Posts Tagged ‘Spock’

One More Reason To Love The Wrath

Years ago, I came across a cassette tape of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan soundtrack.  I loved it until I realized that it contained maybe a sampling of the entire score at best.  A few weeks ago, I learned that a remastered edition with the entire score with all the musical cues had recently become available.  I had to get it and I got it in the mail last Friday.  EVERYTHING FROM THE MOVIE IS ON IT!  Including the take of the first time that a character other than James Tiberius Kirk delivered the immortal “Space… the final frontier” soliloquy.  If you know who it was don’t ruin it for those who are not in the know.

Following the disaster that was the overblown, overbudget, snooze fest that is Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount Pictures demanded a totally new picture that would compete with Star Wars and hopefully win over a few of its diehard fans.  This even included a desire to scrap the music from the previous film (although many of the themes would later be used in subsequent films and television series including the Main Title and Klingon themes).  Ingenue James Horner was eventually chosen to compose TWOK.

There is not one bit of music in the score that does not stir.  The Main Theme combines Alexander Courage’s fanfare from the television series with a heroic march for Admiral Kirk plus a breathtaking nautical theme for the Enterprise, herself.  Captain Spock is given a mystical tune on the panflute that really invokes a sense of wonder into the character.  A menacing piece led by the French Horn adds even more villany to my favorite Trek villain.  (Where was I in 1982?  Ok… so I was 9.  Or better yet, where was I in 1963 when the character of Khan Noonien Singh was created?  I was -10 years old.)  “The Battle in the Mutara Nebula” is an 8 minute 7 second masterpiece of space battle excitement.

I have been asked at which point I would introduce novices to the world of Star Trek.  I always point to my introduction.  Although the plot is a sequel to a then twenty year old episode, my favorite theme of the friendship between two heros is what draws me to it time and again: “You are my commanding officer; you are also my friend.  I gave been and forever shall be yours.”  So says Captain Spock as he relinquishes command of the U.S.S. Enterprise once again to Admiral James Tiberius Kirk after a little training cruise runs into a wee bit o’ trouble.  I could sit and watch this movie  once a day, every day.  Twice on my days off.

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A Weekend of Fun and Remembrance

Sunday after I got off work, I had a familiar sight on the caller id.  Soon after I got home, I was on my way to Hillsdale, MI to Silo’s Fun Park.  Quite a place: go-carts, bumper boats complete with squirting action, mini golf (did not endulge… the bumber boats were fantastic).  On the way there, we got separated from the lead driver when we did not make it through a red light; however, we soon found out thst they were in the drive thru of a rather sloooooooow Burger King.  DING!  I can see if they have the elusive Spock glass.  On the drive-thru menu there was the ad for the cups so… I asked if they had the commander’s cup.  “Sorry, we are done selling the cups.”  OK… we would like three cherry slushes.  “Sorry, we only have coke and orange creme.”  SUE BK for false advertisement.  But Silo’s was a ball.  I loved the bumber boats with the added thrill of being able to shoot the others.  Even the fountain under which I got a good dousing more than once was fun.

I did rather well on the go-carts until the final lap.  I was ahead of my three co-racers until the final lap when something went awry.  All of a sudden, I was slowing down and finally came to enough of a crawl to just make it into the stopping point.  I believe I was third of our group.

After the fun was done, treats finished, and elaborate gumball machine was watched, we set out on the return journey to the sound of Little Shop of Horrors playing in the car.  If I can’t be in Joseph this summer, I can devote extra time to the audition for the next show. After dropping Megan and Carol off at their car, I went to the nearby BK and completed my glass collection and got some dinner.  The price was good so I got a full set so I could have one to keep and one for use..

Today being the day in which we honor all those who have fallen making the supreme sacrifice in order to defend our country, I walked along with the high school/junior high band, Scouts, and American Legion in their parade to the cemetery for services.  I had to question the director’s decision to play while they marched into the cemetery.  I think the one time a marching band should be solemn and relatively silent is while marching into a burial site.  I remember entering to a slight cadence by a drummer tapping lightly on the side of a drum in order to keep the marchers in step.  The ceremony consisted of patriotic readings, music, and a salute by the American Legion. My favorite part, as it has been for as long as I can recall, is the floral tribute by the children.  Armed with bouquets of flowers, many little ones from the Scouts to toddlers (who were assisted by parents) stormed the makeshift stage.  I often wonder how many actually realize what the flowers symbolize.  Hopefully as they age, they will come to understand that they are remembering those who have been lost in defense of freedom at home and abroad.  May we all do so.

On a heavier note, my cousin who moved with her husband and daughter to Alaska had to return for a few weeks following the passing of Rich’s father.  They flew in last night around midnight after Rich returned from Afghanistan.  Ironically, a few weeks after he returns to the Army, Rich will be back for the arrival of their second child.

Their First Best Destiny

BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS (but I will try to avoid them)

I must say that the wait was well worth it.  I will say that the plot was typical J.J. Abrams.  Anyone who watched Alias or watches Lost knows that his plots can be convoluted at best.  That being said, everything that made the past series was present in the film but non-Trekkers should also enjoy it… provided that sci-fi is to their liking.

The how and why of the destinies (I don’t think the word is out of place, at all) of the two lead characters are laid out.  The brash, looking before he leaps and darn the consequences of Kirk was dramatically portrayed by Chris Pine.  The balance of the mixture of Vulcan/humanity of Spock was brilliant.  I almost thought that Zachary Quinto was a young Leonard Nimoy.  In fact, I thought the 7 ensemble characters of the Enterprise command were each portrayed quite well.  Dr. McCoy’s first impression of Spock is hilarious… and how did he get the nickname of “Bones”?  I still have a hard time seeing Chekhov on the bridge this early.  Maybe as a member of the crew in some smaller capacity, but it just seemed strange.  There is another relationship on board that I’m not quite sure fits.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away.  However, the villain sets out on a mission of vengance that could have catastrophic effects upon the universe.  Isn’t that the way all of these seem to follow?  Final verdict:  While the plot is somewhat out there, the characters fit like a glove and made the movie quite fun.   It was better than Star Trek V… so it was far from the worst.

Boldly Go… To The Beginning

As the days count down to May 8, so too does the speculation of whether or not J.J Abrams’ vision of (IMHO) one of the two most iconic and enduring franchises in sci-fi  will live up to the legend.  Even if you have never seen one of the hundreds of Star Trek television episodes (spanning over 40 years, 5 spin-offs, and an animated series), any of the 10 big screen movies, or could careless… unless you live under a rock, you have at least heard of the phenomenon in some way.  Last night, a group of movie goers who thought they were walking into a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan were given a huge surprise.  Patrons at the Alamo Draft House in Austin, TX were greeted by the movie’s writers and the “old” Spock: Leonard Nimoy, himself and given an advance screening.  Unlike the recent problematic internet leaking of another summer blockbuster: X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Of course, in today’s world I would not be surprised to hear that Star Trek has by now made its way onto downloads… if so, I don’t want to know.

Personally, I want to know as little about the movie as possible; but the trailers look amazing.  What I want from the movie is basically what I enjoy most about the original series.  A good plot, a good villain, action whether it be on land or in space (however, a good ship to ship confrontation with phasers and photon torpedoes blazing is always enjoyable.  However, what I enjoy most about the old show is the chemistry between the three core characters: the devil-may-care, go where angels fear to tread Captain Kirk; the logical, usually stoic half-Vulcan/half-human Spock; and the certainly outspoken, cantankerous, passionate Dr. Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy (my personal favorite of the original characters).  Some of my favorite moments revolve around heated displays of verbal one upsmanship between the first officer and the chief medical officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise.  Most often, Captain Kirk would be the man in the middle who had to ease the tension.

Overall, I hope to be entertained and feel like I am stepping back into the world of 22nd century excitement.  The actors on screen may not be the same, but hopefully the characters they portray will be recognizable.

May 8th seems like an awfully familiar date to me… wonder why 😉  Maybe if I check out my coutdown widget….

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.

I Am Preparing To Toast… A Marshmelon

While playing a game, the question was asked: “What is the saddest movie you have ever seen?” I said the first thing that came to mind: E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial No fooling. It still gets to me. Then we went farther and started naming movies that were so bad they were sad. Titanic being one of them. I actually laughed when the ship slit in two, and the people slid to their doom. Forgive me if I give any SPOLIERS, but the ship crashes into an iceberg and sinks. The lovey-dovey story between the young artist in third-class who chances upon his aristocratic muse was added to give some dramatic oomph. It also added about 90 minutes to the already 2 hour long movie (and some people say that Dark Knight
was too long). Myself included, but, eh… whatever.

Two of the original cast Star Trek movies fall into the so terrible they are sad. I will save the first feature-length film for another post.Star Trek V – The Final Frontier is the WORST film in the 10 movie franchise. It features the crew of the good starship Enterprise being hi-jacked by a renegade Vulcan who is on a quest to literally “find God” on a planet that lies beyond what is known as the great barrier. The Vulcan, Sybok’s, connection to Mr. Spock is entirely ludicrous. His ability to relieve his “followers” pain by simply touching them is laughable. Sybok even manages to convince most of the Enterprise crew to “see the light.”

The only plausible excuse I can come up with for this mess is the fact that it tried to follow up one of the most lucrative and entertaining films (and in fact, one of the best moments) in Star Trek history. It also may have had something to do with William Shatner’s much publicized ego. The previous 2 installments had been directed by Leonard Nimoy and of course the captain could not allow his first officer to become more powerful than himself. Bill directed this pitiful excuse for a movie and also was credited as a contributor to the screenplay. Of course, the star has placed blame on everyone else and has frequently stated that the finished product was not “his vision.” Ok, Bill …. twenty years from now, you can go back and find your missing footage and attempt to redeem yourself. But, for anyone who has seen only the best of the series, you need not bother with this debacle. Also…. check out the ridiculous poster promoting the movie. And, I almost forgot about the dispenser that Spock used to toast “marshmelons” with while on shore leave at Yosemite with Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. If I had collected one more proof of purchase from Kraft Marshmallows, I would have had my very dispenser. Would that have been something to say that I was embarrassed to own? Or is the DVD enough?  “Life is a dream.”