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Luke - Thu, May 28, 2015, 11:55pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

I first became a fan of Star Trek when TNG had just started its final season. That means I missed the first six seasons of it and the first season of DS9 when they originally aired. I also missed the last 2 and a half seasons of DS9 and the last four seasons of VOY (but that's another story). I only got to see the vast bulk of TNG on re-runs and had to wait until Trek was released on DVD to see the rest of DS9 and VOY, not to mention ENT. The point I'm getting at here is that it took me a LONG, LONG time to see every episode, especially of TNG. And "The Vengeance Factor" may very well have been the last one I managed to get ahold of.

Having gone back and re-watched it again now, I have to say that I can understand why the re-runs would often skip this one. "The Vengeance Factor" is DULL, DULL, DULL! Jammer absolutely nails it with - "There are too many characters and not enough investment in any of them. There is no clear line of drama, making it very difficult to become involved in the story."

First we have a story about an attack on a Federation outpost. We almost immediately then shift into a story about reintegration of cultural malcontents (a reintegration that Picard seems to force on them in many ways - that leaves a bad taste in my mouth) (also, the way the Enterprise crew and the Acamarians show open contempt for Gatherer society and cultural norms doesn't really speak well for integration, does it?). That then gets diverted into a romance plot for Riker. After that we're jack-knifed into plodding negotiation scenes that go nowhere. Finally the episode decides to actually have its title have a semblance of relevance and focus on Yuta's blood feud. Good lord, the only episode thus far that comes close to this level of warp-speed plot shifting was "Up the Long Ladder." Thankfully "The Vengeance Factor" isn't that bad. Still, couldn't they have just picked a plot and developed it instead of giving us all these half-hearted ones?

There is also the fact that I just don't care about the Acamarians and the Gatherers and that only increases the dullness. If this episode dealt with an established alien species (Andorians or Tellerites come to my mind) it would have been much more interesting. As it is, we've never seen these people before and we'll never see them again, so what's the point?

4/10
Gil - Thu, May 28, 2015, 10:38pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

Nebula Nox said: Wow... aren't the actors embarrassed?

I'm sure they all had a good laugh; pity there weren't outtakes.
Chef - Thu, May 28, 2015, 10:05pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Nth Degree

Settle down, children.
RandomThoughts - Thu, May 28, 2015, 8:49pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

I watched all of Trek with my Mother, two episodes a week (in order) for years, and her favorite character was Data (and later, Quark). She got a big kick out of how Data acted while playing craps, and I must say I did as well. Nice memory.

I always felt bad for the astronaut (but hey, they had room service! Maybe the food was good. :) ).

I have wondered about the aliens, who read the book (?) and made a world for him, but never talked to him about it? They could understand English apparently (read the book), but it never occurred to them to find a way to see if he was okay? They started their (sort of) version of a holodeck, and never came back to see how he was doing, to the point of him being dead for uncounted years with the thing still running? After caring enough to make a 'world' for him? Nah...

Still, if I had to watch a one star episode out of all the Trek's, this would be the one.

Have a great day! :)

dlpb - Thu, May 28, 2015, 6:11pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: Visionary

A very fun, well executed time caper. The New Outer Limits had a very similar episode (Virtual Future) that aired a few months later. That's a lot of fun too!

Luke - Thu, May 28, 2015, 1:50pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

So, after a really good offering with "The Enemy," they follow it up with this turd.

What precisely did Ral do that so unethical? He was hired by the Chrysalians to represent their interests and.... he represented their interests. What's the problem here? Oh, he uses his empathic abilities to gain an edge. So what?! Like he says to Troi, negotiation is all about gaining an edge. Oh, he conspired with the Ferengi to manipulate the negotiations. Again, so what?! I'll grant that that really toes the line, but I don't think he crosses any ethical boundaries. After all, the Federation and Ferengi are antagonistic and that's what the Barzans are worried about. He just put on a little demonstration for them. I know an episode is bad when it goes out of its way to paint someone as the villain only for me to end up agreeing with him over the "heroes."

If they really wanted to make Ral look bad, maybe they should have focused on the fact that comes off as a creepy-ass stalker in his early scenes with Troi. But, no, we'll ignore that. Speaking of which, what is Troi's reaction to his creepiness? To jump right into bed with him. Way to damage her character in the process of ignoring your own bad writing there guys!

But you know what is really the saddest thing about this episode? The fact that the Ferengi - THE FERENGI - in only their fourth appearance on Trek are the most enjoyable part. That's not to say that the Ferengi are used well (because they still suck with their unfunny "comedy" and wild gestures), but at least they're not as bad as the dreck around them.

The only thing this episode has going for it is the wonderful bit of world-building it presents in the whole Alpha-Beta-Gamma-Delta Quadrant division of the galaxy.

Worst episode of the season thus far!

1/10
Robert - Thu, May 28, 2015, 11:19am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

"Well the issue if that the left sees third trimester abortions on demand, as a grey area."

I think that's more of an extreme position on the left than the opposite is on the right (and I'm not aware of the born baby law you speak of). A lot on the right try to ban post 20 weeks (or sooner) when the reality is that a lot of horrible conditions don't come out until post 20 weeks. Many people don't get an amnio until after their nuchal translucency test (at 11-14 weeks) comes back with worrisome results and then you need to schedule, obtain and wait for the results of the amnio. The majority of post 20 week abortions are people who really wanted their babies... not people who didn't.

Third trimester begins at 28 weeks and the baby (if a healthy normal baby) actually has a pretty good shot of surviving outside the body with medical intervention at that point. I hope the number of pols that consider a no exceptions third trimester abortion to be a gray area are smaller than the number of pols that are slowly starting to pull away from rape/incest exceptions at the very least.
Del_Duio - Thu, May 28, 2015, 11:00am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

^^ I'd add Levar Burton to that list, too ^^

I think his portrayal of Geordi is always a highlight for any episode. Especially when Data's involved.
John Logan - Thu, May 28, 2015, 10:58am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Robert@ Thank you, apology accepted, but please don`t negatively compare Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the rights of immigrans, condemned Consumerism, spoke of ways to fight for poverty, and he strongly supported fighting Aids by ending poverty, and teaching faithfullness. Pope Francis also condemns the use of birth control, and gay marriage and adoption, and is strongly against abortion. He opposed gay marriage and the free distribution of birth control in Argentina, and urged all bishops there to excomunicate prochoice politicians. He equated abortion with murder countless times, and excomunicated an expriest who supported gay marriage.

THANK YOU. We should just have public and religious schools.

Well the issue if that the left sees third trimester abortions on demand, as a grey area, with Obama opposing a law protecting born babies, from being murdered after being born. It is sort of like Franco, the alternative were the Communists.
Bill - Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:58am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Just because you don't care about the inflections doesn't mean that they weren't completely off, bro.

PS. Thing 2 I've taken away from the comments sections - there's always somebody, usually Elliot, who will go A BLOO BLOO BLOO DS9 BIAS
Bill - Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:50am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

One thing I can take away from reading all these comments sections is that Michael had serious issues.
Steve S - Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:42am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

I did think it was a mistake leaving Kirk in the transporter room at the end. I had presumed that Spock put on the visor for transport because it became possible during the transporter 'effect' to see through the box Kollos was in. And they were so careful to have all humans leave the room in the beginning.

But Kirk stands right there, facing the transporter pad, even as Spock dons the visor for safety. And there is no hint of Kirk going mad. Strange.
Robert - Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:15am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

I always assume things like that are universal translator oddities/localizations and that the Cardassian is not speaking English. The English word is unearthed. I doubt that astronauts would say they unmarsed something on Mars.
Robert - Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:05am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I wish the things you've said about Catholics were true about the Catholics here. I would like to apologize to judging you harshly as a member of the religious right. While it sounds like we disagree on many things the Catholic religious right in the Netherlands sounds much less harmful than what we have here.

And for the record I like the new pope MUCH MUCH better than the last one. So I do feel like some things are heading the right direction.

"True I don`t have anything against teaching birth control, I just think religious schools shouldn`t have to teach it as it violates religious freedom."

I will totally agree with you here. In America we have the religious right trying to force things like this and creationism upon public schools. I agree with you, if you want your kid to learn those things instead of birth control/evolution you should send them to Catholic school. Leave the public schools alone (separation of church and state and all that).

I will also admit that it's possible many of the ills are not strictly done by "Catholics" but when the nut jobs in your country fly the banner of "Christianity" it behooves Catholics to find a way to stand apart from that banner if it doesn't represent them. All too often Catholic politicians just accept the religious right, warts and all, under their banner. It muddies the waters.

As I said though... I think my problem may be more with American Christians who are anything but Christlike. I may not agree with your views on many things, but I researched your party and, unlike the Christians here, while I can't claim to speak for him... I don't think Christ would have a problem with much of that.
John Logan - Thu, May 28, 2015, 5:04am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Robert@ Yes I am against leaving them poor and hungry. I think Ireland did an excellent job banning nearly all abortions yet truelly caring for all children. Yes I know there was child abuse in a lot of assylums that was horrible, but generally family was valued a lot more. The church also strongly supported social services. Social care also improved a lot in South America where the economy is strangely enough growing fast.

True I don`t have anything against teaching birth control, I just think religious schools shouldn`t have to teach it as it violates religious freedom.

I live in the Netherlands, I consider myself of the tradition of the Catholic Centre Party, which is far more socialist and caring for the poor.

I am not sure if contraceptives would really solve Aids. Many goverments and charities hand them out in Africa. Many of the down sides of birth control are, they are not full proof but many people act under the assumption they are, they make it easier to have sex at a young age thinking you will face no consequences, easier to tell girls to either have sex with you, or you will dumb them, easier to commit polygamy, and so on. It makes promiscous and abusive behaviour easier. Contraceptives aren`t used nearly as much in South America, or the Philpines were Aids is rather rare. or Poland, or Ireland.

Well a lot of the thinks you mentioned sound more like Protestant fundamentalists. Catholics don`t harras people who want to hand out condoms in Africa, they simply teach the value of chastity, discouraging adultery, polygamy, spousal abuse and so on. This is how the church has Always fought evil, it banned polygamy, and forced marriages, and established the value of chastity.

Catholics are against bullying gays, they simply oppose gay marriage and adoption, and think homosexuals are called to chastity.
dlpb - Thu, May 28, 2015, 2:41am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

The ending was a real laugh... you have a general being contacted (and pretty much ordered not to fire) by Sisko concerning a real-time threat to his ships. Can you imagine someone interfering with another country's chain of command in real-time here on Earth, let alone an alien race. If you are fried upon, you have every right to return fire with deadly force. What do Trek writers not get about that?
zzybaloobah - Thu, May 28, 2015, 12:09am (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: The Road Less Traveled

I don't think Tyrol would shake hands with Baltar. It's a completely 1-way exchange: Galen gives Baltar legitimacy... but what does he get in return? What's Baltar have to offer? Even if he is sincere -- so what?

Kara -- yeah, the crew should have been fully briefed by Adama: "I'm putting a lunatic in charge and I expect you to follow her orders, no matter how insane. Do I have any voluteers for this mission?"
Helo was loyal to a fault -- but he should have tried harder (in private) to talk some sense into Kara. At least tried to warn her (again, in private) that she was walking over a cliff.

zzybaloobah - Wed, May 27, 2015, 11:45pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Escape Velocity

Great scene between Tyrol and Adama. Yeah, Galen wanted to be relieved before he fracked up big time. He must be thinking: "Did I forget to change (the whatever) on the Raptor, or is it just a hidden program?"

Baltar's speech sounds nice, but only if you don't think about it for more than, say, 5 seconds... after which point it's obviously absurd:
"I think I'm not perfect." Can a perfect being be fallible? Am I perfect?
Still as slimy and self-serving as ever.
I can't take his harem seriously.....

It's hard to feel any sympathy for Tory. Let's look at the current Cylons in the fleet. One's in the brig (but apparently getting better treatment than Baltar did), one is an officer in the fleet. So, self defense is a pretty poor excuse. Nit pick - I always thought Tigh would have gone straight to Adama -- he's not the sort to keep a secret like that from Adama -- and certainly not if it might put the fleet in danger.
Mike N - Wed, May 27, 2015, 11:03pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

I don't know if this qualifies as an "error" but when Picard and Madred are taking prior to the torture, they are discussing ancient burial ground ruins on Cardassia. Madred says they were first "unearthed". Would a cardassian really use the word unearthed?
William B - Wed, May 27, 2015, 7:27pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

@Robert, thanks!
Robert - Wed, May 27, 2015, 2:52pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@John Logan - Is it possible you are not American. The religious, largely Christian, right is so vile in American that I wonder if perhaps you just don't have to put up with them wherever you are. :)

It's hard to take pro-life seriously from people who are anti-welfare (as you admit much of the right is), who's gay and trans conversion policies drive youngsters to suicide, to be anti-contraception in a world where handing out contraception in third world countries would stop the spread of AIDS, people who accost (often violently) women seeking abortions (even if it's often simply to D&C an already miscarried and wanted pregnancy... doesn't matter... they don't know who they are screaming at and why she's there), etc.

I simply find the religious right where I'm from to be hypocrites and generally not Christ like. Christ would not consider these people Christians.

That said, I am aware that there are many Catholics and Catholic organizations that do a lot of good. But most people wouldn't put up with that success/failure ratio of good/evil from anyone other than their church.
Robert - Wed, May 27, 2015, 2:43pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@John Logan - "I don`t, I value all human life. I oppose killing babies whether they are born or unborn. It is sadistic to conceive a life and then murder it."

Unless your views are very different than the average pro-lifer, you don't know what the word sadistic means. "deriving pleasure or sexual gratification from extreme cruelty". Leaving off the sexual gratification bit (since that's OBVIOUSLY not the kind of sadistic we're talking about) murdering a living breathing infant is THOUSANDS of times more sadistic than killing a fetus the size of a lime.

It's fine if you think both are bad, but equating them is like saying punching you in the face is equivalent to stabbing you with a machete. Especially since pro-lifers tend to be against the morning after pill, and there you're killing a few cells. It's not the same as a baby.

I'm not trying to talking you out of your pro-life position. I'm trying to talk you out of a poor comparison. At least you aren't for making poor people have babies and then leaving them poor and hungry.

And while I respect your position on chastity and have no problem with it, teaching abstinence only without any other sex ed is a lot like doing a trapeze act without a net. It works great when it works great and when it doesn't you smack into the floor.

I have no problem with teaching abstinence. It's the only 100% fool proof birth control. I have an issue with abstinence ONLY.
Peter - Wed, May 27, 2015, 1:14pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

I admit that the language issue was a huge problem for me. Unless Troi speaks fluent, unaccented Romulan, it just would not have worked. As it is, it appeared the dissidents chose her for the sake of convenience. She was away from the Enterprise attending a psychiatry conference.

Once I got past the need for suspension of disbelief, I was impressed. Other than Stewart and (sometimes) Spiner, every actor on TNG gets trashed for their lack of skills. None more so than Sirtis. She actually handled this episode extremely well. Like anyone else thrown into that situation, she starts off shaky and then, realizing it's life or death, does a good job of acting the role of the imperious intelligence officer. I could hardly believe this was the same Troi of a season or two before. But that's not the first time an actor or actress gets much more skilled over the course of a series spanning several years. Acting is just another skill that improves with practice.

I found I really enjoyed the plot and the glimpse into Romulan society. No wonder they have high-level defections going on... It sounds like a real police state.
John Logan - Wed, May 27, 2015, 12:39pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Robert@ Crusades? Really? The Crusades were just and justified as the American invasion of Germany. Muslims had been waging war against Christians, Budhists, Hindus, Persians, etc. for centuries, they traded millions of Christian slaves, they enslaved millions of black people, slaughtered the Maronites, supressed the Copts, they later even conquered India, how was it weong of Catholicism to fight back? Inquisitions? After World War II Nazism was also outlawed, and Islam had been waging war in Spain for centuries. They had inflicted equal horrors on Christians. The Inquisition required them to accept the Original religion of Spain or leave. That is what happens when an invading force is defeated.

Witchhunts were largely a Protestant thing. They never occured in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, or Belgium. The Council of Frankfurt, the Council of Panderbon, Pope Gregory VII, Pope Alexander IV, and Augustine had all condemned witchhunts as Pagan nonsense.

I don`t, I value all human life. I oppose killing babies whether they are born or unborn. It is sadistic to conceive a life and then murder it.

I am in favour of welffare for poor mothers. I disagree with the right on this, and so do most bishops. The Catholic Church fouded many of the first orphanages for this reason, and actually supports pregnancy crisis centers.

I am in favour of welffare. I do believe chastity is the best way to avoid getting pregnant in the first place as it is full proof. It is how our grandparents and ancestors in general did it. I exist because of this, and so does my father. People used to cherish their bodies amd value sexuality.
Edouard - Wed, May 27, 2015, 12:21pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

I don't want to be too harsh on her, but I didn't like Kira's reaction to the "protest". But since it's such a contrast to her previous day, let's start by saying I find it hard to believe she had the habit to wake up, literally smile at herself in the mirror, then basically enjoy (with a bit if whining alright) another good day's work with all the Cardassians and Jem Hadars around.

The Federation and the Klingons are loosing the war and thousands of people, but it's not so bad until she has a single hanging corpse before her. The emissary told the Bajorans to bide their time and stay out of the war (for obvious reasons really). But the old women couldn't understand... Kira even repeats "You don't understand", when it's quiet simple. But then everything changes with the suicide somehow, so why not risk her whole world and start the resistance?

She really should have had that distrusting look from the beginning, and she should still want to keep DS9 out of trouble despite the pointless suicide. But the way it actually develops, she just lost her nerves and wants to throw herself into action. It's selfish, she always seems to act according to her emotions. But then, I'm sure it'll all turn out to be the right decision at some point.

Still a very good episode I must add.
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