Thursday, July 28, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

                                                      Boldly Going … Again

                                                             Review by Ken Burke

Take care, curious readers, for plot spoilers gallop rampantly throughout the Two Guys’ insightful reviews.  Therefore, be warned, beware, and read on when you’re ready to be transported to … wherever we end up.  Please protect your eyes from the dazzling brilliance.
                                                      Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin)
The crew of the Starship Enterprise encounters a survivor from a ship stranded on an unknown planet in a distant nebula so they head in for a rescue, only to find that it’s a trick to capture them to retrieve a dangerous weapon inadvertently held by Capt. Kirk; massive space-battles are only the most visually-impressive aspect of this well-known continuing tale.
What Happens: This latest installment of the rebooted Star Trek series begins with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) attempting to negotiate a truce with the warlike inhabitants of some far-distant-planet, offering them a precious object that he’s obtained from one of their enemies.  When they belligerently reject his offer and attack him we see that these seemingly-fierce-creatures are about the size of house cats but annoying, if not deadly, in large numbers so he’s beamed back onto the USS Enterprise where (in voiceover) he ruminates about being not even 3 years into a 5-year-exploratory-mission, wondering in a melancholy manner what the Federation’s really seeking with all of this deep-space-exploration.  Upon arrival at the Yorktown Starbase, a huge colony in a self-contained-sphere with generated gravity and atmosphere sustaining a large population, we learn several things about various members of the crew through short, parallel scenes: Kirk has applied for the position of Vice-Admiral, feeling that he's ready for an alternative to the Federation’s ceaseless plan of planetary-probing; Commander/First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Communications Officer Lt. Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) have called off their romance, with him (privately) deciding to soon return to his revived-planet of New Vulcan (the previous one, and most of its inhabitants, having been destroyed in Star Trek [Abrams, 2009]), even though, unbeknownst to Spock, Kirk is planning
to advocate that he be promoted to Enterprise Captain; Spock receives word that his older self (coming to this narrative’s era through a time warp in Star Trek, which alters the probable-continuity of events we’ve already seen occur in previous movies of this series) has died, generating an odd, unanticipated mix of emotions in this normally-stoic-character (although not as traumatic as when a younger hitman has to kill the older version of himself, who also time travels, in Looper [Rian Johnson, 2012; review in our October 5, 2012 posting]); and we casually learn that Third Officer/Helmsman Lt. Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) is gay, with a husband and a daughter either living at Yorktown or travelled there to see him (the decision to establish this identity for Sulu has caused a bit of a stir, with original Sulu actor George Takei, himself gay, saying that such a change shouldn’t be imposed upon an established character, that a new one should have been added, but Quinto, also gay, and co-screenwriter Simon Pegg favoring the change rather than putting in a new crew member with just the main purpose of being gay).

 Whatever other personal complications are starting to arise for these several characters are soon put aside when an escape pod, carrying survivor Kalara (Lydia Wilson under the makeup, voiced by Sara Maria Forsberg) reaches the Starbase, reporting that her ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet in a nearby uncharted nebula, so Kirk volunteers to go to the rescue.  Because of the asteroid-heavy-entrance to the nebula, communication with Starfleet is soon cut off, leaving the Enterprise an easy target for a sudden attack by a huge swarm of small ships, many of which breach the Starship’s hull after disabling its warp drive until their fierce commander, Krall (Idris Elba), boards, demanding the Abronath, the artifact that Kirk had in the movie’s opening scene.  Through chaotic firefights, leading ultimately to the crew escaping in pods down to the nearby planet, the Enterprise is abandoned, as its huge saucer-component comes to a destructive end.  Once on Altamid, most of the Enterprise crew are captured, except for Spock and McCoy, isolated from the others upon their pod’s crash-landing, with Spock seriously injured; Kirk, Kalara, and navigator Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin) near the damaged Enterprise saucer which they try (unsuccessfully) to use to send a distress signal, but when they find out Kalara’s actually working with Krall further hostilities lead to her being crushed by this briefly-mobile-machine; Lt. Commander/Second Officer and Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (Pegg) alone, about to be captured when he’s saved by Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a young escapee from Krall’s prison who saw her family killed.  Scotty and Jaylah go to her home (which she’s shrouded with cloaking devices), the crashed USS Franklin (one of the 1st Starships to use warp drive, mysteriously disappeared over 100 years ago in 2160).  Eventually, all of the wandering Enterprise crew are reunited, trying to formulate a plan to free the many prisoners by teleporting them onto the Franklin, then hoping to get the ship skyward again.  Meanwhile, Krall has acquired the Abronath, hidden with a captured Enterpriser, when Sulu’s life is threatened, then Krall reveals it’s a deadly bioweapon that he means to use in a vicious attack to destroy Yorktown.

 Basically, the escape plan is for Kirk (ridding a motorcycle he finds on the Franklin) to create a diversion, allowing others to spring the prisoners.  It works because, in some unexplained manner, 
Kirk’s in multiple places at once (not clarified how this happens that I could figure out but reminiscent of the same slick trick Superman somehow used to foil his vicious Kryptonian attackers in Superman II [Richard Donner, Richard Lester; 1981]), but even as the freed prisoners are safely on the Franklin (after Jaylah’s managed to kill evil Manas [Joe Taslim], Krall’s chief henchman, murderer of her parents) Krall and his swarm of attack vehicles are on their way to Yorktown.  After lurching attempts to get the Franklin airborne (designed for space-based-launches, not atmospheric ones), Sulu manages to get the old clunker into the sky, with enough propulsion to catch up with the killers but no hope of being able to overpower them until a plan is launched to blast heavy metal music (found on this ancient vessel) through a VHF signal into the swarm (through one of the small ships that Spock and McCoy have been beamed into), which disrupts their coordination, leaving most of them crashing into each other or falling prey to Yorktown’s defenses.  However, Krall’s ship and 2 others manage to enter Yorktown where they’ve eventually disabled by Kirk’s cunning move that forces these invaders to smash into the Franklin, although Krall survives, then heads to a central ventilation location where he intends to activate his weapon which will vaporize everyone in the city, with his larger goal of destabilizing the security-through-unity tenet of the entire Federation.

 During all of this frantic activity, Kirk and Uhura manage to find out that Krall is actually Captain Balthazar Edison of the USS Franklin, kept alive by the sophisticated-technology he found on his far-distant-planet, then drawing strength from the ravaged bodies of his captives when he needs to revive, spending years plotting an attack on the Federation in revenge for what he considers the long-ago-abandonment of his ship—and his disgust, as a former soldier, that the Federation evolved to make peace with their former enemies—even as his physical appearance morphed into that of his grim-looking-locals (although seemingly not the originators of the Abronath or related ultra-technologies), leading to a 1-on-1 fight with Kirk that ends when he manages to open the hatches to outer space that suck Krall and his weapon into the true “beyond,” even as the device vaporizes him (Kirk’s also on the verge of being lost in space until a last-second-rescue by Spock and McCoy, still racing around in their confiscated swarm-ship).  As the plot wraps up, Kirk receives his promotion but declines it in favor of continuing deep-space-explorations, Spock decides to remain in Starfleet as well (in addition to reconnecting with Uhura) where someday they may be joined by Jaylah whose vast engineering skills help to gain her joyful acceptance into the Academy (with recommendations from Scotty and Kirk), and everyone gathers to celebrate Kirk’s birthday while watching the construction of the new version of the Enterprise.

So What? You’d think that when a movie opens with a huge $59.2 million domestic (U.S., Canada) haul that the producers would be happy; well, they are, sort of, but the bigwigs at Paramount also have to contend with concerns about this latest installment of Star Trek's rebooted series (if you like, see my review of Ghostbusters [2016] for thoughts on remakes vs. reboots) because not only did it not open as well as its predecessors, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness (Abrams, 2013; review in our May 24, 2013 posting)—it’s down respectively about 21%, 15% from those previous openings despite being in 3,928 of our upper-North American-continent-theaters for its debut—nor is it yet playing as well as those earlier (yet relatively-recent) Star Treks in overseas markets, which could be blamed on a number of global factors but series fatigue is not one that the producers want to discuss.  After a 50-year-presence in international awareness, though, it would be disappointing for me to see this franchise begin to fold up its original storyline, changed as it may be by the weird space-time-warp that occurred in the 2009 rebirth of this narrative, which propelled the elder Spock into the era of his younger-self just beginning a career with the Federation’s Starfleet, in the process altering what we’d previously encountered with the various voyages of the USS Enterprise, a masterful but convenient device of allowing the contemporary production teams to rewrite what we’ve already known of these interplanetary explorers without being bound by continuity to past events.  (I was always amazed with writers for TV’s afternoon soap operas who had to conform whatever plot ideas they came up with to decades of previous occurrences in order to satisfy long-time-viewers who’d balk at the idea of not honoring what’d been shown before; superhero-comic-book-writers, on the other hand—at least in the DC Universe [I’m not as familiar with the Marvel one]—long ago learned to construct cataclysmic events in order to reset their characters, avoiding the inconveniences of natural aging and plotlines which have now spun impossibly out of control.)  

 I can only hope that we’re not yet done with the adventures of whom we've come to know as the original inhabitants of the Enterprise, but income from China and Brazil may have more to do with that than Russia has in sowing further discord among disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters in our current election cycle, although supposedly a 4th-Abrams-produced Star Trek has been assured, with Chris Hemsworth somehow reprising his role as Kirk’s father, despite having died in a battle with Romulans before our current intrepid Capt. was born.  (Dad Kirk represents a serious sense of loss for son Jim, among other reasons being our present Enterprise leader notes his father joined Starfleet because he wanted to help make the universe a better place while Jim did it simply on a dare, as part of his cocky, non-authoritarian-personality [that is, where other authority figures are concerned, but he always likes being in command himself, although he defers to Spock at times].)

 As I’ve previously explained in excessive (but brilliant) detail in my aforementioned review of … Into Darkness (clumsy as it may be in layout; whenever I revisit these older ones I consider adding more photos, breaking up paragraphs more often, etc., but it would take forever to do that) I don’t have a solid background in any of the Star Trek TV series (I’ve seen a few episodes of the original 1966-1969 manifestation, even fewer examples of … The New Generation, absolute zero for any of the others) so I can’t even pretend to pick up the nuances that are so obvious to someone like the guy who explores the Easter Eggs in … Beyond that you’ll find in the 3rd Related Link to this current movie noted farther below, but I have been a faithful viewer of every one of the big-screen-renditions of this lively, ongoing-interstellar-exploration concept since Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Robert Wise, 1979) so at least I have a solid sense of what’s evolved in big-budget-mainstream-versions of these iconic characters, along with a reasonable basis for understanding how well this most-recent-attempt fits in with the previous installments of the Kirk-Spock-etc.-ensemble.  With that caveat in place, I think that … Beyond is quite serviceable as a continuation of this series, gives us some useful variety with a focus on scenes that link up Spock and McCoy more so than just Kirk and Spock, along with Scotty getting some individual attention (while introducing us to Jaylah), and presenting us with an unexpected twist (I assume; please enlighten me if I’m not aware of past developments that lead to this result) of this alien villain being not only an Earthling who’s undergone a physical transformation while being long isolated in deep space but also a former Starfleet officer opposed to the whole concept of the Federation making peace with its former enemies which goes totally against his prior military training to forever detest those foes rather than find some rapprochement with them.  

 Further, this situation with Krall helps remind us of something easy to forget about these Star Trek stories (unless you’re a long-time-fan who can carry on conversations in Klingon), that the Starfleet explorers may remind us of the U.S. Navy with their ranks and shipboard (rather than seemingly-more-likely-aircraft) allusions but they’re not a warfare-based-military-organization (just as the Star Wars Jedi aren’t soldiers, regardless of the conflicts always going on around them) so despite the well-orchestrated-battles we shouldn’t forget that these Federation agents are essentially search-and-rescue-operatives with peaceful, collective-intentions, even though they constantly find themselves at odds with malevolent circumstances* often as the result of angry revenge-seekers.

(Any resemblance between Kahn and Donald Trump
is purely coincidental
[apologies to Kahn anyway].)
*Sometimes the Star Trek antagonists are former allies with deep-seated-passions against Federation actions that have left them long-pining for revenge, as in … Beyond or in both versions of their clash with the scientifically-enhanced-human Kahn Noonien Singh, in … Into Darkness and the much older Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (Nicholas Meyer, 1982); other times the threat isn’t at all intentionally malevolent but simply is the result of a suddenly-appearing-enormous-power threatening to destroy Earth because of a terrible-cosmic-misunderstanding that’s not allowing a proper response from our planet toward an manifested-entity beyond lifeforms that we comprehend as in … The Motion Picture and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Nimoy, 1986).  Either way, though, the Enterprise crew serves as either personal (as with … Kahn [notice also that we’re no longer getting Roman numerals nor colons in the titles of these Abrams-directed-or-produced-moviesa little bit with Star Wars as well, as The Force Awakens {Abrams, 2015; review in our December 31, 2015 posting} title doesn’t note that it’s Episode VII]) or planetary protectors, as their most current antagonists have been hell-bent on destruction, no negotiations allowed.

One last bit of my commentary for this section of the review focuses on how Abrams and his surrogates continue to mine the previous Star Trek movies (and, as I’ve read, the TV shows for that matter; again, I can’t really comment much on that aspect of this extended-narrative’s history due to personal unawareness) for what we see in these reboots, probably done somewhat as a means of appealing to long-time Trek fans (whether they prefer to be known as Trekkies or Trekkers), maybe also as a way of noting that the narrative timeline has been disrupted but that doesn’t mean that previously-occurred/now-erased events won’t recur in some manner, although it’s not necessarily going to proceed or end as we’ve seen in this series' cinematic-past.  As in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Nimoy, 1984) the Enterprise is destroyed, back then because Kirk set it on self-destruct to kill invading Klingons attempting to take the crew prisoner (leading to our heroes taking over the Klingon ship for their escape), now because it has to be abandoned after being so badly disabled by Krall’s swarm attack.  Similarly, in … The Voyage Home Kirk is demoted from Admiral to Captain because he’d stolen, then destroyed his Starship in the previous movie (allowing him to continue in an operational rather than an administrative mode, just as circumstances in … The Motion Picture allowed him to ditch his Earth-bound-duties in order to head out into space again) whereas in … Beyond he declines his requested-promotion to Vice-Admiral in order to stay in command of the newly-built-Enterprise (NCC-1701-A), again heading into the vast unknown of the universe as his quest for adventure compels him to do, finding that unclarified purpose he was searching for when … Beyond began.

Bottom Line 
Final Comments: As I’ve already admitted, my aging brain doesn’t carry around a trove of Star Trek-informed-trivia, so there are probably lots of little references in … Beyond to some earlier manifestations of Kirk and company that fly right past my awareness, but be that as it may there are a few aspects of this current movie that consciously do leave me a bit perplexed so I’ll note them here.  First, it’s public knowledge that Nimoy, long a primary face of this franchise, died just before this latest production began filming (thus, it became viable to work the passing of the older Spock into the script—he was well over 100 when he died, so I guess that Vulcans really do “live long and prosper”—along with a nice tribute to the original cast toward the end of the present plot when younger Spock finds a photo of the older versions of the featured crew of the Enterprise [from one of the earlier Star Trek movies], given that they’ll now never be able to share a full reunion again), but then an unanticipated tragedy struck just before the release of … Beyond when Yelchin died as the result of a freak car accident at his home, yet his role in the movie was complete so there’s no indication of his now-absence in this script (although it’s been reported that his role won't be recast, so, assuming there is another sequel I guess his character will suffer the same sort of off-screen-death that claimed the lives of major figures in The Godfather series [even though those demises resulted from actors—Richard S. Castellano {Peter Clemenza}, Robert Duvall {Tom Hagan} asking for too much salary for those 2nd and 3rd follow-ups, thereby giving way to Michael V. Gazzo {Frank Pentangeli}, B.J. Harrison {George Hamilton} in the Corleone saga]).  However, early on in … Beyond I’d swear there was already a commemoration scene for departed-Yeltsin as brooding Kirk’s about to drink some alien liquor that McCoy’s sure is near-fatal, offering him instead some premium Scotch from Chekov’s locker, along with a toast to a 3rd glass of the stuff, giving a strong premonition of the navigator’s absence even though he’s featured throughout the current movie.

 I was further confused with the Enterprise crew member who had the Abronath hidden within the folds of her head, as she looked enough to me like Kalara for me to mistakenly-wonder how she’d survived being crushed by the wrecked Federation ship’s massive saucer in an earlier scene, why she was suddenly part of Krall’s prison population, and why—if she were hiding this all-important-object on Kirk’s behalf, even though she’d previously demanded it from him when her true allegiance was revealed—she hadn’t already turned it over to Krall, unless she’d had a massive change of heart to go along with her miraculous recovery from being flattened by a large section of the Enterprise.  Chalk that one up to my flawed sense of species-recognition, I guess, but at least in my case these 2 characters (the much-lesser-known of the pair, especially, after we’ve seen so much of Kalara) just look too much alike to not cause some head-scratching at a crucial plot juncture.  OK, I do have 1 more confusion to note (not that a sci-fi-adventure such as this intends to be airtight in plot, nor do I demand that it be, but when the questions remain as vividly as the memory of the pleasure of the well-crafted-battle-scenes I still find them worth mentioning): What exactly is Krall’s situation on Altamid?  He notes that he’s still alive because of the use of advanced technology of the planet’s original inhabitants (although his long existence there has apparently altered his appearance to resemble these creatures, but, if so, he sure returned to his Captain Edison looks as soon as he entered Yorktown), yet I’m not clear who his many minions are.  If they’re not from his original-Earth-crew (possibly also kept alive and transformed over time, along with a lot of reproduction to spawn enough pilots for all of those mini-ships of the swarm) and they’re not the planet’s original inhabitants (who also invented the deadly Abronath, then somehow lost it over the years so that Kirk acquired it with no knowledge of its destructive capacities), then who are all of these creatures that Krall now fiercely commands?  

 I also can’t help but wonder if the combination of the name “Krall” and his use of the superior-technologies on a remote world isn’t a reference to the long-lost-race of the Krell from Altair IV in Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956)—also set in Star Trek's 23rd century—but I’ll leave that speculation for another day.  Finally, I can’t say that I recall how Krall, on his communication-blocked-planet, knew that Kirk had the Abronath, thus needed to lure the Enterprise into his Kalara-based-trap, but let’s not quibble about what it takes to get the action started here, shall we?

 Minor confusions aside, though, Star Trek Beyond is a fun, entertaining escape into a cool movie theater on a hot summer day (or night, as most of the U.S. is now enduring a brutal heat wave; I’d be willing to pay full price for this, although I don’t know that you need the extra cost for lavish 3-D screenings), properly continuing the franchise into directions that feel quite appropriate for the already-established-legacy of this series, even as we get the added enjoyment of seeing how these younger versions of familiar characters (with Disney also now set to explore that concept in the new spinoff-Star Wars movies, when we get a chance to see young Han Solo [Alden Ehrenreich] in action, set for 2018) slowly evolve into the older adult versions of themselves that have been around for the last 5 decades in our pre-Federation-era.  We don’t get into much here in the way of philosophical quandaries about the difficulty of encountering aliens with different value systems from the humanitarian-based-star-systems we’re more familiar with—nor unique-life-forms that need hard-to-acquire-responses from ancient-NASA-scientists or whales—because once again we’re now more in Wrath of Kahn-mode where space battles (borrowing heavily from the Star Wars tradition more so than Roddenberry tales) dominate the action while clever scripting keeps the chief Enterprise cast somewhat separated so that we can more easily focus on a few of them at a time (you could say that comes from Star Wars as well, particularly Episode IV—Return of the Jedi [Richard Marquand, 1983]), but there are plenty of interpersonal-oriented-situations and (at times witty) dialogue to keep you locked into what’s happening on-screen, even if the overall impact here may not quite match up to the fully-engaging-qualities of the Star Trek reboot nor its 1st sequel, … Into Darkness.  Maybe if you’re a series fan immersed in its minutia you’ll want something even more successful here, but for those of us who just casually follow the big-screen-voyages of the Enterprise, I think you’ll find … Beyond to be quite enjoyable.

 As for my usual Musical Metaphor, to offer a final perspective on what this latest addition to the Star Trek canon has to offer, I’ll take the easy road by choosing a cut from the soundtrack, Rihanna’s new “Sledgehammer” (although the listings I’ve seen for this album, due to drop on July 29, 2016, don’t list it so I guess you’ll just have to spend $16.98 to get a copy when it’s released to hear for yourself [or you can download this song from various sites]) at https:// watch?v=BXhIT4MpRis, the official music video for the song including a brief appearance of the Enterprise both at the beginning and end, along with “space-y” images that further evoke the movie.  As is the often the case with my Metaphors—but seemingly in the same vein from this official conjunction of musical and cinematic artists—the lyrics aren’t directly connected to the movie (in fact, as has often been the case with my past choices, they’re about romance, failed in this case) but they have allusions to its content that are relevant, especially when the Enterprise crew realizes what they’re up against with Krall and his swarming-war machine that has no relation to “floating like a butterfly,” just the impact of “sting[ing] like a bee” (to paraphrase the late, great Muhammad Ali):  “I’m bracing for the pain and I am letting go I’m using all my strength to get out of this hole […] I hit a wall, I thought that I would hurt myself [but I’ve got the will to show you that] You’re just another brick and I’m a sledgehammer.”  Krall would likely have dismissed such self-confidence on the part of his Federation opponents, but as he somehow knows that Kirk has the device he desires he didn’t seem to know that anyone on this crew could easily say “I hit a wall, I hit ‘em all, watch the fall” when their unified-weapon pounds into the seemingly-unstoppable-brick of the latest-anti-Starfleet-revenge-seeker, because try as they might to use other tactics to engage with their antagonists, when these stalwart explorers come up against adversaries the constant problem has been “Oh, what could I do to change you mind? Nothing,” so the battle’s on.  My advice, though, don’t bet against Kirk and company.  

 Don’t bet against me continuing to write reviews with lengths that extend into other galaxies either, with more to come as I set my phaser for “stun” to take on whatever next crosses my cinematic path, to boldly go where no critic has gone before (at least in terms of word count).  Come with me if you dare in future weeks,* even as I end these comments by joining with the production team of … Beyond in wishing a fond farewell to Nimoy and Yelchin (noted just before the roll of final credits).

*Before ending this posting, however, I can’t help but brag about this: when I opened BlogSpot I found that I’ve hit my all-time-high for unique pageviews last month at 17,585, with Russia my biggest fan base of recent times (whatever accounting that Google chart’s based on, I’ve got 3,840 hits from there vs. 865 from France, 599 from the U.S., 406 from Mauritius, 164 from the United Arab Emirates to round out my top 5).  My thanks to all of you—along with whomever else is checking out Two Guys in the Dark; sorry, Russians, that I don’t have any additional dirt on Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders for you to further help Donald Trump’s coronation campaign, but maybe you can get Wikileaks to publish my reviews so I’ll really get some coverage (for 5 minutes anyway).
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P.S.  Just to show that I haven’t fully flushed Texas out of my system here’s an alternative destination for you, Home in a Texas Bar, with Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker.


  1. I think the attendance numbers are the result of recent disappointments in the latest Star Wars, Avengers and Superman franchises. This was reinforced to me by two local scifi fanatics who weren't planning on seeing Star Trek because of earlier letdowns this year.

    However I liked Star Trek Beyond for many reasons including it's continuing humanizing character development (always a Star Trek staple), refreshing views of possible future colonies and reasonable action scenes that only once resorted to blurred fight scenes. In fact, this reboot seems to offer homage to more than just the original sixties Star Trek, with elements of the iconic Star Wars trilogy and maybe even Fritz Lang's ground breaking Metropolis.

    Beyond's villain was weak compared to previous editions, but heavy makeup is partially to blame. The same problem was inflicted on most of the female characters.

    As indicated, this one "is a fun, entertaining escape into a cool movie theater on a hot summer day..." and yes, you don't need to spend the money for 3D or vibrating seats because Star Trek doesn't entirely depend on special effects to carry the show.

  2. Hi rj, Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you, which is the frequent result of not making immediate replies. Thanks as always for your contributions (nice mention of Metropolis). I've just noticed the vibrating-seat options at one of the theaters I regularly attend, which I guess might be fun with the right type of roller-coaster type of movie but I'd rather save up and plop down that sort of cash for the Star Tours ride at Disneyland. Ken