Category Archives: Reviews

Engage: The Officially Official Star Trek Podcast

Okay, so I think I’m going to start something new here on the Chronicles.

If you read this post from a week or two ago, you know that I came out of the nerd closet and am flying my flag high, letting my geek light shine, whatever the hell you want to call it.

I also mentioned in that post how I was interested in this whole podcast thing. I was never one to like “talk radio” because most of it was yawn inducing boredom, politics, or sports. I tried to like it. I really did. But, I just couldn’t get into it. I felt bad that I couldn’t. Like because I’m a reasonably intelligent person with a decent IQ, and a knowledge of what talk radio was talking about, I still wasn’t “cerebral” enough to listen, and it had to be something wrong with me, and not the talk radio. lol. Anyway, I digress… Podcasts at least some of them that I have found, are now the new talk radio for nerds. I know there’s LOADS of other topics covered, but yeah, I’m hooked. I’ve listened to the most recent Nerdist, as well as a couple from the archives, and I have Wil Wheaton’s latest downloaded, and one a friend turned me onto called Cracked.

But…

Being that I follow oh I don’t know, half of the trek-verse actors, as well as the official trek page, and goodness knows what else on twitter, I of course was well informed of Engage, the now OFFICIAL Star Trek podcast, fully licensed by CBS, official blah blah blah you know the drill.

I subscribed to the channel and downloaded Episode 0 onto my happy little phone, and so later that day when DS and I had to drive across town (20-30 minutes on a good traffic day) for his first dance class of summer, I asked him if he would mind if I listened, since I hadn’t had a chance to. (I usually listen while I walk, but considering it’s been 95+ degrees here in South Carolina with well over 65% humidity, walking outside has been VERY far from my mind, I like to be able to breathe while I walk thankyouverymuch). Thankfully Mr. I’m-13-and-I-know-everything was feeling rather agreeable (probably had a lot to do with being on the way to ballet class) he said “Sure why not?”, so I plugged in my phone, started it up and off we went. Honestly, as much as my kid gets into a lot of the same nerd stuff that I do, I figured his earbuds would be out about five minutes in, and I would just get the strange looks from the passenger’s seat while I listened.

Now, before I get into my thoughts on this new podcast, let me give you a little more background of the nerd that is me. I mentioned it a bit in my post from before (see link above), but let me go a little further. I grew up on Star Trek. I have very early memories of watching TOS reruns with my dad. My first memory of the any of the movies, is IV: The Voyage Home. To this day it is still my absolute favorite. Favorite is tough though, not really the best word really. I actually like all the movies equally, but again, I’m babbling. Anyway, some of my first toys were Star Wars action figures, and some of my favorite memories are curled up with my dad, when TNG was new. Now, fast forward to my early 30’s. I’m finally starting to not care what people think of me (really, it’s a hard thing to learn), and so with sudden amounts of extra time on my hands (first months being a housewife, and everything was clean, etc…) I figured out that Netflix had all of the series, and most of the movies. I was like a kid on Christmas.

So, being the logically minded person that I am, I started at the beginning. Sure, I’d read a lot of the stuff that said as long as you watched the movies you can skip TOS, and TAS. (don’t worry I’ll give you a list of acronyms at the end) I am so glad I didn’t. I dutifully watched my way through all three seasons of TOS, both seasons of TAS, I then went and watched the TOS movies. I – VI. Then, I went through TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. Then the new movies, VII – X. So, although not necessarily chronological, but kinda in order of release. (now after this I did move on to other series, and movies, but that’s for another post)

What does this have to do with Engage? (by the way you can read an article about it, as well as if you’re a twitter user, you can follow the host Jordan Hoffman there, or if Facebook is more your thing, they do have an official Facebook Page) Frankly it has a LOT to do with Engage. I spent nearly the entirety of Episode 0 smiling, laughing, nodding, and saying “YES! ME TOO!!” a LOT. Now, I have only seen the 2009 Star Trek movie, in pieces, once, so I don’t know much about the new alternate universe, but I do plan on watching them at some point. They’re not on Netflix and well, that’s the main way I watch my movies lol. (so unless someone wants to send me DVD’s or blu-ray versions lol I’ll just wait) Now, I’ve never been to a con, most of the good ones are too far away. I’ve never read the books, or comics, I didn’t keep up with blog discussions, or anything like that. I just really love the show. I get excited over episodes. I get excited when other people see a favorite, and I can get excited about it again. I don’t know what every little thing means, some things I just accept without diving into the hows and whys. All I know is it makes me happy. All of them do. This time around I’m watching in “chronological” order (or close to it) so, so far as of the time of this writing, I’ve watched Enterprise, TOS, and am in the end of season 3 of TNG. Next will be DS9 (and I will still have to dig my way through the first 2.5 seasons as much as I love the show, those first couple of seasons are… rough lol) and then Voyager. Yes, I did skip TAS this time around, but I have already watched movies I-VI (and I don’t care how many people don’t like it, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is brilliant).

All I know is I am very excited about this podcast, and I am looking forward to drives to and from dance, and other places with my son since we’ve agreed to listen to it together.

Episode 1, here we come!

As promised, acronyms:

TOS: The Original Series (meaning the 1966-68 television series with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, etc)

TAS: The Animated Series (1973-75, original actors doing voices, supposed to be the last two years of their first 5 year voyage)

TNG: The Next Generation (1987-1994 approximately 100ish years after TOS, the continuing mission)

DS9: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999, takes place on a space station on the edge of the galaxy)

Voyager: Well, Star Trek: Voyager lol (1995-2001, ship gets lost, fun stuff happens)

Enterprise: Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005, 100ish years BEFORE TOS, 100ish years after Cochrane’s first warp flight)


Classic Doctor Who Review

Okay. I’ve completely turned into a Whovian. Yep. I’m hooked. Of course since I am a self admitted binge watcher of television series’, I’ve been through a lot. I haven’t even had time to review most of them, but I will get there.

Anyway, this isn’t about my binge watching habits, not really anyway lol, this is supposed to be my thoughts on the Classic Doctor Who.

Okay. I’m really split down the middle on this. I loved seeing the older episodes. Especially Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, as he was the one I remember the most from my childhood. I also seemed to have vague memories of the 3rd Doctor as well, but I’m not sure. It was really great seeing some of them that I had never seen before.

Here is my problem though. And let me give this caveat before I continue: yes, I did my research, yes I know that the BBC does not have most of the old episodes. Okay. Now. Only available is one set of episodes with the first doctor, and limited numbers of the others. We only see 6 after he regenerates and one set with seven. We also never see a Weeping Angel, a Dalek or a Cyberman. So, if someone is using Netflix to get to know more of the story behind the Doctor, they don’t get much. They get a lot, don’t get me wrong, but there is still a lot missing.

No spoilers this time, at least none about the show, and the rest, about the limited amount of episodes you can find out for yourself by looking at what is available on Netflix.

This being said, I haven’t dug deeper. I never thought about looking at Amazon Prime to see if they have anything. But, from what I know, there isn’t much out there. I know I can get more by buying DVDs but I don’t really have the funds, nor the space for loads of DVDs. Some day I probably will, just because I love it, and so do my kids.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts. Keep your eyes peeled, I will be reviewing the reboot doctors one at a time, starting with the 9th and my thoughts on Rose, and everybody else. 🙂 Enjoy everybody!


Star Trek: Voyager Review

Okay, so this was the next full series I watched when I started my binge watching habits.

Personally, and I get a lot of crap about this.

but…

THIS IS THE BEST ONE.

I can’t explain exactly why. I could be Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), it could have been the crazy story lines. It could have been the interesting love stories. It could have been anything. From the episode where Janeway and Chakotay have to stay behind on a planet. To the reappearance of Q, and then his son. To all the crazy alternate universes. And, of course we can’t forget Reg lol.

The only complaint I have is the end. I wanted more. Now, this wasn’t the usual pouting that it was over, but COME ON. They made it BACK. Can we have a party or SOMETHING?!?! Can we see Tom and his dad reunite? Can we let them all meet Reg and Deanna? What did the destruction of the big Borg transport really mean?

I won’t give away much more, but if this is one you didn’t watch because you couldn’t get into it, give it another go. It’s worth it. I do give 5 out of 5 stars even if I was left wanting more at the end.


Star Trek: DS9 Review

All seasons (yes I’m a binge watcher) of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, my review

Okies, so as I’ve mentioned before, I got addicted to Netflix last year. *hangs head* But, I’m also slightly OCD about my addictions. I will typically only watch ONE show at a time, straight through, in order. So, last year, starting with TNG, I worked my way through all the Star Trek series. I am slowly but surely posting my reviews of all of them. In the order I watched them. Which if you’re curious, I didn’t go in order per se, but it went a bit more like this, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Original, then all the movies, except for the two most modern. Yes, that’s a lot of Star Trek. No, I won’t tell you how long it took me. Yes, I am fully aware that I am a nerd. No, I don’t care.

Moving on.

DS9 was a SLOW starter for me. Really, it took me the better part of the first two seasons to really fully get into it. Once Worf (Michael Dorn) became part of the cast, Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks) got made Captain, the Dominion actually became a threat and the Defiant was dropped off for them to use, THAT’S when it got good. Now, I’ll do my usual. Sisko (Brooks) really developed throughout this series. He went from being the bitter single dad, to a really fun guy, even if the Bajorans thought he was some kind of god. lol I loved Miles O’Brien (Colm Meaney) back in his TNG days, and he’s much better in DS9, and I’m glad we got to watch his and Keiko (Rosalind Chao) go through the “married couple” stuff and watch their daughter grow up (once WAY too fast). Can’t forget Odo (Rene Auberjonois), the stiff, formal, security guy that turns to goo once a day. The last season with all that happens really shows a different side of him. Quark (Armin Shimerman) is amazing as always, I really can’t think of a role of his I haven’t loved. Major Kira (Nana Visitor) grows a lot as well throughout the show, really learning to stop being bitter and embrace her Bajoran side. I could go on and on, but you get my drift. Loads of character development, lots of great secondary stories that carry throughout the entire series (and even some from TNG with Worf, Miles and lots of other ST regulars making appearances.

I’ve heard from a lot of people they didn’t like this one, or they never got into it, but really, give it a shot, past the first couple of seasons, and it is worth it. It also really helps tie into the beginning of my favorite series, Voyager. All in all though, I will give it a 4 out of 5, as it is a slow starter and some of the themes get a little redundant.

Smile!


Innocence Review

Innocence by Dean Koontz.

Okay, first off, put Dean Koontz in the category with Stephen King. I LOVE HIM. I have read nearly everything he has written, that I have been able to get my hands on so far. (Again, google play books gift cards are ALWAYS welcome *giggles*)

I do have my favorite by him, In the Corner of His Eye, and when I drag it out for the semi-annual re-read, I’ll post a review. It is such a complex and interwoven story, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice without a fresh read on my mind.

Anyway…

So, hubby surprised me with this one. I had zipped through the latest book for my book club in a couple of days, so, I get a message, “check google play books.” I’ll admit, I squealed like a little girl. *blush* Okay, onto my thoughts, and as usual SPOILER ALERT!!

I will actually say, Mr. Koontz confused me a bit on this one. I couldn’t quite figure out where we were going with our two main characters, Addison and Gwyneth, for a good chunk of the book. It’s a very fast paced story, going back and forth between Addison’s past and what was currently going on. Several interesting twists and turns throughout tho. Is it his best? No, but like I said, I already have a favorite. But, since I typically always do this, especially with newer works by any of my favorites, when I read in the letter from the author that the story was inspired by someone who wrote him after reading In the Corner of His Eye that gave me a bigger appreciation. I think as it typical with most Dean Koontz (or really any author) you either love it or you hate it. I still put it in the love category, and still give it my personal 5 stars, but I think if you’re reading Dean Koontz for the first time, choosing a different book to start is a better option. Go try the Odd series (which I still need to catch up on, again, play books please? giggles)

Onward to more reviews and post! Thank you for reading! Smile!


Sexy Evil Genius Review

Normally, I am not a watcher of indie films. Yes, I know to some people that makes me a horrible person. But, I’m picky, so sue me.

A friend of DH’s suggested this movie to us, and we were intrigued. We are both big Seth Green fans. I love Michelle Trachtenberg from her Buffy days. William Baldwin (one of the lesser known Baldwin brothers, but only because he’s not an idiot to the media all the time lol) does an amazing job. Anthony Michael Hall has been in so many movies and shows that I love, even with only a small part, he shines. Katee Sackhoff is proving to be a more versatile actress than I originally thought (I did watch the first few episodes of the modern version of Battlestar Galactica, even tho I never finished the series). Last but not least, my favorite, Harold Perrineau. I fell in love with him as Mercutio in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet years ago, and STILL see him screaming out his soliloquy at Romeo on the beach.

SPOILER ALERT, you know the drill, don’t go past here unless you’re okay with a few spoilers.

This movie takes place, probably 95% of it, around a table in a small bar. It starts off with Zachary (Seth Green) and Miranda (Michelle Trachtenberg) realizing that they have been called to the same place by Nikki (Katee Sackhoff). A mutual ex girlfriend of both of theirs. Then, Marvin (Harold Perrineau) shows up, and the three reminisce about Nikki. Eventually Nikki herself shows up, and more suspicion and stories are shared, when Bert (William Baldwin) comes in and is introduced as Nikki’s fiance. Lots of stories from the past, ensue, including learning why Nikki was in a mental facility. I won’t give away too much, but the ending has a crazy twist!

It’s only 90 minutes! No, it’s not the most cinematically (not a word according to WP lol) challenging movie, BUT, it sucks you into the story because most of the time you are sitting wondering why Nikki has brought all of these people together. I give 5 stars, mostly because of the all star cast of actors I love.


Doctor Sleep Review

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

First and foremost. I LOVE Stephen King.

I have read nearly every word the man has written, and I started when I was 11. And I didn’t go easy, Firestarter was my first book and I devoured everything I could get my hands on after that. Most of them more than once. (Yes, I reread books, it’s like visiting with old friends to me) I’ve seen a lot of the movies based on them, and most of them are okay. Some, well, to be honest, I don’t think the people that made the movie read much beyond the book jacket and a few reviews.

But, this is a book review, and specifically, about Doctor Sleep.

When I heard about this one coming out, I was SO excited. I don’t like to read much about the books before I read them. I prefer to form my own opinions. Only thing I knew before cracking, (well, since I read on my iPad, I guess you don’t really crack books like that open but, you know what I mean), was that this was a continuation of The Shining, sort of.

Now, SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t read, and plan to, stop here.

Doctor Sleep follows Danny Torrence through his life, mostly starting about 20 or so years after the destruction of the Overlook Hotel. His recovery from alcoholism (just like his dad), from dealing with his “shining” without the numbing effects of the alcohol, and finding out he has a half sister, and a niece, Abra, who shines just as bright as Danny did as a boy, if not brighter. Abra finds Danny, even when she’s still a baby, and leaves him messages on his chalkboard, and eventually gets his help with the True Knot, a band of vagabond “shine vampires” that roam the US. In typical King fashion, we jump back and forth from “present” time to the past (flashbacks), and back and forth between the three main “sets” of characters. Danny, his AA sponsor, his friend, and his work. Abra, her parents, great-grandmother, and friends. Rose, the leader of the True Knot, the rest of the True Knot and their travels. Which of course all three sets eventually meet and battle things out with the “good guys” winning in the end. Sort of. We learn with our “epilogue” (OK not REALLY, but if you’re a King fan you know what I mean) that there are still plenty of demons being fought. And, although doubtful he would, an opening to more adventures with those that Shine.

5 out of 5 starts for this one folks. Yes, I’m probably biased because I am such a huge King fan, but really, if you liked The Shining you will enjoy getting the answers to the “what happened to Danny?” questions.


Ghostbusters Review

Okay, probably seems silly that I am reviewing a movie from the 80’s.

But….

We have Family Movie Night on most Friday nights. Usually involving some kind of finger food that is living room safe, and, lately DH and I have been catching the kids up on movies from our childhood. Now that they are older and can get more of the humor and not be too bored with the cheesy special effects, it’s actually been a lot of fun.

Strange was we watched this one the week before Harold Ramis passed away.

It had been several years since I sat and watched this one straight through, and, I completely forgotten how much I LOVE this movie. Yes, it’s slightly cheesy sci-fi, but, it’s also the basic battle between good and evil blended with a guys down on their luck make it big story. Plus, it’s so much fun to watch guys like Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis and Bill Murray all young and just starting in the big movie part of their career. Plus, pre-Alien Sigourney Weaver. If you haven’t seen it, please do. It really is worth it. It’s only 107 minutes according to Wiki lol. Yes, there is some “anti-government” undertones at parts when the EPA guy tries to shut them down, but it’s a lot milder of a “statement” than those that are made in most modern movies. Mostly, it’s just fun and silliness and a little bit of scary. (Even tho, really, how scary is a 20 story tall marshmallow man?)

Since I grade on a curve for the decade it’s from, I do give this 5 stars. There is a plot, it’s a cult classic, and the effects were spectacular for the time.


Safely Home – Review

Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, my thoughts. (and yes there are going to be some spoilers, sorry, I can’t help it)

I joined a book club. Yeah, you would think as much as I love to read I’d belong to at least three and have been for years. Nope. I belong to one. And have been going for about two months. It’s a lovely small group with some ladies from church (and old friend of mine actually convinced me to go) and I am so glad I did.

For the record, before anyone gets “offended”. Yes, this is a work of fiction written by a Christian. Yes, I am also Christian. No, I am not going to force my beliefs down your throat just because I am. Okay, we good now?

Moving on…

So, the book is set mostly in China, where a VP of a large corporation has been sent to look up his old Harvard roommate, who is Chinese, live with him, immerse himself in the local culture, all in the idea of improving their holdings in China. He assumed his old roomie was a college professor like he wanted to be, and would be living a typical “middle class” life. Yeah…. not so much. The book takes us on the journey of Ben and Li Quan as Ben finds his way back to his Christian roots and Quan is a persecuted Christian who is eventually arrested and then unfortunately killed in prison.

All in all I liked the book. If you have issue with people getting beaten in prison, or mistreated in any manner, there are parts you are going to need to “skim”. But, it was a real eye opener. It really made me think about “being content with what I have.” Meaning, stop going for the bigger, better, faster, more or “keeping up with the Jones'”. Learn to love what you have, and be content there, once you figure that out, more will come along eventually.

So, I give it 4 out of 5, just because it gets slightly difficult to follow at times, occasionally repetitive on certain ideas, and the descriptions of the time in prison.


Star Trek: TNG Review

This seemed to be the most appropriate review to start with. Since when I started “binge watching” on NetFlix, this was the first series I picked.

It brings back SO many memories for me, being curled up on the couch next to my dad as a young girl watching these every week when they first came out.  I say young, and I mean it, lol, at least it seems young to me now, I wasn’t quite 9 years old when the series premiered. I got a friend hooked on it back then, and she became a bigger fan than I was.

While watching the all of it, in order, I realized there were plenty I had missed over the years, even tho I had (and still have) the habit of turning it on any time I happened to see reruns on.

As for my review (since that is what this is supposed to be). I LOVE IT. Five stars. Across the board. I can watch any episode, and be sucked in. Yes, I will agree, looking at it with a modern eye, some of the effects are terrible by today’s standard, but I also remember being AMAZED by them when I was younger.

The cast. I don’t even know where to start with this. Sir Patrick Stewart has such an amazing diversity of acting abilities that it blows my mind (especially from an actress’ point of view). Watching him develop the character and struggle with a star ship that has *gasp* CHILDREN on board was a lot of fun. Jonathan Frakes really grew as an actor and then director with this series. And I like him much better with the beard. Having grown up on Reading Rainbow, I went into this as a HUGE LaVar Burton fan. I remember getting all excited seeing him the first time! lol Not to mention, the Reading Rainbow episode he did with all the behind the scenes stuff. I still remember the jar of water with glitter stirred in as the effect for the transporter. Watching Michael Dorn start as the rough and gruff Klingon, to finally starting to be okay with his humanity is a lot of fun. Gates McFadden as the lovely Doctor was amazing. Wil Wheaton (WHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETOOOOOOOOOON sorry had to throw the Big Bang Theory in here a little) really grew through out the series as well, which yes I know he was supposed to, but you can also watch him become more comfortable with himself as the series continues. I wanted to be Marina Sirtis when I grew up (in fact, flashback to middle school, we had a Star Trek group at lunch with one of the coolest teachers ever, and I was Ship’s Counselor). I won’t go much further. But, I had to save probably my favorite actor for last. Brent Spiner. He can act, he can sing, he can play the good guy, he can play the bad guy. I LOVE seeing him in other stuff through the years. And yes, I’ve even heard (even if I don’t own it because I can’t find it) his album “Old Yellow Eyes”.

I won’t give too many spoilers here, but honestly it could have kept going. I do love the way they ended it. Especially with seeing what relationships developed throughout the years. But, honestly, I could keep watching it to this day (although I’m sure 30 years is probably too much lol).

So, to sum up. LOVE IT. If you’ve never watched it all, do so. Yes, it will take some time, there are 7 seasons after all, but it’s worth it. It’s one I will probably watch again at some point.


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