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Sat, Jun 21, 2014, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Hope Jammer gets around to his review soon...

I saw STID for the first time a few days ago. I had been wary of seeing it at the cinema because of all the hype.

I think that it is definitely pretty visually in parts and I think that the characterisation of Bones and Kirk is good. Spock is a bit hit and miss, and Scotty and Uhura seem to bear little resemblance to the originals.

But yes, for me the scene where the Vengeance wipes out a big chunk of San Francisco was a bit much.

For me, Spock going crazy on Khan would have been tolerable if there had been some kind of self-examination with it, but no, none of that... it's more like Data with a fused emotion chip.

Plus, as some have mentioned above, Starfleet can now do just about anything, transport across the galaxy, traverse vast differences in seconds, etc., etc. If this is the equivalent of TOS, who knows what would be possible by the time we got to rebooted TNG.

I did like the rebooted Klingons though, and the first part on the planet Nibiru although it was completely ridiculous, at least it was more a more original portrayal of an alien world than we usually get on Trek.

As for the hoary old "would Gene or wouldn't Gene" debate, well, I think if anyone can bear to sit through TOS, he or she would see that the original view of the Star Trek universe was inconsistent at best, and unwatchable at worst, and I really don't think that "Geneism" is a coherent philosophy. Yes, it seems there were certain points he wanted to make about life, humanity, etc. But he certainly wasn't above contradicting himself. I think in certain aspects, especially in that first scene, this movie was reminiscent of TOS, and the confrontation with corrupt or power-mad Starfleet adversaries certainly occurred while the almightly Gene was still around in TNG, and was definitely a theme in post-Gene DS9 too.

Yes, this film is definitely made for those with a shorter attention span, but I think it's unfair to say it is completely without any reflection on deeper "Gene-type" (or should that be genotype, haha) themes) - how far would you go to save your child being one that comes to mind.

I do see the underlying alternate universe idea being preserved and slightly built upon from ST 2009, and I think that some are slightly unfair in saying that there was no thought behind this one, and that it is only action, and explosions and sex.

I think that making any Trek series or movie, if you're not the almighty Gene or working with the classics is always going to make you the target of a huge amount of hate... it is absolutely impossible to please everyone and you must have to have a skin at least two meters thick, and frankly, I don't know why anyone would stick with it. Basically, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, and maybe that's what Abrams has done here... he knows what he's going to get from Trek fandom so he's taken his approach and run with it.

Having said that, I do think that many of the criticisms above are entirely valid, but I also think that at least it has resuscitated the franchise for a few years more, and that might give it a bit of time while it awaits for someone with a view more in line with the purists to come along and make something that they feel reflects what Trek is supposed to be.

But I would insist, Trek has always, always been hit and miss, in all of its incarnations - the series, the movies... It's never necessarily been pure science fiction or pure philosophy, or pure television or cinematic gold, and more than once has been rubbish (and I'm a pretty die-hard fan myself but I can admit that), and it's that bizarre mix that makes Trek what it is - and to reiterate, that's why I can tolerate these movies and even enjoy them in a shallow sense (and even in a not so shallow sense, they do have their moments) - they give Trek a few more years and the possibility of reinventing itself yet again in the future. And perhaps they will have got some younguns interested in investigating the past incarnations, and it's there they will find the deeper messages, and perhaps be inspired to make something better themselves some day. But let's not completely crucify those who have given our beloved franchise a new lease on life, even if its not entirely to our liking.
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Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

While I would usually be in the "Geordi is a creep" camp, I'm afraid that I can't be here. I understand their arguments, but the Holo-Leah was not programmed by Geordi to flirt with him or say those things, it was just extrapolating on the records of her personality, with a certain margin of error. But Geordi can't be blamed for how the hologram unfolded. Now if he had purposefully programmed Leah to be like that, sure, he would be a creep, but that wasn't the case... He originally only conjured her up to help with an engineering problem. Now, having said that, Leah's reaction is entirely justified, as others have argued, but Geordi did not have unsavory motives when holo-Leah was created.
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Wed, Dec 18, 2013, 7:19am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

Mark - I've been thinking about the UT too, and I've concluded that the only way to understand it is that it's a telepathy machine... it makes you hear the thoughts of the other alien in your language, and it manipulates your speech centers/ functions/ whatever into speaking an alien language. That's the only way to understand it. That also helps understand why sometimes we "hear" Klingons or whoever speaking their own language in a rite or ritual, because they want us to hear their own language, and the universal telepathy machine picks up on that desire that they have that others hear them speak in their own language.

Otherwise of course, totally impossible, as every single word in every language has a long history that has taken it to where it is: culture, trends, history, geography etc., all have an impact, and there's no way a universal translator based on decoding syntax could possible decipher that in a few seconds.

As for the ep., I think Jammer was a little harsh, definitely better than the Enterprise standard
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Sun, Nov 24, 2013, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Shakaar

My main criticism here would most definitely be the music... awful.

Besides that, Kai Winn is an awfully loveable villain!

And Kira becomes more and more attractive character-wise as time goes on.
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Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Distant Voices

I agree with Zack... best to view it as on purpose by Garak.
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Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Visionary

One thing about this, and the last episode, Odo seems to be finding out a lot from "friends" in Starfleet... when and where exactly did Odo make all of these friends in Starfleet? Seems to come up out of the blue given what we know about the character.
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Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Prophet Motive

I'm not usually a big Ferengi ep. fan, but I thought this was amusing enough.

The Quark orb scene with Zek was good, as was the scene with the prophets.

I also agree with Paul above, in light of later revelations about Bashir, perhaps this is an early hint at the direction his story is about to take.

Plus the crew ribbing him is enjoyable to see.
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Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

Oops, should be "Sisko's role as emissary," not prophet, in the first paragraph.

But I'll take advantage of this correction to say that O'Brien's romance with one of the vipers was also enjoyable.
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Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

This is one of my favorites of the whole series, and perhaps the best exposition of Bajoran religion and Sisko's role as prophet, still within a reasonable framework.

Loved the vipers, loved the rogue vedik, loved Kira's exposition of her true feelings about Sisko as emissary and the conflict they cause, loved it all. Also, Dax wasn't as objectionable here as usual, especially in her chat with the Cardies.

As far as the religious debate, well, the prophets are beings outside time, why couldn't they share their knowledge through "prophecy"? For me it doesn't weaken the "Roddenberry universe" at all, as the prophets do exist as beings.

For me the true message of this episode is not science vs. religion, but Kira's conflicting roles as faithful Bajoran and second officer on a station, which it does present very well.
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Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 7:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

It was silly, but as far as silly episodes go, not toooo awful.

The Sisko-Bareil fight was amusing, the Lwaxana-Odo scene at the end was at least a tiny bit moving, and all the characters did their crazy roles reasonably well.

Plus I think the Keiko-O'Brien scenes are reasonable, these tensions arise in couples sometimes.
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Sat, Nov 16, 2013, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rules of Acquisition

While no classic, this episode is important on two fronts:

The first mention of the dominion, and the first Ferengi female (unless I'm mistaken).

While definitely a filler, at least it shows DS9 was working off a long term plan in terms of the dominion. This really contrasts with Enterprise over its 4 season run, which was one bizarre lurch in a wildly different direction after another, which surely part of what led to its early and unfortunate demise.

As for Pel, well, at least it gives us an original insight into a species that has always been rather two-dimensional... unfortunately though, even DS9 never manages to redeem the Ferengi... I still think there was a missed opportunity there with the Dominion and the Ferengis' role in the events that unfold.
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Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 9:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Circle

What's interesting to me is the sexual undertones between Jaro and Winn, which appear later in the series between Winn and another villain... I think this is a subtle (or not so subtle) character aspect effectively incorporated by the actress, mixing sexual desire and manipulation into a religious figure. For me the Bajoran general was one of the better characters here... I found Jaro a bit two dimensional.

Also, the whole Bajoran religious heirarchy is shown as rather secular, which I like, more believable than later (and earlier) mysticism...
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Thu, Nov 7, 2013, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

Some points for originality surely...

But this did feel more like a Voyager episode, down to the music and everything.

As someone else has said, the ship seemed very, very empty in this episode, almost as much as when everyone was disappearing into Wesley's Wacky Warp bubble.

But yes, there was a certain "mojo" missing here that meant a possibly good idea fell to bits.

Stewart seems especially wooden here, Worf out of place in a number of scenes, Troi seems to have gone back 5 years.
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Sun, Nov 3, 2013, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Frame of Mind

Haha, good one, Dirge!

We could also ask why Data can escape from his monotone when he's acting but not in his day to day life.
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Fri, Nov 1, 2013, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Ship in a Bottle

While I can't claim to be as eloquent as William B, I must say that this episode is one of the very few that enormously improves on later viewing... I really did enjoy it much, much more on later viewings, and especially knowing about Moriarty's ruse... I think that helps a great deal, and perhaps should have been hinted at earlier, so that the audience was in on the deal and Picard et. al. weren't.
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Mon, Oct 21, 2013, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

I thought Crusher was especially impressive here... she's come a long way, and is almost as interesting as Pulaski. Excellent!
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