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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – You Are Cordially Invited… (Review)

You Are Cordially Invited… is very much a breather episode.

After all, that introductory six-episode arc was exhausting. It was breathtaking in its scope and ambition, a sketch of life during wartime that spanned light-years and divided the cast for half a dozen episodes. It makes sense that You Are Cordially Invited…, the first episode to feature the crew reunited on Deep Space Nine, would attempt to strike a lighter tone. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might be crafting a long-form war story, but that does not mean that the show is abandoning its warmth and humanity.

Their first argument.

Their first argument.

Indeed, You Are Cordially Invited… makes a great of sense from a structural perspective. There is an obvious impulse to contrast the show’s darker moments with lighter touches. In the Cards was an endearing comedy about the interconnected lives on the station, airing right before the show scattered those lives in Call to Arms. More than that, Call to Arms featured the wedding of Rom and Leeta as a prelude to the Dominion invasion. Following up the occupation arc with a comedy about the wedding of Worf and Dax adds a sense of symmetry to it all.

You Are Cordially Invited… might not be the strongest comedy episode in the run of Deep Space Nine, suffering a little bit from being overly conventional and entirely predictable, but it does have an infectious sense of enthusiasm that works well in contrast to the high intergalactic stakes of the previous seven episodes.

Relight my fire...

Relight my fire…

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The X-Files – The Rain King (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

I do not “gaze” at Scully.

Somewhere over the rainbow...

Somewhere over the rainbow…

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Star Trek: Enterprise – Precious Cargo (Review)

Next year, Star Trek is fifty years old. We have some special stuff planned for that, but – in the meantime – we’re reviewing all of Star Trek: Enterprise this year as something of a prequel to that anniversary. This April, we’re doing the second season. Check back daily for the latest review.

Precious Cargo is a disaster. It is a spectacularly terrible piece of television. It is the kind of episode that fans point towards when they want to belittle or diminish Star Trek: Enterprise.

To be fair, it isn’t as if the show has the monopoly on bad episodes of the franchise. After all, the original Star Trek gave us And The Children Shall Lead, The Way to Eden and The Apple. Star Trek: The Next Generation gave us Code of Honour, Angel One, The Child and Up the Long Ladder. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine produced Let He Who Is Without Sin, Profit and Lace and The Emperor’s New Cloak. Star Trek: Voyager is responsible for Fair Haven and Spirit Folk. When you produce twenty-something episodes of television a year, terrible episodes happen.

We are Trip, of Bored...

We are Trip, of Bored…

Indeed, they will keep happening. Precious Cargo cannot even make an indisputable claim to being the weakest story of the troubled second season. There are fans who will argue that A Night in Sickbay or Bounty deserve that accolade. Nevertheless, it seems like everyone is agreed that Precious Cargo is a disaster from start to finish. It is a collection of pulpy science-fiction clichés that feels overly familiar, a lazy comedy without any solid jokes and a complete lack of chemistry between the two leads.

Precious Cargo is a spectacular misfire, an ill-judged and poorly-constructed addition to the franchise.

"Wait, another Trip comedy episode?"

“Wait, another Trip comedy episode?”

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Non-Review Review: Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne isn’t a terrible movie, but rather a frustrating one. Written by, directed by, and starring, Tom Hanks, the movie seems to want to be a romantic comedy skewered towards older and more mature viewers, which is a great idea – not only because so few movies cater to that demographic, but because the few comedies that do have been proven successes. The audience is there, and it’s a great idea to unite Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, the king and queen of the classy nineties rom-com in a film that might have a more considered and reflective edge over most other romantic comedies. Unfortunately, the movie is so ridiculously pedestrian that it’s hard to work up any excitement. If the movie, rather than the character, were doing the college courses in the film, it would get graded “must do better.”

A scoot couple...

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Non-Review Review: The Bounty Hunter

It’s a movie which stars Gerard Butler as a bounty hunter. It should at least feature infinitely greater amounts of gratuitous violence, even if it was always going to be just this boring.

If you want to get revenge on a partner, you can take them to jail... or you can make them watch The Bounty Hunter...

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Matthew Goode on Making Bad Films…

It’s turgid. I just know that there are a lot of people who will say it is the worst film of 2010. [The location] was the main reason I took it – so that I could come home at the weekends. It wasn’t because of the script, trust me. I was told it was going to be like The Quiet Man with a Vaughan Williams soundtrack, but in the end it turned out to have pop music all over it. … Was it a bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.

– Matthew Goode on Leap Year

It’s rare to hear an actor being so candid about a film that met with… less than stellar reception. On one hand I admire the guy’s honesty in speaking out, but on the other I kinda wonder if he really has the right to label the movie as ‘turgid’ after starring in it and whether ‘I got paid’ is really a justification for inflicting that racist romantic comedy upon mankind.

Look on my works ye mighty and despair...

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How Studios Put Together Valentine’s Day…

News broke last week that Julia Roberts received $500,000 a minute for her screentime in this year’s romantic ensemble comedy Valentine’s Day. Yes, for six minutes of screentime, she got $3m (which really doesn’t seem that impressive without the zeroes – so $3,000,000). However, that wasn’t the most interesting part of the coverage of the movie – well, at least for me. A bit of commentary revealed how Hollywood can attract so many big names under one matinee sign (which is, undoubtedly, a key part of the movie’s success).

Here's to you, Mrs. Roberts(on)...

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