Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’


June 11, 2018 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The rebirth of the science fiction genre with Star Wars in 1977, and the continued success of the Star Trek series in syndication, convinced Paramount Studio to begin work on a feature film. In 1978, Paramount assembled the largest press conference held at the studio since the 1950s to announce that double Academy Award winning director Robert Wise would direct a $15 million film adaptation of the television series. The film in the finest tradition of Star Trek is a classic morality play, which speaks to a universal and transcendent yearning shared by all cultures, namely La Ricerca di Dio – the quest for God. The story line reveals the menace of a massive energy cloud of enormous power on a set course to Earth. Admiral James Kirk reassumes command of a newly refitted Enterprise and leads a desperate mission to save humanity. But all is not as it seems as we see Kirk discover that he faces a first contact encounter with an entity of insurmountable power programmed to a singular purpose – to find its creator. By maintaining fidelity to the fundamental Federation principles of seeking out new life forms in the spirit of peace and understanding, Kirk, using his usual guile and experience, is able to overcome technological, linguistic and conceptual challenges and establish a dialogue. With Spock’s assistance, he ultimately succeeds in potentiating within the mechanistic alien entity a spiritual epiphany, which catalyzes a breath-taking transformation, thereby saving the Earth. The film was slow paced, cerebral and ponderous, yet never the less became a huge commercial success. It earned Paramount three times its production costs, there-by setting the stage for a second film. Goldsmith was also honored with Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for best score. Regretfully, he failed to win. Read more…

STAR TREK BEYOND – Michael Giacchino

July 26, 2016 2 comments

startrekbeyondOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Star Trek Beyond is the third film of the ‘rebooted’ Star Trek series, and the thirteenth film overall since the original Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. Directed by Fast and the Furious veteran Justin Lin – taking over the helm from J. J. Abrams – the film sees the crew of the starship Enterprise half way through their five year mission to explore the farthest reaches of space, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine). After briefly docking at the new starbase Yorktown, the Enterprise is dispatched to conduct a rescue mission inside a previously uncharted nebula, but falls victim to a surprise attack by a lizard-like warrior named Krall (Idris Elba), and crash-lands on a mysterious world. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off the hostile planet. Read more…


August 19, 2015 1 comment

startrek3expandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan achieved tremendous critical and commercial success, and so Paramount quickly authorized the making of a third film. However, director Nicholas Meyer refused to return in protest over changes made to the prior film’s ending without his consent. When Nimoy was asked to reprise the role of Spock, he said yes, with the caveat that he wanted to direct the film. The studio hesitated, but ultimately agreed, and Harve Bennett was again hired to produce and write the script. The original crew ensemble returned including; William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelly as Dr. McCoy, James Doohan as Scott, George Takei as Sulu, Walter Koenig as Chekov and Nichelle Nichols as Uhura. Joining the cast was Christopher Llyod as the villain Captain Kruge, Robin Curtis replacing Kirstie Alley as Lieutenant Saavik, Mark Lenard as Sarek, Merritt Buttrick as Dr. David Marcus, and the renowned Dame Judith Anderson as the Vulcan high priestess T’Lar. Nimoy wanted the film to be operatic with a transpersonal exploration of the themes of life, death and rebirth. Yet he also wanted to explore on a more personal level, the deeper meaning of friendship. Nimoy relates: “What should a person do to help a friend? How deeply should a friendship commitment go? And what sacrifices, what obstacles, will these people endure?” Read more…


August 3, 2015 5 comments

startrek2expandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

James Horner won my heart in 1982 with his score to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and he quickly became my favorite composer. His tragic and untimely death was personally devastating to me and I to this day continue to mourn his passing. I realized that I was about to reach a milestone, my 100th review, and thought what could be more fitting than to use this special occasion to celebrate his legacy with a heart-felt homage to one of his greatest scores.

Although disappointed by the lukewarm reception of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, Paramount was committed to continuing with its enormous investment in resurrecting the franchise, albeit with different leadership. Gene Roddenberry was assigned blame for the lethargic and plodding Star Trek: The Motion Picture and ‘promoted’ to executive consultant. Harve Bennett was given creative control and tasked with writing a better and more memorable story, which recaptured the spirit of the TV series. Bennett quickly realized that he faced a serious challenge in developing the new Star Trek movie, as remarkably, he was unfamiliar with its history, having never seen the television show! He studiously watched all the episodes, and had an epiphany after viewing “Space Seed”. He correctly reasoned that what was needed to make Star Trek successful again, was a villain worthy to serve as Kirk’s foil. The fierce and indomitable Khan Noonian Singh fully embodied the coveted perfect adversary for the film. Read more…

STAR TREK: NEMESIS – Jerry Goldsmith

February 13, 2014 4 comments

startreknemesisexpandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Sadly, the beloved Star Trek franchise took its final voyage with this tenth installment. For the storyline we are presented with yet another morality play, which explores the interplay of upbringing, fate and self-realization in seeking one’s destiny. Following a wedding between Will Riker and Deanna Troi, Picard receives startling orders from Star Fleet Command to proceed to Romulus as the Federation’s peace emissary. Evidently a coup d’état had ushered in a new leadership that wished to reset relations after centuries of unremitting animosity. Upon their arrival Picard discovers that the new leader Shinzon is not a Romulan, but instead a human, a clone of himself. Eventually he realizes a sinister deception as Shinzon’s true motives manifest. Shinzon desires to gain glory first by killing his genetic progenitor, Picard, and then by destroying Earth, a final repudiation of his humanity. Thus from a shared genetic template we see a duality, the polarity of goodness embodied in Picard and the polarity evil with Shinzon. What unfolds is a classic battle between light and darkness, a contest of wills with both Picard and Shinzon using their knowledge of the other and themselves to prevail. In the fateful final encounter, the Enterprise joined by Romulan loyalist ships battle Shinzon’s Scimitar, a cloaked mega vessel with superior shields and weapons of mass destruction. We witness Picard and Shnizon match wits with the most impressive battle scenes of the franchise. The film, while not embraced by critics, performed well and was profitable. The decision to end the franchise was very disappointing. Read more…


September 5, 2013 2 comments

startrekinsurrectionexpandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The Next Generation crew returned for their third film with the addition of villain J. Murray Abraham (Ru’afo) and Picard’s love interest Donna Murphy (Anij). This 9th installment of the franchise offers in the finest Star Trek tradition another classic morality play. The story explores Machiavellianism, which espouses that “Might Makes Right” and that evil means may be used to achieve a “Greater Good”. The story is set on the planet Ba’ku, which is located in isolation in Sector 441. Ba’ku’s planetary rings emit a unique metaphasic radiation, which are both regenerative to health and life prolonging. We see a Federation team collaborating with the So’na, later to be revealed as disaffected Ba’ku ex-patriots, covertly seeking to remove the Ba’ku so that they may harvest the planet’s ring matter for ‘the betterment of all’. When Data malfunctions and exposes the sordid plan to the Ba’ku a crisis is precipitated. Picard and his crew choose to violate the direct orders of the mission commander Admiral Dougherty and defend the Ba’ku, believing that his mission violates the Prime Directive. This elicits war with the So’na who begin the forced removal of the Ba’ku and the harvesting of the planet’s rings. Our heroes succeed in defeating Ru’afo and in reuniting the Ba’ku with their estranged children, the So’na. The film was a commercial success, doubling its production costs and achieved some critical acclaim with both Hugo and Saturn Award nominations. Read more…


July 3, 2013 Leave a comment

startrekgenerationsexpandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

This seventh film in the franchise was conceived as a vehicle to pass the baton from the original series cast to the Next Generation cast. Set in the late 23rd century, we witness the maiden voyage of the Starship Enterprise B. Members of the original crew, Pavel Chekov, Montgomery Scott and James Kirk attend as honored guests. The maiden voyage quickly turns to disaster as an unseasoned captain and not fully functional ship are forced to rescue two transport ships from a destructive energy ribbon. The Enterprise B manages to save a handful of the ships’ passengers, including a scientist called Soran, but with heavy costs as Captain Kirk is lost when a destructive bolt breeches the hull. Seventy-eight years later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D seek to defeat a now obsessed scientist Soran who is destroying entire star systems in an effort to regain the alternative reality of the Nexus energy ribbon. In a truly heroic battle, Picard and Kirk join forces to stop Soran before he destroys yet another civilization. The film was a commercial success, earning three time its production costs. Read more…


May 20, 2013 Leave a comment

startrekintodarknessOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

NOTE: There are plot spoilers in this review that were unavoidable as I wanted to sensibly talk about the music and its context within, and impact upon, the film, If you haven’t seen the film yet, I might suggest waiting to read this until you have.

The second of director J.J. Abrams’ newly-revamped “alternate timeline” Star Trek movies is Star Trek Into Darkness, one of the most anticipated films of the early summer months of 2013. Set one year after the events of the last Star Trek film, Into Darkness finds Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise – First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto), Chief Medical Officer Bones McCoy (Karl Urban), Chief Engineer Scott (Simon Pegg), Navigation Officer Sulu (John Cho), Communications Officer Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Ensign Chekov (Anton Yelchin) – on a mission to observe a primitive humanoid race on a distant planet. When one of the crew members finds his life in jeopardy Kirk is forced to violate the Starfleet prime directive of non-interference in order to rescue him, and upon his return to Earth is demoted by his commanding officer, Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood). However, things suddenly change when a mysterious terrorist named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks a Starfleet installation and murders several high ranking officers, before fleeing to Kronos, the home world of the brutal and warlike Klingon race. Given permission to go after Harrison by Starfleet Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller), and with a cache of prototype photon torpedos on board, Kirk and the crew sets off on a covert mission… but before long doubts about Harrison’s identity, and his motivations, begin to surface. Read more…


April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

startrekfirstcontactexpandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

As is consistent of the ethos of the Star Trek universe, we are again treated to a classic morality play that speaks to obsession and the powerful, yet ultimately self-destructive drive for vengeance. The script purposely draws upon classical references of Herman Melville’s great novel “Moby Dick”, which lends a potent gravitas to this latest voyage. The story reveals a bold attack by the Borg to destroy humanity by conquering it not in the present, but instead by destroying its past. Through use of a temporal vortex, the Borg time travel backwards to 21st century Earth, which lays vulnerable having been decimated by a third World War. Their plan hinges on destroying the Phoenix, Earth’s first warp capable ship. History reveals that its inaugural flight elicited a first contact encounter with the Vulcans who happened to be exploring the Terran system. This first contact laid the seed from which arose the United Federation Of Planets. Captain Picard follows the Borg back through time and must overcome his personal demons having been once assimilated by the Borg, as well as his obsession for revenge to save humanity’s future. The film was a critical success earning many awards as well as the most profitable Star Trek film of the franchise. Read more…


May 4, 2012 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Star Trek VI was envisioned by Paramount executive Frank Mancuso as a rebound from the disaster that was the Star Trek V film, and a hand off the franchise to the Next Generation crew. As such he again hired Leonard Nimoy to write a script that would bring a memorable final adventure for our legendary crew. Drawing upon Gorbachev’s Glasnost initiative that catalyzed the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Nimoy fashioned a classic morality play, which dealt with the issues of racial prejudice, revenge, mistrust and humanity’s eternal search for “The Undiscovered County” – a lasting peace. The film begins dramatically with a cataclysmic explosion on the Klingon moon Praxis. The moon’s destruction fatally cripples energy production and the Klingons face the inevitable depletion of their ozone layer in 50 years, which will bring an irradiating end to their civilization. Chancellor Gorkon resolves to forge peace with the Federation and so bring to an end 70 years of unremitting hostilities, which he understands they can no longer sustain. Captain James Kirk and his crew are called upon by the Federation Council to escort the Chancellor to Earth, however reactionary elements on both sides jointly conspire to covertly sabotage the peace mission by attacking Gorkon’s vessel and assassinating him. Since the Enterprise appears to be responsible, Kirk and McCoy are remanded to Klingon authorities where they are tried, convicted and sent to certain death at the penal colony on Rura Penthe. A daring escape allows Kirk to regain the Enterprise and again save the day. He defeats the traitorous General Chang in battle and foils a second assassination of Klingon emissaries by Federation officers. The movie restored the franchise’s vitality, received critical acclaim and was a huge commercial success. Read more…


February 22, 2012 2 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Coming off his directorial success with Star Trek III, Leonard Nimoy again assembled our iconic crew for a thoughtful eco-story that spoke to humanity’s poor stewardship of the Earth. The film opens with a massive space probe of unknown origin en route to Earth. When it arrives it delivers a cryptic message in a language that seems unintelligible. In addition, its power system neutralizes the Earth’s power grid and begins to vaporize its oceans. The exiled Captain Kirk and his fugitive crew correctly determine that the message is directed not to humanity, but instead to an extinct species, the Humpback whale. As such, they resolve to time travel back to late 20th century Earth to recover two humpback whales, hoping to bring them back to the future so they can respond to the probe’s message. Set in 20th century urban San Francisco, this new adventure was comic, light-hearted and proved to be a huge commercial success, earning profits of more than five times it’s production costs. Read more…


January 20, 2011 4 comments

startrek5expandedMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Star Trek V is at its heart a mystical quest film concerned with a question that has aroused humanity’s curiosity for millennia. It explores our search for that sacred omphalos from whence we arose – the Garden of Eden. In metaphysics Eden symbolizes primordial perfection, the source of all life and the state of perfect communion between humanity and God. It is from this inner longing, this yearning that the saga which is Star Trek V unfolds. William Shatner lobbied very hard to direct the film and although he managed to win the directorship, he regretfully would not enjoy critical success. Production and financing problems forced a dramatic scaling back of the movie’s climactic scene where he had planned a dramatic display of immense stone gollums and the earth opening up to reveal scenes of Dante’s ten levels of Hell. It suffices to say that the lack of resources served to mortally wound the story’s narrative and resulted in what many believe to be the weakest film in the Star Trek franchise. Read more…

STAR TREK – Michael Giacchino

May 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The last composer not named Jerry Goldsmith to score a Star Trek movie was Dennis McCarthy, who scored Star Trek Generations in 1994. We’ve had a full 15 years of Star Trek on the big screen with one sound from one legendary composer – talk about big shoes for Michael Giacchino to fill. But then again, Giacchino has made a career filling big shoes, from his early days following John Williams on the Jurassic Park video games, to picking up Lalo Schifrin’s mantle on Mission: Impossible III in 2006.

Like the recent Batman and Spider-Man movies, the new Star Trek is a re-booting of the franchise which first hit the small screen back in 1966, and has since encompassed four TV series and, including this one, eleven movies. Read more…

STAR TREK: NEMESIS – Jerry Goldsmith

December 13, 2002 Leave a comment

startreknemesisOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jerry Goldsmith’s involvement with Star Trek now stretches back almost 25 years. He is as associated with the franchise as the USS Enterprise, “Beam me up, Scotty” and “Make it so”, and with the possible exceptions of James Horner and Alexander Courage, is the only composer to truly get to the heart of the Star Trek universe – even though he himself has said that he does not fully understand the phenomenon, or why his work is so well-loved. Having written so much classic music over the years, it is therefore somewhat disappointing to report that his work on Star Trek: Nemesis is pretty standard, uninspiring stuff. A few snatches of thematic familiarity, some exciting action material, and echoes of Total Recall aside, it’s actually a rather predictable, albeit enjoyable, sci-fi score. Read more…