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December 12, 2013

They Had Me at "Moribund"....

Those of you who love language will hopefully enjoy this as much as the Editorial Staff did:

CWCID

Posted by Cassandra at December 12, 2013 05:59 PM

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Comments

That was good.
And informative. I finally understand the disconnect I feel when watching the latest movies. What Hollywood genius thought that giving the lead role - the most dynamic character in the entire series - to a non-fan was a brilliant idea?

Posted by: DL Sly at December 12, 2013 09:03 PM

I love the new movies. Gotta say the first one was better, but the second one has grown on me. In my case, I loved TOS and once in the 80's sat through a 23-hour marathon of Star Trek with MathMan. When it was done, we looked at each other and said, "It's over already?"

I was actually pleased with the new characters, giving a new timeline means I can have Star Trek well into my 60's, which GAH!!! start in February. I will forgive Chris Pine for not being a follower, because IMHO he comported himself well in the role. But, DL Sly, you are welcome to your own opinion!

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 03:19 PM

I literally grew up with Star Trek every Sunday afternoon after football. I was thrilled when the announcement came out that they were re-doing them.
Then they blew up Vulcan.
Okaaayyyy.
Now Kahn was supposedly part of Star Fleet? I'm sorry but some parts of the *new* time line have gone too far astray for a reasonable suspension of belief.
I agree that Chris Pine played a role well. But the role he played was not Jim Kirk. Zach Quinto and Karl Urban played Spock and Bones to perfection wrt the original characters. And while I don't like his previous work, the guy who played Scotty did a great job, as well. Whether or not they, too, are fans, I do not know. But they obviously studied better than Pine did. I don't know who Pine thought he was supposed to be playing in the movie, but James T. Kirk was not it.

Posted by: DL Sly at December 13, 2013 04:03 PM

I grew up watching Star Trek too - I've probably seen every episode. I actually liked Chris Pine in the part. I could have done without fight scenes in the beginning or the little boy stealing the car and wrecking it, but they didn't seem out of character to me.

The original Star Trek was made in a time when good TV characters exhibited more self control/decorum, but Kirk was a reckless man even in the original series. It's just that the bar for "reckless" has been raised considerably since I was a girl :p

FWIW, I felt the same way about LOTR that Sly did about Star Trek. Maybe how much the original work meant to you makes one less willing to accept variations on the original theme?

Posted by: Cass at December 13, 2013 04:30 PM

Congrats on the upcoming birthday, MathMom!

Posted by: Cass at December 13, 2013 04:31 PM

Thanks, Cass! It's funny - the picture I use on my Gmail account has me on my third birthday - and I feel the same inside as that little girl. But boy howdy, the outside is W-A-A-A-Y off.

I agree w/Sly that Bones and Spock are played to perfection. I even like the young boy they picked for Spock as a child. But at the end of the first movie, when all the drama has passed and they are setting off on their next mission, Pine comes onto the bridge and says "Bones!" and does that ba-dump ba-dump lightly down the stairs, and I saw William Shatner right there. YMMV.

The beginning of the movie, when George Kirk makes the decision to steer the Enterprise into the alien ship saving his crew, wife and new baby, chokes me up every time I see it. Yeah, it's just a movie, but it is a GUY doing what GUYS DO. When you don't beat the testosterone out of little boys (like when they fire invisible arrows from an invisible bow, or shoot a dangerous Pop-Tart), they can grow up to be manly men. I hope that sanity returns to our institutions before too many little boys are ruined by man-hating feminist teachers and school administrations. Someday we may need a real-life George Kirk, and we don't want all of them slouching in groups wearing Goth clothing and black eyeliner.

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 06:57 PM

Did you like the LOTR books as a kid? I read The Hobbit about two years ago for the first time, and have not waded into the trilogy.

I thought the movies sucked. Maybe it was just Too. Many. Epic. Battle. Scenes. Maybe if I knew something about the stories, the movies would matter to me. But I watched number 1 in the theater, half of number two and three on DVD. Also watched The Hobbit on DVD, and wasn't much more thrilled by it. Mostly interested because of Martin Freeman, whom I knew only as Dr. John Watson. For them to stretch the smallest book into three honking long movies makes me glad he didn't make the trilogy into nine movies!

I have always thought that a reader can make a better movie in his mind from a good book than a director can do with the book on film. My mental Harry Potter movies were far and away better than the films, and I often wish I hadn't seen the movies, because I can't remember my own movie any more.

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 07:08 PM

Happy Birthday Mathmom! Well, in February, anyways.

It's not the years, it's the mileage.

Yeah, I'll be turning 58 soon, too.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at December 13, 2013 07:13 PM

Thanks Don -

May I be the first to say, you don't LOOK 58!!!

:o)

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 07:47 PM

Well, Dahling, you look mahvelous!

Posted by: Don "Fernando" Brouhaha at December 13, 2013 08:40 PM

:o)

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 09:08 PM

It's better to look mahvelous than to feel mahvelous!

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 09:09 PM

Well, damn that leaves me out on both accounts!

Happy early b-day, MM! The VES is a child of February and has a particular affinity for math as well.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 13, 2013 09:23 PM

Well, thank you, Sly! I guess as long as I'm on the right side of the dirt, I shouldn't complain.

February is a short month, so the world is short of February birthdays. We have to hang together!

Posted by: MathMom at December 13, 2013 10:14 PM

Well, yer welcome, MM!
My Mom showed me that age is a case of mind over matter...if you don't mind, it don't matter. At 75, she was still full of good old, Kentucky Mountain William piss and vinegar - even after three bouts of cancer - before the Good Lord finally called her Home.
60 is the new 40 these days, so I think you'll be making the Devil say, "Oh shit, she's up!" for many years to come.

As for complainin', I can't....nobody's listenin'.
heh
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 14, 2013 12:29 AM

Sly!

HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Posted by: MathMom at December 14, 2013 02:17 PM

I was almost all the way through that before I figured out that those must be the actors in the newest Star Trek movies. What's sad is that I actually watched the first one. As I recall, it wasn't too bad. It's just that I can't remember anything about it except something at the end about a ship going into some kind of thing.

Posted by: Texan99 at December 15, 2013 10:04 AM

Texan99 -

I think that is the plot of about half of Star Trek movies and series - "a ship going into some kind of thing" - but I watch them anyway.

:o)

Posted by: MathMom at December 15, 2013 11:42 AM

This year the VES and I are doing this with the gingerbread man-shaped Christmas cookies.
heh
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 15, 2013 01:35 PM

Need an Ode to the Red Shirts!

Posted by: MathMom at December 15, 2013 04:21 PM

Hi MM,
'I think that is the plot of about half of Star Trek movies and series - "a ship going into some kind of thing" - but I watch them anyway.'
is brilliant!

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 15, 2013 10:39 PM

CAPT Mike -

(*blush*)

Posted by: MathMom at December 15, 2013 11:26 PM

Did you like the LOTR books as a kid? I read The Hobbit about two years ago for the first time, and have not waded into the trilogy.

I liked LOTR much more than The Hobbit - I was mildly obsessed with LOTR as a girl. I had whole passages memorized, including the poems in Elvish. In junior high, I even used the dwarf and elf runes as codes - my best friend and I used to write each other notes in runes :p

One of the odd things I have enjoyed over the years is calligraphy (odd b/c my handwriting isn't really all that great). But I really enjoyed learning to draw the different alphabets. I enjoyed learning the Russian cyrillic alphabet in college, too.

The LOTR movies don't capture a lot of the beauty of Tolkein's original works. Some of the descriptions were so beautiful that they pierce the heart - similar to Shakespeare's better works. I can read those passages over and over and still discover new things to delight me.

Posted by: Cass at December 16, 2013 08:35 AM

I hope that sanity returns to our institutions before too many little boys are ruined by man-hating feminist teachers and school administrations. Someday we may need a real-life George Kirk, and we don't want all of them slouching in groups wearing Goth clothing and black eyeliner.

Heh :)

As I've written before, I think that whole man-hating feminist teacher thing is overblown. It's really not something that concerns me much.

Teachers like that are in the minority (and my own growing up years contains several examples of bad teachers of all kinds, but mostly benign/good ones. Still, I remember several male teachers/coaches who openly bullied helpless boys: something we have somehow forgotten). And kids don't have the same teachers from year to year, so it's a bit of a stretch for me to believe that any one or even a few of them are going to influence a child all that much. Heck, even parents only have so much influence over our children and we have 18+ years with them!

I've always had the sense that it's much harder to suppress aggression or daring than people think. I truly don't believe the human spirit is so fragile - just look at how people behave in a real dog-eat-dog situation. The inner cave man (or woman) comes out blindingly fast.

I think it's more a case of parents and culture expecting WAY too little of boys that is the poisonous thing. But that's just my 2 cents!

Posted by: Cass at December 16, 2013 08:43 AM

Wow! You make me want to read the LOTR books. I have them - will move them to my reading list!

Thanks for your thoughts about criminalizing testosterone. My son had a male-hating teacher, and when the main object of her loathing moved away, she decided her special gift should be focused on my lad. Not a fun year. But to be fair, my 6th grade teacher hated me, gave me stomach ulcers from the anxiety she caused in me, and I'm not a boy, nor was I then. So you can get bad apples anywhere.

Posted by: MathMom at December 16, 2013 03:02 PM

I'll be interested to hear how you liked LOTR!

I thought the first and third books were the best and the middle one dragged, but Grim liked that one better so I imagine it's a matter of taste/interests.

Posted by: Cass at December 16, 2013 07:56 PM

"...so I imagine it's a matter of taste..."

I don't think you're supposed to eat them. Although, honestly, paper is paper, so.....
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 17, 2013 12:05 AM

LOTR - nerd books.

New Star Trek movies - didn't see them. Even the previews give away the analogy to the war on terror. The Dark Knight did it better (I'm sure without seeing Star Trek)-it was great in that respect.

Loved the interviews above though.

Well, got to keep peddling. Key West a bit nippy this morning.

Posted by: Man Riding Unicycle Naked at December 17, 2013 11:03 AM

Pppphhhhhtttttthhhhh :)

I wasn't a big fan of any of the batman movies for some reason. Didn't hate them - they just didn't do anything for me.

I did like the new Star Trek movies - there wasn't any real deep message there, but they were fun adventure movies with lots of exploding stuff.

Posted by: Cass at December 17, 2013 12:18 PM

Hi Cass,
about that last comment . . . original Stars Wars TV series was a classic 'Space Western,' which only occasionally tackled deeper themes than 'we're more similar than we are different.'
It was more exciting than deep.

The movies became quite self important, as did some of the actors. This new take gets back to some of the excitement.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 17, 2013 09:57 PM

Do you really think so?

I think what I loved so much about the original TV series is that there was always some idea - some subtext - behind the plots that looked silly and almost shallow on the surface.

At least it always seemed so to me when I was just a rosy-cheeked little Editorial Staff. Here's one example: I recall an episode about a planet where everyone was nicey-nice and no one was ever violent. But the subtext was that their society wasn't growing anymore and they had lost the ability to defend themselves. That was the obvious part, but you also saw how (even with all the horrors we've grown used to) the human race is always struggling toward something better.

And sometimes, toward something worse. But we're moving, changing, evolving. Alive.

OK, it's all right to laugh at me now :) I guess I was overthinking things, even as a girl. But so many of these subtexts made me think. They influenced the way I saw the world and my place in it.

I think of that, sometimes, when Grim writes of how art and the vision of beauty can be used to change people's hearts and minds. Through storytelling, you can make arguments for or against things.

Another episode I remember was the Edith Keeler one. Kirk goes back in time and falls in love with a woman who is hopeful and dreams of space exploration. But he finds out that she is also a pacifist and, if she's allowed to escape her fate, will persuade America not to fight the Nazis. I was fascinated by that story - the idea that from a good impulse, so much evil can result. And the other idea that we can't foresee how our actions will turn out, and the suggestion that sometimes tragic things happen for a reason.

Pretty remarkable for a 1960s TV show. But maybe I'm reading (or I read) waaaaaaay too much into it?

I think I prefer that, though :) We live in a world partly of our own devising where (as the Bard once said) nothing is good or bad, but our thoughts make it so.

Posted by: Cass at December 18, 2013 07:52 AM

Hi again Cass,
Ugly truth is that Star Trek TV writers mostly 'stole' (or if you prefer, recycled) well trod Sci-fi themes.
Starting in Junior High I read *every* sci-fi book in the school & local public library. The genre can be fascinating, and the 'what if' "blank" changed in the past is one common theme. I liked the movie 'A Sound of Thunder' treatment of it (the Butterfly Effect)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder.

Trek, especially with a shallow lead actor, gravitated towards aliens (mostly attractive or menacing), a quick fling by Kirk, and a conflict often resolved in a fight.
- the most recent monies have some great nods to those old themes; it's no accident the most recent Kirk finds his way to the dorm room of a fellow busty *green* cadet!

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 18, 2013 05:24 PM

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