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JPaul - Sat, Feb 6, 2016, 12:08pm (USA Central) [X]
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 (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).

2/10
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.

5/10
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.

petulant - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 10:37pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

I agree with everything Jammer said,
i find The Phantom Menace unwatchable but i quite enjoy Attack of the Clones, if i could remove most of the romantic (I hate sand) scenes with Anakin and Padme i'd enjoy it a lot more.
William B - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 9:49pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

Sorry, that was @Jason.
William B - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 9:45pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

@James, the first part of "The Search" happened, up until the Defiant was attacked. Then Odo and Kira got an an escape pod and found the planet with the Changelings on it, and all their scenes really happened. Meanwhile, the rest of the main characters on the ship (Sisko, Dax, Bashir, O'Brien, the Romulan) were captured by the Dominion and they hooked their brains up to a simulation thing. Then at the end of the episode Odo and Kira found out that the changelings had put the Defiant crew in a simulation, and the Female Changeling agreed to let Odo's friends go, at which point Odo, Kira and those who were hooked up in the simulation were allowed to go home on the Defiant.
William B - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 9:35pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S7: Field of Fire

@Robert: Point on the A-A-A plot in the s7 premiere. Although, I feel like Sisko's gets the edge on "episode's most important" given that it is the one that gets the title of part 1 and then a middle section in part 2 where for a few minutes it seems possible that the other two plotlines may be deluded scribblings of Benny Russell.

And yeah, Joran was portrayed very differently in "Field of Fire." Well, actually, he sort of went from "weirdo musical genius with anger management problems" to "soft-spoken psychopath" to "expert on the art of murder" in the three episodes that focused on him, and so it may be more "Facets" that altered his character -- but still.

Yeah, I guess the Ezri/Julian thing doesn't break the reassociation taboo any more than being friends with Sisko as you say. It's more that if they are going to have a romantic ending, it seems like they should acknowledge that Bashir had this six-year torch which was still being brought up until the episode Jadzia died and afterward, and whether that would make it super awkward for him and Ezri (spoiler: I bet it would!). I didn't get deep into them but I read the first of those post-DS9 novels and they did start on that, which is a good call.

I definitely agree about her speech in "Tacking," a great moment for the character.
Jason - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 9:23pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: DS9 S3: Meridian

So I may just be lost here or missed something, but I'm confused on one thing in this episode - why does the crew have the Defiant? The Defiant was brought to DS9 during "the Search", which was essentially just all a dream. So if none of that happened, why are they in possession of the Defiant?
Chrome - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 8:54pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

@PeterJason

They could've added a lot more exposition like the good examples you guys give, but that would've padded out the movie 10 - 15 more minutes. Sometimes films work better when exposition is left to the imagination, without sacrificing pacing.

The flip side to all this, I think, is that they've now set the expectations for great exposition in the next film, and cutting back now could easily blow up in the writers' faces. Still, my curiosity is piqued enough that I'm willing to hold my expectations until that next and hopefully great film.

They might also release an extended addition or at least some deleted scenes on the home release. Maybe that'll give something for everyone because I do understand how strongly some fans feel about more meat to this film.
Adam - Fri, Feb 5, 2016, 7:44pm (USA Central) [X]
Re: Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

@Peter G
One minor flaw with your Order 66 theory. This was a republic so even if the Jedi were considered traitors they would have deserved a trial, not to be executed off hand. This would be true even if the Republic was under martial law. You also ignore the fact that the Jedi now had evidence that Palpatine had committed treason; they went to arrest him, not execute him (unless you believe the serial liar/deceiver Palpatine).
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