Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Origins of Swagger, Star Trek, and the Reset Button

                Yes. Swagger. It’s a GOOD thing.

                I’m talking about a world of hip, cool, confidence. I am talking about how life can be good if you allow it. Is the world sunshine, unicorns, and baby farts all the time? No, in fact if you buy into the fear factory major network news, you would think that the world is just the opposite.

                That’s why I get my news from Comedy Central. Yes, you can get more truth from fake news than you can from the “real news”. Stewart and Colbert: a one two punch of brainy snark.  I love it.  

                Speaking of a dynamic duo who have captured my heart. Kirk and Spock!  Star Trek is back and it rocks!!!!Here there be spoilers  kids; but it is so worth it to go see it. J.J. Abrams brought the funk, the whole funk and nothing but the funk! And it flies out of the screen and upside your head at warp speed. He even threw in a bit of Alias. (1st Season: Red Matter) J.J. Abrams is so bad~assed he can rip HIMSELF off. Ballsy. This makes him have almost as much Swagger as Obama; the hippest President ever.

              I was raised on Star Trek. As a kid I used to ride my bike home after school; hoping I made it by 3:30 PM. I would always make it just in time to take off into space with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Yes, I’ve seen all 79 original episodes, the equality optimistic Next Generation, the low- tech and slightly edgier DS9, the Uber-Teched, far-flung Voyager and the short lived Enterprise. On that, talk about taking a good thing and driving it to hell, Enterprise; despite some cool moments, sucked like a newly born black hole.  Yes I am a Geek: and we shall inherit the Earth.

But this one brought something to Trek Universe that we have not seen in years: Swagger! And I tell you, Kirk and Spock swabbed the decks in Human and Vulcan testosterone. Bones was beautifully neurotic, brimming with anxiety and possibly Southern Comfort.  Hey, Bones likes to sit under a tree and have a Mint Julep every now and then. (So do I ) We even find out why he got the nickname Bones.  And Uhura was a cunning linguist; Hey Spock thought so, and the unexpected romance between her and Spock gave both their characters a rich depth: the expert in alien languages can ignite the cold fires of repressed Vulcan passion, reminding him that he is part Human.

Even the ORIGINAL Spock thinks not only was it not only logical for the hardcore Trekkies to see the new movie but you are a dickhead if you don’t, and he’s right!

 

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Time-travel, alternate-realities, swashbuckling action, Red-Shirts dying in stupid ways, Twice the Spock! These are a few of my favorite things. In Wrath of Khan Kirk told the tale of how he sabotaged the unbeatable Kobayashi Maru scenario. He told this tale while chomping on an apple; cocksure smirk and all.  In this one they actually show the Kobayashi Maru that Kirk cheated on while strutting around eating an apple. Genius. Kirk is no stranger to forbidden fruit; when I say he made out with green-girls I’m not talking about vegans. Chris Pine is worthy to fill the star-filled shoes of the Mighty Shatner.  

Spock raises issue with this because “Cadet Kirk! You DICK! I designed that scenario myself! Its unbeatable”!  Okay he didn’t say it like THAT but it was the first time these two men met. Each having a quality the other lacks in some ways. Snarky quips back and forth with each other. Ahhhhh.  Burning hatred…the start of a beautiful friendship. 

Spock took it a bit personally; of course he would deny it to the bitter end because he has layers of emotional issues that he fights to avoid. He has Kirk put on Academic Probation of sorts…He could be expelled from Starfleet Academy, and it may go down on his permanent record. But that’s when all hell breaks loose out in space and they call all the cadets to hop on ships to go and help the fleet. Kirk is grounded because of his cheating. But, with the help of Bones injecting him with something to make him appear sick and stows him away as his patient; and the hilarity ensues.

As soon as Kirk appears on the ship the already fast -action speeds up to breakneck gallop. The thing that made Classic Trek stick out in our minds and stay in our collective conscious for so long is that bit of comedy that went with it. I believe the cast pulled it off without being cheesy.

Oh and another thing that makes it rock; four words: Simon Pegg as Scotty!

Bringing in old-school fans? Check.  Bringing in Sci-Fi fans who may not have been into Trek but were curious? Check.  Attracting everyone who is ready for a big, fat summer blockbuster that delivers something for everyone because when someone isn’t running and shooting, fighting, smarting off with snappy banter to one another …someone is making out. Check! It broke the Dark Knights opening weekend. The Origin story of the greatest team of all seen in a new interesting way was wonderful.

 Sometimes a franchise is just like life; and if life is a game, a story that we actively play in, it’s ok to hit RESET! The Hulk got a reboot and it worked, BSG got a reboot and it worked! (I’m just now getting over my withdrawal) Our favorite Six-Foot- Bat got a reboot with Batman Begins. OH hell yeah Reboots can work.

Now if we can do something about Superman.  Wait they did one in 2006; in my opinion they need to give that movie the same treatment they gave The Hulk. It was great to see the Last Son of Krypton flying around again but they really could have written a better story.

They are thinking about doing this; scrapping the Supes as deadbeat-dad bullshit, Supes gets back and she is with CYCLOPS? (and how does Cyclops get all the great women anyway?  One-eyed mother fucker). Bullshit! Lois KNOWS who her Superman is! I say this not because I don’t like the kid in the story. I have nothing against Brandon Routh and his mighty package, or Brian Singer. But Dammit the best Superman movies were 1 and 2. The others just blew.  Supes needs some Swagger. Plus, there is a nagging question that has bugged me for years since I read comics, and I am sure that lot of other people have thought about this. How can a man who is Super-Strong and invulnerable make love to a human female. Wouldn’t Lois just be putting her life in danger by getting her groove on with the Man of Steel. Well, I could spend pages and pages exploring the intricacies and probabilities of what would really happen if Kal-El gave Lois Lane his Kryptonian Kielbasa. But I can just show you in the picture below.

 

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Screw; ain’t it?

Another movie that  I really loved was the one that kicked off the summer: Wolverine. He’s the best there is at what he does; and what he does ain’t nice. I think that it was awesome not only did this movie rock. But it premiered on May 1st. Beltane. For those of you who don’t know, Beltane is a celebration of Spring, A Pagan Sabbat; fucking awesome. You have arguably a wild primal force of nature with pointy hair that makes me think of Pan. Hugh Jackman, he sings, he dances slices, dices, and kicks ass, a worthy avatar for my one of my favorite deities. Yep folks, there is nothing like a good origin story. And this one raises the bar with the over the top action and beat-downs. See it. Wolverine is one of my favorite characters and Hugh Jackman is an inspiration to me because he is a true renaissance man who is comfortable in his skin, and can sing you a show tune…right before he breaks your jaw.

Do I have a Man-Crush on Hugh Jackman? No, I just love all things Australian.

Now Olivia Newton- John…..oh yeah ….have had a crush on her since childhood.

Well that’s all for now. See you on the flip-side of infinity.