Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Stargate Atlantis, created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper: a Television Review

Synopsis:

After the (accidental) discovery of a second Stargate on earth by the original SG-1 team, a new team has been studying the technology in the areas around the gate.  They have found that the gate system wasn’t actually created by the Goul’d as originally thought.  Another alien race, called The Ancients, are actually the ones who created the Stargate.

With this information the team working at the second gate finds even more technology and the information that the gate (which up till now has only been able to utilize 7 of the chevrons on the gate) is actually capable of FAR more so long as it has a power source to do so.

Dr. Elizabeth Weir is granted the opportunity to take a team on a mission through the Stargate to another galaxy powering the gate long enough to dial the 8th chevron and establishing a wormhole to the distant Atlantean gate.  As they proceed with the mission it becomes apparent that while the team made it through (one that is quite a bit larger than the teams we are used to seeing go through the gate) they may not be coming back to the Milky Way Galaxy anytime soon.

Pair that with a new big bad and suddenly the reason the Ancients left their beloved Atlantis is vitally clear.  What will the team do? And how will they survive the strange and frightening war they have somehow awakened by simply being in the city?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Action

-Creator: Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper

-Length: 5 seasons, 100 episodes, 45 minutes per episode

-Rating: TV-PG (rare sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, science-fiction themes, mild profanity, some use of alcohol and smoking, intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library

-Main Cast: Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Rainbow Sun Francks, David Hewlett, Jason Momoa, Paul McGillion, Amanda Tapping, Jewel Staite, Robert Picardo

-Page of Reference in RPO: 215

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

This was a really great start to the spinoff of the wildly popular Stargate SG-1.  It has a great cast, some familiar and some new which is nice for the transition to the new show.  This season takes place during season 8 of Stargate SG-1 so there is some but not a lot of overlap and while the show can be watched independently of any other knowledge of the other show it is helpful to have some of the background for a full experience.

The new Atlantis team is comprised in a similar format to the team we fell in love with during Stargate SG-1.  You have the brainy scientist, the headstrong military man, a kickass lady and a strong but kind alien who they pick up on some mission.  Occasionally they get joined by other characters.  Mostly the head of medical who adds a sweet but sassy tone to the group.

This season is a lot of set up but not in a way that is condescending or heavy.  We learn as the team learns.  Action and exploration reign over the story which is one of the best parts of Stargate and one of the reasons I love it so much.  It has some serious Star Trek vibes but way more action.  This is a great start to the new series.

Season 2:

Michael…. Oh Michael.  Not really sure what to say about this season.  Between the experiment to change the Wraith to humans and Ford getting changed into a superhuman/Wraith hybrid…thing… there is just a LOT going on.

Rodney has a lot in this season between blowing up a star system, getting someone stuck in his head, getting caught in a virtual reality, gets caught in a sunken jumper and

We get introduced to Ronin and he joins the team.  Hilarity and danger ensue.

Shepard and the team discover how Wraith became Wraith and Shepard ends up feeling a little bit of how the whole process goes.  He even gets the chance to Ascend…though that doesn’t go as well as one would hope…or maybe it does since he is still with the team.

The Genii come back in and Atlantis comes to their aid. The team messes up a bunch and ends up with a Atlantean warship. And they learn a lot along the way.

Overall a great season full of action and intrigue. A definite push into the third season with some great storylines coming to fruition.

Season 3:

This season was full of ups and downs for the team and for my emotions. By now we have gotten to know the team and things have gotten hairy. It is important to note that this season takes place during the same time as season 10 of Stargate SG-1.

We have a few big things that happen: the ancients appear, the replicators (yes like the ones from Stargate SG-1) have taken a unique form, we lose someone dear to the team, McKay nearly ascends, Atlantis is attacked (as usual), and we end up in a vicious attack that almost ends in the destruction of the entire crew.

Between the explosions and the nanites, the replicators and the general battles that the Atlantis crew must deal with, this show is constantly full of action.  It is one of the most captivating and entertaining science-fiction shows ever created.  And this season didn’t disappoint.

I had to hold off on watching the finale episode because I had the foresight (watching this on Amazon Prime Video/DVD much after the show was over) that this would be a three-part episode and that some very upsetting things happen in the episodes… it took me a while to get into the headspace to watch it.  I’m glad that I did because boy was the end of this season heavy and I’m super glad I didn’t have to wait the summer to get to the next two episodes

Season 4:

So, season four starts off high on the emotions.  With the first two episodes being the continuation of the season three finale, we start the season off on a really nerve-wracking foot.  We nearly lose Dr. Weir…and then we lose her in a different way. We nearly lose Atlantis all together. And they have to find another new planet.  Not exactly the smoothest moments for the team.

The Replicators have become another big bad though Atlantis has reactivated the Wraith attack code in their makeup.  They seem to also want Ascend…which isn’t as easy as it seems for some bits of metal with incredible technology. 

We get more information on Ronin’s past. There is a lot of body hijacking, kidnapping, loss of memory and other diseases…just a lot of general insanity. We get to see how awesome the new head of medical is and how she will fit into the general makeup of the team and everything as a whole.

Rodney’s past comes back, and his sister gets kidnapped to solve a problem on Earth.  He also learns that maybe he isn’t the most adept at things outside of his world of technology.

The gate bridge to get from Atlantis is created and invaded during the course of this season.  Ronin and McKay have to join up to save Earth and Atlantis.

We get more information about Tayla and the missing Ethosians from earlier in the season. Beckett makes a surprise return in an incredibly interesting way (I was super thrilled to see him because his death at the end of season 3 really hit me hard).

This was really a great season. A lot of action. A lot of intrigue. And one of the craziest ends to a season…and I really enjoyed seeing how they solved a problem thousands of years in the future.  I can’t wait to see what happens with the next season.

Season 5:

This feels like the start to an excellent ending of the series though I do believe that the show could have fun for another 2-3 seasons without becoming tiresome or repetitive.  Todd becomes a big character which is incredibly interesting to see, especially as he is a Wrath and normally not someone the team interacts with kindly or well.  We get to see more aspects of the Atlantis team.

Zelinka gets the chance to shine throughout the season as does Dr. Keller.  We get to see the strong character we knew she would become (and know from her performance as Kaylee in Firerfly).  Woosley also gets the chance to step up in, what is my least favorite television trope: the clip show.  It was nice to see him step into the role that was so beautifully performed by both Elizabeth Wier and Sam Carter (of SG-1 fame).

The social interactions of the team as well as things like the reintroduction of Dr. Carson, Michael and Todd are all things that create a solid show.  It really is this aspect that makes me sad to see the show end after only 100 episodes.  Rarely do I wish for a show to continue to past its expiration date but this is one that I do wish had continued on past its final season.

Having watched the season finale I have just two things that bothered me.  One is that I felt the second to last episode was quite out of place with its style.  I understand that it was to set up what happened in the final episode but still…. very odd, yet very well-done CSI episode.  Second was that the final episode should have been at least two episodes long.  There were a few times in the series where a two-part episode didn’t feel needed but then this time it should have and they didn’t.  Just a weird choice in my opinion.

I highly recommend this show.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Stargate SG-1, created by Brad Wright and Johnathan Glassner: a Television Review

Synopsis:

A year after the team gets back from their mission to Abydos through the Stargate the program is nearly shut down.  In fact, they haven’t been able to keep the whole program afloat after not finding another gate address to work.

When suddenly the gate opens.  And the entire team is called back in for questioning, some being recalled to duty after retirement.  As the team gets official recalled and sent back to Abydos to retrieve Daniel Jackson the planet is attacked and his wife as well as her brother are taken by the same people who attacked the Earth gate.

They proceed back through the gate determined to find her and her little brother.  The show follows their adventures as the team goes through the gate to planet after planet to find them and bring them home.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Military Action/Adventure

-Creator: Brad Wright and Johnathan Glassner

-Length: 10 Seasons, 214 episodes, 45 minutes per episode

-Rating: TV-PG (mild sexual moments and sexual innuendo, moderate violence and gore, moderate science-fiction themes, mild profanity, some alcohol and smoking, intense scenes throughout), please note that on the DVDs the first episode of the show is RATED R for full female nudity that was not in any other part of the series…

-Where to Watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube (buy or rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Don S. Davis, Corin Nemec, Ben Browder, Beau Bridges, Claudia Black

-Page of Reference in RPO: 215

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

I defiantly recommend watching the movie before jumping into this show.  While not essential as the cast is different and they do a decent job explaining the gist of what happened I feel like it gives you a good base to go off of.  And the nostalgia of the film is there in the beginning.

I absolutely love that they kept the feeling of all of the characters from the film.  Everyone does a fantastic job just taking what happened and was portrayed in the film and adding to them.  The depth that the new cast draws from and creates in the over arcing story is just wonderful and the new characters introduced fit well and have a story all of their own.

This season is not without its faults or hardships.  Like so many other science-fiction shows (like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Farscape and even Eureka) this first season has its ups and downs.  As a die-hard fan there are many episodes in the first season that I just skip as I feel they add little to the show overall.  These filler types of episodes are difficult to get through and I’m very glad the show got picked up for a second season after the first.

The build of the team is solid and while it plays on some typical science-fiction stereotypes (the geek, the soldier, the scientist, the alien…etc) the writers and actors seem to do justice to the ideas while still finding the unique story telling moments that are needed to make the series thrive.

Get through season one and I promise you will truly get into a series worth watching.

Season 2:

This season has a lot of forward momentum for the show. The ups and downs as well as the filler episodes from season one have been pushed to the wayside for the most part.  Most of the episodes here are important to the formation of the overarching story that will continue to carry through the next several seasons.

We get to meet some key players this season including the Tok’ra, a subsect of the G’ould species, that have morals and a decent head on their shoulders.  They do things differently in that they do not forcibly take hosts but have a truly symbiotic relationship with their willing host for the mutual benefit of both of them. Which is great as Sam’s dad comes into play and eventually becomes the Earth/Tok’ra liaison… as a Tok’ra host.

We discover more about The Four Races found in the information with Ernest. We get information about both the Asgaurd and the Ancients.  Apophasis is finally killed…but we have yet to get back Daniel’s wife.  Its almost worse at this point as earlier in the season we almost got her back.

While there are emotional ups and downs season two is a solid season, setting up much of what we will find happening in the upcoming universe…and the beginnings of the spin off show Stargate Atlantis.

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Season 6:

Season 7:

Season 8:

Season 9:

Season 10:

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Stargate, created by Roland Emmerich: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In 1928 a giant ring was discovered in the sands of Giza.  The symbols on the ring were foreign but the cover stone placed in front of it had ancient Egyptian markings on it.

When a young Egyptologist and linguist, Daniel Jackson, gets laughed out of every single institution he has tried to pitch his bizarre idea that aliens might have been involved in many ancient societies, mainly Egyptian culture, he is approached by Catherine Langford to come and translate a series of symbols her team has been unable to make heads or tails of.

As he studies the cover stone, he translates one set of glyphs as “stargate” which use constellations to coordinate the destinations of the stars.  When they use the symbols that Jackson discovered the Stargate, an actual entity that was pulled out of the desert in Giza, a wormhole is created, and a probe is sent through to see what may be on the other side.

They get the all-clear to go to the other planet, a team of military men accompanied by Jackson step though the Gate and enter the arid desert planet of Abydos.  They locate the way to get back home but without the correct combination the team may never get back.

As they explore the outlying area near the gate, they discover a civilization not much more advanced than where the Egyptians were thought to be when they buried the Gate themselves.  As Jackson tries to communicate with the people of the planet, which they discover is called Abydos, his necklace (given to him by Langford) is revealed and the people drop to their knees.  They believe that he is sent from their god Ra to speak on his behalf.

The team begins to uncover what is actually going on upon the planet and who Ra actually is…a threat to both Abydos and Earth alike.  They begin to formulate a plan.  And when Colonel Jack O’Neil reveals that he has been sent on this mission with a nuclear bomb the whole team wonders if it may not be the fact that they cannot find the coordinates to get home that will be the end of their lives.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Adventure

-Creator: Roland Emmerich

-Length: 121 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate science-fiction violence and gore, mild sex and nudity, moderate profanity, mild use of tobacco and alcohol, moderate frightening scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jayne Davidson, Viveca Lindfors, Alexis Cruz, Mili Avital, Leon Rippy, John Diehl, Erik Avari, French Stewart, Carlos Lauchu

-Page of Reference in RP1: 215

Review (contains spoilers):

This is probably my favorite science-fiction film of all time.  I watch a lot of sci-fi but rarely does a story capture my attention the way this one does.  For me it has a similar idea to Star Trek…exploration of another world and culture.  Daniel Jackson is by far my favorite character.  And this carries into the show even after the actor changes.

I love the world that they set up in this film.  The creatures that enslave people in the name of a god they take the mantle of.  It left so much potential in the universe for the world to be expanded…and expand they did.

There is so much here that can be noted and explored.  The psychology that Ra uses to suppress the people from the banishment of written language to the suppression of technology.  The fear and the legends.  The pain that the team is running from. Jack from the death of his son and Daniel from the death of his parents. 

The movie is complex and deep with so very many layers.  There are heartfelt moments, bits of comedy, drama and fear…it really is a very beautifully put together film that I have watched many times and spawned one of my all time favorite television series.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

REPOST: Weird Science, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Nerds Gary and Wyatt are embarrassed by the popular senior jocks while they swooned over the seniors’ girlfriends.  Rejected the pair decide that they need to boost their popularity in order to win their crushes from the jocks.

While watching Frankenstein a brilliant idea occurs.  They should try and create their own girlfriend.  Using their computer and hooking a doll up to the system somehow their dream comes true.

Now what to do with a hot British girl who can make things appear on command?  Will they win their crushes, or will they just end up grounded for life?

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Science-Fiction Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 94 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sex and nudity, mild violence, moderate profanity, mild alcohol use and smoking)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson

-Page of Reference in RP1/RP2: 36/186

Review (contains spoilers):

A solid John Hughes flick.  You have your pretty stereotypical scenarios for an 80s teen comedy.  The nerds vs the jocks.  The desire of belonging.  Outcasts. Parties.  Pretty girls… you know the drill.

If you’ve seen one John Hughes flick you’ve seen them all.

But that isn’t to say they are bad in any way.

This one was completely entertaining.  Between the insanity of a Frankenstein woman, two teens that are fighting for love and somehow everything they want can be summoned at the drop of a hat.  And a young Robert Downing Jr. being a complete idiot and bully… which is a quite interesting role for him to play. Definitely a hour and a half well spent.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

REPOST: Real Genius, created by Neal Israel and Pat Proft: a film Review

Synopsis:

The CIA is determined to create a new “peace time” weapon, codename Crossbow, that uses a high-powered laser to eliminate potential threats before they become terrorists.  To do so they recruit the help of a well-know college professor to create the laser needed to pull off this accomplishment.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Mitch is accepted to the college for mid-winter term due to his insane intellect.  Rooming with genius and role model, Chris Knight, proves to be vastly different from the idea that Mitch builds up in his head.  Knight is a bit of a prankster and overall chill guy compared to tightly wound genius Mitch.

As the pair find their differences and turn them into strengths to help each other through the difficult final semester for Knight, they work to create an incredibly powerful laser that will be Knight’s ticket to graduation.

But when they are forced to see what possible uses someone would have for a laser that big and powerful they must come to terms with the fact that sometimes, as scientists, you need to think about the practical applications of your creations…and come to terms with the fact that they may not be used for the good and hopeful reasons you would want them to be…

General Information:

-Genre: Science Fiction Teen Comedy

-Creator: Neal Israel and Pat Proft

-Length: 106 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild sex, nudity and sexual innuendo, mild profanity, mild partying)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Val Kilmer, Gabe Jarret, Michelle Meyrink, William Atherton, Robert Prescott, Jon Gries

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Such a great comedy and one of my top watched movies of all time.  It is a staple in my vocabulary to quote lines from this film.  And there are plenty of them that are quotable.

I love the story, the quirky characters and the fact that, though the science is incredibly above my head as I know nothing about optics, everything discussed is relatable.  It isn’t about the science.  You don’t have to know anything to love this film.

Witty and sarcastic this whole movie is an absolute gem of late ‘80s comedy.   From the child genius on a college campus (and in a dorm!) to the fact that the bad guy is someone in the faculty…its just an overall ridiculous film that is just as funny after the first watch as the 100th.  Plus, it has a great soundtrack.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

REPOST: Star Trek Beyond, created by JJ Abrams, based on the work of Gene Rodenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

After several years of space exploration, the Enterprise has arrived at Yorktown Space Station to resupply and grant some much-needed shore leave for the crew.  As they get the chance to have a bit of downtime the struggles of being away from civilization on a long-term mission start to become clear.  Sulu gets to spend time with his family, Spock and Uhura break up, Ambassador Spock passes away, and Captain James T. Kirk applies to a Vice Admiralship on Yorktown itself.

As the crew grapples with the meaning of their explorative mission amid the chance for a bit of space amongst the crew and civilian contingency of the space station a mysterious escape pod appears out of an uncharted nebula.  The Enterprise is dispatched on a mission to save the crew and ship that the occupant of the escape pod says is stranded on a planet deep inside of the nebula.

Upon approach the Enterprise and her crew are attacked by a swarm of fighters and are overcome with the damage, left to crash into the planet.  As they scramble to save themselves amongst the wreckage of their beloved ship and to formulate a plan to save their crew, they soon realize they cannot do things alone.  They must reunite in order to save themselves and all of Yorktown Space Station from a sadistic and manipulative maniac who only has eyes on the total destruction of Starfleet.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Action

-Creator: JJ Abrams, based on the work of Gene Rodenberry

-Length: 122 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, science-fiction themes, mild profanity including the incomplete use of the word fuck, some alcohol use and intoxication, some intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

By far the weakest of the Kelvin Timeline films.  While the writing is still great and the acting is phenomenal, the plot is just….okay. 

Relationships that should have been strengthened over the years have fallen by the wayside for no really discernable reason (I’m looking at you Spock and Uhura…get it together), our valiant captain is struggling and suddenly there is a psycho out there that is trying to kill everyone.

Of course I still loved the film.  I’m a big fan of the Kelvin timeline.  So that was never going to be a question for me.  I just wish the plot had more substance to it.  I do feel like the writers did what they could with what they had.  They cultivated relationships that had been implied in the original series, introduced some new awesome characters…and repaired some of the damage done in the gap between films.

Decent but not overwhelming.  And it didn’t feel like an ending.  I wish the fourth movie would move forward but I am afraid it may be too late…who knows.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

REPOST: Star Trek Into Darkness, created by J. J. Abrams (based off the work of Gene Roddenberry): a Film Review

Synopsis:

Captain Kirk and his crew violate the Prime Directive by allowing their ship to be seen by a primitive species while trying to both save the civilization and their fellow crew member Commander Spock.  Because of this Kirk is removed from his command around the same time that an unprovoked attack on an outlying Starfleet installation in London is attacked and destroyed.

While Admiral Pike is reinstated as Captain of the Enterprise and Spock is moved to another ship the planet side Captains and First Officers of Starfleet convene to assess the damage to the Starfleet post and the next steps in discovering the culprit.  As they meet the conference is attacked by the same villain who attacked the other Starfleet installation resulting in the death of several members of Starfleet including Admiral Pike.

In light of this (and on the heels of losing a father figure) Kirk asks to be reinstated to go after the culprit who has warped to an uninhabited quadrant of Klingon territory.  As they load up the crew begins to question exactly what is going on with this covert and militarized mission as the Starfleet they know is one of discovery and exploration, not military prowess.

When they capture the man in question and discover the story he is telling may hold more truth than they have been told by their own administration the crew of the Enterprise has to make some big decisions of their own.  Who do they believe in this situation?  Their own superiors or the man who was put into cryo-sleep for 300 years only to be brought back to life?

General Information About the Movie/Series:

-Genre: Science-fiction action

-Creator: J. J. Abrams, based off the work of Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 131 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (science-fiction themes, moderate violence and gore, some nudity and sexual innuendo, mild language, some alcohol use)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, FXNetwork, DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Chris Pine,Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Weller, and Alice Eve

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

Overall, this is a great film.  It’s a solid sequel to the first of the alternative timeline.  Its an interesting take on Khan’s story from Wrath of Kahn.  But it isn’t without it’s faults.

As I discussed the film with my brother, we argued about the validity of using Khan in this story line.  The idea itself is intriguing: a mysterious spy, someone of power, who is manipulating officers in Starfleet to achieve his own ends.  It wasn’t needed for the character to be Khan.

Yet I do understand it as a further study into the alternative universe theory.  Just like with the first of the Kelvin timeline the overarching plot is a character and storyline study.  It is all about taking a specific set of people who have been developed and have in depth backstories and seeing how they would turn out if things had gone differently leading up to their current place in their lives.  What would Captain Kirk be like if he didn’t have the influence of his father to get him into Starfleet, but instead ran from the ghost of his father’s legacy?  What would Spock be like if he didn’t finish Kolinahr and instead of purging all emotion decided to embrace it in small ways?  What if Noyota Uhura and Spock actually dated instead of their attraction just being alluded to in TOS?

This is a study of the differences in a character 300 years old.  Someone who is set in their way long before the situation that changes so many of the characters that we came to love in Star Trek.  He is a unique moment in this timeline.  His entire personality, the events that led to his cryofreeze and containment we can only assume are the same or very similar to the events in the original timeline.

Therefor the study of his actions is fascinating in this aspect.  He is and remains extremely similar to the person that he was in the original timeline.  He has the same tendacies for homicide and general violence that Khan had in The Wrath of Khan.

What is interesting is the events that lead up to his release in this film.  The same Kelvin timeline issues that lead Admiral Marcus to make the choices he makes in regards to Khan are the ones that shape the crew as we see them now.  The differences in the timelines makes for an interesting take on the events of the original timeline.

Though there are moments in it when I do wish that instead of relying on Khan and the parallels of The Wrath of Khan that Abrams had leaned into his skills as a writer and really created a unique character for the crew to battle as he did in the first film.

But we cant always have a perfect film that goes off exactly the way we want it to.

Once again this timeline is by far one of my favorite take son the Star Trek Universe.  It really speaks to my love of character development and character study in film.

A wonderful sequel to lead into the Enterprise’s first five year mission into uncharted space.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

REPOST: Star Trek (2009), created by J. J. Abrams (based off of the work of Gene Roddenberry): a Film Review

Synopsis:

In the 23rd century the USS Kelvin is out exploring the uncharted regions of space when they are confronted by a strange space vessel coming from a black hole. During the skirmish that follows the federation ship is lost along with its acting captain as he saved all other living souls on board including his newborn son, James T. Kirk.  The strange ship is not seen again.

On Vulcan, the young hybrid Spock begins to find his place amongst his people only to find that even being the top of his class is not enough to erase his heritage.  He chooses to enroll in StarFleet Academy instead.

It is here that the pair become entangled and set off on their first mission under Captain Christopher Pike as the Fleet gets called to the aid of Vulcan following unprecedented and sudden seismic activity on the planet surface.  As the current USS Enterprise sets off on its maiden voyage the plot thickens when they arrive at Vulcan to find the issues on the planet far beyond what they were prepared to deal with.

General Information:

-Genre: Science Fiction Action

-Creator: J. J. Abrams, based off the work of Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 127 minutes

-Rating: Pg-13 (sci-fi action and violence, brief sexual content)

-Where to Watch: DVD, BlueRay, 4K, for rent/purchase on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and iTunes (amongst others), or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Chris Pine,Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy and Winona Rider

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

I am absolutely in love with the new Kelvin Timeline series.  This first movie was the start of what I believe to be the true reboot of Star Trek.  The style of the film was unlike anything we had seen previously.  From the sleek sets, the new costumes and the fantastic cast the combination of practical and CGI this is truly a new Enterprise.

While I understand that the Kelvin Timeline threw out any extended universe it also didn’t. This is often a point of contention between myself and others in the fandom. But just like there is so much to explore in Star Trek itself there is no reason that these two timelines, as well as their fans, cannot stand side by side.  This was the time for fans new and old to unite around a beautiful film.

The performances by the main crew are stunning.  As they all had to live up to the incredible character development already done by their predecessors.  The wiggle room they had they all used to the fullest while still honoring their TOS counterparts with beautiful renditions within that framework.

Besides that though the movie is just thoroughly entertaining.   There is action, romance, anger, revenge, sassy characters, internal conflicts, and plenty of science-fiction to entertain even the most avid movie viewer.  Count in the guest star, the beloved Leonard Nimoy, and you have a wonderful two hours of entertainment.

Though I do love this film it is not without its challenges. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the characters (though they are introduced organically) a lot of the jokes, moments of personal significance and the differences from their TOS counterparts are lost.  This can cause the film to feel less dimensional and vibrant.

The costuming, like other aspects, are much more refined.   And the lighting and CGI are top notch.  But Abrams did do everything he could practically so there are these wonderful elements of tangible design in the film.

The set, while my favorite of the Enterprise sets, is quite sleek and modern especially when compared with its TOS counterpart.  This is partly due to time frame (2009 compared to the 1970s) and partly due to the vision of the director and the crew.  I can understand how this could be jarring for long time fans….but what bothers me the most is that a lot of these fans cannot get past the fact that this is an entirely different timeline.

They seem to get angry that the extended universe was thrown out (in my opinion it wasn’t).  But Abrams said they specifically chose to do an ALTERNATIVE timeline so it DIDN’T throw out everything that the 50 years of Star Trek (from TV shows to books to movies).

By far I would say this start to the new timeline has been one of my favorite Star Trek reboots in a long time.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek: Nemesis, based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Romulans are debating the terms of peace and alliance with Reman, the planet that the Romulans have enslaved for millenia.  As the debate continues the crew of the Enterprise are sent to aid in the negotiations by the Federation.

As they head to their mission the crew celebrates the marriage of Commander Riker and Counselor Troi.  While the crew celebrates a strange energy reading is detected on the edge of Romulan space.  When they investigate the group discovers an earlier version of Data named B-4.  They flee with the strange android as they are attacked by the native people.

When they arrive at the Romulan and Reman peace talks the Enterprise discovers that Data is not the only one that has a clone like creature.  Picard has been cloned in a secret mission to create high-ranking spies to infiltrate Starfleet.

What are they all to do when Picard is captured by his clone?  And how is the Enterprise crew supposed to negotiate peace when they, themselves, are in just as much danger?

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction

-Creator: based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 117 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence and gore, very mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis,

-Page of Reference in RP1: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

I just…yikes.

This is not how The Next Generation should have ended.  With a whoosh of relief after getting through this film.  You know its bad when your cast found it a disappointment to act in. and they say it even 20 some odd years later.

I felt like there was potential with the plot.  The clones/duplicates, the idea and search for peace…a little bit of the Khan idea with the blood being the key to saving whoever.

But when you focus so much on the villains and not on the thing people are coming to see the movie for: the INCREDIBLE crew of the Enterprise, things are bound to fall apart. And quickly.

There isn’t much more to say about this.  There are honestly episodes of The Original Series that I would rather rewatch than watch this movie again. Yep. That sounds about right to me.

Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek: Insurrection, based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Data is sent on an undercover mission where he is to report on the Ba’ku people, a peaceful and calm race.  While he is there he malfunctions and reveals a joint task force between the Federation and another alien race called the Son’a.

When the Enterprise is informed that they are absolutely not needed, regardless of the fact that one of their senior officers is malfunctioning on a Starfleet mission, they grow suspicious and defy their orders coming for Data themselves. As they come to collect their colleague the crew gets more than they bargain for.

It turns out there is more going on than meets the eye and when the crew discovers just what caused Data’s malfunction and just why the Son’a are so interested in the Ba’ku people…things are not going to be as simple as the rescue mission was supposed to be.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction

-Creator: based on the universe created by Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 103 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence and gore, very mild profanity, mild frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, Anthony Zerbe

-Page of Reference in RP1: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

This one was tough to get through as a rewatch.  I watched it a long time ago when I was doing my first real watch through of all of Star Trek as a teen and into my 20s.

After watching First Contact it was hard to come back to this moive.  Its like everything went back to what they kenw: an extended episode of the show that did NOT need to be 103 minutes long.  And the worst part for me is that the idea is really cool.

One alien race that is in a constant race to defy and beat death wanting to take over the planet of another race that is essentially immortal.  What’s not to love about that idea!

There is just so much more they could have done and this just felt like a step back in the world.  We had such wonderful things happening with First Contact.  More action and better effects, a great story and just a step forward…and now this.

Rewatching these makes me realize just how and why I am a huge fan of the Kelvin timeline films….

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.