Matt didn't like it much, and he got on to talking about his recent divorce before wrapping up. (That will make it sound like you shouldn't read it. But you really should. The whole thing is quite funny and a great bit of writing.)
HOWEVER! Paramount finally decided to let us at the thing last night. And I drove to befuddling Bridgeport Village to watch it. And then Senior Editor Erik Henriksen let me write a review. And then he posted it. SPOILER ALERT: I kind of really, really liked it. With some reasonable quibbles.
For all the gloom at its heart, Star Trek Into Darkness is a harmony joyride. And it's brilliantly funny—funnier than the franchise's actual stab at comedy, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof nail pitch-perfect renderings of well-known characters, and then a group of actors who are proving increasingly comfortable in those roles make them their own.
Pine's Kirk, unleashed in bedrooms and bars and everywhere else he goes, is the tempestuous, rakish flirt everyone only thought William Shatner was. Karl Urban's McCoy finally, gloriously lets fly with a full complement of curmudgeonly one-liners. And Simon Pegg, as a frantic, flapping Scotty, may be the very best thing about this entire movie (he wrote, while pouring out a glass of Seagram's for Jimmy Doohan).
That isn't to say this movie is perfect. Far from it. In some ways, despite all its winks and nods and Easter eggs, it was unfortunate Abrams decided this second movie, just like the original crew's, had to revolve around the same villain. Fuck an alternate universe with unlimited possibilities!
Earlier, I even typed the following potentially blasphemous statement:
It's among the best entries the franchise has ever produced—maybe even better than Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the vaunted 1982 movie it's clearly designed to parallel (and not always for the best).
Read the whole thing here.
Captain Picard Day, AS WE ALL KNOW, is the best starday of the year, even if Captain Picard doesn't like it. Hey, Captain Picard! You get to spend every day as a captain! And we all love you! So shut up and stop whining just because one dumb starday doesn't go exactly as you'd like!
Yet again, Floating World Comics (400 NW Couch) will host Portland's Captain Picard Day celebrations, and said celebrations are coming up soon: Thursday, June 6, from 6 to 10 pm. As ever, it's centered around art that honors Captain Jean-Luc Picard—last year there was a massive Lego portrait (when you pushed its Lego communicator, it spoke!), an elaborate ball gown painted with scenes of Picard's greatest accomplishments (the woman who made it was modeling it), a knit sweater, paintings, sketches, sculptures, you name it. Pretty sure one of the pieces of art had Picard and Q boning, fairly explicitly? (Or maybe it was Riker. Either way!) Anyway, Floating World gets packed, everybody has a good time, and seeing all the art that people come up with is a blast. Especially for me—since once again, I will, due to my incredible popularity last year, be serving as one of the event's judges. IMPRESS ME.
The flyer's below; more info can be found on the event's Facebook page.
So I hope they don't have, like, Kirk being really racist to Chekov or anything in them. That seems unlikely? I don't know. Young Kirk is kind of a dick, it could happen. Anyway, Star Trek Into Darkness is coming out soon, and I'm very excited, and I'm going to be seeing it regardless—which means at this point, I'm not particularly inclined to watch little snippets taken out of the movie ahead of time. But you might be inclined to do so, and thus I present them to you, sight unseen and hoping that they're good! Enjoy your possibly racist Star Trek clips, racists.
One of the sad little ironies about Star Trek is that the further it gets away from creator Gene Roddenberry, the better it becomes: From Wrath of Khan to Deep Space Nine to "The Best of Both Worlds" to J.J. Abrams' reboot, the best Trek is frequently the stuff that's the least like Roddenberry's original vision. The "hired hands" who come in to guide Trek are frequently the ones who manage to find the nebulous core where the best Trek stories happen—ones that embrace Roddenberry's humanist idealism and iconic characters without getting dragged down in blandness, fan service, or self-satisfaction.
Naturally, this means there's no small number of stubborn Trekkies who staunchly refuse to accept Abrams' action-packed version of Star Trek; this is fine, as they'll eventually either die off due to old age or due to being crushed under their stacks of Enterprise DVDs. As they make their preparations to go to their eternal rest in photon torpedo coffins, however, the rest of us can look at the new trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness and be like yes! Okay! Let's watch that! This looks exciting and fun and cool! I like Kirk! I love Bones! Hey, it's Spock! What! Benedict Cumberbatch! The future will be hard but we can handle it! Let's do it! Let's go get this son of a bitch!
We mentioned it in My, What a Busy Week! and Film Shorts, but hey, reminder: The Hollywood's got a 35mm print of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan playing through Thursday, and you should go! It's a fantastic movie—even if you don't like Star Trek, you will like this movie—and seeing it on the big screen not only makes the end battle about 4,000 times cooler, it also reveals all kinds of cool little details—like how my Signet Classic paperback of Moby Dick somehow made it to the 23rd Century and now sits on Khan's "Books About Revenge To Read While I Consider How I Will Get My Vengeance Against James T. Kirk" bookshelf, or how Vaseline somehow manages to get smeared all over the lens anytime the clearly aging William Shatner has a closeup. (Plus, geek bonus: It's looking a lot like J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness is going to have more than a few Khan connections, so if you watch Wrath of Khan now, you can impress your date at Into Darkness with all sorts of super-cool Star Trek trivia! You'll get laid for sure!)
Showtimes for Wrath of Khan (and some other movies too, I guess) are here.
Case in point: Here's Brannon Braga, co-creator of Star Trek: Enterprise, valiantly trying to bring back a show that no one liked in the first place and has been canceled for eight years.
"The best possible thing the fans could do is, if they want to see another season of Enterprise, is watch it on Netflix…. My neighbor produces Arrested Development, and they’re making a new season of Arrested Development. I recall him telling me that it’s because for that show, they know they’re gonna get… they have data! They know a certain number of people are going to watch that show. I’ve heard rumors in town that the CBS show Jericho might get another season, because the numbers on Netflix are big! Watch Enterprise!" (Via.)
I'll be the first to admit that Enterprise's fourth and final season actually showed some promise—and I'll also be the first to admit that absolutely no one on ever needs to watch another episode of Enterprise again. Because... because. WHY CAN'T NERDS EVER LET ANYTHING DIE?
There's a silver lining to this, though: Netflix is actually going to make a sci-fi show that sounds interesting and original and is not boring and awful—and even if it doesn't work out, it'll still be a far more worthwhile investment and experiment than bringing back Stargate: Farscape or whatever. It's a TV show from the Wachowskis, whose work has only gotten more daring and interesting since those Matrix sequels no one likes to talk about.
The streaming giant has announced a 10-episode pickup for Sense8, a sci-fi drama produced by Georgeville Television in association with Studio JMS. It's a first for the Wachowskis, whose film efforts include the Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas, and partners them with veteran showrunner J. Michael Straczynski.... Though there isn't a glut of details on the project, Sense8 is described as a global story of "minds linked and souls hunted." (Via.)
"A global story of 'minds linked and souls hunted.'" What the fuck does that mean? Nothing! It means nothing! It's gibberish! And I will put $100 on the table right now and bet that Sense8 will be much, much better and much, much more daring than anything that would've happened in season five of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Of the five-minute video, which cost $60,000 to produce:
The Star Trek video was shot at the IRS’s in-house studio in Maryland on a set faithfully depicting the command bridge of the starship “Enterprise.” IRS employees in the roles of Mr. Spock and the show’s other familiar characters, declare themselves on route to the planet Notax, to combat identity theft. (Via.)
"It was shown at the opening of a 2010 training and leadership conference," the AP reports, "but does not appear to have any training value."
I love everything about this so much. I love how poorly the costumes fit, and that they're costumes from The Next Generation. I love Spock and Spock's weird rubber wig. I love the woman who pops up on the viewscreen at 1:46 and says each of her lines as if there's a loaded .45 pointed at her. I love any and all references to "alien identity theft." I love the fist bump and I love the captain's reaction to it even more. I love that they edited in quiet moments after their punchlines so that the audience could laugh. I love Scotty's accent. I love everything about this so much.
The new Star Trek trailer features a whole lot of Sherlock being grumpy, Kirk being badass, RoboCop, Alice Eve being mostly naked, Sherlock being grumpy some more, and so much srs bsns, heavy-duty gravitas that one suspects J.J. Abrams might've forgotten that what made his first Star Trek so much fun was that it was, you know, fun. Still. I am stupidly excited for this.
Also, c'mon, Sulu. It's been like five years but you're still terrible at driving the Enterprise? Steer around the water, man. Seriously. Get it together.
To say nothing of the Sword of Valen.
Spotted last night at a bar in SE Portland. Thanks to Mark for the heads up.
News coming in from around the nerdternets: J.J. Abrams is closing in on a deal to direct the next Star Wars movie. (WHAAAAA???!!!?!1) Disney isn't confirming anything yet, but hey, the Hollywood Reporter is pretty reliable, right?
Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that the Star Trek director is negotiating to direct Episode VII, the next installment in the fabled franchise.
The Mouse House is closing the deal with the prolific producer and director, who is currently finishing Star Trek Into Darkness for Paramount.
And that's, like, all there is so far. But by all means, let us do what nerds do and and pick this news to death before we know anything else about it.
I have it on reputable authority that the nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness that were shown before certain IMAX screenings of The Hobbit this weekend—and which were supposed to be available only before certain IMAX screenings of The Hobbit—might have found their way online, and might be awesome. I leave you to it, nerds.
There's also a new trailer for the film, which (1) ensures us that Alka Seltzer will still exists in the future, and (2) makes it look pretty awesome. The movie, not Alka Seltzer. Alka Seltzer is fucking awful. Is this trailer as good as those nine minutes which might be available online for those who wish to look for them? No. Is it still a pretty great trailer, at least for nerds such as myself? Yes. Can I use italics at least once more in this post? Maybe.
[UPDATE: Looks like the trailer got pulled. Good thinking, Paramount! After all, you certainly wouldn't want people to, you know, actually watch the ad you made for your movie.]
Last night I came home from the Mercury's annual drunken holiday karaoke party to find (1) humiliation and shame and (2) the first trailer for the new Star Trek movie! Let's not analyze the preceding sentence too closely, and instead just move on to the trailer, shall we? Much like its title, and its poster, the trailer takes a whole lot from the Christopher Nolan school of doing things, which is saying incredibly little but punctuating it with incredibly loud sound effects.
As soon as the trailer launched, my dweeb-filled Twitter feed was crammed full of nerds saying that this preview finally PROVES that the beloved Benedict Cumberbatch is FOR SURE playing Khan, which I don't see—but maybe that's because I so desperately want Cumberbatch's character not to be Khan that I'm going to cling to hope until the very last minute that he won't be. For all the trouble J.J. Abrams & Co. went to in their first (and great) Star Trek to build a whole new universe to play around in, going right back to Trek's default villain for the sequel would seem profoundly unambitious and unimaginative. So here's hoping he's not Khan, maybe! Maybe he's a human suit worn by a bunch of tribbles! That could be neat! I guess what I'm saying is wow, that sure was a lot of drunken karaoke, and I do not feel super great about myself this morning.
And lo, there came an excuse to affix both "The Third Age" and "United Federation of Planets" tags upon a single post:
Paramount Pictures will release the first nine minutes from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness on 500 IMAX 3D screens beginning December 14 on runs of the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit. That’s way before the film’s release next May. It is the first time exclusive footage has played in IMAX 3D and only the third time a first-look will be released in IMAX. (Via.)
Doubling down on the nerds—this is like a two-fer to ensnare both fantasy and sci-fi geeks!—is pretty clever. Well done, Hollywood marketing machine! ALSO. Am I the only one hoping that the reels somehow get mixed up by a bumbling-but-loveable IMAX projectionist and Star Trek starts happening in the middle of The Hobbit? Why, that would be the second-best Lord of the Rings crossover ever!
Golly, I sure do like the Memories. The Portland band's junkpop seems so simple and guileless, but those tunes have a way of creeping into your head, laying some eggs, and generating little larvae that takes over your entire brain. Here's their sloppy new video, shot on the Springwater Corridor and the Willamette River. Like most Memories songs, it's about a minute long. Short songs are great! Especially for busy folks like us on the go—in, out, done.
"Squeeze Me" is from a cassette called Love Is the Law that just came out on Burger Records. It follows up their great self-titled record, and while I haven't heard all of Love Is the Law yet, there are a couple more songs from it to share with you. After the jump, a stream of the song "You Need a Big Man" (bound to be a future wedding classic), plus the crappy homemade video for the brilliantly titled "Like Riker" that will have TNG fans sighing in delight. And if that's not enough Memories for you, there's a non-album track streaming over on the Kickstarter page for Brian Echon's Chill Leisure Lifestyle Catalogue Summer MMXII book. Check it out.
The Memories play Halloween night at Bunk Bar, and will probably ask you for weed after the show. Twerps and Dignan Porch also play. It will be dumb.
More Memories after the jump!
So J.J. Abrams showed the first footage from Star Trek: The Wrath of Benedict Cumberbatch last night.
GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN.
That's a whole lot of hard work from a whole lot of nerds. Time well spent? Questionable.
Elevator Guinan freaks my shit out.
Last night, William Shatner alerted his Twitter followers that something magical was about to happen:
Because I am a masochist with no self respect, today I went looking for this "new dub step song" Shatner tweeted of. Which means I soon found myself on dubster.co.uk, and oh god what has my life become.
There. Now you've heard it too. Now I am no longer alone.
Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Michael Dorn has had an interesting year. To recap:
1. He announced he'd written a "fucking great" Star Trek movie for himself to star in, in which Worf would be promoted to captain, get his own ship, and be "out there in the front lines basically chasing terrorists." As far as I can tell, no one has heard a single word about this film since Dorn proclaimed its existence.
2. He started a Kickstarter for Through the Fire, a "romantic comedy about a couple of dazzling New York urbanites," which would costar "several of my friends from Star Trek." With 15 days to go, the Kickstarter has raised $56,000 of it's $750,000 goal.
Castlevania is a movie that Marina [Sirtis] got me involved with. It's based on a videogame. People have been trying to get this thing done for a long time and they finally got the producers together that want to do it. They finally got the OK from the owners, and so they're doing it. It's a fun little part. It's four days, and I'm playing a werewolf that's been around for a gajillion years who works for this vampire. It's not too far from Worf because there's a lot of killing and jumping and sword fights and everything.
The only problem? You guessed it: Aside from Dorn, it doesn't seem like anyone on the planet has heard of this Castlevania movie—the last movement on the property seems to have been in 2009, involving Resident Evil auteur Paul W.S. Anderson. So either there's a secret Castlevania movie happening that just so happened to score Worf to play "a werewolf who's been around for a gajillion years," or Michael Dorn's just making wacky announcements again. If the former is the case, they better call it Castlevania: Wereworf, but honestly, at this point I don't even care if anything Dorn says is true. I just want him to keep saying stuff.
Paramount Pictures has firmed up the title Star Trek Into Darkness for the J.J. Abrams sequel that brings back Chris Pine and the rest of his Trek cast. The Paramount/Skydance film will be released May 17, 2013. (Via.)
Paramount reportedly wanted to avoid having either a number or a colon in the title, so I guess turning the "trek" in Star Trek from a noun into a verb is... yes. It is certainly something one could do. (Note that—because Hollywood is terrible and this is how they think—the whole "into darkness" part is probably because of the success of The Dark Knight and the The Dark Knight Rises, which, as we all know, were successful because their titles contained the word "dark." As was Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and as will be next year's Thor: The Dark World. ANYWAY.) Space is dark, because it is space, so I guess this title will be factually true, if not tonally true? It'd be weird if this Star Trek was all mopey, seeing as how what made Abrams' first Trek so solid was how much fun it was.
ANYWAY AGAIN: The fact that the title now sounds like an instruction leaves me with a dilemma: When I'm at hip bars chatting with beautiful ladies, how do I say Star Trek Into Darkness? Like a sentence? Do I put a colon in there even though Paramount doesn't want me to? Please help me in the poll below, as the last thing I want to do—especially at a hip bar, especially in front of a beautiful lady—is to say Star Trek Into Darkness in a way that might make me sound uncool.
BONUS! A CONTEST! Whoever comes up with the best title for Star Trek 3 in the comments will win an ever-so-gently used hardcover edition of the acclaimed novel Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q-Squared! (Yes. This is the second time I have tried to give it away.) The only rule in this contest is that the first two words of the title must be "Star Trek," you have to use "trek" as a verb, and there can be NO COLONS and NO NUMBERS. Four hundred and thirty-four pages of Q-Squared goodness await the winner! To help inspire you, here is this image from Q-Squared's jacket.
Steve just barged up to my desk and was all "SO FINALLY THERE'S SOMETHING NERDY THAT'S ACTUALLY WORTH POSTING AND YOU HAVEN'T POSTED IT YET? YOU'RE FIRED." So here's this, I guess.
(What's that? Wasting your life on the internet has withered your attention span to the point where you can't even make it through a three-minute video? Fine. Here are the best seconds: 0:36, 0:46, 1:50, 1:58, and 2:17-2:24.)
So, you're thinking of attending the nationally-recognized theater phenomenon that is Trek in the Park, produced by Atomic Arts, but you're a little daunted at the prospect of driving out to St. Johns, and navigating the crowd of thousands who show up every weekend to witness the loving adaptation of the next best thing to Shakespeare: Star Trek.
Well, you've come to the right place! First, watch this segment from the CBS Sunday Morning News, and then, once you're finished, warp past the jump to discover how to both maximize your viewing experience, and minimize heatstroke and exposure to douchebaggery, unintentional or otherwise.
OKAY, THIS POST IS KIND OF A TRICK. This week I interviewed Zachary, the local author of A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a zine that is amazing and hilarious and sad and something that everyone should read. If you read the above headline and didn't immediately skip to the next post, chances are about 99.99 percent you'll want to pick up the zine. The interview's here, where there's also info about this weekend's release party, where you can get the zine. Snag Zachary's excellent memoir Love Is Not Constantly Wondering If You Are Making the Biggest Mistake of Your Life while you're at it.
BUT THIS POST WAS NOT TOTALLY A TRICK, because it's true—I do have a new favorite character on Star Trek: The Next Generation! I was watching a Barclay episode last night, which is to say I was watching a boring episode that was making me angry, and so I started thinking a bit about a character I'd never paid much mind to before... and I soon learned plenty of other people have thought about him too! Have you figured out who it is?!
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