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Mitch
Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 3:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

What can I say, I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for STD's season two. Season one was literally a chore to sit through and watch, it was just THAT bad (and I'm not even touching on how completely detached it was from anything Star Trek related; speaking as someone who's seen ever episode of every Trek series, even the animated one).

Unless CBS has completely reboot the series, which I very much doubt, I'm going to have difficulty sitting through it once again. But hey, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, I did sit through all of Voyager and Enterprise in hopes those would improve. Unfortunately they never did and I get the same feeling we'll be on the same path with STD. Heh, ironically, the only positive of STD... re-watching some Voyager episodes recently actually seem palatable by contrast! I never would've imagined anything could make Voyager look good!
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Mitchell
Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Yeah...I mean, I can understand them winning because...L'Rell or Tyler or someone takes over and likes them, but...The "Big Bomb" thing?

I'm wondering if the Mirror Mommy plotline was added halfway through. (Partly due to protests on killing her off?) That might explain some of the clumsiness.

I mean, I can see her being WANTED to be used in it...but, well? It feels like Lorca's 'Pure Evil', and such was reversed. (Also, the bomb is just OY)

I'm betting that the last bits, where it kinda collapses, are the parts where they only had vague ideas, not detailed notes.
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Mitch
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@ Jay - I completely agree with you. The visual aspects of Discovery simply don't fit in, and not just the underlining technology, even the way ships move through space. In Star Trek there is a sense of science-fiction realism when ships move slowly at impulse with blinking navigation lights, the current show is more like science-FANTASY (ships move more like Star Wars, and the spinning saucer section borders on cartoon level of visuals!). Of course that is only the tip of the ice berg with what's wrong with Discovery, I just don't consider it cannon at this point (anymore than the last three Trek films). At best it's an alternative reality Trek.

@ Ed - I don't buy that and here's the thing. EVERY incarnation of Star Trek following TOS has acknowledged the TOS universe, unmodified, as it aired in the 60's. TNG episode "Relics" showed the original bridge of the NCC-1701, just as it appeared in 1966-69. DS9 "Trials and Tribble-ations" showed the crew actually interacting on scenes of the original "Trouble of Tribbles" episode, further cementing THAT as reality. Then ENT had "In a Mirror, Darkly", which showed the bridge of the Defiant and the uniforms of the crew, just as it did in the 1960's TOS episode. Even VOY and TAS acknowledged the TOS era of technology, costumes and history in their episodes.

STD (and the new JJ-era movies) are the first to throw all that history in the trash bin, and ignore the past.

There are just some things so bad, I have no choice but to ignore them as official cannon. Just like everything beyond Aliens, or everything beyond Terminator 2, or everything beyond Nemesis (mind you, Nemesis is pushing it, but at least it was visually recognizable as was the technology).
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Mitch S.
Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

Well, I have no comments about this particular episode, but I do have much to say about Star Trek Discovery as a whole. As a matter of fact, I've held back since it started in September, so this is the very first time I'm sharing my thoughts about the new series.

Let's just say I'm no stranger to Trek, I've watched EVERY single episode of EVERY series (TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, all 13 films) and viewed most during their original run, save for TOS which dates back before I was born. I've also been a regular of Jammer's site since it opened in 1995. Okay, sure, I was incredibly disappointed (to put it lightly) with VOY, ENT, Nemesis, and almost completely turned off to the series with the reboot films, but never could I imagine it sinking any lower. Oh my, then along came STD (perhaps it should be short for "Star Trek Dreck"?).

I made every effort to be opened minded and really, really wanted to enjoy this, but I simply cannot. Plain and simply, this is not Star Trek. Worse, it is not even entertaining or well written television. This is a dark, depressing, violent and aimless show. Horrible writing, grotesque visuals (horror film gore in Star Trek?) and just mediocre plotting and pacing. By contrast watching TNG was fun, exciting, wondrous and left me feeling a sense of optimism and hope for the future. As others have said, it was a world I've always fantasized about living in. DS9 had dark moments for sure, but it was still firmly planted in the established Trek universe, and dealt directly with how certain events or people conflicted in that universe. It showed a darker side of the Trek universe, yet while still plausibly existing in that
universe. The characters were complex and relatable, and most of all, likeable. I was
completely absorbed by the stories, characters and settings. Stories I still distinctly
remember decades later, and lessons and morals (be it TNG, DS9 or TOS) I still refer back to this very day. I was touched, moved and inspired watching Trek, how many other television shows do that? By contrast, watching Discovery leaves me feeling sick and depressed afterwards, and certainly uninspired. I don't care about these characters, about where the show is going, sitting through and watching it is just a chore. Forcing myself to endure it in hopes, maybe, somehow, I'll acquire a taste for it and it'll somehow improve. I think it's clear at this point, I'm fooling myself that such a moment will ever come.

Let me also point out that STD is *not* science-fiction, it is science-fantasy. When I think back to the Star Trek films of the 80's, the Enterprise on impulse engines moved in a very slow, plodding and steady manner. It FELT like an actual spaceship moving through space, something I could imagine as existing in our far future. Compare that to scene of the USS Discovery in "Into the Forest I Go", where the ship is rapidly blinking in and out of space every half second, while the saucer section is spinning like a fringing Figet spinner toy after each jump. What is this, a cartoon? Even Star Wars isn't that hyper about how ships move. A spore drive, using what seems more like magic and fantasy to navigate space?

Then there is the way these characters talk and act. Tilly sounds like one of the cast from Two Broke Girls or Modern Family (or any current day sitcom/drama), and the crew dropping F-bombs on top of that? This is supposed to be the future, where humans have highly evolved and entered a period of enlightenment, these are merely contemporary copies of any Joe Blow off the street from 2018. Not just in the way they speak, but the way they act as well. And don't get me started on the Klingons, which have been transformed into some kind of violent space-monsters (and look like the California Raisins!) with the most grating and ear piercing of vocals.

Well I could go on for pages, but this is just to say I do not like what I see. I find myself already fatigued with this series and it's not even done with its first season yet. Voyager was campy and ridiculous, and Enterprise was dull, but at least I could still recognize them as Star Trek series. I even managed to enjoy a few episodes from those series. So far, there is nothing I am walking away with from Discovery except a sense of depression and feeling of dread. After watching "The Wolf Inside", I felt the need to rinse my mind of it by turning on a light comedy show afterwards.

Will I still continue to watch Discovery? Probably for now, just out of curiosity to see where its headed. I definitely do not like its direction, and feel at this point, I'm just watching like someone fixated by the sight of a train wreck or other disaster. I think the fact it has "Star Trek" in its name is the reason I haven't completely stopped watching it. I have to chuckle about something though. Years ago, I distinctly remember one of you on Jammer's site commenting, if a new Star Trek series were released that is nothing but a TV test pattern, we'd still watch it. Well hats off to whomever said that, looks like you were right!
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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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Mitch Grant
Sun, Apr 30, 2017, 4:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

Suspension of disbelief, people, is the key to enjoying ANY Star Trek episode. Nitpicking over a fictional story is puerile, arrogant to the point of hubris, and thoroughly sanctimonious to the point of nausea.

I think Similitude was one of the best episodes of Enterprise, and that Enterprise as a series is very underrated. Archer was a bumbling fool due to being the FIRST, does anyone expect an intrepid novice to behave any differently?

For Chrissakes, most people sincerely believe in magical gods that created the universe from nothing, yet people rank on silly Star Trek stories that are simply STORIES from the mind of man.

That's why they call it "science fiction"; simply enjoy the STORY - anyone who actually thinks that "warp drive" or "transporters" will ever exist in any universe has lost contact with REALITY, just like those who think religious dogma is fact.
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Mitch
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: Trailer: Star Trek Beyond

Might not be a bad idea.

And on that topic, I just saw said trailer. Seems Star Trek is going from bad, to worse to just completely unbearable. The Heavy metal rock playing throughout the trailer pretty much sums it all up. And if not that, "from the director of the Fast and the Furious"?

I think after this third movie, the reboot will need a reboot.
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Mitch
Thu, Aug 27, 2015, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: Interstellar

I recently watched Interstellar (twice no less, saw it a second time with a family member) and I have to say I was less than impressed. While I enjoyed the visuals, music and special effects, the story and editing was just overall poor. It was also far too long and confusing.

And I went in seeing it without any knowledge of the plot or who the director was, just heard it was a new sci-fi film that was being talked about and jumped in with an opened mind and no exceptions. It was only after watching it I learned Nolan directed it and it all sort of made sense (I watched his Batman trilogy in theaters and really didn't like them, for much the same reasons. More like a music video than a movie!). I think it's more deserving of 2 and half stars than 4.
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Mitch
Sun, Jul 13, 2014, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

What I like about this episode is the dinner scenes between Janeway and Chakotay; so cute. Seven's monologues were also scarily powerful and Ryan did some fine acting in these sequences. And who can not but help find the last scene between Janeway and Seven, on the shuttlecraft, especially when the music kicks in, to be touching. 3.5 stars for me.
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Mitch
Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I think Voyager and Enterprise had incredible potential, all the right ingredients were there, they just went off in the wrong direction. Or maybe it was writer fatigue? I remember Jammer writing in one of his series reviews that Trek needed to go into dormancy, a very extended break if you will, for it to become fresh again.

Hah, I always thought DS9 had the worst premise and setting of any series, but with excellent writing they produced the best stories EVER seen in Trek! Meanwhile Voyager had the best premise and setting, but with poor writing, produced the worst Trek of all time (well, until these movies came along). The reboot wasn't merely going in the wrong direction, it was totally and completely off track. Hell never mind a track, it went off universe....it was the very first time Trek has been unrecognizable to me. I even have far more respect for the cheesy Filmation cartoon Trek of the 70's! (which to its credit though, had some of the original Trek writing staff and produced some REALLY good stories to my surprise!).

As for Trek's 50th anniversary. Let's just hope it's better than the Doctor Who 50th...another one of my favorite sci-fi series rebooted and ruined, particularly during the Matt Smith era. Again, all about the writing!

...Back to Trek, I think Jammer would say they woke it up too earlier with these films and it needs to go back to sleep for awhile.
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Mitch
Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I would hope for a return to television--and in pre-2009 movie format, otherwise for all intents and purposes, Trek is dead.

I would love to see more of the Star Trek universe we were presented in the late 80's and 90's, still set in the 24th century. Maybe even set it ahead to the 25th century? (so long as it doesn't stray too far from the original premise, like the movies have). I want to see touch screens and displays like we had in TNG and DS9, I want large slow moving ships, I want it sci-fi based and NOT sci-fantasy. Stories about human nature and condition, not action and stuff blowing up. Well, that's fun too, but in small moderation and as long as it doesn't overtake the intellectual bits.

'Star Trek Continues' is kinda cool. You could almost mistake it for actual TOS! I just found the acting a bit...well...under par. It'd be really cool if they could do Star Trek II movie era episodes or even TNG, but that'd likely be out of budget and beyond do-ability unless a mainstream studio were producing it. TOS is easy to replicate on a shoe string budget no doubt.

Back on Into Darkness, yep, I can't believe they produced something that is even lower than Enteprise or Nemesis. Far, far lower. It makes those seem like classics now. As I said, if these reboot movies are the only future for Trek, Trek is dead to me. Particularly because I don't see it going that far....we'll get what, another movie or two before people get bored with it and Trek is buried again?
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Mitch
Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

That YouTube analysis was spot on. For at least the past decade and a half, Hollywood movies are now constructed as a series of disjointed "cool scenes", well before a story or plot have even been conceived.

It's akin to letting a group of children draw a bunch of random pictures and then saying, "Okay boys and girls, now you need to make a story about those drawings and somehow in the process, connect them all together too".

The most important aspect of any movie is the writing...with a story and a well thought out plot. It's only AFTERWARDS do you embellish it with visuals, music and special effects. It's like putting on the frosting before baking the cake! And there's no originality anymore, it's all recycled from other classic movies (simplified and dumbed down for today's audience of course) with nothing new to offer. Cookie cutter plots and scenes trying to paying tribute to once great films. Or perhaps just trying to rip them off.

Star Trek has been infected by this laziness. I thought it was bad with Insurrection and Nemesis, but ST and STID just took it to levels so low its just unrecognizable as Star Trek now.
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Mitch
Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Harpohara - Whether it comes now or later, it's still the definitive review because it's by someone who's opinion I value and been following for years to boot! Beyond that, I'd cut Jammer some slack. It's a Trek movie, and one that hardly even qualifies at that...more a poor action b-movie. We're not talking about weekly TV episodes of DS9, VOY, ENT or BSG where timely reviews mattered.

When he writes it, he writes it. Sooner would be nice, but speaking for myself personally, I can wait.

In the meantime The Red Letter Media guys did a pretty good (albeit tongue in cheek) review of STID.

redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag-star-trek-into-darkness/

The only other one I'm eagerly awaiting is their Mr. Plinkett review of STID (hopefully that's coming), those are just awesome! :D
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Mitch
Tue, Dec 31, 2013, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I'm eagerly awaiting too. To me, Jammer's review of STID, whenever he writes it, is *THE* definitive review! I just have to read it before I put any closure on this latest film. Perhaps because I've been reading his reviews since January 1995 (back then using a text-based Apple II computer with Lynx!) or just perhaps because they're so insightful, well written and he has such a grasp on Trek's history. I remember a time I wasn't done with an episode of DS9 or VOY until I read Jammer's take on it... :)
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Mitch
Tue, Dec 24, 2013, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I'd love to see Trek return to TV, unfortunately that idea is likely on the back burner for probably a good decade. I predict for the foreseeable future, Trek is now locked into these horrible Micheal Bay type movies (read: mindless explosions and action) on the big screen. Like it or leave it.

They'll just keep making crappy STID type sequels one after another... until people get bored with the concept and they stop making money. And at that point, Trek will go back into a deep slumber until someone decides to reboot it again (a la TNG back in '87). Can't see a serialized TV trek series, with DS9 level of writing and story lines, running concurrently with these horrible Trek movies. Probably a good thing, I wouldn't want them existing in this "reboot" universe, I want Trek back in the universe we all knew and loved.
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Mitch
Tue, Dec 10, 2013, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I still can't help but think these last two films (particularly STID) have killed the Trek franchise. Maybe not in a marketable sense, but to long time diehard Trek fans such as myself.

It's been hijacked and turned into something that is not even remotely recognizable as Star Trek. Just a hollow and empty shell with nothing familiar about it except some dropped names here and there. Sad to think I felt Voyager, Enterprise and the last two TNG films (Insurrection and Nemesis) were the absolute low points of the franchise.

Unfortunately there probably is no turning back, I don't know if audiences still exist that would appreciate a new film done in the style of a 30+ year old film like the Wrath of Khan. It would likely be deemed "too boring" and action scenes too realistic...not over the top enough. Yet that is why I love that film, those space battles felt real. There was consequence, drama, tension, build up. Even just watching the ship slowly turn just to fire back... and the musical score, wow. To this day I still remember every scene and how it was lifted and brought to life with that score by James Horner. STID is just so absolutely forgettable, in every sense. All I will remember years from now is: IT WAS BAD.

Unless the third film is a complete masterpiece, attempting to draw us in and a return to what Trek was really about (hah, yeah...right) then I fear Star Trek is yet another franchise forever destroyed (much like the Alien and Terminator franchises, other sci-fi series I once loved and utterly ruined).
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Mitch
Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

My wish is that they drop this whole reboot crap (which has been completely awful) and go back to the original Trek. Maybe make a new movie with the TNG, VOY or DS9 cast...or remaining TOS cast even, old as all the casts now are. Or at the very least, a completely new cast, but with the SAME type of sci-fi look, storylines and plotting from the TV and movie series in the 80's and 90's.

You know, computer displays, technology, gadgets that are in the realm of believable SCIENCE fiction. Not science fantasy! Stories that tell us something about the human condition, wonder, discovery and exploration. Not mindless gun battles, action sequences and things blowing up.

There is a reason growing up, and even now, why I preferred Star Trek over Star Wars. Trek was about a glimpse into a possible future...and it taught us something about ourselves on the way. Meh, if the next Star Trek movie is more of the same crap we saw in 2009 and this year, I'll pass.
I mean compare even the Enterprise bridge (or ship itself) in 1982's Wrath of Kahn with 2013's Into the Darkness. You had a scene of actually being in space...huge, slow moving ship, plausibly realistic screens and consoles. In 2013 the ship and it's insides look like something out of Harry Potter or Star Wars. Just a magical fantasy world...

Almost wish they'd do another Trek TV series in the style of of TNG or DS9. Probably wishful thinking at this point, I don't think audiences will watch anything slow moving, intellectual, introspective or that doesn't have things mindlessly blowing up every 5 minutes.
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Mitch
Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Ah, another Montrealer. :)

Incidentally, for the above URL to work, you need to remove the space in the word "not" or you get a broken link.

Good review. As for myself...after the latest Trek film I've decided to consider it, and the previous film, as non-canonical. At least in my own mind, they're just not part of the pre-established Trek universe in any way, sense or form (ironically these films themselves consider that established Trek universe from 1966 to 2005 as having never happened and erased from existence; save for "old Spock" to more or less validate it as canon).

I did the same with the Alien universe. Alien (Scott Ridley) and Aliens (James Cameron) canon. Alien 3, Resurrection, AVP, and Prometheus...non-canon, never happened. Maybe an alternate dimension at best, and that's how I see the 2009 and 2013 Trek films. Not even a different Trek timeline, but just stories of a bizarre twisted alternate dimension. I'd almost like to throw Nemesis into that alternate dimension category for good measure but it wasn't nearly as bad. ;)
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Mitch
Tue, Nov 26, 2013, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Well, I've seen every TV and movie incarnation of Star Trek. No kidding, every episode of TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT. I even watched the Filmation cartoon series! And of course all the movies, from 1979 to the present.

What can I say, the first film was watchable but left an uneasy bitter taste behind. STID however, is a total trainwreck as far as I'm concerned. It's the first time I burst out laughing (for the wrong reasons) watching a Star Trek film. Ugh, I never thought I'd say this, but they actually managed to produce something far, far inferior to Voyager or Enterprise (okay, for the latter it wasn't quite Voy badness, but just on the side of dull and mediocre Trek for the most part). Voyager seems like a masterpiece by contrast! Sure STID is stylish and slick looking, and I'd give it points for that, but plot wise? What they've done with the Trek universe? It's just rubbish.

I'm anxious to read what Jammer has to say on it. Been a follower of this site and Jammer's reviews since January 1995! :)
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Mitch
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 2:46am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

Hah. I was just cleaning through my hardrive and forgotten I actually wrote my own review on Nightingale. I posted it some 12 years ago to Usenet, where it's still archived to this day:

groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.startrek.reviews/browse_thread/thread/2413150b6f0ca120/38069ddf84fc5af4?q=nightingale+author:mitchell+author:spector#38069ddf84fc5af4

I think it was my first and only Trek review! I sort of felt the need to vent about the series and this particular episode culminated a lot of those frustrations.
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Mitch
Fri, Apr 1, 2011, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Giving this particular episode only a 3 star rating, much like DS9's "Sacrifice of Angels" (another vastly underrated episode reviewed), is one I strongly have to disagree with.

Granted I haven't watched Darmok in a few years, I do remember it as one of the stand out episodes of the entire series. Even after re-watching it in my adulthood. The fact that it was just essentially two guys talking and trying to understand each other--in ways beyond just language, is what gave it its strength and uniqueness. I did not find it dull in the least, even stripped of all the usual sci-fi and action. Maybe it was just the way Patrick Stewart and the other actor portrayed it, but this wasn't another average fare episode (which is what 3 stars suggests).

I think at very least it deserves 3.5 stars. Sacrifice of Angels though, that I'll always be of the opinion it deserved a full 4. :)
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