Moriarty Reviews HELLBOY, ETERNAL SUNSHINE, MAYOR OF SUNSET STRIP! Plus One Crazy Piece Of STAR TREK News!!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
All of a sudden, I’m excited about going to the movies again. This year got off to a slow start, and although I’ve enjoyed a few things I’ve seen, like THE PUNISHER or CLUB DREAD, I’ve already had more than my fair share of traumatic trips to the theater with the wife for things like ALONG CAME POLLY or DIRTY DANCING 2. As a result, I’ve had the spring “blahs” pretty bad.
So for one seven day stretch of film viewing to give me a chance to see three great films... well... it’s enough to make you feel drunk and dizzy. Three totally different flavors, all of them great. Not even the totally wrong-headed scoop that I’ll close today’s column with can sour my good mood. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get busy.
IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S A BIG RED FREAKY DEMON-LOOKING DUDE IN A GREAT ORIGIN MOVIE!!
Yes, I’ve written two scripts for Revolution Studios so far. And, yes, I would consider Guillermo Del Toro a friend. Knowing that, you can feel free to skip this review, and I’ll understand. No offense taken. I’m giving you the choice, and I encourage you to not read it if you’re going to have trouble with my opinion. Save us both the heartache, huh?
But what I want to say about this movie comes from the heart. It’s sincere. And it’s something I am just itching to write. When you see a movie that makes you feel this good, you want to shout about it. That’s the whole reason I started writing in to Harry in the first place. And after seven years of me doing this, you probably have a pretty good idea by now of whether or not you think you can trust me.
The easiest way to sum up my reaction to this film is to share a favorite memory. I was twelve years old. I lived in Chattanooga at the time. Twelve... that magical age that Michel Gondry considers so pivotal. So formative. For me, it was the best summer of movies and movie fandom ever. There was a six-plex near my house, and I often think that movie heaven is the lovvy of that theater near the end of that summer. There’s a moment I remember that is the closest to geek overload that I’ve ever come, standing in that lobby, turning around so I could read all the titles, one after another...
CONAN THE BARBARIAN. STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING. BLADE RUNNER.
And if that last marquee happened to read HELLBOY?
Well, that would have been appropriate. Because what Guillermo’s done is make that kind of geek candy, a film that entertains with effortless ease all the way through. It’s a visual powerhouse, beautifully designed and photographed. It features a showcase of astounding make-up effects by Rick Baker’s company and by Spectral Motion. The digital effects by Tippett Studios and The Orphanage are inventive and expertly used. And the coolest part is that none of these things are the reasons I love the movie.
Y’see, HELLBOY’s all about heart.
Yes, the movie about the giant red devil-looking superhero, the psychic fish guy, the girl who makes fire come out of her body, the creepy undead Nazi clockwork monster and nasty giant tentacle gods invading the Earth is, somehow, one of the most emotionally satisfying mainstream movies I’ve seen since THE IRON GIANT.
Rom Perlman has flirted with geek icon status over the years, and he’s also flirted with mainstream stardom. Some of us are crazy about CITY OF LOST CHILDREN or THE LAST SUPPER or THE NAME OF THE ROSE. Many women will always be fans of his TV series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. One thing that has always distinguished his work is the way he handles make-up intensive roles. I still remember the first time I saw QUEST FOR FIRE, where he did remarkable physical work. For many actors, make-up can be a barrier, but Perlman seems to flourish. Ten minutes after his first appearance as Hellboy, you’re going to forget any other roles you’ve ever seen him play. He simply becomes Hellboy, and he invests the character with a ridiculous amount of charisma. He’s hilarious when he’s wising off to a resurrection demon named Sammael. He’s heartbreaking when he confesses his true feelings to Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). And when the time comes for Hellboy to kick some ass, he steps up and dishes out a world of hurt that is exhilarating. Perlman strikes just the right note in every single scene, and by film’s end, he is absolutely the sexiest fucking beast on two legs. In the weeks leading up to us seeing the film, my wife kept telling me that she didn’t understand why I was so excited to see the movie. She visited the film’s production offices with me last year before the shoot in Prague, and she saw Mike Mignola’s work and TyRuben Ellingson’s work and Wayne Barlowe’s work, and as much as she respected the obvious artistry on display and Guillermo’s evident enthusiasm, she didn’t really get it.
Midway through the film, after a particular scene between Liz and Hellboy, she turned to me with a huge smile on her face and tears in her eyes and whispered, “He is awesome.”
Of course, Perlman’s work only pays off because of the supporting cast he’s playing with, all of whom do excellent work. Selma Blair’s never been better. I’ve never understood Hollywood’s desire to push her into broad comedies like LEGALLY BLONDE and THE SWEETEST THING. There’s such sadness in her eyes, such a haunted quality to her beauty. Liz Sherman’s scared of the world, but not because of what it might do to her. She’s more afraid of what she might do to it, and she’d rather hide than hurt anyone. In the process, though, she’s tearing apart the people who love her the most. There’s Professor Bruttenholm, played with rumpled, fuzzy charm by John Hurt. There’s Abe Sapien, played on-set by Doug Jones and voiced perfectly by David Hyde-Pierce. And then there’s big red himself, H.B., who has grown up with Liz and who nurses an unspoken love for her. They’re more than an extended family for Liz. They’re also the core of the B.P.R.D., the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
I’ve heard people criticize this idea for being similar to MEN IN BLACK or X-MEN or LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and in a superficial way, that’s true. But what makes HELLBOY better than any of those films is the way the film places the characters front and center, never letting the story become too complicated and never letting the villains steal the show.
It’d be easy for that to happen, too. Karel Roden was probably the best thing about 15 MINUTES, but he was awful in the aimless, idiotic BULLETPROOF MONK. I was surprised by how cold and menacing he is as Grigori Rasputin, the famed advisor to the Romanovs. Biddy Hodson is a fetish fan’s ideal as Ilsa, Rasputin’s devoted Aryan moll. And Satan, Prince of Darkness, makes a very special guest appearance as Kronen, the scariest fucking bad guy in recent memory. Jesus Christ... there’s not a scene in the movie where he doesn’t give me a screaming case of the heebie-jeebies. He’s a nightmare, much cooler than Darth Maul, especially because he’s used more. His real appearance under his various masks and costumes is genuinely freaky, and I’m surprised he didn’t earn the film an R all by himself. He’s that hardcore. Together, the bad guys aren’t really very complicated in terms of what they want: a ceremony of occult ritual combined with a machine designed to open a portal that will wake the slumbering Elder Gods and bring them into our world to rule in fire and horror forever. And, seriously, who hasn’t had that dream once or twice?
You know you love a film when you can’t name a favorite moment. Every moment I name when talking about the movie makes me think of another moment, then another, and each one gets me worked up all over again. Watch out for the spoilers as I gush for a minute...
There’s Baby Hellboy and the young Professor bonding over a Baby Ruth, and the surprised “It’s a boy!” Hellboy’s nickname for Sammael. Beltrami’s score when Meyers reaches the B.P.R.D. The intro of Abe. The kittens. Especially the ones in the subway. The horns under the train. The Right Hand of Doom meets the front hood of a car. “Mmmmm... nachos.” Hellboy and the kid. Meyers and the yawn. Sammael eggs a-hatchin’. “Dream again... of fire.” Young Liz and the other kids and the fire. All that fire. Clay’s hair plugs. The corpse, cursing the “red monkey” in Del Toro’s best Russian accent. The wood match vs. the Zippo. Abe and his Rubik’s cube. The post-credits sting at the end of the film. Kronen on the island at the start, deadly accurate and impeccably clad. Rasputin’s vision of Apocalypse, and Hellboy’s crown of fire. All the lovely tentacles. Hellboy’s wish. Hellboy’s promise. “Hey... you... let her go.” And on and on and on.
In a perfect world, this is a giant hit and we get to see all kinds of sequels. We need to see more of Kronen. We need some Lobster Johnson. We need to see what Del Toro could do with twice the budget and permission to get crazy. HELLBOY feels like the start of something much bigger, but it also feels contained and complete. Our affection for Hellboy and Liz and Meyers and even Manning by the end of the film is so enormous that this would be a gift of a franchise, not just some reflexive money grab. Guillermo Del Toro’s six-year quest to bring this comic to life has resulted in a minor miracle, and I’ll bet my silly little Internet pseudonym that you guys are going to embrace this one once you get a chance to take a look at it.
I FORGOT I REMEMBERED TO FORGET
This one, I think, will divide people much more dramatically. It did well in limited release last week, with a great per-screen average, and I'm curious to see if it can build on that as it goes wider. Some of you are going to internalize this film, experience it as a revelation of sorts. Mr. Beaks, for example, is religious about it right now. He just had his name legally changed to Michel Gondree, and he’s started speaking in an impeneterable French accent. Some of you, though, are going to be deeply frustrated by the way Gondry handles the film’s admittedly tricky narrative shifts. This movie makes you work for the treasures it has to offer. It’s worth it, though, to see two dazzling artists and a tremendous cast all at the peak of their powers in service of that most rare of things in cinema: a truly original film.
Experimental in structure but surprisingly direct in terms of emotion, the film is like a narrative Moebius strip, and it starts somewhere in the middle of things. Joel (Jim Carrey) wakes up alone and gets ready for work. Right from the film’s opening, Carrey’s doing something different than we’ve ever seen from him before. I’ve always felt like there is an anger and a sadness to Carrey’s comic mania. He hinted at it in THE CABLE GUY and MAN ON THE MOON, and even flashes in some of his silliest comedies. ETERNAL SUNSHINE isn’t just a script for Carrey; it’s permission. When we meet Joel, he’s a clenched fist. He uncurls only gradually, the same way the narrative unfolds. Joel finds himself oddly compelled to skip work and take the subway out of the city, out to the beach. Whatever draws him there also draws Clementine Krucynski (the luminous Kate Winslet), and the two of them keep encountering one another over the course of the morning. Finally, they can’t avoid their curiousity about each other. They talk. They don’t flirt so much as they collide. And just as we start to get our bearings, the film twists and convulses and folds in on itself as Joel stumbles across evidence that he and Clementine are connected, and between them lies something known only as “Lacuna.”
I’ll tread lightly here, because part of the joy of the film is that sense of discovery. I think it’s funny that most of the reviews I read tend to either focus on Gondry or Charlie Kaufman as the primary artist, but they’re missing the point. This is pure collaboration. Gondry and Pierre Bismuth co-wrote the story with Kaufman, and the result is deeper than anything any of them have done before. As much as I admire ADAPTATION and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, this film is so much more universal in its themes that it’s hard to compare them to this. After all, memory is something that defines all of us and makes us who we are. Our hardest moments, our worst encounters, are also the things that make us stronger when we survive them and learn from them. Our memory is what allows us to grow as we accumulate experience. This film digs deep into the nature of memory, and it feels like a Philip K. Dick adaptation without all the stupid action bullshit that Hollywood always insists on trying to shoehorn into the films they so loosely base upon his work. What makes this film so fresh is the way Kaufman’s dazzling landslide of ideas and character is so ably supported by Gondry’s visual invention. To his enormous credit, Gondry doesn’t try to outdo Kaufman by throwing a huge bag of visual tricks at the viewer. Some of his best moves here are subtle, restrained. The wittiest visual touches in the movie are the ones that sneak up on you, like the way color and detail slowly leeches out of Joel’s vanishing memory, or the way Gondry refuses to telegraph what’s real and what’s remembered, and what’s created as Joel pokes about in his own subconscious.
Winslet’s as brave as Carrey here, playing a flawed woman who is lovable precisely because of those flaws. She is achingly human, and when a critic sniffs in disgust at her drinking or her hair or her casual cruelty designed to shock Joel out of his shell, they miss the point. She’s real. This is what you get when you fall in love. You get a real person, who will never be the same as some fantasy in your head. They will always fall short if you’re chasing perfection. Winslet gives Clementine a wild and free spirit that is impossible to shut out. The rest of the cast is equal to the stars. Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, and Elijah Wood play Stan, Mary, and Patrick, the three young assistants to Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, played memorably in a few brief scenes by the wonderful Tom Wilkinson. The way each of them deals with the responsibility of what Lacuna does to people is what really provides the moral framework of the story. Stan does good work and thinks he’s helping people, but he sees his overnight stay at Joel’s apartment as a way to get into Mary’s pants. Mary sees her stay at Joel’s as a chance to get closer to Dr. Mierzwiak, who she adores and worships. Patrick has darker, personal motives in making sure that Joel’s memory is wiped clean. By the end of the night, each of them is driven to believable extremes, and by the time Dr. Mierzwiak’s wife shows up, everyone’s laid all their cards on the table. It’s as rich a collision of characters as Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, bold and edgy and uncomfortable. There’s a moment between Dunst and Wilkinson in particular that is just wrenching, and she’s so emotionally bare, such a raw and wounded nerve in that moment, that you almost have to look away. Ruffalo’s better here than in any of the other films I’ve seen him in lately, eccentric and energized by the material. It’s a lovely balancing act between sweet and sleazy. Wood is anything but likeable as he emotionally rapes Clementine, a sequence I found deeply disturbing. The invasion suggested by what he does horrifes Clem even when she’s not quite sure what’s happened.
Ellen Kuras is a great cinematographer, her talent defining itself in a series of adventurous collaborations with very strong directors. There’s a clear, adult edge to her work that contrasts nicely with Gondry’s innate sense of whimsy. And the film simply wouldn’t work this well without the incredible work of Jon Brion. I’m madly in love with his score for MAGNOLIA, and I was impressed by how different this is, but how unmistakable his signature is. He’s one of the most innovative composers working in film today, and he catches the absurd dark romantic nightmare mood of this film perfectly in his music.
What touches me the most about the film is the fervor with which everone involved obviously believes in love. Carrey and Winslet have had to deal with their love lives as tabloid headlines, and Gondry spoke to our own Mr. Beaks about his trials with love. Kaufman’s other films give you a pretty good idea where he’s coming from. And these bruised people, carrying the same kind of scar tissue as the rest of us, make a movie that says love is worth it. Love is worth all the pain. So often, “love” in movies is nothing more than a series of cute and silly encounters, easy and predictable. There’s a reason every romantic comedy trailer gives away the ending; they’re selling you a promise that you will get EXACTLY THE SAME FILM YOU’VE SEEN BEFORE, and the audience appreciates it, evidently. ETERNAL SUNSHINE believes in real love, imperfect and difficult and painful and confusing, but above all, beautiful. So beautiful. And in moments like Joel and Clem flat on their backs on the ice or the two of them in a beach house in the dark or together under a yellow sheet, blissfully happy, we see exactly the sorts of memories that tie people together in real life. The notion of a true second chance, eyes open and aware, is uncommonly hopeful, and I find myself rooting for Joel and Clementine. I believe that Mary’s return of the tapes is a good thing. Even the worst moments in our lives come hand-in-hand with the best, and sorrow and pain are part of joy and pleasure. Embrace it all, and embrace this remarkable movie.
MEET THE MAYOR
George Hickenlooper fascinates me. He’s done a little bit of everything as a director. He’s one of the guys who co-directed HEARTS OF DARKNESS: A FILMMAKER’S APOCALYPSE, the amazing behind-the-scenes look at Francis Coppola’s descent into madness while making APOCALYPSE NOW. He’s also made several narrative films. He was the one who finally brought Orson Welles’s THE BIG BRASS RING to the screen. He directed the deeply underrated THE MAN FROM ELYSIAN FIELDS a few years ago, and also directed the short film that Billy Bob Thornton later expanded into SLING BLADE. He’s sort of been all over the map in his career.
That may be what made him the perfect person to help craft an intimate documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer, an LA-rock scene Zelig whose life has somehow intersected with bands from the Monkees to Coldplay and everyone in-between. Hickenlooper worked closely with former Dramarama bass player Chris Carter, a longtime friend and collaborator of Rodney’s, and it was Carter who approached Hickenlooper. He’s the one who first saw Rodney’s life as a movie. Hickenlooper came in as an outsider, someone who barely knew anything about Rodney. Because of that, he’s made a film that isn’t just a portrait of a local Los Angeles legend. It’s also an examination of the way our culture fetishizes and worships celebrity. Rodney Bingenheimer is every inch the social experiment that Harry Knowles is, both of them geeks on a level that no mere mortal can comprehend. Rodney’s lifelong obsession is music, and when he moved to LA in the mid-‘60’s, he timed it just right. He was ground zero for a cultural explosion, and he had jobs that gave him a close-up view of the era’s biggest phenomenons. He was the stand-in for Davy Jones on THE MONKEES, and he was close to Sonny and Cher. He wrote for music magazines about the groupie scene and local clubs and live shows he saw. He went to work for Capitol Records, then Mercury Records, promoting performers like Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, and David Bowie, who was introduced to LA by Rodney via waterbed, an event that is included in the movie.
Rodney’s biggest personal accomplishment probably came with the opening of the English Disco, an influential club where glam rock was the preferred sound, and Bowie, T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Suzi Quattro, Led Zeppelin, and the Sweet were all customers as well as the on-stage entertainment. When he closed the club’s doors and moved over to the radio, Rodney really found his calling. He used his KROQ show to break records, and he became one of the most important early arbiters of success. Looking at a list of all the bands he played first, you can’t help but be impressed.
Blondie, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Van Halen, The Go-Go’s, Nina Hagen, The Cramps, Nena, The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths, The B-52’s, Billy Idol, Adam and the Ants, Echobelly, The Dead Boys, Ride, X, Siouxie and the Banshees, Bow Wow Wow, Bad Religion, Duran Duran, The Jam, The Bangles, The Runaways, Redd Kross, Bananarama, Joan Jett, Tom Petty, Dramarama, Nirvana, L7, Sonic Youth, Teenage Fan Club, Suede, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Flag, Echo and the Bunnymen, No Doubt, Offspring, Pennywise, Blur, Elastica, Belly, Supergrass, Rialto, Placebo, Oasis, Sleeper, The Verve, Kent, Ash, Gene, Travis, Coldplay, Doves, The Strokes, Starsailor, The Donnas, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives, The Vines, and The Electric Soft Parade.
Watching MAYOR, I couldn’t help but think of Harry and how he compares to Rodney. They both geek out occasionally to an absolutely hilarious degree. Rodney’s use of “godhead” slays me, especially when people tease him about it. The difference between the two of them is that Harry is one of the happiest people I know. Even when he’s got giant problems in his personal life, he’s got this unflappable quality about him. What makes MAYOR so affecting is the sadness that practically pours off of Rodney in much of the movie. Watch him when he’s dealing with Camille Chancery. The exact nature of their relationship is one of the questions left hanging for most of the running time, and it’s strange seeing how hung up on her Rodney seems to be. This is a guy who Robert Plant called the biggest sexual icon in LA during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Rodney always had young, beautiful girls with him, and Michael Des Barres riffs hysterically about the power Rodney and his “pussy posse” possessed. Now Rodney seems almost consumed by his desire to be normal, domestic. He gave his whole life to the celebrity of others, and it’s almost like he gave away his life, piece by piece. He calls himself a private person at one point, but that seems pointless. There’s nothing to Rodney aside from the music he plays and the photos he collects, totems that prove that he has met pretty much everyone of note in the music world in the last 25 years. He’s compulsive to the point of RAIN MAN about his photos, and he treats a picture of himself with the Easter Bunny as reverentially as one of him with Andy Warhol. That indiscriminate enthusiasm of his is part of what draws people to him. He’s a blank slate. Maybe that’s why performers feel so comfortable with him. Rodney practically becomes invisible with a celebrity in the room. He’s like Peter Sellers in BEING THERE. People read a lot into Rodney based on his proximity to the famous. He’s like an arrested adolescent who reads nothing but fan magazines, child-like in his single-minded obsessions. He throws one holy terror of a tantrum in the movie, and he sounds for all the world like a cranky eight-year-old, betrayed by his best friend and unable to digest it.
It’s the last twenty minutes or so where Hickenlooper brings it all together and makes the film count. It packs a devastating emotional punch. Rodney makes a trip to London that totaled me. In this most personal of moments, on a small boat, Rodney plays a song on a portable tape player, and it’s incredibly revealing. After all, think of all the music and all the bands that Rodney’s listened to over all those years. He doesn’t make casual choices about music, especially not for a moment as personally important as this. The particular version of the song that he plays is powerful and exquisite, and like the rest of the incredible soundtrack, it’s worth tracking down.
There’s a guy named Ronald Vaughn who Rodney is friends with who shows up several times in the film. There is a desperate, scary quality to Vaughn, a visibly unbalanced fringe LA figure who performs as Isadore Ivy – Spaceman At Large, and he would make an easy target for ridicule if Hickenlooper wanted to be cruel. Whether he’s being interviewed in the back parking lot of the now-closed Rock’n’Roll Denny’s on Sunset or performing one of his bizarre celebrity-crazed songs like “Jennifer Love Hewitt” (“Jennifer Hewitt’s rare/La La La La, she’s famous.../And she’s nice!”), Vaughn is just heartbreaking. What keeps him from being a figure of mockery is the way Rodney treats him as a friend. Rodney invests Isadore Ivy with a sense of worth simply by acknowledging him. So often, that little bit of recognition can make the difference. People pour their whole hearts and souls into their work, and some of them labor in obscurity for decades, their frustration mounting, and for many of them, it gets harder and harder to bear. When Rodney plays two of Isadore Ivy’s songs on his “Rodney On The Roq” show, it’s enough to justify all those years of struggle. Vaughn’s got his moment. He’s got his dignity.
When I moved to Los Angeles in 1990, KROQ was still considered a truly alternative station. It played “weird” music. Rodney was still a key part of determining the voice of the station. In the time I’ve been listening, he’s slowly been marginalized. His show moved later and later on Saturday nights before finally getting banished to a Sunday midnight-to-3 AM slot. Jed the Fish, one of KROQ’s other old-school DJs, talks about the inevitability of it, and the implication is that success has cost the station some integrity, and Rodney’s an uncomfortable reminder of what they used to be. When you see the parade of people who showed up to be interviewed to sing the praises of Rodney, or when you see moments like the great bit with Brian Wilson in the studio, it goes a long way towards making the case for Rodney as a significant figure. Here’s hoping this film builds his reputation, and no matter what, you need to keep your eyes open for it in limited release starting this Friday in New York and LA. It’s another triumph for Hickenlooper, and a hell of a treat for music fans.
TO BOLDLY BLOW LIKE NO TREK HAS BLOWN BEFORE!!
Paramount is a studio that seems to be scrambling to figure out just what its identity is. For the last five years, it seems like they’ve been the home of stalled, desperately un-hip franchises, Ashley-Judd-in-peril movies, and weak Billy Friedkin pity gigs. They seem to be working to change that, though, with films like SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW and A PRINCESS OF MARS in the pipeline. I want to believe that Paramount can turn it around.
But when I hear about their plans for STAR TREK, I have to wonder. Are they unable to tell a good idea from a bad one where this particular franchise is concerned? I’m not the world’s biggest fan of TREK in any flavor, but I sympathize with TREK fans. You guys have it rough. And it’s about to get rougher.
First, the good news. No Berman. No Braga. Instead, Jordan Kerner (SNOW DOGS, INSPECTOR GADGET, THE MIGHTY DUCKS and D2 and D3) is being brought in to produce. Right now, he’s in the early stages of developing a prequel trilogy. First question, obviously, is “a prequel to what?” After all, the various TV shows have played all sorts of tricks with the timeline. When I hear “prequel trilogy,” it sounds to me like we’re going to see young Kirk and young Spock and young McCoy. It sounds to me like we’re talking about Starfleet Academy.
Instead, we’re looking at films that sound like they’re all about big intergalactic events, but which don’t appear to be about any characters, which is what Gene Roddenberry’s original vision was ALWAYS about. Characters. Don’t just try to tell some big budget spectacle story. I hear the first film’s about a civil war, the second film’s devoted largely to the galactic switch-over from a fission standard to fusion, and then there’s a third film where we’ll finally see an Ensign Kirk show up for all of about the last 20 minutes. Just Kirk. Nobody else. And no ENTERPRISE.
And that notion they’re discussing in hushed and excited tones about putting William Shatner’s head on a younger actor’s body? Easily the goofiest bad idea I’ve heard since Lex Luthor, flying Kryptonian. It almost makes me want to see them do it, just for the laugh value.
You’re still really early in this process, Paramount, so please... allow me to offer a little bit of constructive criticism. You need to listen to your fans. And I’m not saying listen to me. Read the message boards that are out there. Cast as wide a net as you can across fandom and let the fans remind you just what it is that made TREK so important to them in the first place. Reach out and take the time to get it right. Don’t just chase STAR WARS and LORD OF THE RINGS, and don’t throw money at it just to make STAR TREK into something it never was.
I’m going to try to bring you more details about this proposed trilogy as they continue working on it, and in the meantime, I’ll hand it over to the real TREK fans, you guys. What do you think of Paramount’s plans?
I’ll be back soon with another edition of the DVD Shelf. Until then...
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March 24, 2004, 7:46 a.m. CST
by Jon E Cin
March 24, 2004, 7:50 a.m. CST
by Jon E Cin
At least star wars has only sucked for 7..
March 24, 2004, 7:57 a.m. CST
personally this trilogy wouldn't excite me at all, i'm exhausted by Star Trek, there's just too much of it. for me it started going downhill with DS9. now i only watch it for T'Pol (sad as i am).... If they are going to do a new series of films then it would be a good idea to start with all new characters as none of the crews from any of the other series are interesting enough for the big screen. but then on the otherhand, why call it Star Trek. better off starting a TOTALLY new sci-fi franchise, you'd get a whole larger group of people excited by it. at the moment the words 'Star Trek' put half of the potential audience off!
March 24, 2004, 8:09 a.m. CST
People always talk about how the even Treks are better than the odd ones, but that's not true with the next generation franchise which was pretty mediocre except for First Contact. The reason the original even TOS Treks are better is because they were all written by Nicholas Meyer and he directed 2 and 6. Why doesn't anyone see that?
March 24, 2004, 8:09 a.m. CST
We have a prequel to Star Trek. It's called "Enterprise". Use what you have and try and build on it - don't try re-inventing a wheel that's been around for 40 years.
March 24, 2004, 8:12 a.m. CST
Shite. I feel SO sorry for you poor Trekkies. You geeks are taking a bigger ass-raping then those sods who are still suckling at the teat of Lucas and his tired SW franchise. Stop flogging the dead horse already; when there's no more story to tell, let it go. Flippity-flog-flog-flog. Beat it like a 12-year old beats his lil' monkey to a Sears catalog.
March 24, 2004, 8:35 a.m. CST
I remember years ago I was browsing in a comic store in Austin when I saw a poster that said "Coming Soon...Mike Mignola's HellBoy." Well...I liked his art. I loved the simplicity of it and the fantastic sense of composition and design and kept on thinking that this would be a great animated film if only Disney grew some balls. Jesus H. am I glad they decided to go with Del Toro. The owner of the store let me keep the poster ( I still have it ) and I became a devoted HellBoy reader. When my friends and I started seeing previews of the movie I had to start defending it. I mean...to somebody who does not know the comic the title "HellBoy" DOES seem a bit silly. Imagine sitting there getting all excited and then hearing one of your buds saying, "HELLBOY??! Jesus Christ!" Try explaining all that make this property great. The mission of the BPRD. The humor balanced so expertly with horror ( Mignola can scare you...Just read "The Wolves of St. August" when the child ghost first appears ), the snappy retro-design of everything that ( to me ) seems like it could fit in a cool Republic Serial, I'm talking about the Nazis' lab equipment, HellBoy's leather utility belt bulging with tecno-gizmos and magic charms. That gun! Did I mention the humor? "Paprika Chicken Baby!" All of this and the tragic hero who was nurtured as a human being but is forever separate. Mignola created a character worthy of Ben Grimm from the Fantastic Four. Liz is HB's Alicia. Go ahead...try to explain that to people raised on cynical shit. 'tain't gonna happen. But fuck 'em. This movie looks like it will deliver in spades. Muchas gracias Don Del Toro! Y espero MUCHAS mas peliculas con nuestro amigo rojo.
March 24, 2004, 8:47 a.m. CST
But since I've watched Babylon 5, I can't stand the new Trek show. I stopped with DS9. Babylon 5 was a show which was all about character, which was great!! I know the big Trek fan will say it's like a soap in space but, that's because they didn't watch it entirely and they don't know what they're missing. And you know what? There might be a Babylon 5 movie someday (or at least, a movie in the Babylon 5 universe) and I'm sure it'll be better than any Trek movies since Star Trek 6.
March 24, 2004, 8:56 a.m. CST
Selma Blair. Where have you been all my life. I saw a couple of shots of Liz at countingdown *sigh*. P.s Fanboys would do well to scour the 'net for the cover images of Flaunt magazine. She's brooding and topless and lithe and...and...and
March 24, 2004, 8:57 a.m. CST
Wow! I think I'll write a prequel trilogy to Cannonball Run covering the harrowing switch from Standard to Unleaded gasoline. WTF kind of idea is that? People just want to see space shit blowed up.
March 24, 2004, 8:59 a.m. CST
Harve Bennett. 'member him? He produced that universally loathed piece of crap called THE WRATH OF KHAN.
March 24, 2004, 8:59 a.m. CST
FYI: Yes, linking to Amazon may bring in a bit of money for you. However, this loyal reader considers a review far more credible without them. Let me explain; When you listed the films with which you think "Hellboy" belongs in your ultimate geek nirvana, I believed you. Had that list been linked to Amazon.com, I would have thought that it was only put there to earn you guys an extra buck. In other words, I can take the praise of a guy with ties to the director or studio of a film he's reviewing, with a grain of salt. If you pile the shilling of DVDs onto that mix, it puts the whole review over the top, in terms of "Why was this written and put on the net." Maybe that's just me, but it's how I feel.
March 24, 2004, 9:05 a.m. CST
A trilogy of Star Trek prequels is a lousy idea. At its heart Roddenberry's creation has always been about looking ahead, into humanity's future. About exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life, and new civilizations, and how the bold exploration of a vast galaxy can actually help us discover and debate aspects of our own species and our own cultures. Although set in the future these prequels would be looking back over old ground, and face all the problems that have dogged current Trek failure Enterprise. Let's face it, prequels aren't easy, as George Lucas' own trilogy demonstrates. I'm all for getting rid of Berman and Braga, bringing in some new blood. Also, I tend to agree that the only "event" that might draw audiences back into cinemas might be the return of William Shatner - an invaluable and still viable resource who is almost a living legend in geek terms. However, any new venture should take Star Trek forward, further into the unknown, rather than dwell in its past, rehashing its history.
March 24, 2004, 9:07 a.m. CST
yes we fans have been screwed since Voyager. No, the Wrath of Kahan was not 'crap' and a prequel - dear God. A trilogy of prequels is so stupid an idea only Paramount would entertain it. Wasn't the Romulan ship that cloaked in Enterprise sacrilege enough?
March 24, 2004, 9:11 a.m. CST
Here's the link to that flaunt cover image. http://www.superiorpics.com/cgi-bin...=2;t=005028;p=0
March 24, 2004, 9:14 a.m. CST
by I Own You
I understand why Paramount wouldn't do a New Frontier series (to cheap to pay Peter David for using his characters every week), but the storyline of the first 4 mini-novels would make a great movie. As well, Paramount would tap a new fan base. Just a thought.
March 24, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST
At it's best, I love Star Trek. At it's worst, I find it embarassing and hard to justify. Wrath of Khan & First Contact were great. Others are OK, but it's sucked for years now. If you like Classic Trek read Shatner's books(yeah I know-he has a ton of help). They read like the better movies. As for this idea: CRAP.
March 24, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST
THIS is the link. Impossibly HOT! Pun intended http://www.superiorpics.com/cgi-bin/ultimate/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=005028;p=0
March 24, 2004, 9:17 a.m. CST
What scares me most is that Mori's "lovvy" typo (for lobby) suggests he doesn't use spellcheck or heavily re-edit before posting and that he's really this strong of natural writer. In "Shatner's head on a young body" news, anyone else notice how FAKE Arnie's "body" is in the early naked bar scene of T3?
March 24, 2004, 9:27 a.m. CST
by Mister McClane
And that 'rumour' you got hold of Mori sounds like absolute garbage. Why bother post it? Let's not also forget that Paramount were around A LONG TIME before 'Star Trek' ever appeared. Geez, they've got another great franchise on their hands now. Can't wait for Tomb Raider 3: The Search for Ideas.
March 24, 2004, 9:30 a.m. CST
I mean, I generally like Moriarty, but blah blah blah! sk
March 24, 2004, 9:39 a.m. CST
Tension--it's not breeded from explosions. Suspense--it's not generated from the biggest and baddest machines. "Q", one of the better Star Trek villians, created both of these...on a T.V. budget. Bring the tension and suspense back. Not just to the movies, but to the Enterprise deck. Kirk and Spock, all thought the closet of friends, had their spats. No. 2 was always to passive in my opinion to Jean-Luc. Put this ship were a war is escalating, but draw a line through the Enterprise. Half believe in the msision, the other half don't and let the tension play out through the characters and the beliefs. Explosions and speical effects are great, but righteous confrontation, as the Enterprise sits on the verge of battle, now that is $8 I am willing to part with any day! I come for the characters--I always have.
March 24, 2004, 9:42 a.m. CST
by Mad Hamish
....Star Trek, Star Wars, Dumb & Dumbererer..erer....you know exactly where you can shove 'em. Trek's 40th anniversary is coming up in 2006, why not just hire some talented storytellers and give them some money to make a movie. A Next Gen/DS9 movie would be something I'd look forward to, for example (seasons 4-7 of both TNG and DS9 are the highpoints of Trek TV; and Wrath of Khan is the highpoint of the movies). If you respect your fan base and tell a human story full of real emotion and heart, with real characters, something all people can relate to and that Trek already has an abundance of, then it just might be successful. Hey, it worked for Lord of the Rings.
March 24, 2004, 9:52 a.m. CST
by Rollo Tomassi
You tell us "Good news, no Berman, no Braga" then tell us the guy who made "Snow Dogs" is taking over? Berman and Braga are burnt out and seem to be fully spent, I grant you, but they made some great "Trek". This guy sounds like a complete loser. I'm shaking.
March 24, 2004, 10:02 a.m. CST
March 24, 2004, 10:03 a.m. CST
if they were casting a young kirk then why not stephen dorff who i think has always looked the part...
March 24, 2004, 10:03 a.m. CST
The problem is with a prequel trilogy...ummm we know pretty much exactly what happens and why. Its not like Star Wars where there are big mysteries, and hows and whys floating around. If they wanna go with this idea, do sequels: advantages - real tension, anything can happen Earth might be blown up, the Federation defeated. Characters returning - Set them 30 years after Nemesis, and an aged Picard could be head of Starfleet. Kirk's body could be dug up and carried round Weekend at Bernies style...maybe not...
March 24, 2004, 10:18 a.m. CST
The ideal SEQUEL trilogy would go like this - 30 years on, the Federation is again fighting a cold war with the Founders, who are able to imitate human form, everyone is suspected, mistrust rules the Federation. The new Enterprise-G is being readied for launch, when Founder spies hijack it and crash it into Earth killing millions. An extremist president under Founder control takes over Earth in the aftermath, and several Starfleet ships rebel breaking away from Earth. The first film would be the setup and feature a climactic battle with our heroes defeating the fleet sent after them. The second film would be them destroying the Founders main base of operation, then in the 3rd the battle and liberation of Earth.
March 24, 2004, 10:21 a.m. CST
by Fat Chooch
Paramount's got one last chance to do it right. I say, go out with style. If Berman's really gone, break with his stupid traditions and make a movie out of one of the novels. Hell, "Q Squared" couldn't possibly lose, if re-written to take actor/character changes into account. John deLancie's Q was arguably one of the most popular characters in the TNG universe so it'd be a shame not to use him in a movie. BTW... am I the only one that thinks Jude Law would make a kick-ass Trelane? C'mon, guys. Quit wasting opportunities...
March 24, 2004, 10:22 a.m. CST
by Captain Decker
If Harve Fischman Bennett couldn't sell that stinker of an idea to Paramount in 1990 after convincing them to smallow the foul load that was The Final Frontier, you KNOW this franchise is in deep, DEEP trouble if they're considering taking such a grievous step backwards at this stage. Those shitheads REALLY are doing their best to devalue this once great property. Fire Berman and Braga and then pull the plug on the franchise once and for all. They should be remembered for killing Star Trek. That's the legacy that those two goat-fellating imbeciles deserve.
March 24, 2004, 10:23 a.m. CST
Here's an idea, based on the fact that hard core trekkers will say star trek is about exploration. Why not do it say 500 years after the most advanced thing in the startrek timelime. Send them to the nearest galaxy, not some far off section of our own. Completly new ships, tech, people, this would allow the writer to do anything as the familar star trek universe is literally in another galaxy.
March 24, 2004, 10:28 a.m. CST
Unless you're doing both in which case...NERD!
March 24, 2004, 10:31 a.m. CST
It was a slow, downhill death after the brilliance of the unaired pilot with Jeffrey Hunter, but this series has finally reached rigor mortis. It's dead. Buried. Irrelevant. Stale. And after Galaxy Quest, how can anyone do anything remotely Trek-like with a straight face.
March 24, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST
by Devil Tree
Crazy to think that moriarty lived in my quaint little home town....little six plex? sounds like someone lived near northgate. Anyways yeah for hellboy, sunshine. Star Trek is another series that needs some cool nerds to do what they are doing with bats right now.
March 24, 2004, 10:52 a.m. CST
Loved it. Every minute.
March 24, 2004, 10:55 a.m. CST
by Monster Rain
YOU KEEP...MISSING...THE TARGET!!!" That's all I have to say to Paramount. Try as they might to inject some vitality into this shambling, rotted corpse of a franchise, they never get it right and we fans are left rubbing our aching bungs and saying "Ouch!" This prequel trilogy, should it come to pass, will represent the nadir of the "Star Trek" universe. Hiring a producer with that track record just screams "Trouble!" I forsee a lot of hunky, empty-headed actors in the lead roles, bad CG, cheap, toy-ready gadgets and a trailer cut to Blur's "Song 2." Cue trailer, cue vomit, cue soiled pants.
March 24, 2004, 10:56 a.m. CST
its been going steadily downhill ever since DS9 came out. Now its a joke. Thanks to Rick Berman who should have been fired years ago after Insurrection and Voyagers opening seasons...the franchise should have been handed to Meyer and Nimoy. All too late now...
March 24, 2004, 11:10 a.m. CST
Any more than I pity a woman stupid enough to stay with her physically abusive husband. Get some dignity and walk away Trekkies. Just walk away.
March 24, 2004, 11:19 a.m. CST
NO, IT'S THE 11 AM EXPRESS TRAIN TO DON'T-GIVE-A-SHIT-VILLE!! ALLLLL ABOARD, WOOOO WOOO, TICKETS PLEASE! ...GRATUITOUS FLAME!
March 24, 2004, 11:48 a.m. CST
This is a bad, bad idea. I realize the Star Trek franchise has made studios a lot of money, but Captain Kirk - or whoever they picture as the main character - ain't no Aragorn. Never will be. Let the Star Trek universe die with dignity. Oh, wait - that isn't a possibility either. Just kill it. Move on. Seriously.
March 24, 2004, 11:48 a.m. CST
This is a bad, bad idea. I realize the Star Trek franchise has made studios a lot of money, but Captain Kirk - or whoever they picture as the main character - ain't no Aragorn. Never will be. Let the Star Trek universe die with dignity. Oh, wait - that isn't a possibility either. Just kill it. Move on. Seriously.
March 24, 2004, 2:18 p.m. CST
It was just announced on the bulletin board for that really popular California Star Trek Band Warp 11, that Trekkies 2 will be shown at the Newport Beach Film Festival April 20th! Warp 11, who is featured in the film is also suppose be playing at the after party for the showing. Warp 11 is also suppose to be in the DVD extras with Videos from two of their hit songs. Now this is great Star Trek news! Here is where the annoucement is at: http://pub21.ezboard.com/fwarp11bbfrm1.showMessage?topicID=561.topic The band's page is www.warp11.com and their bulletin board is at www.warp11bb.com.
March 24, 2004, 5:13 p.m. CST
you are my friggin' hero, that cannonball run bit wins 'blast of the day' hands down.
March 24, 2004, 6:22 p.m. CST
Jordan Kerner??? I'd rather have the un-dynamic duo of Berman & Braga stay on. The last thing STAR TREK needs is another shitty producer. I can see it now: STAR TREK: SNOW DOGS IN SPACE, STAR TREK: THE MIGHTY FEDERATION, or STAR TREK: INSPECTOR SPOCK. I'm not a huge fan that goes to the conventions, let alone dresses up as my favorite Klingon, but I am a moderate fan. It interests me. STAR TREK is heading in the wrong direction. I agree with a previous poster who praised BABYLON 5; that show was great through its first four seasons, and had some high points in the fifth. STAR TREK needs to do something like B5. It needs that nice serial aspect to it. STAR TREK is perfect for a serial format or a nice series of movies that tie in with each other like LotR or SW. But instead we get another shitty producer who will cast French Stewart as the wacky tactical officer who always pushes the wrong button at the right time. *sigh*
March 24, 2004, 6:23 p.m. CST
I doubt this article is true, but certainly firing Berman and Braga is the most necessary first step to fix Trek. (They should have been fired years ago and the DS9 crew should have been allowed to take over.) Berman and Braga must be world class asskissers because Paramount has fired people for far less than what they've done. Paramount, if you want to see what great Trek looks like, watch "The Visitor" "Rocks and Shoals" "In the Pale Moonlight" "The Changing Face of Evil" and "Call to Arms". That's when Trek was firing on all thrusters. The TOS movies were also great (with the one obvious exception). The best format for Trek (and the ONLY one that can actually please ALL the fans) is the telefilm. Three a year (one for every sweeps month) and put it on CBS. Each telefilm can take place in any generation, thereby pleasing the fans of all the shows. Paramount, look at Trek's successes over the last few years. People will still tune in for Trek TV events, but they won't stay around for a series. Figure it out, guys.
March 24, 2004, 6:26 p.m. CST
star trek prequel trilogy? stories seem a bit inline with the star wars prequels... you sure this isnt an april fool youve read on a website and are passing off as news? i think so
March 24, 2004, 6:28 p.m. CST
An April Fools prank??? One can only hope, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The old Will Rogers quote comes to mind: "When Congress makes a law, its a joke; when Congress makes a joke, its the law."
March 24, 2004, 7:11 p.m. CST
Can't stop thinking about it. No one mentions the great last line of the movie..."Okay."
March 24, 2004, 7:40 p.m. CST
all are lovely, in their own special way.
March 24, 2004, 7:49 p.m. CST
while i'm hardly interested in praising ANYTHING having to do with Trek these past 15 or so years, i have to tell you that if you think the character of Kirk is no Aragorn, you are correct. Kirk is a far more known, iconic character, regardless of the current popularity of the Peter Jackson LOTR movies, or Tolkien's continued popularity as an author. even describing to you how utterly in the dark you are with regard to pop culture, after a comment of such naivete, is a total waste of time. i am assuring you, in no uncertain terms, that Aragorn is absolutely not as known of a character as Captain Kirk. if you think differently you are, simply put, incorrect.
March 24, 2004, 7:51 p.m. CST
March 24, 2004, 7:53 p.m. CST
The Star Trek franchise desperately needs to be reinvented, and they need to ditch the boring formula that has bogged down the franchise for so long. I believe in character interaction but Star Trek overdoes it to the point that its just plain boring. Most of the people who pay to see the movies are Trekkies, and that can't be profitable. I applaud Paramount's efforts to make the Star Trek brand more mainstream--to hell with the Trekkies.
March 24, 2004, 8:16 p.m. CST
 I think Elijah Wood deserves kudos for being willing to play such a creep in ETERNAL SUNSHINE. After LOTR, a lesser actor would have insisted on ego-stroking/wallet-filling parts.  We don't need STAR TREK anymore. We have FIREFLY. ("Character-driven"? Check. "Wagon Train in space"? Check. Green-skinned dancing women? Get on it, Whedon!)
March 24, 2004, 8:16 p.m. CST
The guy who made these crapfests is the new producer of the Trek movies? I'm glad they got rid of Brannon, but to replace him with this guy? What the hell is going on here?
March 24, 2004, 9:01 p.m. CST
by The Outlander
It is about time Star Trek became epic. Paramount is doing the right thing.
March 24, 2004, 9:33 p.m. CST
by TheGinger Twit
March 24, 2004, 9:40 p.m. CST
So they finally wisen up and use HARVE BENNET's idea of a prequel. Stupid hollywwod execs.
March 24, 2004, 9:42 p.m. CST
Youre right about 82 being the best summer for sci-fi and fantasy fans. We shall never see their like ever again. PS:you forgot to mention THE ROAD WARRIOR and THE BEASTMASTER. Altho teh BEAST MASTER sucked big time!
March 24, 2004, 9:42 p.m. CST
Star Trek... well, TNG might have ONE last fling, if it is a Q movie! I'd pay to see that.
March 24, 2004, 10:25 p.m. CST
Dude, Harve Bennett's prequel idea blows. It would be The Hardy Boys in space. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy at Starfleet Academy solving mysteries each week. Utter crap. And not to expose my geek side too much, but according to TREK continuity Spock is way older than Kirk and McCoy and attended Starfleet Academy when Kirk was born. McCoy also was at Starfleet Academy before Kirk. Of course, if you like The Hardy Boys...
March 24, 2004, 10:36 p.m. CST
Actually I don't think Spock is THAT much older than Kirk. Just saw "The Enterprise Incident" again on Sci-Fi the other day, and Spock tells the female Romulan commander he's been a Starfleet officer 18 years. Figure Kirk was about 35 at the time, and in order to become captain, has probably been in Starfleet 15 years or so. Not too big an age difference. Having said that, I think this is a DUMB FUCKING IDEA. If B&B hated DS9, and now they're gone, BRING BACK FUCKING DS9! The Dominion becomes part of the Federation, there's your fuckin premise! How do we assimilate the Jem'Hadar, deal with all the many unknown races and deep dark secrets of the Changelings! COME ON, GODDAMN IT, MAKE THE SERIES!
March 24, 2004, 11:22 p.m. CST
I CAN'T believe that. I just can't. Its too wacky.
March 24, 2004, 11:45 p.m. CST
by Gere's AssGerbil
Enough with the Hellboy crap. The more bullshit praise you heap on this movie, the less I want to see it. AICN is not exactly known for its "fair and balanced" reviews but come on. You expect me to believe that a movie that looks so much like shit is every geek's wet dream? Yeah, right. Besides, Walking Tall will kick ass with a big stick. The Rock will destroy Ron Perelman, goofy makeup and all.
March 24, 2004, 11:49 p.m. CST
I don't know if it's that whacky.... Star Trek IV was going to be built around Eddie Murphy in the early stages. Knowing Paramount, a ridiculous idea like this is on the table. (The only good thing they have done for the franchise in years was to let Bob Wise have another go at recutting and polishing up TMP) Who saved the day when Eddie Murphy bailed? Nick Meyer. Give this franchise to Nick Meyer and Leonard Nimoy I say.
March 25, 2004, 12:05 a.m. CST
by Johnny Smith
...the telefilm idea is brilliant. Give the franchise to Meyer, Nimoy and Ira Steven Behr, and I think we'd all be very happy geeks. Meyer and Nimoy are responsible for the best films of the TOS series, and since DS9 was the best of the TV series, and Behr was the showrunner, well, then...we'd have a goldmine on our hands, people. C'mon. Please? And please lets this article not be true. I'll kill someone if it is.
March 25, 2004, 1:47 a.m. CST
by Raul Monkey
I will add my props to the telefilm idea as well. And yes, Deep Space Nine was the most enthralling, exciting, meaningful AND action-packed series of them all. (Anyone who calls it a boring-ass soap opera obviously didn't stick around for the War.) And DS9 was produced SIMULTANEOUSLY alongside the dregs of Voyager, Generations and Insurrection: the horse never died, its just that we're zooming in on the big piles of manure in the corner of the yard.
March 25, 2004, 4:14 a.m. CST
I've seen it. I like movies. The only Hero Worship I like comes from the B-52's. my take: It looks good, but the script, especially in the last thirty minutes, rips away anything good about it, and worse, what it was building up to. It was pedantic pap that even Adam Sandler would find trite. At least he didn't play the lead. Enjoy the extra topping on you popcorn- quickly.
March 25, 2004, 8:11 a.m. CST
There's a new fan-made CGI Trek trailer that has all the captains, and among them is Captain Kirk with a CGI body. That could be what this fake rumor was based on. You can see the trailer at http://www.bringbackkirk.com/trailer.html.
March 25, 2004, 11:22 a.m. CST
If Paramount makes a series of Trek telefilms, they will have a much better chance of making a profit. Look at the success of SF Channel's Dune series. DS9 was able to give us incredible effects footage with a TV budget. Imagine what they could accomplish with a 20 million dollar budget (most big sets can be duplicated on computer these days, they don't have to rebuild the entire Promenade). Since people still tune in for Trek TV events, they could make a lot of money back on the first airing alone. Add repeats both on CBS, UPN, and cable, and Paramount has made some money. However, that is just the beginning. A telefilm does not require any major actors. Only the ones who are interested could come back. Therefore no multimillion dollar payouts to just one actor. Then, if they put that telefilm on DVD with never before seen footage and other extras, I guarantee that would sell well since most Trek fans are completists. I think even if one totally hates my idea, they should concede that it is worth just one attempt to see what would happen. Paramount, pick a popular Trek (ie, TOS, TNG, DS9) find out what actors would like to return, write a good story with lots of impressive effects (if they could do it in Sacrifice of Angels, a telefilm could at least do that), and cap the budget around 20 million. This is virtually a no risk investment. Just try once and see what happens.
March 25, 2004, 12:43 p.m. CST
Wasn't it "Q" that introduced the Next Generation crew to the Borg. That's been some of the best episodes yet. Get John de Lancie to come back and somehow help out the Enterprise crew...or,get back Wesley Crusher to come in and take over the new Enterprise and crew. He was like a walking Data anyway.
March 25, 2004, 12:45 p.m. CST
First off, every time anything comes out that's news from Paramount, it's announced in the above fashion. I'm sure that is why they don't bother listening to the fans. The responses on aintitcool talkback clearly show that fans are not a large portion of his readers/posters. ...OTOH, using Enterprise as a guide (a show I have been unable to make myself watch) I have to say that a series of prequal movies in the same vein just doesn't do anything for me. New blood is good (no Berman, no Braga), but I'm not holding my breath either. There needs to be an authority within the creative process that remembers what Trek is about. Otherwise we'll get what one of the posters says we all want, "to see space s**t blow up", and not much else. -Tony
March 25, 2004, 12:50 p.m. CST
This is the dumbest and most rediculous news I have heard in years. Any fanboy could think of a better idea than a prequel trilogy; something that they rejected long ago and didnt sound good then. There was a time when they wanted to do a young Kirk,Spock,McCoy movie and that idea blew then. Do a movie with all the crews or bring back Kirk.
March 25, 2004, 2:12 p.m. CST
I mean seriously,not even the Trekkies ( oh my bad..Trekkers) seem all that crazy about Star Trek any more. If you want to bring back some good Sf TV shows,let's get behind Firefly ( actually the movie is titled Serenity).That was a great show that seemed to be hitting it's stride just as they pulled the plug on it. Or how about Space:Above and beyond? Anything God,Any fucking thing except for more Star Trek crap. The show lost it's voice and consience after Roddenberry died ( been downhill ever since,you could see it in the last couple seasons of Next Generation). Just let it go.Please.Do it for the children.
March 25, 2004, 3:35 p.m. CST
Hollywood is so idiotic, I can seriously see this happening under the noses of Sherry Lansing and Jonathan Dolgen. Stranger things have happened in 'Paramount.'
March 25, 2004, 7:30 p.m. CST
is supposedly devoted to several different topics, and yet, as one will notice by reading the posts, 90% of the replies are concerning Star Trek. Trek may be dead, creatively, but there is obviously still a large group of people concerned about its ongoing fate.
March 25, 2004, 11:15 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
Who cares how old they are BRING BACK KIRK AND SPOCK WITH THE CAST OF TNG for a final Star Trek film and then let the series rest for 10 years. A 70 year old Kirk would still be better than any of that Ds9,Voy,Enterprise bullshit that has nearly killed Star Trek since they they threw Kirk off that fucking cliff. Kirk and Spock would bring fans back to the series.
March 26, 2004, 2:40 a.m. CST
It's dead they just dont know it yet. RIP Kirk and crew.
March 26, 2004, 5:39 a.m. CST
I shit you not. The nostalgia for them is unbelievable and the fanboys will eat it up. Have some kind of intergalactic war, like MIDWAY or THE LONGEST DAY in space with Admiral Kirk at Starfleet overseeing troop movements and Spock as a Minister in Vulcan trying to broker a peace deal. Throw in cameos by TNG and DS9 regulars and the film could be huge. We have never really had a STAR TREK war film, we've had political (ST VI), social (ST IV, INSURRECTION), black hats (NEMESIS, ST II) but never intergalactic war.
March 26, 2004, 5:32 p.m. CST
... think about that. Straczynski writing for Star Trek. You can dream, right?
March 26, 2004, 8:18 p.m. CST
I loved the movie. It was great. Best movie of the year so far, but Mori, you ruined the ending! You mentioned about Mary and the tapes. First you said you wanted people to discover the things in the movie, but then you ruin the ending, subtly, but ruined it nonetheless. Anyways... Great movie!
March 26, 2004, 11:58 p.m. CST
Go to startrek.com in the lower right hand corner there is a message about important news coming out thursday!!!!!!! Thats APRIL FIRST, APRIL FOOLS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! whel HERE's to hoping
March 27, 2004, 5:08 a.m. CST
Seriously, good luck killing the franchise. Jesus, someone at Paramount either needs to stop doing or start doing BLOW, whichever is which. How about you bring in some fuckers with talent like the DS9 staff or say, Seth MacFarlane, whos a fan, or Matt Groening, also a fan. Hell, maybe even Moore would come back.
March 27, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST
I would agree that hiring J. Michael Straczynski would be a better choice for Paramount. However, it would have to be determined how well he knows the franchise and timeline. It's about time that they put someone at the helm who had an emotional stake in "Star Trek", as well as a decent track record. I'm sure that "Snow Dogs" was fine for little kids, but "Star Trek" is a bit more sophisticated. Any "prequel" would have to take place in the current "Enterprise" era (the show is about the first ship named "Enterprise"). Here's an idea that might work. The pilot episode saw a Klingon crash landing on Earth. That put Earth on the Klingon Empire's radar. Since they are a race of conquerors, Earth should seem like an easy mark (they must be laughing at a ship that has a grappling hook and not a tractor beam). Even though the Vulcans are watching over Earth somewhat, they can be distracted by a Klingon-manufactured catastrophe. The action could be there and the relationships between the main characters can be better developed. "Star Trek" has been very sketchy since "DS9" (and I've enjoyed "Trek" since I was a kid in the 60's). Most of the movies stink to high heaven. I would really love to see -- as was mentioned before -- "Star Trek" reach epic status. It is one of the few real pieces of American mythology we have. It should always have been more sophisticated and provocative than "Star Wars". The caliber of people I think are qualified to carry the "Trek" torch would also include: James Cameron (hey, I can dream, can't I?) Peter Jackson Sam Raimi Brian Singer The Wachowski Brothers Otherwise, you might as well let the Cohen Brothers handle it. At least it will be entertaining to watch the ship go down (not that I want that)!
March 28, 2004, 1:54 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
A film with Kirk and Spock(Shatner and Nimoy not some stupid prequel) could save the franchise. This film would be an event film. Much like Star Trek use to be. If you take inflation into account TMP and TVH are two of the biggest grossing films of all time. Compared to the last Trek film that didn't even finish in the top 50 films the year it was released. Is it just a coincedence that the best selling Star Trek book ever is "The Return" by William Shatner? This is the book that brings Kirk back from that stupid fucking nexus thing and puts him along w/Spock in battle with the TNG crew. This is what people want. IT'S ABOUT THE CHARACTERS STUPID. NOBODY CARES ABOUT NEW TREK THEY WANT THE REAL THING. To me it's a no brainer. Kirk and Spock are by far the most popular characters in the Trek universe. People care about them. They are cultural icons. How many people besides die hard fans of Voy,Ent and Ds9 (There is about 10 of them out there) even know who Janeway or Archer or Sisko are? Nobody cares about new Star Trek. BRING BACK KIRK AND SPOCK.
March 28, 2004, 2:25 p.m. CST
by DARTH VOODOO
Star Trek today reminds me of the James Bond films of the mid to late 80's. Trek today is having an identity crisis much like the Bond films of that era. The commercial failure of those films was simple. The public did not accept Timothy Dalton (I thought he was pretty good) as James Bond. When tbtb finally were allowed to give the public what it wanted (Pierce Brosnan as 007) the films once again became huge blockbusters. I feel that (among other things) the biggest commercial problem with Star Trek today is that Berman and Co. are not giving the people what they want. Most people think of Star Trek as Kirk and Spock and perhaps Picard. They are the cultural icons not Janeway and Archer. NOBODY FUCKING CARES ABOUT THEM. I feel that Berman and Co. simply care about pushing THEIR brand of Star Trek. What they created and not what the public at large wants out of Star Trek. Todays show are PC bores with boring, bland interchangeable characters that only a very small group of people care about. Here's what you do to save Star Trek 1/ Bring back Shatner and Nimoy for a final film that involves all casts (all fans would be happy) Much like that great Bring Back Kirk trailer suggests. The film would be at least in the top 10 for that year. 2/Lose Rick Berman: The series needs new blood and new ideas. I think Berman has done some very good things with Trek. But his time is up 3/Set the next Trek series after Voyager. But allow for Kirk,Picard and other popular characters to at least have some type of role. Perhaps a once a year cameo or something. Why waste the great heritage of Star Trek? 4/ The next series should revolve around Riker and his crew. In reality I don't think you could get Patrick Stewart back for a weekly tv series. But since TNG is the second most popular series. Give the general public what they want. If TNG is popular bring it back in this form. 5/Bring in good writers and directors and let them play in this universe. The whole thing just seems so simple to me. Give Star Trek fans what they want and Star Trek will once again be a commercial and cultural force.
March 28, 2004, 6:55 p.m. CST
I can't really see any movies and/or series revolving around Kirk and Spock, or even involving them in any significant way, as being viable vehicles for reviving Trek. Shatner and Nimoy, to be honest, as past their prime; and we may have already seen all the interesting stories about the characters of Kirk and Spock that can be written. There comes a point when certain story-lines (and, perhaps, myths) reach the end of their energy. To my mind there can be only two fates for the mythos in the near future; death (perhaps to lie fallow for a generation), or a radical re-imagining. Trek has suffered for years from dull, safe stories that amount to little more than neat little morality tales, characters who were never in any real danger, and were little more than cardboard cut-outs, and a persistently optimistic tone about humanity and the future (yes, I know that's part of Trek's appeal, but it puts a lot of drag on creating genuine story tension). All of these points amount to almost a "how not to write a good story" instruction manual. Contrast Enterprise, for instance, with Firefly-- the latter has all the elements that are missing in Enterprise-- flawed, but human, characters who are often in conflict with one another, storylines that kick around fundamental questions of life, a gritty universe that is dangerous on many different levels, humor that is integral to the characters and not tacked on, and, btw, a spaceship that is not some shiny flagship, but is a bucket so broken-down and quirky it becomes a character in-and-of itself. Perhaps that is why Firefly appears to be the coming mythos, despite an aborted series and an as-yet to be produced movie. Trek could turn itself around, but only through radically rethinking.
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