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Outside Seka 28.03.2010

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I love the fact that Swedish sounds something like gay Klingon.

Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Plot: A neat procedural thriller based on Stieg Larsson’s novel about a two Mac lovers who find sex and justice together in Sweden.
IMHO: Reading the novel may have spoiled some of the movie’s mystique for me. Certainly, the final twist screamed more obviously than it ever did in the book. Duh, with a Swedish accent. Michael Nyqvist gives first a dry then a wry performance as stalwart journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who is called upon to solve the mystery a 40-year-old disappearance. He and the movie come alive whenever Noomi Rapace broods onto the screen. She plays the character that gives the book and movie its only distinguishing element—young gothy female hacker (who uses a Mac??) Lisbeth Salander, who helps Nyqvist uncover the brutal truths. But the movie suffers from trying to have its torture porn and socially comment on it, too.
Compared to the great Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this movie is a lot about flying a goddamn computer console.
If William Shatner had directed it, he would’ve given himself the role of the sadist pig/rapist guardian. With a goatee. And hoping for an Oscar. He also would’ve learned Swedish for the role.
If Scotty had seen the movie with me, he’d have said it was the work of Redjac, for sure.
SPOILER: The American remake will totally suck.
I give this movie: 3 Nomads out of 5

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Feting Shatmoy 26.03.2010

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I’m being interviewed tomorrow as part of Look at His Butt‘s ongoing Shatmoy celebration. Since they are in the Starfleet state, and I am practically on the other side of the galaxy, we will use the amazing technology called Skype! I suppose at some point the interview will become available on the Interwebs.

Star Crossed 08.03.2010

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Star Trek.
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Porque Soy Un Trekkie, Part 2 03.03.2010

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Star Trek.
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The elusive brown dwarf -- was eventually found under the lid of a boiling pot of pasta.

In graduate school I roomed with a fun flock of fanboys. There was Marc, Steve, Rich, Phil, and my roommate, Andy. In any case, bouts of Risk and Diplomacy filled our suite as much as beer and bad cooking. And even women sometimes. In any event, I was in a long-distance relationship of sorts and wasn’t around for a lot of the weekend-long gaming. During the weekdays, though, I would come out of my room and see the guys gathered around our TV set in the living room all watching Star Trek TOS with rapt attention.

“Another repeat!,” I would declare in false indignation.

And they would snicker, even when I said it the 50th time. Well, maybe by that point they were ignoring me.

Sometimes I would watch with them, sometimes I wouldn’t. As I said, I was not quite a complete Trekkie. Not yet.

In any case, it was early in the fall 1987 term when Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered. There had been some talk and of course trepidation among us. But overall I believe we were all curious about the new show. This was years before we as a culture had been be beaten down by endless remakes and reboots and feared them like aliens that mostly come out at night. Mostly. We didn’t know what damage could be done. After all, the Star Trek movies had for the most part been good fun. What could go wrong?

So we watched the new show, and the consensus among our suite of fanboys was that it was really cool, but maybe needed a little time to establish itself. Although I think Marc mancrushed on Riker right away.

I watched. I watched it for years.

It never grew on me. To me, Patrick Stewart was miscast, an overactor, but not in a fun way. And the rest of the cast seemed stiff and fatally uncharismatic. The stories were dull, short on action, long, very long on technobabble.

However, I realized while watching this pale, politically correct imitation how much I loved, LOVED the original series. The energy! The intelligence! The sense of humor! All these I found missing from TNG.

I admit, maybe I loved TOS much more because the Kirk-Spock-McCoy trio were archetypal, bigger-than-life characters with unfillable boots. Maybe it’s because I had lived with them so long, they were family. And so Picard and his players seemed just pretenders, throwaway TV types in uncomfortable looking pajamas.

In any case, I stayed with TNG as long as I could, but there are many episodes I’ve yet to see. But that show and  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and :Voyager were part of my continuing voyage to becoming a Latino Trekkie.

Inimitable 02.03.2010

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Star Trek Stuff.
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The Hirsute of Happiness 28.02.2010

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Do werewolves read Allen Ginsberg?

Movie: The Wolfman (2010)
Plot: The bad Hulk movie with werewolves, or Hannibal Lector’s son comes home to find out why his brother was julienned on the moors.
IMHO: Seeing this on bootleg probably robbed me of the only creative nuances of this and any werewolf movie—the makeup and transformation scenes. This because every werewolf movie is a tragedy, in fact, the same tragedy: nice man gets bit; turns to a moon-howler, kills; wakes up disoriented; falls in love along the way; gets killed, his lover present, if not actually doing the killing. This remake of the 1941 classic grows no new fangs, with Benicio Del Toro doing the perpetual look of despair typical to all lycanthropic leads, and Anthony Hopkins phoning it in as his long-in-the-tooth dad. Emily Blunt is pretty.
Compared to the great Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this movie doesn’t mince words.
If Leonard Nimoy had directed it, he would’ve emphasized the original movie‘s metaphorical take on Nazi Germany. And kept the pentagrams.
If Scotty had seen the movie with me, he’d have said, “Aye, now that calls for some hair of the dog! Will you join me, lad?”
SPOILER: This is not the movie with the fey vampire and his teen gf.
I give this movie: 1.5 Nomads out of 5

Another Great Butt Plug 09.02.2010

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Listen to the fun Trek talk with Lene Taylor and Jungle Kitty, of Look at His Butt.

Porque Soy Un Trekkie, Part 1 04.02.2010

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Yes, the great debate rages on: You got your white Vulcans. You got your black Vulcans. So why no Puerto Rican Vulcans?

My name is Commodore Mendez and I am a Latino Trekkie. And I am not alone!

Note to Hollywood producers: Just because Hispanic characters are extremely rare in the franchise does not mean I cannot be enamored of it. Believe me, I enjoy the little half-assed pandering you do do (Captain Castillo indeed!).

But I wasn’t always a Hispanic Trekkie. Un Trekkie. Un Trekkason. I grew up in Brooklyn too young to watch TOS when it originally aired on NBC. But in 1972 I was just the right age when it came on in syndication, five days a week at six o’clock on WPIX. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy glowed in black and white in our living room. I watched them often as I ate my deeply fried pork chops, deeply fried fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, and other very Americanized dinner selections. (Yes, but they were all flavored with Sazón.)

I ate always ate dinner in front of the TV, my third and favorite parent. (Don’t worry, mom and dad don’t have web access.) Coming home from school, I did my homework immediately, not to be studious, but to be able to watch without a single impediment.

“Did you do your homework?” mother screamed.

“Yes,” I mumbled, entranced by the gray worlds pulsing in front of me.

So I saw Kirk, Spock, and McCoy more than I did any uncles, aunts, or cousins, most of whom lived in faraway lands called Chicago and Ponce. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy became, like so many TV characters to so many TV watchers, family. Better than family, in fact, because they didn’t come over without calling and drink the last of your Yoo-hoo.

But even after watching them for years like that, I still would not have called myself a Trekkie.

When The Motion Picture came out, I didn’t even see it in theaters. Well, that might have been because I had no money to go by myself, and there was no friggin’ way my brother was going to take me to see Star Blechh. (Though he did take me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, for which I am ever grateful.)

But then Wrath of Khan came out just as I finished high school. In fact, if memory serves, I went with my friends Phil Lee, Henry Yee, and Frank Kugler to see it in theaters. There was something about that movie, and something about seeing those family members again, that brought me closer to being a Trekkie. I still wasn’t there yet. That would take a few more movies. And some bad TV spinoffs.

Extreme Makeover: Holmes Edition 03.02.2010

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Suffering from Baker Street irregularity?

Suffering from Baker Street irregularity?

Movie: Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Plot: Gay romantic comedy in which Iron Man goes back in time to spar over commitment issues with Jude Law (played well by Jude Law) and foil a plot to take over the world, Pinky!
IMHO: This reboot of Sherlock Holmes as an action hero is a no brainer. But Robert Downey Jr., while always rakish and fun to watch, seems to be playing such a different character than the iconic Holmes there almost seems no point in calling the movie Sherlock Holmes. (But ain’t it funny how much villain Mark Strong looks like the traditional Holmes? Subtext? From Guy Ritchie?! Naaaah.) Rachel McAdams is beautifully played by Rachel McAdams. Entertaining poofery, like much of the director’s man-loving ouevre, but, sadly, the obvious CGI makes this often look like an original SyFy movie.
Compared to the great Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this movie has the virtue of never having been tried.
If Leonard Nimoy had directed it, he would’ve played Moriarity. With a goatee!
If Scotty had seen the movie with me, he’d have said, “Aye, and if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon!”
SPOILER: Scarlett Johansson does not attempt a Russian accent here.
I give this movie: 3 Nomads out of 5

Scotty’s Wet Dream 02.02.2010

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