Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Ah, Kirk, my old friend. Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space.

Khan Noonien Singh

A good modern trailer for the best of the Star Trek films.  Hard to believe it has been 39 years since it came out.  I was studying for the bar that summer, and the day my Bride, then my fiancee, and I saw it was my one bit of entertainment that season.

The film works so well largely because the late and great Ricardo Montalban was such a superb villain.  Sixty-two in 1982, he had the physique of a much younger man and was completely believable as a man driven by tragedy to exact a terrible revenge on Kirk.

Shatner delivered the best performance of his career, as an aging, fifty-one year old, admiral, longing for his lost youth, who still had a few tricks up his sleeve, with his beloved Enterprise, against his old foe.

The film is a wild ride with surprisingly profound observations about aging, change and loss.  The film that saved the franchise.

Published in: on May 10, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan  
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Ecce Homo: Take 99

It had been a rough night.  Everyone had possessed an opinion about what should be done, with few of the opinions agreeing.  Now he was ready to pass judgment in the harsh glare of the early morning light, sleepless and having consumed too much wine.  It had been hard to reach a decision but he had reached it.  Why did he have the oddest feeling that he had already done this before?

“Release the prisoner.  He has committed no offense against the laws of Rome.  Such is the judgment of the Senate and the People of Rome.”

Pilate glanced over at the accused.  He expected to see relief and joy.  Instead, in the man’s face Pilate read infinite sadness, with perhaps a touch of irritation.  Then everything went dark.

“Procurator, Caiaphas is outside with a prisoner.”, said his aide Tribune Marcellus.

Pilate grimaced.  “Just what this gods’ forsaken day needs.”  He had more than half a mind to tell Caiaphas to get lost.  That is what he decided to do.  “Marcellus, tell the old rat I am occupied and I will remain occupied until next week.  If he really wants to see me, he can wait that long.”

Then everything went dark.

“Procurator, Caiaphas is outside with a prisoner.”, said his aide Tribune Marcellus.  Pilate sighed, Yes and he has that young rabble rousing carpenter from Nazareth with him.  My spies have earned their pay at the Temple this week.  Pilate heard Caiaphas out and refused to judge the case.  He ordered Yeshua to be scourged and expelled from Jerusalem.  Whatever game Caiaphas was playing, Pilate was not going to take part.  Then everything went dark.

Procurator, Caiaphas is outside with a prisoner.”, said his aide Tribune Marcellus.  Pilate heard Caiaphas and then said that this seemed to be a quarrel over the religion of the Jews.  He announced that as this was the case, Caiaphas could execute Yeshua by stoning if he wished, but Rome was not going to be  involved.  Then everything went dark.

“Procurator, Caiaphas is outside with a prisoner.”, said his aide Tribune Marcellus.  Pilate listened to Caiaphas and took the case under advisement.  Three weeks later, after Jerusalem had calmed down, Pilate ordered the release of Yeshua, Pilate’s wife asking this of him after having a series of dreams involving Yeshua.  Then everything went dark.

“Procurator, Joseph of Arimathea is outside.”, said his aide Tribune Marcellus.  Joseph knew the rich merchant slightly but was only too happy to receive a substantial bribe from him to release the carpenter rabbi, Yeshua, from the clutches of Caiaphas.  Then everything went dark.

“Procurator, Caiaphas is outside with a prisoner.”, said his aide Tribune Marcellus.   Pilate heard Caiaphas present his case, questioned Jesus, and the next day ordered Yeshua to be crucified.  The sentence was not carried out when the Zealots of Barabbas decided to liberate the fellow prisoner of their released leader.  Then everything went dark.


Pilate condemned Yeshua to be crucified.  This whole business had been mysterious and wearisome to Pilate, who felt as if he were an actor reading lines he had read many times before.  However, the oddest moment was when he glanced at the face of Yeshua.  The usual pain and anguish of a man just condemned to a gruesome death was slightly there, but Pilate had never seen before the faintest hint of a smile.

Published in: on April 1, 2021 at 5:30 pm  Comments Off on Ecce Homo: Take 99  
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Lies, Injustice and the Communist Way


(I originally posted this at The American Catholic and I thought the Superman mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it of interest.)

Bernie, no doubt gives it two thumbs up.  Part of the DC Elseworlds series where superheroes are reimagined.  In the above reimagining, the infant Kal-el lands in the Soviet Union rather than the US.  The comics were OK.  Full review after I pick up the Blu-ray this weekend.

Published in: on March 1, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Lies, Injustice and the Communist Way  
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Requiescat In Pace: Robert Conrad


A sad week for the death of actors. Robert Conrad has died at age 84.  From 1965-1969 a young Don McClarey was always planted in front of the television whenever this show was on to view another thrilling, and amusing, episode of the adventures of Secret Service Agent James West (Robert Conrad).  Set during the Grant administration, The Wild Wild West depicted the exploits of Agent James West and Agent Artemus Gordon (the late Ross Martin) as they battled evil throughout the West.  The evil often took the form of science fiction, what would today be called steam punk, or the supernatural.  The archenemy of the agents was evil genius Doctor Miguelito Loveless, played with scene stealing panache by the late Michael Dunn.  The show was basically a skillful mixture of a traditional Western with the spy genre then popular, the show being described as James Bond on horseback.  Conrad had a very successful career as an actor, but he will ever be remembered for this role.



It was an early victim of political correctness being cancelled by CBS after the fourth season in 69 due to pressure from the idiots in Congress over violence on television.  I trust that there has been a great cast reunion in the world beyond.


Published in: on February 13, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Requiescat In Pace: Robert Conrad  
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(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the Star Wars mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.)


Premiered December  24, 2019, and it is the best Star Wars that I have seen since the original trilogy.  Interesting echoes of Herod attempting to kill the Christ child, and the revolt of the Maccabees.  We live in an interesting time when fan flicks are sometimes superior to big budget productions with a thousand times their budget.


Published in: on January 2, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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A Very Special Star Wars Christmas

The sad thing is, I found this, back in 1978, immensely more entertaining than I have any of the movies since the end of the first trilogy.




Published in: on December 9, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on A Very Special Star Wars Christmas  
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Tomorrow the World!

Emil Bruckner: If it is necessary, I will die for the Führer!

Mike Frame: Oh, I see. You want to die.

Emil Bruckner: It is my duty. Are you – going to beat me?

Mike Frame: Well, since you find death so pleasant, I’ll tell you what we’ll do. We’ll kill you first and beat you afterwards.

Screenplay, Tomorrow the World! (1944)



I watched a very interesting movie yesterday, Tomorrow the World ! (1944).  Based on a successful Broadway play, it tells the story of a German boy, a completely indoctrinated Nazi, who comes to live with relatives in America after his mother dies.  His father was a leader of the German resistance, murdered in a Nazi concentration camp.  The boy, however, is a true believer in Hitler, who views his dead father as a traitor.

I was expecting a fairly lighthearted swift conversion of the Nazi youth to truth, justice and the American way.  The film was quite different and not at all what I expected.  Twelve year old Skip Homeier gives a chilling performance as Emil Bruckner.  For the time it was fairly strong, including Bruckner denouncing his teacher, who is also the fiancee of his American uncle, as a “Jewish tramp”.  Bruckner comes around eventually in a fairly unconvincing feel good ending, but the substance of the film was how difficult it is to change people who are heavily indoctrinated when young.

In the film Agnes Moorehead gives a great performance as the American Aunt of Emil, who he uses as a pawn in his schemes.  When she sees him initially in his Hitler Jugend uniform she opines that all Germans should be exterminated.  After two world wars, and casualty lists rapidly mounting, that was not an uncommon sentiment in the country in 1944.  Under the Morgenthau Plan, proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Germany after the war was to be de-industrialized and partitioned into harmless agricultural states.  Fortunately wiser heads prevailed.

Skip Homeier died at age 86 in 2017.  In the Star Trek episode Patterns of Force he returned to the Nazi ranks as the evil Deputy Fuehrer Melakon.


Published in: on October 3, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Tomorrow the World!  
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The Day the World Wept

The things you find on Youtube! First broadcast on February 9, 1960, the above is an episode of One Step Beyond entitled The Day the World Wept.  The Twilight Zone before the Twilight Zone, One Step Beoynd ran on ABC from 1959 to 1961, for a total of 96 episodes, focusing on stories of the paranormal.  Directed and narrated by John Newland, the show always ranked high in ratings but ended when Newland decided they were running out of fresh story lines.

The Lincoln episode was typical of the series, a mixture of a little fact and a lot of fiction.  Yes, Lincoln had a dream, actually two, predicting his death.  No, the soldier in whose room Lincoln died, did not hear mysterious weeping and sobbing prior to Lincoln being carried over from Ford’s Theater after he was shot.  The actor portraying Lincoln, Barry Atwater, would go on to portray Surak, the founder of Vulcan civilization, on the Star Trek episode The Savage Curtain, first broadcast on March 7, 1969, one of the better episodes of the generally dismal final third season of the original series.  In that episode Lee Bergere portrayed Abraham Lincoln.


Atwater’s biggest claim to fame while he lived, he passed away at age 60 in 1978, was his portrayal of vampire Janos Skorzeny  in the movie The Night Stalker (1972) which led to the cult classic Kolchack: the Night Stalker series 1974-1975, tales of a reporter investigating weird occurrences in Chicago where strange events, in fiction and in fact, tend to be plentiful.

Published in: on September 24, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Day the World Wept  
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Avengers: Endgame


My family and I went to see Avengers: Endgame and I enjoyed it immensely.  I will not do a formal review of it, since I think it would be impossible for me to do so without sounding like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.


Suffice it to say if you have ever had any interest in Marvel Comic book characters, or simply enjoy a good rousing film of adventure, you should enjoy it.  As he did in the Guardians of the Galaxy flick, Rocket Raccoon stole every scene he was in.


Quite a bit of humor in the film, especially in the depiction of Thor:


Deathless film for the ages?  Of course not.  A film that manages to be three hours in length without ever getting boring, yes!  Just put your mind on neutral as to time travel paradoxes before going to see it.


A fun film, not to be taken seriously.

Published in: on May 10, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Avengers: Endgame  
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May the Fourth Be With You



Something for the weekend.  The Saga Begins by Weird Al Yankovich.  Bonus, hattip to my bride:

Published in: on May 4, 2019 at 3:25 am  Comments Off on May the Fourth Be With You  
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