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Mal
Wed, Jan 20, 2021, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: That Which Survives

That Which Survives

Star Trek season 3 episode 17

"Mister Sulu, if I'd wanted a Russian history lesson, I'd have brought along Mister Chekov.”

- Kirk


2 stars (out of 4)


Slow to start, this episode picks up about two-thirds of the way through and actually lands at a fairly mediocre level, with the effect that, over all, it is not nearly as bad as @Jammer makes it out to be.

Part of what really works are the interesting ideas. One such idea is the kill-by-touch that is programmed for only one particular person. TNG picked this up in "The Vengeance Factor.”

https://youtu.be/fk4xj1LsmVw

This leads to one of the most amusing scenes in the episode, as @Trek fan calls it, the “shuffle dance” when Kirk, Bones and Sulu have to protect each other against three killer fembots.

Another great idea was the last lone guardian of an ancient civilization. Again TNG picked this up in “The Last Outpost.”

https://youtu.be/Z4gtPUP5H6o?t=115

And there is the the ability to fling the Enterprise hundreds of light years away, seen again as a planetary defense mechanism on TNG in “When the Bough Breaks.”

https://youtu.be/R672rJeRy50?t=23

What really drags the episode down is Spock’s surly attitude. @hifijohn picks out the key line of dialogue, where Uhura and Spock talk about how he bumped his head. But after Spock’s disastrous turn at command in “Galileo Seven,” the near mutiny he faces in “Tholian,” and driving himself to the edge in “Paradise Syndrome,” I was not entertained by yet another “Spock is bad at command” episode. That said, it goes a long way towards explaining why Spock never got a ship of his own. He sucks at leading people.

In sum, I agree with @Rahul that this one is not nearly as bad as @Jammer makes it out to be.

Not great, even a little below average, but given the screen time we get for Sulu, Rahda (back after “Triskelion” and competent as ever), Scotty (who gets a very nice sequence to work with his hands), the return of Dr. M’benga (back after “Private Little War” - if only he had slapped Spock here too!), and of course “Lucky” D’Amato, it would be a shame to skip this one merely because of some questionable scoring by our esteemed host.

https://youtu.be/zVnGFdx-MWY?t=32
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GreenJacket
Wed, Jan 20, 2021, 12:46am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Alixus was right. It's a shame Star Trek is incapable of portraying anything illiberal for it's values, so it has to make its 'villains' cartoonish psychopaths.
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The Queen
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 11:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Slackerinc, it sounds like you saw the first episode. The Kirk and Spock actors got better with every episode, and they replaced the McCoy actor with someone who was much better. James Doohan's son Chris played Scotty and was terrific. The next three episodes after the first all impressed me very much. You might want to try those.

Also, in the 9th episode, JOHN DE LANCIE guest stars (not as Q, but still.)
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Icarus32soar
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 11:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

Terry O' Quinn is spectacular. And Admiral Pressman proves what wusses Starfleet are. They should promote him to the highest possible rank for his attempt at a technology that can make starships pass through kilometres of rock! Instead they court martial him!

Bureaucracy prevailing over scientific breakthrough.

What potential for ST to be as cutting edge as Altered Carbon, The Expanse etc etc.

Instead it promotes sanctimonious jump-to-orders Picard as the epitome of heroic humanity in the future. Argh!
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Icarus32soar
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 11:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Parallels

There's a fine line between high concept SciFi and BS. And this episode has crossed that line.

The idea that an individual's "quantum signature" (yeah, right!) can cross into another quantum universe while everyone and everything else stays intact is the reason for all the humongous plot holes picked up in the thread.

This is Braga bragging about his familiarity with trendy cosmology and physics jargon without having understood a bit of it.

Pity, because Worf as a character has depth and layers here, and Michael Dorn puts in a stellar performance.

And does 285,000 Enterprises mean 285,000 Picards? No wonder the universe is so out of whack!
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William B
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 5:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

I liked About a Girl better, largely because for its weirdness the ep does a better job with Bortus' people than this one does with the Krill, and Bortus is so far the series' best character. But this one is pretty good too, silly of course but engaging and entertaining, with something like an actual moral dilemma with the suggestion of consequences at the end, a betrayal with the suggestion of another generation radicalized. As Jammer says, we don't learn much about the Krill really, but there are still some bits of information we get. And it's a better vehicle for Gordon than we've seen before. 2.5 from me.
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Yanks
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@MarkG

"I’m not sure what target audience is, but I watched the first two episodes of Lower Decks and it’s quite fun. I’m 45."

It only gets better Mark. Enjoy!!
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William B
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 3:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

I think this one evokes, among other things, Firefly's "Our Mrs. Reynolds" (which, unlike wolfstar above, I like); anyway, the Isaac practical joke is great, Theron is fine, the question of whether we are seeing Kelly's jealousy or Commander Grayson's prudence is fairly well teased out, and the sci-fi notion of the time-wormhole people poaching those who should have died for antique dealers is interesting, though not that much is done with it. The weakness here is that there's not that much there there -- it's nice that Pria isn't a monster but a professional (who isn't going to kill the crew), but there's not much arc there in terms of the reveal that she's their enemy, and her deception doesn't really mean anything, including for Mercer. And yeah MacFarlane isn't great as a romantic lead so far. The opening runs into the problem that it might be more entertaining to just watch Seinfeld instead. 2 stars or so.
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MarkG
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I’m not sure what target audience is, but I watched the first two episodes of Lower Decks and it’s quite fun. I’m 45.
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Mal
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

Mark of Gideon

Star Trek season 3 episode 16

“He's infuriating Sir. How can you stand it?”

- Uhura


2 stars (out of 4)


The epic shot from this episode - a horde of humanity shoved up against a window - sticks with you for the rest of your life.

https://m0vie.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/tos-markofgideon15a.jpg

I saw it for the first time as a child and I’ll be honest, it gets me every time. This evening when I rewatched the episode, it was no different. What was different was that I had forgotten just how annoying the Federation bureaucracy is! Here is an example,

SPOCK: Lieutenant Uhura, has Starfleet honoured our request with a reply?

UHURA: There has been no response as yet, sir.

SPOCK: Did you advise them the captain's life is at stake?

UHURA: Yes, sir. They insist that the matter must be referred to the Federation.

SPOCK: What department?

UHURA: Bureau of Planetary Treaties.

SPOCK: Contact them directly.

UHURA: I did, Mister Spock. They insist that we must go through Starfleet channels.

SULU: With the captain lost, sir, that's the best they could come up with?

SPOCK: Diplomats and bureaucrats may function differently, but they achieve exactly the same results.

It is amazing that even with faster-than-light warp speed travel, incredibly fast communications via sub-space, medicines that can cure almost any disease, humans with telepathic and empathic abilities, aliens, the transporter - wonders beyond belief - the government is still stuck at the level of a DMV!!??

https://youtu.be/6Y4PEqvk0Jg

The episode does give us a small glimpse into the inner working of the federation, something we don’t really get to see in significant detail until the DS9 two-parter Homeland/Paradise Lost. When Spock calls the Admiral for permission to beam down to search for Kirk, the answer he gets is,

ADMIRAL: Starfleet cannot override Federation directives in this matter.

In this matter. That’s the part that stuck with me. Does that mean that there are certain matters that Starfleet can override the Federation on?

Does that put Admiral Leyton’s actions in Paradise Lost in a different light? Or had Federation authority over Starfleet been tightened by the time we get to DS9?

We get a few scenes of the Federation Counsel in various movies. I’m thinking in particular of the scene in ST: IV, The Voyage Home,

https://youtu.be/ql6EmD1saUA

[Which is a hell of lot more than we got on season 3 of Discovery.] But in any case, I’m still not exactly clear what the relationship between the federation civilian government and the Starfleet uniformed service is? If we go by Kirk in the movies, it seems, that Starfleet does what it wants, and then asks for forgiveness later.

The episode’s second half descends into a long and needlessly drawn out lesson on the value of contraceptives. It is tiresome to watch today, and I doubt it was much better received at the time.

A story about overpopulation written by the actor who played Cyrano Jones in Tribbles: it sounds like the most ridiculous idea possible in Star Trek! Until we remember that in the rebooted Abrams movies, they use Khan’s blood to bring a Tribble back to life! FML.

The episode gets some points for presenting a perspective that is unique. @William B thinks that point of view might be that, "the people of Gideon just LOVE LIFE SO MUCH that they view a virus as a living entity, with just as much right to exist and kill the host, as anyone.” I think it might be something else. There is something very different about affirmatively killing versus merely letting something die. There is a difference between action and inaction. @Peter G. hasn’t commented in this thread, but elsewhere he has been exploring the contours of the Prime Directive (@Trek fan brings it up here). At its most extreme, there is a real difference between letting someone die of a disease versus affirmatively seeking out and killing someone.

The bottom line is, Gideon is a planet where the Grim Reaper is on vacation. Isn’t that a fascinating thought experiment? What happens to the people when there is no death? That’s what Star Trek was when it was at it’s best - an avenue to explore what-ifs. Take the opposite - we can imagine a planet that is the opposite of Gideon, a planet where Cupid is on vacation. Something like TNG's "When the Bough Breaks.” Neither option is enticing, which itself is so interesting ("Those are conditions most people would envy.”)

These are great ideas to play with. And perhaps a different season of Star Trek might have done a better job. But the fact is that this was a dull hour of TV. A classic, memorable episode of Star Trek. But dull nonetheless.
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Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It's the whole point of doing reviews in the first place, by expressing your opinion of something.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 9:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I just watched this battle scene for the heck of it. Can I say the Klingons are absolutely repulsive. They are just ghastly. I feel like they would be better suited to Wishmaster Hellraiser. Can anyone act under all that makeup?

Regarding the battle, let me say again, what the fuck was going on? I couldn't follow anything. So many ships all firing all at once in a VFX vomitstorm. I couldn't even figure out who was who.

I just don't get it. DS9 had this sort of thing down pat. Good God just do what DS9 did but with better effects. Why is this so hard?
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Peter Swinkels
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 4:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@nolan
You are entirely right, I used one specific example about a screw up on more personal than professional level. I don't believe in perfect people who never screw up or situations where you aren't forced to do something not by the books. Having said that, I does sometimes look as though writers make a character screw up only get the away with it in an implausible matter. I guess some writers can't figure out a better way to write a story than to pull a story out of their butt-hole at times. Then again no one is perfect.
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Icarus32soar
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 3:59am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Another cerebral episode not lending itself helpfully to literal plot analysis. The central question is about love, spousal and filial love this time, and the entity that is capable of such love is human, no matter whether biological or AI.

Fionulla Flanagan is superb, those Irish-Brit actors who with the quietest inflection of the voice and a minimum of facial expression and body language convey oceans of experience and emotion.

And the ending is the only humane one that could be entertained. Data's love and caring overrides the sterile human ethics of telling the literal truth. Data, like Spock, is so often so much more meaningfully human than the literal humans.

One wonders where Patrick Stewart took a turn away from that mininalist school of acting. The way he flails his right arm-hand pointlessly in the air every time he says "engage" is one of the biggest futilities and irritations in the whole ST universe.

In fact of the regular cast only Brent Spiner puts in consistently stellar performances, with LeVar Burton and Michael Form occasionally as well when they're not given ludicrous lines.

A quiet achiever of an episode, thoughtful and thought provoking. I'm almost beginning to lose my total disdain for TNG.
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RDGEEK
Tue, Jan 19, 2021, 12:08am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

@Malia - I love that idea about the origin of the Borg as they possibly relate to this episode. Just fun to think about. Star Trek spends too little time on the evolutionary histories/mysteries of the more interesting species.
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David Staum
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 11:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek (2009)

I originally wrote this review on my blog in 2009. Thought I'd post it here and see if anyone agrees or disagrees with my take

-----------------------------

This was a great movie. Excitement, special effects, great dialogue, great characters, some good humor. Great, that is, if you’ve never heard of Star Trek before. But if you’re a long time fan, as I am, it’s hard to separate the Star Trek universe from the bright & shiny new movie.

Casting: Supporting characters: excellent!

Each of them brought a newness to the role, and didn’t copy the original actors, but still channeled the essence of the characters we’ve come to love.

Special mention goes to Karl Urban as McCoy and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Both were pitch perfect in their roles from the moment of their first appearance onscreen. Anton Yelchin as Chekov was one note, played mostly for his humorous earnestness, but that one note was hit perfectly.

John Cho, as Sulu, didn’t really evoke George Takei much other than his enthusiasm, but he fit into the cast well and had some great action scenes. Zoe Saldana didn’t even try to be another Nichelle Nichols. And why should she? In the original Trek, Uhura was docile and was just a glorified telephone operator. But they wanted to update the role and bravo for trying. So why, after a good start, did they relegate her to the role of Spock’s arm candy?

I was a little disappointed in Zachary Quinto as Spock. He’s a decent actor and played the numerous scenes he was given fairly well, but couldn’t quite shake the feeling that Sylar, from Heroes, was hiding behind that calm expression.

And Chris Pine as Kirk? Well, no one could ever fill William Shatner’s hammy shoes, and no one should even try. But as a fan of original Trek, it was hard to see anyone else in the role. Plus he seemed too young.

The special effects and action sequences were amazing! If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

Now, what was up with the relationship between Spock & Uhura? I guess I could swallow it, but there was one big “huh???” moment when watching the movie. I just don’t see that it added anything. And, as I mentioned above, it sidelined Uhura into a man’s woman. And there were no other women, unless you count the sexy green girl Kirk was in bed with early in the film (nice touch!) But why couldn’t they have nurse Chapel? Or Yeoman Rand?

The story was pretty good, with one big problem that I’ll get to in a moment. But the scene changes between comedy and intense, emotionally fraught action, were a little abrupt. Considering the seriousness of what was going on, I couldn’t really enjoy Scotty materializing inside the water tubes as much as I would have otherwise. Speaking of those water tubes, it reminded me of the scene in Galaxy Quest, where Sigourney Weaver complains loudly about the smashing hammers they have to jump through, saying: “What is this thing!? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway! No, I mean we shouldn't have to do this, it makes no logical sense, why is it here!?” and Tim Allen answers “Cause it's on the television show”

Nero was a pretty good villain, albeit one dimensional. But his desire for revenge on Spock seemed somewhat arbitrary. Yes, sometimes things happen that way, but given the lengthy exposition of the origins of Spock & Kirk, you’d think they could spend a few minutes making Nero’s lust for revenge a little more plausible.

There were some major illogical leaps, like old Spock standing on a planet and seeing Vulcan be destroyed. How close was that planet to Vulcan, so that Vulcan would be several times the size of our moon as seen from Earth? It seems like the science was very weak. The movie just assumes that an audience coming to see a sci-fi movie would expect there to be a time portal inside a black hole, so doesn’t bother to explain. And that something labeled “red matter” can collapse a planet. Again, no explanation of what “red matter” is. The science on original Trek was pretty flimsy too, but at least they made up some silly dialogue to explain it. On the other hand, the audiences today have seen enough sci-fi to fill in the blanks, so maybe this isn’t such a big deal. So I’ll go ahead to my biggest issue of the movie.

VULCAN IS DESTROYED! AND ISN’T RESTORED!

There’s a scene where Spock is explaining to the bridge officers that since Nero changed the past, what Nero experienced is no longer relevant and the future belongs to whatever they do. They are not beholden to what others may know about the future. That was directed straight at the audience. So we are told by JJ Abrams; “Hey, we can do what we want. We’re not beholden to what you fans think you know about the Star Trek universe.”

Still. Destroying Vulcan? Vulcan is so much a part of the world of the federation. As some other reviewer I saw online pointed out, it’s not like Aalderan in Star Wars, a planet with no real emotional resonance to the viewers. But Vulcan? Leaving the surviving Vulcans an endangered species? How can you have Star Trek without Vulcan in it?

This is more than just sentimental. It affected my viewing experience of the movie deeply. First of all, after such an emotionally wrenching and apocalyptic event, it was hard to enjoy the humorous scenes. But more than that, from that point on, I was assuming, or at least deeply hoping, that time would be reversed and Vulcan would be restored. So in those climactic scenes near the end, where the Enterprise is being pulled into the black hole, I was rooting against them! I was hoping that they would be destroyed, and all of the red matter’s destruction would set the timeline to back to the way it was supposed to be. Ditto for the scene just before that, with Spock’s taking the ship with the red matter on a collision course with the (bizarre looking) Romulan vessel. So when the Enterprise finally emerged from what I presume was supposed to be the event horizon of the black hole (never mind the scientific inaccuracy of that), my heart fell, obviously the opposite feeling than what the moviemakers intended.

Maybe the next movie will be subtitled “The Search For Vulcan”. Hey, they brought back Spock from the dead. Maybe they can bring back his whole planet!
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Icarus32soar
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 11:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

Very misguided reviews on this episode. Spot is a delightful dramatic diversion and it feeds the friendship between Data and Geordie. It's actually one of the genuinely deepest relationships between any two people.
So later on, when Geordie confesses to Data that he took things personally and thus he casts doubt on his own professionalism, it rings true. Data is by far the best confidant Geordie could have.

And the fact that the environmental message about the destructive potential of human activities comes from an alien species gives that message far more conviction than if it came from some starry eyed environmental zealot from within the Federation.

This is a highly cerebral episode, not a gee whiz bang! type of plot. As such, it's among the best ST EPs in any iteration.

Very satisfying intellectually.
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Cory
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 10:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

In my opinion, there was no debate. I understand the writers need to fill time and weave a moral allegory, but the issue should've been resolved by stating one simple fact:
That individual 8472 member entered our galaxy as part of a military force, a force which also attacked Voyager.

I'm guessing this episode is supposed to be some sort of vague analogy for U.S. POWs left behind after Vietnam. Well, at the risk of seeming unpatriotic, maybe don't send your military into someone else's territory in the first place if you don't want to suffer the ramifications of being left behind in a region that is no less than hostile toward you.

I'm no military strategist, but launching a counter-attack against an invading force on their own turf seems to imply your territorial defenses are sound. 8472 should have protected it's own "borders", which it was clearly more than capable of doing. The moment they chose to enter our galaxy, they were on borrowed time. This was nothing more than a "delayed combat fatality" in my eyes.

In short, 7 of 9 and the Candyman were right.
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Trish
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 10:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: The Omega Glory

@Jason R.

I believe Eskimo is referring to the line when Tracey tells Kirk that the "animals" happen to look like "us." Because of course, "we" are all white.

At least Sulu had been left aboard ship, so he wasn't saying right in front someone who looked more like "them."
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Mal
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 9:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

Well, when I started this TOS re-watch last year, who would have thought I would reach LtbYLBF on MLK Day of all days?

That said, LtbYLBF is something of a let down. And while I can't endorse @Jammer's 1 1/2 star review (seems a bit harsh, the episode was after all entertaining, and had a good point), I can't say it rises far beyond 2 1/2 stars.

On the other hand, re-reading my review of DS9's Far Beyond the Stars, I realize, that if you're looking for something special to watch today, Far Beyond is the way to go. It is not for nothing that @Jammer gave that DS9 episode 4 stars. Peach it, brother Benny!

https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s6/stars.php
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vanzespleen
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 8:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Only just got to watch ST:Picard series 1 on dvd past week. Loved Remembrance, Nepenthe, and Picard's last goodbye to Data (season 1 finale). All in all, a great intro to Picard's new motley crew; but here's hoping to see all the other ST characters & much loved veteran actors in the next 12 seasons (and why not, Midsomer Murders still going strong, decades old, like you).
Engage!
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Peter G.
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

Wow nice catch on "Devoras"!! Holy cow!
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Logan
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

This is more than just a day in the life of Data, all the most significant human life events happen on this “day”, there is a:

Birth
Marriage
Divorce (alluded to in the romulans ships name Devoras)
Death (apparent death of Ambassador Tpel)
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William B
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 6:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

They got Liam Neeson!?

Anyway zzzz nothing to see here. 1.5 tops.
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Ensign Sisko
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 6:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Well, I wanted to be positive about this. I enjoyed more than a few episodes this season. But this was not a great episode. I agree with all the dropped story threads and plot developments that should have been set up better. The mystery box aspects of this series have long since gotten old. I'm hesitant about the 4th season. I'm looking forward to Strange New Worlds and Picard season 2, but this finale just didn't stick the landing for me. I have no issues with Burnham as Captain (I don't really have an issue with the main character taking center stage, and previous Trek series with the exception of DS9, have had issues with supporting characters being underused), but...I don't know. Something was missing. Not sure I'm making any sense. Oh well.
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