Star Trek 50th Anniversary
Hooray! 50 years ago this month, the first episode of Star Trek aired! Since I’ve only seen a few movies here and there, I’ve never been crazy-passionate about the franchise, but I adore movies like The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek (2009).
Each great sci fi franchise has an overarching theme, and Star Trek has what is probably the most utopian; through peaceful exploration, we can overcome our prejudices and establish a greater intergalactic society.
Why? There’s no reason for this
In 1994, there was a blessing on Hollywood. For whatever reason, it was deemed that that year would present us with a cavalcade of cinematic classics. Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, The Professional, Legend of the Drunken Master, even Clerks! But one of that year’s films that were unanimously loved was The Lion King.
What to say about The Lion King? It’s a bona fide classic, and regarded as one of the best Disney films ever to grace the scene. Beautiful visuals, wonderful music, stellar voice performances, and compelling characters. It’s a damn near perfect movie, isn’t it? It’s almost like there’s nothing that can be added to it to improve it. Right?
Jon Favreau, director of films as Iron Man, Elf, and more recently, The Jungle Book (2016) , recently posted on social media: “Excited for my next project,” underneath a shot from The Lion King (or, on twitter, accompanied by a lion emoji and a crown emoji). Jon Favreau’s most recent production of The Jungle Book reproduced the Disney classic in live-action. That is to say, the one major human role was played by a human, and all the other roles were CGI animals. The Jungle Book met with much critical acclaim, so, given that success, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. But I feel like since there’s no human characters in The Lion King, it feels as though there isn’t a precedent for a live-action/CGI remake.
I just feel as though Disney shouldn’t be constantly remaking the movies, but instead should continue working on new movies. I thought about, as a means of explaining what I mean, listing all the live-action remakes that they’ve done or are planning to do, but there are so many it’d be easier to list all the Disney classics they’re not remaking. My point is this; Disney has been on such a hot-streak with movies such as Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia… and yet they feel the need to live-action Pete’s Dragon or Winnie the Pooh? I’m sure these movies will be good, but their efforts would be better spent on making new classics, as they’ve been doing for the past few years.
The biggest award ceremony in television happened earlier this month, and Game of Thrones won a whole treasure trove of awards, with “Battle of the Bastards” winning six alone, which is more than any individual episode of television. Thrones also took home the big one, Outstanding Drama Series. The program now holds more emmys (38 total) than any other drama program.
One thing about these Emmys that I am certainly glad about is that Peter Dinklage didn’t win Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series. Hear me out. If you read this blog frequently, then you know how I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones and Peter Dinklage, but he’s already won two Emmy Awards for this role (In season 1 and season 5), and he had significantly less screen time this season. Dinklage’s character, Tyrion, didn’t do anything tremendously interesting this season, and though Dinklage brought his usual charm and charisma to every scene, but nothing really transcendent as we saw in Season 4. Now his purpose in the show is just to offer great one-liners like “I drink and I know things.” He’s been nominated for the award every year, and I feel as though this year they just nominated him out of habit. The award instead went to Ben Mendelsohn of Bloodline.
Additionally, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story won five awards (all of which I wanted to go to Fargo), and Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her fifth Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy award for Veep, which is her sixth overall.
For my American readers, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming election. Incidentally, Game of Thrones has heard about it too. In honor of it, they’ve launched a tie-in site that does a mock-election for the next leader of Westeros. You can vote for Jon Snow with his running mate Lyanna Mormont, Daenerys and her running mate Tyrion, Cersei and her running mate Qyburn, or Littlefinger and Sansa.
I think that the comparison between the Iron Throne and America’s presidency is relevant because Thrones really is all about power dynamics. Also it’s neat to think that each character (slightly) parallels an issue we might have in the real world. Jon’s struggle with the coming winter is said to be an allegory for climate change. Daenerys’ crusade to free the slaves of Essos might remind us of racial tension in our world. As seen in the finale, Cersei violently separated Church and State. Littlefinger, as master of coin, represents an interest in the economy (though saying that’s a bit of a stretch, since Littlefinger has come to represent so much more).
Anyway, the tie-in site had a neat feature where you can check out each campaign’s platform and video ads, and, for a while, you could even vote for whoever you want to rule. Since then, however, voting has closed, with Jon winning 35% of the vote, Dany coming in second with 32%, Littlefinger getting a surprising 31%, and Cersei garnering a not-surprising 2%.
I find this to be an insightful look into the fandom, see which characters are much beloved, and which are not. But what really blows me away is Littlefinger getting 31% of the vote; Sure, Littlefinger is one of the most fascinating characters to watch, but what kind of ruler would he be? Is anyone genuinely rooting for him? I voted for Dany because I thought she’d make the best ruler, and is one of my favorite characters on the show. And c’mon, she’s the rightful queen, right?
Deathstroke in the Upcoming Batman film
Ben Affleck, the man behind Batman’s cowl for however long it takes for Warner Bros. to reboot the DCEU, recently shared some test footage from his upcoming Batman Solo film. The footage shows badass assassin Deathstroke.
Deathstroke has increased in popularity after his appearances on shows like Teen Titans and Arrow, and has now become a mainstay in the DC Universe.
At first, there was no announcement regarding who would play Deathstroke, and those of us who watched the Teen Titans cartoon hoped that golden-voiced Ron Perlman might reprise his role, but it has since been announced that Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello will play the role.
The upcoming film is said to have many of the villains in Batman’s rogues gallery, however, further plot details have not been revealed. With the introduction of Deathstroke, it is thought that the plot may resemble that which was seen in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins, in which the Black Mask (a Gotham City mobster) places a bounty on Batman’s head, leading to him being pursued by characters like Deathstroke, Deadshot, Bane, Killer Croc, and various others, all of whom are trying to kill him. The game encountered lukewarm reception, so it would be interesting to see Ben Affleck attempt to bring this story to the big screen.
This month, we lost prolific actor Gene Wilder. Known for appearances in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein, Wilder’s quirky charm offered some of the most iconic performances of the 1970’s. Who can forget seeing Willy Wonka sing “Pure Imagination?” Who played Dr. Frankenstein better? Gene Wilder was truly a talented artist, and he will be missed.
- Favorite Star Trek Series/Movie?
- Are you excited for the remake of The Lion King?
- Did you watch the Emmys? Did your favorite show win?
- Who would you vote for to rule Westeros? Daenerys, right?
- Are you excited for Deathstroke to be in the new Batman movie? Like the casting? Like the idea of a similar story to Arkham Origins?
- What’s your favorite Gene Wilder movie?
Posts for September: