I’m A Trekkie Again

Back in the deep dark days of my childhood, before satellite, cable, or DVDs, back when even the VCR was just a gleam in some engineer’s eye, to be a science fiction fan was to be a Star Trek fan.

And for good reason.

The original Star Trek was a thing of beauty, so loaded with adventure, romance, and courage under fire, that young viewers never realized it was really an exercise in philosophy, exploring the violence, racism, and social conflict of its times.

But as deep and exciting as its storytelling often was, I think the real strength of the series was in what it didn’t tell. Unlike its successors, classic Trek usually resisted the temptation to over-explain.

Kirk and the Big Guns

As a viewer, you were always left wanting more. Wondering how transporters really worked, what powered an android, and what all those other little buttons on the console went to.

Unfortunately, starting with The Next Generation, the Star Trek franchise started shedding the adventure and wonder of its heritage and began a relentless journey deeper and deeper into its own head.

Where mystery once flirted, exposition now abounded. Every action got saddled with what seemed like hours of pseudo-scientific technobabble, to the point where roughly 25% of all available screen time got dedicated to the theoretical science behind any current crisis.

You couldn’t get fifteen minutes into an episode or feature film without one of Star Fleet’s finest saying something like,

“Maybe if we triggered a graviton pulse inversion with a double pike and served it with a side order of chronoton fluxuation in the aft sensor array, we could eventually find some action or at least return to speaking English sometime before the credits roll.”

Which brings me to my point.

Despite my earlier doubts and suspicions to the contrary, the new Star Trek movie officially rocks.

The action is back, the passion is back, and the wonder is at full strength.


This film takes the characters that we’ve loved for years, pays proper respect to their origins and motivations, and then breaks them free of the accumulated baggage and “fate” (i.e the accepted storylines of the Star Trek cannon) launching them into new and uncharted adventures.

This film has left me seriously stoked.

Final rating: Two thumbs on phasers set to “amaze.”

The last film Brent mentioned in these pages did not do so well. Check out this fair and balanced review of the most hideous waste of film ever spawned: Dragon Wars.


Cut and Paste Cinema – The First Ever Ominous Rant

Everyone does things that they later regret. Things that they wish they could blame on drugs or alien possession. Things that although seem rational at the time, later reveal themselves to be engraved invitations for suffering and endless recriminations of stupidity.

For some people it is signing the note for the new Hummer, for others it is picking up a homicidal hitchhiker, for still others it is sending their bank account information to third world millionaires mysteriously strapped for cash.

For me it was a film.

D-War: Dragon Wars

Dragon Wars, the Worst Movie since Timeline ~ the Ominous Comma

In hindsight, I should have guessed how environmentally friendly and thoroughly recycled this movie would turn out to be from its stuttered and repeating title. But with my willing suspension of disbelief intact, and a naive faith stemming from the cool looking poster in the lobby, I really wanted this film to work. Sadly, by the time the old man in the pawnshop explained the entire backstory, fifteen minutes into the picture, I had the sudden, sinking revelation that comes from knowing every plot point of a still unseen film. And worse:

I knew just how badly they would all suck.

Let me be perfectly clear here, the English language lacks sufficient nuance and depth regarding the topic of ultimate evil to properly describe just how bad this film really is.

As for knowing all the twists of movie, I was wrong. In the spirit of the old Godzilla films, whose scales this one is not worthy to fill, it conveniently sprouted extra sub-plots every time the main characters were threatened by the specter of meaningful dialogue.

It was infested with close calls, miraculous escapes, and concentrated deposits of poorly explained angst.

This film is what would happen if you gave the produces of the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers access to the national defense budget. And lots of liquor.

Let me try to explain.

Imagine you could get a hold of all the coolest-looking set pieces from successful action movies of the last decade:

First take the rasta-talking army of amphibians from Star Wars Episode One and remove their Prozac until they are ready to club Navy Seals.

Next, take close approximations of Kira Knightly and Tom Cruise (You can even call him Ethan as a “subtle” nod to the Mission Impossible franchise.) and give them lots of film noir narration, so no one get confused while trying to follow the wading-pool depths of their thoughts.

Finally add a raspy-voiced villain in pointy armor worthy of a Lord of the Rings yardsale and a couple of giant cobras, angry at having their scenes deleted from latest edition of King Kong, and lay them all out in no particular order in modern day Los Angeles.

Now run to the drugstore to find something for your sudden migraine. When you return, puree these ingredients until any overlooked hint of originality is dissolved into a homogenized mass of cheese and serve semi-gelatinous.

At several points during this picture, I found myself saying out loud, “Make the bad movie stop,” and breaking into tears.

To call this a B-movie would be giving it an undeserved promotion. After summer school, and a lot of physical therapy, it might possibly pass for a C level film if you could somehow sleep through most of it.

In short, if you ever find yourself with money and brain cells to burn, and the need to punish yourself for hideous, unspoken sins against humanity, Dragon Wars might just be the film for you.

This post is demanding its money back at


How to Survive in Business

If you’re young, or merely masochistic, you may be considering a career in corporate America.

In light of the self-destructive nature of this decision, you would be right to wonder, “Am I stupid? What if I’m not smart enough to make it in the corporate world?”

If you suffer these misgivings, you are definitely over-thinking the situation, which is a habit you will have to cease if you are to succeed in a hierarchical organization.

The truth is that although some individuals are too smart to participate in corporate life, very few people are too stupid to receive admission into the hallowed halls of business.

How do these less than stellar intellectual performers survive life in the cubical farm?

They fake it, and you can too.

That’s right, with proper training and guidance, you too can simulate sufficient levels of intelligence to begin your journey to the exciting quagmire of middle management.

This is where my good friend (cough, couch, where’s my check) Karl Wolfbrooks Ager can help. At his site Faking Smart you can learn the skills you need to appear capable, competent and promotion-worthy.

Simply soak up his sage advice and before you know it you’ll be looking and acting smarter than you even realize.

What are you waiting for, all the manifold joys of the burgeoning business bureaucracy await you.

Act now.

Faking Smart is proudly banned bannered at


The previous is an unpaid promotion, based on my enjoyment of the Faking Smart blog.

But, if you are in the market to have some hyperbole-rich copy written for publication elsewhere, I would be happy to take your money.

Delighted, in fact.