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Yanks - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 9:46am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

Robert,

Thanks!

I guess my point is all those "countless time travel trek" plots require an understanding of time and aren't conducted by those that don't understand it. Whether the prophets are linear or not, Sisko is. And he is what he is based on a prophet that took over Sarah before Sisko was born. This just can't work for me.

As for the Paghwraiths... (I hope I don't have my timeline messed up) .... the PW's that Dukat released and he used to silence the orb are in the WH with the prophets. The ones in the Fire caves haven't been released and can't do anything until that text from the book (Khosta Mojin) is read to them. So I'm not sure either of the entities should be able to communicate with Sisko until the Emissary's Orb has been opened. (I'm pretty certain the prophets could not, I remember Sisko saying they went silent or something like that)
Robert - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 9:25am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

"My premise isn't they suck, 4 of my kids graduated public schools. My youngest requires some special attention and they weren't able to provide it to our satisfaction. That's where "one size fits all" we get in state run schools falls short sometimes."

For sure, and it's getting worse. Schools are now expected to service all but the most severe cases in the classroom now, whereas previously that was not the case. I can't imagine these kids get what they need. And my kids go to public school too, but I selected my house SPECIFICALLY so they could go to a good one. For every kid like mine someone else goes to a substandard school.

"Oh, and "rigged" is a relative term. They teach the SOL's for 3 weeks prior to giving them here. How that isn't seen a "rigging" is beyond me."

Teaching to the test is ridiculous, but it's nothing new... I was having it done to me in school 30 years ago. I doubt that charters do that any differently or not.

"What's the difference between public schools and charter schools? It's not the kids, it's the Teachers Union."

I won't persist arguing this on a ST forum, but I did explain several differences that you mostly rejected. If you honestly believe the charter schools are "better" because of the absence of the teacher's union.... all I can say is that I hope the Kool Aid was yummy because you're buying what the politicians are selling. You really should read up on all the horrible things charters are doing to "pretend" to be better than the local schools. They are nothing more than a propaganda piece designed to scapegoat educations problems on the teachers instead of the politicians. There is a LOT of reading to be done out there if you want the truth.

But I've said my peace, I've enjoyed chatting with you and reading your reviews and while I was tempted to start sourcing 100 reasons why charter schools are NOT the solution to the problem you present (or the teacher's union the cause) if I'm going to have 20 thread post about something on here I'd rather it be the nature of the prophets or if Phlox was wrong for not curing the Valakians.

Yanks - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 9:03am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

Oh, and "rigged" is a relative term. They teach the SOL's for 3 weeks prior to giving them here. How that isn't seen a "rigging" is beyond me.

What's the difference between public schools and charter schools? It's not the kids, it's the Teachers Union.
Yanks - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:59am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

My premise isn't they suck, 4 of my kids graduated public schools. My youngest requires some special attention and they weren't able to provide it to our satisfaction. That's where "one size fits all" we get in state run schools falls short sometimes.

There are parents lining up for charter schools for a reason. Until the state run schools understand that, nothing will improve and "Common Core" most certainly isn't the answer.
Vylora - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:57am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Day of Honor

A few commentators wishful thinking of further genocide against an already devastated and desperate peoples notwithstanding, I thought this was a well executed character piece that continues the longest quality streak of Voyager episodes thus far (the streak beginning with last season's "Worst Case Scenario").

The character interaction here is worth it's weight in gold and, even in the midst of unfortunate incidents, maintains its ability to be effectively pleasant. I also like the added touch that the Borg still obviously influences people's lives here. Just because the crew is beyond their "borders", as it were, doesn't mean the Borg confine themselves there. That would make absolutely no sense especially given what we know about how they operate.

I've always regarded this episode as an understated success in that it highlights a lot of the positive aspects of Voyager in one neat package without any of the usual disappointments.

3.5 stars.
Yanks - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:53am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

Here are my DS9 series totals.

Ranked from best to worst based on episode average.

Season / # Episodes / Total Score / Average
5 / 26 / 75 / 2.88
4 / 25 / 70.5 / 2.82
2 / 26 / 70.5 / 2.71
3 / 26 / 70.5 / 2.71
7 / 25 / 67.5 / 2.70
6 / 26 / 63 / 2.42
1 / 19 / 39.5 / 2.08

Totals: 173 / 456.5 / 2.64

I'm happy with how the seasons ranked out. Obviously I found Season 5 to be the best. It will be interesting as I finish all of Trek where this pans out. I'm thinking it will be one of the best seasons in all of Trek.

Here are my DS9 standout (4.0 episodes)

Listed in season order. I don't know that I could rank all of them :-) What a chore that would be.

Necessary Evil
Blood Oath
The Wire
The Search, part one
Heart of Stone
Improbable Cause
The Die Is Cast
The Way of the Warrior
Homefront
Paradise Lost
The Quickening
Trials and Tribble-ations
In Purgatory's Shadow
By Inferno's Light
A Time To Stand
Rocks And Shoals
In The Pale Moonlight
Take Me Out To The Holosuite
Treachery, Faith And The Great River
Once More Unto The Breach
The Siege Of AR558
It's Only A Paper Moon
Tacking Into The Wind

Some fantastic memories in that list, eh? Goodness, when DS9 was great, boy was it great!

Twenty Three 4.0 episodes over 7 years for a 13% clip.

While Season 5 is my favorite, Season 7 had the most 4.0 episodes. Season 1 had none.

I'm sure my grading scale shifted some during this process. I think I've become more consistent and a little more forgiving.

I know I've read all Jammer's reviews and for the most part I've read all the comments under all the different episodes. It's been fun chatting with some of you that are still participating.

I think DS9 was outstanding trek and I think Gene would have approved right up until Sisko was "made a God". This series started very slowly but consistently improved through season 5, then dropped off significantly in my view.

Not sure what series is next, I have Enterprise on my mind, but I haven't seen TNG in quite a few years so I might just so that one.

Thanks Jammer for providing this medium so amateurs like me can have a little fun.

I have a gripe about the functionality of the site if I may. There is there is no means to go back and correct errors in your posts. I'm a horrible speller and many times I've rushed my reviews because of my work or no time at home. It would be nice to be able to correct/change ones' posts here.

Thanks.
Robert - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:31am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

You can of course feel free to disagree, and perhaps Charter schools do better where you're from, but here they do things like.... running a for profit school in Manhattan paying ZERO rent because our temper tantrum prone mayor that didn't want to negotiate with the unions wanted more non union schools and gave them space (for FREE) in existing schools. And then the new mayor took hell for shutting them down.

How does that work in a free competitive market? If you ran a grocery store and the government gave me half of it rent free to run my own grocery store I could put you out of business with my prices because I wasn't paying rent.... Here in NY charter schools are a joke that get good press because parents crying on TV makes for good ratings.

Your premise, that public schools suck, may not be wrong... but the guys holding the purse strings that could improve said schools give more money to administrators and then to charter schools designed to sink the low performing public schools instead of improving them. It's a lot like curing a disease by killing a patient.

I guess it just comes down to me having a much lower opinion of the government and of corporations than I do of unions....
Robert - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:24am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

A good public school should be a right for all or none. Charter schools give to the "lucky"* few at the EXPENSE of everyone else. They DO NOT run in a zero sum, here is a better school and the other schools stay untouched game. Charter schools surfaced as a political tool to break unions. They are not there to serve you.

And as I said, EVERY union contract I have heard of recently has caused the union to lose ground on a dozen things for some more money. Politicians refuse to negotiate with unions in good faith. Here in NY, when the teachers last went on strike (which hasn't happened in forever... 1968) the majority of the public was with them.

I disagree with a lot of union policies, but in the end they are mostly more benevolent than the governments/corporations they serve. As for Chicago, I'm sure the issues were deeper than "they had to have more". As I said, unions get bad press (a hint as to why? they aren't the ones in the equation with the real power... but the guys with the power want you to think the unions have them by the balls).

*These kids aren't actually lucky, it tends to be rigged to make the charter's look better. They don't go to a low performing neighborhood and beat the local school by actually having better programs/teachers. They just snatch away the best kids.....
Robert - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 8:12am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

Late answer! The Pagh Wraiths are not locked up in the wormhole. I think the one got in and closed the gate, but the rest are in the fire caves. If you had no issue with them sending Winn a vision in the finale (and the fact that they obviously talk to Dukat).

I don't know that it'll raise the score, but I personally like the Kira arc in this episode and I had no issue with the Pagh Wraith vision.

The top question...

"Will someone please explain to me how the wormhole aliens (prophets), who've NEVER EVEN HEARD OF LINEAR TIME before 'Emissary' (or the father son relationship for that matter) now understand time enough to possess a human in order to ensure Sisko is born and can complete his "destiny" when he is an adult and becomes Captain of DS9?

DS9 has gone loony tunes..."

It's very simple. You either buy ALL of Star Trek's predestination time travel plotlines or you don't. If they aren't linear they could have ensured Sisko's birth by Prophet AFTER he visited them. It really is no more or less stupid than any countless time travel Trek plot (Time's Arrow, All Good Things, Children Of Time, Time and Again, etc.)

You either accept that predestination plots are totally cool or you don't. If you go back in time, marry your grandma and sire your dad it's because it was meant to happen, right?

I don't know that this will improve your score or if you buy ANY of what I'm selling, but maybe one of those answers will resonate a bit. Not arguing that there are holes, I just don't see them as gaping as you :)
Yanks - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 7:54am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Seventh Season Recap

OK, here are my season 7 numbers.

I think I have more 4.0 episodes this year than even Season 5, but it was either hit or miss it seems this year. WAY too much filler and of course blowing it with Sisko at the end didn't set well with me.

Episode Name/ Rating
Take Me Out To The Holosuite 4.00
Treachery, Faith And The Great River 4.00
Once More Unto The Breach 4.00
The Siege Of AR558 4.00
It's Only A Paper Moon 4.00
Tacking Into The Wind 4.00
The Changing Face Of Evil 3.50
Afterimage 3.00
Chimera 3.00
Badda Bing Badda Bang 3.00
Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges 3.00
When It Rains... 3.00
Extreme Measures 3.00
What You Leave Behind 3.00
Image In The Sand 2.50
Prodigal Daughter 2.50
Till Death Us Do Part 2.50
Strange Bedfellows 2.50
The Dogs Of War 2.50
Chrysalis 2.00
Penumbra 2.00
Shadows And Symbols 1.50
Covenant 1.00
The Emperor's New Cloak 0.00
Field Of Fire 0.00

Total: 67.50
Average: 2.70

Vylora - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 7:40am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

A very bi-polar episode that somehow manages to have both plots mirror and clash at the same time. The two stories, with some quality writing, could have been separate episodes by themselves. As it is, it's pretty good, albeit a bit rushed.

The plot concerning Seven's slow reintegration into humanity was excellently handled with fantastic performances and pitch-perfect dialogue. Right off the bat, Jeri Ryan proves a formidable addition to the cast in her ability to convey her character's obvious inner turmoil. The loss of safety and security from losing her connection to the collective is understandably a near impossible internal struggle between extreme loneliness and her emerging childhood memories. Very good stuff indeed.

The oft under utilized Kes also has some great parts concerning her final moments on Voyager. The scenes between her and Janeway were especially poignant and handled admirably. Unfortunately, this is also where the episode shows most where the dual-plotted nature hurts it. The idea of her rapidly improving psionic powers didn't bother me in the slightest. It was mentioned in "Scorpion, Part 1" and this all may have been related to the Undine's influence. But some additional screen time may have, and should have, allowed for some further explanation of what's happening plus some more interplay with others concerning her departure. However, as it is with real life, we don't always get opportunities to say goodbye to loved ones.

Bi-polar or no, it's a quality addition to the series that I seemingly enjoyed more than most on here and, behind-the-scenes politics aside, the episode works on its own merits.

3.5 stars.
Yanks - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 6:51am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Shadows and Symbols

OK, no answer means their is no answer.

1.5 stars
Vylora - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 5:57am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Scorpion, Part II

Despite a couple of minor contrivances, this easily stands toe to toe with the previous episode.

I agree that Kim's recovery was a little too quick but I don't agree that the cure itself was "magical" or felt "the Doctor can cure anything". It was well-established what the cure was and what it entailed in part one. It wasn't as if he just whipped out a hypospray with a sudden announcement of a cure. As it is, though, he would've been better off staying in sickbay as his fresh-faced appearance on the bridge was nothing but a distraction. Especially as there was no point of him being in the episode. A simple acknowledgement that the cure was working and he was in recovery for a period of time would have been much better.

The Voyager being able to withstand attacks by the Undine is understandable given the nature of the situation. Having been at war with the Borg and been able to learn more about their defenses lends credibility that, at this point, the Undine would have more of an edge to say the least. Voyager, on the other hand, is a new element and therefore something new to adapt to. It may sound like I am reaching but it makes sense in my head. That being said, however, i do agree with the notion that Voyager got off a little too easy combat-wise. Although the modified torpedoes all hitting their targets in fluidic space made sense given the nature of the modifications. They were meant to disrupt the biology at a cellular level and were likely adapted to lock on to targets in the same way.

A continuation of the great dialogue from the previous episode along with some expected and some unexpected turns of plot makes this a standout Voyager two-parter. I think everything came together really well here and is very nearly as good as part one.

As an added bonus, we get Seven of Nine whom, despite the tired "VOY gets a babe" rhetoric, turns out to become one of the best characters on the series and will have potential that actually becomes utilized with some great stories and character growth.

4 stars.
Vylora - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 4:17am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Scorpion, Part I

By far the best episode of Voyager up to this point. Every aspect of it is top-notch and completely unexpected compared to what came before. Great pacing, direction, performances, music, effects, and also some very nicely realized thought provoking moments.

I really never found any flaw with this episode. Even with Janeway's decision to make a deal with the Borg. After all, if the crew went in search of a new home it would only be a matter of time before the Undine got to them after they were done with the Borg. It's also a decision that has consequences bigger than the crew itself.

Very compelling installment thematically, dramatically, and visually. A classic in every sense of the word.

4 stars.
LongKahn - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 3:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

Did Keiko tell Molly that Obrien wasn't her real dad? Molly is so rude to him at breakfast and I don't believe she could just tell. Colm obviously played this obrien exactly the same.
Vylora - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 2:48am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Worst Case Scenario

The problem with using a plot-device (such as Holodecks Go Awry) too often in a series is it causes the few that actually work to be overlooked. Actually, in this case the holodeck didn't even malfunction. It did exactly as intended due to Seska's programming. As to the above comment, I saw no indication that the holodeck became "alive". It was simply programmed to do certain tasks under certain circumstances. Nothing more.

Ironic how the one time the holodeck actually runs smoothly it STILL translates into chaos for the crew. Can't win for trying.

Their was a lot of the writers obviously poking fun at themselves through some of the dialogue. I especially enjoyed how the logical Tuvok was standing for organic flow of character choices where the emotional Paris opted for plot twists for the sake of having them. Eventually, that is what this episode boils down to, but, in the end, comes to stand as a whole that is better than the sum of its parts.

Jammer mentioned one of my favorite scenes in perhaps all of VOY. The holographic sickbay where the Doctor tortures poor Paris and then literally throws him and Tuvok out on there ass like a bouncer on a 100 pound drunk. The scene was short, hilarious, and nothing short of perfect thanks to Picardo's dry wit and understated delivery.

Overall, it's a fun showing with a great setup and is just pure entertainment through and through. Could have the last fifteen minutes been written differently? Absolutely. However, I don't see what we did get as a negative impact. I feel almost as if the writers were speaking to us through the characters dialogue and then delivered what they intended based on those talking points. Whether they were serious with what they delivered or they were intentionally poking more fun at themselves is the mystery.

Perhaps I read too much into it. (:

3.5 stars.
Adam - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 1:37am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Family

I liked the way the episode ended with young Rene lying under a tree gazing up at the stars, dreaming about one day commanding his own starship. The shot reminded me of the scene in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker was out in the field staring up at the two moons, dreaming of similar things.
Vylora - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 1:06am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Displaced

A few nice moments of dialogue and the closing scene are highlights in what is otherwise an inoffensive, pedestrian, and, frankly, boring episode. Both the Nyrians and the wayward crew are made to look inept more often than not.

Watchable, but ultimately forgettable.

2 stars.
Dave in NC - Wed, Aug 27, 2014, 1:01am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Wow, I just watched this and it is a really good episode! In many ways, perhaps the bravest story I've seen Trek do. I could go into philosophical specifics, but sufficed to say, I think what is portrayed here may very likely be the truth. If only more people realized that, there would be a lot of re-prioritizing going on in our lives.

I can't believe I'm about to type this, but Neelix was actually compelling in this episode! Add to that some wonderful direction, innovative cinematography (for Trek) and a haunting orchestral underscore and you've got a winner here.

A **** installment for any free-thinking sci-fi fan.


Side note: by the way it was written, it was implied that Neelix's vision was a result of his subconscious trying to say what he was repressing. It would have been interesting if they'd used the same psychological microscope when it came to scripting Chakotay's spirit quests (or the one Janeway took with George Costanza's mom).
HolographicAndrew - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 10:47pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Revulsion

@Josh Yeah I totally agree. I had the same thought watching this episode. It also struck me as odd that B'Elanna would try to strike a hologram. I guess it sort of makes sense since it's possible for a hologram to be struck in some combat simulations...

Overall I liked this episode, some interesting ideas and good performances all around.
Jack - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 10:16pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

Wait a second...Data dismisses blowing the moon up because the thousands of fragments would "spread destruction over a wider area", but then the next moment they say that the impact destruction be "insignificant compared to the seismic repercussions, massive landquakes and tsunami", which seems to directly contradict that it would be worse to blow it up. Thousands of fragments aren't going to have little, if any, "seismic repercussions, massive landquakes, and tsunami". Both would be destructive, but by their own reckoning, blowing it up seems by far the lesser of two evils.
Vylora - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 10:09pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

Absolutely incredible episode that mirrors the seemingly eternal struggle of holding illogically and stubbornly fast to tradition despite the reality of any given situation. Great direction and pacing with some of the best technical work on Voyager. Believable performances across the board by the guest cast and one of the best Chakotay scenes ever written.

The idea of Voyager running into yet another race or whatever from the Alpha Quadrant here is a complete non-issue. For one thing, Voth space is apparently vast. For another thing, Gegen and his assistant had been actively searching for Voyager at trans-warp speeds.

Also, the idea of the Voth evolving on our planet, developing space travel, and escaping before a cataclysmic event is a bit of a stretch, but not any more than anything else in sci-fi and Star Trek. I thought it to be quite a neat idea when it came down to it.

As it stands, I honestly believe this is hands down a classic.

4 stars.
Grumpy - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 8:59pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S2: Assignment: Earth

Whatever point you're making, William B, I get it. Even anthologies can center on a theme, though obviously in the case of TOS (and Twilight Zone, which I've recently watched, as well) the theme emerged without conscious design. Roddenberry didn't set out, as far as I know, to make a show that consistently illustrated how, for instance, humans are not ready for paradise (or, in Rod Serling's case, how you can't go home again). But toss out stories that don't service that through-line, you've got a coherent package of episodes.

With Voyager, though, the premise was clear from the get-go (though Elliott might still disagree about what constitutes a "premise"). Therefore, it's immediately obvious which episodes are germane and which are time-fillers, put into production because there were no other ideas for scripts that week. It's not a matter of retroactively recognizing quality or serendipity of execution, or capitalizing on unforeseen potential. Voyager (more so than DS9) had a story from the beginning, which becomes more evident when 5/7 of its episodes are stripped away.

I'm tempted to post my list, but I don't know where. It would be lengthy and deserves much debate (as I am not uniquely qualified as curator). I considered "Eye of the Needle," since that's what inspired the list, but I dunno.
William B - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 8:27pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S3: Spock's Brain

"Dammit Smithers! This isn't rocket science! It's brain surgery!" -C.M. Burns, The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror II"

"Brain and brain! What is BRAIN?" -Kara, Star Trek episode "Spock's Brain"

"Can you PROVE it didn't happen?" -Criswell, Plan 9 From Outer Space

I actually thought I was prepared to rewatch this! I saw it once as a kid (I've seen every TOS episode at least once -- and this was *not* one of the few I'd rewatched). I remembered the tick-tick-tick of Spock slowly walking about, the episode's glacial pace once they get to the glacial planet, the endless goofy jokes which fail completely, the extreme close-up of McCoy's sweaty face when he suddenly "forgets" how to do brain surgery. And then, somehow, the episode just outdid itself with Kirk's log entry where he mentions that they have now placed priority on reconnecting Spock's vocal chords so that Spock can help with the surgery! I guess it's bizarre to find *this* more overtly ridiculous than the rest of the episode up until now, but something about that just pushed it over the edge.

I will say in the episode's defense that its anti-logic is so bizarre that it kind of loops around to dream-logic -- it has the same magnetic appeal, particularly toward the end, that an Ed Wood movie has, a kind of jolt that *this is actually happening*. The episode's various "ideas" forming the basis of the "plot" suggest some kind of dark fairy tale (or, maybe, dork fairy tale). The episode steals from ghoul body-snatcher stories (like Frankenstein), but the biggest influence seems to be the (excellent) Forbidden Planet, which according to the Wikipedia article for that film was an influence on Star Trek (it's kind of obvious that it was), which also includes a long elevator ride into a high-tech area below the surface in which there is a device that leads to radical (and dangerous) brain boosts. This episode's (presumably accidental? subconscious?) subtext is something about having to split mind and body apart, use lots and lots brain power in order to run a society that keeps the sexual energies of men and women from expression out of a futile effort to control, turning women into idiots and men into brutes and idiots...I guess? I mean, I don't even know what the hell was going on here, this episode defies rational explanation or interpretation.

0.5 stars, yeah, but wow.
Yanks - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 8:25pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: First Season Recap

Damn Elliot, you rated it higher than I did. :-)
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