Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'Star Trek' category

Movie review: Star Trek
(or, What’s old is new again)

May 8, 2009 2:43 pm

startrek-poster Pug and I went to see the new Star Trek movie last night, and I am declaring it a Good One.

And I’d say the Trek community was overdue for a Good One, so thank you, Great Bird of the Galaxy.

My biggest worry about this film was that the characters would seem like strangers.  That it wouldn’t feel like Star Trek and that the whole effect would be laughable.  But while there were a few moments when my suspension of disbelief was stretched a little far (space diving?  magic unfolding sword?), on the whole, I couldn’t be more pleased.

All our old friends were recognizable, despite having new faces, and they acted and spoke the way one expected them to.  Kirk is a reckless adventurer.  Spock is logical, conflicted, and is quickly developing a martyr complex.  McCoy doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with space travel.  And so forth.  The instant – but not unconditional – bond between Kirk and McCoy worked, and the gradual development of their relationship with Spock unfolded well.  None of it, mind you, quite the way I pictured it, but it worked and was consistent with the characters, and I liked it.

And I always love it when the other recurring characters get to come out of the shadows a bit.  Uhura got to show her chops at xenolinguistics.  Chekov has apparently become a boy genius – not too much of a stretch, since in the original series, he sometimes fills in for Spock at the science station.  (Although… I do want to know what a seventeen-year-old who isn’t Wesley Crusher is doing on the bridge of a starship.)  And Simon Pegg’s Scotty was a lot of fun, though I had trouble looking at him and thinking “Scotty” instead of “Simon Pegg.”

Some of the accents were a little… interesting.  Simon Pegg and Anton Yelchin probably had more authentic accents as Scotty and Chekov than their predecessors ever did, and though Chekov’s was a little strong, I thought the effect was charming.  McCoy’s accent seemed to come and go and never sounded quite right to me, but given that Karl Urban is a New Zealander, and was otherwise wonderful, I’m willing to give that a pass.

For those who would prefer to avoid spoilers, I’ll hide everything else behind the cut, but I do recommend reviews of the film from NPR and the New York Times, neither of which give away anything you won’t have gleaned from the trailers already.

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Pi Day nerd fest

March 14, 2008 4:56 pm

In honor of Pi Day, let’s be unabashedly nerdy.

First, an editorial I particularly enjoyed about NASA, Star Trek, and the presidential campaign: The Next Space Frontier. While exploring the final frontier is hardly a high priority for our next president, it’s nice to see that the three front-runners all express support for the space program. (There are links to specifics within the editorial.)

And a few items that make you feel good about the Star Trek movie due out in summer 2009:

  • In an interview with the Australian Herald-Sun, Simon Pegg (cast as Scotty) said with regard to whether the film will be “serious science-fiction”:

    Very much so. It’s not at all ironic. It’s not a jokey take on the original series. It’s a faithful and loving installment in the ongoing mythology of the show.

  • Leonard Nimoy (who will be in it) seems to be very pleased about it. So does Nichelle Nichols (who is not).
  • And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer (fyi, video begins when the page loads). It makes me happy.

And hey, look what happens when I ignore the Harry Potter news sites…the seventh movie is actually going to be the seventh and eighth movies: they’re splitting Deathly Hallows into two films. This means that Half-Blood Prince will be released next Christmas, Deathly Hallows, part I a year later, and Deathly Hallows, part II the following summer.

Now go eat some pie! I plan to!

Geeking out, Trek style

November 18, 2007 11:25 pm

This was awesome.
I went to the encore showing of the remastered version of “The Menagerie” on Thursday. The theater was about two-thirds full; certainly there were no lines or costumes, although one audience member was handing out DVDs of his fan film! I took one, but I haven’t watched it yet — am planning to save it for Pug’s visit over Thanksgiving. There was lots of laughter for the best lines (often from McCoy), and the digital update of the special effects shots looked really good — but was also unobtrusive. Certainly nothing like the make-over that Star Wars got when it was re-released in theaters about ten years ago.

(Yeah, it really was ten years. Elf, didn’t we go see at least one of them together? I could be mis-remembering, but it sounds plausible for ten years ago.)

Next item, let’s look forward to the next opportunity to see Star Trek on the big screen! I’m talking about the potentially spoiler-icious link posted on Nodwick yesterday. Yes, ladies and gents, behind the cut is Spoiler City…assuming, of course, that the source is actually in the know. Which we don’t know. But just in case, you’ve been warned.

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Collect the whole set

October 8, 2007 10:07 pm

Even though Heroes has killed off George Takei’s character, tonight’s episode introduced Nichelle Nichols as Micah’s grandmother. Squee! And Dominic Keating (Enterprise, Malcolm Reid) has started to show up as a minor character in Peter Petrelli’s Irish adventure. Bonus: John Billingsley (Enterprise, Doctor Phlox) is guest-starring on Journeyman.

Spock is back!

July 26, 2007 9:33 pm

We now interrupt our Potter coverage to bring you geek news of another flavor:

First Star Trek casting announcement made at Comic Con!

Zachary Quinto plays the sinister brain-eating Sylar on Heroes (which Courtney and I got ourselves hooked on last year) and does a marvelous job of creating an utterly creepy character you love to hate. This year we’ve seen Sylar as a somewhat nerdy watchmaker, a distressed son (he’d fit right in at the Bates Motel), a brilliant but raving lunatic, and a scheming arch-villain. I figure somewhere in that range, he can do Spock. He looks just right, too, so I’m pretty excited.

Plus, Leonard Nimoy is coming back to play an older Spock. Please let this one be good…we’re due a good one, right?

Being bookwormy

November 20, 2006 11:30 pm

Kimberly called me this evening! When I sent her my new cell number, I hinted that she should give me a call sometime, and she did! (I was somewhat mortified to not recognize her voice when I picked up.) We hadn’t talked in months, so that pretty much made my evening.

I spent the afternoon tripping around the city to do some preliminary Christmas non-shopping, which was fun. Spent a little while in the MIT Press Bookstore — I didn’t see any gift ideas there, but a few interesting-looking volumes caught my eye:

Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady. Even though my grandmother was a hospital dietician, she hadn’t heard of anyone who was really allergic to milk (as opposed to lactose intolerant) until when my parents learned that their baby girl had such an allergy. This could be a pretty cool book.

Hamlet on the Holodeck. I don’t know if this would actually be any good, but when I picked it up in the store, it looked like a very Jane sort of book — exploring communication and narrative and new technology. Looking closer, it’s been out since 1998, so that alters the definition of “new technology” in the last sentence. I wouldn’t buy it (without further investigation or recommendation), but it intrigues me.

And here’s one I don’t even really have any interest in reading, but the cover made me laugh and I think it will amuse you too: Textual Poachers.

Job news and other details

October 4, 2006 11:13 pm

I’m going to be employed again.

I had two job interviews last week. The first was for a job I really wanted, as a guide at a local museum (a colonial house), and though I thought it went quite well, it apparently did not go quite well enough. Got the official rejection yesterday morning.

The second was an office assistant job in the payroll office at the college and consisted mainly of the interviewer talking at me for thirty or forty minutes (nice fellow, don’t get me wrong, but definately a talker). I was at the low point of a brush with a cold that day, and I thought I hadn’t come off as well as I might have – hard to get a word in at the best of times, and it was not the best of times. But he got back to me this morning and offered me the job and could I start Friday? Since it’s Payroll, part of my job would be delivering timecards all over campus every other Friday. It’s not much, but I’m feeling insecure about turning anything down right now and I’m leaning toward the idea of working two part-time jobs – especially since this seems so minimal. So I accepted the offer.

Coursework has been pretty light thus far, but it’s starting to pick up. I have two courses: a requisite overview of magazine publishing and a course in magazine design. Design started in earnest on Tuesday, as we had to present our first rough drafts of layouts for pages of mock-magazines. The overview will, I hope, finally kick into gear next week as we start work on the big project of the course (also revolving around a made-up magazine).

In lighter news, I’ve discovered television this month, partly due to Courtney’s influence, partly due to my having too much time on my hands, and partly due to the fact that I have a tv in my room. I’m not sure which is more is more novel, owning a television or having such a thing in my bedroom. Shockingly decadant. So I’ve discovered DS9, the new Doctor Who, Heroes, Gilmore Girls, and those are just the ones I’ve decided I like. Plus I’ve been going through Courtney’s collection of Buffy and Angel DVDs – after all, it is Joss Whedon…

Stupid things bothering me

September 10, 2006 3:34 pm

Item 1: TOS is getting a facelift. [article; q & a] This makes me very tempted to get my hands on a DVD set before the digitally-redone version comes out. It’s a very “Han shot first!” sort of impulse — though to be fair, it looks like they’re trying very hard to be faithful to the intentions of the original directors and designers. File this one under “being a purist.”

Item 2: …and file this one under “being a snob.” I finished Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons yesterday morning. Funny thing about Dan Brown. I read The DaVinci Code when it first came out and heard from my mother that it was making a splash among our Unitarian friends, who were intrigued by some of the wacky ideas it presents and appreciative of the way it presents the sacred feminine. I enjoyed those aspects — and hey, it’s a fun chase story if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing. I was also impressed that one villain committed a murder by abusing his knowledge of another character’s peanut allergy. (Awareness is spreading! Yay!)

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Maybe outer space isn’t for you…

August 13, 2006 10:51 pm

For all those who love to make fun of those ubiquitous “inspirational” posters:

Star Trek Inspirational Posters. I mean, the 20th century must have been a great place…’cause they were always going there.

(Previous line and title both shamelessly stolen from creator of the above-linked posters. Because I just wish I were that funny.)

There are a few clinkers, but I have too many “favorites” to start listing them.

(Btw, I’m a hack. Pug found these…I am merely the mouthpiece. Er, yeah.)

Bad idea, good idea? — Trekkie version

August 9, 2006 3:20 pm

I get the feeling this is going to be one or the other. Two characters who have each died at least once; here’s a chance to kill the legend.

(How was that for melodrama? I’m pretty pleased with it.)

Topic under discussion is the Star Trek movie that’s in the works. Slated for release in 2008, nothing certain has been released — not even which incarnation of the franchise we’re dealing with. All that’s floating around out there are rumors and (now) a poster.
(Both links lead to articles on Star

The poster makes some pretty strong suggestions, though it could be a clever ploy to lead us in the wrong direction. Thoughts?