New Celebrities for Star Trek

09-Sep-10 12:57 PM by
Filed under Celebrities, Star Trek; Comments Off on New Celebrities for Star Trek

When Star Trek: First Contact premiered, the Boston Herald published a rather incendiary review by James Verniere. Though he was judging the film from the perspective of a non-Trekkie, many of his comments were baseless, such as the utter confusion he experienced over Picard's history with the Borg. Did the film not feature a monologue addressing that very point?

One of Mr. Verniere's more interesting comments was that Star Trek had to stop recruiting from within its own ranks (the film's director was Jonathan Frakes). Why not have Antonio Banderas as an ensign on the Enterprise, he suggested? I presume the critic was trying to expand the franchise's appeal by giving non-Trekkies a point of familiarity by which to be introduced to the series. Though it would be jarring for an established cast to suddenly be joined by an actor known for non-sci-fi work, Mr. Verniere's suggestion proved correct in the appropriate context: the presence of Bruce Greenwood, Winona Ryder, Zachary Quinto, and others didn't detract from but added to last year's reboot of Star Trek: TOS, which provided an entirely new slate on which these actors could gel as a team.

What other celebrities might Star Trek benefit from introducing? We still don't know what's to come in the sequel, slated for release on June 29, 2012 — but we can imagine what it might look like if Nicolas Cage, Summer Glau, and David Tennant joined the ranks of Starfleet, courtesy the Photoshop machinations of Rabittooth.

Several of the stars in this small sampling would surely be scene-stealers; Kevin Spacey warrants nothing less than prime antagonist, for example. But Brandon Routh, whose one leading role as Superman was fleeting enough to allow him to turn in a stellar yet innocuous performance in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, could be a subtle yet effective addition to any bridge crew.

This isn't the first time non-Trek actors have been inserted into Gene Roddenberry's universe. Alex Luko transposed one show's entire cast onto the Enterprise with a result that left geeks salivating:

Firefly Star Trek

I had likened Serenity's crew to the Enterprise's myself so can totally see such a shift of universes as successful.

Who would you like to see in the next Star Trek movie, and why?

Old Dogs, Old Tricks

29-Jan-08 5:45 PM by
Filed under Reviews; 1 comment.

When I mentioned to a co-worker that I was looking forward to The Bucket List, he sighed in disgust. "Why are they putting Nicholson and Freeman through that? They deserve better," he muttered. Such disparaging remarks seemed a typical reception to this film, so I avoided all commercials, trailers and reviews. I feared I'd be similarly infected, and that the interest and enthusiasm the cast and concept alone piqued in me would be dashed.

I'm glad I dismissed the naysayers, as The Bucket List was a fun film. Morgan Freeman plays a father and husband who finds himself in the hospital with cancer at at the same time that Jack Nicholson — a rich, single, lonely tycoon — is similarly afflicted. One whimsically drafts a list of things to do before he dies, from the profound (see something majestic) to the frivlous (race a Shelby). Nicholson suggests they go out with a bang by making the list a reality and offers the funds with which to do so. Freeman's family is upset — they want to be with him until the bitter end — but it's too late, and a moment later the dynamic duo is jetting off to foreign countries.

Their activities aren't the stuff of legend, but among the more boyish antics is dialogue that's both amusing and pithy. There is little about this film that's original, but how can these two actors not make a good time of even the tired routine of two diverse individuals hitting the road and discovering themselves? I've never heard of a spell between chemotherapy and cancellation that embues patients with the strength to scale mountains; in that sense, the film defies reality right along with the characters. But compared to the weight and substance of other morbid films like Wit, this lighthearted comedy touches on the reality of the situation just often enough to keep viewers engaged while Freeman and Nicholson live our own boyish dreams of going out not with a whimper, but a bang.