Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ah, Trek in the 70s!

So I'm delighted yesterday to get my new DVD set of Star Trek: The Animated Series, the Filmation cartoon show from the early 70s that so many of us enjoyed as kids. The set is nicely presented, though I haven't watched the discs yet (the weekend's coming!). However, I'm reading the liner notes from the box set tonight, and these have got to be the funniest liner notes I've ever seen... though sadly, unintentionally! They look like they were written by Jordan (McAuliffe kids, ask your folks!).

Here's a few samples, starting right in the introduction where they apparently couldn't decide which way to go so they proudly proclaim:

"To boldly go where no one man has gone before"!

(from the description of Beyond the Farthest Star) "When the creature takes control of his ship, Captain Kirk uses bold tactics to convince the creature that is being lured to its death".

Isn't this the ultimate Trek no-no?
(from Yesteryear) "Dr. Spock is removed from history, despite being very much present aboard the Enterprise!"

Isn't that what planet-destroying clouds do?
(from One of Our Planets in Missing) "A massive planet-destroying cloud threatens to destroy every planet in the galaxy."

I hate it when that happens!
(from The Survivor) "However, when [Nurse Chapel's fiance] turns out to be a shape-shifting alien who later impersonates Kirk and orders the Enterprise into the dangerous Romulan Neutral Zone, the situation takes a turn for the worse."

Oh no, not that... Get, the SOFT CUSHIONS!!
(from The Infinite Vulcan) "When the cloned scientist cripples Spock by trying to clone him, Kirk resorts to philosophy."

Starfleet's Funniest Home Videos....
(from The Practical Joker) "The ensuing chaos proves to be amusing but extremely dangerous."

Believe me, there's more!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another Bluesmobile...

At left is the gift I received from Jake this week, a large-scale replica of the Bluesmobile II he put together from me! It started life as a toy Crown Vic, but Jake did the paints and markings, and fashioned the push bars and spot lights himself. This photo doesn't do it justice (I'll take some better ones this weekend when I dig out the "good" camera) but I had to share it. (That's a standard 12-ounce beer behind it, for scale.) Thank you, brother!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Trek Thoughts

I've been watching the re-mastered classic “Star Trek” episodes the past few weeks, featuring the newly-rendered CGI special effects. For the most part I've thought the remastering was excellent, with clean prints and vibrant colors; the new CGI has been okay, but only just. Some shots looked good, some looked very flat.

Until this week's episode, “Space Seed”. They have a much improved CGI Enterprise model, that looks fantastic, and they really used some excellent creative angles on the exterior SFX shots of the Enterprise and the Botany Bay (the semi-derelict 1990's ship they come across in this episode). For the first time I really thought the new effects did in fact improve the show. Bravo!!

Of course, watching this syndicated has sucked as the episodes are still cut up, with many scenes chopped. I still doubt I'll be buying these on DVD when they're released as I did splurge for the original classic DVD box sets but at least they're really showing they are truly committed to improving the show without changing it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Night at Symphony Hall

Buster & I had a busy but very fun weekend. Friday night I took him to see B.B. King... a 3-hour concert is a bit much for a 9-year-old (even one who likes blues!), but B.B. is 81 now and probably won't keep touring much longer... with Buster old enough that he may actually remember this show it seemed a worthy adventure to let him see this blues legend! And yes, it was long for him and he had moments of boredom and fidgeting, but whenever a song he knew was played he'd bounce right back and on a few occasions start singing along! It was his first real concert, and when it was done he was very glad he went. He was even able to go down near the stage at the end of the show and scored one of the little souvenir pins B tosses out to the crowd when he's done.

I've seen B.B. many times over the past 20-odd years, and have also met him twice... once even singing with him, a story I'm sure most reading this know and have heard enough of! It's been both fun and bittersweet watching B.B. maturing, and of course noting how I myself have gotten so much older... time marches on, the ultimate blues. Each of the past several times I've seen him B has looked a bit older, a bit more tired... and yet hasn't backed down from giving the audience what he's always given us: himself. An evening with B.B. really feels like you're meeting the man... no on-stage patter for him, he talks to the audience with true stories and lessons from his own life. The man is amazing, and amazingly humble. As always lately, I'm hoping this wasn't the last time I'll see him!

On another quick note, The Hey and I saw the new James Bond movie last night ("Casino Royale"), and came away very happy! I've always been a big Bond fan, but the movies have become more and more "Blowed Up" stunt extravaganzas with over-the-top stories and cartoon-character characters. This had its share of stunts but was still a genuine spy story with overall fairly believable characters... not perfect by any means but a great story and a good return to the basics for my favorite secret agent. Here's hoping they can build on this and keep moving in that direction!