“How Could You Leave Us?” John Ottman, SUPERMAN RETURNS. Seriously one of my favourite pieces of music of all time. This could be called pastiche, of course - it’s the most complex re-purposing of music from John Williams’ score for the original SUPERMAN that Ottman undertakes in his score for RETURNS - but it accomplishes that task flawlessly, and just as flawlessly builds, develops, and completes the emotional arc of the scene it underscores. It’s the most emotionally resonant scene in the movie - I’d argue even the haters would have trouble finding fault with this sequence - and this is a stunning musical poem about choices, loss, and enduring love.
In the game of strip-mining your nostalgia for fancy cash dollars, Star Wars came first, Star Trek is happening now, and Star Wars comes next. JJ Abrams: what are you doing to us? Read on…
“All field units. Intercept the android.”
There’s a new Star Trek movie in theatres, and I’ve got pretty serious problems with it; which makes this a perfect time to continue my backwards troll through the endlessly problematic Star Trek: The Next Generation feature films, bringing me to Star Trek: Insurrection, a.k.a. Star Trek 9, and – arguably – the origin of whatever problem in the franchise grew so massive that it compelled Paramount to hit the reboot switch, wiping out 40 years of Star Trek continuity. Something about the mood in the room changes with Star Trek 9, and the franchise crosses the border from mainstream fare to fan service, even though the fans didn’t like it much either. This was 1998 – Deep Space Nine was wrapping up (Worf’s presence on the Enterprise explained in a line which is, delightfully, interrupted before finishing, as though to assure the audience that no one cares), Voyager was in the middle of its lackluster run, and Enterprise was imminent. Less than half a decade later, Star Trek would be a dead duck. The tide turned here.Read more
Imagine the process by which letters, ordinary letters, which you may have paid no special mind to on any previous day in your life, get reorganized to form a bouma shape which, every time you see it or write it - a phoneme which, every time you hear it or speak it - makes you glow from the inside with a kind of special knowledge that you used to think existed only in books about magical worlds beyond wardrobe doors.
The first prequel-sequel in the Star Trek reborquel lands with a wet thud and Team Mamo assembles to discuss what went wrong with Star Trek Into Darkness…
I’m a fan of the version of the universe where Shane Carruth never made a second film. Such a quantum reality surely exists, if the gods have any sense of humour about Primer or anything else. This is not, by the way, a knock against Upstream Color, which I’ll probably end up knocking later; it’s got nothing to do with my feelings about Carruth’s follow up film or films. It’s just that it took Carruth such a long time to tackle his sophomore effort that I began to noodle about the possibility that he was never going to do it, resulting in a reality where this former mathematician popped up in 2004, made a $7,000 time travel movie that is in many ways outstanding, and then just vanished back into the non-filmmaking hyper-reality from which he emerged like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. Come on, that’s appealing for a whole host of reasons.Read more
In 2009 I wrote a non-review of the first Abrams film by way of sidestepping the excruciating scope of having to respond to this newfangled property directly; the guy who’s Blogging the Next Generation every week, I’m far too close to the material to do anything but repeat the trick. So, with apologies again, let’s (boldly) go:
Ho! Hey there everyone. It’s been a while since we last spoke. I was sitting in an Enterprise Rent-A-Car last Thursday at around 1 in the afternoon when I had what Jules Winfield said alcoholics call a “Moment of Clarity.” I’d been dispatched to Burlington the night before for an early morning video shoot, just me and a SME and a camera, and now I was returning the rental car and heading back home to start logging footage and finishing off the edit - or rather re-edit, since the whole shoot was a do-over of an earlier project. I was talking to the car rental guy about what I do for a living, which for the last several weeks and much of the last year, has been making micro-budget videos on a variety of platforms for a variety of outputs. In May alone, this work has sent me to Victoria, Vancouver, the aforementioned Burlington, and (next week) Montreal. So car rental guy and I were talking about the relative frustrations of the Burlington do-over, which I promptly assured him were nonexistent, because every single thing about the preceding 24 hours had been brilliant. And that’s when the MOC hit me. There is not a single thing wrong.
Not for nothing, was the first chunk of 2013 a bit of a dark ride. Then New Zealand happened and I moved to a new apartment, and blah blah logistics, here we are on the other side, and - as tweeted - I am grateful beyond words to be standing here, writing to you. There was a particularly lucid dream, sometime in early January, where I found myself lying at the bottom of a large body of water, looking up at the surface, and wondering if I had air enough in my lungs to get there. Well, I did, but not without help. So to everyone who pulled, dragged and carried me up, just in the nick of time, thank you. I’ve been woken up in a very big way, which is going to have reach throughout the rest of my life.
I’m still not wildly thrilled that the Substream went down, and having that happen so close to Ebert’s death put a surprisingly strong “what the fuck am I doing” spin on the whole future of my writing, and the ambitions therein. So when Destroy All Monsters happened (little more than) moments later, it felt a whole lot like a gold bar fell out of the sky and landed in front of me. My beat for the column is Hollywood and pop culture - which I’ve covered before - and the brief is simple, write about whatever’s happening. The column drops on Wednesdays, and at some point I’ll redesign Tederick.com to feature it in a more findable way. It’s going to be a big part of the year, and hopefully, many years to come. (Hey - anyone want to redesign Tederick.com? I need to up my mobile compliance game, while I’m at it.) A lot of the thanks goes to Todd and the rest of the Twitch team for the warm embrace, but really, it’s down to Kurt Halfyard for getting my ass into the game on this in the first place - he is a men among men, and has been more supportive than I strictly deserve for a long while now.
My music video for the Marvelous Beauhunks dropped this week as well, one of the most purely pleasurable gigs I’ve had in the whole history of making movies and videos of any size, scope, or description - mostly because the guys themselves are, in every way, kickass. Plus, Demetre as Broom Jesus and Zoe as Bee Girl - because longtime viewers will probably realize that there’s always a Bee Girl, in some form or another. For this, though, the massive pile of thanks go to the monster on drums named Stephen Wright, who thought of me for the video in the first place, had utmost confidence in my abilities when there was not a single shred of proof that I had any idea what I was doing, and who is now sending me daily status updates on how the video is doing. Quite well, thank you.
There’s a whole lot more, but I’ll hold it there. The point of all this is only: we do not, as a matter of course, get a free pass most of the time; the next crisis is out there somewhere. But, holy goodness, when it’s working, you’d damn well better take a moment to be thankful. Which I’m doing. And am.
It’s May the 17th, 2013; there’s a new Star Trek movie out, and a Mamo (or two) to record this weekend; I’ve got a video (or six) in some state of pre-, mid-, or post-production; I work where it’s cool and write cuz it’s fun. In eight days, Return of the Jedi turns thirty years old, with significance not lost on me - and 1983 was just a hell of a year all around, wasn’t it?
Nice little review of our music video on nanobotrock.com. Which will almost certainly prompt you to watch the video if you haven’t already!