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Moegreen - Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 9:05am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Crazy ol' Leland strikes again. 'The Surrey with the Fringe on top!'
Moegreen - Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 1:05am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

This was one of the most repetitive, pompous and badly acted episodes I've ever seen. High on its own weak concept. If I hear the term Omega again, there will be red shirt casualties.
Nic - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 10:32pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Wow, thanks for all the comments everyone, I did not expect so much feedback. All of your suggestions are good, especially "Data's Day".

That being said, I ended up going with "The Inner Light" anyway, but I warned her that it wasn't a typical episode. At one point she asked if this was the best episode of the series, so I guess that's a good sign.
Filip - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 5:13pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

An entertaining episode, plus, the final scene with the doctor in the infirmary is priceless!
Beth - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 6:07am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Dagger of the Mind

I really enjoyed this episode, and I agree with the rating. The brainwashing/memory-inducing machine reflects the times, when treatment for the mentally ill commonly involved lobotomy and eletro-shock therapy [the latter of which is, yes, still used today, but not as much as it was then]. It also reflects the fact that such treatments, and the conditions of mental institutions, were beginning to be perceived as controversial and highly problematic.

The mental undoing and death of the sick-minded Dr. Adams was particularly poignant, as was Kirk's expressions at the end of the show. It showed that, while he was able to fight the effects somewhat, this "therapy" will stick with him for some time...

...Which makes it unlikely that Dr. Van Gelder would be so quickly reinstated as head of the appropriately-named Tantalus IV Penal Colony. I should think that Van Gelder would need a few weeks or months of real therapy to bring him back to a better state of mind. Or maybe that mind-meld worked wonders on him (which makes one wonder what the long-term effects might have been on Spock).

The only minus for this episode was Dr. Noel (who met Kirk at the Xmas party, har har), the ditzy doctor who is too thick and arrogant to clue into the things that Kirk is noticing about the inmates at Tantalus. At least she was pretty competent in getting the power turned off and kicking the other guy's arse into the high-voltage power unit. Damn, girl, that was smooth!

One small plus that makes up for Dr. Noel's blue panties being visible under her mini-mini skirt is Lethe's really nice poncho dress. I'd kind of like to have me one o' those.

Also, on another topic, I remember what handle I had before - it was Lal. But it's easier to just go by Beth now. :)

jk - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 4:20am (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

I myself find it hard to believe, but I was actually brought into the franchise by this movie.

I never watched it back in 2009, I don't think I even knew it existed. But I saw it on tv a couple years ago, and it made me want to watch the original series. Of course I already had that idea on my mind, but still. And now I'm halfway through DS9.

The point is, while I never thought Star Trek (2009) was a great movie, it provided me decent entertainment the first time I viewed it. I wasn't expecting anything from it, and I got some light-hearted entertainment.

Watching it now I can't help cringing at, well, everything that has already been pointed out. But I can still enjoy it if I manage to turn my brain off for a while, like with most of modern movies, and see it for what it's offering and not what I want it to offer.

And also, let's admit it, having watched Into Darkness makes 2009 look all the better.
Chris M - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 3:09am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S2: Friday's Child

I love Jammer's reviews. Often so spot on. But I do agree with Paul that you were too hard on this one. I find I enjoy watching this episode again and again. I'm not sure why. Maybe for one thing, like Grant said, the chemistry between McCoy and the chief's wife. Mac-coy, the child is yours. I love that. And the colorful visuals of the Cappelan village and clothing. And the unremitting evil of the early Klingons. And I gotta say, the Cappelans are not boring. A very different brutal culture. Lots of great humor and writing here too. Overall, one of my favorite TOS episodes.
Beth - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 2:29am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

I thought this episode was one of those bad, but entertaining, ones. I like Mudd as comic relief (esp. during the little trial scene with the obstinate computer chiming "INCORRECT". The "police record" is amusing too - it looks so '60s. Like they couldn't have white text on a black background to make it look like something from the future? Oh well, cost-cuts and oversights like that are forgivable.

It's somewhat harder to forgive the overt sexism of all the guys ogling at the women, but it's not nearly as bad as some Star Trek episodes. ("Turnabout Intruder" comes to mind as a particularly one-legged and stupid example, with the idea that women STILL cannot be Captains of vessels in the 23rd Century as "stand-in" for 1960s workplace sexism).

I chuckled a little when Sulu's guiding one over-smitten crew member back to his place on the bridge, and tells Spock that he HAS noticed the women. And yet he's so much more calm and seemingly far less affected than the rest of them? Nice cover, George, I mean, Sulu. :p

Also, one thing that the episode never explains: Why DID the presence of one of Mudd's women cause the medical scanner to "boop-boop" weirdly? I hadn't seen this full episode before, so I thought for sure the drugs they were taking were causing their bodies to create fields that interfered with the ship's functions, causing it to lose even more power. But this Venus drug just gives you "more of whatever you have". Does that include more gut bacteria, more electricity, more energy burning producing more heat, duplicate organs, more excrement? LOL.

And the ending is pretty cheesy. "Think of yourself as beautiful on the inside and you'll have perfect makeup and a neat hairdo on the outside just like that!" But I guess that's about the best that 1966 TV can do for talking about body issues and self-esteem.

Anyway, your rating is fair. It's a good hour for some giggles, but it's not a very good episode.
Adam - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 1:36am (USA Central)
Re: BSG S3: Maelstrom

Completely agree with Clint. This is my first time watching BSG after my friend wouldn't stop hyping it up. I greatly enjoyed the first two seasons but the third has been very disappointing.

I am in awe that this episode got 4 stars. I get that Starbuck was depressed and disturbed, but the way she went out was just ridiculous. Too many visions and metaphysical nonsense. Helo suggests that she see a shrink, and she shrugs it off only to daydream about Leoben and her mother? Then she hallucinates and sees a cylon ship, has some kind of realization and decides to kill herself? She almost brought down Lee with her - completely selfish, as usual.

Her death made no sense to me. When her ship blew up I thought "umm... really?"

I hope the show gets back to stories that make sense. Lately, there has just been too much religious and metaphysical nonsense for my taste.
Gustav - Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 12:55am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

What I would like to mention to everyone here who is saying that "people don't understand Klingon culture" in response to criticism of Worf wanting to commit suicide, is that Worf really is quite naive when it comes to Klingon culture. I mean, Riker knows more than Worf does, and he just did a very short tour of duty on one Klingon ship. So that whole argument seems very contrived to me.
zzybaloobah - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 11:42pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S1: Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 2

I think a reason Adama picked Sharon was to give her a chance to regain her self-respect. You don't send truly suicidal people on missions, even suicide ones -- they tend to screw up. And you certainly wouldn't send a non-suicidal ECO on a mission with a suicidal pilot.
I think Adama saw Sharon despondent. Obviously, he doesn't know why, but might suspect it's over her relationship with the Chief. An important, dangerous mission might be just what she needs.

Adama has an inner circle of people he trusts, and he'll ask a lot / give a lot to those people. Just don't betray his trust......
seagum - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 4:47pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

My brain just can't put together "I like seeing new people watching the show" and "it's normal to spoiler anything and everything in the comment section of a non-spoilerous review", and especially comparing it to clicking ads on the internet. It's just a contraddiction, is all.

It's basically banning people from having a spoiler-free experience from this site because the guys who got there first felt like writing some off-topic comment. Of course I learned long ago how things are in this section (or on the internet for that matter), and deciding to read anyway is on me, but keeping the spoilers out would have been so simple. Actually it would have been less effort than putting them in.

As for "the begotten", I was so touched by the story that I didn't even consider that it was "the episode where Odo got his shapeshifting back". But I did wonder why Odo was turned solid in the first place, since nothing particularly relevant had happened to him before he went back to being a changeling.
digitaurus - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 4:20pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

The neatest aspect to the story for me is that the Enterprise only gets sucked in to the vortex because Picard decides not to sit quietly and investigate slowly but tries to warp out of there ... and he only decides to warp out because he has been freaked out by future Picard ... whose only there because Picard got the Enterprise sucked in ...
Charles - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 1:08pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Second Sight

This *was* a very boring episode, with more loopholes than plot, and to contribute to the discussion, Avery is a TERRIBLE actor. The best DS9 episodes are those where the story revolves around the Cardassian occupation / war and where he is seen the least...

I totally agree with Yanks that if Sisko had been a normal Trek "captain" (in a roaming ship, the center of the story), the series would have been pulled after one season.
Grumpy - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 12:40pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

For a first-time TNG viewer, the narration in "Data's Day" serves as an orientation to all the characters. If the goal is not sizzling salesmanship, that is.
Robert - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 10:38am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I started my wife on DS9, so when we watched TNG we just went straight from the beginning. She liked seeing Worf and O'Brien at Farpoint. I warned her that if she got bored we would start skipping the clunkers though.
Elliott - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 10:28am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Who Watches the Watchers and The Survivors are my go-to TNG introduction episodes.
Robert - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 9:54am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@Andy's Friend - 11001001 is a great episode, but I'm not sure I would have started watching the show from it. I actually DID start watching from Q Who.

There's just so much high quality TV out there today that I think you need to knock her socks off with what the series CAN be. And it can be better than 11001001.

I don't know if I put any S1 episodes in "knock her socks off" level of good. Although I see Andy's Friend's point about Measure of a Man specifically, I still think it's a compelling courtroom drama, but you may not feel for Data without a season and a half prior.

Maybe "Who Watches The Watchers?" It needs less backstory (from Data and or Q) and it's pretty outstanding. Any thoughts?
Andy's Friend - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 8:52am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Nic,

That's a question I guess many of us have asked many times :)

In the end, of course, it all depends on the person you want to present it to. But while I agree of course with Robert that "The Measure of a Man" and "Q Who?" are outstanding episodes, they both benefit much from having seen the series till then. You cannot really understand, or rather, feel Data's situation in the former episode if you haven't seen a number of episodes with Data, and come to understand him and his nature. Much the same way, you can only know how desperate the situation of the Enterprise is, and how special an episode "Q Who?" is, if you've seen Picard & Co. handle a number of perious situations with relative ease before. You need to truly know how huge Picard is to see just how humbled he is here.

In my opinion, those two episodes are just too good to be shown to a Trek virgin. It's a shame to pull out the big guns to one who cannot fully appreciate them; you enjoy them much more if you know a bit more about TNG.

I would recommend "11001001". It's Season 1, it introduces the holodeck (to one who has never seen Trek before), it is very much Star Trek, and let's face it, it's pretty good sci-fi, and with great sound effects for the era.

After that, I'd suggest either any one of the better Season 1 episodes ― "We'll Always Have Paris" might be a good idea if she's a romantic at heart, while still having great sci-fi elements (I'll never forget the lift scene: pure magic when I first saw it all those years ago!) ― or "Time Squared", a great episode you can always watch out of continuity. It depends on the person.

Good luck, and have fun! :)
Robert - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 6:26am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@Nick - I agree, while an excellent episode it's just great sci-fi, not great Trek. A good intro episode would be one not too far into the series (to avoid total shock if you decide to go back and do a full re-watch... the old stuff is barely the same show).

Personal suggestion would be Measure of a Man or Q Who, both from Season 2... whichever you think she'd respond to better.
zzybaloobah - Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 12:16am (USA Central)
Re: BSG S1: Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1

Nope, Jammer, I can't ever find it in my heart to cheer for Baltar. Funny? Yes. Detestable? Yes. Lovable? No.

@Michael: Yeah, there's a big religious aspect. I try and think of it as a fantasy element. I don't believe in Elves, but love LOTR.

Regarding the religious aspect.... Roslin's visions -- whatever their source -- are *accurate*. It's one thing for Adama to say "I don't believe in religion", it's quite another to ignore reality because it doesn't fit your world view. At some point, disbelieving in a inexplicable, but obviously true fact is itself irrational. I always felt like Roslin should have pushed the "Yeah, but they're accurate" angle harder. She didn't, and paid the price.

There's no way Tyrol should have left sickbay -- even after Sharon ordered him out. He is her only friend....

$G - Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 9:45pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

@Carrots: Isn't that the plot of Ghostbusters 2...?

Anyway, I don't... hate this episode. I don't think it's GOOD, though. The constant showdowns grow tiresome, and nothing really feels like it's progressing anywhere until the end of the hour. Tasha dying early on (I forgot how early) works, giving the show a bit of a jolt that becomes legit creepy when Riker gets pulled into the tar (although that could just be 6-year-old me talking, who was terrified of Armus). Armus himself is menacing at times but comes off as childish at others. I suppose that's the point, but a bit more nuance there could have made it more interesting. I'm not asking for Dark Knight's Joker, but... something more than "I AM A SKIN OF EVIL".

I will say that I found Armus's backstory fascinating, though, in that mix of truth and myth sort of way. It's not on par with the Vorta backstory from DS9 (not even on the green, actually), but it has that same idea as a kernel-of-truth-wrapped-in-a-creation-myth. Admirable, but probably less thought out than I'm giving it credit for.

Ugh, look I want to hate this one because of how ridiculous it comes off but I'm really having a hard time actively disliking it. Its heart is in the right place and I think the hour has that subtle horror vibe that makes early TNG unique among the rest of Trek (see also: "Where Silence Has Lease", "Time Squared", "Q Who", and "The Royale"). 2-1/2 stars. Recommended but with a huge glaring asterisk to remind you that this is still TNG S1 we're talking about.
Nic - Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 9:39pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

I'm thinking of using this episode to introduce Star Trek to my girlfriend. I'm sure she'd like it, but perhaps it's not the best introduction to the universe, seeing as most of it is set outside the usual confines.

Anyone have any thoughts?
$G - Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 9:19pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

Elliott, I don't normally agree with your posts but in this case I think we're among the very few who legitimately enjoy this one.

This one is hamfisted, yeah, but I think it pretty much works on all of its cylinders. There's nice tension at the beginning and the slowburn of the true nature of the plague was surprisingly compelling (I still recalled the twist from decades ago, but still enjoyed the plot workings). Picard has a nice speech and I think his "solution" is a reasonable and cathartic one.

I'm going 3 stars with this. Pretty decent.

It's actually the fifth "winner" episode in a row (2-1/2 stars or higher - hey the bar is pretty low after all) and the seventh out of the last eight that wasn't embarrassing. Elliott, you're right that the second half of S1 is much stronger than the first. The first 13 episodes contain about 7 or 8 bottom-of-the-barrel shows, but the last 12 (starting from "10011001") are a lot more solid (with a few exceptions). I don't know much about how much in advance shows are written before they're produced, but it looks a lot like the producers saw how terrible the show was and were actively smoothing out the air bubbles.
Nonya - Mon, Nov 24, 2014, 9:13pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

Lol. This episode is awkward and funny. Data in that musketeer's outfit was the freakiest thing I've ever seen.
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