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James Smith
Fri, Oct 30, 2020, 2:18pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

Well, that was a curate's egg.

The good first. It was clearly a Frakes show, tight direction with no unnecessary ShakyCamâ„¢ or wild spinning. VFX team on point as always. Grudge the cat is cute. Some of the actors (Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman and a few of the bridge bunnies) didn't suck.

But good *Lord* do they need to hire new writers for this show, because the batch they have right now are just not good. Continuity is still out to lunch (synthehol exists on the USS Discoball, so why was it a mystery to Scotty in "Relics"?). The plot walks into itself with an audible thud, twists handled with the subtle touch of a gold brick thrown at your face. Then stuff gets wrapped up all neat 'n' tidy with a pretty bow on it in five seconds because they realised that they were at the end of the episode runtime and needed to get to the credits. And yet the only reason there was a plot to be wrapped up is that dumb people did something dumb for a dumb reason - the Earth attack on a ship coming from Titan to try and get help. Now, I'm sorry but I just don't buy that an Earth not too far removed from the days of the Federation...they mentioned in the episode that it had been 100 years since the United Earth seceded - so the Federation lasted ~928 years all told (2161 to ~3089) and in less than a hundred years after that Earth people turned into genocidal maniacs?

Bull. ****.

It's not just the writing of course, though that continues to be the biggest problem. The guest cast didn't cover themselves in glory (either Phumzile Sitole was horribly miscast, or she's just not good enough to rise above the material when the writing quality nosedives). The music department got in the way at times and they can bloody well quit using the Courage fanfare, that should be reserved for much better work than this. And now SMG is playing Burnham in a lot of scenes with this weird kind of zen look. Well, it's either zen or she's completely off her face. I guess it's to try and show how it's been a year away from the crew for her and she's changed. I'm not sure it's much of an improvement on the wide-eyed panic that she spent most of S2 in.

tl;dr - this show *sucks*.
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James Smith
Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 10:22am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

This felt a bit like a season 2 show in all the worst ways. But ranking right up there was the bollocks with MirrorGeorgiou stomping Leland's corpse into organic mush.

Showing Leland's brain matter on her boots? Graphic, pretty unnecessary, but it didn't last long and hey - they 'needed' to show that she's evil, because TV audiences are apparently short-memoried and require this sort of thing reiterating. To then show Leland's remains getting scraped up? Wholly unnecessary, turning what was an attempt at drama into an attempt at shock value for no good reason.

MirrorGeorgiou is a complete waste of Michelle Yeoh. The sooner the character buggers off out of STD to a Section 31 series the better.
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James Smith
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:12am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Paul - people keep saying that the first two seasons of TNG were awful, as if every episode in those two seasons was. I genuinely don't think that's the case. Yes, there was some rubbish - some of it offensively bad ('Code Of Honor', 'When The Bough Breaks', 'Shades Of Gray'...). But there were stand-out episodes as well - '11001001', 'Heart Of Glory', 'Arsenal Of Freedom', 'The Measure Of A Man', 'Q Who'.

So far, in two seasons STD has produced *one* good episode of Star Trek IMO. 'An Obol For Charon' was a genuinely good Trek story fighting to get out from underneath STD. I'm sort-of amazed at how little praise that episode generates. But then maybe not, because it's emblematic of how far away my impression of STD has been compared with others. Jammer rates this episode three stars for example - I'd give it one for the VFX, half for Anson Mount doing his best with the material, and zero for quite literally everything else about it. Plot points that make no sense, scenes where characters stand around talking for ages when time really would be of the essence, SMG sliding into an abyss of poor acting choices (she really can only do one face even vaguely well, that wide-eyed look of panic)...

And the cop-out ending, desperately trying to claim that canon is now sorted because they just won't talk about the ship or crew ever again in continuity. Well I'm sorry but *fuck* whoever wrote that and thought 'yeah, that will do'. If that's any indication of how poor the writing in this series is going to continue to be then I'm out.
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James Smith
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:54am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

So, what did the Star Trek universe get out of the 29 episodes of STD so far? Did anything have any lasting consequence? The USS DiscoBall and spore drive are gone. So are the sphere data. A bunch of people have disappeared and aren't going to be talked about ever again. The Klingon war made it almost to Earth, before stopping and there seemingly being few repercussions or lasting effects from it.

So, with the greatest possible respect to all involved, WHAT WAS IT ALL EVEN FOR?!?!?! And what d'you suppose was the plan to get STD to sync up with canon *before* they wrote this sprawling mess of fairly epic VFX set pieces linked with clunky dialogue? Was there ever a plan to do so? Were they always going to shoot the DiscoBall into the future?

Because if so, if going to the 33rd century was always the plan...*WHY NOT ****ING WELL START THERE?*
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James Smith
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 6:08am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?


So, we've got Burnham as a full-on Mary Sue. The one true saviour of the Federation's moral code. We've got the whole war arc essentially resolved instantly by handing control of a Big F***ing Bombâ„¢ to one of the enemy. We've got MU Georgiou still in play somewhere for no good reason. And then they cap the episode by showing something that's referred to as the Enterprise but it sure don't look like the Enterprise...

Nope. Sorry. This whole season has been one mis-step after another, and now it's fallen over entirely and faceplanted the ground.
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James Smith
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 4:02am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

I tried to like it. I really did. I can deal with the JJ-Trek set design, I figured I could rationalise the Klingon makeup change, I even decided I could live with the ship designs being a) out of place and b) extremely ugly.

But I can't get past the fact that I don't like very many of the characters presented so far, especially Michael Burnham. This isn't a bash on the actress - Sonequa Martin-Green is great, but Burnham is monumentally bone-headed.
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James Smith
Mon, Feb 7, 2011, 1:52am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek (2009)

Shakespeare wrote what at the time was considered to be popular entertainment, and it was. The reason it survives is because he wrote very good popular entertainment. It is a mistake to assume to popular and artistic are mutually exclusive terms.

I take films seriously, it is the profession I'm working toward. So to me a film is never "just a film." That attitude leads to people taking the easy way out and if you look at the quality of films and filmmakers in the last decade people are producing quite a bit of crap and movie goers have gotten use to accepting it. Btw while I do differentiate films that are supposed to be entertainment strictly and films that are trying to say something about the "human condition" I still think they have to show some competence of the craft. For instance I've never heard anyone say of a film dealing with the holocaust that got the facts wrong "it's just a film", even if that film was complete fiction and the writer had leeway to do what they wanted. When a movie adapts a well loved piece of fiction and totally bungles it fans of the book ofttimes criticize. True a book and a film are two separate media, but if you have to so radically change a thing so that the only resemblance you have is a title and the names of some of the characters, then I say you should have just called it something else.

Which leads me back to Trek. SF fans who read books and SF fans who only watch movies are two different types of SF fans. I don't say one is better than the other but they are different. Elliott has a point. People who are fans of the new Abrams Star Trek and have never watched Star Trek before are a different type of fan than fans of the original show, or any of it's later installments. Mass appeal is not always a good thing if that mass appeal comes from catering to low expectations. For instance, Star Wars in '77 had mass appeal, but not because it was constructed to attain it. Lucas, at that time at least, was just trying to tell a story in a certain style. No one expected it to be a hit. He was trying to construct a good film first and foremost. As a result we still watch it today. Now Hollywood has the template for the disposable blockbuster. It's fun for an hour or two, but it's like Chinese food, who remembers it a year later? Abrams Star Trek to me at least fits that mode and that's a shame. Maybe in 30 more years a Ronald Moore type will reboot it yet again and make it something just a bit more than "just a summer movie".
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