June 27, 2016

Five Things I Hated in Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home

I’m very happy to be talking about this one because this year it’s actually the 30th anniversary of when the film came out. It was November, 1986 and it was a monster hit. Because of it’s light tone even non Star Trek fans loved it. This movie was a huge deal when it came out with all kinds of press from talk shows to William Shatner even hosting Saturday Night Live. We were excited about Trek when this came, we couldn’t wait for TNG and were so hyped for the next movie (who knew then what we’d get, but that’s another story).


I said before that finding things to hate would be tough. But not because it’s a perfect movie, just because I adored this movie and the more you love something the harder it is to pick on it. True story, my family and I were going to California the next summer and guess what movie was playing on the airplane? Yep, we were very excited! But years after this movie came out and seeing it three million times, I am able to take the nostalgia goggles off to be fair and pick on some of the things I either didn’t like or can easily nitpick.

The Klingon Ambassador
Don’t get me wrong, John Schuck was fantastic in the role. But what was this doing here? Except as  way to catch people up on Star Trek iii it serves no purpose. If it was just hear to catch people up, why? Having the prologue before Star Trek III was kind of stupid but I get them thinking people may have forgotten WTOK. But by 1986 most people had VCR’s so we didn’t need this recap. It’s also never really followed up on, even in Star Trek VI which could you argue kind of follows up on it but not really. He says there will be no peace as long as Kirk lives…and end scene. Why didn’t they just have Sarek appear to plead his case, it could have ended the same way. Especially considering Genesis is quietly forgotten after this scene, we didn’t need to be reminded about it. Having the ambassador is pointless (though it does seem like an unwritten rule that if it’s a Star Trek movie there HAS to be a Klingon in it somewhere!). Oh and one last thing, where in the world did Starfleet that beautifully edited footage of the Enterprise blowing up???

June 24, 2016

Ten DC Comics Character Changes…for the Worst!

I’ve talked a lot about how great DC Comics can be, but that doesn’t mean all of their ideas were hits. Very often in an attempt to change the status quo they take existing established characters or teams and decide to tinker with them…and while it can work it usually ends up hurting them in the process.  For example I already discussed the awful Electric Blue Superman. And I mentioned how they screwed Batman up when they made Jean Paul Valley in that stupid armor.


It didn’t take long for either of these to be returned to the status quo.  But that isn’t the only time DC took one of their big heroes or teams and screwed them over in the name of improving them. Here are ten more, in no particular order..

10.Wonder Woman Without Powers
At about the same time Superman was being de-powered, the same thing was happening over in Wonder Woman. This was the idea of Denny O’Neil who has admitted it was a mistake. And it was really stupid. She basically lost her powers and her costume and became a regular working woman. Yeah that sounds exciting. This was supposed to reflect women’s lib but all it did was water down the character. It didn’t last long but is a fascinating era in the character’s history.

June 20, 2016

Five Things I Hated in Star Trek III-The Search for Spock

As I promised last week, let’s take a look at the third movie. Before Star Trek IV came along, this was my favorite Star Trek movie. I adored this movie. I can still remember seeing it in theaters, can still recall the places that got laughs and the audience loving it, still recall  talking to my mother about it afterward and excited at what the next would bring, and I think I saw it a million times on video (once right before a final exam, weird). This is the movie that got me to love Star Trek, and after came TNG, ST IV, and getting really caught up on the classic episodes. Yeah it’s not the greatest but I didn’t care.

I think the primary difference between this one and TWOK is that it is more focused on the characters. TWOK is much bigger with some serious themes running through it. Except for Kirk the characters are just kind of, there. That’s not a criticism of course, in fact that is probably why this one is not regarded as highly since it does feel more like an episode than a huge movie. Star Trek III is a bit smaller which gives the characters a chance to shine a little more.But before this becomes a rant, here are five things I did not love in this movie. And no one of them will not be the plot holes, those have been covered elsewhere. Though why don’t more people comment that the title is a lie, there is never a “search” in the whole movie! I guess “The Rescue of Spock” wouldn’t have been nearly as suspenseful.

Microbes/Genesis Worms
I wonder if this was an attempt to duplicate the creepiness of the ear slugs in the previous movie. Because that’s the only reason I can see for this being here. We first see the microbes in a very basic state, almost single cell organisms. We’re informed that they must have been on the casket when it fired from Enterprise, and they were fruitful and multiplied. I guess the point of these was to demonstrate how the planet evolves things very rapidly because when we see them again, they are worms which slither over Kruge. He kills them and the Klingons are on their merry way. When I read what it took to accomplish this scene it’s quite fascinating. It seemed like a lot of work for what could have easily been a deleted scene. This scene was kind of creepy as a kid, now it’s just..pointless. I do love how the scene ends with Kruge calling the ship to tell them nothing is happening. I can imagine the officers on the ship shrugging their shoulders going “ah, thanks for that update sir?”

June 16, 2016

Top 10 Dumbest Batman Gadgets & Accessories

A couple weeks ago I talked about ten dumb super powers that Superman has had over the years. Most of them being silly silver ages things, back when creators just didn’t care and did whatever they wanted even if it made no sense. But the truth is, Batman wasn’t spared from this. Oh sure he never had “super powers” but he did often have gimmicks or other bizarre things which are downright silly considering the Batman we know and love today.


Batman has a way of making silly gadgets cool. Bat Phone? Cool. Batpoles to the Batcave? Cool. A Bat Signal? Very cool. But some just don’t work. Here are ten examples of what I mean:

10.Shark Repellent Bat Spray
File created with CoreGraphics
Yeah I can’t ignore the old Batman TV series on this list. There was a time when Batman’s utility belt was, well, actually used. Seriously, is it used for anything in comics these days? But it seemed like Batman had anything available at a moments notice…no matter how far fetched. But the dumbest had to be from the first live action movie, and the shark repellent he used to get rid of the shark chomping on his leg. The thing with this one is that everyone forgets that he had repellent bat sprays for all kinds of sea life.

June 13, 2016

Five Things I Hated in "Star Trek II-The Wrath of Khan"

June 8, 2016

Underrated Trek:Too Short a Season (TNG)

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. Season 1 TNG was awful. So awful that even an idea that had a real good concept still was bogged down with silliness and while it’s not the worst it is hardly great. The episode is mostly overlooked. This is….


So it isn’t awful and it isn’t great, what is it? Let’s take a look….


Plot Synopsis:

When hostages are taken on a planet, Picard is assigned to transport the elderly Admiral Mark Jameson to the planet to negotiate a peace. It was Jameson who had negotiated the previous peace 40 years ago. It was those talks that ended up starting a war.

Along the way to the planet the crew notice that the frail and elderly admiral is suddenly able to walk again under his own power, and looks younger. He finally reveals that he took an anti-aging drug to make him younger so he could handle the negotiations. However the anti aging drug is also slowly killing him. Jameson also realizes that the reason the hostages were taken was because the governor wants revenge. It was Jameson who lit the match that started that long war.

Jameson tries to lead a raid to free the hostages which is botched miserably. Suffering from severe pain, the governor of the planet named Karnas demands Jameson or else he will kill the hostages. As Jameson lies near death Picard beams him down, now appearing to be a very young man, to meet with  Karnas. Karnas has blamed Jameson for the 40 year war and wants revenge. But the effects of the aging pills kill Jameson, and Karnas frees the hostages.


Guest Star:

Clayton Rohner, is just plain miscast here. He tries, but fails.


What I Hated:

First of all, that old age make-up for Jameson is just awful. The really odd thing the make-up looks even worst as he de-ages. It’s clear that the make-up creators hadn’t quite figured out how to do that just right. So yeah, the core of the story is that the admiral is de-aging. And as always when this kind of thing appears in sci-fi, it’s just stupid. Ok it isn’t as bad as when an entire species announces they start as adults and become children. And I will give the episode credit that the experience seems very painful and in fact kills the admiral. It isn’t like it’s magic or something. But still, it’s a little to hard to swallow especially when it restores his skin and hair color.

A lot of people complain the focus is on Jameson and the crew of the Enterprise become background characters. That wouldn’t be a problem, except we don’t want to spend time with Jameson. Once he is young again he comes off a cocky jerk who is pretty unlikable. He shows no real remorse for what he did (more on that below). Oh sure he says he felt guilty but it doesn’t come across. Then he botches the mission to save the hostages by being overconfident. Finally he just dies, and that’s the episode. What was the point of following this character? Oh and what happened with the hostages? Don’t worry they are a plot device and nothing more.

How exactly did they get that ridiculously large wheelchair off the transporter pad? Or onto the main Bridge? And this episode also suffers from the same corniness that permeated TNG in the early days. The final scene is Picard and Riker beating the moral of the story in, before setting course for their next job. This kind of thing worked in the old days with Kirk and Spock because the chemistry was right. Here it just feels, goofy. Thankfully as time went on this was dropped and episodes would just, well, end!

Finally, you gotta love season 1 TNG where not only is Troi given things to do and made to be the brains on the ship, but her word is even more valuable than Crusher’s! My how things changed.


What I liked:

Ok, so after that being said what did I like? Here is the concept once you get past the idiotic de-aging thing. The admiral is pushing himself to be ready and able to free the hostages once the Enterprise arrives at the planet. In fact the aging pill he took was meant to be taken slowly, but he took the whole dosage as well as the second he aquired for his wife. Why is he so driven? Forty years earlier Karnas had hostages and Jameson was sent to free them. His solution was to give the weapons Karnas wanted to defeat his enemies, while giving those enemies the same amount of weapons. He calls it his interpretation of the prime directive. This act ignited a war that lasted 40 years. So it’s guilt that is driving him to do this, and possibly  the chance to redeem his mistake. That’s a good, if simple, premise for a strong character episode! To bad the silliness trumps the coolness. Maybe if they had dumped the aging nonsense and just made it a character piece. Instead we get a pretty dull episode where the “mystery” of the admiral turning younger takes up time. Though the scene where Jameson reveals the truth to Picard in the briefing room was a pretty good one.

The action scene, which was forced onto the script because the creators felt it was boring, isn’t that bad as far as action scenes go. This is also one of the first times Picard goes along on the away mission, which I always liked to see. Besides it gives the characters who had hardly had two lines in the episode something to do! By the way the ending was rewritten at first Jameson lived and worked out a deal with Karnas. The ending we get is kind of anticlimactic to be honest.

Karnas is played by Michael Pataki who also played the obnoxious Klingon Korax in the classic “Trouble with Tribbles” episode. Marsha Hunt played the wife  and she out acts Rohner 100% in every scene. Wesley does not appear in the episode (That’s always a positive).


June 5, 2016

Ten Earworms From Walt Disney World That Will Never Go Away!!

I love Disney World! There is so much I could talk about, but today I wanted to focus on the rides. Not the actual ride, but the music that went with them! Unlike most amusement parks which throw some sort of goofy calliope on all their rides, Disney has really good and memorable melodies to go with their attractions.

In fact I used to have a CD of Disney World music and I can tell I played it plenty of times. There is just something about those tunes that will never ever let you forget them. If you remember mt first earworm article I already talked about the big one most people think about, It’s a Small World After All. Want to hear it again?

That isn’t the only one. Here now are ten earworms from Walt Disney Word, EPCOT, and/or Disneyland. Most of these attractions have quie a lot of history surrounding them, but we’d be here all day if I covered all of that.

The important thing to remember is these are from when I was growing up, a lot of these have been changed or eliminated altogether by now but I will never forget them.

10.Carousel of Progress

I love this one but the reason this was such an earworm for me isn’t because it’s catchy, but because thanks to a thunderstorm my family got stuck listening to the same segment over and over! Seriously though I love this attraction (it basically uses animatronics to illustrate the changes over the course of a century) and while they keep changing the song, “Now is the Time” is the one I always always remember. “It’s Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” is fine too. FYI both songs were written by The Sherman Brothers. Yes, those Sherman Brother! The Academy Award winning songwriting team from Mary Poppins among others. This ride has quiet a history and is worth checking it out, in fact it was said it was Walt Disney’s favorite

June 2, 2016

Top 10 Dumbest Superman Powers & Abltiies

Ever have a great idea for an article only to find out about a hundred people have already done it? Ah well, here is my two cents worth.


Superman is one of my favorite characters, and while he has some incredible powers and abilities it seems like writers and creators keep wanting to tack on even more crazy powers.  Ok some things I can buy, he has super speed and strength which explains a lot of stuff. Yeah Ok at times he could be almost godlike, but still. And can he breathe in space or not? Depends on which era you’re reading a comic book from. And I can accept the guy is smart enough to do instantaneous calculations in his head. In fact a lot of things he did in the old days make sense they just made it stupid buy adding “super” in front of everything. And in one issue of World’s Finest he actually built another Earth…um, ok that one sounds stupid but I never read it.

Here are ten powers Superman demonstrated over the years that really make no sense. Majority of these come from the old old days when creators didn’t care very much, but it can happen in more modern days too.

#10.”Leaping” Tall Buildings
Yeah this one goes waayyy back, to when the character first appeared. But I never got what Siegel and Shuster were thinking. Was a flying man so far fetched? I mean the guy could outrace a locomotive and bullets could bounce off him, but flying? That’s crazy! No instead have him leap around like a giant insect or something. Maybe the expression “leap tall buildings in a single bound” sounded cool then, it’s lame now.