Sunday, December 15, 2002

Treasure Planet

In a Nutshell: Perfectly watchable, if not spectacular.

Quick Plot: Read Treasure Island? 'Nuff said. Haven't read it? Me neither. A troubled teen named Jim finds a map to the mythical Treasure Planet. He and his benefactor, Dr. Doppler, set out in search of said planet, with a less than trustworthy crew. Will they find it before the pirates? Stay tuned.

In Detail: It was a fine movie, really. It was beautiful to watch, and I loved the Captain and Dr. Doppler. Captain Amelia's appearance is made all the more comical when you realize who voices her. While I am normally a fan of the extraneous "comic relief" characters, Morph (think parrot) and B.E.N. just didn't do it for me this time. The film itself was okay. I thought it seemed a bit disjointed for some reason, but I can't really put my finger on why. I've never read the book; I'm wondering if it would have helped. While often criticized for this particular phenomenon, I think the film could have benefited from the characters breaking out into song on occasion. A well spend afternoon, all in all, though not destined to become one of my favorites. Keep your ears open for a fantastic Star Trek reference. And Disney, give up on the teen boy market. You're trying to compete with video games, Harry Potter, and The Matrix; lay off and stick to what you do best: movies for children, with enough to keep the adults entertained as well. Let's hope this film isn't the death of "traditional" animation.

Will I Buy It? Most likely. You know I like to keep my collections complete, and I liked it fine.

Star Trek: Nemesis

In a Nutshell: Unsatisfying. I wish the news was better. Perhaps seeing it with lower expectations will help?

Quick Plot: The Romulans have a new Praetor, Shinzon of Reman (their sister world). They have asked the Federation to send the Enterprise under the pretence of opening negotiations for a truce (yeah right). The Praetor, however, is not Reman, he is human, and all too familiar. He also has no plans for peace. Picard and the Enterprise must stop Shinzon before he leads the combined Romulan/Reman forces to an overthrow of the Federation.

In Detail: I'm not really sure what else to say, I just found the whole experience unsatisfying. I'm a Trekker, you all know that. I have at least been satisfied, if not happy, with each of the last 6 films (well, except maybe Trek V). This one was just missing *something.* I think it suffered greatly from the lack of Jonathan Frakes as director. I know he was tired, I know he was busy, but the new guy (an admitted non-follower of the shows or films) really messed things up. Even managed to break cannon at least twice by getting two major facts wrong, which irks me to no end, and seriously bent cannon in other spots to serve his own purposes. Where were the continuity people when you needed them? It also lacked the feeling of family that you usually sense in these films, and no great engineering solutions or amazing battle strategies. Perhaps it was just too straight-forward? I don't know.

The whole movie seemed almost pointless. I really saw no great motivation for Shinzon to do what he did, and there was really no sub-plot to speak of. Instead of the pieces clicking into place in the final moments, many plot points seemed contrived and forced. The humor, generally speaking, didn't work at all; it was ill-timed and out of place. It wasn't a bad movie, but I didn't think it was particularly good either. It seemed like a big episode with better sets, costumes, make-up, and effects. And while this is not all-together bad, it's not really all that good either. I think "All Good Things" (the final TNG episode) was MUCH better. And though a nice neat ending is not necessary for me to like a film, I think this movie could have used one. If it is to be the last voyage of the TNG cast, and perhaps the Enterprise herself, shouldn't we have left feeling complete? I sure didn't.

Will I Buy It? Yes, but I will probably treat it like Star Trek V, on the shelf to have a complete collection, but rarely (if ever) watched.