Kirk and Spock (1982)…
…and Spock and Kirk (2013).
Director Nicholas Meyer with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner on the set of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” 1982.
I once attended a midnight screening of the Cadillac of Star Trek films — that would be numero dos, The Wrath of Khan – wherein the projector bulb burnt out right in the middle of Mr. Spock’s heroic death scene. If the theater hadn’t given us four free movie passes to compensate for this effrontery against all that is good and decent, I would’ve suspected an especially cruel prank, perhaps orchestrated by a partisan of the bloodless, squeaky-clean Next Generation-flavored Star Trek, which I suppose is okay if vanilla is what you like. Naturally, I had to dig up my Khan DVD at home and watch the final 10 minutes before I could go to sleep that night.
All of which is to say that my love for The Wrath of Khan is mean and true. And it fascinates me that that film, more than any other of the hundreds and hundreds of Star Trek items (a great number of which — like the entire Deep Space Nine and Voyager and Enterprise series, for instance — I’ve never seen or read), is the primary source document that continues to guide the cinematic Star Trek universe, especially in the heavily Khan-indebted new movie Star Trek into Darkness.
J.J. Abrams’s second Trek film takes a generation-old, backstage fight over the meaning and purpose of Star Trek and drags it right to the center of the camera-flare-buffered frame. I make my case today on NPR’s Monkey See blog. Continue reading
Christopher Henley and Brian Hemmingsen.
Allow myself to quote myself: Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land is a 38-year-old Rubik’s Cube covered in Rorschach blots, a confounding examination of memory and masculinity that resists easy interpretation like an Aikido master shrugging off an unwanted bear hug. I wrestle with that bear — er, WSC Avant Bard’s production of that bear-hug-avoiding Aikido master of a play, that is — in this week’s Washington City Paper.
Louis Butelli as Feste in Folger’s TWELFTH NIGHT. Photo by Scott Suchman.
No, Elvis Costello has not embarked upon a mandolin tour with Steve Nieve. That’s Louis Butelli, whose performance as Feste is one of the highlights of the Folger Theatre’s new production of Twelfth Night, which I review in today’s Washington City Paper along with Taffety Punk’s spooky The Golem. Grab yourself a copy wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.
(If you click on it, it’ll get big enough to be legible.)
Why yes, I am pretty goddamn pleased with the party mix I cooked up, at the invitation of managing editor Jon Fischer, for the Washington City Paper’s farewell-to-their-building party on Friday night. Some local pandering, some classic funk, just a pinch of rank sentimentality, a few reluctant sops to the 21st century. Something for everyone! Who is me or reasonably similar!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a heterosexual white male in my mid-thirties.
“Full Disclosure,” Fugazi, from The Argument, 2001. Track 24. Continue reading
Directed by Richard Donner, 1987. Black submittd a script for 1989′s “Lethal Weapon 2″ — one that killed off Mel Gibson’s character, Martin Riggs — but Warner Bros. rejected it as too grim.
Directed by Tony Scott, 1991. I wish I didn’t have stuff like the knowledge that the logo for this movie uses the same combination of fonts used on the poster for the 1988 action comedy “Midnight Run” taking up valuable real estate in my brain.
Directed by John McTiernan, 1993.
Directed by Renny Harlin, 1996
Directed, at last, by Shane Black, 2005
Naturally you’ll be rushing out to see Iron Man 3 this weekend. I’m afraid that film won’t make a lick of goddamn sense to you if you do not read my brief recap of the career of its co-screenwriter & director, Shane Black, for The Village Voice.
Some poor guy died. Hey, check out my awesome photos from the race!
I’ve waited a few days to write about my experience running the Tough Mudder last Saturday, both because I’ve had a busy week and because I didn’t — don’t — know how to address the fact that someone, a guy substantially younger than me named Avishek Sengupta, drowned during the event. Obviously, that’s a tragedy. I hope his family and friends will find some respite from their grief.
My teammates and I were all Mudder first-timers who regarded the race with intimidation and did our best to prepare for it. We joked with one another about signing the mandatory participant waiver, cheekily referred to as the DEATH WAIVER on the Tough Mudder website. But you don’t think much of it. Walk into any gym and they’ll probably make you sign something before they let you near a treadmill. And anyway you’re more likely to buy it in a car accident on your way to the race than you are while participating in it. Aren’t you?
The arduousness of the race is the Tough Mudder’s main selling point. It’s the Fight Club scenario. There are a lot white-collar shlubs like me, people of some means and privilege (I paid $161 to register) who sit staring at computers all day but would like to think of ourselves as physically hardy. Crossing a Tough Mudder finish line earns you bragging rights, plus a sporty orange headband and a free beer. (“You look like the bad guy in an 80s movie set at a ski resort,” my friend Liz told me when I showed up for a drinking session the day after the race in my hard-won headband. I regret nothing.) Continue reading
Colin Carmody and Steve Pickering in WALLENSTEIN.
My enthusiastic review of the Shakespeare Theatre’s ironicized and much-slimmed-down new version of Wallenstein, an epic of the Thirty Years War first performed in 1798, is in today’s Washington City Paper.