Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Star Trek: Generations


Dir: David Carson
The Next Generation Cast: Patrick Stuart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Whoopi Goldberg
The Original Series Cast: William Shatner, James Doohan, Walter Koenig
Additional Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Alan Ruck, Barbara March, Gwynyth Walsh
USA, 1994

Originally Seen: At the legendary Uptown in Toronto, on Opening Night 1994 with a gaggle of friends.

Revisited: March 28, 2009

Reason to Revisit: For the Countdown to Star Trek Movie Marathon

Oddly, this instalment of Star Trek is one of the few films that is injected with a fair amount of sad memories. I went on opening night at the glorious uptown theatre and convinced all of my friends to go. I picked up the tickets on my lunch and swore to them that we *had* to see it there. I didn't even think to go early for seats so we ended up in the 2nd last row because we needed something like 13 seats - they were not impressed with me. Also, someone used their cell phone during the film! This was 1994 - back when cell phones were only often seen in the hands of Doctors and other high paying jobs but certainly not for regular theatre goers. I can still hear them shouting on the phone "I'm watching Star Trek at the moment".

My second set of memories for this film were from when I was going through a very strong bout of insomnia. Sadly, Star Trek: Generations was the cure. I was out like a light within minutes. Possibly before any dialogue was spoken.

Third set of memories begins now with this countdown. After revisiting Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country I became acutely aware of the fact it must have known it was the last film with the original full cast & crew. This realization led to some embarrassing sniffling moments and being on the brink of tears. Funny, few films get to me like this but the thought of not hearing Chekov's one liners, Scotty's feats against the clock or the camaraderie between the Trek trio of Kirk, Bones and Spock got me all emotional.

I think it was pretty clear the intention of the film was a way to ease the fans from the Original Cast to that of The Next Generation. I am a fan of The Next Generation series. Initially a reluctant fan, but it wormed its way to my heart and I've seen every episode and can identify them in seconds. They often have nick names like "The Bags of Mostly Water One", "The Binars" or "The One Where They Run" and of course it brought us the fabulous conversation starter question of "If you were to de-evolve, what creature would you become?".

Is Star Trek: Generations successful in bridging the two series? Yes, but you can feel that it's more of a set up for The Next Generation cast than a stand alone film. Add to the fact that it was released only months after the series ended, we didn't have enough time to miss the crew yet. The sections dedicated to The Next Generation cast felt a lot like a regular episode but punched up with things that you can't get away with on TV like huge special effects and 'bad' language. Those moments did get cheers in the theatre, but over time it feels pretty gimmicky.

Sidenote: Worf ROCKS. Everything should have more Worf. Even things that have nothing to do with Star Trek, should have more Worf.

Funny insight: Use of the handheld flashlights of TNG folks made me realize on The Original Series they never landed anywhere dark.

Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it, but it has its moments
I own it and it is an insomnia cure
I'd recommend it for Next Generation fans (although you've all seen it!)

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

1 comment:

Jenn said...

You are totally right about how all the punched up parts start to feel gimicky. I found myself cringing at the 'bad language' as it was just too cheesy.

As for your sidenote, you totally nailed it! More Worf!

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