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The Post-Game Show » star trek

Posts Tagged ‘star trek’

Tremendously Thor

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

This is Thor. He is a god of Thunder.

thor6

He is also a Marvel superhero, and one of a handful of such heroes set to star in their own big screen blockbusters in the next couple of years - this one to be directed by Kenneth Branagh. The other really big hero on the slate is Captain America, and casting rumours have been rife on who would be cast in each of these roles. For a long time, it seemed the most sensible choice for Thor was this fella:

askars

This is Alexander Skarsgård, son of Stellan Skarsgård, and one of the stars of both Generation Kill and True Blood. Not only is he tall, handsome, muscular and blond; he’s also Scandinavian! It was pretty much dream casting. Thus I was very disappointed when Skarsgård recently said that he was out of the running for the part. At that point I was resolved to hate whoever they eventually did cast.

Then came today’s scoop from Deadline Hollywood Daily that Branagh has his Thor, and it’s this guy:

chrishemsworth5

You may know him as Kim Hyde on Home & Away. More likely, you know him as Captain Kirk. Senior, that is. He played the rather dishy George Kirk in the new Star Trek movie.

He’s not as tall as Skarsgård (an inch shorter at 6′ 3″), and he’s not as Scandinavian (he’s Australian), but he is tall, handsome, muscular and blond, so as second choices go, he looks pretty good to me - and he’s about seven years younger than Skarsgård, so he has better mileage for a franchise. Given that the producers were considering Charlie Hunnam (a good looking lad, but an atrocious actor), I’m actually rather relieved.

This still leaves the question of who should play that other tall, handsome, muscular blond, Captain America.

capfoursome

The names being thrown in the hat by Cap fans include Tahmoh Penikett, Travis Fimmel, Chris Egan, Jensen Ackles, Kellan Lutz, Mark Valley, Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith.

I’m fairly sure they won’t cast someone who isn’t actually American (it would be a scandal), so Penikett, Fimmel and Egan are out. I also don’t think they’re going to cast a black actor - there was a black Captain America, but 1940s America was not going to choose a black man to be its symbol of hope. They won’t cast Kellan Lutz because, let’s be honest, he looks kinda metrosexual.

Because the character is meant to have gravitas, there’s a temptation to cast someone a bit older in the role, but Cap would have been in his early 20s when he started out, and not yet 30 when he was frozen in 1945, and the movie is expected to cover that period, so the likes of McConaughey, Damon and, especially, Valley should be too old.

scott-porter

My personal favourite for the role is Scott Porter of Friday Night Lights (above). He was perfect as an iconic blond, blue-eyed, square-jawed hero in Speed Racer, playing big brother Rex. He definitely has the all-American thing going on, and he doesn’t look too lightweight. Of course, if the Marvel movie makers do not follow my excellent advice, their casting on Thor has proved that they can sometimes make a good decision without my help.

Battle of the Blockbuster Boys

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

trekwolverine

This year’s two big early summer blockbusters do not have a lot in common. Sure, they’re both based on nerd franchises, but one is a reboot of a cult TV show about a crew of spacefaring ambassador-adventurers, and the other is a comic book spin-off starring an ageless and mysterious loner with pointy claws. One is about preppy kids in space band-camp; the other is about an angry emo jock. One is bright and breezy; the other is grim ‘n’ gritty. One has side-partings; the other has buzz cuts. One is good; the other is not.

Yet there is one odd feature that unites Star Trek and Wolverine. Man-candy. Both movies feature a surprising number of healthy young turks with thrusting chests and Pepsodent smiles.

We all know Trek beats Wolverine when it comes to things like story, tension, effects and character, and Wolverine currently has the edge when it comes to box office, but which movie comes out ahead when you look at the most important factor of all - the totty? Don’t worry; I have the answers.

(By the way, I think that my version of Photoshop is broken. There was lens flare all over my Star Trek images, and it looked terrible. I’ve done what I can to minimise it.)

vsnemesis

The Nemesis: Eric Bana vs Liev Schreiber

I have a friend who thinks Liev Schreiber is just a low-rent Russell Crowe, which I think is absolutely shocking. I think Liev Scheiber is a rent-controlled Vincent D’Onofrio in a bad neighbourhood. His face is a cross between a sticklebrick and a billboard. Mussing him up and giving him stubble does not render him magically sexy.

Eric Bana, on the other hand, is so handsome that it’s impossible to ugly him up. Cover him in crazy prosthetics and tribal tattoos, and he still looks like a prettier version of Lincoln Burrows from Prison Break. He could play Aileen Wournos and she’d still be gorgeous.

Advantage: Trek

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The Clown: Simon Pegg vs Dominic Monaghan

I used to have a mild thing for Simon Pegg back in the Spaced days, but I got over it pretty quickly. I’ve never had a thing for Dominic Monaghan, despite his claim to fame as being the least punchable of the Hobbits. (For the record, in order of punchability from least to most, it goes Monaghan, Boyd, Wood, Astin.)

That said, Monaghan’s rough-looking circus outcast loser freak looks like he’d be better in the sack than Pegg’s slightly misplaced bag-hat-wearing loopy Scotsman.

Advantage: Wolverine

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The Korean: John Cho vs Daniel Henney

Look everyone! Asians! Asians in our action movies! And they’re not there to do karate! One of these chaps does fancy gun-fu, the other has a flashing blade. It’s a revolution!

Now, John Cho is a handsome and funny guy, and I’d definitely court Harold over Kumar; but Daniel Henney is quite a discovery; the prettiest Korean to shoot at a good guy since Rick Yune in Die Another Day. Not that this propelled Rick Yune to super-stardom, mind you. Hopefully Henney will break out bigger.

Advantage: Wolverine

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The Wiseguy: Karl Urban vs Ryan Reynolds

On first impressions, this is an easy one to call. Ryan Reynolds is stupidly lovely. He’s handsome in a generic Ben Affleck way, and he has an amazing Men’s Health magazine cover body, and he’s funny and goofy and charming. Karl Urban, on the other hand, tends to look a lot better onscreen than off, and has a face a bit like a pissed-off chihuahua. He was at his best playing a Zoolander pretty-boy assassin in The Bourne Supremacy.

Until now, that is. As Dr McCoy, Urban takes on a lip-jutting matinee idol raffishness. While Scotty got the gags and Kirk got the pratfalls, McCoy delivered most of the best lines. Wit and a pair of delightfully full lips will take you a long way in the Federation. Reynolds failed to achieve his usual potential on Wolverine; Urban emerged as one of the nicest surprises in Trek.

Advantage: Trek

vsdaddy

The Father Figure: Chris Hemsworth / Bruce Greenwood
vs Danny Huston / Aaron Jeffrey / Peter O’Brien

The heroes in both movies have both real and surrogate daddies. Actually, James Logan has three dads; real, adoptive, and evil. James Kirk only has two; dead and fake. Wolverine’s dead dads are both played by good-looking Antipodean soap actors, but both are only fleetingly seen. The more substantial father figure is Danny Huston’s William Stryker. Had the part been played by Dexter star Michael C Hall, as originally planned, the character might have had a little more magnetism.

Kirk’s dad is also played by a good-looking Antipodean soap actor, Chris Hemsworth of Home & Away. Kirk’s surrogate dad is Captain Pike, played by Bruce Greenwood. The original Captain Pike was played by Jeffrey Hunter, one of the most beautiful man who ever lived, so it’s natural that they didn’t try to replicate that. In the five-way battle of the daddies, the Abercrombie good looks of Captain Kirk père put him way out ahead.

Advantage: Trek

vsgirl

The Girl: Zoe Saldana vs Lynn Collins

Or ‘funny-shaped lads’, as I like to think of them. Saldana is a very beautiful woman, but she could stand to eat a few fried Tribbles. Poor dear is wasting away. Collins is likewise attractive, if you can get past the fact that she looks like she smells of hemp and quinoa. The simple truth of the matter, though, is that they’re girls, and you don’t get any points for putting girls in my boy movies. Silly filmmakers!

Advantage: None

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The Sidekick: Zachary Quinto vs Taylor Kitsch

This is where it gets really tough. Quinto is a very handsome man, who made being a brain-eating psychopath seem sexy (and, yes, Sylar eats brains, no matter what he says). However, his bowl-haired Spock is not anywhere like as appealing as either Sylar or Quinto himself. Even with the lengths the movie goes to in order to sex Spock up, fancying Spock is something not everyone is mentally equipped to do. Besides, Quinto is at his best with a bit of stubble. Bring on the Mirror Universe!

In contrast, Taylor Kitsch gets to have fun playing omnisexual flirt and acrobatic hustler Gambit, and his few short scenes are some of the best moments in an otherwise clunky movie. Kitsch convinced me that I’d much sooner watch a Gambit movie than Wolverine 2, Deadpool or Magneto. His hair may be foofy, but it’s still better than Spock’s.

Advantage: Wolverine

vshero

The Hero: Chris Pine vs Hugh Jackman

With scores tied, it all comes down to the leading men. If you’ve seen Jackman strutting about all muscular and shirtless in Wolverine, you’d be forgiven for thinking this a no-brainer. Jackman got himself into amazing shape, and he’s a hugely charismatic actor who can easily carry a big action movie. And he can sing, and he can dance, and he can even raise the ratings for the Academy Awards! He’s a fricking miracle worker!

Then there’s the new boy. Chris Pine is pretty. Chris Pine is flawlessly pretty. He’s as close as any human could come to being a Ken doll. In fact, he was born in LA, the son of two actors; he might as plausibly have been custom-made by Paramount. Consider this; he was born in late August 1980, which means he could have been ‘conceived’ on the very day that Star Trek: The Motion Picture hit cinemas in early December 1979. He’s not a human being! He’s a back-up plan!

The worst you can say about Chris Pine is that he’s too handsome. I don’t believe in ‘too handsome’. As the young, insolent, swaggering Cadet Kirk, pouty-lipped, big eyed Pine is a new icon of cinema sexy, in the grand tradition of Russell Crowe’s Maximus and Daniel Craig’s Bond. Sorry, Wolverine; you’ve finally been out-hunked.

Advantage: Trek
Winner: Trek

Come On Barbie, Let’s Boldly Go Party

Friday, February 27th, 2009

 This year marks both Barbie’s 50th anniversary and the flashy 90210 reboot of the Star Trek movie franchise, and what better way to celebrate these two awesome moments in our cultural development than a Barbie Girl/Star Trekkin’ mash-up?

But sadly no-one has done that (as far as I know - I’m too frightened to actually check), so instead we’ll have to settle for the new Star Trek Barbie dolls, out this April. These have been made in the likeness of the movie’s stars, so check out this awesome likeness of Zachary Quinto as Spocklar:

trek-barbie-spock

Impressive, isn’t it? The resemblance is striking. Or it would be, if they had cast Anne Hathaway as Spock. Maybe this is Barbie as Zachary Quinto as Sylar as Spock? (As a bonus, it’s worth noting that the shirts all double as ShamWows.)

The sculptors have better luck with Chris Pine as the Captain Ken T Kirk Doll:

trek-barbie-kirk

Of course, it helps that Chris Pine already looks like a Ken doll. This is an unavoidable side-effect of being made out of vacuum-molded plastic. (But admittedly Chris Pine is made out of very pretty vacuum-molded plastic. I’m actually all in favour of making our movie stars in molds. The only danger there is that they wouldn’t be naturally biodegradable, but judging by Sofia Loren, this is not a new problem.)

It wouldn’t be much of a Barbie range if they didn’t have a Barbie, of course. There has been a Star Trek Barbie before - a perky blonde in a Starfleet tunic - but in keeping with the fact that they’re basing the Barbies on the movie actors, and based on the fact that there’s really only one woman in space in the future (because someone has to answer the phones - ah, the future), Mattel had to do something it doesn’t normally do. Black Barbie.

trek-barbie-uhura

As a likeness of actress Zoe Saldana, this is actually not too terrible. In fact, compared to the other two dolls, this one looks like a runaway success, but then I suppose the people at Barbie probably are better at making Barbies than Kens.

I’m being a little unfair on the black Barbie front - there have been a few Barbies of colour over the years, including ‘Colored Francie’ and ‘Oreo Fun Barbie’ (I wish I was making this up). Some of them have even been called Barbie, rather than Christie, DeeDee or Simone, which is such a generous concession. There was even an African-American Barbie friend called Nichelle! (I’d like to stress that I have had to look these things up. These are not things that I already know.)

So there you have it, the new Star Trek Barbies. No word yet on whether or not they’ll follow it up with Wolverine Barbies, but I’m first in line if they do.