June 20, 2016

"Are you a magician?"

Anton Yelchin on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," annoying Larry David with a card trick.

A delightful child actor, who grew up to appear as Chekhov in the recent "Star Trek" movies.
As played by Mr. Yelchin, Chekov was endearingly antic, humorously navigating his way through high-pressure scenarios and — even in the 23rd century — having difficulty with the “V” sounds in words like “Victor” and “Vulcan.”
And now he has died at the age of 27, killed by his own car, which he'd gotten out of and left running and which rolled down the driveway and pinned him against a brick mailbox.

He was born in Leningrad in 1989, to parents who were figure skating stars and who, that same year, left what was then the Soviet Union and came to the United States, to L.A., to escape religious persecution.

53 comments:

CJ said...

"left what was then the Soviet Union and came to the Union States, to L.A., to escape religious persecution."

Oh the irony.

MathMom said...

He was a perfect Chekov. He said that he got the accent by copying the way his parents talk. This is a very sad day.

Johanna Lapp said...

Vierdly, Ensign Pavel Chekhov never failed to pronounce the two Vs in his own name in the standard English fashion.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...and came to the Union States, to L.A., to escape religious persecution.

Good thing he didn't go to the Confederacy, 'cause that would probably be racist.

Fernandinande said...

parents who were figure skating stars

That shoots down the theory that figure skaters can't reproduce.

coupe said...

The obvious thing to do, would be for the government to ban these Assault Vehicles.

These are obviously "weapons of war" and should even be classified as WMD due to the 40,000 people killed each year.

These terrorist organizations like Ford, GM, and Toyota should be part of the War on Terror(tm).

They are all run by "Wahhabi takfiris" and infested in the Obama Administration, who emptied the Treasury to prop them up.

dreams said...

He was in the movie "Like Crazy" with Jennifer Lawrence and Felicity Jones which I thought was a pretty good movie and had some good rising young actors in it.

Its so easy for something to go wrong, one morning my car wouldn't start so I went back in my house to call a friend for help and when I went back to my garage my car was gone, looking out of my garage I saw it had rolled out and down my driveway slamming into the house across the street. Apparently I had somehow got it out of gear while trying to start it. Thankfully no one was hurt.

Nonapod said...

Always, always, always engage the parking break if you need to jump out of you car to do something quickly. Don't assume the transmission will keep it from rolling.

coupe said...

Ignorance is Bliss said......and came to the Union States

Hey, it's Dyslexia Lundi (Moon Day)...

Original Mike said...

This sucks. He was a great Chekov. ё-моё!

coupe said...

It said he had a steep driveway. When you use the "parking pawl" to secure the vehicle, which is a little bitty piece of metal in the automatic transmission, and you put a huge stress on it. A Ton of stress, as cars are really heavy.

After several months (BAM!) it breaks like a tooth-pick.

Original Mike said...

"Always, always, always engage the parking break if you need to jump out of you car to do something quickly. Don't assume the transmission will keep it from rolling."

Yep, though we own standard transmission vehicles so there's never a chance we'll be complacent.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm sure that Mr. Yelchin was a fine actor and that his untimely passing is a great loss for us all, but let's not lose sight of the fact that it was Walter Koenig's mother who invented Liquid Paper.

Bob said...

"All men live enveloped in whale-lines."

J. Farmer said...

Loved that episode of Curb. It concludes with Larry forcing his wife to wear a burkha instead of her sexy costume because Jeff had earlier admitted to something sexual-related in regards to Cheryl. I digress.

The first time I saw Yelchin on screen was opposite Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis, a great under appreciated blending of adolescent coming of age with a supernatural thriller from Stephen King. It's like a bridge between his short story, "The Body," which Rob Reiner turned into the great film Stand By Me and King's more familiar fantastical material. I also enjoyed him in a small film called Charlie Bartlett. I don't recall seeing him in anything else until he popped up in Star Trek and later the fantastic film Green Room.

For some strange reason, I always feel a slight sense of relief when child actor's are able to successfully transition into successful adult roles. When I was 14, for reasons that I cannot entirely remember, I did a school paper on child actors. From Jackie Coogan and Robert Blake to the child stars of Different Strokes, I remember being tremendously affect by the seemingly relentless pattern of substance abuse, depression, and financial ruin that punctuated most of these careers.

J. Farmer said...

Eric the Fruit Bat:

"I'm sure that Mr. Yelchin was a fine actor and that his untimely passing is a great loss for us all, but let's not lose sight of the fact that it was Walter Koenig's mother who invented Liquid Paper."

No, no...it was Mike Nesmith of The Monkees whose mother, Bette Nesmith Graham invented liquid paper while working as a bank secretary in Texas.

gerry said...

@CJ wrote at the thread top:

"left what was then the Soviet Union and came to the Union States, to L.A., to escape religious persecution."

Oh the irony.

Perfect.

Anthony said...

He did make for a great Chekov.

I never put the parking brake on in any auto-trans cars when the brake was the pedal. I kind of do it as a force of habit when it's the lever in the middle though. Never had one roll away. Of course, the one time I didn't I had put it in Neutral for some reason and it started slowly rolling backwards into the closed garage door. Apart from the time I found myself standing on a bee hive, I don't believe I ever moved that fast.

Larry J said...

Nonapod said...
Always, always, always engage the parking break if you need to jump out of you car to do something quickly. Don't assume the transmission will keep it from rolling.


The news yesterday said his engine was still running and the transmission was in neutral.

J. Farmer said...

@gerry:

"Oh the irony.

Perfect."


I'm sorry, but what irony is involved here? Are Jews being religiously persecuted in LA? From the looks of things, they seem to be doing pretty well there.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's sad to see someone so young die.

The first person to make a Yakov Smirnoff-style joke about this should feel bad about themselves.

J. Farmer said...

@HoodlumDoodlum:

"The first person to make a Yakov Smirnoff-style joke about this should feel bad about themselves."

Damn. Good reference. Didn't all his jokes follow the same pattern: "In America, you drive the cars; in Russia, the cars drive you. What a country!"

Left Bank of the Charles said...

This story only makes sense if (A) he had walked down the hill to the mailbox and didn't see the vehicle coming or (B) he was trying to stop the vehicle from rolling down the hill. I would score (A) as a freak accident and (B) as a tragic mistake.

Michael K said...

"the government to ban these Assault Vehicles."

Beat me to it.

Roy Jacobsen said...

He did a great job as Odd Thomas, too. (I don't think it was ever released in theaters. I saw it on Netflix.)

rhhardin said...

"That's not who we are."

Today's Klavan has a media montage of Obama arguing that dozens of different times.

Actually it is who we are. Judeo-Christian culture is America, he points out.

campy said...

Actually it is who we are. Judeo-Christian culture is America, he points out.

No, it's who we were. Before Obama transformed us.

jr565 said...

he was really good in Alpha Dog. Actually that was a good cast across the board (except for Sharon Stone with her weird ugly woman makeup.

jr565 said...

(cont) to clarify, she wasn't bad. Her makeup was bad. it made her look fake, especially in her pivotal scene at the end where she talks to the camera. there was no point in not just making her look like sharon Stone.

tim maguire said...

Blogger Nonapod said...
Always, always, always engage the parking break if you need to jump out of you car to do something quickly.


At the risk of sounding uncaring, how about, "always, always, always don't do stupid shit"?

The world is still a dangerous place, where a momentary distraction can change the rest of your life.

tim maguire said...

Farmer said...
@HoodlumDoodlum:

"The first person to make a Yakov Smirnoff-style joke about this should feel bad about themselves."

Damn. Good reference. Didn't all his jokes follow the same pattern: "In America, you drive the cars; in Russia, the cars drive you. What a country!"


It was just one, but it was his signature joke--"in America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, the party finds you."

tim maguire said...

Having written that--the party finds you--I'm reminded f Althouse's posts from the last election cycle about mailings she got from the Democratic Party about her voting history.

Robert Cook said...

He was quite memorable in the recent Green Room , which features another veteran of the Star Trek franchises, Patrick Stewart.

Char Char Binks said...

In Soviet Russia you brake car. In America car break YOU! What a country!

Alex said...

I still think the new Star Trek movies are utter bollocks, but Yelchin was good in Alpha Dog.

Unknown said...

...In Russia, TV watches you!

Bill said...

Awful way to die.

God bless him.

Unknown said...

Worse question: was it a quick agonizing crush, or a slow roll, and he was trapped with injuries and bled out or suffocated?

MayBee said...

I'm with jr565. I love Alpha Dog.

I had never been distracted by "Sharon Stone with her weird ugly woman makeup. " But what's weird is the woman she was portraying is very pretty.

Elliot Rodger said he was motivated in part by Alpha Dog. There are some of Rodger's YouTube videos where he's walking trails around Santa Barbara, and I swear he was looking for the place where the poor kid was buried.

Anyway, this is very very sad. I'm hearing Jeep Cherokees were having a problem where it was unclear whether the car was in Park or Neutral.

Rick Turley said...

That SUV (Grand Cherokee) has a very unusual shift lever. When you shift gears, it always moves back to the center detent. You can't really see what gear you are in without looking to see which symbol is highlighted. Just an information point.

285exp said...

His Jeep was one of the Chrysler vehicles affected by a recall this April due to a confusing transmission shifter. Instead of moving to a designated position for each gear, the spring loaded shifter returned to center, so you couldn't tell which gear the vehicle was in just by looking at the shifter. Over 700 roll away incidents have been reported.

Another solution for a problem that didn't exist.

Original Mike said...

"Instead of moving to a designated position for each gear, the spring loaded shifter returned to center, so you couldn't tell which gear the vehicle was in just by looking at the shifter."

Wow. Sometimes all you can do is shake your head.

J. Farmer said...

@campy:

"Actually it is who we are. Judeo-Christian culture is America, he points out."

No, it's who we were. Before Obama transformed us.


My word. Talk about overwrought. What possible mechanism has the president used to "transform" the culture from a Judeo-Christian one? And just an aside: ever notice how "judeo-christian" as a term really took off in the 1940s and beyond. Before that, it was just a "Christian" culture. And more precisely still, it's really an Anglo-Protestant culture. The Catholic countries of Latin America, while Christian in their cultural orientation, have not exactly been huge success stories in the post-colonial era. As for why the Anglo-Protestant culture is no longer dominant, I would point you to Eric Kaufmann's fantastic The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America.

Drago said...

J Farmer: "What possible mechanism has the president used to "transform" the culture from a Judeo-Christian one?"

Shhh.

I'm trying to listen to Obama patiently explain to us how much islamists contributed to Americas founding ideals.

When I'm not listening to tales of all the islamist contributions to space travel that is.

Is the call to prayer being piped out ever louder over the streets of Orlando today?

William said...

Appointment in Samarra. The egalitarians have never found a way to equitably distribute the blessings of God. He went from an especially fortunate life to a sad fate in short order........I saw the Star Trek movies. No disrespect to his talent, but I don't remember him. What separates an excellent Chekhov from a mediocre one? Is there some great variation among Chekovs like with James Bond or Hamlet. Was he the great Chekhov of his generation?

rhhardin said...

The Core, Hilary Swank

The Earth has stopped rotating because of a change in the planet's core temperature. To restore the normal temperature, astronauts must travel to the center and detonate a nuclear bomb before the core superheats and destroys all life on the surface.

This has to be great. There will be serious expressions all around. Camp classic for physics majors.

It's not like Gravity (Sandra Bullock) where incidental things defy physics. The whole plot here is in on it.

At least one hopes.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

I'm trying to listen to Obama patiently explain to us how much islamists contributed to Americas founding ideals.

When I'm not listening to tales of all the islamist contributions to space travel that is.

Is the call to prayer being piped out ever louder over the streets of Orlando today?


Uhh...most of this pluralistic, we-are-the-world boilerplate nonsense. George W. Bush constantly ran away saying stupid things like "Islam is a religion of peace." Bush actually thought that popular democracy would be a good thing for the middle east. Talk about naive and out to lunch. My point being: presidents say a lot of dumb shit. Nothing you mention has come even close to being "transformative" of the culture. Hell, there are more Americans who know what the Kardashian's think about the world than what Obama thinks. You're being ridiculous. Obama is a bland, boring centrist Democrat. He's probably smarter than Bill Clinton but a lot less creative. There's plenty of things in his record to attack him for. You're describing an absolute caricature that is closer to what we may call Obama Derangement Syndrome than an a rational reading of the actual facts on the ground.

J. Farmer said...

@rhhardin:

The Core, Hillary Swank

Ha, yes! A campy, laugh out loud b-grade sci-fi movie. If it had been made 50 years earlier it would've surely ended up being showcased on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Ebert wrote a deliciously middling, though ultimately negative review of the movie here. You can feel his inner love of campy movies almost wanting to recommend this movie in spite of (or is it because of?) the absurd plot and ridiculous dialogue.

Rick67 said...

With a few others I also wondered, Dang, how could something like that happen? Without attempting to blame Yelchin, or problems with automatic transmissions, or that specific model, or the whole idea of getting out of a vehicle on a slope.

I know how something like that can happen. Get home, weather's good, decide to make progress painting the house, no one else is home, this is perfectly safe, what can possibly happen? I remember putting up the ladder... and then waking up nine days later in the hospital. Apparently my family got home a few minutes after I fell, the ambulance and EMTs arrived just a few minutes after that, and even so the first few days doctors were uncertain.

Did Yelchin make a mistake? Maybe. Did I? Almost certainly. My point is that it is surprisingly easy for freak accidents to happen, with little warning, whether we did something stupid or there was something beyond our control. I am much more sympathetic to Yelchin and to "gorilla moms" and "alligator dads".

Drago said...

J farmer: " Nothing you mention has come even close to being "transformative" of the culture."

Whew! Its a good thing I never made such an assertion.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

Whew! Its a good thing I never made such an assertion.

Okay, let's take a look at your post. You named me and excised one sentence of mine:

J Farmer: "What possible mechanism has the president used to "transform" the culture from a Judeo-Christian one?"

How was anything you wrote subsequently a response to the question you quoted?

William said...

The next Chekov should be named Mohammed. Originally a Russian was put on the crew to show that during a period of intense Cold War rivalries that we're all human. A crew member named Mohammed would update the role and could supply a number of interesting plot twists.......In what direction does a Muslim pray in outer space?

Original Mike said...

"In what direction does a Muslim pray in outer space?"

Towards Earth, I presume.

There's a great line in TOS where the principals are having some discussion in a conference room and Scotty refers to "back on Earth" and waves in some direction. Spock responds by pointing in a different direction and saying, "More in that direction, Engineer."