February 12, 2013

The List: 7 Things I Loved I Watched Get Destroyed

Film is very different from television in many ways, the most obvious being storytelling. With a television series you have the ability to stay connected to characters for years, even decades. But every now and then a film series will come along, comprising of a few films (or 10) that will hook you like a television series will: re-occurring sets become sacred, vehicles and ships become beloved ... sometimes the connection needs only be a few hours and not a few seasons of episodes.

Either way, in television or films, we become hooked to certain things and personify objects that in any other medium (or even in real life) might not bear any real significance to us. When something gets destroyed that is sacred, beloved, etc ... it can be devastating. Here are seven things I loved that I watched get destroyed on television and film. My heart is still mending.


1)The DeLorean (Back to the Future Part III)

It is not every day you see the car of your dreams. Especially one that can fly, eats junk for fuel and can zip you to any time period at a whim (Don Draper and the '60s here I come!).

When Back to the Future III came about, sure, it lacked a bit of the oompf of the classic original and the very confusing and visually rich second film but wherever the DeLorean time machine and Marty McFly went, so did I. So, it was with great pain that I saw my beloved time machine get smashed up by a train. It really was necessary (not only for the danger it represented plot-wise but because on a story-telling level, it was as much a character as anyone else) but damn did it hurt. To this day I have trouble watching the scene.


2)The Murtaugh House (Lethal Weapon 4)

I'm pretty much obsessed with the Lethal Weapon films. I watch them as a complete series (director cuts for 1-3 only please) once a year. And, when I was 19, I actually wrote a Lethal Weapon encyclopedia.

The film functioned much like a TV series: it had the same characters, in jokes, references, history, continuity and even set design from film to film. And one constant of the film series was the Murtaugh house: a beautiful middle-class home that served as both character and disaster zone from film to film.

In Lethal Weapon 1 it survived a living room car crash and a front yard brawl. In Lethal Weapon 2 an exploding toilet couldn't put the house down. In Lethal Weapon 3, termites be damned! But it was finally the evil Triads led by Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4 that doomed the home: burning it to the ground.

Riggs and Murtaugh might live on, but the house, long a place of comfort, could not be recovered.

Clip: http://www.anyclip.com/movies/lethal-weapon-4/burning-down-the-house/


3)The Enterprise refit (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Even though the Enterprise was completely overhauled for the film series, the writers, from the first film onwards, gave a plot explanation for why it looked different then the original series ship. It was, in essence, the same exact ship as the 1960s TV series but with a new hull, updated technology, etc.

So, despite looking different, the ship was OUR Enterprise. Or, more specifically, Kirk's Enterprise ... in the end it was his most important possession. And to see it used as a weapon, a one-time weapon with no hope of recovery, is heart breaking. There was a reason the first film in the series had a 75 minute masturbatory love fest with the ship ... it's more then a ship, it is home.

There were many twist and turns that happened in the Trek series from The Motion Picture to The Search for Spock ... but seeing the Enterprise explode and burn up into the atmosphere might, arguably, be one of the most shocking.


4)Babylon 5 (Final Episode: Sleeping in Light)

Despite a meager budget and ideas that could not always get translated to film properly, Babylon 5 is always considered epic. Not just in it's storytelling but in its title character, the last of the Babylon stations itself: B5.

The station was a five-mile long city in space that was never fully explored. Though events often happened far from the station, B5 was our home and our place of comfort and a place of continual mystery and discovery.

Jumping forward decades in time was jarring enough for the Babylon 5 audience. But jumping right to the station's own destruction (mere hours before our hero Sheridan meets his own demise) was pushing geeks to the limits of sorrow!


5)Optimus Prime and Starscream (Transformers: The Movie)

There is a four or five minute period where Transformers: The Movie is one of the greatest films every made. Yes ... even now! Optimus Prime turns into his truck, brains a bunch of Decepticons, and goes mano y mano with Megatron. And unlike the weekly TV series, shit was real. We already lost Ironhide and Ratchet (tears) ... anything could happen.

But then Hot Rod fucks everything up and Optimus gets cheap shotted. He still does a two fisted uppercut like a boss and basically makes Megatron useless ... but the wounds are too severe. Now, the film has become the worst thing ever made.

And then THIS happens. Spock is pissed! Transformers: The Movie ... you've gone too far!!!!!


6)The Enterprise-D (Star Trek: Generations)

From a production standpoint, the Enterprise-D had to go. Despite using film during the seven year run of the television series, the sets of Star Trek: The Next Generation were only compatible in their current state with television screens. Masterful cinematography from Chinatown cinematographer John Alonzo allowed the sets to be dressed in shadow and in stark contrasts to hide the dimension issues.

But if the popular TV series was going to continue onwards into the film world (as it would do with three more films) a new ship would have to be built. This doesn't make the destruction of what is, essentially, my second home easy to swallow.

While an older generation loved the original Enterprise, folks of my generation (and the generation before) saw the Enterprise-D, of which we shared 176 prior adventures together on TV, as the flagship of not just the Federation but of geekdom. It's quick dispatch after a singular cinematic debut was quite the travesty ... and quite the heart breaker.

Warning ... overly cheesy video ahead!


7)The Normandy (Mass Effect 2)

Unlike the other things (or people-things) on this list, The Normandy was literally a place you could spend time in and come to love. With two different characters and four different playthroughs, I spent about 110 hours on the Normandy. And I loved every minute of it.

I knew every nook and cranny on the ship and if I wasn't in the mood to do missions or have sex with hot blue alien babes, I walked around talking to my crew, admiring the engines or messing around with Joker up on the bridge.

And when the Normandy was back, theme music and all, in the opening minutes of Mass Effect 2, I was pumped! MY SHIP WAS BACK. But the writers had other ideas. Yes, we did get a Normandy 2 for the rest of Mass Effect 2 and all of 3 ... but it was never quite the same.

The one saving grace: you could visit the crash site as a downloadable bonus and, in some way, walk through the halls of the ship again.

Tell me some of yours.


  1. When the towns people blew up all the buildings of Walnut Grove at the end of Little House on the Prairie.

    1. Haha ... all jest aside, did that really happen??!!!

  2. Yeah, Optimus Prime dying in the TRANSFORMERS movie is an emotionally scarring event for anyone who was kid and saw that film. Still tough to watch.


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