Everyone who knows me understands that I am a diehard gamer. Starting from the Atari 400 and Apple II+ way back in the early 1980s I’ve basically been blessed to own every single major console released since then along with most of the handhelds. Therefore, this time of year has always been great to be a gamer as the big guns come out at E3 to show upcoming games as well as periodically releasing new hardware. It is that last point that I want to focus on today.
Someone triumphantly remarked the other day that they thought Star Trek Into Darkness would be the first Trek film to hit the magical $1 billion USD worldwide gross to which my only reply was, “HAHAHAHA…..NO.” Look, after all these years I still love all things Trek yet it is sheer lunacy to think Star Trek Into Darkness will reach this lofty level. Do I want it to happen? Sure! However, there’s just no chance in Hell that it is going to occur.
While it is easy nowadays to look back at J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot as a success many forget that this was a massive gamble with no surefire plan that it could work. By 2007 Star Trek as a franchise was as dead as Kirk was with no real signs of life. Nemesis had flopped badly and for the first time in decades there was no new Trek on television. Handing the keys to J.J. Abrams and his team might have sounded great as he was coming off not only Lost but also Mission Impossible 3 yet past credentials alone has never guaranteed future success. Could he pull it off or would his reboot truly send Trek into deeper hibernation?
Before I get into my own thoughts about Star Trek Into Darkness I thought it would be educational to look back at the film that almost wrecked it all, Star Trek Nemesis and then Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot coming in a later post. Regardless of what you thought of the movie I figured it would be “fun” to use some good old box office analysis to take a look at just how badly the film performed. After all, it’s awful grosses might have ruined The Next Generation cast yet it managed to set the franchise on the path of renewal with J.J.Abrams’ 2009 reboot.
Last Trek commercial I saw that had me smiling was this one featuring William Shatner and his long-time nemesis the rubber suit Gorn hawking the new Star Trek video game. This time around we’ve got Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto trying to sell…Audi cars. Okay, I’m not exactly “getting” the connection between Star Trek and Audi automobiles but whatever. Nevertheless, Trek fans should get a real hoot out of this one which features Nimoy swearing and singing his “famous” song the, “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.”
Whether or not you agreed with his film reviews there is no doubting that Roger Ebert was perhaps the most famous and arguably the most powerful movie critic of his generation. The days when movie critics could single-handedly propel films to success or into the garbage heap are obviously long gone due to the proliferation of the Internet and novice film reviewers. However, the Pulitzer Prize winning Ebert was probably the last of the “giant” movie reviewers who along with Gene Siskel coined the phrase “Two thumbs up!” which movie distributors sought like a life-giving elixir so that they could paste the quote all over movie ads proclaiming the famous duo thought that their films were of good quality.
Ah, the indomitable Audrey Hepburn, one of cinema’s most famous actresses, humanitarian extraordinaire and most copied but never equaled fashion icon. Even today twenty years after her death people still look to her for inspiration. I remember growing up watching some of her most famous movies from her breakout role in Roman Holiday to Sabrina, My Fair Lady and Breakfast at Tiffany’s her effervescent charm and infectious smile continued to excite. In her later life she switched her attention to humanitarian concerns working with UNICEF and visiting some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. And who can forget her dazzling role hawking chocolate while riding a bus? Wait, wut?!
We’re only a few weeks away from the Academy Awards on February 24 so I thought I’d do something I haven’t done in a long time which is to review as many Best Picture nominees as possible. Admittedly, if this were a few years ago before they switched to up to ten candidates it would have been infinitely easier to complete. I don’t think I can review all nine of the Best Picture nominees but I’ll definitely try to get at least half done.