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JC
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: The Passenger

Summary of final acts: Inept DS9 crew forgets to grab highly suspicious unauthorized runabout with a tractor beam during a hijack plot investigation. Technobabble ensues.
Luke
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

Maybe because they actually believe in diversity in the 24th century?
Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 11:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

So overall I scored this an average of 2.60, which puts it only in 4th place of the DS9 series so far. For me it gets off to a storming start through the 6-part arc and the wedding episode, but we then disappear into a run of what I'd call concept episodes which (The Magnificent Ferengi apart) didn't really work for me and which set up a longer run of average episodes to follow.

A brief spark around In The Pale Moonlight then led into a reasonably underwhelming run out to the series, containing the single dumbest episode we've yet seen in Profit and Lace.

Perhaps it's just a reflection of a series running out of steam - Dax was very underused here, and her departure not unexpected as a result - but I'm not sure I could put my finger on anything specifically wrong (although the concentration on the prophets/pah-wraiths is heading in that direction). It's just not firing on all cylinders.
bashir's steampunk brain
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Penumbra

Why oh why did they have Kassidy ask for a freaking minister? Didn't humanity rid itself of the poison of organized religion by the 24th century?
Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

For me this does something well, something OK, and something not well. The really good stuff is the action scenes, which again take a massive step up on the FX front. Have you noticed how things don't move in one plane anymore, as evidence by the glorious shot of the Valley Forge taking fire and spinning out of control past the camera. As visual eye candy this is top drawer.

I found the death of the Dax to be OK, and that's a bit of a shame. It was rather too heavily contrasted with all the baby talk, and in the end seemed a little arbitrary, but nevertheless contributed to a melancholy end of an era feel to the end of the show that fit well. As a trigger for Sisko heading home it works.

Less good is the further story of possessed Dukat and the pah-wraiths. Having a metaphysical struggle of good and evil going on already seems like a poor choice... Overall though, good stuff. 3 stars.
Jc
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

I.e. At the end of the day we still have no sense of whether or not a Trill is responsible for the crimes of a past host. At the end of MoaM we had a sense of legal precedent for all AI sentience related issues that could follow.
JC
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 10:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

The major issue that I can't stop thinking about is it seems highly implausible to me that the issue of Trill committing crimes has never been dealt with in the past. Surely this couldn't be the first time in all of history where a Trill was on trial, and I find it hard to believe that society prior to this point never thought of this issue coming up.

In "Measure of a Man", because of Data's uniqueness, it was entirely plausible that the court hearing was setting a precedence. It was even made clear that that was the case and the weight of the proceedings was conveyed and part of the story. Here that is not the case. This rings like a bunch of armchair lawyers sitting around having a debate about something and not being aware of existing established precedence.

Also the entire issue of Trill responsibility, which was made out to be so important at the start, ended up being completely cast aside by the new fact that Dax had an alibi (a fact that was weirdly never questioned, apparently it wasn't possible for the wife and Dax to have collaborated on a crime).

It's equivalent to all of the important issues of "Measure of a Man" being thrown away at the end because, say, it was discovered that Maddox falsified his credentials and the trial was halted with no resolution. It was a weak way to avoid actually addressing the issue that seemed so important at the start.

I strongly disagree with the 3.5 stars here. Purely for the alibi cop out at the end, I'd give it 2 myself, which may be generous, but I did find the first act gripping.
Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 9:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

Well in the midst of a lot of season 3 episodes that were fluff/out of character/ridiculous/boring (delete as applicable), The Savage Curtain was OK. I was certainly entertained, but there just wasn't much substance here.

It was much better than watching The Way to Eden last night before bed, where I was worried about having song montage nightmares. Now that is a monstrosity of an episode, and I would advocate giving it a minus score.
Luke
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 8:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

As lightweight, and flawed, as the B-plot is, it's the winner this time around, not the A-plot.

While I love that "Progress" throws the audience into a decidedly morally-grey area, the main problem with it is Mullibok himself. Obviously they were trying to make him a likable curmudgeon, but in that they failed miserably. In order for a character to be a likable curmudgeon he has to be capable of being a downright ass most of the time but still have redeeming qualities. Perfect examples are Archie Bunker from "All in the Family" and Al Bundy from "Married with Children". Both of those characters were sexist, bigoted, superficial scumbags most of the time but the audience could forgive them for that because 1.) they were both funny and 2.) deep down, they both cared deeply for their families, even if they didn't like to show it. Mullibok has absolutely no such redeeming characteristics - he's just an asshole. I suppose you could say that he's loyal to his two friends, but that honestly comes across as him only liking them because they think exactly as he does, nothing more.

As a libertarian I really want to support the guy. He is, after all, facing a situation where the big, powerful government is forcing him off his land and out of his home against his will all in the name of some greater good. But from a story-telling perspective, he's just so damn unlikable that I can't get behind him. This is the same problem I have with the Ba'ku in "Star Trek: Insurrection". Again, I want to side with them, as that time it's the big, powerful Federation government forcing them off their land against their will. But again, they're unlikable. They, like Mullibok, stubbornly stand there and claim that they're personal desires trump the benefits to countless others. This is a give-and-take world and everyone has to do both. But, in both stories, one side refuses to give anything and that makes Mullibok and the Ba'ku unrelatable and unsympathetic.

Constant this with the B-plot, where Jake and Nog exchange in mutually beneficial exchange, and the differences are stark. Because everyone involved is willing to barter, exchange and engage in commerce with each other, everyone walks away a winner. The freighter captain, the Bajoran who needed the stem-bolts, the Bajoran government, Jake, Nog and even Quark all end up with something they want. It's beautiful. It's as close to an open celebration of capitalism, actual free-market capitalism, that Trek has ever given us up to this point. And most people sadly dismiss it as "the lightweight B-story." *sigh* If only we could have spent more time with this plot-line, the episode would only have benefited from it. (Though it is odd that it's Jake, not Nog, who seems to better understand the intricacies of the market. And, um, Nog sees no benefit to owning land? Really?!)

But, of course, the standout scene does come from the A-plot - the exchange behind Sisko and Kira. That's probably because it doesn't involve Mullibok. That one scene, where Sisko admits that his perception of Kira has changed and that he has not only come to respect her but see her as a friend, and where Kira emotionally opens up to him, is better than any scene Picard and Riker shared.... ever.

6/10
Diamond Dave
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 8:21am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: The Sound of Her Voice

DS9 does Midnight Caller. It's most effective in using the format as a means of drawing out some quietly effective character moments. Cusak is an engaging enough character that it seems organic and worthwhile. I'd agree though that the twist ending makes no sense at all and badly undermines the episode.

The B-story - Odo has a heart of gold! - is amiable enough. 2.5 stars.
Bashir's steampunk brain
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 7:35am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

My, my, so many people butthurt about the realities of racism in America! The mere mention of it for a few seconds sent so many of you into a tizzy. It is really funny to read all these complaints about "of course the black guy brings up racism" in a tone that sounds very much like something they probably think about saying in everyday life but cannot without sounding like a racist. "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression". Interesting to see how many cryptoracists like DS9. Wow.
Robert
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 5:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

@zoko - This is a S1 episode. There were S1 TNG episodes that were 40 minutes too long!
zoko
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 2:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Q-Less

Every time I watch a DS9 episode I feel like it could have been about 20 minutes shorter. They're just so... dragged out, with very little substance.

Vash has things she wants to auction. They're causing problems. Crew figures out why. Q is annoying. Quark wants a profit. That crazy Vash!

Now read the above paragraph again, but take 45 minutes to do it.
Francesco
Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 12:46am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

The people commenting as if they do not believe there are ships in the Federation other than Starfleet ships are being ridiculous.

Starfleet ships are military ships, their era's equivalent, though in space and not on the water, of the U.S. Navy, the British Royal Navy, etc., the professional military navies of nation-states.

The ships of nations' standing navies, however, are not, in 2016, the only ships in existence. There are privately owned cargo ships, cruise ships, yachts, speedboats, etc., hundreds of thousands or even millions of them, worldwide.

Suggesting that in the 23rd or 24th century in the Federation the only space vessels would be Starfleet ships is utterly ridiculous. Just like the U.S. Navy's ships are not the only ships plying the seas in and around America, Starfleet ships are not the only ships any worlds in the Federation have around. There are likely hundreds of millions of civilian space vessels of every possibly type and size in the Star Trek 23rd and 24th centuries throughout the Federation.
Grumpy
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

"There's also the whole issue of Data's emotion chip, which now apparently can be removed on a whim. My question to the producers of the TNG film series: Do you want Data to have emotions or not? Whatever the case, it's a waste to simply have Data in a state of non-growth."

For a long time, the brush-off of the chip bugged me because it violated an established rule. However, just because the chip couldn't be removed in Generations doesn't mean further experimentation wouldn't find a way. These people can cure incurable diseases in a single episode! Clearly, Data has been busy, offscreen, trying to rid himself of his bothersome emotions.

Think of it! Data achieved his lifelong goal but chose to reject it. (Or maybe his friends, tired of the "Mr. Tricorder" routine, persuaded him.) This isn't non-growth; it's a hint of a deeper tragedy.

Which would've been more interesting than this movie.
petulant
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 7:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: We'll Always Have Paris

This episode just went on and on, i think it is the dullest episode
BZ
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

I know that I am comparing an alien religious system to one on Earth, but Bereil doesn't seem like a good vedek to me in that he basically treats the Bajoran religion as just so much mombo jumbo. I can imagine that his views reflect those of most Americans "God may exist, but the bible is not necessarily literally true", but would someone with such views be a cardinal, and frontrunner in contention for pope? Sure he communicates with the prophets via his orb in this episode, but I just don't see those scenes as authentiic given his beliefs as shown in this and earlier episodes.

I see Opaka as a much more convincing leader of a global religious movement, and Winn at least plays one (maybe even too over the top).
Jammer
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

Just for the record, JC, I am perfectly okay with people writing reviews in the comments. In fact, I quite enjoy seeing other takes without having to seek them out elsewhere on the web. If I didn't want discussion and input, I wouldn't have opened the comments in the first place. It's not all about me anymore, especially with me being less active these days.
JC
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 3:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Emissary

What's up with people presumptuously hijacking Jammers site to write their own reviews in comments? It's pretty trivial these days to start your own blog...
Diamond Dave
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 3:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

OK, I get all of the plot contrivances here (with a whole planet to choose from the picnic site is where Molly happens to find an 2000 year-old abandoned time machine etc...), but do you know what? I have always enjoyed this one, and I'm not even sure why.

Perhaps because it's a "bad things happen to Chief O'Brien" that has a happy ending? Because it's a DS9 episode that has some sensitivity, a bit of heart, and is genuinely moving? Because of a great little performance as older Molly? Because it has an amiable B-story? Perhaps all of the above and more.

"He acquitted himself well" indeed. 3 stars.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Profit and Lace

Well that was a shocker. I thought it was an interesting choice to revert Quark to the sex offender he seemed to be in very early season 1. I was astonished by the choice at the end to have Aluura come round to the idea. And it's amazing to think that anyone thought that might be amusing to have Quark learn nothing at all from his experience as a woman, which might have provided at least some justification.

And that's the main problem I have with this episode - it's just not funny. It's cliched, boorish, and exploitative. And all in an episode that's supposed to be championing women's rights. Horrifying. 1 star.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 12:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

Dumb as two bricks, this one. Although I suppose in showing the likely consequences of self-delusion, hubris, megalomania, and getting hopped up on stimulants takes you, it has a value. What DS9 usually gets right is nuance - something these last two episodes have badly lacked. Here, Watters was unarguably not a hero or a great man, but a charismatic fanatic who got his crew killed.

The guest performances weren't great across the board, and what was with the pre-credit scene? Did that come from another episode or something?

Some nice VFX at least. 1.5 stars.
JPaul
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

@Chrome

They've already said they're not doing an extended edition or director's cut version of TFA. It desperately needs one though, as many have pointed out the movie doesn't take 5 minutes to explain the most basic things that are going on.

Overall, TFA is a poor version of ANH, combined with a few other throwbacks to the original trilogy. In ANH the entire movie is built around the need to destroy the Death Star, from the opening scene to the end, giving it an elegant simplicity and cohesion. In TFA, the destruction of the Starkiller Base is almost a throwaway, the bulk of the plot is built around the location of Luke Skywalker and it's never really explained why that's so important. The dumbest thing is that at the end it's revealed that BB8 only had a portion of the map and it would have been useless to the New Order without the additional piece of map contained in R2-D2.

My theory with the popularity of TFA is that it has a few legitimately funny moments, a few likeable characters (Rey, Fin, BB8, Han Solo) and a decent villain (Kylo Ren). People didn't like the prequels because there were no likeable characters, all the intended humorous moments fell flat, and there wasn't a good visible villain until halfway through Revenge of the Sith.

It's sad, but most people don't care how nonsensical, pointless, or poorly explained a plot is as long as they get to watch characters they like make funny jokes on screen.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 11:31am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: The Reckoning

A lot of exposition for a sub-Ghostbusters finale. On the debit side we have what is normally a carefully nuanced show getting into a binary good-evil conflict between energy beings. Hmmmm, OK. You have to wonder whether the non-interventionist wormhole aliens have been unambiguously 'good' up to this point. It's certainly all getting a bit metaphysical.

On the other hand we have some good performances and some nice dialogue. But not great overall. 2 stars.
Caleb
Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 11:04am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith

Anakin's actions are senselessly extreme and never supported by writing, acting, directing - anything!

This is not a 'good' film. Aside from the complete lack of plausible and well-presented character development (there is none), there is in general just a terrible lack of subtlety about everything here. Best of the three just makes it the least worst.
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