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Checking in for 2014, Part 2

I’ll tell you what, ladies and gentlemen: I didn’t think October, which is almost over, could possibly have gotten here as fast as it did. My last post was in January, days after my little girl took her first steps. Now she’s running around at full speed, getting into everything, speaking in phrase fragments, making pretend animal noises on demand, eating with a fork, and all kinds of fun stuff. Yesterday we took her to the zoo with her cousins. So times flies, etc., etc.

I didn’t want to check in with another message like this, because I kept telling myself that I would post the Into Darkness review soon enough and maybe get back to some semblance of a semi-occasional blog posting schedule. Or at least the former and not yet the latter. But neither has happened. I just haven’t gotten around to it with everything else I need and want to do right now.

So what I posted back in January is all still true. This site isn’t abandoned, I make it a point to read all the comments on a near-daily basis, and I will eventually get back to making this place active again. The hiatus, for now, continues.

But I still hope to have that one review for you in 2014. So there. I said it. Now at least I have some sort of ticking clock.

Checking in for 2014

Hello, everyone. Jammer here. Still alive. Just to let everyone know, this site is not abandoned. Not at all. I continue to read all comments every day posted on the website, via the comment browser, which might be one of the best features I ever put on the site. (Read more…)

Why write reviews when I could be applying for a new mortgage?

Will I ever review Star Trek Into Darkness? Yes. It’s just been a hectic and busy past few months. My adorable baby daughter is almost eight months old now and we spend a lot of time playing with her. Also, we just bought a new house, moved, and we’re in the process of selling our old house. (If I had time, I would blog about how much I hate the hassle and time/money drain of real estate.) So life is good, but also very busy.

I bought Into Darkness on Blu-ray shortly after it was released, but have not yet watched it as a refresher for writing my review. I’ll get to that eventually so I can finally weigh in on this movie, but it may be several more weeks. Maybe I’ll shoot for the end of the year. Talk about prolonging things.

And then after that I’ll catch up on the 550-plus comments that have been posted about Into Darkness while I’ve been AWOL.

Until then, I’ll be unpacking some more boxes…

Cheers.

Eventually I will write again

Hey, there. How’s it going?

I’ve been silent for quite a while on this site that used to be mine. Right now, it seems like it belongs more to the people who comment on the site, because I’ve been MIA so long that I’ve become more like the host emeritus. Hopefully that won’t last forever. (Read more…)

Get out of the hashtag business, TV networks

Okay. Can the TV networks just dispense with the ham-handed attempts at creating futile Twitter synergy by cramming hashtag phrases down our throats?

I’m sitting here, against all better judgment, surfing the web on my laptop while I have TBS on in the background, where the terrible, terrible hack sitcom “Met At Work” is on, and in the corner of the screen, the TBS geniuses have put up the hashtag “#gibbsvsmilo” because the plot centers on a lame-brained something where Gibbs and Milo are characters, you see, and they are versus-ing against each other in comically hilarious ways. Over some chick, or something. Because guys are such guys!

By the way, did I mention this show is just awful? God. Awful.

Back to the hashtags. I see this all the time on TV shows. The networks invent some two- or three-word phrase tying into the TV show, throw a hashtag in front of it, and pretend it’s some sort of social movement that all the cool kids are going to be talking about.

I’m thinking that if you are tweeting anything that contains “#gibbsvsmilo” then you need to have your social networking license revoked, because you are neither social nor networking. You’re in a vacuum tweeting something lame that a corporation has tricked you into thinking was worth 10 seconds of your time. (Or 10 minutes of mine, in writing this pointless gripe post.) Probably most of the people tweeting these phrases are on the media company payroll, having been forced as part of their job to try to make it look like their hashtag of the hour has any sort of traction.

Just stop it. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

Discuss ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Because my review is likely to be delayed a bit, I’ve opened up comments for Star Trek Into Darkness. See more details on that page, and please refrain from posting comments about the movie elsewhere on Jammer’s Reviews and Jammer’s Blog. Thanks.

Farewell, Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Photo by Eileen Ryan

It’s probably pretty safe to say that Roger Ebert, by a wide margin, has been the most influential figure on my writing. It’s possible, although far from certain, that had I not read Ebert as a teen, I might never have thought to write one review, let alone nearly 1,000. (Of course, that’s pure conjecture. If you pull a thread on one’s life, there’s no telling to what degree it might unravel, but maybe I’d have found another way in the same direction.)

But that’s the thing about Ebert: He was so prolific, so observant and wise, so widely read and well respected — so utterly the gold standard of all critics — that probably every writer in the genre of criticism saw him as the model to aspire to. (Read more…)

It’s a wrap: TNG’s ‘All Good Things…’

The first review I wrote for a general audience was a movie review for my high school newspaper, The Inkspot, in 1993. I was co-editor of the paper that year, and that was the beginning of a long relationship with newspapers (which only ended just last year). I joined the staff of The Daily Illini in the fall of 1994 during my freshman year of college, where I discovered the Internet, which had just started to become graphical and mainstream (although I would get my online reviewing start in the text-based Usenet).


Jammer completes his website’s mission with the posting of the review for TNG’s series finale, “All Good Things.”

As I’ve mentioned in this space before, I actually reviewed the seventh season of TNG previously, in printed booklets that I never posted on the Internet (and never will). Jammer’s Reviews as you know them didn’t start until the fall of 1994 with DS9‘s third season. The official launch of my website came in March 1995, some 18 years ago. On the Internet, that’s an eternity for a niche hobby publication. Just ask the hundreds of other hobbyist website authors from the 1990s who have long since hung it up. That was before “blogger” was a word. I guess I’ve been a blogger since before the term for it existed. (Read more…)

Jammer’s Reviews: TNG Season 7: The home stretch

The final leg of TNG — not counting the series finale — beginning with “Journey’s End” through “Preemptive Strike” revealed that the writing staff was at least contemplating the end of the series, with four of the last five regular episodes featuring notes that hinted at some character-related closure, albeit without making any drastic changes to the series’ status quo.


Ro takes on an undercover mission out of loyalty to Picard in “Preemptive Strike.”

These episodes include a final check-in with Wesley Crusher; the last word on Worf’s son Alexander (until DS9 several years later); Picard learning that he might have a son when that possibility had been long ago been seemingly decided; and the fairly atypical (by TNG standards) turn of events surrounding Ro Laren. With the exception of that last outing, these episodes were middling endeavors that struggled to balance plot and character effectively.

Then there was the odd man out of this particular leg, “Emergence,” which seemed more like it belonged in the previous run of weak episodes alongside “Masks” and “Genesis.” Perhaps the less said about it, the better.

Anyway, dig in. My next post on TNG will wrap up this project with the two-hour series finale, which I think just about all of us can agree on.

Jammer’s hiatus explained with a special announcement

One might be wondering why — with only six TNG reviews to go before finishing up my long-protracted and often-delayed TNG reviewing project, and thus completing my reviews of the entire Trek canon — I would suddenly stop after my last post back in early December. My latest hiatus can be explained simply, but I’ll also break down some details for those who find interest in stuff like that. (Read more…)