Month: March 2008

Thine Own Self, TNG 7

A-story: Data has his memory temporarily wiped, approaches a pre-contact civilization and inadvertantly sickens them with radioactivity. B-story: Troi decides to go for her Commander’s rank. Both learn that good intentions don’t always lead to good...

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Paradise, DS9 2

If you feel like you’ve seen this one before, it is because you have. The planet that’s gotten back to nature and live in an Eden, but with a dark secret. There’s a little bit of that DS9-ambiguity twist here (who is to say what is moral or immoral?) but this one is pretty darned predictable. Best, tho, is when Sisko decides to take a page out of The Bridge on the River Kwai and spend extra time in the sweat box. But Avery Brooks ain’t no Alec...

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The Lower Decks, TNG 7

The writers of TNG really had nothing left to say by this stage of the seventh season, but out of this desperation comes a cool episode about “The Other Enterprise” – all those nameless faces that pop up in the background and keep the ship running. I think M*A*S*H did an episode like this, too. Anyway, we meet a bunch of redshirts (one of whom really is a redshirt) and get to see Riker (who really manages the rank and file) & co through their eyes. One thing that bugged me was this new character “Ben,” obviously a replacement for Guinan after Whoopi Goldberg had left the show. Reminded me a little too much of the Simpsons’...

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The American Astronaut (2001), Cory McAbee, B+

Funny how you can hear about a movie, plan to see it, miss it, then forget all about it and then one day someone lends you the DVD. A very inspirational project – wonderfully lo-fi – a Kaurismaki meets Guy Maddin via Warhol vie Hedwig and the Angry Inch via off-off-Broadway romp with a dash of Plan 9 thrown in. A true midnight movie, with all the pros and cons that could possibly mean. Best, maybe, just to show you a...

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Star Trek: Tests of Courage

Remember a while back when I said I wasn’t gonna go nuts and start reading Trek books and Trek comics? Well, I guess I fibbed a bit. ‘Cause this just looked too cool and you can read it in, like, 1.5 subway rides. This is the origin of Captain Sulu on the Excelsior – midway between the Fifth and Sixth movie. It’s fun to watch Sulu settle in to the Captain’s seat (with Janice Rand as X.O.) and to watch how the Enterprise is involved in his first adventure. The adventure itself is kinda baffling and unthrilling (something to do with two races of lizard creatures who don’t like each other or something) but that is no matter. The net result is fun and it is great to pretend that there are more Trek movies out there. This book is the collection of the DC “TOS 2” comics...

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Whispers, DS9 2

1/2 Hey – there’s a nice little twist on this one that I didn’t see. Turns out there ISN’T a big conspiracy that we’re seeing. Shall I spoil? We see the episode from the eyes of Chief O’Brien who knows things are going wrong and thinks everyone is gaslighting him. Turns out – he’s a “replicant” – and that in order to save the off-screen “real” O’Brien he must continue to get hoodwinked. And us, too. It’s a mind-screwer and a real good one,...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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