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JYoder
Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shuttlepod One

Hmm. My 2nd episode of ENT, due to high ratings here (the other was "Dear Doctor") and while the other was "horrific," this one is just incredibly boring. 3.5 stars for a char development episode with very little char development!?

I can't help but feel if this had been a DS9 episode, that Jammer would have given it a far lower rating, making me think the rating scale bar for ENT has been drastically lowered to account for what must be ENT's overall quality. So I'll be avoiding ENT if these are the best it has to offer. No wonder if only went 4 years. :(
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JYoder
Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Just saw this episode for the first time, only because Jammer gave it 4 stars. I agree with 99% of his reviews, but I'm stunned by it here. Also surprised that a fair number agree with him.

I love a great Trek episode with "gray area", but there isn't any here. They could either save millions of people or not, and they chose "not." Do have them make that choice to save a 2nd race could be made gray if there was an immediacy to it (the classic who lives and who dies) but their reasoning was all conjecture over what might happen after centuries have passed.

Basically, if there had been no 2nd race, they'd have given them the cure... that's seriously messed up. This is a horrible "morality tale" that is lacking in morality. By this episode's "logic" of "let nature run its course" then no one should combat disease, which the chars obviously don't believe. Horrible episode.
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JYoder
Tue, May 15, 2018, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

All true, and for me, what you described is HANDS DOWN one of the best elements of the entire SW franchise. My apologies for speaking in hyperbole. But don't miss my larger point in that such complexity and nuances is not even close to the norm in the broader scope of SW.

I'm not saying all SW movies have to have such elements (SW is escapist and more about the pew-pews and *light saber sounds* than anything) but I am saying to not insult our intelligence with much of the tripe found in TLJ.

Sorry I made it easy to miss my forest for my trees, but in the end, I'm ultimately disappointed that I was so disappointed in TLJ. I really thought it would buoy my SW spirit and reinvigorate the franchise for me, but it had the opposite effect. Not only because of the "been there, done that" elements (which I admit I inflated to some degree) but also with too many goofy moments sprinkled throughout.

To focus this back on the "review" aspect, I'd give TLJ 2 stars. Some good, but mostly bad.
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JYoder
Tue, May 15, 2018, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Space Seed

Wow, you people are hard on the episode that launched a thousand more episodes. :p

Stunt doubles and fight scene -- the new HD simply makes that apparent, but would not have been so visible when first aired, especially when most TVs back then were in black and white. The plastic pipe is obviously meant to be metal, but again, more apparent now in HD. Sure, it all could have been done better, but no one back then would have believed we'd still be watching this 50 years later, so these critiques simply aren't valid.

As for McGivers fascination with Khan, sure, it can be seen as misogynistic. (I talked to my teen daughter after watching this episode with her about avoid such guys at all costs!) But there are women AND men, drawn to that type of person. Doesn't make it right, but I didn't find McGivers stereotypical, but fleshed out with a particular weakness. Do I cringe in those scenes? Oh, yeah. But not because of blanket stereotypes, but because I hurt for her, and I want to tell her, "Wise up and run away!"

As for the crew being enamored with Khan, I get it, and it's something Star Trek was brave enough to acknowledge. And yes, I do mean "brave." When someone like Hitler rises to power, it's extremely compelling and morbidly fascinating to try to understand the tactics, charisma, and deception they had to pull off to make it happen, even if you hate the person and their results. What's unique to Khan is he's handsome, unlike the troll-like figure of Hitler... making it all the more curious that Hitler pulled off what he did.

The only two critiques I'll agree with are that it was silly to let Khan have so much access, and also the colonialism aspect of dropping him off on an untamed planet. Certainly odd choices plot-wise, regardless of the crew being impressed with his past exploits. However...

I forgive those quibbles, because when Nicolas Meyers was given the option to write and direct the 2nd movie, he watched all the episodes. That ending -- asking what it would be like to visit Khan (this Space Seed) years later -- fired his synapses and gave us TWOK, and all subsequent spin-offs.

So yeah, I'm good with 3.5 stars here, if for nothing else than Khan being a very compelling, non-stereotypical villain that is fully fleshed out from the get-go. Truly, it seems to me that some of the critiques here are more because this episodes is so well-known, making many view it under a microscope and pick out flaws no one bothers to mention in other episodes, where such elements are more apparent.

And how can anyone not love that scene when they're trying to draw Khan out? Such great lines of sparring dialogue, which I'll now end with. Seriously, this is great stuff...

Khan: You are an excellent tactician, Captain. You let your second-in-command attack while you sit and watch for weakness.

Kirk: You have a tendency to express ideas in military terms, Mr. Khan. This is a social occasion.

Khan: It has been said that, uh, "social occasions" are only warfare concealed. Many prefer it more honest, more... open.

Kirk: You fled. Why? Were you afraid?

Khan: I've never been afraid.

Kirk: But you left at the very time mankind needed courage.

Khan: We offered the world *order*!

Kirk: [pauses] We?

Khan: [smiles admiringly] Excellent. Excellent.
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JYoder
Tue, May 15, 2018, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

"Did you miss the prequels they released about 20 years ago? Neither of those factions existed in those movies. If your complaint is about "Light side" versus "Dark side" then Star Wars may not be your thing"

That's splitting hairs as the Empire simply went by a different name and some people were always against it without the formalized name "Rebellion." Still, your point is taken and I admit I oversimplified. You're correct in that it's Light vs Dark and... that's about it. Very little depth. And while that's no crime, I'm weary of the fanboys who are constantly ga-ga with all things SW, with little to no discernment.

Hence my shock that Jammer gave it 3.5 stars, as it seemed more from a fanboy than an objective critique. I mean, the Finn-Rose sequence where she crashes into him to save him... while he's attempting to save the entire Rebellion... which they somehow miraculously survive (because that's what happens when 2 ships weighing several tons collide) and then kiss as the fortress falls... just wow... it is such a colossal mess, and so incoherent, that it should automatically deduct an entire star from anyone's rating.

Finn, Rose, Poe, and General Hux are so flat and uninteresting that they are painful to watch. Put them together and it's cringy-worthy material, such as when Bart Simpson crank-called Moe... oops... I meant Poe and Hux.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see SW get it right, but this latest installment hurt my eyes from all the rolling they ended up doing. Sure, I loved the big Luke moment near the end (as well as the subtle hint that something was different with him before you realized what it was) but for me, those moments can't forgive the bad string of others.

Sure, the movie made over a billion dollars. As will the next one. And the one after that. And the one after that, etc. And that's because SW fanboys are like baby birds. Sure, they may whine and complain about certain elements and threaten to boycott, but in the end, everyone knows they'll eat any worm you feed them and thank you for it.
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JYoder
Tue, May 15, 2018, 1:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Wow.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

I love this site for Jammer's Trek ratings which are usually spot on with my assessment. But I'm stunned that the same critical reviewer I've come to love gave TLJ 3.5 stars with all its physics flaws, flat chars, groaner moments, dense villains, and Disney preaching. Near the end, when Leia said to Luke, "I'm glad your here," I jokingly and sarcastically said out loud, "Here at the end," and then was shocked when she actually spoke that horrid cliche. At that point, I was pretty well checked out.

The longest chase scene in cinema now goes to TLJ -- long enough for some to zip off to another planet, have a set of their own adventures (which includes jail time) and still make it back in time. (Oh, and btw, even if your ship runs out of "gas" in space, YOU'LL KEEP MOVING AT THE SAME SPEED!)

How many times did TLJ have the Rebels saying, "This is our last chance..." or "We have one hope left..." then cut to the Empire villains (who you can practically envision twirling their mustaches) as they snicker, "We've got them now," or "There's no escape," or "Ignore that ship that's turning around because I'm an idiot and can't tell it's going to ram us even though the audience knew it the very moment Laura Dern grabbed the joysticks." (Too bad she wasn't flying the moronic "bomber" ship in the opening shot that WOULD NOT DIE as easily as all the other "bombers", and have it auto-pilot from a parsec away at light speed through the Star Destroyer, rather than lose 100's of lives and take 5 minutes to kick a ladder.)

On the flip side, I appreciated that TLJ seemed to want to try to break the SW formula a little... but then ultimately didn't.

Honestly, I'm continually amazed at the free passes Star Wars gets from everyone. Yes, I know it's ultra-escapist fiction, and I loved the original trilogy. But seriously -- can you imagine if every movie with Kirk and company had been all about the Federation vs Klingons? It'd get real old, real fast, and that's all Star Wars is. The Empire vs Rebels... then the Empires vs Rebels... then it's (shocker!) once again, the Empire vs... oh just shut up already.
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