Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Trek

Star Trek: The Next Generation (Full Series), created by Gene Roddenberry: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Set 78 years after Star Trek: The Original Series, The Next Generation series follows the adventures of the new Enterprise (NC-1700-D) and her crew.  Headed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a team of accomplished and diverse officers, the show focus on the years following an encounter with an immortal, sentient life force known only as Q.

Throughout the series new characters and life forms are introduced like the Ferengi, the Trill, and the Q.  new adventures, planets and discoveries abound during the seven season run.

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction Drama

-Creator: Gene Roddenberry

-Length: 7 Seasons, 178 Episodes (average 45 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-PG (for Science-Fiction action and violence, some sexual content, some adult themes and mild language)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Hulu, CBSAllAccess, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube ITunes, DVD, BlueRay, and look for the series at your local library

-Main Cast: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Wil Wheaton, Denise Crosby, Gates McFadden, and John de Lancie

-Page of Reference in RPO: 25

Review (contains spoilers):

Please note this review will be updated as I continue to watch through the whole series….

Season 1:

This season is incredibly rough as are many first seasons of Star Trek.  Some episodes are alright while most are okay at best, horrible at worst.  While this is my favorite of the Star Trek series there is much of the first season that is difficult to get through.  From the questionable introduction of Q (usually the Big Bad of a series isn’t introduced in the first episode…and not as what appears to be a throw away character though incredibly charming and quite vexing), to the childish Ferengi, to the various bigger than their britches Starfleet personnel, this season is shaky at best. Save a few important episodes you can basically just skip to Season 2…

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Season 6:

Season 7:

Rating:

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

Serenity, created by Joss Whedon: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The film opens on a new character, The Operative, going through files on Simon and River Tam which doesn’t seem to bode well for the siblings and the crew in the long run.

We rejoin the crew of Serenity as they continue their journey through space…but the ties are currently tenuous. Inara has left the boat, Shepard Book has settled in a community of his own, Simon and River are on the verge of leaving, and Mal seems to be dead set on pushing away most of the crew.

As they set out to do a new job, things get more complicated. What is a routine mission for the group, a bank job, turns sour when Reavers attack…and River is able to sense them.

Simon decides they will be leaving Serenity…but in a twist of events River is activated and knocks out the entire bar they are in while Simon is negotiating safe passage. This pushes Mal to the edge. And the film follows through this problem and its inevitable end at the mysterious “Miranda”.

General Information

-Genre: Space Western, Science-Fiction Drama

-Creator: Joss Whedon

-Length: 119 minutes, feature length film

-Film Rating: PG-13 (For violence, sexual situations, weapons, death and violent injury, implied rape and sexual assault)

-Where to watch: DVD, Blue-ray, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu (with a plug in), or check your local library for a copy!

-Main Cast: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Chiwetel Ejiofor

-Page of Reference in RP1: 49

Review (contains spoilers):

A less than satisfactory end to what could have been a long running and landscape changing show.

We are finally reunited with our beautiful crew, 8 months after the Tams set foot on Serenity. The movie starts by revealing some of the mystery behind River’s escape by the hands of her brother Simon. We find that someone is on the hunt for our beloved girl and that her abilities may not be what we see…the insanity, the trauma, the mental anguish and, as we find out, the deadly weapon that she has been trained to be.

We discover some of the mysteries and answer a few of the questions we have asked along the way.

Simon and Kaylee have feelings that we see flourish throughout the film. Wash and Zoe are still amazing together…and Mal and Jayne are themselves.

Though Mal seems more angry and more vicious in his words. Maybe its because Inara moved off of Serenity (for unknown reasons though we can guess that it is because of her mysterious illness and a major fight with the Captain). Maybe he’s just mad at Simon for his over-protectiveness of River. Or maybe he just has a bee in his pretty floral bonnet.

In the end, Serenity is a wonderful piece of science-fiction film. The fights are beautifully choreographed. River’s character develops in a way we never thought we would see. We learn the origins of the Reavers, how the Alliance has been negotiating and killing for years under covert operations.

But the things we lose are not only less than satisfying…they are devastating and are the one time I really feel that Whedon went for the shock factor in an unnecessary way. Wash didn’t need to die. There were other ways that he could have created the feeling that they may not all get out alive. And with his death we had all hopes of his and Zoe’s future taken away. For a shock.

And while we get a wrap up for somethings, like Simon and River becoming a real part of the crew. Mal getting back to himself. Inara coming back… Kaylee and Simon starting something. Jayne is Jayne.

The Alliance is beyond weakened by the broadcast Mal sends out.

As a single film, if you don’t know the show….its wonderful. A full story tied up nicely in a bow. But for the fans….its a difficult pill to swallow as the last time we will see our beloved Serenity and her daring crew.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

(because it’s a great stand alone…but left us wanting as fans…)

Photo from Google… promotional movie poster