Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monkees' Davy Jones Dead at 66

Davy Jones has suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 66.

Sixty-six? Even I feel old hearing his age.I was one of those kids who had never heard of the Monkees until MYV began airing all day marathons back in 1986 or so. The Fabricated four got a whole new generation of fans back then. Davy, Micky Dlenz, and Peter Tork seemed to appreciate their newfound popularity with the kids. Mike Nesmith came around when the Whiteout fortune dwindled and various lawsuits for copyright violations were not enough to recoup his sagging fortunes.

The Mnkees popularity came at that time when I was at the transition age when a kid starts appreciating music and girls more than toys and cartoons. Listening to the Monkees was using training wheels before I got into rock and country. That is no slight on the Monkees. I have fond memories of those days listening them. A couple of my favorite songs are "Daydream Believer” and “I Wanna be Free," both of which have Davy Jones on lead vocals:Godspeed, Mr. Jones.

House Subcommittee Votes to Eliminate Death Panels from ObamaCare

Remember those death panels that were not supposed to have ever been in ObamaCare? it looks like someone finally took Nancy Pelosi's advice and read the monstrosity after it passed, because a house subcommittee just voted 17-5 to kill the death panel provision. The two highest ranking Democrats on the subcommittee allied with republican members. The five opposing votes were all Democrats. One assumes the voting lines will be similar in the full committee and full house, depending on how far the repeal progresses.

The specific ObamaCare provision creates the Independent Payment Advisory Board. (“IPAB.”) The IPAB is the panel of unelected, unaccountable to anyone board of bureaucrats whose job it would be to ration Medicare. Medicare applies to the permanently disabled, elderly, and poor. In other words, this panel would decide who among the less useful members of society are worthy of receiving medical care and who is not.

I guarantee you two things. One, those five democrats who voted against repealing the provision are adamantly pro-abortion. Two, there are people out there disappointed they may never get a chance to serve on the IPAB. The power of controlling life and death decisions in the name of social engineering? A progressive’s dream, no?

Has Rick Santorum Killed His Candidacy with Michigan Strategy?

I wrote yesterday about my uncertainty in prediction the outcome of the Michigan primary, but called it for Mitt Romney anyway over lingering doubts about rick Santorum. my hunch paid off. while I am not ready to wave the white flag and accept Romney as the weakest GOP nominee since the last time the party nominated a presidential candidate everyone hated, which would be the last time the party nominated a presidential candidate, i am getting there.

The one thing standing in the way is as mentioned a moment ago--lingering doubts about Santorum. Michigan did not help allay any fears. Close to one in ten primary voters was a Democrat. Democrat voters broke for Santorum 51%. Even a concerted crossover effort to drag Santorum over the finish line on top of regular Republican supporters could not help make him the winner.

I cannot help but be bemused by Santorum supporters literally crossing their fingers for Democrats to help their guy pull off a victory. Honestly, those who have praised Santorum for his robocalls accusing Romney of not supporting the auto bailout out to be embarrassed. You would never claim such a tactic was an admirable display of bipartisanship if Romney or Newt Gingrich had done it instead. Particularly since santorum is attempting to present himself as the conservative alternative to Romney, it is especially egregious to make calls tacitly supporting a ballot conservatives overwhelmingly did not support. Come on, folks. I do not care much for Romney, either, but come on. Criticize him where criticism is legitimate. You cannot want santorum at the price of your integrity.

Granted, Santorum scored well among evangelicals and social conservatives who apparently are willing to overlook his courting of Democrats, but he did not do well among any other groups. I note yet again that mythical army of evangelical voters in western Michigan failed yet again tp put a religious right favorite on top. One has to question the value of claiming Satan is haunted by Satan, near vomiting over the steady coexistence of the secular and sectarian which has been rolling along for 235 years, and lamenting the snobbery of kids dreaming of going to college considering what litlle it earned him. Or embracing government bail outs, since that earned him even less.

I anxiously await poll numbers leading up to super Tuesday. Ohio, in particular, will be intriguing to see whether the shine has come off Santorum. We will know by Gingrich’s performance whether he can earn a…what? Third look by now? Romney is not going to do well in the southern states outside of Virginia where I am confident his cronies had influence in keeping his opponents largely off the ballot. I cannot see how Santorum can possibly have any momentum at this point I have to wonder if he has notw effectively done himself in.

Stargate SG-1--"Urgo"

I have noticed two trends within Stargate SG-1 which are well exemplified in “Urgo.” One, episodes feature much movie homage and parody. It can be anything from frequent Wizard of Oz jokes to the outright lifting of a plot as with The Andromeda Strain. Two, the comedy oriented episodes exaggerate the basic personality traits of the main characters to the point of absurdity. Neither of these themes has been particularly bad because they have been done in small doses. Put them together in one episode with dom DeLuise adlibbing his lines for forty-four minutes and you have what could be incredibly annoying if it did not come in the middle of a season that has thus far brutalized our heroes.

I am not trying to be a stick in the mud here. It is enjoyable to watch the cast obviously having a good time. Christopher Judge in particular appears to be having a difficult time maintaining Teal’c’s normally stoic demeanor. Clearly, the powers that be behind Stargate SG-1 do not take themselves too seriously, and as far as I am concerned, that is a welcome change from the pretentious “intellectualism” of even the worst Star Trek offerings. If nothing else, the episode demonstrates just how comfortable the cast has become with their characters that they can make fun of them in an endearing way. There is nothing wrong with any of it. But a little goes a long way.

“Urgo’ is based very loosely on Carl Sagan’s Contact. I enjoyed both the novel and the 2008 film, but I think it is safe to say “Urgo” is based more on the latter. The SG-1 team travels to a planet that the MALP recon says is a beach. As far as they are concerned, they return as soon as they left even though they have been gone sixteen hours. In Contact Jodie Foster experiences missing time when she travels through and alien device and meets what passes for God in Sagan’s mind on a beach. The SG-1 team meets dom DeLuise instead.

DeLuise plays Togar, a scientist who secretly implants devices in the brains of SG-1 in order to gather information about their travels like the way we tag animals for research. The implants generate a wireless computer network that has inadvertently evolved into an artificial intelligence named Urgo, also played by DeLuise. Urgo is outgoing and goofy with a curiosity that gets everyone into trouble. It is under his influence the over the top characterizations emerge. Teal’c gulps an entire pot of steaming coffee, jack gushes over commissary offerings like Jello, Sam cannot help but explain everything urgo does not understand, and Daniel…uh, yeah. Not much there. Perhaps his lack of color helped motivate Michael Shanks to leave a couple seasons later. The others are enough to be highly amusing.

There is no serious complication in the plot. The SG-1 team returns to the planet to have Togar remove Urgo. They talk him into implanting Urgo in his own mind rather than destroying him since Urgo is not technically a sentient life form. Said conclusion is drawn without any hints of Trekian self-importance a valuable lesson has just been taught to all humanity. The episode begins with humor, and it ends that way, too.

I am amused by “Urgo.” It is a welcome breather in a season that has featured the death of Daniel’s wife and the team literally going to hell and back. It might seem like a frivolous episode were it not placed among such deep company. A little of DeLuise goes a very long way, however. I can see why the Urgo for the rest of their lives or death merited serious contemplation. A fun episode. Not one of the best, but still well-worth seeing for the normal characterizations dialed up to eleven. Watch “Urgo” on a sugar or caffeine high.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Blake Lively

I have been posting a lot of Blake Lively lately. She is a recent discovery. For those who might not be so thrilled at the heavy repeat cycle of some celebs, take heart. march is going to feature another countdown like the All Time Favorites back in 2010. Expect some hotties you have not seen a whole lot of to show up.

Because variety is the spice of life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Formspring Question #372--Michigan Mayhem Edition

Any chance of Democrats and left-leaning moderates swinging Michigan to Santorum?
Maybe, but you would have to accept that one of two things happened.

One, a significant group of Democrats decided to vote for Rick Santorem because they think he would be a weaker opponent for Barack Obama. An effort like that could not be put together on short notice. You would have to have some highly motivated Democrats feeling compelled to go out and vote in the Republican primary. I have a tough time seeing that happening, but I have no way to know how fired up politics in Michigan can be.

Two, the robocalls blasting Mitt Romney for opposing the auto bailout are enough to motivate democrats to run out and vote for Santorem. Again, I doubt the enthusiasm is there. Besides, it would be union members who would be most upset. Would they ever vote republican, even strategically? Doubtful.

I think speculation that democrats are going to cross over and vote for Santorem is the media’s way of stirring up some added drama. There is going to be a gap tonight in between the polls closing in Michigan and Arizona. The pundits need to have something to talk about and analyze to death or else they could wind up sitting with their thumbs up their butts waiting on the west coast. Arizona is, after all, expected to be a no surprises blowout for Romney, so that is going to be ultimately boring.

The bottom line is that if Santorem wins Michigan tonight, the odds he will have credit democrats are not that great.

Cheer Up, Claudia

It is never too early to start riling up the fans.

Hank, the Cat Who is Running for US Senate

Finally, a candidate we can all get behind:hank's campaign material says he is a proud independent with real world experience,a unique viewpoint, and limitless energy. That final attribute may be a exaggeration in order to sell himself to the electorate. Cats sleep as much as thirteen hours a day, which is still better than the amount of time Barack Obama wastes on the golf course.

His message is the most positive I have seen in a while. Maybe even since Ronald Reagan declared it was morning in America. Hank is a true patriot. The voters in Virginia should give him a shot.

(Via: Hot Air)

Arizona, Michigan, and Washington Primary Predictions

Here are my predictions for the latest contests in the race for the GOP presidential nomination:

Arizona
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum
Ron Paul
Newt Gingric

The outcome in Arizona is the easiest to predict. Romney will win by ten or more points easily. In spite of Arizona’s undeserved reputation as a paradise for racist republicans, the home of Barry Goldwater loves its RINO. If John McCain had not been the GOP candidate in 2008, Barack Obama might well have won the state. Obama will most certainly not carry Arizona in November, but one suspects that is due more to his stumbles as president rather than a strong inclination towards republican candidates. .

Michigan
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorem
Ron Paul
Newt Gingrich

Michigan is a tougher call, but I am going to double down on my assertion those mythical armies of evangelical voters in the western part of the state will carry Santorem to victory. They have not put any religious right favorite over the top in decades. I do not believe Romney will pull off a big victory--two or three percentage points at most--but I doubt Santorem can overcome the more moderate mood of Michigan’s urban area Republicans

Washington
Rick Santorem
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Newt Gingrich

Does anyone really care about Washington? If so, here is how I think the results will turn out.

Regardless of whether Sanrorem can upset Romney in Michigan, he is going to have a good enough night to make the 2012 nomination race a two man affair. Gingrich is fading off into oblivion, and I have doubts he can make a good enough showing on Super Tuesday to continue as a serious candidate. Not that he will drop out. The former Speaker will keep going until the money runs out. But his campaign will become even more obvious his campaign is an act of overblown ego.

Stargate SG-1--"Pretense"

I was fully expecting to do nothing but scoff at “Pretense.” It is a legal drama, something that television often has a difficult time presenting unless the series in question is intended as a legal drama, written by Katharyn Powers, who has been responsible for some of the worst episodes of Stargate SG-1 thus far. The result is, however, a pleasant surprise which also wraps up Skaara/Klorel’s storyline. The character slid into the background too long ago for me to have developed much interest, but I am aware fans were upset at his apparent death during Apophis’ attempted attack on Earth, so I will consider “Pretense” fan wish fulfillment.

A ship carrying Skaara/Clorel crashes on Tollana, the new home world of the Tollan. Skaara/Klorell is placed on trial to determine who has control over his body. Skaara requests the Tollan contact SG-1 to serve as his defense. The Goa’uld send a lawyer named Lord Zipacna to argue on behalf on Klorel. A third party, lya of the Nox, serves as a potential tie breaking vote should the two sides of the case be unable to reach the same conclusion. At stake is whether Skaara should be freed from Klorel’s control.

Lord Zipacna argues that humans are inferior species the Goa’uld use to survive in the same way humans use animals for food and clothing. Daniel and Jack counter with arguments regarding human self-awareness being than that of animals and the parasitic nature of the Goa’uld. When it comes down to it, Daniel and Hack have the strongest argument and Lord Zipacna knows it. His argument amounts to appealing to the Tollan arrogance they cannot share any of their technology and culture with non-Tollan because they are just so much darn better than anyone else. It is an appeal to base attitude rather than logic or any legal precedent. A very weak tactic,, if you ask me.

Presumably because the humans are animals argument is so weak, the Goa’uld plan a sneak attack on the Tollan to wipe them out and take Skaara/Klorel back regardless of the trial’s outcome. Teal’c and Sam manage to prevent the attack with the help of Lya. Lya also casts the deciding vote in favor of Skaara. She finds the Goa’uld is a parasite who took his body without consent. Skaara is freed from Klorel and the Tollan is saved.

The trial does wind up unrealistic from a real legal proceeding, but I will chalk that up to alien culture. It still bugs me the lawyers are called archons, however. Archon is the ancient Greek word for “leader.” How does one get “lawyer” out of that? Is it too much to ask for a writer to know a bit about etymology when coming up with terms? The awkward terminology is not a huge deal, but it is still irksome.

“Pretense” is a veritable Gater checklist of geekery: Tollan, the nox, skaara/Klorel, the cat Shrodinger, and the Sam/Narim romance all make a return. I am a little disappointed Tobin Bell did not reprise his role from the last time the Tollan made an appearance. I guess he was off already devising sadistic games to teach Shawnee smith the value of life. “Pretense” has its flaws, but they are not prominent enough to seriously count against the enjoyment factor.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Amber Lancaster

Part of The Other McCain's Rule 5 Sunday.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wyoming Considers a Post-American Doomsday

The Wyoming House has advanced a bill that launches a study over what Wyoming should do in the event of a total political and/or economic collapse of the United States. the mayan calender's abrupt end for later this year is purely coincidental.

I agree with Ann Althouse--not my happiest moment, but allies are often a matter of convenience--over the issue. The federal government has most certainly had a cold War doomsday plan in place in case Washington were destroyed in a nuclear strike. One would assume in this day of terrorist acts perpetrated by small groups or lone wolves that could cause all sorts of mayhem, the doomsday plan has likely been updated post-9/11. It is only prudent for states to do the same.

The depressing part is how the concept is motivated by descending cynicism. During the cold War, we were threatened by a powerful, totalitarian enemy that could hace ended life on the planet if a conflict escalated between us. Post 9/11, we have religious fanatics using planes full of civilians to crash into buildings. What kind of sick mind even concocts such a plan, and how to you fight something so random that can still cause inestimable damage and loss of life. Now--and do not kid yourself about it, Wyoming fears the overspending of our own federal government may lead to the complete collapse of the United States. Whom can you consider the enemy of the republic once you believe the enemy is the republic itself?

I believe Althouse has a further point when she says Wyoming’s doomsday task force, should it ever come to pass, should advocate establishing a new government under Founding principles as quickly as possible. Of course, in my view that would mean reversing the answer to the grammar question settled at Appomattox It is not the United States is. It is the United States are.

Stargate SG-1--"Foothold"

“Foothold” serves as an action oriented bottle show breather after the previous couple big episodes. We have an alien invasion exclusive to the SGC, evil twins, and no guest stars that are not extras in costume with zero dialogue. “Foothold” is what it is--an action yarn meant to mindlessly entertain. It does, thankfully.

The SG-1 team arrives back at the SGC after a mission only to fine themselves hurried to the infirmary because of a chemical spill on an upper level. All four wind up sedated, but Teal’c and Sam recover quickly. Teal’c’s symbiote helps the effects of the drug wear off quickly. It is left up to the imagination why Sam is up and running so quickly. The audience has to assume her connection with Jolinar does the trick, but that does not make a whole lot of sense. Regardless, there needs to be two heroes active, so just run with it. This is where the whole “mindless” part comes in.

Teal’c awakens first, but feigns unconsciousness when he witnesses Hammond and Frasier talking to a alien about an impending invasion of Earth. Teal’c believes the entire facility has been compromised, so he helps Sam escape to get help from the outside. She makes it to Washington, DC in far too short a time in order to recruit Maybourne. Aw, Geez. Not him!

Sam is intercepted by Jack and Daniel. They inform her she has been effected by the chemical spill and is suffering a paranoid delusion. She buys into the explanation enough to travel back to Colorado with them, but the sound frequency of the plane’s engines--just go with it--disrupt “Jack”’s disguise. He is an alien whom Sam shoots and kills. Sam uses the device which projects the image of someone else to pose as Daniel, breaks into the SGC order to expose the other aliens by duplicating the engine frequency, rescues Jack from hanging from some kind of goo from the ceiling, and a big shoot out ensues with the trapped aliens committing mass suicide.

In the end, it is revealed the aliens posed as SG-6 to gain access to SGC. The planet they are from is now offlimits. Our heroes know the proper frequency to expose them, so there is no big deal there. They have gained a new respect for Maybourne, too. I hope that will make him a less unpleasant character in the feature.

“Foothold" suffers some major plotholes. How did sam get from Colorado to Washington and back in only a few hours? It could not have been too long or families would be suspicious no one from the SGC ever came home. How did the faux jack and daniel make it to Washington themselves/ They had to fly, so why did the engine noise not disrupt their disguises before the return trip? Again I ask, how did sam resist the sedative when Jack and Daniel could not? Lots of issues there, but if you just accept them and watch the episode, it is not all that bad. They cannot all be masterpieces, no?

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Kate Upton

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Poll: Who is Your Favorite Stargate SG-1 Character?

There is a new poll up on the right sidebar after a long hiatus. It is a straightforward poll to see how many Stargate SG-1 fans have discovered I am reviewing the series. site meter says some of the older reviews are being searched, at any rate.

The characters are listed kinda sorta by military rank, so the sequence should not be considered to be any sort of influence should any paranoid minds fear such things.

If you have a favorite character, let us hear who it is. The poll runs through noon next Sunday.

Blogroll Spotlight #134

It is time for the weekly round up of favorite posts from my blogroll. These are not ranked, but in alphabetical order by blog title. If you would like a specific post listed next week, you may email it to me and I will include it.

Adrienne's Corner-Santorum is Only Half Right: Obama is Not Just a Snob...
American Perspective-Rule 5 Woodsterman Style - Somebody Needs a Car Wash
American Power-Kate Upton's Smokin' Ad for Southwest Patty Melt at Carl's Jr.
Amusing Bunni's Musings-Whitney's Funeral Mass, Video Highlights
And So It Goes in Shreveport-That Dreaded Phone Call
Atlas Shrugs-OIC Caliphate Demands Swift Punishment for Infidels Who Burned Quran
Betsy's Page-Thoughts on the Arizona Debate
Blazing Cat Fur-"They Were Shouting Anti-Semitic Slogans Like 'Heil Hitler.'
Blog of the Nightfly-The Folsom Elementary Blues
Bluegrass Pundit-Deception: Obama Claims Credit for Oil Production Increase
Bride of Rove-Take Shelter; Thoughts On
Camp of the Saints-Rule % saturday: Tina Hobley
Classic Liberal-Rule 5 Speak
Colossus of Rhodey--Potential Obama 2012 commercial?
Conservative Hideout-ObamaCare Damage: Religious Liberty is Only the First Casualty
Da Tech Guy-"Must be the Hat"
Daley Gator-Your Obligatory UFO Lands in New Mexico Video
Dell's Bottom Line-Kidney Stones Sideline Elderly Blogger
Diogenes' Middle Finger-Nancy Pelosi Makes Cover of Playboy
Essential Mr. Bill-A Real Mountain Man
First Street Journal-Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Rifle Marksmanship
Fishersville Mike-Ven & Jerry...Raaaaacist?
Gormogons-Mailbag - Phantom Menace Edition
House of Eratosthemes-Kate Upton v. the Nanny State
Jake Finnergan--Burkalesque Babes: Danica Patrick
Lazy Farmer-I Wayched Steve Martin on Austin city Limits
Left Coast Rebel-On Which Path Are We?
Legal Insurrection-Bold Colors
Lonely Conservative-Obama Hires Director to Make Movie About Obama
Maggie's Notebook-Rule 5 Saturday Night: Danica Patrick on the Pole
Mind Numbed Robot-Old Commie Meets New Progressive (Fun with Photoshop)
Motor City Times-Tim Geithner: Higher Taxes on Wealthy for the “Privilege of Being an American”
Nice Deb-Explosive Video: NY Dem Rep Told at Town Hall That ObamaCare Mandate is “Tyranny” Against Religious Freedom
No Runny Eggs-If We Drilled ANWAR Ten Years Ago
Other McCain-Anne Coulter: what?
Paco Enterprises-Sunday Funny
Pagan Temple--flying at About Half Mast
Pirate's Cove-If All You See...
Proof Positive-Quote du Jour
Pundit & Pundette-No Social Issues Truce for Rush
Randy's Roundtable-Thursday Nite Tart
Reaganite Republican-Reaganite's Sunday Funnies
Riehl World View-Romney's An Incompetent Candidate, Not An Electable One
Right Klik-Obama's Satan
Sentry Journal-Raising the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi Iwo Jima
Teresamerica-Ron Paul's Deceitfulness
Troglopundit-A Few Random Quotes...
We the People-Video of the Day- The "Get This Girl on the Republican Ticket" Edition
WyBlog-Guess What? Paying for Coverage of Pre-Existing Conditions Costs More. A Lot More.
Zilla of the Resistance-Bloggers Beware – A Cautionary Tale

Stargate SG-1--"The Devil You Know"

“The Devil You Know” is a worthy conclusion to part one. It is always nice for the set up to lead up to a good pay off. The episode does feel smaller than part one, at least until the end, but that can be chalked up to the focus on character moment. Not just the main characters, either, but Apophis as he continues to reclaim his status as a major villain after a few stumbles in recent episodes.

Now that Apophis has killed Bynarr and secured the loyalty of Netu’s denizens, he only has a short amount of time before Sokar arrives to restore order. Apophis plans to torture our heroes for useful information he can offer to Sokar, ostensibly to prove his usefulness, but in reality to lure Sokar near to assassinate him. The bulk of the episode is Apophis interrogating our heroes for their specialized knowledge by forcing them to drink the Blood of Sokar, an hallucinogenic narcotic. I made a connection in the review yesterday between Netu and Mola Rom’s realm in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. the Blood of Sokar is reminiscent enough of the blood that turned Indy into a mindless slave to warrant note.

Under the blood of Sokar’s influence, Apophis wants to know the Tok’ra’s location from Sam and Martouf, the location of the Asgard home world from Jack, and the location of the hacissus from Daniel. All mange to resist upon realizing what they are experiencing are hallucinations in spite of the extreme guilt trips they inspire. Jack is hurt by his son’s feelings his father ignores him, Sam’s father begs for her forgiveness over the accident that killed her mother, Martouf , and Martouf imagines Jolinar dying yet again because of his refusal to betray the Tok’ra. Daniel is the most interesting. He does not suffer any guilt trip. He just refuses to tell Jasck where the hacissus child is. It is intriguing Jack is part of his hallucination. Their relationship is one of loyalty rather than familial or romantic love like the others, yet that devotion to jack would theoretically be enough for Daniel to betray the child? Nah. The powers that be probably just could not bring Vaitiare Bandera back to play Sha’re. Daniel’s hallucination is interesting to think anout, though, in comparison to the others.

Martouf manages to resist the Blood of Sokar enough to lie convincingly about the location of the Tok’ra. The intelligence will have to do as an offering to Sokar. Unfortunately for Apophis, the planet Martouf named was recently conquered by Sokar with nary a Tok’ra found. Apophis winds up tortured himself for his failure. There is a running theme here.

In the interim, Teal’c returns to the Tok’ra with the intelligence about sokar’s impending attack on the System Lords. The Tok’ra decide to deploy a weapon that will drill into the core of Netu, blowing the planet up with Sokar’s ship in orbit. Teal’c is not happy about sacrificing his friends for the cause, but it is all right. They narrowly escape when Sam Macgyver’s an escape and Teal’c is able to intercept the transporter rings between Netu and Sokar’s ship in order to save them. Apophis kills Sokar before Netu gets blowed up good, blowed up real good. Apophis, however, survives somehow. Sokar does not. Drat.

Sokar held a lot more promise as a villain than Apophis, if you ask me. I am disappointed for this two part story to be his only in the flesh appearance. At least this is my assumption. Sokar actor David Palffy later plays Anubis. As blatantly as Stargate SG-1 recycles actors, I do not think the show would use the same actor for similar characters if they were both recurring. So thumbs down there. Sokar was effectively scary. He should have had a chance at revenge.

“The Devil You Know’ is quite good save for the disappointment of ending sokar’s too brief career as a villain. The episode features a good mix of personal moments and action. I am glad to see Teal’c play the hero after being relegated to chauffeur for the majority of the two part story. The production design is still impressive, though much smaller in scale this time around. Still, I cannot complain about much.

Rating: *** (out of )

Jennifer Aniston

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Formspring Question #371--Deep Spaced Edition

Do you regret Deep Space Nine is not as popular as the other Star Trek series?
Yes and no.

Yes in the sense DS9 was a quality show that should have gotten more attention. Star Trek has gone nowhere but down since the show went off the air in 1999. Yes, that includes J. J. Abrams’ 2009 film. I finally got around to seeing it and cannot for the life of me figure out what Trekkies see in it. Maybe the praise for it is similar to north Koreans morning for Dear Leader --make enough noise and maybe the powers that be will be merciful enough to give you something better next time.

No in the sense that I appreciate Trekkies are more inclined to circle DS9 cautiously while occasionally piking it with a stick rather than outright attacking it for blasphemy. It is the most un-trek of any of the series, which is why I like it the best. (Contrary to the lingering belief, I am not that big a Star Trek fan.) Deep Space Nine spent seven years proving Gene Roddenberry’s na├»ve vision of the future could not stand up to the reality of human nature. One wonders how trekkis have contained themselves over the revelation.

Gone was the arrogant finger waving in the faces of aliens who refused to accept the gospel of secular humanism preached by the perfect federation. Instead, the federation is willing to let covert ops commit genocide in order to save its own hide. Oh, wait--the federation did not save its own hide. It was the changeling Odo, Bajoran Kira, and Cardassians Garak and Damar, none of whom even like the Federation because it is pretentious and hypocritical. Well, there you go.

Formspring Question #370--As the Stargate Turns Edition

Are you going to cover any of the behind the scenes drama at Stargate SG-1 like you have for other shows? Michael Shanks requested the abrupt wrap up for the Sha're storyline because he and his girlfriend Vaitiare Bandera were splitting up. You did nt mention it.
I was not aware of it. The only drama associated with Stargate SG-1 I am aware of is the tangent matter of Farscape fandom’s insistence their show was cancelled in order for Sci Fi to make production money available for Stargate SG-1. To add insult to injury, Ben Browder and Claudia Black were added to the Stargate SG-1 cast. The drum und strang played out in 2005 when I was uninterested in both shows, so I paid only enough attention to keep friends who liked the shows happy. I am still not well versed, but I obviously cannot skip the controversy when the time comes.

By all accounts, the cast and crew had a happy relationship in which everyone got along well. Even Michael Shanks departure over his character’s direction was apparently smoothed over without lasting negative consequences.. I think there was a fair amount of grumbling more moment went to special effects than cast salaries, but that should not surprise anyone. Who does not complain about the amount of money they make?

I am willing to concede there are dirty little tiff to be mentioned that are unknown to me as a newbie. I am finding out new stuff all the time, like Gates McFadden’s claims of sexual harassment against Maurice Hurley, that I would have worked into reviews for past shows had I known. I have been quite open about the disgruntled attitudes of David Duchovny and Robert Beltran. If any fan can shed light on anything I have missed, feel free to offer it up. Not just smrar jobs, though. Just something to fill in the blanks. There is no sense in smacking around those associated with a series I am currently enjoying just to be a troll.

Stargate: Atlantis is a far different story when it comes to behind the scenes drama. We will cross that when and if it comes.

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around #139

It is time once again to round up all the bloggers gracious enough to link to me this week.

Say Anything links to Ashley Greene, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Ellison, and Sophie Myles.
Proof Positive links to Ashley Greene, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Ellison, and Sophie Myles.
American Power links to Candice Swanepoel.
Pirate's Cove links to FMJRA #138, Blogroll Spotlight #133, and Shelley Hemnig.
Sentry Journal links to Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Supports Rick Santorum
Motor City Times links to Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Supports Rick Santorum
Classic Liberal links to Sophia Myles, Jennifer Ellison, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, ShelleyHemnig, Candice Swanepoel, and JessicaAlba.
Randy's Roundtable links to Blake Lively and Britney Spears.
Fisherswville Mike links to Kaley Cuoco.
The Other McCain links to Annew Hathaway.
Teresamerica links to Scarlett Johansson.
Troglopundit credits the eye in an Automotivator.
Conservative Hideout links to FMJRA #138.
reaganite Republican links to Dana Delaney
Jake Finnegan links to Jennifer Ellison.

A sincere thank you to all who linked this week. If you linked to me in the last week, but I do not have you here, you unfortunately fell through the cracks of Technorati, Google Blog Search, and Sitemeter. Please drop me a note in the comments and I will update with your link.

Stargate SG-1--"Jolinar's Memories"

“Jolinar’s Memories” brings the third season back to its superior ways after a couple missteps within the last few episodes. It is full of action, suspense, and surprises, but what reaches out and grabs you is the production design. The powers that be went all out creating a vision of hell which is…well, I do not want to refer to hell as magnificent, but it is incredibly impressive for a cable television series. I fear a later season episode or two will feature shadow puppets on a wall to offset the money spent.

Martouf comes to SGC with the unfortunate news Selmak/Jacob has been captured by Sokar and imprisoned on Netu, a moon therefore by Sokar into a molten hell in order to fit in with his impersonation of the devil. Selmak/Jacob was on a mission to determine when and where Sokar is planning an attack on the System Lords and how much power he will use. Martouf recruits SG-1 to rescue Selmak/Jacob, but since no one other than Jolinar has ever escaped from Netu, gathering intelligence from Selmak/Jacob may be the only thing they can do.

Martouf uses one of those memory devices on Sam in the hopes of discovering how Jolinar escaped. Her memories are fuzzy, save for a vivid torture session in case you had not gotten the hell motif clear in your mind yet, but her escape had something to do with Sokar’s right hand man, Bynarr. Finding him is the key to escaping with Selmak/Jacob. The memory device projects a flash of sam as a young girl apparently receiving news from her father her mother has died with strong hints Jacob bears some responsibility for her death. It is just a flash of memory, so I am merely speculating.

There is no stargate on Netu in keeping with the no escape theme, so our heroes have to fly there. Teal’c remains in orbit ready to make a break for it while the others look for Bynarr on the surface. Naturally, they get captured after bynarr becomes suspicious of stragers asking for him, but perks up to know he may have Jolinar in his grasp again. Bynarr did not help Jolinar escape. He was seduced by her and she fled through transportation rings in his quartters. He was not only betrayed by her, but sokar put an eye out as punishment. Bynarr ain’t happy to see sam, in other words.

While Sam and Bynarr are enjoying their reunion, the rest of our heroes have been thrown in a cage with Selmak/Jacob. They learn Sokar is planning a massive attack on the System Lords. Unfortunately, Teal’c cannot get a message to the Tok’ra because he has now been discovered. (How did SG-1’s weapons get taken away, but not their communicator?) When it rains, it pours, no? One apparent bright spot--sam is saved from death when Na’onak, Bynarr’s right hand man, murders him and returns sam to the cage. Our heroes manage to escape and retreat to Bynarr’s quarters to use the transportation rings to get to talc’s ship, but are captured by Na’onak, who pulls off his mask to reveal the horribly scarred face of Apophis.

“Jolinar’s Memories” is a quite engrossing. It is a men on a mission story with a personal stakeas far as story elements go, it is character moments that steal the show. Sokar’s introduction as the devilish villain is mysterious and frightening. His first in the flesh appearance ran the risk of being campy, but hit the right tone. Jolinar is revealed to be far more edhy than previously thought. She seduced her torturer in order to escape. I suppose one would be willing to do such things to flee hell. The Na’onak/apophis reveal was particularly cool. Na’onak was not only wearing a mask until the big reveal, but played by another actor with Peter Williams not playing the character until the very end when the mask comes off. I must confess apophis is not a villain who resonates much with me thus far. He comes across as a petty, fly by night dictator as opposed to other Goa’uld who are supposedly far more powerful. His reveal now as the tortured anorak ready to resume power is a promising twist on a less than interesting character.

All that said and certainly not dismissed, “Jolinar’s Memories” is worth seeing solely for the craftsmanship in designing Netu as a literal hell. It reminds me a lot of Mola Ram’s lair underneath the Temple of Doom with a fraction of the budget, but still highly atmospheric. I would like to come up with a more intellectual allusion, but Indiana Jones is the one with which we are stuck. I will try to be more high class with references in the future.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Emily Ratajkowski

I had no idea who Emily Ratajkowski was until I looked her up. She was once on a Nickelodeon show called iCarley. Either she has well outgrown the series or Nickelodeon is far different than I remember back in the 80's when I last watched anything on the network.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Past and Present"

The actress in the above scene is Megan Leitch, who played the adult Samantha Mulder on The X-Files. I am filled with geeky goodness to see her again. More of you should be X-Philes, darn it!

“Past and Present” features an intriguing premise which brings back a recurring villain in a highly creative way, but the episode’s many flaws nearly kill it. We are talking about an unethical solution to the plot complication, an unintentionally dark ending, and in a technical aspect, the episode airing to closely to the previous one for Daniel’s emotional response to not feel cheap and out of place so soon after his wife’s death.

The SG-1 team travels to Vyan. There they discover the population suffered a mass amnesia over a year ago. They remember nothing prior to the incident, noe can they figure out why there are no children or old people around. They have photos of older people, but none of children, just to deepen the mystery. When SG-1 does some digging in the local library with the help of a scientist named Ke’ra, they figure out the incident was the result of experiments by Linea, an old enemy whom they inadvertently helped escape prison and gave a list of stargate addresses.

Feeling responsible for the population’s memory loss, SG-1 recruits Frasier to help find a cure. What ensues is a convoluted plot involving a pesticide called dargol used years ago which rendered the population sterile, but after Linea fiddled with it, became a fountain of youth. A side effect of the fountain of youth being amnesia. The whole population cannot have kids. So that explains why there are no photos of children. The photos of older people which they do have are not missing people, but themselves as they were before the fountain of youth drug. Oh, yeah--Ke’ra is actually linea and daniel has fallen in love with her.

The revelations surrounding the effects of Dargol before and after Linea experimented with it are not the main thrust of the plot. The plot centers around Ke’ra inadvertently using Linea’s genius in chemistry to solve the amnesia and Daniel serving as her advocate when everyone else believes she needs to pay for Linea’s crimes even if she is a different person now.

Or is she? The climactic scene has Ke’ra taking the antidote to the amnesia to find out if the suspicions she is Linea are true. I am no expert on memory or abnormal psychology, but is it plausible Ke’ra could retain Linea’s genius as a chemist but not her antisocial tendencies? I have doubts, and some of Ke’ra’s behavior bares that out. She is very manipulative of Daniel’s emotions. She zeroes in on him after she learns his wife has recently died making him particularly vulnerable. She is also completely ambivalent to the seizure her first failed antidote causes for a patient. That is not how a sympathetic healer would act. Yet when her memories of Linea do return, Ke’ra wants to commit suicide over the guilt of acts she once committed as though nothing of linea’s personality had been present before ingesting the antidote. So which is it? Was the essence of Linea there all along or not?

That is an important question to explore because Daniel’s solution for her suicidal tendencies is to take Dargol again to induce amnesia and keep on being ke’ra. In other words, let Linea start a new life on another planet as an entirely new person. never mind that traces of Linea were evident in Ke’ra’s personality. never mind that ke’ra is a curious scientist who would probably keep on working with Dargol and eventually figure out the truth. never mind the entire population is going to know she is still suffering from the amnesia. Someone will suggest using the antidote. Or are they all going to conspire to keep Josephine Mengele’s identity a secret from her out of gratitude for curing their amnesia? Not likely. There are a number of logical problems with letting Ke’ra go free. So many, in fact, that you almost forget the population is sterile due to pesticide use and is going to go extinct once the current generation dies off. Not that anyone mentions that after the beginning of the third act. Oops.

Am I really down on “Past and Present?” Significant aspects, most certainly. There are plot holes one could drive a truck through. On an entire planet, no one can piece together any clues about the past? If everyone de-aged forty years, could no one find a forty year old photograph and recognize himself? No one wrote down anything ever? No one seems upset in the slightest to learn they are all sterile. I could go on, but I will end the criticism with the statement Daniel should not fall in love with another woman so soon after Sha’re has died. It is not clear enough Ke’ra is manipulating him into a romance even if she is. Very bad story idea. The only praise I can offer for ‘past and Present” is the creative way it brought back a past villain. Too bad the execution of linea’s return was so poorly thought out beyond the basic premise.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

Dana Delaney

Part of The Other McCain's Rule 5 Sunday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Formspring Question #369--Palin Fantasies Edition

Do you think Sarah Palin is setting herself as a potential nominee if there is a brokered convention, or do you think she just wants a prominent role at the convention so she can attempt to have her own Reagan 76 moment?
the only place either of those scenarios exists is in her mind. Sarah Palin is irrelevant to politics. the establishment never liked her. she has most likely burned all her bridges with supporters over her foot dragging about a 2012 bid in the first place. Quite frankly, i would be surprised if Palin has a prominent role at the convention period, much less a chance at a floor nomination or widely watched speech that will make Republicans regret nominating The Other Guy instead of her.

Formspring Question #368--Class Warfare 2012 Edition

His Excellency the Emperor of America can't run on "Republicans want to take away your birth control pills" forever. Is it going to be all class warfare all the time till November?
Unless the economy improves, Barack Obama will have nothing else to run on but class warfare. Of course, the longer the emphasis can be kept on social issues, the less attention will be paid to the economy, so do not expect the frivolous side show to end anytime soon.

Stargate SG-1--"Forever in a Day"

"Forever in a Day" wraps up the storyline of Daniel’s missing wife, Sha’re, that has been rolling along since the pilot. It is a sad and existential episode. There are a lot of good character moments packed in which more than make up for some of the moments which are trying way too hard to be surreal and meaningful. Overall, it is a worthy end to one chapter and the beginning of another.

The episode begins with a big action sequence in which several SG teams are mounting a rescue operation for Abysonians being held by Amaunet/Sha’re. Daniel finds her standing near a tent. While attempting to recover her in the hopes there is some safe way to remove her symbiote, she gets the upper hand and nearly kills Daniel with her kara kesh hand weapon before teal’c intervenes, killing her instead.

The above summary is about the only aspect of “Forever in a Day” one can determine actually happened. Somehow, Sha’re sent a message passed Amaunet into Daniel through the kara kesh regarding the location of her child. He is the human offspring of two Goa’uld, known as a harcesis, and will be hunted down and killed by them for the knowledge of the Goa’uld he possesses. Daniel does not find this out until the very end in which he learns the child is stowed away on what was considered the mythical planet Kheb.

In the interim, Daniel suffers through a series of dreams which alternate from Sha’re having been killed by Teal’c to save his life and others in which she is still alive and guiding him to both discover the message about her child and forgive teal’c for his actions in saving him. Daniel resigns from SGC at one point, thinking it is pointless to carry on since his goal was to find his wife, but eventually comes around after several of those weird dreams. He eventually winds up back on the planet where Sha’re dies at the exact moment she does, but now with the knowledge he has to locate Kheb.

In many episodes of science fiction in which much of the story is revealed in the end to never have really happened, it is easy to feel gypped. I do not necessarily feel that way about “Forever in Day.” Perhaps it is because the grieving process for a loved one is still relatively fresh in my mind. I had dreams for weeks after my mother died in which she was still alive. It would take me a few seconds upon waking up to realize she was not. Such dreams are not uncommon during grieving, so I can appreciate the accuracy. I am empathetic, in fact. Nevertheless, some other aspects are weak. I appreciate Teal’c’s pain over daniel refusal to forgive him for killing Sha’re, but the entire sequence in which Daniel comes to forgiveness occurs only in his mind. Daniel verbally assures Teal’c he did the right thing even before Teal’c asks for forgiveness in the “real world.” Is this so there will be no lingering animosity between the two from here on out/? It is sort of the easy way out, there.

I have some issues with “Forever in a Day,” but I am still going to award four stars. It dares to be different while effectively tugging our heartstrings. “forever in a day” could easily have been confusing in executing its premise, melodramatic with Sha’re’s death and the damage done to Daniel’s relationships because of it, and a disappointing cop out when most of the episode happened in Daniel’s mind . Yet it all works, and that is not easy to do.

Rating; **** (out of 5)

Kaley Cuoco

Thursday is (usually) Kaley Cuoco Day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Formspring Question #367--Linsane in the Membrane Edition

What's your take on Linsanity? There was more flap over the ESPN racist headline mistake than the Penn State scandal.
I could not care less about basketball, but i am curious how Lin got into Harvard business school with a 3.1 GPA as an undergrad. I remember back in the days when I was looking at law schools, Harvard Law demanded a 3.8 and near perfect LSAT score just to be considered one of the 7% of applicants accepted. surely the business school is just as picky?

No, I never had any delusions of getting into Harvard law, lest anyone start snickering. I was satisfying curiosity by looking at the stats of entering classes at every accredited law school in the country.

Who ever made that ESPN headline with the unintentional racist slur was just dumb, but I cannot say the headline got more attention than the Penn State scandal. I pay very little attention to sports journalism outside of baseball news, so i am not the person to weigh in on the matter. Sports and music journalism are such isolated worlds, they are hard to take seriously when real world issues creep in.

Formspring Question #366--The Blogger Slums Edition

Pee Wee Herman, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears? WTF, dude?
Snooki is on the New York Times best seller list. Civilization is officially crumbling. Get with the program.

Stargate SG-1--"Rules of Engagement"

The third season has been strong thus far. As we approached the halfway point, I started to think there might not be a dud in the bunch. It is dangerous to think that way. “Rules of Engagement’ has an intriguing premise, but the devil is in the details. A couple of aspects do not make a whole lot of sense, and I get the impression the impressive battle sequences are meant to be a distraction from those shortcomings.

The SG-1 team just happens to be exploring a planet upon which Apophis has established a training camp for young men to pose as SG team members in order to infiltrate Earth. At first, SG-1 assumes a pitched battle between the faux SG teams and the Jaffa is real and intervene even though no SG teams ought to be out here in the first place. They are hit by stun guns during the battle and knocked out.

When they awaken at the training camp, they are mistaken for recruits who have stumbled onto the battlefield through incompetence. Sizing up the situation, Teal’c uses his connections with apophis to take command of the camp and find out exactly what is going on.

Apophis established his own Khmer Rouge here to serve as an army in an impending invasion of earth. The kids are actually in the 18-20 year old ranger rather than child soldiers/ I have a hunch younger kids were the original idea, but some of the violent aspects of the episode made the prospect a little too dicey. Apophis set up the camp after his failed attack on Earth, so the impression is he is recruiting young teens because he is desperate to hold unto power with whatever his fading fortunes can muster.

The complication is that SG-1’s real weapons were mixed in with the stun gun training versions. The kids are going to inadvertently use real arms in an afternoon war games exercise. Teal’c fails to convince them apophis is dead--they think his claim is a test of loyalty--and their leader, kyle Rogers, is shot with a real bullet during the war games. He is taken back to SGC for treatment and shown video of apophis’ death, which convinces him of the truth.

Unfortunately, the kids are planning to battle each other to the death with real weapons now in order to determine which of them will become apophis’ personal guards. Kyle and SG-1 travel back to the planet in the middle of a spectacular battle scene for a cable television series. They use stun guns to buy time while Sam sets up the video feed of apophis’ death in order to convince everyone an invasion is not coming. It works, and all the kids go home.

As I am about to smack “Rules of Engagement’ around for a continuity issue, I will offer up one bit of praise--the reason apophis knows all about SGC weapons, paraphernalia, and battle tactics is that he captured SG-11, the team that has been missing since early in the second season, and tortured them for it all. It is mentioned they did not talk before dying under torture, so they were heroic about it. Ah, but the big issue Why do the kids accept Teal’c as a loyal servant of Apophis? One would assume Teal’c is famous for betraying Apophis. At the very least, if the kids are learning all about the SGC, they ought to know Teal’c is a part of them. Perhaps I am nitpicking here, since that seems like too obvious a continuity error to make. Maybe apophis wants to keep the kids as in the dark as possible, so here does not care if they know about Teal’c.

Consider it a case of me protesting too much, but Teal’c’s status being unknown bugs me a lot. There is no much else in the episode beyond the climactic battle sequence which elevates “Rules of Engagement” beyond the bland. While I think Apophis creating his own youth army is an intriguing one, it comes across as pathetic under the circumstances. These kids are bumbling doofuses playing army, and they are all Apophis has left--to invade Earth, no less. What could have been a sinister plot is terribly deflated in its execution. If he were not already dead, Apophis’ status as a major villain would be laughable at this point.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

Britney Spears

Here are some blast from the past photos of Britney Spears back when she did a better job of hiding her crazy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stargate SG-1--"Demons"

Now here is a rare bird--an episode of science fiction that presents Christianity in a positive light. In a genre dominated by skeptical writers fearful Christianity is nothing more than a barrier to knowledge and freedom that enslaves the ignorant masses, it is refreshing to see a different spin. I am generally not a fan of medieval stories, but “Demons” is one of the better efforts I have seen.

The SG-1 team arrives on a planet and discovers a village straight out of medieval Europe. The setting piques Daniel’s curiosity. The Goa’uld have posed as all sorts of gods throughout the years, but never God Himself. Teal’c remarks that he knows of no Goa’uld who possess the benevolence of God in order to instill the benevolence required of Christians in the Bible. Jack expresses surprise Teal’c has read the Bible, to which Teal’c asks why he would not read the Bible, as it is the cornerstone of Western Civilization. In that brief exchange, Stargate SG-1 has gone against the Hollywood line and acknowledged not only that Christianity is not evil, but is the basis for Western Civilization. During the early summer, the Ori will show up and take some serious shots at Christianity, but it is good to know we are in good company for eight seasons or so.

In the center of the village, the SG-1 team finds a young woman chained to a post. She is supposedly demon possessed, but only has the chicken pox. She is set to be sacrificed to a demon, but SG-1 rescues her and hides in her husband, Simon. The demon in question turns out to be a Unas. Our heroes offer to kill it, but wind up accused of being demons themselves. Teal’c is particularly in trouble due to the mark of apophis on his forehead. Teal’c is forced to undergo witches ordeals to prove he is not possessed. He apparently drowns on the final one, which ironically clears his nme.

The whole unas as a demon earning regular sacrifices for dubious reasons is all a scam. The Canon, who is the local religious leader, is in cahoots with the Unas in order to maintain his own power. The canon arranges sacrifices to become Goa’uld hosts for sokar in exchange for maintaining power over the village. The arrangement is disrupted when teal’c returns from the dead thanks to his symbiote,. The SG-1 team is chained up for sacrifice again, but escape, defeat the Unas, and finally the Canon when the Unas’ symbiote jumps into him. The villagers bury the stargate and that is that.

Just to note, the Canon is a flat out Elmer Gantry type. He does not believe in Christianity. He is just using the people’s devotion in order to exploit them. There is no impression that Christians are as a whole stupid and easy to exploit by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The villagers are superstitious, but they are a product of their time rather than a knock on modern day Christianity. Which may explain why “Demons” is not particularly popular among Gaters. I will be the first to admit it is not a great episode, but there are no fundamental flaws with it, either. It is an enjoyable adventure presented within the confines of a familiar religion.

One highlight is Talc’s “death.” He is a corpse for two acts, and although you know something is going to change that, it is a tensely emotional wait regardless. The contrast of teal’c being proven to not be a demon and Christopher Judge voicing the Unas amuses me, as well.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Lindsay Lohan to Host Saturday Night Live Next Month

If you have ever wanted to host Saturday Night Live, here are the steps to doing so:

1. Do a lot of drugs.
2. Get arrested for DUI and cocaine possession.
3. Steal $500,000 worth of jewelry.
4. Fake a robbery to keep an additional $2 miilion worth of jewelry.
5. Go to jail.
6. Go to rehab.
7. Do more drugs.
8. Go back to jail.
9. Steal a $2,500 necklace.
10. Pose naked for Playboy. (You were hoping for a link, no?)

Viola! Follow these simple steps and you, too, can host Saturday Night Live.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pee Wee Herman's Anti-Drug PSA with a Word from Charlie Sheen

Both reputable gentlemen. You should have no problem trusting either one of them.

Stargate SG-1--"Deadman Switch"

“Deadman Switch” is a lighthearted, action oriented romp that I enjoyed far more than I thought I would upon learning the villain is played by Sam J. Jones. Seriously, why would one cast Flash Gordon as a villain if he is not meant to be a campy goofball? The character, Aris Boch, turns out to be a formidable villain. He is somewhere in the pantheon with Boba Fett and Jubal Early.

The SG-1 team is captured by bounty hunter Aris Boch while exploring a planet which resembles the forests outside Vancouver. (I have not done that joke in a while.) Boch is currently working for Sokar in order to capture a Goa’uld traitor named Kel’tar. The SG-1 team have a high price on their heads for various reasons, but Boch offers to let them go if they will help capture Kel’tar. They seem to agree at first, but turn the tables in a clever cat and mouse game Boch ultimately wins. Our heroes agree for real this time.

That is until they realize Kel’tar claims to be a Tok’ra spy. There is no way to know he is telling the truth other than Boch forbid sam from joining the mission to capture him out of fear her connection to Jolinar would sense the truth. Working under the assumption Korra here really is Tok’ra, they attempt to rescue Sam and all get away, but Boch still gains the upper hand.

Boch’s situation fortunately works to their advantage. He is from a race of people who are immune to becoming hosts, so they were largely wiped out by the Goa‘uld. The youngest were kept alive as slaves. To ensure loyalty, they were hooked on a narcotic they now need to stay alive. 9Yeah, I know--Jem Ha‘Dar.) Boch hates the Goa’uld as much as SG-1, but needs their drug supply. It is strongly hinted he does not even want to be a bounty hunter. It is just the most useful service he can provide. When he learns that Tok’ra oppose the Goa’uld, he agrees to let Korra go, but he has to give sokar something. Teal’c offers up himself. At the last minute, Boch and Teal’c fake their deaths in his ship’s explosion in the hope Sokar will believe they are both dead. So Korra and Teal’c are safe. Boch turns out to have a heart of gold.

Okay, so Boch turns out to be a bit campy. But nowhere near as bad as his most famous role. I had thought playing Flash Gordon had killed Jones’ career, but while he has not been a another starring role, nor a steady television gig, he has carved out a thirty year career as a character actor in film and television. Not bad, but the poor guy looks like the lovechild of Dolph Lundgren and Pete rose. There is always something.

“Deadman Switch” is a frivolous, fun episode. Jack and Daniel are both at their cynical smart alec best. Boch makes for a memorable guest star who gets a lot of great lines as well as the chance to show up our heroes here and there. One off characters do not usually get the chance, but it only makes the episode more amusing. It is obvious with the suit of armor and the helmet resembling Lando’s disguise from Return of the JedI that Boch is a Boba Fett homage. The Jem Ha’Dar drug addiction is a bit more tenuous, but why not? Whichever the case, neither feel like a rip off. “Deadman Switch’ is a good change of pace from the more tense episodes preceding.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Blake Lively

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blogroll Spotlight #133

It is time for the weekly round up of favorite posts from my blogroll. These are not ranked, but in alphabetical order by blog title. If you would like a specific post listed next week, you may email it to me and I will include it.

Adrienne's Corner-PJ Media Thinks Conservatives and the GOP Has a "Problem with Sex"...
American Perspective-Beyonce's Tiny Valentine
American Power-Why Progressivism Should Scare the **** Out of You
Amusing Bunni's Musings-Muah, Some Valentine Smooches!
And So It Goes in Shreveport-Frustrations
Atlas Shrugs-What the Headline Isn't
Betsy's Page-Why Not Make Other Mandates Free?
Blazing Cat Fur-Top Ten Reasons for Homeschooling
Blog of the Nightfly-The Folsom Elementary Blues
Bluegrass Pundit-Michelle Obama's Hawaiian Vacation Has Worn Off In A Month, She Is Heading To Aspen.
Bride of Rove-I Think I can Top That, Pat
Camp of the Saints-rule 5 saturday: Valentina Lodovini
Classic Liberal-Texas Kindergarteners Learn Chant About President Barack Obama
Conservative Hideout-Iron Sky is Coming!
Da Tech Guy-And Here is the Other Side of the Coin
Daley Gator-Team Obama sharpening their knives for Santorum
Dell's Bottom Line-Kidney Stones Sideline Elderly Blogger
Diogenes' Middle Finger-Fishnet Friday
Essential Mr. Bill-A Real Mountain Man
First Street Journal-Rule 5 Blogging: IDF Edition
Fishersville Mike-Taylor Made
Gormogons-Thought for Today
Jaded Haven-Rebel Love
Lazy Farmer-The Late Robert Brown and That Singer That Did the Dolly Parton Cover
Left Coast Rebel-Let's Talk About Sex
Legal Insurrection-Distracted Driver
Lonely Conservative-Thanks, Obama! Gas Prices Now Higher than Ever
Maggie's Notebook-Rule 5 Saturday Night: Candice Swanepoel and a Couple of Bonus Babes
Mind Numbed Robot-About That Obamacare Attack on Religious Liberty – aka The Birth Control/Abortion Pill Mandate…
Motor City Times-Price Controls Over There...and Over Here
Nice Deb-RNC Ad: The Promise That Became a Punchline
No Runny Eggs-Peek-a-Boo, America!
Other McCain-‘They Have Begun to Consider the Implications of a Santorum Victory’
Paco Enterprises-Sunday Funnies
Pirate's Cove-If All You See...
Proof Positive-WTF Without NASA, Mr. President?
Pundit & Pundette-Aspirin, et cetera
Randy's Roundtable-Thursday Nite Tart
Reaganite Republican-Reaganite's Sunday Funnies
Riehl World View-Dear Spineless Cowards: STFU About Santorum's Religion-based Comments
Right Klik-Dextrorotatory LinkyDoodles
Sentry Journal-Are We Capable of Self-Government Anymore?
Teresamerica-Rule 5: Amanda Seyfried in Gone
Troglopundit-Let's Play Ironic? Or Not?
Virtual Mirage-Valentine Wishes (Rule 5)
Vodkapundit-Your Saturday Afternoon Dose of Doom and Gloom
Washington Rebel-Shapeshifters
We the People-Family in Jail for Eric Holder's Crime
WyBlog-As Expected, Chris Cristie Vetoed Gay Marriage
Zilla of the Resistance-"Twas Our Own Who Betrayed Us

Stargate SG-1--"Point of View"

I am a sucker for alternate reality stories. (Yeah, I know I did nothing but complain about the mirror universe stuff in Star Trek. bear with me here.) “Point of View" has all the elements: radically different character divergence, some no longer alive, some on the opposite side of our reality, an apocalyptic setting, and, of course, the brief question of why any decision matters when all possible outcomes are played out somewhere. ’Point of View’ does not quite make it to the top of alternate reality stories I have seen, but it is decent.

Sam and Kowalski from an alternate universe in which the Jaffa have taken over Earth escape through a quantum mirror in to our universe to request asylum. It is granted to them with more ease than one would suspect, but since that is not a big part of the plot, no big deal. What is a big deal is alternate versions of a person cannot exist in the same reality. That is not a problem for Alternate since his counterpart died in the first season, but Alternate Sam quickly suffers..uh…cellular degradation? Something about the same matter occupying the same universe. Teachnobabble stuff. Regardless of the science, she cannot stay or she will die. However, if she goes back to her reality, the Jaffa will kill her.

Daniel suggests traveling to the alternate reality with the device Jack built while possessed with the knowledge of the Ancients to contact the Asgard for help liberating the alternate earth from the Jaffa. Even though sam could not get the device to work again, two heads must be better than one, because together with alternate sam, they figure it out. The SG-1 team, plus Kowalski, but minus our sam, travel to the alternate Earth. They are promptly captured after sending alternate sam through the stargate to the Asgard homeworld, but the Asgard ride in like the cavalry to save the day. With the alternate earth saved, the SG-1 team leaves for home.

Shippers take note: Alternate Sam, who never joined the Air Force, was free to pursue a romance with Jack. They wrre married until the invasion. Her Jack was killed by the Jaffa a few days prior to her and Kowalski’s escape to our Earth. The tension between Alternate Sam and jack is thick. Our Jack and hers are apparently identical. Our Jack, who has allowed regulations forbidding romantic relationships between personnel to stand with the real Sam, is not so strong at resisting his feelings for alternate Sam. The two smooch before he leaves. Unbeknownst to both parties, the real sam saw it happen.

There are two issues with “Point of View.” One, it does things on the cheap. In order to present the Alternate SGC has having been all but destroyed by the Jaffa, the lights are cut off so the set does not have to simulate a whole lot of damage. The warship over Cheyenne Mountain is a stock footage reuse. We never get to see the Asggard or their ship. They just beam away all the remaining Jaffa without a word. The other part is how clever the episode tries to be. Kowalski returns yet again even though he has been dead since the second episode. One wonders if that is going to become a running gag. The second is the Star Trek references. The quantum mirror itself is a nod to the mirror universe, as is Alternate Apophis and Alternate Teal’c sporting goatees like Mirror Spock. The quantum mirror itself looks like the Guardian of Forever. Maybe I am just desperate to get away from Star Trek, but that was a bit much.

Neither of those points is enough to do serious damage to “Point of View.” it is an entertaining episode. Some points are glossed over too quickly, such as asylum offered fast, the Sams figuring out the ancient’s device in an hour, and the meeting between alternate Sam and the Asgard, as well as their journey to Earth, taking about five minutes, are tough to swallow, but I get the impression “Pint of View’ is for the shippers and not the nitpickers. Whatever the case, I liked the episode well enough.

Rating; *** (out of 5)

Candice Swanepoel

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around #138

It is time once again to round up all the bloggers gracious enough to link to me this week.

Proof Positive links to Sophie Marceau, Eliza Dushku, and Emma Stone.
Say Anything links to Sophie Marceau, Eliza Dushku, and Emma Stone.
Motor City Times links to Voter Enthusiasm.
Sentry Journal links to Whitney Houston (1963-2012).
The Gormogons links to The Santorum Surge and Brooklyn Decker.
Classic Liberal links to Rose Byrne, Alison Brie, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, Sophie Marceau, Britney Spears, Eliza Dushku, and Kaley Cuoco.
Randy's Roundtable links to Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway and in a FMJRA.
Pirate's Cove links to FMJRA #137, Blogroll Spotlight #132, and Scarlett Johansson.
The Other McCain links to Scarlett Johansson.
Reaganite Republican links to Jennifer Ellison.
Conservative Hideout links to Whitney Houston (1963-2012).

A sincere thank you to all who linked this week. If you linked to me in the last week, but I do not have you here, you unfortunately fell through the cracks of Technorati, Google Blog Search, and Sitemeter. Please drop me a note in the comments and I will update with your link.