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The Prime Directive Is to Rock 18.06.2010

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Star Trek Stuff.
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What Are Little Iron Men Made Of? 16.05.2010

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Movie reviews.
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Movie: Iron Man 2 (2010)
Plot: Shellhead backslides in therapy
IMHO: The first Iron Man, a playful action movie, got by mostly on Robert Downey Jr.’s charm, his behaving as Tony Stark, a ego-driven boy wonder who through adversity and a tin chassis learns to be a better person. But alas the lesson came with a price. In this way-too-loud, rushed-feeling sequel, his power hunger is now fed by his previous savior, that copper carapace; plus, the power source of the armor is literally killing him. Jon Favreau (Swingers, Swingers, and Swingers) brings in quirky Sam Rockwell as a quirky millionaire to balance/battle Downey quirkily, but it’s Mickey Rourke who steals the movie by actually acting with conviction, playing a frustrated Russian scientist based on a combination of Marvel villains Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo. Also, in the name of equal opportunity, Rhodey gets a suit, too. Ocean’s 11er Don Cheadle takes over the role from Terrence Howard, but Howard’s low-key characterization is missed. The action scenes are fine, but figures fighting in CGI armor might as well be Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots for all we care. The action scenes that sizzle belong to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. Oh, if they just let her use a Russian accent, or gave her something real to do. Rwor. Gwyneth Paltrow sure is pretty.
Compared to the great Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this movie is all static discharge and gas clouds.
If William Shatner had directed it, he would’ve played Stark’s dad himself. And maybe added more story to make the Stark-Potts romance not seem tacked on. Or kissed Pepper himself!
If Scotty had seen the movie with me, he’d have said, “Palladium? New elements?! Give me a wee drop of dilithium and a fifth of Romulan ale, and I’ll have the lad flyin’ from here to Rigel in no time.”
SPOILER: Not following plot points? No worries. Jarvis the computer underlines, and I mean, UNDERLINES, every one.
I give this movie: 2 Nomads out of 5

Porque Soy Un Trekkie, Part 1 04.02.2010

Posted by Commodore Mendez in Star Trek.
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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.