Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

We Have Found the Nuclear Wessel.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)I do find myself a little impatient to reach the end of my run with the Star Trek movies.  I’ve been reviewing and watching so much Star Trek stuff recently that girls literally run at the sight of me, whereas before they just laughed and walked calmly away from me.  I guess they can smell it on you.  But I also hate leaving a series unfinished, so I must continue on.  It’s not as if it’s that painful to make it through these movies.  Thus far, I’ve enjoyed two out of three of the Star Trek movies, but I’m still waiting for the drastic drop in quality I’ve heard about with them.  Could this be one such movie?  We’ll find out as I review Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, written by Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, and Nicholas Meyer, directed by Leonard Nimoy, and starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Catherine Hicks, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Mark Lenard, Jane Wyatt, Majel Barrett, and Robin Curtis.

After the events of the last movie, the crew that survived the destruction of the USS Enterprise – Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Doctor Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), engineer Montgomery Scott (James Doohan), helmsmen Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Commander Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), and communications officer Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) – agree unanimously to return to Starfleet headquarters on Earth to face prosecution for the crimes they committed.  But on their way back, they receive a distress signal from Earth, saying that they’re about to be destroyed because a tube in space is trying to find whales and we killed them all.  The only way for the Enterprise crew to save the planet is to travel back in time to the present (or this movie’s version of the present 1986) to when whales still existed and bring two of them back to their time.  In 1986, they find two whales that are about to be released into the wild under the care of Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), but convincing her to give up the whales is not their only concern.  They must also repair and repower their ship while fitting it to handle whales in a time where the technology doesn’t exist to accomplish any of those things.

I would say that I now enjoy three of the four Star Trek movies that I’ve seen.  This one is still good.  I’m really waiting to see that drop in quality I keep hearing about.  Most of the movie was light-hearted and fun, and the movie was based around a message I agree with, but it was a little heavy-handed.  The movie was basically all about how we need to save the whales, all set into a Star Trek back drop.  I agree with your message, and I even think that it’s a proper enough premise to base a movie around, but it doesn’t really feel like a Star Trek movie.  And the probe didn’t even come to take the whales back.  It just showed up to check to make sure we hadn’t fucked up too badly.  So their motivation was basically just to see what big jerks humans would be.  But though I was torn about the premise the whole movie was based on, I still found it an enjoyable experience.  A lot of the moments when the Enterprise crew were trying to get around in 1986 were amusing and made the heavy-handed message the movie was beating me over the head with much more tolerable.  Time travel can also be dangerous in movies, making overcoming obstacles a little too easy.  That could be considered the case with this movie as well.  All they have to do is fly around the sun and they’re back in the 80’s?  That’s like Superman problem solving.  If it’s that easy then why don’t they just do it every time they need a second chance at something?  Also, I know that Kirk’s line to Spock where he says, “Start your computations for time warp,” was a second draft.  The original line was obviously, “Let’s do the time warp again.”  I also took issue with how incompetent they made the “present” day military seem.  They announced a security breech and yet none of the military people walking through the halls of the ship seemed to be that interested in the stranger in street clothes running past them.  I think military people are trained better than that, even back in 1986.

The movies still seem to be improving visually.  Even though I still think that green is an odd style choice for Klingons, the ship looked good.  They still have not really figured out a good excuse for how they’re able to watch the previous movies though.  They start out the movie watching scenes from the previous movie, but never think of a good reason that all of those camera angles were recorded by security cameras.  Are we to believe that the vessels of Starfleet have cameras in a constant orbit to get the camera angles to make security footage more interesting?  It also made me wonder why there are always such fights between Trekkies and Star Wars fans when Industrial Light and Magic did the visuals for this movie.  I also took issue with the audio in some parts of the movie.  First, the first thing I thought when I heard the probe was that it sounded like a robotic whale.  About 10 minutes later, the Enterprise crew figured out the same thing.  I can’t necessarily say that I’m smarter than them though because I vaguely remember hearing that whales took some part in the movies.  Later, I also took issue with the shitty, 80’s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles style music they drop.  I know they’re in the 80’s, but I also know that some good music came out of that decade.  The worst issue with the music was the music they played when they were running around the hospital.  Think of the worst, most corny and on the nose music you can think of for a goofy chase scene.  …You got it.  It was ridiculously close to Yakety Sax or something.

Again, the performances are mostly unchanged and offer not much to say other than what I’ve already said about them.  Though they had done it frequently in the television show, I don’t recall Spock having too many humorous moments in the previous movies, but it was the greater majority of what he did in this one.  As humorous as I found it to see some of the other Enterprise crew interact with the people of 1986, Spock topped it out.  Well, there was at least one moment I found amusing with George Takei, but I’m not sure it was intentional.  It was when he said he was born in San Francisco.  Sulu may have been born in San Francisco, but there’s also a chance Takei was just dropping hints before he was ready to kick open the old closet doors.  I liked Catherine Hicks well enough.  She was cute in personality and in appearance, and she got inexplicably nipply around the end of the movie.  I was also entirely confused by the guy that owned the factory that Doohan visited.  What was the reason for the giant “I Quit Smoking” pin that he was wearing?  Good for you, buddy.  But what does that have to do with the manufacturing of Plexiglas?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a solid enough movie.  The story was fun in the parts where they weren’t trying to make a point, and the point they were trying to make – though it was a good one – was a little heavy-handed and perhaps not best suited for a vaguely goofy science fiction movie.  But the cast still does a great job, and I’d say I’d be able to recommend this movie for a watch as well.  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home gets “They like you very much, but they are not the hell your whales” out of “Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word.”

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Sorority Row (2009)

I Don’t Have Time to Play “Catch Me, Rape Me”

Today’s movie is one I had seen a trailer for on some DVD that I watched recently and I says to myself, “I wanna see thems.” But I wasn’t talking about the movie. I was talking about Jamie Chung’s tits. The movie looked like a typical slasher film that I would normally be reviewing in October, but I would have forgotten this movie existed by then, so it had to happen now. Let’s see how it went, in my review of Sorority Row, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, directed by Stewart Hendler, and starring Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Audrina Patridge, Matt O’Leary, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman, Rumer Willis, Carrie Fisher, Julian Morris, Caroline D’Amore, Matt Lanter, and Deja Kreutzberg.

In the sorority house of Theta Pi, Megan (Audrina Patridge) – with the help of her sorority sisters Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Jessica (Leah Pipes), Claire (Jamie Chung), Chugs (Margo Harshman), and Ellie (Rumer Willis) – decides to play a prank on her ex-boyfriend, Garrett (Matt O’Leary), after finding out he cheated on her. The prank they decide to pull is to have Jessica give Garrett roofies to give to Megan. He gives them to her and she starts convulsing and appears to die. But they weren’t really roofies and she’s not really dead. To keep the joke going, the girls take Garrett and the “body” of Megan out to a deserted steel mill to dump the body. Not yet willing to give up on the joke, they put her “body” on the ground and act like they’re deciding to dump the body after cutting it up into pieces, further driving Garrett into despair. They split up to look for things to cut the body up. Unfortunately for them, Garrett finds a tire iron first and plunges it into Megan’s chest. So now she’s ACTUALLY dead. Now the idea of hiding her actual body and going about their lives sounds a little sweeter. The entire group of them agrees to dump the body except for Cassidy, but the bitch Jessica decides to wrap the body in Cassidy’s coat and dump her in it, so if Cassidy tells the police, she’ll be a suspect still. The group continue on to graduation (with Cassidy stepping away from the group for the most part). But, at graduation, they think they see Megan walking around, causing Ellie to scream and faint on stage as Cassidy’s boyfriend, valedictorian Andy (Julian Morris), makes a speech. Megan’s sister, Maggie (Caroline D’Amore), introduces herself to the group later. The group is relieved … until they get a text of a picture of the bloody tire iron in a gloved hand. Insert the remaining story of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and call that a movie.

This is not a great movie. It’s basically the same story we’ve seen many times before with the tiniest bit of a twist at the end. The worst part of the movie, to me, was the subject matter: sorority girls. The greater majority of what I’ve seen about sorority girls comes from movies and they are always portrayed as either drunk, slutty, stupid, bitchy, or all of the above. This movie is all about those girls. I’m already annoyed from the start. Then you’d think that I’d be happy to see them all get killed, but I wasn’t. I’ve already seen I Know What You Did Last Summer. You just took that movie and slapped it into a sorority with a bunch of people I would never want to spend any time with while fully clothed. Almost everything said by these people seems as if it was written by really old people with a checklist of “The things those goddamned youngsters that won’t stay off my lawn would talk about.” They talk about updating their Facebook status constantly, and their second biggest concern (behind the person trying to kill them) was the location of their cell phones, and their cell phones were the same ones that 90 year old people who are afraid of staying up with technology buy! Sorority girls don’t use flip phones! Every single one of them is on an iPhone, and that’s a fact! While I was watching this movie, I picked up my iPhone and posted on Facebook that I … Oh shit … Either way, these bitches were annoying. I was happy that the sluttiest, alcoholic one was the first of the girls to die, but I still had to sit through a movie with the rest of the bitches. It was also 40 minutes into the movie before you saw a pair of boobs! How are you going to set a horror movie in a sorority house overflowing with super hot chicks and not show boobs? They showed about 3 pairs back to back, but none from the stars of the movie. I’m not particularly interested in seeing the boobs of the only vaguely attractive extras, especially if one of them quips about her “perfect tits” when they were par at best. The entire story of this movie was stupid. I predicted who the killer was going to be the very first time I saw him. Throughout the entire movie, the girls keep speculating that the killer is most likely Garrett, but we all know it’s not going to be, especially after he dies. Then we kind of think that it might be Megan, not actually dead, but very actually pissed. It’s not her either. They tried to pick someone you wouldn’t expect it to be, but I did. The only person in this movie that I would NEVER have thought would be the killer would’ve been Garrett. It would’ve been really shocking if the girls tried so hard to lead the audience into thinking it was him but (knowing that we would expect the unexpected) it would shock me if it actually was. It also really confused me that one of the girls tried to defend Garrett, saying that he was “harmless”. Apparently you forgot that the reason someone is hunting you is because he plunged a tire iron into someone’s chest. Then, being that the killer was not Megan, the entire motivation of the killer goes out the window. The actual motivation of the killer is retarded and does not make sense. It actually being Megan would have made total sense, and even Garrett would’ve made sense, but been too predictable. But we kind of figure out it’s not Megan because she kills outside of the group too often. If it was Megan, and it was a revenge film, then she would have no reason to kill anyone else unless they got in her way of killing one of them, not some random girl in the shower that has nothing to do with it. Killing the girl in the shower made sense with the motivations of who the killer actually was, but his motivations were stupid from the start, so it cancels that out. All of these stupid story elements could be forgiven if the action and the kills were cool and/or scary. They weren’t. The killer killed with a tire iron with some sharp things on it, which is an obvious choice. But the kills were basically just stabbings and throwings of the tire iron. And the movie was filmed with an intent for style, which turned out to just make things too dark and blurry to actually be able to figure out what was happening at times. When the killer is revealed, one of the girls looks down to see something in his pocket that gives him away. It gives him away to the people in the scene, but not to me because I have no idea what it was they saw! It looked like a couple of tent poles or something.

The performances of the actors in this movie pretty much required only one thing: hotness. The main cast mostly pulls that off, but everyone else is just okay. Briana Evigan was hot. Leah Pipes was hot and a ultra-irritating bitch. Jamie Chung was the hottest. Margo Harshman was hot, but she threw me off by being a way over the top slut and drunk. Rumer Willis was okay, but her chin is too big for my tastes. She was probably the best actress as it pertains to this movie. Audrina Patridge was hot, but barely in the movie. Caroline D’Amore was hot enough. I’m not mentioning their performances because none of them really impressive. Carrie Fisher was in this too, which makes me sad that she doesn’t pick better projects. But I love Carrie Fisher forever and always. Also, fuck you for killing her, movie. Matt O’Leary spazzed out as Garrett pretty well too.

Sorority Row is dumb. It’s filmed poorly, it’s story is poorly written and predictable, the killings aren’t interesting, and the couple of hot girls in the movie don’t get their tits out. There’s really no reason to see this. If you want to get the whole experience of the film, watch the first 20 minutes. You’ll see (and be annoyed by) the girls in the film, see the reason the killer is after them, and (if you’re like me) figure out the rest of the story when you see one character. Sure, you’ll miss the boobs, but you’re not missing much. Skip this film unless you want to make fun of something. Sorority Row gets “It’s not my fault that you’re gay” out of “Ewww, she looks horrible!”

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