You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The biggest colluder?

There's the forgivable type of price-fixing cartel. And then there's the unforgivable type.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From JJ Adams to JJ Abrams, or: "First DeForest, then Urban" is not a zoning by-law

(Warning: possible spoilers)

"Remember a movie called Forbidden Planet? It was made in 1956, long before Star Trek was ever conceived... Leslie Nielsen's JJ Adams and William Shatner's James T Kirk would be equally at home on each other's spaceships."
- David Gerrold, The World of STAR TREK (NY, Ballantine Books, 1973), pp 204-05.

Curiously, the last two films I've seen have related to Brother Gerrold's book:

Last week, Martian Child (2007) starring John Cusack, based on a fictionalized version of Gerrold's own life.

Then, this week, saw Star Trek XI and was, as the reviewers warned, blown away thereby. It's better even than First Contact, I'd say.

Only two flaws I could point to:

(a) one bi-i-i-g plot coincidence, in a scene that seemed to have been borrowed from Monsters Inc; and

(b) a problem not so much with this film on its own, as with its place in the ST canon as a whole. That is, most of the plot points in "XI" are good and make sense in this film, BUT have been used before in previous Trek films. Vengeful Ahab-like villain? Check (II, VII, X). Sinister Romulan with family issues, personal vendetta and enormous super-ship? Check (X, XI). Unstoppable alien force travels back in time? Check (VIII, XI). Heads towards Earth? Check (I, IV, VII, X). Starts huge ruckus in San Francisco Bay? Check (VI, X). And so forth.

Having said that, one can construct a similar list of similarities for, say, rebooted BSG (if you cite Trek DS9, Blade Runner and The Terminator, you've pretty much covered the field) yet that is not to deny that the re-user may come up with a much better production than the original.

Four more points of note:

*       Good to see Amanda - Spock's mother and she who is (wave arm benevolently in her general direction) Sarek's wife - wearing a head covering. As Jane Seymour proved playing Serina in the original BSG, a simple shawl/ scarf is successful in wholly nullifying a woman's sexual attraction to males.

*       The Quinto Element.

*       Sulu putting the "slash" into "Star Trek slash fiction". How weird is that?!

*       Now that Abrams has struck cinematic gold with Trek XI, he should get the go-ahead from the studio money men for his next project - Stephen King's Dark Tower, praise the Man Jesus.