Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!


Valentine’s Day is an incredibly unique holiday.  It is founded in carnage, and in modern times represents love as well as stress.  Some people hate it, others love it, but we all celebrate it in our own unique way, whether it be sipping alone on a martini remembering, making dinner and a film happen with a loved one, or shyly sending chocolates and flowers to another.

“F*ck You” is founded in pop culture, so I have scoured searched the intertubes for a couple of my favorite Valentines and almost-memes.

No matter how you choose to celebrate this unusual holiday I hope everyone has a great time and remembers this caveat:  No matter alone or together someone is thinking of you today.  Forgotten loves never truly remain forgotten, and prevalent love is well–prevalent.  So, cherish it and hold it.  Enjoy a drink for me, and for those we’ve loved and those we will.

Star Wars 00 Valentine Samwise Valentine Hannibal Valentine Captain Kirk Valentine Alien ValentineHappy Valentine's Day everyone!

 

“Real Steel” and “Star Trek”


My family holds an Oscar party every year, and basically we use the Oscars as an excuse to get together, eat, laugh, and watch some of our favorite films.  This year our pre-show films included: “Real Steel” and “Star Trek.”  In my opinion, they are great, fun movies that can be enjoyed and watched over-and-over without ever getting old.  Movies provide us with inspiration and show us what the imagination can create.  They inspire me to write, which is why I review movies so often.  A good film will always leave you in awe no mater how many times you’ve seen it.  Whether Oscar-worthy or not “Real Steel” and “Star Trek” are films that I will continuously watch and always stand in awe.

“Real Steel” with Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, and Evangeline Lilly (2011)

(2.26.2012)

“Real Steel” is a hard sell to say the least.  It looks cheesy, it sounds cheesy, and like they say, “if it looks and sounds like a duck—it’s probably is a duck.”  However, I would strongly urge that anyone interesting in boxing and the development/discovery of a father/son relationship to watch this movie.

Fun Fact #1 and #2: “Real Steel” is based off of a Richard Matheson short-story with the same name, which coincidentally enough was also a “Twilight Zone” episode.

In a one-liner:  “Real Steel” is “Rocky” with robots.

It follows Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) and his son Max Kenton (Dakota Goyo) as they get to know each other after more than eleven years of being estranged throughout the career of a junkyard dog robot whose expectancy to win is nil.

It is a great movie about a bad father who begins to realize the importance of being a dad, and a role model, after spending a summer with his son.  The robot boxing is merely the catalyst that provides the flair and the means to ‘stand apart’ from the rest.

I highly recommend “Real Steel”—at the very least give it a rent, or borrow a friend’s copy.

“Star Trek” with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Winona Ryder, and Chris Hemsworth (2009)

(2.26.2012)

“Star Trek” is basically the “Ocean’s 11” of science fiction films.  It has an immense cast of great actors that place a wonderful spin on the original “Star Trek” lore. 

 This film serves as a reboot to the franchise and starts from scratch by skewing off into an alternate timeline that allows the writers to go “where no man has gone before.”  It is a great vehicle to drive the plot forward to new highs, while still holding true to the fans.

Nero (Eric Bana) is a Romulan who gets sent back in time through a wormhole along with the future version of Spock (Leonard Nimoy) after his homeworld is destroyed by a supernova.  Holding the Federation responsible for the death of his planet, Nero plans to destroy every single Star Fleet Federation planet, starting with Vulcan, in order to appease his rage.

The classic crew Enterprise is revamped and because of the altered timeline (due to Nero and Spock’s jaunt back through time) their origins and relationships are drastically changed resulting in a great new twist on Rodenberry’s beloved franchise.

“Star Trek” ranks as one of my favorite films and if you are a sci-fi buff/nerd (like me) then this is a must-watch.

Star Trek


“Star Trek” is Sci-fi nerd paradise and recently I have succumbed to my inner Trekker.  I have always been a fan of the franchise—after all, I grew up with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and Jean-Luc Picard quickly became (and has remained) an idol of mine.  It was not until years later that I became privy to the awesomeness of “Star Trek: The Original Series.”  Such classic episodes as the “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “Amok Time” have rotated the pixels on of my television on more than one occasion.

However, somehow during my voyages I missed “Star Trek: Enterprise.“  This particular incarnation of the series released and ran during my high school years and I vividly remember discussing the first season with my friends, but somehow my interest, or available TV watching time, dissipated and I never made it past Season 1.  So, in light of this realization I looked up “Enterprise’s” availability on Netflix and lo and behold there it rests waiting for my viewership after all these years.  After much coercion (not really) I managed to convince my girlfriend to watch “Enterprise” with me and after a Sunday of episodes we were both hooked.

I don’t know what it is about “Star Trek” that draws people in, but even for noobs like me who have only grazed here and there at the megahit that “Star Trek” has become I am always and immediately pulled in and overjoyed by each episode.

Continuing on from the “Original Series” and “Next Generation,” “Enterprise’s” first run mimics the self-contained story plots of each episode that the originals made a staple.  Even in its simplicity it is a great episode structure because each of the characters can be focused on and fleshed out, while still upholding the moral undertones as well as the Science-Fiction aspect of the series.

Scott Bakula plays Captain Archer perfectly and sits rather comfortably in the captain’s chair.  His crew is tight and it is easy to see why fans have become so attached to the characters.  They are likeable because the show has always centered on the flaws of the characters, but along with that they also focus on the good found within them and their strong belief in their personal code of ethics.

In general, Science-Fiction as always been hit or miss with me.  Obviously there are some truly great examples of it such as “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Blade Runner,” “The Matrix,” “War of the Worlds,” “The Twilight Zone,” and the countless others that have shaped the genre; however, along with the great ones there is a sea of cliché, horror that merely rips off the nearest ‘great’ -sometimes without even realizing it-.

Star Trek is one of those series that did it right and even with all of the various incarnations and off shoots it still seems to have relevance even after fifty-years.

With my suddenly renewed interest in “Star Trek” and a Sci-fi short story competition right around the corner at BigThing.com I think that I will be trying my hand and a stab at the genre to see if I have been inspired or not, or merely fallen into the “cliché sea of horror.”

What are some of your favorite Science-Fiction books, and/or films?

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