I made it to a Memorial Day matinee of Star Trek, but then real life got in the way of writing up this review. I suppose I could have said “Okay as a summer blockbuster, bad as Star Trek”, but one of our meat and potatoes topics deserves a deeper explanation.


The script has all kinds of problems, but the biggest ones are the changes to the three main characters. At its core, classic Trek is about Kirk, Spock, and McCoy and the relationships between them. Sure there’s warp speed, phasers, Klingons, and “Beam me up, Scotty”, but the exploration of an ethos through those three main characters is what has made classic Trek compelling for 40 years. Unfortunately, this movie redefines the Kirk-Spock characters and their relationship into something resembling a buddy, cop movie. Spock, the more experience detective who plays things by the book even though he yearns for justice, and Kirk, the young hot-shot, loose cannon who’ll stop at nothing to bring down the bad guys. Anybody game for a series of “Lethal Weapon in Space” movies?

Most of the other story problems come from the attempt to bridge the previous Trek universe with the rebooted version. Generations was generally skewered for the hoops it jumped through to link the classic Trek and Next Generation time periods, but there is a lot of praise for this attempt though it is equally flawed if not more so. Note to writers, something has gone amiss when you need to take 5 minutes in the middle of the movie to explain the time travel scenario that produced the film’s antagonist. I think a clean reboot, ala Casino Royale, would have been the better way to go.


Presentation is the stronger component of Star Trek. The special effects are good and the space battles are presented in shots that are definitely not the usual Trek. The score is solid and does something the story can’t, successfully weaving in elements from the original.

Bruce Greenwood, Leonard Nimoy, and Simon Pegg deliver enjoyable performances, but Nimoy and Pegg do not show up until about halfway through the movie. The rest of the acting is middle of the road. Part of me would love to bash Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto for their renditions of Kirk and Spock, but I think they do okay with the writing they are given.







I saved up all my nickels and dimes for over a year to purchase a shiny, new HDTV. So how did I spend my first available weekend night with the new gear? With the TV turned off and watching the 1976 Paul Lynde Halloween Special on YouTube.

No, I don’t know what’s wrong with me either. 

This blog usually has all the timeliness of a 6 month old newspaper and this time is no exception. However, the 12 readers out there would be justified in wondering why we haven’t talked about the new Star Trek flick. If anything should be in our collective wheelhouse, it would be a Trek movie.

The reasons are pretty simple: CT isn’t interested in the new movie and both PLee and I have been victims of timing and schedule. I have to say that I’m skeptical, but I plan to check it out over Memorial Day weekend and return with a full review. Until then, if you have thoughts on J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Trek franchise, let’s hear them in the comments.

Before the shark? Back in the fall, my wife and I began watching The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on one of our local UHF stations. The station was in the midst of season 1 and we were hooked by the surprisingly good spy stories and solid performances. My wife was probably also unduly influenced by her crush on David McCallum, but the important point is that we were both on board.

With that setup, we both were jazzed when the DVDs showed up at the local library. Since we had watched most of season 1, we picked up the season 2 discs. I figured since it was in COLOR it should be even more exciting than the first season. Not so much. The few episodes we watched were campy and Solo and Kuryakin demonstrated only slightly more spycraft than Bo and Luke Duke. Even the DVD liner notes read like an apology for jumping the shark.

Help me out, U.NC.L.E fans. Am I giving up too soon? Is there anything in the later seasons that recaptures the Ian Fleming vibe of the first season?

I realize now that we're coming up on two years of posting here at Nerd Lunch and unless you know us, you may not know us. I figured the best way to really get to know who we are is by reading this note written by PLee on May 6, 2004:

CT, if there was ever a steel-drivin' contest, and it was you versus a two-ton metal steam-powered steel-drivin' machine, I would hock all of my worldly goods and put it all on you. And you would beat that machine, though your mighty heart burst, because that is who you are.

And then I would take some of my new fortune and see to it that Annaliese was trained by the finest soldiers, martial artists, and technologists, and when she was old enough she would hunt down and destroy all steel-drivin' machines everywhere, because that is who I am.

And Jeeg would be your shaker, CT, and hold that steel steady and true, and if in your exhaustion you missed and crushed his hands into paste, he would clutch that steel between his stumps until that machine was beaten, and then he would tear the steel-drivin' machine apart and use the scraps to build new robot hands, because that is who Jeeg is.