The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 25, 1996, Page 9, Image 9
/ PICARD (PATRICK STEWART) comes face to face with the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) in the science-fiction action thriller “StarTVelrFiret Contact.” ' * --:__ -—— ■ - .oJK'-ii** WV'“#: i> i «\ -■ UUisAl s* ■-*! ij$ V*?i | j>«±* »S> l M» ij4 t*. #• if^ « ‘Generations’ takes next step Newest starship installment battles against popular enemy — By Gebby Beltz Film Critic I I '* New ship. Same crew. Same en emy. New battleground. “Star Trek: First Contact” once again brings our favorite starship crew into battle against their deadli est — and most popular — enemy, the Borg. Director Jonathan Frakes doesn’t wait for long to start the action. The movie has barely begun and the bio logical Erector sets have already set their mechanical crouton on course for conquering Earth. Picard and crew are all set to go kick some Borg booty, but Starfleet orders thebald one to take the Enter prise over to the Neutral Zone to look at comets. Reasoning: Picard was once part of the Borg collective, so he may falter during battle. However, Starfleet is eventually getting stomped like Mondale in ’84, so Picard defiesorders (surprise!) and gets into the fifftt. On top of everything else, the Borg go back in time to keep Zephram Cochrane (James Cromwell, “Babe”) from making his warp drive experimental run, thus changing history, and the Borg start taking over the Enterprise as well. But there are some good things for the Enterprise crew; Geordi got rid of his hair-barette visor, Beverly Crusher dyed her hair again and Deanna Troi gets introduced to a funky new beverage called ‘tequila.’ Overall, the movie works. Frakes creates a very nice blend of action, drama and comedy. There’s also a few familiar ‘Trek’ faces showing up here and there throughout the film. However, there are other charac ters to work with besides Picard and Data. Where the Batman movies are focusing on everyone but the lead character, the last two Star Ttek mov ies are only looking at Picard and Data. Lest we forget about William “Eternal 2nd Banana” Riker or the budding romance between Ttoi and Worf? Still, “Star Ttek: First Contact” is a fun film to see and is a worthy ad dition to the “Star Ttek” film legacy. Check it out. Film: “Star TYek: First Omtact” Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, James Cromwell Director: Jonathan Frakes Rating: PG-13 (language, mild vio lence) Grade: B+ Five Words: Picard takes on the Thkkies should be proud; First Contactf best film yet *i p|nHHHHHHnnHnnnnB By Cuff Hicks Film Critic Let’s be blunt—“Star Trek: Gen erations” was disappointing in a big way. But at least it got rid of the flesh toned Enterprise D bridge. “Generations,” the first appear ance of the “Star Trek: The Next Gen eration” cast, was a poor excuse for a film. It hung under the shadow of the old cast and tried to be an old “Star Bek” film. Welcome to “The Next Genera tion.” “First Contact” pits Picard (Patrick Stewart) against the Borg and Data (Brent Spiner) against the Borg Queen, as the Borg attempt to stop Earth's first contact with an alien race in the past. Is time travel getting to be a bit overused? Somewhat. Do the Borg look like the dark side of “Toy Story?” Sure. Does this stop the film from being perhaps the best “Bek” film yet? Not a chance. ^ The Enterprise E’s bridge looks more like the bridge of a flagship. It is not the kind of bridge you’ll find Wesley Crusher on. In fact, the look of “First Contact” is a lot crisper all around. The spe cial effects are sharper, the ships look V sleeker and the Borg look really evil. “First Contact” is, however, mostly performance driven. Once you get past the fact that this is a Picard and-Data film (and that the rest of the crew members are just really excess baggage), there is some truly great acting in the film. Spiner’s performance as Data is, asalways, impeccable. The added el ement of the emotion chip (which he can now turn on and off) makes him have to work a little harder for his salary, but there isn’t a spot where he slips. Stewart, however, gives the per formance of a lifetime. A drawn tan gent between Captain Picard and Captain Ahab (from Melville’s “Moby Dick”) leads Stewart into de livering a beautiful speech. So, other than the fact that the rest of the crew are really just set pieces with lines, “First Contact” is the best “Star Trek” film in years, possibly ever. Now we’re boldly going where no one has gone before. Gene Roddenbeny would be proud. Happy 30th birthday, “Star TVek.” Film: “Star Trek: First Contact” Director: Jonathan Frakes Cast: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, James Cromwell Rating: PG-13 (violence, language) Grade: A- ; * ; Five Words: Now THIS is boldly go Performance teamshumoi; tense drama Cast of ‘Speed the Plow1 delivers realistic production. By Liza Holtmeier Theater Critic The Theatrix cast of “Speed the Plow” brought the world of Hollywood deal-making to life this weekend, while achieving an adequate balance between the comic and dramatic elements of Mamet’s play. , The play opened with Charlie Fox, played by Jason Richards, arriving at the office of studio executive Bobby , Gould, played by Michael Rothmayer. While making a deal for a big-time prison movie, Charlie and Bobby make a bet concerning whether or not Bobby could seduce his naive temporary sec retary Karen, played by Lisa Mercer. The fast pace and rapid delivery of lines between Rothmayer and Richards immediately pulled the audience in during scene 1. Their chemistry and stage camaraderie established the ba sis for their relationship for the rest of the show. In the first scene, Rothmayer’s self assuredposture, brash fojtiQ of voice and casual, flippant ^delivery* of lines painted the picture of the consummate greedy Hollywood executive. Every time he thanked one of the characters, his subtext let the audience know that he thought the characters should re ally have been thanking him. Every nuance of Richards’ repre sentation, from his walk to his gestures to his rambling delivery of lines, helped to create the image of a sneaky, self ish, cocky Hollywood producer. The way his thoughts aid movements con stantly shifted revealed the alterior motives of Charlie Fox. Mercer exhibited her ability to por tray contrasting characteristics in her role aS Karen. Through the timidity of her voice and gestures in Scene 1, she accentuated Karen’s naivete and weak ness. In Scene2, however, her gestures and vocalization changed to reveal Karen’s strength, intelligence and abil ity to manipulate. Despite the often too quiet delivery of ha* lines in Scene 2, she created a very intimate and intense moment in the play. Scene 3 served as Rothmayer’s chance to show his talent for contrast. He adjusted easily from vain to vul nerable as Bobby’s former arrogance was replaced by confusion and distress over his relationship with Karen. Richards’ acting in Scene 3 was the highlight of the show. His tension and jumpy movement rounded out the char acter and motivation of Charlie Fox. Despite a couplecontrived and unreal istic stage punches to Bobby, Richards added foe final dimension to the rela tionship between Bobby and Charhe. Through his anger and mocking atti tude, he epitomized the fickle, conniv ing, unscrupulous Hollywood deal maker. The scenes of the play exemplified the manipulation skills of the power hungry. The entire cast skillfully de livered the comic lines of the play while keeping foe characters and situations real.