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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Sep 1, 2016, 3:58am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

This is the first movie in the reboot series that I feel I can recommend to anyone.

The first one just set up the reboot. It had a few backreferences, mostly for the benefit of old fans, and that felt just right. It didn't have a lot of meat, but enough of it that sitting out the film wasn't a chore.

STID was a mess. The less said about that, the better. If I wanted to see Wrath of Khan, I'll just pop in a DVD, thankyouverymuch.

I was in serious doubt about watching the third movie of this series -- but then I heard that JJ Abrams didn't direct. And that got me sold. After all, I haven't seen much of Abrams' work, but what I've seen all boils down to the same:

"Let's take a successful storyverse, and redo it, and add a lot of backreferences, wink wink".

Star Trek 2009 - check
Star Trek Into Darkness - check
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - check (that's just a simple remake of "A New Hope" - except the farmboy is now a farmgirl. Whatever).

There's a pattern here.

I'm sure it's loads of fun to make a movie in "homage" to whatever you loved growing up, and to be nostalgic about that, but you know what JJ? When I go to watch a new movie, I *don't* want to be nostalgic about old ones. If I want to do that, I'll just watch the damn old movie instead, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, I enjoyed Beyond way more than what I had been expecting. The visuals around Yorktown were stunning; I'm usually wary of Hollywood overdoing it on the CGI, but here it actually *works*. The plot got a little slow after the gratuitous destruction of Enterprise (which I could have done without, but ah well), and there were a few other minor issues, but overall I think the movie works, and that it managed to keep me entertained.

With that in mind, I don't agree with Jammer rating this less than STID. Ah well, we all have our opinion, I suppose.
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Wouter Verhelst
Fri, Dec 11, 2015, 1:36am (UTC -6)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

I'd favor something I can actually watch. CBS All access sounds like something very much U.S.-specific; watching that over here in Belgium might be complicated...
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Dec 1, 2015, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Dead Stop

The computer voice made me think of that other Roxann Dawson computer voice in "Dreadnought", even before I realized that it was her. It gave a certain creepy character to it, which only enriches the whole experience of this episode. Two AIs who turn to killing innocent living beings. Can't be a coincidence.

Dawson would be great as a villain in some show or movie.
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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Jun 4, 2015, 6:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Shuttlepod One

Just finished watching this for the first time ever. What a godawful episode.

Character building? Maybe if you count 'trite and cliché' as an interesting character trait.

The acting was pretty horrible; the writing went for the obvious far too often ('We have two guys locked up together. Let's make them fight!'); and overall, there wasn't really anything interesting being said to or about our characters.

All in all, I'd give it half a star, since I did manage to finish it, even though it's late and I'm pretty tired. Okay, make that a whole star. The special effects were okay.

No, that's not why I wanted to watch this...
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Wouter Verhelst
Sat, Dec 13, 2014, 10:09am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Collective

"Four of the five drones (as well as a Borg infant that is beamed aboard the ship)"

I just rewatched this episode for the first time in a long time, and realized that this infant is never heard from again. The doctor saved its life, so it's still on the ship, but it is never so much as mentioned in any future episode. Presumably, when Mezoti, Azan and Rebi leave the ship some time later, the infant leaves as well, but it would've been nice to see some follow-up on that part of this story. Ah well...
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 3:48am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I enjoyed Into Darkness. Sortof. About as much as I enjoyed "The Expendables", which I went to see on a whim a few years back.

I didn't like Into Darkness, though. There were far too many roll-my-eyes moments for that. Things that were supposed to be subtle pointers to previous episodes or films of the Star Trek universe, but were so in your face it wasn't even funny.

When the 2009 film came out, I was looking forward to a fresh take on the whole Star Trek universe. A reboot was exactly what Star Trek needed; there was far too many baggage, far too much history, to continue making fresh stories. This is a different starfleet; it would make sense that they would interpret their rules somewhat differently.

A reboot could revisit some ethical questions from the past and reinterpret them differently, considering current (as opposed to 1960s or 1980s) ethics, morals, and events. That would've been interesting.

What do we get instead? Essentially, a remake of "Wrath of Khan". I mean, sure, WoK was a good movie, though it's been far too long since I last saw it. But any remake is going to be crap in comparison to the original.

I don't think I'll be going to a movie theater to see the next installment -- if there is going to be one, that is.
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Wouter Verhelst
Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 3:13am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

@Yarko:

I agree that the episode has many problems. But the interpersonal conflict between Neelix and Tuvok works, in my opinion.

Is Neelix an annoying character? I can see why people think so, even though I don't agree with that sentiment. Even so, annoying people do exist in real life, too. The fact that Neelix is annoying in and of itself doesn't make him unrealistic as a character. I don't think that people who find him annoying are necessarily "clueless".

That Tuvok is condescending towards everyone in the carriage is completely irrelevant. Personally, I can tolerate condescending people for a while, but if I have to live with them for a long time, eventually my patience runs out; and if I believe I'm right about something and people are just dismissing me out of hand, the limit of my patience will be reached much earlier.

Both are true in the case of the Neelix/Tuvok interaction here: Tuvok isn't condescending just in this episode, the two have a history, while Tuvok doesn't have that history with other people in the carriage (they're throwaway characters) Additionally, it's Neelix who came up with the idea that perhaps there's something out on the roof, and Tuvok doesn't even entertain the possibility.

Is an emotional outburst, as Neelix had one in this episode, the most productive way to solve the problem? Most likely not. Is it a human, understandable, and believable way? Absolutely.
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Wouter Verhelst
Sat, Mar 2, 2013, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Treachery, Faith, and the Great River

I just *love* the Nog/O'Brien story here. We already know Nog isn't afraid to use his Ferengi talents (Saurian Brandy anyone?), but here we see how it works out in detail.

It's not always something we'd want to be involved in, but Nog's heart certainly is in the right place. And indeed, O'Brien's reactions to Nog's exploits are... fun to watch.
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Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

@Chris yeah, I couldn't believe that either. That line should have been "There will be no one to grow up to become this Molly, and we'd be out of a plot". It's such a cop-out.
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Wouter Verhelst
Thu, May 3, 2012, 4:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

I never liked this episode. That's to say, if it had been part of another show, one playing in mid-20th century Harlem, I might've liked it. But as it is, I don't.

Is this episode watchable? Yes. Does it ask "interesting" questions? Probably. Does it have anything to do with the entire premise of DS9? Not even remotely.

Yes, in the mid 20th century, being black in the US probably wasn't a very interesting proposition. But in the 24th century of Star Trek, it's a non-issue. It has absolutely no relevance to what's going on around DS9, other than "it's a dream to Sisko". Or was it a "vision from the profets"? If so, then wtf were they trying to tell him? I haven't got a clue.

When I first watched this episode, I remember wondering to myself halfway through when they will finally get to the point. There isn't any. The episode starts off with Sisko being desperate about lost friends, then we get a whole "dream" or "vision" about something not involving anything remotely related to that emotional pain, and then we get a payoff where Sisko is feeling magically cured of his desperation. I don't buy it.

It's interesting to see the regulars playing some other characters, I suppose, but ultimately, this episode adds nothing to the show in the way that some other episodes do. When we look at Season 7's "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", we also see our characters in semi-historical settings; but that one works much better for me, because it's actually *our characters*, not some throwaway characters that we see once and never after, which just happen to be played by our same regular actors.

Essentially, this episode just doesn't work for me.
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Wouter Verhelst
Wed, Feb 16, 2011, 5:30am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

Jammer,

I've read many of your reviews, and often find myself agreeing with them, and your score, /after/ reading the review, even if I didn't agree with your score beforehand. But there's one thing I vehemently disagree with, and that's your dislike of Neelix.

I find Neelix very much to be a multi-layered personality. I don't think he's someone who's fully coped with the loss of his parents and his sister yet; his often lightheaded jokes seem to me to be nothing more than a way to camouflage the sadness that is still in his heart. When he dies in "Mortal Coil", it seems to me that he's not so much sad about realizing there's no afterlife, as he is about realizing he won't see them again.

The contrast of Neelix against Tuvok is also something that, I think, works very well. In this particular episode, we see it get to a head. Neelix has been putting up with this dismissive Vulcan who wants nothing to do with him for a very very long time, even though he considers him a friend (and Tuvok knows this). When he believes there's something important on the roof, Tuvok believes he's just being silly, and dismisses him without even considering the possibility that he might be right. That just pushes the built-up tension to the surface, and Neelix and Tuvok get into an argument. Not at the most convenient of times, I'll grant you, but these kinds of arguments often do.

Also, I don't see his stopping the tether carriage as childlike. If the party inside the carriage wants to go and investigate what's up on the roof, that needs to happen when there's actually still air outside, since I don't think there are any space suits in the carriage. Granted, someone could take a shuttle from Voyager and do it that way, but that takes time, and we're in a crunch here. Neelix doesn't actually say it with so many words, but his "we're not moving until someone checks" does make sense in that light.

I'll grant you that the acting and directing wasn't stellar; but I do think that based on Neelix and Tuvok's history, the interpersonal conflict presented here seems very believable in my eyes, and would warrant more than just 1.5 stars.

Oh, and regarding the technical feasibility, you might want to check the wikipedia page on 'Space elevator' :-)
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