It puts the lotion on it’s back

Well, yesterday I managed to watch a good 80% of Silence of the Lambs when it aired on Starz. Those who know me very well can understand the significance of this. To everyone else look at #66 (and for a bigger laugh #79) and you’ll see why this is so blog worthy.

Question though…

How did Clarice Starling wind up going to the bad guy’s house?

Dr Zaius, Dr Zaius…

This past Friday’s was also my company’s Christmas party and it went pretty well.

We were taken to Sardi’s in the city for a nice dinner and then treated to seats for the Broadway play, 42nd Street. The dinner itself was decent, but not what I had expected from such an established restaurant in the city. Had I read the review NY Today gave on my Vindigo app on my Palm, I would have known better:

It’s next door to The New York Times, and even we rarely go there. What used to be the quintessential theater district restaurant is now a sad example of faded glory; if you have great memories of the place, don’t spoil them.
– Ruth Reichl (4/98)

Yeap, that pretty much sums it up. I’m sure it must have been awesome back in the day though.

As for the play, well…

We both found it rather hard to sit through.

There’s some amazing talent in the play but according to Devina and I, it seemed wasted. It was quite flashy, but it had no real “meat and potatoes” to it. Just a lot of tap dancing, intricate and colorful sets and over-produced dance acts. Devina made a comment about it being like the play in the Simpsons where Troy McLure does the musical version of Planet of the Apes. I had her cracking up when I started singing, “Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius” though.

I felt bad for her because I knew she was going through hell watching this performance. I had the absolute displeasure of watching Brazil back in college so I could sit through a couple of hours of a bad musical. Watching anything else that’s seemingly bad is child’s play.

If I had bought the tickets myself, I would have just left 20 minutes into the play. However, since the big boss got the tickets for everyone, we did the nice thing and endured it until the end. Thank god for the Bugs Bunny cartoons being played in my head. 🙂

Either way, it was a very nice gesture from my company to take everyone out for a nice dinner and a play as a Christmas present. At the very least, it’s the thought that counts right?

Nemesis, almost a GREAT Star Trek film

First off, I’ll definitely have to say that I did enjoy the movie quite a bit. For you space battle fans, I would have to say that this version has the absolute best battle scenes ever (even when compared to The Wrath of Khan). Actually, now that I think about the whole movie, it’s Wrath of Khan: Part II done Next Generation style. However, I did like watching the Picard / Shinzon interaction much more than watching the Kirk / Khan interactions in Wrath. The movie was done in a darker setting and tone like in First Contact, which I actually perfer when it comes to creating a Trek movie.

Nemesis could have very easily been the best Star Trek film of all time, however, I had one major problem with this film.

The director Stuart Baird.

He’s directed such crappy hits as Executive Decision and US Marshals in the past, so why bring someone with such a mediocre directing background to direct this film? Any failings about the movie I blame entirely on him. It was much too short, (roughly an hour was cut) so it moved at a much faster and choppier pace to make up for that lack of film time. Good character development was thrown way out the window (again because it was too short) and I didn’t like guessing stuff about the new race (Remans) brought into this film. That “family” feel of the show was there in the beginning crew sequence and at the very last crew sequence, but throughout the rest of the film, it was lost entirely. That’s what happens when you bring a director that does not understand the subtle nuances to make a good Star Trek movie. I think it could have been better if Jonathan Frakes directed it, since his job directing First Contact was quite good. First Contact felt like a longer episode than a movie, which is what I believe makes a good Trek film. Levar Burton directed some pretty damn good episodes of Voyager, so he may have been a good candidate as a director for Nemesis as well.

Without spoiling it for everyone who wants to watch this in the future, I’ll write about the rest of the stuff which bothers me (spoiler alert) in white text. Just highlight the text (I think Scott did this with a movie critique he did a while back and thought it was a neat idear) and you’ll see what I wrote. Remember, if you do not want me to spoil the film for you, just skip to the text below this white space.

Sadly (and I so called this in my entry about the trailer) Data dies in this one. Though his death was honorable and heroic, (that’s right Worf, your ass better guide him well into StoVoKor) it would have had a much more visceral effect if it was done in a “better” way. Data’s death was similar to the way Spock died in Wrath of Khan. The big bad weapon is about to go off so you offer your life to save the rest of the world (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…”) and all is well. In Wrath, at least freagin’ Kirk, Bones and Scotty were there and you could feel the despair and pain for the loss of their great friend. In this version, there was like a 3 second dialogue between Picard and Data as Data transported him off to safety. Then he says “Goodbye” and he blows up to smithereens saving the Enterprise. I would have loved to watch a better interaction between Picard and Data during their last seconds together before he was forcefully beamed off. Perhaps even a valiant effort by Jeordi to get the transporters back, but failing to beam him off in time or something.

The funeral scene is what really ticked me off. It was nice seeing the crew members there toasting his life, but everyone could have said something about him, especially Geordi. Riker brought up the first mission (Encounter at Far Point episode) where Data was whistling a tune he forgot (it’s “Pop Goes the Weasel” dammit) and that’s pretty much it. It all faded into the next scene when Riker disembarks to his new command on the Titan. I mean for such an important (and arguably the most loved) character to the series, I felt he needed a better funeral to properly to the job. Hell, Tasha Yar’s funeral was infinitely sadder to watch than Data’s! At the very least, perhaps they could have added show snippets to add to the feeling of loss they were trying to convey. Of course, the lack of movie time may have had something to do with this all.

It wasn’t mentioned in the film that Beverly was also leaving the Enterprise for a new command/post aboard a new ship as well. Actually, I think she had like 3 or 4 small speaking parts. For that matter, what in the world was up with the lack of speaking roles for Worf, Geordi, Beverly and Guinan? Wesley’s marriage to Robyn Leifler as well as Geordi’s marriage to Leah Brahmms was not mentioned at all as well. It was a surprising pleasure seeing Wesley there in the wedding scene. It was also a nice touch having Janeway give Picard the orders to head off to Romulus at the beginning. I liked Janeway’s half joking manner with regards to Picard having the easy species to fight.

Also, we didn’t get to see the new crew coming on board at the end of this movie as well. I would have enjoyed seeing the next crew reporting for duty at the end in preparation for the next Trek film.

Riker however, did leave an interesting plot for the next film if they choose to make it as well. A sort of like “Undiscovered Country” type of film where the Federation makes peace with the Romulans. Picard and his new crew in the Enterprise E and Riker and his new crew in the Titan off to Romulus…

Don’t get me wrong, the film itself was quite good. The acting was very impressive on all counts, especially Patrick Stewart’s and Tom Hardy’s. Their acting was brilliant, to say the least, as opposing equals. It was truly a pleasure watching them go back and forth with each other. From what I understand, Mr. Hardy got a hold of all of the series tapes and movies to be able to emulate Picard so well in this movie.

The action sequences have never been this good in any Trek film IMHO and my god those battle scenes made me want to cheer in my seat. :drool:

The telling of the story (directing) was definitely not up to par as compared to some of the earlier Trek films. With a much more capable (and in tuned) director, it would have been a truly great film and the tagline of, “A Generation’s Final Journey” would have had much more meaning.

At least to me.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Every once in a while I need to stay here after hours to restart the behemouth AS/400 machine that’s in the server room where I am located this week. Normally, I just chill on the web and browse around, but I just installed a DVD-ROM into my work machine. Why?

Well, so I can do this while waiting for everyone to leave:

dave watching tv

Danke Sheon… Darling danke sheon… 😉