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Yanks - Sun, Dec 7, 2014, 8:01pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: E2

Mark, I COMPLETELY agree with you. T'Pol is not only my favorite Enterprise character, but Star Trek character.

Also, Enterprise suffered only for coming last. All series had time to gain their footing. Enterprise did that and the plugged was pulled.
Moegreen - Sun, Dec 7, 2014, 5:07pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Did anyone notice that the sound effect used for God's howl is exactly the same as for the alien who Kirk kicks in the knee-crotch in Undiscovered Country?
Nonya - Sun, Dec 7, 2014, 12:34am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

What I don't like about this episode is Worf isn't Worf. While Worf has always done a pretty good job being a Klingon for someone raised on Earth, he's never quite gotten there. In this episode, he seems to know everything about it. It's not just a matter of Worf romanticizing his culture -- Worf never at any point lived out his own culture the way he describes it in this episode. It's like Worf suddenly became a different person.

He was especially different when it came to respecting the Romulans. If Worf can live like a non-Klingon on the Enterprise, then why is he throwing such a fit when other Klingons have adapted to different situations? He can't call a Romulan wrong when all that guy wanted is for the two peoples to get along. If Klingon tradition wouldn't prevent the two from getting along in the past, then clearly the only reason it is now is because Worf is being belligerent about it (and for some reason the grown-ups thought their tradition wasn't worth teaching, somehow).

Also, as far as the comments above about honor go, please don't let TNG affect how you feel about honor. For one, all fiction is the artificial construct of the writer, and events that happen there cannot reflect reality more than they reflect how the writer feels about reality. For another, Roddenberry's themes are often very anti-cultural -- anyone who isn't a "starfleet-minded" atheist is wrong and ignorant, and no series in the franchise reflected this more than TNG. These types of themes have been subtly hinted at throughout the series.

It's no coincidence that many people here hate the Klingons. They were artificially constructed that way.
Andrew - Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 10:50pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Progress

I think this series, but all of Trek to a lesser degree, does struggle between balancing individual rights and collective utility but tends to side with the latter (this series perhaps a bit more), siding with the former only when the deprivation would be severe (and/or if a main character is involved).
I didn't think the Bajorans were that unreasonable (while I don't like it, eminent domain with compensation is generally uncontroversial and certainly practiced) and I liked that the dilemma was made grayer with the mention of a slower method and that there was a lot of suspense about what Kira would finally do until the end, that she had to and chose to make a difficult choice.
Corey - Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 8:56pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground

"But let me make one thing clear here: Palestine's issue is not the same as this. The fact is, Palestine bombs Israel because the Koran and Hadith teach..."

Palestine bombs Israel because Israel is illegally occupying land, was illegally formed in violation of the UN Security Council in 1948, and refuses to return to UN242 borders, as mandated by the World Court, UN and virtually every country on the planet. Everything else is irrelevent.

As for this episode, its very daring, but mis-steps by not delving into why independence is not being granted, and why it should. The episode ultimately comes down on the side of the State, of the status quo, and is so less radical than it seems at first glance.

Also, I didn't see anyone talk about the teleportation device in the film. Seems to me, the device is a metaphor for suicide bombing. ie - the device slowly saps the lives of the rebel faction, but allows them to infiltrate everywhere. It's a kind of tactically useful death sentence.
mark - Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 8:08pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S3: E2

I think you're too hard on Jolene Blalock--I liked her performance here, in both roles (though I agree they went too far with the old age makeup--but then, at least she didn't look as monstrous as Picard did in "Inner Light"--how old was he supposed to be a thousand?) And the more I attempt to watch Enterprise and wring some enjoyment out of what was an essentially misguided and ultimately disappointing series, the more I've come to appreciate Jolene, and to realize that she has been my favorite part of it. Enterprise was blessed in that it had no overtly annoying characters, unlike all the other modern Treks (no Wesley, no Rom, no Jake, no Neelix, no Harry Kim.) It's too bad such a solid cast was so badly served by their writers, but I thought at the time I first watched the show, and I think even moreso now that I'm rewatching it years later, that Jolene was my favorite of that cast, and the heart and soul of that series.
mark - Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 7:26pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

I agree with Moegreen--the universe does not have anyone's best interests in mind nor does it care about providing emotional closure. Sometimes entropy wins. Voyager had more than enough unearned happy endings over its run; just this once I liked the fact that things simply didn't work out. Was it manipulative? Sure. But don't we all have rotten days sometimes when it feels like the whole world is against us? The world isn't against us--it's just the Law of Averages dealing us a really lousy hand. These "silver blood" creatures got dealt a really lousy hand, but while they lived we got to see them embody the best qualities of the people they copied. *That* was the point of the story, not some token happy ending.
Skeptical - Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 4:03pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Prototype

I'm with Charles here; I wonder if the idea was specifically to mimic the era of the original series. I mean, the idea of robots who killed their inventors, only to continue on the war their inventors started is about as 50s or 60s style sci-fi cliche as you can get. Same with the look of the robots. I know a lot of people complain about it, but, well, it kinda fits the theme. Like I said, this has a very retro feel to it.

So it's a Torres episode, and how did it work? I'd say it did ok, but nothing spectacular. The first part of the episode, with her obsessing over the robot, came out of nowhere. Does she get this emotional about every new piece of technology? She was practically bawling over the dumb thing. Scientific curiosity I can see, but this seemed over the top. After that, however, things started to fall in place for her. Her initial willingness to try to create the prototype goes along is reasonable enough, and her sense of betrayal by her kidnapping is believable as well.

The best Torres scenes were while she was working on the prototype. It was pretty believable that she would lose herself in her work, and so the scenes where she was practically cheering over the work that she was being forced to do against her will actually worked despite being a bit disturbing. Given that the show was doing everything possible to declare that building the prototype was the "wrong" course of action, we had the hero of the show desperately trying to finish it. And when she completes her task, she's completely happy about it, despite the fact that she was forced to do it in the first place.

Which, of course, makes her "what have I done?" moment work as well. Like I said, it's believable that Torres would have ended up so wrapped up in the task, so single-minded in her pursuit of a technical problem that she would forget the ethical ramifications. And the sense of accomplishment at finishing such a task momentarily overrode her common sense. I mean, yeah, the matter-of-fact way the robot explained how they killed their inventors was a bit cheesy, but like I said, this whole episode felt old fashioned.

And so you feel a bit sorry for Torres, and for the prototype. It's not the prototype's fault that this perpetual war is ongoing, and yet Torres killed him anyway. Is this a case of murdering an innocent "for the greater good"? Does the episode consider such a dangerous ethical ramification? Of course not, that would be too meaty. But I did like the way that scene was portrayed. The prototype's innocent repetition asking for input worked to solidify the fact that, well, none of this was his fault. And the tension of the scene, with a battle going on and the robot's calm demeanor in explaining everything and the fact that Voyager was going to simply grab Torres and bug out (explicitly leaving behind the mess they helped create) meant that Torres really didn't have time to decide the best course of action. So she kills her own creation. Because that's all she could do to stop a perpetual war.

That could have been heavy material. But it's still decent material, at least. If only the first half of the episode was as good as the second half.
Skeptical - Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 4:02pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Resistance

Dom, I disagree that this episode doesn't tell us anything about the crew. I mean, the Janeway plot doesn't tell us too much about her, but it does give her some pathos. But no, I'm talking about B'Elanna.

The scenes in the jail cell did not quite go the way I expected them to. Torres is known for her temper. Here she was, trapped in a cell with Tuvok. Tuvok, who betrayed her Maquis crew. Tucok, who is insufferably calm. Tuvok, who tells her to sit down and shut up when she first gets trapped in there. I was expecting her to mouth off, maybe getting some pent up anger at Tuvok released. I was expecting, given the situation, that she would shed some of the Starfleet tendencies she picked up.

But that's not what happens. Instead, Tuvok tells Torres to sit down and shut up, and Torres listens! I was a bit surprised at first, and thought it was a missed opportunity for the show. Just more stale scenes to bide the time and give Dawson and Russ a paycheck until we get back to the meaty Janeway story. That's usually what happens in the B and C plots. The people on the ship spout technobabble, the people in jail spout their cliches.

But the more I thought about it, it makes sense. I like it. We know Torres hates her aggressive side and feels it's just a bastion of her Klingon heritage. She's embarrassed by it. So even though she has every right to be miffed at Tuvok for his betrayal of Chakotay, she is probably envious of his Vulcan emotional control. And because she's envious of Tuvok, she is even more embarrassed by her actions, so of course she listens to him. Because she respects him so much. Well, not him particularly, but his ability to control his emotions.

There were a few scenes that reinforce this aspect. Even after Tuvok is taken, Torres was seen being calm and deliberate in her attempts to escape the cell. Secondly, she is severely troubled when she heard Tuvok scream. She wants to completely control her emotions, but the one she thinks can do this has failed in the face of extreme stress. I think that's why she brought it up with Tuvok afterwards. Seeing him lose control shows her how serious it is, because she puts such value in control.

Most importantly, though, was the scene after Tuvok gets back. She goes to him, moves her hands towards his face, clearly wanting to do something to help him. But there was clearly nothing that she could do. One would normally expect her to vent some frustration at this, but instead, she surrendered to the situation, just like Tuvok does. She stopped, slumped over, and just sat there accompanying her troubled friend. Like a well measured, reasonable person in control of her emotions.

I liked Torres in this episode. I mean, I liked the main plot too, but I thought the Torres part was interesting.
gozar - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 11:32pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S4: The Forge

"Comb the desert" - nice space balls reference.
Nonya - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 8:10pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

@Skeptical

How can you possibly compare this to "One Little Ship"? OLS was dreary, nonsensical, and the Jem'Hadar were arguing about something pointless. It had none of the fun of this episode.
Nonya - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 7:29pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

The trouble with this episode is that it never utilized Scotty in the way we wanted to see him. Jimmy Doohan is a person I really love, and it's sad that no one appreciates him. At the end of the episode, he gets shoved off on a shuttle. The least they could have done was say that he was going to Vulcan to meet up with Spock. As a fan of his I want Scotty to actually do something [i]fun[/i]. I don't want him shown as some washed up has-been.

Scotty aside, this episode is just too obvious. The references are too obvious, the metaphors are too obvious, Geordi's arc is too obvious. Clearly Doohan's star power is the only thing holding this episode afloat.
Nonya - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 7:18pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Realm of Fear

I didn't mind this episode. It was nice, and the slow pace I actually found appealing. Barkley was good too. Not a great episode, but very pleasant.
Nonya - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 7:13pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

This episode was painful, but not stab-oneself-in-the-eyes painful. Not that I'll ever watch it again.

So why did dude's negative behavior result in sexual deviance? Watching Deanna be a whore wasn't enjoyable, and it only makes sense if Alkar is a total perv who wants to mess around with everything he sees. She doesn't appear to feel wrath or revenge, and only the "counseling" session demonstrates any emotion other than desire.

While most of you seem amused by crack-Deanna, that was the part of the episode that was the biggest problem (though it was pretty funny how much like her mother she was). The only way the "greater good" aspect of this episode could work would be to actually focus on it, as well as the conflict between the aliens. Shrinking Deanna's role in the episode would have provided it the ability to actually do more in that direction. And it wouldn't have been so stupid.

Then again, Jammer was definitely right about the tired tropes, so who knows if that would have actually fixed the problem?
Eli - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 4:20pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

I thought this was an excellent episode. It was heartening to watch the characters confront the prejudicial views that are prevalent in Vulcan society.

In the episode, writers approach the topic of discrimination in a direct and straightforward manner. The issue is at the forefront of the episode from the beginning, and is discussed explicitly in a number of scenes. Comments on this episode indicate that some people view this approach as unsophisticated or even preachy. However, I view this approach as honorable and effective.

I think that when writers approach an issue directly the characters can reveal more about the complexities of an issue unencumbered by convoluted narrative tricks. The episode highlights how people address discrimination and prejudice. The story does not merely serve to prove that prejudice exists; it provides examples of problems that arise from when prejudicial viewpoints are prevalent.

If the episode had merely displayed people protesting an issue in public, or showcased numerous long-winded speeches than it could be accused of being obvious or even preachy. However, this was not the case. The episode contained captivating dramatic scenes that did not depend on entirely on one's interest in the larger issues.

I also admire how Enterprise develops basic themes without excessively elaborate narrative contrivances. Some people see this quality of the series as mundane. However, I believe that this method of building a narrative outwardly from central conflicts, rather than circling around important themes or sidestepping larger issues, to be an accessible and efficient means of telling a story.
Moegreen - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 2:51pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Broken Bow

I'd choose being stuck in a lift with Neelix over being at the opposite end of the same ship that had Malcolm Reid onboard.
Jeff - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 8:16am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

I am surprised that people think Iden "changed from an idealistic freedom fighter seeking only a peaceful homeworld to a sadist with a God complex" -- No, he was always a meglomaniac
sadist but covered up that part of himself in order to gain the Doctor's support. Because he was played by an handsome actor with a open sincere face, we automatically trusted him and were surprised when he turned out to be a shithead.

There was also a feminist solidarity message here. Torres and
Kejal were able to forego their racial differences and connect with each other as women to reject Iden's deviant maleness and cooperate for the advancement of life.

And as for Harry Kim being "boring" and "never changing" -- well, traditionally Chinese and other East Asians value consistancy through the years; we Westerners believe people have to change and grow and express our freedom every week. I am not saying one way is better than the other, or that either are locked into that way. Harry is typically Chinese but now and then becomes very Western -- while Tom Paris is the ultimate American freedom-lover who sometimes aims to be consistant.

I have watched a lot of Voyager and feel the characters are all more real than anyone in TNG. Riker is simply too handsome and perfect in every way. LaForge is a fine character but I find it impossible to relate to him because I cannot see his eyes. Wesley is, as everyone says, ridiculous at the helm. Picard is too Shakespearean. Troi, too gorgeous and sexy. Worf, too harsh and his ugly forehead distracts me from appreciating him.
Dr. Crusher and Data are okay, but the Voyager's Doctor is more interesting than either of them.


Janeway is inconsistant, certainly, because she is always and forever searching for the moral, ethical response to the difficult situations the writers put her in. I enjoy watchng Chakotay search to follow his Native American heritage in the 24th century. Seven of Nine is just as or even sexier than Troi, but the combination of that sexiness with her Borg side is fascinating. Torres is another fascinating blend of two divergant characters both tempered by femininity. Meanwhile Tim Russ works hard at being a Vulcan without being a clone of Spock. Neelix is, I admit, annoying, but I accept him as part of the diversity on this ship.

If you wish to respond, here is my address: Basho4now@gmail.com.

Matrix - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 6:44am (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I really enjoyed most of this but that ending was a little weak. The callbacks to prior episodes was nice. my highlight was the speech Picard gave about destroying a man based on the blood he carries, it feels as appropriate as ever.
Jeff - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 4:43am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

To Keiren. Yes, I'm with you on this one. The episode we see is not the whole story. Just because the episode ends with Torres eating banana pancakes and smiling does not mean she has finished being depressed; it only means that she has begun to deal with the problem. Just because the previous and following episodes do not mention her depression does not mean the depression was not there; she could have been dealing with it without the camera being on her. Voyager supposedly took place over 7 years which works out to over 6000 hours. Of that we see
170 45-minute episodes, a total of about 125 hours which is less than 2% of 6000. As Keiren says, can't we imagine the rest for ourselves?

Greg - Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 1:55am (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

It's good that it was "all a dream" because the science would have been otherwise terrible. Somebodies molecules are starting to come apart so they become invisible. Like gases are invisible right?

Right. So there is that, and it totally explains away the inconsistencies in character because we all know nobody behaves consistently in dreams. But, it presents a sort of "waking during surgery" experience so vivid you'd be surprised nobody in the future has mentioned or experienced it. But then, it has been mentioned in other series that the new double buffers and redundancies have resolved problems 100+ years ago which were never elaborated on, so it's possible this could be seen as filling in the blanks.

Still, 2.5 stars for me because you're all left WTF for most of the episode until it's revealed an imagining, at which point you get an "Ohhh", but for most of the episode you are left feeling that nobody is acting, responding, thinking straight.
Black_Goat - Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 9:38pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: The Nagus

The Nagus: B-

This episode was about as good as it could have been considering the subject matter, as the Ferengi are, I think, inherently hard to take seriously. It’s definitely a lightweight affair, but far less muddled than the previous episode.

The Good:
- I really enjoyed the Jake/Nog subplot. It tackles the difficult subject of what happens when species with different core values are gathered in one place. Is it fair to hold Nog to the same standard of “ethics”, for example, as his human classmates considering that the concept of ethics may be a distinctly human one? Jake and Nog’s friendship is a bit saccharine, but both characters (and Sisko Sr.) show a deal of maturity in their handling of the situation.
- Wallace Shawn!
- The Rom we see in this episode is quite different than the one from “A Man Alone,” but I found the character kind of interesting, especially the way he channels Quark’s anger toward him into his son. And he returned the woman’s purse in the beginning, which points to him having a slightly different standard of greed than most Ferengi. It seems his decision to flush Quark at the end was inspired more by feelings of disrespect than of greed, though it strains credibility that Quark would forgive him so quickly (even considering the Sixth Rule of Acquisition).
- Dax has been a parent five times! Interesting.
- Fun to watch Quark go from nervous to arrogant to desperate, though I’m not sure if we needed another episode of Quark’s begging so soon after the last.

Noting overtly negative about this one. It interested me less than some of the other episodes, but it was a solid if trifling entry to the season.

Black_Goat - Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 5:57pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Move Along Home

Move Along Home: C-
This is a surpassingly stupid episode, but I get the feeling that the people making it kind of knew that. Four of our leads play hopscotch for Christ’s sake! Obviously, the game makes absolutely no sense on a technological or metaphysical level, but I appreciate, as Jammer does, that they don’t try to explain any of it with technobabble. But the scenes in the game are mostly just kind of boring, and the repeated exclamations to “move along home” get quite old very quickly. We learn nothing new about any of the characters, and a token attempt to develop Quark fails due to the ultimately inconsequential nature of the game. As I said, however, there’s something slightly self-aware about “Move Along Home”: from Sisko lamenting the goofiness of their first visitors from the Gamma Quadrant, to Bashir forgetting his basically-identical dress uniform, to Quark’s fascination with a game that is apparently completely random and never actually explained to him. Not a good episode, but I don’t have the complete scorn for it that others seem to.

The Good:
- Unless stated otherwise, just assume Odo is a positive component of any episode.
- Hey, Primmin! Is he going to keep showing up? I’d be fine with that.
- I really liked the Sisko-Jake scenes. We haven’t seen much of Junior, but I’m glad his relationship with his dad is largely positive.
- I liked Dax asking the others to leave her behind. I continue to enjoy the Sisko/Dax relationship, and I think it’s interesting how Dax continually tries to hurt Sisko’s feelings in order to get him to stop looking after her.

The Bad:
- It is slightly disappointing that they wasted their first diplomatic meeting with Gamma visitors on the jolly gamblers. In general, the show hasn’t been exceptional at following up on interesting parts of the pilot: the Gamma Quadrant, the wormhole aliens, the Cardassians, Bajoran religion and Sisko’s role in that theology, and Bajoran-Federation relations have hardly been addressed at all.
Baron Samedi - Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 3:59pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: The Road Less Traveled

I agree with you for the most part, Adam. The show lost a ton of steam and all plausibility when it transitioned from a gritty sci-fi show to a metaphysical fantasy. The religious elements ("Maelstrom" being the only exception for me, because it was so rooted in Starbuck's character) were never interesting and BSG just gets emptier and emptier as they overtake the rest of the story, which itself seems guided by whatever arbitrary plot contrivances Ronald D. Moore feels like throwing into the mix. Jammer's reviews here are very well-argued and he seems to really enjoy the show for what it is, but yeah, to me BSG took a nosedive for most of the reasons you describe after the New Caprica story resolved. All that said, BSG is absolutely worth finishing. There are flashes of brilliance throughout the final leg of the show (Ronald D. Moore, for his flaws, is a deeply talented writer overall), especially when it stays more grounded and character-driven. "The Hub" through "No Exit" is pretty fantastic in my opinion, and "Someone to Watch Over Me" might be my favorite episode of the season. And the acting, SFX, and music are always top-knotch as well.
Nonya - Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 3:03pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

I agree with Robert. I like this side of Lwaxana, when she is going out of her way to be kind to others. She really is a sensitive person, when she tones it down a notch. The episodes where she doesn't tone it down are usually awful, but her being there doesn't guarantee the episode sucks.

As for the anti-aging debate, I don't mind its existence. Sure, it was handled clumsily, but arguing about this idea makes sense for the show. I hated the ending, however. Kirk never would have let them kill Timicin. Some days you just need a Kirk to come in and bellow his clumsy self-righteous banter until the opposition gives in. :)
Nonya - Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 2:45pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S4: Qpid

I only really find this episode tolerable when Q shows up. The preamble with Vash and the dig speech stuff is awkward and boring. It goes to the "dumb but enjoyable" part only when the Robin Hood situation shows up.
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