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eastwest101 - Thu, May 14, 2015, 11:02pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

Bit of a shock to the system as I had been away from this for a while, as Jammer says, a very mixed bag of an episode that looks a lot better than its rather routine mechanics would suggest.

In no particular order, a couple of other things spring to mind.

"Hey Andromeda - I'll see your silly insect CGI alien and raise you some whale people in water tanks!"

The jaunty elevator salsa mix of the opening song - oh dear.

We have decided to update Ms Pouty Tight Pants wardrobe to a full colour palette Pouty Tight Pants ensemble.

Nice to see some things haven't changed though - T'Pol urges caution with Archer responding by ignoring the usually clear logical advice...
Xylar - Thu, May 14, 2015, 8:06pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

Well, on the one hand, I appreciate Voyager trying something new occasionally. On the other hand, this was really slowmoving and rather pointless. It's a good thing they cut back to the Voyager crew every now and again, or I would have been bored to tears.
The Voyager scenes work really well, but the Millenium Gate story was beyond boring. I just couldn't bring myself to care about anyone involved.

And like Jeff Bedard says, why would Voyager have so much history in their database? Same issue I complained about back in 'Once Upon a Time'. There is no reason for Voyager to have this in their database, just like there was no reason for them to have children's stories stored in the holodeck.

Mostly a pointless episode. The only thing worth remembering this for is the nice 'Voyager crew as a family' scenes. The Millenium Gate story itself amounts to nothing and is best left forgotten, if you ask me.
The Man - Thu, May 14, 2015, 6:59pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

Totally agree Peter that would have been the perfect time to link the past with the future especially when it comes to the Enterprise. I also heard that they wanted Kirstie Alley to return as her Vulcan character (her spot was probably where the woman stood being Grammer) but they couldn't come to a financial agreement. That would have been a great blast from the past!
Jeff Bedard - Thu, May 14, 2015, 5:24pm (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: The Enemy Within

@Nathan G: the behind the scenes reason for no shuttlecraft is that this early in the series the idea of the Enterprise having shuttlecrafts hadn't been created yet. So for the original audience of this episode it wouldn't have been a concern. But all these years later anyone viewing this episode will have a difficult time letting this in-universe gaffe slide.

I enjoy this episode, especially Spock's explanation of what is happening to Kirk and comparing his own inner battle with his Vulcan and human sides. I do wish the "evil" Kirk could have been more talkative. I understand that he is meant to personify Kirk's anger and rage, but EK still has intelligence and reasoning as well.

A few filming gaffes (some of the EK scenes are clearly reversed from how it was actually filmed) tend to annoy me a bit, but I like how even for 1966 and just a few episodes in TOS was tackling some wonderful philosophical and ethical issues. And William Shatner (for all the acting bashing he gets) does a superb job (in my opinion) of embodying two diametrically opposed versions of himself.
NCC-1701-Z - Thu, May 14, 2015, 2:19pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

Easily my favorite TNG movie, and probably my 3rd or 4th favorite overall. The other TNG movies can't hold a candle to this one. It's just such a perfect balance of action, sci-fi, and uplifting Trek philosophy. And it actually works very well as a standalone movie - you can watch and enjoy this without having seen a single episode of TNG. It's a fairly good jumping off point for new fans in that regard.

The only minus point in this one I think is the Borg Queen. Don't get me wrong, in the movie she's used well, but her long-term utilization in future Trek productions (looking at you Voyager) did a lot to water down the Borg. In essence - short-term awesomeness, long-term drag. This movie was, IMO, the only time the Borg Queen was used properly. (I read once that had Enterprise been extended for a 5th season, one episode would have explored the origins of the Borg Queen. Not sure if that would have been a good idea or not since we never saw it on screen.) I don't blame the writers; from a dramatic standpoint a central villain figure was probably necessary for a good payoff and it would have been hard to write a final confrontation scene facing off against the entire faceless Borg collective. I guess we'll never know.

Also of note that this movie probably did a lot to extend the shelf life of Trek for several more years. Much like how Wrath of Khan eventually led to the creation of TNG, this movie did a lot to set up the backstory for Enterprise (whether or not that is a good thing is entirely your own opinion), although strictly speaking the closest we got to a direct followup/sequel was ENT's "Regeneration".

Also, I have to say, love, LOVE the new phaser rifle design that debuts in this movie. And the Enterprise-E is probably my favorite starship design overall. Pity we only saw it in three movies.
Robrow - Thu, May 14, 2015, 8:45am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

I'm drained. I've just watched Alaimo enact the end of King Lear when he's crying over his daughter at the end. By far the most dramatic thing in the episode. Made me completely forget the Wormhole alien fluff and contrived sabotage. Great acting and, for me, one of the best scenes I've seen in any Trek. Gul Dukat, one of the best villains I've ever seen.
EuroMIX - Wed, May 13, 2015, 10:10pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I am saddened, but not surprised, to see so many in this comment section alone presuming guilt with no evidence.

Innocent until PROVEN guilty; always. Due process is vital to any respectable society.
Robrow - Wed, May 13, 2015, 9:41pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

This Dominion war arc invites comparison with B5 seasons 3 and 4: so far it hasn't seemed quite as epic and impressive. Plus none of the characters seem quite as fascinating as Londo and G'Kar. But this story was superb. The suicide and Kira's growing self-disgust, parallelled with the ending added up to great drama. It felt like watching a car crash: you can't do anything, but you can't take your eyes away either.
Brodey Bishop - Wed, May 13, 2015, 8:08pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

Great review :)

I loved this episode!

BTW: The Delta flyer would have been beamed to a cargo hold.

B'Elanna's emotion at the end reflected that Kelis had gradually worn down her indifference. She had come to care for his goal (as evidenced by her bending the prime directive), and was genuinely touched by his goodbye (after all it is a case of meeting people you like and will never see again).

Overall: nicely acted!

I loved that the play within the play was purposely imperfect, as it felt more genuine.

"...and the viper in her nest" 7 of 9: "Queen of the Borg" lol (nice)

Waymire: Best supporting actress in this episode. Sad she passed so young; I would have liked to see her in a lead role in something.

Great supporting acting overall: From old man to the Patron (who looked like a little boy glued to the set of his favorite cartoon). Even the audience acted well ie (One man stands at exciting part... or waiting to clap in the first play until the patron gave " permission" with his response. Many small touches in this episode.

Bravo, refreshing and fun!

Xylar - Wed, May 13, 2015, 8:06pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Someone to Watch Over Me

I don't really know how to feel about this one. I guess it's all about how you personally feel about more character focused episodes. Delving into a character's personality and adding on to it and exploring it is either something that is right up your alley or it's not.
Personally, I don't care too much for these kinds of episodes. That's not to say they're bad. They're just not my cup of tea. I could have easily done without this episode, but I suppose there is some merit to it.
Call me shallow, but I like my Star Trek a little more... exotic. They can have human elements, to be sure, but I want my Trek episodes to include strange aliens or unique space/time phenomena and, if at all possible, an action scene or two. But I suppose it can't be just that all the time. Sometimes, you just have to make room for more character development and the action/sci-fi elements have to take a backseat for that episode.
Robert - Wed, May 13, 2015, 2:53pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

@Mercuric - I haven't weighed in on this in a while, but Data is not a computer exactly. He's sentient.

"There should be no functional difference between Data "playing to win" and "playing to tie", because Data should be playing to generally minimize his opponent's best outcome assuming perfect play. With an imperfect opponent, Data's advantage is greater."

I'm not sure this is correct. Here is a set of rules for watching things like this.

1) If there is a PLAUSIBLE answer (ie not reaching/fankwanking) that makes the writers correct, this is the answer. The assumption should be that the script is correct and you work backwards from there... else.... why are we watching the show? A nit or a plothole is one thing, but if the script can make sense when looked at a certain way (and that way does not involve shoving your head up your rectum) then that is the correct way to look at it.

2) If you do not agree with 1 there is no point in continuing. If you do agree then the script assumes....

a) There is a strategy game that is endless or nearly so. Data states "Theoretically, I should be able to challenge him indefinitely." to ME that does not sound like a game with a built in end condition (in chess there is an end condition known as stalemate that kicks in after a certain number of moves of nothing happening).

b) Something about this game limits the number of moves per minute to something that a humanoid could reach the maximum moves on... or that having endless moves offers no benefit. On my Nintendo I had to wait until Mario landed to jump again. Data's ability to smash the button into dust would not assist him in making Mario jump more often. Since we've seen Data move so fast he blurs we have to assume this.

c) There is a way to play to a stalemate and this strategy is different than playing to win. How do I know this? The script says so. You seem to take issue with this. I'm not sure why. Since we do not have the rules the advantage goes to the writers. Imagine a game where to score a winning blow you need to advance one of your pieces into your opponents territory but doing so means you cannot guard your own territory with 100% accuracy. Maybe Data took a gambit with an incredibly high chance of victory and Kolrami, instead of trying to block it, took an incredibly high risk/high reward gambit of his own. IE - he played illogically and screwed Data. Data later rewards him by playing illogically himself and taking no openings at all, making it impossible for either to win.

Is such a game impossible to exist? Only if your imagination prevents you from imagining it!

The only thing I take issue with is Troi and Pulaski having to cure his bruised ego. He should be aware enough of probability to know that whatever gambit he took caused him to have a % chance to lose. Although again, giving a nod in favor of the script making sense it's possible that he was not upset he lost but instead upset that his strategical processors did not anticipate the loss as being possible because he assumed Kolrami would never do what he did. Perhaps he was more worried that a humanoid opponent surprised him.
Mercuric - Wed, May 13, 2015, 12:12pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Peak Performance

Hoo boy, what a discussion!

People have a serious misunderstanding of computers here. When a computer plays chess, it computes its movements in advance. Those who said that the computer "does not consider board position" are incorrect. It in fact considers various outcomes as "good" or "bad". Generally, when utilizing proper strategy, the computer attempts to "minimize" the "maximum" outcome for the opponent. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimax In this way the computer will select its next move based on all future movements. This is what chess grandmasters can do. What they can do that computers can't is ignore obviously bad moves. Sometimes the computer won't recognize this, and will waste computational cycles calculating something that it doesn't need to which, combined with a time limit, can allow the human player to win. As computers have become faster and algorithms (made by humans) became smarter, this advantage is basically gone and will continue to shrink.

There should be no functional difference between Data "playing to win" and "playing to tie", because Data should be playing to generally minimize his opponent's best outcome assuming perfect play. With an imperfect opponent, Data's advantage is greater.

Some people mentioned Tic-Tac-Toe above. Like Checkers, Tic-Tac-Toe is "solved". When both players play optimally, the result is a draw. A computer (with the correct programming) cannot lose at Tic-Tac-Toe or Checkers. However, a sufficiently knowledgeable human can play them to a draw. The idea that the alien guy can even play Data to a draw in a game of dexterity and strategy is patently absurd, let alone the idea that he can thrash him first time.
MsV - Wed, May 13, 2015, 10:43am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

@Del_Duio: C'mon, you can't tell me whenever somebody says "Bloody Spoonheads!" you don't crack a smile lol.

I thought most of it was funny, except the Odo situation. It was meant to be serious.
Peter - Wed, May 13, 2015, 9:42am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

I'll weigh in as someone who liked this episode, but I would not rate it more than 3 stars. It does qualify as an episode that further develops the character of Data. It is really more about him than the exocomps, in my opinion. It is nowhere near as great as "The Measure of a Man" episode in advancing the idea of the importance of artificial life.

First my criticisms: I totally agree that Dr Farallon's character was not well-written. She seemed rude and disagreeable for most of the episode. She even jumped down Geordi's throat a one point, only to apologize when he explains he was trying to help her by assigning some of his staff to her project. That she comes round at the end seems contrived. As others have pointed out above, as a scientist/engineer, she should be THRILLED to have achieved creating artificial life rather than being irked that her robotic tools are acting up.

I also found the premise that Picard is assigned the exclusive duty of evaluating a new mining technology to be hard to believe. Dr. Farallon presents it as extremely important that Picard recommend her orbital mining apparatus to the Federation. Why? Is it a question of future funding, or just a matter of pride with her? It seems that if the mining equipment works well and is cost-effective (which I'm not sure putting equipment into orbit to perform a ground-based operation would be) -- then it would prove itself, wouldn't it? On the other hand, if an independent outsider's evaluation were needed by Starfleet, wouldn't it make sense that they would assign some mining expert who would be familiar with the operation and effectiveness of all the current mining technologies? I.e., someone who could properly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the orbital plasma generator in relation to the alternative technologies already in use? The fact is, they could have simply written the story to include some mining expert as a guest star who is taken aboard at the beginning of the episode to perform this evaluation.

A final quibble is the feeling that I felt that this entire episode has sort of been done before. Back in Season 1 or 2, there was an episode where Wesley creates these nanobots for a school project. The things get loose and start infecting the Enterprise's systems. The crew then starts to try to exterminate the little robots, only to realize they are an artificial life form that must be preserved. Another episode I was also strongly reminded of is TOS' "The Devil in the Dark" -- another episode that's all about discovering a new life form in the course of running a mining operation.

These are minor quibbles, I must admit. There were several things I liked about the episode. For one thing, it was aimed at an ADULT audience. The previous two episodes this season seemed to be all about appealing to audience members age 10 and under.

Then there's the fact that the story advance our knowledge of Data. That always makes for a good episode.

I also liked the design of the exocomps. They kept reminding me of baby R2D2s or something. They were awfully cute for "tools," which was no doubt deliberate to make us feel more sympathetic.

I also got a good laugh from the beard discussion in the teaser, and I enjoyed Dr. Crusher's role in supporting Data with his quest to define life. But then I'm partial to Beverly anyway, so I like episodes where she gets to do more.
Del_Duio - Wed, May 13, 2015, 4:30am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

C'mon, you can't tell me whenever somebody says "Bloody Spoonheads!" you don't crack a smile lol.
Robert - Tue, May 12, 2015, 2:52pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

@Dennis - People like you are responsible for "Profit and Lace", "Inside Man" and "Acquisition". You know that, don't you?
MisterBenn - Tue, May 12, 2015, 12:28pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

Baltar's cult of attractive females reminds me more than a little bit of Castle Anthrax from Monty Python's Holy Grail!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXT_IOt81Xs (dialogue is probably NSFW)
Dennis - Tue, May 12, 2015, 10:50am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

Computer change visual and personality parameters of Krell from Cardassian to Ferrengi.

Crisis averted, Hilarity ensues.

MsV - Tue, May 12, 2015, 9:46am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang

Star Trek has always had racial issues, not counting the time Abe Lincoln called Ahura a nigress, but what about "You green blood hobgoblin" and more. Klingons were a race that was hated. How about you "bloody cardies" a racial slur and just recently on Chimera, the Klingons kept calling Laas a founder, this was to justify them wanting to pick on him. I know Laas was a pain, but it was pure bigotry.

Someone said Sisko's problem with slavery is over 400 years old, whether it was slavery or as he put it, the Civil Rights movement was in its infancy, it mattered to him. To say it didn't belong in the episode is ludicrous, Star Trek has always dealt with racial issues in its own way.

Now, if any of you had been enslaved like the Bajorans you wouldn't dismiss the issue so easily especially after only a few years, it takes a lot longer to heal from long term brutality. As for black people in this country, were not allowed to forget about slavery because they were only being treated slightly better in the 1960's. Most black people that I know are still sensitive to both subjects, no, no one will riot or get bent out of shape about it, but would take notice about some of the ignorant statements made by some ignorant people. Why do you think there are so many different movements going on today, Black, Gays, Women, etc. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly regardless of their race, creed, color, sexual orientation, etc. I will shut up for now but I can go on on this subject for days.
Toony - Tue, May 12, 2015, 8:27am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

I think Section 31 was in on this plot too, it might have been a joint operation from all of them though only the Cardassians and Romulans could build a fleet.

@ Yanks

'The only real issue I see with this episode is that the Jem'Hadar attack the shuttle with Odo on it. It was given to Odo/Garak by a Founder, I find it hard to believe that Founder didn't make it very clear not to shoot the one with Odo on it.'

Good catch though later on in the series they did hint the Founders control over the Vorta and Jem Hadar to be overstated as they too seek power (demonstrated in episodes: Treachery, Faith and the Great River and To The Death), it's possible the Jem Hadar themselves saw Odos free range as a threat to the Dominion.
Pam - Tue, May 12, 2015, 7:00am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

Even though it had its moments, I found myself rather unimpressed as a whole with this episode. It didn't start well, with Riker stating that he'd like to give Wesley some command experience (eye roll), then it moved on to Data rather inexplicably pulling a console apart, at his own behest. (And considering that Data happens to be third in command of the ENTIRE SHIP, how is it that Worf is looming over him in a most disapproving manner, even grilling him as to what he is doing? At least in the last episode, he ended his command to "BE GONE!" With a "...sir.")

As others have stated, the hand-wringing over whether or not they should help, since they have the technology to do so AND cover their tracks at the same time ready to hand (or nearly so) just seemed like time-filler to me. And seriously, I'd have thought Troi would be better with kids, being an empath and all.

To be fair, I did enjoy the acting in this episode, especially from Stewart, Spiner, and Frakes. Even though Data was out of character in regards to his new "friend," I felt perhaps it was intended to signify his continued growth beyond being just a machine. I would probably give this 2 1/2 stars, mainly for the little asides between Picard and Riker, and also for watching Data's struggle between helping his friend and following orders, which is very human, indeed.
Mark - Tue, May 12, 2015, 6:42am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S1: Heart of Glory

As an add on to what the others were saying, Yar and her team are shown to be quite inept. Her security team doesn't even check the prisoners for the most basic weapons. The prisoners assemble the weapons and the guards are looking the other way...I half expected the captain to chew her out...the breakaway floor at the end was another LOL moment...
Christopher Pike - Tue, May 12, 2015, 6:09am (USA Central)
Re: TOS S1: The Galileo Seven

William B, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful analysis! I'm watching TOS for the first time; this is certainly one of the more complex episodes and very worthy of the time and effort you've clearly put into your discussion of the episode. I wish I had something fresh to add, but as a Star Trek newbie I think I'll be in read-only mode for some time yet.
MsV - Tue, May 12, 2015, 2:34am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

@Yanks: I've always wondered if Odo infected Laas.

I thought the same thing, but he probably did. Someone mentioned the scan Bashir did and thought it should have detected the virus in Odo. That is not how Julian found out Odo had the disease, he took a sample of Odo and did other test, that's how he found out Odo was infected.

BTW, I have to disagree with Jammer on this one, I liked Siege at AR558 much better than this one. I liked this show but I couldn't stand Laas.
bhbor - Tue, May 12, 2015, 12:10am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Investigations

Neelix kills a man in hand to hand combat, watches him vaporize in a plume of ignited plasma gas and the very next thing on his mind to Mr. Vulcan is: "- guess I'lllll have plenty of new material for tomorrow!"

Jesus Christ! Bad writing or Neelix is a stone cold killa
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