Discovery Short Treks, 3 of 4: “The Brightest Star”…

After fighting with my CBS-All Access streaming service for about 40 minutes, I was finally able to stream the latest Star Trek: Discovery “Short Trek” through my iPhone and later onto my 21” computer monitor.   Attempts to watch it on my living room TV via my Roku ended in many strangled curse words and…

Doctor Who 11.9, “It Takes You Away”…

The latest Doctor Who episode (S11.9), “It Takes You Away” doesn’t exactly have the most original central story idea to date, though a few heartstring-pulling (and genuinely bizarre) moments make it better than it could’ve been. ****TARDIS-SIZED SPOILERS!!**** If one is a Star Trek fan, then tonight’s Doctor Who should be familiar to those who’ve…

Doctor Who: “The Witchfinders” works some practical magic…

Continuing season 11’s tonally mixed bag, the latest Doctor Who has a bit of Halloween-creepiness and also feels very much like a lighter, 1980s-era episode of the classic series (the Peter Davison-era stories “The Visitation” and “The King’s Demons” come to mind).  Not an inordinately important or deep-message story, “Witchfinders” quickly sheds much of its…

A few riffs on “Bohemian Rhapsody”…

Want to begin by saying this isn’t going to be a traditional review; I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts on “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018), the biopic of the late Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) and the rock group that was a significant part of my own adolescence, Queen.   I’ve seen the film twice to…

Doctor Who S11.7: “Kerblam!” delivers a mixed bag…

As Jodie Whittaker settles quite nicely into the role of The Doctor, the series itself seems to be taking an alternating pattern of light and heavy;  going from serious, deeply topical material one week to lighter, frothier adventures the next.  After last week’s powerful and original  “Demons of the Punjab,”  I was prepared for this…

Retro-Musings: 1966’s “Queen of Blood” shares plenty of hemoglobin with “ALIEN”…

In the 1960s,  legendary guerrilla-filmmaking producer Roger Corman (whose protégés would include Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Jonathan Demme, Gale Ann Hurd and James Cameron) imported several high-end Soviet-era science fiction movies, which he recut using American-shot scenes, actors and English-language dubbing.  This was a practice similar to what was done to Ishiro Honda’s 1954 atomic-bomb allegory…

A few words for Stan Lee (1922-2018)…

The highlighted link from the New York Times does a nice job of summing up Stan Lee’s life:  Stan Lee, dead at 95. Superhero of Marvel Comics/New York Times.  I never really knew Stan Lee, since I only met him once very briefly.  I can offer the following…   My own two cents. I used to…

Doctor Who’s “Demons of the Punjab” is one for the ages…

Following a completely lackluster episode (the instantly forgettable “Tsungara Conundrum”, which felt like a patchwork of Doctor Who cliches), the series rebounds strongly with “Demons of the Punjab”; an episode that is easily on a par with “Rosa” and may even find its future status among the series’ all-time best episodes.  Written by Vinay Patel (take a bow)…

Star Trek Discovery, Short Treks 2: “Calypso”…

CBS-All Access has just released the 2nd of four planned Star Trek: Discovery “Short Trek” vignettes; the first was the Ensign Tilly-as-diplomat offering “Runaway,” and now we have “Calypso”, another two-character piece which uses none of the regular Discovery cast.  “Calypso” runs only 18 minutes, but manages to raise a TON of questions about the future of…