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Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


"But we do live in hope, do we not?"

"Of course. How could we do anything else?"

- Garak, "Millennium"
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Donald Cooper
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Return of the Anykey

Here it is 2018 and I finally got my hands on an ANYKEY keyboard , like the one I loved many years ago.

But my story ends sadly. First, it had an AT terminal. I got it to a USB configuration with simple adapters, but that isn't good enough to get any result on my WIN 10 OS. However, a web search suggested an "active" ps2/USB adapter ($18) and that allowed the keyboard to function. I was elated.....too soon.

I was able to apply macros to the provided (extra) F keys, so I happily rolled along. However, soon gremlins appeared. Regular keys wouldn't provide their regular output but rather extraneous outputs, making typing impossible. Clearing all programming corrected the problem, but later programming again caused the problem.

Is it incompatibility with WIN 10 or is this keyboard faulty? It's hard to tell, but the end result is my utter disappointment. It seems nothing is "forever".

I'll sell the keyboard (with an explanation), hoping someone with an older OS can make it work. There remains interest in the concept, and though there are other, modern programmable keyboards, they are quite pricey and usually designed for special purpose apps that don't make them favorable for normal PC use.

Why didn't someone continue to develop this favorable concept?

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Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Observer Effect

Who mixed this soundtrack? The background music in this episode drowns out the dialog at many times through the showing!
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Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Rise

I think that this dialog:

Ambassador: " What happened to you? Where's Sklar?"
Neelix: "Mr Sklar... returned to the surface"

Was particularly funny in a very un-Neelix way.
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Mon, Feb 26, 2018, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Well, 1701-Z...the HISHE parody came out, but it went in an entirely different (though equally awesome) direction with the whole kamikaze ship thing.
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Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

I can appreciate childhood sentimentality, but this episode is an epic turd. Let's get the most obvious problem out of the way. Asking the Data character to put on this minstrel show in a way that doesn't contribute to his overall arc of becoming more emotional is just a travesty.

The silent red alert bridge scenes is some of the worst writing I've seen on TNG. "I'm not going to permit this ship to be turned into an alien city!" Yikes. And it's true, it looks like they ran out of money to pay the extras.

I don't mind Picard as an archaeologist, but in the other episodes where this interest has come up, there is a very explicit tension between that way of life and the one he leads as Captain of a starship. Which makes for interesting television. Here he is clicking buttons and materializing unknown objects on a hunch, inserting himself into an alien mythology on a hunch (wtf), and overruling very sensible objections from his crew. At one point he literally says, "Anybody got any better ideas?"

Also, a killer archive. Come on. For a split second, Ihat looked like he had the makings of an arch-nemesis, sitting on the warp core and all, but it's a steep downhill from there.
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Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Rewatched “Balance of Terror” last night and was reminded that Spock surprises Kirk by recommending they attack the Romulans first. A nice bookend with “The Vulcan Hello.”
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Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 10:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Wow. I have lurked on this board for years and years and it's hard to believe anyone here is actually a fan of the franchise. I think people here would prefer that Star Trek be preserved in amber and eventually vanish rather than be reinvented for a new generation of viewers.

I know this has been a knock on Trek fans for a long time--that they want everything to be as it was in 1967 or 1995 or 2004, but it comes through loud and clear here, especially with regard to Sonequa Martin-Green, who has more of a dramatic arc than any Trek character in history with the possible exception of Kirk (who needed the movies for it) and Picard. I read a lot of complaints about her acting as if Frakes and Spiner were thespians of the highest order. She's terrific. There have rarely been emotional stakes in a Star Trek series and this series, more than most of the others, is trying to map the internal lives of its characters in a way the franchise has rarely attempted.

I am old enough to remember when we were desperate for new Star Trek, a new series, or anything. Then saw how fans took apart TNG, then DS9, then VOY, then ENT, until there was nothing. Berman, Braga, etc were pilloried like the writing staff is now. Apparently only the reanimated corpse of Gene Coon will be acceptable.

Then the JJ Abrams movies came along--almost like a miracle--millions of dollars on the screen and first-rate cast--and the fans took them down, too. Now a new Star Trek series in 2018--it's almost an absurd thought--and the boards are full of people complaining that the Enterprise doesn't look like it did in 1964. Reboots happen. Batman, Sherlock, Shakespeare, James Bond. They all modernize, adapt, change with the times. Why can't Trek? That's how it stays alive. But it's clear from this board and others than many fans came in determined to hate the show from the beginning, for whatever reason. It's poisonous.

That doesn't mean that there aren't some valid criticisms of the first season, particularly with regard to the plotting and Lorca's character development. They did miss an opportunity with him. At the same time, if the entire point of the first season was to ultimately reaffirm Starfleet ideals in the wake of temptation, well then you need a Satan or two, and Lorca was certainly that.

I think this is best core cast since TNG--Burnham, Tilly, Tyler, Stamets, and Saru are all likable, complex, relatable characters (and not a Troi, Sato, Mayweather or Kim in sight). The series is beautifully shot and presented and the producers obviously care deeply about the product and its fans.

The job of the network is to maximize fan interest, the same as it was in 1966 and 1987. That's why the franchise still exists--to reach new people. I would ask what it is that hardcore fans want? If there are easter eggs and callbacks, it's dismissed as fan service. If there's nothing, they scream "where's the universe we built?" As for serialization, thank God for it. If you want a series of standalone stories about exploration and phenomena, I invite you to rewatch the second season of Enterprise, if you can. That almost put the franchise down for good. It's been done, done, done. Say what you want about the first season of DSC, it was rarely boring.

With regard to the finale, yes, it was not perfect, by any means. I could have done without the all the Orion hijinks, but I would also submit that it was absolutely an attempt to replicate the sleaziness that was often present in TOS, as far back as "The Cage" and episodes such as "Wolf in the Fold." It was the frontier, after all. This was a bordertown, so to speak. My personal favorite Star Trek is the first half of Season 1, when it felt very raw and unpolished, and I much prefer that world to the sanitized TNG universe.

As for the resolution of the war, I can't help but think if it had been James Kirk using leverage to force Klingons to come to the table, everyone would have been fine with it. He did, in fact, this very thing in (of all episodes) "Mirror, Mirror"-- handing a doomsday weapon to an adversary in order to bring an empire down. See also "A Taste of Armageddon" in which he resolves a centuries-old war with the bluff of lethal force. There are deep precedents for this--and DSC is the closest kin to TOS that has come yet. I mean, what did everyone want, 20 minutes of negotiations between the Federation and the Klingon empire? Episodic TV, particularly in the adventure format, moves quickly.

I hope DSC slows down next season, finds its legs, tells some standalone stories, and lets us relax with the crew a bit. But we should be grateful that this thing exists. When it goes, who knows if anything will replace it, and true fans should not let perfect be the enemy of the good.

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Mon, Jan 22, 2018, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Future Imperfect

I actually "enjoy the act of watching this episode" quite a bit, problems be damned. In fact, I don't care for people who compulsively bring up "plotholes" to take down an otherwise entertaining episode.

But... let's be real, this is the exception.

The idea that Riker would buy having a kid and getting promoted to Captain all on the very same ship is on its face hilarious.

Secondly, the Romulan alliance is so completely unnecessary. It's only purpose seems to be to make Riker lose his mind.

Thirdly, this idiotic alien, apparently needs to play a human boy that badly, that the illusion he creates is to fast-forward time to play that role? Of all the things?

Think of what power this moronic little turd has. The simplest mind-rape would be to create the exact same Enterprise and play one of Riker's colleagues, like Data. Still tons of fun.

Or if you wish, insist on playing the boy, but mind-rape Riker all the way to Risa, so that he isn't constantly running into colleagues and comparing his environs. He would eventually buy this "amnesia" diagnosis over time, a la Inner Light.

Last but not least, how in the world did the alien come up with the idea that Minuet had to be dead? You literally pulled a character from Riker's memory - everyone else alive and well - and then killed her? Your own mom? Think about it. That is some serious cray-cray.

So this is a Riker-centric, more likable version of what happens to Troi in "Violations," and the theme of the episode really turns into "damn, my son needs therapy." I wouldn't be surprised if the writers were aware of this, personally I think they had a little bit of a knack on incorporating contemporary social issues into the show.
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Sun, Jan 14, 2018, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

"Want to sign my petition for Jammer to write his review of The Last Jedi before Episode 9 comes out?"

I laughed.
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Sat, Jan 13, 2018, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

This episode surely started like a parody of itself.

It slowly got better, but not by much.

I really wanted and expected Earhart to learn to pilot the ship and become a crew member. That's what the real one would have done.

No one of the 37's going in the ship and no one of the crew staying behind seems quite wasteful to me.

And the ship should have stayed for some months and shared technology with this new civilization.

This episode had the potential of being the setup of a whole season. Instead nothing of consequence happened.
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Sat, Jan 6, 2018, 11:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

I could watch an entire series based on Data stepping into command. One of the things that makes the first two seasons of TNG eminently rewatchable (even moreso than seasons 3 and 4) are the more pronounced interpersonal conflicts of the crew. Worf should be more out of control than he is. You see a lot of that type of writing abandoned when Pulaski is shown the door.

Brent Spiner's ability to act like a robot, and display human guile, patience, and a complete tactical awareness of complex emotional situations while in command, is a beautiful thing to watch.

A Klingon and a robot hashing out their friendship in the ready room. That is some top shelf Star Trek right there.
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Mon, Jan 1, 2018, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

I mean this is a hilariously bad episode.

The Enterprise is one hour away from being torn apart so, you know, the tin can's working on it down in Observation.

Also, lines like "I feel as two-dimensional as our friends out there." Yikes.

The part that irritates me the most is the massive Troi uppercut Beverly eats in the early part of the episode, only to completely disappear afterwards. I am watching TNG for what, the 50th time through, and I finally get it. Season 2 was great and Pulaski was a better doctor.

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Brandon Adams
Mon, Dec 18, 2017, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The franchise developed "Lost" syndrome - just shrugging and cutting characters and threads they didn't know what to do with.

Snoke, Phasma, and Holdo being the two most obvious ones. So much buildup, so NOTHING revealed about either one of them before they're just randomly killed. Nothing interesting done with them whatsoever. I gotta give credit to Gwendoline Christie for still being able to act like crazy using just her voice and one eyeball, but...massive disappointments, both of them. Also, a very unceremonious exit for Ackbar. He deserved better.

The plot structure was weird. Way too much filler. The whole mutiny and casino subplots were pointless and easily circumnavigated by sensible decisions by the characters. Rey dropped out of the entire latter fourth of the film after being its heart and soul. Bizarre.

And I'm also left without any idea what's the gripping impetus for another movie. Empire Strikes Back at least gave its sequel a strong reason to exist (i.e. the recovery of Han). VIII just gives us a vague "rebuilding a rebellion", even though the First Order seems all but dead itself at that point.

Just sloppy writing.

There was certainly potential. The long, drawn-out pursuit could have been really affecting and the transports' destruction did get me going. The Kylo and Rey dynamic was awesome. Yoda's appearance and his decision to destroy the Jedi texts FELT right, even though I thought Force ghosts couldn't "interfere".

But there was so much squandered. The more I think about it, the more I hate it.

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Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

When Jammer's best-reviewed episode is the one where all the characters keep dying horribly over and over, the show can't be all that good.
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Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 8:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

I loved when that hipster dude said to Alara something like, "By wearing that hat you are literally pissing on my heritage," of course, completely misunderstanding the meaning of the word "literally." Great parody/mockery of the mindset that degrades our language through constant hyperbole.
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Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I've noticed that on the desk in his office (i.e., "ready room), Mercer has a little model of the original Wright brothers flyer. Presumably the Orville takes its name from the younger Wright brother. Does anyone know why this is so?
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Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

Does anyone else think Isaac's voice sounds like Brent Spiner? I know it's not him, but it sure sounds like him.
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Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

Look at how First Officer Kelly Grayson is the toughest character so far -- she's the one being beaten and tortured in "If the Stars Should Appear," AND telling the guy beating her face in to go to hell! In the next episode, "Pria," SHE'S the one getting into a fistfight with the villain while the bridge crew -- including the captain -- stands around watching. Keep in mind that she's the reason Mercer got his command in the first place, and she was willing to leave the ship after he got it, having accomplished what she set out to do. Very tough, very loyal, self-sacrificing -- basically a female Captain Kirk! I think we're going to end up admiring this character after a while.
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Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise

That is so cool one of the writers stopped by.

Now that I'm watching Season 3 again (good Lord when will it end), the moment that really stood out for me was Yar's plea to stay with the Enterprise C. (Also, Stewart's performance in the episode is nothing short of unbelievable.)

Anyway, back to Yar. Every time I see that one scene where she sits down with Picard, I am immediately reminded of "Million Dollar Baby." (Imagine, this episode of TNG aired 15 years before.) A couple of similar elements at play. Notably, the warrior seeking a meaningful death.

But let's talk about Guinan a second. She takes over the role of the "outsider," very similar to the role that Clint Eastwood plays in many of his movies, in that she (and she alone) ultimately knows or does the Right Thing, however her actions or thoughts cannot be fully explained, or moreover she operates in a way that is considered morally unjustifiable/reprehensible by society/normal standards. The cop that has to go outside the law to capture the serial murderer. The coach that takes his boxer off life support and helps her die an honorable death. The bartender psychic (still serving drinks on a warship, eh?) against all reason insisting this is the wrong timeline and sending her colleague to a certain death. This is, in a sense, a form of assisted suicide. Picard is very clear that she is going to die. I love that scene so much. "Lieutenant!... Permission granted."

"People die every day, mopping floors, washing dishes. You know what their last thought was? I never got my shot."
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Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

I kind of expected Data to randomly shout Aku Machente! after palm punching someone.
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Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

This is a case where one character (Picard) goes antagonistic just to have some 'TV drama'.

Change Picard attitude, make him fully support Nikolai's plan, and the episode is consistently improved.
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Sun, Oct 1, 2017, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Just saw it, finally. Some thoughts:

* This show is designed for those who entered the franchise through the Abrams door. Whatever their words to the contrary, they clearly went "F it" when it came to continuity in production design and in-universe tech, and they don't really care what we think of them for it because GOTTA KEEP THE NEW VIEWERS. Understandable. But it WILL pull veteran Trekkies out of the immersion every once in a while. We have intelligent computers and insta-emergency forcefields in the pre-Kirk era, but Burnham has to go for an EVA ride because they can't scan an asteroid belt?

* It's nice to see Trekkian characters acting and talking more like real people, instead of the bizarrely paced, stentorian dialogue that marked the earlier series. Go watch a TNG episode and then this. The difference is enormous.

* Visuals are terrific, as expected. The cost of this kind of production suggests that CBS' decision to place the series behind a firewall must have SERIOUSLY paid off, given that it's already been renewed for a second season.

* Sonequa-Green and Jones are also terrific, to nobody's surprise.

* It's a little off-putting that the entire first two hours of the series exist almost solely to create Burnham's guilt and lack of trustworthiness. Sonequa-Green's certainly strong enough to convey it, but it still feels like the entire intrigue and purpose of the series await to be...well, DISCOVERED, har har. This premiere could have benefited enormously from taking a handful of the "arrival on Discovery" scenes shown from the end-of-hour trailer and integrating them into the end of "Battle", instead of slapping the trailer on while showing a kid T'Kuvma getting bullied before he gets shot in the back.

* Gamma Hydra, worker bee, and General Order 1 are nice subtle nods to the nerds, even if the writers feel free to toss aside other canon when it suits them (like Klingons gathering their dead).

* I didn't buy the Shenzhou being totaled. Everyone looked way too comfortable standing around holding conversations after the battle had left her adrift.

* I liked the telescope. At least there's SOME imagination here.

* The title scene is dumb. And way too evocative of Fringe.
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Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

I wonder how long it will take Adrianne Palicki to realize what she's doing to her career and start begging Seth to write her off the show.
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Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: General Discussion

I'm still hung up on the part where they're making me pay for my Star Trek.

Get off my lawn!
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