Review: “Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013: The Time of the Doctor”

The Time of the Doctor I watched the new Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013, called The Time of the Doctor, the day after it first aired. For my money, Doctor Who has always been one of the more uneven TV shows out there (please don’t burn down my house) and the Christmas Specials even more so. Alas, some of them have been truly awful, while others have been truly great. I realize that part of this is because Doctor Who is first and foremost a kid’s show. But I’m not a kid. I have, at times, wished for a more adult version of Doctor Who. And no, Torchwood isn’t it, so don’t even go there.

So, was this Christmas Special a good one or a bad one?

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Review: “Ender’s Game”

Ender's Game the movieI read Ender’s Game, a novel written by Orson Scott Card, some years ago. It’s the only thing written by Card that I really liked. So giving Ender’s Game the movie a thumbs up … or the bird … depends, in part, on whether it respects the best aspects of the original story. Exploiting Ender’s brilliance to save the human race from an armada of evil bugs is pretty much the center of the story’s structure. But what about the personal stuff, like Ender fighting his way through Battle School against older kids who literally wanted to kill him? Or the day-to-day chess matches between Ender, the other boys, and Graff? These were big parts of the story that are ripe for the cutting room floor. There’s also the risk that it could be twisted into a shitty action flick or something starring Van Damme as the Formic Queen.

So was Ender’s Game everything it could be, or more like Starship Troopers starring Harrison Ford? Click on the button to find out.

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Review: “Man of Steel”

Man of SteelWhen I first saw the trailer for Man of Steel, I was hooked. I wanted to see Superman beat the shit out of bad guys and leap into flight for the first time. I wanted to see Kevin Costner fill Clark’s head with homespun wisdom that we all know is bullshit. Most of all, I wanted to see Amy Adams nude. Spoiler warning: no such luck. (Curse you for that, Man of Steel!) Yeah, don’t even pretend you weren’t thinking it. Since the trailer looked so good, I had plans to go see it even before the reviews came in.

I’ve been fooled before. I remember the trailer for The Phantom Menace. It looked awesome, yet part of me died when I saw that movie.

So was a lack of Amy Adams’ nudity my only disappointment with Man of Steel? Excellent question. Click the link to find out.

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Review: “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Star Trek Into Darkness memeStar Trek Into Darkness is the latest offering by sci-fi god, J.J. Abrams. To me, the funny thing about Paramount choosing Abrams to reboot the Star Trek franchise is that he seems like a Star Wars guy, not a Star Trek guy. (In case you didn’t know, Abrams is also directing the next Star Wars movie.) I totally believe he’s the right guy for Star Wars, but I never saw Abrams as an obvious choice for Star Trek. Trek is deeper, smarter, and wastes valuable screen time by sitting its main characters around a conference table for hours on end. Star Wars is simplicity itself and focuses on special effects and things going boom. That’s the sort of thing Abrams is good at.

Despite this, I liked the previous Star Trek movie. It could have used some of the smarts that went into the TV shows that came before it, but it was totally enjoyable. And, most importantly, the characters felt right.

Can the same be said for Star Trek Into Darkness? Or should we set phasers to kill?

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