Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Captains

A stressful day led to watching The Captains (2011), a film by William Shatner, via Netflix while exercising last night. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Netflix but we broke down for the kids and I have access.  I prefer the standard bearer quality of Blu-Ray.  I enjoy the pause button on my remote better too.  I also don't have the downloads speeds needed to prevent frustration with the service.  Anyway, that's another story and Netflix annoys me more than it doesn't.

It may not be for everyone, and was far more entertaining (for me) than William Shatner's mildly enjoyable Invasion Iowa (2005), but for fans of the many incarnations of the Star Trek franchise, this interview-based film is a pure rush of fun. I smiled from ear to ear travelling along with William Shatner as he made the rounds with Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula and Chris Pine.

Each of the portraits here is surprisingly candid, enlightening and a window into some very interesting performers and their respective backgrounds with much humor added for good measure. The actors offer a mix of pretension, eccentricity, passion, vulnerability and even self-deprecation. These are indeed some real characters.  And Shatner is typically self-indulgent and colorful as we've come to expect, but most importantly Shatner draws upon some truly genuine human moments. I was often touched viewing it. I won't go into detail, but I did enjoy these often sincere reflections and portraits with the many personalities behind these wonderful series.  Many of the secondary actors also make appearances including Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan, Robert Picardo and Nana Visitor to name a few.  All are much wiser from their experiences within Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.

So I guess The Captains (120 minutes) was exactly what the doctor ordered that day. Maybe additional films dubbed The Doctors and The Lieutenants would be the perfect complement.  This one is a keeper and I'll be watching it again soon in the form of the extended version because it's exceptional.

The 150 minute extended cut.

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