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R.CAllen

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Posts posted by R.CAllen

  1. just going through the list on Wikipedia and seeing what sticks out for me and hasn’t been mentioned yet; some of these are kind of edge cases but whatever:

     

    Detention (2011)

    The Final Girls (2015)

    Frequency (2000)

    Kate & Leopold (2001)

    A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995)

    Last Night in Soho (2021)

    Unidentified Flying Oddball (1979) – I always think of that movie as being called ‘A Spaceman In King Arthur’s Court’ ... I think that was maybe the title on the Betamax tape I watched it on when I was a kid?

     

    Wait they include Star Trek Generations (1994) as a time travel movie; yeah, it is!

    Same deal with Superman (1978)!

  2. My answer is : yes! There are ninety eight (98) episodes of the show. I looked at the list of them on Wikipedia and asked myself a simple yes/no question for each one in turn. “Was that a good episode of Star Trek?” I came back with forty nine (49) yesses. Yeses. Yesi? In any case ... tie goes to the runner. It’s a good show!

    Is it worth it? Buddy, I don’t know. Spending any moment of your one beautiful life watching television? I don’t know. What else is there to do? That’s between you and your maker.

  3. One of my main go to podcasts — what I listen to on walks, while doing laundry, that sort of thing — is a Mission Impossible fan podcast. Or at least it started out as a fan podcast but over time I gather the guys who make it slowly but surely insinuated themselves into the halls of power and now it’s apparently the official podcast. I know at some point they ended up on the Tom Cruise cake list, yeah. I’m well over a hundred episodes into it and it’s still just the early days of the pandemic. I think considering the pace that they put out new episodes outmatches the pace at which I listen to ‘em it’s entirely possible I may never catch up. I’m okay with that. Would happily listen to these guys interviewing Hollywood legends about Tom Cruise’s hair for the rest of my days.

     

    I think I’m on the record somewhere years ago as really liking these movies — pretty sure I started calling it the only good franchise sometime around Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) — and I still really like them. Haven’t changed my mind!

     

    I didn’t see the most recent one in theatres because a senior citizen may be brave enough to ride a motorcycle off a mountain but I’m not brave enough to breathe in other people’s air. I’m no Scientologist. My respiratory cilia weren’t made virus proof by eons spent in Xenu’s volcanic chambers! So it was a bit of a wait for me to see Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023).

     

    What’s my verdict?

     

     

    I kind of came out of Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) convinced there was no way they could top it and, well, I was right. I think this new one is just not as good as the other McQuarrie stuff! But I came out of this new one — well, I didn’t come out of it, I watched it in my humble home — convinced that the next one could be greater than any of them so far. I don’t know what one of these movies will feel like if it’s the second half of something; if it gets to get going from jump. I’m excited to find out.

     

    My complaints (which may be unfair or inaccurate, oh well!) are the following :

     

    - The movie makes a big deal of the key. Who has the key, where is the key, what the key does. It won’t stop talking about the key! It does this with aplomb for ninety-five percent of the movie which is why it’s so awful that the key is putpocketed by Grace on that flight and we don’t see her get it back after she’s been detained. Correct me if I’m wrong but the key just reappears back into the narrative without any explanation. Similarly, the initial stages of Ethan’s chase after Grace is unjustified. (It’s possible I just missed something here. I’ll probably rewatch the movie.)

     

    - The movie makes a big deal about who Ethan is. It won’t stop talking about him! It does this really well for ninety five percent of it which is why it’s so awful that the Shea Whigham character is introduced as not knowing Ethan Hunt’s name — we see that this information is even kept classified from the Cary Elwes character and during the scene with Shea Whigham and the rest of his team in the helicopter plane things over the airport his name is never mentioned or shown in any of their computer text things — yet later on in the film Shea Whigham inexplicably refers to him by name. (Again, it’s possible I just missed something here. I’ll probably rewatch the movie.)

     

    - The fact that they shot this movie during the worst of the pandemic’s restrictions seems to mean that a lot of it is ... there are lots of pellucidly clear action sequences but there’s also a lot of muddy weird disjointed stuff where even though everyone’s supposed to be standing around in one room together it feels like half of everyone is missing.

     

    - I have the same complaint as I did for Star Trek Beyond (2016). It seems like they split up the part of the Main Girl into Two Main Girls because they couldn’t adequately track the necessary betrayals and doublecrosses while still having the Main Girl be the Main Girl and lovable throughout. I don’t know. It just felt like earlier drafts of this were just with Ilsa Faust and then that part got split in twain and then they smoothed things over by keeping Ilsa out of half the movie either by having her be offscreen or dead.

     

    But, all in all, it’s still a pretty good movie. It’s just there’s kind of a ramp up where III and Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation and Fallout are all just really great one after the other that anything less than exceptional excellence feels like a letdown. Like, the only thing in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) that came close to bothering me was that Henry Cavill gets his face scanned by Tom Cruise early on in the movie to demonstrate the magic mask technology and I figured the moment that happened we’d see someone else masked up as him later on. They laid a card down on the table! (If they ever wanted to bring back the actor this is an obvious way to do it, BTW. The fact that this new movie establishes that people such as the Vanessa Kirby and Frederik Schmidt characters still think John Lark is alive may even be soft set-up for this happening in Part 2!?!??) Where does the franchise go in the future? I don’t know. I think it’d be neat to do a TV thing where one episode or one season is the 50s and the next is the 60s and one episode or one season is the 70s and so on. I assume they can maybe squeak one more movie out of Cruise after the final half of the two-parter. Maybe he’s the Secretary — that was in the mix as an end state for the character for the fourth one when Paramount wanted to pass the franchise onto someone younger *cough* less expensive and less powerful — and he’s faced with the choice of disavowing all knowledge of the actions of a captured team and won’t do it and has to go and rescue them from their imminent execution. That’s also, of course, a serviceable enough idea for an ending story for the TV anthology.

     

    I disagree with the general consensus around II. People think it’s bad or dumb or the worst of the franchise or whatever. I get where they’re coming from, sure, yeah but I think a lot of II. It’s the only movie Tom Cruise has made where he’s unflinchingly honest about who he is — I think the only competition here may be Eyes Wide Shut (1999) where, like, among other things, those guys on the street call Dr. Bill Harford short (“I got dumps that are bigger than you!”) and gay — and it made an absolute ton of money (I think maybe more than other entries in the franchise that are more well regarded? Not going to bother to check.) and on some level that’s the singular criterion of success for these kinds of things. Maybe not for Cruise and his stable of permanent collaborators at this point, no, but it’s up there. It really matters. And I like it for how it prefigures certain longer lasting elements. For example, the parties in Mission: Impossible (1996) are kind of done like the old show but the parties from II on are their own thing, visual stuff is introduced and reinforced through them, sorry if this doesn’t quite make sense. I think the only real knock against it is that it’s obviously not John Woo’s best movie but the argument can be made for all the rest of them that they’re each their respective director’s best (non-animated for Bird!) movie.

     

    Anything else about the new one? I think the movie makes a good choice to really lean on Lorne Balfe’s score to get things across rather than having characters yapping about this or that over it. I really liked Shea Wigham and Hayley Atwell and Esai Morales. I think all these people had really high WAR scores, if you get my meaning. You could argue they could’ve popped in the anime guy from Ghost Protocol as the guy chasing him down instead but then there’d be no Shea! You could argue they could’ve swapped in Thandiwe Newton or even Paula Patton but then there’d be no Hayley. There’s all sorts of people who Gabriel could’ve been but then, yeah, you get it. A lot of the things the movie did which are the sort of things that really bother me in movies when they’re done badly — the lighter business, for instance — worked great, worked perfectly, the movie pulled them off without a hitch.

     

    Oh, one more thing. I wonder if Henry Czerny was intended as a super duper secret surprise. The scene at the beginning where a passel of everyone’s favourite character actors are shown to the audience one by one — each of them a plausible enough choice as The Guy for this movie — only to reveal that it’s Kittridge, Kittridge is back as The Guy, would’ve hit so hard for me if I didn’t already know we were getting more Kittridge.

     

    Oh, wait. One last thing this time for real. Well, actually, more like six last things. Here are some moments that struck me as Looney Tunes (affectionate) :

     

    • Shea Wigham and Shea Wigham’s sidekick looking around in the airport for Tom Cruise while Tom Cruise does the Tom Cruise run above them
    • Hayley Atwell driving the car directly into a bunch of parked motorcycles and them toppling each other over one after the other in sequence (and then Pom Klementieff driving on top of the motorbike corpses with a look of delight on her face!)
    • the thing with the teensy tinsy yellow car and the windshield wipers; just the whole of it, really
    • Vanessa Kirby awakening from having been tranq’d and immediately falling back to sleep again (hah! they do this twice!)
    • Tom Cruise parachuting in and bodyslamming that guy clear out of the train and then the wind catching his parachute and him knocking Frederik Schmidt out
    • the whole final train sequence with Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell climbing their way up out of the tilted environments. Like, the piano! Come on!
  4. The new season is pretty good so far.

     

     

     

    The season opener fiddles with the classic format a little. The episode features the new Sam Beckett figure cut off from his hologram but still talking aloud in the hope that he’s still being heard. The episode is interspersed with flashbacks from before he leaped for the first time at the beginning of the series. The episode ends with contact being reestablished and the new Sam Beckett figure talking with the new Gooshie figure about how it’s been three (3) years on their end since they last heard from him. The show doesn’t even do the classic thing where we see who he leaps into for the next episode; the episode’s final shot is his body going all electric-y. All quantum-y.

     

    The second episode ends the same way so for a moment there I thought this’d be the new normal. But the third episode ends in the classic fashion — the new Sam Beckett guy leaps into someone new and him and the audience is confronted with Tim Matheson saying “We hit ‘em tonight. Remember : two guards at the rear. One in the head. One in the chest. When we get inside you grab the statue and I will light up that place to make sure there are no survivors. Understood?” — so I guess they just feel free to change it up a little as and when it suits them. Okay! Psyched for next week! Tim Matheson! Otter from Animal House (1978)! John Hoynes on The West Wing (‘99-’06)!

     

    I don’t really remember exactly what went down in the first season finale but I thought the season ended on a cliffhanger with someone leaping home!?!?1? Like, I thought the final shot was the ambiguous look on the (bizarre looking! like, badly made up or badly lit or badly surgery’d or something!) face of the new version of Al as she saw a figure come out of the Quantum Leap chamber. I guess they’ve resolved it by having the plan to get the new Sam Beckett figure back not work and so nobody came through!? I don’t know. I could look this up somewhere — I’m sure there must fan discussion of this show online — but I enjoy this show most when I’m the least engaged with the details of it.

  5. I feel pretty bad about the whole thing — and as we all know that’s what’s super duper important in the end; me and my feeeeeelings! they’re of world-historical consequence! they’re of unquestionable relevance! they truly matter! — and am deeply scared over what may happen in the future.

  6. Before seeing this clip I’d already kind of soured on what I’d seen of it so far. I still do not really really like the animation style — somebody said it looks like the most expensive Newgrounds project; I think they’re kind of right — plus I don’t like that they didn’t adapt one of the better dumber jokes (“Wallace! Amazon.ca! What’s the website for that?”; wait, it seems that there isn’t a Netflix Dot Ca, it just redirects you to Netflix Dot Com, okay, I guess I understand why they made this particular choice) in this part of the movie/comic but I already kinda pre-decided to give it a shot maybe once it comes out.

  7. I don’t know. Stop trying? Doesn’t feel like the time, really. Looking at it from the outside and from a great distance I kind of think your career has never been on more of an upswing. I can’t turn around these days without seeing you retweeted on someone else’s Twitter — forgive me, I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t know how it works, I don’t follow you, I don’t follow anyone, does the Twitter computer know I ‘know’ you? — like, I knew about your book coming out before seeing it in this thread because someone else retweeted your tweet about it. Someone else is always out there retweeting your tweets! Stop trying now? When you are so Twitter famous that even I see your Tweets? Seems like a bad idea to me.

     

    My advice is to wait for the strike to be over. Wait for the inevitable victory over the dumbest rich people ever AND THEN maybe consider stopping trying. At least go out on top! If you need to make money in the interim, well, I don’t know. Welding? If you want to, sure, but at this point you talking about going back to school to weld sounds like when Greg Behrendt was on his old podcast talking about going back to school so he could become a barber. I don’t know. How long does it take to do that? I guess it all depends on what’s practical.

     

    I don’t see how it’s, like, ‘stopping trying’ to pay the bills any way you can in whatever way you can. There’s that bit in Martin Short’s biography where he talks about dealing with the fact that his career wasn’t always going great and sometimes wasn’t going at all with just doing whatever he was allowed to do whenever he was allowed to do it and not saying no to stuff and just being happy to get the chance to work — if ‘they’ would let him do movies then he’d do movies, if ‘they’ would let him do TV then he’d do TV, if ‘they’ would let him be on stage he’d be on stage, if ‘they’ would let him do voice work for a direct-to-DVD animated sequel he’d do that, whatever came his way. I don’t know what is and isn’t practical but considering you must have a resumé substantially different from lots of people out there it shouldn’t be that difficult to stretch the truth and ... there was that Twitter thread giving advice on this subject.

     

    I don’t know. This is kind of what Kirk was going through in WoK and everything worked out great for him!!!!1!

  8. Oh, wait. It was actually two things! Here’s the second half of it:

    This feels different to me than the other stuff so far. The other stuff felt more like someone coming out and announcing to the world at large, “President Murdererer has been pulled over for speeding! No, wait, he wasn’t actually president when he was speeding in the car! This is actually for old stuff. This is for when he was just plain old Mr. Murdererer!” or something like that. It was all, “You’ll never believe what President Murderer did to — and FOR! — his old girlfriend!” stuff. It was “President Murdererer has NOT returned papers from his time murdererering on the nation’s behalf!” stuff.

     

    I guess to say it in plain English it is obviously more satisfying to me to see President Donald Trump charged for the crime of — ahem! — trying to stay in power despite losing the election rather than for something in a civil case related to stuff from a long time ago or the Stormy Daniels stuff or the documents stuff or even the prospect of the Georgia stuff — the Georgia stuff is obviously a lot closer to the real deal than the rest of it — in isolation. This is what is. This is what they’ve got to do. This is what they should’ve done from day one.

     

    I’m not going to lie. I took some pleasure in the other stuff. President Murdererer is President Murdererer. If he falls on his face I am going to crack a smile. But this feels different. This feels good. This feels holy. This feels pure. I’m almost glad that there’s an ongoing strike down there in Tinseltown. The chuckle club doesn’t get to get their mitts all over it! Legally prohibited from doing so! This one’s for the people!

     

    I feel like the only way it could get much better is if he got covid again tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I mean, that’s obviously the REAL sin and crime here. That stuff. They stopped tolling the bell at the National Cathedral after one million. Didn’t do it when it hit one point one. I assume once it rolls over to one point two — בעזרת ה׳ next May! but it could be even earlier, חס ושלום! — they won’t do it again either. Oh well. What are the consolations of joy at the suffering of another in a fallen world? Not much. But I’ll take what I can get!

  9. I don’t think I had any thoughts re: the Georgia stuff but the previous indictment uncorked something in me — I’ll see if I can find it and copy’n’paste it — okay, here it is:

    Can’t lie. It feels good! I mean, this entire epoch has just been an unending series of side eyes from me as the second most gullible group of people in the world got themselves in a real lather — unending expression of their apocrine glands; just a bunch of horsies and chimps foaming themselves off at every opportunity, the Russians the Russians the Russians, dignity dignity dignity, norms norms norms, we’re better than this we’re better than this we’re better than this — over and over to no end whatsoever. But no side eye from me now! This is a real good real win real talk. Have I joined my beast brethren? Well, give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you!

     

    Can’t help but feel joy at the prospect of the president of the united states facing some kind of justice. I mean, justice delayed is double triple quadruple justice. That’s how the expression goes, right? Justice delayed is double triple quadruple justice! This just goes to show that if you stand up there on the television and scream aloud “LET’S ALL DO CRIME!” and then spend months and months openly plotting to do these crimes with your confederates and then you and thousands upon thousands of other people do these crimes together, well, you’re going to one day stare into the eyes of sweet Lady Justice. She won’t stare back. She’s blind. We all know this. We all saw the episode of Spider-Man (‘94-’98) where Matt Murdock defended Peter Parker and, okay, I’ll just copy’n’paste:

     

    Quote

    PETER PARKER: You're my lawyer!

    MATT MURDOCK: You sound surprised.

    PETER PARKER: No. I'm sorry. I've just never met a blind lawyer before.

    MATT MURDOCK: Well, I've never met an accused traitor before, so we're even. My name's Murdock, Matt Murdock.

    PETER PARKER: The famous criminal defense lawyer? I can't afford you.

    MATT MURDOCK: Well, somebody sent me a big cash retainer. So until it runs out, I'm your man. If you want me.

    PETER PARKER: Of course.

    MATT MURDOCK: Good. They say justice is also blind. So I like to think it gives me a leg up on the competition. Judging from what you've gotten yourself into, we're going to need every bit of help we can get.

     

    Hey, did you know the guy from Aerosmith did the theme song? No. Not him. I’m not talking about Liv Tyler’s dad. I’m talking about Joseph Anthony Pereira! I’m talking about Joe Perry. He did the ♫ RADIOACTIVE SPIDER-MAN SPIDER-MAN SPIDER-MAN RADIOACTIVE SPIDER-MAN ♫ song!

     

    What’s my point? My point is we all saw that episode when we were not even ten years old and we all knew from that point on that Rebbetzin Justice was blind. I guess it takes some criminals two and half years to learn that lesson! What’s the rush? What’s the hurry? Why not let him get all the way back into office again before charging him? All those dumb dumbs who trespassed into the capitol building got themselves got a lot sooner than he did! Doesn’t seem fair.

     

    Well, fair is for horses. No, that’s not it. Hay. Hay is for horses. There’s no such thing as horsefair. There’s horsehair. I guess now it’s ME who’s got the horsehair because as previously stated I’m in a lather — I’m in a tizzy! — just like my fellow animals. Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the barber. I don’t have quite the mane that I did for the bulk of the (still ongoing!) pandemic but it’s getting there.

     

    Look. I’m not side eyeing no more. It’s a good day! It’s a great day. My eyes have uncrossed. My eyes are staring straight ahead. The future has never been brighter!

     

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  10. On 8/11/2023 at 12:40 PM, R.CAllen said:

    - Admiral Nogawa!?!?1?!?111?! Hell yeah!

    Whoops. It is not hell yeah. It is hell no. I realize now I got this guy — spelled it wrong, too, it’s Admiral Nagawa — confused with Admiral Nogura from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and he’s also in some of the books. Neither of these two appear to be the guy with Robert April in the final scene of the season premiere. That guy is Commodore Tafune.

  11. I waited until the season was almost over to watch. Pretty good! Most of the episodes were really quite well done. Eight out of ten, really. I didn’t like the finale and I didn’t like the sixth episode.

     

    I feel like there’s only two or three complaints about the season as a whole that I didn’t otherwise address.

     

    COMPLAINT #1: James T. Kirk. James T. Kirk is always just showing up! Why!?!?1? I guess maybe it’s the thing with how, like, Worf would be in Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and in Staᴙ Trek: Nemǝsis (2002). And apparently, although it’s left a little unclear onscreen, Worf goes on to be captain of the Enterprise-E until it meets some kind of disastrous end. What’s my point? My point is I guess it’s Star Trek tradition for captains of the Enterprise to just inexplicably be around for no reason because they were on the old show.

     

    James T. Kirk is not Spider-Man. Spider-Man can just show up as a guest star or do a cameo and it’s, like, whatever. He’s teaming up in someone else’s book. It’s fine. The whole narrative doesn’t necessarily revolve around him. Kirk is not like that. A story with Kirk in it becomes a story about Kirk. It doesn’t matter if he’s alternate universe Kirk. It’s still James T. Kirk. The people making this show seriously expect me to care about Lt. Noonien-Singh in stories about him and her interacting!? What!? Oh no! How will her broken heart heal when he dies in her arms, how will she deal with interacting with his canonical reality self, how can she keep the secret of their time travel shenanigans from him, how can she manage once it turns out he’s still seeing his steady off and on!!!? There’s like four episodes with Kirk in it this year! They won’t stop shoving this guy in front of my face!

     

    James T. Kirk doesn’t make sense as a character outside of his role as an intersecting apex of other points of view. He doesn’t work as a foil to his brother or opposite the granddaughter of a guy who will one day temporarily kill his best friend! He works when he’s talking to Spock or when he’s talking to Bones. When there’s a moral problem or a sci-fi make’em’up at play for him to be the one to solve! He can’t really be the second banana. There’s no life in the guy if he’s on his own. He says so, explicitly!

     

    COMPLAINT #2: Wait. I think I actually talked about this. I really don’t like the empty space in the struts, the pylons, the thingmabobs connecting the nacelles to the main body of the ship. Doesn’t look good to me. They need to put the ship through another refit next year and fix it so it looks normal.

     

    COMPLAINT #3: I was sure there was something else but I forgot what it was. Must not have been too important. I’ll file the grievance if I can ever recall it oh wait as I am typing these words I just remembered what it was. Twenty plus years of Star Trek prequels and still no Dax symbiont how come give us Dax during this time she is supposed to be a gymnast who boned Bones give us Dax give us Emony Dax or whomever it was during TOS times come on stop playing around with ENT references and give us Dax. ENT wouldn’t give us the Dax! I want Dax! Dax dax dax! The stuff with Trill people in the future on DSC wasn’t good enough! Daxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!1!

  12. ep10

    - Lt. Singh mentioning her brother a little less than twenty minutes in is a clue to the attentive viewer that we’re going where we’re going here.

     

    - Ucccchhh. This guy seems way too young to be Scotty. Gotta shoot off his middle finger too!

     

    - The episode up until this point has been our characters worried that Nurse Chapel is dead and now has our characters suspicious of ... Scotty!?!?!? They keep asking him questions! There’s just such a mismatch of what the audience knows and what the characters know.

     

    Verdict: not up to snuff! The entire episode builds towards an inadequate cliffhanger. Like, what is it? will Captain Pike follow orders and let Dr. M’Benga and George Kirk and a bunch of dumb dumb colonists die? no stakes! even if it were Erica Ortegas and Carol Kane beamed away by the Gorn it’d still be no stakes because there’s no countervailing force. No reason why he wouldn’t do what’s right. Oh no!? War? War if he crosses a line? He is Captain Pike! It’s pretty clear that he believes a diplomatic solution is possible to any problem! He’ll just give a speech, “I see even your youngest and most naïve value the possibility of new life above their base appetites. We in Starfleet share the same sentiments. Love is stronger than hunger. Our need to connect unites us more than our need to destroy. Would you folks like to come over for dinner?” or whatever.

     

    Everything up until then was pretty rough too. I liked the zero-G combat and handholding, sure. That’s about it.

  13. ep9

    - oh wow! Dr. Korby! Yeah!!!!1!

     

    - “So, that happened.” AUGGGGGGGGGGGH! What’s wrong with a good old fashioned “Captain’s log, supplemental. I’ve assembled the senior staff in the ready room. *Ahem*. All systems stable.” I don’t know why these guys all speak like they’re in a Judd Apatow movie or like the people writing the scripts want to be the next Judd Apatow. Talk like Star Trek! That’s not Star Trek talk! Make the characters talk Star Trek talk! It’s obscene! It’s more obscene to have this dialogue than it would be for Captain Batel to say to Captain Pike over their Skype call that she’s psyched to have him nut thick ropes of hair gel cum deep into her juicy pussy. That at least would ... frank sexuality has its place in Star Trek! This kind of flippant warmed over cliché is just annoying! It’s bad! It draws more attention to itself than it moves things along smoothly and judiciously! It’s particularly bad here in this specific instance! A musical episode is almost by definition an earnest endeavour. How am I supposed to let this episode into my heart if it’s doing dumb dumb plagiarized winks’n’nods at the top of the first act?

     

    - “I shouldn’t have interrupted you because you had that thought first.” Putting this kind of therapy speak facilitated communication HR handbook stuff into the mouth of James T. Kirk is dumb but if Lt. Singh had cut him off during the final syllables with a curt, “And I outrank you.” that’d probably have made it go down smoother. I mean, is there some substantial audience of put upon professional women who are always getting talked over during work meetings that is watching SNW? Do those women watch this show? I assume it’s mostly cis male nerd freaks (present!), baby boomers, and children. I assume those women watch non-competitive reality television and K-dramas. Maybe the writers and producers of SNW are all high fiving each other over the idea of having James T. Kirk model a new kind of non-toxic masculinity; maybe they think from now on no one will ever interrupt a woman again.

     

    - Julia Child getting a mention on Star Trek means her career for the OSS is also canonical. Them’s the rules! Them’s the breaks!

     

    Verdict : fun! Liked to see everybody so happy! Singing! Dancing! I’m not a big musical guy so no clue if it was, like, ‘good’. I enjoyed myself! Kind of bizarre to see something that was once an April Fools joke done for real. On a long enough time scale I suppose all jokes come to pass, all forms of ongoing fiction devolve into self-parody, anything that rings true enough to make someone else laugh is a worthwhile area of creative investigation for a beast that struggles to find enough offal to sustain itself for ten feedings at a time. Star Trek musical episode! Sure. Why not!? (I feel like the prior five sentences make it seem like I didn’t like the episode. I did like the episode! It’s just ... not a good sign.)

  14. ep 8

    - is that ... yep, it’s Robert Wisdom. Bunny Colvin. Janice Moss’ father on Barry (‘18-’23).

     

    - Eh, whatever, put the raktajino in a promenade-style cup who cares. They’re never gonna get the old wine into new bottles, hard as they try. Put the shapeshifters on PIC in Odo’s bucket. Who cares? Look! It’s the familiar thing! It’s so familiar! It’s familiar even though it doesn’t make any sense for it to be that familiar thing! Whooo cares?

     

    - Nice design on that shuttlecraft in the flashback!

     

    - They say it F.O.B. instead of ‘fob’ which is as far as I know — entirely thanks to a review of the (excellent! strongly recommended!) Battle: Los Angeles (2011) — incorrect. I could go on here about how TOS was largely made by World War II veterans and most Star Trek since then has obviously been crafted by individuals who have never been in uniform and the consequences of this to narrative verisimilitude in an ongoing franchise about the adventures of phony baloney people in outer space but whooo cares???

     

    - Clint Howard!!!!1! Hurray! It never gets old to see him again! (I’m not being sarcastic or ironic or facetious or anything at all. Other than genuinely enthusiastic to see Clint Howard. Which I am. Now and forever!)

     

    - “This General Dak’Rah, he’s ordering his men to kill on sight anyone that isn’t a Klingon soldier.” ADR’ing in “After they torture them.” as the very next sentence just doesn’t work! You can’t kill someone on sight if you torture them first! Do his men ... do they make sure to keep their eyes closed while they torture anyone that isn’t a Klingon soldier!? Sloppy!

     

    - Thought about this during the season premiere but remembered to write it down now. Dr. M’Benga being good at hand-to-hand combat is actually kind of fitting. In one of his two (2) classic appearances the guy bitchslaps Spock. Arguably a more shocking moment for the time — think of Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night (1967) — than the interracial kisses on the show, yeah.

     

    - And the whole secret assassin whatever is a second obvious avenue for explaining why Dr. M’Benga ends up no longer Chief of Medicine on board the ship once TOS proper begins. The first being that the stuff with the transporter buffer and running an unauthorized medical treatment of an intimate without permission — I feel like I’m not the first person to connect the dots on this — and I suppose the second will be some awful Section 31 style black ops kerfuffle that will come back to bite him. The third option is that it’s the future and that hierarchical kind of mindset doesn’t really apply and who knows maybe he’ll be happy to step down and let Bones run the show and the fourth option is that it’s never addressed. They might just never address it. Like, what’re they going to do, a scene where Captain Pike leaves the ship but before he does he says, “Dr. M’Benga. Nyota Uhura. You are both vital parts of this crew and as we all know thanks to time travellers from the future you, Uhura, are of galactic historical import. I am sure the new captain, who I have met an alternate version of, will be proud to utilize your skills in, respectively, two (2) and sixty-six (66) of his subsequent adventures. Tough luck, Jabilo, no, sorry, your name's Joseph. Nyota, you’ll make out better than Nurse Chapel who will be gone from fifty-three (53) of ‘em! Now let’s all take a moment to mourn Lieutenant Ortega, Lieutenant Hemmer, and presumably Carol Kane as well. I would acknowledge Lt. Noonien-Singh but in order for the events of ‘Space Seed’ to take place we kind of have to assume Kirk’s completely forgotten her — a little out of character for a beautiful woman to escape his memory entirely but whatchagonnado — and Spock has most likely undergone the fullara which we all recall is the Vulcan forgetfulness ritual as established in that there episode of ENT guest-starring Bruce Davison. What was I, Captain Pike, saying? Bruce Davison! Great actor! You probably remember him as Senator Kelly from the X-Men movies. You guys don’t know about the X-Men? You’ll meet them during a crossover comic and the TNG guys will also meet them in another crossover comic and again as well in the canonical sequel paperback novel to that same crossover comic. Okay. Good talk. Speech over.”

     

    - is ... is Robert Wisdom’s whole speech about what he wants Dr. M’Benga to do just ADR’d in!?!? Most of it seems to be, yeah. Everything but his line about how the combat veterans on the ship look up to him and he believes many others do too. You can see him saying those words in the wide shot.

     

    - The Klingon blood just doesn’t look right. It’s supposed to be purple-pink. It looks like human blood. (I mean, then why do they call it ‘Klingon bloodwine’ if it doesn’t look like THEIR blood? Hmm. A conundrum for the ages!) This bothers me way more than the overall look of the Klingons themselves this season. It’s pretty good this year!

     

    - I’m taking the “What if I told you he murdered children?” line as being there to recall to mind Dr. M’Benga’s purging of the transporter databank, his allowing that ensign to go off to the front with the Andorian guy, even what he did to his own daughter when he let her turn into a Nebula God. I mean, yeah, that’s right there. The episode’s got good bones. I mean, it ends badly. Could’ve been slightly fixed if they gave the Robert Wisdom guy a martyr complex and had him actively goading Dr. M’Benga into it but as is, no, not a good ending. I mean, even still, there would still be the problem of the unsactioned vibe of him going off to kill those guys with a knife after he already rejected the mission and everyone else bit the dust, I don’t know, not sure how that works according to the rules of war.

    Verdict: not too bad! Ending’s bad and kind of ruins Nurse Chapel — hey, I wonder if it ever comes up when she goes to medical school that she saw a doctor lose his cool and murder an old man — and Dr. M’Benga — I suppose the mystery has stopped being about what gets him demoted and is now why he’s even still allowed to practice medicine, to wear the uniform; the guy belongs on Elba II, he belongs in the Tantalus Penal Colony, send this guy to New Zealand! — and Captain Pike too — how many horrifying secrets of his crew is this guy going to keep close to his chest? at some point you start to wonder if the guy’s fantasy of being a slave trader and raping women who actually enjoy it is less a fantasy and more of a ... is Captain Pike evil?!? — but characters can’t really be ruined on Star Trek in that way. The ending’s SUPPOSED to be like this. They did this on purpose! They’re always doing this on purpose. They did it on purpose on DSC when they left that prisoner to die too. They’re aiming for moral ambiguity and complexity but instead they just wound up with this! Oh well. It’s a solid C-. Maybe even better than that if you’re grading on a curve. If I were to rank every new episode of Star Trek since the series premiere of DSC I’d bet that it’d be closer to the top than to the bottom.

  15. ep 7

    - Wait, exposure to Bajoran and Cardassian languages prior to TOS in the main timeline!?!?1? Come on! No! Bad! Take that nonsense over to the JJ Abrams side of things where it belongs! Those guys are Lost Era at the absolute earliest! Definitely after Undiscovered Country at the bare minimum least!!!1! Bad! No! Undo! (I don’t think this is actually defensible on my behalf. It’s not even the first time they’ve done this. Some dumb dumb gave Pike some kind of medal or whatever from the Obsidian Order when they brought him in for Season 2 of DSC! Same part of his onscreen service record where we saw he got the Carrington prize! Dumb! So dumb! Whoever they’ve got doing the CGI stuff for the computer screens is always so so sooo dumb! Actual fact, no, probably a team of skilled professionals who tend to do superlative work. But I deeply dislike when I see a piece of minutiae that I have dumb dumb make believe disagreements about!)

     

    Verdict: a lot of fun! Kind of miraculous that they pulled it off!

  16. ep 6

    - What’s with the black badge as a background to the delta on Pike’s chest!? Has this been on the show before? If so, I never noticed it. I don’t like it. Looks bad! Looks dumb! Draws too much attention. Fleet Captain? Dumb! If this stays throughout the second half of the season I’m going to hate it every time I have to see it!

     

    - “I know. He was one of my best students. I’m sorry. I just said that because he’s dead. Actually, he was just okay. But, look! Look what he made of himself.” Usually, I hate it when they do the faux funny undercutting but this was a good moment well delivered by Carol Kane.

     

    - The Farragut!? But if Kirk is on the Farragut and is also a Lieutenant hasn’t it already ... eh, forget it, they’ll probably explain later in the episode.

     

    - They haven’t so far! Not going to doublecheck at the wiki to see if the whole deal has gone down yet. Maybe they just restaffed the ship and kept Kirk along as the sole survivor? What!?

     

    - Same as last season, I keep hearing a recurring theme on the soundtrack which reminds me heavily of the music from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Not the first episode! Just my first time noting it down.

     

    - “It’s an honour to meet you”!? Wait, didn’t the canonical Kirk and Pike meet at the close of last season after he got done with the alternate timeline shenanigans!? I must be forgetting. I suppose that was still part of the other branch. Oh well. My mind’s going!

     

    - All the money in the world to show this guy getting exploded into outer space but no sight of the Farragut!? Why?

     

    - Uhura losing her brother — not just her parents but v. specifically her brother as well — in a shuttle crash is a ... interesting (!?) choice. If you remember what happened to Nichelle Nichols’s brother, I mean.

     

    - Admiral Nogawa!?!?1?!?111?! Hell yeah!

     

    Verdict : dumb! They whiffed it! Oh well. They can’t all be winners. What was this episode even about? Oh no, Uhura’s imposter syndrome and trauma! Again? An episode that’s batting clean up and trying (and failing!) to set up the next run at bat. It can’t even handle its dialogue — they stitched together the stuff about Ramon’s personal logs, they stitched together Kirk’s big speech about death, they stitched together the conversation in the shuttle between Carol Kane and Rebecca Romijn — and it’s got an uneven grasp of the characters’ established pasts. I don’t know what kind of choice it is to hold tight to the stuff from Star Trek (2008) even as everything else floats away from the other open palm while in a third hand (how!? i guess we’re all Lt. Arex for the purpose of this sentence) stuff that went down last season and stuff that went down in prior episodes this season is clutched tight tight tight to the chest. I guess if that’s the way they wanted to do it they had to find a better way of going about their business than making an hour of television about ... Ensign Uhura’s sleep schedule!?!? Oh no! Ensign Uhura is so so tired! Watch her watch an outtake from a prior episode on her iPad! Watch her watching things again and again! Watch her react to things that aren’t there! Hallucination episodes of Star Trek are always a bit tough, I gather, but this one was a real wreck.

  17. ep5

    - Wow! Did they just confirm that the Vulcan solar system is Eridani B? Was that something ... that feels like something that was more in the books than on screen. I’m not going to doublecheck at the wiki.

     

    - Maybe in the future they’ll redo Leonard Nimoy’s dialogue in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) to have him say : “As you know, I have made a vow never to give you information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk and yours alone. That being said, Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless, and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you. Oh, I was once weirdly horny for his granddaughter.”

     

    - I never put this together before but Kirk. and Chapel. Kirk. I forget which one of the Pocket Books has Kirk going on vacation in Scotland or whatever and someone pointing out that what his name means. I don’t know. Maybe something with Scotty mentioning it? I don’t recall. Still. Kirk & Chapel. Not subtle! (Although, it took me a lifetime to notice so ... subtle enough? I suppose. Is Spock’s relationship with Chapel just a sublimated version of his involvement with Kirk? Maybe!) (Oh. Hah hah. ‘Christine’.)

     

    - This episode is all about an altered lesser version of Spock struggling to pretend to be the real Spock. This is so straightforwardly what the show’s whole project is about that, yeah, I gotta applaud it. Right on the nose. Right on the money.

     

    Verdict: great episode! I teared up a little at the Spock & Chapel kiss. It wasn’t full on boo hoo hoo tears or anything like that — I may not have gone through the Kolinahr but I practice the ways of c’thia, sure, I accept all things with equanimity — but Star Trek made me feel the feelings. I didn’t know Star Trek could still do that to me. Those two crazy kids!

  18. ep4

    - “Oh. You did that thing you do.”

    “What thing?”

    “That thing when someone gets too close. It’s tough. So you panic. Find reasons to push them away.”

    “I don’t do that. Do I?”

    “You do that.”

     

    This isn’t quite as bad as “that’s not a thing” but it’s close enough! Hate it! Hate to hear it! Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn are pretty good but nobody’s good enough to pull this off. Especially not in the second season! Doesn’t matter that there’s been episodes of DSC, doesn’t matter that these characters have been around for a long long long long time (as the episode, if it’s the one I think it is, attests to), this is garbage. This is, as is my perennial complaint, the wrong kind of garbage! They could pretty it up a little and make it the right kind of garbage (“In all the years I’ve known you. Professor Such-and-Such, Doctor So-and-So, and now Captain Batel.”, you get the idea). But I guess this is the kind of garbage they think people want to hear!

     

    - “I need to run a complete neurological analysis. I’ve never seen anything like this.” Hell yeah! There’s my garbage! There’s the garbage I love!

     

    - is that Reed Birney? Yeah. That is Reed Birney!!1!

     

    - Nurse Chapel completely ignoring Lt. Ortegas. Damn. A dozen fanfic writers tearing out their hair. There’s nothing between ‘em!

     

    Verdict: great episode! Extratextually, an argument for this exact kind of storytelling! Superb!

  19. ep3

    Wow! DuckDuckGo getting a reference!

     

    Temporal Wars too.

     

    Verdict : surprised how much I liked this one by the time it got to the end! Feels like it’ll inevitably lead to a re-release of WoK where Shatner’s bellow of “KHAAAAAAN!” is replaced with a version of Russell Brand’s voicemail message to Manuel from Fawlty Towers but whatever, who cares.

  20. ep2

    - “Una broke the law.”

    “And what if the law is wrong?” carrot-slam.

     

    Just really psyched to be getting this episode.

     

    - Really like the updated version of the TOS dress uniforms.

     

    Verdict : a lot fun! The metaphor’s muddled, the plotting’s clumsy, the whole episode’s conceit seems profoundly misguided — I laughed out loud at everyone standing around in the transporter room applauding this week’s special guest star; I don’t understand why this episode wasn’t about Khan’s Einekle being Single Female Lawyer for the week ... is this criticism fair? maybe not! — but it’s a proper Star Trek courtroom episode! Really loved it!

     

    But, I mean, why did Una turn herself in? really, why? the show doesn’t go with the obvious answer. The answer it gives is borderline unworkable ... she did it so she wouldn’t have to hide who she was from her subordinates!?

  21. season 2

     

    ep 1

    - I completely forgot about this Asian lady in Chekov’s seat. She’s in the captain’s ready room with the main cast during the teaser and gets dialogue and everything!? Apparently she was on the show last year!? The character’s name is ‘Jenna Mitchell’!!!!!1!

     

    - I dislike the space inside the struts connecting the nacelles to the main ship. Don’t like how it looks! Is this new or old? For all I know it goes all the way back to the sixties. I don’t care. I noticed it in this episode and I want ‘em to change it.

     

    - I really dislike how nü-Trek is so obsessed with their captains having catchphrases and it being explicitly lampshaded again and again, over and over, in poorly executed scene after poorly executed scene. They did it a lot on DSC, they did it on PIC, they’re doing it now on SNW. Shut up! Stop doing this!

     

    It’s okay for the cartoons. I think I didn’t mind it with the cartoons. I don’t even remember if there’s even a specific scene where they make a big deal over Captain Freeman saying, “Warp me!”. I think she just says, “Warp me!” What I do remember is when they’re all talking about what they’ll say to let people into their quarters. That was funny.

     

    This is not ... there isn’t ... Jean-Luc Picard is the only guy to do this and he had two (2)! You could argue ‘Make it so’ only half counts because he uses it for lots of other stuff too! Nobody else really has a consistent catch phrase for going places! Quick! Tell me Sisko’s! Tell me Janeway’s! Tell me Archer’s! Kirk doesn’t even ... you people are sick! You’ve made up something that doesn’t exist! I’m wracking my brain — if I’ve got one, if the Eymorg women of Sigma Draconis haven’t stolen it away! — to think of if this was something Star Trek ever did. The closest I can come to a memory of it is in the New Frontier Captain’s Table novel Once Burned where there was a helmsman, Mick Gold, who would always reply “On our way” anytime he was told to lay in a course without waiting for the direct order and then there was the one time he was given orders by a captain suffering from, like, PTSD and he and the rest of the crew didn’t really want to go through with it so he waited to be explicitly told. Nothing else is coming to mind!

     

    This is kind of like if they decided today that all the doctors from now on had to have their own version of Bones’ shtick and would do all these dumb dumb metafictional eye-winking bits where each time there was a new doctor they always had to come up with their own thing.

     

    I wouldn’t complain if any of the scenes where this happens were good. They’ve all been bad so far. Why do they keep doing this? Whose fault is it? Who do I have to blame for it? When Alex Kurtzman’s contract with Viacom expires in 2026 will it stop? Or is it now just part of the warp and woof of the franchise? Stop it! Unwarp it! Unworf it! Undo!

     

    - I feel like the thing where a Klingon asks one of our characters about their possible Klingon blood has happened more often than just the one incident which is coming to mind — that governor with Picard in the episode where Geordi got mindwiped; French Federation Citizen Swears In Perfect tlhIngan Hol — but it’s always a good thing. I liked it!

     

    - “What’s an antimatter detonation switch? It’s not a thing, is it?” “Yeah, no, definitely not a thing.” Okay, bad! I don’t like it when Star Trek characters talk like they’re in modern make’em’up blockbusters or like they’re goofy sitcom characters. Put the Star Trek characters into PLOTS from goofy sitcoms, sure, love it, can’t get enough of it. But it only works if they keep talking Star Trek while they do it. Would the episode where Kirk does the corbomite maneuver — can’t recall the title, sorry — have been improved if Kirk talked like this?

     

    - The false flag Federation ship is called a Crossfield-class in dialogue but looks nothing like the U.S.S. Discovery!?!? Did they chicken out of doing it? Boo! The Mirror Universe two-parter basically had Kirk’s Enterprise blow up Archer’s Enterprise! (Different ships, yeah, of course, but that’s what it looks like on screen.) Go the distance! Have the Enterprise blow up the Discovery!

     

    - I wonder if “Pedal to the metal” is an explicit reference to Galaxy Quest (1999). Maybe. Maybe not.

     

    Verdict : great stuff! Solid! Enjoyable! I don’t much care for the direction — keep the camera right side up, please! stop spinning it around the characters! — but all in all I thought it was really good.

  22. Oh dear! Usually my sympathies are with the bike people — I’m not one, they frighten me when they ride on the sidewalk (MY DOMAIN!), but nevertheless and nonetheless they are not car people and are thus uneasy allies against the common enemy of all peoples (a second Permian–Triassic extinction!) — but in this case it sounds like he was very much in the wrong. I’m sorry this happened to you!

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