Tag Archives: Twilight

Into Darkness Movie Review


spock-lavaI’m going to keep the review part of this entry short — I enjoyed the movie. It helped put a good spin on a really crappy day and that means at least a full star improvement for any movie (except Prospero’s Books which nothing will ever improve) in my estimation.  It included a predictable amount of J.J. Abrams’ penchant for thinly veiled political commentary and not so thinly veiled (or always successful) plot twists. It was an action flick and not an Oscar vehicle.

As far as the plot itself, allow me to introduce you non-liberal arts majors to a new term — deus ex machina. That’s a cool little Latin phrase English teachers like to bandy about that means “god in the machine.” I’ll let you Google up the etymology of the term, but writers use a deus ex machina for one reason — they’ve written themselves into a corner and the characters everyone loves are all going to die, so something intervenes that saves the day. If you think about every time an Eagle shows up in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, you’ll grasp the concept quite well. If you need a “negative example,” think about the entire Song of Fire and Ice series because George Martin not only refuses to use any plot contrivances to rescue a fan favorite character, but actually seems to delight in making sure anyone likeable and “favorite-worthy” gets killed off in some heinous way just as soon as the reader (or viewer for those with HBO) starts to invest a tremendous amount of care and emotion into someone on the page or screen.

But I digress.

The movie was entertaining and I had no idea who the main villain was or where he came from so when we discovered his identity it was a little shocking and quite cool. I like the “kinder, gentler” Spock who is not afraid to love Uhura even though his Vulcan logic and Stoicism presents a few problems for the couple. Christopher Pine has out-Shatner-ed William Shatner in my opinion and the new Scotty is my personal favorite character. He also has what I think are the two best lines in the movie: “You’ll never guess what I found behind Jupiter” and “I’m off the ship ONE BLOODY DAY and look what happens!”

So go see it. It’s worth the money, but if you are a Trekkie, you’ve already been there so this is redundant which means I will now switch to what I REALLY wanted to talk about — will there be another Star Trek movie? Even as we were leaving the theater, people around us were already speculating whether or not a third episode of the retcon would get the green light from Hollywood. To those people I can only reply, “Does a one-legged duck swim in a circle?”

Of course they’ll make another one!

As for why, it’s disgustingly simple — Star Trek is the charter member of the “Pointy Eared Dress Up Movie Club.” Let me elaborate.  In Star Trek, Spock and the other Vulcans have pointy ears; in Star Wars, Yoda and his Whill brethren have pointy ears; Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit  have pointy eared elves; the house elves of Harry Potter are pointy eared; and the Quileute shapeshifters in the Twilight saga possess pointy pinnas.

What do all five of these film franchises have in common? Costumed fanboys (and fangirls). These fans don’t just dress up in the privacy of their own homes. They don’t just bust out Yeoman Rand or Arwen for Halloween either. No, these are grown-assed men and women who will don robes, capes, fake uniforms costing hundreds of dollars, and — most importantly — pointed ear prostheses and go out to a movie theater to stand in line, buy a ticket, and sit through the movie. If you can get grown people who would generally have a little lower embarrassment threshold to go out in public carrying a reproduction lightsaber, phaser rifle, or Elven longsword, you have basically found a legal way to print money As long as the studios will make these movies, they will sell out left and right until these huge fanbases die outright or are too frail to get out of the nursing homes.take my money

The great thing from the studio’s point of view is the movies don’t even have to be GOOD! In fact, I could argue that the movies in these franchises that have the best attendance are some of the worst movies in the series because the fanboys will go see those horrible movies more than once just so they can nit-pick all the “non-canon” scenes and gripe to their friends about how the newest installment of their favorite series has irrevocably RUINED the material because the director had the unmitigated gall to make some obscure character’s hair red when THE BOOK CLEARLY STATES IT WAS BLONDE!!

I remember when Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered and every Trekkie I knew at the time was absolutely apoplectic with rage that the bridge crew wore RED SHIRTS!! Didn’t the morons know in Trek-speak Red Shirt = sudden bloody and violent death? I went to college with two of them and either one would shoot you with his reproduction Stormtrooper laser cannon if you dared speak during an episode on Sunday night even though they would spend the hour afterwards almost in tears at how the evil corporate studios savaged their beloved franchise. I can’t tell you how many Star Wars fans I’ve heard who seem to be on the brink of suicide because Lucas sold his film company for several gajillion dollars to Disney and now Disney is going to, “pump out tons of stupid stand alone movies that don’t respect the canon universe at all!” I bet ever one of those movies will be a sell out though.

Printing. Money.

So see the movie and wave to everyone dressed up because you just might work with them . . . or for them!

Love y’all and keep those feet clean.

Of Meyers and Monkeys


Budge and Deuce are at a late showing of the newest “must see” cinema attraction, the long awaited epic screen adaptation of . . . Breaking Dawn, part 1. Really, they are. This was one movie Budge didn’t even bother to ask me to take her to see because my beloved and longsuffering wife knows that frost will form on the hinges of Hell ere this little duck pays to see vampires sparkle.

We're working on it, Ms. Meyer.


“Vampires sparkle.” Just typing that phrase threatens to make all my lovely Chickpea Chicken supper suddenly reappear.

At this juncture, I want to state for the record that I am all too intimately aware that Ms. Meyers has sold more novels in a day than I have or very likely ever will have sold in my entire hypothetical lifetime. I know this. I also know that the aforementioned Ms. Meyers now has more money in book sales, licensed merchandise, and movie royalties than the GNP of SEVERAL smaller nations. I realize this, I admit this, and I submit ONE reason in my defense that I am not simply spouting about sour grapes as an unpublished and unpopular writer.

My reason, in the words of a fine Baptist preacher named Charles H. Spurgeon, is “A hog in a silk waistcoat is still a hog.”  Ms. Meyers can get richer than Solomon by selling more books than the Bible and it will not change the fact her magnum opus is as well-written as the assembly instructions for a piece of IKEA furniture.

For starters, Mrs. Bella Cullen (nee‘ Swan) is THE most insipid, weak, and pablum sipping “heroine” since Pollyanna. Why ANYONE, let alone two supernatural beings the likes of Sparkles and Lassie would be willing to grant her a moment’s glance is beyond me. I find it appalling so many young girls and GROWN WOMEN think of Bella as a suitable role model. Her craven, driveling character sets the cause of women’s rights back to the Victorian Era at best.

Secondly, the works rely on every stereotype known to feeble literature. The vampire is “charming?” Well, thank you Mr. Stoker, oh, I meant Ms. Meyers. An American Indian (or other rustic native) is a shapeshifter? Really? That trope hasn’t been used since, oh, I don’t know . . . Underworld? (And incidentally, Kate Beckinsale on her WORST day is blazingly hotter than Kristen Stewart in full wedding array.)

Thirdly, the books have more plot holes than Danish lace. A “family” that never ages lives in the same vicinity off and on for two centuries or so? GROWN VAMPIRES go to high school regularly? Well, Ms. Meyer obviously never went to high school biology class because if she did, she’d know that, by her OWN admission, vampire blood does not circulate in a vampire’s body. Since the blood doesn’t move, neither does Edward’s “little fang”. Hard to figure out where little Reneesme came from, now isn’t it?

Finally, and most importantly, Meyer ignores over 1,000 years of written eldritch history and supernatural lore. If she had one iota of respect for the tons of work that came before her she would know that VAMPIRES. DO. NOT. SPARKLE!!

Vampires die in the Sun. They burst into flames and blow away on the cold wind of irony and unrequited love!


So yes, Stephanie Meyer has raked in the dough and proven the Infinite Monkey Theorem in the process. She has followed in the footsteps of another nouveau riche female writer, J.K. Rowling. They both have truckloads of money and shiploads of fame. Of course, Rowling is twice the writer Meyer is, and I despise Rowling as well — for other, more esoteric reasons.

I think no less a literary figure than Stephen King says it best. On comparing Bella and Harry, the King of Horror himself says, “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

And if he’d thought about it some more, you know what else he would have said?


Love y’all. Keep those feet clean and just say no to sparkly vampires!

This is all that gives me hope.