Sunday, January 6, 2008

Star Trek Update

Just wanted to update and clarify some things from my last post.

I finally did get to watch Of Gods and Men part I. I had a lot of problems with buffering, and I had to update my Flash player (seems I was a fraction behind the latest version). But it was all worth it in the end. Im. Press. Ive. Wow! I'm seriously looking forward to parts 2 & 3. I won't post any spoilers, but the basic plot is that someone they knew from the series is back with a vengeance. Kind of like Khan. Except the movie is nothing like The Wrath of Khan. Hard to explain without giving anything away. Just go watch it and you'll see what I mean.

Meanwhile, I am still stunned at the lengths to which they went in getting Trek alumni in on the project. They even got the guy who played Stonn in Amok Time to reprise his role!!! I haven't seen anyone from TNG, but every other Trek incarnation is represented. I particularly liked seeing Cirroc Lofton (playing a different role than his DS9 character). He's all grown up and stuff now. Any and all future Trek children should have to take an acting class from this guy. Jake was exactly the opposite of every other kid we've ever seen on any of the series (except maybe Rom's kid whose name escapes me right now). Most of them, you keep hoping will get killed off. I would have been horrified if anything had happened to him.

The effects were done by six guys who only met online, only one of whom is a pro working in the CG field. Wow! They're being seriously undervalued in the forums over there, so I feel like I have to stick up for them. Believable CG is HARD! If it was easy, everybody would do it. And I wouldn't be struggling to model a pair of pants. LOL. (I do photorealistic texturing and I'm learning to model.)

There is also a lot of complaining over there and at New Voyages by whiny brats who don't like the acting done by the amateurs. "I'm mot afraid to say what I think!" They say. I AM afraid for you to piss and moan. This is fan work, folks. They're not getting paid. In fact, the guy playing Kirk is footing an awful lot of the bill. If he brings me Star Trek I can love, I'll totally forgive him needing a few acting pointers. And I'm not going to discourage his effort and make him wonder if there's a point in continuing. So thank you, James Cawley. At least he got rid of the Elvis hair. LOL. And he gets better with every episode. One person on the forums said that is was just such a shame that some of the supporting cast (e.g. the guy playing Sulu) was doing such a better job of acting than Cawley was playing Kirk. Think about that for a second. Ok now everybody raise your hand who thinks George Takei acts circles around Shatner. *raises own hand* Shatner isn't a bad actor. There are lots of actors *he* acts circles around. But he's sure not the best of the Trek actors. Look at Nichelle Nichols, for example. They gave her pretty much nothing to work with. She even had to name her own character. (They never gave Uhura a first name, but since Gene gave Nichelle the rights to the character, she named her Nyota.) And yet everybody loves Uhura. How can you not love her? Her pulling that dagger on Sulu in Mirror, Mirror just made you go "damn, Uhura is SO COOL!"

As far as New Voyages, I get the whole Kirk's nephew is alive thing now. Apparently one of the Trek books gave Sam Kirk two additional children who weren't on Deneva. Ok. And they're going to re-do the ending of the one where Chekov died, so that's good. That will in a couple months as part of the campaign to get Walter Koenig a star or the walk of fame. Apparently he's the only TOS cast member who doesn't have one. Poor Walter. :-( There's a link on the NV site to join in and help get him one, for people who are interested.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Star Trek Thoughts

Ok, so Christmas totally blew off my plans for posting stuff. :-/

Anyway, I've been thinking Star Trek lately. All I've really heard about the "official" movie coming out is the vague casting rumors. But that's not what I've been thinking about anyway. I went and watched the latest New Voyages episode, with George Takei. Holy crap, those people are improving exponentially!! What a fantastic episode!! Christina Moses as Alana Sulu is probably the best unknown actor I've seen on there. She gave a NICE performance! And let me tell you, the actors playing young Sulu and young Chekov have benefited incredibly by working with the original actors. Before Walter Koenig showed up, I was just not buying the guy playing Chekov. But man, can he take direction. I am sincerely impressed with the marked improvement he shows in the episode with Koenig. I could absolutely believe he was a younger version (TOS notwithstanding, of course).

I haven't quite been able to follow some of their incongruities as far as canon, but it's still damn entertaining stuff. Watching the trailer for the next episode, apparently they're resurrecting Kirk's nephew. Looks like one of the themes of the episode is going to be Peter being gay. That is just SO appropriate for a Star Trek topic. I'm impressed. I think TOS or TNG would have tackled the subject were they still on today. And come to think of it, TNG did tackle it in reverse with that episode about the J'Nai. I have no idea if I spelled that right, but give me points for being close. I'm just too lazy to look it up. LOL. So yeah. With gay marriage being such a big issue these days, I think it's nice to see. I live in Massachusetts (where real marriage for gay people is legal), so I'm probably more liberal than... well everybody, but there you go.

The site is here if you want to check them out.

Anyway, that brings me into the movie they've been working on with a lot of Trek alumni. It's called Of Gods and Men. I got a newsletter the other day from them that said the first act was up. But when I went to their site, all I got was a message about the whole site being password protected. :-( I will have to go back later and see if it's fixed, because it looked very promising. It just blows my mind that all of these people are donating their time for these projects, and paying for everything themselves. Their agreement with Paramount does not permit them to make any money from the series. You can donate Home Depot gift cards and stuff like that if you want to help support them, but you can't just send money. I don't know; if I were Paramount I'd just pass them a franchise license and ask for a cut for whatever they make. It would be free money for them. Sure, you guys keep taking care of production costs and everything. Just send us a check if you make any money.

*takes momentary break to check site*

Ooh, it IS fixed! I'm waiting for my e-mail link to watch part I now!! Yay!! I'll let you know!

Meanwhile, you can visit their site here:

Just look at the header image and check out all the people participating! Whoa!

Now if I could only come up with the $130 to order the whole TNG series on DVD that's advertised in their Google ads. ROFL! I bet it's four times that if you buy them separately. I bought all the Buffy and Angel seasons separately at about $20 each (mostly used through Amazon and Star Trek seasons are WAY more than that. Paramount really does gouge us!

Anyway, I'm off to check my e-mail. Live long and prosper. ;-)