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Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 3:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

Just a note for everyone saying the Ocampans would die out if they couldn't have multiple children - you are of course correct. They never talk about twins or triplets.

But, another way to solve this problem, is that Ocampans could potentially have serial pregnancies. That is, after the first child is born, they may have another period of fertility, allowing conception of a second child, etc. But once they miss the first conception period, that's it forever. Such a system would likely ensure that most females would have at least 1 child.

None of this is remotely backed up by the dialog in the episode (I'm typing this as the episode ends), but it's another solution for the "only have one child at a time, only have one "period" of fertility, but species doesn't go extinct" problem.
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Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

This one is a guilty pleasure for me. For some reason I take great delight in seeing Da Vinci trying to comprehend all of this 24th century technology.
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Joseph B
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:39am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Jammer, Thanks for the Review!!!

I was wondering --- all this time --- how this movie would be rated from a reviewer totally steeped in the Star Trek mythos.

I, myself, had given it an 8 out of 10 for the first two thirds of the movie, but thought it stumbled badly to a 2 out of 10 for the last third. Average it all together and it ekes out to two-and-a-half stars for me. I just couldn't get past the movie ripping whole scenes and dialogue from TWoK for the "clever" role reversal.

But I will say this: I have lots of friends and co-workers in their 20's --- many of which had never considered viewing Star Trek prior to 2009 --- and they were unanimous in their praise of the movie. One of them even told me he was *shocked* at my negative attitude. So, bottom line: Abrams mostly reached the audience he was going for. And you have vindicated that perspective with your insightful review.

Thanks again for following through with this. It's always a pleasure to read Star Trek reviews from a Star Trek expert!

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Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:32am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Great review, Jammer. I would say it was worth the wait, but it was a hell of a wait... :P

This movie gets a surprising amount of criticism and I think you rightly nailed down it's downsides AND it's good qualities. That said, I do find that it is more of a mixed bag than the 2009 film and I'm guessing it would fall within a 2.5 range for me.

Spock's "KHAAAANNN!!" felt very unnecessary, it's a shame they couldn't resist using the line in that moment. I remember moaning in disbelief when I first saw it. I would've preferred a sort of silent rage from Spock.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts on Beyond.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Hmm, I agree with your view Jammer but not your rating. I think a lot of the magic ST 2009 had in its novelty fell flat in this movie.

Like you say, so many questions go unanswered about the Klingon war and Federation security, and those might have been poignant topics for a movie made in era where national security is a daily headline. And not only was Khan bland this time around, but things like Spock yelling "KHAAAAAN" felt incredibly forced.

But on the good side, Kirk and Spock's plans to outmaneuver Khan are impressive. The missiles actually housing relative innocents was an interesting twist that highlight some of the tragic moments of war. And the Starship battles, notably the Enterprise getting shot out of warp, were spectacular.

So all in all, I'd give this a 2 - 2.5 depending on how the next movie goes with this setup.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 11:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

A review written soon after release might've been different. I, for one, emerged from the theater angry and insulted. Over the years, I've mellowed. Movie still sucks, but it wasn't made for me.
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Daniel L.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 11:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Jammer, I was one of the movie's (seemingly few) defenders on your site, having belived and still believing that the movie works well for what it sets out to be (at the end of the day, if a person trying to evaluate a movie doesn't keep that one criterion in mind, the person given himself or herself license to change the movie-reviewing goalposts at will). Your review, which reflects how I feel about the movie, was well worth the wait. I almost fainted when I saw it on the site.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 10:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Furthermore, I appreciated this review, simply because it managed to connect some dots in the early plotting that I hadn't thought to put together, as well as the point raised about the levels of CGI destruction within a story. It's something studios are starting to have to address now because audiences at large aren't so easily distracted by the spectactle.

And I would agree that this movie had good stuff moment to moment, but I would say it overall was not the sum of it's parts.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Congrats on finally writing the review! It's well-written as always.

I'd give the film only 2 stars, however. Too many plot holes, too much ripping off the old series, and not enough character development.

But your input is appreciated as always, Jammer.
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Lord Garth
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Off by half-a-point. I was predicting 2.5.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Congrats on getting her written and posted Jammer!

As for my opinion, I felt the call backs (way back when I saw this in the theatre, for the only time) we're ill-used and trying desperately to appease the fans without knowing what made the Wrath of Khan great. It felt super cheap to me. A shame.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 9:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Yes, I've finally posted my review of this three-year-old movie. I took this opportunity to reset the comment thread. The nearly 900 comments that were on the non-review page have been moved here.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Independence Day: Resurgence

Happy to see that Beyond is getting great reviews, looking forward to your thoughts on it Jammer.

As for Independence Day, loved the original when I was younger, but I never had ANY interest in seeing a sequel to it. Maybe I'll check it some day.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

...which means yet another blown deadline!

Ah well, maybe he should just skip straight to the STB review. It's a better movie, anyway.

(That's right - I saw it and I liked it.)
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Just got back from seeing it. In summary: good shlock. I was gonna write what I thought in more detail but basically I completely agree with Paul M. I much preferred it to the previous two films, which just didn't feel like Trek in terms of the spirit, values, anything... this one did. The action is seriously impressive and unlike anything ever seen in a Trek film before, yet dominates too much - the film is too action-heavy and a little shallow (the plot doesn't bear any serious scrutiny), but still has plenty of quiet moments and gives the characters far more room to breathe than the past two films. It's an actioner with heart that could use a little more brain. 7/10 (or ***)
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Canamar

Jammer: "Look, I'm not asking that every hour I spend in front of a TV lend me some great insight to the human condition. I'm not asking Star Trek to reinvent the wheel every week (I concede that is impossible) or shock us with some sort of unanticipated notion or character revelation. What I am asking is that the creators make an effort — or at least pretend — that their stories say something, mean something, or get to the heart of something. Anything"

So you say you realize it can't be done and then ding this episode for not doing it?

I will say this isn't anything really special, but it in no way is bad trek at all. Do to miss-justice Trip and Archer are heading to prison. So what trek does this copy?

This was pretty good. The "seaweed face" alien was pretty funny.

It wasn't all action, Archer and Kuroda talk for a bit and we find out some insight into this fella. He was falsely arrested as a kid and imprisoned for 5 years! Archer has it all figured out until Kuroda reveals that part of his plan is to kill all the remaining prisoners. This of course changes things and they have to figure out a way to stop them.

The fight did last too long.

But I loved it at the end where Archer let's this dude have it. That quite possibly could have been Scott's best acting in the series yet!

I never skip it. I'll go 2.5 stars here.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Future Tense

Maguffins aren't that bad.... hell, I just watched Star Trek Beyond!

Ha! Great stand alone episode here!!

The Tholian's kicking some Suliban ass!! :-) I would have been disappointed had that not happened.

All good fun. Exciting twists and turns... fast pace...

I really felt like NX-01 and crew where in a WTF senario!

3.5 stars from me.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cease Fire

I personally had no desire to see an in-depth negotiation. Good lord, we never even saw Surak do that drivel.

Suzie Plakson and Combs in the same episode? That's 3 stars right off the bat! :-) Boy she towers over him ... lol

Someone suggested Suzie get shot after undermining Shran.... NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I lost her in one episode already!!! :-)

Love this episode! Easily one of this season's finest.

I think it's so good because I like Shran's decision to have Archer mediate. It's a logical choice from his standpoint. This "little war" instigated by the Andorians also is very plausible because of P'Jem.

I love how T'Pol wants her Captain to succeed and inundates him with references... the scene in the shuttle was nice.

I didn't have a problem with any of the "pew-pew" stuff. I didn't expect Soval to take a hit.

Archer's also right on point here:

"ARCHER: I believe someone once defined a compromise as a solution that neither side is happy with."

Just because all we see on TV is two sides shaking hands with someone taking credit in the middle doesn't mean that either sideis happy.

Love this too:

"SOVAL: Captain, your presence here has not been overly meddlesome."

Good day for Archer. He now know's he has a friend in Shran and Soval for the first time doesn't just walk out on him with his nose up in the air.

4 star episode in my book.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

I don't agree at all Jason. I think it could have been directed better. Sorry you feel that way.
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Jason R.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

This is one of the worst SF movies I have seen since Prometheus, and that's not a comparison I make often, or lightly.

The story was utter drek. It was utterly incomprehensible. Essentially, it's like somebody came up with the concept for a bunch of action sequences and then created a half-baked "story" to go around them.

Into Darkness had its issues, but the writing in Beyond is infinitely worse. There may have been things in ID that I didn't like but Beyond goes, well, Beyond. You thought that nothing would be stupider than Khan's magic blood plot device? You thought wrong.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

I'm a little surprised Jammer hasn't changed his review. TNG's 'Darmok', as many have pointed out, doesn't apply here at all. 'Enemy Mine' is the clear winner, right down to the look of the Alien.

But while 'Darmok' is one everyone's tongue, it is only good because of the outstanding performances of Patrick Stewart and Paul Winfield. I still can't believe a species that can only communicate by metaphor can be a space faring race.

Back to this dribble. It's just not good at all. As folks have said, Enterprise could have beamed down water, food, shelter. They could have beamed up the alien's canister and Phlox might have been able to concoct a suitable substitute.... I could go on.

No hand gestures at all?

Every time I watch season 2 I'm just flat out frustrated with this stretch of episodes. I consider the 1st 4 episodes in this season fantastic, then it appears Braga & Berman started smoking pot on a daily basis.

I gave 1 star to 'Precious Cargo' so I guess I need to award the same here.

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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 3:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Catwalk

I always enjoy this one. Having spent my time on the high seas waiting out storms that you can't go around, I could relate here.

If I was Trip, I would have told Reed to go sit with Phlox.

But man, I really think they missed a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the crew here. A "lower decks" opportunity here lost I think. I would have loved to meet some of the crew here. The T'Pol "fraternization" aspect was nice and well done. Movie night at the end was also meaningful in that regard. Again, the T'Pol/Archer interaction is fantastic.

The Takret captain was expertly played, he and these bad guys came off as no joke, and Archer's plan to get them out was fine I guess, but just how convenient was this occurrence? 3 guys that are themselves immune to the radi-whatever just happened by and they just happen to be fugitives from an organization that just happens to like to rob ships in this environment.

Oh, and like Robert said... this "storm" containing matter (bouncing off the hull) is traveling faster than the speed of light and somehow is visible to anyone peeking out the window. I'm all about suspension of disbelief while watching SCI-FI but damn, you got to do better than this!


But all that said, it's still very enjoyable to watch and one of my favorites,

3 stars from me.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

Good comments, William. But one thing about your concerns about what Star Trek was saying about female physical beauty. It wasn't Star Trek that suggested Vina's only hope was to live on Talos because she was ugly; it was Vina's desire and hers alone. To assume her position represents Trek's statement on what's important to women in general might be a mistake. From watching The Cage I think it's made fairly clear that Vina is shown to mostly be a shill for the Talosians, trying to undermine Pike and in a certain way betraying him since he couldn't really trust her motives. We learn in the end why she wanted to be there, but that sympathetic note shouldn't alter the fact that she isn't ever lionized by the script in any way. I therefore think it's not at all clear we're supposed to understand that she made any kind of 'correct' choice.

That being said, if we look at her history there are good reasons for her to stay there beyond being disfigured. For one thing she more or less died there and the Talosians put her back together. That alone should mean she owes them her life. They didn't do it quite right, and...well, let's just say that if they got the outside wrong I'm not putting good odds that they got the inside quite right either. Who knows whether she's in a constant state of discomfort of has some kind of other problems. She's alive and functional, but I'm not so sure I'd accept as certain that her *only* problem is her face. But even if it was, it's entirely possible that she actually just liked being there, and that it wasn't just all about her looks. She could literally live any fantasy any time. Talk about holodiction. Your comments about it being a heavenly afterlife are right on point. Plenty of undamaged people would want to stay there as well, cage or no cage. I also got the distinct impression that the Talosians really did care about her and her well-being, so in light of that she might even view them as all the family she has left.
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Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Kind of reminds my of TNG's perfect mate.

Note to the sleeping writers, if you are going to cast a bombshell to play a horrible part, please ensure she can act. I think a talented actress could have probably saved this one. I personally don't even find Padma Lakshm all that beautiful.... just skinny. Conner was so overly trying to overcompensate for her it hurts to watch.

I've only watched this episode twice... actually I wouldn't call it watching - I always end up doing something else.

I did enjoy T'Pol's little judgeship... so that's where my 1 star rating comes from.

Greg, thanks for that... I think I need to do some research :-)
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William B
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Menagerie

Anyway, a lot of what I love about The Menagerie is how it repurposes The Cage to create a different narrative -- instead of a story about Pike triumphing over the Talosians and showing the indomitability of the human spirit, it becomes one about Pike having rejected the Talosians but then being able to accept them on their terms, once he comes closer to Vina. There is a nice passing of the torch in the way Spock plays something like the Pike-in-The Cage role -- Pike eventually left Vina behind with the Talosians but understood that the Talosians' illusion power was too great to be wielded by Starfleet, and now Spock does something of the same thing now that Pike effectively "retires" to Talos IV. The problem of the illusions on Talos IV is that they are destructive as long as they are central to a society -- the Talosians destroyed themselves, and say that humans will destroy themselves, too, if they are given the illusions too soon. The death penalty has been instituted as a barrier against either the Talosians manipulating any other Starfleet ships or, presumably, the Federation getting a hold of the technology and destroying itself. It is something like the paradise which Kirk says humans are not ready for. But Pike is now "ready" for this heaven now that he sees his Starfleet career is at an end. It is as if Pike, too, gets a "death sentence" -- his old life is over now. No one can commit to the illusions on Talos IV and hope to continue living in the "real" world, and it is extremely dangerous for anyone to believe they could wield the power of illusion outside of the very narrow confines of one's own life. But Pike is not coming back. Spock is effectively giving Pike the choice of whether he wants to accept a very human "euthanization," of having a full and complete "afterlife" and ending his contributions to the rest of the Federation. This contributes to and furthers the themes of The Cage about Pike feeling restless as a Starfleet captain and wanting to live one of the other possible careers he could have (including sex slave trader -- like Dr. Piper, I rather hope he was not really serious about that one). In The Cage, the brush with illusions helped strengthen Pike's conviction that he wanted to be part of the Federation (human) project of exploration and self/other betterment, but post-accident Pike feels that his abilities and desires to do so are limited. And again, that is not great as a message to all disabled people -- Stephen Hawking continues to contribute to the world, after all -- but I am willing to accept the idea that Pike, and Spock, would believe that *for Pike* his limitations (and achievements) were sufficient to earn him an early retirement to isolated love and fantasy.
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