Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Star Trek Discovery: Season 3 – reactions, spoilers?

Thu ,14/01/2021

So finished up watching Season 3 the other night. Here’s some reactions (and yes, the inevitable spoilers if you read far enough – be forewarned!)

positives:
1) This is a **way** more exciting and cohesive long-story than Season 2. One of the best things about Season 1 was the excellent and multi-episode storytelling, including the mysterious reveals as to Capt. Lorca and others – but Season 2 kind of squandered that and went in a lot of different, sometimes meaningless directions. I had heard there were some personnel changes behind the scenes during Season 2, which may have affected things, not sure – but they definitely righted the ship for Season 3, to be sure.

2) They are obviously spending the money on this show, the effects are amazing and they’ve kept them top-notch throughout.

3) There were more ‘overt’ bad guys this season, including aspects of some of the main characters, Georgiou being most notable of course. But Osira later and a few others mid-season stood out too.

4) they spent even more time on character development – while this crew seems to have among the most ‘main characters’ of any Star Trek to date (including DS9) already at the start, they introduced at least 1-3 new ones this year too, depending on your perspective (but more on the downside of that below);

5) Better focus. They stuck to a simpler overall long plot (what caused The Burn) and the various adventures taken to figure it out;

6) good to look back at why people left the Federation, especially Vulcan/Nav’arr – and then the attempt to bring them back, definitely one of the best episodes.

Gripes and spoilers
1) there was a bit too much of Saru’s inner struggles for me. I realize he was ‘growing into his role’ as Captain but it just seemed like he’d have matured faster than they wrote him to over the course of the season.

2) Other than aiding Burnham when she wants to go rogue – what does Georgiou do all day otherwise? Great character but definitely unclear – she’s not ship security, she’s not Empress (save for her series exit late in the season) – so is she just a passenger?

3) Too many main characters – I like that they’ve done far more character development but unless they want to do more episodes per season, they really don’t have the time to share lines with that many main cast members? Especially if they are introducing new characters like Book, Adeira and slightly more minor characters like the Admiral, Osira and similar? yes, going back to Kirk, Spock and McCoy beaming down to every planet is way too simplified but at some point they need to simply focus on who they already have on the ship?

4) Burnham is one of the most interesting and dynamic central characters in any Star Trek series to date, but (as some characters like Book and Georgiou snidely remark from time to time) she can’t resolve EVERY problem they run into (whether within or against regulations).

5) I’m glad they brought back Federation HQ but then they all but never showed us ANY of the latest starships they have? Discovery is literally in nearly every scene – they showed more of Osira’s ship than any other Federation vessel(s) once they found the HQ?

6) Why does Discovery need ‘floating’ nacelles? How is that an advantage for any reason?

7) While it made for decent fight scenes, the ‘infinite turbolift’ scenes in the last couple episodes were simply ridiculous. It felt like something out of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory or the planet-building scene out of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

8) there were more than a few key moments sprinkled across the season where there’s obviously a tight deadline, ship about ready to be destroyed, Federation lost, etc. – yet the characters are ‘monologuing‘ a bit too much instead of solving the problem?

9) I liked that they gave Georgiou a two-part farewell, but I felt it wasn’t a tight enough story, despite a cameo from an old friend, which was very cool and I didn’t seem coming, to be sure! I get that she needs to kill ‘bad Burnham’ to move on and grow as a person but the other plotters would have wacked her before the first episode ended if past plots based on the ‘mirror Empire’ are any measure?

10) They are getting way too free with the ability to ‘talk to people instantly’ no matter where they are in the universe (because now with the spore drive they can go anywhere in nearly an instant), yet call up the Admiral and have a chat anytime with full fidelity? At least in the first two seasons they at least pretended there were times where that wasn’t possible. I realize the Federation upgraded a lot of Discovery when they found HQ, but really?

11) Ultimately, the explanation for The Burn was a bit weak in the end. It all made sense and it was far better than the ending of Season 2 which was a huge mish-mash free for all – but just too pat, even though they tried to make it exciting, i’ll give them props for that.

12) the whole ‘sphere data’ thing was definitely way underused and only pulled out as a McGuffin from time to time when convenient (e.g. last two episodes but there were other times too) – if it’s sentient, wouldn’t it be doing more interesting things (possibly like trying to get OFF Discovery, which is being chased by Orion pirates all over the galaxy, not the safest place to be)?

So on balance, a pretty strong season, good bad guys and some great episodes. Looking forward to Season 4 but due to covid, not expecting that for at least another year at this point?

candybowl

Ultraman is BACK.

Sun ,29/11/2020

So I never got around to watching the original 60s cheesy live-action Ultraman – always more a Gojira guy, but maybe someday. In the meantime, Netflix has been doing a bunch of new, original anime, and they put out a season of Ultraman last year – i have to say, despite the usual anime sometimes-main-character-silliness, it’s actually pretty good, especially the buildup to the last few episodes of season 1 – here’s to season 2 – maybe they can do these faster than live-action given CV19 production and content development limitations?

here’s the trailer for season 1 – great stuff!

candybowl

Vector me….NOW.

Sun ,01/11/2020

So wayyyyyy back in the C/D monthly subscription days, the Vector was always one of my two “halo cars” when it came out (the other being the b+b Cw311 which became the Isdera Imperator when it actually went to short-lived production). The Vector never really got that far though, acc. to this video, only 20 ended up getting made. And like so many of these era cars, while I’d love to try and drive one (with of course the $1M insurance policy in place before I started it up and broke a window switch or something stupid), a lot of it hasn’t aged well.

in the example seen in this video, it has more air dams and that stupid back spoiler that the original W2 car didn’t have at debut time (link below to that C/D article) and to me, (like when comparing the Lotus Esprit Turbo vs. the S1, S2 or S3 that don’t have them) all that extra crap detracts from the appearance – I doubt it makes much difference functionally in the end, though.

And given my far-overly-analog approach to cars these days, that instrument panel would drive me nuts after one drive (if not before the first drive was over – nope, I’m NEVER owning a Tesla or anything like that, NOPE) but it wasn’t the interior I was crazy about with this car anyway, it was the looks and the whole ‘concept’ of the car as the original 1980 C/D article had (that was the Vector W2, slightly earlier than the version seen in this video) and in the actual C/D road test a bit later.

in the end, I suspect the Cw311 would be a far easier car to live with (the Cw311 was virtually a production car even at the prototype stage, whereas the Vector could be argued was *always* a prototype in many ways…) but still, I agree with Doug DeMuro – this is still arguably the craziest car ever built – Somewhere, 75+ year old Jerry Wiegert is smiling…

Dare I dream?

Mon ,10/08/2020

Jared Leto’s Tron 3 may actually happen

from IMDB – cryptic too….

need to rewatch Tron:Uprising in the meantime…

candybowl

Devs….Hm…..

Sun ,26/07/2020

So, I recently watched Devs – not sure what I think about this mini-series, quite honestly (partial spoilers coming, be forewarned):

On the one hand, it’s **very** well made, both the tech angle as well as simply production values and cinematography. They didn’t skimp on the budget, even though there’s really only two well known actors in it, Nick Offerman and Alison Pill, the latter of whom I wouldn’t even have known about but for her similarly-excellent work in Star Trek: Picard of late.

All the actors are very good too, especially the main overt villain, security guy Kenton (most of the characters in this movie have at least some aspect of villainy in their actions and dialogue, though). You really want Kenton to meet a bad end by the end of the series, to be sure.

It’s a really dark show, like much of TV sci-fi of late (Dark, Westworld, etc.) – not sure if that’s a reflection of our times, or just of recent screenwriting/market trends, but there it is.

Another comment i’ll make is the blatantly obvious (to the viewer only at first, but later you can tell other characters know too) endgame of Forest (Nick Offerman’s central character). While by the end he kind of ends up getting a “version” of what he wants, the end (to me) leaves too many plotlines untied. They all but ignore the rationale for all the money, time and effort spent in building the system in the first place to simply rationalize it (to the Senator visiting) about why it has to ‘survive’ – for Forest’s original reason…?  And ok, they have a small dev team but there’s no way they could spend the kind of money they claim (directly or indirectly) they did to build the facility and computer and still keep it all under wraps like that?  Come on.

Second, Stewart’s role in the end two episodes is simply inconsistent with the previous plot and un-believable. If he really felt that way, he could have told the police instead of acting on his own (and strictly speaking, making himself a bad actor in the end too). Not consistent.

Third, the way Katie (to me it was pretty clear, no matter what the plot wants you to believe) tricks Lyndon in the end was pretty much BS. And that he bought into it – despite being a brilliant late-teen computer geek and young, he still should have seen through it – If Lily could have seen through everything (and ultimately does by the end), he should have too.

Finally, the overlying ‘determinism is the nature of the world’ commentary going on as of the 2-3rd episode onward by Forest, Katie and others is also BS. No matter how great their computer, software or otherwise might become, there’s simply NO WAY to model the entire universe to do what they claim it can do. And yes, the counterargument to that is ‘well, it’s never been done – yet’ – yeah right, and “this plot has never been used – yet” by many other previous stories and thinkers – give me a break. The show even doesn’t take itself completely seriously given a character’s passing comment about techies ‘thinking they are messiahs’ – and then proceeds to ignore it’s own self-awareness? Nope, doesn’t work.

In short – this *is* entertaining, well-made fare but not for everyone and you may find it doesn’t work for you for the above (or even different) reasons, of course.

Candybowl

promising?

Sat ,18/07/2020

Discovery Season 1 was GREAT. Season 2 was so-so. There were flashes of brilliance but the long-term plot was way over-convoluted and seemed to meander way, way too much – a lot like one of the last seasons of BSG until they got it together at the end. this Season 3 trailer looks good though….in the meantime there’s Doom Patrol and The Umbrella Academy about to resume end of this month….

peaceful….

Wed ,17/06/2020

what we need right now…

candybowl

it’s PEOPLE!!!!

Sun ,29/03/2020

Make Room! Make Room! versus Soylent Green: can film trump book?

Thankfully given the age (and the genius of Phil Hartman, RIP), it’s pretty hard to spoil 1973’s Soylent Green at this point. Saw this article in The Guardian this am and have to completely agree, movie is far better and more focused than the book, way better zap ending, too. I also knew (later) about this being EGR‘s final performance but not about the cancer diagnosis he never told others about – truly poignant. And of course Charlton Heston in his usual over-the-top craziness, gotta love that, perfect casting choice.

This riot/scoops scene completely freaked me out as a kid watching this, I had no idea what happened to the people once they were thrown in the truck, so scary.

here’s another take on the movie from 2013:

Soylent Green Is (More Than) People

The article does in fact leave out one other very cool piece of trivia – that movie was arguably the debut of one of the very first video games, Computer Space – the game is briefly shown when the Soylent executive and his GF are playing it in their condo, before he gets wacked, very early in the movie. Another piece of Nolan Bushnell marketing sharpshooting, although that game itself ultimately was a flop. But boy are they worth something these days….

candybowl

RIP, Syd Mead.

Wed ,01/01/2020

one of the great ones…..RIP.

Legendary sci-fi artist Syd Mead dead at 86

Iconic Concept Artist Syd Mead Passes Away

candybowl

B5….a bit more

Sun ,22/12/2019

interesting side issue, following up on yesterday’s DS9 post – I didn’t really watch B5 in its original run, then watched it on my buddy’s DVDs several years ago, then a couple years ago rewatched it all. On DVD it holds up fairly well – it’s obviously lower budget than DS9 was, and while the overall plot holds up, there are definitely lame moments from time to time (DS9 wasn’t completely immune to this problem either, but barring the Vic Fontaine aspect near the end, at least they didn’t resort to the holodeck every time they ran out of ideas – TNG, I’m looking at YOU).

Anyway, interesting read to be sure…and F people who don’t realize the impact of the Amiga computer – Ask Spielberg and Jurassic Park on that one among many, many others 🙂

‘Babylon 5’ is great, so why does it look so bad?

candybowl