Film Review “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 12 mins

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Captain’s log. Stardate 20130515. I’ve just come back from a screening of “Star Trek Into Darkness” and am troubled at how I will construct my review. If I give away too much I’ve ruined the experience. Not enough…well, the same thing. That being said I’ll just say, “It’s Amazing!”

We join the crew of the Starship Enterprise on their latest mission. On a planet containing a very primitive species we meet up again with Captain Kirk (Pine) and Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban). Well, meet is really the wrong word. More like glance as the pair are currently running for their lives, pursued by said primitive species. It’s like the opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” without those pesky snakes. The ship is here because of the pending eruption of a massive volcano that, when it blows, will destroy all life in the region. Some quick action by the crew stops the eruption but back on Earth the brass isn’t happy with the outcome of the mission and Kirk finds himself demoted. However, a new danger is on the horizon…one that will challenge Kirk and everyone he holds near and dear.

Packed with action, the film is the second in director Abrams successful attempt to reboot a tired franchise. The cast and crew from the first film are still going strong here and they’re joined by Cumberbatch as a villain who must rank among the best ever presented in ANY of the previous television shows or films. Meanwhile Kirk, Spock and company are worrying about their careers at Starfleet. Kirk would like his crew picked for the latest long-time mission, which would encompass exploring the galaxy for five years. Though now on better terms, Kirk and Spock still quibble, earning the Vulcan the nickname “pointy” on occasion. Familiar names and situations continue to appear, including the introduction of Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), and it’s always great to see steely-eyed Peter Weller, who plays Dr. Marcus’ father, on the big screen. Still it’s Cumberbatch that steals the film. As the mysterious John Harrison he is easily the baddest of the bad, and Cumberbatch portrays him with a chilling, often emotionless, performance.

The rest of the returning cast continue to grow familiar with their roles and excel in that familiarity, especially Urban, Simon Pegg as Scotty and Zoe Saldana, who is allowed to do a lot more than just mutter, “hailing frequency open” as chief communications officer Uhura. Filling the two biggest pair of shoes, Pine and Quinto hit their performances out of the park. Technically the film is dazzling, with the visual effects and make-up as Oscar worthy as the 2009 film. The script does a fine job of incorporating both new and more familiar “strange new worlds,” though it does lose a little steam towards the end. Still, this is one voyage that Enterprise fans will be happy to take.

XBOX 360 Review “Star Trek: The Game”

Format: XBOX 360
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Digital Extremes
Release Date: April 23, 2013

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of “Star Trek”, especially the new reboot from J.J. Abrams. When it comes to video game adaptations of films, things never usually turn out well. Unfortunately, “Star Trek: The Video Game” is no different at all. You are able to play as either Kirk or Spock or together as a co-op duo. 2009’s “Star Trek” cast is on-board reprising their voices for the game, including Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Despite that though, this the game has poor controls, lacking animation and filled with a whole mess of bugs. While playing, I was just left repeating the same thing over and over…”Was this game ever tested before being released”. I guess with the release of “Star Trek Into Darkness” this summer, they were anxious to get it out there. Unless you are a die-hard Trekkie and need to own everything “Star Trek” as a collector, then I would recommend steering clear from this game.

The game itself was developed by Digital Extremes, who are known for games like “Bioshock 2”, “Dark Sector” and “The Darkness 2”. The story is set after events of “Star Trek” (2009) and is written by BAFTA award winner and “God of War” writer, Marianne Krawczyk, along with close collaboration with the writer/producers of the new “Star Trek films”, Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. The story is decent but not enough to balance out the negative. You are able to explore new areas on the Enterprise and other ships, as well as never-before-seen sectors throughout the galaxy. I have to admit that I was very curious about how the co-op experience was going to be turn out and I was left very unsatisfied. I felt that it was very annoying, especially having to wait for the character to catch up when in one player mode. On the positive, you do get two different characters to explore, if you can deal with the bugs. I would have been happier to settle with one character backed with really good game play over what we got here.

For XBOX 360, I have certain expectations in terms of graphics and general animation. From the moment this game started, I was looking at Kirk and Spock and I just said out loud “Eww, they look terrible”. The graphics are very poor and not polished at all. I feel like this final product should have been like the first beta for this game before they cleared the bugs and polished it up. Same goes for the controls, which are all over the place and will have struggling to get a grasp on your characters. Also even though we get the original cast returning, there is also issue with terrible lip-syncing. The game clocks in at around 10 hours, which is pretty good for a film adaptation but that is not 10 hours of pleasure, more like aggravation. It is also 10 hours that you will never get back. “Star Trek: The Game” will leave you wanting more and wishing you didn’t just spend $60 on this game. I might recommend to check it out if when it drops to under $20 bucks, just if you are a die-hard fan.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Spirtis
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
Run Time: 1181 minutes

Season Three: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When I first watched the third season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I was blown away. “The Best of Both Worlds” was one of the best storylines to come out of this series. I saw it long after it was originally aired and I have known about this arc but it still shocking and holds up as one of the best cliffhangers on TV. Overall, the whole series in general really running on all cylinders and kicking ass. The cast and the writers are settled in their roles and really delivered their best performances. Also available the same day is “Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds” for the mega “Star Trek” fans who are looking for a new edit of that fantastic storyline into a new-feature format. This is another very impressive release from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount. They have been giving this series nothing but love since they started releasing these seasons. If you love this series, then this release is a must-buy!

“Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three” delivers absolutely perfect 1080p transfers of each episodes. These episodes don’t just look good. They look stunning. Top that with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track for each episode and Trek fans will be nothing but thrilled. I wonder what Gene Roddenberry would have thought if he could have seen his creation presented like this. Alternate audio tracks also include an English Stereo Surround, French Mono, Italian Mono, Castilian Mono, German Mono and Japanese Mono tracks. If you have seen these episodes on TV or DVD, this give you the show like you have never seen it before due to this fantastic restoration which involved returning to the original film elements.

The special features are quite impressive for this season. The newly produced high definition extras (found mostly on disc six) include an all-new featurette called “Inside The Writer’s Room”, which is moderated by Seth MacFarlane. He leads a panel and a great discussion on the creation of the show’s acclaimed third season with some of today’s best science fiction television writers including Ronald Moore, Brannon Braga, Naren Shankar and Rene Echevarria. There is an entirely new multi-part documentary called “Resistance is Futile – Assimilating Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which really dives into the behind-the-scenes on the making of Season Three. There is a very nice tribute to Michael Piller, which includes never-before-seen interviews with cast, crew and more discuss his lasting influence on the “Star Trek” franchise. Rounding out the high-def extras is a new gag reel for fans, which is located on disc five.

Additional extras included are spread out over the six discs. There are four “Archival Mission Logs” including “Selected Crew Analysis Year Three”, “Mission Overview Year Three”, “Departmental Briefing Year Three: Production” and “Departmental Briefing Year Three: Memorable Missions”. There are four all-new audio commentary track spread out on the release. Disc one features a commentary track from Ron Moore on “The Bonding”. Disc three features features a commentary track from Ron Moore and Ira Steven Behr on “Yesterday’s Enterprise”. Disc four features the last two audio commentary tracks. The first is with Rene Echevarria and Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Offspring” and the second is with Ron Moore on “Sins of the Father”. If you are looking for audio commentary on the episode “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1”, you should check out the stand-one release mentioned above. Lastly, there are also episodic promos available for each of the 26 episodes.


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Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

For all “Star Trek: The Next Generation” fans, we all know that “The Best of Both Worlds” was one of the best arcs in the series. The classic two-part cliffhanger ended the third season and started the fourth season. This Blu-ray contains both parts of this great story blended into one seamlessly edited feature length film. The only issue with this Blu-ray is that since “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1” was one of the best cliffhangers ever, putting the two parts together kind of takes a little bit of that away anticipation away. But I love this story and this new edit works quite well. Also “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 2” isn’t available until Paramount releases the “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4” on Blu-ray possibly later this year. But in the meantime fans can enjoy it in advance right here.

Official Premise: The powerful cliffhanger: The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 and 2 has been fully restored in brilliant 1080p HD and seamlessly edited together into one feature-length presentation…and the crew of the Enterprise is asked: How do you stop an unstoppable foe? The Enterprise team discovers the devastated remains of a Federation colony as an ambitious young officer joins the crew to confirm the presence of the deadly Borg. Soon after, Borg drones abduct Captain Picard, mutilating him horribly as they assimilate him into their collective. Commander Riker must take over as Enterprise captain as Steerfleet braces for an all-out battle to defend Earth. But the Borg’s power proves overwhelming, and resistance is futile. Will Riker be forced to destroy his former captain to save Earth and the Federation?

So I wouldn’t really consider this a double-dip since it does come with some great special features.  This is also the only place to watch the two-part edit since only Part 1 is available on the third season Blu-ray. Some fans also might want to only own the episodes in a feature-length format then the whole seasons. The Blu-ray presentation is pretty sharp as well with a nice Velcro snap half-cover slipcase, simple but nice touch. Another bonus to this release is that Paramount is including a UltraViolet digital streaming copy of the episodes. They are beautifully presented in 1080p with a stunning 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The episodes have never looked or sounded better. The special features include an audio commentary track with Cliff Bole, Mike & Denise Okuda and Elizabeth Dennehy. There is also a featurette “Regeneration: Engaging the Borg” and a Gag Reel included. These bonus features are also not available on the “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three” Blu-ray release.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Star Trek: the Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds” [ENDED]



Last November, Media Mikes provided passes to a special in-theatre presentation of a celebration of the second season of the groundbreaking television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” This weekend we’ve teamed up again with Fathom Events and CBS Home Entertainment to bring the third season episode, “The Best of Both Worlds,” to the big screen.

One lucky fan will receive (2) passes to the Kansas City screening at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at one of six Kansas City area theatres (AMC Barrywoods, AMC Independence, AMC Studio, AMC Town Center, Cinemark Merriam, Kansas City 18). Also presented that night will be an exclusive “behind the scenes” look at the making of “The Best of Both Worlds,” as well as the entire third season of the popular series.

“The Best of Both Worlds,” in which Captain Jean Luc Picard is assimilated by the Borg, consisted of two episodes – the season three finale and the first show of season four. The show has been remastered for the big screen and is considered one of the best “ST:TNG” episodes EVER!

The contest is simple. All you have to do to be eligible to win these passes is let us know your favorite “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character. Is it the brave and strong Captain Picard? The fully functioning android Data? Or are you strangely attracted to the beautiful Counselor Deanna Troi?

One random selection will be chosen at 8:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 21st. The winner will be notified by email. Only one entry per person please. Good luck!

For more information on the event:!star-trek-best-of-both-worlds

Denise Crosby reflects about her work on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

Denise Crosby is best known for playing the roles of Security Chief Tasha Yar and Commander Sela in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. She was also the granddaughter of entertainer Bing Crosby. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Denise reflecting on the show and the fans support over the years.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect on being a part of the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” universe and it still being relevant today?
Denise Crosby: I feel like “Star Trek” is a much larger entity and we are all little pieces of it. It continues to reinvent itself generation by generation. You have a younger generation now discovering it for the first time, whether it is through their parents who watched it. It also continues to play endlessly on syndication and cable. It is ever present and never goes away. There are always fresh eyes seeing it for the first time. I think that is what keeps it new and exciting. I am always touched by the stories that I hear from people all over the world and how much the show means to the and how they were inspired by the characters. I am always fascinated by how many far reaching corners it has touched. All of that continues to keep it relevant.

MG: That describes me, I got a young daughter and I am started her young with the show [laughs]
DC: That’s what happens. You bring your kids into it. The beauty of it is that has become much more in the open and embraced by people. You are not hiding your Spock ears anymore and pulling them out on special occasions. People are able to be out of the “Trek-closet”, so to speak.

MG: You get to play two different roles in Security Chief Tasha Yar and also Yar’s own daughter, the half-Romulan Commander Sela; how was that aspect for you?
DC: It was really cool. I don’t know that anyone else has been able to do that. I mean, how many people can get to play their own daughter? Only in sci-fi, can you pull this off. It was great for me as well since I was actually very involved in creating that story line  It is wonderful to get a chance to continue being a part of this show. Fans were really delighted with that as well.

MG: What was it like working with such a legend as Gene Roddenberry?
DC: We were the lucky ones that were able to work with Gene and be a part of his vision. That was very thankful for all of us. He was a big cuddly teddy bear of a man. He was very protective of this franchise and all that it meant. He got how popular and how much it meant to the fans and he really embraced that. He also was very open with us. He wanted to know what our thoughts were and what our questions were. He wanted us to really define these characters and to help us do that in any way that he could.

MG: What made you getting involved with the “Trekkies” films?
DC: My thoughts always were that there is no “Star Trek” without the fans. It is the most symbiotic relationship with a television show that I have ever seen. There is something very unique and specific about being on one of the “Star Trek” shows. You enter into a world that is very exclusive. You can’t be talking about “Star Trek” without talking about the fans. I felt that the fans needed a voice. When set out to make the first “Trekkies” movie, the timing was perfect. It during the prime of sci-fi and comic books and it was suddenly cool to be a geek. The nerds were taking over. Everybody was a “Star Trek” fan and I felt the “Trek” fans needed a voice. I couldn’t believe that nobody had done this before. I just jumped on it, had no idea what I was doing, took a camera wherever I went and before I knew it…I had a movie.

MG: Any chance you would be making a new “Trekkies” film in the future?
DC: My partner, Roger Nygard, and I talked and we have some ideas. We really would like to do one more and make it a trilogy. It would be great to pass it on to the next generation with the JJ Abrams films and new fans. So we are hoping that we can do that in the near future.


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Book Review "Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary"

Author: Paul Ruditis
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: DK CHILDREN
Release Date: March 18, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Are you a fan of the “Star Trek” franchise? Or just becoming a fan? Either way there is something here for you in the “Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary”. Obviously this book is aimed for the younger audience but it is still delivers. It covers the everything “Star Trek” including the live-action TV series and films. The book is only 96 pages, so it is a little crammed but there is a lot of great content included in this book. Fans of the “Star Trek” universe take a look at the characters, aliens, starships, and technology from this incredibly vast franchise. I highly recommend for all Trekkies.

We start off with a wonderful forward from John de Lancie (who played Q in “TNG”). I have had the priveldge of chatting with John and he is such a cool guy.  He contributed so much to this show throughout his few episodes and remains of my favorite characters. Each of the series gets its own sections to showcase their ship, captain, and crew. We also get to explore the various races in the series inclduing the Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, Borg, Dominion, and Cardassians. If you know “Star Trek” then you know what a vast universe this is. So does this book cover everything? No. But it is enough to showcase the most important parts of the show and will easily assist with any new fans young and old.

For a long-time fan like myself, I was still able to learn new specific details about various characters and many obscure facts like costume or weapon background info. The images are extremely high quality and very detailed as well. You can tell that there is no shortage to the level of attention given to this book. The author, Paul Ruditis, worked in full collaboration with CBS Consumer Products on this, so you know everything is accurate and valid. With the new “Star Trek” movie just around the corner and the recent celebration of the 25th anniversary of “TNG”, “Star Trek” has never been more popular and this is a great way to get your fix.

Blu-ray Review "Star Trek – Enterprise: Season One"

Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
Run Time: 1149 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek: Enterprise” or better known as just “Enterprise” for the first few seasons. The show started in 2001 and would run for four seasons and 98 episodes before being cancelled. It was also the last series in an 18-year run of back-to-back which started in 1987 with “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Personally, I thought this series was quite sharp. Who doesn’t love Scott Bakula. It takes the prequel approach to “Star Trek” and explores the roots of the Federation and the beginning of exploring deep space. Here we got a new crew, a great captain (you rule Bakula!) and a great new concept. The show was was met with mixed reaction but have established a decent cult following over the years. I feel that it gets its legs as the series matures but still a great entry in the “Star Trek” universe.

Official Premise: Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) commands the Enterprise NX-01, the first Earth-built vessel capable of breaking the Warp 5 barrier. With his trusted Chief Engineer, Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer), Science Officer T’Pol (Jolene Blalock), and security expert Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating), Capt. Archer is tasked with exploring new, unknown star systems. Propel your imagination farther and faster than before with an ever-expanding universe of captivating characters, interstellar intrigue, and adventures that will come to define the very essence of Starfleet.

Here are the episodes that are included in Season One: Broken Bow, Fight or Flight, Strange New World, Unexpected, Terra Nova, The Andorian Incident, Breaking the Ice, Civilization, Fortunate Son, Cold Front, Silent Enemy, Dear Doctor, Sleeping Dogs, Shadows of P’Jem, Shuttlepod One, Fusion, Rogue Planet, Acquisition, Oasis, Detained, Vox Sola, Fallen Hero, Desert Crossing, Two Days and Two Nights, Shockwave, Part 1.

If you are a fan of the show then thanks need to go to CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures. They are behind releasing the first season of “Enterprise” on Blu-ray for the first time. They continue to deliver very impressive releases for the “Star Trek” franchise after “Star Trek: The Next Generation” seasons one and two. The show takes us into deep space for the first time along with the starship Enterprise NX-01 and includes some really fantastic 1080p high definition picture and very impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks. I remember watching this show on UPN and let just say say “WOW”, this really really looks 10x better than I ever remember. If you are a fan of “Enterprise” you will be easily shot into warp speed with this wonderful Blu-ray presentation.

This Blu-ray comes packed with boasts some brand new bonus features that really makes this release shine for sure. The extras are spread out all over the six Blu-rays. Disc One features a brand new audio commentary track on the episode “Broken Bow” with co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga, director James L. Conway, visual effects producer Dan Curry and cast members Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed). “Broken Bow” also has an audio commentary track with Brannon Braga and Rick Berman and a text commentary track by Michael and Denise Okuda.

Next up there are some deleted scenes for “Broken Bow” and “Fight or Flight”. There are three “Archival Mission Logs” including “Creating Enterprise”, “O Captain! My Captain! A Profile of Scott Bakula” and “NX-01 File 02”. The rest of the extras are all brand new including “In Conversation: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga”, presented in HD. “Cast Introduction” , “Network Presentation” and “Syndication Presentation” wrap up the first disc. After watching these extras, I couldn’t believe there were still five more discs of extras.

Disc two puts forward the following special features including a deleted scene from” Unexpected”. There is a text commentary track by Michael and Denise Okuda on episode, “The Andorian Incident”. There are two “Archival Mission Logs” including “Cast Impressions: Season 1” and “Enterprise Secrets”. This wraps up disc two but there is still tons more to come. Disc Three includes a brand new audio commentary track with writer/story editor André Bormanis and visual effects producer Dan Curry on the episode, “Silent Enemy”. There is a deleted scene from “Sleeping Dogs”. Lastly there are two more “Archival Mission Logs” including “Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond”
and “Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage”.

Disc Four includes not one but two new audio commentary track with writers/executive story editors Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on “Shadows of P’Jem”. The second is with co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga, director David Livingston and cast members Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) on “Shuttlepod One”. There is a deleted scene from “Shuttlepod One”. Lastly there are three “Archival Mission Logs” including “Inside Shuttlepod One”, “NX-01 File 01” and “NX-01 File 03”. Disc Five including two sets of deleted scenes from “Oasis” and “Fallen Hero”. There is another text commentary track by Michael and Denise Okuda on “Vox Sola”. There is another “Archival Mission Log” for “Enterprise Outtakes”. Lastly there is a new featurette called “On The Set”, though only in SD.

The sixth and last disc includes the best extra and also some deleted scenes from both “Two Days and Two Nights” and “Shockwave, Part 1”. There is also the last “Archival Mission Log: Celebrating Star Trek”. The last extra is also the best it is a brand new multi-part, retrospective documentary called “To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise”. This is a real tribute to the show and a treat for the fans. It gives an inside look at the development and production of the series with new interviews with the show’s cast and crew and archival footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

The documentary includes the following three parts “Countdown, “Boarding the NX-01” and “First Flight”. Part 1, “Countdown” features all new interviews with creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, production designer Herman Zimmerman, technical consultants Michael and Denise Okuda, writers Andre Bormanis, Phyllis Strong and more talking about bringing this show to life. Part 2, “Boarding the NX-01” focuses on the series 2-hour pilot “Broken Bow” with all-new interviews with key cast and crew including series pilot director James L. Conway and series leads Scott Bakula (“Jonathan Archer”), Connor Trinneer (“Trip Tucker”), and Dominic Keating (“Malcolm Reed”). Lastly Part 3, “First Flight” looks into the first season with more all-new interviews with key production and post-production personal.


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John de Lancie talks about his roles in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"

John de Lancie is known for his role of Q in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Recently John was introduced to the world of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” voicing character Discord. Since then he teamed up with Michael Brockhof in order to make “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” to showcase this unbelievable fan base behind this show. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with John to look back on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and also his work with “My Little Pony”.

Mike Gencarelli: Looking back on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, what was your favorite part of playing such a great character like “Q”?
John de Lancie: I guess mostly the reaction. Everybody liked him a lot. It has been a long time but he wasn’t iconic when I started but he was iconic when I left. The reaction was more intense than the actual doing of it.

MG: Are you surprised that it is still so well-received and respected all these years later?
JDL: Yes it is phenomenal. “Star Trek” is a phenomenon. I don’t know of any other shows that keeps on giving like this one has over the years. A lot of people feel that I sort of came on full blown and that other characters slowly developed over the years. Maybe that is the case to the extend that I was used to playing characters that were like that. You didn’t have a very long time to establish who you were, so you had to come on strong.

MG: Do you have any experiences that stand-out from working on the show?
JDL: I don’t have one favorite moment…I have many favorite moments. But what was fun about this show was that you knew that you were on the set making cultural history or if nothing else TV history. It was a show that was really culturally important. People referred to it and it became a way to talk about anything futuristic – it would be “Star Trek-like”. So it was great.

MG: “Q” was always one of my favorites. He was bad but also threw you for a loop occasionally.
JDL: Well that is what I intended. He is very naughty and somewhat dangerous. You were left never quite knowing what would happen. But it was a lot of fun. He is the one person you would invite to the dinner party but really make sure that the guests can handle him [laughs].

MG: You are hitting the convention scene this year, what do you enjoy most about meeting fans?
JDL: I love meeting fans. I find myself talking to kids, who see me at the age of their fathers…if not older. Some of them are even third generation fans. Which is actually is pretty amazing and honestly really unheard of.
MG: I am a second generation, my father got me into it and now I have a daughter that is 9-months old and she already has a “Star Trek” jumper.
JDL: That is what I am talking about and it is really amazing.

MG: On the complete other side of the spectrum, tell us about voicing Discord on “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”?
JDL: It started with me being asked to do a voice over for “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and I said sure. So I read the script and have never heard of it before. But I thought it was well-written and fun. I have done characters like this before but I didn’t know that they wanted a Q-like character. I didn’t think of it as that at first and I just did it as it was written. Then about three months later, I was on the computer and I thought I got spammed. I had about 300-400 emails and they all had the subject of “My Little Pony”. So, I reach a bunch of them and then asked my wife what she knew about “My Little Pony”. She reminded me I did a voice for it about three months ago, which I totally forgot about. She told me it was a cartoon for little girls. But let me tell you these emails were not from little girls [laughs]. So that was the beginning of it.

MG: How did you get involved with “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony”?
JDL: It just so happened that Michael Brockhoff came over my house the night I got those emails and I told him about the story. He laughed and I agreed I didn’t get it either. Why would 20 year old guys be interested in “My Little Pony”? He asked me if I would want to do a documentary about it and I say “Oh my God, no way”. So that weekend, I had to go up to Vancouver on a job and some kids came up to me and asked me to sign pictures of Discord. I say kids, I mean 20 year olds. They are the typical geeky fans that I recognize from “Star Trek”. So, I asked them all a lot of questions and still I didn’t quite get it. But as they explained me to more and more what the show was about, it started to click. The show has the elements of harmony, being kind, generous, loyal and tolerant. I thought what is the problem with that? So now I had a face to put to what a Brony was. Mike sent me a link the following week for a Fox News, whom I am not a fan of, piece of this trend. It trashed the idea of Bronies calling them “a bunch of homosexuals, living at home on food stamps and disability watching cartoons in their parents at day in their parents basement”. That made me upset because it is not true. This is typical of Fox News. Have we really gotten to the place in our society that we are so threatened by everyone, that if we have 20 year old guys watching cartoons intended for girls, which is about being kind, loyal, generous and tolerant that we are going to demonize them and turn them into something that they are not. So that is when I called Mike back and said “I’m on board with the documentary, let’s do it”.

MG: Tell us about how you ended up with the Kickstarter campaign?
JDL: I asked Mike how was he going to fund this projects and he said through Kickstarter. I asked him how much he needed and he said about $60,000. He asked me if I could get myself into one of the conventions for BronyCon and I said “Yes”. The deal was that we were going to shoot for two days with two cameras, edit for about six weeks and that would be it. So yeah, instead of $60K, we got $322K. At that point, I was blown away. We’ve shown this film to people in the business and they just go “Wow, you’ve put a lot into this” and that was out intent. So when you see this film, I think you will be impressed.

Book Review "Star Trek The Next Generation: On Board the U.S.S. Enterprise"

Author: Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Being a big Star Trek fan-or Trekkie, I just had to add this latest book to my collection. The U.S.S. Enterprise is represented all around my office with model, toys and even Christmas ornments. So if you are a fan of “Star Trek” then who wouldn’t want to be transported to the Final Frontier for a 3D tour within this book? I have to say I was hoping for a little more since this book really is putting its audience under the age of 12.  Nonetheless, I like to consider myself young at heart.  This brand-new book contains a detailed 48 pages contains a 3D tour of everyone favorite way to cruise through space, the U.S.S. Enterprise.  This year is a big year for “Star Trek” with “Star Trek: Into Darkness” coming out this May, as well as the 25th anniversary of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”,  so fans are sure to be on “Star Trek” overload.

As long as they are aware that it is rather short and aimed at a younger audience they should still be left satisfied. If you are a new “Star Trek” fan or a life-long fan, this contains the history of the starship Enterprise in detail and with very sharp illustrations.  I was excited to get a chance to see the Enterprise from new angles and it almost feels like you are a fly on the wall. So what can you expect to see inside the ship? How about the ship’s bridge, the captain’s chair, the main consoles, as well as their Starfleet members living quarters.  Even though the book is only 48 pages, there is still some decent information packed into it.

So if you are left wanting a little more from this book, it also contains a CD-ROM, which gives a digital detailed tour of the Enterprise . This software program was developed along with the creators of the “Star Trek” sets that were used in the films and on the television series, so you know that it is accurate.  I feel that this kind of makes up for the length of the book and gives the reader an added bonus. Speaking of accuracy, the book is authored by Michael Okuda, and his wife Denise.  In fact Michael was the scenic art supervisor for “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and the designer of the ship’s control panels, computer readout animations, and other features. So that also shows the book is in good hands. Like I said, try having a fan pass this up.

Mimoco Star Trek™ X MIMOBOT® Flash Drive Collection Giveaway [ENDED]


Star Trek was and always will be ahead of its time. This beloved franchises has broken-ground in TV, Film, Animation, Comic, and now Flash Drives with the release of Star Trek X MIMOBOT® Series 1.

To celebrate Mimoco’s latest release with it’s Star Trek™ X MIMOBOT® Flash Drive Collection, Media Mikes is proud to giveaway one complete collection including Captain Kirk, Spock, Captain Piccard, and Data. If you would like to enter for your chance to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite Star Trek character. This giveaway will remain open until December 16th at Noon, Eastern Time. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

This first collection of Mimobots features four Star Trek favorites (Captain Kirk, Spock, Captain Piccard, and Data) in classic MIMOBOT style and is available with up to 64GB of data storage. The entire line also comes pre-loaded with exclusive Star Trek Mimory™ content including never-before-seen material from the Star Trek: The Next Generation™ Blu-ray release, classic toy commercials, and vintage comic books.

The line also comes with the MimoDesk™ personalization suite, which includes Star Trek-themed wallpapers, icons and avatars. Last, but not least, each Star Trek MIMOBOT comes equipped with MimoByte™ sound software powered with a huge offering of iconic sounds and character dialogue that play each time a Star Trek MIMOBOT is inserted or ejected from one’s computer.

The Star Trek X MIMOBOT® Series is now available online at and at select specialty outposts on planet Earth.

Say what you will about it’s original sets and attitudes, but Star Trek has always been an enduring beacon of humanity’s future potential. Roddenberry’s original goal can be achieved by working together irregardless of Gender, ethnicity, and even Species…we’re looking at you Worf…

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two”

Actors: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Spirtis
Number of discs: 5
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 998 minutes

Season Two: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” has become one of my favorite series, but only in the last few years. I got into it thanks to Netflix Instant. When I got a chance to review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One” earlier this year, I was blown away by the way the episodes looked. Well it season two, I believe they went beyond and delivered a more impressive release (if that is possible). Season two also delivers the birth of the fan-favorite baddies, Borg. They are the best villains of the series! Resistance is futile! One of my favorite episodes of the series happen during season two: “The Measure of a Man”. Fans of the series are sure to do back flips for this release.  Also it is perfectly timed to be added to everyone’s Christmas lists and also nicely priced as well, compared to season one.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two” Blu-ray looks extremely impressive with it’s high definition transfer. The series is presented with its original broadcast 4×3 aspect ratio, which is perfect and expected. Like season one, this series contains improved special effects from the original camera negatives. If you are a fan of this series and know it well, you will have your mouth open experience these upgrades. The star of this release though has to be Season Two’s surround-sound pumping DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. Obviously the soundtrack wasn’t made with that but I can’t help but get goosebumps when I hear that theme song in 7.1 sound. Of course for the hardcore Trekkies, there is also the original Stereo Surround audio included as well.

Official Premise: Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Two travels warp speed into the next realm of adventure. Under the leadership of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), the Enterprise faces a season of new changes and big challenges. With Dr. Crusher on sabbatical, Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) fills in. And Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) arrives as 10 Forward’s wise El-Aurian bartender. This voyage explores watershed moments, including Riker (Jonathan Frakes) experiencing the Klingon culture, Data (Brent Spiner) defending his humanity and the introduction of the Borg, a species of terrifying cybernetic conquerors threatening the fate of intelligent life.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” – Season Two has various special features spread out over all five discs. They are a nice improvement over season one.  To start each episodes contain their own “episodic promos”, which are an awesome retro look at the series.  Disc one extras start with an 1998 On-Air Season Two Promo, “Energized! Season Two Tech Update” is a chat with Dan Curry, Michael and Denise Okuda about release season two to high definition. Decent but I wish it was much longer. There is 1988 Star Trek-themed “Reading Rainbow” Segment with LeVar Burton, as well as a 2012 Reading Rainbow iTunes Promo with Burton showing off his new Reading Rainbow app. Lastly there is “Archival Mission Log: Departmental Briefing Year Two – Production”, which is a vintage featurette looking into a the “best of” from the filming of season two.

Disc Two brings various cuts of my favorite episode “The Measure of a Man”.  It includes an HD Extended Version, which runs 57:35 minutes from Editor Robert Lederman.  The extended cut includes thirteen minutes of new footage, which was recently turned up from Writer Melinda Snodgrass’ private VHS tape collectionand then reconstructed in high definition. Next, we have a Hybrid Extended Version for “The Measure of a Man” running at 55:50 minutes. This version of the episode that mixes up the broadcast footage in high definition and the rough VHS footage.  It is raw but still a cool look at the amazing episode.  Lastly, there is an amazing audio commentary track from Melinda Snodgrass, Michael and Denise Okuda as they discuss about the episode.

Disc Three consists of two “Archival Mission Logs” featurettes.  The first is “Inside Starfleet Archives: Penny Juday – Star Trek Coordinator”, which has her speaking about her role as the Star Trek archivist, with Star Trek Magazine and working on the film “Star Trek: Nemesis”. Next up is “Selected Crew Analysis – Year Two”, which features various cast/crew chatting about the show’s characters roles including Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton,  Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman, Wil Wheaton, Marina Sirtis, Diana Muldaur and Peter Lauritson.  Lastly there is a funny Gag Reel, presented in HD and runs about 10 minutes.

The star of Disc Four extra is the audio commentary track from Dan Curry, Rob Bowman, and Mike & Denise Okuda for the episode “Q Who?”.  Lastly, there is also another “Archival Mission Log” called “Departmental Analysis Year Two – Memorable Missions”.  It features interviews with cast and crew on the following episodes:  “Loud as a Whisper”, “The Icarus Factor”, “Up the Long Ladder”, “The Dauphin”, “Elementary, Dear Data”, “Manhunt”, and “The Measure of a Man”.

Disc Five has the best extras of any disc and also the best feature in the whole release, which is “Reunification: 25 Years After Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which runs just over an hour.  It is a awesome cast reunion with all of the primary cast members — Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, and Wil Wheaton.  It just makes me want to give them all a hug and re-watch the episodes again! “Make it So – Continuing Star Trek: The Next Generation”. It consists of two parts, the first part 1 – “Strange New Worlds” and the second “New Life and New Civilizations”.  Each one runs about 40 minutes and is a look into the season’s best qualities and character in depth from cast, crew and others.  Lastly there is one more final “Archival Mission Log” called “Mission Overview – Year Two”, which is a look into Roddenberry’s plans for the future and reflection on the show’s success.

Complimentary Passes to One Night Only Screening in Orlando and Kansas City of “Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Celebration of Season 2” [ENDED]

NCM Fathom Events and CBS Home Entertainment are coming together again to celebrate Season 2 of the iconic series Star Trek: The Next Generation in a special one night big screen event.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Celebration of Season 2
In Select Movie Theaters Nationwide
Thursday, November 29th at 7:00 PM (local time)
Only One Night
This not to be missed movie theatre event will feature two of the most popular Next Generation episodes, Q Who? and The Measure of a Man which will include, for the very first time, about 13 minutes of never before seen additional content.

If you would like to enter for a chance to win free passes to see to attend the one night only screening, please follow the following instructions.

  • For Orlando, please leave a comment below and let us known what is your favorite “Star Trek” character. 
  • For Kansas City, text the word ENERGIZE to 43549.  Winner will be picked and notified on November 27. There is no charge to text 43KIX.  Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply.

Winners will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS on November 25th. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON/PER HOUSEHOLD PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified via email if chosen to win. Good luck and thanks for supporting

This special event will also include exclusive looks at the extensive restoration taken to make Season 2 look better than ever before, never-before-seen interviews with the original cast members, a behind-the-scenes look at the artists who created the original FX elements and photography and a reunion with the original cast members, captured in April 2012, as they celebrate 25 years of this unforgettable series.

Set in the 24th century, The Next Generation was created by Gene Roddenberry over 20 years after the original Star Trek series. The Next Generation became the longest running series of the Star Trek franchise, consisting of 178 episodes over 7 seasons. Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Celebration of Season 2 is the first opportunity to see a transcendent digital presentation and the world premiere of the extended cut of The Measure of a Man in select movie theaters nationwide on Thursday, November 29th at 7:00 PM (local time).

John Billingsley talks about role in “Trade of Innocents” and reflects on “Star Trek: Enterprise”

John Billingsley is known best for his role of Doctor Phlox on “Star Trek: Enterprise”. He also co-stars in the recent “Trade of Innocents”, playing the sleazy Malcolm Eddery. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with John about his various roles and what has been his most rewarding role.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with the film “Trade of Innocents”
John Billingsley: It was a pretty standard audition process. The scene I did was one that ended up not making it into the final cut of the film. When we were working on it I had a strange suspicion that the scene might not make it in to the film. After meeting with the directed I heard back about a month later that I had gotten the part.

MG: How did you prepare to play such a sleazy guy, Malcolm Eddery?
JB: I have played more than my share of creeps, child molesters and psychotics through the years. I hate to say it wasn’t an extraordinary stretch for me to play this role. Ultimately anytime you are playing a character that is bent you really aren’t doing anything much other than saying what their particular obsession or interest is. Everyone has an obsessive nature so all you have to do is stretch the envelope a little bit.

MG: The film was shot on location, tell us about your experience?
JB: That was great! I had never been to Bangkok before. It was a fascinating city that has this strange blend of first worldism and third worldism. There were high rise buildings mixed in with small run downhouses. My role gave me quite a bit of down time. I would generally shoot a day then have some time off. I had a chance to explore the entire city. I am a big fan of cities and getting to see how they work. They have a really interesting transportation system there that is also pretty cheap.

MG: How can you reflect looking back on your experience playing Doctor Phlox on “Star Trek: Enterprise” and how it compares to your following work?
JB: My role in “Star Trek” is probably the closest role I have had to myself. He was an even keeled person with a fair amount of philosophical attachment. Except for the rubber head in many respect that role was probably the most comfortable I have ever been. After playing that role for 4 years I wasn’t too bereft when it went off the air.

MG: How was it returning to “True Blood” this season as the Coroner?
JB: Surprising! The role was never particularly dimensional in any way but I did like the paycheck. They were nice people to work for. My character disappeared sometime in the 3rd season so I was pleasantly surprised when they contacted me. I was a little puzzled in a way as they brought me back but didn’t necessarily use me. I have a feeling that there may have been a back story there. I kind of thought my character was going to be the guy behind the Obama killings. When I went in for the first wardrobe fitting they wanted to fit me for camouflage gear. I asked them what it was about and they told me I was going to be involved with a terrorist group later in the year. Somewhere along the line they must have changed their mind. I was a little disappointed. I did get a death scene though.

MG: Looking at your career to date, what would you say has been your most rewarding role?
JB: The most fun/challenging role was probably one that no one ever saw. I did a play called “The Seagull” in Seattle which was great. Movie wise I did a film with Denzel Washington called “Out of Time” which was also great. I liked being on “The Nine” as well. The lady who played my wife on that show is actually my wife. Each thing you do offers its own particular reward. In the end I have to pick “Star Trek” as it lasted the longest. That role changed my life.


Related Content

Marina Sirtis reflects on the 25th Anniversary of “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”

Marina Sirtis is best known for playing Deanna Troi in “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”.  The show is celebration its 25th Anniversary this year.  Marina took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about reflects on her role on the show and what makes this show so timeless.

Mike Gencarelli: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is celebrating its 25th anniversary, what is your most fondest memory looking back?
Marina Sirtis: The best memories all circulates around my fellow thespians. They were the best bunch of people I ever worked with and became family. We just hit it off from the get-go and they are still my best friends. That was honestly the best part of the job.

MG: You attend many “Star Trek” conventions, what do you enjoy most about meeting fans?
MS: The great thing about going cons is getting to meet you fans. I think we have a very symbiotic relationship with our fans. We get as much out of them as they get out of us. I can’t tell you how many time people would come up with me and say “I become a psychologist because of you” and that is just what a compliment. I am an actress and I just played this part. It was a job [laughs]. I could have ended up on “Law & Order”, you know what I mean? To have some such an impact on people’s life is something that when I was studying at drama school never entered my consciousness.

MG: What do you think makes this series so timeless?
MS: The thing about it “Star Trek”, especially “TNG”, is probably one of the one shows that every generation of the family can watch together. I always used to say apart from The Weather Channel [laughs], it was the only real family show, since you can’t even watch the news anymore with kids. People always tell me it was family night for them and they used to order a pizza and sit around and watch “Star Trek”. Some people tell me that even with 25 years past, when they watch it now it brings back just great memories for them.

MG: How is it for you being know as the sex symbol of the entire show?
MS: Mike, I have to tell you I was a very ugly child. When I say this to people they don’t believe me. But I was have pictures to prove it [laughs]. I have to tell you a story, Mike. When my mother passed away, my sister-in-law called me and asked what I wanted out of her apartment and I just told her I wanted photos. She called me up a few night later hysterically laughing because she was going through the photos and told me she found the ones of me when I was young. This is what she tells me, “You were right Marina, you WERE really ugly!”. So to be regarded as a sex symbol, I am thrilled [laughs]. The little ugly girl inside of me is going “Woo Hoo!!”.

MG: I feel that season six was your characters strongest, including “Face of the Enemy”, can you reflect on your favorite season?
MS: I have to be honest, if you go back to the first season there was a lot of episodes that I wasn’t in. I was very worried, I was going to be written out. I knew the writers had created this character but didn’t really know what to do with her. She was an empath, so if she did her job right we had no storyline. Rather than deal with the situation, I was just written out of the episodes. Come the season one hiatus, which was very long due to the writers strike at the time, Jonathan Frakes got married to Genie Francis. We all went to the wedding and Gene Roddenberry was there also. He approached me at one point and said to me that he wanted to talk with in private. We stepped outside and he told me that the first show of season two is going to be a big episode for me and that I would be in fact opening the season. That meant more to me than anything. It was huge. So that was a very important season for me because they finally got her as a character. From there she just kept evolving.

MG: Did you have any creative control with your characters direction?
MS: Oh, no no no no [laughs]. I couldn’t change a word, none of us could.

MG: What you say was the most challenging aspect for you throughout the series?
MS: The biggest challenge was keeping Marina out of Troi. Marina is not a sweet as her [laughs]. She is not as sweet and not as nice. She is very temperamental, as well as loud and obnoxious. So that was definitely the biggest challenge for seven years. Sometimes though, I tried to sneak her in especially if Jonathan was directing [laughs].

MG: Did you ever keep any memorabilia or costumes from the show?
MS: I am pleading the 5th on that one. Draw your own conclusions [laughs].

MG: Have you ever considered writing a memoir for your experience on the series?
MS: Well I have thought of writing a memoir of my life, because I have had quite a fascinating life. I am one of those people that things just happen to [laughs]. I just have these adventures. As far as writing a book on our experiences on “Star Trek”, in the culture we live in now it is the bad behavior and the scandals that sell. There is not a publisher on the planet that wants to buy a book that tells the story of how we all loved each other [laughs].

MG: Have you had a chance to experience “Star Trek: TNG” on Blu-ray yet?
MS: I saw some of the first episode and it just looked amazing. It looks like we actually shot it last week. It is really great.

MG: I have been reading that fans have been requesting you to be on “Doctor Who”, what are your feelings?
MS: You know what, I would so love to be on “Doctor Who”. Sir Ian McKellen, who is one of our premiere actors on the planet, when he was asked what his ambitions where a few years ago, he said he wants to be a pantomime dame and he wants to be on “Coronation Street”, which is like the longest running show on the planet. Well he has managed to do both and that was really cool. So who knows? Anything is possible. There is a lot of things that I still want to do. Being Deanna for the rest of my life isn’t a problem, actually. But I don’t look like her anymore [laughs]. So I am just glad that it is that Deanna in HD and not me today [laughs].

MG: Tell us about what upcoming projects you are currently working on?
MS: Michael Dorn and I have been trying to get a romantic comedy off the ground for a couple of years now. Well, mostly Michael. It is going to star basically a bunch of “Star Trek” actors. It will be cool for the fans to see us star in something different. So it is a really cool project and he recently posted it through Kickstarter (click here) and it is called “Through The Fire”. Some of the things are pretty cool that you get for backing the film, llike getting to hang with us at a convention or a walk on role. So definitely check it out and spread the word. I also just did a movie based on a video game that doesn’t have a title yet but I am sure you will be hearing about it soon. Next year, I will be shooting a horror movie in Australia and also another possibly called “Shadows from the Sky”. So we have a lot of great projects coming up.