Well, it’s Christmas Eve and while many may be hunkering down with family, others will turn to holiday entertainment. Maybe it’s classics like It’s A Wonderful Life or more recent cinematic traditions.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re into short (or short-ish) Christmas-themed YouTube clips. If that’s the case, then enjoy this selection:

Captain Picard Sings Let It Snow

Just added to the, um, cannon this year, here’s Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise D singing the immortal classic Let It Snow. Thank James Covenant for putting this thing together and Make It So!

 

JC Sunshine Saves X-Mas

This one’s from our own archives. Produced by FTB as part of the series JC Sunshine’s Fireside Chat, this Power Rangers’-style battle features, Santa, teleportation, elves and the outside of Cavendish Mall in Cote-St-Luc. If you like it, you can also watch the full episode it’s from. Enjoy!

Jon Stewart on Megyn Kelly and Santa’s Race

Fox News host Megyn Kelly really stepped in it when she criticized one blogger’s suggestion that maybe we shouldn’t think of Santa as white. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart probably had the best reaction:

Chuggo: Deck the Halls

Some Christmas rap? We’ve got some Christmas rap. Enjoy this piece by Montreal rapper Chuggo:

Jingle Cats: Let it Snow

And what YouTube Christmas video collection would be complete without the Jingle Cats? Not this one! Enjoy:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Forget the Box!

For a while I had decided on skipping Star Trek: Into Darkness, JJ Abrams’ sequel to the 2009 reboot. I did enjoy the last one, in spite of myself, but the prevailing sentiment I was getting about Into Darkness was that it was insanely dumb and not worth ticket price.

But eventually I thought to myself “What the hell, maybe I’ll give it a shot. There was bad press for that last Spider-Man movie and I actually enjoyed that one. Maybe if I just go in with low expectations I’ll be pleasantly surprised”.

Nnnnnnnnnnnnope.

Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX posterYou heard right. I heard right. Star Trek: Into Darkness is dumb. Hella dumb. Transformers dumb, unsurprising considering it comes courtesy of the same hack screenwriters as that infernal franchise.

I’m not normally one to write detailed descriptions or plot summaries, but I think the best way to give you an introduction as to how mindbogglingly stupid this film is is to take you through the opening scene, because it really does set you up quite beautifully for the kind of experience you’re in for.

The film opens with Kirk and Bones getting chased through an alien forest by some spear-throwing, loincloth-clad natives like Jim Carrey at the end of Ace Ventura 2. The natives, incidentally, are all the color of day old cream, almost as though someone sensed they were a hair’s width away from a massive racial shitstorm and made the natives as not black as possible. Apparently, the Enterprise was doing a routine survey of the planet and found the nearby volcano was on the brink of eruption, which would destroy the entire planet somehow, and decided to swoop in and save the day by…..and I want you to pay attention here, lower Spock on a cable from a shuttle craft into the volcano, so he can drop some kind of anti-volcano device into it. Of course, why this involved Kirk stealing the natives sacred scroll thingy, or why Kirk and Bones had to go near their village in the first place, is never explained.

Likewise, why they couldn’t just teleport the anti-volcano device INTO the volcano, in spite of the fact that they later teleport Spock out, is likewise left a mystery for the ages. This is a recurring theme, you’ll find. Apparently in the last few years transporter technology has become fussier than a videogame cartridge from 1995, and only ever works when the script calls for it. But after a few close calls, they all get safely back to the Enterprise, which has been hiding…..underwater in a nearby lake. Why is it in the lake? Why not in space, it being a space ship? How did they get it there without any of the natives seeing it? How did no one in the entire film making process think “Wait, this makes no fucking sense”? The movie seems to meet all these questions, and the many others you’ll doubtlessly have after watching the film, with a resounding “because fuck you”.

I could really spend the entire review pointing out the many, MANY logical inconsistencies, terrible decisions, lazy plot devices and general stupidity of the movie, but there are plenty of people already doing that. This IS the internet, after all. So suffice to say, the movie’s dumb. Moving on.

From that little adventure, the Enterprise crew heads back to earth, where a mysterious terrorist played by Benedict Cumberbatch is causing all kinds of havoc for the Federation bigwigs, and after Cumberbatch lures the Federation’s best and brightest into the most obvious trap in recent film history, Admiral Robocop sends Kirk and the Enterprise out to kick his ass.

star-trek-into-darkness-chris-pine-alice-eve

From a technical standpoint, Abrams’ usual signatures are on full display. Lens flares out the butt, shaky, unsteady camera work and selective focus during fight scenes, it’s all par for the course. When the camera is being held steady and isn’t awash with blue-white light, there isn’t anything particularly interesting to look at on display. The Enterprise in the new timeline still looks like the inside of an Apple Store, and the looks we get at various Earth cities are probably the most dull, generic looking futuristic cityscapes I’ve ever seen on film. Similarly, Federation dress uniform is now a gray tunic with a peaked officer’s cap. At least Next Generation gave its main characters a fashionable frock for formal occasions.

On the acting front, most of the characters have become more caricatures in the years since the last one. I actually really liked Karl Urban’s Deforest Kelley impersonation in the last one, but by this point it feels more like something you do to get laughs at parties than an actual performance. Simon Pegg’s Scottish antics as Scotty have similarly been dialed up a notch. For all its faults, the last movie at least had the plus of a fairly strong cast that gelled as a unit. This time around, the gel’s gone a tad moldy after too long in the fridge.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is, as we’ve covered here, a definitively dumb movie. But what’s worse, it’s not even the fun kind of dumb, the kind of dumb you can laugh at. This is the kind of dumb that just makes your soul ache at how little thought went into it and how little almost anyone involved seemed to give a shit about crafting an interesting narrative or inventive action scenes. Remember that scene in the first one where Kirk and another cast member suit up in space-suits and skydive towards a narrow target at breakneck speeds in a scene tailor made for the shitty tie-in videogame? They do the exact same scene in Into Darkness, but the big selling point this time: they’re going sideways instead of down. That’s literally the most innovation or originality you’re gonna get in this one. A scene you’ve already seen, but rotated 90 degrees.

Startrek

Star Trek. Seeing those words flash across a backdrop of stars used to light up my face. I loved watching Star Trek, the original version on the CBC. The tapes were out of whack, the colour was usually off, but I was in nerd heaven.

I was just kid watching those shows on Sunday morning, I was outcast loner, an unappreciated young man that was looking for escape out in the stars. There were very few male role models I could relate to, but one of them was Mr. Spock. I wanted to join his culture of Vulcan logic.

Except I added a cult-type twist, I called it Logica. I would have everyone dress like we were going through a Kolinahr ritual, which meant the total purging of one’s emotions. Meaning anyone who joined the group had to wear a white bathrobe. Think of it as comparable with mainstream eastern religious philosophies:closely resembling the loss of self but subject to a methodically applied logic to all situations.

Star Trek, when you think about it, is a religion. Set in a perfect society, virtuous and good, with a social order based on equality where all the nations of the world come together and eventually establish the Federation.

After seeing every subsequent show since The Next Generation, I turned to reading stuff about Star Trek online, but lately, I realize, I’ve become a bit bitter as a Star Trek fan; I feel that while Paramount has been way too focused on catering to mass audiences in an attempt to make more money than even the Grand Nagus. I’m also still a little ticked off that JJ Abrams destroyed Vulcan without my consent. Dude, that was my homeland!

Enterprise

And now Abrams, the man who has been entrusted with the franchise, turns his back on us Vulcans and Earth and even the Klingons! He’s going to make …dare I write it.. a Star Wars movie and he’s going to do it in a galaxy, far, far away!

But seriously Abrams, if you’re going to do Star Wars, don’t come crawling back here to Star Trek apologizing with Wookie fur all over your clothing. Everyone knows that Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans don’t mix, but since he is a catch all director, let’s just get over with and call the next movie Trek Wars (written by William Shatner). We all get it, you want the franchises to meet, in a  epic movie that will vaporize the summer movie competition.Trek Computer

I divert. Anyways, to celebrate the release of the latest movie, which by the way (Spoiler Alert!) if you haven’t seen, I plan to spoil it for you and all of its seceding prequels, I’m going to check out the word Star Trek in this here boxy search engine.  Ahem…Computer, analyze data keyword Star Trek…Star Trek - DS9 - 4x06 - Rejoined

 Wired/The Lost LGBT Crewman

One of the big questions surrounding the new Star Trek movie was whether or not it would have an LGBT crewman?  Will it or will it not happen? It’s not like it hasn’t happened on other sci-fi shows?

Well I don’t think I spotted anyone who was particularly gay on the enterprise, except I knew that Zachery Quinto (Spock) is gay, but his character digs, oddly enough, Uhura for some reason. During the new movie it seemed most of the crew members were too busy running in panic somewhere on the ship or falling out into deep space to focus on their sexuality. And I do recall thinking that one of the crew members looked like a man wearing a dress, but I’m not quite certain.

An LGBT crewman was suppose to be in Star Trek: Into Darkness…but where? Even shows like Battlestar Galactica have had LGBT characters, like Geata.

It strange that Star Trek, which claims to be on the cutting edge of progressive values, has not had one gay character on the Enterprise, while it has, specifically on TNG, had many episodes dedicated to issues of sexuality and gender. It’s not like there are that many religious people who watch the show and may be offended. And how could there be, after the time Deanna Troi dealt a blow to evangelicals when she immaculately conceived a star child?

Well, this wired post has really opened my eyes.

Star Trek on Etsy

Get your Federation Emblem pasties ready! If you don’t have any, they’re on sale. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting excited by the thought of a yeomen burlesque troupe somewhere in our galaxy. Star Trek fanatics will usually treat memorabilia as relics, but new and innovative ways people are using SCI FI lore in their products is fascinating.

etsy

The Trek Collective

What’s the difference between a shuttle on a constellation class starship and one on a Galaxy class starship? Find out through blueprints available for all the ships. You can also get quite a few models through the Trek Collective site.

The Problem with Khan and Star Trek/Feministe

Whatever happened to Spanish/Mexican Khan is a good question. We all know that Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan Noonien Singh…but are there any Mexican-type male actors that could have been just as good for the character that was originally played by mexican actor Ricardo Montalbán and supposed to be from India? The strange casting on this one will be debated, but I think that the Into Darkness blog on Feministe.us gave a really superb explanation.

This post brings up a fascinating points about how Star Trek inserts persons of different nationalities in roles, like John Cho as Sulu. It also goes onto a critique on the dominance of white male captains in Star Trek and poses a real challenge to the standard ways of thinking about Star Trek as a liberal TV show.

Kolinahr

Star Trek Fan Fiction

Star Trek Fan Fiction is a forum where zealots can freely exchange fictional writing. I think it will not only make you an excellent Star Trek writer but might, in turn, expose your outlandish Star Trek writing to the world. And I have so say, there is a a lot, and I mean a lot of freaky nerd fiction here.

And  just a note: it wasn’t always like this. When the internet started picking up steam, Paramount use to actually threaten fan sites with class action lawsuits, oh how far we’ve come.

Intrepid

Star Trek Fan Made Episodes

There are countless episodes of fan-made Star Trek out there. Star Trek Fan Film News will keep you up to date on all the new episodes you can find on YouTube and elsewhere on the web that will fulfill your Star Trek fix.