Eating Crow: The Star Trek Beyond Review on “Geek/Countergeek”

In this latest edition of “Geek/Countergeek” Keith and I offer our reviews and reflections on the new Ghostbusters movie. How did it hold up next to the original films?

And, after lamenting how Star Trek has lost its way with the recent movies – and even giving poor Chris Pine grief – I have to eat my share of crow after seeing Star Trek Beyond…

Now I’m looking forward to the new television series!

What did you think about Star Trek Beyond?

“Opening the Mother Box: Exploring my relationship with comic books, religion and George Lucas”

marrowAbout a month ago, I was invited to speak at “The Marrow“, an event that takes place at The Whistler in Chicago each month. At this event, storytellers are asked to read an essay that gets to “the marrow” of who they are.

As it was the first time I’d ever done something like this, I was rather nervous and wrote a piece that was to be a deep, personal exploration of my self.

It was well-received, but after hearing some of the other storytellers that evening – one spoke about trying to find a rehab facility for his ex-wife on a holiday, another about her estranged relationship with her mother and how it all started the day her mom kicked her father out of the house – I knew that I had just skimmed the surface.

Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll go much deeper. But for now, I’ll share with you the essay that I announced that I’d never read in public again. :::laughs::: I’m so full of it:

***

The challenge to writing an essay about oneself, especially one that is supposed to get to the heart of who you are, is that you tend to get all caught up in your own bullshit.

You know, you get sidetracked by trying to turn a clever phrase, or using florid language that makes you sound smarter than you think you are.

You find yourself unconsciously using a verbal sleight of hand, one that distracts your reader from the truth that you don’t want them to see you tucking away in your pocket.

So there won’t be any of that from here on out…

Or will there?

(Continues after the jump!)

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Roads Not Taken: My Emotional Journey Through “The Force Awakens”

After seeing Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens almost a week ago (I was at the Chicago press screening) it’s taken me this long to process it. When the movie ended, I sat in my chair and felt conflicted. I felt like the kid who had opened all his Christmas gifts but didn’t quite get what he wanted.

Like many Star Wars fans, I’d been waiting for this installment of the Skywalker Saga for decades.  Sure, the Prequels were fine but I wanted to know what happened in that galaxy far, far away in the post-“Return of the Jedi” years.

And when you look at the marketing campaign that the folks at Lucasfilm/Disney put together, it was obvious that Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams knew what buttons they wanted to push, and what audience they were trying to reach. They wanted to reach the fans of the Classic Trilogy, the ones who grew up with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and the rest of those iconic characters. In short, a fan like ME.

So why did I have such conflicting emotions once the credits started rolling? Why was I not flush with joy as my fellow Star Wars fans who left the theater with me? Why is there a contingent of “fans” who are declaring their hatred for the film? And finally, how do I feel now that I’ve taken the time to sort out my feelings about the film and have seen it a second time? Here’s my 2 cents (or Republic credits if you’re not in the Outer Rim) WARNING – SPOILER TERRITORY AHEAD!:

Read more after the jump!

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MORE THAN THE FINAL RESULT: WHY THE ROYAL RUMBLE DIDN’T SUCK

Yesterday I wrote a column for Redeye explaining why so many WWE fans were upset at the winner of the Royal Rumble 30-Man battle royal match. Some will say that the end result was predictable and plenty of folks got on social media to voice their displeasure. I’ll admit, I was one of those fans that was let down. The Triple Threat Match between Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Seth Rollins was an instant classic, showcasing all the strengths of the three competitors, so it really raised the bar for the pay-per-view’s main event. I guess a letdown should have been expected.

But once the proverbial smoke cleared and cooler heads prevailed, I started looking at the Rumble with a little more perspective. Re-watching the battle royal, as it was broadcast the following day on RAW, helped me make a better analysis of the match and what it was offering. The conclusion I came to was this: you can get upset over who wins the Royal Rumble, but then you’re missing the forest for the trees.

(Read more after the jump!)

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