“Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and Finding Your Better Self

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Is that the logical thing to do?
No, but it is the human thing to do. 

There’s never been another Star Trek film like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which is in my opinion one of the most fun films ever made. There’s a reason it absolutely destroyed the box office when it came out in 1986 — it was actually released on my birthday — and really wouldn’t be rivaled until the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot. The movie is purely enjoyable on a pure visceral level, smart enough to keep the audience engaged, intensely gripping when the stakes are high, yet loose enough to where you can relax and have a good time.

This is the part where I briefly touch on the negatives. Voyage Home is, by nature of being a comedy, going to have some drawbacks. There are a ton of plot-holes and nitpicks, none of which I care to go into because they don’t bother me. Some don’t like the art film-style time travel scenes… I personally like them quite a bit. To me the biggest issue, though, is the soundtrack. This is likely because I’m spoiled. I’ve got James Horner on one side and Jerry Goldsmith on the other — two of the most celebrated composers of all time. I feel Star Trek IV goes way overboard (puns always intended) in it’s pursuit of comedic musical tone. I have a fantastic idea: let’s recut Voyage Home with Final Frontier’s incredible music.

*listens to Star Trek V soundtrack while typing this*
Perfect! Continue reading ““Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and Finding Your Better Self”


“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and Minding the Gaps of Life

< Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Keeping On When All Goes Wrong | Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Finding Your Better Self  >

Enterprise feels like a house with all the children gone. No, more empty even then that. The death of Spock is like an open wound. It seem that I have left the most noblest part of myself back there on that newborn planet.

One of my favorite moments in this film is actually in the opening credits at the beginning of a film. This was a time when most films, instead of jumping right into the action, ramped up the spectacle by featuring the primary actors, writers, composers, directors, and so on in very large text. After a flashback recap, the viewer is greeted with the opening credits as normal, but then something unique happens. After seeing “Starring William Shatner,” you instinctively expect to see Leonard Nimoy’s name, as is the case for both of the previous two movies. But this time, after Shatner’s name disappears, there is… nothing. For an noticeably long time nothing appears — just a gap — before proceeding to DeForest Kelley’s name. The audience, still reeling from the death of Spock, is forced right off the bat into a moment where the character’s absence is noticed.

Such then is life, where opportunities come up, one after another, to notice when something is missing. And that’s the genius of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the darkest and most underrated of the Original Series films. Continue reading ““Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and Minding the Gaps of Life”

“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and Keeping On When All Goes Wrong

< Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Finding Epicness in the Mundane | Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Minding the Gaps of Life >


All right, did you get that out of your system?

Memes aside, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is my favorite film of all time. I consider it to be one of the greatest ever made. Here’s how to know if you should be friends with someone. Make them sit down to watch Wrath of Khan.

Continue reading ““Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and Keeping On When All Goes Wrong”

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and Finding Epicness in the Mundane

< | Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Keeping On When All Goes Wrong >


Oh yes, the epic movie noise! You may think 2010’s Inception is to blame for its popularity, but rest assured, the signature deep synth base movie “sting” has been around far longer. Star Trek: The Motion Picture from 1979 has so many of them, and it came at a time when the noise wasn’t quite as generic as it is today. I’m all about hearing some suitably epic soundtracks by the late Jerry Goldsmith – and this one could be his best work ever – but the sound effect, for good reason, is very noticeable.


As it should be, because I’d like to discuss finding epicness in everyday life. The biggest criticism for The Motion Picture is also its biggest strength. It’s slow, monotonous, and plodding, just like real life. It takes forever to get anything done, but at least you have time to stop and examine things. There is literally less plot in this film than any of the 50-minute episodes of The Original Series that came about ten years before. Continue reading ““Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and Finding Epicness in the Mundane”

Falling for Jars of Clay’s “The Long Fall Back to Earth”

The most meaningful lyrics in my life – the ones that constantly ring in my head day after day – come from this album. Not even main lyrics, even, but background vocals from the song “Headphones,” sung beautifully by Grammy-nominated folk artist Katie Herzig.

I don’t wanna be the one who /
tries to figure it out. /
I don’t need another reason I should care about you. /
You don’t wanna know my story. /
You don’t wanna own my pain. /
And even in this heavy, heavy world /
There’s a pop song in my head.

Introduction (Lesson One)

Welcome to my retrospective of The Long Fall Back to Earth by Jars of Clay, one of the most meaningful albums in my life. My hope is that you’ll see the thematic genius behind this album by the end, but I’m optimistic at least that you’ll be able to feel the emotions I feel vicariously through me. I’ll be discussing a lot of very human occurrences in this piece, and these are things I think we all can relate with. Continue reading “Falling for Jars of Clay’s “The Long Fall Back to Earth””

Rom-Com Week! “Away We Go” is the Better Love Story after the Love Story

The film I discussed last time, 500 Days of Summer, was a runaway sleeper hit more successful than anyone imagined. Away We Go, the amazing movie I’m exploring in this post, didn’t even make it’s modest budget back at the box office. As much as I loved 500 Days of Summer and wish both movies had found success, this is the one more deserving. Away We Go is a little indie film starring John Krasinski (of The Office fame) and Maya Rudolph (a brilliant character actor who’s in literally everything).


I must have seen this film five or six times by now. It’s the only one I can honestly say gets better each time my wife and I sit down to watch it. I can guarantee this film would be in my top-five list, something I can’t say for the other two movies I’ve discussed this week. Continue reading “Rom-Com Week! “Away We Go” is the Better Love Story after the Love Story”

Rom-Com Week! “500 Days of Summer” and the Dark Side of Falling in Love

Considering the massive resurgence in popularity 500 Days of Summer has seen over the past few years, combined with this film routinely taking the top spot on many “best of” romantic comedies lists, I’d be surprised if you haven’t seen it. The term “sleeper hit” doesn’t even begin to describe its success, and it is undeniably a cult classic.


All of that is to say that if you haven’t found yourself watching this, willing or otherwise, with a lovesick friend, you will in time. Just make sure it’s someone you’re comfortable crying and laughing with. And that’s fine, because 500 Days of Summer is stupid good. When my wife introduced it to me, I was blown away. I’m talking about La La Land levels of emotional vehemence, chemistry between the lead actors as spark-filled as American Hustle, and snappy dialogue that gives pause even to films like The Princess Bride. Continue reading “Rom-Com Week! “500 Days of Summer” and the Dark Side of Falling in Love”

Rom-Com Week! “What If” and Bantering Towards a Proper Love Story

It’s Rom-Com Week! And I couldn’t be more excited to share my three favorite rom-coms and how they’re symbolic of real life relationship situations.


Today we’re looking at Chantry and Wallace in What If and how the film uses flirting to accurately develop a romantic relationship. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s on Amazon Prime Instant Video. You’ll derive more enjoyment, of course, if you go cuddle up with your guy, girl, cat, or dog, watch the movie, then come back here to finish reading. Continue reading “Rom-Com Week! “What If” and Bantering Towards a Proper Love Story”

My First Video Game Was a Masterpiece | A Kirby’s Adventure Retrospective

Recently I came to the realization that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without video games. So, when asked what my very first video game was, there is no better answer.

Kirby’s Adventure.

I am the person I’ve become in small part because of this one game.

Power art
World One: Unidentified Flying Puffball

The year, 1996. On a small farm in rural Southwest Georgia, miles away from a town of any reasonable size, in a modest house was a Nintendo Entertainment System connected to a small TV. This farm and small house belonged to my grandparents. Continue reading “My First Video Game Was a Masterpiece | A Kirby’s Adventure Retrospective”