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STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE – Jerry Goldsmith

June 11, 2018 1 comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

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…

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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…

STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK – James Horner

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…

STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN – James Horner

August 3, 2015 4 comments

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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 3 comments

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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…

STAR TREK: INSURRECTION – Jerry Goldsmith

September 5, 2013 2 comments

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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…

STAR TREK: GENERATIONS – Dennis McCarthy

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…