Archive for September, 2009

Star Trek 43rd Birthday: Watching Season 1 on DVD Part I

Posted in movies, pop culture, reviews, Star Trek, TV shows with tags , , , , , on September 11, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek the Original SeriesOkay, today we are continuing our Star Trek 43rd Anniversary celebration by revisiting the original TV series episodes.  On Wednesday I did a movie retrospective of the first six Star Trek movies, but today I’m reviewing Season 1 of the TV series.  Growing up in the ’80s, I was a big fan of the movie version of Star Trek.  Treks II and VI were my favorite movies with the original cast.  I had seen some of the episodes of the original TV show in syndication, but I didn’t remember them.  I said before, that the only episode I’ve watched in its entirety more than once was Squire of Gothos because it contained the character of Trelane, the precursor to Star Trek:  The Next Generations’ Q character.

Looking at the Season 1 set being offered from Netflix, I noticed something odd.  The original unaired pilot, The Cage, is not offered on the first season set.  I was disappointed because I really wanted to see this episode.  However, after digging around on the internet I found out that The Cage was offered on the very last disc of Season 3 as a bonus.  So I had to get the last disc of season 3 mailed to me from Netflix to see the unaired pilot.  I just thought that was weird.

So, anyway, this is what I’m watching, the Blu-Ray set of Star Trek The Original Series, Season 1.

Star Trek OS Season 1

Going into this I was very worried that the original show was going to be a little dated and boring.  That I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as the movies.  That’s one of the reasons I decided to re-watch the shows, to see the whole phenomenon how it originally aired.

Overview of Season 1 as a Whole

So, how does the series hold up?  Very well, actually.  Like I said, I was prepared to be a bit bored by the cheap special effects and low caliber story telling, but the series really surprised me.  Yes, there are episodes that plod along and bore you, but for the most part it is fascinating to watch the crew at work.  Predictably, Shatner is UNBELIEVABLE as James Kirk.  All the reasons I love him in every Star Trek movie is presented in this first season.  He is supremely bad ass, as macho as the offspring of a T-Rex and a Great White Shark and totally in charge at all times.  He seeks out new life, then when the new life starts acting like bitches, he throws photon torpedoes at it until the problem goes away.  Kirk doesn’t care.  And Spock.  OMFG, Nimoy is a treasure.  He is the king of the subtle insults.  Whenever some crew member is freaking out about the near death adventures Kirk keeps getting them into, Spock always comes at them completely deadpan with something similar to “emotions are illogical” or “emotions make you weak”.  Then he gives them that penetrating Vulcan stare with the raised eyebrow that informs the crew member that they have just been OWNED.  The crew of the Enterprise have got to think Spock is a douche.  I love it.

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Star Trek 43rd Birthday: Re-Watching the movies

Posted in movies, pop culture, reviews, Star Trek with tags , , , on September 9, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek movie crew

Star Trek turned 43 this week. The first episode of the original series aired on Sept 8, 1966. To celebrate, I re-watched all the original cast’s Star Trek movies. Starting with Star Trek The Motion Picture and going through Star Trek VI:  The Undiscovered Country, I quickly review the movie legacy of the cast from the original TV show.

Let’s see if these movies are still as good in the harsh light of today.  Beware, though, as the movie pirate will tell you, “Proceed with caution, mates.  Thar be spoilers ahead!”

Star Trek The Motion Picture
Star Trek: The Motion Picture — I didn’t watch this until I was in high school.  What I remember from that screening was one word:  BORING.  Watching this again, I have a new word:  COMA-INDUCING.  The problem lies in the fact that this movie was originally developed as a new Star Trek TV series called Phase II which would’ve included Kirk, Spock, Bones and others in small roles as well as a bunch of new officers (a bald chick and that guy from 7th Heaven).  After the success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars, Paramount trashed the new series and had the show re-developed as a motion picture.  Surprisingly, Phase II was written by sci-fi legend Alan Dean Foster who also wrote the Star Trek reboot novelization.  Despite the high pedigree of writer, what the movie delivers is an incomprehensible mess.  The storyline is hard to follow, some of the effects are terrible and the acting is less than stellar.    If you are looking for your first Star Trek movie viewing, I beg you, with all that is holy, DO NOT start here.  Your journey will end before it can begin.  If you must, return to it later and wonder WTF just happened.  After watching this again, I’m surprised Part II got made at all.  1.5/5

Star Trek II
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan — It’s almost cliche to say that Star Trek II is the best Star Trek movie, but things become cliche for a reason.  Next to Part VI, also written/directed by Nicholas Meyer, this is the best Trek movie.  This movie’s story is a sequel to a 1967 episode of the original series called Space Seed.  Ricardo Montalban’s Khan first appeared in that episode and the movie picks up years later when Kirk and his crew once again face the titular genetically enhanced Khan.  The opening of the movie is iconic and depicts the infamous Kobayshi-Maru officer’s test.  From there the action takes off and never lets up during the tight 116 minute runtime.  The superior pacing and the tete-a-tete between Kirk and Khan make this a wonderful sci-fi action movie.  This is what everyone thinks of when you say Star Trek and that’s why it’s a classic.  I’ll tell you this, if you don’t shed a tear during Spock’s death scene when he tells Kirk that he will forever be his friend, then you have no soul, my friend.  I’m misting up right now just thinking about it. 4/5

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Happy 43rd Birthday, Star Trek!!

Posted in pop culture, Star Trek, TV shows with tags , , on September 8, 2009 by Paxton

Star Trek birthday

43 years ago today, on Sept 8, 1966, the first episode of Star Trek’s original series aired on NBC. The first broadcast episode was The Man Trap, however, chronologically the episode Where No Man Has Gone Before happens first (and the unaired pilot The Cage happens before that).

Being born in 1974 and having my formative years in the ’80s I missed watching the original series on television.  What I did enjoy, was watching the movies.  I missed the first Star Trek movie (probably because my dad didn’t enjoy it), but I watched Star Trek II as my first Star Trek experience and I loved it.  I would grow to love Kirk and Spock and the rest of the crew through the next 4 movies (or 5, depending on if you count ST: Generations as an original cast movie).  I would catch some of the syndicated reruns of the TV show, but only in pieces.  I also used to watch the cartoon on Nickelodeon, but as a child, it seemed boring to me.  I plan on revisiting that cartoon.  The only original series episode I can think of off the top of my head that I’ve seen more than once is episode #17:  The Squire of Gothos.  I only watched that because the main adversary in that episode, Trelane, was the precursor to one of my favorite Next Generation characters, Q.

After watching the phenomenal JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot, and in light of Star Trek’s birthday, I decided to re-watch the original cast’s movies as well as the first season of the television show on DVD.  I’ll have two more articles up this week with quick reviews of those movies and TV shows.  Are they still bad ass?  Are they completely played out?  Find out this week in my reviews.

And Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

Star Trek 43rd Birthday Articles coming this week:
1. Review of the first 6 Star Trek movies
2. Review of the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series Part I
3. Star Trek Season 1 highlights Part II

Star Trek cast

Line Rage: Waiting in line at Subway

Posted in fast food, humor, life, Subway with tags , , , on September 3, 2009 by Paxton

Subway store

So, I didn’t bring my lunch and I decide to go to Subway. If any of you have ever stood in line at a fast food place, you will understand the term LINE RAGE. Witness the phenomenon in action.

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I open the door, enter the Subway restaurant and quickly assess the line “situation”.  Ahh, good, only 3 people in front of me this should go very quickly.

–10 minutes later

WTF is taking so long, lady?  LETS. GO.  Are you having a conversation with the “sandwich artist”?  Are they your long lost relative?  I DON’T F’N CARE! ORDER. YOUR. SANDWICH.

–5 more minutes later

Finally, I think this chick is wrapping up her order.  It’s a good thing because I almost had to go “Michael Douglas in Falling Down” up in this place.  How the hell does a veggie delight take so damn long to order?  Anyway, this guy is up next.  Hopefully he’s efficient and ready…..wait, oh crap.  Dude has a bluetooth headset in his ear.  He’s also wearing a button down shirt and khakis.  NO! NO! NO!  I may have an “office orderer” on my hands.  Dude, DO NOT reach in your pocket and grab a list!  He’s reaching in his pocket.  Man, you better be pulling out your wallet or a picture of your grandmother because if you pull out a list of sandwiches I’m gonna be all over you like a fat kid on cake………………….He did it.  He pulled out his list.  I’m sorry my friend, but today is a good day to die.

Die

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Pepsi Patio: The little known origin of Diet Pepsi

Posted in Mountain Dew, Pepsi, pop culture, soda, TV shows with tags , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

I was watching the season 3 premier of Mad Men a few weeks ago and one of Sterling-Cooper’s big new clients is Pepsi Cola and a “new” soft drink called Patio (I put new in quotes because the show takes place in 1962-1963). I thought the Mad Men writers were making this soda up because I’d never heard of it before.  Naturally, being the soda enthusiast (ie, “dork”) that I am, I had to look it up.  Lo and behold, Patio actually existed and was, in fact, released by Pepsi Cola as their first diet soda offering.

Pepsi Patio(via USASoda.com)

Pepsi released Patio in 1963 as a response to Diet Rite cola, which was the very first “diet cola” on the market.  In the ’60s, housewives were becoming more and more health and diet conscious so these diet sodas were becoming more and more popular. Patio was Pepsi’s entry into this growth market.

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