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Matt L
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 4:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"Pike's death & Kirk's OTT reaction = monomyth father death, a copy of a copy of a copy by Abrams. Film completely ignores all of the other fatalities in the room"

Riiiight...because from now on no good film can have a father figure die. Come on, this is an absurd claim. Yes, it's a beat that appears in many stories. It's a universal moment that almost all of us will have to face some day. Guess what? People are gonna keep writing these scenes.

As far as other fatalities go...if you're trying to tell me that while watching someone that important to you dying they wouldn't be your immediate're lying to either me or yourself.

The film, and this scene in particular, is largely about Kirk so it's quite logical for the film to focus on what matters most to him at any given moment.

Ok, I've got to stop reading this thread for a while.
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Matt L
Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 4:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

"Perhaps we should fault modern society for voting for this kind of movie with their wallets over many years."

The hyperbole I'm seeing in this thread is going to make my eyes roll right out of my head. Go back and re-watch the source material. Guess what, this movie is head and shoulders above many other episodes and films in the series.

Yes, it is action focused, BUT it is also very character focused with lots of great character beats and interactions. Many of you, in your rush to paint this film as some kind of mind-less action film miss that.

Yes, I get it, the JJ films aren't super focused on BIG ISSUES, but that's not the same as being stupid. In fact, I'd argue that the BEST episodes and films have not been the BIG ISSUE TM episodes--too often those episodes are all about serving the issue in a ham-handed way. The best episodes, and films, have always for me been those focused on character and relationships. Those are the things that really matter in a story.

City on the Edge forever wasn't really an issue episode, it was a character episode. It was about Kirk and the woman he loved and the decision he had to make. Certainly there were greater concerns (the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few for one), but they came naturally out of that character.

Likewise I would argue that Into Darkness is a film chiefly about character and that it succeeds and that FROM that emphasis it DOES touch on ideas like friendship, sacrifice, etc. It is not as one poster implied the same as Transformers.

You do a disservice to the ideals of Star Trek by assuming that everyone who liked this film is just some kind of mindless drone (see what I did there) brain washed by modern society. You would be better off taking a step back and asking yourself if maybe there are other ways to look at the film that you haven't considered.
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Matt L.
Fri, Apr 8, 2011, 8:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Just a little nitpick, but I think it's been well established by now that the future wasn't erased in XI.

Rather the timelines branched off so that you have two separate universes. This is one of the common theories to explain how time travel might be possible without creating a paradox.

This has nothing to do with the problems of this episode of course. I agree with everything you say. Just thought I'd correct the above misconception.
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Matt L.
Fri, Apr 8, 2011, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

I guess to each their own, but to my mind this is one of the best that Star Trek has to offer. I've watched it many times and always enjoy it.
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Matt L.
Fri, Jun 12, 2009, 3:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Haven

I just finished watching Haven and just wanted to say that there are some fantastic comedic moments in this episode. I think my favorite may very well be the bit with Picard carrying Luxwana's luggage. Check out Picard's facial expressions as this scene plays out...priceless (almost as priceless as the look on his face when she beams off the ship at the end of the episode).

Yeah, the plot is forgettable...but who cares? It's a fun episode that your review takes waaaaay too seriously if you ask me.
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Matt L.
Sat, Jun 6, 2009, 9:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

Great review Jammer. I think you nailed it. I have to admit that from the sound of it I liked the film just a little better than you did...but I think that's because it just NAILED the characters and for me a huge part of Trek IS the characters.

The plot is a mess, although--I think--an effective mess. And it's true that there's no super deep 'message' to the movie. But I think that at it's core this film captures the trek ideal of people with different view points coming together to accomplish great things. Kirk and Spock spend much of the movie clashing over their differences of opinion and personality...but they only truly begin to accomplish things once they decide to come together to come up with a plan to take down Nero.

There are also some pretty nice themes of fate and destiny that I think are being over looked by Trek fans blinded by their attempt to find loud commentary on society.

For me the most damning element of the movie is that the villain is a complete redux of villains we've seen many times. And not one that has the energy that drives say...Khan.

What I want from the next film is a movie that by-passes the past trek movie notion of the heroes vs. the villain. Let's see a movie more about exploration and discovery.
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Matt L.
Mon, May 11, 2009, 2:54am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

"I still cannot get over the abandonment of technology. Were there no sick or infirm people that needed medical technology? Were there no parents? I can't think that any parents would willingly revert to a time where child mortality was the accepted norm due to lack of technology."

I get your point, but I guess the alternative point is that technology has done more to help hasten the death of children (how many died in the holocaust of the colonies?) than to save them.

Jammer is of course right to point out that it is really human nature that lies at the heart of things, but at least in part that is human nature's tendency to abuse technology.

These people have been trapped in space with nothing BUT technology for years and it has brought them nothing but misery.

Do I think they'll regret their decision? Almost certainly. But I think people are going out of their ways to ignore the state of mind these people are in when they find Earth. Instead we are judging them by what WE think they should do. But for us, when we think about technology, I think we are far more inclined to think of it for all the comforts it brings our lives. Odds are most of us are sitting cozily behind our computer screen, fridges humming, cars parked outside, relative peace surrounding us. If we were the survivors of a nuclear holocaust it may well be we'd have a different view of things.
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Matt L.
Sat, Apr 25, 2009, 12:54am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

"Its not my job to interpret his story for me. This isnt art, its TV."

I don't get this line. I agree that it's RDM's job to tell his story, but don't you as a member of the audience have a job as well?

If you refuse to interpret the story for yourself then why are you bothering to watch it? Stories (be they art or not) are a form of communication. A story like BSG is trying to communicate an awful lot. Saying that you aren't going to bother to think about what the story is saying or what it means to's almost like ignoring your role in the conversation.

The interplay between audience and story is incredibly important in my opinion. It's why a writer chooses to make a living writing instead of just doing it as a hobby for himself.

Forgive me if I just misunderstood your point, it just jumped out at me is all and I had to say something.
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Matt L.
Fri, Mar 27, 2009, 4:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

I actually took a walk around the block to collect my thoughts before typing this up. Don't know what good it will do me, but hey--worth a shot, right?

First I want to touch on the whole Deus Ex Machina thing. There is a difference between a story that involves the presence/influence of god/gods and a Deus Ex Machina. A Deus Ex Machina should be an impossible situation solved BY the gods or any other inexplicable phenomenon.

This may sound like BSG, but BSG is almost always very careful to leave the actual solution/choice in the hands of the characters.

A good example of this is Starbuck. Yes, she only finds the first Earth thanks to God, BUT in order to do this she is given a choice. She could have chosen to not let go of her life. It was her choice that ultimately allowed them to get to Earth.

Another example, the coordinates to Earth were provided by God in the form of All Along the Watchtower, but it was ultimately up to Starbuck to figure it out.

Yeah, Baltar had been having visions of an angel leading him towards his choice to stay with Galactica. But he could have chosen not to go.

BSG has clear themes of destiny vs freewill and I think these moments are an important part of that theme.

I can't wait until all this bickering is over and people actually want to talk about the show for what it is and not for what they wanted it to be. I don't think anyone here would claim the show has been perfect, but so what? Nothing is. What the show has been is packed with ideas, concepts, themes, character. Even the flaws have a value when it comes to the discussion of a show like this.

I think there's an interesting conversation to be had about, say, colonialism and what the ending means for it. Rather than just--colonialism is bad therefore this show shouldn't feature it in the ending, I can't wait till it is simply accepted that colonialism is a part of the story and should thus be discussed as part of the story and not simply as a mistake. Won't that be more interesting?

So much of the stuff listed as 'wrong' by haters are really just problematic elements that demand analysis.

A good story is jam packed with this stuff. Consider Hamlet. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears and has Hamlet seek revenge on his uncle. Well, that's the simple line at least. However there's a LOT of speculation on things like whether the ghost is who he says he is. Never answered in the play, BTW. In some ways this is just as huge a question as what exactly Starbuck is but you never find out the answer. Was it his father? A demon? I mean, the implications for either answer on the story are huge. But the ambiguity is what makes it interesting and is why the story is still talked about today.

What I really see as I go through a lot of the complaints are people who wanted the story to go their way and refuse to accept it could have gone any other way. What I see are people who want everything answered and tied up with a neat bow at the end. They want the epiphany handed to them, but the show asks them to come to their own conclusions.
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Matt L.
Sat, Mar 21, 2009, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Overall a very well done episode. I'm mostly with those who accept the idea of there being some kind of divine will driving things. The only question I had at the end was the 'harbinger of death' line.

I can't quite figure out what the writers meant by this. I have a few vague explanations--one being that Kara's resurrection makes her a sort of harbinger of what lies on the other side. Another being that her actions, in a way, led to the end of the human the ending implies that everyone is a human/cylon cross.

Still I'm really curious what the rest of you think. Love to see some more theories or ideas.
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Matt L.
Sun, Mar 1, 2009, 11:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Deadlock

I more or less liked this episode, but I want to talk for a second about this whole notion of there being a 'New Ellen' and an 'Old Ellen'. One of the things that allowed me to accept that main characters like Tigh, Tyrol, etc were Cylons was the fact that they were still the same people we'd come to know through the series.

If they'd just suddenly had radical personality transformations it would have been hard to swallow, but with the exception of Tory, who--let's face it--didn't have a personality to begin with--they all remained more or less the same people.

The same, I think, should apply to Ellen. Yes, she has her memories back, BUT that doesn't mean that she should suddenly be some other person. And I for one don't want it to mean that. I don't think Cavil rewrote their personalities. In fact, I would suspect he made a careful point of leaving their personalities as intact as possible. He wants to make a point to these people, er...Cylons...not make a point to a bunch of random characters that he created and implanted in their heads.

You make a fair point that Ellen seemed very pulled together in No Exit, but I don't think we got to see enough of her to really tell and I don't think the situation was really the sort of situation that would allow her character to really come out.

Did this episode have problems? Maybe, like I said--I mostly enjoyed it. But I don't think one of those problems is that Ellen is who she has always been...

P.S. I feel you're jumping to silly conclusions at the end by saying that it was a psychosomatic effect that killed the baby. I'm sure Six would tell you that doubt killed the child, but technically speaking any number of other things could have also done it (the stress of the whole situation couldn't have helped matters, although research on the effects of stress on pregnancy are apparently mixed).
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Matt L.
Mon, Feb 9, 2009, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Face of the Enemy

With "Risestence" I agreed with your complaints about video quality, but it seems kind of strange to have the same complaint here where the video quality is pretty fantastic. It's obviously not HD, but for those of us still used to SD these episodes are probably right on par with what we could get on our TV screens.

As for the story itself, I thought it was pretty good. It's even better if you when you take the mutiny storyline into account (and actually makes those episodes stronger). I don't think I'd consider it disposable, even if it isn't necessary it adds a lot of character motivation to Gaeta. Also I think the stuff with the rescue raptor IS important to the plot from a thematic angle, because it adds the tail side of the coin to what the Eight tells him about hope.
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Matt L.
Fri, Jan 30, 2009, 5:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

I really can't agree with you on this review. This episode had me really engaged with the characters. I agree it was a transition episode, but so what? Sometimes there have to be transition episodes, and I thought this was a really great one. I actually found the episode tough to watch just because it was so tense. It's like a rubber band being stretched further and further and you just know that any second it's going to go flying off.

That scene of Lara and Adama in bed together is probably the most ominous scene in the entire episode and I almost can't believe that you'd simply attribute it to being some kind of cheap pay-off. Here they are happy and nearly oblivious to the fact that their entire world is about to be turned upside down. It's poetic irony at it's best--we know something they don't know and that makes it all the more painful to watch. Well, for me at least ;-)

I don't need to see the scene where Tigh tells them Ellen is the fifth Cylon--what are we missing really? How stunned would anyone really be by it after finding out the other four are Cylons? I'm guessing the reactions of the crew would have been mostly the same kind of reaction the audience had to the discovery. The only person who it really matters to is Tigh, and we've already seen his reaction.

So, yeah, loved the episode. I probably would give it 3 and 1/2 stars.
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Matt L.
Mon, Dec 22, 2008, 1:51am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Escape Velocity

Put me in the camp that found Baltar's speech (and his arc in general) incredibly fascinating. I don't think it's at all hard to pin down his motivation. On top of the fact that circumstances have really given him no where else to go--Baltar is an egotist. He loves to be the center of attention. This is a consistent character trait that you can see going all the way back to the miniseries. And quite frankly you don't get anymore the center of attention then being the messiah of your own religion (I find it interesting that you continuously call it a 'cult'). At first I don't think he believed it at all, but bit by bit you can see him starting to buy into it and when he gives that speech...for me that is the moment when he decides that he believes. And what a dangerous and yet at the same time enticing speech it is. You are perfect just the way you are. God loves you just the way you are. The implication being that you don't need to worry about becoming a better person, which is very dangerous. But at the same time you can't help but wonder if maybe the people in this fleet need the kind of hope that such a religion offers.

Lol, I'm babbling. But I really do think there are a lot of interesting ideas bubbling under this sub-plot.
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Matt L.
Sun, Dec 7, 2008, 2:28am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Ties That Bind

"I said an "average" of 1 a week. Besides, just gimme a break."

Well, you have to admit that your 'breaks' do tend to be quite long ;-) Just kidding. Take your time. This site rocks. I can't believe I've been reading it since Voyager. Time sure flies.
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