Sunday, 24 May 2009

I Was Looking For This...

but also found this:

I haven't heard a lot of Lily Allen's stuff, but I like this...

Actually, the song I was looking for was 'Rhino Skin' by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, but one thing led to another on YouTube and the search went from there to Wilburys and then ELO and my favourite song.

Anyhow, feel free to speak your minds - just remember, my vengeance is boundless, my wrath Khan-like, etc...

Space: The Final Frontier (revisited)...

I'd been ambivalent about seeing the new Star Trek movie, not because it was a J.J. Abrams picture, but more because of all the secrecy surrounding it.

Y'know, less information than an episode of Lost.

Bad Robot. Bad, bad robot...

So I wasn't queueing up to see it on release day; I figured, I'll get to it. Anyway, I left work early on Thursday 7th and happened to be passing the cinema where a show was due to start fifteen minutes later. Impulse got the better of me and in I went.

So where to begin?

Romulans again - okay, fair enough, the movie needs a bad guy, so maybe Abrams is saving the Klingons for the next picture. But would Romulan society have changed so much by the era of Ambassador Spock that one might expect characters the like of Nero and his crew? Curious.

James T. Kirk should never have made it to adulthood. Despite an appreciation of classical music and a lack of appreciation for antique autos, his self-destructive streak should have won out in his early teens.

Unless the penalty for auto theft in Iowa is fifteen years, which could explain a lot (chasing women, unable to hold his liquor, no respect for authority, etc).

That being said, Chris Pine did a fine job of rebooting one of the most iconic characters in science fiction without descending into a parody of Shatner. There were hints, of course - Pine obviously did his homework and there were moments - a reaction here, a gesture there - that pointed toward the man James Kirk would become. Bear in mind that this Kirk is ten years younger than the one who originally took command of his Enterprise and thus might be said to be an 'unfinished' version of the legendary captain.

We had a rare look at Spock's childhood, only previously glimpsed in the Animated Series episode, Yesteryear, and the pivotal moment of his decision to enter Starfleet rather than the Vulcan Science Academy. Zachary Quinto was spot-on as the adult Spock, although I thought his voice closer to Tuvok than to Spock. But that's just me.

Karl Urban, everyone seems to agree, was channelling DeForest Kelley in his portrayal of Leonard McCoy and, to my mind, was excellent in the role without, again, descending into parody. Urban, one will recall, played Eomer of Rohan in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, as well as the assassin Kirill in The Bourne Supremacy, and ably demonstrates an impressive acting range.

The remaining crewmembers - Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yeltchin) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) all got decent screen-time and slotted in well, although Scotty was a bit too much of a clown for my liking. The original Scotty was a serious man who didn't joke about his work (except that one time) and I thought the producers might have stuck more closely to that, but then they cast Pegg, so what should I have expected?

But the movie was excellent, a non-stop, two-hour rollercoaster with action, pathos and comedy in all the proper places. Abrams's idea in telling the story was nothing short of brilliant - nobody goes home unhappy, and the ongoing mission will continue for some years yet.

I took my dad and a friend of ours, both of whom remembered the series from its first run on TV, to see the movie last Monday, and both were as fully impressed as I was. They thought Scotty was portrayed as a bit of a clown, as well. So it wasn't just me.

Last Friday, I saw it for the third time with a group of friends - later, one of the girls, who wasn't by any means a Star Trek fan, wanted to know how to do the Vulcan salute. She'll need a bit of practice, and probably won't be able to hold a pen in that hand for a while, but will have learned what she may feel is the equivalent of a Masonic handshake.

So here's to the next adventure of the USS Enterprise and her crew - clear skies to her, and all who sail in her...

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Times Change...

I've been getting fed up with the state of things lately, from the economy to my job, to my so-called life and all the crap I've had to put up with from people lately.

So I think either my mid-life crisis is kicking in (which is a real pisser, because I don't have anywhere to park a red sports car) or I've just woken up to be the bitter, cynical old man I've been growing into for the last five years or so.

This in spite of having seen Star Trek three times in two weeks.

So welcome to the new-look site.

Enter at your peril, tremble before my might, etc...

Friday, 1 May 2009

Two-Nil, And They F**ked It Up...

You know, I went to a football match the other day.

Tottenham Hotspur were playing some other chaps, I don't remember who they were, but they were awfully good...

Actually, it was Manchester Utd, at Old Trafford, with the lead pipe.

My dad, my nephew and I tried our luck and went to another game last Saturday. The regular reader will know what we should have expected, and part of me was intrigued as to whether what my friends have termed 'The Bob Effect' would kick in and help the visitors to victory.

By half time, with United 2-0 down, things looked to be on track for just that.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall of both teams' changing rooms at the interval:

Harry Redknapp (Spurs Manager): "You're doing great lads, but let's not get carried away. Keep plugging away at them and watch your defence."

Sir Alex Ferguson (Man Utd Manager): What the f**k are ye f**kin' playin' at, ye f**kers? Get back out there and f**kin' score goals or ye'll be f**kin' playin' in the Schools League by the time I'm f**kin' finished wi' ye!!!"

I'm paraphrasing, of course, but you get the idea.

The teams came back out, the game restarted, and United put five in the Spurs' net between that and the final whistle.

Needless to say, Father and Nephew were delighted - duck broken, a solid result.

As for myself - although I'm a solid A.B.U. (Anybody But United) I couldn't help but appreciate what was, at the end of the day, a good result* to an excellent game.

Next thing you know, I'll start going to church again...

*looked like a penaly to me...


(Note: I had planned on posting this last year, but somehow couldn't bring myself to click on "Publish"). My dad passed in...