Treknobabble #67: Ramblings of a Delusional Trekkie

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Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington leading up to and following the release of J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

Attention: Due to the sensitive nature of suicide, I feel I should clarify that the accompanying photograph is intended to be humorous. Besides, the phaser was set on stun, although at that range, if it had accidentally fired, I would have been out for a day.

I’ve been reading opinions about the Star Trek movie since it opened over two weeks ago. And I’ve been hoping for inspiration for the topic of this Treknobabble. I was going to let Treknobabble rest for a while and continue to write Killer Import reviews, but I haven’t seen any recent foreign movies worth writing about. So I’m trying something different with this Treknobabble in that I’m not going to edit what I write. It’s getting late so I don’t really want to start researching anything or compiling any notes. I thought I would ramble conversationally, giving myself a time limit of 60 minutes.

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Treknobabble #66: The Needs of the Many: A Star Trek Review

The Needs of the Many

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
– Maria Robinson.

It has been over a week since the future began. Disappointment. In a word, that’s what I felt by the time the ending credits started to play for the new Star Trek film. Despite the probable irrelevance of my opinions and the superfluous nature of another Star Trek review, I feel obligated to review the film given that this column, Treknobabble, was started in anticipation of the film. I have been ruminating and trying to put some perspective on my disappointment before committing my opinions into words. Was it the heavy anticipation that created unrealistic expectations, especially after the ecstatic reactions from preview audiences? I did enjoy Star Trek to some extent, but if it wasn’t a film set in the Star Trek milieu, I would have enjoyed it less. So I am sort of wondering why other people are raving about the film and wondering why the majority of reviewers have been effusive with their praise as well.

I had read that some news outlets were looking to film some reactions from Trekkies who dislike the film, because a sensationalistic headline could easily be applied to this newsworthy type of story. I feel as though some Trekkies are even expected to have a strong negative reaction opposite to popular opinion. The Onion hilariously made a false news story with this expectation. It feels like my opinion is reactionary and without any validity. Knowing that I have this Promethean task ahead of me, I must credibly argue why the majority of people have this mass delusion of thinking that Star Trek is wonderful. And then I realized the futility of rationalizing my opinion. I cannot deny that people enjoyed Star Trek. I wish I could be flippant and cite Talosian interference.

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Killer Imports: Ong Bak 2

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Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

After listening to the Macho Movie Review of Ong Bak 2, I was prepared to enjoy an awesome action flick when I inserted my DVD of the movie into my player. To be honest, I had purchased the DVD prior to listening to the review, and I had sampled some of the action scenes. Like Wintle and I imagine other movie lovers, I have a backlog of unwatched DVDs that is growing rather than shrinking. So the acclaim given and enthusiasm shown by Wintle, Nagy, and Billy in their review moved Ong Bak 2 to the top of my stack. Yet, their review came out weeks ago, and I have finally written my review. Why the delay? Because I was disappointed. I guess I should have been skeptical after Billy said that Ong Bak 2 was now his most favorite action flick, supplanting Conan the Barbarian.

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Treknobabble #65: Kingons?

treknobabble65

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

That’s not a typo in the title of this Treknobabble. For Burger King’s current Star Trek promotion, “Kingons” is the clever name given to the Burger King characters dressed in Klingon garb. There’s a rumor that a scene with Klingons was cut from J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. I wasn’t aware that there would be Klingons in the latest film. Perhaps there aren’t, but I suppose Klingons have a high recognition factor among the general populace. And I suppose the opportunity to meld the names of Burger King and Klingons was too obvious to pass on.

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Treknobabble #64: My Mind to Your Mind

treknobabble64

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

As the new Star Trek movie is a week away from being unveiled to the general public, I thought I would drop my Vulcan-like demeanor and talk about my feelings. I’ve mentioned before how as a school kid, a teacher labeled me as the “epitome of self-discipline.” I think this is part of my personality. To say that I am really excited would not be accurate even though I don’t have much of anything happening in my life. Maybe not shielding myself from spoilers has ruined the excitement, but I see two benefits: I avoid the stress of avoiding spoilers, and I relieve the physical turmoil of anticipation.

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Treknobabble #63: Wolverine vs Star Trek

treknobabble63

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

From the title of this Treknobabble, you might guess that I have seen the leaked copy of the new Wolverine movie and have caught a preview showing of the new Star Trek movie, and am about to compare the two and tell you which is the better movie. No such luck. Instead, I’ll be predicting which movie will do better at the box office with reference to the recent Advertising Age article predicting that Wolverine will be victorious. Besides, most of you would probably not want to have these movies spoiled.

Some people have been writing about how some recent statistics indicate how these movies will do at the box office. Now statistics are always ripe for being misconstrued. And I don’t know if there are some “official” statistic houses that movie executives pay special attention to. So I don’t know how reliable the data used by the Advertising Age writers is. The data did come from various named sources although some of the data was gathered indirectly. At least it provides us with a jumping off point for discussion.

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Killer Imports: Shaolin Girl

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Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

In 2007, Sean posted on Film Junk about a sequel to Stephen Chow’s phenomenally successful Shaolin Soccer. The sequel would be financed and made by Japanese and only be produced by Chow (who is Chinese). The sport highlighted would be lacrosse rather than soccer. Only one comment was made. Chris thought the movie would be worth seeing for the lead actress, Kou Shibasaki. And then later in the year, Sean posted about a teaser trailer for this movie, now titled, Shaolin Girl. And again only one comment was made. Mike said he would probably see it, but he was disappointed that Chow wasn’t directing. And I never gave a second thought about this movie again.

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Treknobabble #62: Space: The Great Leap Forward

treknobabble62

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

This Treknobabble continues to talk about a few recent Star Trek news topics that probably don’t deserve to have a whole Treknobabble devoted to them. So I’ll be covering the resemblance of the new movie’s plot to Star Wars a la The Hero’s Journey, racial casting, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) logo, what’s happening with NASA, and the advance previews of the new movie.

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Why Asian Directors Fail in Hollywood: Jackie Chan

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As stated in my introductory post for Killer Imports, I wanted to write some posts other than reviews. This post addresses a topic that I’ve always wondered about. I was tempted to add the word “always” to the title of this article, because I can’t think of a single Asian director who has succeeded in Hollywood. When I say Asian, I should qualify that I mean directors who were not born on American soil. And when I say succeed, I mean in both critical and financial terms, and more often than not, these two ways of judging movies don’t go hand in hand. And of course, I’m generalizing. I admit I am also comparing their Hollywood films with the films they have made on their own soil.

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Treknobabble #61: A Contemporary Trekkie’s Tale

treknobabble61

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

It had been a long while since I had undertaken a solo journey across the border in America in search of Star Trek merchandise. With the new Star Trek movie coming out in just over a month’s time, I had been reading about the wealth of new memorabilia that brand name sponsors had planned. I had read that the Playmates figures, the gold standard for Star Trek merchandise, would not be available for another couple of weeks, but I hoped to pick up the Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive “Khaaan!” Admiral Kirk figure and the Kellogg’s cereal with the light-up comm badges. As a secondary mission, I would look for any type of advertising for the new Star Trek movie. Using the Internet, I had been trying to contact other Trekkies who lived in the Buffalo area in order to find out if a trip would be worthwhile.

When I was younger, I would spend an entire shopping day across the border going from store to store. I would skip meals in order to save time (and money). Having developed a recent foot problem, I wasn’t sure I could endure the same sort of ordeal at my current age. If Star Trek merchandise was scarce, I could easily be discouraged and decide to cut my journey short. I made the decision. But I rationalized that I needed to get some fresh air and walk around for exercise. With Star Trek as my inspiration, I boldly went.

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Killer Imports: The Road Home

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Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

I’m going to review an older film called The Road Home, because it’s one of my top ten favorite films ever. I realize that this is a highly subjective opinion, because I doubt there are more than a handful of people who might put this movie into their top ten. This film has garnered some attention so it’s not like a hidden gem that I’ve discovered. It did win the Audience Award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, and it won the Grand Prix Silver Berlin Bear at the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival. (I don’t know what other films have been given this honor.)

The director, Zhang Yimou, is one of the most famous Chinese directors known in the world. I’ve reviewed his Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles for Killer Imports. And the lead actress, Ziyi Zhang, is one of the most famous Chinese actresses in the world; though, at the time she made this film, she was an unknown. Her film after this, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, would make her an international star.

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Treknobabble #60: The Future Begins (Two Hours Earlier in Vulcan)

treknobabble60

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

I thought I would use this Treknobabble to talk about a few recent Star Trek news topics that each probably don’t deserve to have a whole Treknobabble devoted to them. So I’ll be covering the bid by Vulcan to host a Star Trek movie premiere, a rumor of a new Star Trek television series, and the release of some international posters for the new Star Trek movie.

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