The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB)


Believe me when I say that this article and title is right on the money. While both Trek movies from 2009 combined made over a billion dollars, I believe Paramount is not thinking long-term enough. Fine, the new director Robert Orci has written a boatload of tv shows and some great movies as well as serving as either producer or executive producer. Star Trek 3 will be his first outing at least that is what I found on IMDB. I’m not so keen about this idea because this is not the normal course of action to hire directors especially on big movies like Trek.

On the Fly II with Eric Stoltz, makeup artist/sfx Chris Walas from the first movie became the director of the sequel. Sadly, anyone following David Cronenberg’s work has a hard act to follow regardless. Walas taking over the reigns for the Fly 2, while it had some good moments, failed to rival or even come close to the first. Let’s move to Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation which was headed by Phil Tippet. Star Wars fans and other great visual f/x movies will know that Phil’s great talent is making great visual f/x. Trying to follow the very skilful job that Paul Verhooven did in the first Starship Troopers was next to impossible much like the same problem Walas had. The budget was smaller to fit a smaller story and except for nudity to keep me awake there was very little to watch. I love Phil and will always have a place in my heart as he played the Rancor monster in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Another example is Frank Marshall. He has been a phenomenal producer and executive producer. One could almost watch any Spielberg movie and see Frank’s name. He had also turned to directing and has had some modest success. His first movie was Arachnophobia but I believe his better movie was Alive which was based on the plane crash in the Andes Mountain. However, Congo adapted from Michael Crichton’s book of the same name is sadly forgettable. All these examples are to help illustrate that hiring Robert Orci maybe a mistake given the track records of those I mentioned. However, let us look forward to a future where Paramount can be happy with the future of Star Trek.

Taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Paramount needs to re-establish the Star Trek Universe (STU). Let’s start with mentioning the original series (TOS) that started the franchise. We then get three Star Trek movies one of the best Trek movie of all times. Star Trek gets back to tv with The Next Generation (TNG). Trek 4 makes a big splash with Nimoy taking the director’s chair and making this a more accessible film for non Trek fans. Trek 5 is nearly killed by Shatner’s hand but 6 makes up the last movie for the original cast and ends their run on a high note. TNG then takes over with their turn on the big screen: Generations and First Contact (their best movie by Frakes). Luckily another Trek series on tv comes into play Deep Space Nine (DS9). TNG fires back on the screen with Insurrection also directed by Frakes but lacks any real bite like First Contact. Star Trek launches Voyager (VOY) on the small screen. TNG makes one last movie Nemesis (worst ever). The last Trek series is called Enterprise (ENT). And then the two movies by JJ Abrams. Got that? Moving on.

Why did I go through all that? To showcase my Trek nerd cred… sh’yeah. More importantly, where do we go with STU? Abrams movie gave us a rebooted Trek universe that can allow us to do anything or do it all over again. Let’s do some creative planning and make this next movie a launch for bigger things. I believe the time is right for another Trek series on tv. Last year, there were rumors of two series in the vein of CSI. UHM, OK? But I would rather see 5 year missions or show how TNG, DS9, or VOY might fare in this alternate Trek history Maybe we get a Picard with hair? A female Data? Or nasty Ferengis as was once visioned by Roddenberry? Think of the possibilities for use fans and for the fans of the future. In between, lace these series with movies on the big screen and empire for Paramount can rise though not as mightly as MCU but still better than the Spiderman franchise over at Sony. Now is the time to plan big.

Paramount Pictures is taking a huge risk naming screenwriter Roberto Orci to direct the next film in the Star Trek movie franchise, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the the following video.

According to an exclusive report in Variety last week, Orci, whose screenwriting credits include work on Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, will team with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to write the threequel. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are expected to reprise their roles as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Good news, right? If only it were that simple. Instead, history shows the franchise is suffering decelerating returns. According to The-Numbers.com, Star Trek earned a combined $578.6 million including box office, DVD, and Blu-ray revenue. Star Trek Into Darkness earned $540.4 million on the same basis. Orci is taking on a turnaround story.

via The Star Trek Movie Franchise Is Headed Backwards (VIAB).

Star Trek Kahn Graphic Novel Review


star-trek-khan-comic-book

One of the many ear worms that plague me through out the day, this ear worm for this post would be from the Disney film Frozen ‘Let It Go.” One part of the lyrics speaks to me, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door,” and this is what I need to do but after this blog entry. I have given up trying to be pleased by a movie that never achieved the greatness that I expected from it. I am done beating a dead horse on the Kahn issue but for one last time, I had to understand where the writers where trying to go with this new Kahn.

This story beginning at the end of the movie – sort of. We see the proceedings of a trial to arraign Khan. As the trial begins, there is a Trek easter egg of a character from the original series that is very comfortable in a court setting. I’m not going to tell you who this person is as I just wanted to mention this little tidbit. Believe me, this nu-Trek has a lot to answer for but this little tip of the hat was a good ice breaker. But then we get this shocker.

kahn trial

Ok, now you have my interest. Now, you are telling me something that I wanted to know. Why is the Kahn from Into Darkness different from the Kahn from the original series Star Trek II. The next series of panels pushes the camera on the nu-Kahn to a close up and then to black. Nu-Kahn begins to tell the story through flashbacks on his rise to power and the Eugenics war. This was the hook to get me to read the rest of the stories in this graphic novel. But I was more concerned with the question at hand, “Why were there two different looking Kahn-s?” As with all good stories, you make the reader wait for it. As the story unfolds, we see Kahn and his fellow co-horts boarding the Botany Bay and leaving from Australia. Nice touch!!!

Going back to the movie Into Darkness, we are told the Admiral Marcus and nu-Kahn had met prior to the Enterprise encounter in the movie. In the graphic novel, we get a couple of scenes where a Federation ship finds the Botany Bay and brings it the secret facility. Marcus does several voice overs on the panels, “We figured out who you were soon enough, event with the scarce records of your time. We knew that waking you up as you were would be a huge mistake.” So, if Marcus came to that conclusion, don’t you think the in the original series episode, “Space Seed,” Kirk would have come to the same conclusion? Argue among yourselves and see if I am right.

However, Marcus did not heed his own warning. He decided to use Khan to his advantage and took it a step further. Marcus ordered to have most of Kahn’s memory wiped and have “laser” facial rec-Khan-struction. BLAM!!! We get not Kahn but John Harrison aka nu-Kahn. Ok…I um… ok….. no… not ok. This is a hard pill to swallow but fine; I’ll go with it.

Nu-Kahn helps out Marcus with his superior knowledge but not knowing who he truly is until he starts getting flashbacks to his earlier life on Earth. From there, things go down hill for the Admiral and then us, the audience, that had to see Into Darkness. The nu-Kahn-clusion at the end of the book is the same as what happened in the movie; nu-Kahn goes to sleep. So, I take it that at the end of the movie, nu-Khan was put to sleep and then gets awakened in the graphic novel to have a trial, to tell his story but is found guilty, and then gets back to sleep in the same chamber as before. In this context, the ending in the graphic novel fails to satisfy the reader especially since this was already done in the movie. Think of the Richard Donner’s Superman II ending that did the same thing from the first Superman movie.

However, once more, if…. and I do mean if…. this graphic novel is placed after Kirk was “resurrected” in the film and then nu-Kahn was brought to trail, did his backstory and found guilty…again, and then put to sleep in his chamber, I would have been… ok with Into Darkness as a film. At least the missing gap as to why the nu-Kahn looks nothing like the old Kahn is explained and the ending, will not perfect, will allow nu-Kahn to be resurrected in the future.

And on that note, I will, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door.” I’m done.

 

Where In The World Is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Conspiracy Theorists Take To The Internet | Fast Company | Business + Innovation


Millennium-movie-1989

Let me begin with this note up front. This entry is in no way to make light of this terrible situation. The goal of this blog is to point out how art imitates life and vice versa. Many times, I get in awe of scientific concepts on scifi shows and when times catches up to make those concepts a reality, I am blown away. So, going back to the Malaysian Airlines flight 370, this brings up scifi themed movies and shows that brings up the point, “Can a plane simply disappear?”

Remember Amelia Earhart? Her famous journey to fly solo around the world and still to this day, neither she nor her plane have been ever recovered. Yet, science fiction leads up to believe that on Star Trek: Voyager Season 2 Episode 1 “37″ Amelia Earhart was found in a cryo-stasis by the Voyager crew. So how did Amelia appear on the almost opposite side of the galaxy? Alien abduction.

Another plane related tv series was Lost. This series finds survivors of a plane crash on a remote island filled with secrets. After 6 seasons of episodes, not all the questions posed were answered but did not diminish this great show.

Let’s not forget the tv mini series called The Langoliers created by Stephen King. A red eye flight from Boston to LA, a handful of passengers wake up to find everyone else missing including the crew.

In the late eighties, there was a movie called Millennium not to be confused by the tv series by Chris Carter (X-Files). This movie dealt with humans from the future replacing all the humans moments before a plane crash with fake replacements. These future humans were trying to save humanity by bringing people from the past, who were going to die, to the future where they would live out their lives.

Now, go back farther to a little know Airport movie. This really started the whole disaster movie genre like Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Towering Inferno. Like with all disaster movies, we were treated to an all star casts but unless you grew up in the late 60′s/70′s you will not know many of the stars. However, the success of this movie gave us: Airport 75, Airport 77, and Airport 79. If you want to know the premise of 75, watch Airplane. 77 shows us a plane crashing into the ocean in the Bermuda Triangle. 79 dealt with the no longer running Concorde – the plane that could travel twice the speed of sound.

Last but not least, one of the few books, an actual books not comic books, that I read as a kid was called The Ghost of Flight 401. This story was based on the real plane crash of Flight  401 which met its demise in the Florida Everglades near Miami. From the few details I remember, this book was more about ghost sightings of the deceased crew members appear on other flights. I could be wrong but the connection with the sightings were due to the salvage pieces from Flight 401 being put into other planes. Creepy yes but reading this stuff was truly fascinating.

Let’s all hope, from the searchers involved to the family/friends of those on board the Malaysian Airlines flight 370, that they are all able to have closure soon.

Details concerning the sudden, Saturday disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 continue to trickle in. Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority, said the missing Boeing 777 carrying 227 passengers presents an “unprecedented mystery.”

Here’s what we do know: The flight disappeared on Friday night/Saturday morning en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane was at cruising altitude (35,000 feet) and weather was more or less clear. Air traffic controllers in Vietnam say contact with the crew disappeared about 120 nautical miles east of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, and radar signals suggest the plane may have turned around before losing contact.

via Where In The World Is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? Conspiracy Theorists Take To The Internet | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

The rumor about Wonder Woman’s movie debut will make your head explode


Normally, I would write my comments before the article I found online to post on my blog. Today, I want you to read a quick blurb and then I’ll comment.

Well. If this recently surfaced rumor is true, then Wonder Woman is about to get a verrrrry interesting new origin for Batman Vs. Superman. It’s after the jump; try not to be drinking anything when you read them, because you’re pretty much guaranteed a spit take.

Batman-on-Film.com — which, to be fair, has a pretty damned good track record when it comes to DC movies — claims the following in regards to Gal Gadot’s role as WW in the move:

Personally, I’d say it’ll be about on par with Scarlett Johansson’s first appearance as Black Widow in IRON MAN 2. I believe that it’s a cameo-plus type of role that will (hopefully) serve as a springboard to a solo Wonder Woman movie.

With all that said, I’d bet a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, of course – that the “Amazons” of this cinematic DCU will be descendants of those “ancient Kryptonians” who attempted to set up Kryptonian outposts throughout spacedom thousands and thousands of years ago.

via The rumor about Wonder Woman’s movie debut will make your head explode.

Okay, now my turn. There are things about the comic book universe that works well in one medium but fails to make the transition to another medium. Let’s look at the first X-Men movie in which no character was in a full costume as seen in the comic books. Yes, Magneto and the X-Men team did wear outfits but their suits were more in keeping with a reality check. Hell, Wolverine point out about not wearing the yellow spandex which made perfect and logical sense.

I am all in favor of tweaking origin stories. Tim Burton’s Batman had the pre-Joker kill off Bruce Wayne’s parents. Not much an issue here although the thug was Joe Chill which Nolan corrected in his version of Batman. Still in both cases, Bruce does become The Batman. In the case of Wonder Woman, changing the origin to make her from Amazonian to Kryptonian is just plain wrong. Can’t we not accept Wonder Woman was created and is a living god or in the case of her re-launched comics a demi-god. That little change in the current comics doesn’t take away from the magical qualities of her. If Marvel can have Thor why can’t we just have Wonder Woman the way she has always been? Hell, Lynda Carter’s WW series had her powers tied to her belt but this never lessened the appeal of the character.

If the plan is to make WW Kryptonian, does this add another dimension to the character? I think not. Think about the gender swapping of Starbuck from the old show to the new one. The dynamic of a female Starbuck has a lot of the original male version but in a female lead she is totally kick ass with a no taking shit attitude. Or having the new Spock be a bit more emotional in the reboot than the past, I’m ok with this. The Kryptonian idea does nothing for Wonder Woman. Change the costume; I don’t care but if this is the road we are heading for a Justice League movie, we are seriously fucked.

City councilman pens resignation letter in Klingon | Crave – CNET


To live and breathe scifi in your life is a bit of a challenge. There are some people who get you 100%. There are some people who get you part of the time and those last bits of humanity look at you as if you “Men SoSlI’ targh Daghaj nga’chuq.” Of course, it does loses some of its poetic imagery in the translation but I love this guy! I am this guy and I applaud him for his efforts. All I can say is, “laH QujmeH tIn tlhIngan moQ suck ‘ej HeghDI’ SoH Suq sucking, jIDoy’be’ ‘oH suck ‘op vI’Iprup Hoch.” You get the idea even if you don’t understand.

Qapla’

It takes a special kind of politician to end his term by signing a resignation letter “chaq DaHjaj QaQ jaj paj. ” Thats “maybe today is a good day to resign.” In Klingon.

David Waddell, a city councilman for Indian Trail, N.C., decided to send his resignation letter to Mayor Michael Alvarez written in Klingon as an inside joke. “Folks dont know what to think of me half the time,” Waddell told The Charlotte Observer. “So I might as well have one last laugh.

The politician used the Klingon translator on Bing.com in case the mayor wasn’t fluent in the well-known “Star Trek” language. In fact, Waddell didn’t just write his resignation using standard Klingon, he chose the beautiful, pointy-looking written Klingon language of Kronos.

via City councilman pens resignation letter in Klingon | Crave – CNET.