RECORD STORE TALES
- RECORD STORE TALES MkII:
GETTING MORE TALE
Music, Movies, and more
STEVE EARLE – “Dominick Street” and “The Galway Girl”
My old friend Mike Lukas has shot and edited this cool video with his new GoPro camera. I gotta get me one of these! He edited the video on his Mac and voila — “The Galway Girl” live on stage with Steve Earle. This is my favourite song from Transcendental Blues.
Mike tells me that John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin is visible at the beginning of the video. See if you can spot him.
Directed by Robert Meyer Burnett.
I’ll admit I never saw the original cut of this 1999 cult indy classic. I’d heard of it back then, but never saw it. All I’ve seen is this recut version, and I am pleased to bits over it. Not knowing what to expect, I popped the movie into the DVD player. This movie was a good 15 years ahead of its time. Now you can see this every week on The Big Bang Theory. I’d almost go as far as to call Big Bang a ripoff. Almost. Big Bang never got Shatner on their show.
I was immediately inundated with sci-fi and pop culture references to make Kevin Smith wet his bed. Anyone born in the 1970’s will understand. Yet, this is not as cheesily done as the disappointing Fanboys. Something about this strikes the nerve of authenticity. From re-enactments of Logan’s Run (“Run, runner!”) to geekouts over Wrath Of Khan laserdiscs, and incorporating Terminator quotes into everyday life, if you’re a sci-fi geek, you will never find a more wretched hive…sorry, got carried away there. Throw in Swingers influences for the late 20’s crowd in the late 90’s and you have a pretty entertaining film. Although in the wake of Big Bang Theory, I fear viewers today will simply feel they’ve seen this before.
Eric McCormack is a struggling writer (his latest screenplay, Brady Killer – a horror movie set in the Brady house — is pretty much junk). Rafer Weigel (who?) is a film editor for a tiny studio, making movies like Beach Babe Bingo Fiesta. Their lives consist of trying to score, geeking out over Star Trek (“only original, only classic!”), and in Rafer’s case, paying the bills without hawking his Trek goods. Their lives take a turn for the interesting when they are browsing books and run into…William Shatner (browsing porn), as played by William Shatner.
This is, in my own humble geek opinion, Shatner’s best movie. At times he plays himself understatedly dark, other times with panache, and outrageously at others. Most of all, Shatner’s Shatner is whacko. A lonely whacko, and lovable, but also out-of-his-tree whacko, as if every story you ever heard about his ego was true. He is working on his own film project, a little epic. William Shatner and William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. A musical version. Six hours long. Three intermissions. With Shatner playing all the parts. Except Calpurnia. He was thinking about getting Sharon Stone for that part.
Shatner, as great as he is, is only the background for this lovingly made film. He appears in childhood dream sequences, and he pops up unexpectedly when the characters need to confess their problems to what essentially amounts to a friendly, lonely stranger. Our main characters are going through their own late-20’s problems, mostly with women. The performances are merely adequate, certainly not Oscar-worthy, but damned if McCormack doesn’t do the best Shatner monologue that I’ve ever seen. It’s a very, very good Shat.
This is not a complex story, but it is a warm one about friends and Trek, and is infinitely re-watchable. I pull it off the shelves every year or so to enjoy and geek out. I can’t say the same thing about Fanboys. Its only flaw is its ending, which is a shame since the ending is kind of the important part. Considering that the ending is a musical performance by William Shatner though, there’s some camp value to it. It’s just…not very good.
The DVD bonus features are pure awesomeness at warp 9. My favourite was a pilot for a series called Cafe Fantastique that was never picked up, but damn, it should have been. The makers of Free Enterprise came up with a series where they just discuss science fiction news and films over drinks in a bar with special guests. Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) appears in this pilot. It’s kind of like that show that Jon Favreau had where he just hangs out at dinner with his friends. Shoulda woulda coulda been a series. I would have watched it, and so would you. Lastly there is a large booklet with lots of pictures and essays, and a glossary of geek speak. For example “Soylent Green is people!”
Pickup Free Enterprise if you:
a) are a Shatner fan
b) love Kevin Smith style films
c) think Han shot first.
3.5/5 stars. An indispensable part of my Trek library.