Old movies, classic comedy and good clean smut…

There’s something quintessentially ‘British’ about going on a nostalgia kick.

In fact, there’s something quintessentially ‘British’ about using the word ‘quintessentially’, which I suspect is only ever followed by the words ‘British’ or ‘English’. You definitely never see anyone describing something as ‘quintessentially German’ – not even goose-stepping.

I’ve recently reconnected with a bunch of stuff from my youth, which leads me to write this epistle.

Here’s the ‘stuff’:

  • Vinyl records played on a proper record player with little tinny speakers
  • Black and white films, of the sort that always used to be on telly on a Sunday afternoon
  • 1960s BBC radio comedy – specifically ‘Round The Horne’
  • B-movie science fiction, generally from the 70s and early 80s

These items, in and of themselves, are fairly normal. You could easily read that list and silently – or audibly – go “meh”…

But it’s more what they evoke than what they deliver.

Take the vinyl records, for example. They, for me, demonstrate that great line from the movie ‘High Fidelity’, when, after Dick tried unsuccessfully to guess how Rob was rearranging his record collection (“Chronological? No… not alphabetical…”) Rob reveals his system will be autobiographical, so that “if I want to find the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac I have to remember that I bought it for someone in the fall of 1983 pile, but didn’t give it to them for personal reasons.”

I’ve not got many vinyl albums, but when I listen to the double live album Babylon By Bus by Bob Marley and the Wailers, I’m back home with my parents, them sat watching tv in one room whilst I’m sat next door, listening to one of the world’s greatest protest singers delivering a lyric so great, you don’t realise how revolutionary it was until nearly ten years later… but you remember the message. When I’m listening to Dare by The Human League, or Upstairs at Erics by Yazoo, I’m back in that post-school, pre-serious work period where everything was cool, and I was a part of it.

The old movies? Sunday afternoons in front of the telly were great – especially if it was raining outside, and we sat in front of the fire watching films like ‘The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw‘ with Kenneth More, or – if we were lucky – a Carry On film. All a part of those days when you could watch a film and part of your eight-year-old mind still believed it might be real. And if it was a sci-fi b-movie so bad it’s good, the knowledge that it most certainly wasn’t…

Round The Horne was something I got to later in my childhood, but the repeats of the show were always something I looked out for. The cast was brilliant, with the leader of the gang, Kenneth Horne, often playing the straight man (in all senses) to Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden, Bill Pertwee, and another ‘quintessentially’ BBC voice, announcer Douglas Smith. Listening to the show now, it’s remarkable how far they managed to push the boundaries of the BBC back in 1965, when the show was first broadcast. They had plenty of sexually repressed characters, innuendo by the bucketload, and the incredible ‘Julian and Sandy’, two unemployed actors taking on a range of different jobs. They were the most obviously gay couple imaginable, in an age when homosexuality was still illegal. The fact that they could get away with so much still surprises me, such as when they were working as lawyers:

HORNE: Will you take my case?

JULIAN: Well, it depends on what it is. We’ve got a criminal practice that takes up most of our time.

HORNE: Yes, but apart from that, I need legal advice.

SANDY: Ooh, isn’t he bold?

Comedy nowadays struggles to fit in single entendres, let alone the doubles that Round The Horne was liberally sprinkled with. Entertainment has changed, and not really for the better.

In this age of digital downloads, 3D blockbusters and so called ‘talk-radio’, I’d rather stick with entertainment that… well, entertained.

Just a quick list

OK, quick list time – please comment on the contents….

Top 5 Films watched over Christmas:

Megamind – actually a fun animated flick, better than I thought it was going to be.

Tangled – OK, but I preferred Megamind.

Uncle Buck – who could ever get tired of this one? John Candy at his finest.

FAQ About Time Travel – I do love this quirky little science fiction thing.

Ooh You Are Awful – early 70s vehicle for the late great Dick Emery, allowing him to scour the country for tattoos on girls bums. Well, why not?

 

Top 5 TV Shows Watched Over Christmas:

I’m gonna preface this list with the comment that i still haven’t seen Doctor Who yet – but I will rectify that over the weekend. And I know that’ll take up a space on my list, so you only get 4….. Anyway:

Still Open All Hours – I was a little dubious about this, but I really enjoyed it, and reckon it could make a decent sitcom series.

PQ17 – this was on last night (so technically NOT Christmas) but was such an interesting documentary about the most disastrous convoy mission of WW2.

The IT Crowd – Love this show, and finally got to see the last episode (The Internet Is Coming) which was fab.

Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special – yeah, i know. But this had everything you want from a Christmas TV show, including the Andre Previn sketch. Never gets old.

 

Top 5 Christmas Gifts:

Dangerous to separate these out, because everything I got was great, so this one is more a subset of a much larger cool list of stuff…

Theatre Tickets – yeah, thanks to David and Heather, we’re gonna soak up some culture in 2014 over at Windsor.

Shaver – sounds dull, but it’s what I wanted, and my old one was very much past it. This one’s lovely and shiny-bright…

Christmas Jumper – well, not so much a Christmas jumper, more a winter one, so whilst it’s lovely and warm, it has no reindeer, holly, Santa or Christmas puds on it, which makes it acceptable for me!

Lynx – loads of Lynx stuff. Apparently, ‘Attract’ smells best, according to my girls….

Top Gear – Ambitious But Rubbish – the book that tells the background to all those well-intentioned yet spectacular failures, and shows that not all of the show is scripted.

 

Five Books I am reading:

Currently I have five books on the go, so it makes sense to add these to the post…

The Bible (natch)

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett (surprisingly hard going compares to his usual fare)

Some Kind Of Wonderful by Stephen Biskoff (the novelisation of one of my favourite movies)

Doughnut by Tom Holt (brilliant fantasy farce)

Top Gear – Ambitious But Rubbish (see above)

 

Finally, let’s do 5 things I want to do in 2014:

More gigging and drumming with my great mates in Riser.

Visit Ben and Julia in the South of France, hopefully fulfilling an ambition to drive over the Millau Bridge.

Write more – stories, blogs, songs, whatever, I really want to put more out there this year.

Go deeper – sounds strange, but with all the things I treasure – relationships, experiences, honesty, faith and self-awareness – there’s another level to take them to.

Enjoy life – 2013 was a bit of a struggle for much of the year, and has ended so well, I want this to continue throughout the year.

OK, there you go. Five lists of Five items. Let’s see where we go from there……

 

I’m back – and it’s gear-grinding time again!

I’ve been very lax at writing over the last few months, the reasons for which are the subject of another post over the next few days, but regular readers will be familiar with my infrequent rants about the injustices of the world, and I’ve got a few to bring up now…

OK – first off, there’s a subtle erosion of human rights that is going on pretty much unheeded in our land. I’m not talking about rendition flights, I’m not talking about asylum seekers and medical tourists, nor am I going to launch into yet another tirade about the hypocrisy towards uncovering the truth shown by a certain Mr Julian Assange – though Lord knows that one’s way overdue.

No – I’m talking about something far more important, and far more damaging.

My two lovely daughters, and my wonderful wife, are afflicted with that curiously female ailment known as CSDCompulsive Shopping Disorder. So as the bloke / taxi driver / nominal ‘head’ of the household, I get dragged off to shopping centres on a reasonably regular basis.

I didn’t really mind this, as there’s generally a store or two that provides release, a quiet space free of shoes, make-up, and ‘accessories’, where I can browse to my heart’s content, spending a fortune in my mind and a smaller amount if I reckoned I could get away with it.

Soon, these places, these havens of male shopping solitude, will be a thing of the past. Places like HMV are disappearing fast, as is Blockbuster Video, and most every independent movie and record store you can imagine, to be replaced with charity shops, pound stores, coffee shops doubling as young mothers meeting rooms, and shops selling anything from carpets to mobile phone unlocking services (and it’s ALWAYS mobile phone unlocking services, for some reason). And when the last one goes, it will be a sad, sad day for blokes everywhere.

There’s something inherently bloke-ish about going into a store like HMV, and wandering up and down, looking at every DVD case and CD they have. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the old hunter-gatherer instinct kicking in. Maybe it’s the possibility of surprise when, moving down a shelf, we suddenly come across a movie that we recognise as filling a gap on what I term ‘the Bucket Shelf’ of DVDS we feel we have to own before we die. Maybe it’s the one area of a man’s life when being ‘touchy-feely’ has its place, for certainly there’s a tactile element to picking up a movie, checking out the cover art, and reading the précis and list of extras.

I guess that with the advances in technology and the delivery of music and movies via the internet, the demise of these stores was inevitable, but it will still be the major contributor to a phenomenon I see growing over the coming years – the sad, despairing bloke hanging dolefully around shops whilst the women in his life decide on whether they can justify a seventeenth pair of shoes that week. Girls, get used to it, because we’ll be stood there looking at our watches. It’s not like we will have any say in the matter.

At least with a movie or CD, you can read the cover and know what’s inside. Unlike the majority of processed food, these days, it seems.

I’m not entirely sure what the key issue is with the various ‘scandals’ regarding the presence of horsemeat in the food chain. As a meat, it’s probably no less safe to consume as beef.

Is it simply a labelling issue on our food? Is it that we reckon we are being ripped off by people pushing cheaper meat onto our plates (although people that complain about that should try a Tesco Value Beef and Onion Pie, inside which they will struggle to find any meat whatsoever, so a bit of Dobbin there wouldn’t go amiss). Or is it something to do with our view of horses as ‘pets’ or ‘noble beasts’, most of whom have names – and we draw the line at eating something we referred to as ‘Tony the Pony’.

Somehow, as with many other recent revelations such as phone hacking or the banking crisis, ‘Horsegate’ stirs up the wrath of that social barometer – the school mum. Every time there’s any kind of newsworthy story these days that involves a gauge of public opinion, there’s no end of camera crews outside the school gates – and they always manage to find a mum willing to describe the latest situation as ‘disgusting’ or ‘intolerable’.

And that’s what will ultimately determine whether we eradicate horsemeat from our processed Spaghetti Bolognese, or whether we’ll just be told in advance that some cheaper frozen food will always be a bit pony – the views of some ill-informed and badly motivated women hanging round outside a council estate school. Because as we all know, any stupid opinion is validated, as long as it’s delivered  with the subtle caveat “think of the impact on my kids!”

I’ll be back soon, with more stuff that gets my gears grinding again!

All My Reviews In One Place

Just a reminder – my other blog contains my cross-posted reviews from all over the Internet – there are over 20 movie reviews there at present. with many, many more to come. I’m also going to put music, television and book reviews there – although the odd one might find it’s sneaky little way here!

Just pop on over to http://allmyreviewsinoneplace.wordpress.com to see what I think of the stuff I see, read and hear.

Why does all the world love a good Rom Com?

Call them ‘guilty pleasures’. Call them ‘chick-flicks’. Be brazen about them, or sneak the DVD furtively from the back of a cupboard to watch when nobody else is about. However you treat them, I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s someone inside us all who harbours a pandering for the genre that film-lovers tend to forget: the Romantic Comedy.

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been points where a certain genre has excelled. Westerns, horror, musicals, war, comedy, drama, thrillers, they are all there. The romantic comedy tends to get sidelined, either as a mere sub-category, or as light, fluffy, irrelevant entertainment. But lightness isn’t a failing, it’s a skill. And when delivered properly, it can quite literally lift the heart.

The best romantic comedy examples manage to move with the times whilst remaining true to the basic premise :

Two people falling in love, whilst all around them, hilarity ensues.

The simplest ideas can sometimes be the hardest to deliver, as there’s a tendency on the part of most directors and writers to embellish the plot to the point that this simple idea is clouded. They throw in too much slapstick, or (in the case of so many of the so-called comedies coming out of the US recently, too much overt sex and bad language). Movies like Road Trip, or even American Pie, would have been far better for having a gentler handling.

It’s probably best that I give some examples of where the actors, directors and writers, in my opinion, got it right.

You’ve Got Mail

The two acknowledged specialists in the genre, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, got together in this 90s film about two people that meet in an internet chat room and begin an anonymous online friendship that overtakes anything that happens in real life. However, in real life the two are business rivals, Hanks from the big chainstore and Ryan from the small local bookshop that suffers when a big old Fox Bookstore open just around the corner. The film follows their two paths as they publicly battle for their businesses, whilst they confide in each other online. Finally, Hanks discovers who his ‘friend’ is, and so needs to work out what’s right, what’s wrong, and more importantly, what’s important.

When Harry Met Sally

Everyone knows this one. Starring Ryan again opposite Billy Crystal, it follows the path of two friends who, after sharing a ride from college to the city (during which Crystal expounds his theory that “men and women can’t be friends, because sex always gets in the way”) then meet each other occasionally over the course of a dozen years, and the friendship slowly develops. As other relationships rise and fall, the two grow closer, until the inevitable happens. After they sleep together, Harry gets cold feet and runs, whilst sally realises that she’s ben in love for years, and now can’t handle the rejection. So when they next meet, on New Year’s Eve, what will happen?

It Happened One Night

This is a real early film, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, two superstars of the silver screen. Colbert is the sheltered daughter of a millionaire businessman, who runs away when her shock marriage to an older business rival throws her father into a rage. Trying to evade detection, she catches a bus from Miami to New York, and falls under the wing of desperate newspaper hack Gable. Gable realises who she is, and helps her to evade detection, protects her from sleazy men on the bus, and helps her become more independent. All in return for a story that will resurrect his career. As they fall for each other, the drive to get to New York, and the story, become less important. Then a misunderstanding threatens to throw them both back into their old lives, and only swift action will prevent the couple from parting for good. And good is what this film is – then and now. It deservedly became the first film to win the Big Five at the Academy Awards: Film, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay.

All three of these films follow the same, simple premise: two people growing to love each other, whilst all around them seems to be conspiring to keep them apart. That they are set in different times, and that the sub-plots (business rivals meeting in internet chat rooms, fundamental disagreements over friendships between men and women, and two people from different social and economic backgrounds thrown together by necessity)  is immaterial. The simplicity of the central theme works because it hasn’t been clouded by the peripherals.

And that’s why so many people love a good rom-com, even if they won’t admit it. I know I do.

Star Trek: Adventures on the Big Screen (Part 4)

It’s been a while (well, it’s been a week) but the wait is over: it’s time for my next dip into the movies that boldly went you-know-where…. Just one this time, so let’s take a good long look at:

Star Trek: Generations

Change was called for. There was a whole new generation of Trek fans – a ‘next’ generation, if you like – and it was time for them to have their turn. But how to hand over the reins from Kirk to Picard, from Spock to Riker, from McCoy to Crusher, from Uhura to…. Worf? It was time for a cross-over movie!

 

Plot: It’s the maiden voyage of the new Enterprise B, under the command of Captain Harriman and the watchful gaze of the honoured guests, Kirk, Scotty, and Chekhov. On this short inspection flight, the ship receives a distress call and rushes to a rescue mission – two refugee ships  are caught in a ribbon-like spatial anomaly. They rescue many of the refugees, but not without a cost – whilst working to keep the deflector shields active, a section of the hull is destroyed, and Kirk is lost…

Skip forward nearly 80 years, and the same ribbon threatens the 24th Century, and this time it’s the Enterprise D and the Next Generation crew that come to the rescue. Picard learns from Guinan and a Doctor Soran that the ribbon (known as The Nexus) doesn’t kill it’s victims, it transports them to a kind of limbo dimension, where they remain in stasis whilst their mind dreams a perfect life. It appears that Dr Soran is trying to get back to the Nexus, whilst Guinan, who was on one of the refugee ships, knows that Soran will stop at nothing – he intends to alter the ribbon’s path by destroying stars, aiming it at a planet he’s on. Picard can’t stop him, and is transported to the Nexus with Soran – where he finds good old Captain Kirk. Picard convinces Kirk to return to the real world, and they arrive back just a few minutes before the Nexus hits. This time, will two Captains be enough to stop Soran?

 

Goofs: There are a huge number of things wrong with this movie – not just the unintentional things! But let’s cover a couple of those, just to let you know what kind of thing I mean.  Basically, these goofs fall into two camps. The first is the ‘I don’t care what Scotty says, apparently you CAN break the laws of physics” camp, such as the central premise for the movie – that The Nexus is travelling above light-speed, in a 39.1 year loop and an accurately defined course determined by gravitational forces. This is clearly not the case, as every shot of it over the planet shows it as moving very slowly – light-speed travel would make it disappear almost before we see it. And even if it DID travel through space so predictably, everything else moves, so how on earth would the constantly changing gravitational forces of all these massive stars and planets that keep moving all the time, steer the Nexus so accurately?

The second goof-camp (I should make t-shirts and caps, really I should) is almost more serious.

It’s wrong to deviate from Star Trek Canon.

We all know that. But apparently, it was forgotten many times during this movie. Like in the sub-plot (not mentioned above) when the Enterprise crashes. The dome on the roof of the bridge shatters – but canon states that glass hasn’t been used for centuries. It is really transparent aluminium – and aluminium don’t shatter. Or like the fact that when Scotty came out of transporter suspension in that TNG episode with the Dyson Sphere, he was expecting to find Kirk – even though according to Generations, he was there when Kirk ‘died’. Or also like the fact that the El-Aurian refugees that are rescued at the beginning (thus setting up the whole storyline) only became refugees after fleeing the Borg (we already learned this from TNG). But they never mentioned the Borg, and so we remained in blissful ignorance of this xenophobic race of assimilating machines for a whole century? It just doesn’t make sense.

 

Thoughts: There are a number of ways to view this movie. You can view it as a light piece of sci-fi fluffiness, and no doubt it serves well at that level. You can view it from the Command Chair of the Trek-Master, looking at all the scientific and canonical errors that really are strewn throughout the movie with liberal abandon, and vow never to watch the thing again for fear of retinal burning. Or you can look at it like I do – as a turning point in the movie saga. It’s a roundabout.

The thing about roundabouts, is that some carry on straight, others turn. You’ve got to let those already on the roundabout leave, and those approaching the roundabout take their place. And you’ve got to understand the priorities.

It’s the same with Generations. Kirk and Co couldn’t go on forever, movie after movie. They were simply getting too old to be the action heroes we all knew and loved. And so, this movie serves as a way to move them on with respect and a final swansong, and allow the new guys their chance of making the jump to Odeon-space.

The Next Generation team pretty much act as if this is an extended, big-budget episode of the show. And as a fan of the show, that’s perfectly fine for me. Where Generations falls down is that an episode’s worth of material doesn’t always stretch to movie-length in terms of pace and excitement, so what they did was effectively run two plots simultaneously – there’s the main plot referenced above, and a sub-plot with the rest of the crew battling Klingons – a battle they win but at terrible cost, when the Enterprise saucer section ends up crashing into the planet. The second on-screen movie destruction of a ship called Enterprise is done much more graphically than it was at the end of The Search For Spock , and on the whole works well visually, transparent aluminium notwithstanding. This mixing of the two plots is disjointed on occasion, and whilst I know why it was done, merging the two plots seems clumsy at times.

But this isn’t really a movie that can be assessed on technical terms. It’s all about the handover from Kirk to Picard, and the two Captains perform their roles very well. Shatner shows elements of humour seen so clearly in The Voyage Home, and combines this with enough action and drive that you’re reminded of the young man from the 60s. Stewart also gets to run about and fight – something he often missed out on during the TNG run – and overlays this with the stoicism and grittiness that was his hallmark. The two work well together, and even for a die-hard TNG fan, Kirk’s final moments are close to tear-inducing.

Was the baton handed over with panache? Well, the movie was commercially successful, and led ultimately to First Contact (about which we will talk next time) so on that level it worked. It may not be the best Trek movie by some distance, but for me, it’s the best odd-numbered one so far…..

Star Trek: Adventures on the Big Screen (Part 3)

Time for another installment, so here goes with…

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Plot: Spock’s got a brother. Well, a half-brother really, called Sybok, who long ago rejected the Vulcan ideals of logic, and as a result became an outcast. Well, he’s back now, and he’s on a mission, Blues Brothers style. When he captures the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan ambassadors on the planet of Nimbus III, Kirk and the crew of the new Starship Enterprise-A are pressed back into service to come to the rescue. The ‘rescue’ goes slightly wrong, however, when Sybok seizes control of the Enterprise and puts it on course for the center of the galaxy where he and his followers believe they will find God. Yes. God.

Goofs: One big one: We know now (from Star Trek: Voyager) that it takes seventy years to travel 70,000 light years at high warp (or 1000 light years per year. But the Enterprise A, under Sybok’s command, can apparently travel the 22,400 light years from Nimbus III to the Galactic Center in a matter of days.

There’s more. Although not so much goofs, but interesting: Industrial Light and Magic couldn’t do the effects for the movie, so they had to get a little creative with sets and effects. Shots of the Enterprise in Spacedock were ILM shots repeated from The Voyage Home, and many interior shots of the Enterprise (most notably corridors and Sickbay) are actually the Enterprise-D from The Next Generation, which was shooting at the same time.

Thoughts: Where to start? OK – let’s get the biggie for me out of the way. This isn’t why I don’t like the movie, but it annoys me that the ‘logical’ result of Sybok’s rejection of logic is crazed religious fervour, as if belief in God is the opposite of a calm, measured, logical mind. It gets to me more somehow than anything that the Python lads did in Life Of Brian, and almost as much as the representation of God as a petulant child did in the Travolta/Newton-John schlock-fest that was Two Of A Kind. Anyway – let’s leave that one there.

The Final Frontier is simply a very weak story held together with the ‘battle of the brothers’ motif flowing through it. If Sybok had been at all likeable, maybe you would have cared. But somehow, the reaction of Spock (very much “he ain’t crazy, he’s my bruuthaaaaah” school of acting) is exposed by the fact that in every TOS episode and in every movie before this, in which references to Spock’s family are liberally scattered, there’s not a single mention of Sybok’s existence whatsoever. Not one. And as the entire movie hinges on the closeness of the relationship, it all comes together with a gigantic feeling of ‘meh…”

The directorial reins were passed from Spock to Shatner for this installment, and La Shatner also co-wrote the script. Thankfully, he returned to just acting like he was in charge, when we arrived at….

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Plot: There’s a real danger of peace breaking out in the galaxy. Talks are afoot between the Federation and the Klingons, which might suit most people, but there are certain parties on both sides with vested interests in an all-out war. In an attempt to derail the peace process, Kirk and McCoy are framed for the murder of a Klingon Ambassador and sent to the penal colony at Rura Penthe, from which nobody escapes. With assistance from fellow inmates, Kirk and McCoy make it to the surface – a little too easily. It’s a set-up, but they manage to outwit their captors and beam up to the Enterprise. But is there time to get to the secret location of the peace accord before assassins strike?

Goofs: Only really three of note. One is a bit techy-Trekkie, in that the Excelsior has been supposedly charting gaseous anomalies in the Beta Quadrant. And we know subsequently (thank you, Voyager season seven) that the beta Quadrant would put the Excelsior some years away at high warp. The second goof is more an oversight, in that when standing on the surface of the ice-cold Rura Penthe, you don’t see any breath from their mouths. The third one is pretty much inexcusable though. She’s been in three series of Star Trek (79 episodes in all). She’s been in six movies. She shared American TV’s first ever inter-racial kiss with Kirk. So why oh why, in the name of all that’s Roddenberry, did they spell Uhura’s name wrong in the closing credits?

Thoughts: Keeping the pattern alive, this even-numbered movie has pace, action and plot twists in abundance. It manages to retain intrigue and suspense whilst bringing humour and creativity. It really does go to show what you can do with a properly good director in Nick Meyer, a well-crafted story, decent effects, and actors that know how to wring every drop of character out of their roles.

The scenes with the murder of the Klingon ambassador are well done, as is the investigation the crew undertake to clear Kirk and McCoy. Rura Penthe appears to be hard, but flimsy – it doesn’t look as bad as folk say, but then again it’s situated underground on an isolated planet where surface temperatures hover around minus thirty, so escape isn’t an option for most. And the race to Khitomer to prevent more murder adds more excitement and tension right up to the last.

This is the first movie where the crew of the Enterprise are split up – Sulu has been granted command of his own vessel, the Excelsior. It’s good that he gets to play such a key role in the plot, and indeed this setting was reused in an episode of Voyager, when Tuvok regressed back to his time service under Sulu (as a junior officer) whilst undergoing mental illness. Which makes two connections with later TV shows – we see an ancestor of Worf as the Klingon assigned to defend Kirk at the trial, played with ease by Michael Dorn.

As a farewell to the Original crew, The Undiscovered Country was a fitting place to stop. It’s my second favorite of the early movies, after Wrath of Khan. And it set the scene nicely for what was to come – but more of that in my next blog….