This begins on the chilling peripheries of horror, invoking Lovecraft's cosmic dread and Poe's voyage narratives (e.g. "A Descent into the Maelström," Arthur Gordon Pym). Robert Wise's clinical aesthetic is initially jarring, a counterpoint to the series' color-splashed energy; but the film maintains Roddenberry's interest in genre as an engine for philosophical inquiry. Its plot probes at the boundaries of alien ontology via artificial intelligence, ultimately reframing the horror of the other as an object of unusual pathos. Thankfully, the…
Melancholic millennial nostalgia fantasy via misguided propaganda about the powers of benevolent capitalism solving ecological catastrophe... But also clearly a film aimed at very, very young children.
I love the animated textures here -- the merging of cartoonish flatness with real-world textural detail is interesting and sometimes kinda gorgeous?
Bizarre & oddly... endearing? I don't know. I had a lot to drink before watching this.
I think we need a term (say, "Bluff Cinema") for films that play at lofty allegory through muddled and opaque execution. A film that's built on this kind of contradiction is infuriating not because it's "challenging" in any meaningful sense, but because it attacks the audience while shielding itself from critique. Defenders can ride on claims that detractors "didn't get it," because the film's delivery is airy and vague enough to validate virtually any reading.