Back to tv: Battlestar Galactica

Yeah, I know it’s been awhile since this show ran – I don’t even mean the original series but the reboot. But, y’know, I am just discovering it for the first time. And I am more than annoyed that I did not watch it when it aired. Seriously, there is no reason why I shouldn’t have watched it. We watched some of the original series at home when I was a kid, I am also partial to the Star Trek franchise  – but I didn’t watch it. Even when Lucy Lawless joined the cast I refused. I think it has something to do with me not seeing myself as a science-fiction fan. I always denied being a fantasy fan also – I am not sure why that is because my dvd collection clearly belies both these claims… Well, these last few years taught me better than to deny my passions any longer and hence I am free to explore.

I have just ordered the first half of the second season and so I am rewatching season 1. Hell, what a premise:

The twelve colonies of Kobol destroyed, billions dead, and only about 50,000 humans left. And why? Because technology proved its superiority over its master and created – well, mainly those incredible specimen on the left: cylons (Tricia Helfer, Lucy Lawless, Grace Park). Advanced toaster ovens with the one thought: to destroy mankind. I love when our own creations come back to bite us in the behind. I am also fascinated by the premise of how scared we are of machines taking over. I also watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The same premise, machines are taking over.

But while in Terminator the battle over earth is still on, President Laura Roslin (Mary MacDonnell) explaines slowly to the men who want to go on fighting: “The war is over. And we lost.” And here is one other strength of this show: equality among the genders. Everybody is called “sir” (okay, one could have come up with a less gender-partial nomer than the standard male), everybody is on an equal footing. I like the democratic process within the story telling. And Laura Roslin is one hell of a President!

She is not the only stong female character, though. We have Starbuck, Boomer, and Six to back her up. And even the male characters are not half-baked. Yes, there is some machismo with all the phallic imagery that pervades weaponry but the pheromones are just as widely spread as the testosterone is, so all is good. So far.

I am really looking forward to watching this show (so, no spoilers if you want to comment, please). From what I have seen from the show so far, I can only ask: why only four seasons?

Update: I might have to take some of what I said back. Why? Rape as plot-device. I hate it! I watched the first half of the 2nd season now and the Pegasus-crew seems to feel that raping a cylon-agent is standard operating procedure… and this under the command of a woman! I cannot even fathom how disgusted I am by this plot. And I am amazed that they try to sell it to us… gosh, thank you, dear writers, for destroying another great show with a predictable storyline. I am so saddened by this, I don’t have words.

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X-Men: First Class – a coming-out story

X-Men: First Class (2011) by Matthew Vaughn

It has probably the worst title addition ever (surprisingly enough the additional title of First Class and the German one, Erste Entscheidung, are equally silly, that is a first… usually the German title and addition are much worse than the English ones), but that is no reason not to watch it. I think in my life there is actually only one reason I would not watch a film for: if I don’t like any actor/acress in it. What can I say, I am a judgemental bitch (I actually would like to propose boycots on some actors but that would call for actual active and political engagement on my part and I am not that interested, really).

Luckily for me, you don’t need much background information. Since I had watched the first two movies and the Wolverine-movie, I had some of that which means, I remembered Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s characters and that was enough preparation (for those, who hope for an in-depth comparison of comic and film or anything like it: sorry, haven’t read the comics, never will).

Well, it is not a new story: there are mutants, they are different, they are hiding but then the world needs them to prevent a nuclear war (same old, same old). After they have done that the former allies turn on the mutants because they are different. They want to destroy them but that backfires, because… hello!.. THEY ARE MUTANTS! So much for the plot.

Yeah, okay, I oversimplified because there are actually bad mutants and good mutants and there’s also another fight going on between them but, hey, I am a simple kinda… person. So, what with all that hiding and being discriminated against-stuff that is going on, people have suggested that X-Men is really a coming-out story. And, yeah, I mean, great metaphor and all. Do I believe that the mutants are actually all gay? No, but wouldn’t it be fun if they were? Also, I do believe that homos are more evolved than heteros (you just have to look at hetero couples on the street to know that)… we are the next step, people, no wonder everybody is freaking out. So, this part of the story hit home.

Am I being a little sarcastic, here? Yes, so put the stakes away again. I don’t think that any human being is particularly evolved. We are all f**ked up. But I do think that we should all have the same opportunities and rights – but that is just not happening, so it is nice to IMAGINE that we could be better than y’all folks…

And I do think that Emma Frost would be a wonderful addition to our team… Kevin Bacon, well, I love his wife but that’s another story. In all, there is not much to talk about. It is not extraordinary movie-making we are meeting here. I enjoyed the movie, yes, but it falls in line with other forgettable movies. In fact, I have already moved on from watching it last week and can hardly remember anything now. What I remember, is this: it looked good! I love the 60s look of the whole thing and that we get to experience on different continents and to different nationalities. Very nice. Yet, with the 60s looks comes the 60s sexism and no matter how evolved even mutants indulge in that one. Ouch!

Then, I remember the silliest one gesture that a character has accomplished since Picard:

And… Rose Byrne. I don’t even remember where I know her from but has she ever been this hot before?

Also, the German that was being spoken was without grammatical errors which is a rare occasion but everybody supposedly German had a thick accent of some kind… in their German. Just cast German actors next time, maybe?

Star Trek – on DVD

Star Trek (2009) by J.J. Abrams

I am just watching “Star Trek” on dvd (as in right now). This one:

Here’s a few thoughts: George “Pretty Boy” Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) was so cute, they should have made him the baby. I mean, which straight woman would not want to hold him and cuddle him, and blow cutesy nicknames into his ear?

He is way cuter than the little boy who highjacked that car and drove it over the canyon, that was way over the top and I don’t know… the boy does not have a real James T. Kirk feel to it. Maybe it is just me, but I remember a little of the original series and though I mainly like Shatner now as the deliberately off-puting in a wanna-be macho kindaway, but still teddy-beary Danny Crane I think, that the two characters were not that far apart from each other… the too blond boy did not have that feel and what is it with men and their cars, anyway?

And that Vulcan day-care facility… that’s how I imagine a good kindergarten! It’s perfekt. I always loved Spock, he’s got just the right amount of drama in him to be gay.

And then the trouble begins… They have Kirk (Chris Pine) pick up Ohura in a bar? Really? You think that they could have come up with something better than heteronormative standards of our life. For the future, I would have liked something like: “Captain Kirk this is Communication Officer Ohura. She is not only the most qualified person for this job she is obviously even more qualified to do your job…” Something like that?

Nevertheless, I love Ohura (Zoe Saldana)…

… then again, I always loved Ohura (Nichelle Nichols):

Of course, if I keep up with this minutely rant of emotions about the movie to share I will probably not get through it today – not that I have to. Hmmm… Oh, did I mention that seeing Kirk being beaten into pulp was kinda satisfying? That pick up line was just too cheap for a classy woman like Ohura, friend.

Okay, did y’all have a Top Gun-flashback with Kirk on that spacebike he rides? I did, and did he actually DUI? Anywho, I wonder about one thing: why does a hero who looks like a hero also has to be an asshole? I know guys who look like ken dolls and they are not complete doushbags, so why does every American hero (and I mean this in the academic realm of Americanism and hero-ship) have to pull a Wyatt F. Earp when entering the scene? I mean, his name is James T. Kirk, we already know he is the hero. He has proven it for years back in the sixties. Don’t be such a stereotype, Tiberius! And I wonder if maybe he isn’t too pretty…

I am always happy to see familiar faces and, of course, I already knew that Karl Urban was going to be Bones (he may not be a looker like Emily Deschanel but he sure is a welcome sight). Who Urban? Him…

Didn’t think you would get away without the Xena-reference, did you? Nope, not on my watch. He played not only Cupid, but three other characters on Xena: Warrior Princess: Mael, Julius Caesar and some Barbarian and I think he’s a great actor. And then he is a Kiwi, which makes him already the coolest guy on the set.

Who designed those ugly cadett uniforms? Urgh.

Y’know, I watch Navy CIS sometimes, when I am really bored and there is absolutely nothing else on (as in each and every Sunday evening) and there is this one character that gets on my nerves so much if I were the other members of Gibbs’ team I would have shot him ten times over every time he opens his mouth (y’all know who I mean: Tony). Kirk is just about as annoying and incompetent as that dude, and I am wondering – after 35 minutes and 37 seconds of this movie – why am I doing this to myself? Is it just nostalgia? Must be…

It’s the Enterprise, all shiny and new… whoa!

Yeah, happy now. I have a question, though (yeah another, no, I can never shut up when watching a movie, I keep talking to myself inside my head and since you are here now, you have to endure it as I always have): why does the new starfleet vessel only have newbies on board? I mean, I know, why, so that everybody we remember from the original series is there and we can cherish the memory even if the actors we see are so not the people we remember they still bear their names and a little of their attitude. But if we were to imagine that an Enterprise existed and it was going on its first mission to safe Vulcan, wouldn’t the world be happier to know, there are actually people on board of that gazillion dollar thing that knew what they were doing and did not have to be told everything by Spock (Zachary Quinto)? Just a thought…

Now that was it with new and shiny, Sulu (John Cho) made a dent in it… see what I mean?

And we have a winner! You remember red shirts? Well, this one is wearing a red spacesuit (kirk wears a black one and Sulu a golden one), and a cute Irish accent. The ethnic implication put aside, I think we should tell him that he  was doomed the moment he put on that red suit and went on a mission with two of the lead characters…

As Chekov (Anton Yelchin) put it: “Olsen is gone, sir.” Wearing red is not for pussys…

What drops faster: a feather or a hoof? Both drop at the same speed (at least in a vacuum or in a physics classroom). Who drops faster: Sulu or Kirk? Obviously, Kirk does. I mean this was improbable when James Bond did it (back in the days when it was Pierce Brosnan) and it still is not more likely just because Kirk does it. I’m not buying and I do know next to nothing about physics.

Now, do you want to talk about the condition of starfleet parachutes? No, me either. But I guess you don’t need a parachute if you got Chekov.

Okay, I won’t discuss the fact that Spock’s people live inside a rock (or maybe that is their idea of a church and unlogically they don’t fear that huge stone figures could fall onto their heads). But I haven’t said anything about Spock’s mother yet or rather the actress who plays her and that was negligent of me: Winona Ryder. I like her, I’ve always liked her, I will probably always like her. She is so talented and she sometimes plays these wonderfully geeky roles that make me believe that she is a science fiction fan and that is awesome, dude!

Damn it, we just lost the star of the movie. What are we gonna do now?! That’s the look on the other actors’ faces anyhow.

So Vulcan is dead and one may wonder about the logic that is in preserving the elders (who obviously are not able to have children) and let the other six billion vulcans die… Spock says in a log-entry that about 10.000 have survived, though. Hopefully they are more fertile than the elders.

Hmmm, and then something strage happens: Ohura is kissing Spock… No, give yourself a minute to let that sink in. I have to as well. Hmmm… It’s weird but kinda sexy, I guess. I’m just imagining Leonard Nemoy and Nichelle Nichols doing it. In fact, it’s hilarious. Well done, moviemakers! I couldn’t find a picture of it, unfortunately, and this computer won’t let me make screencaps so you will have to live without a visual. But I now, for the first time, have the feeling that it’s worth watching for it’s own sake.

So now we get the story behind all that’s been going on and I just realize that I haven’t told you anything about the plot. Shame on me. Well, Romulus was obviously destroyed in the future and a Romulanian (is that the right name for his people) lost his pregnant wife while starfleet did nothing to help – especially Spock. So he killed the wrong Kirk first, then he destroyed Vulcan and now he wants to destroy all Starfleet planets starting with Earth. Now that’s what I would call revenge… Maybe he is kinda overachieving… I don’t know.

And then they go all Back to the Future on us. Not that I don’t understand: Nero (the bad guy, Eric Bana) has travelled back in time to take revenge and destroyed the ship of Kirk’s daddy and thereby he changed the time continuum and created an alternate reality… so much for the techno babble but I like that everybody puts their five cents of wisdom in the pot.

(I don’t know who the guy in the red shirt is but just imagine him in blue and having pointy ears and you have Spock. Okay, sorry, that is Scotty [Simon Pegg]…)

Hahahahahahahahahahhahah…. oh god, Spock actually did with Kirk what we dreamed Janeway would do with all the incompetend men on her ship: open a door and throw him out. Hahahahahah… that is soooo good! Man, I’m gonna watch this again, it’s hilarious!!! I hope you’ve got a working compass, Kirk…

Even without a compass he finds: Spock (Leonard Nemoy). Okay, it’s getting a little weird. But keep on, I’m intrigued now. Though… coincidence, really people? And it’s Romulan, I am so sorry.

Kirk just asked if he is supposed to emotionally compromise Spock. I wonder how he would have accomplished to do that. Hello, subtext, you seem to be alive and well. Classy, that one.

So then Spock (the younger) and Kirk have a lovers quarrel and Spock almost kills Kirk but for his father. Or in other words, we are heading for the showdown now that Kirk will be instated as Captain. Things seem to work out. The story really is not that innovative and I haven’t even seen every Star Trek movie.

There’s a strange feeling that I have that they put in Ohura as Spock’s love interest so that the subtext would not emerge full force… that’s a little childish, don’t you think? I mean, Kirk and Spock are meant to be. They even met – as unlikable as that seems – on a foreign planet Kirk was just abandoned at while Spock (the elder) was put there to witness the destruction of Vulcan. They are, yes, soulmates (Melissa Etheridge’s I’ve loved you before goes well with the concept, you should play it now).

I guess we have to practice beaming a lot, people.

Scott almost destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge. That is so not cool, moviemakers. DON’T DO THAT!

Oh man, and now we have Kirk cowboy. Do we really need every single hero genre in this one, or is it just that the phasers are kind of cutesy and the Romulan weapon looks like a colt? Are we down to comparing equipment again? Sigh.

Kabooom, Kaboom, Kaboom… and Kirk still almost drove his ship into a black whole… nice to see that he is still just a pretty face.

And because he broke everything and every rule and some of them twice he is made captain. I guess, logic is a foreign concept outside Vulcan. Whatever…

Well, this was it, folks. It was strange, it was some fun, we laughed, we did not cry but still… if we are asked to watch it again, we will politely decline.