From Rolling Stone magazine, Yaphet Kotto, Star of ‘Alien’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street,’ Dead at 81. And let’s not forget Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Well, on second thought ….
Yaphet Kotto had a long career and did some very good work. He was a Bond villain (Live and Let Die), a prison trustee (Brubaker), and a Ugandan dictator (Raid on Entebbe). However, for some reason, the first thing I think of when I hear his name is an episode of the otherwise-forgotten Alfred Hitchcock Presents called Prisoners (1985). Kotto played an escaped convict who broke into a woman’s house to evade the cops, and he kept her hostage so that she couldn’t rat him out. The way he was caught (spoiler alert!!!) was he coached her when she answered the phone, allowing her to carry on a conversation with a friend on the other end of the call. That tipped off the friend that something was wrong because the woman (hostage) was deaf. She’d been reading Kotto’s lips the whole time, and his character didn’t realize it. The show had a bit of a twist to it, which shouldn’t surprise you considering its namesake.
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Great Shatner’s ghost! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted about Star Trek. It’s my favorite entertainment property, yet I’ve been so focused on the superhero stuff and random Netflix movies that I haven’t watched any Star Trek recently. Ironically, it was the Iron Man quarantine watch party on June 30, that inspired this post (as well as this one and this one).
— Rob Bodine #QuarantineWatchParty Fiend (@GSLLC) July 1, 2020
I haven’t seen a lot of Faran Tahir, but I’ve been impressed by everything in which I’ve seen him, including his role in Iron Man. That role wasn’t small, but this post is about Captain Robau from the 2009 reboot of Star Trek. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) gets the credit for his sacrifice, and that’s fair, but it’s clear that he was following the teachings of his captain, played by Mr. Tahir. Captain Robau set the tone for the scene, and the entire movie, by remaining completely calm during the brief negotiations and immediately complying with Nero’s demands despite the danger. He didn’t do this because he was without fear – his bio signs indicated an elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and other signs of emotional distress – but because leaders don’t have the luxury of personal considerations. If you take responsibility for other people’s lives, you need to live up to that.
Captain Robau was a strong character, and his leadership set the tone for a movie that was as much about leadership as it was about friendship.