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Star Trek – Operation — Annihilate!

To celebrate the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness this month, we’ll be running through the first season of the classic Star Trek all this month. Check back daily to get ready to boldly go. It’s only logical.

How do you follow The City on the Edge of Forever? The previous episode is one of the best-loved episodes of Star Trek ever produced, one of the great science-fiction television episodes of the sixties, and one of the best science-fiction romances ever written. It’s a gigantic and massively influential piece of television, one of the cornerstones of Star Trek and perhaps the best indicator of just how thoughtful and how genuine the franchise can be when it tries. So, what’s next? Where do we go from here? What is the next shot after that last scene of Kirk abandoning the Guardian of Forever on a desolate rock?

It’s always interesting to compare the first season of Star Trek to the first year of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The former can be counted among the very best of the show’s thirty televised seasons, while the latter can be counted among the worst. However, they do have something in common. They both probably should have ended an episode early, with The City on the Edge of Forever and Conspiracy serving as effective caps on each show’s first season, leaving the audience a chance to digest what they had seen.

Unfortunately, neither show ended on anything that could be measured among the strongest show of a given year. The Neutral Zone ended the first season of The Next Generation with a moralising whimper. While Operation — Annihilate! is quite entertaining on its own terms, it doesn’t rank among the best of the season. Still, it’s a solid pulpy science-fiction tale, which might not be the worst thing.

Man of action!

Man of action!

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Non-Review Review: The Hardy Bucks Movie

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a massive fan of The Hardy Bucks. Still, it’s hard not to smile at an Irish success story that seen a bunch of lads fooling around on YouTube, brought them to national television and launched a feature film. The Hardy Bucks Movie isn’t revolutionary. It’s not a work of comedy genius for the ages. Quite a lot of it feels overly familiar, an Irish spin on the “young men go wild abroad” subgenre that has proven popular in the past number of years. And yet, despite that, there’s a quaint charm to The Hardy Bucks Movie that makes it reasonably entertaining. The lads from Castletown has survived the transition to the big screen with their dignity – such that it is – intact.

The naked truth...

The naked truth…

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Enjoy! Polish Horror Posters!

I know it’s a day late, but we don’t want to be thinking about that other upcoming holiday yet, do we? Vulture recently published a collection of strange horror posters from Poland, and I thought they were interesting enough to share. There’s the weird, the abstract, the surreal and occasionally the wonderful on display here. Take a look below. Click to enlarge some of them.

The Sopranos: Denial, Anger, Acceptance (Review)

Denial, Anger, Acceptance marks the first episode of The Sopranos not written by creator David Chase. In the United Kingdom, it’s traditional for a particular writer (or writers) to write every episode of a given series, to the point where you are quite likely to find a television show credited “by” a particular person. In the United States, due to longer seasons and various other concerns, such an approach isn’t feasible. (There are exceptions, such as Aaron Sorkin’s tenure on The West Wing, where he contributed eight-one scripts in the show’s first four seasons.) However, The Sopranos remains associated with its creator, David Chase, so it’s interesting to look at Denial, Anger, Acceptance as the first episode written by a writer other than Chase, in this case Mark Saraceni.

Sticking his neck out...

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Non-Review Review: Three Colours White

This week we’re taking a look at Krzysztof Kieślowski’s celebrated “Three Colours” Trilogy. We’ll be publishing reviews on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so check back and sound off.

There’s a general critical consensus that Three Colours White represents the weakest instalment in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours Trilogy. I have to admit, it’s not a position that I disagree with. It’s not a bad film by any stretch (it’s quite a good one), but it never reaches quite the same levels of depth and development that the two films bookending the trilogy attain so easily. When I was younger, I could never quite put my finger on why that might be, but – as I got older – I think I might have figured out why this instalment leaves me cold.

It's all down-hill from here...

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