DID YOU READ

What to watch tonight: “Star Trek: Generations”

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When it comes to Star Trek fandom there are generally two camps, those supporting the OG Enterprise captain James T. Kirk and those in favor of new school upstart Captain Jean-Luc Picard who helmed the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Who’s better? It’s a real stumper:

While some cite actor Sir Patrick Stewart’s superior Royal Shakespeare Company-honed acting skills as they translate into the demeanor of Captain Picard, fans of William Shatner’s school of acting know that more is always better. Shatner’s mad skills even get their own animated treatment. Whichever camp you fall into, you’re going to want to watch “Star Trek: Generations” tonight at 8/7c when both captains team up to fight Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell), a rogue scientist who”s willing to destroy planets in order to return to the Nexus, an energy ribbon. That’s right two captains.

In the words of Wesley Crusher (a.k.a. @wilw)

You said it, Wesley. But Data said it better:

Now, why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah.

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“Star Trek: Generations” airs tonight at 8/7c; Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12:30 AM ET; Saturday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 PM ET; Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3:00 PM ET; Monday, Nov. 19 at 12:15 AM ET; Thursday, Nov. 29 at 1:00 AM ET

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Our five favorite William Shatner songs

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As Star Trek Week continues on IFC we can’t help but recall our deep and abiding love for Captain Kirk and the man who played the heck out of him, William Shatner. Now Shatner is not only an excellent actor, but he also directed one of the films we are playing tonight “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” where the crew of the Enterprise (or, more accurately, the Enterprise-A) finds religion. Smart, attractive, talented and spiritual, what’s not to love about the man? And we haven’t even mentioned the singing. Man, can Shatner sing.

Here are our five favorite William Shatner songs:

5. “Major Tom (Coming Home)”

4. “Bohemian Rhapsody”

3. “Common People”

2. “Rocket Man”

1. “Fuck You”

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“Star Trek: The Voyage Home” airs on IFC tonight at 5:15 PM ET; Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7:45 AM ET; Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8:15 AM ET; Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 3:15 PM ET; Thursday, Nov. 15 at 12:00 PM ET; Friday, Nov. 16 at 12:30 AM ET; Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 3:15 PM ET; Monday, Nov. 26 at 12:00 AM ET; Friday, Nov. 30 at 8:45 AM ET; “Star Trek: The Final Frontier” airs on IFC tonight at at 8:00 PM ET; Thursday, Nov. 8 at 12:45 AM ET; Thursday, Nov. 8 at 5:45 PM ET; Sunday, Nov. 11 at 10:30 AM ET; Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:45 AM ET; Thursday, Nov. 15 at 2:45 PM ET; Friday, Nov. 16 at 6:00 AM ET; Friday, Nov. 16 at 1:45 PM ET; Saturday, Nov. 17 at 12:45 AM ET; Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 12:00 AM ET

What to watch this week on IFC: November 5 – 11

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As you are probably aware, we are heading to the polls this week to either elect a president or keep the same one in office. Whatever way the ballots go, there’s no doubt that your television will be full of talking heads jabbering on about elephants and donkeys. But not on IFC. Not this week. This week we are all about Vulcans, Klingons and the other crew members of the Starship Enterprise. That’s right, it’s Star Trek Week and we can’t wait to shout, “Beam us up, Scotty!” at the television, remind our roommates that “we’re a doctor, not a miracle worker” and point out everything that is not completely logical.

Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:

Monday

After you watch “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” at 8/7c, stay tuned for terror (and a few laughs) when we show “Evil Dead 2″ at 10:15 p.m. ET. Watch Bruce Campbell battle protean spirits, a basement ghoul, some trees and his own hand with nothing but a chainsaw, a shotgun, incantations and a seriously gung-ho attitude.

Tuesday

We’re showing “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” tonight at 8/7c. In the fourth installment of the television series’ silver screen voyage, we find Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu, Dr. McCoy and the rest of the Enterprise crew traveling to modern day (well, 1986) San Francisco to bring some humpback whales back to the future. It’s not logical, but it’s definitely the funniest of all the Star Trek films.

Wednesday

In “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) head out in search of God, because if you had a spaceship and nothing else to do, wouldn’t you? Well maybe not, but you would if a renegade Vulcan named Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) tricked you into it.

Thursday

Live long and prosper doesn’t mean much when you’re falsely accused of a crime. In “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley) are accused and imprisoned by Klingon General Chang (Christopher Plummer) for the murder of a Klingon chancellor. The real surprise isn’t Kirk’s and McCoy’s crimes and misdemeanors, but the appearance of Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall as Spock’s protege. In this galaxy it starts at 8/7c.

Friday

In “Star Trek: Generations” we get to see the baton passed from the old school (Captain Kirk) to the new (Jean Luc Picard), but instead of battling to the death they team up to fight some crazy old dude played by Malcolm McDowell. If that’s not a good cause I don’t know what is. Tune in at 8/7c or be banished to the Nexus with Malcolm McDowell forever.

Saturday

Resistance is futile! So cancel your plans and watch Patrick Stewart as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and Jonathan Frakes as first mate on the Star Trek: The Next Generation’s first solo movie “Star Trek: First Contact.” At 8/7c, it’s man, Klingon, Vulcan, and android vs The Borg. Who will you root for?

Sunday

For the final night of Star Trek Week we’re showing “Star Trek: Insurrection” at 8/7c. In the ninth installment of the franchise’s foray onto the silver screen, the crew of the Enterprise get in touch with their inner hippies and stage a tree-hugging revolt against the Federation. Don’t worry, Geordi LaForge looks great in bellbottoms made out of all natural fibers.

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