January 29, 2016

Underrated Trek:Time's Orphan (DS9)

Welcome back to Underrated Trek, where I take a special look at Star Trek episodes that I love…which may not be the most popular or even liked by most. Sometimes when a season is ending, you need to fill a slot. So you look to an old idea and do the best you can with it..even if the attention isn’t where it should be since the end of the season is on the horizon. An example of this is today’s subject….


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 A bad O’Brien episode? Let’s discuss it.



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January 25, 2016

Top 10 80’s Masters of the Universe Toys I Just Hated!

When a new product comes along and is a new hit, it’s only natural for the creators to want to expand that line to make more money. This has always been especially true when it comes to kid properties. From Teenage Mutant Turtles to Batman to Pokemon to whatever else you can think of. The problem is that after awhile, you start to run out of ideas, and your audience starts to fade because of competition from other properties. So in the attempt to compete and to keep your audience,  you begin coming up with things that either make no sense..or are just plain dumb!





In the 80’s the Masters of Universe toys were all the rage. I had more than a bunch of them and wish I still did. And the vehicles and the Castle Gresyskull and Snake Mountain playsets. Of course there was a little TV show at the time called He-Man and the Masters of the Universe which helped the action figures sell even bigger! Problem was as the series went new ideas were harder to come up with. Here are ten of the worst. And for the record,  I am judging based only on the original 80’s toy line and am not including how the character appeared in any animated or comic versions.


he-man

Ok now for my the stupidest……..


#10.Prince Adam
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The Prince Adam toy was lame because, well, what the hell were you supposed to do with him exactly??? Yes I had one, for some reason.




#9.Faker
Faker
A lot of people hated Faker but he never bothered me. He was supposed to be an evil version of He-Man created by Skeletor. Though you do have to wonder, why was he blue? And why did he wear an orange version of Skeletor’s armor?

January 23, 2016

The Perfect "Star Trek Crew"???

Haven’t done one of these in awhile. In honor of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary, one of many articles and tributes you will see this year, I present an idea long overdue. Just for fun of course. With four series spanning decades now, we have managed to come up with some very distinct characters. These are characters fans have loved and will love for a very long time. But what if you could blend these different shows, and create a perfect Star Trek command crew? The characters I will discuss come from:


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This ended up being harder than I expected. So in order for this to work I had to make a few rules. I had to match up the characters so they would fit by position rather than rank and some, like Chief Engineer, was easy. Others was trickier, so for instance Spock was Science Officer but I listed him as First Officer. Data was Science Officer and Operations. Augh!! I’ll explain the other choices as we go. And I needed a category for the odd characters that only spend half the series there with no official command role but deserved to be in here since they are as loved as any other character.  And finally I know it could be cheating but Worf was listed twice, for TNG and DS9. But I think I broke them down fairly. Finally, sorry but Enterprise is left off. It just worked better without it, and besides none of those characters were really that interesting.


Usually I try fairy disperse the selection so every show (or character) is fairly represented. But that was nearly impossible with this one. Now I imagine many will disagree with the choices below, just remember that this all in good fun. If you disagree that’s cool, I respect your opinion.



Let’s start with the big one…

Captain-Next Generation
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This is the debate that has raged on for years. Kirk vs. Picard. You throw in Sisko and Janeway and you’ve got a serious debate! A lot of people would say Sisko is the greatest captain of them all. Yeah…..not for me. I think Sisko is bad ass when the going gets tough, but the rest of the time he just kind of fades into the background. Janeway rocks, even though many may disagree with me. She is tough and no nonsense. Problem is she isn’t much of a diplomat. So, we are down to Kirk and Picard. Who would you rather have, the all action Kirk or the no nonsense Picard? It’s a very tough call but I think Picard is the stronger commander. He has more experience, and uses his head more than diving into action. Not that Kirk wasn’t great at out thinking his opponents. I just like Picard a little more. I could go on and one comparing these two, but that’s a subject for another article and we got nine more categories to discuss.


January 16, 2016

Five Things I Hated in Star Wars-The Force Awakens

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So I saw this movie back on New Year’s Eve and there were great things in it. The space battles were awesome, Rey kicked ass, the B-2 droid was cute, and I loved the Millennium Falcon. Someone please explain how they recreated those sets so well? But I have decided to share five things that I did not like in the movie. Now I am being honest, I have not seen it again and am going by memory and comments others have made. If I get something wrong feel free to correct me, maybe i missed something.



But here are five things in the movie that I did not like very much! Oh, and big time spoilers here so if you still haven’t seen it be warned!!!



Death Planet??

In Star Wars A New Hope, the Death Star was almost a character in the movie. You really felt the weight and dread of this massive space station. Now it probably sounded good on paper, but a planet? I’m sorry but the lush green planet just doesn’t have the same presence. Oh and for something really dumb, it has almost the exact same design flaw as the Death Star. C’mon! Yeah that final battle against the planet was so boring, I’m sorry but I couldn’t have cared less. The lightsaber fight on the planet was good, almost made up for the space battle. And I know it was called Starkiller Base and maybe I missed something, it was still boring.


January 10, 2016

Reconsidering "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure"


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I think those who have been following my stuff for awhile may know this story, but just in case you don’t here it is. In 1985  this little movie came out and was a big hit. I don’t remember exactly why, but I went to see it with my father. And hated it. I can’t say for sure what it was exactly. Maybe because I didn’t have a clue who this Pee-Wee guy was. Maybe I just wasn’t used to the off the wall style (this was a Tim Burton movie long before Burton would become a household name). Whatever it was, I was not enjoying it. Then we got to the Large Marge scene. Long story short, this was the final straw (and if you don’t know why I’ll explain later). I walked out and to this day this is the only movie I have ever walked out of.

It’s ironic that a year later Pee-Wee’s Playhouse would come on the air, and I was a big fan of that show (not to mention the awesome Christmas special). But when I saw this movie, I had no clue who he was and was not into it. On a side note, I still remember going home and discovering the rest of my family watching an episode of Family Ties, and was even more bummed. Funny the things you remember.

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But it is now thirty years later, and I have scene clips and heard enough about the movie that I decided it was time to finally revisit this after all these years. Was it bad? Or did I just miss something? And most importantly, did he ever get that damn bike back or not?!?! I decided it was time to finally watch this again as an adult. So I decided I would kind of run down the plot point and share my thought. And if by some chance you haven’t seen this 30 year old movie, spoilers.

January 7, 2016

Five Favorite Movie Moments I’ve Never Seen

There is nothing better when a movie a scene so powerful that not only do we never forget, but no one forgets it. We all have those favorite movie moments. You know the one’s, that almost transcend the medium and become so popular that even if you’ve never seen the actual movie chances are you know the scene or line of dialogue. Mostly because the moment is so loved that it gets mentioned, homaged and/or parodied all over the place. That’s what I want to discuss today.


Here are five moments from movies that are so famous, so iconic that I love them too….even though I have never seen the movie the actual moment appears in!



Moonstruck
I am pretty sure I never sat through this movie, sounds like it could be boring. Cher did win an Oscar for it so there must be something good in it. But the classic line I love is occurs at one point when Nicholas Cage says he loves Cher. Her slap and saying “Snap out of it!” is a great moment. Wonder what the context was?  :)




An Officer and A Gentleman
Is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t know how this movie ends? It has one of the most iconic endings ever, which has been parodied a million times. I guess if I watched the whole movie it would be even cooler, but it’s so boring. By the way I also loved “Up Where We Belong” without ever hearing it in the movie either, but I discussed that already.

January 4, 2016

Five “Dumb” Sitcom Characters That Deserve Better

Dumb characters are as old as sitcoms my friends. They’re either smart but socially backward (Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang, Screech on Saved By The Bell) or a bit dense but always mean well (Charlene on Designing Women, Cody on Step by Step, Chrissy on Three’s Company) or they’re just flat out stupid and never get anything right (Homer Simpson, Waldo on Family Matters…remember him?).  And that’s fine until the writers start to overuse that fact they are dumb characters. The problem with some dumb character is they get exploited by writers. If they need a easy joke, just have the dumb character do something stupid. Know one will question it because the character is an idiot, right?


This doesn’t always happen. Zack on Big Bang Theory has been pretty consistent with his stupidity, and creators have shown there is a brain in his head. On Night Court Bull was dense but it was always clear that everyone respected and cared for him. Eric on Boy Meets World was a little, out there, but showed enough brains that we still took him seriously. And while Woody was a bit slow on Cheers I don’t remember any episode where he was the butt of a joke just for the sake of being the butt of a joke, his denseness came from basic misunderstanding.  Heck even on Family Ties as much as Alex teased Mallory you knew he really loved his sister. And she proved she was smart in one thing-fashion. Unlike the characters below who are never allowed to be smart in anything they do.


I am not saying that the following characters aren’t dim witted, they clearly are, I am just saying that very often the writers would take advantage of that to get cheap laughs at their expense, ignoring the fact there is more to them.



Fred Flintstone from The Flintstones
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A couple weeks ago I talked about “A Flintstone Family Christmas”. The set up in the episode is that Fred and Barney are mugged by a guy in a Santa costume. Turns out to be two kids, we only meet one who is caveless. The thing that annoys me is when the kid is revealed, Betty and Wilma can’t stop chuckling! Oh that stupid Fred, being afraid of a child! Except, as Fred himself tries to say, there was no way to know that when he hidden in the shadows and disguised. Of course this kind of thing littered the series. Heck The Great Gazoo constantly refereed to Fred and Barney as dum-dum’s. Even the live action movie made Fred out to not only be dumb, but the dumbest guy in the quarry! But Fred is a good husband, a good father, and will actually care for others and try to solve any mess he got into. Is really smart? No, he’s a caveman.

and speaking of cartoons, Shaggy doesn’t count because while he was a little slow it was clear his friends respected him and they never put him down.


January 2, 2016

A Look at New Movies for 2016

So I finally went to see Star Wars. What did I think? After all the hype and all the buildup, it was…ok. Yeah the action scenes were cool and it felt like a Star Wars movie for a change. And yes it was cool and nostalgic to see the old characters again. But I have to agree with Doug Walker, not only was it “A New Hope” 2.0 but it lacked all the suspense of that film. That final Death Star scene was nerve wracking, I still watch the clip and get chills. And even in Jedi they drew it out enough for us to be invested. Here..not so much. We just didn’t care the same, especially for that pilot whatever his name was. And it was done a bit to fast. The new characters just didn’t have that depth to them (except for Rey, I absolutely loved her!). And the big death in the movie was no shock if you know anything about the franchise. Though it was handled well overall. I liked it but, as has already been said by others, it’s no masterpiece


However since pretty much everyone in the world has already discussed, analyzed, and/or dissected this movie I’ve decided to focus on something else. Star Wars was the first movie I have seen in theaters in quite some time. Nothing last year grabbed me (except Avengers which I did see On Demand). But from the looks of it, 2016 may be different. And I saw a few interesting trailers before the movie (though I swear I heard the same music sting in all of them. Man I miss that “In a World…” voice over guy. There are  a lot of interesting movies coming out, and we already have trailers for most of them.


So let’s run done some of these trailers and I’ll share my thoughts on whether they look awesome….or really stupid.


Warcraft

Based on the World of Warcraft video games and book, this trailer looks pretty intense. I don’t think there was ever a video game I played that I didn’t think would be cool as a movie, so why not this one? Since I have no exposure to the games or the books I really have nothing to say here. Looks kind of cool.