Posts Tagged ‘Cold War’

taH pagh, taH be?

While searching for the perfect DVD to view on the new Blu-Ray (yes DVDs are able to be played on the machine), I decided to give Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country a long overdue view.  Released in 1991 (I remember seeing the film in a GOOD theatre setting while taking a break from holiday shopping in the city), the sixth film was the final voyage of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain James TIBERIUS Kirk.  I still say no one chews scenery better than William Shatner.  I was not disappointed in the experience as the space battles were given more punch and bang when viewed in high definition.

The tale begins when an important Klingon moon is destroyed forcing the empire to enter into peace talks with the Federation.  In short, the race has roughly 50 years of life remaining.  In a show of “arrogant presumption,” Spock volunteers Captain Kirk and crew to lead and escort the Klingon High Chancellor to peace talks.  In defense to Kirk’s bewilderment, the first officer offers an old Vulcan proverb: “Only Nixon could go to China.”

While the Enterprise leads the Klingon ship, the Chancellor is assassinated and Kirk and Dr. McCoy are found guilty of the crime and are sentenced to serve on the gulag Rura Penthe with no possibilty of parole.  Of course, the duo is eventually sprung from the penal asteroid and rejoins the starship to discover the truth behind the assassination and attempt to again begin the peace process

Several factors make this one of the finest Star Trek movies.  The plot parallels the climate in real world 1991: the end of the Cold War.  The veteran actors shine in their prospective roles and new characters are dynamically introduced.  Kim Catrall is introduced as Lt. Valeris who (as the first Vulcan to graduate at the top of her class at Starfleet Academy) is Spock’s personal choice to succeed him as science officer aboard the Enterprise.  Christopher Plummer is deliciosly hammy as the villainous Colonel Chang, a Klingon who is forever reciting Shakespeare either in English or the original Klingon.  Dr. McCoy becomes so annoyed with the outbursts that he would “pay real money if he would just shut up.”  Michael Dorn appears as Colonel Worf, attorney for Kirk and McCoy and grandfather of the security officer from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Captain’s Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man… where no *one* has gone before.

We Squeeze To Please

1995’s James Bond offering, Goldeneye, introduced Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.  His road to the role is a long, detailed journey that I will not elaborate upon.  The plot concerns the efforts of the Russian mafia to control the world’s electronic circuits with the use of a high tech satellite named Goldeneye.  This would lead to a financial meltdown on a global scale.

However, as with most Bond films, the plot takes second seat to the tried and true devices seen in the best of the series.  The pre-title sequence shows 007 taking a 720 foot plunge from atop a dam (which still holds the world’s record for the highest bungee jump from a fixed structure).  Later while driving a large armored tank, Bond chases villains through the streets of St. Petersburg.

The femme fatale, played by Famke Janssen, disposes of her victims in a rather crushing manner.  Some of the most memorable character names are attributed to roles from the spy series.  Goldfinger gave us Pussy Galore; the rather forgettable Moonraker introduced Dr. Holly Goodhead; the title character of Octopussy; not to be out done, Xenia Onatopp appears in Goldeneye.

The film was also significant for two other important reasons.  It was the first to be produced following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Goldeneye also introduced Dame Judi Dench as the first female “M”, head of the British Secret Service.  She is extremely quick in establishing her position and making it known that she sees Bond as a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur” and a “relic of the Cold War.”

While not the best of the series, Goldeneye does have several bits of necessary Bond lore to make it an important segment in the continuing franchise.  It does have enough action to keep the viewer entertained and that is the most important part of any 007 film.