Archive for the Movie Reviews Category

Movies I Almost Missed… Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Posted in Movie Reviews, Opinion with tags , , , , on October 20, 2016 by ThommyMac


OK, this is a biggie and it was thanks to my dearly departed and very sadly missed younger brother Tony that I saw it. He turned me on to it as well as the original Robocop*, I had zero intention of seeing either. He rarely said “No, you will really dig it” so when he did, I would. Good ol’ IMDB says:

An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office. (Maybe why it didn’t reach the audience levels it deserves.)

Director: James Foley Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin

Sometimes when a play is made into a film, the cast and director fit so well as a team and run with the material so that the sum really is greater than the parts. And what a team! Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Al Pacino are in the zone, pretty much in that order. Surprisingly (to some) Alec Baldwin is absolutely p-e-r-f-e-c-t in his small role. For some reason that role doesn’t seem much of a reach, hence it’s realism and believability. Kevin Spacey does what he does best, which is hold his own. Looking at the cast that he is “holding his own” with shows how he got his reputation. I did not realize how many folks have missed this gem. Willy Loman’s rat race was a conga line compared to what these cats faced, let alone what sales must be like in our so-called information age. “Oh come on, what’s the point? What’s the f*ing point? in any case I gotta argue with you, I gotta knock heads with the cops, I’m busting my b*lls selling your dirt to deadbeats”

As a one-time owner of a one-man IT company, I hit a voice over IP webinar that, who knows how, got my cell phone number. The sheer numbers of sales calls generated by that one slip-up was amazing to behold. If you had the same problem due to attending one by a clip joint who pretends it assists nonprofits, my user name at Gmail is a good way to get a hold of me. It’s in the Philly area and had to change its names, allegedly because folks were getting wise to them. The reason I bring that up is the horrible desperation that hangs over most salesman. By “men” I mean “human” which embraces female as well. Before I forget the movie does NOT have any of the usually pleasant “B“s such as bare breasts, blood, bodies, or beasts. What it does have is an awful lot of swearing. I don’t mind but it does have as much as a Tarantino film. I do mind all the “C” words being bandied about. I understand not everyone grew up in the south side of Pittsburgh way back when it was allegedly a tough neighborhood but calling someone any of the “C” words in my day? It was generally a warning to put up your dukes. Then again, nowadays a simple fistfight will get you charged with simple assault. Then you’ll even have to pay for the counseling of the punk who started it but called the cops after he lost. **embarrassed silence** Or so I have heard. “Get on the phone to Pittsburgh. American Express there and tell them Mr. Morton is on the one o’clock.”

In the ‘Premier Properties’ office, where 90% of the story takes place, there is an old time dot matrix banner. It’s on the left, hanging on the wall above the window into Williamson’s office. It is with no little irony the words are “Salesman are born not made.” As a long time IT guy for a variety of endeavors, I have seen many positions and departments in action. Sales is a world unto itself but there seems to be three distinct types of salesman. Before we go any further I should say that I genuinely admire successful sales people. Like any hack politician, I could say some of my best friends work in sales. OK, time to move on. The first is what all of them aspire to be as personified by Ricky Roma. A smoothie, naturally born con man who can manipulate people the way an artist can put their imprint on a medium. Indeed, these guys and gals are artists and people are their medium. Sales quota? They haven’t missed one since they first heard their calling working the phones for a phone spam company. Maybe it’s the gullibility of the folks who actually buy tickets to those fireman or police benefit magic shows. “When I talk to the police I get nervous.”

Their first trick is absorbing 99% of the donation in admin costs. Then they go perfect their chops with a standard cattle call sales gig like working an automobile lot. They watch the newbies burnout their built in leads such as family and friends and then flame-out or fall by the wayside. After a gig or three they find their niche. Real estate, high end cars, software, or whatever needs moved and they can move it. I knew a salesman got his A.S. in programming but didn’t dig it much. It did give him some connections and he went on to sell enterprise level software way back when 3.5″ floppies were being phased out. During routine email archives I truly by accident saw one about his great job in landing some huge sale. His commission? $18,000 for that single sale and he was nailing them. Keep in mind this was back when your car couldn’t hold $20 worth of gasoline.They are born salesmen and stand on a pyramid whose base is made of failures and newbies. This leads us to the second class of salesman, “the failure”. Almost any who are not a “Ricky Roma” class salesman fall into this one. “A man doesn’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy.”

Like Willy Loman, these deluded fools have always felt it is far more important to be liked instead of known. They have tried and tried but from Fuller Brushes to Real-estate Developments to Used Cars, they can’t make quota 3 fiscal quarters in a row. Before this seems hypocritical and mean-spirited, my past problems were self-medicating and now a dozen years in the past. These folks are either masochists or have a weaker grasp on reality than yours truly. Like Willy, they dream of the day when they can call buyers, line them up with sellers and make a mint with a phone call each morning. I used to want to play guitar and be a rock star but that was outgrown by my second year in the Army. The point is there is a talent requirement that just isn’t there and most of us know when we just ain’t got it. “They’re standing out there waiting to give you their money! Are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it?”

Almost 20 years ago I walked in to do Saturday maintenance on the servers at the best job I ever had. We did it on Shabbat because, ironically, sales would cry they were finalizing some big deal on any given Friday. This was long before I became a practicing Jew but G-d wants us to earn a living, so 1 out 4 each month wouldn’t haver been too bad. Anyhow, that particular Saturday was a beautiful summer day. To this day, I don’t mind off-hour server maintenance. That day I knew if things went without a hitch, it would be over soon. No big updates or patches to cause any of the heartache that NT 4 was infamous for. Plus the drive to and from Oakmont, PA was along the very picturesque Allegheny River Boulevard and was usually a pleasant one. As was my habit, I went to each area to tell whoever was there I was taking the systems down. I would make an announcement over the PA after that physical verification. If it was end of quarter, there was even odds some poor sap would be in the sales department area, running on their self-made hamster wheel of pain. “We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? (Holds up prize) Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”

On that particular Saturday the lone sales guy who was there about defecated when I told him I was taking the systems down. I remember it as if it were yesterday. He looked like the bald guy popular in commercials during my youth. He was the one who always ran out of Miracle Whip right before finalizing a sandwich. Being a kinder, gentler soul back then I patiently let him rant and then replied. “Guy, first off MIS does this every Saturday morning even on holiday weekends. Second, who are you going to reach on a Saturday morning? Seriously. Nobody important would be my guess. Third, if you are this close to quarter and not making quota, ruining a Saturday ain’t going to help. If I were in your shoes I would go play with the kids or walk in the park and leave the pain for Monday.” Instead of being touched, as I had hoped, he did the usual flurry of sales department bullshit. Sputtering about telling the VP on me, some deal worth a million bucks on the line, dedication, blah blah blah. For those wondering, in another quarter he was forced to walk the plank. Who are the third type?, you ask. They are one of the newbies who all hope to conquer the world. English or Art majors with student loans already on their backs, mostly. Almost all of them hope they are the one in a hundred “Ricky Romas”. All I can say to that is “Coffee is for CLOSERS

*Yes, his recommendation of the 1st Robocop was on the money as well.


Movies I Almost Missed … Dark Planet 1997

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , on October 19, 2016 by ThommyMac


The IMDB short descriptions is “Two sides, one known as the Alphas and the other the Rebels, struggle in a brutal war on Earth and in outer space… (99 mins.)”

Director: Albert Magnoli Stars: Paul Mercurio, Harley Jane Kozak, Michael York, Maria Ford

Tagline: There wasn’t one listed but the poster said “One Final Step For Mankind.”

Like so many of the gems covered here, I caught this on Netflix.  I could tell that most of this flick would take place on a spaceship. Well, it didn’t have the best budget BUT it had very good acting, and a good story. I also liked the World War VI angle. That gives so much leeway towards the technology. A couple dark ages and a theocracy or two could really limit things to day to day technology being 1950s with space flight or whatever. York is so underrated, no kidding. He needs a “Private Ryan” level role so he can bow out with an Oscar. For this flick he is very believable, as are the two chicks. The main character’s portrayal by solid acting is what makes this work. Indeed, the acting is how it crosses over from potentially MST3K fodder to a movie worth watching, especially SciFi fans. The rest of the cast goes from above average to very good. Definitely worth a watch. Sometimes sophomore actors supporting some masters gets everyone in character and then a clever director goes from there.  Another example of talent overcoming budget constraints.

Seven stars for Waterloo (1970) ? SEVEN?

Posted in Movie Reviews, Opinion with tags , , , , on October 17, 2016 by ThommyMac


Tagline: One incredible afternoon Napoleon met Wellington . . . at Waterloo.

Waterloo 1971  Director: Sergey Bondarchuk

Starring Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, plus many others, and thousands of Soviet soldiers.

**shakes head in mixture of disbelief and sadness** Fan boys and shills inflating IMDB’s ratings system would be my guess. Then again, members of the TCM forum react to this film much like People magazine’s average coverage of JFK Jr. , so you got me. Now, if this were a very expensive comedy, Rod’s portrayal of Napoleon would be BRILLIANT. Rod Steiger, per usual, playing to the rafters should not be a surprise to anyone. His Napoleon? Think Bugs Bunny, hand on stomach while sporting Nappy’s infamous chapeau and you’re close to the delivery. To be fair, Bugs’ director probably explained the character a little better. Plus rumour has it that Bugs was infamously easy to work with. Chris Plummer, whose in more bombs than most folks realize, is not going to have some Yank out do him. Not quite as bad as say fellow Canadian big Billy S. but he does slap some glazing on. Him and Rod’s declarations on the battle field had me feeling like I broke the Kosher dietary law regarding ham. Using that clever bit of foreshadowing, the battle scenes are the main reasons to watch this.  Those scenes were incredible and would be well nigh impossible to create in this era of CGI cut n paste.

For friends who are not that big into 19th century European history, one of the most infamous bad calls using one’s cavalry occurred at Waterloo. Nappy thought he had Wellington on the ropes, mistaking him pulling back to tighten his line for THE retreat he was hoping for, so he sends out the Emperor’s reserves. I know this is a movie review but bear with me for a second. General de Brigade (Brigadier General if you ain’t already figured that out) Pierre Farine du Creux, of the 14th Cavalry Division was told to prepare his brigade, and six squadrons of the 5th and 10th Cuirassier Regiments, to charge the ridge in the center of Wellington’s position. His superior Charles, Count Lefebvre-Desnoettes gets wind of this and begins a urinating contest too complicated to get into right now. You’d probably have to be a fellow combat arms vet to get it, anyhow.  The bottom line is Boneyard’s cavalry were squandered in a move more like the Chicago stockyards than a battle.  That is all included in a combination of helicopter and dolly shots that have to be seen to be believed. I would give up many things to have seen this at the theatre with a new 70mm print.  The incredible amount of extras with a skill set are due to Dino De Laurentis’ always creative financing.

To get more dough and cut down costs Dino went to good ol’ Mosfilms. If you weren’t a teenager during the Cold War, that is most likely only gonna elicit a shrug. Mosfilms was the Soviet Union’s state owned and operated film industry. Your folks probably better remember it as the evil empire’s propaganda machine. Having a Russian mom, I grew up hiding that fact. Institutionalized racism against Russians in the guise of “Anti-Communism” was the order of the day for 40-some years. I could name some US propaganda flicks of my own but that’s beyond the scope here. Let’s just agree Dino going to Mosfilm with hat in hand was unique and VERY uhhhh ballsy at the time. That unlikely marriage led to the following end credit:


Having watched this 3 more times to correct the review, it is definitely worth watching. The aforementioned battle scenes are inimitable and using the Red Army for extras gives it a depth and realism that would be close to impossible to film today.

“Waterloo” stirred up some deep nostalgia for me. The first time I watched it I was 12 and it was with my dearly departed Dad. A little black and white with aluminum foil attached to the rabbit ears. This was a noble, if doomed, attempt to overcome Jones & Laughlin’s steel mill. That mill was between us and WTAE Pittsburgh until my 1st year in the Army. Again, I can only dream of what it looked like in Panavision with a screen with the proper ratio. It also reminded me of the hours and hours of playing Stratego with one of my favourite persons on the planet, Mike Janesko. Goodness, we could spend an entire rainy day playing it.

Then again, the 2011 farce “No Strings Attached” got 6 stars so I really oughta chill on Waterloo getting 7. Like any old man, I just don’t deal with inflation too well.

But if 5 is middling, 7 ain’t too bad at all. On examination, 7 stars is fine.

-Thom MacIntyre

Movies I Almost Missed…

Posted in Movie Reviews, Opinion with tags , , , on October 4, 2016 by ThommyMac


Let Us Prey (2014)

There are so many GEMS out there, for many reasons, I almost didn’t see. A fair chunk I had passed by because of who the “stars” were. As I mature in my movie enjoyment, I have quit "not seeing" movies because someone I consider a dud is in it. These entries come from a list I had created over at the inimitable The list was getting long enough to where a movie’s numerical place doesn’t mean much of anything. Sometimes forced to watch it for social reasons, I have been surprised by all of the flicks I would like to cover. I want to give credit where credit is due. Not all of the films I want to cover are great but I feel ALL are worth watching. The short descriptions are courtesy of the aforementioned IMDB and are no doubt copyrighted. As you have probably guessed, the accompanying critique is courtesy of yours truly. I will try to post a new one weekly before or immediately after Shabbat. It will depend on the time Shuls starts and when I get to the synagogue. I have to revamp\re-write so as to never have any spoilers, even if the movie being discussed is 50 years old. If I ever do slip, write me at

IMDB says “Held in a remote police station, a mysterious stranger takes over the minds and souls of everyone inside.” (92 mins.) with the tagline “Darkness shall rise.”

Director: Brian O’Malley Stars: Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin, Hanna Stanbridge

This is a very clever film, if a bit on the disturbing side. It has great dialogue, above average acting, and is definitely a movie worth the hour and a half it takes out of our finite time in this thing we call life. It shows how great writing, solid acting, and a talented crew can make the very most out of a budget. That is starting to be a theme with me, I think. It’s hard to discuss this one without giving anything away. OK, being a wannabe writer all my life, I ended up hanging out with the bohemian crowd most of my post-Army life. I don’t wanna sound like a politician but I do want to get a couple things out of the way. A HUGE chunk of the bohemian crowd is gay so it stands to reason a healthy of my friends is gay. You’ll notice I didn’t say “Gay friends” because a person’s sexuality is so off the radar with me but I don’t want to catch any heat for honest observations. The same goes for blacks. I grew up in a black part of Pittsburgh so a large percentage of my friends are black. Growing up that way didn’t make me talk like Justin Timberlake but it did open up this metal head to some awesome Motown as well as R&B stuff. Notice I didn’t say “African-American” because all my black friends HATE that term. OK, I just wanted to get that stuff out of the way early in what I hope turns out to be a series.

Guess what? There WAS a reason why I brought that up. I have to stress to any gay writers out there, realistic hetero pillow talk sounds NOTHING like what you read in Penthouse. I’m not into talking about sex with anyone but my partner but I imagine hetero pillow talk and gay pillow talk is very similar, depending on what’s your bag as a couple. So, friends who end up watching this, the scene with the couple having sex early in the flic actually does establish some stuff and is not indicative of the conversations ahead. Those all seemed very believable. Well, I found them believable given the circumstances. SO its pretty much a clever script and solid acting overcoming a tight budget. Good direction and cinematography as well. There are some really disturbing moment but these moments are earned, not just simple gross out like, I dunno, “Cannibal Holocaust” or something. So check it out. I watched it on Netflix. As thrilled as I am to get notes from readers, do not point out how few stars anything I review has garnered. Pieces of sh1t like “No Strings Attached” gets more stars than whatever? Pfft.

Movies I Almost Missed…

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , on September 17, 2016 by ThommyMac


There are so many GEMS out there, for many reasons, I almost didn’t see. A fair chunk I had passed by because of who the “stars” were. As I mature in my movie enjoyment, I have quit “not seeing” movies because someone I consider a dud is in it. These entries, hopefully the 1st of many, come from a list I had created over at the inimitable The list is getting long enough to where a movie’s numerical place doesn’t mean much. Sometimes forced to watch it for social reasons, I have been surprised by some. Not often, but credit where due. Well, not all are great BUT ALL are worth watching, anyhow. Short descriptions are courtesy of the aforementioned IMDB and are no doubt copyrighted. As you have probably guessed, the accompanying critique is courtesy of yours truly. I will try to post a new one weekly before or immediately after Shabbat. It will depend on the time Shuls starts and when I get to the synagogue.

OK, the first one will be one I just finished watching the other day on Netflix. It is the sadly under rated

Robot Overlords (2014)


IMDB says “Earth has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy. Survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by robot sentries if they venture outside.” With the tagline “Robots Never Lie”

Even though no one ever went broke underestimating the American public, the success of the “Transformers” franchise mystifies me. I mean, I understand spectacles and bombast in a big theater with a 40,000 watt sound system, but come on. What about writing, story, acting, talent? I hate to sound like some milquetoast from the Village or someone whining but I really sympathize. I mean, dismissing the silliness and bad science, Independence Day was a BLAST. Great cast, no winking at the camera, pacing, and the telling of the story was 1st rate. I use that example to show I am not turning my nose up at anything that is successful nor do I have the pretentious “I only watch indies, or foreign films” attitude. Geez, I don’t want to use up what few good sentences I come up with on one film. I mean, I wish I had talent like Stephen King or James Clavell to illustrate a mental image clearly but with wit.

So we start off with some exposition. Not a crawl that lasts as long as some bad Biblical epic, just a couple sentences to establish where we are. I’ve always been partial to the school of thought that the secret of a compelling science fiction or fantasy story is the characters, not the back story\universe it exists in. The back story\universe can be compelling and make it unique but it’s our connections with the characters that drive a story home. The dad freaking, the reaction of the powers that be, and what it does to the kid held the interest that had been grabbed by the premise.

It’s kind of obvious that the budget was balanced between Sir Kingsely, the hottie from the X-files who is aging exquisitely, and then the CGI. This turned out to be a wise decision that works all the way through the flick. As long as Gillian Anderson stays away from any plastic surgery (or sticks to minimal EXPENSIVE stuff) she’s going to age like the still jaw-dropping Jessica Lange. Some unsolicited advice from a very hot blooded guy in his early 50s, don’t try to compete with the teeny boppers. The only ones who find them sexy are their age group and creeps. I filed this flick under substance over style, I just wish I had learned more about the mediators.

OK, I will say it. I, for one, would like to welcome our robot overlords. -T

“Citizen Cohn” (1992) should NOT be so obscure. It is a cinematic GEM.

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2016 by ThommyMac


Anyone who has seen “Citizen Cohn” (1992) has to have been stunned by James Woods riveting performance. An over-used adjective but it perfectly describes his performance. HBO really should have figured out a way to have had that production theatrically released. It really is that good. Before I give an overview or review, take your pick, let’s get a couple things out of the way. The first item takes a little set up and it involves a first person story regarding James Woods. The second is my long time hometown, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Before I forget, Joe Don Baker was AWESOME as Senator “Tail-gunner Joe” McCarthy, as was Lee Grant portraying Mama Cohn, and Pat Hingle (R.I.P.) nailing J. Edgar Hoover. Pay attention to the small but great part with Frederic Forrest doing Dashiell Hammet a great justice. Special supporting role mentions: Daniel Von Bargen was PERFECTION as Clyde Tolson and Novella Nelson was dynamite as the 2nd Annie Lee Moss. BUY it, watch it and see what I mean.

OK, now the 1st item. My youngest brother Tony was a commo guy in the Army and proud of it. While he was in the Army (during the 1st Gulf dukeroo), I was a supervisor at a lock box owned by Mellon Bank, N.A. We were electronic\AV\photo\videogame geeks from the gate, seems only natural in hindsight we’d end up IT guys. Our sister ended up an uber-successful IT engineer as well. The point is we were pre-Windows IT guys and Tony was a beast with phones. Indeed, sometimes I go to call him for some advice out in the field only to remember he, along with Joey, are no longer amongst the living. It’s a terrible thing to bury both your little brothers. So in winter 1991-92, he gets a service call to the William Penn (now Westin Wm Penn). It’s a beautiful place, old school hotel, very nice. Where Major league baseball players, stars, visiting parasites and other celebrities, etc. stay. So Tony’s company gets a service call for the Penn. Hurry, trouble with a very important phone. HE worked in Greentree, which is fairly close to town when all the bridges are open. He gets there and is met by a stunning woman who wants to make sure he has everything he needs to fix it. It’s in a private suite on the exceptionally expensive floor. She knocks, he hears a voice, she pops her head in. She turns around and waves Tony in. The place reeked of reefer but was pretty orderly. It’s James Woods. Normally “celebrities” don’t handle mundane stuff so that was indicative that he was a pretty good egg. It turned out to be a bad ground or two bare ends touching, and easy fix. While Tony was working on it, he heard “Hey, kid. You want a soda?” He stands up and Mr. Woods tosses him a Coke from the medium fridge. I guess high ups get a little better than a mini-fridge. So that’s it. Worth repeating since I have met a few so-called celebrities myself and 99% were mean, rotten, spoiled brats. It was great to hear one treated the repairman nicely. Rock on, Mr. Woods.

OK, now for the flick about Roy and Pittsburgh as a co-star. A huge portion of this flick was filmed in good ol’ Pittsburgh. We had many films made here, the football stadium for Gotham City being the latest. Wait, it was that Tom Cruise flick where the hero in the books was like 6’3” and 280 and all the fan boys were pissed. Anyhow, supposedly late 90s the unions chased the work away. I dunno but there seems to be lots of productions still messing up traffic. Well, traffic is always bad in a place with three major rivers and surrounded by hills. So the film has an added treat of seeing Pittsburgh filling in for D.C., London, and some German city. I’ll be watching it again and will find out. It’s a generic big German city but our city county building is where all the baggage is wheeled through. I never noticed the amount of baggage keeps increasing with each city. Nice touch. Heck, Abe Feller splats on the street in front of where I bought smokes at lunchtime for the 6 years I worked across the street. And the place where Mr. Woods was staying was where Abe took his swan dive from.

After Roy has to eat a little crow because of FBI agents, he walks down steps in front of a neo-classical building that is owned by CMU. J. Edgar in the form of Pat Hingle comes up 5th avenue (in real life the bus lane, all the rest of the traffic is inbound) and tells him taking a hit for the FBI is a personal favour to him. The red hunt ends with the famous Weller question. The next special guest “Pittsburgh” appearance is when Roy the wonder boy walks out of a drunken McCarthy’s office. It’s the lobby of the Frick building. Indeed you can see the bust of Henry in the background. I have been told peoples rosaries and crosses grow warm and uncomfortably hot the nearer you get to the bust. I’m Jewish so I wouldn’t know. When Roy is escorting Iva at the opera, that is the hallway at Pittsburgh’s Soldiers and Sailors, the same place Hannibal Lector was caged and escaped from. When Cohn’s mother passes and he says the very last of Mourner’s Kaddish he pours her ashes in to what is intimated to be the East river BUT its actually the Allegheny River acting as a stand in. The scene where he is partying on his yacht and all those dudes are dancing on the deck and the quay  was filmed over the north shore on the aforementioned Allegheny river. I think the nightclub there was named Donzi’s back then.  There is a shot of him and Peter leaving a building and getting into a nice car, possibly limo, and his driver informs him he heard about disbarment hearing on the radio. It was Iva, the chick Roy borrowed $100K from and stonewalled her for years then tried to claim it was for past legal fees. Anyhow, the building is the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education and it’s Bellefield Avenue facing Forbes and the Carnegie Natural History Museum.

So, that’s a loose round up of Pittsburgh acting as many towns AND being James Woods’ co-star. Thanks for reading this.




“The little boy no one liked grew up to be ………….. Roy Cohn. And now you know the rest of the story. Good Day!”

Citizen Cohn, 1992

Trekkies 1997 A Very Biased review

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , on May 2, 2016 by ThommyMac

I really wished I didn’t read Outlaw Vern’s review first. No matter how I try, it is influencing me at this very second. I mean, his style is too unique to copy but his observations match many of mine. I guess I’ll just write this and let the chips fall where they may. 1st thing not mentioned by the better film reviewers is just how many times you gotta watch the f*cking film in question. Or maybe some of them do. I forget.

Disclaimers: I do not know any of the people in the film personally although me and “The Commander” have emailed back and forth a little bit. Gabriel’s father may actually be a nice guy who just happens to come across as a creepy punk, the chick who married the dentist may genuinely love the dude and only superficially meets all the usual criteria of being a gold-digger. It is also just as possible she is and the dentist don’t care as long as she keeps doing the things that got him to marry her in the 1st place. It is also very likely that I am  just jealous that Denise can make fun of the folks who guarantee her an income for life and actually make some more money making fun of said folks. As biased as this review is, an unbiased appraisal of her skills shows she is a better actress than many of the ones who took home an O*car (I mean a gold statuette from a certain academy) during my lifetime. So far, anyhow. I do have a news alert for the dentist’s last name. He ever tries to jettison her and there WILL be a Snapped episode. Count on it.

Queue credits and it’s “A Film By Some Guy I have Never Heard Of”. To be fair, I am pretty sure he has never heard of me. There is a clip of the guy who played Chekov making some snide remark about ST:TOS followed by the first of many “Punch my face Puh-Leeze!” characters, the dipstick who made up the Klingon language. There is a “Dr.” before his name but since there is no MD after it, he can bugger off. Dire consequences? From him? Not in my neck of the woods, bucko. Then some medicine man who seems a decent enough bloke, followed by the mighty James Doohan. There are some more introductory clips of fans, fanatics, and stars from the show. The very first time I saw this was many years ago when I still drank and the clip of Douglas Marcks made me drop my beer and laugh so hard I had trouble breathing. There were only two other times in my life that I can remember laughing that hard. Once was listening to Sebastian Cabot do a cover of “Like a Rolling Stone” and the other time was in the Army. It would take too long to set up and explain but it was funny. He\She\It starts off with a brazen lie, a promise of things to come. This person is exactly where John and Jane Q. Public get their ideas about TVs from. and it ain’t doing anybody any favors. The intro clips wrap up with a huckster who turns out to be a very easy to dislike person. It’s a good a time as any to mention I am Jewish. I bring this up only because I sincerely wonder where all this anti-Semitism comes from. Well, the huckster answers that question if only a little bit. So we are inadvertently getting two negative stereotypes being reinforced within the first couple minutes of run time.

Then comes a new set of clips to get us acquainted with the Expo scene I guess. Our heroine gets handed a mike as she bounds onstage. I am 99% sure its the Shatner lookalike handing her the mike. I just can’t see big Bill standing aside and handing a microphone to anyone. I do mean ANYONE from the Pope to Jonas Salk. The clip also reminds us just how pitiful the Klingon fans are. Then we get Denise doing a little sashay down memory lane on how she ended  up with a seat on the gravy train. I would call BS on some of it but since I don’t know her, we can give her a pass. Then a montage letting us know this is a global phenomenon. The gay guys from the USS battle Queen seem like they’d be OK neighbors. I was sort of bummed at how unkind the years were to the now deceased Yeoman Rand. If memory serves me correctly, her character in the ST:TOS reruns gave me the first stiffy that I can remember. Her or Georgette from the local Saturday night horror show. I hope my kids don’t read these. Then again the youngest is 15 so whatever. This is sort of a segue into introducing Gabriel Koerner. His name has an umlaut which may be indicative of what a tool his dad seems to be.

I guess my memory of the sequel is intruding on my memory of Gabriel’s dad. His mom is never shown which says a good bit. When showing off the “Roddenberry” Slickster dad intimates “I spent a lot of time in vans, that’s fer sure.” Oh, really? I doubt its him getting laid unless it involved chloral hydrate or a .357 under some poor woman’s chin. On that happy note we move on to Barbara (Bobby to her friends) Adams. She is probably known best as the person who wore her Federation Alliance uniform to the Whitewater jury selection. During our email exchanges I wanted to ask her if the Clintons put her up to it but the right moment never presented itself. I went to a Vo-tech high school and printing was the trade I learned before US industry took a dirt nap in 1981. I was also an artist at a silk screen shop after the Army so we had a good bit in common. She is a very intelligent woman who is also a pretty good artist. As funny as her antics with the Grand Jury may seem, how many folks live up to what few principles they have? You ROCK, Barbara! Vulcan-like stoicism indeed.

Then it’s some quality time with the cast. The guy who played Dr. McCoy and the guy who played Sulu both seem like very down to earth (no pun intended) cats who realize they hit the karma lottery. This was followed by Leonard (R.I.P.) Nimoy and Nichelle Nichols who both also seemed to be humbled by the experience. I know an awesome woman named after Nichelle Nichols. Like her namesake, she is also an intelligent, attractive, and awesome woman. Happily married, but still. There is a peek into an auction that reinforces what dick-heads most Klingon wannabe toughs are and also a nod to the fact Whoopi Goldberg couldn’t be funny if her life depended on it.  THEN comes the huckster. I walked away from this exchange feeling he is a money-grubbing assh0le but slightly impressed at his ability to fleece suckers in almost any situation. To the sucker who bought ‘the Q virus” I would like to say hangovers are not catchy.

This is followed up by recollections that are neither interesting nor surprising in any way. The other woman who became the final Mrs. Roddenberry shares what she thought to be a touching memory but almost gives away the fact they waited until the poor sap was dead as to not have to pay him squat. Then comes some of the more interesting bits. The fellow Jew who seems like the uncle you make sure you talk to at a family gathering and Starbase Dental. All of the help at Starbase Dental are attractive in their own way BUT little miss gold-digger is RIGHT there, making sure they do not say anything untoward. I imagine she is also making sure she does not become dethroned in the same manner she ascended to the throne. We are then treated to a talk with the aforementioned Douglas Marcks. He claimed to have watched the show since the 60s which is utter bullshit. I am 52 as I write this, and I was 35 when I first saw this. Star Trek didn’t go into syndication until the early 1970s and I started watching in 1974. Then again, pathological lying is the very least of this jackass’s problems. He is so jarring that the creepiness of the next fan wasn’t apparent to me until multiple viewings.

Yep, the “Spiner Femme” chick scared me more than any other person profiled. Mr. Spiner came across a a very likable and down-to-earth guy, even more so then some of the other seemingly nice folks in the cast. That being said, I sure hope his security folks have this chick’s vitals. I mean I have had a thing for Joey Heatherton since I was 10 but my girl doesn’t have to worry about me stalking Joey.  This is followed by a pretty cool story by Mr. Doohan, in turn followed by an ego stroke for big boy Billy. The interesting thing in this vignette is a contemptible Klingon chick and her pushy silliness. Teaching Kindergarten kids about diversity? OH, come on. They are the very models of not giving a shit about someone’s color or background. I hope some dyke beats her ass. Speaking of dykes, the chick from Voyager almost breaks her arm patting herself on the back. This is followed by a very charming pair of dykes who host a radio show. Charming if you ignore the show itself, that is. Then some really irritating chick who was the only f*ckable woman at the convention until someone said she had a bit part on one of the may ST series.

We get talks with more fans, most of whom seem ok folks. Then its two “kooky” radio morning hosts who really need the sh1t slapped out of them. Giving it some thought, that is probably true of almost any radio morning show duo with the very notable exception of Bob and Tom. Fearing that the irritation level was dropping they brought the assh0le Klingon linguist back for more silliness. Then some more of  the Klingons themselves. Gawd do I want to really slap them around. One of the few comments I have ever received was from someone who said I “remind them of a bully from some 1980s sports movie”. Well, thank you. If my time in the infantry has only taught me one thing is true badasses do not have to point out what badasses they are. They simply be. Around the hour mark teaches us a little about the theory of relativity. Its felt like a week and the Klingons remind you of why you hate them. A pretty cool kid talks about his very cool cat. This is followed by some jerk who really wishes HE was the one picked for jury duty. That’s all hindsight, bub. You ain’t got the balls Barbara has.

We are then treated to the biggest losers the film crew could dig up and then the now dead and painfully unfunny Fred Travalena does a closing number. It’s the same act he has did in Vegas since Hitler was a corporal and then we get some more silliness with the credits. I would like to point out to the folks at Starbase Dental and Denise, James Doohan lost his finger fighting at Normandy. Maybe you heard of it? Grrrr  If you like any of the Star Trek incarnations, don’t bother, it’ll just piss you off. If you don’t like Star Trek or never understood it, well you can have a hoot.  Once you have that hoot, you’ll feel bad. Like beating up someone who you thought was making fun of you only to find out he idolized you and was imitating you in sincerity. That will scar you forever. Or so I been told, I mean. uh heh heh. Is this thing still on?

BTW. What’s it feel like to be beamed?