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Hurray: Brent Spiner is Returning as Dr Okun in 'Independence Day 2'


Brent Spiner

Independence Day 2 has added to its roster this week, welcoming back Brent Spiner as the eccentric Dr Brackish Okun - a key character in Roland Emmerich's 1996 sci-fi spectacular.

Brent SpinerBrent Spineris reprising his Dr Okun character for Independence Day 2

Spiner was already an established TV actor when he appeared in the original movie, having spent five years in Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Continue reading: Hurray: Brent Spiner is Returning as Dr Okun in 'Independence Day 2'

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014

Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton - Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014 held at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center - Day 3 - Rosemont, Illinois, United States - Saturday 23rd August 2014

Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton

San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 4

Brent Spiner - San Diego Comic-Con International - Day 4 - Celebrity Sightings - San Diego, California, United States - Sunday 27th July 2014

Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner

Big Apple Comic Con 2009 at Pier 94

Brent Spiner Saturday 17th October 2009 Big Apple Comic Con 2009 at Pier 94 New York City, USA

at the official 2008 Star Trek Convention at the Las Vegas Hilton

Brent Spiner, Las Vegas, Star Trek and Star Trek Convention - Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis Las Vegas, NV - at the official 2008 Star Trek Convention at the Las Vegas Hilton Saturday 9th August 2008

Material Girls Review


Grim
I confess a fascination -- perhaps unhealthy by definition -- with the actress/singer/empire Hilary Duff. She's in no way a better actress than, say, Lindsay Lohan and her career doesn't have the occasional bursts of quality that dot Lohan's resume. But Duff has a puppy-ish goofiness and, more to the point, bold-outlined limitations on her acting abilities, that render her weirdly endearing. Most of her post-Disney movies have failed even as cheesy guilty pleasures, but I keep Netflixing those DVDs anyway, hoping for the best.

That kind of relativism -- hoping for the best possible Hilary Duff movie -- is what got me to see Material Girls in a theater (it wasn't screened for critics). It's a Duff movie through and through: Hilary's mom produced it, and her sister Haylie gets second billing. (Casting her less famous real-life sister as her movie sidekick is sweetly misguided, and therefore vintage Duff.) Hil-Hil and Hay-Hay play Tanzie and Ava Marchetta, spoiled heiresses whose cosmetics empire is threatened, landing them in the poorhouse. The opportunity for cheap culture-clash humor (see entitled rich girls adjust to poverty!) and cheap shots at Paris and Nicky Hilton (or even a fictional rehash of The Simple Life), combined with the participation of director Martha Coolidge (an expert in blonde bubbliness by virtue of having made Valley Girl years ago) makes Material Girls a candidate for a teenybopping good time. The peculiar, slapdash movie they made instead nonetheless eclipses most of the star's previous pre-teen pictures, because it finally drives a Duff vehicle into the land of beguilingly awful.

Continue reading: Material Girls Review

Star Trek: Nemesis Review


Terrible
Long has held the rule that even-numbered Star Trek movies are good and odd-numbered ones are bad. I hereby propose a new rule be adopted: Say what you will about the odds and evens, but above all else, every fifth movie is utter crap.

Star Trek: Nemesis, the tenth (and God help us, the last) movie in the unstoppable Trek series, offers the thinnest story since Star Trek V took the previous crew to the center of the galaxy in search of God. But at least this one isn't saddled by metaphysical nonsense. All of that's out the shuttle bay doors in favor of good, old-fashioned idiocy, ripped from yesterday's headlines.

Continue reading: Star Trek: Nemesis Review

Trekkies Review


Excellent
Hilarious in the way that true stories only can be, Trekkies is a documentary that looks inside the lives of the world's most rabid fanatics: Star Trek fans. Nuttiness knows no bounds with these guys, who bid hundreds of dollars for a prosthesis used on the show, who make their own costumes, who travel across the country to go to the conventions, and who idolize the stars of Trek with a zeal otherwise unknown to man. At the same time, the amount of love these people share and the strong values the show has instilled in them make them not as pathetic as you'd think. A devilishly compelling story that makes you question when you're supposed to laugh. Not to be missed for any fan of sci-fi.

Star Trek: Generations Review


OK
The seventh Star Trek movie went where no man had gone before, at least not in Hollywood: Attempting to take an old and lethargic movie franchise and reinvigorate it with a new cast -- uniting both the original and new casts in one massive crossover movie.

Generations (having dispensed with the numbering of the sequels) is a fair enough film. It's massively contrived to be sure -- the Kirk-era cast and Picard-era cast were meant to be some 80 years apart -- but considering the difficulty of trying to combine two crews in one movie, Shatner & Stewart turned in a fair enough endeavor.

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Star Trek: Insurrection Review


Weak
By 1998, the Star Trek legacy was looking thin. The series had run through all of its big villains, Trek's cast was happily dabbling in other projects, and the memory of Kirk and co. had long since faded happily into the land of reruns.

But you can't keep Trek down, and the crew saddled up for this lackluster experience, the likes of which would typically comprise an hour-long episode of The Next Generation, and not even a season finale.

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Star Trek: First Contact Review


Good
People tend to measure the quality of a Star Trek movie in relation to those near it in the cycle. Compared to episodes before (5 and 7) and those that followed (9 and 10), this eighth installment of the unkillable series is surprisingly watchable.

Jonthan "Riker" Frakes is at the helm this time, taking the Next Generation crew on its first mission without the original series cast. The setup comes fast, as Frakes trots out one of the series' most reliable villains: The Borg. Building from the mythology set up in the series, Picard (a former Borg captive) has a serious axe to grind, and when Starfleet ends up in a skirmish with an invading Borg ship, he defies orders and engages them in battle. The day is won, but an escape pod shoots from the ship, tunnels through time (stop rolling your eyes), and lands on earth. We see the effects immediately: The Borg has completely taken over the planet. The only sensible solution: Follow the Borg through the time hole and try to wipe 'em out in the past.

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Star Trek: Nemesis Review


Grim

"Star Trek" films have always faced considerable scrutiny from their detail-oriented fans, so one would think by the 10th big screen outing the shepherds of the series would know better than to make a movie full of flubs.

Yet while "Star Trek: Nemesis" is a formidable, dignified sci-fi adventure when sticking to the substance of its story -- about a baneful young clone of Capt. Picard leading enemy aliens in battle against the starship Enterprise -- the picture grows decidedly flimsier with its many out-sized, out of character and logically porous action set pieces.

Take, for example, the silly dune buggy sequence in which Picard (Patrick Stewart), android Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) and Klingon Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) go conspicuously gallivanting around the planet of a pre-warp civilization (a violation of Star Fleet's Prime Directive that goes completely unaddressed), being shot at by locals and staging daredevil stunts, a la "XXX."

Continue reading: Star Trek: Nemesis Review

The Aviator Review


Excellent

Eschewing every pitfall of the biopic genre and delving deeply into the essence of both Howard Hughes' genius and his slow burn into madness, Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" is a film of grand scope and masterfully intimate nuance, portraying a wild young mustang of a man who lived a fast life on an epic scale.

Presenting Hughes' view of the world as one in which nothing is impossible and the most momentous, groundbreaking decisions come instantly and instinctively ("What would controlling interest in TWA cost me?"), the film's crux is not the psychosis the man is best known for today, but his gift for sparing no expense to pursue novel visions no one else could see.

"We gotta reshoot 'Hell's Angels' for sound," Hughes decides on a whim in an early scene, after having already spent four years and millions of his own dollars perfecting his first foray into filmmaking -- a World War I epic featuring dozens of biplanes in an ambitious, jaw-dropping dogfight scene, parts of which Hughes shoots from a plane he flies into the fray himself.

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I Am Sam Review


Unbearable

To grasp the shameless, trolling-for-Oscars concept behind "I Am Sam," an insufferably mawkish, mentally-challenged melodrama of self-aggrandizing proportions, just imagine a tear-jerking "Rain Man" sequel with Dustin Hoffman in a custody battle over a button-cute 7-year-old daughter.

Somebody pass the Pepto-Bismol.

The patience-testing, 100-percent predictable picture stars Sean Penn (who I can only assume took the role to finance some smaller, smarter project in the works) in a mannerism-congested performance as a man whose mental capacity has been surpassed by his blond-haired, blue-eyed China-doll kid, and now the state wants to take her away from him.

Continue reading: I Am Sam Review

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