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petulant - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 7:58pm (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens


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 (USA Central) [X]
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 (USA Central) [X]
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.
Caleb - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 10:46am (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

The climax of this film is the highlight of all Star Wars for me. More than anything else, its what I remember about Star Wars and the images, sounds and feelings of those last scenes are what stayed with me from child to adult.

The insertion of the two "no"s is just stupid. The scene is far more powerful with Vader's actions doing the talking.
William B - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 10:21am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S1: The Storyteller

LOL, thanks for that Luke. (Did I say 2 stars up there? What? I do think the princess/Jake Nog scenes are okay, but the main plot sure is dire. Consider my rating 1.5* officially, and only just because I do find the B plot cute.)
Diamond Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 9:54am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S6: His Way

I've always been agnostic on the Odo/Kira relationship thing but if you're going to do it, then I suppose this is about as good a way as any other. Think of this as a sorbet to clear the palate before the next heavy course, this is about as light and fluffy a rom-com as you're going to see.

And yet it kind of works. Vic Fontaine may be a lightning rod for discontented viewers, but James Darren nails the role. The cute Odo moments may be a little too cute, but who can't like he and Sisko singing along together. The kiss scene really works. And if there's a finer verbal expression of embarrassment than "Nerys... Kira... Major" then I've yet to hear it. 3 stars.
Luke - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 9:33am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S1: The Storyteller

I'm going to paraphrase a review I saw over on TheTrekBBS a while back....

"Following the loss of Kai Opaka, old tensions on Bajor re-emerge, threatening to throw that world into civil war.

Nah, just kidding, they're just randomly about to enter a civil war because the Cardassians moved a river, or something. The key to this dispute is a 15 year-old girl who took control of her region after her father died. It's good to know that hereditary rule is alive and well in the 24th century, it was under a real threat from democracy for a while there. She's very dour and serious and fails to understand the concept of negotiation, but she's lucky because Jake and Nog are on hand to teach her how to have fun, and how to trade one thing for another thing. Yay!

Meanwhile, O'Brien and Bashir go to a village of children that look curiously like adults, and they demand to be told a bedtime story every night because they're scared that if they don't hear the story a monster will eat them. It sounds like a joke, but it's the actual premise of the episode. I'd compliment the episode for being so subversive in having the child act like an adult and all the adults in the village act like children, but I don't think the episode was that clever. Story this, story that, bless my child, please give me attention and, oh by the way, these women want to suck your dick... As if all that stuff didn't make the townsfolk look bad enough, one of them throws a temper-tantrum and tries to stab O'Brien because he wants to be the Sirah. Then we learn that the Dal'Rok is an artificial construct that was created by the original Sirah because the villagers couldn't get along and kept fighting one another. It's amazing that for decades they needed an artificial enemy to unite them, instead of the Cardassians. It's a village of feeble-minded people, but then they're religious so they have to be. UGH!! If I was O'Brien I would have fucked off back to the station and allowed the Dal'Rok to kill them all. Hell, I would have torpedoed the village from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

I'm not a fan of this episode, as you might have been able to gather. This literally is a TNG episode that was adapted to work on DS9, and it shows since none of this fits with the Bajor from the rest of the series, even the Bajor established by the series at this point.Someone need to grab all the guest characters by the shoulders, shake them vigorously, and shout "STOP BEING MORONS" at the top of their lungs."

The only salvageable parts of "The Storyteller" are the interactions between O'Brien and Bashir (it's no wonder these two would work so well together throughout the series) and between Nog and Varis (I'll admit, it was really enjoyable watching Nog get all flustered around a cute girl).

Dom - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 9:05am (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

This film could definitely have used an extra 10-15 for exposition and character development. I understand why studios want to keep films short (so they can replay them more in theaters and get more money) but I don't understand why audiences tolerate it. I think the best movies need time to tell their stories. Films like Lord of the Rings really benefit from taking their time.
Luke - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 7:42am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S1: Battle Lines

So, let me get this straight.... Kai Opaka is the only thing holding the sectarian violence at bay on Bajor (which was expressly stated by Kira in "Emisssary") either through her charisma, sheer force of personality or whatever. So now, when her services are still greatly needed on Bajor during this time of transition after the Occupation, she just up and decides to abandon everything she's worked for for her entire life and help some random group of strangers? Yeah, I'm not buying it.

The Bajoran religion in general, and Opaka in particular, is stopping various factions on Bajor from degenerating into something very similar to what is happening on this moon and Opaka thinks it's more important to help these people? What?! I hate to have to boil a moral question like this down to simply mathematics, but I'm going to. She's essentially turning her back on billions of people in order to help, what, at most fifty? This makes no sense.

Add to that the fact that this is going to have major ramifications on Bajor besides the possibility of civil war. Imagine if Pope Francis just up and disappeared one day. What do you think that would mean for the world's Catholics? And just remember, Francis is the spiritual leader of only one-seventh of the population and leads a religion that isn't as essential to it's practitioners as the Bajoran religion is to its. The sudden departure of the Kai would have ramifications (political, economic, spiritual and military) that are so gargantuan it's almost impossible to convince of them. And yet, the episode just fluffs that off like it's no big deal. Are they kidding?!

And, of course, the eternal war on this moon makes no sense either. So, these people all know they can't die but they're so blinded by their thirst for vengeance that they're willing to condemn themselves to perpetual suffering. But they want to end their suffering. Um, come again. Either these people are just stupid or.... no, they're just stupid. Here's an idea, one faction moves to the other side of the moon. Problem solved! Why have they all clustered themselves in a twelve square kilometer area? The episode never explains that, so.... yeah, morons.

What saves "Battle Lines" are the Kira/Opaka scenes. Say what you will but Kira's break-down over Opaka's "dead" body worked for me. And their scene where Kira bares her soul was wonderful - great character growth for Kira and a splendid example of how someone's religious faith can make her a better person.

Diamond Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 6:41am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

Stirring stuff. Good people doing questionable things to achieve justifiable ends always enters into the realm of impassioned debate - witness the comments here. Where this episode succeeds is that it shows not only the cost to Sisko - the "self-respect of one Starfleet officer" as Garak puts it - but also the tangible benefit. He knows that he's done the right thing - and he knows he hasn't. It's that contradiction that lies at the heart of that great final scene.

Of course, to counterpoint that self-examination we need Garak, who has no qualms or remorse about doing what needs to be done. Here is the master of expediency, doing what he does best. Is Sisko like Garak then? Of course not, and again that's what creates the dramatic tension.

It's a wonderful episode, beautifully written, acted and directed. "It's best not to dwell on such minutiae" indeed. 4 stars.
Diamond Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 5:06am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Strong Bashir episode and a bit more atmospheric than some we've seen recently. Yes, the "it was all on the holodeck" is a bit of a cheat, but it's not obvious when you are watching so I can let that slide. The argument constructed against Bashir is actually the most subversive bit, given that it actually creates a credible (if circumstantial) case that Bashir is guilty - and the tip of the hat to the orbiting runabout is a nice one. The misdirections of Bashir's rescue by the Dominion and subsequent rescue by the Defiant are also nicely played.

As to Section 31, there have been hints of a dark element to Starfleet since early TNG, so I think it fits in OK. 3 stars.
James - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 5:03am (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

I think this is my favorite DS9, along with "Duet". There are other great episodes but these two are on a different level, being not merely great drama but revealing something poignant about the soul. Simply fantastic.
Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 3:03am (USA Central) [X]
Re: Interstellar

I don't understand why people are confused about Brand's work on the equations and "the problem of gravity". What his problem was, is to be able to get a massive space station to launch and escape Earth's gravity. There were too many people on earth and not enough time to shuttle everyone up in little rocket ships. They needed a mass carrier and they had to solve certain equations and physics to do it. Brand realized he could not solve this problem without data from a black hole (which he could never get). So he lied about it so people would join him in the mission out of a sense of hope even though he knew the only option was the embryos.

I took the ending as this:

"they" are humans, from the far distant future. Humans had evolved to the point of being able to work through time as a physical dimension, but could not travel through it themselves. So, Cooper was moved into a physical dimension so he could move to any point in time he wanted to get himself to the NASA facility and allow Murphy to solve the equations.

I didn't know the wormhole had collapsed... .who said that anyways? I assumed they solved the equation, launched all the space stations and got out to Saturn, where the worm hole was. The plan was to take the stations to Edmund's planet , and that is where Cooper was flying off too.. to go be with her until humanity arrives.

Epic film, not everyone will interpret it the same way, and that is part of what makes it great. Some people get pissed if a movie gives something that is not 100% clear and not the same answer for everyone.

My two negatives were they could have cut out the frozen planet and Dr Mann. I guess they wanted to show how loneliness and desperation can lead to someone doing that. I also didn't like how Murhpy's brother was such an asshole that he would rather his son die than leave the farm behind.
Gertie Deoliveira - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 3:00am (USA Central) [X]
Re: Frequently Asked Questions

Invaluable analysis - Speaking of which , if someone require to merge some PDF files , my colleague came across a service here AltoMerge.com
Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 2:35am (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back

Let's just hope Episdoe 8 doesn't try to remake Empire and have Snoke saying "Rey, I am your father!".
Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 2:29am (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

Hayden's acting here killed the movie for me. My gosh was he just dreadful. It is no accident that his career went nowhere after Star Wars and I believe he is essentially retired from acting now. What a horrific choice. I often have wondered the difference if they got a quality actor in there. I have a hard time with this movie just because of his acting and delivery of his lines.

The plot itself was decent and the Palpatine political movements are the best part of the prequels. I wish they made them even more detailed but alas, George was writing the prequels for kids.

Looking at the prequels over a decade later, they are not too bad. A lot of good ideas and plot lines.

I think if I were to go back and re-cast.. I would have made Ewen McGregor the Anakin character (he was young enough they could have pulled it off), and had someone else be Obi Wan.

Natalie Portman was cut off at the knees because she had poor dialogue and had some of the worst chemistry in movie history with Hayden.

Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 1:29am (USA Central) [X]
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

And JJ's Trek 2 did this shit too.

Pike was ripping Kirk a new asshole for helping those people at the beginning of the movie. He preferred a mass extinction event over the planet surviving and changing it's direction.

Such nonsense.
Dave - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 1:28am (USA Central) [X]
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

I always hated the hypocrisy of the Prime Directive and this may be the most blatant abuse of it in all of Trek.

So, the choice is as follows:

1 - let them be exterminated and cease to exist
2 - Let them survive, with an altered cultural direction, with the chance to become space faring in 5000 years and join the rest of the galaxy; find out about their true history, and develop a great culture

Picard's choice is #1. He would rather they cease to exist than have thousands of years of history ahead of them; simply because it will be different

History changes every day. We have a natural disaster, a mass extinction event, a war.... our "direction" changes all the time.

This episode is really a black eye for the Federation and what the writers were trying to do.

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