Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten (10) Favorite SWASHBUCKLER Movies

Below is a list of my top ten (10) favorite swashbuckler movies:


1. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (2006) - This is the second of the "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN" franchise and much to my surprise . . . my favorite. This movie has Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann pitted against Davy Jones and the East India Trading Company. The finale is one of my all time favorites in film history.

2. "The Sea Hawk" (1940) - Vaguely based upon Rafael Sabatini's novel (and I do mean vaguely), this Errol Flynn swashbuckler is about the battle between an English privateer and the Spanish Empire during the late 16th century. Directed by Michael Curtiz, the movie co-starred Brenda Marshall, Henry Daniell, Claude Rains and Flora Robson.

3. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003) - This first movie in the "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN" franchise introduced the world to roguish pirate Jack Sparrow (memorably portrayed by Johnny Depp), along with Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann and Hector Barbossa. The story involved a cursed Aztec treasure.

4. "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1982) - Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Ian McKellen starred in what I consider to be the best adaptation of Baroness Orczy's tale about a British aristocrat who disguises himself to save the victims of France's "Reign of Terror".

5. "The Three Musketeers" (1973) - This seventh or eighth version of Alexander Dumas' classic adventure novel is my absolute favorite version. It starred Michael York, Oliver Reed, Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welsh, Richard Chamberlain, Frank Finlay, Christopher Lee, Geraldine Chaplin and Charlton Heston.

6. "The Mark of Zorro" (1940) - Based on the Johnston McCulley story, "The Curse of Capistrano", this superb swashbuckler set in early California starred Tyrone Power as a Californio aristocrat who helps the locals resist the tyranny of a corrupt alcalde and his henchmen. The movie co-starred Linda Darnell and Basil Rathbone.

7. "The Four Musketeers" (1974) - This sequel to "The Three Musketeers" turned out to be just as superb as the original. Also directed by Richard Lester.

8. "The Adventures of Robin Hood" - Errol Flynn became identified with his role as Robin, Earl of Locksley aka "Robin Hood" in this colorful and excellent adaptation of the famous English outlaw/freedom fighter. Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, the movie co-starred Olivia DeHavilland, Basil Rathbone, Alan Dale and Claude Rains.

9. "The Princess Bride" (1987) - Rob Reiner directed this superb adaptation of William Goldman's novel about a classic fairy tale with swordplay, a pirate, giants, an evil prince, and a beautiful princess; as read by a kindly grandfather. Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Robin Wright, Fred Savage and Peter Falk co-starred.

10. "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) - Martin Campbell directed this exciting adaptation of Johnston McCulley's tale about a masked freedom fighter in California of the early 1840s. Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stuart Wilson co-starred.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"THE HANGOVER, PART II" (2011) Photo Gallery

Below are images from "THE HANGOVER, PART II", the sequel to the 2009 comedy hit. Directed by Todd Phillips, the movie stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms:

"THE HANGOVER, PART II" (2011) Photo Gallery

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Defense of the Realm" [PG-13] - 1/14


RATING: PG-13 Mild violence and adult language.
SUMMARY: The Elder Council is threatened by enemies from within and beyond. Set after "Reflections II" - AU between S5 and S6.
FEEDBACK: - Be my guest. But please, be kind.
DISCLAIMER: The Charmed Ones, Leo Wyatt, Darryl Morris and Cole Turner belong to Constance Burge, Brad Kern and Spelling Productions. The McNeills, Marbus and Natalia Stepanova are thankfully, my creations.



Chapter 1

The man glanced at his watch. It read eleven forty-eight. Which meant that a certain dealer should be in his hotel bedroom about now. Fast asleep. He took a deep breath, opened the side door to the Powell House Hotel and crept inside.

Using the employees' express elevator, the man made his way to the hotel's eighth floor. Before the door slid open, he pulled a stocking over his head, to disguise his feature. The man crept along the hotel's corridor, fearful of encountering another hotel guest or employee. He sighed in relief, upon reaching his destination without any confrontation.

He retrieved a card key he had made by a forger and slid it into the lock. A green lock signaled that the door to Room 805 was unlocked and he surreptiously opened the door.

The room was pitch dark. The man removed a small flashlight from his bag and turned it on. The light revealed doors that led to two bedrooms. According to his employer, Mr. Gregory Liederhoff of New York City should be in the bedroom on the right. The man headed toward the said bedroom and opened the door. As expected, Mr. Liederhoff laid his bed, fast asleep.

The man silently made his way to the corner of the east wall, and the room's safe. He removed an instrument and clamped it over the safe's door. After he punched a few buttons, the machine whirled slightly. The man glanced at Liederhoff, who remained fast asleep. A slight click signaled that the safe had been unlocked.

Slowly, the man opened the safe's door. He winced slightly at the sound of a small creak. As he reached inside for a wide black velvet case, a bright light flooded the room. The man blinked.

"Who are you?" Liederhoff demanded. He stared at the man with anxious eyes. "Oh my God! You're trying to take the . . ."

The man whipped out a gun with a muffler at the end of the barrel, and shot Liederhoff in the chest. Twice. The dealer's body fell back upon the bed with a thump.

Quickly, the man snatched the velvet case and opened it. The object in question was inside. He let out a small sigh and quickly closed the safe's door. As he raced back into the suite's living room, he saw a yellow light illuminate under the other door. Liederhoff's assistant. The man dumped the velvet case in his bag and quickly left the room.


Darryl parked his sedan next to a curb on Kearny Street and switched off the engine. He and his red-haired partner glanced at the shop to their right. The sign read 'Kostopulos's ANTIQUITIES'.

"Tell me why we're here again?" Olivia asked, as they climbed out of the car. "I thought we were supposed to investigate the Liederhoff murder."

Darryl sighed. "Because I'm bored. Or because the bullets found in Liederhoff's body matched with the bullets found in Stefan Kostopulos' body."

"Aren't Scott and Carlotta supposed to be pouring over the shop's inventory?"

Darryl did not bother to answer. Instead, a grunt left his mouth, as he and Olivia started toward the shop. The pair ducked under the yellow police tape that barred the front door and entered.

Olivia had to admit that she found the shop's interior intriguing. The atmosphere reminded her of Vivian Dubois' shop in New Orleans - a colorful place filled with interesting artifacts and antiquities situated in a slightly slap dash manner. It lacked that cold, museum-like aura that many antique and furniture shops seemed to possess these days.

"Man!" Darryl exclaimed. "What kind of stuff did this dude sell?" He picked up what looked like a jewelry box. But this particular box had strange markings curved on its sides.

Olivia immediately recognized the markings as Celtic Druid language. Furthermore, she knew what they meant. "Uh, if I were you, Darryl, I'd put down that box."

"Oh? Why?"

With a sigh, Olivia explained. "Because if you open it, you might find yourself transported into another dimension." Her partner immediately returned the box to the shelf.

"What is this place?" Darryl demanded. "Have you ever seen it before?"

Olivia shook her head. "Nope. I know of this shop in the Haight-Ashbury District. And Cecile's mom owns one similar to this in the French Quarter. But no, I've never been here, before."

"Hmmm." Darryl peered through a glass case that held a variety of knives and daggers. "I wonder if Cole knows about this place."

The moment Darryl mentioned her ex-boyfriend's name, Olivia stiffened. She had spent the past few days trying to put Cole behind her. "I don't know," she said, barely able to keep the chilliness out of her tone. "If he does, I'm sure that Phoebe also knows about it."

Silence filled the shop. The only noise came from Union Square, outside. Olivia could sense Darryl's eyes upon her. She tried to ignore him and concentrated her attention on a case filled with pendants and other jewelry. "What?" she finally said, unable to deal with her partner's silence.

"I wondered if you were ever going to mention Cole's name, again," Darryl replied.

Olivia retorted, "I didn't mention his name. You did."

Darryl sighed and tapped her shoulder. "Olivia, what happened?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean . . . what happened between you and Cole? How did he end up with Phoebe . . . again?"

Olivia regarded her partner with feign contempt. "Gee Darryl! Where have you been for the past week-and-a-half? It's simple. We broke up. I tried to kill him and he went back to Phoebe. End of story."

"C'mon McNeill! I know it wasn't that simple," Darryl shot back. "What really happened? Didn't Cole realize you had been under a spell?"

Sighing, Olivia replied, "Look, it's like this. Paul cast a 'I hate Cole and let's kill him' spell on me. I broke up with him. Phoebe had visions of what really happened between him and the Source. They reconciled. While under the spell, I dumped Cole and he turned to Phoebe for comfort. They decided to have a grand reconciliation. Hearts and all. But before Harry and Mom had broken the spell. I went to see Cole at his place. I found Phoebe there, and I found out about their reconciliation. I stood there like a dummy for a minute or two and wished them well. And then . . . I got the hell out!"

"Oh." Darryl paused. "I see. In other words, you simply gave up. Surrendered to Phoebe."

Olivia stared at Darryl, as if he had lost his mind. "What? What the hell was I supposed to do? Grab Cole's arm and claim him for . . .?" The sound of rattling trashcans interrupted Olivia. She and Darryl exchanged a brief glance, before they dashed toward the alley, out back.

There, they found a derelict, a shabbily-dressed woman whose face and clothes were stained with dirt. Matted brown hair had been twisted into a chignon. The woman was busy rummaging through a trashcan. She took one look at the two police officers, turned on her heels and tried to make a run for it. Unfortunately, both Olivia and Darryl proved to be faster.

"Hey! Police officers! Hold it!" Darryl grabbed the woman's arm. "We just want to talk to you."

Looking terrified, the woman struggled to escape Darryl's grip. "I didn't see nothing," she cried. "Honest!"

"See what?" Olivia gently asked.

The woman's large brown eyes blinked. "Uh . . . you two robbing the store?"

"Do we look dressed for committing a robbery?"

"Well . . . not like that last . . ." The woman broke off and clapped one grimy hand over her mouth.

Olivia's eyes narrowed. "Not like the last . . . what? Have you witnessed another robbery . . . what's your name?"

The woman gave a suspicious sniff. "Huh, what's yours?"

Pulling out her badge, Olivia declared, "Inspector McNeill of the San Francisco PD."

"And I'm Lieutenant Morris." Darryl released the woman's arm. "Now, who are you?"

The woman nervously tugged at her clothes. "Look, I didn't see. . ."

"What's your name?" Darryl insisted. "Of course, we can simply take you in."

"On what charge?"

Olivia took a step closer to the woman. "Loitering. And since you obviously don't have a dime to pay for a fine, I'm sure that you'll end up spending 'time' behind bars."

Another sniff from the woman followed. "So what? I could use a bed and a hot meal for the night."

"What makes you think you'll receive either?" Darryl said in a threatening tone.

The woman glared at the two police officers. "Hey! You just can't . . ." Her outrage quickly dissipated, under the partners' intimidating gazes. "Okay! All right," she said, with a defeated air. "My name is Grace Newhan."

Olivia suppressed a triumphant smile. "Do you hang around here a lot, Grace?"

"Well . . . yeah. Mr. Kostopulos always had a meal waiting for me around this time of the day. But ever since he was killed," Grace heaved a regretful sigh, "it's been hard finding something to eat."

Both Olivia and Darryl regarded the homeless woman with sympathetic eyes. "Well, Inspector McNeill and I wouldn't mind providing you with a free meal," Darryl said. "That is . . . if you can answer a few questions for us."

Olivia added, "Like did you see anything, when the shop was robbed nearly two weeks ago?"

Grace hesitated. Fear flickered in her brown eyes, followed by hunger. Her shoulders sagged. "Yeah. I saw the guy. The robber."

Darryl's eyes glimmered with excitement. "So, you saw him. Well that's good! That's . . . why don't you join us at the precinct and you can tell us the everything that you saw?" He indicated the shop's back door with a sweep of his arm.

Grace warily headed toward the door. Before Olivia and Darryl could follow her, the latter added in a sotto voice, "Remind me to ask Morales at the station's garage, to fumigate the car." Olivia merely smiled, as she followed her partner into the shop.


"Mathilda Everard, the Whitelighter Council has found you guilty of withholding valuable information from the Council. We have also found you guilty of taking action against Belthazor without our consent. Therefore, we decree that you will no longer serve as an Elder on said Council."

The Council's verdict echoed in the former Elder's mind like a bad song. After 321 years of serving as an Elder, Mathilda had been demoted to a whitelighter. A mere foot soldier for the Army of Good. A minion. She sighed. The humiliation seemed too much to bear.

After the Council had stripped Mathilda of her Elder robe and position, they assigned her to the Realm's extensive library - the scene of her past triumphs as a researcher and librarian. Only this time, she did not feel any satisfaction at being there. On the desk before her laid a parchment that traced the bloodline of a family of 14th and 15th century witches and warlocks named DeGrasse. Mathilda sighed. Until this day, she never realized how tedious research could be.

"Elder Everard?"

The newly demoted whitelighter glanced up. Before her stood one of her former followers - an Austrian-born whitelighter named Johann Bauer. "Johann," she commented politely. "What can I do for you?"

"I have learned that the other Elders had dismissed you from the Council," the brown-haired whitelighter said in a thick, Germanic accent. "How . . . why?"

A faint smirk formed on Mathilda's lips. "According to the Council, I had made a decision without their consent. And I had also withheld from them, my plans to vanquish Belthazor." The smirk became a grimace. "Of course, the real reason I have been punished is that my plan had failed. The hypocrites!" She sighed. "If the witch had succeeded in vanquishing Belthazor, the Council would have overlooked . . . my discretion. And I would have become the Head Elder." The reality of her failure deflated her anger. "But that is no longer possible."

"Is it?" the other whitelighter commented. Mathilda stared into his violet eyes. "What about your contingency plans?" he added.

Mathilda frowned. "My contingency plans? You mean . . . to replace the Council members? By force?" She shook her head. "I don't know."

"Fraulein Everard, the Whitelighters Realm is descending into chaos. The Council lacks the strength and intelligence to deal with it. Only a strong person with the mind and will . . ."

Still staring at Johann, Mathilda exclaimed, "Are you referring to me?"

Hope and faith shone in Johann's eyes. "Jawol, Fraulein. I am. I realize that this second plan may seem . . . aggressive. And that it could spell the end of your former colleagues' . . ."

Mathilda ignored the Austrian's platitudes. Instead, she continued to focus upon his arguments that the Realm needs a new leader to meet the threat of the growing chaos. And Belthazor. "You're right," she murmured, interrupting Johann.

The younger whitelighter's eyes widened. "Pardon?"

"You're right. About the Council needing a strong hand to guide the Realm. I cannot ignore that - despite my setback." Mathilda sprang out of her chair. "We'll do it. We'll use the contingency plan." She sighed with regret. "Granted, it might seem violent and excessive. But desperate measures are needed for desperate times." Her mouth formed a grim line.

A gust of breath escaped from Johann's lips. "Which members do we target?" he asked.

Mathilda glanced at him. "Draw up a list of the present Council members. All nine of them."

"Eight," Johann added. "You have not been replaced."

"All right. Eight." Mathilda nodded. "We'll see which member gets to witness the Whitelighters Realm's new age. And which one doesn't." Then without a moment's hesitation, she returned to her seat and continued with her assignment.

END OF Chapter 1

Friday, May 27, 2011

"THE KENNEDYS" (2011) Review

"THE KENNEDYS" (2011) Review

The past thirty to forty years have seen a great deal of movies, documentaries and television productions about one of the most famous political families in the U.S., the Kennedys. But none of them have garnered as much controversy or criticism as this latest production, an eight-part television miniseries that aired last April.

Directed by Jon Cassar, "THE KENNEDYS" chronicled the family’s lives and experiences through the 1960s – mainly during President John F. Kennedy’s Administration. The miniseries also touched upon some of the family’s experiences and relationships before JFK first occupied the White House through flashbacks in Episode One, which also focused upon Election Day 1960. And Episode Eight covered the years between JFK’s assassination and the death of his younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968. But the meat of the miniseries centered on the years between January 1961 and November 1963. Unlike most productions about the Kennedys, which either covered JFK’s public experiences as President or the family’s private life; this miniseries covered both the public and private lives of the family.

Much to my surprise, "THE KENNEDYS" attracted a great deal of controversy before it aired. The miniseries had been scheduled to air on the History Channel for American audiences back in January of this year. However, the network changed its mind, claiming that "this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.". Many, including director Jon Cassar, believed that the network had received pressure from sources with connection to the Kennedy family not to air the miniseries. Several other networks also declined to air the miniseries, until executives from the Reelz Channel agreed to do so. That network failed aired "THE KENNEDYS" back in April and other countries, including Canada and Great Britain also finally aired it. After viewing the miniseries, I do not understand why the History Channel had banned it in the first place.

The miniseries not only attracted controversy, but also mixed reviews from the critics. Well, to be honest, I have only come across negative reviews. If there were any positive commentary, I have yet to read any. For me, "THE KENNEDYS" is not perfect. In fact, I do not believe it is the best Hollywood production on the subject I have seen. The miniseries did not reveal anything new about the Kennedys. In fact, it basically covered old ground regarding both JFK’s political dealings with situations that included the Bay of Pigs, the Civil Rights Movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis. It also covered many of the very familiar topics of the Kennedys’ private lives – including the adulterous affairs of both JFK and Joseph Senior. Hell, even the miniseries' take on the Cuban Missile Crisis seemed more like a rehash of the 2000 movie, "THIRTEEN DAYS". In fact, the only aspect of this miniseries that struck me as new or original was the insinuation that First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy may have received amphetamine shots (also taken by JFK) from a Doctor Max Jacobson, to boost her energy for the numerous duties of her office. And I have strong doubts over whether this is actually true.

I have one other major complaint about the miniseries – namely the final episode. Episode Eight covered Jacqueline and Bobby’s lives during the remainder of the 1960s, following JFK’s death. For me, this was a major mistake. Although Part One mainly covered Election Day in November 1960, it also featured flashbacks of the family’s history between the late 1930s and 1960. But the majority of the miniseries covered JFK’s presidency. In my opinion, ”THE KENNEDYS” should have ended with JFK’s funeral, following his assassination in Dallas. I realize that the miniseries also featured the lives of Bobby, Jacqueline, Joseph Senior, Rose and Ethel’s live in heavy doses, it still centered on Jack Kennedy. By continuing into one last episode that covered Jacqueline and Bobby’s lives following the President’s death, it seemed to upset the miniseries’s structure. If that was the case, the setting for ”THE KENNEDYS” should have stretched a lot further than the 1960s.

But despite my complaints, I still enjoyed "THE KENNEDYS". For one thing, it did not bore me. The pacing struck me as top notch. And it lacked the dry quality of the more well-received 1983 miniseries, "KENNEDY". Although I believe that particular miniseries was superior to this new one, it sometimes felt more like a history lesson than a historical drama. It is possible that the additions of sequences featuring the family’s personal lives and scandals may have prevented me from falling asleep. But even the scenes that featured JFK’s presidency struck me as interesting – especially the scenes about the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Episode Three. I also enjoyed the flashbacks that supported the miniseries’ look into Joseph Kennedy Senior’s control over his children and the shaky marriage between JFK and Jacqueline. At least two particular flashbacks focused upon JFK’s affair with Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, and its near effect upon younger brother Bobby. One scene that really impressed me was Bobby’s first meeting with the starlet. Thanks to Cassar’s direction, along with Barry Pepper (Bobby Kennedy) and Charlotte Sullivan’s (Marilyn Monroe), the scene reeked with a sexual tension that left viewers wondering if the pair ever really had a tryst. Both Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes gave outstanding performances in two particular scenes that not only featured the explosive marriage between the President and First Lady, but also the depths of their feelings toward one another. The miniseries also scored with Rocco Matteo’s production designs. I was especially impressed by his re-creation of the White House, circa 1961. I was also impressed by Christopher Hargadon’s costume designs. He did a first-rate job in not only capturing the period’s fashions for both the male and female characters, but also in re-creating some of Jacqueline Kennedy’s more famous outfits.

Aside from the pacing, the miniseries’ biggest strength turned out to be the cast. I have already commented upon Charlotte Sullivan’s excellent performance as Marilyn Monroe. But she her performance was not the only supporting one that impressed me. Kristin Booth gave a top-notch portrayal of Bobby Kennedy’s wife, Ethel. And she did this without turning the late senator’s wife into a one-note caricature, unlike other actresses. I was also impressed by Don Allison’s turn as future President, Lyndon B. Johnson. However, there were moments when his performance seemed a bit theatrical. I also enjoyed how both John White and Gabriel Hogan portrayed the rivalry between a young JFK and Joseph Junior during the late 1930s and early 1940s, with a subtlety that I found effective. However, both Tom Wilkinson and Diana Hardcastle really impressed me as the heads of the Kennedy clan – Joseph Senior and Rose Kennedy. They were really superb. Truly. I was especially impressed by Wilkinson’s handling of his New England accent, after recalling his bad American accent in 2005’s "BATMAN BEGINS". And I had no idea that Diana Hardcastle was his wife. Considering their strong screen chemistry, I wonder if it is possible for husband and wife to act in front of a camera together, more often.

The best performances, in my opinion, came from Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes and Barry Pepper as JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, respectively. For some reason, Pepper’s portrayal of Bobby seemed to keep the miniseries grounded. He did a great job in capturing the former senator and Attorney General’s ability to maintain solidarity in the family; and also his conflict between continuing his service to JFK and the family, and considering the idea of pursuing his own profession. Greg Kinnear’s take on JFK struck me as different from any I have ever seen in previous movies or television productions. Yes, he portrayed the style, charm, intelligence and wit of JFK. He was also effective in conveying the President’s conflict between his lustful desires for other women, his love for his wife and any "alleged" guilt over his infidelity. There seemed to be a slightly melancholy edge in Kinnear’s performance that I have never seen in other actors who have portrayed JFK. But I feel that the best performance came from Katie Holmes in her portrayal of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Personally, I thought it was worthy of an award nomination. However, I doubt that anyone would nominate her. Pity. I thought she did a superb job in capturing not only the style and glamour of the famous First Lady, but also the latter’s complex and intelligent nature.

I am well aware that most critics were not impressed by the miniseries. Hell, I am also aware that a good number of viewers have expressed some contempt toward it. I could follow the bandwagon and also express a negative opinion of "THE KENNEDYS". But I cannot. It is not the best production I have ever seen about the famous political family. It did not really provide anything new about the Kennedy family and as far as I am concerned, it had one episode too many. But I was impressed by Jon Cassar’s direction, along with the outstanding cast and first-rate production and costume designs. And thinking about all of this, I still do not understand why the History Channel went through so much trouble to reject the miniseries’ airing on its network.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Trouble With (5.24) "Relativity"


I am sure that many of you remember the late Season 5 episode - (5.24) "Relativity". In it, Seven-of-Nine was "recruited" by 29th century Federation time cops to prevent the destruction of Voyager by an illegal time traveler.

In this episode, Seven is recruited by Captain Braxton and Lieutenant Ducane of the 29th century timeship, Relativity, to stop a time traveling sabateur from placing a temporal weapon on Voyager to destroy it. Seven eventually discovers that a future Braxton is the sabateur. Suffering from temporal psychosis, the older Braxton wants to destroy Voyager in order to prevent Janeway and her crew from committing three temporal inversions that he had to fix . . . events that led to his illness.

As much as I found this episode mildly entertaining, there are two about "Relativity" that I found questionable. The first thing I found questionable had to do with Braxton’s memories. He should not have had memories of Voyager's trip to late 20th century Earth in "Future's End". By stopping Henry Starling (guest star Ed Begley Jr.) from accidentally destroying Earth, Janeway and Voyager’s crew managed to change the timeline. When Braxton appeared to take them back to the 24th century Delta Quadrant, he had NO memories of his 29 years on Earth. And the Braxton of ”Relativity” should NOT have had those memories. And yet, he mentioned his time on Earth in this episode.

What really irritated me about this episode was the fate of the Captain Braxton who commanded the ship. To understand what I am talking about, read the following scenes:

BRAXTON [OC]: Seven of Nine, report.
SEVEN: I have located the saboteur.
BRAXTON [OC]: Who is it?
SEVEN: It's you,
SEVEN [OC]: Captain Braxton.
[2372 Jefferies tube]
BRAXTON: More accurately, a future you.

Once everyone realized that a future Braxton was responsible for trying to sabotage Voyager, the following occurred:

BRAXTON: Can you get a lock on him?
DUCANE: Negative. He's activated a dispersal node. I should say, you've activated a dispersal node.
BRAXTON: Don't be absurd. I have no wish to sabotage Voyager.
DUCANE: Not yet.
BRAXTON: Remodulate the transporters. Find a way to cut through the interference. I gave you an order, Lieutenant.
DUCANE: I'm sorry, sir. I'm taking command of this vessel, and I'm relieving you of duty for crimes you're going to commit.
BRAXTON: I haven't done anything.

For some reason, Captain Braxton’s first officer, Lieutenant Ducane (Jay Karnes) thought it was necessary to arrest him and assume command of the timeship. Why? What was his purpose? Braxton was right. He had done nothing wrong. Ducane should have been more concerned with the future Braxton, not the younger one. The first officer had no excuse to arrest someone who had done nothing wrong. What on earth were screenwriters Bryan Fuller, Nick Sagan and Michael Taylor thinking? As much as I liked this episode, this is sloppy writing of the first kind.

”Relativity” started out well. But once the older Braxton was revealed to be the saboteur attempting to destroy Voyager, the story went downhill. As I had pointed out earlier, Braxton should have never had memories of his 29 years on Earth. Even worse, the first officer of the timeship Relativity really had no excuse to arrest the younger Captain Braxton, who was not guilty of anything. What a waste of a potentially good story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"FAST FIVE" (2011) Photo Gallery

Below are images from "FAST FIVE", the fifth entry in the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise. Directed by Justin Lin, the movie stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Dwayne Johnson:

"FAST FIVE" (2011) Photo Gallery