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Paul M.
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

It's interesting how everyone approaches these things from their own perspective and cultural baggage in mind. For whatever reasons I won't speculate on, Americans seem obsessed with identity politics, principally focusing on its various non-national expressions - race, gender, etc. So people talk about the percentages of non-whites or females or what have you and in what way they are presented on screen. Just an observation, not a condemnation... because I find myself critically examining Trek (and not just DIS) from a somewhat similar perspective, but one influenced primarily by me not being American.

In my view, it's kinda sad for a franchise that depicts a utopian future of united humankind to be so exclusively peopled by English-speaking-and-sounding might-as-well-be Americans. In Discovery, for instance, except for (presumably) Captain Georgiou, we have Michael Burnham, Gabriel Lorca (as per producers intentionally "modeled" after US Southerners), commander Landry, Ash Tyler, Tilly, Paul Stamets, dr. Hugh Culber, Admirals Cornwell and Brett Anderson... notice the pattern here?

I know DIS is an American TV show and is therefore primarily concerned with speaking to American audiences, but this "national sameness" is still.. well, I won't say it's actively bothering me, but I do feel it's a missed opportunity for some real worldbuilding.
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Paul
Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

Nothing to add to all these comments but this.

On arriving at the Enterprise he reads his orders. Given by Rear Admiral Nora Satie, the lady he destroys in The Drumhead. Now that's continuity.
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Paul
Sat, Sep 22, 2018, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

Hard to understand why Crusher doesn't want a relationship with Picard. Never got that.

In the final scene we get a continuity error, they hold hands, first Bev's left, then right.

Interesting comment above about friends with benefits, that would explain their breakfasts and kiss at the end (they've done that before).

Still Picard is warned off by Bev 'What do you mean?' But decides to risk it. Big gamble. However Bev looks regretful on leaving. (Can she walk anywhere without making it look like a dance?)
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Ari Paul
Sat, Sep 22, 2018, 12:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@ Chrome

Well said, and astute.
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Ari Paul
Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 1:59am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

Don't get me wrong she's still good looking and I would have sex with her. I'd probably even breed with her, so long as she was always supervised around the children.
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Ari Paul
Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 1:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

no.... not Democrat. I'd say her insane ramblings about periods at the "Women's march" qualifies as radical.
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Ari Paul
Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 1:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Shades of Gray

Oh yeah! Levar! Levar's career actually improves without the success of TNG. He get's lucky in a number of castings, but really trikes it big when he strikes up a friendship with director Ridley Scott while acting in 1492: Conquest of Paradise. Ridley casts him as a supporting character in a string of his films. He moves on to a successful directing career and has just now (2018) released a documentary film that got awarded at Cannes. His career took a bit of a dent through his close relationship with Weinstein, but he's recovering.
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Ari Paul
Thu, Sep 6, 2018, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

This whole episode feels like it's from the first season. Strange episode.

And couldn't they think of something else for the kid to do when upset other than that stupid "Banar" Good God was that annoying!
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Ari Paul
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part I

The sequence where Data dreams he is a bird and he flies through the ship and eventually out into space is one of the most mesmerizing, beautiful, and creative sequences in all of dramatic art. It's just so awe inspiring! It's sequences like this in TNG--sequences that are "out-there" and unique in a highly creative off the wall sort of way-- that make TNG not just a great dramatic show, but a wonderful work of cinematic art. It's stuff like this that transcend the medium and make TNG a mythology that becomes part of the collective consciousness. Totally heavenly.

For this sequence alone, and similar sequences, this episode is worth 3 stars. Plus a pretty good story...equals 3.5 stars.
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Ari Paul
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

@Adrian Martin

Timescape is wonderful. It's a gem! It's just so creative and beautifully directed. It has such great ambiance and tone and it's the perfect blend of adventure, wacky sci-fi ideas, humor and character.

it's certainly one of my top ten favorite episodes.
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Ari Paul
Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 3:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Booby Trap

Anyone else pick up on the interracial sexual stereotype subtext?

The prim, proper white engineer who's lived her delicate life in the sheltered cocoon of her "institute" and the big, muscular, virile black man who's out "in the field" doing the grunt work.

I'm not offended by this, I just found it highly erotic. Clearly Dr. Brahms lusts after Geordi's BBC--she's just begging to be "thrust" out of her boring academic life into the wild jungles of open space adventure. The sexual tension here is palpable. There is a mutual respect of course, but it's likely impossible for this relationship not to have sexual undertones. It's an archetypal dynamic.
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Ari Paul
Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Shades of Gray

Just imagine if you will an alternate timeline:

Imagine that the writers strike continued for another year. Imagine that shades of grey was just the beginning of a continuous run of clip shows that went on to compose the entire third season...all regurgitating the same tired crappy episodes in some stupid way only slightly different from each other.

Then the show is cancelled after its third (mostly clip show season)

TNG never becomes the global phenomenon that it is today. No more star trek spin-offs are produced. Star trek dies a quiet death in early 1990.

The actors all drift around in quiet desperation, living unfulfilled lives. Broken dreams.

Mirinia Sirtis gets into hardcore porn to pay the bills...but contracts AIDS and dies in 2001.
Michael Dorn quits acting and becomes a successful commercial airline pilot, flying for Delta.
Patrick Stewart returns to England and stage acting. He can never get the roles he once did, even in small English productions. Occasionally he does commercials for local companies. Most of the commercials are spoofs at the fact that he was "that other star trek captain."
Brent Spiner quits acting and goes into insurance sales
Jonathan Frake's career starts to dry up. He gets smaller and smaller roles. Refusing to give up the dream, and saddled with emotional distress, he drifts and flounders. He becomes addicted to meth. In and out of rehab, he later dies of suicide.
Wil Weaton still goes to conventions, and makes his living doing star trek appearances. His life is more or less the same.
Gates McFadden retires from acting and becomes a drama teacher at a rural high school somewhere in middle america. She is beloved by her students and her community. She marries a wealthy real estate developer. She remodels houses in her spare time and was even featured in one of those remodel shows.


Yep...it all almost happened. And it could have happened, if things didn't pull themselves together after the early seasons of TNG. Let this be a reminder to everyone never to give up. Persistence. Good Humor. Faith. Hard work.

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Ari Paul
Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Game

"devoted her life to humanitarian interests like treating AIDs and preventing poverty"

this isn;t the tragic part. you can still do the above without a political affiliation...and without going full radical.
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Ari Paul
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

I like this episode! It's certainly a guilty pleasure! I just appreciate all the ironic humor ("room service?" "It was a dark and stormy night----not a very good start" etc.) Plus it's got an upbeat tone to it. But most of all I do genuinely feel a good deal of suspense here. This place is purgatory, and the desire to get out, and the sense of danger, is just so wonderfully palpable.

Having said all that I know that there are flaws and that the story is pretty simple without any big morality issues etc. Nevertheless, it's a load of good fun.

2 stars.
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Ari Paul
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Excellent episode. But that opening scene where Riker is making eggs is just gross. I mean, watch him cracking that egg...he gets slime everywhere and on his hands. And then the end product looks so...bland...
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Ari Paul
Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

Yeah, I get that's what the writers thought was the point--and that's why it's so bad. We've moved quite a long way from the philosophy and writing perspective of Gene Roddenberry at this point in the franchise when things end in such a fizzling manner. The idealism of star trek embodied by Roddenberry's hopeful vision would always infuse these situations with a deeper meaning, enriching the mythology and uplifting or at least transmitting a hopeful message to the audience. The turn away from that writing style is one of the big reasons why the franchise began to decline in popularity so precipitously.

Also, it's simply not executed properly to convey the message that your thinking. In the case of "reaffirming the value of basic human emotion." OK, that's a good idea, but the writers are going to have to manifest that much better than simply having Naomi's mom come in at the very last minute asking for Neelix to tuck her child in bed. The emotional depth and level of crisis of Neelix's faith is too deep to be believably resolved so abruptly.
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Ari Paul
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

I love this movie. It was the first trek thing I ever saw at 5 years old. I was hooked. I wanted to live in that time and place. This is the thing that did it, this film.

As I grew up I realized that the other movies, and many other episodes, were better written or had better effects, but my affection for this film has never diminished even one bit.

There is a humanity to this film that none of the others have...a self-depricating earnestness...a not taking itself too seriously in peripheral areas, but speaking thoughtfully on serious subjects, that make this film uniquely special.

Then there's the tone of the film. This film, out of all the star trek original crew movies, best captures the tone, tenor, and spirit of the original series. It's a lovely film if you watch it with the right perspective--which is to say you don't take the star trek universe as fact, but for what it is: a human mythology.

Also, the score of the film is BY FAR the best. Goldsmith's music here is the best score in all of star trek, from the majesty of the Yosemite opening scene to the hauntingly mysterious use of synthesizers in the scenes when they arrive at the "great barrier" the music is just fantastic.
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JPaul
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Plinkett review of Last Jedi finally dropped today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f83D18xL7VE

There are some really good points in it, not the least of which is the comparison of the structure of The Last Jedi to that of the 1978 comedy National Lampoon's Vacation. I get the sense Rian Johnson tried really hard to turn Star Wars into a comedy, something supported by the existence of some dumb comedic outtakes.

The most damning thing is an old clip of Rian Johnson talking about how he wants to make movies where 50% of the audience loves it and 50% hate it. I guess mission accomplished?
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Ari Paul
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 1:14am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Course: Oblivion

Star Trek doesn't often do nihilism, but when it does, it does it in style.
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Ari Paul
Mon, Aug 27, 2018, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

What the hell did I just watch?
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Ari Paul
Fri, Aug 24, 2018, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Memorial

Wow! I have a whole new respect for this cast of actors after watching this episode. Wonderful performances from the entire cast. It felt like the cast really hit this one out of the park, and it reminds me that throughout the run of Voyager, the cast was very talented and willing to "go there"--if the show became mediocre in many instances it was due to the writing, certainly not the actors.

Also, this was a wonderfully directed episode. Pay attention to the scene where Neelix has a meltdown with the phaser--excellent pacing, camera angles, and lighting. There is true suspense and emotion. Lightning in a bottle.

3 1/2 stars

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Ari Paul
Mon, Aug 20, 2018, 1:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Mortal Coil

This episode perfectly sums up voyager. It has so much potential, and it almost reaches its potential, only to fall flat.

The story is working up to something very big, very emotional, yet at the end it takes a little dump on the viewer's chest. "Life is meaningless but, hey, we need you here!" Nah man. You're going to have to give me something a lot more thoughtful and poignant after such great build up with all the great afterlife stuff, Nelix's crisis of faith, his sense of lifelessness, chakotay's spiritual advice etc. etc.
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Ari Paul
Mon, Jul 30, 2018, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

@ Sarjenka's Little Brother

Man, you're just so right. Matt Frewer=annoying!!!! Can't tolerate this episode.

The only thing that (((maybe))) could have saved this is if Matt Frewer had gotten vaporized by a phasor or eaten by an alien at the end.
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Paul Moseley
Sun, Jul 29, 2018, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Defiant

Presumably, this episode couldn't happen even now.

After the odd Riker - O'Brien encounter, the Chief goes home and WhatsApp's to Will Riker...

Chief: Wtf dude. What did I do do?

Will Riker: hey chief. No idea what your talking bout man. im on rysa! baybee! partay!

Chief: Oh. Must be your duplicate. I'll call Sisko.
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Ari Paul
Sun, Jul 29, 2018, 1:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

This episode is noteworthy for having the best line, best delivered, by Patrick Stewart in all of TNG and the movies:


Mrs. Carmichael (the innkeeper): Well, I did do a church play when I was a lass.

Picard: WELL THERE. YOU. ARE!



I've adopted this line, and the exact intonation Stewart uses, for my own personal use from time to time. It's just the perfect way to express ironic satisfaction.


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