Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

History With Oscar

If nothing else, last night’s Academy Awards made a strong statement that traditional movie making is still preferable to the rise of technology…. in the eyes of the voters anyway.  Avatar may have earned $567,890,123.45 (that figure may even be low) at the box office but I think it was ultimately the big loser this year at the awards.  I really thing Dr. Doogie’s kick-off to the evening was the low point,  Did anyone else see his song (?) and dance?  If not… you will have to hunt yourself.  Honestly, I thought he was supposed to be good?  But I thought Mr. Baldwin and the ALWAYS hilarious Steve Martin were wonderful!

I knew that the time had come for the first female Best Director  even more so than the first African-American (forgive me if that is un-PC).  But I think the fact that Ms. Bigelow and The Hurt Locker swept the top two categories and was the biggest winner was a bit of a surprise.  However, looking back there have been other examples of David-Goliath at the Oscars.  Does anyone remember 1977 when a little movie called Star Wars was beaten by the less groundbreaking Woody Allen pic, Annie Hall?  Or 1982 when a little guy trying to “Phone Home” lost to Gandhi?  So how do we possibly explain the year of the water-logged boat sinking?!  A fluke!

I was happy to see Star Trek win in one category.  It tied with The Voyage Home (the one with the whales… very high on my list) for the most noms by a movie in the series.  Even The Motion Picture (zzz) got three.  Last night’s Make Up victory was the first win for the 44 year series.

So while I came in 4th in the pool, I did walk away with a nice gift.  The ceramic teddy bear banks are adorable, thanks Carol!  Always a ball worthy of the best Hollywood can throw!

I still had a difficult time voting for Sandra Bullock.  Maybe it’s her low opinion of one of her first on screen performances.  If you can’t be happy about playing the second Bionic Woman (and I’m not talking about the unremarkable series reboot of a few seasons ago) then… and what was with the lipstick… EGAD!

And what happened to the “No thanking” policy?  Not to be outdone by the endless Best Actor/Actress presentations.  So much for saving time.  And apparently, “research” doesn’t always help, right C? 😉

Sanctuary From Pains

It came as a great shock to me to learn that one of the supporting actors of one of my favorite shows growing up had gone missing.  Today, after a week long search, his body was found.  Joshua Andrew Koenig played Richard “Boner” Stabone the best friend of Mike Seever (played by Kirk Cameron) on Growing Pains.

I’m not sure if I did not know the actor’s name or just did not make the connection, but I just learned Monday that Andrew was the son of Walter Koenig who played Ensign Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek television series.  Andrew also has another tie to Trekdom.  He played the role of  Tumak on the Deep Space NineSanctuary.”

May He watch over the family of this young man in their time of remorse.

The Lights of Zetar and Al Gore

A very different and fun game night was had into the wee hours of this morning (check out the post time).  Megan and I made our way to visit with some of my many new Village Players friends and play some Star Trek and James Bond Scene It with a little Trivial Pursuit thrown in.  I must say that I was impressed very much with Travis’ vast knowledge in Trek.  I need to brush up on some of the more obscure episodes including The Lights of Zetar.  Really… even my knowledge does not stretch that far.  But thank goodness for My Play and the IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) category of questions… pop culture surrounding Star Trek that tests knowledge of things not necessarily dealing with the “Wagon Train to the Stars.”

I must say that my knowledge was better served in the James Bond version.  Just please don’t ask me what make and model vehicle he drove in anything but Goldfinger (the Aston Martin DB5 with modifications).  Who would have guessed the model of car that Jinx arrived in at the ice hotel in Die Another Day? But I did clean up in that game.

The Trivial Pursuit game we played was very unique and very fun.  You had the six categories to pick from but each category was divided up into six boxes each card had 6 different levels of difficulty.  The level was determined by the roll on the die: 1-6.  It was very possible to win each piece with a level 1 question… however unlikely.  There is also an added feature that allows such things as face offs in order to win a pie piece, and the ability to move an opponents marker to any space on the board making it harder for the player to win a piece.  Very fun and pretty much for everyone!

Thanks Mary, Travis, Jen, and Megan.  It was a BLAST!

Christmas Celebrations

I LOVE CHRISTMAS.  I still look at the holiday with the wonder of a child.  For the entire month of December, I still do believe in the magic of Jolly Ol’ St. Nick but still marvel at the wonder of the true meaning of the holiday.  I even have my sister wrap my presnts and I do still snoop (ok, I admit it).  After getting off work at 2 on Christmas Evc, the immediate family and their kids opened presents and had the first of three feats throughout the weekend.  What a haul!  The highlight of my haul were two Scene-It games.  I had asked for the rather awesome looking Star Trek edition the moment I heard about it and submitted a question to the makers of the game when it was being developed.  I also received a pleasant surprise.  I had picked up the Simpson’s edition for my nephew just after Thanksgiving.  I unwrapped the one of my own for Christmas.  I have played it with some friends and ADORE IT!

Midnight Mass (well, 11PM mass) was beautiful as usual.  The past few years singing “Silent Night” at Communion have been really difficult.  I am immediately taken back to the four Christmas concerts in high school singing the carol by candlelight.  I can still see Emily behind the piano.  I then went home and caught my sneak-in viewing of A Christmas Story.

Christmas Day was feast number two and a day typically set aside for watching movies people had received.  We were treated to Santa Buddies courtesy of Alex.  I was exhausted and slept through half of it.

More fun and merriment to come with the Swary family Christmas.

Telephone Operators On Skates?

Last Friday, I watched one of last year’s most talked about movies (at least in my circles).  I must say that the Clint Eastwood helmed/Angelina Jolie-starring film Changeling was well worth the months I have been endeavoring to watch it.  The story itself was harrowing made even more dramatic by the fact that is factually based.

Since taylhis has already given an excellent synop, I will mention the pains taken in the creating of late 1920-early 1930s Los Angeles.  Costuming, set design, the music, everything put you right there.  The only building that is still standing in the greater LA locale is the City Hall itself which has been seen in numerous television series and movies (I can think of two immediately: The Naked Gun and the watchable if laughable updated Dragnet starring Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd).  Eastwood even resurrected the LA streetcar (which have been out of service since 1961).  The multi-talented director also composed the musical score for the film which he has done in many of his efforts… primarily with his passion for jazz.  The costume design was totally period.  Did telephone switchboard operators really move along on roller skates… complete with key?

And here is my extreme geek topic of the day.  The fact that (The) Changeling is a title of a TOS episode was not lost on me.  In fact, some theatres received the film under the name Nomad which was the name of the space probe from the 1967 season two episode.  Not a total geek, I had to cheat on the year the episode premiered.

A truly memorable viewing experience.  Again, totally robbed at Oscar time (and Clint was not even nominated).

Here There Be Trekkers

Tonight was our first dress rehearsal complete with newspaper reviewer and minus one key character from the production… UGH!  I dunno… week of opening with 4 rehearsals to go and one of the major cast members is at a meeting but I guess it must have been important.  So we had a fill-in read lines from the audience.  The reviewer for the Crescent is very personable and has been exceptionally favorable in a few of the WCCT shows he has critiqued and the first show I was in with the Village Players.  He even quoted a line from a review of one of my characters: “A gleefully unrepentent psycho” or something like that.  He must have remembered seeing Grease?

Before we began, the subject of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was addressed by Mr. Greer.  Particularly, the Enterprise‘s fly over, around, and into the behemoth ship that took what seems an eternity to sit through.  We then focused on the number of Trek fans in the cast of which there are many.  The youngest female in the cast is named Katherine Janeway after the first female character to lead a Star Trek television series as captain of the U.S.S. Voyager.  Another has a husband who has thousands of Trek books. I used to read the novels from time to time but have since lost track unless there is a really special one.

A third really got my interest soaring.  It seems that she is a relative of DeForest Kelley (R.I.P) who played my personal favorite character of all Trekdom: the inscrutable, crusty, curmudgeonly Dr. Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy.  She, however, did not inherit the searing blue “Kelley eyes” as her brother had.

Ok… back to the rehearsal.  I think that with the absence of one of our actors, it went awfully well.  Hopefully, this will be the LAST time we are minus a performer.  But how fun was that to discover something new about so many in our small cast?  Hopefully, our kindly reviewer does not print TOO much about the murder mystery in his article… no spoilers.  As soon as I see it, I will make note of it in another post.

3 Days, 22 Hours and counting…

J’ai Besoin Dix Bonbons

I have posted numerous times about my favorite teacher, role model, etc (it is very nearly the first anniversary of her passing).  Tonight at work, I had a surprise when my high school French came into my line.  “Bonjour, Professeur Peters! Comment allez-vous?”  She looked really well.  A few years following my graduation, she had some health problems.  She asked me if I was still a Star Trek/Star Wars fan.  AH, she knows me so well.  I made flash cards of French vocabulary in the shape of the NCC-1701 (“No bloody -A, -B, -C, Or -D”).  We would get bonbons or other rewards for creativity.  I told her that I have been doing plays around the area over the last several years.  She has seen pictures in the paper but has yet to come to any.

One of my favorite parts of French class was the video contest.  I believe it was a countywide (or maybe even longer reaching than that) contest in which classes could submit short skits to be judged for prizes.  How I wish YouTube was around back then.  I did not think to ask Madame if she kept any of the videos.  Anyway, the senior year video Nicolas, Thomas, Jean, and I made was by far our most hilarious.  It was a cooking spoof in which we made lapin a la moutarde (or… rabbit in mustard sauce).  Think the Swedish Chef (or Julia Child it was French after all) meets the Three Stooges and you pretty well get the idea.  Whoever decided to give me the role I undertook, I’ll never know but… it was memorable to say the least.

What a fun trip down memory lane!

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.

The Wait Is Over… A Day Early

Tonight at 7, I will be in an area multiplex watching the first summer blockbuster of the season (did not get to Wolverine).  I have watched interviews with cast members on a few of the gab fests.  Surprisingly, little has been divulged concerning the plot of Star Trek which is a VERY good thing.  The only cast member (aside from Mr. Nimoy of course) I really recognize (by name) is Eric Bana.  Bana will be playing the villain Nero.  The only cinematic of his I have had the pleasure(?) of spending too much for a two hour + movie was the original dud of the big screen Hulk.  At least if Trek fails, it will be hard to blame him because he is one of the lucky individuals who got to sit in the chair and endure hours of prosthetic application.   I think it would be neat to play a character at least once (probably no more) in which I had to sit through three hours of having my face totally transformed.  So… Live Long and Prosper, Beam Me Up, Scotty (never said by Shatner’s Kirk), Warp Factor 9.99.  I don’t know if I am more excited to see this movie or if I was more excited to see Indiana Jones’ return last year.  Not nearly as long to wait for the return of the Enterprise.

Summer Fun At The Movies

While I hopefully will have a jam-packed summer to look forward to, I do plan to see at least a few of the big-budget, popcorn munching, no chance of winning any major awards movies coming soon to a theatre near me.

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (the backstory to arguably, the most popular member of the gang of mutant superheros… opening Friday.  If you haven’t seen the much publicized copy that surely found its way onto the internet)
  • Star Trek (the much-hyped reboot of the 43 year old franchise.  The trailers look phenomenal… hopefully, as is so often the case, the previews are not the best thing… I’m hoping the delay from Christmas Day to May 8th will be worth the wait))
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the much delayed sixth movie of the seven book franchise.  The final book will be divided into 2 movies.  It has been two years since the last cinematic adventure of the students of Hogwarts)
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (didn’t I tell you that it was a summer of popcorn, senseless movies)
  • Land of the Lost (Will Farrell in an update of the classic 70s Saturday morning series about dinosaurs)
  • Up (Pixar’s Latest about an old man who hitches his house to a bunch of balloons and up, up, and awaaaaaaaay he goes.  Pixar movies are a must)
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (the sequel looks as fun as the original…LOTS)

I probably will not have time to see all of them but will do what I can.  I plan to be in one show, help with the realizing of another show, and squeeze in some work this summer.  May the summer bring fireworks in the cinemas as well as the sky.

Don’t wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.

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