Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Frost/Nixon and Political Star Trek

On Saturday Jason, Caroline, Rachel and I headed down to Edina to see the movie Frost/Nixon. I came into the movie not exactly knowing what to expect- I knew that there was a famous interview that showed Nixon in a bad light, but that was about it. So, I didn't think that the story would be especially gripping, more just good.

Well, I was half right and half wrong. The story was good, but it was also surprisingly gripping, dragging us the whole way while we were on the edge of our seats with worry and/or anticipation. There's a whole lot of factors that make it so intense- the excellent way that Frost is portrayed as a potential nitwit who might be way in over his head, especially through that vacant smile he's always wearing; the mounting debt that the production runs up, even during the final day of filming; and the strangely likeable malevolence of Nixon. Speaking of Nixon, the actor, Frank Langella, is amazing. He looks nothing like Nixon, but just from the way that he speaks, walks and gestures you are convinced that he is Tricky Dick. This effect was pulled off so well that about halfway through the movie I could've sworn that he had actually physically morphed into the former president, despite the aforementioned discrepancy in their appearances.

In other news, Rachel and I are working our way through Star Trek: TNG. Last night we came across an episode called The Outcast which was really good and surprisingly relevant. It concerns the Enterprise coming to the aid of an alien race that is completely androgynous. Throughout the episode we come to realize that the race is not, in fact, completely androgynous and that some of them realize that they are of a gender, either male or female, and are scorned for it. In all it was a really neat look at the gay rights issue, except kind of reversed and of course in an alien setting. I recommend that you check it out- it's worth the watch.

That's about it for now; till next time...

"History has tried hard to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn't be wise."
- Mark Twain writing in the New York Herald, 8/26/1876

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