Posted in book vs Movie, film, movie reviews

Review: Persuasion (2022 Film)

Release Date: July 15, 2022 (Netflix
Starring:  Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding,  Mia Mckenna-Bruce, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Lydia Rose Bewley, Richard E. Grant, Yolanda Kettle amongst others.
Directed by Carrie Cracknell
Written by Ron Bass & Alice Victoria Winslow (and of course Jane Austen)
Rating:C. Just….no. The cinematography is delightful but the script…

I will start with the positive.  This film has amazing cinematography.  The locations look amazing, I enjoy the costumes, though I’m not always sure its not anachronistic at times.  The actors all appear to be talented, although not always fit for the part they play. I love the fact that this film is not a bunch of white people.

Now for the not so positive.  This film was not Persuasion.  Dakota Johnson did a great job with Anne – just not Anne Elliot.  Anne Elliot is one of the more reserved of Austen’s heroines, not unlike Elinor Dashwood.  She keeps to herself, has a sense of decorum, and a loving nature. This Anne is judgmental of her family, blurts things out that original Anne would be mortified by,  and overall is a lot less put together.

Continue reading “Review: Persuasion (2022 Film)”
Posted in essay, history

History: The Bastille & Bastille Day

On July 15, France celebrated its national holiday. This day is commonly called Bastille Day outside France as it is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, a 18th century prison in 1789. In honor of that, today I’m going to look at the Bastille, its history and why the French celebrate storming it. And if I’m listening to the band Bastille as I write, who’s going to tell?

Let’s set the scene. Medieval Paris was much smaller than it is today, even as it was still one of the most populous cities in Europe. It was based around the Seine River, and both sides of the river were walled for protection against invasion of France’s enemies. The walls had been built, torn down, and rebuilt several times over the years, but the first wall of importance to this story was the walls built by Phillip Augustus (or King Philippe II) in 1190-1215. The wall was built on both sides of the river encapsulating the city. The roads leading into Paris were greeted by towers and gates that over time went from draw bridges to fixed ones as the city grew and the country’s defensive power grew.

A century later, the city had grown. The old walls were demolished to include the new city blocks on the northern shore. There was also the issue of a possibility of English invasion. The Kingdom had been at war with England for two decades at this point, and King John II was even a prisoner in the Tower of London. Etienne Marcel, the provost of the merchants, took advantage of his King’s absence to put forth his own plans to improve the cities defenses and started rebuilding the wall in 1357. This included two fortresses to protect the eastern gates, including the Bastille. The problem was, however, he got on the bad side of the prince Regent, the future King Charles V (not to be confused with the Holy Roman Emperor who was his great etc nephew). Marcel’s story might be a tale for another day, involving murder, taxes, and treason. He was eventually assassinated, ironically by the guards on duty at the Bastille.

Continue reading “History: The Bastille & Bastille Day”
Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 214: Starship Mine

Series: Star Trek: TNG Episode: 6.18 Starship Mine (3/29/1993 Rating: 4/5 Redshirt Status: 8/11/46

Notable Guest Stars:

Tim Russ (Devor) – Tim Russ will become better known to you all when we get to Voyager. He plays one of the main characters, Tuvok. More recently he has appeared on Orville, a Star Trek homage.

Marie Marshall (Kelsey)- Marshall has guest starred in several shows over the years, including The Pretender, Babylon 5 and Silk Stockings. The latter two were ongoing roles in the production. She also worked on As the World Turns, playing Denise Darcy for two years in the mid Eighties.

David Spielberg (Commander Calvin “Hutch” Hutchinson) – To be honest, I haven’t seen much of what he has been in, but he had a big part in this episode, so it felt wrong to exclude him. I have heard of The Practice, so I’ll point that one out.

Glenn Morshower (Orton)- He has been on quite a few of my favorite TV shows over the years. He had a recurring role on CSI Miami, X-men First Class, JAG, X-files, West Wing and Criminal Minds. He also appears on Voyager and Enterprise. However his most known credit is apparently the show 24, which I have never seen.

Tom Nibley (Neil)- Nibley had a short career in acting, mostly in the late 80s and 90s. He has appeared on some shows I have seen, including Days of Our Lives and The Golden Girls. His last credited role (according to IMDB) was in 1998.

Patricia Tallman (Kiros) – She is known for her roles on Babylon 5, Night of the Living Dead (1990), and several Star Trek shows. She has appeared both as an actress and as a stunt performer. She performed Laura Dern’s stunts in Jurassic Park. She also owns her own Adventure corporation called Quest Retreats.

Tim de Zarn (Satler) – He has appeared on several TV series I have watched growing up, including Dr. Quinn, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, and of course a few episodes of Star Trek. He also appears in the 2002 film Spiderman (my first exposure to Spiderman) playing Mary Jane’s father. Recently he guested on Better Call Saul.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 214: Starship Mine”
Posted in Art

Art: International Watercolor Month

July is International Watercolor month, so I decided to feature it this month.  One of my hobbies, other then writing, reading, and watching Star Trek is art, of various methods and mediums.  Watercolor is not usually one I do often, though I do have the tools for it.  Usually when I do painting its acrylic.

Watercolor is often the first paint children use, as it is easy to clean up and usually* less likely to have toxic ingredients.  That is not always the case, so please make sure you check what paint you give your children and follow all warnings.

NOPE

Watercolor is probably not the first paint you think of when you think of fine art.  Oil and Acrylic paint tend to get all the glory in that regard, but Watercolor should not be ignored.  It has a long history, and is often the first paint someone has experience with as many children’s art kits come with watercolor paints.

Painting is not a medium I use often, and I tend to use acrylic but I have done watercolor. It’s a completely different medium then acrylic.  Its usually on paper, and the colors tend to be muted.  It also doesn’t have the texture that acrylic and oil paints can make in a painting. That being said, it can create awesome paintings, particularly landscapes and atmospheric paintings.

Watercolor lends itself to landscapes, invoking emotion and memory.  While looking for some paintings to show, I saw many that could easily inspire a fantasy novel.

Some famous people who have been known to exhibit watercolor paintings include Prince Charles of the UK who has several watercolors out on exhibit (and apparently Ebay).  His father was also a painter, but it seems Prince Phillip was more of an oil painter.   There is also John Singer Sargent, who did both oil and watercolor. Georgia O’Keeffe also produced watercolors earlier in her career, painting abstract images.

If you want to learn more about watercolor artists, you can find a good list here.

If you want to start watercoloring yourself, here are some good youtube videos to help you on your journey.

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Watercolor
Easy Watercolor Painting Ideas for Beginners

Watercolor can be fun and enjoyable, and just as expressive as other forms of painting. I don’t have many watercolors up on my online gallery so I won’t be sharing any of mine, but maybe one day I will make some more and be able to share them with you.

Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 214: The Nagus

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:11 The Nagus (0215/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Max Grodenchik (Rom) – Grodenchik has played several Ferengi characters over the years, but his most lasting and most known role is that of Rom, Quark’s brother.

Aron Eisenberg (Nog) – Aron Eisenberg makes his first appearance as Rom’s son Nog in this episode.  Nog has one of the best storylines in the series, so pay attention to this character (and actor)

Wallace Shawn (Grand Nagus Zek) – Wallace Shawn of “Never fight with a Sicilian When Death is on the line!” fame has been one of my favorite guest actors.  I love him as Zek, and I also loved his roles in the aforementioned Princess Bride,  as well as Clueless and Crossing Jordan where he plays the titular character’s therapist for a few seasons.

Lee Arenberg (Gral) – Lee Arenberg more recently might recongised as Grumpy, from Once Upon a Time and as a member of Black Pearl’s crew in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lou Wagner (Krax) – Lou Wagner has already graced our screen as Daimon Solok.

Barry Gordon (Nava)- Gordon was a actor, Talk show host, and SAG president from 1988-1995 (which would mean as this episode was made and aired).  He also did voice acting, and therefore part of my first fandom obsession:  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  He did the voice of Donatello.  He has been acting since he was three years old and continues to be active in the field.

Tiny Ron Taylor (Maihar’du) – Taylor will also appear on Star Trek Voyager.  He tends to be typecast due to his very tall height of 7 feet.  He was also a professional basketball player, even playing on the rarely known Pittsburgh Condors.  Well, that may be because they only lasted about five years.  Unfortunately, he died in 2019.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 214: The Nagus”
Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 213: Move Along Home

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:10 Move Along Home (0215/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Joel Brooks (Farew) – Brooks is a long-time character actor. He has appeared in many series over the years in quite a variety of characters. Some shows that I have watched with him in it include Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, and M*A*S*H. He now splits his time acting with teaching acting classes.
Clara Bryant (Chandra) – Bryant was a child actress who at 24 decided to retire from acting and became a Lawyer. She did make a series of appearances on Buffy The Vampire Slayer from 2002-03. He last film was the Syfy film Bone Eater with Bruce Boxleitner as the lead.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 213: Move Along Home”
Posted in Awareness

Sokorra Recommends

Originally, I planned a history post for today, but given recent events felt that in solidarity I am not going to post it due the inherent sexism and racism that surround the Declaration. Instead later this month I will celebrate the ADA and Disability Awareness month. I have moved this post up to fill in while I research and write that post.

Once a month I am going to try to have a “Sokorra Recommends” to share some of my favorite creators, be it books, youtubers, or podcasts. This will usually take place towards the end of the month, but as I said before, this month’s edition is coming a little early due to protesting recent Supreme Court Decisions. Ironically (and not purposefully) my recommendations this month revolve around Women’s issues (both trans and cis) and women creators.

This month I recommend:

Vulgar History by Ann Foster- Podcast

This podcast focuses on the women of history from all eras. I have been listening to this for the past two weeks and I’m finding myself enjoying her take on history and the women in it. There tends to be a European bent to the podcast, as that appears to be her focus in learning, but as she is still creating content there are many avenues she will eventually explore.

Opera Trash by Krista Golden and Analee Harriman – Podcast

This is an easy way to get into Opera. Krista and Analee take you along with them as they watch and review Opera in a delightfully irreverent yet loving way. They just celebrated 2 ongoing years with this podcast.

Rachel Maksy – Youtuber: Creative

Originally I came across Rachel’s YouTube channel through other costume/dress history youtubers, but Rachel does more then just vintage clothing recreations. She also has episodes on painting, home remodeling and other creative endeavors. She also makes amazing Cosplay outfits.

Dr. Danielle Jones (Mama Doctor Jones) – Youtuber: Medical commentary/Education

I started watching MDJ’s episodes about a year ago when I came across her monthly take on episodes of TLC’s I didn’t know I was pregnant, which turned out to be hilarious and educational. I continued to watch other content where I learned more about basic genecology, history of birth control and sex education and many other topics related to people who have vaginas. Given recent events its become all more apparent that better education is needed in regards to reproductive health.

Persuasion – Jane Austen

This happens to be one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite of Austen. The story revolves around Anne Elliot, who gave up the love of her life for her family. She has regretted it all this time, and has slowly realized that her family might not be worth the sacrifice. Frederick Wentworth, aforementioned love of her life, reenters the picture still a bit bitter about how things went down. The two of them have to learn to deal with aftereffects of their decisions and slowly make their way back to one another better people.

Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 212: Birthright (1 & 2)

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.16 Birthright (03/07/1993) & 6:17 Birthright Part II (3/14/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38

Notable Guest Stars:
Siddig El Fadil/Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir) – This episode crosses over with DS9 slightly and brings Julian on to show the interconnection of the two shows existing together. At this point in time he was still being credited with his actual name of Siddig El Fadil.

James Cromwell (Jaglom Shrek)- James Cromwell is one of my favorite actors. He’s well known in Star Trek, having appeared several times over the years in various franchise roles. His most reoccuring role is that of Zephram Cochran, which he would play in a few years. He is under heavy make-up for this episode though, but that distinctive voice carries through.

Cristine Rose (Gi’ral) – Cristine Rose is most known for her role on series Heroes, where she played Angela Petrelli. She has also appeared on Friends, NCIS, Chicago Hope, Crossing Jordan, and Gilmore Girls.

Jennifer Gatti (Ba’el)- She is known for her work in soap operas, including Guiding Light and Young and The Restless. She has appeared on several shows as a guest actor, including Voyager, ER and Cheers. In 2019 she appeared on the newer medical drama The Resident.

Richard Herd (L’Kor)- He might sound familiar because he will appear several times on Star Trek Voyager as Admiral Owen Paris – father of Lt. Tom Paris. He also appeared in Seinfeld, Quantum Leap, and JAG among many others. He has been inducted into the National Broadcast Hall of Fame for his radio work. Unfortunately, he died of cancer in 2020.

Alan Scarfe (Tokath) – Alan Scarfe has appeared on TNG before, but he has also appeared on my favorite Scifi series Stargate Atlantis, and another good series called Andromeda. He has won several awards for both film work and stage work.


Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 212: Birthright (1 & 2)”
Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 211: Passenger

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode:  1.09 Passenger (02/22/1993)
Rating: 4/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1 (There are some dubious stunning’s but I like to think everyone lived)

Notable Guest Stars:
Caitlin Brown (Ty Kajada)- She appeared in Babylon Five, which is often compared to DS9. She also appeared in TNG, starred the horror film All about Evil.

James Lashly (Lt. George Primmin)- Lashly appears in so many of the shows I watched growing up yet I really never noticed him which I now need to fix.  He appeared on Gilmore Girls, Bones, Charmed, Judging Amy, Wild Wild West, ER, Pretender, and also TNG (3 years prior).

Christopher Colins (Durg) – Colins has a long voice acting filmography, including being the Cobra Commander on GI Joe, and the original Mr. Burns (exxxxelllant).  Unfortunately, he died from a hemorrhage in 1994, a little over a year after this episode aired.

James Harper (The Original Rao Vantika)- He was in the 1998 hit film Armageddon and has been known for being the voice of Arcturus Mengsk on StarCraft video games.  He also did a spin on General Hospital in the late 2000s.

Review:

Continue reading “The Rewatch 211: Passenger”
Posted in Rewatch, Star Trek, Television shows, tv reviews

The Rewatch 210: Tapestry

Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.15 Tapestry (2/15/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/3/38 

Notable Guest Stars:
Ned Vaughn (Cortin Zweller) – Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that Apollo 13 has been my favorite movie since it came out in 1994.  Ned Vaughn appears in the movie as CapCom 2.

J.C Brandy (Marta Batanides)- J.C. Brandy has appeared in various tv series over the years, including a couple soap operas.  She also made an appearance in the Halloween film franchise.  She was 17 years old when she filmed this episode.

Clive Church (Maurice Picard) – This appears to be his first -and only – known credit.  Which was notable enough for me to include him in this section.

Rae Norman (Penny Muroc)- Rae Norman was appearing on Guiding Light around the same time she was on Star Trek.

Review:

I have to admit this is not one of my favorite episodes of TNG.  Every show has their “It’s a Wonderful Life” episode, it seems, and this was TNG’s.  Picard, having received a near-fatal wound, finds himself in a space with Q.  Q uses his powers to show Picard what might have happened if he hadn’t been stabbed by the Nausiccaans, a story mentioned earlier in the show.

My problem was most IAWL like episodes show the effect someone has on other people, not just their own life. And Picard had a deep impact on the other characters.  For example, there is a scene where Altered Picard talks with Will Riker.  Will is still the executive officer even though its been pretty much implied that the main reason he hasn’t taken a ship of his own is because he wanted ot learn more from Picard. I find it hard to believe that Will would still be on Enterprise and not on his own ship.  And, what does this mean for Jack Crusher? 

Of course, this could all be explained away as being part of Q’s made-up world.

There is also the weirdness of the Marta romance.  For one, they never really made Picard out to have been a lothario till this episode.  And the actress for Marta was 17 years old. While neither actor seemed to find anything amiss, the fact that the crew thought she needed to be aged up by make-up makes me wonder why they didn’t hire an older actress.

This episode did launch a thousand memes of Picard waking up to Q in his bed. 

This episode is usually critically accepted as good, and while I may not particularly feel driven to watch it, I don’t think it’s the worst episode ever. (You have seen me skip episodes so you know that). 

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by Ronald D. Moore
  • Directed by Les Landau
  • This episode was inspired by “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
  • The brainstorming team liked this episode as a comparison to Picard’s wild child youth and studious adulthood while Kirk was a studious young man and only earned his reputation as a risk taker as an adult (and as a Captain).
  • First appearance of the Nausicaans

Pros

  • I wonder if they realize that they made Q appear pansexual at this point. I mean it would make sense for an energy being such as the Q continuum not to limit their interests by gender.

Cons:

  • I feel the story seems a little farfetched as far as it not effecting other people that where Jean-Luc was in life was different.  Our lives are ripples, not stagnant dots no matter what Q believes.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net