Vulcan Stev's Database

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Vulcan Stev Family Review: Stargate Universe season 1.0

Starring:

Robert Carlyle …  Dr. Nicholas Rush
Justin Louis …  Col. Everett Young
Brian J. Smith …  Lt. Matthew Scott
Elyse Levesque …  Chloe Armstrong
David Blue …  Eli Wallace
Alaina Huffman …  Lt. Tamara Johansen
Jamil Walker Smith …  Sgt. Ronald Greer
Patrick Gilmore …  Dale Volker
Peter Kelamis …  Adam Brody
Julia Benson …  Lt. Vanessa James
Jennifer Spence …  Lisa Park
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman …  Sgt. Darren Becker
Mark Burgess …  Jeremy Franklin
Ming-Na …  Camile Wray

Series premise from IMDb: The Previously unknown purpose of the “Ninth Cheveron” is revealed, and ends up taking a team to an Ancient ship “Destiny”, a ship built millions of years ago by the Ancients, used to seed Distant galaxies with Stargates. This team, led by Dr. David Rush and Colonel Everet Young, are trapped on the ship, unable to change its programmed mission, and encounter new races, new technology and new enemies, as the runaway ship takes them to the far ends of the Universe.

This is the second (third if you count the animated series) spin-off of the popular and successful Stargate franchise.  Contrary to all the naysayers posting their drivel in forums and blogs, the series is still too new to be written off completely.  The Vulcan Stev family has faithfully watched every aired episode on SyFy (that’s pronounced siffy) and we just got done re-watching the first 10 episodes (really 9 as the first episode is a 2 hour intro that has been split for subsequent airings).  Two initial observations: for all of MGM’s hype that Sargate is the ‘most popular, longest-running, science fiction tv series’, Stargate sure seems to follow Star Trek’s footsteps very closely (Star Trek TOS & TNG the main universe, DS9 a far flung outpost, Voyager – a ship with a combined crew at odds with each other stranded far from home; ) and SGU sure has not delivered (to date) on it’s promise of new aliens or new enemies.

VS: 1.4 pointed ears
First to the rabid fanboys (and girls) crying on the forums that “this isn’t Stargate”.  No, it’s a different show set in the same fictional universe.  *Wah* it doesn’t Col O’Neil or Dr. Jackson and no T’ealc, one of the bigger problems I had with SG-Atlantis is that is WAS too similar to SG-1.  Universe has a strong premise but 10 episodes is nowhere near enough aired footage to kill or praise the show.  Universe is Stargate mainly because MGM says so.  At least we’ve got the correct creative team behind the show, Robin C. Wright and Brad Cooper delivered some of SG-1’s best moments.  They’re not out to kill the franchise.

My biggest problem and biggest praise to date is that the producers have spent so much time with the problems on board the Destiny; power, water, air, and the problems back home that there has been very little in the way exploration.  These issues needed to be dealt with and I applaud the producers for doing the episodes, but personally I think ten episodes was a little too much time to spend on “broken ship’ episodes.  Again we’ve only seen ten episodes, so I hope the writers are taking care of the “we don’t know how to run the ship” episodes early on and leaving us with the promised new adventures for the rest of the series.

I’m also trying hard to accept the fact that this premise is a blatant rip-off of Star Trek Voyager; two crews with radically different goals, one military, one not are trapped so far from home that the possibility of seeing home again in their lifetime is remote.  The difference between this show and Voyager  is that Voyager spent wa-a-ay too much time with the Kazon and Universe is spending way to much time on the broken ship.

I had a difficult time figuring out who was who during the initial airing of the 10 episodes  this is a very large cast of characters, watching the episodes back to back helped that problem.  The Kino webisodes and other extras included with the DVD make this a nice addition to the collection.

Mrs. VS: 1.2 pointed ears
This show was confusing when I watched it with my family (editor’s note: Mrs. VS caught the episode “Time”).  It was a very professionally done show.  Watching it I can understand why my family enjoys this series so much.

PIT #2: 1.7 pointed ears
I understand the need to have shows were the characters are figuring out a new strange existence.  It seems that every show this season is about a problem with the ship.  I really hope that season 1.5 delivers on its promise of new aliens and new threats.  I don’t like it that Dr. Rush is one of the sources of conflict.

PIT #3: 1 pointed ear
The whole season was about the broken ship.  I like the characters, especially Lt. Scott.  I don’t like all the kissing and junk.  If the show could actually be about something other than the broken ship, like the episode “Time” then the show will start to be better.

6.3 pointed ears out of 8
Not a bad show.  The series needs to find its own identity.  We’re going to give it a shot as Cooper and Wright haven’t let us down yet.

A must have if you’re a serious Stargate fan.  If you’re thinking of picking up the DVD as an intro to the series because you missed the episodes, the $29.99 price tag would suggest watching episodes on Hulu first to see if it’s your cup of tea.

March 3, 2010 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies, Science Fiction, Stargate | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vulcan Stev’s family movie review: The World is Not Enough

world_is_not_enough_ver2Starring:
Pierce Brosnan …  James Bond
Sophie Marceau …  Elektra King
Robert Carlyle …  Renard
Denise Richards …  Christmas Jones
Robbie Coltrane …  Valentin Zukovsky
Judi Dench …  M
Desmond Llewelyn …  Q
John Cleese …  R
Maria Grazia Cucinotta …  Cigar Girl
Samantha Bond …  Moneypenny
Michael Kitchen …  Tanner
Colin Salmon …  Robinson

Synopsis from IMDb: After British oil tycoon Sir Robert King is killed in a bombing at the MI6 headquarters, his daughter, Elektra, inherits his fortune which includes billions of dollars worth of oil deposits in the Caspian Sea…and James Bond as a bodyguard. Her new wealth attracts international interest. But she has also attracted the attention of her father’s killer. His name is Renard. A bullet lodged in his brain has rendered him unable to feel physical pain, and he has but only one reason left to live – revenge. There’s only one man who can take the heat between a beautiful heiress, a malicious sociopath and his final diabolical plan. For the world’s most famous secret agent, when the stakes are high and the danger hits too close to home, it is not just professional; its personal!

Reviewers: VS, PIT#1, PIT#2, PIT#3

VS: 1.6 pointed ears
This is my least favorite of the Brosnan era of course that’s like saying plain chocolate is my least favorite flavor of ice cream.  It’s still ice cream, it’s still Bond.

However, Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist?  Sorry but after I caught Wild Things on cable one night I’ll never be able to see Denise Richards without remembering that scene.  Kudos to the producers for taking the bold step of making the main villain a female.  Sorry to see Hagrid.. er.. Zukovsky get killed off in this movie.  Having a recurring sympathetic Russian character showed that James doesn’t kill EVERYONE he meets.  Fighting onboard a sinking nuclear sub was a fresh idea.  The theme song is still in my rotation on iTunes.  I especially liked the video that went with it.

Brosnan, to me at least, had a good handle on the Bond character.  I preferred his portrayal over that of Roger Moore.  It was a crying shame that Remington Steele kept Brosnan out of the role for as long as it did.

Just remember even a faulty Bond movie is better than 90% of the crap that comes out of Hollywood.

PIT#1 – 1.9 pointed ears
Kinda confusing.  A Bond girls is also the villain?  Why did Elektra King fall for her captor?  It took me  a few viewings to catch that she was the one who masterminded the whole thing and was not just a pawn of Renard.

PIT#2 – 2 pointed ears
It’s Bond, what more can you say.  Fighting on sinking nuclear sub was an inspired touch.

PIT#3 – 1.9 pointed ears
You can never go wrong with a Bond movie.  Expect the gratuitous kissing scenes.  It was too bad about Q’s boat.

7.4 pointed ears out of 8.  Not the best Bond but it’s still a watchable flick.

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vulcan Stev’s month-late movie review… “Quantum of Solace”

quantum_of_solace_ver3Originally posted at the Dire Cafe December 7, 2008

Quantum of Solace starring:

Daniel Craig … James Bond
Olga Kurylenko … Camille
Mathieu Amalric … Dominic Greene
Judi Dench … M
Giancarlo Giannini … Mathis
Gemma Arterton … Strawberry Fields
Jeffrey Wright … Felix Leiter

The first “true” sequel in the Bond franchise, ‘Quantum of Solace’ continues the high octane adventures of James Bond from ‘Casino Royale’. Picking up literally hours after the previous film left off, after being betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Having captured Mr. White, and in pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and ‘M’ interrogate Mr. White who reveals the organization which blackmailed Vesper to steal Bond’s casino winnings is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

Forensic intelligence links an MI6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille, a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene, a ruthless businessman and major force within the mysterious criminal organization known only as ‘Quantum’.

On a mission that leads him to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers that Greene, conspiring to take total control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano. Using his associates in the organization, and manipulating his powerful contacts within the CIA and the British government, Greene promises to overthrow the existing regime in Bolivia, giving General Medrano control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land which is, however, a main source of the South American water supply. In a minefield of treachery, murder and deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA, the terrorists, and even ‘M’ herself, to unravel Greene’s sinister plan and stop Quantum from getting its way.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, Guest Reviewer (best friend of my sister who happened to tag along with us)

VS – 2 pointed ears
Though I have heard the cry “NOT BOND” from many regarding Casino Royale and echoed now for QoS. My own personal viewpoint is that Eon Productions has firmly moved the Bond Franchise into the 21st century.

My ONLY beef with the movie is that the conflict between Bond and MI6 felt entirely contrived. The evidence against Bond was circumstantial at best. M would’ve been able to understand what was happening if Bond had taken 30 seconds to explain himself. I realize that Eon Productions wants to show HOW Bond gains the trust of M and becomes the best agent MI6 has, but this conflict still felt contrived. If there was a scene filmed that gave Bond a reason not to tell M what was going on or a scene that gave M more of a reason to distrust Bond (actually both scenes would’ve been nice) they should have been left in.

If Bond to you is futuristic gadgets, Q, and scantily clad women; then no this is not Bond. If Bond to you is a rip-roaring good spy movie, then you definitely want to see this one. In the wake of Austin Powers assaulting the stereotyped elements of the genre and Jason Bourne radically reinventing the genre. Daniel Craig has managed to put Bond back on top.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
Very upset that the “bullet shot” came at the end instead of the beginning. Picked up on the fact that Bond is still drinking the ‘Vesper’ that he invented in CR

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
In a world where ALL Bond movies are teh kewl awesome, this one stands above the rest.

Guest Reviewer – “What’s with the pointed ears?” Oh I guess 2
Your family sure is strange but this was a very good movie.

Overall Rating 8 out of 8

January 28, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment