Set your frontal lobes for the final frontier. With the warp engines revving up for the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness it seems the perfect time to show you what Diamond Select Toys has in store for us old school Trek folk in the coming months.
Action Figure Line-Up…
June will see release of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in 7” action figure representations, both offered in stand alone and Select diorama versions. The dioramas capture peak moments in key episodes with Leonard Nimoy preparing to mind meld with the “Devil In The Dark” Horta and William Shatner engaging in battle with Khan Noonian Singh as in the “Space Seed” episode. Expect those in June. Next Generation Captain Jean Luc Picard will arrive in the fall with a great diorama base that features a battle battered Borg.
On the Mini-Mates front DST adds the Star Trek Legacy Series 1 Set, pairing Captains and their adversaries. I love mini-mates. It always makes me smile to see how DST makes these simple little forms exude the essence of their real life counterparts.
Star Trek II Movie – Captain Kirk and Kahn Noonien Singh
Star Trek: First Contact – Captain Picard and Borg Queen
Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Season 7 – Captain Sisko and Jem Hadar
Star Trek: Enterprise – Captain Archer and Xindi
Diligent collector’s will keep and eye out for Toys R Us (TRU), Entertainment Earth and Action Figure Express (AFX) exclusives on many of these goodies. TRU will have an exclusive Legacy selection, AFX will sell a “Mirror, Mirror” version of the Mini-Mate Starship Enterprise, while Entertainment Earth offers the vessel in “Trouble With Tribbles” mode.
If Seven Turned Out To Be Nine, I Don’t Mind…
The Diamond Select Femme Fatales collection which already includes striking sculpts of some of fandom’s most celebrated ladies will get a Star Trek oriented addition with a deliciously sleek sculpt of Geri Ryan as Seven of Nine from the Star Trek: Voyager series. This figure measures 9” tall and is cast in PVC.
Everything Is Ship Shape…
If spacecraft are your focus DST already offers a full line of electronic USS Enterprise models representing the entire Star Trek timeline. There’s also the beautiful Klingon “Bird of Prey”, which comes in a translucent green “cloaked” variant exclusive to AFX.
DST is currently preparing Star Trek characters for the popular Bust Bank series. Be sure to hit the link above and check out Diamond’s site for their extensive line of full sized replicas ( communicators, phasers, tricorders, Klingon disruptor) for your role playing delight. Some trouble with a “sound and motion” tribble may be in your future.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Michael J. Pollard Mini-Mate to play a game of “bonk-bonk” with. I’m not feeling like a “grup” yet.
Director: Dan Algrant
(Tribeca Film/Focus World)
Select Theatrical release:
May 3 Los Angeles – Laemmle Noho 7
May 3 New York – Village East
May 10 Denver – SIE Film Center
May 17 Columbus – Gateway Film Center
May 17 Toronto – TIFF Bell Lightbox
May 24 Seattle – Northwest Film Forum
May 24 Portland – Hollywood 3
Also available as Pay On-Demand viewing and iTunes purchase.
What It Is…
Director Daniel Algrant’s rumination on the late singers Tim & Jeff Buckley is slyly named Greetings From Tim Buckley. I say slyly because it is not only a nod to an album title but an ironic nudge that the protagonist must “meet” his estranged, deceased, father solely through his music and other’s perceptions of that music. At its core the film is the story of a talented young person boxing with an ancestral ghost. It is an imbroglio magnified by Jeff’s uncanny likeness to the images on Tim’s vintage record albums.
The film illuminates the story of Jeff’s participation in a tribute to his father held in Brooklyn at St. Anne’s Church in April of 1991. The Hal Wilner production was essentially Buckley the younger’s coming out party. It’s a single facet of the prism that was Jeff Buckley but a key perspective on the history that drove him. Similar to Dream Brother, David Brown’s dual biography which alternated chapters between father and son, Algrant offers us Pen Badgley’s Jeff and Ben Rosenfield’s Tim in doppelganger juxtapositions that highlight their commonalities, particularly their will-o-the-wisp ways. I call it decisively indecisive, those on the receiving end might just call it self-serving or just plain selfish behavior.
Badgley, embodies the young singer in the same peripheral OMG glimpses that Jeff himself embodied his father. It is very hard in this post video world to portray an entity of recent note. Your audience has a lot of audio-visual information to compare. Badgley gives you his take on “the guy inside,” and it works as mercurial amounts of self-doubt and obstinate pride come through with facility. That is, you don’t see him acting.
As a musician and songwriter myself, I particularly enjoyed the scene in which Frank Wood as Gary Lucas and Badgley’s Jeff cobble together the riffs that would eventually become the song “Grace,” the title tune of Buckley’s only non-posthumous album. An unintended slight comes when guitarist Lucas compliments Jeff on his Qawwali style vocal technique then suggests he use it to embellish one of is father’s tunes at the tribute. The scene is a great illustration of how – for Jeff – Tim’s legend is both a stepping stone and pitfall for his own aspirations.
Co-Star Imogen Poots plays Allie the fictionalized foil who acts as love interest, play friend, muse and talented competitor. The center of the movie finds Jeff and Allie cavorting around town where they end up flipping through LP’s in a used record shop. When Allie flashes Jeff the cover of one of his father’s albums, Jeff counters with a Led Zeppelin LP and launches into a chipmunked pastiche of Zep tunes that scares the crap out of the staff. It’s a performance that is worth the price of admission. If you’ve never heard the real Jeff render “’Kashmir’ at 78 RPM” you owe it to yourself to seek it out. There’s a short version on the Live at L’Olympia concert disc released in 2001 by Columbia/Sony Australia.
When Greetings From Tim Buckley succeeds or fails it is for the same reason, its “one – piece – of – the – puzzle” scope. While Jeff fans know what eventually transpired during the rest of his short lifetime, the film leaves casual viewers in the lurch wondering “why should I care?” Therefore Jeff devotees may want to own this film while newbies will have to hit Wikipedia for the complete 411 – or just buy Grace to be enlightened.
Though the interpersonal content of the screenplay often allows the audience to glean some pointers to future developments in Jeff’s life, its ending – the concert reenactment – ultimately falls flat. Why? Because the performances do not convey catharsis and because as an “origin” story there can be none of Jeff’s own spectacular output. His troubadouring at clubs like Siné would ultimately blossom into the creation of Grace several years later.
Turnabout being fair play, I’d say that 20 years since the release of Grace, few would know who Tim Buckley was if not for his famous son.
Klose to the Edge…
In addition to Badgley, singer/songwriter Jann Klose is featured “in the mix” playing and vocalizing on Tim Buckley’s “Pleasant Street,” “Song For Janie, and “Once I Was.” I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Jann’s excellent group and photographing the gig.
This season he will be previewing songs from his new album Mosaic. The album will be released on CD on June 7th, with iTunes download following later in the month. In addition to Klose’s original songs, the album closes with his a cappella version of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren” and in an art imitates art ouroboros he has recently been writing with aforementioned Jeff Buckley collaborator Gary Lucas.
I highly reccommend you make a point of hearing him perform.
The roll out for Square Enix/Play Arts roster of DC Universe figures, as previewed at NY Toy Fair 2013 in February, has begun with The Dark Knight Trilogy Batman and Bane currently available. Catwoman Selina Kyle as portrayed by Anne Hathaway, and Heath Ledger’s Joker will follow in the coming months.
Arkham Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight…
Rounding out the Batman related characterizations, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy will add a twisted feminine touch to the Batman Arkham City series. Both are scheduled for mid-June 2013 release.
Also scheduled for release throughout spring and summer are the Anime-esque “Kai” Variants of DC’s revered heroes and heroines. Along with a samurai sword wielding Batman, the series will include sleek and angular spins on Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and down the road Batgirl and Flash. The latter two were displayed in early prototype pre-painted versions that I think highlighted their beautiful geometric look. That said, The Flash should be spectacular in full color.
Many of the characters were displayed with a host of swappable parts, including hands, weapons and masks. Please keep in mind that all photos here were taken of prototypes – in some cases still pending licensor approval. Final products may vary. You can see the official product images of these and other Square Enix/Play Arts collectibles at their website.
Sittin’ In the Park Waiting for You…
A peak point in Once Upon A Dream, The Young Rascals’ reunion show now playing at the Richard Rogers Theater, comes mid-show when the sound of chirping birds and conga beats herald the beginning of their 1960’s Top 40 classic “Groovin’.” As the band slides into this pean to the lazy hazy days of summer the fuzzy image projected behind them becomes sharper until it reveals a scene of Central Park lawn loungers soaking up the rays. It’s a perfect picture of the idyllic side of summer in the city that is headed your way again.
Yep, it can be a pain living in a metropolis as big as New York, but that is all the more reason to take advantage of the special events being offered. Just so you can’t say no one warned you, here are a host of reasons to get off the couch between now and September. Get out your calendars, dumb pencils or smart phones and start marking the dates for all the wonderful and mostly FREE doings the City Parks Foundation has planned for SummerStage 2013. Presented by AT&T SummerStage events are not limited to Central Park, there are shows in every borough. Use the City Parks Foundation’s interactive calendar to find Summerstage and a bazillion other happenings.
We’ll Keep On Spendin’ Sunny Days This Way…
The choices span every cultural aspect of NYC, classical, rock, jazz, folk, with a fortieth anniversary focus on Hip Hop this season. Genre keystones like DJ Cool Herc and Rock Steady Crew are on board. Foundation President Alison Tocci notes, “Audiences have come to expect the highest-quality, arts programming from SummerStage and we intend to continue that tradition. With the introduction of the new “Forewords” discussion panels and the “This is __ Hip-Hop” series, we hope to present programming that is not only entertaining but further pushes the bounds of what the festival offers and celebrates the spirit and history of all performing arts genres.”
On my personal radar are two theater pieces, a Hip-Hop reworking of King Kong in this 80th anniversary year, and Diablo Love writer Mando Alvarado’s play interpolating the songs of seminal American blues artist Howlin’ Wolf. If you’ve yet to see Liane La Havas don’t miss the chance.