Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lightspeed Follow up

So - while I posted my formal column about the recent Lightspeed Celebrity Charity event at Terilynn's Trek new home at AIRLOCK ALPHA, I had been asked to show the pictures that I actually had taken at the event - I'm only going to post the two - the one w/Frakes and the one w/Burton. Look at me! That's a squee wrapped up in a smile right there!

Yes. They were wonderful.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

12/1/09 A New Computer and a New Energy

Last week I finally broke down and bought myself a new computer. I went with a big ole laptop (18.4" screen - so it's a hefty muther) but it has pretty much everything I need.

I have actually found myself interested in playing the upcoming Star Trek Online. Yes - I'm over 40 - a girl - and I want to play an MMORPG. I needed a computer that could play this thing. So I went to the store and looked for a computer that would allow me to play the game.

Thing is? I must have blown away the sales guys by asking for a computer that could allow me to do this. Just to make sure, I had three sales guys on the net looking at the Star Trek Online website looking up the minimum spec requirements for the game. By the time I walked out of the store with my new comp - I think I sold three people on the game.

ST ONLINE - you owe me. :)

Now. I am waiting patiently until this game comes out - because I know I'm never going to be able to Beta - namely because I put in an application LONG before I bought a computer that would be able to handle it...sigh.

The screencaps for it are looking pretty cool too.

Oh well - February isn't that far away.

So I'm going to talk about this weekend - briefly. The Hubby and I are off to Orange County, CA for this year's Lightspeed Fine Arts Celebrity Charity Event.

I went to last year's event and had the time of my life. I'm really looking forward to this year's scheduled attendees as well as the auction. (I'm actually running around happily for finding out that Genie Francis is attending as well!)

I'll probably actually use it as the subject for my nextAirlock Alpha article which is due that following Monday - the 9th.

So - I'm gearing up to get a little more Trek in my life.

Now - if I could just find that muse that will allow me to start writing the rest of Heritage Book Two, I'd be MUCH happier. Bill (my main character) has been arguing with me for months now and I just don't want to give into his demands. Bastard. He's such a Riker.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yikes! Has is been that long? Really?

Wow - I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since I last posted. That's NOT normal for me.

Let's see, since my last post we've gone on a Star Trek cruise, my mother died and my father moved out.

Yes, it's been rather busy and losing my mother was a really awful experience. Just in case you really weren't sure??? CANCER IS FUCKED UP. Especially pancreatic cancer. I may not believe in a devil or the like, but if there ever was an evil presence on this planet - cancer is as close as it comes.

So now that things have settled down (and by settled down, I mean have been deafeningly quiet) I'm getting back into the swing of things.

After my mother's funeral and after the family all flew home, I was able to actually read a book and review it for Terilynn's Trek at Airlock Alpha. It was a welcome respite from the insanity of the mourning rituals.

I also got to finish a small fiction challenge over at Ad Astra Fan Fiction, called It Had Been a Day. The story was a response to a challenge about what a children's story in the universe of Star Trek might be like. I used the opportunity to build another scene where my created character, Cassidy Riker - the youngest Riker progeny - is four years old and gets a book from her "Grampa Picard." It ended up being more melancholy than I had originally intended it to be - namely because the Cassidy Riker character ends up defecting to a terrorist organization later on in her life. So the sweet child she is in this scene conflicts so greatly with the hardened woman she ends up in my series.

It felt good to write a little fan fiction. I needed the outlet and really haven't focused on writing anything for almost 6 months. I am hoping that I can concentrate a little more on writing again, because I find if I do, I somehow also "clear space" in my brain to concentrate on my real-life job as well...

I also attended my first Virtual Drinking Skeptically meeting in almost a month. I am really liking where these chats are heading. I still consider myself to be a complete noob to the skeptic "society" and I have much to learn about the different meetings, challenges and organizations that are affiliated with skeptics and this seems to be a very nice way to get introduced to a lot of it!

This Thanksgiving will be one of the most different for me in the past 20 years. It will be just me, The Husband and the doggies. And I must say, I am REALLY looking forward to it.

I wish you all the best if I don't post again before Thanksgiving. But knowing me - I probably will! See ya!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A different sort of place

This area will be renamed now that Terilynn's Trek has moved to Airlock Alpha. I'll use this spot to be more of a personal blog now...and fill it with stuff that will be less Trek and more me. I'll be posting Terilynn's Trek article twice a month at Airlock Alpha The next article is set to go on October 7th!

In the meantime - this gives me a place to talk about other stuff now - and two things that I want to talk about is BOOBIE WEDNESDAY and VIRTUAL DRINKING SKEPTICALLY.

Boobie Wednesday was created by two women on Twitter (you can follow me at @TerilynnS)namely @honey_is_evil and @shimmer418 who decided to have a little fun while spreading information about breast cancer.

Having lost a sister-in-law from this horrific disease as well as knowing FAR TOO MANY women and at least one man who suffer from its affects, I decided to participate.

While I have always supported the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I really like the quirky, and quite frankly EFFECTIVE way these women have decided to get into the act.

Every Wednesday participants change their Twitter avatar to one that "shows their boobies." This ended up being really fun, and damn - if it didn't start getting the guys in on it! I had to laugh. I started changing my avatar on 9/23/09 and I will every Wednesday from now on. While I don't really "reveal" anything - my breasts are totally covered for the avatar - it's a pretty eye-catching pic I don't mind saying. :)

The second thing is a group that a new Twitter friend @briandgregory called VIRTUAL DRINKING SKEPTICALLY.

For those of you who may know me (or couldn't tell from the big A on the side of my blog) I am an atheist and also a "skeptic." A skeptic - at least by my definition - is one that supports critical thinking. That's it. Critical thinking.

To me that means using the brain I was born with and cutting through the bullshit that surrounds us all. From paranormal bullshit, to the bullshit of using sugar pills to cure oneself of a real medical condition - I have been seeking the company of others who share a passion for truth.

There are Official Drinking Skeptically groups that meet all over the place and I have always wanted to join in on one - but two things always kept me from doing so - my physical location and time to be able to go when I'm near a meeting. Virtual DS has been the wonderful answer to my desire to meet other skeptics in a casual environment to talk about the raft of issues skeptics are faced with. We all meet ONLINE in a video chat room! We all get to talk, socialize and better yet...drink without having to drive anywhere!

If you're interested - click on the link above and join us! It's very fun!

Well all - off to work again. Please look for Terilynn's Trek on Airlock Alpha and support Boobie Wednesday and come drink with us during the next Virtual DS! Look forward to meeting you!

Friday, August 7, 2009

8-7-09 One Door Closes - Another Opens

Note: This is the blog posted at Trek United. I haven't decided how I will handle things here at Blogger.com - I will likely continue here. However - as this blog is "connected" with Facebook, I wanted the announcement to carry through.


It's with both excitement and a tiny pinch of sadness that I'm writing this short entry.

You see, I'm going to be moving Terilynn's Trek to a new home for the foreseeable future and no longer posting entries here at TrekUnited.

TU has been a very cozy little blog area for me, but when offered an opportunity to bring TT wider exposure in a more formal setting, I had to take a little of Mr. Roddenberry's advice and tell myself to go boldly.

So I am.

I'm not exactly sure when things will get underway at the new place, but it should be sometime this month.

I want to thank everyone here at TU for their support and for the corner where I've set my soapbox for the past 1 ½ years. I'll still be active (hopefully more so, actually) in the forums here and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerilynnS

Keep your eyes peeled to www.airlockalpha.com to see when Terilynn's Trek debuts.

Again…thanks for your continued readership and support!

Love - Terilynn

Sunday, August 2, 2009

8-2-09 Can Swallow Redeem Titan from Bennett's Misdeeds?

Those of you who have read my blog over any length of time may remember that I used to like to read the licensed – official – authorized – whatever books published by CBS' company – Pocketbooks.

That's right – I USED to like to read them. That was until the authors grouped together and decided to make their own "canon" by starting to synch up storylines. It might have worked, but in my opinion all it did was serve to box-in all the characters and stories in ALL the series – whether it's from The Next Generation to Titan to DS9 to great and original works like the Klingon series and the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.

Worse – they have married and impregnated two characters that should never have been put together to satisfy a minority group of sappy fangirls (Crusher and Picard); and Christopher Bennett had the audacity to name the Riker/Troi progeny after his dead cat – all while he wrote 349 pages of dreck hashing out his own internal struggle with women he perceives as being irresponsible and can only gain self-fulfillment by changing their male superior's diapers.

Okay – SO maybe I am a little bitter about Star Trek: Titan – Over a Torrent Sea. It was after all, the WORST book I have yet read in the post-Nemesis world created any member of the team at Pocketbooks and found a way to insult everything about women, Starfleet, and The United Federation of Planets in one foul swoop.

So you can imagine why I'm SO nervous about the new book I just pre-ordered. Star Trek: Titan – Synthesis.

*bites nails*

The cover has what could only be deemed as a "Harlequin Romance" style – a generated shot of Riker holding a character we all know from season one of TNG – Minuet.

For those of you who may not know why I'm so hesitant about this book, one must understand how…creepy Minuet is.

She's a hologram – a very UNUSUAL hologram created by the Bynars – she was incredibly life-like and Riker essentially fell in love with her. The "depth" of her holographic character was lost at the end of the episode when the programming to get his cooperation was no longer necessary, but Riker always had a soft spot in his heart for her. Hell, she was supposedly his perfect mate. (No – not that Perfect Mate, that's a different TNG episode.)

In any event, Minuet played well as a plot-device in a subsequent episode called "Future Imperfect" when Riker is taken captive on an isolated planet and made to believe it's 15 years in the future. The woman he is led to believe is his dead wife is revealed to be Minuet and he knows that he is being fooled as she is really a hologram.

So – now that I know that her character will play a part in the new Titan book, I can't help but gird myself against the angst I feel, as in…

Oh crap – now what are they going to make Riker do?

He's a new father, a loving and loyal husband (even though EVERY book plays to the cliché that he's somehow a male whore) and a very honorable man.

I fear that this book will be…well…atrocious.

I am going to remain hopeful that James Swallow – the author of this book and also the author a wonderful DS9 Terok Nor book called Day of the Vipers – has the mental capacity to redeem Riker and the Titan crew from the dreck that Bennett dragged them all into in OaTS.

But I have to remain skeptical.

I'm not bolstered by the cover and I remain very nervous about the "guest character."

Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid that Swallow has a deep-seeded psychological condition that leads him to write Troi as new mother who ignores her husband and Riker as going to seek "solace" from a long-lost holographic old flame.


I would never forgive them.

Synthesis comes out in October. I'll let you all know how things go then. In the meantime…I'm starting on Season 5 of DS9 and I'm really beginning to see what it was that people loved about that show. More on that later.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

7-16-09 Hollywood has Nothing to Fear...Except Fear Itself of Course.

A ha!!! Yes – Surprise – it's a SECOND blog entry today!

Over the course of the last day, Twitter has been…well…atwitter with people who have just gone off about the worsening problem of the "reboot/rehash/remake" disease that has infected the very soul of what used to be a pretty wacky and original place. Yes – I used the word "original." There was a time when Hollywood used to produce some pretty creative things. Sure they produced a lot of crap too – but back then, at least it was creative crap.

So imagine how thrilled I was to read this blog: (Once again I must thank my Twitter acquaintance "Broadus" who said he wanted to read my thoughts on this piece.) So please do yourself a favor and read this! Not only did it have me weeping with laughter, it also had me shedding bitter, bitter tears.


Jay Black, the comedian and author of the eloquent article puts forth...

(*mumble* phloxing grammar – an hypothesis? A hypothesis? Huh – according to the little green thing in Word it says it's "a hypothesis". Yes, "a" before a consonant "an" before a vowel. Duh, Ter.)

...a hypothesis that television sucks big donkey Richards because there simply aren't enough good writers out there; that they have reached a critical mass so to speak, and not only are all the good writers being used, the "suits' have backfilled the void with the leftover crappy writers.

While I laughed all the way through his article, I simply can't agree with this statement. I think there are hordes of incredibly talented writers that just can't get a job. And while I can see his point that the expansion of available channels should actually bring more opportunity to the writers/actors, etc – I'm afraid it all rolls right back around to the same problem that's affecting ALL of Hollywood – fear of the new, the original and the untested.

It really does all come down to money and, using Mr. Black's own method, I'll be working off of two axioms here:

1) Studios aren't openly willing to pay anyone for anything and
2) They only spend money either due to desperation or because they are legally required to do so in some instances.

I know of many, many incredibly talented people…writers, producers, actors – all of whom would love to just get a crack at a role, or having their script produced or a studio buy their show, but the studios simply haven't shown much of an interest in original works, original looks or original ideas.

They fear originality for originality equals risk, and in the post Enron/Sarbanes-Oxley world in which we live risk = possible failure and possible failure = potential shareholder lawsuit and potential shareholder lawsuit = death. And using the ever-loving transitive theory, since death must be avoided "at all costs" therefore originality must be avoided "at all costs."


(I also joked that maybe the really good writers know better than to waste their time putting forth their creative efforts knowing that they'll either be shot down – OR WORSE – losing all control over their creations to some set of paid hacks who assure the soul is surgically removed from most work, so they're not even trying to sell their wares anymore and learning how to enjoy their work by sharing it on the net…GASP…for free.)

I'm sure it's different for the actor – those who would love to stretch their creativity by playing a role – ANY role, as long as it's a challenge.

OMFSM – Another tweet from Broadus produced this gem of an interview: (Ahem, Ms. Megan Fox! You may want to read this! You could learn a lot from this woman!)


Damn, what a gorgeous woman…in more ways than one.

Ms. Okonedo speaks directly to the heart of the problem I think – there is a lot of phlox out there. She's incredibly forthright to be able to tell the powers that be "no" when she's offered that stuff too. She's also built a reputation for taking meatier and better-written roles too. She wields a power that very few actors hold – the ability to say no and still know that they will be sought for another role in the future. She and others like her are simply THAT GOOD.

All of the actors I personally know don't get that luxury. They're faced with either not working – or taking that role in the poorly written dramedy, or cry with joy when they land a commercial, something – just something that gives them a few things more on that resume and headshot. There's simply not enough "good stuff" out there to be able to say no to. It's not that those people aren't capable of being "THAT GOOD" they just don't have the material that allows them to show it.

Mr. Black has a lot of great points but I don't think expansion of the market has caused dissolution of the talent-pool.

When studios stop producing scripted shows in order to save money and they turn to filming "unscripted" dreck – that is what I believe is television's greatest problem. It's not that there are less good writers – the good writers just aren't being used!

Yes, we're getting a lot more material thrown at us as viewers but we're just getting less material that has a plot. We're not getting more dramas, comedies or musicals – we're getting American Idol; Big Brother; Big Brother After Dark; Ghost Hunters; Haunted Castles; Haunted Ships; Haunted Pool Halls; Dark-Haired Survival Guy; Lighter-Haired Survival Guy; Nasty Chef Yells at Poorly Trained Food Service Industry People; Deadliest Catch and Ice Flow Truckers of the South Pacific (where I understand driving a truck on an iceberg is really dangerous!)

Now – I know the writers of these "unscripted shows" don't get paid diddley for their work and I can't imagine that a majority of the people in them are now suddenly members of SAG…

I would have hoped that with the influx of cable channels that we would be able to see a greater degree of opportunity for the writer/actor/electricians/musician/set-builders etc – but when Hollywood realized it could bypass the unions and make money hand-over-twisted claw by avoiding having to hire anyone but a camera operator, a boom operator and maybe a few grips…yeah – cheap to make and huge on the profit ratio.

Sorry Mr. Black – I think the Earth is swimming in talented people and you're definitely one of them.

I just think Hollywood is dying from its own fear.

7-16-09 Memories of Apollo 11, Strong Men and Little Plastic Monkeys

Tomorrow begins a week-long celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. It'll be a time where someone (who's old enough of course) will likely ask you (if you're old enough of course) where you were when you watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the surface of Earth's moon.

I was young – merely 4 ½ years old – but I can tell you exactly what I remember.

Oddly, I remember a lot of scents actually; the bar reeked of scotch, whiskey, bourbon, Chanel No. 5, Aqua Net hair spray and decades of cigarette and cigar smoke. I recall wooden paneling, black vinyl stools and a few small, curved booths. A tiny black and white television was hung precariously from the corner of the bar and I distinctly remember a lit aquarium with several colorful fish in it.

I was sitting next to my mother who was nursing a Manhattan. She was wearing her favorite avocado-green outfit – a tight fitting skirt and matching ¾ sleeve mini-jacket. My father was standing next to her, allowing me to have a barstool all to myself. He was wearing what every other man seemed to wear in the late 1960s – a black suit with a pencil-thin black tie. There were a lot of men in the place and those who weren't wearing the "black suit," were all in military attire. I remember sitting next to a tall gentleman on the stool next to me and he and my mother both worked to assure I didn't fall off the stool. I remember playing with the little plastic drink animals and the bars of ribbons the man had on his jacket. They were so pretty and because I kept reaching for them over his pocket, he willingly removed them from his coat. I decorated myself with them and used them as "jumps" for the little plastic animals that the bartender had crowded into my Shirley Temple – never realizing they were his military decorations.

You see – we were at the Officer's Club at the local Military Base.

The bartender, the officer sitting next to me and my parents sweetly kept me entertained even though their eyes were really glued to the television.

At that time my father had already been retired from the Air Force for years – hence the reason for his civvies – but when it came time for the moon landing he wanted to be with others who, like him, understood what Collins, Aldrin and Armstrong were doing. He himself had been accepted into the Mercury program as a flight surgeon long beforehand, but he didn't pass the final physical and not only did he lose out on a career in space medicine, he was forced to retire from the USAF altogether.

It broke his heart, but he took another path and he practiced medicine for the civilian population until he retired in 1997; but he still loves everything and anything to do with the aerospace industry and I can safely say he's the reason why I love it so much.

And it all goes back to that smoke-filled bar.

It was the first time I ever remember seeing him (or any man for that matter) cry.

Just before Armstrong set his foot down on the powdery surface of Luna, the man sitting next to me, stood – lifted me up and sat me back down on his lap and whispered in my ear, "Pay attention Terry – this is history."

So of course I set down my little plastic monkey and watched the TV with the rest of the silent crowd – but when I heard my dad actually sniffle and then saw him wipe his eyes? I thought something was horribly wrong.

Maybe for him there was more to it than seeing humans break free of the planet and touch truly foreign soil – maybe for him there was a touch of regret in his eyes. I don't know, I was too young to have understood it, but even if he did regret not becoming a part of the program, he's the kind of man who would never reveal such things to me or to the rest of the family - it would have been a sign of weakness in his eyes.

I remember my mother had tears in her eyes too and the man who was holding me tightened his hug. All I saw was a bunch of blurry images on the TV screen. But just as my concern began to grow, the place erupted in cheers and applause, hollering and laughter…it was so loud! Mom turned and kissed me; took me onto her lap and the man who had been holding me hugged her tightly. Dad shook his hand and the two men laughed as my dad pulled out his box of Eric cigars and they lit up in celebration.

That's what I remember.

I remember it because I was told to remember it; that it was important – that it was history.

But I only realized how important it was by seeing how it affected my father. If something was important enough to make him cry…I knew it must have been pretty big.

I have never lost my love of the space program. I took pride in seeing the "Welcome to Downey – Home of Apollo" signs in my hometown. Sally Ride was and still is a personal hero, as is Gene Kranz. I try never to miss a shuttle launch. My husband and I frequently look for Iridium flares or watch as the ISS passes gracefully over our home.

The words "aim high" mean just as much to me as the words "go boldly" and they always will.

I never knew who the nice man was that told me to pay attention. He was certainly a decorated individual and had a comfortable lap and infinite patience with a 4 year old child. Alas, my father's cognitive skills have weakened and he no longer remembers much about that day so he is no longer able to recall who the man may have been. I regret not asking him sooner. My mother doesn't recall either, she only knew him as a friend of my father's from the Air Force. He was older than my father and I doubt that he's alive now, but I remember his kindness. To whoever and wherever he is – I'd like to thank him for helping me remember the day that man set foot on the Moon. Because of him, my memories of that day are filled with the happy thoughts of laughter, little plastic monkeys, mermaids and giraffes; military ribbons and realizing just how human my father really is.

Happy 40th Anniversary to all who worked on the Apollo 11 mission!

Aim high!

Friday, July 10, 2009

7-10-09 Megan Fox - A Cause or a Symptom?

I told you all in the last blog that Megan Fox, the hot starlet from Transformers 2 and several upcoming films, was a personality that was worthy of dedicating an entire blog post to…

Well she is.

She is that one enigma that both infuriates me and causes me to wonder whether or not I actually admire her.

She's gorgeous. She's smart. She definitely knows exactly what she's getting herself into and she's vocal about it; but I can't figure out if her career is a consequence of Hollywood's cesspit mentality or an ongoing reason for its continued existence.

I think it's both actually.

Ms. Fox was recently (a few weeks ago actually) given the opportunity to become the latest cover and interview focus for Entertainment Weekly magazine. I read the entire article three times.

She describes herself and all women and their sexuality as being "commodities" in Hollywood and she's only doing what she needs to do to be successful. And she's really successful, that's for sure. She also surmised that the reason why a lot of women hate her is because they must be jealous of her.

Now I will admit I wasn't born with the genes that make her so beautiful. So sure, I'm totally envious of her looks and how they give her the ability to make crap loads of money. But jealous? I don't think so. I can tell you I have a little more self-esteem than to crave to be her or worse, having to be in her shoes…and here's why: (thanks sevnson71)


It seems as though Michael Bay – the director for Transformers 1 & 2 required Ms. Fox to "audition" for her RECURRING role in the sequel by making her wash his car. And of course, he filmed the "screen test."

Michael Bay can try to call that an "audition" all he wants to and it really does prove Ms. Fox's statement that Transformers 2 was NOT about acting – because it's pretty clear her "audition" was not about her showing her acting talent, just her ability to do a Paris Hilton on Michael Bay's wet Ferrari.

I don't know who to feel sorrier for - Megan Fox because she's right; extraordinarily gifted actresses who do not posses a 22 inch waist line or women in general because we have to deal with guys like the ones who are commenting on that auto blog linked above.

It's disheartening really.

Ms. Fox: I have to say I really do appreciate your candor. I really do. You call it just like it is. It's honesty seldom seen in Hollywood. You actually know that you're selling yourself for money - just like every woman on the corner of Fair Oaks and Orange Grove. You're just prettier and you get paid a hell of a lot more than they do.

I've known a lot of hookers – I even liked a few of them. (I worked in a jail by the way.) There were even some that seemed pretty comfortable with themselves too and made no excuses for their lifestyle. They keep a lot of men off the street and busy for a couple of hours...just like your movies do. ;)

And you know what? I'm not jealous of them either.

I just feel like asking you to do one thing...just one thing...why don't you gain just a little more self-respect and next time some richardhead like Michael Bay tells you that he's not sure you're sexy enough for his film (when it's incomprehensible that you aren't) – would you do me and the rest of the world a favor and just kick him in the nards?

I'll contribute to your defense fund!

To everyone else...I would love to hear your answer to my question -

Megan Fox and actresses like her - are they merely victims trying just trying to get a break - or by allowing themselves to become objectified are they contributing to the continued subjugation of women in the entertainment industry?

Monday, June 29, 2009

6-29-09 Transformers 2 Success Gives Terilynn Pause

This morning I was graciously directed to a couple of articles about the entertainment industry as a whole as well as an article that genuinely shocked me. That's kind of hard to do.

And what shocked me pray tell?

Apparently Transformers 2, Revenge of the Fallen has managed to use a little of its own red matter and imploded Star Trek's standing in the BO takes. It has, in its first 5 days, grossed just under $400 million globally and well over $200 million domestically. This is a feat Star Trek was unable to attain in it first 8 WEEKS.

I have read multitudes of articles surrounding the idea that Michael Bay, along with writers Kruger/Orci/Kurtzman, have created two racially insulting characters by the names of Mudflaps and Skids. The opinions about these two characters are intensely passionate – from both sides of the argument. I have not seen the movie and because of the opinions I've seen about these two characters, I likely will avoid seeing it for my own psychological health; but from what I've read about them and from what I've seen as far as their CGI appearances I have a very bad taste in my mouth and I have no trouble seeing why anyone might be offended by them. But they're now a part of the summer's biggest movie so far.

Up – Disney/Pixar's new film also kicked Star Trek's overall butt last week – so that means – if my calculations are correct…Star Trek has been relegated to 3rd place in overall box and will likely take a much lower spot in the ranking after Harry Potter flies in on his broom and will undoubtedly proceed to sweep away all remaining competition.

Once again – films made for and directed to the "family" unit as opposed to the focused male 14-24 market are showing their absolute power in the marketplace. I have maintained and will continue to maintain that Abrams and Paramount blew it by making Star Trek "edgier" and "sexier" as opposed to making it simply more palatable to parents. If they had broadened the appeal to say oh…Star Trek's core market, the families, and still given us the tighter special effects, they may have had the $400 million opening week. Sigh.

Now, thanks to a new acquaintance (Broadus) on Twitter, I was led to an interesting article about the "A-list" actor's appeal on the BO performance.


It's oddly true.

"A-listers," as we so quaintly call them, are no longer what seems to draw people to movies – this year at least.

The successful films so far have been filled with actors who aren't necessarily well known. And the films that were filled with actors that were "bankable" are tanking. (See Will Ferrell's Land of the Lost for example.)

I'm not so sure it doesn't speak directly to what I was talking about in my last post with regard to AMPAS' attempts to draw the audience back to the Oscars, it's possible the public is just tiring of perceived "self-important" celebrity.

Transformers 2 is successful because it's had a toy franchise, an animated series and a movie that came before it that did well. It had fairly likeable actors – Shia LeBeouf and a gorgeous Megan Fox in the lead roles. Ms. Fox herself stated in her EW interview that Transformers is NOT about the acting – it's about carrying what thin plot there is through the CGI shots and making sure she's a commodity. (Yes - I've reserved a special place in my future blogs about Ms. Fox. She is a very, very special case for me to tackle and she deserves her very own focused blog.)

Land of the Lost tanked because it was…well…Land of the Lost. It's the same reason why Thunderbirds is still walking funny after so many years – it was based on a television show that most of us remember with a cringe, not a heart flutter (although I have to admit – if they had used Stone and Parker's puppets to remake Thunderbirds – it would have rocked.)

When I saw the preview for Land of the Lost at the theater and realized they made Holly the love interest as opposed to the daughter I got severe case of the willies and decided I wasn't going to waste my money on it. (Oh yeah, the Cha-Ka boob-grab didn't do much to sell the movie to me either.)

I have the same fear about Gilligan's Island and Tron (OMG I still can't believe they're remaking Tron) or any other number of rehashed television shows or even old movies. I mean – not even Denzel Washington and John Travolta could pump life into what was a perfectly good movie to begin with - Taking of Pelham 123. What was wrong with the original?


Hence our problem.

I still haven't finished my research on the possibilities that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act hasn't been at the root of the rehash/reboot/sequel infections plaguing major American studios, but I might focus once again on that research. With rumors of studio mergers on the horizon it will be interesting to note how a law designed to protect what is really is IMHO nothing more than legalized gambling (stock investments which are now the basis of most Americans retirement potential as pensions are dying quick deaths) forces boards to make decisions based on profit ratio potential as opposed to truly being quality film-makers.

I'm kind of disturbed by Transformers' success but I'm not surprised. I hope what I'm hearing about the racist undertones in the film are dealt with for the same reasons I still take issue with what I saw as sexist undertones in Trek.

What I fear more however – is that due to both Transformers 2's and Star Trek's box office success there will only be more excuses made for scripts that make weak attempts to hide those stereotypes under animation and mini-skirts as opposed to a real sense of dignity coming from the writers who are seemingly the "golden boys" of Hollywood right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6-24-09 I'm Chewing on Another Bone

So, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally succumbed to the almighty dollar and has opened its Best Picture category to ten nominees.




So what will this mean for the average movie goer? Titillation? Excitement? The actual thought that more mainstream films will be included and actually have a chance of winning? Well – here's my take on it:

I see it as possibly being the biggest bait and switch show ever. Seriously – you think that by leading the general public into naming five more films in the Best Picture category that successful box films like Star Trek or Transformers 2 would actually have a shot?

Do you really believe that a popular film would get a better chance at winning if it got to be nominated?

I can tell you right now – no way folks.

They might get nominated – but the fans of those shows will only be sucked into watching the Oscars just to see the better film win.

You've got to hand it to the Academy though, faced with plummeting ratings of their awards show, they've done almost everything to lure the viewer back.

The problem is "genre" films which happen to be both popular and brilliantly made – The Dark Knight for instance – are extremely rare. Most popular films really aren't that great – they're formulaic drivel. Movies like Star Trek XI, Wolverine and Terminator Salvation simply aren't that good.

The Academy prides itself in the promotion of its ART. Movies like that are automatic rejects by the Academy voters and I have to say – for good reason. They may be flashy – but they're still not art.

Well last year the Academy rightfully took some heat for snubbing The Dark Knight (with the exception of Ledger's posthumous award.)

Now they want to expand the category to allow for more competition?

I smell desperation and it's pretty stinky. Why not just vote for the best five movies? Better yet Academy members – why don't you stop voting with your hearts and stop giving away awards to people who should have won them in years beforehand?

You see, I think the Academy can only fix their awards show when they fix their credibility. When movies/actors/directors win awards from their peers out of pity or popularity the product is diluted. End of story. When the viewing audience – who's not stupid by the way – knows a better film or actor lost out because the voting contingent needs to make amends for snubbing someone/some film from the year(s) before – they get a little put off. They know it's unfair and then they see it whole thing as some sort of sick popularity contest as opposed to a fair and fun competition.

And I think that's all the Academy is doing with the expansion of the Best Picture category. They're diluting their credibility to make up for the years of snubbing genre films like The Dark Knight.

Sure successful films will be tossed in and get a nomination – and now those films will get to plaster the term "Oscar nominated" all over their DVD boxes, billboards, and ads to increase the sales of their movie but will it really increase their chances of winning an Oscar?

I'm not so sure. Fates forbid we get an influx of drivel nominated because they were successful at the box office and popular with the public. That would be the end of the Academy's credibility in my eyes.

Personally, I think it's the wrong tack to take. If a successful film is good enough the Academy should just drop their revulsion of genre films and vote for it. They proved they could do it with Lord of the Rings. They nominated an animated film for Best Picture (they just couldn't vote for it – so now they've created their own category.) There was nothing holding back Academy voters from choosing to give a nod to any film before now – they were just too full of their own preconceptions about the sci-fi, fantasy and comic book genres to want to affiliate themselves with it. The Golden Globes gets around their prejudices by dividing up the drama from the comedy/musicals.

It's why I think they just lost touch with the real world. Throwing a meaningless nomination at five more films to entice viewers to their show is not only insulting to the viewers it's potentially a huge backfire waiting to happen. It simply smacks of elitism – like the Academy is saying "Here – we'll lower ourselves and nominate some more popular films now and hope to tune into root for your faves – but don't be surprised when we actually vote for the low-budget drama."

So I am actually looking forward to next year to see which 10 films will get to increase their sales potential by getting the "honor" of being nominated for Best Picture but never really having a chance at winning; because the Academy – if it values its own brand – will never let a genre film win over a heart-breaking or politically pointed drama unless it's so amazing they can't ignore it (like LOTR.)

It's kind of weird – I just feel like the Academy is throwing a bone to the mutts and is hoping we're dumb enough to enjoy chewing on it while they give the steak to the poodles.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

6-7-09 The Beating of Trek's Heart?

Please visit terilynn's Trek at Trek United this time. Blogger doesn't like my links or pics....


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

6-2-09: It Takes a Lot of Us to Go Boldly...

99 x 6 hours. That's 594 hours. 594 hours divided by 24 = 24.75

Wow…almost 25 whole days!!!

That's how many days the astronauts for the most recent Space Shuttle mission (STS-125) spent training in the neutral buoyancy tank at the Johnson Space Center just to help them prepare for the mission to repair and upgrade one of our National (if not global) treasures, The Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

Can you imagine? Spending almost a month underwater learning how to remove bolts, open doors, replace bolts, open and close doors, not to mention "walking" in space, moving from one area of the shuttle to the device and trying like mad not to make a mistake?!

Sometimes it's really hard to be over the age of 40. Not because I feel old. No – because it's very difficult to impart on the younger generations the sense of absolute wonder I still get with every single Space Shuttle Mission.

It's so very strange to think that now a majority of people on this planet don't remember life without space travel by our species (even as limited as it is.)

One of my favorite pieces of television was the series for HBO produced by Tom Hanks called From Earth to the Moon. It told the tales of those brave individuals who participated in the Apollo program – not just the astronauts mind you – but the people who built every single piece of equipment to get those men into space, to the moon, on the moon, able to do something while they were there and to come home safely.

So while I think about the STS-125 astronauts spending 25 days underwater learning how to turn bolts with bulky and protective gloves…I am never forgetful of the people who sewed those gloves, made the bolts, made the tools that remove and reset the bolts, the hinges for the doors, preparing the food the astronauts eat (sometimes looking like they get to have the most fun eating it too!), listening to them as they perform their work, be the analysts of the experiments they perform in space, flying the shuttle back to Florida…

…so many people and so much time and effort and frankly…passion is present just to help send small groups of humans into space to help us learn more about ourselves.

I find this whole concept utterly remarkable and truly awe-inspiring.

I know I'll never be able to make younger generations feel the same way I do about the space programs; the same way my grandparents will never get me to truly understand what life was like without instantaneous mass communication and the wonders its advancement have made in my own lifetime. (I mean seriously – radio alone was what you rushed home to listen to? Black & white television with only 3 channels? Heck – even I had 13 channels plus UHF channels when I was little. Sure I had to get off my ass and change the channel, but I would have done almost anything to see Kimba the White Lion and Speed Racer on PBS after Hobo Kelly was done on Channel 13….) wink.gif

But it does seem different somehow.

Is it that we're taking this amazing stuff called space flight for granted? Or is this just how we tend to deal with things as they progress? I mean it only took 100 years for us to really use powered flight to the point of monotonous routine…(with exception and deep seeded sadness for those who lost loved one in any tragic air accident, including the most recent Air France tragedy…)

That's it…isn't it? We don't notice the amazing stuff until something goes wrong?

That's sad, I think.

And that's why I'm blogging today…to say take just a little teeny, tiny moment of your day to say…

"Wow…that's pretty cool", then thank every person in every industry who works their asses off to make this species go boldly okay?


(Thanks to moonrangerlaura – whom I follow on Twitter and get the greatest info in 140 character spurts. She received the info about the training time from Michael Weiss' talk which will be archived here: read and learn!!! http://ses.gsfc.nasa.gov/ )

Saturday, May 30, 2009

5-30-09 Just When I Thought it Was Safe

You know…just when I thought that it was finally all just calming down and the new Star Trek movie was going to settle in and letting ourselves concentrate on watching the rest of the unviewed Trek tales we have on DVD…crap like this makes its way across my laptop screen…


Here's the original source:


Ms. Saldana, it seems, is being interviewed to talk about rumors for the inevitable sequels that Paramount, JJ & gang have planned. But what's the focus of Ms. Saldana's interview?

Who her character will be sleeping with next…


Pascale chose a few juicy tidbits from Crocker's article and used them for the TrekMovie.com article – just to give his "readers" some things to froth about – "Could Spock be getting the shove???" the picture asks.


When did TrekMovie.com turn into Tiger Beat Magazine?

There were no questions about Uhura's strength of character. (Well, really – I guess it is difficult to come up with a question about a supposedly rich character when really all she did was use a foul mouth, strip to bra and panties, sleep with her professor – use ….okay I'll stop…)

Ms. Saldana was quoted as saying that Abrams creates amazing roles for women (frankly I have yet to see how Uhura is an amazing character, but I'll leave that here for the moment) and agreed with Mr. Crocker's interpretation that Abrams didn't "fear" putting her in a mini-skirt.

This? This is an intelligent interview?


Pardon me…what phloxing Hollywood producer FEARS putting a gorgeous woman in a mini-skirt? Only suckers think JJ's being brave here.

This had to be the dumbest interview ever.


And I'm pretty disappointed that Mr. Pascale seems to have lowered his site by using the three lousiest questions from the lousiest interview of Zoe Saldana ever written just to pander to the lowest common denominator and get a few people to drop by the site.

But – Mr. Crocker…you sir…really need to learn how to interview. Those questions were pathetic and not uncommonly insulting to Trekkies/Trekkers by making assumptions that we would be "freaky" around Ms. Saldana. Your interview did nothing to reflect that Ms. Saldana has talent beyond being pretty or a sex object on or off the screen.

You see – everyone talks about how Saldana got a great role of a strong woman…but they don't let Ms. Saldana explore the reasons WHY that may be!

So I will ask her myself.

In the hilariously ridiculous chance that Zoe Saldana would ever read this blog…I have one question for her:

Ms. Saldana; Please tell me and the rest of the world, what is contained in your portrayal of Nyota Uhura as someone that not just young women, but young people should look up to?

Monday, May 18, 2009

5-18-09 Characters with Character

This past weekend The Husband and I worked our respective tails off cleaning and running errands. Saturday and Sunday nights we were able to partake in quiet evenings in our recently painted living room and enjoyed a couple of DVDs. We purchased a blu-ray player not too long ago and we love how great our standard DVDs look when played by it.

Since it had been a long time since I had seen it in its entirety we watched The Wrath of Khan on Saturday night. I always remember that it's an enjoyable movie, but I keep forgetting how enjoyable. There's action, there's suspense, there's larger than life characters in a battle of wills and skill.

On Sunday we watched The Undiscovered Country. Every time I see this movie, it creeps up my list of favorites. It's ALMOST a perfect Trek film. (The forced scene at the end is just painful, but it was the last curtain for the cast as an ensemble really, but still...oof, it's hard to take because it's so frickin cheesy.) But again it's got action, it's got intrigue and a few laughs.

These two films also had a few others things that the new film just seemed to be missing. An interesting plot, meaningful and dramatic dialogue and, sigh...a message about revenge and hate that just seemed to flow better than any supposed message from Abrams new film.

Don't get me wrong, several people have told me that they got a message about....*thinks about what they said*...oh yeah - that change is inevitable and that sometimes change sucks and that there's nothing you can do to stop change and that you just have to life with it.

That was the message from Abrams' Trek? Really?


Well as honest as that message may be...how could that be the positive message that Trek is supposed to be about?

Khan was the representation of why revenge is, at its core, fruitless. Once revenge is achieved you still die. Undiscovered Country was about the futility of prejudice and the power of forgiveness and CHANGE. But not about how hopeless change is, but how to make any change into a positive one.

In the new Trek film - their universe is forever altered. Vulcan is gone in the "Alternative Timeline" and Romulus (and presumably Remus) have been destroyed in the "Prime Timeline." Yes change is inevitable...but what did Nero's death in the movie do to teach anyone that lesson? What did Kirk learn about that change that showed there was any hope for him to be a better person - that if you cheat, yell and "take control" you can take advantage of the situation to your own benefit? What did Spock learn? He lost the majority of his SPECIES. He lost his position and rank on the ship. He lost his mother. How unfathomable is that to any of us? And the lesson he learns is...tough it out, your friendship with the manipulative cheater might pay off by the time he dies?

*holds hands up in surrender.* Sorry. I'm just not as thrilled with STXI's "message" as a lot of other people seem to be. To me, it's not a very hopeful message and it leaves me to wonder if the younger generation really is that apathetic about their own future.

Trek used to be very family friendly. I started watching Trek when I was THREE. My uncle used to comfort me when the "monsters" showed up, but eventually I got through the shows because I was learning something - something I still know - that humanity is capable of achieving great things, even peace amongst ourselves. That we have the capability of becoming the teachers of those lessons to other species when we come across them. I learned never to sell the species' potential short.

But now Trek has been elevated in sex and violence to the point bringing children to a Trek film isn't advisable. My nephew is coming to visit this weekend. He's three and a half. He's bloody brilliant. The thought that even when he's five or seven he still won't be old enough to see Trek in a theatre saddens me.

Yes, change IS inevitable but it's how we deal with that change that's important.

In Undiscovered Country, Kirk got his own prejudices and preconceptions thrown back in his face. HE learned the lesson that generalizations and racism are forms of ignorance and hate. He learned that it was HE who was one who was afraid, and through him we as an audience learned those lessons too. I didn't see the new Kirk learn any type of real self-improvement in the new movie. He was always cocky, he cheated, he manipulated and he got rewarded for it. I don't want my nephew to think that's how to get ahead in life. I want my nephew to be taught that character counts.

And in my opinion, it's character that seems be missing in the new Kirk.

Abrams' and his writers have made a movie that focuses on the special effects and the 90210ishness of the new crew. They're going to make a mint no doubt. Good for Viacom shareholders - I'm happy for you. But as hard as I try to see their supposed positive message...I'm sorry everyone...they surgically removed Trek's heart from the script - along with Vulcan, Romulus and Remus.

Call me any name in the book (Universe knows I've already been told I'm a talky geek, a phloxhead and a cultist) I don't care. I prefer well-told stories; stories that give rise to their action sequences organically through the tale, not stories that are created in an effort to get the cool shot on the screen. It's backwards writing and is what, IMHO, gave rise to the implausible plot details that STXI was full of.

TWOK and TUC are simply better Trek films. They're simply better stories that have simply better characters...characters with character.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5-12-09 Can Ninjas & Zombies Save Trekkiedom?

Over the course of the last few days I've been participating in the spirited debates about STXI here and at the Omega Sector and have also been monitoring the less-than-courteous slam-fests at other forums. I've been rather put off...No, I'm not just put off, I've been disgusted by the tenor of the treatment of those who are even slightly critical about the new film by those who are blissfully happy about it.

I would hate to think that I'm weird for enjoying an atmosphere where my (relatively) dissenting view from the majority is still listened to, even though I don't expect to be agreed with. So I do find it strange that there are places where people who call themselves Trek fans bully those with dissenting opinions right off their boards. Have fun sitting in your own mire guys. I think you're just sad.

To that end, I have to say, I feared that the new movie was going to do this. I've spoken to many Trekkies - Trekkies who have been hard-core fans for DECADES longer than I and I have asked them all the same thing...Is this what it was like when TNG came through? Is this what is was like when Enterprise rocked their world?

And the resounding answer was...No.

Apparently this time around it's much worse, much more palpable, much more divisive and much more...personal.

This movie seems to have done what no other Trek film or show had ever done before and that's literally divide the fandom...almost like the US is divided by the extreme left and right views right now. No one seems to be able to see the middle ground for fear that doing so makes them appear weaker somehow.

Those who love the movie have been so cruel, so spiteful, so vengeful and so ridiculing to those who hate the film, they're asking them to give up the fandom because they were never worthy. Those who hated the film are so intolerant of those who loved it that they're calling them traitors or fair-weather.

And people like me - in the middle - the people who liked parts and hated parts - are caught in the middle by both factions. We're being told that we must choose a side to be heard.

Now - it's not true here at TrekUnited. While there've been some choice words slung by both sides for the most part things here have been great. It's the reason I post here and not at other sites. It's also the same for The Omega Sector (TrekCore's forums). But other sites have allowed things to become been shockingly cruel.

And I have to ask...is this was Paramount was hoping for? Is this what Trekkies themselves want? - To let a bunch of jerks in Hollywood tell us how we're allowed to enjoy our fandom?

Since when?

I may not have adored this film. Some people on other forums may call me a phloxhead and used Nimoy's JOKING words as an anthem to do it. I and another member here have discussed proudly displaying our "Talky Geek" status on a t-shirt, but I'll be damned if I give up my fandom for TNG or ENT or my burdgeoning admiration for DS9 over the new movie! Seriously. How ridiculous is that!?

There's room for all of us folks. There always has been and there always will be.

Don't let any one side tell you there is a right or a wrong way to be a fan. Trekkies are the most amazingly diverse group of people I've ever known, why are we letting one 2 hour script divide us?

I started to think about how it must have been for Trekkies to handle Enterprise as it came into fruition. It was a prequel - filling in the blanks of canon that a lot of Trekkies (yes, even me) protect zealously. It was filled with characters they didn't know and weren't sure they wanted to know. It had yet another chick in a catsuit screwing her crewmate. The first two seasons are on the verge of being painful to watch. There was no direction and no real target - even though there was a canon show to aim for. Things started to change late in the 3rd season and suddenly it looked like it might actually jump the hurdle of the fans' acceptance. Unfortunately, the death knell had been rung before the fandom could make a financial difference, ratings or anything that could save it from the Suits' accounting books and the casket was nailed shut. I know quite a few Trekkies who did not like Enterprise at all at the time who have not only acknowledged its existence but have accepted the show and its fans as part of the wider group. The same goes with every other incarnation of Trek.

The new movie definitely steps on "sacred" territory. It actually reboots one of those incarnations. I think that's what a bunch of people feared was the universe-shattering changes that occurred to their beloved characters. I don't blame them. I've been reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and let me tell you - talk about taking one of my favorite characters of literature (Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet) and turning her into something completely different. (She takes on ninjas too.) The book is hilarious.

But it started to irk me today when I thought about the new movie. The Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Scott, Sulu, Chekov and McCoy are NOT the same characters we knew from the shows. Kirk is brasher and less thoughtful. Spock is more emotional. Uhura is...*sigh*...Uhura is in love. Chekov is the new Wesley Crusher. Sulu forgets about the parking brake and Scott has no compunction about animal testing. McCoy is much more bitter about his divorce.

Starfleet is NOT the same organization we've loved for 40 years. It's got no rules of military protocol. Captains can eject their uppity First Officers into exile without due process. Bridges are filled with cadets all the frickin time. XO's and Captains are field promoted in the turbolifts. And they apparently don't know how to hunt down a HUGE Romulan mining ship that's been trolling around the quadrant for 25 years after it destroyed one of its ships.

It is a completely different Star Trek. It's a Star Trek I do not like. But that doesn't mean I hate the people who do like it. I can understand the reasons why they like the movie. I just don't agree with them. It doesn't make them less a Trekkie. The same way that not liking the new movie lessens my fandom for other variations of the franchise.

I will likely never like much of the new Trek. And that's okay.

Now. If they add ninjas and zombies, I might have to reconsider this stance.

Monday, May 11, 2009

5-11-09 I Think I Might be a Nickname-for-Richard-Head

It's been four days since I viewed Star Trek XI (Sorry JJ…it's the eleventh film. I will continue to call it STXI no matter how much you whine.)

I've had time to sit and stew and think and review.

I've re-read my review numerous times and for the most part it stands.

STXI is one hell of an action flick!

But now that I've had time to think about it more and more, the plot holes and script flaws are becoming more than just niggles to me. They're growing wider and wider and wider.

The movie simply isn't Star Trek.

I had the same reaction to Nemesis when I first saw it two years ago. I never saw Nemesis in the theatre because my interest in Trek had not yet re-blossomed and I heard they were killing off Data. I wasn't about to pay to see Data go off-line so I decided to bypass seeing the movie until 2007. When I watched it, I had the same reaction – hey fun action flick! Big booms! The Ent-E slammed into the Scimitar! Cool! But then a couple days later things just started to nag me. Since when does Jean-Luc Picard knowingly break the Prime Directive to go fart around on a dune buggy? The script writers really had to work to come up with an excuse to get that action shot into the movie. It was pathetic.

It's now that I'm beginning to see a LOT of that type of script work in STXI, and these plot holes are just flat-out inexcusable and sad really. The script seemed to have been written around the action sequences the boys wanted to see instead of the story being written well, and letting action sequences develop organically. It's typical summer blockbuster writing - upside down.

I'm going to stew on it some more, but someone posted the bit with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy from SNL. It was hilarious and a perfect dig on we Trekkies. (Hey, we're used to it.) But in this parody, Nimoy said if someone didn't like the new movie - that they were "nickname-for-Richard-heads." (Knowing the stupid censor thing here will change the word to phlox I wanted you to comprehend the actual word.)

Well, after four days of thinking about the stuff that really bugs me about the new movie: the fact that it no longer carries Trek's true core message (Note to Rod Roddenberry: You're a sweetheart, but I'm begging you to tell me where in this movie there is a message to people about tolerance, acceptance and humanity bettering themselves as a species as opposed to Kirk just pulling his head out his ass…which I'm never really sure he does in the movie.) and that it's full of implausible bullphlox in order to achieve the BOOM! BANG! PEW! JJ wanted to make this film more Star Wars-like, I'm beginning to force myself to admit that I am a "nickname-for-Richard-head."

I think I'm going to have t-shirts made or maybe a lapel pin. I'll wear it to the next Star Trek function I'll go to and proudly state that I'm a phloxhead!

Sigh. Or maybe I'll change my mind in another week.


I AM A phloxhead.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Well, I saw it.

Then I drank three beers.

I thought long and hard about how I would deal with this review and I can only say. It's going to be a dissertation folks! So prepare yourselves!







OKAY…You've been duly warned.

First of all let me say. It was a first-rate action flick!

What kills me is that for all of the things that Orci and Kurtzman (Exec Producers BTW) and Abrams got right…they sure did know how to blow it with other stuff.

Okay. What did I love about this movie? Lots actually.

WHAT WENT RIGHT (From "Best-of-the-best" to "Pretty-darn-close.")

#1) The USS Enterprise: I must personally apologize to all of the techno-canonites out there, but I absolutely loved the look and feel of the 1701. She's beautiful in the film. The shots of her in every situation made me want to be on her. The engineering section looks like an engineering section should! (I will address the Engineer in another section of this tome.) The shuttle bay looks the way a shuttle bay should! Her mere presence in the space that surrounded her looked, felt and sounded absolutely real. She has a dimension to her that I have never experienced before and I would watch the movie again if only to drool over the ship. The artists deserve every accolade they will be getting, because the USS Enterprise was the real star of this movie.

#2) Leonard McCoy: This was the only character that seems to have survived the new timeline unscathed. Karl Urban nails McCoy. Everything about him is spot on; his techno-phobia, his mannerisms and character-defining lines are handled without trying to copy DeForest Kelley, but rather to pay homage to his portrayal. It felt natural coming from Urban. He is part of one of the funniest scenes in the movie and although something medically has gone horribly wrong, (it's not because of his mistake) he gets to show us why Bones is such an amazing physician. Another intense scene cements it for us. Space may be disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence, but Leonard McCoy shows us that he has the gift of living in space with grace, aptitude and humor.

#3) Every single line/reference/nod to TOS: There were many of them. They all made me laugh or be nostalgic or giggle with glee. All of them worked, like gold.

#4) Captain Pike: Bruce Greenwood shows us all what a true starship Captain is all about. Dignity, honor, poise under pressure and duty-bound to the core. (Although there's no way in hell I'd believe he'd make fresh cadet the XO of his ship – that was just laughable…and people did laugh.) But Pike was exactly the man I always thought he was from the show.

#5) Spock: Well, I have to say it. Zachary Quinto was alright. He had a tough role. It can't be easy to play someone who stifles his emotions and still comes off as being more than cardboard. Spock was almost true-to-form. There are aspects about him that were missing, but nothing that I couldn't overlook. There is only one huge mistake with him, but I will address it later in the rant phase of this blog.

#6) Sulu: Cho brings Sulu home. Yeah, there's not whole lot with him, but what scenes he does have are all fun. His fight scene was a ball, sword and all. His time at the helm brought a smile to my face and it returned every time I saw him there. There wasn't a whole lot that could go wrong with Sulu, and I'm glad that none of it occurred. There wasn't a whole lot that Sulu could bring to the table either.

#7) Kirk: Orci and Kurtzman gave us two different Kirks in this tale. The first one is a royal ****. I hate him. I hate everything about him and I don't for a moment believe that he has any potential. I will address plot points later, but Kirk undergoes a significant and (thankfully) believable change when he encounters Old Spock. It's then that Kirk comes out of his phloxhole closet and it's only then I believe he's the Kirk we all knew and loved. Pine is quite good, but he doesn't really get a chance to act in this movie. His role is mainly written as being everyone's literal punching bag. Pine is really good at stunt fighting, but there was so damn much of it, it was becoming laughable and ridiculous. At one point during the movie I turned to The Husband and said…is there anyone who hasn't beat the crap out of him yet? He shrugged.

#8) Nero: Meh. He's bad simply because he's a freak who destroys a planet. (This plot point will be addressed later.) We never really experience his anger, never see his madness and we never see his lunacy. He was too cool, too bland and too nice. We didn't see the toll the 25 year wait took on him and/or his crew. (Again this will be addressed later.) We didn't see anything but his pointy ears, his pointy sword, his pointy ship and his pointy tweezers holding his pointy bug. (TWOK fans were sniggering over the use of the pointy bug.) We didn't see anything but a really cranky guy. As a villain Nero is villainy, but he's NOT one of Trek's worst. Khan and the Borg Queen still rule the realm in that regard.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK: (Again in descending order, from "Not-so-bad" to "OMG-I-can't-believe-this-bullphlox!")

#1) Chekov/Scott: Why am I placing these two characters together? Because I'm convinced that Orci and Kurtzman must have accidentally switched names on the scripts. In this movie Chekov is a 17-yr old prodigy. He's a brain with a very thick accent. He's a physics and engineering demi-god. Wait, "That's Scott!" you say? Well, in any other world you'd be right. The Montgomery Scott we knew from TOS was that person – Third in Command and Second Officer of the Enterprise and an Engineering demi-god. But in this movie, that role was given to Chekov, NOT Scott. No, Scott in this movie is the comic relief, the buffoon, the Engineering guy who just happens to get lucky sometimes. It's a crying shame. Montgomery Scott has been emasculated by Chekov. And it's a travesty.

#2) The Destruction of Vulcan and Romulus: Yep. You read that right. Romulus has been destroyed in the "original" timeline. When Nero tries to kill Spock for Spock's apparent failure to save Romulus, they both get sucked back into time. It's just that Nero gets sucked back 25 years earlier than Spock. So he destroys the Kelvin when he gets there and kills Kirk's daddy. (This is the opening scene of the movie and it's very intense, emotional and frankly – brilliant. Not only do I want a Captain Robau mug, I want a George Kirk mug.) This is what creates the now infamous alternate universe. Now Nero is really cranky. He's been sucked back into time and is forced to wait until Spock shows up to inflict his revenge upon him. He wants Spock to suffer the same exact pain he suffered when he watched Romulus go kablooey and sits around the AU doing pretty much nothing for 25 years until Spock arrives. Yeah. Seriously, he just waits. And when "future" Spock does finally appear, he captures him – sends him to an ice planet (can anyone say Hoth?) and is forced to watch as Nero blows up Vulcan to just to spite the old guy. So, we're left with our "orginal" timeline with a missing Romulus and an "alternate" timeline with a missing Vulcan. EPIC, EPIC FAIL.

#3) Plot devices: Here's just a short list of the amazing amount of work these two writers made up to make this movie work. And most are just pathetic:
a) Young Spock orders Kirk off the Enterprise and Kirk's placed in a pod and shot out and lands on said ice planet – expelled like trash. Uhm…what was wrong with just locking him up in the brig?
cool.gif Scott just happened to be on said ice planet, also banished for torching a beagle while practicing warp speed transporting. Uh…yeah.
c) Apparently when you "enlist" in Starfleet you automatically get to go to the Academy. It's not an officer's school it's just 3-4 years of basic training.
d) Captains make cadets First Officers all the time. (*headdesk*)
e) Kirk cheating on the Kobayashi Maru. Orci: you call yourself a Trek fan? I think you missed the mark on this. Kirk never cheated. "He changed the parameters of the test." Kirk should have been able to show everyone in the audience that he's a BRILLIANT strategist, not that he's a cheater. How could that have been done? Easily – by having Kirk show that he didn't see the Klingons as the enemy in the test, but that the test itself was the enemy and the programmer was its leader. By taking on the test as the enemy as opposed to the enemy within the test, Kirk could have shown everyone the reasons he was deserving of early promotion. By intimating that he cheated, you've lessened the man and the hero he was.

#4) Product Placement: From Budweiser to Nokia, there's advertising all through this movie. While the Nokia ring made me laugh a bit, the man sitting next to me questioned how much Nokia paid to get that bit in the movie.

#5) The senseless destruction of a classic Corvette: Nuff said. wink.gif

#6) And finally, the rant you've all been waiting for….

UHURA and the rest of the female characters in the film

For the life of me I do not understand people sometimes. Some people who have reviewed this film said Uhura was "nobody's fool" and a "strong woman" in this film.

Pardon me while I disagree…with fervor.

When we first meet her, she's bopping around a club in Iowa. She's on her way to, or back to (it's never really made clear) San Francisco. Why they're in Iowa is anyone's guess. But she's there, ordering a boat load of drinks for her buds in the other room. Kirk, being the sex maniac he is, tries to pick up on her. You know what? The exchange between them doesn't bother me as much as "cupcake" who "defends" Uhura's damsel-not-really-in-distress. Why he doesn't end up in the brig pisses me off to no end. Kirk gets the crap beat out of him. Well he should of, because the look on his face after he got two handfuls of Uhura breasts was enough to make me want to kick his ass too.

The next time we see Ms. Uhura, she interrupts her Orion roommate and Kirk getting hot and heavy on her bed. Just because Abrams felt it was entirely necessary, she starts to undress; before she starts undressing however, the Orion panics – saying that her roommate doesn't appreciate her bringing home so many men. Okay – here's the big spoiler. Why the eff should Uhura give a crap about a fellow cadet's sex-life when she's already banging Professor Spock?

Yep – you read that right. Spock and Uhura are a solid item in this movie. Uhura is sleeping with Spock – her superior. She even threatens him when he assigned her to the Farragut because he didn't want to "show favoritism"! He caves of course (because he loves her or because he fears the sexual harassment allegations we're not sure) and he assigns her to the Enterprise, where he himself is assigned as First Officer.

Putting the S/U thing aside for a moment…

There is a scene (frankly, it's the funniest scene in the movie) where Kirk knows something's wrong and he runs to Uhura to get some information from her. Now, I realize it's necessary to keep a tight-flowing script, but Uhura TELLS him about a series of Romulan messages she's intercepted and translated. Thing is? We don't get to see her perform this incredible talent. We only hear that she's got it.

During this film, we got to see Chekov's brilliant mind at work. We got to see Scott's (albeit clumsy) engineering skills in action. We got to see Sulu's fencing skills put to the test. We get to see Spock's logic save the day. We got to see Kirk's tactical mind put into practice and we got to see Bones use his extraordinary skills as a physician. But we only got to hear about Uhura's talent. What we got to see of Uhura was her bra-covered breasts, her kissing Spock and her being the pretty sex-object, stereotypical woman she was.

Strong woman eh? One that has a talent that still can't get her anywhere but into her Professor's bed in order to get the job she's actually qualified for?

Her only scenes in this movie were to show skin or be the emotional grounding rod for Spock when his mother and his planet are destroyed by Mr. Spiky-Pole.

Abrams, Orci…Kurtzman…You motherphloxers.

What women are in this movie?
Mrs. Sarek – Spock's mother. She loves her son and she consoles him when he's in tumoil. She dies. Boo hoo.
Mrs. Kirk – Kirk's mother. She loses her husband who heroically slams his ship into Nero's while she's giving birth to their son. She's never heard from again…conveniently "off-planet" when Kirk decides to "enlist." We only see her crying.
Orion Cadet: Sex object for Kirk.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

Uhura was described as a "nobody's fool" by another reviewer. She did know very well how to manipulate her man into giving her want she wanted. Yet we never get to see her "true" talent of xenolinguistics put into practice and she ends up being the stereotypical emotional pillar for all the men on the ship.

Disappointment doesn't begin to describe my feeling about this development.

Once more, the women in Trek are relegated to being the stereotypical nurturer either by being a mother or by being a love interest for a male character. Uhura is defined by her relationship with Spock, not because she got to show off her own skills.


This is an amazing action movie. I recommend that you see it just for the effects, pace and to laugh at the funny parts.
It's new.
It's shiny.
It's pointy.
It's fun.
It's pathetic.
It's a blast.
It's mindblowing.
It's enraging.
It's Trek AU.

It's not the Trek I know and it never will be.

I think I'm going to watch Nemesis…Romulus still exists in that movie and no one loses a Corvette.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5-6-09; Terilynn's Trek: My 1701-A Coffee Mug Broke. Is it an Omen?

This morning my favorite Star Trek mug broke. I didn't drop it, it didn't shatter…it simply split in two as I poured my coffee into it. This isn't the first Trek mug I've had break – my father dropped my Star Trek: The Tour mug a few months ago. That bummed me out because there's no such thing as Star Trek: The Tour anymore, it split into two and became Star Trek: The Exhibition.

But this is the first time someone tried to tell me it was…

…an omen.

Okay. Wait. I'm laughing with you here. I don't believe in omens. Heck I don't believe in anything. I either know something or I don't know something. I am a skeptic. And the person who said this to me did say it tongue-in-cheek; but she went on to say that the breaking of my (NCC-1701-A) china cup was a sign that the old Trek was dead and that I would now be forced into purchasing a shiny new Star Trek mug with Christopher Pine's face on it.

I laughed and laughed and then I stopped short.

Oh crap! I thought. What if she's right? What if I can never get a replacement mug from TOS, TNG or even VOY or DS9? Pshaw! Of course I can – eBay has them all the time!

But then it hit me…would I feel comfortable drinking from said mug knowing it really was a collector's item now; that they may not be making more of them, that the market really will be flooded with Trek merchandise I don't want.

Don't worry. I chilled out. I know I'll be able to find a new Trek mug that I will want to drink from, I know it.

But the whole bizarre process brought to mind exactly what a lot of us Trekkies seem to be going through with the advent of the new film. We're a protective bunch and the new film has pushed a lot of us into a state where we feel that we're something akin to torch bearers – the group that will assure that the "real" Trek won't fade away in the face of the shiny, new iBridge of Abrams' Trek.

I know real Trek won't fade away. I'm confident that Trek, in all its forms, will continue. It's very likely that the new film will rekindle people's passions for the television shows they've loved.

And there'll be a run on TNG mugs.

OH CRAP!!! I've got to get to eBay!

Monday, May 4, 2009

5-4-09 Terliynn's Trek; Tick, Tick, Tick!

So with three days to go before I go assure The Husband and I get decent seats for the 7:00 pm show Thursday night, I've seen a huge push from Trekkies in their excitement and frankly, from the media itself.

And yes, even me.

First, I was glad to hear that the former Trek stars were invited to attend the LA Premier. I was happier still to see that many of them showed. Trust me, this goes a long way to showing that even if old Trekkies hate this movie, we're still all Trekkies (no matter what the new kids think.)

Second, I've never apologized for my unbridled excitement over the CG and the action this movie looks like it will have. My recent viewings of the scenes showing Bones have just tickled me to death. McCoy is one of my favorite…let me rephrase that…McCoy IS my favorite TOS character and just the few snippets I saw with Karl Urban as McCoy and I found myself squeeing out loud.

Third, I'm just ready to see the damn film already!!! It's been held over for five months and it's been in the can since December! For crap's sake…let's just get this over with!

I know many people who have seen the film already and have been ever-so-kind as to not say a word about it until Friday, after the official opening. For that I am forever grateful. I can't WAIT to be able to talk about it with all of you!

To that end I have to say, I'm not sure how I will handle my review. I guess it depends on how I feel afterward.

I'm not a person who should really sit down and write immediately after seeing a film. Normally I need to verbalize my thoughts with The Husband first so I can really let my thoughts gel into a cohesive and understandable framework, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do that. We'll see. I may wait until Friday to really get my review out with foundations for any arguments I MAY have…

In the meantime, I've been on Twitter, Facebook, TrekUnited, The OmegaSector (TrekCore) and the like, fielding the amazing amount of Trek stuff that we're being blitzed with.

Burger King's tie-in is hilarious: www.whenkingonsattack.com it's just a pure laugh-fest, trust me. (Thanks to Captain_Hair for the tip on this one…I laughed all afternoon!)

The Onion's SLAM on Trekkies is painfully funny (and I do mean painfully):

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

(I can't wait to see what Dennis Rayburn at Roddenberry.com has to say about this! We were both rather taken aback by the use of the term "hack" with Gene Roddenberry's name, but we both know they meant it as a joke. Still, it's worth a retort and I'm hoping he'll make one!)

But this one week blitz may not be enough. I hope it is. The movie really does need to succeed. But Wolverine pulled in $87 million last weekend. It's going to be real competition. I still think Trek will do very, very well.

We'll see!

Oh…and any of you forum administrators out there….tell me, how do you plan on dealing with this on your forums. Are you setting up separate threads yet? Have you gone to Star Trek 09 (or in some cases Star Trek AU) so not to confuse it with TOS?

I'd like to hear from you…

5-1-09 ONE WEEK!

Sorry for the long absence! I have a new job that required travel and my mother's health is still a priority. However, I think I'll be back in the saddle now.


There's only one week to go! I have already purchased our tickets for the Thursday night showing at the local theatre in Albuquerque. At 7:00 pm I plan on being front and center of the Regal Cinema in Albuquerque, popcorn in my right hand, soda in the cup holder and a box of Red Vines in my left hand grinning from ear to ear.

I only hope that the stupid scare over swine flu doesn't play havoc with the public's willingness to go see a movie.

As much as I have concerns over this movie and its creator's lack of real comprehension about the sanctity of the characters that we have (some of us literally) grown to love, this movie NEEDS to succeed.

I know I'll always love "my" version of Trek better than this movie. I will always think that the "real" Uhura is better. I will always think that Roddenberry's vision of the future will always be better than the vision that Abrams is apparently putting forward in this flashy new film….but, this new movie really does need to do well. Not just for Paramount or Abrams or Orci and Kurtzman…but for the fandom too.

I really do believe the potential influx of new fans will spark HUGE debates. Personally, I anticipate being fully involved in those debates. But it might be the spark that's needed right now.

I'm not saying that the Trek fandom is dying. Oh hell no. Heck I just renewed my fandom just over a year ago! New young fans of the original series sign onto the forums frequently; but the one thing I have to say about Trekkies is…we LOVE to argue.

And personally I think this movie has given, and will give us PLENTY to argue about.

So…here's to the week ahead.

I'm sure I'll be blogging before the movie and after it. It may take me awhile to cogitate on the new flick, but I will.

In the meantime – buy your tickets!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Terilynn's Trek: 4-10-09; Abrams & Paramount Relegate Trekkies to the Kids' Table

So it's been a few days since the surprise screening of Star Trek XI in Austin and the "World Premiere" in Sydney.

Certain conversations here and on other forums have only seemed to have cemented the feeling I was having a few months ago – that Abrams' comment about "talky geekfests" had a deeper and more insidious meaning…

…he really meant it folks!

Abrams really does think that Trekkies are seriously uncool. Trekkies are the worst geeks imaginable and he will do anything to keep his new Apple-shiny movie from being associated with them.

What evidence do I have to come to such a conclusion?

Exhibit A: The Quote

"I think that what this movie's bringing is a remarkable new and energetic young cast and a treatment of the world of Star Trek that I think is as intimate as the story is massive in scope. This is a treatment of Star Trek with action and comedy and romance and adventure, as opposed to a rather talky geekfest."

Emphasis added.

Mr. Abrams wanted to make sure that any non-Trekkie who may have read that article understood that the movie wasn't being made for "those talky geeks."

Exhibit B: The Sydney "World Premiere"

While technically Sydney was beaten to the "world premiere" punch by a theatre full of sci-fi fans in Austin, there were certain things about the Sydney function that smacks of elitism.

Mr. Abrams and most of his cast (Saldana was conspicuously missing and we all know that Nimoy was in Austin) were all in tuxes – bright, shiny and young – standing on a massive red carpet waving to people.

Here's what's weird though. If you watch the videos closely – they prepared for a huge crowd…which never seemed to materialize. Look carefully – camera angles which show the length of the railing make it appear as though the crowds are thick…but when you look behind the actors who are still marching along the red carpet – there might be 40-50 people behind them. There's a VERY conspicuous Trekkie with ears cut into the vdieo, but no real screaming fans. (Seriously - listen, it's rather quiet for a movie premier...)



I understand that there may have been as many as over a hundred or more tickets for the actual VIEWING of this film in Sydney that remained unsold.

Trekkies in Australia seemed a bit more than perturbed that the fact that tickets were being sold to begin with was never advertised nor was the event pushed in the local media. The links provided above were described as having to have been "dug" up. (And thank you for digging Kirok!)

What bothered me more was how Abrams and cast seemed almost annoyed by the questions they were getting. Cho and Quinto were obviously going to be asked about the predecessors in their roles – it's TREK for Pete's sake! The roles they're portraying were created – molded and raised to levels of mythdom by those other actors! Deal with it Quinto! Also – Quinto seemed awfully sure to distance himself from those evil "conventions" didn't he?

Exhibit C – The "Quiet" World Premiere or "Let's throw the Trekkies a bone!"

Several hours before the reels started to turn in Sydney, a group of fans gathered in a theatre in Austin, Texas for a showing of the famous (and according to Abrams "talky geekfest") Trek film – The Wrath of Khan – to be followed by ten minutes of never-before-seen footage of Star Trek XI.

Instead of Wrath of Khan – what they got was the writers of the new movie and Leonard Nimoy making a surprise appearance and showing the entire new movie!

Now this made news…to the Trekkies of course, because we're a pretty tight-knit community and tend to talk to each other using modern technology. But the screening didn't make the mainstream news.

And that's just the way Paramount and Abrams wanted it. Toss the bone to the Trekkies and let the rest of the world look at the shiny new movie in all of its sterilized-for-your protection-non-Trekkie-infested-goodness in Sydney.

Now wait – there's more rant coming.

Take a step back from this and look at it again.

Nimoy wasn't at the premiere in Sydney! The man who Abrams once said the movie could never have been made without wasn't at the premier. Nimoy - the man who the world recognizes as one of THE faces of Star Trek - and he wasn't at the premier in Sydney with the rest of the cast.

Why not?

I dare say it's because Abrams and Paramount didn't want him there. His presence would have taken away the limelight from the newcomers they're desperately trying to push.

Suddenly it all became clear…Abrams really does loathe Trekkies. I think he fears we will infect his movie and make it a talky geekfest!

It feels like the Trekkies have been relegated to the kids table for the dinner party because we're not classy enough to hang with the "cool people."

Doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

4-7-09 Compare STXI to Legos? Sure. Why Not?

So after reading about the surprise screening of Star Trek XI in Austin last night, I had to initially come to terms with my own raging jealousy. I am a geek of true form let me assure you, but I wasn't about to fly to Austin to see 10 minutes of a film just to have it followed by a movie I've seen a hundred-zillion times (The Wrath of Khan.) As much as it would have been a ball to hang with a room full of people who are just as geekified as I am, I just couldn't justify the expense and the days off work.

Now I'm kicking myself.

Oh well. I'll have to settle for the reviews from two countries as opposed to the one I thought I was only going to get from the hand-selected reviewers who attended the Sydney opening.

So far it seems - they all seemed to have at least enjoyed the film. Reviews are positive. That's good. Really, that's not unexpected either - Abrams isn't an idiot in terms of Hollywood marketing. There's no way they would have let this film out of the can a MONTH before its wide release date unless they didn't think they were going to get positive buzz, and it looks like they're getting it too.

My fears about trashing of canon also appear to be true however. And that still saddens me more than anything. Everyone who has seen the movie says - It's a WHOLE NEW TIMELINE....Yep. It's Star Trek AU.

So... there it is. Paramount has left the Trek we know and love like a bin full of leftover Legos. Paramount went out and bought the new set and they don't want to play with the ones in the bin anymore.

I do look forward to seeing the movie. I mean - who can resist playing with the new set of Legos? I mean really?! Who!? But when I go to the Lego Store, the first place I head for is the big table with the bin full of loose blocks and begin to play with those. The new sets are too small and expensive and it takes a considerable investment to grow a collection.

I've invested into that other bin - the big bin with 40 years of Trek blocks and they still have an infinite number of ways to be put together! Sure, I'll watch Abrams play with his new set...but my heart tells me that I'm the one with the cooler toys.

Thanks to Captain_Hair and his excitement over the opening of a new Lego Store in his neighborhood for providing me with my inspiration for today's blog.