Friday, September 24, 2010
Movie of the Week
STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (1986)
Starring- William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan
For many, especially non-Star Trek fans, this film is known as, "the one with the whales." It is also one of the best Star Trek films. My favorite is Star Trek II, but I have a special place for this, the funniest installment in the series, in my heart. It was a conscious decision by the filmmakers to make this movie lighter in tone than the previous two, which had been darker and rife with conflict. Originally, the studio wanted to put Eddie Murphy in the movie as a 20th Century con man, but that was scrapped early on. The story instead centers around an alien probe that comes to Earth with a message, but the message is destructive to the planet and it is not known what the message is, or who it is for. It is up to the Enterprise crew to figure out how to solve the problem.
Kirk and Co., who are facing Court Martial for their actions in Star Trek III, discover that the probe's message is for the extinct species- Humpback Whale. The only way to get whales is for the crew to go back in time to the 20th Century to get them. Thanks to help from the newly resurrected Spock, the crew gets back to 1986 and finds the whales, but encounters unforeseen difficulties as well. It is so funny to see how the crew is out of their element in the present day, and because of that fact this film was entertaining to many who had never seen Star Trek before.
If I am hoping to get someone new involved in Star Trek, this is the movie I show them because of its humor and the great message it has about humanity's effect on the world. Star Trek IV is particularly relevant in 2010 because of the way in which we are changing the climate every day, and that what we do may harm the world in ways we cannot yet comprehend.
Like all great Star Trek stories, this film has an optimistic message and is driven by the iconic characters. Each member of the crew gets a moment of their own in which to shine. Among my favorites are Scotty and McCoy at the Plexiglass factory, and Spock and Kirk's argument over Italian food. Trekkie or not, you will be entertained and enlightened by this story. Happily for the audience and the crew, the end sets up yet another sequel as the new Enterprise warps off into space, going where no man has gone before- again.
Things to watch for-
George and Gracie
7th Heaven's Catherine Hicks as Gillian
Shatner's stunt swimming
Scotty talks to the computer
A punk gets Vulcan nerve pinched
"One damn minute, Admiral."