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You're right...it DOES need to be seen to be believed.
On the heels of seeing the impossible accomplished with JJ Abrams's blockbuster: Star Trek, I decided to do some research into TOS story lines/backstories, and found out about ST:NV. I, like many fellow Trekkers, was certainly curious to see what fan-films would look/feel like. I did watch the pilot "Come What May" and the 1st episode "In Harm's Way." I could say that for the most part they were horrible (and I say that with admiration for the effort). I thought the acting was forced, the plots were impossible to follow, and the action was unsteady. I felt nothing for the characters, and could barely hear them at times because the music soundtrack was so loud and penetrating under EVERY scene. I certainly don't remember TOS having distracting music. Movie music works best when it's not heard, but felt. Well, after this Strike 2, I didn't want to hear or see anymore of these so-called "New Voyages."
However, seeing that Walter Koenig himself was going to reprise the role of Chekov, I went ahead and downloaded "To Serve All My Days." I'm glad I did, because it was a 175 degree change in direction (not quite a complete turn-around, but a VAST improvement). Seeing what this team is truly capable of, I can (in hindsight) forgive them for the previous shoddy work. You see here on IMDb, many of them had never been involved in ANY film or program prior to volunteering for duty on ST:NV. The best way to learn anything is by actually doing it, so it appears those first 2 episodes were just getting their feet wet, for now they are fully in the water and starting to hit their stride.
I also watched "World Enough And Time," starring George Takei. I think having the original actors on the set was the best thing possible for this crew. Either Walter and George gave acting tips to the new actors, or simply by being in scenes with them, it raised the emotional commitment (and thus believability) of the "newbies." I had genuine interest in the characters, laughed at the appropriate humor and camaraderie, and even had tears in my eyes seeing the innocence and pain of Sulu's daughter. Production value has gone WAY up, the the only comment I have is they might need to throw a bit more lighting on some of the set pieces, or open the aperture of the camera a bit...seems kinda dark.
That being said, I can't wait to download "Blood And Fire" to see where this Trek goes next. Plus, they re-casted Uhura, and I know Kim Stinger personally, having worked together before...small world, I guess...which is perhaps one of the lessons of Star Trek afterall.
Bottomline: Congrats to James Cawley and the whole Team. You're making Trek live, and with the renewed interest in the Franchise, I'm sure internet viewers will keep tuning in to see what happens to our beloved characters.
Bad Santa (2003)
Not For the Kiddies...DUH!
This was a great film...hilarious and touching at the same time. Funny that people are saying parents brought kids to this movie. I saw Elf a day earlier and thought how funny it would be if the theater just "accidentally" switched reels and the kiddies would've ended up seeing Bad Santa. Anyways, enough of that...back to the movie. So, Billy Bob did a great job. He was very subtle and understated. Lesser actors would probably constantly yell the profanities at the top of their lungs, but Billy Bob barely mumbles his "what the f*ck is that" at a kid's Christmas wish. Yes, Willie (our anti-hero) is crude/obnoxious/completely without feeling/drunk/perverted/etc...but because we love to hate this guy, it is such a nice thing to see the geeky fat kid cause a change of heart. And if you really think about it, this does actually have a holiday theme, that of forgiveness and doing good deeds no matter what your past is. Bottomline...if you can overlook the content of the language and look at the context of the characters...this is a fantastic alternative to the holiday movie...can't wait for the DVD and the extra stuff. --9/10
Sports Night (1998)
Just bought the Box Set
Yay! Sports Night is back... Boo! It's only on reruns on disc... So, I honestly felt that when the series was on, it was the BEST show on TV (this was during the lackluster seasons 5-7 of Friends and the downfall of Seinfeld). I never thought of this show as a "sitcom" but as pure storytelling and entertainment at it's finest. The beauty of the writing was not in the wacky situations, but in the true, pure personalities of the characters. Every time folks brought a problem to Isaac, you just knew he was going to blow them off in a hilarious and sarcastic way. Natalie was WAY hot...and I dug all the characters...honestly, it made me want to be a part of a team that has to complete infinite amount of tasks by a deadline day-in-and-day-out... That all being said, I was SO disappointed with what HBO and Comedy Central did with the show when they had it. Yes, this is a comedy; however, I'm not sure it was filmed in front of a studio audience. I know that when it was on ABC, there was no laugh track, and yet HBO and CC had the nerve to add one. I, for one, "got" the humor, and certainly didn't need artifical laughter to clue me in on the jokes. My only complaint is it was these "laughtrack" filled shows that made it on the DVD set. I'm hoping that in time, they can compile the original ABC shows, find outtakes and deleted scenes, and perhaps reunite the cast for some banter and commentary. Overall GREAT series...glad I bought the DVD set. Sounds like y'all enjoyed it too. I'm out, -Trav
The King of Comedy (1982)
Okay, just bought and watched TKOC for the first time today. I usually only buy a flic after seeing it a few times and KNOWING that I would actually watch it over and over again. But since I had done a scene from this movie in an acting class, I felt a bit of a connection to it...nuff said. So, Rupert is a very likable guy. I didn't see him as the least bit stalker-ish or violent (unlike Mr. Bickle), which makes his decision to actually kidnap Jerry more unpredictable, but yet logical. He of course never intended to harm anybody, he just wanted to be noticed. Nothing wrong with that eh? I mean here's just a nice, simple, misunderstood guy, who wants a celebrity life to prove to his parents/teachers/high school classmates that he IS somebody. Tell me that we all don't wish that at some level. He's a bit shrewd by getting Jerry alone to talk with him, but since he was a bit naive, didn't understand he was getting the brush off. The bottomline...was Rupert Pupkin's act funny? Actually I thought it was...tragic in the sense of how truthful it was, but yet he did have a nice comic outlook on it...best line: "come on, hit me...don't you WANT to graduate" Do I think Rupert knew what was going to become of him after his performance...I'm not sure. I don't think he really planned the media explosion, or maybe he did, and thus he is even MORE maniacal than Travis Bickle. But the point is Scorsese nailed the satire on the media, especially with how we sensationalize celebrities today. Hell, there are countless "personalities" who are only famous for being famous...and I would say Rupert would be one of those. His self-initiated fame will probably end, since he had nothing to back it up with...I loved his "show" after he got out of jail...it was just him standing there and the announcer saying "give it up for Rupert Pupkin" over and over and over again...like that was the whole act. Not a foundation for true fame, but I don't think Rupert cares. Anyways, a fantastic movie. I liked all the characters (even if I'm not a Sandra Bernhardt fan). I did think Masha? was disturbing and yes VERY stalker-ish, oh and NOT sexy...(even if you were taped to a chair, do you actually WANT to do it with HER? *laughs*) Rent it or buy it...you'll connect and enjoy it.
Last Comic Standing (2003)
Another quick thought
Hmm...here's an idea. Perhaps, the producers at NBC realized that Rich, Dave, and others might be funny enough on their own to make it...and didn't need to actually "win"...thus explaining why Dat did...he's a good kid who worked hard and achieved the American Dream...now THAT's good TV. IMHO.