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November 26, 2007

"Finally, I get to save the Earth with deadly laser blasts instead of deadly slide shows! "

So, did everyone have a good holiday? We had a pretty relaxing weekend and the smoked turkey was as good as ever. We also completely skipped shopping on Black Friday. Ah well, I'm sure I'll be OK with that somehow...

So, let's see what we have coming this week:

Bratz I can tell already that this is going to be a BIG week!

Drunken Angel (1948) This has nothing whatsoever to do with this particular Kurosawa film, but this reminded me of the other night: we watched the Dr. Who (current show, 3rd season) episode, "Blink." Great episode, one of the best yet. Drunken (weeping/killer) Angel indeed!

Futurama: Bender's Big Score! The 2007 TV movie.

Happy Days: Season 3

Hot Rod

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

Laverne & Shirley: Season 3

Mork & Mindy: Season 3

Mr. Bean's Holiday

The Namesake



November 19, 2007

"I want that chubby Communist girl off my show!"

Welcome all, to Thanksgiving week, home of Black Friday. These days I pause to give thanks for, among other things, not having to work retail! Let's see what my former employer will be hustling this week:

Bill Maher: The Decider

Charles in Charge: The Complete Season 2 I'm sure they'll be lining up in front of Best Buy waiting for this one...after all, Scott Baio did it.

CSI: Season 7

The Doris Day Show: Season 5

Hairspray (2007)

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991) First time on DVD for this excellent documentary.

The Lady Vanishes Criterion reissues the Hitchcock classic.

Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Mission: Impossible: Season 3

Queer as Folk - The Complete Series

The Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause (2006)

Star Trek The Original Series - The Complete First Season This is the CG-enhanced version of the show; combo DVD/HD-DVD.

The Wild Wild West: Season 3

Have a great holiday everyone!

November 13, 2007

TOS Rewind #12: "The Conscience of the King"

After "The Menagerie," we make a decidedly different turn to The Conscience of the King (Original air date: 12-8-66). First off, I hadn't seen this one in a while, but remembered enough of it to be wary of revisiting. When I was growing up, this was a bit of a snoozefest for me primarily, as Eric has pointed out that it really isn't science fiction at all. I think I actually appreciated it more now than before. There are some ideas expressed in this episode that are important, such as the revelation that Kirk was present on a colony where there was a mass slaughter and the placing of the often-told Nazi hunter character onto Kirk.

We also get another situation that pits Kirk against Spock. Kirk is going underground in pursuit of Karidian, including taking the Enterprise off course. This scenario will be brought back in the episode, "Obsession."

Highlights: I liked Kirk in this show. He gets to be a slightly more complex character, especially when he seduces Karidian's daughter to get close to him (some of the back and forth flirting is pretty silly though). He is obviously attracted to her, but in the end plans to use her to accomplish his goals. He also expresses a truly thoughtful side when he ponders whether or not Karidian is the man he's after. Kirk really seems to be conflicted when he considers that the man may not be the mass murderer he's looking for instead of just pushing blindly ahead. The actor playing Koridian does a nice job, dramatic, but appropriate. I was also glad to see Kevin Riley return and wish they'd found a way to make more use of him. Finally, there's a short scene where McCoy is drunk in sickbay and tries to get Spock to join in.

Lowpoints: The character of Lenore is really overdone, IMO. The dramatic scenes she's in had the tendency to make me giggle. I blame the acting as well as the writing. And, the superimposing of the Shakespearean elements onto the story are heavy-handed at times.

So, a bit of an oddball episode, but it does have some good qualities.

And now, Eric:

This will be a short review—I think Doc, Andy, and I had a good discussion of this episode in our podcast. And, more to the point, “The Conscience of the King? isn’t one of my favorite episodes. It’s not that there’s anything glaringly wrong with it: the story and direction are both good, the production values are decent, and the acting is reasonably good too. The problem is that this episode isn’t science fiction or Star Trek; it’s Star Trek does Shakespeare. The plot, characters, and even the title are all Shakespearean, and as such, they work pretty well. Lenore has interesting elements of both Lady Macbeth and Ophelia, and Anton Karidian is basically an amalgam of Lear and Macbeth. All well and good, but “The Conscience of the King? is a story that could’ve been done by any TV drama. Star Trek is at it’s best when it does stories that can only be told through science fiction, and we’ll see some great examples of this in upcoming episodes.

Next time: “Balance of Terror?

We've added our latest podcast, "The Briefing Room" to this entry. It's a long one, but we had Eric participating as well.

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November 12, 2007

"Kids are cool and all, but getting there seems like a big cosmic joke."

Here we go again; another week, another round of new DVDs:

Amazing Grace (2007)

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)

Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition The Spielberg film gets another DVD release, this time in a 3 disc set that includes all three cuts of the film. It's also the first Spielberg film to be released in HD (Blu Ray).

Gilmore Girls: Season 7 The final season.

La Vie en Rose (2007)

The McCartney Years A collection of Sir Paul's music videos and concert films.

Ocean's Thirteen (2007)

Paris, Je T'aime (2007)

Shrek the Third

November 5, 2007

"Finally Chef Gusteau has found his rightful place in history alongside another equally famous chef... Monsieur Boy-ar-dee."

Before I get into the new stuff this week, I thought I'd share this. I just read a piece about the declining fortunes of Blockbuster. As a former employee, I found it rather....satisfying. Check it out here.

Now for the new DVDs of the week:

The Best of the Colbert Report

A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

Chinatown Special Collector's Edition The Polanski classic gets an upgrade.

Deck The Halls (2006)

Doctor Who: Season 3

Full House: Season 8

Help! (1965) The long out-of-print Beatles film gets a reissue as a 2 DVD edition. If you want to go all the way on this one, you can pop for the Limited Edition which has a book, screenplay, and other goodies.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)

Opus & Bill: A Wish for Wings That Work (1991)

Pixar Short Films Collection - Volume 1 Disney is hitting the Pixar content hard this week on Blu-Ray (and regular DVD), along with Cars and Ratatouille.

Ratatouille (2007)

Sicko (2007) Michael Moore's latest.