Commentary. Reviews. Rants. Television. Pop culture. Whatever. It do what it do.
From the creator of Jammer's Reviews

Personal

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…)

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 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…)

When it comes to social networking, I’m not very social

Working as I do in online media — both as a career and as a free-time hobby — I naturally have to keep up with what’s hot, what’s trending, where everything is going, how people are using online tools to get and share information, etc., etc.

Obviously, over the last several years, social networking has exploded. Facebook and Twitter are pretty much platforms that every company or blogger has to be on, otherwise they’re missing out on a swath of people who might be on Facebook or Twitter all day, but do not necessarily seek out and view content on websites without being reminded by updates they get on Facebook or Twitter.

(Interestingly, the idea of going to websites to seek out the content you want — without getting some sort of reminder — seems almost foreign to me now. I pretty much do all my online reading via RSS feeds, where Google Reader gives me a list of headline links from all my favorite sites that I either choose to click on to read the story, or not.) (Read more…)

The difficulty of overcoming inertia

One thing that’s been abundantly clear to me about “maintaining” (*) my review site and blog this year: Inertia is a bitch.

* I feel the word “maintaining” requires quotes at this moment, seeing as Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox have been running from an explosion on my home page for more than three months now — never my intention when I posted that image. (**)

Back last December I was faced with a panic situation. I still hadn’t written most of the BSG season 4.0 reviews, and season 4.5 was breathing down my neck. I had precious few weeks to write more than half a dozen reviews that I knew would be long and detailed and exhausting (because I was dealing with the exciting and much-to-discuss final season of BSG). And as I had that weekly deadline of 4.5 episodes always threatening me, it forced me to turn out my reviews on a breakneck (for me) schedule so I could keep up. Then the final episode aired and I was off the hook and could sigh in relief. No wonder it took me six weeks to finally post the finale review. (Read more…)

The long and busy moving week

From the personal files: I bought a house last week. Here’s a rundown of what moving has entailed. This does not go into details about the buying part in the month leading up to this week.

Monday, April 21: I closed on the house at 9 a.m. It only took about 20 minutes. Apparently when you finance a mortgage with a credit union it’s a lot less paperwork than with a bank. I only had to sign my name about 20 times, which is far less than many closings, my lawyer told me. I spent much of the day on the phone changing addresses and phone numbers on my credit cards and bank accounts. (Read more…)