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John Carter (2012)
Forget the Movie. Read the book.
This is difficult to review, because almost everything about it, the CGI, locations, actors, and such could have made this a great movie, and really brought visions of ERB's stories to life.
But the one thing that doomed this from being what it should/could have been was the script/screenplay. And the kindest words I can think of to describe it are..., another Hollywood Bastardization of an excellent story.
The ERB Estate should have filed criminal charges for literary rape this movie did to the original ERB story.
Carter and Powell are prospectors/miners in the beginning. They are escaping Indians. No mention of U.S. Cavalry.
Everything about Carter's wedding rings, wife & child is sheer Hollywood B.S..
The Therns are not even mentioned in the first book, and had nothing whatsoever to do with John Carter's transportation to Mars, his return to Earth, or his return to Mars.
The whole River Iss segment has no place in the first book.
In short, we have a movie that visually well-presented images described in the books (9 outta 10 stars!), but except for some basic stuff, threw the original books story-line out with the trash (-4 outta 10 stars!).
Want to be entertained? Read the book.
Want to waste 2 hours? Watch the movie.
Stargate SG-1: Revisions (2003)
It's a small world, after all!
I'm sorry that I had to use that annoying song from the Disney World ride as the summary title, but nothing else would fit here.
Now I can't get it out of my head.
The situation SG-1 finds here is a world who's pursuit of technology and industrial development so poisoned their atmosphere, that they had to build a protective bubble-dome around themselves to survive.
With all the surviving people inside the dome wearing a neural link to the central computer controlling the dome, as well as being the access all of their stored knowledge, they never realized that as their power source weakened, the computer shrunk the size of the dome shrunk to compensate, and erased all their memories of the people who were lost with every shrinkage.
Everything always appeared normal to them. But when SG-1 finds out the truth, the computer acts to prevent them from letting the people know they're in danger.
A Battle we too often see
A strong episode about a battle we too often see played out in the media today.
A child adopted at a young age, and raised with a good family, is suddenly taken away from the only home they have ever known, simply because his biological family now asserts a claim on them.
Regardless who the winner is in these situations, the only victim in any such battle is going to the child. Instead of possibility of growing up with two family's, they will now have to give up one of them.
How often we lose that which should have been our main focus all along. The best for the child and what they want.
One of Star Treks best.
I have to admit that this is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series.
One aspect of the plot is something we've seen many times before. Some planet/race has requested membership to the Federation, and the Enterprise is sent to evaluate and report on their findings.
But a wrench is thrown into the process when a prisoner escapes from a lunar prison facility, and the government request the Enterprise's help in re-capturing him. With some difficulty, they do so. Only now they find that the prisoner, a veteran of a previous war, had committed no crimes, and was sent to prison only because he was now considered by the citizens of his home world as now simply being undesirable to be allowed to return to normal society.
A particularly great twist in the plot is that, after so many times before we've seen the Prime Directive take a back-seat to the desire of the crew to help other cultures, we now get to see it used to keep the Federation out from interfering with situation that the native government has brought upon itself.
And a most deservedly so situation it is!
One of the Finest examples of a vision.
During the height of the Cold War in the '60's, G. Roddenberry had a vision of a TV show that would portray Mankind in the distant future as having become the best we are capable of becoming.
Original Star Trek was the result, and it really started something. Proof of that is that today we are still praising film and written examples of mankind overcoming our own differences and faults, uniting as one, and thereby becoming an example for all life. Anywhere.
The crude and poor resources of the '60's TV industry managed in getting this ideal across, otherwise, we would not be here 50 years later discussing this.
ST-TNG (so far) has been the pinnacle of this vision. This episode stands as one of the best example of it.
Patrick Stewart's background in Shakespearian acting really comes across here, and sets the standard for all of the others. And they all rose to the challenge and delivered amazingly.
This stands as one of the best episodes of ST-TNG, when it was in it's prime! The feelings, tension, and drama it shows are far beyond the capability of those behind the latest movie efforts to carry on the ST storyline.
Some alien somewhere has 10 thumbs, and they are all 'Up' for this one.
And had you the power, would you not do the same?
A very powerful human drama.
A peaceful being, possessing omnipotent abilities, finds love with a human woman and settles down to live a joyful normal life with her. All is well with them, and they eventually settling down on a remote world to live out the remainder of their lives (her life, as he is immortal) together.
A Powerful and evil alien race attacks the colony years later, killing the only woman he has ever loved, and in a moment of grief-fueled rage, he erases the entire attacking race, billions of them, from existence. Everywhere.
Doubly stricken with grief now, for both her death, and for what he has done because of it, he creates a small bubble/prison of illusion to live out eternity in.
Unfortunately, the colony had sent out a message for help before being destroyed, and now the Enterprise has arrived to investigate what happened.
"And now for something completely different...,"
One of the better, more enjoyable, episodes in the TNG series.
An overly self-assured "strategic expert" has Picard and Riker pitted against each other in a War Games exercise. Picard and the Enterprise vs. Riker and a TOS era Constellation-class ship.
Quickly it becomes a contest between the "Strategic Expert" and Riker, whom the expert doesn't respect at all. And Picard, who was at first reluctant to partake in the exercise, begins to actually enjoy the whole thing.
This is one of those rare episodes where the contest and conflict is between people, not ships.
When the Ferengi arrive and suddenly turn it into a real battle situation, the 'Expert' finds that Picard and Riker are better at this game than he is. Data puts the final nail in the 'Expert's' inflated ego/coffin later.
A refreshingly original episode that deserves the 10 stars I gave it simply because it is original and very entertaining to watch.
Watching Paint Dry.
This episode is like spending 45 minutes in a Dentist chair.
The outcome is somewhat on the positive side, but you question for days after whether or not the suffering you went through was worth it.
The basic idea behind the script was a good one. A 21st century NASA Astronaut was somehow inadvertently transported far away from Earth, and the aliens responsible for it felt remorse, and created an environment for him to live out his life in.
But the trash-novel they based Earth society upon is sooo bad, that we also feel the pain of his final 38 years of existence. Just imagine being stuck for the rest of your life on the Disney ride "It's a Small World" (which they used in Gitmo to interrogate prisoners), with no escape possible.
It was enjoyable to watch Data shooting craps and breaking the bank at the casino, but why was there no interest at all in who these aliens were, where they are now, or effort to find them? It might have made a good 'First Contact' episode had this been explored at all.
Watch this one if you have to, but you won't miss anything even remotely important about Star Trek if you skip it.
Now, excuse me. I have to go now and watch my Aunt & Uncle's Vacation photo slide-show. It should be more entertaining than this episode was.
Highlander: Deadly Exposure (1998)
The Highlander spin-off that should have been.
The producers wanted a spin-off series about a female immortal, and introduced us to several of them in the last season.
This one was by far the best.
Sandra Hess's character, Regan, was captivating from the start. A street-wise, smart, stand-alone, very tough female Bounty Hunter..., who just happens to be immortal too. And Hess's acting and her action skills and movements nailed the character perfectly.
This was a lady you do not want to mess with.
"Highlander: Regan" would have been a refreshing new twist to the whole immortal storyline, and one I would have wanted to watch every week.
Highlander: Two of Hearts (1998)
An average episode, made worse by trying to stand alone.
The producers knew that season 6 was the last season of Highlander, and a spin-off was going to be done, so several pre-pilot episodes were done with female immortals to try out several formats and character story lines to see which had the best chance of success.
"Two of Hearts" is one of those pre-pilot episodes, and IMHO, the worst.
I just didn't buy into Claudia Christian's acting or her character. Her fighting moves were a bit weak and she just didn't have the screen presence to pull-off an action series about an immortal. That, plus the boy-girl bad guy fighting duo theme is something that is old-hat and been done to death.
As we know, eventually they went with the Amanda character & the Raven series, but stuck her with that old boy-girl team-up thing, which quickly got boring.