Star Trek V - The Final Frontier VHS
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Movie critic Roger Ebert summed it up very succinctly: "Of all of the Star Trek movies, this is the worst." Subsequent films in the popular series have done nothing to disprove this opinion; we can be grateful that they've all been significantly better since this film was released in 1989. After Leonard Nimoy scored hits with Star Trek III and IV, William Shatner used his contractual clout (and bruised ego) to assume directorial duties on this mission, in which a rebellious Vulcan (Laurence Luckinbill) kidnaps Federation officials in his overzealous quest for the supreme source of creation. That's right, you heard it correctly: Star Trek V is about a crazy Vulcan's search for God. By the time Kirk, Spock, and their Federation cohorts are taken to the Great Barrier of the galaxy, this journey to "the final future" has gone from an embarrassing prologue to an absurd conclusion, with a lot of creaky plotting in between. Of course, die-hard Trekkies will still allow this movie into their video collections; but they'll only watch it when nobody else is looking. After this humbling experience, Shatner wisely relinquished the director's chair to Star Trek II's Nicholas Meyer. --Jeff Shannon
From the Back Cover
It's Stardate 8454.130 and vacationing Captain Kirk faces two challenges: climbing Yosemite's El Capitan and teaching campfire songs to Spock. But vacations are cut short when a renegade Vulcan hijacks the Enterprise and pilots it on a journey to uncover the universe's innermost secrets.
The Star Trek stars are back for one of their most astonishing voyages ever, with all the fun and excitement fans have come to love. So buckle up for a thrilling leap into the unknown that's "as much a spiritual odyssey as a space adventure, and it's all the richer for it" (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times).
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The movie tries too hard to be funny at spots and takes itself way too seriously in others ("If I could defeat Kirk"......"You would be the greatest warrior in the galaxy"). Also, in retrospect, this movie suffers as a negative standout as it is sandwiched between the "Genesis trilogy" (STII, STIII, ST IV) and STVI.....all much superior films.
All in all, despite its weaknesses, STV is still a TOS story featuring the original characters that manages to provide entertainment to fans of the series. One strength this film has.....it's more entertaining and much shorter in length that "Star Trek The Motion Picture".
What is the greatest Star Trek movie? Not even close. It's legitimately the 2nd worst of the original series movies. (The Motion Picture...just what in the world was going on there...)
The biggest problem with the whole movie is the premise that the Enterprise-A could easily travel to the center of the galaxy. The size of the galaxy was established prior to this and well established after it (by the entire Voyager series) to be some 80 years across at high warp. But suddenly the center of the Galaxy is a few days trip in Star Trek V.
Honestly I feel like if you take that element out of it that the movie would work a lot better. But there are other deviations from Trek cannon that just take true Trekkers out of it. Like the turbolift shafts that go up some 70+ decks. enterprise 1701-A should have only had 20-25 decks at most. It's just little things like that that make this movie not flow well with the rest of the Trek universe. If teh film makers had paid attention to things like that I believe Trek V wouldn't be so despised today.
I really don't think the overall story was bad. A god like being who may be the culmination of the collective thoughts of all beings in the universe? That's kind of cool. And it flows with other Trek cannon. (The Traveler and Wes Crusher's story arc was all about how thought and space-time are part of the same fabric)
Anyway watching in full HD for the first time over my FireStick made this movie better. I decided years ago to ignore the flaws in this movie and jus enjoy watching the crew I love interact. If you can do that, it's a good movie. If you can't, it's 2 hours of facepalming.
But the presentation in HD on the FireStick is worth checking out either way.
It felt rushed in a lot of ways (as far as in getting it from idea phase to showing in the theater) and it paid the price for that in quality. It also looks low budget in many ways. And some of that either is because it really was rushed, or leads to the rushed look and feel of the movie.
They probably should've left this movie idea on the drawing board.... or spent a lot more time massaging it.
My all time favorite Star Trek film is #5, aka "The Final Frontier" (1989).
In this one, Spock's half-brother is on a quest to see the face of God. OK, a bit weird.
The real reason I so love this movie is the easy camaraderie among its three principals, established early in the story when Kirk, Bones and Spock are on shore leave and our impetuous captain attempts to scale the Matterhorn. Spock saves him from a sure death fall and later that night they sit comfortably around a campfire, chow on some of McCoy's beans, flavored with bourbon that all drink their fill of. Later Kirk and McCoy playfully tease Spock because he doesn't know the song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," a bit of foreshadowing to a most warm finale that seemed at the time it was filmed, permanent.
A new Star Trek series was on TV and the original crew was getting too old to continue the movie franchise, and yet, there was one great last Star Trek adventure in all their futures.
Some trivia here--
Harve Bennett, writer and producer of Star Treks two through five, was the voice of a flight recorder n the 3rd movie and in #5 Bennett had a bit role as Starfleet Chief of Staff. He died in February of 2015, just two days before Leonard Nimoy also left us.
Also, Bill Quinn, who portrayed McCoy's father is a very moving scene, made his last film appearance here. Quinn was a long-time character actor who is remembered for the role of Mr. Van Ranseleer on TV's ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE and as Eddie the mailman on THE BOB NEWHART SHOW. Quinn was Newhart's real-life father-in-law.
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