June 22, 2002: The big event at Trek Expo 2002 today turned out to be the world premiere of
the trailer for Star Trek: Nemesis. I
didn't think it was that important, but hundreds of people apparently attended for
the sole purpose of seeing this trailer! Just before the trailer was scheduled to be shown,
a veritable flood of attendees poured in, forming a larger crowd than I had ever seen
at Trek Expo before. The representative from Paramount
claimed that only fifty people had seen the trailer thus far. It made the movie look very
sinister and scary. Although the plot would seem to involve the Romulans, the villains did not
appear to be Romulan. If anything, the villains reminded me of vampires. The most notable clip
showed Data reactivating his brother Lore. We'll have to wait until December 13, 2002 to find out
what that's all about. In addition to showing the trailer, they also previewed the Nemesis
website and handed out mini CD-ROMs and temporary tatoos.
Celebrity guests appearing on stage today included Keith Hamilton Cobb,
Colm Meaney, Kari Wuhrer, David Arquette, Nana Vistor and
others. Reports and pictures will be posted as soon as possible.
June 21, 2002: I'm back from the first day of Trek Expo 2002 with a couple of factoids to
share. Richard Gant of "Special Unit 2" told us that he will be appearing in Smallville
next season. Also, Chase Masterson
mentioned that the movie she shot with Bruce Campbell for
the Sci Fi Channel will actually be called
"Terminal Invasion", not "Devil's Pass" as I previously reported. I also saw Nichelle
Nichols and Terry Farrell on stage today. Reports and pictures will be posted as soon as possible.
June 19, 2002: Once again, you never know where Bruce Campbell
might pop up next. This time he's starring in Don Coscarelli's horror/comedy "Bubba Ho-Tep"
which recently premiered at the CineVegas Film Festival.
Bruce plays an aging Elvis Presley who joins forces with Jack Kennedy to battle a "soul sucking"
cowboy mummy in their Texas retirement home. Don Coscarelli is the director of such classic films
and The Beastmaster.
June 18, 2002: Starting July 20, William Shatner
will host "Full Moon Fright Night" on the Sci Fi Channel.
The weekly program will present horror movies by Full Moon Pictures
and will include appearances by special guests related to the genre. The highlight of the show will
be Shatner's personal reinterpretation of a gory moment from the movie. Considering his talent for
overdramatization, this segment of the program promises to be particularly entertaining. However, I
doubt if it will be able to compete with the hilarious Sci Fi Channel classic Mystery Science Theater 3000.
June 11, 2002: The second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
was released on DVD today. I think a lot of people dismiss Buffy as little more than a campy, teen
horror spoof, but it's so much more than that. Buffy's literate storylines and subversive wit have
had a profound effect on my life, because Buffy isn't about "teen angst" as many people
assume; it's about the nature of humanity. Slaying vampires and demons is just a metaphor for the
ongoing struggle against destructive forces, both within ourselves and in the world around us. Like
Buffy, each of us must grapple with our own unique problems that nobody else can understand, yet we
are expected to perform duties and live up to responsibilities that often stand in the way of love,
friendship, family and everything else that makes life worth living. Like Buffy, we sometimes
wonder if the struggle is worth it, and we consider giving up. But, like Buffy, we manage to find
some kernel of meaning and purpose in our lives that motivates us to press on. I think the most
important lesson of Buffy is that the struggle never ends. The demons never stop coming. You never
really "win". All you can do is keep searching for that grain of hope.
June 8, 2002: It appears as if Vin Diesel
will reprise his role as Riddick in what may be the first of three sequels to Pitch Black.
Appropriately entitled "Riddick", the movie will follow the further adventures of Diesel's
character in much the same way that The Road Warrior
followed Mel Gibson's character from Mad Max.
David Twohy's ambitious pitch for the sequel was originally rejected, but Universal and Radar
Pictures now want to develop it into a multi-picture franchise like Star Wars
and The Lord of the Rings.
June 1, 2002: The May 28 edition of Variety
featured a special cover to promote this season's musical
episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an Emmy
contender. If any show deserves an award, this one does. The impressive musical numbers not
only captured the spirit of the series, but also served as shapshots of the characters' lives.
Unfortunately, it seems as if they spent so much time and effort on this masterpiece
that the rest of the season suffered considerably. Haphazard and unfocused, this season seemed to
lack the steady buildup of dramatic tension that inevitably leads to the climactic final
confrontation. Of course, the switch to UPN might
have had something to do with that, not to mention the trying times we're living in. With
any luck, they'll get things back on track next season. In the meantime, don't forget to buy the
brilliant second season DVD
on June 11.
May 22, 2002: You never know where Bruce Campbell
might pop up next. For instance, playing a witch hunter on the season finale of Charmed.
Or how about being interviewed on Christopher Closeup?
Yes! Believe it or not, Bruce chose to light a candle rather than curse the darkness! Personally, I
think it's better to curse the darkness. Otherwise people might think you actually like
living in the dark, and they'll just send you candles instead of helping you move into a place with
decent windows and proper electric lighting. Anyway, Bruce lucidly shared his thoughts on marriage,
celebrity, forest conservation, spirituality and violence in movies. Now I hear that Bruce will be
starring with Chase Masterson in a
movie called "Devil's Pass". Bruce will play an escaped convict who teams up with a female
pilot to save the world from an evil alien. The movie is currently shooting in Canada and is
scheduled to debut on the Sci Fi Channel in
August or September.
May 19, 2002: Everybody seems relieved that Jar Jar Binks was toned down for Attack of
the Clones, but to be perfectly honest, I never had a problem with Jar Jar. I actually thought
he was kind of fun! I mean, he's that dorky fifth wheel who always wants to tag along with
the cool kids, but when he tries to be cool, he just ends up making a fool of himself. We've
all known somebody like that, or even been somebody like that. Maybe that's
why hardcore Star Wars fans hate Jar Jar so
much, because he reminds them of themselves! Anyway, I don't have a problem with Jar
Jar. You wanna know which character I do have a problem with? That stupid two-headed
pod race announcer from the The Phantom Menace! If they wanted to make this preposterous
creature talk exactly like a NASCAR
announcer, they should have at least made it speak an alien language! Talk about
ruining a movie! I'll take Jar Jar over that any day!
May 18, 2002: There was a segment on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
in which Triumph, the insult comic dog, made fun of Star Wars
fans as they waited to see Attack of the Clones. Although hilarious, the piece was also sad
and offensive. The basic premise was that Star Wars fans are pathetic losers who are out of
touch with reality and will probably never get laid. The sad part is that this
premise is actually true in many cases. The jokes wouldn't have been funny if it
weren't. But that's what makes it offensive. I mean, if these guys were born macho,
handsome, athletic and sexy, they wouldn't need such a rich fantasy life, because they'd be
climbing mountains, kickboxing and having hot sex with beautiful women on a daily basis.
Triumph might as well have been making fun of crippled kids in wheelchairs because they
can't run and play like normal kids. The only thing that softened the blow was that the
insults were coming from a guy with a plastic dog on his hand. I think we can safely assume
that he isn't getting a whole lot of hot supermodel sex either. In any case, despite
the negative aspects, I have to admit that it was great comedy... for me to poop on!
May 11, 2002: The second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
will be released on DVD on June 11, 2002. I'm really looking forward to this, because the
second season is truly the golden age of Buffy. It ultimately defines what the series is all
about and sets the stage for seasons to come. Any reasonable person would have to agree that
the star-crossed romance between Buffy and Angel is one of the greatest dramatic arcs in
television history. Even if you recorded all the episodes on VHS, you'll still want the DVD.
The picture clarity is awesome, and you'll appreciate the episodes a lot more without all
the network logos and time and temperature and promos and whatever else your local station
plasters all over the screen.
May 6, 2002: George Lucas has made many controversial choices regarding the prequels to his
original Star Wars trilogy. Who can forget
the uproar over Jar Jar Binks in Episode I? Many doubted the wisdom of shooting Episode II entirely
with digital cameras. Feathers were also ruffled when Lucas announced that the title of Episode II
would be "Attack of the Clones". Believe it or not, George Lucas may do something even more
controversial with Episode III. I heard that he plans to shoot Episode III as a Dogma film!
Dogma films must adhere to strict rules that strip away all superficiality so that the plot is
motivated by the inner lives of the characters instead of technological illusions. Ultimately, this
means that there will be no sets, no props, no visual effects, no sound effects and no musical
score. Do you think he can pull it off? Just kidding.
May 2, 2002: Congratulations to Angel
star David Boreanaz on the birth of his son, Jaden Rayne Boreanaz, yesterday in Los Angeles,
May 1, 2002: I received a promotional flyer for Trek Expo 2002. As usual, a wide variety
of celebrity guests are expected to appear, including Colm Meaney, Terry Farrell, Majel Barrett
Roddenberry, Michael Dorn, Connor Trinneer, Laura Bertram and Nichelle Nichols, to name a few. The
front of the flyer features pictures of the guests. See the
back for detailed information about ticket prices, events,
locations and additional guests.
News & Commentary Archive