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Joseph
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

@Yair

"Art is about introspection of nature (especially human nature). Good introspection does not have to critical of 'us' (whatever that is), or even to deal with us. Fiction about some 12th century BC people could very well be worthwhile art if it examines human nature honestly and incisively."

Does Orville do that? Does it have any valuable insights on, say, astrology or Islam (Krill). Or are its insights there to validate our own beliefs and make us feel more comfortable with what we believe?

"Also, the nature of this particular subgenre is to indirectly critique current human politics by showing a supposedly more enlightened one, rather than critiquing it directly (I haven't seen this episode, so I can't comment on whether it does this). "

I do not find Orville's politics any more enlightened than our own. They seem to have the same self-absorbed beliefs (both the main command officers are concerned with furthering their personal careers and developing special relationships for themselves) and the Union seems to be obsessed with protecting itself.
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Joseph
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 1:00am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

Sci-fi and all other fiction is actually useless unless it points out where we (yes, WE) are going wrong and need to do better. If it just points to others (Islam, anti-vaxxers and so on) and condemns them, then what is the point? It is nothing but a smug and self-satisfying comfort blanket while projecting all the world's problems on the other, ensuring nothing will change.
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Joseph
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 12:47am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

@Charles J
"This all feels very much like two superpowers who still need to find something deeper and humanitarian that can connect them than mutual survival and existential fear. "

Yes, and it's a bit depressing that fear is seen as the only viable bridge between ideological differences. The Krill's portrayal has now become extremely uneven. I mean, given their reverence for Avis, how likely is it that the destruction of a ship or two by one Kaylon ship would be enough to launch a huge attack to protect a former enemy? There would certainly be some Catholic-like intermediary deciding whether that's the best move, and it would be based on religious and not practical grounds. They've gone from a species whose faith made them interesting and different to just another humanoid race with the same policies and worldview of any 21st century Earth nation.

It seems like the overall picture of the Krill swings between "warmongering" and "zealous", but perhaps the two are identical in Seth's mind. It's the same shallow and unthinkingly biased treatment that we got of astrology in "Birthday Cake". If Seth were so confident in his mind about themes and concepts he disagreed with, there would be no need to constantly portray these cultures as so mean and nasty. There must be at least one writer on the show who understands (as TNG did) that sci-fi doesn't have to be a cheersquad proclaiming the virtues of science and human progress.
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Joseph B
Sat, Mar 2, 2019, 2:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

I thought this was a very satisfying conclusion to the two parter.

To those complaining about the Orville surving multiple hits from the Kaylon ships, look no further than the Moclan upgrade featured three episodes ago!

The major plot point issue was the Kaylon’s reasoning that the crew of the Orville would be willing to help them obliterate the entire human race which would, presumably, include them once the deed was done. Members of the Orville crew, Isaac, and even Ty all thought that this was flawed logic. And you know what? That’s because it *was* flawed logic! The Kaylon profess to being superior logical machines with no emotions but they definitely are not! They’re emotional to the extreme about the “slavery” imposed on them by their former “masters” — so much so that they forced Isaac to read “Roots” — a novel published hundreds of years ago. Isaac immediately tried to explain that he had not witnessed any such behavior from the current generation of humans he had interacted with and this was totally dismissed. (I think it was at this point that Isaac realized that emotion had overtaken logic among the earlier constructed Kaylons.) The whole point was that the Kaylon are so obsessed with their past that they are now emotionally driven by it and are no longer the logical entities they profess to be. They are flawed! And Isaac now knows that!!

Oh, yeah: Loved the Space Battle!!

This was a Four Star Plus ep for me!
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Joseph B
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

Just finished viewing the ep ...

Here is my two word Review:

HOLY SHIT!
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Joseph B
Fri, Jan 25, 2019, 1:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

This episode felt closer to “Star Trek” than anything I’ve seen on TV since the Vulcan arc in the last season of “Enterprise”. I’m giving it 3.5 stars.

Here’s an interview with Frakes where he provides a possible explanation for Tilley’s imaginary friend:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/star-trek-discovery-new-eden-explained-jonathan-frakes-interview-1178654

He also reveals in the interview that he will have a role in the upcoming “Picard” series but is not allowed to reveal what it will entail.

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Joseph B
Sun, Jan 20, 2019, 3:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

Jammer, thanks for the review!

Three stars is just about right for the second season premiere. Anson Mount as Captain Pike made this show feel like Star Trek for the first time since last season’s premier episode; and the production values — as you stated — were incredible!

As far as streaming issues: I’m using an inexpensive ($60) Roku box attached to my projector and everything looks and sounds great! Now, my ISP is Spectrum and they are delivering an almost constant 100 Mb/second so that may have something to do with it. I also recently upgraded to a modern dual band router. I know last year I did experience buffering issues during the first half of the season. I’ve had no issues since.
Live Long and Prosper! 🖖

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Joseph B
Mon, Dec 31, 2018, 8:19am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Ja'loja

This was the very definition of a “Bottle Show” .... and it was good!

With allusions of “Amok Time” — the Star Trek:TOS season two opener — we got a character-driven show encompassing the entire main crew. And it was actually funny!

I was laughing out loud at the
* Flyby
* The entire senior staff meeting regarding Bortis’ “request”.
* “The poem”
* ... and, of course, the running “As Time Goes By” references.

I wouldn’t want to see another show like this in the same season, but for what it was it was well done.
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Joseph B
Sat, Jul 7, 2018, 3:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Wow! I just looked at the Fox schedule for Season 2 and it suddenly hit me that there will be only one new episode released for the entire calendar year of 2018! How messed up is that?!!

BTW, that one new episode is scheduled for 12/30/2018 so they just barely squeaked it in!
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Joseph B
Fri, May 25, 2018, 7:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I saw the movie last night in a sold out theater and thought it was a lot of fun!

I liked the slow build up to the introductions of the iconic characters; and the way they held back the Star Wars music themes until the Millennium Falcon was on the screen.

The first half hour reminded me a lot of “Firefly” — not a bad place to go when you want a Sci-Fi/Western/Comedy mix. (But the comedy part was dialed way back ; this probably happened when Ron Howard was brought on board to direct. It’s hard to say if the movie could have been better with an even more comedic tone.)

The movie definitely succeeds in one regard: By the time we get to the last half hour I actually felt like I was viewing a young version of Han Solo.

Anyway, the crowd I viewed the movie with was into the movie big time: Cheering at the first sight of Chewbacca, Lando, the Millennium Falcon; and, yes, the mention of making the Kessell run in 12 parsecs! (They also gasped with surprise when the direct link to the “Star Wars: Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Rebels” series was revealed.)

All in all, a fun romp in the Star Wars universe. ***




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Joseph B
Fri, May 4, 2018, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Great Review ... And Great Timing (Star Wars Day)!

I have viewed the movie three times now (once in the Theater, once on Digital, and once on Blu-ray) and have enjoyed the movie more each time.

Initially I gave this movie only two-and-a-half stars. On my first viewing I was upset with the whole “Vegas” plotline and the way Luke went out at the end. After having experienced the movie multiple times I now understand what the Director was going for and now place this movie easily into my Top 4 favorite Star Wars movies.

Your review has validated my (newfound) opinion of the movie.

Thanks ... And May the Fourth be With You!
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Joseph B
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 7:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Jammer:
Nice review!

I enjoyed this episode much more than you did, but I can certainly appreciate the concerns you outlined. (And I was also hoping that they had overshot by 150 years!)

From my perspective, this was a 4 Star (OMG!) episode based on the fact that
* I was highly entertained, and
* It felt like “Star Trek” to me (albeit with tproduction values not seen in any prior Trek TV series.)

I was very skeptical that CBS could pull off a modern serialized Star Trek series, but I’m fully on board now. I’ve even gotten use to the viewing it on CBS All-Access — which has provided a consistently quality viewing experience since the series came back from hiatus.

Live Long and Prosper! 🖖

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Joseph B
Sun, Jan 28, 2018, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

This was a Four Stars “OMG!” ep!!

I was riveted for the entire run time and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the production: The acting; the exciting movie-quality special effects; the “moralistic”, but action-packed plot; and the very nicely done score which augmented and enhanced the suspense and excitement.

In fact, this was “too good for television”!

Live Long and Prosper! 🖖
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Joseph B
Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Is Snoke still alive?

There are rumors out there that a deleted scene which may be included on the Blu-ray indicates that Snoke not only knew how to “Force project” his image, but that he was also concealing his true form! Rey and Ren may have seen what only what he wanted them to see.
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Joseph B
Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 10:59am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I didn’t love this movie, but I did enjoy it.

The main problem for me — as others have already stated here — was the whole “casino” sublot which ultimately only truly connected with the last scene in the movie. Was it important? Yes — As an indication that the Jedi will continue as evidenced by the last scene. Could it have been done more expeditiously? Most defenitely!

I did enjoy just about averything involving Luke (well, perhaps not the “milk” scene); and the Rey/Kylo/Snoak stuff was all awesome. The movie had humor/pathos/action *and* surprises; and served to expand the Star Wars mythos.

It gets three-and-a-half stars from me, and slots in equal with TFA, but still well below ANH and ESB.

Can’t wait to see it again, though!
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JosephB
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Jammer,

Thanks for the Review!
I’ll join the consensus by stating that that was the best episode of Discovery to date!
I was totally riveted for the first two thirds of the epp!

In regards to the CBSAA service: After the pilot episode I went ahead and upgraded my subscription to the “commercial free” service. With the exception of two buffering hiccups during the second Mudd episode, I have had no streaming issues whatsoever. I’m using a ROKU 3 box connected directly to my LG short throw projector. The video quality is consistently outstanding. I *do* wish CBS would upgrade the audio to 5.1 though. My AV receivers’ PL3 circuitry does a good job of converting the stereo to split surrounds, but discrete 5.1 audio (or better) is now the norm on all other premier streaming services. I’m actually enjoying viewing other fine CBS shows, like “Blue Bloods”, in high quality video (better than my cable service) and commercial free, so I’ll be keeping the service during the hiatus.

Thanks again for all of your great reviews!
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Joseph B
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I gave this episode 3 1/2 Stars!
Had it not been for the presentation of the Klingon scenes, I’d give it 4 Stars!!

The plot was pure Trek, with the “monster” ultimately revealed to be the crux of the entire Spore Drive. And I *really loved* the execution of this scenario.

I have to admit that I was very skeptical that this series could even approach something that even felt like Trek. But I’m ALL IN now!!

LLAP!

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Joseph B
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

All I can say right now is that I’m having *fun* with this show.

Yes, this plot was terribly derivative of several Star Trek:TOS eps, but there was some originality with the execution. As mentioned by Jammer, the first part recaptured the “sense of wonder” we all crave from Star Trek. And the last part was enhanced by a surprise guest star along with the title revelation. In the middle we got a “mini” space fight.

I think the bottom line here is that a lot of us are starved for a new “Star Trek” type show back on TV. And “Discovery” is now stuck behind a pay wall. I’m going to pay for a month of CBS-AA to give the “official” show a real chance, but I’m not happy about it. And right now The Orville seems more familiar. And it’s certainly more accessible.
It *does* need to get a little better, but I’m willing to give it plenty of time to get there.


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Joseph A Mitchell
Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 3:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Big Goodbye

Jammer...really? Not sure I will put much credence to subsequent reviews. I thought this to be a fascinating episode and exploration of a technology that IS sci first and at the time no one had seen to this extent. Your review is a beacon unto the unworthiness of retrospectives and the snobbery that goes with the territory.
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Joseph S
Fri, Jan 13, 2017, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

ARCHER: We're not going to make a habit out of it.
T'POL: Once you rationalize the first misstep, it's easy to fall into a pattern of behavior.

I thought this dialogue was beautifully written, though maybe a little over the top because, c'mon, shattering a data pad on Archer's desk? Even with Trellium addiction?

But then I realized that her words are as much about her, as they are about Archer's decision. Later she tells Phlox exactly how she rationalized her first missteps into experimenting with Trellium, and how she fell into that pattern of behavior, into that habit. She slams the pad, not because she's mad at Archer or at the situation, but because she's mad at herself. And that's what makes her realize she had to get help.
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Joseph S
Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

While watching this episode today, I noticed that Seven of Nine misspeaks the stardate as "15781.2" instead of "51781.2." Apparently neither the producers nor even Memory Alpha caught the error, as the latter quotes Seven's log entry with the correct stardate.
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Joseph B
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 1:39am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Jammer, Thanks for the Review!!!

I was wondering --- all this time --- how this movie would be rated from a reviewer totally steeped in the Star Trek mythos.

I, myself, had given it an 8 out of 10 for the first two thirds of the movie, but thought it stumbled badly to a 2 out of 10 for the last third. Average it all together and it ekes out to two-and-a-half stars for me. I just couldn't get past the movie ripping whole scenes and dialogue from TWoK for the "clever" role reversal.

But I will say this: I have lots of friends and co-workers in their 20's --- many of which had never considered viewing Star Trek prior to 2009 --- and they were unanimous in their praise of the movie. One of them even told me he was *shocked* at my negative attitude. So, bottom line: Abrams mostly reached the audience he was going for. And you have vindicated that perspective with your insightful review.

Thanks again for following through with this. It's always a pleasure to read Star Trek reviews from a Star Trek expert!

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Joseph B
Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

@ James:

I think, technically, Jammer has until 7:00 pm EDT today to get the review of STID up before "Beyond" is out ...
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Joseph B
Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

This movie was just released in the new 4K UHD Blu-ray format!!
According to reviewers they used the IMAX format (1.78:1) aspect ratio for many of the scenes and they say it looks phenomenal! The package also includes the regular 2K Blu-ray releases for both Star Trek (2009) and "Into Darkness" as well as $8.00 off on a movie ticket to see "Beyond".

So if Jammer was waiting on the 4K iteration of the movie before writing his review, he has now run out of excuses!
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Joseph
Thu, May 12, 2016, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

skadoo, I was wondering the same thing. If Jaffkin's people don't need us males, why would Jafkin exsist? I think they should have dropped that.
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