• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

50. The Thing – Halloween 2017 (#165)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, a Halloween treat. John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Continue reading

Star Trek: Enterprise – Regeneration (Review)

Next year, Star Trek is fifty years old. We have some special stuff planned for that, but – in the meantime – we’re reviewing all of Star Trek: Enterprise this year as something of a prequel to that anniversary. This April, we’re doing the second season. Check back daily for the latest review.

It seems like a bit of an understatement to describe Regeneration as highly controversial.

The blu ray release of the second season of Star Trek: Enterprise includes two commentaries for the episode, a sure sign that there is a lot to talk about. On a track recorded in 2005, writers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong describe the episode as “infamous.” On a track recorded in 2013, John Billingsley describes how certain segments of fandom considered it a “jumping the shark” moment for the show. That last statement illustrates one of the perverse qualities of Star Trek fandom; one would assume that the viewers turned off by Regeneration would have already tuned out with Acquisition.

We are Borg.

We are Borg.

After all, the decision to bring back the Ferengi in Acquisition is hard to explain. Nobody was clamouring for more Ferengi episodes after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had gone off the air. Outside of Deep Space Nine, the most enduring impression of the Ferengi was that they had begun their life as “villains that didn’t quite work” and bad quickly been transformed into “comic relief that didn’t quite work.” As such, it is hard to account for the decision to bend continuity in order to introduce the Ferengi into the first season of a prequel show designed to escape the baggage of the larger Star Trek franchise.

On the other hand, it made a great deal of sense to bring back the Borg. After all, the Borg were one of the few Star Trek aliens created after 1969 to make a genuine impression on popular culture. The Borg will never be as iconic as Klingons or Vulcans, but they will always be more iconic than Cardassians or Bajorans. They were also stars of the best-loved Star Trek movie starring the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Borg are a big deal; there is a reason that Star Trek: Voyager ran them into the ground.

"Assimilate this!"

“Assimilate this!”

It is no wonder that the Borg are frequently cited in discussions around the future of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Asked if the creative team would consider bringing the Borg to the rebooted twenty-third century, Roberto Orci answered, “I think we would think about it.” Damon Lindelof was even blunter in his assessment, “You can’t talk about Trek and not talk about the Borg.” While they have undoubtedly been over-exposed and over-used since they first appeared in Q Who?, the Borg are the most distinctive and most successful addition to the Star Trek mythos outside the classic show.

While common sense and experience seemed to weigh against bringing back the Ferengi in Acquisition, it seems that continuity is the only thing holding the Borg back from making an appearance on Enterprise. That said, Sussman and Strong find a clever way around that issue, by remembering the suggestion in Broken Bow that Enterprise is as much a sequel to Star Trek: First Contact as a prequel to the rest of the Star Trek universe.

"Oh no, Cap'n, they've discovered the mood lightin' settin'."

“Oh no, Cap’n, they’ve discovered the mood lightin’ settin’.”

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter’s The Thing is almost the perfect late-night Halloween viewing experience. It’s one of those movies that is gloriously trashy entertainment, with any number of visceral thrills, but also more deeply unnerving. Updating the 1951 The Thing From Another World, and arguably remaining truer to the original story, Who Goes There?, John Carpenter’s adaptation perfectly captures the unnerving paranoia of a world where there’s no promise that anybody is exactly what they claim to be. In space, nobody can hear you scream, but your odds aren’t too much better in the white Antarctic tundra.

What sort of Thing could do that?

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: The Ruins

The Ruins is a decent enough little horror movie. In fact, it’s a cut above the average mould. Eschewing the torture porn or the gratuitous slasher movies, The Ruins is – after a fashion – a creature feature in the style of eighties. It can’t hold a candle to the true classics of the genre, like The Thing, but it offers a perfectly decent substitute. What’s more is the way that – like all good horror films – it is able to generate pure menace from what should be a ridiculous premise.

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

Note: Towards the end of this review, I’ll discuss some items which might be considered spoilers. Nothing as glaring as the ending, but some stuff you might not want to know ahead of time. I’ll flag it a paragraph beforehand, so don’t worry. If you want a recommendation, it’s an old-fashioned horror which works like any truly effective monster movie: the threat is not just outside the group, but also within it. It won’t rock your world and it isn’t a masterpiece, but is worth a go.

Continue reading