Southern Man

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ranking Trek

Southern Man has been a Trekkie pretty much since there was such a thing. It has been said that Southern Man knows more about Star Trek than is healthy for a grown man. Anyway, with the franchise-rebooting Star Trek opening tomorrow afternoon ("midnight" showings begin at seven pm) it is time to rank the ten preceeding movies.

1: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

There's just not any question about this one, any more than there is that The Empire Strikes Back is by far the best of the Star Wars films. This is classic Trek at its best. Khaaaaaaaan!

2: Star Trek VIII: First Contact

The best of the Next Generation films, with the best of the Star Trek villians. Only flaw is an uncharacteristically poor ending performance by Patrick Stewart.

3: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Another that captures both the humor and the drama of the classic Trek series. Leonard Nimoy in particular shines in this one. Best line, by Kirk, when asked if he were from outer space: "No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space." And they get to fly around in a very cool Klingon Bird of Prey.

4: Star Trek I: The Motion Picture

The long-awaited first both pleased and disappointed; ranking here is for the director's cut. That's two rogue space probes that Kirk has talked out of destroying the Earth, or whatever.

5: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

A let-down after the far superior predecessor, but with plenty of good moments. The newly-refit Enterprise explodes at the end, and that was great fun to watch.

6: Star Trek IX: Insurrection

This one plays just like an extra-long episode of Next Generation. But it did capture the fun side of that series, and all of the regulars had some great moments.

7: Star Trek VII: Generations

OK, there had to be a crossover film. This one, too, had some fine moments, and it was great fun to see another Enterprise crash. Movies are hard on that ship, aren't they?

8: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

A film that captures the silliest aspects of both Star Trek in particular and Hollywood sequels in general. Spock had a half-brother, did he? But, like the others, this one had some good moments.

9: Star Trek X: Nemesis

So Kirk has a son, Spock a half-brother, and Pickard has yet another clone. Sorry, Shinzon, but you're no Locutus.

10: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Somewhat better Klingons than classic Trek, but a far cry from Worf ( the steroptype ) and Martok ( Genuine Certified Klingon Bad-Ass ).

As is oft said, the even-numbered films are near the top; the odd numbers drift to the bottom. This does not bode well for the new entry. However, the initial reviews are positive. Southern Man is looking forward to it. Wonder if that old Mr. Spock uniform-and-ear set still fits?


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