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Simon Blake
Wed, Oct 9, 2019, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Here's my problem with Empire: tauntauns.

I love, love, LOVE tauntauns. The idea of having a domesticated furry tusked dinosaur to ride is fantastic. The problem is in the realisation. Normally, you'd expect a special effect to look good from a distance, and be a bit disappointing close up. But tauntauns are the opposite: close up, they are (to me) really convincing. When you see Luke and Han sitting astride the beasts, they look *real*. You can practically smell them. But then it cuts to a long shot, and what I guess is a stop-motion (go-motion?) model... which while it's nice enough, just looks like what it is - a little model. It's the least convincing bit of model work in the entire trilogy, and stands out a mile.

What's even more baffling is that in the special editions, they didn't seem to touch these shots at all. I was actually looking forward to them getting those sequences right after twenty years, finally making them look consistent with the close-ups using CGI... and what did we get instead? More Wampa, which nobody asked for.
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Simon Blake
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 10:03am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

"(if you have the time the editing skills, you can even do better: rearrange the scenes from "Terra Prime" so it ends with Archer's speech and fade from that to the "Space... the Final Frontier" of the 3 Enterprise Captains from "These Are the Voyages". That would be THE perfect way to end Enterprise)"

Even better: do NOT watch this as part of ENT at all. Work out which scenes come where in "The Pegasus", and splice in the ENT sequences to that episode of TNG.

I've been introducing my wife to Trek. We've done the good bits of TOS, most of TNG, all of DS9 apart from some of the rubbish ones in S1&2, the best couple of dozen of Voyager, and every episode of ENT, because I hadn't already seen those. Last night we watched "The Pegasus" again, immediately followed by "These are the voyages". She could see why I did it that way, and frankly it didn't jar that much for us that Frakes and Sirtis had aged a bit, even seeing the two episodes back to back. But goodness me it was rubbish, for all the reasons stated.

At least we've got a couple of seasons of "Discovery" to go at now, and don't have the massive downer you'd have had seeing this in 2005, with no new Trek on the horizon.
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Simon Blake
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

Among my favourite episodes, mainly for two lines that REALLY stick in my memory even 20 years on:
First, when One volunteers to go over to the Borg ship, Seven warns "They will try to assimilate you." One makes the slightest of head movements which nevertheless CLEARLY conveys the sentiment "bitch, please", and simply says "They will fail." Brilliant.

And second when the "You are hurting me" line repetition pays off with "You will adapt." That is absolutely lovely and brings a tear to my eye as I'm typing this. Five stars just for getting to those two lines.
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Simon Blake
Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 3:19am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

" largely because of how cathartic it is to see a competent combat team at work in the Star Trek universe"

This! I'm bingeing ST:ENT with my wife and we watched this last night. One thing we both noticed was how refreshing it is to see characters *and actors* who seem to know how to go into a room full of hostile armed people and deal with them efficiently. I've lost count of the times I've seen obviously entirely untrained actors enter a killing room skull-first with their weapon pointed at the floor and shouted "That's not how you clear a room!".
This time the MACOs dropped in, and pretty much took out the major threats where possible in a single well-aimed shot. No popping out from behind plastic barrels to wildly ping something in the vague direction of the target, like in every other Trek firefight.
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