Tag Archives: review

Star Trek S1E10 – The Corbomite Maneuver

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThis was the first regular episode recorded after the pilot episodes, but it was the tenth aired. However, it turned out to be one of the strongest episodes.

Season 1, Episode 10: The Corbomite Maneuver

Original Air Date: November 10, 1966

Stardate 1512.2

Planet: None

Featured Alien: First Federation (Balok)

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Scott, Rand

Main Guest Characters: Lt. Bailey (Anthony Call), Balok (Clint Howard)

Things I Noticed

As I mentioned before, this was the first episode filmed after the pilot episodes, though it was aired as episode 10. So, there are a few things that don’t match up with the later episodes.

Right off the start, the camera work when panning out from Spock and zooming in on navigation was terrible.

Uhura is wearing a yellow uniform. This indicates that it was a very early episode, as she later wears a red uniform.

McCoy ignored the red alert to finish Kirk’s physical. That seems slightly irresponsible. But some of McCoy’s behaviour is a bit too focused on Kirk rather than the situation at hand. Thankfully, he doesn’t act like this in later episodes.

Lt. Bailey seems to resent Spock a bit at the beginning. But more on his behaviour later on.

The women’s uniforms seem so loose and baggy compared to what they are in most episodes.

Unlike other episodes, they’re using metric in this episode. They did use miles at one point, mixed in with metres, but it was mostly metric.

Bailey jumps to conclusions too quickly. A bit of insubordination from time to time.

Kirk is annoyed that he was assigned a female Yeoman, Rand. Rand seems rather bitchy with him. If this were made these days, these attitudes wouldn’t be there.

The giant ship Fesarius looks better in the remastered edition.

Kirk referred to the ship as the United Earth Ship Enterprise. The Federation’s name hasn’t been established at this time.

For someone who was standoffish, Bailey has turned into someone who is rather timid in dangerous situations. And then he snapped. What kind of military has someone like this in such an important position as ship’s navigator?

Interesting how so many people are in the corridors during this high alert situation, clinging to the walls as they’re tossed around.

McCoy didn’t pronounce Balok correctly. Everyone else, including Balok, said “bay-lock.” McCoy said “Bah-lock.”

It seemed very strange seeing a 7 year old Clint Howard with the movements and mannerisms of a child and an adult voice.

My Impressions

Honestly, my nitpicks above aren’t that important, other than some behaviours and Kirk’s attitude toward a female Yeoman. Extremely outdated, and wouldn’t reflect the 22nd century at all. Otherwise, this was a pretty solid episode, despite being the third taped episode.

The thing that stood out for me when I was younger was the creepy Balok puppet. I thought this was the creepiest scene in all of Star Trek. It was a face that could’ve given me nightmares. However, I still enjoyed watching this episode when I was a kid. And now that I’ve watched it again, it really is one of the stronger episodes.

The acting is quite decent in this episode. Everyone is extremely serious, except when we get to the final scene. William Shatner was fairly decent and Leonard Nimoy was very good as usual. DeForest Kelley was a bit too overbearing, more than usual. But this was the first episode he did. Grace Lee Whitney was too strong for her position, but that’s not a problem with her acting. More a problem with how she was written in this episode. George Takei was very good. But I had a problem with Clint Howard. Of course, he was only 7 years old at the time, but he was obviously a child. How he acted and his movements were those of a child. It was just weird seeing him speak in a child-like manner with an adult voice.

With that said, the story was a very solid one. I really enjoyed the bluffing and Kirk’s resolve throughout the episode. He was a leader. I couldn’t fault the writing of this episode. It was extremely well done. I have pretty fond memories of this episode.

Verdict

★★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? How did you feel about the puppet Balok, and then Clint Howard’s performance? Let me know in the comments below.

Movie Review – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

My sister and I went to a VIP theatre to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It was in 3D. We had our food and drinks delivered to us at our seats. Very nice. But how was the movie? Here’s one of the official trailers to start us off.

Visuals

Since this is a science fiction/science fantasy movie, you’d expect good special effects and visuals. I wasn’t disappointed. It looked great! Even in 3D, it was well done. I was very satisfied with the 3D aspect of it, no visual problems at all. The ships looked very good. Much like the original movies. All the X-Wings, Tie Fighters, and Imperial Destroyers were very nicely done.

The planets were very good. I especially liked the tropical world filmed in the Maldives. It was the first time I’ve seen a world looking like that in Star Wars.

The CG for non-human characters were good, and a step up from the original movies’ puppets, which were a bit jerky-looking at times. But these were done well. The CG for the human characters (Tarkin and Leia) were quite good, but almost too perfect. So perfect that they didn’t look entirely real.

Overall, I’d give visuals a 5/5.

Characters and Acting

I found that the acting was fairly good. Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso was good. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor came across as arrogant, which I think is what they were looking for. I really liked Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe. He was my favourite human character. I also really liked Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus. He really grew on me as the movie went on. Riz Ahmed as the pilot was fairly good, though not my favourite character. Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera was okay. He wasn’t in the movie as much as I thought he would, but I wasn’t blown away by him. But I think the one that really stole the show as Alan Tudyk as K-2SO. The droid was the best. Very funny and a great character. Of course, Peter Cushing couldn’t reprise his role as Grand Moff Tarkin, as he passed away more than twenty years ago. However, he was as I expected in his CGness (that’s not a word). And James Earl Jones is back again as the voice of Darth Vader. Great job, as always.

Overall, 4/5.

Story

I came into this with an expectation of being treated to a movie which would bring me back to the original Star Wars trilogy. It was set just before A New Hope, and what we get is a story where a group of rebels try to steal the plans of the Death Star. That’s the entire premise of the movie, and it’s an incredibly important event that leads to Episode IV. I found that the story was a series of life or death situations that they had to get through to finally reach their goal. It’s difficult to talk about the story without giving anything away, but you have to expect some deaths. It’s not a story where you expect everyone to come out alive. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? However, it’s a story that provides hope. Everyone has a positive attitude about what they’re doing, and they charge ahead regardless of their possible deaths.

One thing I was hoping to feel was a goosebumps feeling or two. I didn’t get any feelings like that at all. Nostalgia? A little. It was nice seeing brief cameos of beloved Star Wars characters. But it wasn’t amazing. It was very good. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t amazing.

Overall, I’d give the story a 4/5.

Overall

Excellent visuals, good acting, good story. It wasn’t entirely what I expected, but I did gain a couple favourite characters (Chirrut Imwe and K-2SO). I do highly recommend this movie, though. It’s certainly better than the prequel trilogy. It was fresh, though a bit grittier.

In the end, I give it 4/5.

Watch my review on my YouTube channel:

How about you?

What did you think of Rogue One? Let me know in the comments section below.

Star Trek S1E09 – Dagger of the Mind

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThis is more like it. After several episodes of creepy behaviour by characters, we get one where creepy behaviour is expected. But it was surprisingly lacking in that creepiness. But this episode has some fond memories for me.

Season 1, Episode 9: Dagger of the Mind

Original Air Date: November 3, 1966

Stardate 2715.1

Planet: Tantalus V

Featured Alien: None

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura

Main Guest Characters: Dr. Tristan Adams (James Gregory), Dr. Simon van Gelder (Morgan Woodward), Lt. Helen Noel (Marianna Hill), Lethe (Susanne Wasson)

Things I Noticed

Right off the start, the cargo beamed up from the planet is destined for Stockholm, Eurasia. Interesting.

On the bridge, the log recording device looks like a big black tape recorder, and it even has leather straps. How old fashioned.

The first time Kirk sees Dr. Noel, it’s a moment of “Oh my god, not her.” But she’s portrayed as being very beautiful, and Kirk seems quite uncomfortable. But they know each other. It’s actually a fairly humourous moment.

As this is the remastered version, the surface of the planet is quite interesting, including a view of the rings of the planet. Nice touch.

Kirk and Noel embrace in the penal colony’s elevator when it suddenly goes down. I’m not sure if that would be the first response of military officers in a situation like that. It also furthered my wondering about their relationship.

The emblem on Dr. Adams’ uniform is amateurish looking. That hand looks awful!

Lethe is oddly emotionless. Kind of weird.

The inmates’ uniforms look strangely out of place, although not for the 1960s. Tie dyed patterns? Brightly coloured plaid?

First time the Vulcan Mind Meld is seen in the series. Spock is reluctant to use it, as it’s never been used on humans (although it’ll be used in Enterprise), and it’s a deeply personal thing. Doesn’t stop him from using it in later episodes! And McCoy was insistent that he use it. He doesn’t trust transporters, but he trusts the Mind Meld.

Dr. Noel is far too argumentative. She argues against Kirk’s orders so many times, I can see Kirk getting irritated.

Got to love Kirk’s cry/laugh while in pain in the neural neutralizer.

Again, they left the planet at Warp 1. When do they expect to reach their destination?

My Impressions

As you’ve seen with my nitpicks above, there weren’t that many nitpicks. I thought this was one of the best episodes so far in that aspect. I had a more difficult time finding things that were out of place or any continuity problems. The episodes are improving!

The acting was fairly decent in this one. The interaction between Kirk and Noel was good, though Noel seemed far too defiant. She’s extremely stubborn and very sure of herself, that’s quite evident. But I think the friction between the two was shown very well, though they ended up working together in the end far better, once she saw that Spock, McCoy, and Kirk were correct. Dr. Adams was portrayed well, as well. And then we have Morgan Woodward’s portrayal of the tormented Dr. van Gelder. You could see the pain, although it was slightly over the top.

I thought this was a good episode! But, there is one glaring problem. I just couldn’t understand why Dr. Adams was doing this. There didn’t seem to be any apparent motivation for it. It wasn’t explained! Why that approach to rehabilitating former criminals? It made them look like lifeless drones. I felt that he was a weak villain. Despite that, I did enjoy the episode.

Verdict

★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? What did you think Dr. Adams’ motive was? Let me know in the comments section below.

TV Review – The Walking Dead Season 1

The Walking Dead is a TV series that has received a lot of praise in the past, especially its first season. I was living in Japan when it became popular, and I had access to it through Hulu. I was able to watch up until about the middle of the third season, then stopped watching for some reason. I’ve now decided to start watching it again, starting with season 1. As I have watched this before, there were no surprises.

When I watched it the first time, I enjoyed it a lot. The second time around, some of the jump scares still worked. I hadn’t remembered some of them. But I found that it’s more than just a zombie show. It’s a show about people. It’s about humanity. It’s about how humans cope with extreme situations which seem impossible to survive. People do things they would never do in normal circumstances.

Although Rick is a police officer, he shows fear and breaks down emotionally. Shane shows how much a person can change in situations like this. Glenn shows how resourceful a person can be, even if he was a pizza delivery driver. There are a lot of characters with unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Daryl is a popular character, and I like him more in later seasons. However, he comes across as a hotheaded man who wouldn’t hesitate to kill. I also like Dale. He seems very compassionate and cares deeply for Andrea and Amy.

I felt that episode 4 was emotionally powerful. Without giving any spoilers, something happens that I don’t know if I’d be able to get through it emotionally. Incredibly difficult. It has a strong impact, even when watching it for a second time.

Throughout the season, you feel both hope and despair. You wonder who will die and who will live. Below, you will see spoilers!

Most emotional deaths

I’d have to say that Amy’s and Jim’s deaths were the most emotional. Especially Amy’s. I can’t imagine what went through Andrea’s mind when she shot Amy as she became a walker.

Death I was happy about

Ed’s death with satisfying. The abusive asshole deserved it. And his death was particularly gruesome.

Overall Impression

I think it was a solid start to the series. I enjoyed it a lot, and was looking forward to season 2. I still am. I’d give this a very solid 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

How about you?

What did you think of The Walking Dead season 1? Let me know in the comments below.

The Star Trek Project Video Digest 6 – My Wonderful Acting

As I work through The Star Trek Project, I keep thinking about how long this is going to take at this pace. Forever. I’m considering doing only The Original Series on video, as it’s the only one that really has a lot of things to nitpick and talk about. The other series are higher quality and tend to not have any noticeable problems or unusual things. What do you think?

Anyway, for this digest, I have one video, and it features my latest attempt at acting at the beginning of the video. Check out “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

What did you think of my acting? Terrible? I agree! And let me know what you thought of this episode.

Star Trek S1E08 – Miri

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgWhat’s with the episodes with a high creep factor? Honestly, looking back at these episodes after several years of not watching them, I notice these things so much more. This is just yet another episode that has some awkward situations. As always, there are spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 8: Miri

Original Air Date: October 27, 1966

Stardate 2713.5

Planet: Parallel Earth

Featured Alien: Humans?

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Rand

Main Guest Characters: Miri (Kim Darby), Jahn (Michael J. Pollard), Farrell (Jim Goodwin), Redheaded Boy (Steven McEveety)

Things I Noticed

To start off, the age of this show is apparent. The planet’s size and mass were given in miles and tons. Yeah, right.

Also, you have to really suspend your disbelief with this episode. Another Earth? Yeah, right. What are the odds of that happening? So unlikely that it’s practically zero. Not only that, this wasn’t a parallel universe or an alternate timeline. This was in the same region of the galaxy that we live in. This is probably one of my biggest problems with this episode.

Why was Rand on the away team? I’m curious about what skills she has that are useful. It appears that her job on the ship is to attend the Captain and deliver reports for him to sign. She seems more like a secretary. But what’s she doing on the away team? That should be reserved for specialists.

I have to keep commenting on Shatner’s physical abilities. He runs funny.

When Spock uses his tricorder, all that happens is that it makes a sound. No image on the screen. It merely seems like a sound-making device. Even though he looks at it, it doesn’t seem to do much.

The trees and plants around the church look well-kept. They really shouldn’t. Also, plants should have taken over much of the roads and buildings if this world had been like this for 300 years. I doubt that children would be very interested in gardening if all they do is play in a Lord of the Flies-like fashion.

The interactions between Kirk and Miri were awkward. She’s an adolescent, but the way Kirk talks to her is creepy. This is a major red flag for me. I was cringing!

Miri hasn’t reached puberty yet, but her actress was 19 at the time. Jahn’s actor was 27. Not very convincing children. They seemed like teenagers at least, not 12 year old children.

Kirk said “you can help us best by clearing the computer banks.” Why? What purpose does it serve to clear a computer’s memory?

The bio computer is interesting. Just a box with buttons and red lights. How is data input? How do they read the data given out? Just how do these flashy blinky boxes work??

After 300 years, how do the kids’ clothes stay in such good shape? I doubt they have any good tailors.

Both Kirk and McCoy’s uniforms have opened on their left shoulders. Kirk has nothing underneath, while McCoy has a black shirt. Is this intentional?

The children have only a few months of food left. But how could they have had 300 years worth of food before? How much is that? And how could it be stored for 300 years? Wouldn’t it go bad?

Kirk tears his sleeves. Typical Kirk.

When the vaccine was found, there’s something that bothered me. How do blemishes fade that quickly? That’s not possible. Especially scab-like blemishes.

At the end, they leave the system at warp 1. Why go to warp 1? That’s only light speed. It would take them years to get anywhere.

My Impressions

This episode doesn’t get off to a good start. With the parallel Earth story, I just couldn’t get past the fact that there’s a planet in our part of the galaxy that’s identical to the Earth. That just doesn’t happen! But I guess after pushing that doubt aside, it was a decent episode. Nothing spectacular. There are just too many things that make it unlikely:

  • 300 year old children who haven’t advanced mentally. I have more faith in modern children on our Earth today.
  • Well-maintained trees and plants.
  • The kids aren’t wearing rags or completely naked.
  • Miri is a “child” yet looks like an older teenager. Jahn is also supposed to be a child, but looks even older than that. If they die at puberty, why has his voice changed?
  • A 300 year supply of food? Really? How?

Too many questions! I don’t think the writers were thinking about it very much.

As for the acting, it’s pretty typical. Kim Darby is decent as Miri. Michael J. Pollard irritated me as Jahn. Steven McEveety as the unnamed redheaded boy was even worse. But Kirk’s interaction with Miri was at times cringeworthy. I just felt embarrassed watching it.

Later on in the episode, Kirk, McCoy, and Rand were getting angry at each other quite a bit. Spock didn’t, since he wasn’t affected by the disease. I wasn’t impressed or unimpressed by their performances. Very neutral, to be honest.

Overall, I thought this was a decent episode. Not a strong one, but not terrible. Just too many awkward things going on.

Verdict

★★★ 1/2

Your Voice

What did you think about this episode? Do you agree with me about Kirk’s behaviour with Miri? Let me know in the comments below.

The Star Trek Project Video Digest 5 – I Wear a Moustache

The Star Trek Project is going strong on video, and I’m now up to episode 7, as of later this week. However, in this post, we look at episode 6.

“Mudd’s Women” is the sixth episode of the original Star Trek, and it introduces a recurring character, Harcourt Fenton Mudd. This character has a big moustache, so I tried to impersonate him. Check out the full video review and nitpicks.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below. Did you like the moustache?