Failed Enterprises

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SyFy has been airing Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek: Nemesis back to back for several days now. That’s so ballsy, it’s almost like they want you to believe THEY think it’s a good idea. Bold. Very bold, Syfy. We get it. You have weapons and you’re willing to use them. This is the Cable TV equivalent of North Korea shooting a missile into the ocean. There isn’t a specific target, but they want to make sure we know they are armed and they are not to be fucked with.

Sometimes I wonder how self aware SyFy actually is. They produce fantastic shows like Eureka and Stargate SG:U (until they cancel them), but they also greenlight 40 or 50 poorly rendered CG monster-of-the-week movies like Crocodozer Vs. Dinocopter every day. Do they realize how most Trekkies feel about those two Star Trek movies in particular? Is that why they decided to combine them into a 4 hours rock block of pain and suffering? Or does whichever program directer made that call have absolutely no idea how amusing and unfortunate his choice was?

Nemesis and The Final Frontier suffer from a lot of same flaws. Namely, each had a director that cared nothing about the previous legacy of Star Trek. Nemesis was directed by Stuart Baird, who admittedly knew nothing of the franchise and cut over a third of the film which featured key character developments in favor of more pointless action scenes, and The Final Frontier had William Shatner. I don’t think Shatner purposefully wanted to sabotage Star Trek as a franchise, but he’s an awful director and I don’t think he could see past his own ego to realize he was taking on a task for which he was not qualified. Though he was only part of the reason Star Trek V was unwatchable. The script was ridiculous, the FX were garage-quality and plotwise, some stuff happens that doesn’t matter to people you don’t care about, and then it’s over. It was a deeply flawed film.

Commenters: What other movie combinations might SyFy air back to back for maximum sadness payload? Feel free to give your opinions about what exactly went wrong with Trek’s 5 and 10 and how they might have been fixed (honestly, there’s no saving Final Frontier. You can’t polish a space turd).

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69 Comments

  1. Well, I'd pair up "Superman 4: The Quest For Peace" with "Batman & Robin" for maximum DC-Failage.

    Also "Alien Resurrection" and "Terminator Salvation" for worst use of religious terminology in unnecessary sequels.

  2. I'd say in general the SciFi channel is very smart. Crappy as they may be, the monster movies actually draw more viewers than just about anything else they run. More viewers means more ad revenue, which means they can afford to make quality shows like Eureka and Warehouse 13 even when they don't score as high in the ratings. If running the worst Trek movies somehow means more money for the good stuff, I say let 'em. No one's forcing me to watch.

  3. "The Final Frontier", for me, is classic, in that "Plan Nine From Outer Space" way. A near-perfectly mockable movie. Alas, "Nemesis" was just boring-bad. Honestly I'd aim to improve it by pushing for awesome-bad. There's a glory to ultimate failure that standard failure lacks.

    Other horrible combos.. "No Blade of Grass Grows" and "Soylent Green". Yes, ok, 1970s, we get it! You were very depressed! Could you not have said so in half-hour anthologies? With less skin? And better film quality?

  4. Joel…..Why DOES God need a starship?

    Agreed…it's a space turd. A space turd Shatnered out at warp 9.5. I think it's as bad as "Star Trek IV: Save the Whales"

    I think SyFy's strategy is to spoon feed you CG monster shit flicks, wearing you down…getting you used to the flavor. Then they get the rights for Blockbuster shit flicks…which is tastier, if only just a little.

  5. Many of SyFy's (remember the [mis]spelling) programming moves are very smart, but replacing most of the SCI FRIDAY block with "WWE Smackdown" is sacrilegious on several levels. I'm not saying Pro Wrestling isn't some of the best Fantasy on TV these days, and the SyFy rebranding required a certain commitment to illiteracy, but without 'Appointment TV for Nerds' on Fridays, many of them discovered Patricia Arquette on "Medium" just as the series is ending, and that's just cruel.

      • Well, I think they should be allowed to show fantasy fiction as well, not just science fiction. But I'm not talking about Elf fantasy (seriously, why the fuck was it on there?!), I'm talking about Lord of the Rings fantasy.

  6. "Vampires Suck," "Disaster Movie," "Meet the Spartans," "Epic Movie" back to back to back is maximum sadness. Friedberg and Seltzer movies make me want to commit ritualistic suicide.

  7. For maximum sadness, "Zardoz" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" back to back. Zardoz just because it's so BAD, period, and LOEG because it was so terrible based on what it could have been.

    cheers,
    Phil

    • Also because it's a Connery double feature. Not saying he is a bad actor, but these two are definitely in his Box Set of Shame.

  8. First, The Phantom Menace to put the watcher on his knees. Then, the proverbial shiv to the ear must be Spy Kids 3D.

  9. Maximum payload to the face can be achieved with just one movie. Battlefield Earth, and if it truly is the end of days they will run it all day long.

  10. I believe that Mythbusters has proven that you can indeed polish a space turd – if it comes from a cosmic lion.

    My Dad had never seen Final Frontier or Nemesis, an happily settled in to watch them both over the weekend. I tried to warn him, but he refused to listen. When all was said and done, he looked at me and said, "I'll never doubt you again".

  11. First, in order to open a proper wound into the soul, they play the Planet of the Apes remake, complete with hot Monkey-on-Whalberg-action-with-Funky-Bunch-watching. Then, as the essence of existence slowly disperses into utter nothingness, your tortured spirit is subjected to Bruce Willis and Aerosmith fighting space rocks in Armageddon. You are then at peace, because oblivion is prefferable to such pain.

  12. Waterworld followed by Battlefield Earth! Although, that might be grounds for the U.N. to charge Syfy for crimes against humanity.

  13. Any Highlander movie aside from the first one and… any other Highlander movie aside from the first one. Though for maximum soul-torture, they should air the original theatrical version of Highlander II.

    Actually, that would work best with a bait-and-switch: air the first Highlander movie to draw in unwary viewers, then follow it up with the original version of Highlander II. "Surprise! ZEIST."

  14. Stargate SG1: Ark of Truth and Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
    "Look kids, here are direct-to-DVD follow ups to some of your favorite shows that we no longer make."

    A marathon of the Spider-Man live action TV show followed by the first Captain America movie.
    Bonus points for doing this shortly before the new Captain America movie comes out.

    • That first one's more of a kick in the pants than a shitting of the pants, don't'cha think? But I will concede that maximum sadness will be had whenever (if ever) they air.

      Also, I don't know much (or anything, really) about Captain America, but I gotta say, the new movie is looking like it's gonna be pretty ok. Well, at least better than the Green Lantern…

  15. obviously anything uwe boll related, i think just one of his films is enough though, back to back is just asking for an anuerism or possibly rectal prolapse if you are lucky.

    • Agree! I was never able to finish watching Alone in the Dark. I think I tossed that disk through a window.

  16. Dammit, if they make Crocodozer Vs. Dinocopter I'm holding you responsible for planting the seed of such an awful idea. However, maybe they'll give you some creator fees or something.

  17. I'd rather watch those Trek movies then watch Spader have space sex in Supernova or Species III and Species: The Awakening.

    • For some reason when I saw Wing Commander in the theater I really liked it, like, a lot. Then when it came out I bought it thinking it would be awesome… I feel like such a dope for that.

    • Wing Commander wasn't a bad film. I liked it, overall. But I had the advantage of watching it after the initial release, and knowing it had upset fans, so I went in without expecting it to blow me away.

      Things I disliked that were definitely Chris Roberts' fault: the furless Kilrathi. That was just wrong. Totally wrong. But fortunately they barely appear in the film.

      Things I disliked that may not have been his fault: the main fighter design. It looked like exactly what it was, a junkyard monoplane wreck with extra bits stuck on it. I give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, as I know his budget got slashed and a Christmas release demanded by the folks with the purse strings in the middle of production. And I had the impression that reusing old plane hulls was a cost-saving measure as much as anything.

      Overall, other than the Kilrathi design, I blame the studio for most of WC's problems.

  18. how about—- for mind melting badness
    any episode of that Enterprise series with the god awful theme music , i've been told its good but i couldn't force myself to watch it.

    • It's been a looooong roooooad, getting from there (your bank accounts) to heeeeeereeeeee (our bank accounts at CBS/Paramount)

  19. This is easy. Just air a marathon of any of the movies ever featured on MST3K, without the withering sarcasm and witty banter of Joel/Mike and the bots.

    • I'm all about crammin' an inverse tachyon pulse up someone's aft torpedo tube launcher when they make crappy movies.
      Inverted tachyons…is there anything they can't do?

  20. I happen to enjoy Nemesis despite its flaws. The idea of killing Data just to replace him with a dupe that can download his memories was a completely weak, but I enjoyed the energy and momentum of the film. There were good ideas and bad ideas throughout, but I wouldn't really call it one of the worst Trek films.

    • I hear you there with the flaws, it was better than ST:V, so not the worst. Granted, the earlier comment about the horrible SFX…ILM couldn't do it, because they were busy with Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. Back then, I guess they could not multi-task as well as they can now. But that in conjunction with some of the questionable "humor" and several other glaring writing flaws is what killed the movie, not ST:TNG, as some people wanted to lay blame on.

    • And it sets up the novels and STO where they talk about restoring Data's brain in B4 and giving him command of Enterprise E after Joel-Luc Picard retires to become Ambassador to Vulcan.

  21. Elf. What in the shitcakes were they smoking when they decided airing that (TWICE!! (thankfully not in the same day)) would be a good idea? Because whatever the hell it was, I want some.

  22. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 6: FREDDY'S DEAD, HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS and FRIDAY THE 13TH IX: JASON GOES TO HELL- all of which suffer from "this invincible, barely-human monster somehow has a human sibling we've never mentioned before in any of the movies who also happens to hold the key to their final destruction".

    btw- I enjoyed NEMESIS, almost entirely because of Tom Hardy. The creepier and more decayed he got, the sexier he was!

    • apparently there is a gay porn star of the same name. my initial google image search to see what he looked like now was quite confusing.

  23. I can't even begin with everything that is wrong with those two movies. To quote my daughter, "Maybe SyFy be trollin'."

  24. I feel compelled to mention I HAVE THAT PHASER TV REMOTE. I got it (as well as a sweet old Enterprise model) for $20 at a comic convention a few months ago and it has been impossible to be unhappy ever since. I've turned off the sound effects, though, because my imagination can do them so much better.

    (And as for trying to orchestrate pain through TV programming… Syfy doesn't need any help with that. They've got it covered.)

  25. When SciFi airs any or all eps of Firefly, it makes me happy…….then when it's over, I'm sad…… does that count?

  26. Why do I have the feeling this comic was not imagined–it's a verbatim copy of what Joel, Eli, and Josh said one evening watching TV.

    While wearing those costumes.

  27. That was a horrible combination. They have, thankfully, stopped and are now showing Star Trek IV and Star Trek VI back to back. I'll take an evening full of whale and Klingon language induced giggles over that pain filled double feature any day.

  28. Nemesis actually put me off Next Gen for a while. Thank God it was the last one before the ST reboot. Killing off Data and replacing him with that pathetic prototype was a sin worthy of creating a tenth circle of Hell. I actually contemplated writing Paramount and demanding my ten bucks and two hours of my life back. I've said it before and I'll say it again. They should have stopped on the high note from First Contact. Now that was a hell of a movie. </Rant>

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