• Reading,  Review

    Book Review: Star Trek Movie Memories

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    Having read Star Trek Memories, I almost immediately moved to its sequel, published the following year, which I suddenly realized was more than twenty years in the past. Movie Memories, written just a couple of years after Star Trek VI finished production, would have covered a longer time period, at least calendrically if not in terms of actual production time, but most of it would certainly have been fresher in Shatner’s mind.

    I say almost because I decided I didn’t want to overdose, so I let a couple of months go by before picking up the sequel volume. A couple like nine or ten.

    This isn’t the same kind of book as the first volume. Well, it is still a memoir, but this time Shatner presents the memories much more chronologically, in a very linear fashion moving from one movie to the next. There are still plenty of anecdotes, and he’s still going to other people for bits and pieces of Trek history he didn’t know.

    But, covering seven movies across fifteen years, this memoir proceeds at breakneck speed to get everything done. I learned things about each of the movies, and Shatners feelings about the process, production, and many things connected to each of them. I would have like to learn more. And, in fact, it actually covers a larger time period than that, giving us a glimpse of the harder times between the series and the movies, and Shatner’s work and work ethic getting through them.

    For me, I feel like the most interesting parts of the book were his reminiscences around Star Trek V, a film considered disappointing by so many fans, and Star Trek: Generations.

    For me, Star Trek V is not a bad movie, though it’s not a particularly good Star Trek movie. I can find things to enjoy in it even as I find things that disappoint me. Shatner spelled out his own disappointments in the way production went and all of the compromises he and the production team had to make to get the job done. The initial vision had been so much grander, but events and budget restrictions, and artificial time constraints conspired against the film.

    Star Trek: Generations brought us the death of Captain Kirk. (Should there have been a spoiler alert there? It’s been 23 years.) I really enjoyed Shatner’s discussions on how he felt about that, and all the things he experienced and felt running up to it. This book was released on the heels of the movie and death of a character he’d played for more than 25 years must still have been fresh and raw.

    But his memories of both of those films, along with all of the others, went by too quick.

    Overall rating: 4 stars. I finished my review of Star Trek Memories with two sentences. I just wish it was a lot longer. Although there is a sequel. I think I’d like to echo that for this one. I wish it was a long longer. I also wish there was another sequel.

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  • Days of Geek,  Podcast

    DoG Ep 08: William Shatner and Patrick Stewart at MCC 2012

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    0:00 Episode ID

    Days of Geek, Episode 8: William Shatner and Patrick Steward share the stage at MCC. Plus, and Forgotten Geek Cinema of 1980.

    00:11 Music

    Instead of the normal “Split In Synapse” (courtesy of Kevin McCleod at incompetch.com), I’m using the traditiona l“Space, the Final Frontier” speech from Star Trek, but split between Captains Kik and Picard.

    00:47 Intro

    And with good reason: the celebrity Q&A is none other than Captains Kirk and Picard, together on stage at Montreal Comic Con September 2012. In front of it, I make note of remembering the fist time I saw TNG.

    01:53Main

    Noting that the Captains were a bonus event at MCC, and one that could, and I think should, have gone on much longer. They were tremendously entertaining on stage together. Plus, there was a mystery guest.

    01:07:00Secondary Topic

    Audio of a trailer for and a bit of opinion on three genre movies from 1980 that you may (or may not) have overlooked:

    1. Airplane!

    2. Flash Gordon

    3. Popeye

    01:21:22Geekness and the Real World

    Planning attendance at Toronto Comic Con in early March. I’ll try to be visible. If by some strange coincidence you recognize me, don’t be afraid to say hi.

    01:22:21Anime Corner

    Talking briefly this week about my favourite Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away. It’s a wonderfully imagined and rendered story of a ten year old girl forced to find her way, keep herself, and rescue her parents in a world of strange creatures and bizarre spirits.

    Highly, highly recommended.

    01:24:26 Star Trek TOS Re-Watch

    Episode: “The Naked Time

    I play the original TV teaser and offer a brief synopsis, some thoughts and opinions. (This is a great episode, but doesn’t quite make my top 10. Close, though.)

    Overlooked Character/Actor: Lt. Kevin Riley, played by Bruce Hyde.

    Best Line: several quoted, but I finally went with the defining classic

    Sulu: “I’ll protect you, fair maiden.”

    Uhura: “Sorry, neither.”

    Scoring:

    Casualities (R/G/B): 0/0/1

    Emotions displayed by emotionless Vulcan: 1

    He’s dead, Jim: almost 1, but it’s spoken by Nurse Chapel to McCoy.

    Recommendation:

    Watch this one. It’s a lot of fun.

    01:36:14 Outro

    In which I offer contact info:

    Closing music—George Street Shuffle, courtesy of Kevin McCleod at incompetch.com

     

    Creative Commons licensing info (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Un-ported License).

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  • Days of Geek,  Podcast

    DoG Ep 07: William Shatner at MCC 2012

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    00:00 Episode ID

    Days of Geek, Episode 7: Captain Kirk on stage from Montreal Comic Con 2012. Plus Geek Holidays and “The Man Trap”.

    00:11 Music

    “Split In Synapse”, courtesy of Kevin McCleod at incompetch.com.

    00:21 Intro

    Intro quote is from Star Trek, The Original Series because the celebrity Q&A is none other than Captain Kirk, seen at Montreal Comic Con 2012.

    02:14 Q&A

    Yes, I said Captain Kirk. My son and I spent one day at Montreal Comic Con 2012, and it was the day William Shatner was on stage in the afternoon, then joined by Patrick Stewart in the evening, but that will be for next episode.

    1:07:53 News

    Apologizing for not bringing the Christopher Lloyd Q&A from Fan Expo 2012 this episode. It was the plan, but the audio isn’t salvageable. Between recording on my phone from the middle of the audience and the truly awful sound system in use, I couldn’t retrieve enough of Mr. Lloyd’s voice to make it worth listening to. Perhaps someone with better audio skills than mine might do better, but I’m told the initial recording has too much base and too much system noise in it, so probably not.

    We’re planning to go to Ottawa Comicon this year, and he’s been announced as a guest there. I intend to catch him again for hopefully a full Q&A session (FanExpo doesn’t always do well at scheduling, so he was on stage for less than 40 minutes), and plan for better audio then.

    There’s also a little blurb here about some format adjustments. Bi-weekly, less scripting, slightly longer episodes. Now I just need to figure out how to change the description in iTunes.

    And a note about how apparently half of all podcasts don’t make it past episode 7. So as long as I release the next episode, I’m in the top half. The next benchmark is supposed to be 22 episodes. A long way in the future, I think.

    1:10:27 Geek Stuff

    Which for this episode is a quick run down of some of my favourite geek holidays or celebrations. For Reference:

    January 27: Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

    February 12: Darwin Day (break out the Chuck Darwin memes)

    March 14: Pi Day (3.14)

    April 12: Yuri’s Night (anniversary of 1st Human Space Flight)

    May 25: Towel Day

    June 12: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

    July 20: Moon Day (1969)

    July 29: Don’t Be A Dick Day

    August 6: World Wide Web Day (1991 – First html browser)

    September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day

    October 15: http://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/hagfish-day/. Celebrating that beauty isn’t everything.

    November 9: Carl Sagan Day (his birthday—he’d be 80 this year)

    December 5: Day of the Ninja

    By no means all, but I don’t want to talk for hours about all the little observances and acknowledgements we might manage.

    1:15:27 Anime Corner

    New-ish segment where I’m going to offer up an anime series or movie for your possible enjoyment. A fair bit of anime gets watched in our house, and I’m going to peel out the good stuff, or at least the stuff I really like. Series will typically be shorter, complete works. This week:

    Otome Yōkai Zakuro (Maiden Spirit Zakuro)

    Synopsis: set in an alternate Japan during westernization, the early Meiji period, I guess, we follow the adventures of the small staff of the Ministry of Spirit Affairs. Spirits in the Japanese sense, so supernatural creatures rather than ghosts, mainly 3 young Lieutenants and the half spirit girls assigned to work with them. The Ministry is tasked with solving problems that occur between humans and spirits. Of course, the primary protagonists have problems of their own. Zakuro, the title character, is not thrilled by westernization and doesn’t like humans who embrace it, and her partner Agemaki has spirit-phobia due to an incident in his childhood.

    13 episodes of fantastic fun, adventure, and romance. Aired in 2010 in Japan and on Crunchyroll. Based on the manga series, ongoing in Comic Birds and collected in volumes of 6 or 7 chapters each. Volume 9 releasing in March 2014.

    1:17:53 Star Trek TOS Re-Watch

    Episode: “The Man Trap

    I play the original TV teaser and offer a brief (but maybe not brief enough) synopsis, give some briefer thoughts and comments the story, characters, and theme.

    Scoring:

    Casualities (R/G/B): 0/1/2 + 1 Rad Suit (which I’m going to count as Red)

    He’s dead, Jim: 2

    Best Line: Fortunately, my ancestors spawned in another ocean than yours did. (Spock)

    Overlooked Character/Actor: Crewman Green played by

    Recommendation: A fun episode, if you like monster hunts, but not even close to one of my favourites.

    1:25:05 Outro

    In which I offer contact info:

    Next episode 14 days from today, even if it ends civilization as we know it, and it might. Thanks for listening, and be well, everyone.

    Closing music—George Street Shuffle, courtesy of Kevin McCleod at incompetch.com

    Some sounds provided by the Free Sound Project.

    Creative Commons licensing info (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 Un-ported License).

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