Category: Movies

Star Trek into Idiot Plot

Major spoilers follow, I guess, albeit mostly stuff everybody's been expecting since roughly the end of the last movie.

So let me get this straight.

Eric Bana travels back in time and kills Kirk's father.

And this causes Ricardo Montalbán to turn into Benedict Cumberbatch?

Did that happen 300 years prior to the era Bana actually traveled to, or did it cause an already cryogenically-frozen Ricardo Montalbán to turn into Benedict Cumberbatch?

Like, was he really surprised when he woke up?

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for the real Khan to be the guy in the pod they had to open up to save Kirk.

I mean, it's not like the plot reasons for Khan's ethnicity and national origin changing are that important. There is a rather strong argument to be made against the Hollywood trend of recasting minority roles with white guys (and no, trolls, casting Laurence Fishburne as Perry White is not "the exact same thing", because you see making a film's cast more diverse is not the exact same thing as making it less diverse), and, moreover, there are some rather regressive overtones in making the ultimate genetic model of a human being a pasty white guy. But as for the plot reasons? You could really handwave all that stuff. Whatever; it's just a movie; they recast the guy. Don't think too hard about it.

Which would be much much easier to do if the last act of the film weren't spent beating you about the head and shoulders with Wrath of Khan references.

After the first couple, I thought, You know, I'm getting way more out of this than people who haven't seen Wrath of Khan recently.

By the end of the film, I thought, You know, they're much happier for not getting all those damn references.

Hell, I was the only person in the theater who laughed out loud when Spock yelled "Khaaaaaaaaaaan!"

Anyway. I'm a casual Trek fan. I've seen a few episodes and movies here and there; I generally enjoy them.

I can definitely see the fans' gripes that the new movies are dumbed-down action flicks -- but what the hell, they've been pretty entertaining, and impeccably cast.

I still love Benedict Cumberbatch. Even if I don't think they should have cast him as a Mexican.

The Roxy Performances Trailer

The Zappa Family Trust released this trailer years ago -- as far as I can tell, the DVD has still not been released. Which is a bummer, because this is some of the highest-quality Zappa audio I've ever heard on YouTube.

Obits

Roger Ebert's going to be getting most of the press today. But some other important folks died these past couple days too.

You know who writes great obits? Mark Evanier writes great obits. I'll start you off with his post on Ebert.

Then there's George Gladir, unsung Archie scribe, co-creator of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and 2007 recipient of the Bill Finger Award, an award that recognizes great comics writers who don't get the attention they deserve.

A comics creator who did get plenty of attention also passed today: Carmine Infantino, one of the most important artists, creators, and editors in the history of the business. He's best known for ushering in the Silver Age between the co-creation of the Barry Allen Flash and the design of the New Look Batman. And he was art director during an era noted for stories written around crazy covers.

And I learned something about one of my coworkers today: when I told him Ebert and Infantino had died, I got a bigger reaction for Infantino. You know, I'm starting to like this place.

Last, but not least -- and I'm going with the New York Times here because Evanier doesn't have an obit for her -- yesterday marked the passing of Jane Henson, Jim's widow and earliest collaborator.

Sad times -- we lost some real talents. But they all had a good run.

Nightline 1985, Part 2

More from Donny Osmond on how G-rated movies don't sell tickets and directors add more adult content specifically to avoid the G rating. (I hear that's the whole reason for the scene in Star Wars where Luke finds Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru's charred corpses; prior to that scene being added, the film earned a G.)

And does anyone remember where interviewers could just say "A warning to our affiliates: we're going to go over"? I don't. Obviously live presentations and sporting events can go over time, but I don't remember seeing an interview do it -- aside from The Daily Show's frequent "Watch the rest on the Web!" schtick.

This one cuts off abruptly too, a product of YouTube's old 10-minute time limit.

Prague, 1990

Can't understand a word these guys are saying, but it's still pretty cool -- I'm fascinated by Frank's popularity among the counterculture in Czechoslovakia, and the warm welcome he received there after the collapse of its communist regime.

Uploaded by Yrrah0017.

Tonight You Belong to Me

So I got married today.

(Well, "today" by the time you read this. As I'm writing this it's still February 22. By the time this posts I expect to be nowhere near my keyboard. ...but there are still going to be people in my house. Don't try to rob the place.)

So, breaking from Zappa, here's the song we used for our first dance.

We connected on match.com, some four years ago. One of the first things we bonded over was a mutual appreciation of The Jerk. So, to that end, here's Tonight You Belong to Me, performed by Folk Uke:

Folk Uke are, as the name implies, a comedy folk ukelele duo, made up of Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson. They are the daughters of exactly the two famous musicians you think they are. You can buy their self-titled album, on which the studio version of Tonight You Belong to Me appears, on Amazon or direct from Rising Son Records.