Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Star Trek: First Contact - The Next Generation's Finest Moment

"Captain's log: stardate 50893.5. The moment I have dreaded for nearly six years has finally arrived. The Borg, our most lethal enemy, have begun an invasion of the Federation, and this time, there may be no stopping them."

I love this movie. In fact thinking about it this is definitely one of my favourite films of all time.
I love the opening with Picards nightmare where it sets up for people that don't know what has gone on before with him and the Borg.
I remember at the time when I first saw the Enterprise-E how much of a relief it was to see they had gone down the smaller route compared to the Enterprise-D. It's a cool looking ship and I'm glad apart from giving it a bitch slapping in the last few films they never felt the need to blow it up.
Anyway, Picard is told he is a liability (in a non-direct way) and they totter off to the neutral zone to do a few sensor sweeps and then we here the Borg attack on earth taking place.
"I'm about to commit a direct violation of our orders. If anyone wishes to object do so now, I will make a note of it in my log."

"Sir, I think I speak for everyone when I say: To hell with our orders."

I know when discussing Generations with others in the past I've expressed how much I didn't like Data and his emotion chip in that film but I do like it's use here and Brent Spiner does a good job all through this film.
Great battle against the Borg cube and I love the different ships which obviously includes The Defiant taking a beating. Great re-introduction to Worf who by this time had already buggered off to DS9 but slotted back into the crew perfectly. Love the "You do remember how to fire phasers...?"comment by Riker. Just as well the Defiant was salvageable right?

Hey look, it's the Millennium Falcon (Middle left of the picture)when the Borg cube explodes.

Love the intro we get to meet "The Great" Zefram Cochrane who is nothing but a drunk genius and the no nonsense Lily Sloane (Who I think Picard should of got a bit closer with).
James Cromwell is fantastic although these days I can't help but think that it was Prince Phillip who invented Warp drive.
Skipping ahead to when Picard and the others see the Phoenix for the first time it's a nice little moment between Data and himself.
With the Borg taking over the ship I like how we see a couple of normal Starfleet crew nobodies doing engineering stuff. But there is no way I'd go into the Jeffery's tube on my own like they both did. I do like seeing all the nobody crew members being attacked by The Borg in that montage when the Enterprise is being overrun.
Love all the cameos in this film. Dwight Schultz, Ethan Phillips and the always fantastic Robert Picardo as the EMH. I read that Phillips' role went uncredited down to a request made by himself to confuse fans who may or may not recognise him from his role as Neelix. Robert Picardo's scene as the EMH was met with protest by Gates McFadden apparently, Anyone know why?
Alice Krige as The Borg Queen is great and her introduction has to be one of the greatest intros in all 10 Trek films so far. Manipulative of Data she lures him into her web so convincingly and her shock when she realises Data has mugged he off at the end it cool.
"Time line? This is no time to be arguing about time! We don't have the time!... what was I saying?"

Troi is this film is really good and for once I don't feel she is just there for the sake of being in the Next Gen show. Her scene in the bar when she is drunk is hilarious and does anyone else think you can see Rikers love for her in this?
Lily and Picards argument where she compares him to Captain Ahab is also a great scene. Well acted by both of them and his anger is scary.
"In my century, we don't succumb to revenge. We have a more evolved sensibility.
"I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they've done!"

I love it when the Phoenix finally launches with Cochrane, Geordie and Riker and there is that moment when he panics until he puts Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride in the player.
when it launches into space it pulls the old heart strings every time as I can't help but think the human race is finally uniting and coming together as one.

And it was obvious First Contact was always going to be with the Vulcans but was there anything before this film in Trek continuity stating that this was the case?
I think Jonathan Frakes does a grand job directing this film and although he never meets the heights of Mr Nimoy when it comes to the directors chair he still gets my respect for bringing this to the screen.

A few questions -
Why was sickbays door locked when Crusher was treating Lily thus meaning the Borg trying to get in had to smash it to get it open?

Why were the crew on the surface telling Cochrane everything left right and centre? Talk about irresponsible behaviour. No wonder the man tried to do a runner. How on earth did he managed to keep his gob shut when it came to the show Enterprise?

Obviously they were to return in Voyager (I've not seen many episodes where the Borg Queen returned to be honest) but I have always wondered how they could of come back if she had been destroyed in this film? Surely the Borg are connected to each other no matter how far away they are?

Smashing film and it only just beats Nemesis for me as best of the Next Gen films.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How are the "From Dusk Till Dawn" (trilogy), "Kill Bill" and "Grindhouse" movies connected?

Thought I would share something I just discovered with you.

This takes some work, but all of the above films all exist within the same movie universe. There are several links between all of the movies that can be made. The best link is the character of Earl McGraw (played by Michael Parks) who appears in most of the movie's by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. McGraw dies at the start of From Dusk Till Dawn, so this would place From Dusk Til Dawn's events at the end of the timeline. Then there is Jasper who is alive in the Death Proof segment of Grindhouse, but dies in Kill Bill Vol 1. There is also the link of El Wray from the Planet Terror segment of Grindhouse and the town that Seth Gecko and Richard Gecko were heading to in From Dusk Til Dawn, which was also called "El Wray". Another link is Dr. Dakota Block who appears in both the Death Proof and Planet Terror segments of Grindhouse, and this is the best place to start. Dr Dakota Block is also the daughter of Earl McGraw and sister of Edgar McGraw who also appears in Kill Bill Vol 1 and From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money.

From this you can start to piece together the chronology of the universe. The events of Death Proof must happen before the events of Planet Terror. This can be assumed by the relationship between Dr Dakota Block and Earl McGraw that is frayed in Death Proof and most of Planet Terror, but they do make up by the end of Planet Terror. Also the lack of "sickos" in Death Proof would suggest this is before Planet Terror. Plus, Block leaves at the end of Planet Terror, but is back working in the hospital in Death Proof. There is also a mention "in memory of" over the radio of Jungle Julia from Death Proof in the events of Planet Terror. So far, we have (1) Death Proof and (2) Planet Terror.

Then we can move on to Jasper. As he is alive in Death Proof but dies in Kill Bill Vol 1, that would place the (current) events of Kill Bill Vol 1 and Kill Bill Vol 2 after the events of Death Proof. Thus, (1) Death Proof, (2) Planet Terror, (3) Kill Bill Vol 1, and (4) Kill Bill Vol 2. Then onto Earl McGraw who is alive in Death Proof, Planet Terror, and Kill Bill Vol 1 but is killed in From Dusk Til Dawn, leading us to (1) Death Proof, (2) Planet Terror, (3) Kill Bill Vol 1, (4) Kill Bill Vol 2, and (5) From Dusk Til Dawn. But you have to include From Dusk Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money and From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter. Edgar McGraw makes reference to the events and death of his father Earl in FDTD2: Texas Blood Money, which obviously sets this film after From Dusk Til Dawn. Then FDTD3: The Hangman's Daughter is actually a prequel set in the 1800's, therefore it's the earliest of the connections.

In sum, chronologically the films go: (1) From Dusk Til Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter, (2) Death Proof, (3) Planet Terror, (4) Kill Bill Vol 1, (5) Kill Bill Vol 2, (6) From Dusk Til Dawn, and (7) From Dusk Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money.

So why not watch then in chronological order next time you have the chance.


Star Trek: Nemesis - Not the best ending for Next Generation but also not the worst

Right, I am going to become a person of ridicule here but I love Star Trek: Nemesis.
I don't know why exactly when it is clear most people can't stand it but I am not ashamed of this fact
It is my 2nd favourite Next Generation crew film after the awesome First Contact.

I like the opening of the film with Praetor Jim Robinson and how the whole Romulan council's wiped out. Nice little scene and I've always liked how they just seem to crumble away.

I'll be the first to admit the Wedding reception scenes are cringe worthy in some places. Data getting told to "Shut up", a rather chunky Worf suffering from to much Romulan ale and Guinans "23 was my limit" spring to mind.
Is it correct to assume that Worf has been reassigned back to Enterprise when this films starts? It's just I always get my DS9 continuity mixed up when it comes to the Next Generation films.
But even then there are some really lovely bits showing how close the crew are and how now it is the right time for Riker to leave and take his own command (It took bloody long enough).
Picards "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be in the gym" line once they are on their way to Betazed is very funny.

Lovely cameo by Kate Mulgrew as Admiral Kathryn Janeway but did she only get that rank after getting home from the Delta Quadrant? There is also a cool mention of the Dominion war and Shinzons experiances in it.

The Argo on Kolarus is a great scene. Enough said on that.

I can understand the whole annoyance of B-4 and how he makes Data's death seem cheap and a complete waste of time but I really don't think it does.
Who says Data isn't allowed to live-on in a different body (be it one that through most of the film is a pain in the arse with the way it speaks). He's not Spock is he? And if anything this is far more plausable for him to return then Vulcans favourite son.

I know Shinzon has been compared to a poor mans Khan but I have always loved the character and I love his costume and how the light reflects off it. If I'm going to be honest (And at the risk of sounding like a sad bastard) it's one of my favourite film costumes of all time.
As you know I'm a Tom Hardy fan and this was the first time I became aware of him. I read on-line at one point Jude Law and James Marsters were both considered for the role. I think he does a good job and only suffers pantomime villain syndrome a few times. The scene showing the telepathic form of rape he commits on Troi is shocking but it does the job of disturbing me. I think it is a brave scene for a Trek film.
Picard using a piece of wreckage to impale Shinzon is brutal and I think it is a powerful scene to see him use the last of his strength to pull himself down it and grab Picard by the throat.
Ron Perlman as the Viceroy is pretty cool but I'll admit the fight he has with wobbly Riker is a bit of a no-no. I am wondering though are the Remuns mutants of Romulans/Vulcans? I'm sure I've missed this and Memory Alpha does not cover it. anyone know?
I also like how this film implies there will be some sort of peace negotiations between Romulus and the Federation.

Personally I though this film finishes on the perfect moment for Star Trek to be reborn again for the reboot movie that came out in 2009.
It's not the best film for the Next Generation crew to bow out on but I don't think it deserves the crap it gets as well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A few quick thoughts on Batman (1989)

I love the first Tim Burton Batman film. I've got some good memory's of watching this at the cinema and the fact my then Youngest little brother got in despite it being under the brand new 12 certificate at the time.

To this day Michael Keaton is my favourite of all that have played Batman. He has the right amount of Bruce and Batman going for me and he under plays the role so well I think it's a shame we never got to see him in Batman Forever.
Did you know Bill Murray had been rumoured to be cast in the role at the time
I've always thought Jack Nicholson's Joker was OK but I think the man ruins it himself by just being far too... not sure what the word is to be honest. I don't like how Nicholson's name was billed before Keaton's ether. In fact this film might of been a bit better if it had not had his ego all over it.

The Bat suit is fantastic and this also is my favourite of the costumes that have been designed from the original films. Although I find it amusing to read some people wanted to use a Nike product placement on it. Maybe the famous tick could of gone in the middle of the bat symbol?

Danny Elfman's theme is still a top five movie tune for me to this day. And I'll openly admit to loving the Prince soundtrack.

Great film.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vile people in Harlow shocker!!!

I don't often see the local paper at my house mainly because the kid who is meant to deliver them seems to dump them at places unknown. This week though I had a look through it and came across this letter to the editor.

I was born and brought up in Harlow and had four children. Over the years I have struggled to lose weight.
I was coming to the point of thinking that I was doing really well, eating better and was feeling quite good about myself until I encountered four young women in The Stow area.
As I walked ahead of them, the comments such a "look, there's your twin" and "You must be joking, she's a right state" as well as their laughter made me want to cry.
Their comments were hurtful but I couldn't believe four adults - two with children in buggies - could have the audacity and boldness to be so openly insulting about someone they had never met or who had ever done anything to them.
Perhaps I am being naive in thinking that even if someone thought someone was a "state" they would keep it to themselves. As it stands, I was severely affected by their comments but will soldier on for my own sake and self-esteem to be who I want to be.

Not only after reading that did I feel totally sad how this women had been treated I was reminded of the same sort of sly comments I get from less intelligent folks on nearly a weekly basis. So I thought I'd pen my own letter to the paper in response to this poor womans.
I had to respond to the letter in last weeks paper regarding the incident with the lady being taunted in the stow.
What happened to her isn't nice at all. I suffer from much the same on a weekly basis from idiots that should know better, and although the jibes I receive are not weight related I learned to ignore such vile people a long time ago. I would tell her she is by far the better person then these small minded idiots ever will be and as hard as it can be sometimes don't let them get to you.
If the people that acted in such a rapungent way actually took a moment to look at themselves they would probably never comment on others ever again.

I've no idea if it will be printed but I'll share it with you anyway. Cheers.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First pic of Tom Hardy As Bane From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Last week saw a picture of Tom Hardy as Bane published on the Internet.

I've been a fan of his since I first saw him in Star Trek: Nemesis and as you can see he's clearly prepared for the role of Batman's most intimidating foe. You can always rely on Hardy to look great when he bulks up (see Bronson) and unlike my very public disdain of Heath Ledger when he was cast as Joker back in 2007, which still haunts me to this day, I'm going to remain far more open minded regarding Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Great picture and I'm wondering now how Nolan is going to handle both characters considering his films are more based in reality.

Now we have had a sneak peak at Bane I'd like to go on record saying I think Catwoman will look like this -

Only a year to go until the film hits screens. Tut!