Category Archive 'Star Trek'
14 Jul 2019

Some Films Only Come Into Their Own on Television

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There is a small category of films which failed in theatrical release, but which, when played and replayed on television, found their audience and proved themselves to be authentic heart-warming and important films striking a chord with a very wide audience and proving watchable again and again and again.

Some clear examples would be The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski (1998), both now hugely admired classics.

Kathy Shaidle pays tribute in a review to yet another wonderful case of the same phenomenon, Galaxy Quest (1999).

In a just world, O.J. Simpson would currently be serving the 24th year of a double life sentence; Ronald Reagan would have been president during America’s bicentennial instead of Gerald Ford — and Galaxy Quest would’ve earned half-a-billion bucks at the box office when it came out in 1999.

But inept and indifferent studio marketing (plus competition from another “sci-fi” comedy, Ghostbusters) relegated Galaxy Quest to semi-cult status. Which is ironically appropriate, given its plot:

At a science fiction convention, fans await an appearance by the cast of Galaxy Quest, a hokey interstellar TV adventure series unceremoniously cancelled in the early 1980s. The show’s fatally typecast has-been “stars” (played by Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub and Daryl Mitchell) are reduced to reluctantly signing autographs at tacky gatherings like this one, when they’re not cutting ribbons (in full costume) at supermarket openings.

That is, until genuine aliens — who, in cargo cult fashion, have based their civilization on Galaxy Quest re-runs transmitted through space — touch down and beg “the crew of the NSEA-Protector” to help them defeat the villain bent on destroying their planet. The adorable Thermians innocently believe the program’s “crew” are fearless, intrepid space warriors and technological geniuses, not just washed-up actors in laughable uniforms. Their language has no word for “pretend”…

Lazily calling this movie “a Star Trek spoof” unfairly slots it alongside broad, coarse parodies like Blazing Saddles or the soulless Mars Attacks! In truth, Galaxy Quest is a tender, big hearted valentine — more My Favorite Year than Airplane.

That the film’s jokes and, more incredibly, its special effects, hold up so well twenty years later is a testament to the loving care with which Galaxy Quest was crafted. Obeying the first (yet often ignored) commandment of movie comedy, all the actors “play it straight.”

Genre veteran Sigourney Weaver of Alien fame never winks “Get it?”; neither does Alan Rickman, a classically-trained Shakespearean actor stuck wearing a rubber prosthetic forehead, portraying… a classically-trained Shakespearean actor stuck wearing a rubber prosthetic forehead:

While I’d have preferred the director’s original choice for the leading role — Kevin Kline — Tim Allen acquits himself surprisingly well as the pompous, Shatner-esque Jason Nesmith, a.k.a., Commander Taggart.

Cast as Thermian leader Mathesar, Yale Drama alumnus Enrico Colantoni conceived of his species’ quirky gait, rictus grin and off-key speech patterns during his winning audition, then led hour-long “alien school” on set each morning to ensure uniformity and, therefore, believability; of all the Thermians, Missi Pyle’s Laliari is so indelibly delightful that John Updike gave her a shout-out in his novella Rabbit Remembered.

Speaking of famous writers, David Mamet has called Galaxy Quest “a perfect film,” ranking it with The Godfather (and another of my other favorites, Dodsworth.)

But all that came later.

RTWT

01 Jun 2018

Telling a Realistic Fictional Language From Gibberish

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01 Aug 2017

New White House Uniform

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06 May 2017

Starfleet Cancels Redshirt Health Insurance

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Newsthump reports:

New healthcare proposals would result in bridge and command crew keeping access to Medbay, but security personnel being forced to make their own provision.

Members of Starship crew who are ‘statistically most likely’ to be shot, stabbed or sprayed by hypnotic plants will have to supply their own cover for treatment of alien parasites in their skulls after Starfleet brought in new healthcare directives yesterday.

Crewmembers who spend their time being beamed to hostile planets have been told that being sent on an away mission into the unknown terrors of a hostile and uncaring universe is being reclassified as a ‘pre-existing condition’, meaning they will not be entitled to Medbay treatment should the entirely predictable happen.

RTWT

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

13 Apr 2017

Never Volunteer!

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07 Oct 2016

We Know How This Comes Out

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hillarystartrek

11 Sep 2016

Viral Email Humor

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muslimjoke

07 Aug 2016

Trump Pledges to Replace Constitution With Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

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TrumpGrandNagus

Newsthump:

Donald Trump pledges to replace Constitution with the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.

The United States Constitution will be modified to include the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, according to a policy document leaked from the Donald Trump campaign.

The news emerged after it became clear Trump’s campaign website would not allow supporters to cancel reoccurring donations, a move covered under Rule 239 as “Never be afraid to mislabel a product”.

Trump, who believes he is running for the position of ‘Grand Nagus’ of the United States, has a personal motto of “A man is only worth the sum of his possessions”, which is his favourite of the rules. …

Many supporters of Donald Trump already appear to be using at least the first three of the five stages of acquisition – infatuation, obsession, justification, appropriation and resale – to explain backing their candidate.

Read the whole thing.

05 Aug 2016

Some Awful Truths

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TrumpKobayashiMaru

Steve Hayward offers the first nine of a proposed Lutheran 95 Theses about the 2016 Election:

1) If Republicans had nominated one of their conventional candidates, that nominee would be running 10 points ahead of Hillary.

2) If Democrats had nominated someone plausible other than Hillary, that nominee would be leading Trump by 15 points or more. (Hillary is up almost 10 in the current polls.)

3) Republicans nominated the only candidate who could possibly lose to Hillary Clinton.

4) Democrats nominated the only person who could possibly lose to Donald Trump.

5) Is there any way Captain Kirk could reprogram our electoral computer to avoid this political Kobayashi-Maru Scenario? (Classical reference. . .)

Whole thing.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

02 Aug 2016

Those Were the Days

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TrumpStarTrek

18 Sep 2015

We Used to Like That Episode!

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TrumpTribbles

04 Mar 2015

Canadians Are Spocking Their Fives

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SpockingFives

Dangerous Minds reports:

Bank of Canada is pleading with Star Trek fans to stop “Spocking” its five dollar bills. Since Leonard Nimoy’s death, Canadian folks have been “Spocking” the hell out of the five dollar bill that features a portrait of Canada’s seventh prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Sir Wilfrid now sports, on certain bills at least, pointy ears, the signature Vulcan haircut and eyebrows and Spock’s mantra “Live long and prosper.”

According to Bank of Canada it’s not illegal to do this but:

    “…However, there are important reasons why it should not be done. Writing on a bank note may interfere with the security features and reduces its lifespan. Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.”
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