Monday, November 17, 2008

And on Second Review ...

The official version of the trailer for the new Star Trek movie came out this week:

New Trailer

My first impressions so far (if you haven't seen it, SPOILER SPACE AHEAD):

You've been warned ...

1. I was almost tempted, upon seeing the new version of the Enterprise for the first time, to say "meh" (Kidding!) Seriously, I was almost tempted to put the photo up with an LOL caption on it titled "Epic Fail". It looks like the designer did a mashup of the movie Enterprise and the Enterprise-D from Next Generation, and then badly Photoshopped the secondary hull to draw attention away from the mashup.

Don't get me started on the warp engines, which have a distinct 50s-retro tailfin look to them. At least the designer didn't crib completely from a previous design (as what happened with the NX-01 from Enterprise). No, wait, what am I saying???

I'm hoping that during the course of the movie, everything below the saucer gets critically damaged so that by the end of the movie, it gets replaced with something that more closely matches the starship we grew up with. Or maybe it is an alternate timeline movie like we've been led to believe.

2. The scene in the hangar bay really had a Starship Troopers vibe to it.

3. Visually exciting (almost Speed Racer-ish) in intensity. But is there a story to it? In doing Speed Racer, you could see that the Wachowski's not only knew their story material, they RESPECTED it. I am hoping and praying that JJ Abrams knows enough, even if this is a reboot, to do the same.

4. Simon Pegg as Scotty: I'm wondering if his version of Scotty had already had Aldeberian whiskey (the infamous drink immortalized in the words "it's green" when asked what it was) in the trailer scene? He certainly seemed like he had a pretty good caffeine buzz or hyperactive streak going .....

5. Is it just me, but by presenting us with a much younger Kirk with a slightly different origin story, I think they've already sacrificed some interesting plot points from the original. In TOS, Kirk was a young starship captain (the youngest captain to command a starship, on record), but at least he had risen through the ranks and, when he was younger, survived two incidents (counting Tarsus Four and the cloud being that decimated the starship Farragut). See the TOS episodes "The Conscience of the King" and "Obsession" to know what I'm talking about.

In the new movie, he seems almost way too young to be a cadet, let alone captaining a starship, and there's no sense of how he got from being a deliquent to that captain. It's almost like he survives the Kobayashi Maru "no-win scenario" test and, as a reward, gets told he's getting a starship.

I wonder how they're going to explain the age differential, let alone the scene where Kirk sees the Enterprise being built prior to entering Starfleet?

6. One thing they did get right: casting Zach Quinto as Spock. The look is right, and the delivery is right. The guy appears to be channeling Leonard Nimoy. It's eerie.

I've heard since then that the idea of the movie is that the original Trek timeline as we know it has been demolished, due to the use of time-travel and history being changed, and that what we will get is a timeline that is "close to the original as possible", but not quite.

Didn't Berman and Braga try this with Enterprise and fail miserably? Just wondering.

Anyway, it's just a few thoughts moving forward. I suspect that more will come out the closer we get to the release date, and I'll be standing in line at the local theater come May when it comes out.

Just please change the ship so that it's closer to the original. That's all. Kthxbye.

More Cognitive Dissonance This Weekend

It's a Division II playoff game between my former alma mater (well, one of them), as the Bearcats take on Pitt State. Here in Maryville. And we have tickets!!!

No driving down to KC for this one.

I must admit that the game should be interesting. I mean, Pitt has already lost to the 'Cats once this fall ... will this weekend be the 2nd time around? We'll find out this weekend.

EDIT 1: I've been "outed" as a Bearcat fan. Lauren and I were in Jock's Nitch this morning prior to the game, while on our way to the Bookstop (our local coffeehouse/antique store/used bookstore), and the owner of the Jock's Nitch chain (who had probably seen me in at the store at the Pittsburg mall and knew I was a Pitt grad), came up and good-naturedly asked me why I wasn't in Pitt crimson-and-gold? So the truth is out here in Maryville.

GAME NOTES EDIT: This game was a lot closer than expected: Pitt brought their A game, and we didn't. Even so, we were leading 31-13 at the half, but in the second half, Pitt reeled off a couple of touchdowns and managed to take the lead with a minute left to play. Of course, it didn't help that our normally solid defense simply couldn't stop the Pitt offense in the third quarter and the officiating in the game was quite possibly the worst (and blatantly one-sided) officiating we had ever seen from a referee crew, even to the point that Coach Mel, normally a very mild-mannered man, was chewing out the line judge over the spate of bad calls and missed calls, which included:

1)Multiple missed chop block and block in the back calls.
2)A ruled touchdown for Pitt by the back judge when nor the Pitt player or the ball broke the plane of the goal line and said player had been clearly stood up within a foot of the goal line. It was painfully obvious to everyone that it was a bad call.
3)Multiple lenient ball spots in favor of Pitt.
4)A couple of very questionable calls in the first half where Pitt receivers caught the ball out of bounds 2 or three times but were ruled in bounds.

Unfortunately, Div II playoffs do not feature replay, although they should feature vision checks for the refs in future years. I hope that in the future, we refuse to have a crew from that conference here ever again.

In the end, it came down in part to penalties called and not called, turnovers, and passing; NW got at least 10 defensive points off of Pitt turnovers early in the game, and Pitt committed a couple of really bad fouls early on. What sealed it, however, was the last drive at the end of the game. Joel Osborn became the hero of the day by throwing a drive (and game) -saving pass on 4th and 10, with 20 seconds left to go, to bring NW down to the 20, followed by a toss into the end-zone for the go-ahead touchdown to make it 38-35.

The defense then managed to force a 4 and out in the last few seconds, we got the ball back on downs, and the clock expired.

So, I'm glad we went, and it's rather sad: my alma mater played their hearts out, but Pitt lost, and the Bearcats move on to next week's game against Abilene Christian, the team that gave us our only loss during the season.

Given that Abilene scored 93 points in their 2nd round game to beat a West Texas A&M team that put up a more than respectable 68 points (almost a basketball score), I think we're going into next week's game as very questionable underdogs. I hope that the 'Cats win, and make it to the finals for a rematch against Grand Valley State, but it may take a few miracles from the 'Cats for that one.


According to the AP, Harper-Collins has chosen to include the word "meh" in the next iteration of the Collins English Dictionary.


In all seriousness, should we care that this is about to become a word?

"Meh". Probably not.