Showing posts with label trek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trek. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Trek/ Cattrall Watch: Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country (1991)




Watched:  05/02/2021
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Nicholas Meyer

This is... my third favorite Trek movie?  Pretty remarkable for a movie that has very few ship-fetish shots and plays like a 3-part episode of the TV series.  But, man, it just works.  

I believe it was advertised as the final movie for the original crew from Star Trek before The Next Generation gang took over, but as an excitable 16 year old, I thought "nah, they just got their mojo back on this one.  They'll make more."*  

So, yeah, shocker, I am into a tight murder mystery set in space with the fate of the galaxy in the balance.  Throw in ship-to-ship combat, several rad supporting cast members beyond the usual crew, plus Sulu as Captain of his own ship (and, my god, had they just given Takei a spin-off series back then...), \more wildly over-the-top Klingons in the form of Plummer's Shakespeare spouting warrior, Chang (love everything about this character) -  and it's like Trek was just punching "Ryan will like this" buttons.  

And, of course, Kim Cattrall as Lt. Valeris.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Shatner turns 90!


Happy 90th to the man who taught me it's all about hanging with your buds, having great hair and cruising around in a cool ride to meet girls and get into scrapes with the locals.  

Also, he was on Star Trek.

He's my Captain, and I salute him.  Happy birthday, Mr. Shatner!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Watch Party Watch: Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986)




Watched:  03/15/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Leonard Nimoy

Until Lower Decks and a few one-off episodes, one of the few attempts at light comedy/action in the Trek franchise, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home  (1987) caps off the trilogy that started in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, bringing our crew finally back to Earth after giving us the thrill of seeing them wandering the streets of 1986 San Franciso as a slightly disheveled away team.

I am 85% sure I've written this one up before, so I won't do it again.  It's the one with the whales.  


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sunday, January 24, 2021

PODCAST: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) - A Signal Watch Canon Episode w/ SimonUK and Ryan

 


Watched:  01/22/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade: 1980's
Director:  Nicholas Meyer


SimonUK and Ryan boldly get into a movie about aging, space pirates, sacrifice and making grown men cry when their space pal is taken out. We're tasked with talking about what a big deal this movie is for us, personally, as well as what it meant for Star Trek as a franchise. 
Music
Main Title - James Horner, Star Trek II OST
Epilogue, Closing Credits - James Horner, Star Trek II OST


Playlists

Signal Watch Canon

SimonUK Cinema Series

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Trek Watch: Star Trek - Nemesis (2002)




Watched:  01/06/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Stuart Baird

So, this movie wasn't very good.

To be clear - all my favorite ST:TNG people are back (even Wesley Crusher), and they're all good.  The movie even co-stars a very young Tom Hardy, Ron Perlman and good ol' Dina Meyer.   But.  The very premise doesn't make a lot of sense, it weirdly includes what amounts to a rape scene of Troi (handled in the most ham-fisted and traumatizing way possible) which comes from nowhere and is seemingly there only to motivate Troi in the final reel to play Space Ouija Board to find the baddies.*  

But, yeah, Star Trek: Nemesis is about off-brand Romulans and a clone of Captain Picard (Hardy) picking a fight with Picard by planting an early-model of Data on a nearby planet.  They seem to have a modestly large-sized ship that, for reasons I was not clear on, will somehow overtake all of Earth's defenses if the Enterprise crew doesn't stop them.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Trek Watch: Star Trek - Insurrection (1998)




Watched:  01/03/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Jonathan Frakes

I had mostly blocked out my prior viewing of Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), remembering it as "the one that felt like a very long episode of the show".  And, indeed, minus the movie suggesting Picard has found the love of his life (who is immediately never again discussed), the movie is more or less a stand-alone episode with some effects that are okay but never amazing.

Mostly, it feels like the cast of Trek screwing around for 45 minutes before the movie remembers it needs to get its act together and do a movie.  And even then, Gates McFadden looks like she's visibly smiling while going pew-pew-pew with a phaser rifle, like "ha ha!  They're letting me do stuff!"  

So, things I liked:

  • Frakes directing himself in a sequence with Troi in a bathtub, irritated that Starfleet is calling
  • Worf does not need to be there, but is, and goes through Klingon puberty for some reason
  •  The Enterprise E is a pretty sweet ride
  • The cast insisting on finding a way to fit in Gilbert & Sullivan during a space battle
  • Hiring F. Murray Abraham at the height of his fame and then making him unrecognizable under layers of make-up
  • Gates McFadden generally just looking pleased to be there even if she has *nothing* to do

But mostly the movie itself doesn't make much sense and goes to some extraordinary script-lengths to create their scenario that is wildly hand-wavy.  But Trek fans should check the set up that leads to the titular "insurrection" as a reminder of how horribly run Starfleet is during Next Generation episodes.  It was a weird staple of ST:TNG that Starfleet was consistently making horrible decisions that Picard would need to rebel against like a cool teen showing up the stuffy principal that of course it made it into a movie.*  I understand a Star Fleet is a tough thing to run, but maybe by the 10th tribunal where Picard is having to do his best Perry Mason, check the man's service record, remember he has no particular reason to be a Romulan agent, and stop threatening to disassemble Troi or whatever they're doing that week.  

Anyway - this is a very weird, very obviously inexpensively made era of Trek-movie, and while I am thrilled the cast is having fun, this whole movie needed a lot more workshopping at the script level than anything else.  

One day they will make a Trek-show where the Captain is not constantly the point man on every dangerous operation, but this movie is not that.  And Ryker flies the Enterpise by joystick AGAIN.

A final note - the movie casts Broadway darling Donna Murphy as Picard's love interest, a 300-year-old alien living on a planet that seemingly will keep her young and rejuvenated forever (she has an action figure and everything!).  Doesn't let her sing or anything.  She has a lot of TV credits, and was coming off doing a stint on the briefly popular Murder One.   But she is actually very solid on a show that I usually just take for granted "look, the lines are nonsense, so if we get 'wooden' as a performance, that's a win sometimes."   

But I strongly suspect I'll immediately forget this movie again, because it makes very little sense.


*So, yeah, next time you're complaining about Picard and saying "Picard would never quit the Federation!  I don't like New Trek", remember the approximately 52 episodes of the show where someone in a bathrobe showed up and Starfleet decided the Enterpise needed to be shutdown or whatever.   Sooner or later, you take your pension and go drink in France.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Trek Watch: Star Trek - Generations (1994) & First Contact (1996)



Watched:  04/06 and 04/07/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Third?  Second?
Decade: 1990's
Director: David Carson/ Jonathan Frakes

I still remember walking out of Star Trek: Generations (1994) and roughly saying "what the @#$% was that?"

A cheap looking movie with a singularly ridiculous end for one of my childhood fictional heroes, and a ludicrous A plot that went nowhere, meshed with a B plot that only Data got to experience.  It genuinely just felt like a very expensive episode or three of the series that spawned it - but not even a particularly brilliant episode or arc.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Trek Watch: "Picard" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation"


I am not a "Trekker" like I'd consider some of my friends.  I do not have a tattoo of the Enterprise on my forearm (hi, Stuart).  I do not know the names of episodes as chapter and verse.  I mostly only watched Star Trek (the Original Series) and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  And I quite liked both.

Y'all can go to bat for DS9, Voyager and Enterprise.  I'm aware they all have their plusses, but I didn't really watch them.  And I honestly mostly watched ST:TNG out of order in syndication after season 4 wrapped up (why our local channel showed them out of order when I was in college, I will never know, but I generally knew what season it was by which uniform they were wearing).

When Picard was coming on, I realized it'd been a while since I spent much time with ST:TNG.  In theory, I liked the show, and I'd watched bits here and there on BBC America during lunchbreaks when I worked from home, but I was genuinely not sure the show held up.  Further, I wasn't ready to wade through 22+ episodes per season of 7 seasons of TV (plus a few movies) to catch up and be ready for Picard.

Thus, I turned to Stuart, who gave me the following watch list:

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Happy Birthday, Nichelle Nichols


Happy birthday to Star Trek phenom Nichelle Nichols, who is a pioneer of television and pop culture as well as a pioneer in making a 10 year old The League's heart go pitter-patter.

And a 44 year old The League's heart go pitter-patter.  But I digress.


Here's to one of the greats on her b-day!  May she have cake, family and friends!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Happy 30th Anniversary to "Star Trek: The Next Generation"


Happy 30th Anniversary to Star Trek: The Next Generation!

First of all, I wasn't looking forward to a reboot of Star Trek when this show aired.  I sort of thought of Star Trek as Kirk and his pals cruising around space in their cool car, getting into scrapes.  This was not going to be that. 

Boy howdy, do I remember being 12 and showing up at school the next day and me and my fellow nerd friends standing around trying to make heads or tails of what we'd just watched.  We knew we liked Data, Riker, Tasha Yar and Geordi.  But what was up with that kid?  And why wasn't the Klingon phasering and stabbing everything in sight?  And, of course, the notion of Counselor Troi was a lot for a 12 year old to get their head around.  And why was the Captain not a brash, emotional young man?  He seemed so old...  (he was, of course, only about 47, just a few years older than I am now). 

But eventually I got sucked in, and by the time I got to college, one of the few posters I brought with me for my dorm room wall was a poster-sized portrait of Captain Picard that I woke up to every morning. 

Mostly I watched the show in nightly reruns in syndication, catching them out of order in a way that TV could never withstand today.  And, since I was living with other people during college, if I didn't catch a reference to something from a prior episode or Star Trek mythology, often someone could fill in a gap who had seen those episodes. 

Man, we *all* watched this show back then.  Where watching the original series still carried the whiff of nerdiness to it, the seeming omnipresence of ST:TNG made it kind of okay, and while not everyone was super into the mythology, people mostly knew who the cast were and whatnot.

The show can be intensely uneven, everyone has things they like about it and things they don't just because of the sheer sprawl of the cast and show (I have mixed feelings about the holodeck stuff).  But the good outweighed the bad to a massive degree. 

I can intellectualize issues with the show, and while I continue to watch the show from time to time, I've never returned to it in any systematic way.  Mostly I'll catch an episode or two on BBC or streaming.  But, yeah, I still enjoy it quite a bit, even if its a clunker of an episode (but what do you want?  They had around 180 episodes.  Not everything is going to be gold.). 

The show underwent a lot of changes over the years, with cast coming and going, plot threads and characters continuing, growing, changing, revealing themselves in episodic bits.  The Trek universe expanded into new edges of the universe and contracted (lots of guest appearances by TOS cast members). 

Some of you may have enjoyed Star Trek: The Experience in Vegas, and if you did not, I'm very sorry.  But in addition to a recreation of Quark's from DS9, the experience also included a recreation of the bridge of the NCC-1701D, down to the last detail.  And not a person who found themself on that bridge did get something of a shiver.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Pleasure and Pain of a New Star Trek Series



I am going to be blunt with you people.

Since late college, I've liked Star Trek more in theory than in practice.  The last Star Trek movie I remember enjoying on its own merits was The Undiscovered Country, and possibly First Contact.

Admittedly, my exposure to Deep Space 9 was deeply hampered by the fact it ran while I was in college in the 90's (and often cash-poor) so I had a lack of things like:  television, cable, free time and Saturday afternoons, which is when I think the show aired in Austin.  Voyager I tried on, but literally disliked everyone but Janeway - and a recent attempt to watch the series again bore that out.  An attempt to watch Enterprise was hampered by a terrible theme song, pandering cat-suited Vulcans and a fairly bland kick-off that I never got into.  But I liked Captain Archer, so, I dunno.  By the time I looped back to try and watch it ("it got good!" people told me), it was canceled.

The new movies have only occasionally even remembered that they're Star Trek, failed to go on any missions, and while I genuinely liked the most recent one, the plot was weirdly inconsequential and could easily be forgotten if they skipped to a movie where they (a) actually went space exploring and (b) didn't destroy the Enterprise again.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trek Watch: Star Trek III - The Search For Spock (1984)



Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) was the second Trek movie I saw, the first being Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  I expect we saw it in 1985 as we watched it on television - either VHS or on cable, so I would have already been very familiar with the cast of characters by this point as 1984 was the year I discovered Trek reruns on our local UHF channel, KBVO.

I liked the movie then, and I was delighted to find I thoroughly enjoyed it all over again.  Frankly, it's been forever since I'd seen this movie despite the fact it came with the Star Trek BluRay set Jamie gave me a few years ago for Christmas, and I didn't have particularly great memories of it from the last time I'd seen it, which could have been fifteen years ago.  At the time, I mostly just relished Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon ship's captain who is not so clever as he believes and is simply outclassed by Kirk and Co.

But there's a lot to recommend The Search for Spock.  It's a movie that does a fine job of raising stakes, having some fairly dark implications, but is eternally, against all odds, optimistic as our heroes fight bureaucracy, Klingons and the forces of nature for the sake of a friend.  And you can't get better than that.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Star Trek 50th Quick Post

Tiny Spock is judging you


This here above is the culmination of my Star Trek collection.  You'll notice it's a little Gorn-centric.  When Diamond put out all the gear I'd wanted since I was 11, I went ahead and did that.  I've only made room for a model of NCC-1701, but I'd sure like an NCC-1701-A and NCC-1701-D sometime (if I knew where they'd go).

Tonight I celebrated Trek with my brother by getting pizza and enjoying some official Star Trek 50th Anniversary beer.



We watched the original series episodes "Arena" and "The Enterprise Incident".  I hadn't seen "The Enterprise Incident" since I was a kid, and it was really pretty darn good.  Funny what happens when you get your head around, uh, "relations" more than you did at age 13.  That D.C. Fontana is a heck of a writer.

After I got home, Jamie was watching the beginning of Star Trek: Generations but had to go to bed.  So, we've agreed we're going to sprint through the Next Generation films, which I haven't seen in forever.  And, hey, I'm a big fan of those characters.

Now I'm watching "The Naked Time" on BBC America.  Good day, all and all.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

50 Years of Star Trek



Here's to 50 years of Star Trek, in television, movies and beyond.

September 8th, 1966 saw the premier of Star Trek on network television.  The episode was "The Man Trap" (the Salt Monster one).  The show lasted for three seasons and blazed trails before spinning off into weirdly wild success in syndication.  Of course, Star Trek: The Next Generation cut out the middleman and went straight into syndication.

I am not a real Trekker, and I'm okay with that.  I never really watched much Deep Space Nine, Voyager or Enterprise.  Not the way I watched original series or Next Generation.  I like all the movies with the original cast for one reason or another, even if I mostly enjoy Star Trek V as camp.  I even liked Star Trek Beyond quite a bit  (Karl Urban was fantastic).

Where Star Wars broke me circa 1999, ending it's drought in 2015 with The Force Awakens, there's always been enough Trek to keep me invested, willing to go to bat and try another movie, TV show, episode, what-have-you.  But I've never felt fan enough to attend a Star Trek convention or the like.  Which is weird.  I guess I've just always been aware that I'm a fan, but I've seen the real fans, if you know what I mean (I do not know a single word of Klingon, for example).

The original show sparked my imagination when I became a regular viewer of episodes at 5:00 PM on the local UHF channel when I was about 10.  The idea of moving through space, of not just constantly fighting some antagonist over and over, but exploring, of discovery - that got my interest.  Also, Lieutenant Uhura.  But flying around in a ship I still haven't gotten over, not necessarily shooting or punching to solve the problem of the week, of trying to find a better tomorrow out on the edge of known space...?  Sign me up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Seattle VayCay - Star Trek, Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy and more at the EMP

GORN FREE!!!

We're in Seattle for a week of vacation.  We've seen the Space Needle, Pike's Place and a few other things as we caught up with old friends who've relocated to the area.

Today it was just me and Jamie, and he headed down to the EMP.

The EMP is a museum that was set up by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and was originally going to be all about music.  Well, half of the museum is - and we went to that, but this isn't a music blog and it's weird to take pictures of certain kinds of exhibits or art.  But the EMP is now also home to Paul Allen's other collections, I guess.

Above, you see me freaking the hell out about the Gorn costume from the Star Trek episode Arena, the episode that first piqued my interest in Trek as a kid and - in my humble opinion - one of the finest hours of television ever produced.

But, I was basically just freaking the hell out through the whole museum as it was truly an amazing spectacle of genre movie and TV props and FX items.

You can view my stash of photos here.


This is exactly the sort of stuff I'd wind up owning if I had billions of dollars

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trek Watch: Star Trek Beyond (2016)



No big secret to anyone with whom I talk Star Trek, but I hated Star Trek: Into Darkness.  That's not a term I use lightly.  Generally, I "didn't like" a movie, it "wasn't aimed at me", "wasn't my cup of tea" or I might have believed "it sucked".  But, nope, I hated Into Darkness.

The movie, which could and should have been about the launch of the Enterprise and establishing the universe around the characters set up in the first movie (which, in many ways, was a glorified version of Space Camp), didn't just feel like a betrayal to the spirit and (pardon the pun) enterprise of the Star Trek universe I've enjoyed as both an avid enthusiast and sometimes occasional fan, depending on which incarnation of Trek we're discussing.  Into Darkness felt like it was picking the bones of a better, much-loved franchise to tell a lousy story and try to steal some of the gravitas along the way rather than creating anything of its own or lending anything new and not doing anything compelling with what bit of novelty it did contain.

With this third installment, Paramount does a yeoman's job of righting the ship and getting it back on course.  I won't try to oversell the movie - it's far from a perfect film (but name the Citizen Kane of Star Trek movies, I dare you), but for the first time in three movies, it feels like Trek.  And, man, that is actually terribly important.  Not only does this installment understand the universe of Trek better than its forebears, it does that thing of spiffying it up and adds some new bits along the way.

I hadn't actually planned to see the movie.  The first trailer I saw alongside The Force Awakens was so cringe-inducing and tone deaf (and, as it turns out, a bad representation of the actual film), that I just laughed it off and decided I'd get back to Star Trek at some other point with some other relaunch after the public wrote off this series for good.

The Star Trek reboot, in my opinion, was a failure.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Before Comics Were Cool - The Gen-X Recollection Project: David Rossi

I can't tell you how gratifying I'm finding this whole Gen-X Recollection project.  One of our first submissions was from a new friend from Denmark, and another from a person I'd only met once in the flesh, but that I spent plenty of time chatting with online (and Stuart is tops, people).  Then the flurry of submissions from friends from all across my lifespan.  I've been doing this blogging thing for a while, and this is one of the most fun things I've ever done here.

And now we have an entry from someone from the twitter-verse who I was kind of aware had a fascinating background, but hadn't put all the pieces together.

David Rossi is not someone I know in person, but he is a man who may have lived one of my lifelong dreams: working in a Star Trek Future.

Dave has had many roles when it comes to actually working on Star Trek.  But, I'll let him tell you about that himself, and how he got to that point.

Then, I'm going to ask him how many Captains chairs he's secretly sat in.


Editor's Note:  As a plaid-wearing Superman fan, I approve of Dave's whole aesthetic here


Dave Rossi
Los Angeles, CA via Buffalo NY
51 Years Old
Married, 2 kids.

I’ve worked at Paramount Pictures for 25 years, 14 of those on the Star Trek franchise, starting as a Production Assistant and ending as an Associate Producer. I also served as Supervisor of Star Trek Projects for Executive Producer Rick Berman, who created the position for me when he realized all the Trek knowledge in my head was actually valuable! I also co-produced the Star Trek Original Series Remastered project.

I’m still an avid Star Trek fan, Sci-Fi fan, Comic book collector, tabletop game player (It’s all about the Heroclix!). I am loving what Jason Aaron, Tom King, Geoff Johns, and Greg Pak are doing with their titles, and I think it’s a magical time to be a fan of these inspiring characters and their stories.


Before Comics Were Cool.

My father was a WWII veteran, and not much of a dreamer, unlike his youngest of 5 children, me. I had discovered Star Trek when I was in my 6’s, which profoundly changed my life. No one “got it.” None of my siblings, not my mom, certainly not my father. In fact our interactions on the subject went something like this: I’d be prone on the carper, head propped up on palms watching Star Trek with rapt attention. My father would walk in and say, in his deep voice, “Who’s winning?” to which I would reply, proudly, “Captain Kirk always wins.” My father would then say something pithy like “Now that you know that, turn the baseball game on.” It was a little game we would play I guess. Whenever it happened, I would use that tiny opportunity to try and imprint on him that what was happening on the TV was important, to me anyway. And I never thought he understood.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Star Trek: Now Safe for Dumbs (AKA - Space Bros: Bros in Space)

Did watching people talk about Prime Directives and interstellar anomalies make you... uncomfortable?  Maybe even angry?  Were you just waiting for that bald guy to quit talking and for the boney-headed guy to shoot somebody?  Was it weird that the old Star Trek was... old and stuff?

Well, buddy, have I got a Star Trek for you!



Featuring space people who KICK-ASS, CRACK-WISE and ARE SEXY AS HELL™, this ain't your DADDY'S STAR TREK (not that your Dad would have ever watched that p***y s**t, anyway.  He was more of Beastmaster guy).  We've fixed your lame-ass Star Trek to give it all the same excitement as pounding a Coors Silver Bullet while you ride your jet ski through a flaming hoop with a topless model straddling your junk!

Like 20 year old pop songs?!!  SO DOES CAPTAIN KIRK!!!  Like aliens that look mean as hell but who you could still beat in a fist fight?  We got 'em!  Like the idea of banging alien broads?  Well, Kirk was always into that.

So, stop worrying, bud!  That way Star Trek used to work where those @#$%s wouldn't just shoot first and sort it out later?  We've taken care of that.  And we've got funny @#$%ing jokes for the guys to say.  Say adios to that feeling you used to have where you just wanted to give a wedgie to every last one of those space-nerds.  Now you'll want to blast the speakers in your Camaro with your space bros while you swing through the Party Barn and grab a case of Milwaukee's Best.

@#$%.  Yeah!  They finally fixed it.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015