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|Index||26 reviews in total|
23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
A great look back, 23 July 2011
Author: zodden1970 from United States
I have found Shatner to be a great interviewer. He really knows how to
get insightful responses from those he questions. In this documentary I
found the best parts of it were when he was talking about his own
career and looking back and when the person he was interviewing was
asking him questions too. You get a good sense from the interviews the
personal sacrifices that the "Captains" on each Trek show had to make
and how their jobs were certainly different than the rest of the cast.
The highlights were his conversation style interview with Patrick Stewart at Stewart's home as well as his interview with Kate Mulgrew in a theater in New York City.
Overall though the best part of this documentary is Shatner himself. As he describes his long life and career and even discusses his thoughts on the end of life and his closeness to that end. That gave the documentary a slightly sad and nostalgic feel to it. It felt in some ways almost as if he were saying farewell just slightly. I say just slightly because as you will see when watching that Shatner has a zest for living that few his age can muster. He truly is a marvel to watch and I wish him many more years.
If you are a fan of Trek and of Shatner then this documentary is a must see. You will enjoy it immensely.
12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
What a great movie..., 13 November 2011
Author: Henry (hen3d45) from Michigan
I have fallen in love with the documentaries on Netflix.
I found this movie, and was very pleased with it's insights and depth. People love to have an easy target, and William Shatner has been that for a lot of critics, but I think this movie will show his deeper side. William Shatner seems to have such an easy time talking and getting people to interact with him. Seeing the scene where he walks through the convention floor shows his talent for identifying with people.
It was a wonderful glimpse into the lives of these great actors. Thanks William for making this film.
You should watch this film, and I hope when you do you enjoy it as much as i did.
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Probably not much interest to non-Trekkers, but a goldmine for fans., 1 November 2011
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
This is a very odd and meandering little documentary. If you hate Star
Trek or have little interest in it, then you should probably avoid it.
But, if you like or love the shows, then by all means give it a
look--but the film is probably NOT what you are expecting.
William Shatner made this documentary. It consists of him traveling about the globe interviewing the various people who have played the Captain on the various Trek incarnations--"Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Deep Space 9", "Voyager", "Enterprise" and even the latest movie "Star Trek"--where the Kirk character was given a re-boot. But, I was surprised because the flow of the show and the interviews seems rather free-form. And, unlike my expectations, it did NOT consist of the actors reminiscing very much about the show or telling amusing anecdotes (though there are a few). Instead, it's rather philosophical and discusses such unusual topics as death and the afterlife, the effect the shows had on their family lives (it was mostly VERY negative) and the legacy of having been a 'Captain'. The biggest surprise for me was how incredibly grueling the shows were--as 12-14 hour days were the norm. So, being at work 60-75 hours a week was typical--and wrecked a few marriages. How very sad. Yet, despite this, they all seemed very much at peace with the show and their legacy.
Overall, a delightful and slight little film. Worth seeing and thought-provoking.
why APple AnnIE? effect on family relationships--sad; grueling schedule
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A Slice Of Nostalgia, 5 August 2011
Author: mattwaterhouse from United Kingdom
As documentaries go, I admit I don't have a lot of viewing experience.
As Star Trek goes however, I found this to be very enjoyable.
Shatner comes across as a pretty decent guy and his interviews with the various actors who have sat in the captain's chair are revealing, often funny, and occasionally very touching, and it is in these moments where The Captains really shines. The contrasting discussions with Scott Bakula and Patrick Stewart over their divorces and the discussion between Shatner and Stewart over their legacies on the show are both fantastic moments. Throughout the documentary there is a lot of insight given into the construction of the captain characters.
My one major complaint is that Avery Brooks gives pretty much nothing. He sits at his piano and plays jazz in a lot of his scenes, which is OK I guess, but we don't really find out anything about his relationship to the Sisko character. The first twenty minutes is also a little tedious.
Really, if you're a Star Trek fan, even in passing, this is worth a look. I definitely recommend it.
8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Very well done, 6 September 2011
Author: callie-5 from Louisiana
I agree... Shatner has really found a calling as an interviewer. He
asks questions, but he will use personal experiences and draw his
questions from them. And oddly enough for someone who is reputed to
have a big ego, even those moments do not come off as displaying
self-importance. They act as insight as to where his brain is in
forming the questions he is asking.
I hope that made sense.
This documentary was really insightful into the people we have watched over the years as they sat in the captain's chair, the trials and joys they went through and how they got there in the first place.
Great for any Star Trek fan.
Great for anyone who enjoys a good interview.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Oddly engaging, ultimately unfulfilling, 4 January 2012
Author: (email@example.com) from United Kingdom
If you love Star Trek you will forgive the meandering route this
documentary takes, if you are not a fan you will see this as an
overindulgent preoccupation of Mr. Shatners one true love... Himself
and his impending mortality!
There are truly some heart felt conversations with Patrick Stewart and Scott Bakula regarding the long hours put in and the disintegration of their respective marriages. Scott Bakula seems like a really nice guy who is grounded, he understands the life he has chosen and is grateful for the opportunities given to him, although if I'm honest Enterprise comes second to his success in Quantum Leap.
There is straight talking from Kate Mulgrew whom sees the world from a female perspective in a male dominated industry. I'm not sure Bill got the best out of Kate Mulgrew as I have seen her in other interviews and she was more upbeat and less preoccupied with gender related commentary! I suppose that could be down to the editing, context and questions posed by Mr. Shatner...
The Chris Pine segments are purely incidental, you can't help feeling that William Shatner feels a little embittered at the fact he is in his twilight years and would gladly exchange his position with Pine for another throw of the dice.
Poor old Avery Brooks, this poor chap seems to have lost his marbles! Either his interviews were edited to make him look completely unbalanced or this guy really has taken leave of his senses. Some parts of the interviews with Avery were a little uncomfortable as he just grins like a lunatic and plays the piano rather than respond to simple questions.
Patrick Stewart always comes across in a quiet and considered manner. There were times you could clearly see he was emotional, however he never comes across as bitter or anything other than a dignified true professional.
I have mixed emotions when It comes to William Shatner in this documentary, in parts he reveals emotional content about himself & you feel empathy, for instance the part where he says he fears death! In other parts you feel there is narcissistic tendencies which smother the other interviewee's
What you can take away from this is that all the Captains worked extremely hard in their respective roles and there was a toll paid by each of them. William Shatner seems quite reflective in places and yet self focused in others (not completely unexpected).
Of the five Captains interviewed you wouldn't hesitate to ask Patrick Stewart & Scott Bakula out to lunch, because from this disjointed venture you get the feeling they were the most articulate individuals who have the ability to talk about themselves and you would still like to listen.
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Candid Conversations Among the Star Trek Captains, 11 December 2011
Author: Norman Cook from Orange County, California
This documentary is a series of interviews, actually conversations,
between iconic actor William Shatner and the other actors who have
played Star Trek captains. Jetting around the country, Shatner talked
with Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next
Generation, Avery Brooks, Captain Sisco from Star Trek: Deep Space
Nine, Kate Mulgrew, Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, Scott
Bakula, Captain Archer from Enterprise, and Chris Pike, Captain Kirk
from the 2009 Star Trek movie.
Interspersed with the interviews were clips from a Star Trek convention Shatner appeared at in Las Vegas, where he met other Star Trek actors, including Rene Auberjonois, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, Connor Trinneer, and Nana Visitor, among others. Shatner also had a short interview with his old friend Christopher Plummer for whom he understudied at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario early in his career and who played the villainous Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). The only really obvious omission was Leonard Nimoy.
This documentary was fascinating in how it revealed as much about Shatner as his subjects. Topics ranged from how they got started acting, to how each actor got their Star Trek role, to how the Star Trek experience changed their lives and affected their families, to philosophical musings on death, and many things in between. Most of the captains are classically trained stage actors who weren't necessarily immediately onboard with playing a science fiction character for TV. Bakula and Brooks both have extensive musical backgrounds, Bakula as a singer and Brooks as a jazz pianist. In fact, Brooks provided the documentary with a pleasing smooth jazz score.
All of the captains came off as intelligent, hard working, and frank. It was nice to see that they all still took their roles seriously and were truly humbled by the fan reactions to their work. Shatner, especially, seemed genuinely moved when he found out that the Canadian head of Bombardier Aerospace was inspired to take up aerospace engineering from watching Shatner on Star Trek. There was also a poignant scene at the convention where Shatner greeted a young wheelchair-bound man whose devotion to Star Trek seemed to be about the only thing that kept him going.
The interview with Stewart seemed to have the most resonance. It was obvious that there was genuine rapport between him and Shatner. When they talked about how the long hours playing their roles negatively impacted their marriages, it was heartbreaking. Mulgrew's take on being a single mother during her tenure as captain was also touching.
Shatner turned out to be an excellent interviewer. He kept things light and often humorous, such as when he conducted Pine's interview at a card table on a busy intersection or when he met Mulgrew sitting in a cardboard box. This allowed him to get his subjects relaxed and able to open up about some of the deeper questions. Shatner used his personal experiences to draw out measured responses from the other captains. Shatner has a reputation for being egotistical and antagonistic, but none of that was evident here. Maybe time has mellowed him out.
The Captains is a journey of discovery for Shatner that is an enjoyable look at the world of acting in general and the Star Trek universe in particular. It is a sincere glimpse into the heart and soul of Star Trek.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Great movie!, 6 November 2011
Author: prberg2 from United States
What a great movie. Shatner does a great job of finding out who these
actors are and what impact it had on their lives. He gets to the heart
of what it means to be an actor and also what it means to be a part of
Star Trek. I really enjoyed hearing from the Actors (Brooks, Mulgrew,
Stewart, Bakula, Pine and Shatner) about their experience as actors and
as Captains on Star Trek. We really see what love these actors had for
the show and how it effected them.
The movie was shot and edited wonderfully. Great production quality. I was really pleasantly surprised. I wish there were extended interviews on the DVD since I wanted to see even more. It was a really interesting and fun movie and I really enjoyed it!
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A fine documentary by William Shatner, 5 November 2011
Author: merrywood from Connecticut
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Even some of the most enthusiastic Trekkies do not quite understand the
unprecedented success of the original Star Trek as created by Gene
Roddenberry. The original show, as we all know, ran only for three
seasons in a far less literate world. However, its impact was such that
it was followed by five successor series, eleven movies, a mountain of
merchandise, and a multi-billion dollar industry collectively known as
the Star Trek franchise (currently owned by CBS Television Studios,
which now owns television properties previously held by Paramount
There is only one reason for this, and creative people in the entertainment industry like Rod Serling and Frank Capra who also left legacies on par with Gene Roddenberry, knew the reason. Much like Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and other literature at that level their stories spoke to the sanctity of the human soul and the problems of human progress on Earth. As in the case of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, it masked these problems in allegorical science fiction in order to slip them through entertainment suits whose primary interest is in making money.
Although in his fine documentary, The Captains, William Shatner barely touches on this core mission of Star Trek, his purpose for making the film was to come to terms with the role of Captain Kirk and his latter day realization that it was not a frivolous role, nor superficial. Sir Patrick Stewart is also on hand to help him in this realization.
Along with the engaging backgrounds of other Star Trek Captains, all who came from fine backgrounds as actors, Shatner acknowledges that the role, along with the series, was life changing to millions. Many of the ardent followers of the Star Trek phenomenon are people like the rest of us. We all live a daily life of struggle. Here, show business people whose sole purpose was not just to make money but to make life, pass on a little hope.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Jump aboard as Shatner takes his fans on another Trek..., 27 October 2011
Author: Erikwk04 from Netherlands
Being born in '88, the original Star Trek series starring William
Shatner had long stopped running and the new series Next Generation
starring Sir Patrick Stewart was in full swing. It wasn't until TNG hit
the daily reruns on the BBC that I got my first taste of Star Trek,
mind you I could not have been more than 8 years old at the time.
As a young adult now I look back at the shows with a great sense of nostalgia and joy and have come to admire the original two Captains of the Enterprise for their influence on previous and current generations. I'm not a trekkie, as I have never been to a convention or felt the need to sport Spock ears, but I am for sure a fan.
So let's be honest about this, would I have watched Shatner's The Captains if it weren't for so many fond childhood memories? No. Would I have enjoyed it if it weren't for said memories? No. Is it a quality documentary by its own right? No. Is William Shatner a talented or even competent interviewer? No, although the other reviewers would disagree with me on that one. From my point of view Shatner makes some basic and rookie mistakes in his technique as an interviewer, best shown during his interview with Avery. So is it all just a wash and 90 mins of my life wasted on a pursuit of childhood nostalgia? No, and here's why.
What Shatner does in The Captains, is to give us a look into his own Star Trek experience. What it was like as the first captain, what it did to him at the time and in the years after. How it affected his personal life (failed marriage with three kids) and how he has struggled to give Kirk a place in his life. Shatner's journey of discovery is deeply personal as he, with the help of his fellow captains and Stewart in particular, comes to terms with the legacy he will eventually leave behind when Scotty beams him up one final time. This theme of mortality works brilliantly as a stark contrast to the immortality of the Star Trek franchise as it lives on to this day still.
The Captains gives us fans a never before seen glimpse into Shatner's mind and heart. It is dirty and messy at times, but always honest and genuine.
Watch this if you are a fan and interested in the man that made the captain that inspired millions to boldly go where no one has gone before
P.S. To Shatner and all the captains, much love and appreciation for your work.
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