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Eric
Sat, May 13, 2017, 7:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I agree that The Force Awakens had heart and that's why it works in spite of having all of Abrams' usual problems. I found Rogue One to be an absolute chore to get through.
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Eric
Mon, May 8, 2017, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Jammer's refusal to do anything with B5 is quite bewildering.

Also, @Benjamin's statement And, honestly, was this a story that needed to be told? Wasn't the first paragraph of the opening crawl of A New Hope enough to convey what happened?

That's why these anthology films were a terrible idea and feel like a lame excuse to churn out an SW film every year. I certainly will not be seeing any more anthology films unless reviews or word of mouth from friends are good. The only reason why I will see The Last Jedi is because I am curious what Rian Johnson's take on SW will look like.

I also find it interesting that, over the last eight years, I've gone from liking Abrams' work to disliking it and siding with the people who are fed up with being written down to by Hollywood. I enjoyed the first Star Trek reboot film, but thought Into Darkness was a total mess. The Force Awakens was an enjoyable enough ride in the theater, but at home I found myself wondering why I bothered to watch it again. The fact that JJ and Disney chose to make a total re-tread of A New Hope with no exposition rubs me the wrong way. It seems that in the Trek world, the unhappy fans actually have some semblance of power since the reboot films have underperformed. SW, on the other hand, will make bucketloads of money no matter how lousy the product.
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Eric
Sun, May 7, 2017, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

Read A Stitch in Time immediately if you care at all about getting to the heart of the mystery that is Elim Garak!

/SPOILER!!!!

Garak's exile didnt have anything to do with the occupation of Bajor. He was in love with a married woman and had an illicit affair with her against Tain's explicit orders (Tain of course was also his father) . He ended up killing her husband after he found out and abducted Garak. He also innadvertantly killed Dukat's father during an unofficial Obsidian Order interrogation both of which led to his exposure to the Central Command, who ultimately exiled him.
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Eric
Sun, Apr 30, 2017, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Someone to Watch Over Me

Ron Moore really missed an opportunity not making Kara's dad the 13th Cylon. As Jammer points out, it fits so perfectly.
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Eric
Sun, Apr 30, 2017, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Deadlock

Wow, the DVD deleted scenes don't save this one but they explain a ton of the plot holes. Caprica was in Dog's Ville to get herbal remedies for morning sickness, the marines abandoned food after being overrun - Galactica's crew wasn't just ignoring the civvies, the Cylons asked for a private meeting around and didn't just ditch Lee/Roslin/whoever else, the Centurions are brought up before the last scene, etc.

Many of the characterizations (e.g. Adama giving Baltar guns) still don't make sense, but at least with the deleted scenes there's a half-hearted explanation. This one would REALLY benefit from being re-cut.
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Eric S.
Sat, Apr 29, 2017, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Ultimate Computer

There's one thing about this episode that has always cracked me up, and nobody really ever seems to mention it. When the Enterprise begins firing on the other ships Wesley instantly jumps to the conclusion that Kirk, a good friend a respected starfleet captain, has lost his mind and is trying to "prove something" by killing everyone. Not for one second does he consider that maybe, just maybe, the brand new prototype computer that they are in the process of testing might be malfunctioning. So Wesley is either incredibly stupid or he really doesn't think much of Kirk.
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Eric
Sun, Apr 9, 2017, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

From an artistic standpoint, the greatest success of the original trilogy was in its world-building. This is something that talented authors like Timothy Zahn and Brian Daley (R.I.P.) not only understood, but were able to continue. The Disney dickrag suits have no interest in doing anything of this sort. That's why seeing this particular new owner turned loose in the store, as Jammer put it, makes me sad. These new films feel hollow, and Rogue One in particular feels unimaginative and heartless. I have some hope that Johnson may give us a good film in December, but the reports that Disney modified his script smell of a repeat of the Star Trek Beyond scenario. I'm not even a huge old expanded universe fan. I think most of the stories written from 1994 onward were mediocre at best. But there was more heart in some of those novels than in either of Disney's films.

My personal cannon:
The prequel novelizations (mainly RotS)
The radio dramatizations of the original trilogy
Zahn's Thrawn trilogy
The first Dark Empire only
Nothing else
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Eric
Mon, Apr 3, 2017, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Unfinished Business

I think Angela nailed it re: the motivations of the characters. She'll presumably never see this comment since it's been 7 years, but I thought her insight was great!
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Eric
Sun, Jan 8, 2017, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I thought it was mediocre, with way too much forced humor and unsubtle attempts at fan service. The first third was a disjoined mess that jumped around needlessly with flimsy characters. The battle at the end was entertaining enough, but Leia's appearance was completely unnecessary. The NPR play from the 80's told a far better tale of Leia obtaining the death star plans. They could have easily made this film with just a slight change without completely trampling that story. I'm not sure what's more frustrating, the fact that Lucas sat on the property for so long that Fisher now won't be able to finish the third trilogy (RIP) or the fact that Disney's treatment seems to lack the mythical magic of the originals. I love Star Wars and will continue to see these films, but my expectations for subsequent installments are diminishing.
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Eric
Thu, Jan 5, 2017, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

I found the premise of this episode to be so unbelievable as to make everything else unwatchable. So, you can just split off the hosts like they are just Lego pieces? And they can go into a shape shifter as well as "solids"? Like a little puff of smoke after some chanting? Ridiculous.
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Eric
Fri, Dec 30, 2016, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

I wanted to see Alixus thrown in the box at the end and was disappointed to see she gets off easy... and then the hostages choose to stay? How awful
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Eric
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

A pedestrian action film saved by some nice Spock/Bones interplay and humor. The villain and fight sequences grew very tiresome and repetitive. The twist at the end, in which the villain turned out to be an ancient being who feels he has no purpose without conflict, reminded me of TNG's power play and Babylon 5's shadows. But that's not a problem and makes him slightly more interesting.

Over all, better than Into Darkness but not as good as the first reboot film. I think it misses some of JJ's sleek pacing, particularly during the planet scenes. If the powers that be could marry JJ's direction with a more subtly clever script, we could get a real winner of a movie.
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Eric
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Not surprised Jammer gave it a positive review since he'd stated he bought the movie. I generally agree with his opinions ("Balance of Terror" aside), but can't here. The callbacks are lazily written and slapstick, the thematic content is thin, and the recreated death scene with the roles reversed feels completely unearned. Two stars from me as it's enjoyable at times. I'm going to see Beyond shortly and hope it's better. I think the fact that the filmmakers don't seem to be blatantly aping a classic this time around will help.
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Eric
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: Independence Day: Resurgence

I think the fact that this is almost half an hour shorter than the original and doesn't run past two hours might automatically make it better than the original.

I watched a little of red letter media's peace on it last night although the half in the bag format is terrible. Mike should stick to the Plinkett format, he doesn't perform well enough off-the-cuff for the half in the bag pieces to work.
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Eric
Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: Independence Day: Resurgence

I should've known jammer would review this given how many times he's mentioned the original in his writings (his review of Voy's The Killing Game comes to mind).

I too want to see this since I enjoyed the first one well enough as an eight-year-old, but after reading the reviews I will probably just wait for it to show up on streaming services.

Also, I think Star Trek Beyond is going to perform similarly to this at the box office. The Fanbase just is not energized and nothing I've seen suggests that it will draw in a big mainstream crowd even with that Rihanna song. I hope the movie is good and I am wrong, but I'm quite skeptical.
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Eric
Thu, Jan 28, 2016, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

The problem with it is that it ruins the subtlety and diminishes the effect of the original scene. There was no reason to insert references to the prequels into these movies. Plus, tinkering with another director's work is unbelievably tacky and just shouldn't be done.
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Eric
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

No comment on Vader yelling "no!" Before throwing the emperor down the shaft on the Blu-ray? That's the single most irritating thing about the Blu-rays.
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Eric
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

While reading this, I found myself thinking back to your review of The Matrix Reloaded in which you slagged the prequels although at the time there were only two of them. I guess if you remove the Anakin and Padme romance, AotC is an OK movie. But I never ever ever feel like watching it, so couldn't give it more than 2 1/2 stars.
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Eric
Thu, Dec 31, 2015, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Distant Origin

My biggest problem with this episode, the warp plasma that was used to track VOYAGER, is not from voyager. Neelix got the plasma from the station chief from the space station orbiting the expanse when they were trying to get the drug dealers arrested.
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Eric
Sat, Aug 15, 2015, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@W Smith he bought the film on blu-ray though. I think STID is a big mess that pissed away a lot of potential established by the first film, but since he bought it, I can't see Jammer giving it less than 2 1/2 stars.
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Eric
Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Afterimage

I always had a crush on Nicole Deboer so I of course loved the addition of Ezri Dax to DS9. Her relationship with Worf was intriguing and I was gratified later in the season to see her and Julian hook up (he finally got Dax)! I think people are way too hard on her...
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eric
Wed, Jun 10, 2015, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

I am getting so tired of all the haters complaining about Avery Brooks' performances, especially in an episode like this one where he truly was spectacular (Beyond the Stars also was an amazing performance that is unfairly criticized on this site). This is undoubtedly one of the top 10 Trek episodes of all time (though I'd place Visitor and Stars ahead of it in DS9's run) and is simply spell-binding from start to finish. The story is another perfect job by Fields who also did perhaps my all time favorite Trek episode (The Inner Light) even if Moore may have taken a rewrite credit. I just can't say enough about this episode but I will try to nail down the important points:

-First, while Avery Brooks was stellar in this reluctantly menacing turn as Sisko, the obvious super star of the episode was Andrew Robinson as Garak, as always. This guy is simply the finest actor on the series and his episodes truly never disappoint. The writing and performance come together here even more so than any other Garak episode I can think of (though "The Die is Cast" comes to mind as well) and the payoff is spellbinding television.

-Second, the riveting suspense sustained throughout the episode is palpable and visceral. Jammer was not kidding about "being glued to the TV"! I truly feared for the survival of the Federation when Vreenak hissed, "It's a faaaaake!" Each act compounded the suspense and the twist end definitely caught me by surprise the first time I watched this way back in '98.

-Third, the flashback style as narrated by Sisko trying to justify what he has done is a very effective plot device that gives the episode a foreboding foreshadowing quality that gives away just enough info to make the viewer wary as to what is coming without giving away the game. I totally agree with Jammer here that the final scene is palpable in its emotional context, giving us a glimpse of what this ordeal has done to Sisko and the emotional toll that has been exacted upon him throughout the entire Dominion war. I would argue that the immoral decisions he made during "For the Uniform" could also be ascribed to this sustained stress level he has been subjected to over such a sustained period of time.

-Finally, I must comment on the resolution of the episode, which I find brilliant and so "Garak" in character. Always my favorite character of the series, this strikes me as just the sort of thing he would do, misdirecting everyone (even Sisko who was his "partner in crime" so to speak) while staying two steps ahead to ensure his goal was reached by any means necessary. This is exactly the sort of intelligent and devious plan that only he could have dreamed up, much less pulled off. I wonder if, when the writers first conjured up the idea of an Cardassian ex-spy recurring character, they had any idea how perfectly realized his potential would become over the run of DS9? Obviously the lion-share of credit must go to Robinson, who's smooth and powerful delivery allowed the writers the luxury of fully fleshing out the character in a way not often seen in a guest starring role. To be honest, Garak in many ways is a more complete and essential character in the show than some of the main cast.

Well there you have it. I decided against going into my personal feelings regarding the controversial aspects of this episode vis-a-vis Rodenberry's vision and ITPM's "ends justify the means" mentality. To be honest, DS9's darker tone and penchant for showing how in real life there are no easy answers to complex questions set it apart from the other series and was a breath of fresh air in what had become a slightly stale franchise by the end of TNG's run. Sisko is my favorite Captain precisely because he seems so much more believable as a person than the others. I don't care how "evolved" we become as a society (and flat out reject the slavishly liberal tone of the rest of the series), when you face an existential crisis as acute as what has befallen the Federation during the Dominion War, you do what you have to to survive and that is an undeniable truth that I'm sure will exist in the 24th century just as it does in the 21st.
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Eric
Mon, May 18, 2015, 11:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

There have been a lot of interesting comments posted here on this episode, always one of my very favorite for DS9. I would suggest that any of you Garak lovers out there pick up a copy of the book called "A Stitch in Time" written by Andrew Robinson, the actor who played Garak in the show. It is quite simply the very best Star Trek novel ever written and gives a fascinating perspective of Garak's entire life both before and after the events of the series.
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Eric
Sun, Oct 19, 2014, 12:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

No mention of the idiotic moment when Jeordi has no idea how the subspace conduit works, and yet he is able to duplicate the tachyon pulse to activate it after just two tries and mumbling something about, "Okay, how about a low bandwidth pulse?" And VOOM! the conduit opens and the Enterprise can use it. All to keep the ridiculously contrived plot moving.

Jeordi says that the subspace conduit is "100 times as efficient as our warp drive." You'd think that if it were that easy to open a conduit through subspace that could allow a ship to travel 65 light years in a few seconds, that Jeordi would take a couple notes and release a paper or something... You know, ditch that outdated warp drive crap. Of course, after this episode it is never mentioned again. Stupid.
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Eric
Fri, Oct 10, 2014, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

My favourite thing about this episode was Laas's criticism of humans, and how we dominate everything, and often don't care about other species (in Trek's case - any species that can't talk). I thought of this episode when I listened to a segment on the radio where they were talking about the huge number of birds that get killed every year by bumping into glass windows. There's plenty of examples like this, where we accidentally kill animals, or cause them to become endangered. So yeah, I completely buy that someone in the Trek universe would dislike "humanoids", if all the "humanoids" are really similar to humans anyway. Not saying the hate is entirely fair, just saying that its credible.

One thing that I didn't buy was the meat comment. Bashir was eating meat, they showed this as somehow proving Laas's point. I always thought the meat in Trek was replicated, and why wouldn't it be? Raising animals just to slaughter them eventually, then ship the meat over long distances is extremely inefficient! If you can create meat artificially, you'll do it.

Another thought: If I were Odo, I'd be wondering if his people have a tendency towards bigotry. Every changeling he's met so far has been a misanthrope, even this one that has never met the founders; he got his racist attitude on his own.


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