Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nightcap 8/7/16 Faust, Star Trek Beyond, Little Prince thoughts, Spaghetti Western titles and Randi's links

I finally saw STAR TREK BEYOND this week.

As many of you know I have been a fan since the original run of the series and until recently I as religious in seeing ever film the first day. And so it took me a week  to get to the theater to see it.

I liked the film a great deal. I thought it was an improvement over the last film which had great character moments that kept getting pushed aside for huge set pieces. Here the action and the characters are integrated nicely and they enhanced each other.

The plot- about the Enterprise sent on a rescue mission  which is actually a trap- isn't bad. Its a nice plot line to hang the characters on and let them go through their paces. The problem is that the villain of the piece and his motivation are nonentities and left to the background and generalities. Things are more general bad guy wants to destroy the universe than specifics which only come into play in the final fifteen minutes.

All of that said I liked the references to Nimoy's Spock (yes I got misty each time), I loved the look Uhura shoots Spock when he says he came to rescue her, I love the dialog, I loved the no big deal handling of Sulu's family (and if no one had mentioned it it would have just been there and I'd never have noticed it). I love Jaylah and hope they bring her back.

Ultimately the best things in it are everything except the central plot- which is as it should be since its all the other stuff  like characters which keep people coming back to Star Trek over the the last 50 years.

I thought it as super and a nice return to form for the franchise.

Highly recommended
As those of you who read my review of the The Little Prince this past Monday know Randi was originally going to review the film but things fell apart when the release date was moved. A couple of days ago a Twitter friend who read my review and saw a tweet Randi had made and they asked me what Randi’s review of The Little Prince would have been. Because what Randi was going to do was extremely clever and too good to lose to the winds of time I’ll tell you.

The idea was to frame the review as a negative one- a kind of outraged piece on how the film shows a young woman taking control of her life and how that was wrong. Children should not have fun and people should not connect to a sense of wonder. It would argue that kids should strive to have every minute of every day planned so that when they reach adult hood they would have their souls properly crushed. Randi had this wonderful piece planned out that would have been extremely clever...

...the problem was that when Paramount pulled the film and no information was forth coming there was a great deal of chatter that the reason the film was pulled was that the studio got worried about the film having a girl at the center. There was also some talk that the soul crushing schedule of the mom was a little too pointed at the over protective overly controlling parents of today who were not going to find anything connected with the film funny. It was of course all idle speculation but in a world where the truth was blacked out the percieved studio response seemed plausible to the point that the idea of spoofing what might have gotten the film into trouble wasn't fun. After much discussion the review was shelved.
If you ever want a futile job- try to track down all of the alternate titles for the genre known as spaghetti westerns.  I have been going through a bunch of bargain spaghetti western discs to come back from the festival brain freeze and I've been cross referencing them and marking up on of my western encyclopedias only to find that the books are frequently no where near up to date or complete for titles of some films, a fact made worse when some were  changed yet again to fit  to tie into the releases of Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.

My brain hurts from trying to match up films to their real titles and I still have a long list of films I have to work backward on from cast list.


(And yes this means that some westerns will be reviewed down the line.)
And now Randi's links

The best film about sisters that Disney ever made(its not Frozen)
Completed but never released
Kitchen Table Racing
Simon's Cat and Elmo takes a nap
Marvel Cinematic Universe explained
Penguin Podcast with Richard E Grant
A history of applause
Gregory Porter
Laura Mvula - Overcome
Womad 2016, With Baaba Maal and Anoushka Shankar
Trainspotting 2
Sandi Toksvig on QI
Ninja Turtles in the style of Invader Zim
Mouse Guard at SDCC
Tick Reboot pix

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