I'm Just a Viewer With an Opinion
March 2, 2010 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Review of Star Trek: Wrath of Khan (Pt 1, 2, 3, 4) with bonus review of The Original Series episode Space Seed.

sfdebris also has reviews of Star Trek I, III, IV, and V as well as many Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise episodes
posted by Glibpaxman (46 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
They were Star Trek's finest moments.

Kahhhhhhhnnnn!
posted by caddis at 8:12 PM on March 2, 2010


This movie is easily in my top ten. It's a pitch perfect sci-fi flick; fun to watch and tight as a drum in how it's executed. But this kind of humorless wonky analysis is what separates me from the rest of the trekkie fanboys. Three minutes into the first link and I didn't want any more info. This is more of a dissection of a film rather than a review which adds something to the viewer's experience.
posted by quadog at 8:14 PM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wish he would just make the damn jokes instead of referencing them and say "we're walking, we're walking". The monk opening montage was kind of funny, though.
posted by stavrogin at 8:20 PM on March 2, 2010


Kahhhhhhhnnnn!

If you're going to do this, please don't misspell "Khan".
posted by Fleebnork at 8:21 PM on March 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Three minutes? Strong nerves.
posted by ovvl at 8:21 PM on March 2, 2010


Hahahaha. "Kumbaya!" Hahaha. Oh, how droll!

I am really not sure whom the intended audience for this is. Perhaps twelve-year-old nerds in training who have not heard all of these fantastically tedious pseudojokes a thousand times over. "You see, the consoles blow up because Starfleet puts explosives in them! When the ship gets hit, everyone has to run back and forth like sheep while the camera shakes! Kirstie Alley gets fat decades later! Hey, that William Shatner is a bad actor, isn't he, amirite? What if Jack Nicholson played Captain Kirk? It might go something like this..."

Somebody get this guy a brick wall and a microphone stand.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:58 PM on March 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


Star Trek II is my go-to movie for those nights when it's too late to go to sleep, so I need something to distract me so I can get to bed.

I really like the 1982 vision of the future with plants dripping down from the ceiling in atria scattered about future-San Francisco.

All the exploding panels and static video transmissions on CRT monitors make me imagine an alternate history where all technology is analog, maybe based upon the fundamental vibrational frequency of a dilithium atom or something.

Anywho, Ebert's review nails it in no time. This guy rambles.

I'm referencing a joke that you know, and I know you know, and you that I know that you

Yes. You're very clever. Shut up.
posted by device55 at 9:01 PM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ah, I was hoping it was the funny voice dude again who did Star Wars and Avatar. I'll have to check this out anyway.
posted by Kloryne at 9:06 PM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


"He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him!" My favorite line in the movie, with Ricardo Montalban putting his "fine Corinthian leather" flavor on it.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:07 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


ooh. he said "arch type" instead of "ark-uh-type". We're done here.
posted by device55 at 9:17 PM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hearing the literary quotes side by side is nice, and it's a decent attempt to tie the literary roots of the script to the movie, for those who haven't been into Star Trek. I've seen this movie so many times, I almost could write the script from memory.

The comedy angle misses far more than it hits, and really pads out the whole project unnecessarily. All in all, it's not a bad effort on this guy's part.

This movie made Paradise Lost and King Lear so much more fun to read and really get into years later, but no movie ever will make Moby Dick any less painful.
posted by chambers at 9:23 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am really not sure whom the intended audience for this is. Perhaps twelve-year-old nerds in training who have not heard all of these fantastically tedious pseudojokes a thousand times over.

Hey man, don't hate the youth. There's a whole new generation of nerds who didn't grow up with this movie and just see it as a classic, like I thought of Night Of The Living Dead or something. I'd guess it's for them.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:25 PM on March 2, 2010


If you're going to do this, please don't misspell "Khan".

NERD FIGHT!
posted by shmegegge at 9:30 PM on March 2, 2010


I've only watched one and a half parts, but this is exactly the sort of thing that the redlettermedia guy was making fun of with his insightful and biting commentaries on The Phantom Menace and the later Star Trek films. The difference is that those walked the fine line between being nerdy while acknowledging that they are nerdy, while these are just earnestly nerdy and not nearly as much fun.
posted by AndrewStephens at 9:39 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh jesus, these reviews are unwatchable. it's like listening to the casting director read the other lines during an audition, while someone gave the coffee boy a shot at editing.
posted by shmegegge at 9:45 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Somebody get this guy a brick wall and a microphone stand.

What's the deal with photon torpedoes? I mean, they're not made of photons, right?

</seinfeld>
posted by armage at 10:02 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I skipped TWOK and went straight to DS9, my favorite of the series. Specifically, his followup review to "In the Pale Moonlight," one of their best episodes.

It was good for the first couple of minutes, then he ranted about tolerance, republicans and politics for a minute and a half. It does get somewhat better after he derails his own review, though. Somewhat interesting. Held my interest all the way through.

I found the editing pretty distracting, though.
posted by zarq at 10:29 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Hell's heart, I stab at thee ...
posted by bwg at 10:31 PM on March 2, 2010


Kloryne: "Ah, I was hoping it was the funny voice dude again who did Star Wars and Avatar. I'll have to check this out anyway."

He's no redlettermedia, for sure.

I'm five minutes in, and this isn't so much a "review" as "collection of bits of info about the movie" and plot overview. Also, it sure would be nice if he had turned down that damn intro music a bit.
posted by graventy at 10:52 PM on March 2, 2010


Jo-a-chim?

This guy expects us to take his B- community college level "analysis" of this movie seriously, and he doesn't know how to correctly pronounce the name Joachim correctly?

Jesus, this guy is tedious and banal.
posted by Relay at 10:54 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, ok, I wasn't paying super-close attention but he completely lost me in part two when he started reading classic literature to me.
posted by graventy at 11:03 PM on March 2, 2010


My favorite line is when Khan says "Time is a luxury you cannot afford" or something similar, in a reference to his Chrysler commercials at the time, where his motto was "Chrysler - Luxury you can afford." I remember everyone in the theater laughing at that one.
posted by Poagao at 2:00 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always assumed a photon torpedo is like a burst of laser energy, which means it would indeed be made of photons. (It's a different weapon than the laser beam thing because it's all concentrated up into a burst. Plus they have to load the photon torpedos, which must be some kind of high energy source or something.)

Also, whenever I'm driving with my wife and someone pulls in front of me, I grab the emergency brake and press the button while shouting "PHOTON TORPEDOS!!"
posted by DU at 4:23 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Khaaan!

How can I possibly be the first to link this in this thread?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:32 AM on March 3, 2010


KHAN

Admiral!!

KIRK

Please, please - you've got to

give us time - The... the bridge

is smashed, the computers

inoperative...

KHAN

Time is a luxury you don't have,

Admiral.

posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:33 AM on March 3, 2010


I loved that Star Fleet ships only have a four digit password to remote control the ship.
posted by octothorpe at 5:12 AM on March 3, 2010


Is it really necessary for a youtube video to be in super-crispy hi-def that a) I'm not going to full screen, b) I'm not paying a whole lot of attention to, c) I'm probably not going to watch the whole thing, and finally d)THIS ISN'T REDLETTERMEDIA. I thought it was going to be, but then it wasn't, I don't like it when things change and I

Uh, anyways, this is not that great or well done and I guess I'm going to go microwave some pizza rolls.
posted by fuq at 5:53 AM on March 3, 2010


I loved that Star Fleet ships only have a four digit password to remote control the ship.

It was five digits.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:17 AM on March 3, 2010


Fleebnork: "It was five digits."

OK, but still not exactly a strong password policy.
posted by octothorpe at 6:36 AM on March 3, 2010


From hell's heart, I snark at thee.
posted by never used baby shoes at 6:38 AM on March 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


OK, but still not exactly a strong password policy.

If you pay close attention, the password is "guest."
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:54 AM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, for anyone who experienced this when it was first released - what was the reaction to Spock's sacrifice? Did people actually believe he would stay dead?
posted by Think_Long at 6:58 AM on March 3, 2010


Needs more pizza rolls.
posted by peeedro at 6:58 AM on March 3, 2010



So, for anyone who experienced this when it was first released - what was the reaction to Spock's sacrifice? Did people actually believe he would stay dead?

I was nine or so when I saw this in the theater with my dad. It's one of my favorite movies and the best of the ST movies. I was sort of appalled that they killed of Spock - but my dad explained that it was a cliffhanger, and meant that there would be a STIII in short order. There was no way they were gonna kill off Spock permanently. He then told me about the serial westerns he used to watch as a kid at the matinees and how they would always end in mid story, so as to entice people to return. I seem to recall a "Good Morning America" segment or some such that called it the "the return of the cliffhanger" shortly after that reinforced what my dad had told me. It think that was part of the marketing spin at the time, though... It's been almost 30 years. And I was 9...

I thought at the time that it was a bullshit thing to do. I mean, I paid good money for a movie, a whole complete story, start to finish. So, stop screwing with me and give me the goods! I guess that colored my reception of STIII because I barely remember how it went.

I still resent cliffhangers - they're a marketing device, not a storytelling one.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:20 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love Star Trek II, and it's a great movie, but I still think Star Trek VI is the best "Star Trek" movie. It's the trekkiest.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:42 AM on March 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


The thing I love about Wrath of Khan is that, for once (at least among the movies; I can think of a few TOS episodes, especially "Balance of Terror") Kirk's heroism takes the form of just being a really fucking good starship commander. No hand-to-hand combat (I mean, come on, by Generations Shatner looked like he was wrestling a barrel when he duked it out with McDowell), no tricking computers with logical paradoxes, just straight up Spock-saw-a-weakness-in-your-shiphandling-and-I'm-going-to-exploit-the-fuck-out-of-it.

Also, and this is pretty subjective, for all of the overacting (which is part of the fun!) Khan features a couple of my favorite line readings in all of moviedom; for some reason, Kirk's "This is damn peculiar" as they have their initial weird encounter with Reliant* really sticks with me. And Sulu's "we're not going to make it" as they try to get away from the Genesis detonation is my standard internal-monologue soundbite for moments of oh-shit-we're-fucked despair.

*to be fair, Kirk really, really did fuck up as a ship-handler in that scene. If we're being honest, Starfleet really should have court-martialled him for not putting his shields up. None of the heroism at the end would have been needed if he would have just followed the rules. Oh, well.
posted by COBRA! at 7:50 AM on March 3, 2010


If you want interpretation...
posted by mazola at 8:39 AM on March 3, 2010


There are probably people who could do a review of a movie that lasts for more than a third of that movie's running time, and not have it be absolutely tedious. This guy is not that reviewer.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:06 AM on March 3, 2010


I'm laughing at the superior intellect.
posted by misha at 9:54 AM on March 3, 2010


This is the movie that I refer to whenever people wrongly mock Shatner's acting abilities. During Spock's funeral, when Kirk says "of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human," and his voice breaks at "human," that's just about the finest moment of acting one could hope for. There is just so much emotion packed into that single word. The guy has lost his best friend, but as captain of the ship, he's trying to be professional and strong for his crew. He loses it on just that single, ironic word.

Seriously, there is no way to watch that line and think it poor acting.
posted by nushustu at 11:33 AM on March 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's wrong with your Khaaaaan?
posted by panboi at 11:43 AM on March 3, 2010


to be fair, Kirk really, really did fuck up as a ship-handler in that scene.

This is actually one of the things I love about STII. The whole movie is about age and paying prices. Kirk is a commander, and when he fucks up, people die. I forget where I read it, but someone summarized the David Marcus character as Kirk paying for his meteoric career and womanizing youth with a desk job he doesn't want and an estranged son who despises him. "Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young, Doctor." In the brashness of his youth, he acted boldly and audaciously; with age comes wisdom and an awareness of the losses he has suffered. One of the distinctions between him and Khan is that Kirk is ultimately willing to accept the cost of his decisions, as opposed to Khan who does not heed the consequences of his revenge. It takes a while, but the turning point for Kirk in the movie and his redemption as a hero is when he stops refusing the command that has cost him so much and accepts his "first, best destiny" and the pains that come with it.
posted by Errant at 11:44 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jo-a-chim?

I met a guy once who pronounced his name Joe-a-kim. I figured his parent saw Joachim written down and thought it was a cool name, but didn't know how to pronounce it.

Kinda like I always read epitome as "eh-pee-tome" until I heard it out loud for the first time.
posted by beowulf573 at 12:39 PM on March 3, 2010


As I recall, Khan refers to Joachim by name in the film at one point, and pronounces it correctly: zchwa-kim.
posted by Relay at 12:55 PM on March 3, 2010


Fleebnork: "It was five digits."

OK, but still not exactly a strong password policy.


"So the combination is... one, two, three, four, five? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!"
posted by armage at 5:04 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I recently watched "Wrath of Khan" after reading Nicholas Meyer's The View From the Bridge. I was surprised at how short it was, it easily could have been a bit longer.

I was glad to see that it was still a good movie; funny in the right parts but not in an out of character way, exciting, and emotional. A good flick.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:48 PM on March 3, 2010


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