Happy Birthday Star Trek!

Another geek confession – I don’t really like Star Trek: The Original Series.  Okay, so I love Spock and Scotty and maybe even Bones a little, but that show has just never been my thing.

Still, I recognize that without that first episode that aired on September 8, 1966 none of the rest of it would have ever happened, and some of the rest of it I love…

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Like Captain Picard – I mean come on, who wouldn’t want him to be in charge? And Riker’s beard, which had the magical ability to improve the whole show (really, it’s like the signal for when the episodes started to improve)?  And Worf,  most cuddly-grumpy Klingon in the universe.

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And then there’s Voyager – which happened to coincide with the height of my fangirlishness.   Even though it’s terribly uneven, and at times downright sucked, I still love it – and some episodes like “The Chute,” “Worse Case Scenario,” and “Barge of the Dead” are really fabulous story-telling.

And then there’s the cinematic reboot, which finally gave me a Kirk I could like and proved that yet another generation could join the adventures of Starfleet.

So congrats on fifty years Star Trek, thanks for taking us to the galaxy and back again.

 

An Ode to Arrow’s Stuntwork: Superhero Saturday

Tonight my husband and I went to see Jason Bourne – and we sat in the second row – and by the time it was over I was literally motion sick.

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To be fair, I love Bourne Identity. It’s one of the best action movies out there, and I think it changed the landscape of action hero films and even superhero films to some degree.  For example, I think Daniel Craig’s “blunt instrument” Bond is as much a descendant of Jason Bourne as he is of the previous iterations of 007.

But in terms of stunts and action the Bourne film I saw tonight was a shaky cam letdown.  I’ve gotten picky about my stunt sequences in the last few years, and it isn’t because of a movie – it’s because of a TV show.

Arrow has truly fabulous stunts and action sequences, and they’ve kind of spoiled me for anything that’s not done well.

Of course it helps that Arrow has a lead actor willing to do a lot of his own stunts (apparently to the tune of a real life broken nose recently), and is set in a world where fantastical fight sequences are the bread and butter. Not every show can have a crew of arrow and bo staff wielding heroes fighting an army of super soldiers in their season finale.

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That aside though,  every single of episode of Arrow is full of crisp fight sequences in which you get to “see” the punches and kicks being landed.  And they aren’t just well-filmed and choreographed they are inventive – Oliver jumping between floors of a building on the outside of a fire escape, Canary descending into a fight on the industrial version of aerial silks, Thea fighting the bad guy into and back out of a moving elevator – memorable and fun to watch.

So be warned other shows – the bar has been set pretty high by the Green Arrow and friends – and of course, by the crew that makes them look good.

 

San Diego & the Wonder Woman Trailer: Superhero Saturday

So I admit I’m fortunate enough to live in an area that has it’s own geek convention.  I’ve met a Superman, and a Green Arrow, and watched the 11th Doctor walk out of a Tardis – all of which were awesome experiences.  But this is the weekend where I sigh and think “I’d rather be in San Diego.”

Luckily, yesterday I was able to watch the live stream of Nathan Fillion and Stephen Amell’s NerdHQ panels.  And thanks to Comic Con today they released this…

My first thought, funnily enough, was how much the beginning reminds me of The Little Mermaid, but the rest of the trailer feels like a hybrid of two of my favorite recent superhero movies; the mythology of Thor and the recent history backdrop of Captain America. – with the groundbreaking addition of a female lead.  I’m especially fond of of her costuming and the fairly realistic/gritty look of thing.  (Though maybe the lasso could use a little work?)  In any case I can’t seem to quit watching this.

As a long time DC fan, it’s nice to actually feel this excited about an upcoming movie.

 

Who You Gonna Call? – Yep, Still the Ghostbusters

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When I first heard they were recasting Ghostbusters with an all female cast I was definitely interested.  Why not make a movie with all women as the heroes – is that such a strange idea in the 21st Century?  Well apparently to some people it was – and I honestly couldn’t believe the amount of anti-female crap that got tossed at this film before anyone even saw it.

But then I saw the trailer – and I was worried.  To me it was all stupid gags and CGI nonsense.

Still, when a friend wanted to go see it this weekend, and also pulled the “I want to support a female led” movie card, I gave in and decided to give the new Ghostbusters a try.

Thank goodness I did.

As a person whose loved action and sci-fi movies since I was a little girl, I should have been prepared for how good it felt to see this eclectic blend of awesome women take on the adventure of saving New York from Slimer and Co.  I instantly identified with Kristen Wiig’s character Erin Gilbert, a woman trying to hide her nerdy, unusual past in order to make it in serious academia.  And almost every time mad scientist Holtz spoke or moved it was a laugh out loud moment.  (Also I didn’t think I could like Chris Hemsworth any more than I already did – I was wrong.  Don’t worry, my husband already knows.)

Was it perfect?  No.  There was in fact too much CGI, and the plot could have been a little more developed.  But it was a fun new story that honored the original – and the all female cast?

They were Ghostbusters.

 

 

 

Fantasy Book to Movie Wish List- Part I

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Turning fantasy books into movies remains a strong trend in Hollywood, from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  So here’s my list of books that I wish could get the page to screen treatment:

  • The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley – one of my all time favorites, I think Hari and her gang deserve some screen time, especially in the age of Star War’s Rey and Katniss Everdeen.
  • Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett – speaking of warrior women, several other books by my husband’s favorite author have gotten the miniseries treatment – can this one, or maybe Night Watch, be next?
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – this book wouldn’t even be that expensive to film.  Only the water horses themselves would require special effects – seriously, dual female and male protagonists with everything at stake racing violent magical horses on a Brit like island.  Why isn’t this already a movie?
  • The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley – actually I think most of Kearsley’s books with their light fantasy, historical interest, and well drawn love stories would make for great film.

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Beauty and the Beast Revisited

My favorite fairy tale of all time is Beauty and the Beast.

The storybook that my mom read to me from when I was little had these elaborate stylized illustrations that fell somewhere between a big-eyed 70s doll painting and a trip to Versailles, odd, but memorable.  Then as a teenager I read Robin McKinley’s Beauty – a novelized retelling of the story that remains one of my favorite books to this day – I reread it once a year.

Then came Disney’s version.  At the time it came out I was a bookworm girl who felt like a fish-out-of-water in the town where she lived – so you can imagine how much I related to their version of Belle.

Now Disney’s back and I’m full of both excitement and trepidation over this:

 

The style of the movie, from what you can see of it in this trailer, looks beautiful, and while I’m a bit nervous about the casting of the Beast, clearly the best thing this movie has going for it, besides being based on  my favorite fairy tale, is the casting of Emma Watson as Belle – cause we know that girl has the charming bookworm thing down.

Happy Star Wars Day!

When I was a kid I used to babysit for a family who had about 10 movies in their collection, they didn’t have cable and this was before Netflix, so in the hours after I sent the kids to bed my viewing choices were limited.  But, luckily for me, they had The Empire Strikes Back.

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People love Star Wars for a lot of different reasons.  Actually, I love Star Wars for a lot of different reasons, but one of them is very personal, that Han Solo and Princess Leia’s banter kept a teenage babysitter entertained until her employers finally came home.

May the Fourth be with you.