|Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.
Two movies are coming out soon to which I am looking forward with some anticipation. One is about a comic book character and the other is a new movie on an old theme that takes me back to my youth. People who know me find my taste for movies based on comic book characters distinctly out of my character, and I suppose it could be viewed as silly, but I really like them when they are done well; they are wonderfully entertaining, and since that is all I require from a movie, it works out well for me.
This particular comic book character was a favorite of mine when I was young and became a favorite of all my kids as well. Since I consider all reading, including comic books and the back of cereal boxes, as a good thing, I never had any objections to my children collecting comic books. My brothers and I liked our comic books and we read them and reread them dozens of times. Back in the day one of the publishers of comic books released what were called “Classic Comics”, illustrated and condensed versions of classic stories and novels. They were the forerunners of modern graphic novels, which are published today and based on original themes. We had Classic Comics of The Iliad, and The Odyssey, Tom Sawyer, and the famous Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles. We loved those books madly and read them until they were limp from handling. My oldest son tells me that Classic Comics are returning, which I think will be a good thing.
Back then and to this day kids divide themselves into very distinct factions when it comes to comics. The big two, Marvel and DC, each had rabid fans and we would occasionally enter into long-winded debates about which was better. Personally, I was in the Marvel camp as were my brothers, although we were willing to cross over to the other side if the competition came up with something we found compelling. I no longer read comic books and haven't laid eyes on one in years, but I still consider myself a Marvel compatriot.
The second movie soon to be released is another chapter in the long and popular Star Trek saga. Star Trek is so old that it dates back to my childhood, which is farther back than I want to be reminded and then some. My brothers and I loved it. It is important to remember that there was no cable or fancy gaming systems back then. I remember that we had the trail blazing Pong game when it came out, which was entertaining for the 30 seconds it took for it to put you to sleep. Star Trek was cutting edge stuff in those days; different from anything that had ever come before. It seems pretty shabby and chintzy now, of course, computer generated images having made jaded critics of us all, but back then it was a revelation. Star Trek was produced during the Cold War, when we were a terribly isolated and suspicious nation. It provided us with a vision of the future where the entire planet was united and people of all kinds, (including aliens), all nationalities, and all races worked together for a common goal. It was a futuristic morality tale and it had a message. Sometimes, of course, it was profoundly silly and even embarrassing, but we manfully strove to overcome the cringe factor and enjoy the inter-galactic doings of the Enterprise crew we knew and loved. In the end, Star Trek was totally character driven and those characters have managed to stay alive in the culture for more than 30 years.
The movie coming out is about those same intrepid original personalities, only younger, less seasoned, and probably better looking. (Everybody has to be better looking now, it is some kind of requirement for the 21st century). I am unashamed to say that I am truly excited about visiting with the original characters again, they were a powerfully influencing force on my generation. I recently read an interview with a young African American woman who is training to be an astronaut who openly admitted that the African American female officer in the original series was what made her determined to work hard and enter the astronaut program, and the original Star Trek was considerably before her time. When I was young I wanted to be in Star Trek, playing some futuristic and regal Amazon warrior Queen or something, only not the kind they usually had, who, after ten minutes of making out with Captain Kirk would manage to completely forget her duty, her honor, and her people free the Captain and his officers from captivity, and betray her entire planet just to see him take his shirt off...again. Not that the young man playing the skirt-chasing Captain Kirk in this new movie isn't hot enough to give any man-hating Amazon Queen a run for her money, but I was always a Mr Spock girl. I not only loved Spock, I wanted to be Spock. At least, I wanted to have his huge, honking brain, his neat mind-meld trick where he could suck knowledge out of the brains of others, and his ability to rise above destructive emotions. At that point, I was poised on the edge of adolescent hormonal hysteria and I really hated it. I longed for the ability to not have messy feelings, and Spock seemed to me to be the antithesis of all things insanely emotional and illogical. Episodes where Spock was possessed by some alien intellect that made him lose control or infested with emotion-causing alien spores always made me cringe for him.
So, I am eagerly looking forward to this new movie with all the great characters I remember and the good old Star Ship Enterprise. I think that I'll ask my brother to go see it with me. It might make for an all around entertaining, nostalgic, and somehow comforting experience.