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SlackerInc
Sun, Apr 22, 2018, 3:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I cosign the “Orville” recommendation.

As I said in my comment on the previous episode, I thought this finale was better than most of the season. I would consider the final two episodes of the season among only four or five episodes total that merited three stars (I don’t think there were any that merited more than that).

I did kind of think that blowing up the Klingon homeworld might have been the right play, but I guess maybe I’m just evil?

One thing I find amazing about the status quo as we find it at the end of the season is that there are (unless I’m totally blanking out on someone) no characters who are straight white males. Zero. By “characters” I mean people who occasionally say a line of dialogue, not people who walk by in the background. This radical state of affairs was effectively obscured for most of the season by the fact that the captain of the ship was a straight white male. But then he was revealed to be an evil Terran and stand-in for Trump, who died and was therefore absent for the final two episodes. All this on CBS, the most “red state” of networks! Stunning.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Contra Jammer, I found this one of the two or three best episodes of the season (that is, one of the only ones that was any good).

But shouldn’t Burnham go back to prison now that we know the guy who freed her was an evil Terran impostor?

Putting Georgiu back in the captain’s chair is risky for sure, but at least Saru and Burnham are on the bridge to keep an eye on her.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 5:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Ha, I knew they were doing a Trumpian thing with the Terran Empire. “Make the Empire glorious again”—I chortled. The writers are flat-out trolling the alt-right (think about it: now what actual straight, white, male, human characters are there on the show, now that the only one I can think of turned out to be evil and was killed?

So I enjoyed that. But too much of the rest of it comes across like it is written and directed to appeal to nine-year-olds. For them, it’s probably fantastic, and I probably would have loved it at that age myself. But for this fortysomething living in an era of premium TV, that kind of cheeseball schlock just doesn’t cut it for me, and it seems a weird choice for Star Trek. (That they do seem to be trying to emulate Star Wars makes it make more sense.)
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 14, 2018, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

I love reading these comments sections in general, but it kind of spoils it when people bring in stuff from outside the show like the doctor not being dead. Couldn't we have a policy not to discuss that sort of thing, at least not without a spoiler warning?

I thought this was the best episode yet. Surprised to be deep into the comments and no reference to Trump. I thought that was clearly what the writers were going for when they had Michael describe the Terran Empire.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 5:06am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

This episode had some good parts, but every scene involving the two lovebirds was cringe-inducing. The Klingon ship is uncloaking, and they are only just arriving in the transporter room? Then as they make their way around the ship to plant the sensors: they put them in plain sight, calling out in audible English that they are connected to Discovery? :facepalm:

And let's not even speak much of that terribly written and not super well acted scene near the end, in which they were allegedly emoting to each other. Yeesh.

Then there was the incredibly blatant telegraphing that Stamets's "one last jump" was not going to end well for him. Is this show written to be easily understood by grade school children?

Still, almost everything else not involving Burnham and Tyler together was pretty good. I especially liked the fight with the Klingon captain on the bridge.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 11, 2018, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Jammer, it can't be 'well played' by CBS, as the first half season was on for about a month and a half but your subscription expired just before the final episode. So you must have started it a couple weeks before the pilot. That's on you, sorry bud! :)

This wasn't the greatest episode, and there are indeed a lot of head-scratchers involving the Klingons; but I was definitely thinking the same as Rahu in the first post on this comment thread: at least they finally went on an away mission on a strange planet with a new lifeform to discover. That was a staple of past Trek and there has been far too little of it here.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

I enjoyed this quite a bit, until the ending, which was--as many have already said--too glib and just tonally "off".

Tilly really cleaned up nicely! In all her previous appearances, she came across as what an old friend of mine used to call "platonic". Not ugly, just plain and not sexually interesting. But with her her down and dressed up, she looked pretty good.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 9, 2018, 1:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

I just skimmed the comments: has anyone mentioned the gorgeous set design on Vulcan?

@Mertov: "I didn't read Lorca's order to Saru to consult with Starfleet command on rescuing the Admiral as a sell-out, or an attempt to remain Captain longer. Maybe I am naive."

I really don't want to sound mean, but I do think that's naive. Although I haven't seen the rest of the season yet (I am paying for just one month of CBS, so I will finish in the next three weeks), so who knows. [Speaking of which, people who go back months later to post in earlier episode threads after seeing more of the show should post easily visible spoiler warnings before any content we would not know up to this point!] But I actually thought as soon as he recommended that the Admiral take Sarek's place that he was expecting (or at least hoping) she would be killed. So once she was captured and he delayed going after her, I was 100% sure.

I do think it's interesting that there seems to be a large chunk of the Trek fanbase that is really invested in main characters, especially the captain, being Lawful Good (or at least some kind of Good). In this post-BSG era, I can understand why they don't operate that way any more, but it's a fair question as to whether this most of all violates something essential about the Trek ethos. I'm undecided.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 7, 2018, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I enjoyed this more than most, maybe all, of the episodes thus far. Yet I can't really dispute most of Jammer's complaints. Somehow they didn't bother me as I was watching--except for the spore drive's silliness, which has always bothered me.

One thing I wondered: why did Mudd say "you played me"?
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SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 2, 2018, 4:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Oh, and did anyone else think the episode title sounded like it was written by Fiona Apple? LOL
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SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 2, 2018, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I liked this a LOT better than the third episode, which I disliked so much I decided not to continue past the free trial of CBS last fall.

But I do still wonder about some of the Klingon stuff. I guess Jammer is basically right that it’s a little better, although that’s mainly just because it was so very bad before. But as he wondered, how does it make any sense that the ship that started the war, uniting the Klingons, is abandoned adrift and its crew starving? Especially since it has the cloaking technology? Clunky writing there, and I doubt this is what they had in mind when writing the pilot.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 5:50am (UTC -5)
Re: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

If it weren't for this film, someone could accuse me of just being dead set against the Disney SW films, and I would have trouble rebutting that claim, as I did indeed dislike TFA and TLJ. But this movie was really good! More like this, please.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 5:47am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Bringing back the Death Star in RotJ was super lame. Bringing it back (along with the entire Empire, under a new name) in TFA was a complete fail. The same is true of the depiction of Han Solo and his son Ben.

So even though I liked the new characters Rey and Finn, I just can't get behind this movie.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 5:42am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

For me, this is not only the only good movie of "the prequels" (although "Rogue One" is good too, but generally not what people mean when they say that), it's one of only four of the SW films I like at all (the remaining two being the first two films, released in 1977 and 1980).

But the "NOOOO!" is incredibly hokey. I can't believe Lucas didn't realize how cheesy that was.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 5:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

@Kid Marine, I didn't know that about the original plans for this movie. That does sound better. Redoing the Death Star was indeed super lame, and then they compounded this error by doing it yet AGAIN in TFA.

The Ewoks were not awesome (again, they changed from the Wookie planet, which would have made more sense), but not the worst aspect of the movie for me. I actually also hate the redemption of Vader, as I think you cannot redeem someone who has done so much evil. And he actually didn't even do something all that noble! Intervening to protect your only son from being killed is something most really evil men would do. And after all, Vader had already proposed to Luke in the previous movie that they team up to kill the Emperor.

I used to think the rescue of Han Solo at the beginning was the only decent part of the movie, but I no longer can even find merit there. Luke's plan seems too convoluted and full of unnecessary elements. He talks super tough to Jabba, like he's going to easily defeat him with his Jedi powers, but then the way things go when they are above the Sarlacc pit is that they constantly come to the literal precipice of doom and then just barely avoid death, repeatedly.

Also not a fan of the Luke-Leia sibling retcon.

I hadn't heard of the "NOOOO!" being added to this, but it was beyond horrendous in RotS. That movie is actually pretty good otherwise, the only really decent movie of the prequels; but the "NOOO!" moment is incredibly cheesy. Does Lucas not understand that this kind of reaction became embarrassingly hokey years before he brought it back in apparent earnest sincerity? Or is he aiming at such young children, he doesn't care?
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 5:20am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

For many years, this was my favorite SW film. But it has diminished in my esteem, mainly because it ends with the story unresolved and it was never satisfactorily resolved to my satisfaction ("Return of the Jedi" is still the worst SW movie IMO, including the prequels). It's a shame: I wonder what would have happened if they let the same screenwriter wrap up the story.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, 5:15am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: A New Hope

I can't be the only "Star Wars" fan with young children who has pondered how to curate the movies for them. One thing I've done so far that is probably unusual is to procrastinate the decision. I would like them to be at least ten before seeing any of them, so they can fully appreciate the intricacies of the story. If they watch them when really young and then repeat over the years, they could eventually grow into it, but that (IMO) robs them of having the optimal initial experience.

This original "Star Wars" is one of only four films in the franchise that I like--the other three being "Empire Strikes Back" (obviously), "Revenge of the Sith", and "Rogue One). For many years, I (like many fans) considered ESB even better than the original film. But thinking about curating the series for my children has made me reconsider. If I want to show them only those four movies, I would be ending on an unresolved, downer note.

So I think I may instead just start with this movie, treat that ending with the medals the way it was originally intended--as a sign of total victory and "happly ever after", even if Chewie got hosed--and then after they have sat with that for a while, show them RotS and R1.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Unification

Part one was decent but not spectacular. Part two was deadly dull for the first 30 minutes at least, and then got interesting and even exciting in the last 10 or 15 minutes.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 5, 2018, 4:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: The Cloud

I thought the dialogue and character beats were really quite impressive, some of the best I’ve seen on Star Trek.

@Paul, Nov. 2014, if you ever come back to read this thread: kudos for a great post, very funny and makes a good point too.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 4, 2018, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Live Fast and Prosper

Are you guys getting a message on Netflix that all the Star Trek shows are expiring March 7?
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 4, 2018, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@David Ryan: I thought the score was fine. I can’t find anything else to disagree with you about!
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SlackerInc
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@Dom:

Thanks for posting that article! One point made is most persuasive to me:

"Chen Tao, a project manager and longtime Star Wars aficionado who runs the fan forum Star Wars China, told Sixth Tone that the franchise has failed to live up to expectations in China because it arrived late to the market: Many potential viewers, upon hearing that a recently released film is actually the seventh or eighth in a series, feel they have too much catching up to do."

As for the "aesthetic" aspect: it's not like the actors they've cast are UNattractive (except for Tran--who, come to think of it, might stand out to Chinese audiences). Do you guys agree that Marvel superhero movies have more attractive actors than TLJ did?
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 26, 2018, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@Jason R: I'm glad I'm not the only one curious about this! Speaking of curious, you would think at least a few more Chinese people would have gone to see it just to see what the big deal was elsewhere in the world, and also just knowing tons of money went into it, that there's a lot of action and effects, etc. That's kind of what I assume is usually going on when a huge American blockbuster hits their shores.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

@JFenzel, yes: they are still making plenty of money off this movie. But it's still an interesting and newsworthy rebuke by the huge Chinese market. If they had pulled in the same amount of money worldwide, but it was distributed differently, with a little less everywhere else but a reasonable take in China, that would be a lot different--nothing newsworthy there. But for some reason, the movie didn't just underperform there, it flat out bombed. I have no idea why that happened, but I would be interested in hearing from Chinese people to try to explain why. I doubt there's ever in modern times been a movie that was such a big blockbuster elsewhere, but which played to near-empty theatres in China for a couple weeks before closing.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 19, 2018, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Did you guys see how badly TLJ bombed in China? They Do. Not. Want.

https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2077670/star-wars-the-last-jedi-has-been-pulled-from-almost-all-its-screens-in-china
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When Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiered in China, it was taking up 34.5% of the territory's screenings, but now Forbes is reporting that that's dropped to just 2.5%, which is a massive decrease. While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and some local Chinese movies have provided competition for The Last Jedi, the fact is that in this territory, the blockbuster just hasn't been a commercial winner. It only drew in $27 million during its opening weekend there, and it only added $7 million during the week, totaling a dismal $34.2 million. For comparison, Ex-Files 3, a recently-released low-budget romantic comedy, made $87 million in its second weekend.
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Just for being a big-budget action movie, and with Chinese people presumably knowing it was fairly huge in the U.S. (though a dropoff from TFA for sure), I can't believe it was THAT low. Wow.
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