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Sarah M
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

This is my favorite of the prequel movies.

That's not saying much, and the scenes between Padme and Anakin feature some of the worst dialogue and worst chemistry ever captured on screen. But I did enjoy Obi-Wan's investigation (Ewan McGregor deserved better movies, he was a good fit as the younger character), and I will just say I found Light-Saber Yoda a lot of fun.
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Sarah M
Thu, Nov 5, 2015, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: New Trek Series Coming in 2017

In my opinion, Jammer, you are giving "Into Darkness" precisely the review attention it deserves. ;)

I agree with the other posters that it should be set at least enough beyond the events in "Nemesis" where they can do something new with the world. There are a lot of fun pieces that TNG, DS9 and even Voyager added to the world, and Enterprise having to ignore them was one of its problems.

I'm leery of this, for many reasons. Walling it off on a streaming service I don't want to subscribe to (and won't at all if the episodes are available on ITunes or Amazon download), and the involvement of the writer from the movies. But I am happy, in a broad sense, that more Star Trek will exist.

I hope you review it, Jammer! I miss your writing.
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Sarah M
Thu, Nov 27, 2014, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: Interstellar

NEW JAMMER CONTENT YAY.

That is all for now.
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Sarah M
Mon, Aug 4, 2014, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

I'm usually pretty good at viewing TOS as a product of its time when it comes to the way it uses female characters. It tries more than most productions of its era did, and it generally let its real characters, like Uhura and Chapel, be functional, competent members of the crew who did necessary jobs aboard a star ship. Even having women on board the "Enterprise" was something of a revolutionary idea at the time, so props for that, and I can deal with the T&A and occasionally shallow characterization of Kirk's chick-of-the-week.

I'm not giving "Mudd's Women" a pass, though. And even if you put aside the gender stupidity, the plot is almost non-existent and Mudd is pretty annoying. 1.5 stars is about right.
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Sarah M
Sat, Jul 19, 2014, 11:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Pilots are, by their very nature, clunky beasts. They have to introduce the primary characters, establish the feel of a world, and lay the groundwork for what a series will be going forward. They are almost always exposition heavy, and the stories they tell are often perfunctory table-setters, with more complicated and interesting storytelling left for the series to come.

“Where No Man Has Gone Before” doesn’t exactly rise above these limitations but, taking them into account, it does a pretty good job of setting up the “Star Trek” series. The review is spot on in that, while this isn’t a great episode, it’s a good one. The visual aesthetic of the ship is clear and builds the world of the Enterprise almost immediately, the special effects (such as the transporter) get a work-out to show off what they can do, and Captain Kirk and Spock come to life perfectly right from the start.

There are several touches here that I’m sorry didn’t survive into the series proper. Doctor Dehner is a stronger female character with a larger role in the plot than we’d see again for some time, if ever. The female crew members in general are costumed in slacks rather than short skirts, suggesting an atmosphere that actually had made some strides toward gender neutrality. The idea of the evolution of the human mind via ESP is intriguing, but is never really followed up on.

The decision to air this third in the series run rather than first is baffling, given all the changes that took place (most notably swapping out the ship MD for Doctor McCoy). It would’ve made a made better start than “Man Trap.” It may not be great Star Trek but, as a way to begin the voyage, it’s a strong push forward and very promising for what’s to come.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I'm going back through the Star Trek movies now (not a task for the faint of heart, when it comes to some of them, but I find myself liking TMP a little more every time I come back to it. Liking, not loving, but it's a decent sci-fi story that benefits from having the high expectations that must've rested on it at the time stripped away.

And as the review notes, it LOOKS great. It's hard not to think of 2001 and Star Wars when watching it and, while it's not a marvel like those were, it's clearly of a piece with the better space movies of that era. I also liked Decker and Ilia more than I suspect many do, even if their screen time does come at the expense of the series characters.
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Sarah M
Sat, Jun 15, 2013, 12:14am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: The Hand of God

Gosh, what a good episode. This is the show working on all cylinders. Fun space battles, interesting character dynamics, and the religious stuff with Baltar and Head Six actually wove intriguingly into the main plot rather than being a weird little side-show. That was just fun, well-written television.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down

Easily my least favorite episode of the first season. Though even this one I wouldn't grade below a C. It has a weird, heightened, screwball tone similar to what "Six Degrees" had. Except I'm far more interested in Baltar and James Callis' approach to him than I am in Ellen.

So many of Tigh's problems could've been solved by a good divorce lawyer.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Flesh and Bone

Wow, lots of torture comments.

If nothing else, I think this episode demonstrates how ultimately unreliable information gained from torture is (which to me is the strongest argument against it). But this isn't a polemic. It raises a lot of morally ambiguous questions through the actions of our "heroes," Starbuck and Roslin, that it doesn't answer. Which is great for discussion of the issue (even if I don't agree with some of the conclusions other viewers drew above).

Katee Sackoff and Callum Keith Renny are amazing. The Starbuck/Leoben dynamic always fascinated me when we got these glimpses of it.

Hail Madame Airlock.
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Sarah M
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Six Degrees of Separation

I always enjoyed this episode, probably because I am indeed a big fan of James Callis' performance. The fact that none of the actors on Battlestar got an Emmy nod for their work will never stop frustrating me. What I like about it is, it's a genuinely different approach to playing high intelligence.

Genius is something that makes you very, very different from most of the people you interact with, but it's often just hand-waved as something entirely positive for a character, or else dialed down to make the character clinical and emotionless and/or just socially awkward (fun in Spock, less fun in almost every other incarnation). Callis really gets into how quick Baltar is thinking, how frustrated he gets when the world around him doesn't bend the way his intellect says it should, and how not only his guilt but his genius puts him at a distance with people. He's a character who's both very socially adept, but also a little off and outside the social groups he's in, and I find that take refreshing.
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Sarah M
Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Litmus

Yeah, it echoes "The Drumhead" too much without being as good. Part of what made "The Drumhead" work was that the Admiral spear-heading the witch-hunt was in a higher position of power than Picard, so she was always a credible threat. Adama is a proponent of creating the tribunal, and even when Hadrian has theoretical power and over-reaches, he's still Commander Adama and is able to shut the whole thing down.

The Caprica stuff is much improved on rewatch, because I know where it's going and I'm invested in Helo and Sharon as characters this time around. I watched these episodes on Sci-Fi when they first aired, and I remember being confused and annoyed by Helo's Post-Apocalyptic Road Trip.

That scene with the toaster is one of my favorites.
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Sarah M
Tue, Jun 11, 2013, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Bastille Day

Soooooo glad they ditched Boxie as a thing as the series went on.

Jamie Bamber's English accent is all over the place in this episode. I think he does a passable "American enough to pass for Edward James Olmos' son" most of the time, but in places here it was very apparent.

I do like that they didn't just stunt case Old Apollo. They gave him a real character to play who added an unpredictable element to the universe, and who they could bring back in interesting ways as the series went on (even if I had my frustrations with the Zarek character on occasion, I always liked what he represented).
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Sarah M
Mon, Jun 10, 2013, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: 33

I'm rewatching the series now, and I figured I'd revisit these reviews while revisiting BSG. Just got through "33" last night.

I love how the show just drops you in the middle of the action - in a grim place at that - after the somewhat hopeful note the mini-series closed on. Love the worn-down, exhausted look of everyone in the cast. It really is an episode almost entirely about atmosphere. It puts you in this place, with these people, while they're pushed and pulled. And the 'win' is surviving long enough to get to do it another day, with a little more sleep, and a +1 on the whiteboard.

BSG sets the tone right up front. If you aren't on board for a ride like this, I'm not sure you'll ever embrace the series. If you are, it grabs you for the duration. It did for me, at least.

4 stars is about right.
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Sarah Mae
Sat, May 2, 2009, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

So, aside from the forthcoming Daybreak review, can we look forward to a Star Trek movie review as well?

So many things for Jammer to review for his masses, so little time.
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Sarah Mae
Wed, Apr 1, 2009, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Hee!

Well played, Jammer. Well played. Part of me wants to advise you to just keep it like this. Let the comments stew. But the finale is, for better or worse, the sort of piece you can't NOT have an opinion about, so I admit I'm looking forward to reading your real one.

As for the finale itself: was it everything I wanted? No. Was it an entertaining three hours of TV? Yes. It was both artistically frustrating, provocative and - partially, not completely - satisfying, which isn't something one can say about most television programs.

I liked the "On the Watchtower" coda, but I'm a sucker for that sort of slyness (I'm one of *those* people that like it, and you'll never please both us and *those* people that don't go for that loathe those dramatic winks).

I hated the non-destiny of Starbuck, though I understand the dramatic point they were trying to make.

I'm going to need to watch it again to fully form my opinion of it. There was a lot to think about there. Again that, in itself, is an achievement in the TV landscape.

You were good, show. Well played.
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Sarah M
Fri, Jan 23, 2009, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Face of the Enemy

Oh, god, the Underworld ad. I watched all ten episodes in sequence as well and it made me want go deface its movie posters. But I remember the damn thing. I doubt I would've thought twice about it otherwise. I suppose that's a marketing "win."

I very much enjoyed the webisodes themselves for what they were. Not a promising note for Cylon-human relations, or Gaeta's future. It does make me wonder how they'll use the Eights as things wind down. The Sharon model has had both great highs and bitchy, horrible lows. They may be key to how things play out, and not in a positive way for the humans or rebel Cylons.
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Sarah M
Sun, Nov 23, 2008, 8:18am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Ties That Bind

Yay, a new review. Reading your stuff was the only thing that kept me half-way paying attention to "Enterprise" back in the day, Jammer. (I love BSG and pay attention to it anyway, which makes me even more eager to read your take on it.) This was one of my favorite season 4 episodes, dark and frakked up as it was. The end to Cally's story is so terrible yet so right, given her character's journey throughout the series.
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Sarah M
Sun, Sep 28, 2008, 12:56am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

The Emmys made me think of this episode again.

Emmy winner that it was.

Beating out DS9's Emmy-nominated 'The Vistor' in its category.

For best make-up, admittedly, but still. 'Threshold' won an Emmy.

Let's all take a moment to reflect on that.
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Sarah Mae
Fri, Aug 29, 2008, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

I've been watching the movie on AMC this week. First time I'd seen it in years.

I think what bothered me the most was how atrophied the characters were. Riker and Troy were allowed some growth but that's pretty much it. Picard is still on the Enterprise, still with no personal life (why he hasn't at least been promoted to admiral by now is a mystery). All the character growth Worf experienced on DS9 has been done away with (he's randomly back on the Enterprise - his role as Klingon ambassador might've actually been interesting in the plot). Data /regressed/ as a character. So much wasted potential.

I almost wish they'd do another TNG movie just to tie things up decently. This wasn't a fitting end for the TNG characters.
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