nesting * geeking * critiquing

Posts tagged “star trek

Birthday Trivia

Did you know?

Yesterday (2.16) was my birthday. Made it to 31 and still kickin’.

Yesterday was also LeVar Burton’s birthday. The wiki machine tells me he’s 57 now.

Yesterday I took one of those goofy Zimbio quizzes to find out which Star Trek: The Next Generation character I am. I wouldn’t say the description is entirely fitting, but whatever…It’s like the universe knew we were destined to be birthday buds.
(And yes, that’s a bracelet that I used as a Geordi visor.)

 


Well That’s…Odd

How this got scrapped from The Hobbit extended release is beyond me.

Insert your favorite “illogical” reference here, and good luck getting that little riff out of your head. You can thank me later.

Oh, and this…


Into Darkness

I have a treat for you today—another movie review!trek pass

Last night I attended a screening* of Star Trek Into Darkness. Not knowing much Trek legacy, I’m not sure what is considered a real spoiler at this point so I’ll keep it a bit vague. I no doubt missed a lot of references that the true enthusiasts relished, but I did catch more than expected; lots of proud Steve Rogers moments for me 🙂

For starters, let me say that the Abrams factor makes me ridiculously excited for the reincarnation of Star Wars. I’ve waffled on it a bit in the not-so-distant past. As of last night, though, I waffle no more. Aside from the WAY overdone lens flare this time around—really, it’s borderline distracting—J.J. put together a fantastic piece of eye candy.

Casting is literally perfect; I can’t attest to the authenticity versus canon, but I buy each and every one of these actors in their roles. The Enterprise crew’s banter and relationships make for a fun dynamic. ‘Fun’ being the operative word, as this is definitely more along the lines of The Avengers than Skyfall or Dark Knight. That’s a weak comparison, I realize, but they’ve all got a good deal of action with a little cheese factor so it made sense in my head.

Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch is simply superb as “John Harrison” <wink wink>, yet even his most heinous deeds are tempered with a strange likability. Though we’re teased with the idea of complex motives and history, it’s not sufficiently explored.

Such is my biggest complaint about Into Darkness: it’s ultimately a scratch-the-surface film. It could have been a far richer story of sabotage and betrayal with more overall depth and intensity. Maybe they were afraid of taking it too far in the other direction as with the Star Wars prequels—we didn’t need nearly as much background on the politics of the conflicts. There’s got to be a happy medium.

There are some touching moments (Vulcan tears in 3…2…1…) and plenty of things to make enthusiasts giddy. I can vouch for this, as we heard (and saw) an awful lot of little-girl-like clapter.

Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount Pictures)

Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount Pictures)

|Sidebar: laughing begets laughter so clapping should beget clapter!|

Aside from the relatively underutilized plot, there are a few disappointing little things. For instance, we learn that there are still alarm clocks in the future. Not cool.
Oh, and apparently you can detonate an explosive literally right in front of you and survive. Also, the inhabitants of Nibiru resemble Utapauans a bit more than I would have preferred, all chalky and sickly looking. And speaking of Nibiru, could Spock’s sacrifice pose have been any less subtle? <eye roll>

Like the lens flares, there are flashes of splendor, some more radiant than others. Initial reaction was overwhelmingly favorable but given a little distance, I find myself thinking a lot of “What if this had happened? That would have been so cool!”
Alas, such is the recurring ballad of a summer popcorn flick. Bottom line: worth seeing on the big screen? Absolutely!

*If you’re wondering how I keep landing advance screening passes, I’ll share my secrets. So far it has come down to a little bit of luck with radio call-in contests (the one highlight of spending two hours in my car every day) and a fair amount of online legwork. Following movie studios and local media personalities on Twitter, signing up for contests and running multiple Google searches for screenings and gofobo rsvp codes…that’s it.


Geek Girl Grief

I’m a girl, I’m a geek and I’m proud of it. My cred may not be as extensive as some, but I genuinely enjoy and understand an awful lot of things held near and dear to the geek community.
Long before it was cool to be a “fangirl”—long before I even knew the word “geek”—I was wearing Star Wars and Superman garb, watching He-Man, Super Friends, The Real Ghostbusters and TNG, playing with action figures and blabbing about those things with anyone who got stuck listening. I played video games with my dad on the Atari and Intellivision before graduating to Dark Forces, Doom, Rise of the Triad and Day of the Tentacle on my PC. It’s been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember.

Recently, the interwebs have been thick with debate raging over the legitimacy of fangirls at conventions and in the geek community at large, particularly those who cosplay. Some are seen as mere attention-seekers, others as bona fide fans. I don’t frequent conventions so I can’t speak to it firsthand, but I’m willing to bet there are plenty of women representing each camp.

I love the concept of cosplay, dressing up to represent a favorite character; the closest I’ve come was donning a Katniss look for Halloween last year. I’ve often thought it would be great fun to assemble a Speeder Bike Leia costume or Supergirl or Black Widow. Frankly, I’m not confident enough for either of the latter.
And that’s why Paige Hall’s story hit me square in my unsculpted gut.

Take a minute with this graphic, let it sink in. (Paige created it and posted to her tumblr account.)

There’s more to the story over on Epbot…“Is This What Respect Feels Like?” A Real Wonder Woman Speaks Out

I definitely see Paige’s point about comic creators (and male fans) setting unrealistically high standards for women. Frankly, though, the problem extends beyond men—I find the way women judge one another to be far more damaging. Maybe other chicks don’t harbor as many feelings of insecurity as I do…but I’m guessing an awful lot do. How is it, then, that we can ignore our own self-esteem battles and think such ugly things about other women?

If someone is comfortable enough in his/her own skin to dress up as a favorite character, he/she should be able to do so without facing a barrage of criticism or heckling. Any character, regardless of size, shape, complexion, age or other factor(s).

When I shared the story on Facebook, a guy friend (and fellow geek) joked that he’d be dressing as a hobbit because it suits his build. While it made me chuckle, I reminded him that he should be able to cosplay as Thor or any other favorite character should he be so inclined.

There is a reason those of us in the geek community are, well, geeks. We appreciate things that the greater whole of society doesn’t necessarily find “cool” or worthwhile. We unapologetically embrace our passions and eccentricities. We maintain a childlike enjoyment of toys, for heaven’s sake! I’m pretty sure we, of all people, should be the most supportive of those who have courage enough to do the same.

No, I might not want to see a dude dressed as Bacta Tank Luke, but kudos to anyone who’s gutsy enough to do it.


Of Sulu and Solo, Organa and Uhura

We’re just a month away from the day that many Trekkers* have awaited and still others no doubt loathe—the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness. The fact that I even know, let alone care, about this stirs more than a little shame in me.

*Note my use of “Trekker” versus”Trekkie.”

R2 got his mitts on my TNG Phaser

Drop the Phaser, R2. This isn’t about TNG!

J.J. Abrams transformed Trek into something sleek and shiny, cool and even compelling. There are plenty of franchise purists who disagree, but the fact that I finally bought into it is evidence enough for me. I guess you could call the 2009 adaptation my ‘gateway drug.’
The morose edge that’s teased in trailers for Into Darkness furthers the appeal—our culture loves when something familiar takes an ominous turn, a la The Walking Dead, The Dark Knight and what I suspect will be a hugely successful rebranding with Man of Steel. Did you see the transmission from General Zod that surfaced the other day?! I got goosebumps, not even kidding.

Anyway, the Abrams factor has me somewhat conflicted about Star Wars Episode VII.
I welcome a darker direction yet I’m concerned about the potential of a slick and sexy, stylized take on it…with lots of lens flares. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If this dude can single-handedly make me like Star Trek, I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with Star Wars.
But I’m not without apprehension.

The original trilogy laid the foundation for everything that I love and associate with the brand to this day. As numerous people have said over the last 36 years, the original Star Wars universe is “lived-in.” Ships are modest at best and aside from a few pretentious settings, most of the surroundings are mundane. The SW of yore feels organic, not overly idealized like most fantasy.
And I think we all remember what unfortunate things happened with the prequel trilogy* when everything took a smooth, digitized turn.

*Granted, I really enjoy most elements of Revenge of the Sith.

It sounds stupid, I know, but Star Wars makes me feel like I could belong there.

Unlike so many hero journeys that ultimately draw every protagonist as a hot shot superstar, SW characters are utterly relatable. Aside from the Jedi, Sith and a few arguable exceptions, you don’t get the impression that anyone has extraordinary powers or talents. {Insert your favorite Stormtrooper missed-target joke here.} In spite of queens and princesses and dignitaries, everything isn’t beautiful and flawless like in fairy tales. Attractive, yes, but not unattainably so*. Average people like me, we could fit in there.

*Okay, except for Natalie Portman who has that ridiculous classic beauty.

Even ‘gritty’ shows like The Walking Dead, which should (theoretically) feel more like the real world, are borderline glamorous. I don’t know how long the zombie apocalypse is supposed to have been going on by this point, but most of those people still look dang good. Muddy and bloody? No problem—they stay generally well-kempt and sport clothes that fit like a glove. So implausible.
I’m gonna keep it real here: in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse, I’m more likely to resemble the Walkers than I am most of the characters on TWD.

I digress.

In spite of the fact that we’re talking about spaceships and aliens and droids and strange planets, Star Wars somehow feels authentic. Like maybe all of that really did happen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Maybe there was even a dorky chick working in her cube at an undisclosed location writing propaganda pieces for the Empire. For reals, y’all, I could totally belong there!

And that is why I temper my optimism with a generous amount of caution when contemplating the fate of my favorite franchise. I’m all for Star Wars becoming a cool kid with popular, attractive friends, I just hope it maintains its rugged and “real” good looks.