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106. Fifty Shades of Grey (#-91)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with Marianne Cassidy and Grace Duffy, The Bottom 100 is a subset of the fortnightly The 250 podcast, a trip through some of the worst movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Sam Taylor Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey.

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The X-Files (IDW) Christmas Special 2014 (Review)

This June, we’re going to be taking a look at the current run of The X-Files, beginning with the IDW comic book revival and perhaps taking some detours along the way. Check back daily for the latest review.

The X-Files Christmas Special 2014 is an indulgence. There is no other way to cut it. The primary story is essentially a Christmas wrap party that happens to feature the bulk of the cast from The X-Files: Season 10, cutting loose and making references and in-jokes like nobody’s business. The secondary story allows writer Karl Kesel the opportunity to expand out a fun one-liner from Year Zero into a full-blown story. Neither story is essential, or adds much to their parent series. It is hard to justify either story on its own merits.

Still, if you can’t excuse an indulgence at Christmas time, when can you?

How the gremlins stole Christmas...

How the gremlins stole Christmas…

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Star Trek – New Visions #1: The Mirror, Cracked (Review)

The first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, was produced in 1964. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, this December we are reviewing the second season of the original Star Trek show. You can check out our first season reviews here. Check back daily for the latest review.

It is interesting the ideas that wind up becoming the focal points for fans and tie-in fiction.

For example, there is a wealth of tie-in material based around individual episodes of the Star Trek franchise. Despite the fact that Gary Seven only appeared in Assignment: Earth, the character has inspired tie-in novels and comic books about his exploits from a wealth of different writers. Similarly, the history of Khan Noonien Singh has been thorough explored (and re-explored) in various novels and comic books as well, despite the fact that he only appeared in one episode of the classic television show and one of the theatrical films – his popularity grew to the point where he reappeared in the rebooted series.

Boom, boom, boom, shake the bridge!

Boom, boom, boom, shake the bridge!

There is a lot of fixation on the perceived “missing” adventures from Kirk’s five-year mission, a revisionism that occasionally seems intended to downplay the two seasons of Star Trek: The Animated Series. Michael Jan Friedman wrote a series of novels exploring Captain Picard’s tenure commanding the Stargazer. There is a wealth of material filling the gaps between The Turnabout Intruder and Star Trek: The Motion Picture; and from there to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

In contrast, there is less material filling the gap between the opening sequences of Star Trek: Generations and Encounter at Farpoint; particularly if you exclude material focusing on Captain Sulu or Captain Picard. The Lost Era novel series was short-lived, and the comics have little interest in it. Similarly, the tie-in novels may have expanded continuity past Endgame, but there is an incredible “safeness” to it all. Sure, Deep Space Nine might be destroyed; but it will be rebuilt with most of the same craft. Voyager may be home, but it’ll be sent out again. Janeway may die, but she’ll be back.

A transporter, darkly...

A transporter, darkly…

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Hollow Pursuits (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

Hollow Pursuits is another demonstration of just how far Star Trek: The Next Generation has come in its third season. It’s a show comfortable enough with its cast and setting that it’s willing to look at the Enterprise from a completely fresh angle – to examine what it must be like to work on the Enterprise in the shadow of Geordi and Riker and Picard, getting none of the glory and making none of the decisions.

Hollow Pursuits is the first time we’ve really seen a dysfunctional member of the Enterprise crew, with Dwight Schultze showing up as Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Reginald Barclay. Barclay is a character unlike any the franchise had produced to date, and Schultze is incredibly charming in the role. It’s no wonder that he went on to become one of the franchise’s most loved guest stars, recurring several times over the course of The Next Generation, popping up in Star Trek: First Contact and even visiting Star Trek: Voyager a few times.

Straight to the point...

Straight to the point…

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