Return On Investment

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:


Pop culture can be stultifying. It grinds us down, appeals to our lowest impulses, sometimes sells us out. But every once in a while it manages to harness the full weight of its resonances, to sort of trade in on what it’s deposited in our imaginations. And when it does that it can hit us right where we live. A moment like this makes all of “Star Trek” worthwhile. It even manages to redeem that dopey “live long and prosper” thing.

About Fabrizio del Wrongo

Recovering liberal arts major. Unrepentant movie nut. Aspiring boozehound.
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9 Responses to Return On Investment

  1. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Aspiring dramatists take note: physically separating characters via some type of semi-permeable barrier is a great way to build an intense sort of intimacy. A couple of examples:

    “The Charterhouse of Parma” is another great example, as, I guess, is “The Silence of the Lambs.” Lubitsch’s use of doors also probably qualifies, although a door is by its nature more of a tease than an impediment — which I’m sure is part of what Lubitsch liked about the device.


    • Blowhard, Esq. says:

      Crime movies make good use of this device. Whenever someone gets imprisoned, there’s inevitably a scene where the inmate talks to someone through glass in the visitor’s room.


  2. Fenster says:

    That’s not logical.


  3. chucho says:

    Slightly off-topic, but was really disappointed to queue up The Original Series on Netflix streaming the other night and find out that only the ghastly “remastered” versions of those episodes are available. If any fans of the original (and ahem, best) version of the show want to find themselves in a rage, watch 15 minutes of one of these “improved” episodes. Every exterior shot of the Enterprise, as well as any shot of a planet, ship, sky fortress, whathaveyou has been replaced with a clumsy, jarring, high-definition replica of the original. The terrific colors of the old sets are reset in some kind of high-contrast glow you typically see in Domino’s commercials. The whole thing just feels different, and it’s an entirely different show, one not worth watching. I understand these shows were shot on video and some minor details might be lost or need to be modified in a transfer to digital, but it boggles to the mind to think that any fan of the original show would think these changes are an improvement.


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      Interesting. Was never a giant Star Trek fan myself, but I do appreciate the original series. What was your beef with the remastered versions?


    • plwinkler says:

      Star Trek, the original tv series, was shot on 35mm film. Otherwise, I quite agree with you. Upgrading the effects and outer space scenes robs it of its charm.


  4. Bill says:

    Star Trek is an endless betrayal of the Spock character. I’m not sure whether that scene is the worst in the oeuvre, but it’s pretty damn bad. Nimoy, by his own admission, was a prime mover in the betrayal. Evidently, it was hard on the poor dear to stay in character. Plus, it interfered with his competition with Shatner.

    Though I guess Fenster said it shorter and better above.


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