This is the fried egg on the back episode. I remember thinking he flying creatures looked very gross, like flattened fake vomit bleached to a sickening pale. This is one of those stories that always left me with a lot of questions and since I have a lot to do today why don’t I just ask a few of them?
First off how do these things fly? I mean, obviously with cheesy strings on the show but what was their theoretical motive power? They clearly can’t flap enough to generate lift. Telekinesis? If so why do they have to swoop around like a bat? Couldn’t they just float around? Or use their collective power to hold humans in place long enough to give them the wet back slap? For that matter if their means of attacking humans is attaching themselves to the back of the humans why didn’t anyone think to just wear a breast plate? It’s always aggravating when you suddenly realize that the entire problem could be solved with the application of some 8th century technology (don’t get me started about what a couple suits of chain mail would do for the zombie fighting capabilities of the Walking Dead cast. Rick and Michonne (armed with a sword BTW) image from the Walking Dead t shirt collection). They don’t even have to go full metal. Seems like you could defeat “them” with some plastic armor, a few big butterfly nets, and a tree shredder to feed them into.
Also can someone tell me what the title was about? Were the flying fried egg monsters out to annihilate the human race, or were the humans going to annihilate them? Not a really Federation approach. This title always seemed at odds with all the other really good Trek titles (Dagger of the Mind, City on the Edge of Forever, the Devil in the Dark).
I guess this episode shows that the only thing worse than being a red shirt under Kirks command is to be related to him. Poor Sam Kirk died in agony while his nephew and sister-in-law spent some time in a lot of pain. Also let us not forget how Kirks son David Marcus died on the edge of a Klingon dagger in the Search for Spock. Also didn’t Kirk let the one true love of his life get run over by a truck in City on the Edge of Forever. Don’t know if I would be inviting him to the family reunion.
Anyway, cool episode all that aside. It was later ripped off by Stargate SG1 and a few other shows. The only thing dumb was the devastation Kirk and McCoy felt when Spock was blinded. I really don’t think blindness was as debilitating in the Federation as it would be today. Geordi had that cool wrap around muffler face thing to help him see, and even in TOS they showed that blind people could see with technology in Is There No Truth in Beauty? I don’t think Spock had the emotional attachment to color as we would.
the Infamous Dave Inman
This was an episode that didn’t really excite me as a kid but now as an adult I love it. The entire concept was fascinating; an Earth remote probe meets up with an alien probe and the two of them merge into a super monster with a bizarre twisted mission to find perfection and sterilize anything found less then perfect. If you are a fan of the Berserker series by Fred Saberhagen this might resonate with you.
Plus any episode where Spock gets to use his mind meld is plus for me. Of course in later series’s any time a Vulcan showed up on the screen you know it’s only a matter of time before they trot out the old mind meld again. Sometimes it’s ok to come up with something original instead of milking the old cow for the stuff the fan boys crave.
You know, that makes me wonder a lot about mind melds. Can all Vulcans do it? Seems like so. Spock is only half Vulcan, so does that mean Tuvok is twice as good, or is it a training thing? If a Vulcan truly mind melds with someone does that mean the person they are melding with also gets into the Vulcans head? They sure implied that when the Horta learned how to write after merging with Spock in the Devil in the Dark. If so whenever a high ranking Star Fleet officer uses mind meld to gain information from an enemy isn’t there a huge chance that the enemy might get some kind of top secret from him or her? You know, things like access codes, deflector shield frequencies, or Captain Kirks favorite space condom color. You never know when these things can screw you up.
Also, if a Vulcan can mind meld with a giant lava monster in like five minutes doesn’t that mean that two Vulcans should be able to meld in like three seconds? If so why do they even bother with speaking? Seems like if you wanted to get a PhD in Xenobiology you could just brain suck the most advanced Vulcan Xenobiologist and learn all he or she knew (while he or she would gain your knowledge of 15th century bardiches). Since Spock managed to copy his entire personality and download it into McCoy at the end of TWOK it seems like a pretty reasonable thing to do. Why aren’t all Vulcans masters of everything?
Anyway, I do now really enjoy this episode. I love the scene were Kirk convinces Nomad he made a mistake. One scene where Shatners overacting really, really worked. Spock is not the only crew member capable of logical thought. The image I pulled from the Star Trek t-shirt category. Talk to you soon.
the Infamous Dave Inman
Another one of my favorite episodes. I like to think that a lot of space horror ideas were sparked here. Alien, for example. Also, this is a good example of how Captain Kirk will always be a better captain than Picard. Remember the TNG episode where the crystalline entity was literally sucking up millions of sentient beings and Picard wanted to find a way to talk to it? This gas cloud kills a couple red shirts (oh, yeah. Also half of the Farragut’s crew) and Kirk is willing to drop an antimatter bomb on it. My kind of captain. The one thing any hapless red shirt could count on is after his or her horrible death if there was someone or something that could be made to bleed for it Kirk would find a way. Good luck with that on the NCC-1701-D. I hope your family receives a copy of the strongly worded letter of protest Picard sent to whatever alien monster snacked on your bone marrow to go with your folded Federation flag.
(Red shirt image courtesy of the Star Trek T-Shirt category)
I also liked Ensign Garrovick. There was a series of cool named red shirts who later just disappeared (Riley, for one). I wonder if Shatner ever felt threatened by them and had them axed. I wouldn’t put it past him. I am a massive Shatner fan and Kirk will always be my captain but I freely acknowledge that in general he was a total jerk.
“the Infamous” Dave Inman
Now we are getting into some quality Star Trek. Interesting story, nice twist, and a girl so unbelievably hot she will make your eyes bleed (in a good way). The girl is played by Louise Sorel. She never did an amazing single role but has had a considerable filmography, doing Broadway, soaps, and a ton of prime time appearances.
The image is one of the many episode shirts from the Star Trek T-Shirt collection.
This is another episode that had less of an impact on me as a kid. I only saw it a couple times and the story was a little more complicated. I remember being kind of confused as a kid and the names bandied about like Da Vinci and Brahms had less of an impact on me than if Flint had said he was also Buck Rodgers or B.A. Baracas. However, upon rewatching it as an adult (technically) I realize it was a pretty damned good story. The idea that one man could play so many roles over so long was intriguing, as was the concept of him having such an impact on our culture. The clues Spock picked up on that led them to understand who he was were very cool, and M4 was pretty epic, although clearly a remake of Nomad from the Changeling (also redone as V’ger from Star Trek: the Motion Picture, only with more punch). However, Season 3 was all about cannibalizing the previous seasons so I won’t hold that against it.
Speaking of recycling from earlier seasons, if you watch the original showing the image of Flints home is pretty clearly the painting they did for Rigel IV from the Cage. I guess the budget was running a little thin at that point. They were probably digging through the props warehouse looking for anything they could use on the cheap. When they remastered this one they changed the image to a much more impressive mansion. Not sure if I like that or not. I find most of the remastering changes both annoying and unnecessary. Part of the appeal is the cheapness of the effects. You wouldn’t go to a live play and bitch because there is no lens flare, would you? If you are only watching Star Trek for the special effects stop reading my blog, J.J. Abrams.
An important lesson is learned about always watching a trailer before seeing a film.
Not to say this film was bad. Just that I walked in expecting to see a chick flick with lots of people coming to terms with stuff and instead got a documentary designed to make me feel guilty for living in a 1st world country and for being a man.
As an extremely regular movie goer I have memberships to pretty much every theater reward program out there. Typically this gets me cheap popcorn and the occasional free movie ticket but a couple weeks ago it spat out a free pass to see this movie. I am if nothing else cheap, and giving me a free pass to a new screening is akin to waving the red flag in front of the bull (although I will admit on the rare occasion that I see a film for free or early I tend to start of more kindly disposed to the film (to any Hollywood marketing firms out there that was a less than subtle hint)).
Girl Rising is a documentary about the importance of educating girls and young women in third world hell holes. As a marketing tool I will have to say it is shockingly effective as I am now an advocate for this. No joke I am going to try to scrape together a few ducats and send it to the charity behind this thing (and if you knew how I live you would understand what that means. My life savings is in t-shirts right now and my business is not exactly capable of doing more that buying me the occassional quesadilla from Burrito Ole’.) Showing real people in real situations is always more impactful than all the fake tears and stuntmen Hollywood can through at us, and when those real people are cute little girls from across the globe it will pull at your heartstrings with monster truck force.
During the course of this film I felt a wide gamut of emotions. I felt fear for a couple of the girls who were honestly in danger, rage and helplessness in the face of others who were raped or sold (if you don’t feel an urge to punch the first six men you come across after listening to a 12 year old Egyptian girl talk about being raped and then married off a year later you are not human. Feel free to leave the planet by the quickest method available), and happiness and exaltation for the girls who managed to succeed and excel through education. I have spent most of my life pretending to be Spock emotionally (DJ Spock image courtesy of the Star Trek T Shirt category) but this film blasted through my defenses like a bullet train through a paper towel fence.
The overriding message is that educating girls in Third World countries is an extremely powerful tool for helping not only the girls themselves but the world in general. Educating girls will grossly benefit the countries GNP, cut down immensely on rape, human trafficking, death from childbirth, overpopulation, and reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS. This is all in addition to the massive personal benefit to the girls in question. It shows this presenting short vignettes about 9 different girls from 9 different countries. Some of them are stories of girls finding an education in spite of the cultural and economic issues facing them. These are the happy stories. Others are about girls who can’t get an education due (and in some cases it is illegal for them to do so) and the horrible things that happen or face them because of that. Each vignette is followed by very interesting statistics on how education can benefit these girls.
I was going to give a quick rundown on each of the girls but halfway through it decided one sentence descriptions does not do them the justice the deserve. I will just say it’s worth your time to see each one, even if some of them will have you clawing your own face off in frustration.
I am not going to bother with my usual stars/black holes rating system. I called this blog a review for lack of a more descriptive term but this film can’t be reviewed by normal means. It is not a traditional film. Is it powerful? Yes. Will you want to do something at the end of it? Yes. Will you feel good afterward? Depends on which story you want to focus on, but knowing that for every positive one there are probably thousands of negative ones probably not. Not all movies are about feeling good.
The part of this film that I had the hardest time was waiting for the denouement. As a patron of the Hollywood movie set I spent most of the movie waiting for Jason Stratham to break in with a sub machine gun and rescue each of them but you know what? That sort of hero doesn’t exist in real life. The actual heroes are regular people like you and me who take a stand and do what is within our means. I don’t usually do this sort of thing but I invite each one of you to visit Girl Rising, the website of the organization that put this film together, and do whatever you can to help. If you have money send money. If you don’t then try to watch the film or social media the crap out of them. Facebook, Twitter, whatever it is you kids are doing these days to get the word out. I am not much of a social activist and I hate this Jerry’s Kid’s style telethon BS intensely but if you saw this film you would understand why I now care (and if you know me you know how little I care about almost anything). Please do what you can.
I always say thanks for reading at the end of my blogs, but this time really thank you for reading. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. Comments on this cause or movie can be put here and off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again.
So I have been watching these pretty much every night while working on my new Warhammer army and enjoying it quite a bit. However, I am getting a little put off by the changes they made when they digitally remastered the series.
Some of the changes are for the better. I appreciate the cleaner images and sharper colors. As I watched the show in black and white as a kid the colors have always seemed garish and unreal, and the changes are in my mind quite an improvement. The remastered audio is certainly an improvement, and helps it bear up next to current technology.
The issue I am having is the replacement or addition of the ship effects with CGI. First of all, the show is deeply embedded in the 60’s in terms of shot blocking, camera work, sets, and props. This is part of the charm of the series. When they cut to a scene of the Enterprise spitting out satellite (in a shot almost exactly like the opening scene from the Empire Strikes Back) it looks horribly out of place and throws me out of the scene. I’d like to say it’s like putting a beautiful wedding dress on a sow, but I don’t want to denigrate the show like that. It’s more like taking a guy wearing all retro 70’s clothing but have him walking around Skyping on an iPad (die hipster scum). It just jarring and out of place.
However, that is not the real issue for me. The real issue is the fact that Star Trek was never sold to the viewing populace as a special effects space opera. In all ways the show was about the stories and characters, with the ship and special effects being tools with which to tell those stories. It was the Odysses in space, with Kirk in the role of Odysseus. The fact that the studio thought the one thing the series needed was more bright lights and cartoon space ships is insulting to the intelligence of every thinking Star Trek fan. I’m sure this might help suck in ignorant, stupid kids and hopefully turn them into Trek fans, but I can’t help but feel pandered to.
I’m sure most of you disagree and are welcome to do so. This image with the classic aliens on it courtesy of the Star Trek tshirt category. I’m on my way to see Lawless so I will climb down off my over opinionated Star Trek horse and climb onto my over opinionated movie horse tomorrow. Talk to you soon.