Tag Archives: Bette Davis

Why Fans of Classic Movies Should Like Star Trek: Voyager

11 May

I’m a firm believer that Star Trek: Voyager has something for everyone; however, everyone is not the same, of course.  For example, if I were trying to  indoctrinate cajole my Grey’s Anatomy-loving coworkers into watching my favorite show, I would entice them with a completely different set of pros.

As it stands, the following list is inspired by my blog friend Ruth, who is a delightful classic-movie blogger.  Several posts ago, I talked about Voyager’s still enjoyable bad episodes, and she commented that she’d never watched the show before.

That’s an Internet gauntlet, folks.

I’ve compiled this list to attract a certain kind of person, and I have faith in my tactics.  And, as Captain Janeway would say, I feel lucky today!

Series Overview

Let’s get a quick rundown of what’s going on in this series before I start the list rolling.  I’ll pretend anyone reading this has never watched Star Trek, so I’ll try not to be too technobabble-y.

The Premise:  It’s the 24th century, and Earth and several other planets have long ago joined together to form The United Federation of Planets.  Starfleet–a space navy, basically–serves and protects this governmental agency.

There’s some disputed regions on the fringes of the Alpha Quadrant (because they’ve divided the galaxy into quadrants and named them with Greek letters, of course), and a rebel group called the Maquis has sprung up to defend what they feel is their own land.  Officially, The Federation sees the Maquis as terrorists, but they’re all wronged idealists, mostly (and the dudes they’re fighting [the Cardassians], who are officially in The Federation, are sneaky jerks, tbh).

Captain Kathryn Janeway and her new starship Voyager have been sent out to the Badlands to go after a particularly trouble-causing Maquis ship, on which one of Janeway’s oldest friends is serving as a spy!  Quelle drama!

Before she goes, she springs a dude from jail who had been in Starfleet and then also in the Maquis to act as her guide! Quelle more drama!

Well, both the Maquis ship and Voyager get gotten by an alien who pulls them 75,000 lightyears away from Earth–all the way to the Delta Quadrant.  This dying alien is trying to figure out if anybody has similar DNA so that he will have an heir to look after this planet he’s looking after.  Spoiler alert:  Nobody does.

Meanwhile, these other aliens are trying to get at the thing that transported everybody from the Alpha Quadrant so they can use it to gain power and take over stuff.

Janeway can’t let them gain power and take over stuff because they’re meanies, so she destroys the thing, stranding her ship and the Maquis ship in the Delta Quadrant.  Quelle drama-est!

This is the first time Janeway meets Chakotay (the Maquis captain). I hope they both brushed their teeth this morning because dang.

Janeway and the Maquis captain decide to join forces to get back home, so they all take up residence on Voyager and are forced to work together.

Meanwhile, they’ve picked up a few people from the Delta Quadrant to be on their crew:  a dude who’s a trader and is supposed to be good at navigating this–to Alpha Quadrant types–uncharted space and a lady (from the planet the alien who whisked them away was guarding) who has a really weird short lifespan.

Also, meanwhile, the ship’s doctor dies in the first twenty minutes or so and is permanently replaced by the Emergency Medical Hologram.  His journey into sentience becomes a plot point in many episodes.

Also along the way they run into the Borg, a species that is not so much a species but an amalgamation of species who act as one unit, like a hive, and they basically steal other species’ bodies to use in their ultimate goal of perfection through putting together the best parts of every species and then enhancing themselves with robotics.  The Borg are weird and scary and robotic and hard to describe, and when you’re part of the Borg, you have no personality of your own and do only the will of the Collective.  Anyway, Janeway rescues a lady from the Borg, and her journey into humanity becomes a plot point in many episodes.

So, if all the sci-fi hasn’t already turned you off, let’s have a go at the list.

Honorable Mention:  Clean (with a Little Innuendo)

One thing I really love about old movies is that they’re not explicit.  If a couple is intimate, they cut to a fireplace.  If somebody’s mad, he gives a glare and bunches his hands into angry fists instead of cursing a blue streak.

And because of the cleanness, they get to have a little more fun (and be a little more creative) when they wanna be a little bit dirty.  So they say things like, “You know how to whistle, don’t ya?” instead of something yuckier.

Because Voyager aired on regular old TV instead of HBO and because we have a lady captain who is so stagy and sassy, we get cleanness, and a little bit of sassy dirtiness once in a while.

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Dueling Divas: #SpinsterHeiressProbz Edition

23 Dec

Posted as part of Backlots‘s Dueling Divas Blogathon running Dec. 20-23.

For a short while in my youth, I couldn’t tell sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine apart.  To my credit, they do share a family resemblance, and they do often play the same types of roles–the naive and mousy soft ingenue who gets mixed up with an ambiguously bad man who may or may not love her back (see Jane Eyre, Rebecca, The Women, In This Our Life, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, even Gone with the Wind to an extent).

What finally distinguished them for me is hard to pin down.  I just one day could tel them apart suddenly and realized I had an irrational attachment to Olivia and an irrational dislike for Joan.

When I heard they despised each other in real life, I somehow felt vindicated in my irrationality and also was firmly on Team de Havilland.  I mean, she’s Melanie–the best movie best friend ever–AND she was best friends with Bette Davis is real life.  That’s pretty damn BA.

But, for the purposes of this blogathon, I was going to try to put my prejudices aside.  I had chosen to compare and contrast thematically similar movies, pitting them against each other in an infographic showdown diva off.

I had chosen Suspicion for Joan Fontaine: the story of a spinster heiress who marries a dashing ne’er do well who may or may not want her for her money.  And The Heiress for Olivia de Havilland: the story of a spinster heiress who almost marries a dashing ne’er do well who may or may not want her for her money.

The problem was I hadn’t seen either of these movies before.  There I had been thinking it would be a pretty even spinster-heiress match up, like my Joan Crawford vs. Bette Davis Dual Duel had been last year.  Ha!  No dice!

Suspicion straight up sucks, and The Heiress straight up rules, Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland aside.

So my original plan of any kind of fair and balanced competition was out the window.  Here’s Plan B:  a flowchart that will help you figure out what kind of #SpinsterHeiressProbz you might have.

Although this flowchart ostensibly covers the two movies this post is supposed to be about, you might notice my favorite spinster-heiress movie pops up a few times as an added bonus.

Dual Duel; or Dueling Duels–Now Featuring More Divas

20 Dec

Posted as part of Backlots’ Dueling Divas Blogathon.So Bette Davis and Joan Crawford feuded for years.  Genesis of feud:  ambiguous.  Rumor, hearsay, etc. suggest some sordid lesbian longing and/or boyfriend stealing fueled their burning hate for each other.

IDK and IDC.  What I do K and C about is how glamorous/best these two ladies are and how much I love them in almost anything.  While the Davis-Crawford juxtaposition is so, so, so far from original, I don’t feel that bad about jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of this dueling blogathon.  However, in an effort to distinguish myself, I’d been trying to find thematically similar movies from the same era that wouldn’t be completely obvious choices.  What I would’ve preferred is a garish technicolor post-glamour western or musical in wich the resident diva ball-busts her way through an endless stream of men, clothes, and set-pieces.

I think you know what I’m referring to, Johnny Guitar.

Don’t think you can hide out, Torch Song. I’ve got your number.

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