6.13.2017

Pre-Boot Star Trek: The Original Films Ranked

Before Kid Kirk stole the 'vette, there was an entire Star Trek film series.  Here they are, pre-reboot and ranked in the appropriate Tribble scale...


Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

The 1960’s sci-fi show was brought to the big screen in the post-Star Wars ‘70’s to the delight of fans of the original series.  Unfortunately, despite a massive budget and some very good special effects, it left only the most die-hard Trekkers satisfied.  After the rush of seeing the old crew vanishes, you are left with wooden performances, no witty interplay, uniforms that make the Enterprise seem like a huge dentist’s office, and a bald female…cyborg?  There are some memorable aspects like the aforementioned effects, and Dr. McCoy’s return to the Enterprise is memorable.  It could have been worse, but Kirk and crew’s foray on the big screen is too sterile and lacklustre.

2 Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Not only is Khan the best of the entire Star Trek bunch, it stands as one of the best science fiction movies of all time.  The filmmakers reached back to the original series for material and the result was an epic masterpiece.  Ricardo Montalban is absolutely chilling as Khan, a genetic super-human obsessed with avenging the death of his wife (not to mentioned being abandoned on a barren planet), which means he’s obsessed with revenge against Capt. Kirk.  Speaking of James T., the swaggering Captain has to deal the crazy-genius Khan, an old flame, Father/Son issues, and the death of his best friend all in one story.  The ‘submarine battle’ dénouement is a classic scene in a classic film.  The first of a three-film storyline arch.

4 Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

In fairness, any follow-up to Khan was bound to feel like a slight let down.  It was inevitable.  But this film gets better the more you watch it.  In fact, there are some downright brilliant bits to this offering.  The crew goes from grieving Mr. Spock to dealing with perhaps the most vicious Klingon in Star Trek history (Christopher Lloyd) and a rapidly deteriorating Genesis planet.  Once again Kirk faces emotional turmoil over the death of his son, while dealing with a bizarre-acting Dr. McCoy (who carries Spock’s ‘marbles’ in his head).  The Spock fal-tor-pan was truly Vulcan, yet didn’t stretch over the top.  A more than worthy sidekick to Khan.

3 Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

The 3 film storyline arch comes to a close in this wonderful installment of the series.  Offering a much-needed break from the intensity of the previous two films, this one has the crew – still flying the beat-up Klingon ship – going back in time to the mid-1980’s in an attempt to bring two humpback whales ahead in time to save the Earth from an alien probe throwing a tantrum. There really is everything you want in a Star Trek film. It is pure magic watching the crew of the Enterprise mingle with the locals in 1986 San Francisco trying to get what they need for their mission.  With an excellent pace, some good action, and humour not seen in previous efforts, The Voyage Home was the film that established the ‘even number/ odd number’ legend. 

3 ½ Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

I guess it was bound to happen. After 3 (arguably 4) good films, the series was due for a stinker.  Here’s the story: The film begins with Spock’s long-lost and happy-go-lucky brother (?) on Tatooine – wait, that a different sci-fi story. Sorry.  So he gets a Starfleet rep, a Klingon, a Romulan, and other assorted weirdos together and decides to hijack a starship so he can go meet God.  Or something.  A few scenes are okay.  Watching the crew having to experience traumatic experiences from the past is effective. But the banter is forced, the storyline absurd, and the special effects substandard.  Don’t even ask about the moonlight-dancing Uhura. In the end, Kirk questions the validity of ‘God’ as viewers question the validity of this film.  Thank the real God the original crew didn’t end it here.

1 Tribble out of 4


Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Again, the storyline mirrors current (1991) events with Klingons playing the role of Russians at the end of the Cold War.  Kirk must face his long-standing (and arguably justified) bias against the Klingon race as Spock plays peacemaker.  And it is brilliant.  Add in a wonderfully unique Klingon (Christopher Plummer), Michael Dorn (Next Generation) playing his own character’s grandfather, Iman as a super-cool (and dubious) alien, a young Kim Cattrall as a Vulcan, Sulu as the captain of his own starship, Kirk kicking his own ass, and a cameo by Christian Slater, and you have an excellent final hoorah for the original crew.  “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.”

3 ½ Tribbles out of 4


The Next Generation

Star Trek Generations (1994)

Captain Kirk dies, but not really, then really dies in this link between the original cast and the Next Generation crew.  An extra dimensional ribbon is traveling the galaxy and causing havoc by destroying everything it touches.  And you can’t touch it or you die. But if it touches you, you enter the multi-D world.  Got that? Fortunately, there are a few elements which save this film.  Malcolm McDowell, although typecast, plays a worthy adversary intent on re-entering the realm and Guinan is a logical and effective advisor to Picard in both dimensions.  And the scenes inside the ribbon are rather spectacular.  But the anticipated Kirk/Picard meeting was a bit of a letdown. All things considered, this is an alright film, bland moments and all.

2 ½ Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

The best of the NG films is quite honestly good enough to stand alongside some of the better efforts from the first crew.  Reaching back to the TV series, NG features the Borg’s inevitable arrival to Earth.  In pursuit of a Borg craft intent on altering history by preventing the first contact between humans and extraterrestrials, Picard and his crew time-slip back to post-World War III Earth in order to help Zefram Cochrane make history.  While the ‘away team’ scenes are excellent (James Cromwell’s Cochrane is a dufus), including Deanna Troi’s memorable introduction to tequila (Troi: I’m just trying to blend in.  Riker: You’re blended all right.), it’s back on the Borg-infested Enterprise where this film hits warp 8.  Picard, a former captive of the Borg (the underlying theme of the film) sets off to save the already-captured Data, and to face his White Whale or, in this case, the Borg Queen.  Intense, true to Star Trek history, and just damn entertaining.  If only all Next Gen films were this good.

3 ½ Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

A huge drop from the previous effort, Insurrection feels more like a mediocre double episode of the TV series than a movie.  In a nutshell, you’ve got questionable Starfleet orders, an ethical dilemma for Picard, Data learning to play like a child, some weird aliens, and an endless fan debate over which side broke the Prime Directive (arguably, they both did).  There are a few cute quips and some good action sequences, but overall this just feels slow and, dare I say, boring.

1 ½ Tribbles out of 4


Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

The Next Generation era comes to an end on a film better than its predecessor – slightly better, that is.  For one thing, it feels like an actual movie.  This chapter involves a Romulan-created doppelganger of Captain Picard who, after wiping out the Romulan senate, sets his sights on the Enterprise captain.  A darker tone sets the foundation, which is a positive.  The epic collision scene is truly awesome, even though it means paying a heavy price.  It’s sci-fi good, but not Star Trek good.  But it isn’t really bad, either.

2 Tribbles out of 4


4.05.2017

Populist Popcorn

As one who is looking in from the outside, the current political climate in the U.S. is nothing less than fascinating. 

With a perhaps inevitable exposing of the ‘Establishment’ by ordinary citizens finally seeing clearly enough to recognize the false bill of goods sold to us as real democracy, truth has seeped into the mainstream and has exposed the reality that those at in the inner-sanctum of the political world care little for party allegiance and those who support it.

It has proven Reagan prophetic when he famously declared that there is no such thing as ‘left versus right’, but rather ‘up and down’.

England, Canada, and notably in the United States, this is the ‘man behind the curtain’, and so far the result has been the eruption of a socio-political clash.  Unexpectedly, Brits voted in favour of Brexit and by doing so, signalled to the rest of us that they had awoken.

The party of Geert Wilders increased their numbers in the recent Dutch election.  Buzz about an ‘unexpected’ upcoming victory for the incredible Marine Le Pen in France is growing louder and louder.

While this wave labelled as ‘modern populism’ continues to grow – including the unfathomable victory for the ultimate outsider Donald Trump in the U.S. – the reaction from the power-controlling progressives has been expected and vicious.

They have proven to be willing to go places those from the traditionally-known ‘center-right’ would not consider on the basis of morals and ethics – everything from fabricated concepts to justify their means-to-an-end agenda (gender-fluid, Islamophobia, White male privilege, etc.) to infiltrating the traditional mass media, educational systems via Teacher’s Unions from first grade right up to our once-great universities, human resources departments of corporations, the legal system, and so on. 

What makes this entire exercise fascinating can be found in the fact that, even though this battle has been long in the making, it is still an optimistic time.  Whereas past ‘anti-establishment’ movements are historically viewed as existing only in the realm of the political left, and understandably so, the Populist Wave emanates from a different place altogether.

Given the majority does consist of those who do not identify necessarily as ‘left’, there is an under-recognized segment on the center-left who are not exactly idiots.  They have learned the truth about what is going on. 

And then there’s Canada.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government recently introduced and passed M-103 (aka the anti-Islamophobia Motion).  As you can guess, it basically sets followers of Islam apart and condemns those who criticize their religion.  Defended as ‘not a law, it’s just a motion’, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government introduced this not only to lay the foundation of a future election divide between them and the Conservative party, but also as a trial-balloon to gauge the opinion of the voting public.

Despite absolutely horrible poll numbers, the Liberal passed #M103 and now the groundwork has been laid (ever Google who Justin placed in government Ministerial positions…?).

M-103 gives the impression of rampant anti-Muslim bigotry in Canada.  Some from outside our borders wonder just what kind of society Canadians endure (thank God we’re letting ‘political refugees’ literally walk across out border into Manitoba from the U.S..!). 

Not an impression Stats-Can shares. 


The holder of the number one spot?  You guessed it: the Jews.

Canadians should pay attention to what is happening within the borders of other Western nations.  With the globalist, ‘border-less society’ Justin Trudeau steering the ship, Canadians must recognize the rough waters will only get worse.

And the waterfall isn’t too far down the river.



2.20.2017

Rating Canada's Federal Political Parties

Liberals – F

Justin Trudeau, Leader – F (there isn’t a lower grade)

No surprise.  Here’s a group of misfits pushing a radically ideological set of policies, led by the son of a former Prime Minister whose public image is that of a male bimbo.  So far appearing crazier than a hypothetical New Democrat Party government, Justin Trudeau is the swoon-inducing face of the Establishment cabal.  Open borders, new and higher taxes, and a continued obsession with the dying globalism movement are the markers of this government.  From kool-aid drinking Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to Mimbo Justin to weirdo Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to Sharia evangelist MP Iqra Khalid, this gong-show of a governing group would be a standard Monty Python sketch if they weren’t so dangerous.


Conservatives – C+

Rona Ambrose, interim Leader – B

As the Official Opposition to the group above, the Conservatives have been frustratingly ineffective and oddly silent, given the target-rich environment located across from them in the House of Commons.  Yes, the party is in the midst of a leadership contest which has naturally taken some of their focus away from Parliamentary business, but given the more-than-horrible moves being made by Justin’s group, Canadians are becoming as disillusioned with the Conservatives as they are worried about the Liberal government.  For her part, interim leader Ambrose has done an admirable job keeping the seat warm for the next leader, but outside of a few notably effective MPs, she hasn’t had much support.  One only need look at the recent attack on free speech called M103 – the so-called ‘anti-Islamophobia’ motion – to see evidence that the Conservatives appear MIA.  The push-back against the motion was created by Canadians on social media who directly questioned Conservative leadership candidates, then Tory MPs, on their individual position.  Only then did (some) MPs begin to speak out.  The truth is, the Conservatives could be, and should be, doing a far better job.


New Democratic Party – D

Tom Mulcair – C-

Where has Tom been?  While we are light-years apart on almost every issue, I always enjoyed watching Tom rant and rave.   Perhaps coming off the election where some in the MSM predicted the first federal NDP government in our history only to end up with another disappointing third-place finish took the wind out of the sails.  Maybe it is confusion as their MPs sit and watch Trudeau’s Liberals lift their policies and expand them to outrageous extremes.  Whatever the cause, the usual rabble-rousers have been unusually quiet.  Of course, with Tom losing a leadership review and a party election being scheduled for October of this year, it is understandable that the party would be in a ‘going through the motions’ phase.  And given the Liberal’s penchant for pushing ultra-progressivism on Canadians, Dippers probably feel their work is being done for them.


Bloc Quebecois – D-

Rheal Fortin, interim Leader – F

Hands up: who out there has ever heard of Rheal Fortin?  A party searching for more than just their next leader, the BQ is also searching for relevance.  In a downtime for sentiments of Quebec sovereignty, the BQ is truly a party without a purpose.  A new leader simply won’t change that.  With a current Francophone PM pushing a far-left agenda, French-Canadians have little to bitch about on the federal level.  The Bloc has always been an anomaly on the federal political stage, and like most anomalies, have a shelf-life which the party is rapidly reaching, if they haven’t already.


Green Party – F

Elizabeth May – F

Seriously, it’s almost embarrassing that I have to include this party.  Led by born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-her-mouth American Elizabeth May, this group is truly the place to go for low-info weirdoes with no other party to go to.  If the Bloc Quebecois is a one-province party, the Greens are a one-constituency party.  The only possible positive which could be said about this gang is that they do provide a bit of comic relief from the monotony of Canadian politics.


His Name Was Steven