Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 1,354 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 55
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I haven't always agreed with you Jammer, but I think you got this review just right. When a TV show is so technically achieved that it can attract cinephiles on the basis of cinematography alone, that's nothing to sneeze at. I can think of some TNG and DS9 episodes with less than stellar writing (ex. "Timescape", "Blood Oath") which succeed in spite of themselves because of the charm of the actors and behind-the-scenes technical achievements. However technical achievements alone do not make a show work (look no further than "Threshold" which won an Emmy for make-up but was an utter failure in the storytelling department). You can't always win the day through panache and spectacle, so I hope the writers have learned something from this season. Indeed, there were some well-written episodes like "New Eden", "An Obol for Charon" and "Project Daedalus" which should serve as template for future good Discovery.

On a side note, Rahul deserves special credit for landing so close to Jammer's star score each episode, even if for different reasons. In large part, I noticed only a 0.5 star variance between the two reviews. Nice job, Rahul :-)
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Elliott, I would say even if your analogy is true, this episode was a clear case of a situation that called for paramedics. DS9 was hit hard, severely damaged and there was a ticking clock on the whole endeavor. If Sisko and co. stood around giving lectures like the teachers you purport them to be, the rogue Jem'Hadar would get the portals working and all of this discussion about what Starfleet *should be* would be purely academic.

As Peter-Jackson has pointed out, this isn't the first or only episode that has put Starfleet officers is in a highly militarized situation and expected them to do well. My only take away from all this is that Starfleet can perform just as well as a militarized society when the situation calls for it. The main difference between the Federation and another militarized species (ex. Cardassia) however, is that once a military crisis is over, the citizens will cry for peace and Starfleet will heed that call as we see in episodes like "Paradise Lost".
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

I agree that Starfleet is much different than the Dominion, and that the officers shouldn't be trying to measure themselves by Dominion or Jem'Hadar standards. But, this mission *is* a joint military operation. Since the Romulan War, the Federation has been engaged in many deadly space battles. We the viewer might imagine that military tradition and combat prowess are as much a part of Starfleet as they are any other big power.

While I'm wholeheartedly on board with the notion that, unlike the Dominion, military aggression isn't Starfleet's first choice when dealing with others, we're also told that when the Federation is pushed into a combat situation they aren't slouches. Just earlier this season we had Starfleet officers taking on Klingons in hand-to-hand combat with most the main cast holding their own. Maybe Klingons and Jem'Hadar have genetic physical superiority, but in terms of teamwork and learning from each other, the Federation and Starfleet are undisputed leaders. You could even take it a step further and say that Starfleet uses that teamwork as a tactical advantage when combat is necessary.

This is why I think Sisko's response about discipline to Omet'iklan is good. Starfleet doesn't learn from killing wantonly, it learns by making allowances and setting examples that other members of the Federation can appreciate. Sisko is strict on disciplining Worf, but not in a way that demoralizes Worf or makes other non-humans lose faith in Sisko's authority. The thing about the Dominion is, as we've seen from "Hippocratic Oath", that the Jem'Hadar need to be cracked down on or they'll start questioning the Dominion and the Dominion isn't ready to engage in an open discussion about its command structure. That's the message I get out of this episode, and I think it succeeds on that level.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Alan R.

At the end, Spock recommended that Starfleet Command classify the spore drive. I'm not suggesting that the Discovery crew forgot about it or won't keep using it when they can.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Quincy

That's assuming the Discovery writers bothered to do the research on some secondary Star Trek source which may or may not be canon. Anything is possible, but they'd still have to contend with the 15th century Borg stuff.

My only real point was that they never connected the Borg to Control here and I'm happy with that.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

This episode was both engaging and bizarre. The space battle again gave Star Trek a proper treatment of what a futuristic space conflict could be with modern visual effects. The NY Times' reviewer, Sopan Deb, pointed out how limitations in past Star Trek would lead to these unrealistic battles where the Enterprise would take two hits and be completely crippled (ex. Star Trek: Generations). Here the spectacular fire-fight where Discovery and Enterprise fought long-and-bitterly seemed just right for such powerful ships, although I agree with others that there was too much Star Wars in it.

Contrary to others, I really liked how the signals were linked to the storyline and thought it was cool to have each scene recapped as we saw just what the logic behind the Red Angel was. I'm guessing the showrunners are fans of Super Metroid, because the whole scene with time jumps and the montage beautifully matched that game's intro. As Axiom pointed above, there were a few moments of genuine wonder as Michael looked into the great abyss of the wormhole and made her first jump. This scene was just incredible. Pure dynamite.

Of interest also was Spock's role in all this. Others have criticized that "only women can fix things" in this show, but I hasten to point out that Spock contributed much to Michael's victory. First, Spock figured out that she needed to jump to the past. Second, he pushed her onward after she realized he was going to lose her. And finally, she helped cover up the Discovery's tracks so its work to fix the timeline would remain unhindered. There was also some good dialogue with Michael telling Spock to find someone who was different than him and try to seek a bond with them. This was a very obvious nod to the Spock-Kirk relationship, but it's a sweet setup that explains why Kirk and Spock work well together, without taking anything away from what we already know about them.

What was less good were the Kelpians and Klingons coming out of nowhere to help the two struggling Federation ships. I think it makes sense on some level that they'd be there and I like the idea that we get very different peoples working together to fight a common enemy. However, there's so many head scratchers - like how can L'Rell work with Tyler in plain sight without casting serious suspicions on her role as Emperor? Also, how are the Kelpians suddenly working together with their oppressors to go to battle? I can sort of piece together how these things could work on my own, but I would've liked the show to do it better.

The bizarre thing here is how this episode ends. Everyone is supposed to just forget everything about the Discovery and spore drive because Pike and Spock say so? That seems a little too convenient. What's more is, this undoes a lot of the work that Discovery's writers have done to bring us here. If they were planning all along to take us to the distant future from the start, why try to supplant themselves in the past and subject themselves to these historic canon messes? It just seems weird for the writers to remove their own contribution to the show and I hope they resolve this more in later seasons. I would've liked even just one scene in the future with Discovery letting us know what they plan to do from here. But all we're left with is questions.

Still, this was leaps and bounds better than "Will You Take My Hand?" and there's some cool potential for Discovery and the other shows coming out the gate. Will the next season explore the future with the Discovery, or will we take some time off from them and see how other things develop in Star Trek? It's very puzzling and a little silly--and yet I'm game for it.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 11:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"I seem to remember that in Q Who the Enterprise was tossed to Beta"

Nope.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

So, ahem, in light of this episode marking a completely different direction for the show (no spoilers, I promise, heck I don't even know what will come) the goodbyes here make a lot of sense. Sure the farewells are unearned, paint-by-numbers, trite, derivative, overly-long, but--they are necessary as show markers. I imagine after five more years of this show, people will look back on this episode and say how great it was to have a moment where we reflected on everything that had come before.

Furthermore, I still have PTSD from season one's finale where they needed to wrap a bunch of things up and tried to do it in one episode. "Bad" is too polite a word for what we got. Jammer's cynicism aside, (hey man, they announced the airdates back in December and you still signed up!) I liked having this extra episode to set everything up and prepare us for the finale.

That said, this episode was good in concept but was not very well executed. For example, I would've liked a narrative bridge that put Po into the main show. She's an interesting character, why not give her a full introduction in the show proper? Probably the most effective thing were the goodbye letters the lesser cast members were composing, but they were all too brief. Nevertheless, one could feel that something epic was about to occur and I appreciate the energy here. So, let's just call this a serviceable build up.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"Didn’t you notice the word “Beta Quadrant” at the end (the location of the 7ᵗʰ signal)? I already get Borg vibes for season 3"

Pretty sure the Borg come from the Delta Quadrant, and from the 15th century, no less.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I’ll get into it more later, but I enjoyed this with some reservations. Like FELCommentary mentioned, the VFX for the initial time travel was pretty damn impressive. And of course 1 million points for Control not being the Borg. That alone might have been a good excuse to abandon ship. : )

Yanks wrote:
“‘LT Spock to the bridge’ - Did that sound like Captain Kirk to anyone but me?”

Yeah, weird. I thought the same. Mount’s Pike has much in common with Kirk, so maybe he modeled his some of his performance on Shatner?
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Jammer wrote:

"Sidebar: I guess Pike took the time crystal from Boreth on spec because the appearance of the red burst made him assume a problem would present itself requiring this particular solution; you know, fate and all."

Pike took the crystal because the solution to eliminate the data presented in "Perpetual Infinity" required the time crystal. Saying that he took it only on faith and assumptions is not giving the story enough credit, in my opinion.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Dragana wrote:

"In the same time we can interpret story of second season as metaphor of machine learning and neural networks. Sphere data would be missing component needed for Control to upgrade itself in unpredictable way. Situation would be similar to what happend with AlphaGo and AlphaGoZero, the latter being an “alien” GO player, using weird non-human moves. In this way of thinking the Discovery crew should inspect the Spehere data in the first place, as it has the key to understanding the whole commotion."

Interesting analysis. Yes, I think one of the issues I'm having with the material is the set of Big Data that's supposed to hold the power to dominate the universe if used by the wrong people (i.e. Section 31). The thing is, we've only seen one or two episodes of Discovery using the data to its own benefit. If the data itself is so powerful, why doesn't the crew use something in the data to defeat Control? It boils down to the broader argument: why is knowledge only evil, why can't it be used for good? And, I don't think the writers have handled this issue very well. I think we see a glimpse of this argument being developed in "New Eden" where they debated giving the colony information about Starfleet and whether that knowledge would help them or hurt them in the long run. And that issue comes up again on Kaminar. There's a skeleton of a theme about knowledge in season 2 I can piece together, but I'd like to see this thematic element brought to the foreground more often.

I don't mind DISC having broad arcs (DS9 sure had them), but they need to tether the message to the material better.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

This is the funniest review I've read of this episode, thanks Elliott! I really do wonder why Kasidy was sympathetic to the Marquis. Are we supposed to read her whole backstory from the "paragon of virtue" insult she gives Sisko when discussing Starfleet earlier? That doesn't really follow though, since a) she's just kidding and b) even if she wasn't kidding, she seems to be referring to Sisko specifically - not Starfleet.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Entertaining no doubt! I’ll save judgment until the second part.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Great review, Jammer. You keep bringing up that you don't understand points of the story and I wonder if this is because you think the writers aren't doing a very good job, or that you don't have time to go back and rewatch for the details?

The time crystal thing is truly convoluted, though. I tried typing the motive for needing them and well - it just doesn't add up. The best I can summarize is that they came up with a method to destroy the Control data last episode using the time crystal and now that it's gone they need another one. But, they can just self-destruct the ship so...(head explodes)
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Wed, Apr 10, 2019, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@Peter G.

I don't think we're too far apart so I don't really see a problem continuing the discussion. Indeed, I'm not trying to say that there aren't really artists who work painfully hard to be successful. I live near L.A., and believe me, I've met all kinds of people who have made crazy sacrifices to be here for the small chance of catching a break. To that end, this episode could've been a successful recanting of some of the hardships the writers went through, as I think we can safely assume the writers here are successful ones who beat the odds, fighting poverty and the like. But the issue at hand is (or at least my issue), is that the story meaningfully being conveyed here? If not, what could've made Jake's problems more relatable?
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Wed, Apr 10, 2019, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

FWIW I see William B's point here; that people struggle in all varieties of careers, and there's nothing *inherently* special about writers or artists in that regard. Indeed many of my friends who were art majors went on to have good careers in offices they enjoy and still work on their art as a private enterprise during their personal time. So, I think the artist who sacrifices everything including livelihood, like Jake is doing metaphorically here, is a wee bit of romanticism. But hey, I could roll with it if the whole story was presented in a better package as Peter suggested.

You know what's great about Far Beyond The Stars? The episode successfully immerses the audience in the life of a struggling black writer. Despite any romanticism, the story itself is so gripping and real, that you feel for Sisko and want him to succeed. I don't know if it's the silliness of the magic at work here in this episode, but for some reason it's really hard to get invested in Jake's "predicament" in the same way.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Tue, Apr 9, 2019, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

That's a wonderful insight, William B. It's also worth noting that there's an actor allusion to the audience here for Bebe Neuwirth's Lanel as well. She is famous for portraying another popular character who is a cold vessel repressing immense sexual urges in Cheers.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@Elliott

Fair point and just to clarify - my comment was a bit tongue in cheek - I don't really mind much whether the alien's motivation for using Jake is valid or not. I just find it funny how oddly specific the alien is about singling out writers. And of course, the alien in question is a sultry woman whose attachment to Jake has some unquestionable sexual overtones, as you mention. I suppose that in "The Visitor" I found Melanie's visit to Jake to be much more sincere and believable (in fact, I think The Visitor is based off reclusive writer J. D. Salinger's visit from a high school student, which is a pretty cool piece of production trivia). Here on the other hand, Onaya's attraction plays like a piece of self-indulgence for the writers who'd like to depict themselves as chick magnets holding some sort of mysterious ultimate power. While that may indeed be true for a handful of writers, on the whole it seems woefully like wishful thinking to me. But hey, I don't hang out in writers' circles, maybe they all really are fighting off sexually voracious women.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

I don't know, call me cynical, but I can't get over the fact that this is a writers' self-insert episode. Writers are SO great that attractive alien women come out of nowhere to feed on them and use their energy to uhm...wait, what was Onaya using the energy for? Is this "Man of the People" but with writers instead of empaths?

I'm genuinely glad that you could find so much you enjoyed in this episode, Elliott. Maybe it is an episode that strokes the egos of writers and artists. But for the rest of us normies, hard pass.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Thanks, Jammer. I'm still not 100% it's convinced the news there is real because journalists can get these things wrong, but just the same I'm in the camp where I'd rather not read that stuff without warning.

Maybe it would still be okay if people posted stuff like that with spoiler tags?
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Well, this is a perfect example of the "you can never trust a trailer" phenomenon. Remember last week in the trailer we were teased that a bunch of S31 ships would be chasing down Discovery? Well, that ends up being this weeks cliffhanger, though it turns out to be one of the series' weakest and most predictable "twists".

Otherwise, a pretty much ho-hum episode. I wouldn't mind time crystals if they tried to give them some sort of scientific basis in the show, but the way they're introduced here made me feel like I was watching Avengers Infinity War. I mean seriously, I was waiting for Dr. Strange to come out of the shadows and snatch a time crystal from the temple. We have to imagine that Star Trek is trying to ride on the heels of Disney's success and blockbuster movie hype, when it should really be doing its own thing.

Anyway, the parts with Pike seeing his future were adequately creepy and added some interesting depth to the character, especially for those not familiar with his tragic fate. But, I kind of feel like they're milking Pike for all he's worth, since the radiation incident which leads to his tragic fate isn't suppose to happen for years yet. And, there's no reason Discovery needs to tease us like this as if we're too dumb to go back and watch TOS to connect the dots ourselves.

The Control B-story was much more engaging and on point for me. I like how Saru didn't unquestioningly give Burnham a shuttle to take on the AI all by herself, but had the common sense to have Spock go along with her. We soon meet the surviving Gant at the scene of eerily dead crew members floating in space. We could all tell by his mannerisms that Gant wasn't all he appeared, but it was fun watching him slowly close in Burnham like a specter in some sort of sci-fi thriller. The part where Spock magnetized the floor while Burnham desperately shot at nanoprobes was also a real treat to watch. I love how Spock maintains his cool during this tense situation which I attribute to Peck for playing his role here just right.

Finally, there's the everyday material with Stamets and Culber - oh and for comic relief, Jett Reno (who is apparently a lesbian). You know how Elliott constantly criticizes DS9 for what he calls DS9 banality indulgence (or DBI for short)? That's how I feel about this material. Please spare us the weekly romantic drama. It wasn't very good last season with Burnham and Tyler and it's not serving the plot to tease us with a "will they or won't they" romantic snoozefest in what's heating up to be the climax of the show. It's nice that Discovery develops its characters besides the main bridge crew, but if doing that is going to result in this type of story I'd rather they just left it out.

2 stars.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

I agree with Rahul, I was a bit surprised too. However, I admit I tend to like time travel shows more than others and that extends to other Trek shows like TNG's "Time's Arrow" and "A Matter of Time". I know most consider those shows as some of the low points of the series, but I loved them when they first aired and consider the shows to be "essential Star Trek".

I'll try to address this point:

"But how does Dr. Burnham even know that all life in the galaxy has been destroyed? If she's the only person left, how did she gain that information? And apparently the time suit is also a "go anywhere" suit that allows her to go anywhere, anytime?"

So, the narrative is that Dr. Burnham got stuck in the future and spent a substantial amount of time, well, time traveling (judging by her face, most likely decades). During that time she was able to visit different eras where she could explore and look up history and even make temporary changes. Ultimately though, Control undid or made the changes irrelevant which inevitably led Dr. Burnham to a confrontation with them and inevitably learning all about them.

This reminds me of some hard sci-fi in a similar vein to this story. The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov, is a story of a group of people who mastered time travel and were able to read timelines and determine which would be the best for humanity. I get vibes from that story in this episode and I suppose being exposed to a similar story helps me fill in the gaps. That's not to say that you're wrong, that the writers should be able to leave a lot of gaps in a time travel story, but I just think there's a limit to how much can be explained about a time travel story before it becomes incoherent. This is especially so in a television show whose prime focus isn't time travel, but rather time travel is only a vehicle to tell a broader sci-fi adventure story.

I think the catch in all this is that an explanation that may suffice for some may not for others, and it's difficult to hit that sweet spot. "City on the Edge of Forever" was a great time travel show, but if you started asking too many questions like "isn't there a way to save Edith Keeler and still stop the pacifist movement?" then you'll find yourself not enjoying it as much.
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

#I_for_one,_welcome_our_new_robot_overlords!
Set Bookmark
Chrome
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

To address the Borg thing (and I think I brought this up a month or so ago), there isn't really a problem with using the Borg, per se. The irritating thing is when Star Trek recycles iconic characters and enemies as selling points for the series (Discovery is certainly guilty of this in many areas). Here, however, we don't have Voyager-era teasers with headlines like "EVER WONDERED WHERE THE BORG CAME FROM?" and titillating shots form BoBW as well as ST: FirstContact. *That* would be abysmal. It would be a sign that the writers need a crutch, stat. They may as well sign on 6 of 8 with a much sexier actress in a tighter catsuit and call it a day.

So, while I wouldn't be thrilled with a reveal that The Borg were somehow created by the Federation by accident or something, the way it's being handled subtly here makes the idea more palatable. That said, aside from some mild similarities, Control may yet be its own malicious baddy. Having it work as red herring to the Borg would be a very smart way to introduce AI as its known in Trek.

Also, hey-all you people saying "RIPOFF OF TERMINATOR, LULZ". Do you even realize there was a huge lawsuit against Terminator itself for ripping off Harlan Ellison's similar story from The Outer Limits? They were forced to put a disclosure before the opening credits of the movie acknowledging Ellison's work. Terminator was also heavily influenced by other pieces of science fiction. One in particular you might remember - Trek's "City on The Edge of Forever".
Next ►Page 1 of 55
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.