Moriarty Reviews HELLBOY, ETERNAL SUNSHINE, MAYOR OF SUNSET STRIP! Plus One Crazy Piece Of STAR TREK News!!
Published at: March 24, 2004, 7:42 a.m. CST by staff
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
All of a sudden, I’m excited about going to the movies again. This year got off to a slow start, and although I’ve enjoyed a few things I’ve seen, like THE PUNISHER or CLUB DREAD, I’ve already had more than my fair share of traumatic trips to the theater with the wife for things like ALONG CAME POLLY or DIRTY DANCING 2. As a result, I’ve had the spring “blahs” pretty bad.
So for one seven day stretch of film viewing to give me a chance to see three great films... well... it’s enough to make you feel drunk and dizzy. Three totally different flavors, all of them great. Not even the totally wrong-headed scoop that I’ll close today’s column with can sour my good mood. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get busy.
IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S A BIG RED FREAKY DEMON-LOOKING DUDE IN A GREAT ORIGIN MOVIE!!
Yes, I’ve written two scripts for Revolution Studios so far. And, yes, I would consider Guillermo Del Toro a friend. Knowing that, you can feel free to skip this review, and I’ll understand. No offense taken. I’m giving you the choice, and I encourage you to not read it if you’re going to have trouble with my opinion. Save us both the heartache, huh?
But what I want to say about this movie comes from the heart. It’s sincere. And it’s something I am just itching to write. When you see a movie that makes you feel this good, you want to shout about it. That’s the whole reason I started writing in to Harry in the first place. And after seven years of me doing this, you probably have a pretty good idea by now of whether or not you think you can trust me.
The easiest way to sum up my reaction to this film is to share a favorite memory. I was twelve years old. I lived in Chattanooga at the time. Twelve... that magical age that Michel Gondry considers so pivotal. So formative. For me, it was the best summer of movies and movie fandom ever. There was a six-plex near my house, and I often think that movie heaven is the lovvy of that theater near the end of that summer. There’s a moment I remember that is the closest to geek overload that I’ve ever come, standing in that lobby, turning around so I could read all the titles, one after another...
CONAN THE BARBARIAN. STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING. BLADE RUNNER.
And if that last marquee happened to read HELLBOY?
Well, that would have been appropriate. Because what Guillermo’s done is make that kind of geek candy, a film that entertains with effortless ease all the way through. It’s a visual powerhouse, beautifully designed and photographed. It features a showcase of astounding make-up effects by Rick Baker’s company and by Spectral Motion. The digital effects by Tippett Studios and The Orphanage are inventive and expertly used. And the coolest part is that none of these things are the reasons I love the movie.
Y’see, HELLBOY’s all about heart.
Yes, the movie about the giant red devil-looking superhero, the psychic fish guy, the girl who makes fire come out of her body, the creepy undead Nazi clockwork monster and nasty giant tentacle gods invading the Earth is, somehow, one of the most emotionally satisfying mainstream movies I’ve seen since THE IRON GIANT.
Rom Perlman has flirted with geek icon status over the years, and he’s also flirted with mainstream stardom. Some of us are crazy about CITY OF LOST CHILDREN or THE LAST SUPPER or THE NAME OF THE ROSE. Many women will always be fans of his TV series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. One thing that has always distinguished his work is the way he handles make-up intensive roles. I still remember the first time I saw QUEST FOR FIRE, where he did remarkable physical work. For many actors, make-up can be a barrier, but Perlman seems to flourish. Ten minutes after his first appearance as Hellboy, you’re going to forget any other roles you’ve ever seen him play. He simply becomes Hellboy, and he invests the character with a ridiculous amount of charisma. He’s hilarious when he’s wising off to a resurrection demon named Sammael. He’s heartbreaking when he confesses his true feelings to Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). And when the time comes for Hellboy to kick some ass, he steps up and dishes out a world of hurt that is exhilarating. Perlman strikes just the right note in every single scene, and by film’s end, he is absolutely the sexiest fucking beast on two legs. In the weeks leading up to us seeing the film, my wife kept telling me that she didn’t understand why I was so excited to see the movie. She visited the film’s production offices with me last year before the shoot in Prague, and she saw Mike Mignola’s work and TyRuben Ellingson’s work and Wayne Barlowe’s work, and as much as she respected the obvious artistry on display and Guillermo’s evident enthusiasm, she didn’t really get it.
Midway through the film, after a particular scene between Liz and Hellboy, she turned to me with a huge smile on her face and tears in her eyes and whispered, “He is awesome.”
Of course, Perlman’s work only pays off because of the supporting cast he’s playing with, all of whom do excellent work. Selma Blair’s never been better. I’ve never understood Hollywood’s desire to push her into broad comedies like LEGALLY BLONDE and THE SWEETEST THING. There’s such sadness in her eyes, such a haunted quality to her beauty. Liz Sherman’s scared of the world, but not because of what it might do to her. She’s more afraid of what she might do to it, and she’d rather hide than hurt anyone. In the process, though, she’s tearing apart the people who love her the most. There’s Professor Bruttenholm, played with rumpled, fuzzy charm by John Hurt. There’s Abe Sapien, played on-set by Doug Jones and voiced perfectly by David Hyde-Pierce. And then there’s big red himself, H.B., who has grown up with Liz and who nurses an unspoken love for her. They’re more than an extended family for Liz. They’re also the core of the B.P.R.D., the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
I’ve heard people criticize this idea for being similar to MEN IN BLACK or X-MEN or LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and in a superficial way, that’s true. But what makes HELLBOY better than any of those films is the way the film places the characters front and center, never letting the story become too complicated and never letting the villains steal the show.
It’d be easy for that to happen, too. Karel Roden was probably the best thing about 15 MINUTES, but he was awful in the aimless, idiotic BULLETPROOF MONK. I was surprised by how cold and menacing he is as Grigori Rasputin, the famed advisor to the Romanovs. Biddy Hodson is a fetish fan’s ideal as Ilsa, Rasputin’s devoted Aryan moll. And Satan, Prince of Darkness, makes a very special guest appearance as Kronen, the scariest fucking bad guy in recent memory. Jesus Christ... there’s not a scene in the movie where he doesn’t give me a screaming case of the heebie-jeebies. He’s a nightmare, much cooler than Darth Maul, especially because he’s used more. His real appearance under his various masks and costumes is genuinely freaky, and I’m surprised he didn’t earn the film an R all by himself. He’s that hardcore. Together, the bad guys aren’t really very complicated in terms of what they want: a ceremony of occult ritual combined with a machine designed to open a portal that will wake the slumbering Elder Gods and bring them into our world to rule in fire and horror forever. And, seriously, who hasn’t had that dream once or twice?
You know you love a film when you can’t name a favorite moment. Every moment I name when talking about the movie makes me think of another moment, then another, and each one gets me worked up all over again. Watch out for the spoilers as I gush for a minute...
There’s Baby Hellboy and the young Professor bonding over a Baby Ruth, and the surprised “It’s a boy!” Hellboy’s nickname for Sammael. Beltrami’s score when Meyers reaches the B.P.R.D. The intro of Abe. The kittens. Especially the ones in the subway. The horns under the train. The Right Hand of Doom meets the front hood of a car. “Mmmmm... nachos.” Hellboy and the kid. Meyers and the yawn. Sammael eggs a-hatchin’. “Dream again... of fire.” Young Liz and the other kids and the fire. All that fire. Clay’s hair plugs. The corpse, cursing the “red monkey” in Del Toro’s best Russian accent. The wood match vs. the Zippo. Abe and his Rubik’s cube. The post-credits sting at the end of the film. Kronen on the island at the start, deadly accurate and impeccably clad. Rasputin’s vision of Apocalypse, and Hellboy’s crown of fire. All the lovely tentacles. Hellboy’s wish. Hellboy’s promise. “Hey... you... let her go.” And on and on and on.
In a perfect world, this is a giant hit and we get to see all kinds of sequels. We need to see more of Kronen. We need some Lobster Johnson. We need to see what Del Toro could do with twice the budget and permission to get crazy. HELLBOY feels like the start of something much bigger, but it also feels contained and complete. Our affection for Hellboy and Liz and Meyers and even Manning by the end of the film is so enormous that this would be a gift of a franchise, not just some reflexive money grab. Guillermo Del Toro’s six-year quest to bring this comic to life has resulted in a minor miracle, and I’ll bet my silly little Internet pseudonym that you guys are going to embrace this one once you get a chance to take a look at it.
I FORGOT I REMEMBERED TO FORGET
This one, I think, will divide people much more dramatically. It did well in limited release last week, with a great per-screen average, and I'm curious to see if it can build on that as it goes wider. Some of you are going to internalize this film, experience it as a revelation of sorts. Mr. Beaks, for example, is religious about it right now. He just had his name legally changed to Michel Gondree, and he’s started speaking in an impeneterable French accent. Some of you, though, are going to be deeply frustrated by the way Gondry handles the film’s admittedly tricky narrative shifts. This movie makes you work for the treasures it has to offer. It’s worth it, though, to see two dazzling artists and a tremendous cast all at the peak of their powers in service of that most rare of things in cinema: a truly original film.
Experimental in structure but surprisingly direct in terms of emotion, the film is like a narrative Moebius strip, and it starts somewhere in the middle of things. Joel (Jim Carrey) wakes up alone and gets ready for work. Right from the film’s opening, Carrey’s doing something different than we’ve ever seen from him before. I’ve always felt like there is an anger and a sadness to Carrey’s comic mania. He hinted at it in THE CABLE GUY and MAN ON THE MOON, and even flashes in some of his silliest comedies. ETERNAL SUNSHINE isn’t just a script for Carrey; it’s permission. When we meet Joel, he’s a clenched fist. He uncurls only gradually, the same way the narrative unfolds. Joel finds himself oddly compelled to skip work and take the subway out of the city, out to the beach. Whatever draws him there also draws Clementine Krucynski (the luminous Kate Winslet), and the two of them keep encountering one another over the course of the morning. Finally, they can’t avoid their curiousity about each other. They talk. They don’t flirt so much as they collide. And just as we start to get our bearings, the film twists and convulses and folds in on itself as Joel stumbles across evidence that he and Clementine are connected, and between them lies something known only as “Lacuna.”
I’ll tread lightly here, because part of the joy of the film is that sense of discovery. I think it’s funny that most of the reviews I read tend to either focus on Gondry or Charlie Kaufman as the primary artist, but they’re missing the point. This is pure collaboration. Gondry and Pierre Bismuth co-wrote the story with Kaufman, and the result is deeper than anything any of them have done before. As much as I admire ADAPTATION and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, this film is so much more universal in its themes that it’s hard to compare them to this. After all, memory is something that defines all of us and makes us who we are. Our hardest moments, our worst encounters, are also the things that make us stronger when we survive them and learn from them. Our memory is what allows us to grow as we accumulate experience. This film digs deep into the nature of memory, and it feels like a Philip K. Dick adaptation without all the stupid action bullshit that Hollywood always insists on trying to shoehorn into the films they so loosely base upon his work. What makes this film so fresh is the way Kaufman’s dazzling landslide of ideas and character is so ably supported by Gondry’s visual invention. To his enormous credit, Gondry doesn’t try to outdo Kaufman by throwing a huge bag of visual tricks at the viewer. Some of his best moves here are subtle, restrained. The wittiest visual touches in the movie are the ones that sneak up on you, like the way color and detail slowly leeches out of Joel’s vanishing memory, or the way Gondry refuses to telegraph what’s real and what’s remembered, and what’s created as Joel pokes about in his own subconscious.
Winslet’s as brave as Carrey here, playing a flawed woman who is lovable precisely because of those flaws. She is achingly human, and when a critic sniffs in disgust at her drinking or her hair or her casual cruelty designed to shock Joel out of his shell, they miss the point. She’s real. This is what you get when you fall in love. You get a real person, who will never be the same as some fantasy in your head. They will always fall short if you’re chasing perfection. Winslet gives Clementine a wild and free spirit that is impossible to shut out. The rest of the cast is equal to the stars. Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, and Elijah Wood play Stan, Mary, and Patrick, the three young assistants to Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, played memorably in a few brief scenes by the wonderful Tom Wilkinson. The way each of them deals with the responsibility of what Lacuna does to people is what really provides the moral framework of the story. Stan does good work and thinks he’s helping people, but he sees his overnight stay at Joel’s apartment as a way to get into Mary’s pants. Mary sees her stay at Joel’s as a chance to get closer to Dr. Mierzwiak, who she adores and worships. Patrick has darker, personal motives in making sure that Joel’s memory is wiped clean. By the end of the night, each of them is driven to believable extremes, and by the time Dr. Mierzwiak’s wife shows up, everyone’s laid all their cards on the table. It’s as rich a collision of characters as Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, bold and edgy and uncomfortable. There’s a moment between Dunst and Wilkinson in particular that is just wrenching, and she’s so emotionally bare, such a raw and wounded nerve in that moment, that you almost have to look away. Ruffalo’s better here than in any of the other films I’ve seen him in lately, eccentric and energized by the material. It’s a lovely balancing act between sweet and sleazy. Wood is anything but likeable as he emotionally rapes Clementine, a sequence I found deeply disturbing. The invasion suggested by what he does horrifes Clem even when she’s not quite sure what’s happened.
Ellen Kuras is a great cinematographer, her talent defining itself in a series of adventurous collaborations with very strong directors. There’s a clear, adult edge to her work that contrasts nicely with Gondry’s innate sense of whimsy. And the film simply wouldn’t work this well without the incredible work of Jon Brion. I’m madly in love with his score for MAGNOLIA, and I was impressed by how different this is, but how unmistakable his signature is. He’s one of the most innovative composers working in film today, and he catches the absurd dark romantic nightmare mood of this film perfectly in his music.
What touches me the most about the film is the fervor with which everone involved obviously believes in love. Carrey and Winslet have had to deal with their love lives as tabloid headlines, and Gondry spoke to our own Mr. Beaks about his trials with love. Kaufman’s other films give you a pretty good idea where he’s coming from. And these bruised people, carrying the same kind of scar tissue as the rest of us, make a movie that says love is worth it. Love is worth all the pain. So often, “love” in movies is nothing more than a series of cute and silly encounters, easy and predictable. There’s a reason every romantic comedy trailer gives away the ending; they’re selling you a promise that you will get EXACTLY THE SAME FILM YOU’VE SEEN BEFORE, and the audience appreciates it, evidently. ETERNAL SUNSHINE believes in real love, imperfect and difficult and painful and confusing, but above all, beautiful. So beautiful. And in moments like Joel and Clem flat on their backs on the ice or the two of them in a beach house in the dark or together under a yellow sheet, blissfully happy, we see exactly the sorts of memories that tie people together in real life. The notion of a true second chance, eyes open and aware, is uncommonly hopeful, and I find myself rooting for Joel and Clementine. I believe that Mary’s return of the tapes is a good thing. Even the worst moments in our lives come hand-in-hand with the best, and sorrow and pain are part of joy and pleasure. Embrace it all, and embrace this remarkable movie.
MEET THE MAYOR
George Hickenlooper fascinates me. He’s done a little bit of everything as a director. He’s one of the guys who co-directed HEARTS OF DARKNESS: A FILMMAKER’S APOCALYPSE, the amazing behind-the-scenes look at Francis Coppola’s descent into madness while making APOCALYPSE NOW. He’s also made several narrative films. He was the one who finally brought Orson Welles’s THE BIG BRASS RING to the screen. He directed the deeply underrated THE MAN FROM ELYSIAN FIELDS a few years ago, and also directed the short film that Billy Bob Thornton later expanded into SLING BLADE. He’s sort of been all over the map in his career.
That may be what made him the perfect person to help craft an intimate documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer, an LA-rock scene Zelig whose life has somehow intersected with bands from the Monkees to Coldplay and everyone in-between. Hickenlooper worked closely with former Dramarama bass player Chris Carter, a longtime friend and collaborator of Rodney’s, and it was Carter who approached Hickenlooper. He’s the one who first saw Rodney’s life as a movie. Hickenlooper came in as an outsider, someone who barely knew anything about Rodney. Because of that, he’s made a film that isn’t just a portrait of a local Los Angeles legend. It’s also an examination of the way our culture fetishizes and worships celebrity. Rodney Bingenheimer is every inch the social experiment that Harry Knowles is, both of them geeks on a level that no mere mortal can comprehend. Rodney’s lifelong obsession is music, and when he moved to LA in the mid-‘60’s, he timed it just right. He was ground zero for a cultural explosion, and he had jobs that gave him a close-up view of the era’s biggest phenomenons. He was the stand-in for Davy Jones on THE MONKEES, and he was close to Sonny and Cher. He wrote for music magazines about the groupie scene and local clubs and live shows he saw. He went to work for Capitol Records, then Mercury Records, promoting performers like Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, and David Bowie, who was introduced to LA by Rodney via waterbed, an event that is included in the movie.
Rodney’s biggest personal accomplishment probably came with the opening of the English Disco, an influential club where glam rock was the preferred sound, and Bowie, T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Suzi Quattro, Led Zeppelin, and the Sweet were all customers as well as the on-stage entertainment. When he closed the club’s doors and moved over to the radio, Rodney really found his calling. He used his KROQ show to break records, and he became one of the most important early arbiters of success. Looking at a list of all the bands he played first, you can’t help but be impressed.
Blondie, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Van Halen, The Go-Go’s, Nina Hagen, The Cramps, Nena, The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths, The B-52’s, Billy Idol, Adam and the Ants, Echobelly, The Dead Boys, Ride, X, Siouxie and the Banshees, Bow Wow Wow, Bad Religion, Duran Duran, The Jam, The Bangles, The Runaways, Redd Kross, Bananarama, Joan Jett, Tom Petty, Dramarama, Nirvana, L7, Sonic Youth, Teenage Fan Club, Suede, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Flag, Echo and the Bunnymen, No Doubt, Offspring, Pennywise, Blur, Elastica, Belly, Supergrass, Rialto, Placebo, Oasis, Sleeper, The Verve, Kent, Ash, Gene, Travis, Coldplay, Doves, The Strokes, Starsailor, The Donnas, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives, The Vines, and The Electric Soft Parade.
Watching MAYOR, I couldn’t help but think of Harry and how he compares to Rodney. They both geek out occasionally to an absolutely hilarious degree. Rodney’s use of “godhead” slays me, especially when people tease him about it. The difference between the two of them is that Harry is one of the happiest people I know. Even when he’s got giant problems in his personal life, he’s got this unflappable quality about him. What makes MAYOR so affecting is the sadness that practically pours off of Rodney in much of the movie. Watch him when he’s dealing with Camille Chancery. The exact nature of their relationship is one of the questions left hanging for most of the running time, and it’s strange seeing how hung up on her Rodney seems to be. This is a guy who Robert Plant called the biggest sexual icon in LA during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Rodney always had young, beautiful girls with him, and Michael Des Barres riffs hysterically about the power Rodney and his “pussy posse” possessed. Now Rodney seems almost consumed by his desire to be normal, domestic. He gave his whole life to the celebrity of others, and it’s almost like he gave away his life, piece by piece. He calls himself a private person at one point, but that seems pointless. There’s nothing to Rodney aside from the music he plays and the photos he collects, totems that prove that he has met pretty much everyone of note in the music world in the last 25 years. He’s compulsive to the point of RAIN MAN about his photos, and he treats a picture of himself with the Easter Bunny as reverentially as one of him with Andy Warhol. That indiscriminate enthusiasm of his is part of what draws people to him. He’s a blank slate. Maybe that’s why performers feel so comfortable with him. Rodney practically becomes invisible with a celebrity in the room. He’s like Peter Sellers in BEING THERE. People read a lot into Rodney based on his proximity to the famous. He’s like an arrested adolescent who reads nothing but fan magazines, child-like in his single-minded obsessions. He throws one holy terror of a tantrum in the movie, and he sounds for all the world like a cranky eight-year-old, betrayed by his best friend and unable to digest it.
It’s the last twenty minutes or so where Hickenlooper brings it all together and makes the film count. It packs a devastating emotional punch. Rodney makes a trip to London that totaled me. In this most personal of moments, on a small boat, Rodney plays a song on a portable tape player, and it’s incredibly revealing. After all, think of all the music and all the bands that Rodney’s listened to over all those years. He doesn’t make casual choices about music, especially not for a moment as personally important as this. The particular version of the song that he plays is powerful and exquisite, and like the rest of the incredible soundtrack, it’s worth tracking down.
There’s a guy named Ronald Vaughn who Rodney is friends with who shows up several times in the film. There is a desperate, scary quality to Vaughn, a visibly unbalanced fringe LA figure who performs as Isadore Ivy – Spaceman At Large, and he would make an easy target for ridicule if Hickenlooper wanted to be cruel. Whether he’s being interviewed in the back parking lot of the now-closed Rock’n’Roll Denny’s on Sunset or performing one of his bizarre celebrity-crazed songs like “Jennifer Love Hewitt” (“Jennifer Hewitt’s rare/La La La La, she’s famous.../And she’s nice!”), Vaughn is just heartbreaking. What keeps him from being a figure of mockery is the way Rodney treats him as a friend. Rodney invests Isadore Ivy with a sense of worth simply by acknowledging him. So often, that little bit of recognition can make the difference. People pour their whole hearts and souls into their work, and some of them labor in obscurity for decades, their frustration mounting, and for many of them, it gets harder and harder to bear. When Rodney plays two of Isadore Ivy’s songs on his “Rodney On The Roq” show, it’s enough to justify all those years of struggle. Vaughn’s got his moment. He’s got his dignity.
When I moved to Los Angeles in 1990, KROQ was still considered a truly alternative station. It played “weird” music. Rodney was still a key part of determining the voice of the station. In the time I’ve been listening, he’s slowly been marginalized. His show moved later and later on Saturday nights before finally getting banished to a Sunday midnight-to-3 AM slot. Jed the Fish, one of KROQ’s other old-school DJs, talks about the inevitability of it, and the implication is that success has cost the station some integrity, and Rodney’s an uncomfortable reminder of what they used to be. When you see the parade of people who showed up to be interviewed to sing the praises of Rodney, or when you see moments like the great bit with Brian Wilson in the studio, it goes a long way towards making the case for Rodney as a significant figure. Here’s hoping this film builds his reputation, and no matter what, you need to keep your eyes open for it in limited release starting this Friday in New York and LA. It’s another triumph for Hickenlooper, and a hell of a treat for music fans.
TO BOLDLY BLOW LIKE NO TREK HAS BLOWN BEFORE!!
Paramount is a studio that seems to be scrambling to figure out just what its identity is. For the last five years, it seems like they’ve been the home of stalled, desperately un-hip franchises, Ashley-Judd-in-peril movies, and weak Billy Friedkin pity gigs. They seem to be working to change that, though, with films like SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW and A PRINCESS OF MARS in the pipeline. I want to believe that Paramount can turn it around.
But when I hear about their plans for STAR TREK, I have to wonder. Are they unable to tell a good idea from a bad one where this particular franchise is concerned? I’m not the world’s biggest fan of TREK in any flavor, but I sympathize with TREK fans. You guys have it rough. And it’s about to get rougher.
First, the good news. No Berman. No Braga. Instead, Jordan Kerner (SNOW DOGS, INSPECTOR GADGET, THE MIGHTY DUCKS and D2 and D3) is being brought in to produce. Right now, he’s in the early stages of developing a prequel trilogy. First question, obviously, is “a prequel to what?” After all, the various TV shows have played all sorts of tricks with the timeline. When I hear “prequel trilogy,” it sounds to me like we’re going to see young Kirk and young Spock and young McCoy. It sounds to me like we’re talking about Starfleet Academy.
Instead, we’re looking at films that sound like they’re all about big intergalactic events, but which don’t appear to be about any characters, which is what Gene Roddenberry’s original vision was ALWAYS about. Characters. Don’t just try to tell some big budget spectacle story. I hear the first film’s about a civil war, the second film’s devoted largely to the galactic switch-over from a fission standard to fusion, and then there’s a third film where we’ll finally see an Ensign Kirk show up for all of about the last 20 minutes. Just Kirk. Nobody else. And no ENTERPRISE.
And that notion they’re discussing in hushed and excited tones about putting William Shatner’s head on a younger actor’s body? Easily the goofiest bad idea I’ve heard since Lex Luthor, flying Kryptonian. It almost makes me want to see them do it, just for the laugh value.
You’re still really early in this process, Paramount, so please... allow me to offer a little bit of constructive criticism. You need to listen to your fans. And I’m not saying listen to me. Read the message boards that are out there. Cast as wide a net as you can across fandom and let the fans remind you just what it is that made TREK so important to them in the first place. Reach out and take the time to get it right. Don’t just chase STAR WARS and LORD OF THE RINGS, and don’t throw money at it just to make STAR TREK into something it never was.
I’m going to try to bring you more details about this proposed trilogy as they continue working on it, and in the meantime, I’ll hand it over to the real TREK fans, you guys. What do you think of Paramount’s plans?
I’ll be back soon with another edition of the DVD Shelf. Until then...