. So, this is going to be a
QUEST movie, is it? Made even more incredibly stupid by the
revelation that Sybok needs a starship to even embark on it ...


OK, Sybok. So, you're like what? Sixty? Seventy, maybe. You've had
this "vision" since you were a CHILD (!!!) AND the ability to turn
leaders into your followers, yet ... instead of getting your converts
to empty their pockets to buy you a ship, hire a ship, or find passage
on one, you plan on stealing one, because ... you convert penniless losers?


HA!!! And later, Spock claims Sybok possesses the most keen intellect he's
ever known!!! Made even funnier when Sybok tells Chekov it wasn't bloodshed
he'd wanted, when he planned to steal the ENTERPRISE. Clearly, not the sharpest
marble in the bag ... but, when Sybok starts laughing like Flash Gordon's Vultan,
after converting Pebble Gun Loser, it's pretty clear what kind of move this'll be.


Vger23

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POSTS: 6799

Report this May. 20 2011, 7:31 am

So…the day has come!


I find the topic of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier to be one of the most fascinating in the entire movie franchise. Maybe it’s because there’s so much to talk about. The “making-of” is definitely one of the most interesting stories in Trek, second only to the behind-the-scenes tales from TMP. I think Trek V was a movie that, at its core, had some fantastic ideas and a ton of ambition, but for various reasons, it did not deliver on the goods. So, without further delay, here is my full-fledged review of Star Trek V.


THE GOOD:


1.       The focus on the characters and the “family” aspect of their relationships has always been one of the primary appeals of Star Trek for me, and this movie pulls that off very successfully. The interplay between the “big three” has all the charm, wit, humor, and earnestness of the best of the original episodes.


2.       This is one of the very few Trek movies that had “boldly going” at its very core. The story feels like a fun adventure / quest like the best Indiana Jones movies. Besides TMP, this is the only film in the franchise that truly filled me with the sense of awe and wonder that Star Trek used to fill me with when I first started watching it. As the Enterprise approaches the Great Barrier, that magic was back.


3.       Sybok is an interesting character. I know there are lots of fans who whine and cry about the fact that Spock had a half-brother that neither we nor Kirk knew about (which I always find VERY hypocritical since nobody complains about the son we never knew about in Wrath of Khan), but ultimately he’s a unique challenge for the crew, and not just the prototypical madman / alien probe threatening Earth kind of antagonist. He’s on a well-meaning quest, but his methods are dangerous and his obsession threatens to destroy the whole crew.


4.       The “Share your pain” sequence in the forward observation lounge is one of the best sequences of the entire film franchise. McCoy gets more character development in this one scene than maybe all of the other films put together. Kirk’s rejection of Sybok’s help is classic, and that one speech he gives shows us more insight into his character and his inner workings. Spock’s rejection of Sybok confirms that he is “truly” back with us after his ordeal of the last 3 movies, and that he has finally achieved a peace that has eluded him for his entire life. It’s a powerful scene that doesn’t get NEARLY enough credit or discussion in my opinion.


5.       There’s some fun action stuff here. I like the raid on Paradise City, although I wish it could have been a little larger in scope. It’s really the first time we’ve seen a ground action by Starfleet personnel, so it was certainly unique at the time.


6.       The location shooting is outstanding. This film has some beautiful cinematography and locations. Between the Yosemite shots at the film’s opening and the Trona Peaks location for Sha Ka Ree, the fact that Shatner was actually able to get out of the studio and film gave this film some interesting scope.


7.       The soundtrack is fantastic. Again, I think this is a very underrated aspect of the film. Some of Goldsmith’s work here rivals the work he did on TMP. There’s a 4-note motif that carries throughout the film and ties the emotional aspects together well. The themes for “The Barrier” and “A Busy Man” are classic.


8.       I like the concept of “The Great Barrier” as a metaphor for everything humans fear about change and the unknown. It was a concept that was simplified in Star Trek VI and , in some respects, communicated better. But, I really resonated with the idea of traveling through a dangerous and unknown region of space to achieve ultimate knowledge and make a pioneering discovery. Sybok’s plea about man’s past misconceptions about reality (The Earth being flat, or the sound barrier) really resonate, particularly in this age where technology continues to grow exponentially.


 


THE BAD


1.       You never want to say that a Star Trek movie is about special effects and production values, but the lack of those two elements really destroy a great deal of credibility on this film. It is unforgiveable that such an incompetent special effects house was hired to guide the fortunes of this film. Budget cuts and ILM’s unavailability aside, hiring “Ferran and Associates” to provide visual effects for a Star Trek film was a disaster.


2.       The script suffers badly from studio pressure to re-capture the light-hearted fun of the previous film. The result is a movie with some heavy themes that don’t come across well because we’re unable to emotionally ground ourselves after being subjected to ludicrous slap-stick and generally buffoonery. Uhura fan-dancing, Kirk throwing a triple-breasted catwoman into a “pool” table, Scotty knocking himself out, etc… it’s crappy and it borders on self-parody.


3.       The technical accuracy and continuity in this film are amongst the worst of the series. A journey to the galactic core in 7 or 8 hours? Ugh… 79 decks as the crew shoots STRAIGHT UP a turbo shaft? Groan.


4.       Uhura and Scotty. Nope.


5.       MISSED OPPORTUNITIES! How do the writers set up this interesting concept of the “Planet of Galactic Peace” and establish these three ambassadors as major characters only to do absolutely NOTHING with them? Sybok’s followers are nothing but after-thoughts. Why not dive into the legend of Sha Ka Ree a bit more? What was it that Sybok really hoped to find there? How did he come to this obsession?


6.       DISAPOINTMENT! So, we have this huge build-up to the point where the Enterprise is crossing the barrier. Everything in the film has led us to this very moment! We’re about to truly go where no man has gone before! But…all we get is a pissed off version of Santa Clause living in the California Desert who the Klingons blast with a couple of disruptor bolts. Then, we have a cocktail party with the Klingons and we go home. NOOOOOOOOO!


7.       TOKEN KLINGONS! What was this clown Klaa even doing in this movie? If they had at least developed his motivations a little more (think Kruge’s scene with Maltz where they discuss their mission to Genesis), we might have bought it…but ultimately, this is just some blockhead who wants to get into a fight because he’s bored. Even the So’na are more interesting than this.


 


Overall, I still really like Star Trek V. I know that’s not a popular position…but it is my belief that many people don’t give credit to all the GOOD things that are in this movie because all they can see is the disappointment of the bad things. I think Star Trek V suffers from having great ambitions and not delivering on the goods. That’s an unforgiveable sin in Hollywood and in Star Trek, and with that truth I agree that it deserves some negative feelings. But, I can’t help but see the good that was in the film, and it just so happens that much of that good is exactly what I personally enjoy about the franchise. So, while many people feel that Treks VI and IV are vastly superior to this film, I personally enjoy this more as a pure Star Trek story. I appreciate that it was a bold attempt at something special, and ultimately a failure…but a glorious one.


Despite all of its flaws, it still had what all of the TNG films failed to produce: genuine heart. And for me, that is a huge percentage of what makes Star Trek grand.

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this May. 20 2011, 8:07 am

Oh this is gonna be good!



It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this May. 20 2011, 8:15 am

Quote: Vger23 @ May. 20 2011, 7:31 am

>

class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in; text-indent: -0.25in; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo2;">4.       Uhura and Scotty. Nope.

>


LOL Okay. I find this point you made hilarious because some of the folks who loathe the U/Sp pairing in ST09 SWEAR that U/Sc was epic and a better fit.


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

Milo T'Kairum Vega

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POSTS: 81

Report this May. 20 2011, 8:39 am

I didn't particularly like this film, but it wasn't too terribly horrible.


I agree with Vger on the aspect of Sybok and his journey, completely. He's a fabulous new sight in the Vulcan enterprise for logic and emotional-control, but why not elaborate more on his motives? The reasons behind his implicit desire to find this mythical land. It would have been interesting to see some of the internal mechanisms of a Vulcan family here.


But that might also stem from my love for all things Vulcan.


I have no opinion of the Special effects seeing as I have no real knowledge of that area. All I know is that they're either good or they're not. I guess they were...average? Eh.


After watching this movie I couldn't stop thinking of what Sybok would have looked like without a beard and without such messy hair. I wonder if he would have looked a little like Sarek without all that fur on him ;D


"Life is only as precious as you make it." - Foster Vega

Matthias Russell

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POSTS: 7705

Report this May. 20 2011, 10:28 am

I have to take the time to properly digest Vger's review and write my own. 


The 3 major headscratchers for me was 1 How ONCE AGAIN is the Enterprise the only ship nearby to help? 2 How big was that elevator shaft? 3 It didn't take long to reach the center of the galaxy and yet no one's done it before?


I enjoy the movie though.  Some of the best moments and quotes in the franchise.


KelisThePoet

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POSTS: 636

Report this May. 20 2011, 11:35 am

Quote: Vger23 @ May. 20 2011, 7:31 am

>7.       TOKEN KLINGONS! What was this clown Klaa even doing in this movie? If they had at least developed his motivations a little more (think Kruge’s scene with Maltz where they discuss their mission to Genesis), we might have bought it…but ultimately, this is just some blockhead who wants to get into a fight because he’s bored. Even the So’na are more interesting than this.


I completely disagree here.  I have no idea what Krug's motivation is in Star Trek III, except that he apparently distrusts anything the Federation does, which at best tells me about his political/ideological views.  It tells me nothing about his personality.  By contrast, I have a really good sense of what kind of a person Klaa is.  He's young.  He's immature.  For some reason, probably having to do with situations in the Klingon Empire outside the scope of this movie's plot, he has way too much responsibility for his age and maturity level, so what does he do with his command responsibility?  He causes trouble like a teenager on a joy ride.  I don't think he's the fullest or most interesting portrait of a Klingon we get in the franchise, but for a minor character meant to add a little extra, different kind of tension to the story, he's fine.


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

KelisThePoet

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POSTS: 636

Report this May. 20 2011, 11:57 am

There are plenty of silly, unprofessional things not to like about this movie, and personally, I prefer to ignore those things, sit back, and enjoy the fun story.  I can tell you that although Star Trek V is far from my favorite Star Trek, it's one of the movies I most frequently watch, because it's fun.


I also think the spatial plotting of this movie is interesting and sophisticated, which is a little surprising, considering how unsophisticated some other aspects of this movie are.  The film juxtaposes personal, familial, theological and spatial exploration, than troubles that juxtaposition, because the characters don't find God or some comparable central truth at the spatial center of the galaxy.  So we're left with Kirk's suggestion that those things might be found within people, within our hearts, instead of within the spatial heart of the galaxy, and whether or not we fully buy that argument, we get this sense that the final frontier, the great barrier is forever retreating before us.  The last scene, which brings us back to Earth, along with our heroes, to a small scale sing-a-long in a makeshift family, emphasizes the point that exploration doesn't always occur on some grand journey far from home.  The contrast between that scene and all the stuff immediately before it in the galactic core is really nice.


In Dante's Divine Comedy, Dante finds the devil at the center of the Earth.  Later he travels out into the heavenly spheres.  When he finally reaches God, at the outermost sphere, his visual perspective is inverted, so that God is in the center of the universe, Earth and hell on the periphery.  Given some of Shatner's comments about Star Trek V, I suspect he had the Divine Comedy in mind (he said in an interview on the DVD that his idea for the story of Star Trek V was that the characters would look for God, find the devil, and thereby learn that God exists--he talked, in the same interview, about his somewhat frustrated desires to have the planet at the center of the galaxy visually evoke Inferno), but even if he didn't, the movie similarly plays with spatial markers of morality, making associations between space and truth unstable.


One of my favorite lines from any Star Trek:  "What does God need with a starship?"


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

2takesfrakes

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POSTS: 3682

Report this May. 20 2011, 1:51 pm

Admiral "Bob" tells Kirk that he's sending him out
to NIMBUS 3, with the junky ENTERPRISE because ...
while there ARE other ships in the area, NONE have
EXPERIENCED commanders, adding, "I need 'Jim Kirk'!".


Kirk mutters, "oh, please ..." as do we all.


The problem with all this is, it's all intended to set up
Sybok's easy takeover of the ENTERPRISE. And how
did Sybok know it would be the one sent, about
the condition it would be in and that his brother
would be on hand? ANswer: he didn't. An idiot wrote
this script. It's unintentionally funny, all of it.



Other touches too, like when Spock neck-pinches the
bad guy's horse, bringing the animal to the ground,
while its rider gets away, on foot!!! The Scotty and
Uhura romance would've been OK, but watching portly
grandparents paw eachother like teens is, again, the
fault of the director. It could've been handled in a
very classy way, but Shatner's got no sense of style.


Speaking of The Shat, even knowing the effects situation,
he STILL held up progress because he was NEVER satisfied.
He caused MANY delays, which were not made up for. Instead
of a month, now they've got a week and a half kind of thing.
More than anyone, it was SHATNER who dropped the ball, here.


Vger23

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 6799

Report this May. 20 2011, 6:39 pm

Quote: Matthias Russell @ May. 20 2011, 10:28 am

>

>I completely disagree here.  I have no idea what Krug's motivation is in Star Trek III, except that he apparently distrusts anything the Federation does, which at best tells me about his political/ideological views.  It tells me nothing about his personality.  By contrast, I have a really good sense of what kind of a person Klaa is.  He's young.  He's immature.  For some reason, probably having to do with situations in the Klingon Empire outside the scope of this movie's plot, he has way too much responsibility for his age and maturity level, so what does he do with his command responsibility?  He causes trouble like a teenager on a joy ride.  I don't think he's the fullest or most interesting portrait of a Klingon we get in the franchise, but for a minor character meant to add a little extra, different kind of tension to the story, he's fine.

>


You didn't get Kruge's motivations?


 


I think he made it pretty clear that he considered the Genesis Device to be the Federation's "ultimate weapon," capable of shifting the balance of power significantly toward the enemies of the Klingon Empire. He set out to obtain that technology for his people to even the playing field. I thought Kruge's motivations were very clearly spelled-out and very realistic considering what we know about the attitudes and behaviors of Klingons.


Kruge (to Maltz)- Oh yes, new cities, homes in the country. Your woman at your side, children playing at your feet...and overhead...fluttering in the breeze, the flag of the Federation. Charming.


Kruge (to Torg)- We are going to this planet, even as our emissaries negotiate for peace. With the Federation, we will act for the preservation of our race. We will sieze the secret of this weapon, and the secret of ultimate power.


Kruge (to Kirk)- Do not lecture me about treaty violations. The Federation, in creating an ultimate weapon, has become a gang of intergalactic criminals!


The entire movie (and indeed, the opening of Star Trek IV) was geared around the political minefield that Genesis had created. I can't imagine how much clearer it needed to be.


 


Klaa on the other hand (getting back to the topic of Star Trek V), had the following to say:


Klaa (to Vixis)- Shooting space garbage is no test of a warrior's mettle. I need a target that fights back.


...and later:


Klaa (to Vixis)- Enterprise? That's Kirk's ship! If I could defeat Kirk...


Vixis- You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy.


Klaa- MAXIMUM SPEED! SUCCESS!


I don't know...but to me the Kruge motivation seems a heck of a lot more well-developed and dramatic than Klaa's. Klaa just seems like a random guy they threw in there to add some tension and say goofy stuff like "Woah! He's GOOD!"


 


I AM KEE-ROCK!!

Vger23

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 6799

Report this May. 20 2011, 6:43 pm

Quote: KelisThePoet @ May. 20 2011, 11:57 am

>

>There are plenty of silly, unprofessional things not to like about this movie, and personally, I prefer to ignore those things, sit back, and enjoy the fun story.  I can tell you that although Star Trek V is far from my favorite Star Trek, it's one of the movies I most frequently watch, because it's fun.

>I also think the spatial plotting of this movie is interesting and sophisticated, which is a little surprising, considering how unsophisticated some other aspects of this movie are.  The film juxtaposes personal, familial, theological and spatial exploration, than troubles that juxtaposition, because the characters don't find God or some comparable central truth at the spatial center of the galaxy.  So we're left with Kirk's suggestion that those things might be found within people, within our hearts, instead of within the spatial heart of the galaxy, and whether or not we fully buy that argument, we get this sense that the final frontier, the great barrier is forever retreating before us.  The last scene, which brings us back to Earth, along with our heroes, to a small scale sing-a-long in a makeshift family, emphasizes the point that exploration doesn't always occur on some grand journey far from home.  The contrast between that scene and all the stuff immediately before it in the galactic core is really nice.

>In Dante's Divine Comedy, Dante finds the devil at the center of the Earth.  Later he travels out into the heavenly spheres.  When he finally reaches God, at the outermost sphere, his visual perspective is inverted, so that God is in the center of the universe, Earth and hell on the periphery.  Given some of Shatner's comments about Star Trek V, I suspect he had the Divine Comedy in mind (he said in an interview on the DVD that his idea for the story of Star Trek V was that the characters would look for God, find the devil, and thereby learn that God exists--he talked, in the same interview, about his somewhat frustrated desires to have the planet at the center of the galaxy visually evoke Inferno), but even if he didn't, the movie similarly plays with spatial markers of morality, making associations between space and truth unstable.

>One of my favorite lines from any Star Trek:  "What does God need with a starship?"

>


 


Very nice take on things. I enjoyed reading this...


I responded to your comments on Klaa vs. Kruge above...but for some reason it quoted you as Matthias Russell. Weird.


I AM KEE-ROCK!!

KelisThePoet

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 636

Report this May. 20 2011, 7:43 pm

That is weird.  I didn't even notice that when I was reading your post because I just glanced over the quoted material quickly and recognized it as mine.


As to Krug's motivations, it's not that I find his actions unrealistic or unmotivated.  On the contrary, it seems to me that he does what many if not all Klingons would do in his position, which is fine, but in addition to that, I would have liked more exploration of his individual personality.  Klaa is an immature young bumbler.  Kor is an incisive political analyst and a skilled debater.  Kang loves his wife.  Chang loves Shakespeare, and he's full of guile.  I'm just not sure what Krug brings to the table, why the movie is different because he's there to go after the Genesis secrets instead of any of the above named Klingons or any other Klingon.


But then, I actually like it when Klaa says, "He's good."  Maybe it is stupid and inadequate to Kirk, but I've spent my whole life as a Trekkie enjoying similarly stupefied admiration for the exploits of one James Tiberius, so in a weird way, Klaa's line kind of resonates with me.


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

KelisThePoet

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 636

Report this May. 20 2011, 7:45 pm

Quote: 2takesfrakes @ May. 20 2011, 1:51 pm

>The problem with all this is, it's all intended to set up Sybok's easy takeover of the ENTERPRISE. And how did Sybok know it would be the one sent, about the condition it would be in and that his brother would be on hand? ANswer: he didn't. An idiot wrote this script. It's unintentionally funny, all of it.


I'm fully willing to admit that I might be remembering something about the movie incorrectly, but I don't understand this criticism.  Sybok just wanted a ship, right, not necessarily the Enterprise, or a ship experiencing technical problems or a ship Spock was aboard?  Sure, he uses those circumstances once he becomes aware of them, but I don't remember them being part of his original plan.


Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

iBorg13

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 1944

Report this May. 21 2011, 12:16 am

Personally, I'd watch this over TMP or NEM anyday... unless I hadn't seen TMP or NEM for ages... TFF wasn't as bad as some people thought it was, imo. I don't recall any major plot holes. The story was alright, I certainly didn't hate it.

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