What we wasted our money on at Supanova 2011…….

1. Spiderman Snuggie (Gifts for the Geek):

Its dorky, in questionable taste, and probably the only thing that we can say makes us both warm and cool at the same time (hehe). And it was the last one so of course I had to grab it!!! There was also an elmo version of this for sale too.

2. William Shatner “Shat Happens” Tee (Gifts for the Geek):

Probably sums up Shatner’s attitude to the fate of his latest television venture “$h*! My Dad Says

3. Dr Who sonic screwdrivers (Popcultcha):

Ok I think I know what film nerd is planning for his next costume……..

4. Potty paper rolls (Global Gear):

Ok my main reason for buying this is to keep guests occupied while they are…umm..occupied, therefore preventing the inevitable peek through our bathroom cabinets. Ok I’m kidding, really I thought they was funny.

5. Pop tarts in cherry flavour (Kings Comics [we think]):

(no picture available…. long since consumed)

Mmm artificial goodness……..ok still too sweet for me, but like an addict, I can’t help buying some whenever I see them on sale. Maybe a psychological response to my mother denying these to me as a child? Who knows?

6. 4 pack of Tru Blood (Popcultcha):

This stuff just tastes goods, bought before, will buy again.

7. Batman – Year One:

A graphic novel Film Nerd has wanted for some time… was sold out by Sunday morning!

Ok, that is it (aside from photos)!!  Time to start saving for next year!

30 Day Film Challenge Day 6 – A Film That Reminds You of Somewhere

Film Nerd’s Choice: Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan

Review:

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Ricardo Montalban, Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, Kirstie Alley, Paul Winfield

Synopsis: Widely recognised as the best Star Trek film ever, this film sees the return of superhuman Khan from original series episode “Space Seed”.   And he is not happy.   What ensues is a battle of wits that has tragic consequences.

Okay, it may seem very convenient that I work this film into the 30 day film challenge a matter of hours after I write an extensive post on Geek Pride Day.   However, as fate would have it, I had decided to write about this film last night before I even knew Geek Pride Day existed.   This film is a case of reminding me of somewhere purely as an element of the impact watching the film had on me in the first place.   That is right… the location itself, my grandparent’s sun-room, is not the significant element here.   I just happen to remember that I was in that room with abandoned homework with nothing else to watch, and a life-long obsession was started.

Prior to this point, I had bought into the stereotype, that Star Trek was all about weird people watching it that dress up with pointed ears.   It was a stage where I was perhaps already bullied for being a geek, yet had not truly accepted that I was one.   This was not going through my head at the time, all I was considering was that I was bored, there was nothing on TV, and this film promised some explosions and sci-fi elements.    It was a confusing show at first.   I did not understand that the guy with the pointy ears was NOT the captain.   I seemed to be missing a lot of back story, which I assumed was all in the first movie, completely oblivious to the preceding TV series.   Yet slowly but surely, I picked up plot points, saw some intriguing battle maneuvers and stratagems, and finally saw a film with real heart.

I was lucky this film was my introduction to the franchise, as it embodies everything that the history of Trek has sought to promote.   Entertainment is a part of that, but thematically it approaches questions of moral dilemma, self-doubt, and most importantly friendship.   This is best highlighted by Kirk and Spock.   They are beings of completely different schools of thought, yet they have a mutual respect and affection for each other’s abilities.   In Kirk, Spock find’s someone who accepts him despite the fact he does not belong fully to either the Vulcan or the human race.   In Spock, Kirk has an always reliable ally ready to support him, yet not afraid to give it to him straight when he needs it.   This relationship is central to the film.   It is the friendship of Kirk, Spock and McCoy that made the series special, and it is on fine display here.   For a young lad whom at that stage found it very difficult to make friends, it was an inspiring vision, one I have never forgotten.   I am fortunate enough to now find it very easy to form friendships, but I still value each one, knowing that it is through my friends that I can improve myself.

5 stars out of 5

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on IMDB

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdOv5jpYxUI]

Star Trek (2009) – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: J.J. Abrams

Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Leonard Nimoy, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood

Synopsis: The film that takes us back to where it all began… James T. Kirk attends Starfleet Academy and then takes command of the Starship Enterprise.   However, the history of the future is not quite the same as has been implied in previous Trek chapters.

 

A review by Film Nerd.

Up until this point, I have avoided reviewing my favourite franchises.   I felt for a very good reason too… I am such a gushing fanboy, that my reviews would be decidedly one-sided and biased by my collected knowledge of the entire saga, rather than focussing on the individual film.   This brief preamble explains exactly why there are no reviews here of anything from Lord of the Rings, James Bond, or, indeed, nothing from Star Trek.   The fact I feel I can now review them is more a reflection of the fact that I have quite a number of reviews under my belt now that may show me as an impartial film critic, that I can perhaps let myself indulge a little  bit in absolute impartiality.

An impartiality that had me see J.J. Abrams Star Trek a total of three times at the cinema, dragging Bride of Film Nerd with me on at least two of those occasions (forgiven mainly due to the fact that the second visit was our first trip to IMAX).   I did not walk in entirely blind, I had already been made aware of the MacGuffin, that villain Bana’s Nero and Nimoy’s Spock had travelled back in time, altering the timeline in the process.   Quite frankly, this was a stroke of genius, in one move freeing ther film from over forty years of Star Trek cannon.   This gave the script more room to breathe, and also let the individual actor’s develop the character’s for themselves, while keeping enough respect for the original cast to keep the spirit of the original characters alive.

Pine’s Kirk is a perfect example of this.   Pine was provided with the “what if?” scenario of James Kirk growing up without the support of his father.   As a result, he is a delinquent who lacks direction.   That is until he is recruited to Starfleet by Greenwood’s Captain Christopher Pike (a reference to the character who in the original series captained the Enterprise before Kirk, played by Jeffrey Hunter).   Pike’s mentor role brings out something in Kirk more familiar, a rascal, but one that accepts responsibility, much more the Shatner style Kirk of old.   Zachary Quinto is also amazing, not only looking like a young Leonard Nimoy, but capturing the essence of the character brilliantly.   He is perhaps more prone to emotion than the original, but this is fitting given his younger age and his continued struggle with his human half.   Of the lead three, I would have loved to see more McCoy.   Urban does a fantastic job capturing the character of the irascible country doctor with the heart of gold made famous by DeForest Kelley.   He even is more striking as a ladies man type than the original, which used to be hinted that the younger McCoy was prior to the series.

The rest of the cast does very well.   Saldana as Uhura not only looks smoking, but is a very fierce and capable officer.   Cho and Yelchin imbue their Sulu and Chekov respectively with the right mix of officer material and sense of humour.   When it comes to sense of humour though, Scotty was always great comic relief in the series, and Pegg’s version takes full advantage of this fact.   Aside from the main cast, Bana’s villain has an understandable motive, but is perhaps too consumed with the need for revenge to develop too far.   His power comes more from advanced technology than from sheer intellect, so Khan he is not.   Given this is an origin story though and there are already 7 main character story arcs to follow, this may also have been necessary for the scripting of the film.   Greenwood is amazing in this film, the first which I can recall seeing him in.   As may be clear from other reviews on this site, I have subsequently become quite a fan of his.   Finally, I get to Nimoy.   He is the connective thread between this film and all that has passed before.   For many, he IS Star Trek.   So his presence is what makes this whole movie gel.   He doesn’t have to do anything beyond slip into a role he is comfortable with just as he is his own skin, and as a true fan, I could ask for nothing more.

Abrams was very clear in making this fan, he was not necessarily a Star Trek fan.   He made it clear though he respected exactly why the franchise was loved by so many.   In the end, he crafted a film that he felt he would want to go and watch.   In doing so, he opened up the franchise to the uninitiated.   After all, my evidence for this was Bride of Film Nerd, who enjoyed it enough to acquiesce to see it again with me.    In making the product more open, I acknowledge there was a backlash.   Those that know Abrams was a Star Wars fan insisted on seeing similarities in this film with the former franchise.   To me, this is frankly bollocks.   The opening scene of a large Starfleet vessel drifting past the camera may have been an obvious homage, but beyond that I think those naysayers were grasping at straws.   Come on guys, Star Wars does not have copyright on ice planets!!   No, despite this film being open to a larger audience, it is quintessentially Star Trek, with the message for a bright future for humanity well and truly in tact.

5 stars (out of a possible 5)


Star Trek on IMDB

Star Trek on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuDc4GtjLfY&playnext=1&list=PL823376CAA9CEFC13&index=1]

Galaxy Quest – Alan Rickman Week

Director: Dean Parisot

Cast: Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long

Synopsis: Follows the story of a group of washed up actors that starred in the science fiction series Galaxy Quest 20 years earlier, now languishing in careers spent touring the convention circuit.   Than is of course until they are recruited by a group of aliens that have modeled their lives and technology on the “historical documents” transmitted into space from Earth.   They hope their heroes can save them from an imminent threat.

A review by Film Nerd.

This is a film that was always destined to be reviewed here on Film Actually.   As if Alan Rickman week was not enough cause, the fact that this show lovingly lampoons my favourite original cast of Star Trek means it was always going to be on my “tobe  reviewed” list without question.   I say lovingly lampoons, as though the characters do appear obvious caricatures of Shatner, Nimoy, and co, it also has a level of depth to it as well, as we learn that they are all languishing in want of something more, something that is offered to them when they climb aboard the fully functional  NSEA Protector.

Though Allen’s career was somewhat languishing post Home Improvement, aside from his Buzz Lightyear voicing duties, his Jason Nesmith just screams Shatner.   He is a character of swagger, of self-importance, who almost truly believes he is the legendary starship commander he played on-screen.   He continuously upstages his cast mates and takes all glory for himself (as Shatner at the time was often reported to be guilty of, though in his Boston Legal years I am seeing two sides to that story now).   His confidence is shattered however when he overhears himself being mocked, and sees the walls he has built around himself.   So far, so sombre.   From that point on we hit space, and the true comedy starts.   The comedy mines every Trek cliché… the red-shirted crewman that is the expendable one sure to die on the planet, the captain losing his shirt in fight scenes, no one quite sure what the female on the bridge is doing, but she sure does look good, and the character actor now more well-known for the alien crewmember he played rather than his Shakespearean background.   All very obvious comedy points, but all delightfully portrayed here.

Aside from Allen, he is strongly supported by Rickman in the Nimoy-esque role, so frustrated with being typecast he refuses to repeat his character’s catch phrase.   It is a character full of bitterness, and Rickman has always had that skill to just spit out lines loaded with sarcasm, but also with the perfect comic timing.   Perfect casting then!!   When you add sci-fi veteran Sigourney Weaver playing a very un-Ripley role as the series sex object, the juxtaposition is ripe for comedy.    The smaller roles are also delightful, with the helmsman who has no idea how to fly a real ship, the engineer unable to operate a real transport beam system, and the always amazing Sam Rockwell as the red shirt… “Crewman Number 6”.   They maintain this gag so well, even his character’s real name is just “Guy”.

This is a funny movie in its own right, with the situational comedy enough to entertain all audiences.   But for complete Trek novices, I would give this a rating of 3 out of 5.   However, knowledge of Trek-dom really brings this film to life, and being a self-proclaimed expert in that respect myself, it deserves another star.    “By Grabthar’s Hammer… by the Sons of Warvan… you shall be… avenged!”

4 stars (out of a possible 5)

Galaxy Quest on IMDB

Galaxy Quest on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1ZUxZsUKuM]