special effects

Star Trek: Stale special effects? Or gay soap opera?

This little gem turned up as the top video in Technorati this morning.

Hardcore fans will recognize the episodes, but compiling it all here adds a new dimension of whimsical fun.

Do I really think Star Trek: TOS has a hidden homosexual agenda? Of course not. (I hope not. William Shatner is just too cute in the 1960s.)

But given Paramount's tassled-loafer inspiration of re-doing all the special effects in the classic series, they're almost begging for slashy and other take-offs. If they don't respect their own cultural treasures, why should anyone else?

Special effects: The Final Frontier

Why is it that the studios cannot leave enough alone? Apparently, Star Trek: The Original Series (ST:TOS to Trekkers and Trekkies out there [I'm of the latter, thank you very much]) is getting a makeover, not only being remastered for HDTV but also getting all the effects shots redone.

There's no direct link to the email update I received, so I will simply quote from the SciFi news page the entire PR blurb:

The original 1960s Star Trek series will receive a high-tech makeover and return to broadcast syndication for the first time in 16 years, with digitally remastered episodes, Paramount announced. In honor of the show's 40th anniversary, CBS Domestic Television is releasing all 79 episodes with new special effects and music on 200 stations, beginning Sept. 16. The first batch of episodes will be chosen from a list of fan favorites.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of how HDTV might change movies

They don't make movies like this anymore. Like many kids my age, I saw it may times on Saturday afternoon television, full frame with lots of cuts and lots of car commercials (which somehow weren't so obnoxious back then). It was fun enough just because of the characters. For a western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly didn't take itself so seriously -- mainly because Eli Wallach's weasely Tuco was so compelling.

But what I saw wasn't the real movie. Sergio Leone made widescreen movies, and he used the entire frame. What I saw, with pan-and-scan and interstitial advertising, was a Cliff's Notes version of the film.

Having recently watched on my 20" iMac the DVD of the restored version of the film, I can say it is a different movie. The iMac is not HDTV, and standard DVDs, though they have much more resolution than televisions can provide, are not HD DVD -- but even so, the movie offered what a lot of more recent movies do not:

Cinema.

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