Se we are about a week away from heading off to the amazing Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas and I literally couldn’t be more excited. I have been watching old episodes on NetFlix and more than a few times have caught myself humming the fight theme song (if you don’t know what that is odds are you really shouldn’t even be reading this blog).
To say I have Star Trek on the mind lately is a bit of an understatement and last night while watching the Galileo Seven it struck me how many super cool villains and aliens they managed to create without the benefit of CGI or even a real budget. I did some research but found that every list out there for Star Trek villains is cluttered up with all the TNG and DS9 villains, which in my opinion is kind of prosaic. Saying that Q is super cool or the Borg is an evil race is like saying ice cream tastes good or chewing on broken glass is a bad idea. Also, it seems like every list can’t seem to get away from the idea that the villains from Nemesis or First Contact were something more the cliche filler. Therefore I have taken it upon myself to compose a list of the greatest villains from the the Original Series.
Actually, this isn’t so much a stretch. If you take into account the fact that the writers were coming up with these guys without the benefit of 50 years of science fiction to fall back on these aliens (plus a few humans) are amazingly cool. I also give them credit for writing a depth that, in spite of more movie resources, seems to be missing from a lot of modern Trek villains. All the images, by the way, are from the Star Trek T Shirt category.
15. Mugatu, from A Private Little War. A space yeti with a unicorn horn, spikes growing out of it’s spine, and poisonous fangs? The only way this guy could be any cooler is if he could play the banjo and his farts cured cancer. He’s only at number 15 because in the episode he really had a minor role, but OMG awesome.
14. Evil Kirk, from the Enemy Within. I know I listed this episodes as one of my worst for TOS and I stand by that belief. However, even I have to admit crazed, super sweaty cheesy lighting Kirk was pretty damned cool.
13. The Vians, from the Empath. I know these are pretty much the same guys from the Cage and the Menagerie, but here instead of creating fantasy worlds to get Captain Pike to mate with a super hot girl they are using torture and death to get a girl to pretty much kill herself. If you really think aliens are above cruelty and vivisection you need to go watch Fire in the Sky.
12. The Earps, from Spectre of the Gun. Plus Doc Holiday. These guys really had the whole menacing “impending doom” down to a science. I have a few humans on this list, although technically since these guys were projections of the Melkotians they really were aliens.
11. The Buffalo, from the Man Trap. I can honestly say as a kid this was the grossest thing I had ever seen to date (I have since seen things that would probably cause all your internal organs to explode, but will save that for another post). Also, the suckers on the fingers were an extremely nice touch.
10. Evil Spock, from Mirror Mirror. What in the universe could possible be cooler than Spock? How about an evil Spock, with no moral hesitation to kill people? Plus I think the beard was a really good look for Nimoy.
9. Charlie Evans, from Charlie X. This poor kid. All messed up with super powers. I just watched this episode the other night and his fate always makes me sad.
8. The Cheronians, from Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Say what you want about Star Trek, but subtlety is not one of it’s defining characteristics. When Gene Roddenberry has a point he wants made he tends to do it with a sledgehammer. However, as a parallel for human racism these two were pretty much on the mark.
7. Anton Karidian/Kodos the Executioner, from the Conscience of the King. Maybe it’s because he was playing a Shakespearean actor and I always find those guys impressive, but this guy really gripped me. Human, I know and therefore boring, but still very cool in my book. Of course it could be said that the real villain was his daughter.
6. The Horta, from the Devil in the Dark. I can honestly say this was the one episode that scared the living crap out of me at age seven. The Horta was so freaking terrifying I had a hard time watching it. Of course, looking back on it as an adult I can see it looks like a reject from H.R. Puffinstuff, but I will say this is a perfect example of the show getting as much as possible out of no budget. This episode actually showed what could be accomplished with excellent use of lighting.
5. Harcourt Fenton Mudd, from Mudd’s Women and I, Mudd. I actually got into a debate with a guy on this character. I will admit he is a cheesy as it gets, but there is something in his rapscallion, amoral approach to life that really appeals to me. I wish I had his panache and savvy. I also think the crews treatment and interaction with him, especially Kirk, was really entertaining and well done. Also, he was the first man I ever saw wearing an earring.
4. The Romulan Commander, from Balance of Terror. I listed this as my all time favorite episode in my list of best TOS shows, but honestly while the Romulan commander was amazingly cool I don’t think he was the best villain. However, he definitely was one of the best and was probably the villain I most connected with.
3. Ruk, from What are Little Girls Made Of? It’s freaking Lurch in space! Lurch who is both willing and capable of killing guys! How can this be anything less than awesome??? Also, I was 6’4″ as a Freshman in high school and have always had a bad habit of looming over people. One of my nicknames back then was Lurch, so when I saw him on Star Trek I was extremely happy.
2. The Gorn Captain, from Arena. I’m actually kind of disappointed in myself for my choice for numbers 2 and 1 as they are so obvious. I hate being obvious. However, the Gorn captain is so cool he makes my bones ache. Big, bad, and tough as hell. He kicked seven kinds of hell out of Kirk every time they encountered each other, only to fall to Kirks underhanded and scheming trap using black powder weapons. “Guns don’t kill aliens. Starship captains armed with spikes do”.
1. Khan Noonien Singh, from Space Seed. And the next most obvious choice. I know. Boring boring boring. However, Khan was truly an amazing villain. It just goes to show what happens when you combine a great, well written character with an amazing character actor like Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino. What a great villain.
Well, that’s my list. Feel free to comment here if you feel I missed a good one, or if you think I might have given too much credence to one (I expect to hear about Harry Mudd shortly). I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this. I had a lot of fun writing it. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu, and be sure to read any of my other Star Trek, movie review, or dating advice posts here. If you have an off topic question or suggestion feel free to email me at email@example.com. I might see a movie tonight (cheap night at the theater down the street) so look for a review tomorrow. Talk to you soon.
I have no idea why this one came to my mind. We are getting ready for the Star Trek convention and Dave has been gushing on about how Kirk is better than Picard, so I guess I was wondering how he would do against the great 007, James Bond.
It’s an interesting question. Kirk has of course mastered all the shoulder roll related martial arts the galaxy has to offer. He is the veteran of numerous fights not only against humans but aliens as well, and he must have learned something every time he got his ass handed to him by Spock.
On the other hand, James Bond is the consummate spy, trained in all the deadly arts. Not only that, but in a weird way he is way smoother that Kirk. Also, it is written into Kirk’s character that he upon occasion loses, whereas Bond pretty much only lets himself lose when he wants to hear the villains doomsday plan. I don’t think he can lose an honest fight, except maybe against Jaws.
I think I’m going to have to give this one to James Bond. He has mowed his way through any number military men, and I don’t think Kirk has the style to beat him.
The Kirk image I found in Dave’s massive Star Trek t shirt collection.
So I saw some guys playing the new 40K yesterday and that got me thinking about it again. I also picked up a book on the Iron Hands, who if you know 40K you know are really into Dreadnaughts. Thus I come to this question: Who would win in a fight between a Dreadnaught and en ED209?
Honestly this one seems pretty obviously in the favor of the Dreadnaught. Centuries of battle experience, super human reflexes, and a large variety of weapon options just give it the flexibility. However, for the sake of this fight let’s say it was not equipped with any missile launchers, lascannons, or any other good long range vehicle killers. It think it this case it would still win, but would take a beating as it moved up to the ED209. If you recall the ED209 had some mini missile launchers and it’s main guns seemed bolter sized. However, I believe that once the Dreadnaught got up close enough it would be able to beat the ED209 into scrap with it’s power fist. Not a lot the ED could do with no arms to speak of.
The image I got from Dave’s movie t shirt collection. There isn’t much he doesn’t have, although I’m still waiting for his 40K tees.
Worth watching IMO.
I know I’m definitely going against most of the other reviewers out there and my own general inclination by saying I kind of liked this film. It had it’s issues for sure, and if I were less favorably inclined towards the cast might have taken a more severe approach to the review, but in general I found it fun and entertaining.
I have seen a number of other reviews liken it to a sci fi Tower Heist and I think that is where the line gets drawn. If you enjoyed Tower Heist the odds are you’ll enjoy this film. If you did not enjoy Tower Heist then no amount of humor will make this film watchable for you.
That’s not to say some of the gripes I’m reading are not legitimate, because they are. This film is infested with plot holes, extremely low brow humor, and story points delivered in bulk from Cliche’s ‘R Us. To say this movie is derivative of other films is like saying a footprint is derivative of a shoe. If you are looking for new ideas, great script, compelling story, or great special effects keep on walking. However, if you like rated R humor that does not rely on excrement jokes and enjoy Ben Stiller than by all means stop by and sit a spell (101 minutes, to be exact).
This film is the quintessential (a less upbeat reviewer might say regurgitated) alien invasion film (Mars Attacks image courtesy of the Movie T Shirt category). Evan (Ben Stiller-Tower Heist, Tropic Thunder, Zoolander) is the manager of the local Costco and loves the podunk town he lives in. The night security guard is horrifically murdered and he takes it on himself to form a neighborhood watch. He is joined by a few flowers of the cliche character garden: Bob (Vince Vaughn-Wedding Crasher, Dodgeball, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), a suburbanite dad with a high school mentality and a 16 year old daughter with whom he fights all the time; Franklin (Jonah Hill-21 Jump Street, Superbad, Moneyball), a sociopathic gun nut who dreams of being a cop; and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade-mainly the I.T. Crowd and if you haven’t watched it yet go ahead and stop calling yourself a nerd) a recent transplant from the UK who wants to be more involved in the community.
The boys start patrolling and trouble arises between Evan, who wants to find the murderer, and Bob who wants to just treat it like boys night out. A series of oddball incidents lead them to the inevitable conclusion that they are being invaded by aliens and that some of them walk among them in human form.
Honestly, that’s pretty much it. The rest of the film is more or less comedic filler. They find an alien device that is pretty cool. Stuff gets blown up, cliche’s get ground like cayenne pepper, and the low brow humor takes a side trip down Stupid Lane in the last 10 minutes. The end.
The stars. I was honestly laughing, and so was most of the audience. Two stars. I am a fan of pretty much every main character actor in here, especially Richard Avoade. I thought they all delivered a decent performance. One star. A couple of the recurring gags were worth the effort. One star. Overall a fun time watching. Two stars. Total: seven stars.
The black holes. Either the writers have collectively never seen an alien invasion film and really thought they were coming up with something new and cool, or they just didn’t really give a damn. One black hole. Some oddball plot holes and continuity issues, as well as the inevitable alien issue of the aliens being unkillable death warriors at the beginning and then falling over to a Super Soaker at the end. One black hole. Cliche-a-rama, and I’m not just talking about alien invasion cliche’s. One black hole. When the alien weakness is revealed it is so painfully obvious that Seth Rogan and the rest of the writers were stoned when they thought of it I could smell the pot smoke. One black hole for literally dropping face first into the gutter. The special effects seemed to waver back and fourth between decent CGI and rubber suit a go go. One black hole. Total: five black holes.
So a final total of two stars. Not the best movie I’ve seen, but at least I didn’t want to drown myself afterward. In fact the last couple months have not been too bad for films. Most of the are at least mediocre. Should you see it? Sure, if you liked Tower Heist and Attack the Block, which is what this movie is the illegitimate offspring of. However, this movie gains nothing for being in a big theater so consider Netflix (in fact, I can pretty much guarantee this film’s viewing success if you have the forethought to arrange for alcohol and/or wacky tobaccy before watching it). Date movie? Meh. Not a lot really going on to get her excited, if you know what I mean. Too nerdy and goofy by half. Bathroom break? Nothing in this film really requires viewing to maintain the story continuity, but if I were to pick a moment I’d say the time Evan’s wife tries to seduce him with candles and a teddy. Not a lot of story happening there.
Thanks for reading, and I apologize for not getting more reviews out there. I have been super busy with Comic Con and now I have to get ready for the huge Star Trek convention I am attending in Las Vegas. On a side note, if you happen to live in Vegas and are or know a cute nerd girl who wants to earn some money working at my booth August 8th-12th (2012) feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (you can also email me with movie questions or suggestions). If you have comments about this review or movie feel free to post them here, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Talk to you soon.
I have done a few of these who would win posts and they are kind of fun. For the most part I go with traditional combat characters but for today I am going to roll with a more comical fight: Homer Simpson versus Peter Griffin.
Now, they are both pretty stupid and quick to violence, but Peter has a certain canniness and homy wisdom that I think Homer is missing. I think if this were a more James Bond style fight, with all kinds of plots and devices, I would give it to Peter.
On the other hand, let us not forget that Homer was at one point a professional boxer, and at another point had a job having a cannon ball shot into his stomach. He can definitely take a punch, and in some circumstances Peter is more than a little wimpy on things like barked shins and so on. Almost to the point of being a little bitch IMO. I am going to have to give the regular fist fight to Homer.
This image I grabbed from Dave’s TV Show T shirts. I love this episode.