“May the Schwartz Be With You” – Off-the-Wall Movies

 

Spaceballs

 

Like Galaxy Quest was an homage to Star Trek, Mel Brooks off-the-wall comedy Spaceballs (1987) was a send-off of Star Wars. Its setting and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi franchises including Star Trek, Alien, and the Planet of the Apes films.

The plot is set in a distant galaxy, planet Spaceball which has depleted its air supply, leaving its citizens reliant on a product called “Perri-Air.” (See, I told you off-the-wall)

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks

In desperation, Spaceball’s leader President Skroob (Mel Brooks) orders the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) of oxygen-rich Druidia and hold her hostage in exchange for air.

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

But help arrives for the Princess in the form of renegade space pilot Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his half-man, half-dog partner, Barf (John Candy). (IMDb)

 

Spaceballs is a 1987 American science fiction parody film co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, the film also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and the voice of Joan Rivers as Dot Matrix. (Wikipedia)

 

The film was met with a mixed reception but I think it can be classified as a cult classic, definitely an off the-wall-classic.

Going back and researching this film I almost forgot the funniest scene that had me on the floor. When I first saw this I literally screamed! Which I’m sure had the cleaning lady a the Residence Inn, where I was staying, shaking her head. (This chick is nuts!)

 

OMG, that was hilarious!! Who would have thought you could turn that incredibly terrifying moment in Alien into this “spit your milk out” moment.

Once again, Rick Moranis is absolutely brilliant! Just looking at him in that ginormous helmet, you can’t help but crack-up. Portraying the embodiment of the “Napoleon complex” his action playing with his dolls is too precious.

Trivia:

  • IT WASN’T THE FIRST STAR WARS PARODY FILM.

Amateur filmmaker, Ernie Fosselius was so enamored with Star Wars in 1977 that he cobbled together a 12-minute short, Hardware Wars, which he shot for just $8,000 in an abandoned laundromat. It was even declared a “cute little film” by George Lucas.

  • LUCAS GAVE HIS (CONDITIONAL) BLESSING.

Based on Brooks not doing any merchandising. The Lucas people were just upset about one aspect of Spaceballs,” Brooks told Starlog in 1987. “They didn’t think it was fair for us to do a take-off and then merchandise the characters.”

  • BILL PULLMAN WAS BROOKS’ THIRD CHOICE.

According to Pullman, the actor—who had not yet had a starring role—was approached by Brooks only after Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks turned down the role of Lone Starr, the Han Solo-esque lead of the film. Pullman said that hiring Rick Moranis and John Candy freed Brooks up to cast a relative unknown.

  • BARF’S EARS UPSTAGED THE ACTORS.

John Candy, who played half-dog/half-man Barf, was usually trailed on-set by Effects artist Rick Lazzarini and the effects crew, who had to control both his tail and his ears. At one point, Lazzarini was told by Brooks that he didn’t “have to move the ears so much!” They were too active in scenes focused on other characters. (Candy, incidentally, performed with a 40-pound battery backpack strapped to him to control the animatronics.)

(Jake Rossen-(mental_floss)

 

John Candy - Barf

John Candy – Barf

So, if you’re looking for a good laugh and a total mind distraction, I recommend “Spaceballs” as the perfect gag-filled tonic.

Image result for spaceballs may the schwartz be with you gif

 

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Khan Noonien Singh – 50th Anniversary of “Space Seed”

 

Image result for original star trek images

 

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

 

 

This week we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of my favorite Star Trek episode, “Space Seed”  (Season 1, Episode 22) with Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh.

 

Broadcast on February 16, 1967, the storyline was written by Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber, and directed by Marc Daniels. The plot explored the concept of Eugenics,”super-intelligence and the result of creating a group of “super people” (from Earth’s past) bred to conquer the world. 

 

Image result for space seed

 

The subsequent 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a brilliant sequel to “Space Seed” as we find out what subsequently happened to Khan and his people on the planet to which Kirk banished them.

 

Image result for space seed star trek

 

The film ratcheted up the intensity of the television episode proving to be a full-out sci-fi thriller which I give two, very enthusiast, thumbs up!👍🏼👍🏼

 

 

Khan: To the last, I grapple with thee. From hell’s heart, I stab at thee. For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee. 

 

 

Wow, what a statement! In 1966, an authentic representation of an international crew. Radical stuff which showed the brilliance and social awareness of creator, the late Gene Roddenberry.

 

Image result for diversity

 

Set in the 23rd century, the series would evolve to follow the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew who were charged with solving intergalactic conflicts without interfering in the planet’s culture. This vehicle was Gene Roddenberry’s method of initiating dialogue around controversial human and sometimes not so human, issues such as racism, technology, war.

 

(Front to back – William Shatner (center) DeForrest Kelly (L) Leonard Nimoy (R) James Doohan (back L), Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei)

I’ve always been of the mind that art is revolutionary. The great Renaissance masters like DaVinci, and Michelangelo, were considered subversives in their time. They had to hide their political messages inside their remarkable works to keep from being prosecuted. In his way, Gene Roddenberry could be considered a “Renaissance Man”.

 

star trek roddenberry

(August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991)

Roddenberry had a vision that we can co-exist in a multicultural, multinational world and, as an eleven-year-old black girl from the east side of Detroit, I was right there with him. I had the same dreams and beliefs for my future.

 

Related image

 

The series was produced from September 1966–December 1967 by Norway Productions and Desilu Productions, and by Paramount Television from January 1968–June 1969. Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966, to June 3, 1969, and was actually seen first on September 6, 1966, on Canada’s CTVnetwork.

 

original star trek images

“Trouble with Tribbles”

Star Treks Nielsen ratings while on NBC were low, and the network canceled the show after three seasons and 79 episodes. Several years later, the series became a bona fide hit in broadcast syndication, remaining so throughout the 1970s, achieving cult classic status and a developing influence on popular culture.

 

Image result for star trek

 

Star Trek eventually spawned a franchise, consisting of five additional television series, thirteen feature films, numerous books, games, toys, and is now widely considered one of the most popular and influential television series of all time. (Wikipedia)

 

Related image

Live Long and Prosper

“May the Schwartz Be With You” – Off-the-Wall Movies

 

Spaceballs

 

Like Galaxy Quest was an homage to Star Trek, Mel Brooks off-the-wall comedy Spaceballs (1987) was a send-off of Star Wars. Its setting and characters parody the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as other sci-fi franchises including Star Trek, Alien, and the Planet of the Apes films.

The plot is set in a distant galaxy, planet Spaceball which has depleted its air supply, leaving its citizens reliant on a product called “Perri-Air.” (See, I told you off-the-wall)

Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks

In desperation, Spaceball’s leader President Skroob (Mel Brooks) orders the evil Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to kidnap Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) of oxygen-rich Druidia and hold her hostage in exchange for air.

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

Rick Moranis (Dark Helmet)

But help arrives for the Princess in the form of renegade space pilot Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his half-man, half-dog partner, Barf (John Candy). (IMDb)

 

Spaceballs is a 1987 American science fiction parody film co-written, produced and directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Brooks, Bill Pullman, John Candy, and Rick Moranis, the film also features Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, and the voice of Joan Rivers as Dot Matrix. (Wikipedia)

 

The film was met with a mixed reception but I think it can be classified as a cult classic, definitely an off the-wall-classic.

Going back and researching this film I almost forgot the funniest scene that had me on the floor. When I first saw this I literally screamed! Which I’m sure had the cleaning lady a the Residence Inn, where I was staying, shaking her head. (This chick is nuts!)

 

OMG, that was hilarious!! Who would have thought you could turn that incredibly terrifying moment in Alien into this “spit your milk out” moment.

Once again, Rick Moranis is absolutely brilliant! Just looking at him in that ginormous helmet, you can’t help but crack-up. Portraying the embodiment of the “Napoleon complex” his action playing with his dolls is too precious.

Trivia:

  • IT WASN’T THE FIRST STAR WARS PARODY FILM.

Amateur filmmaker, Ernie Fosselius was so enamored with Star Wars in 1977 that he cobbled together a 12-minute short, Hardware Wars, which he shot for just $8,000 in an abandoned laundromat. It was even declared a “cute little film” by George Lucas.

  • LUCAS GAVE HIS (CONDITIONAL) BLESSING.

Based on Brooks not doing any merchandising. The Lucas people were just upset about one aspect of Spaceballs,” Brooks told Starlog in 1987. “They didn’t think it was fair for us to do a take-off and then merchandise the characters.”

  • BILL PULLMAN WAS BROOKS’ THIRD CHOICE.

According to Pullman, the actor—who had not yet had a starring role—was approached by Brooks only after Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks turned down the role of Lone Starr, the Han Solo-esque lead of the film. Pullman said that hiring Rick Moranis and John Candy freed Brooks up to cast a relative unknown.

  • BARF’S EARS UPSTAGED THE ACTORS.

John Candy, who played half-dog/half-man Barf, was usually trailed on-set by Effects artist Rick Lazzarini and the effects crew, who had to control both his tail and his ears. At one point, Lazzarini was told by Brooks that he didn’t “have to move the ears so much!” They were too active in scenes focused on other characters. (Candy, incidentally, performed with a 40-pound battery backpack strapped to him to control the animatronics.)

(Jake Rossen-(mental_floss)

 

John Candy - Barf

John Candy – Barf

So, if you’re looking for a good laugh and a total mind distraction, I recommend “Spaceballs” as the perfect gag-filled tonic.

Image result for spaceballs may the schwartz be with you gif

 

Galaxy Quest – Star Trek’s Favorite Child⚜🖖🏼

Galaxy Quest Poster

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the ultimate love letter and hilariously entertaining sci-fi movie hit, “Galaxy Quest” (1999).

This wonderful homage to Star Trek stars the brilliant Alan Rickman (the inimitable Professor Snape), (I kicked the “Alien’s” butt) Sigourney Weaver, Tim (“ar ar”) Allen, and the irrepressible Tony Shaloub. It’s the story of a ragtag group of actors who spend the bulk of their post-television celebrity days at supermarket openings and Comic-con festivals. Primarily because in the 18 years since the series ended, they couldn’t buy a job.

We first meet this merry band backstage at a Comic-con event for their now defunct television series, “Galaxy Quest, waiting for their hated (I mean illustrious leader), Commander Peter Quincy Taggert (Tim Allen) of the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector, who’s always, always late for these events, and looks down on and ignores his co-stars by accepting solo engagements for personal appearances.

galaxy quest cast

Commander Peter Quincy Taggert (Tim Allen)

Alan Rickman absolutely hates only being known for his Spock-type character Dr. Lazarus on the show since he is a Shakespearean-trained actor. And, if he hears his tagline “By Grabthar’s Hammer” regurgitated back to him at one more of these appearances, someone just might die. (I’m totally serious)

Tony Shaloub’s character Sgt. Chen is cool and zen with whatever is going down. Swinging to his own rhythm. (Love him!!)

galaxy quest cast

Tony Shaloub – Sgt. Chen

And, Enrico Colantoni as Commander Mathesar is one of the sweetest, most endearing aliens you’ll ever meet.

galaxy quest cast

Enrico Colantoni as Commander Mathesar

Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Tawny Madison is the ship’s computer voice and annoys the hell out of everyone since that’s her only function on the ship. “I’ve got one job and that’s what I’m going to do.”galaxy-quest-gwen2

Sam Rockwell deserves a righteous shout out as my man Guy (Crewman #6) who just knows this adventure is a bad idea and destined to lead to his untimely death. “Did you guys ever watch the show?” Fabulous!

 

The film received critical praise and reached cult status through the years, becoming popular with Star Trek fans, staff, and cast members for its affectionate parody.

Image result for galaxy quest cast

At the 2013 Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, Galaxy Quest received enough support in a Star Trek Film Ranking and was included with the twelve Star Trek films that had been released at the time on the voting ballot. The fans at the convention ranked it the seventh best Star Trek film.

Image result for star trek fan films

Galaxy Quest won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the Nebula Award for Best Script, 26th Hochi Film Award for Best International Picture and was also nominated for ten Saturn Awards including Best Science Fiction Film.

saturn-awards

The movie garnered the Saturn Award for Best Director for Dean Parisot, Best Actress for Weaver and Best Supporting Actor for Rickman with Allen winning Best Actor. The film was included in Reader’s Digests list of The Top 100+ Funniest Movies of All Time. (Wikipedia)

galaxy quest thermians

Theremins meeting Lt. Madison, Dr. Lazarus, and Guy

The incredible extraterrestrial alliance between the “Thermians” and the crew of the NSEA Protector, results in one fantastic, galaxy ride!

Image result for galaxy quest thermians

If you’re a fan and love Star Trek (tv and movies) you have to check out this awesome film. Trust me, space has never been the same.😄

 

 

 

“Beam Me Up Scotty” – 50th Anniversary of Star Trek!

 

Image result for original star trek images

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

I am an original Trekkie and very proud of it! I treasure my memories of sitting in anticipation on the floor in front of the tv on Friday nights, watching Kirk (William Shatner), Bones (DeForest Kelley), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), “Scotty”(James Doohan), Sulu (George Takei), Chekov (Walter Koenig ), Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and the crew of the Starfleet starship USS Enterprise begin their adventure and “boldly going where no man has gone before.”(I was very pleased when they acknowledged the sexist nature of the tagline and changed it from no man to no one.)

Wow, what a statement! In 1966, an authentic representation of an international crew. Radical stuff which showed the brilliance and social awareness of creator, the late Gene Roddenberry.

(Introduction to pilot “The Cage”)

Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike was actually the first captain of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage“. The original pilot was broadcast on September 8, 1966. Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock was on board by his captain’s side as well as Majel Barrett (Number One), who went on to portray Nurse Chapel, the recognizable voice of most onboard computer interfaces throughout the series and later become Roddenberry’s 2nd wife.

star trek captain pike bridge

Star Trek Pilot “The Cage” – USS Enterprise Crew featuring Jeffrey Hunter

Set in the 23rd century, the series would evolve to follow the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew who were charged with solving intergalactic conflicts without interfering in the planet’s culture. This vehicle was Roddenberry’s method of initiating dialogue around controversial human and sometimes not so human, issues such as racism, technology, war.

(Front to back – William Shatner (center) DeForrest Kelly (L) Leonard Nimoy (R) James Doohan (back L), Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei)

I’ve always been of the mind that art is revolutionary. The great Renaissance masters like DaVinci, and Michelangelo, were considered subversives in their time. They had to hide their political messages inside their remarkable works to keep from being prosecuted. In his way, Gene Roddenberry could be considered a “Renaissance Man”.

star trek roddenberry

(August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991)

Roddenberry had a vision that we can co-exist in a multicultural, multinational world and, as an eleven-year-old black girl from the east side of Detroit, I was right there with him. I had the same dreams and beliefs for my future.

Related image

My favorite Star Trek episode would have to be “Space Seed” (Season 1, Episode 22) with Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh.

It was first broadcast on February 16, 1967. The storyline was written by Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber, and directed by Marc Daniels. The plot explored the concept of Eugenics,”super-intelligence and the result of creating a group of “superpeople” (from Earth’s past) bred to conquer the world. 

space seed star trek

The subsequent 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a brilliant sequel to “Space Seed” as we find out what subsequently happened to Khan and his people on the planet to which Kirk banished them.

Image result for space seed star trek

The film ratcheted up the intensity of the television episode proving to be a full-out sci-fi thriller which I give 2, very enthusiast, thumbs up!

The series was produced from September 1966–December 1967 by Norway Productions and Desilu Productions, and by Paramount Television from January 1968–June 1969. Star Trek aired on NBC from September 8, 1966, to June 3, 1969, and was actually seen first on September 6, 1966, on Canada’s CTVnetwork.

original star trek images

“Trouble with Tribbles”

Star Treks Nielsen ratings while on NBC were low, and the network canceled the show after three seasons and 79 episodes. Several years later, the series became a bona fide hit in broadcast syndication, remaining so throughout the 1970s, achieving cult classic status and a developing influence on popular culture.

original star trek images

Starship Captains over the years – Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew)

Star Trek eventually spawned a franchise, consisting of five additional television series, thirteen feature films, numerous books, games, toys, and is now widely considered one of the most popular and influential television series of all time. (Wikipedia)

 

In Memoriam

Although we’ve lost some light over the years with the passing of those who loved, crafted and inspired us with Star Trek’s spirit, the sentiment lives on.

May they all rest in peace.

Image result for star trek

Leonard Nimoy

(March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015)