Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tombstone: Cast Roundup

I rewatched the movie Tombstone the other day and was reminded not only of how awesome it is, but also of how it has one of the best casts that has ever been assembled. Just for fun, let's talk about 'em:

Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp
Kurt Russell and Wyatt Earp need no introduction. One is a true legend of the silver screen while the other is a legend of the Wild West. The role of Wyatt Earp requires somebody to be charming, scary, laconic, effusive, romantic, and a stone cold bad ass, often intersecting each emotion multiple times in the same scene. In other words, Kurt Russell. Anyway, Wyatt Earp is arguably the most well known lawman in American history, so it was perfect casting since Kurt Russell is one of the coolest actors ever. He was also very good in Captain Ron.

Sam Elliot as Virgil Earp
Only slightly less well known and respected as Wyatt was his older brother Virgil Earp, played by the always charming Sam Elliot. Who doesn't love Sam Elliot? He's so perfect as a cowboy, that he even played one in the Big Lebowski, just because.

Bill Paxton as Morgan Earp
Any list of great movie casts has to include Bill Paxton. He's just awesome. You know it, I know it, and everybody else knows it.

Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday
This is one of the most famous scene-stealing performances in the history of film. Everybody loves Val Kilmer's performance in this movie, even the people who don't like this movie. Val Kilmer's performance as the legendary gunslinger Doc Holiday is nothing short of extraordinary. He is so good and so much fun to watch that he doesn't just steal every scene he's in, but even the ones he's not in, if only because you keep waiting for him to come back.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Go Read This

My friend Anna recently landed a gig as a film reviewer for Check out her articles here. She's a good friend, but that's not enough to get a plug on my blog. I'm mentioning her stuff because it's good and worth reading.

And if you like what she wrote on Examiner, check out her blog.

Happy Birthday, William Shatner!

Oh, captain my captain.

The Blessed are the Geeks Blog would like to wish a happy and healthy birthday to William Shatner, an actor who needs no introduction. He's just the coolest actor ever, and he just turned 80. Good on ya!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ultimate Sitcom Intro Part II

I don't know why I made another one of these since the first one has only seven views on youtube (which, if my math is correct, is only seven more than none), but I think they're fun. This one is better than the other one, for whatever that's worth, since I put a little more care into the editing. It makes me laugh, anyway.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Virgil Cole

For the most part, there are two kinds of Western stories: There are the big epic tales of life on the plains, usually involving some sort of cattle drive across the country. Then there are the stories about gunslingers shooting each other. I like the stories about gunslingers shooting each other, and Robert B. Parker writes the best I've ever read, about the greatest gunslinger in Western fiction: Virgil Cole.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a glowing review about Parker's first novel in the Virgil Cole series, but I have since read the remaining three. When I picked up Appaloosa, I didn't know it was the start of a series. Then again, reading through these novels, it's difficult to tell if Parker knew it was going to be a series as well. There are a few details that pass through the novels necessitating they be read in chronological order, but there isn't much of an overall story arc tying the stories together. This books are mostly just the adventures of Virgil Cole and his sidekick (and chronicler) Everett Hitch, as they travel from town to town.

Story-wise, these novels are admittedly lacking. Each book pretty much has the same plot (Cole and Hitch arrive in town, find some trouble, and shoot the bad guy), but that's ok because the books are character-drive more than plot-driven. Actually, I'm not even sure if that's true since there is very little character development from novel to novel. We learn some about the two leads as the stories progress, but I can't say either one changes much from beginning to end. But, again, that's ok because these stories are so much fun, and Parker's prose is so wonderfully rich. These books are held together because of the conversations between the leads are so entertaining, and the various shootouts are so exciting.

Parker writes his gunslingers as though they are Samurai, and they follow certain codes and rules of honor as they meet one another. The worst insult one gunslinger can pay to another is "back-shooter." There are multiple gunslingers that meet up (and, on occasion, are killed by) Cole and Hitch, most of whom are so colorful and entertaining that they could've been the stars of their own series of novels. Of course, Parker makes it clear that nobody could touch Virgil Cole. He's the best there is, and his novels are some of the most fun Westerns you'll read.

That's all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Ultimate Sitcom Intro

Forget that last video I put together. This one is way better:

Stranger Prince

Now that I finished my reviews of every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I get get on to doing more important things with my time. Like making videos like this:

Breakout Kings

I checked out the first episode of this new A&E series about cops who team up with cons in order to catch recently-escaped criminals. Cool premise for an interesting show, that has a lot of work to do it if wants to be great. But... I liked it.

I downloaded the first episode for free on the iTunes store. I always check the free shows since the often offer pilot episodes at no charge. This one caught my interest because it stars that guy who played Herc on the Wire. I love that guy, and he's basically playing the exact same character here that he did then. He's the same tough yet lovable cop who plays by his own rules. He's good at it, so I'm not complaining. In fact, had he not played a character that was just like Herc from the Wire, I would've been disappointed. That was why I downloaded this show in the first place. So this show gets points for having a central performance by an actor as likable and fun to watch as Domenick Lombardozzi.

The rest of the cast is great too. The real star is some guy named Laz Alonso, whom I've never really seen before, but he was very good and very effective as the series lead. The cast of cons was fun and likable, containing a funny black guy, a super hot white chick, and one of the McPoyle brothers from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They were all likable, even if they were a bit too quirky.

The only real problem with the show is that it made no sense. The premise of having former fugitives help cops track down current fugitives in order to decrease their prison sentences is very clever, but the writers didn't really do enough with it. The prisons didn't really offer that much expertise about breaking out of prison. They all had intellects like Sherlock Holmes, of course, but never gave any insight or discovered clues that wouldn't have been offered by an actual criminal investigator. The show simply failed to establish beyond my suspension of disbelief why this task force needed criminals instead of just really good cops.

But I liked it, because it was very clever, exciting, and well done. She show has a cool cast, good action sequences, and enough in depth procedural details that kept me enthralled the entire episode. I just failed to buy the main premise, and I doubt they'll manage to coast by for more than a season or so. But I liked it enough to check out episode two, if I can watch it online somewhere, that is. I don't get A&E.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alan Bean

The Blessed are the Geeks blog would like to wish a happy and healthy birthday to astronaut and artist Alan Bean. Alan Bean was the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 12 mission, and became the fourth man to walk on the Moon in November, 1969.

Bean retired from NASA in the early 1980s and became a painter. Most of his works are landscapes of the lunar surface, many of them containing actual dust from the surface of the moon. He is 79, and still an American hero.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

What a long title, and what a long movie. This film was about, well, the assassination of of Jesse James by Robert Ford. Whether he's a coward or not is up for debate, but this film is a mostly sympathetic portrayal of both men, and a fascinating study of their often fraternal and tumultuous relationship. This is a really good movie, that I just can't recommend because it's so long, drawn out, and kind of boring. Also, for a film that's three hours long, we didn't really learn all that much about the titular characters about whom the entire film revolves. That's too bad.

However, as long and boring as it was, I did finish it, partly because I kept thinking the story would pick up eventually, but mostly because the acting was so fantastic. This film really had one of the coolest casts I've seen in a long time, with stellar performances from Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Sam Rockwell, and many more cool character actors. It was also beautifully filmed, with stunning landscapes and a few set pieces that were extremely well done. The train robbery near the opening of the film was flawlessly put together, and worked as something of a mini masterpiece in terms of filmmaking.

So... I liked it and have a lot of respect for it, but I can't really recommend it because it just wasn't all that entertaining. But if you're curious and want to learn more about Jesse James and the man who killed him, it's worth checking out.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Retrospective Retrospective

Well, that's done, and every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation received at least a brief review and rating. Just for fun, I'm going to look at the scores I gave to each episode and season and rank things over all. And, of course, remember that there is nothing scientific about any of this, and my basic three tiered rating system (based on Skip it, Watch it, or Buy it) doesn't allow for a lot of nuance.

Out of 177 episodes reviewed, the breakdowns are as follows:

Buy it: 63 episodes (35%)

Watch it: 66 episodes (37%)

Skip it: 48 episodes (27%)

This gives an overall score of 129 episodes (72%) that fall somewhere in the range of good to great. That's a score any long-running series can take pride in.

And then I gave each rating a score, with Skip it getting zero, Watch it getting 1 point, and Buy it getting 2 points. I thought about weighing the Buy it score with three points, but decided that I'd keep things somewhat simple. Here are the seasons ranked from lowest to highest in terms of their overall score:

Season Two: 18 points

Season One: 21 points (tied)

Season Seven: 21 points (tied)

Season Five:
27 points

Season Six: 33 points

Season Four:
34 points

Season Three: 38 points

And all of this proves... nothing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Seven Retrospective

1. Descent: Part II
The season opening falls apart almost immediately. The interesting premise set up in the previous season's cliff-hanger just wasn't played out well at all. This is just a jumbled mess.
Skip it

2. Liaisons
An alien race sends different liaisons to the Enterprise in order to learn about different human (and nonhuman) emotions. Fun, clever episode, especially in the scenes where the one guy keeps trying to piss off Worf.
Watch it

3. Interface
Another episode where Geordie pines for a woman he can never be with. This time, it's his mother. Weird!
Skip it

4./5. Gambit: Parts I & II
This season's action story. I'm not so sure that the story had to be stretched across two parts, but both are pretty darn entertaining and fun. 
Watch it

6. Phantasms
Data's dream program begins to give him nightmares. Meh.
Skip it

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Six Retrospective

1. Time's Arrow: Part II
The crew reunite in 19th century California, team up with Sam Clemens, meet Guinan for the first time, and stop the aliens from preying on the dying miners. This is good stuff, I don't care what anybody says. Oddly enough, after his experiences on the Enterprise, Mark Twain never writes an episode of Star Trek.
Buy it

2. Realm of Fear
Lt Barclay is back, and this time he's paranoid about the transporter and thinks he's developed some psychosis. Barclay is always fun, but this one is pretty lame.
Skip it

3. Man of the People
Troi falls in love with another loser. This time around, she hooks up with some guy who leaches off her energy and turns her into a bitter, decrepit old woman. This isn't bad for a Troi episode, but it's not that great.
Watch it

Happy Birthday, Titus Welliver

The Blessed are the Geeks Blog wants to wish a happy and healthy birthday to one of our favorite character actors, Titus Welliver. Welliver is probably best known as the no-named monster that terrorized the islanders on the series Lost, but I loved him best as Silas Adams on HBO's Deadwood.

Welliver also had notables roles as an Irish terrorist on Sons of Anarchy, a Lt in a couple episodes of Star Trek Voyager, and appearances on such shows as The X-Files, Supernatural, NYPD Blue, and dozens more. Happy birthday, Titus!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Literary Casting: Sherlock Holmes

I'm not saying this is going to be a regular installment on the blog or anything, but for whatever reason some casting ideas popped into my head tonight for an awesome Sherlock Holmes movie, and I had to share them with the world on the off chance that somebody in Hollywood might be reading this and might go ahead and make the movie.

So here is my literary casting of the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

Sherlock Holmes
Christopher Eccleston

Seriously, how has Christopher Eccleston never been cast as Sherlock Holmes? First of all, he's just a really good actor, with the right level of wit, intensity, and quirkiness to pull off the character perfectly. He's lean yet athletic looking, so he could handle the pugilism scenes with grace and skill. And, come on... he has that perfect Sherlock Holmes nose. Just imagine that face in a dearstalker hat.

Dr John Watson
Jason Isaacs

Why not? Jason Isaacs is one of those actors who's always good, but for some reason he has been typecast as the villain even though he's perfectly charming and likable in those few occasions where he was allowed to play the hero. I think he would be a great straight man to Eccleston's Holmes, giving the character the charm and strength found in the original stories and novels. Anyway, I just think he's a cool actor.

Mycroft Holmes
Robbie Coltrane

Mycroft Holmes is the older and smarter brother of the more famous Sherlock Holmes. Mycroft is a little slower, however, and possibly lethargic, since he rarely likes to leave the confines of his apartment or the gentlemen's club the Diogenes Society where he spends most of his time in quite thought and contemplation. I really started casting this movie in my head after it occurred to me that Robbie Coltrane, of the coolest character actors ever, would be incredible as Mycroft Holmes. Maybe Guy Richie will read this and put him in his upcoming Sherlock Holmes sequel. Make it happen!

Inspector Lestrade
Neil Jackson

This is hardly a glorious part for any actor, so I decided to get creative and just cast an underrated actor who I think deserves to be a lot more well known. Neil Jackson is the gymnastics coach on that show Make it or Break it, but I saw him first as the main villain on the short-lived (but awesome) Blade series. He's maybe a little too handsome for the role of Lestrade, but Watson never actually calls him ugly, just "rat-faced." And as handsome as he is, I think Neil Jackson has a look about him that would make him perfectly suited for the dismissive, and possibly uptight and unlikable inspector from Scotland Yard. Anyway, this is my movie and I want to work with Neil Jackson. When you make your Sherlock Holmes movie, you can cast anybody you want.

Professor Moriarty
Ralph Fiennes

This was a tough one to cast, if only because I kept thinking of so many actors who'd be amazing in the role. My first instinct was to go with Patrick Stewart, who would be awesome, of course, but I wanted to cast the role a little younger, even though he'd actually be perfect as the aged criminal mastermind. However, when it comes to playing villains, nobody is better than Ralph Fiennes. I don't even need to say why he would be so good as the ruthless, charming, and brilliant Napoleon of crime, Professor Moriarty.

Irene Adler
Michelle Williams

First of all, Irene Adler isn't going to be in my movie, since she wasn't really a central character, nor did she ever even appear in more than one story. However, she's often used because she is a great character and because Hollywood insists on having at least one strong female lead. I was tempted to just go with Rachel McAdams, since she was so wonderful in the recent Sherlock Holmes film. But I figured I'd be different, so I cast Michelle Williams, if only because I think she's cute and because I liked her a lot in Shutter Island. But I'll admit I'm not 100% sold on this casting choice, since she's probably way too young to play opposite Eccleston.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Five Retrospective

1. Redemption: Part II
This is the rare Next Generation season opener where the conclusion is way better than the cliff-hanger that preceded it. This was an ok two-parter that worked mostly for the little moments than for the over-all story. My favorite part of this episode is for the scenes where Data takes his first command during the battle against the Romulans and saves the day at the end. Other than that, meh.
Watch it

2. Darmok
Picard and crew have to learn to communicate with an alien race that uses metaphor as their language. This is a very difficult episode to explain, but it's one of the all time best science fiction stories I've ever seen, Star Trek or otherwise. Love it.
Buy it

3. Ensign Ro
Michelle Forbes joins the cast as the rebellious Ensign Ro. Forbes is a beautiful, talented actress, but this character never worked for me. She was worked in to add more edge and friction to the otherwise happy and friendly cast, but it just always seemed forced, and her anger and intensity was more annoying than anything else. But... Forbes usually made the character work because she really was a great actress. This episode was also notable for being the first appearance of the Bajorians, and the story laid the groundwork for the entire premise of Deep Space Nine
Watch it

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jackass 3D

This was definitely the weakest film in the trilogy, but it's still a safe bet that, if you enjoyed the first two, you'll enjoy this one. The Jackass boys are a little older, a little more wrinkled, and a little more gray, but they are still charming, fearless, and a lot of fun to watch get socked in the balls. This film doesn't really need a review, it just needs somebody to say, "it's a Jackass film."

Well, this is definitely a Jackass film that gives us more of the same, but none of it was quite as good as what we've seen before. None of the stunts or set pieces in this movie really matched the levels of brilliance seen in Jackass 2, which may very well be the most entertaining movie of all time. This one is just pretty good. I definitely laughed and recommend it to fans of the series, but I never fell off the couch laughing or anything.

I might have enjoyed it more had I seen it in the theater, however, since so many of the stunts clearly utilized the 3D technology that was lacking on the TV in my apartment. Lots of poop and blood and debris from various explosions kept flying at the screen, and it probably would've been very cool to see on the big screen, in the extra dimension. On Blu Ray, it just looked a little silly.

Still... it was a Jackass movie.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

I actually liked this one.

Like most people, I scoffed at this film when the trailer first debuted. I mean, it was bad enough that somebody was making a film based on the Sorcerer's Apprentice, but they had to go all the way and cast Nicholas Cage in a starring role? When was the last time he was in a genre picture that wasn't completely unwatchable? So I skipped it... for a long time, until I finally ran out of movies to watch on Netflix and decided to go ahead and give this one a try, since the website kept insisting I would love it.

Well, I didn't love it, but I definitely enjoyed it. It was a fun, clever, well done summer blockbuster with a fun if cliche story (a chosen one learns that he is the only hope of saving the world, so he has to learn magic to fulfill his destiny, etc), and awesome special effects. We live in an age where filmmakers can show whatever they want with the aid of computers, so special effects are no longer special, but this film is still visually fantastic. The effects were created by computers, of course, but the execution and creativity involved were so well done that I stayed enthralled if only to see what kind of set pieces the filmmakers had coming next. I especially liked the chase scene through Times Square where the Sorcerer and his apprentice get stuck in a backwards version of New York, where the only way they can escape is by finding their own reflection and driving through it. This movie was full of fun little scenes that like, including an homage to the original cartoon short, which was really well done.

As for the casting, I actually loved the performance by Nicholas Cage. He's always been a wonderful actor, he has just chosen odd films in which to star, most of them lacking a director and writing team that were capable of channeling his talents in the right way. This film reunites the actor with John Turteltab (of National Treasure fame), and he is both funny and exiting to watch. The scenes without Cage, in fact, tend to fall a little flat, if only because he was so good throughout. Alfred Molina, who is also always great, was well cast as the villain. The only real weak link in the cast, in my opinion, was Jay Baruchel as the titular Apprentice. I'm just not a fan of the kid, and found him more annoying than endearing. But he wasn't that bad, and he does have a fine talent for comic timing. I just didn't think he was all that heroic or likable.

So... check it out. It was a fun, clever, well done Summer blockbuster, even though it may not actually have been that much of a blockbuster at all. But I'd watch a sequel.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Four Retrospective

The changes from season three to season three aren't as dramatic as those from the first to the second or the second to the third. Basically, the show found its voice in season three, so season four was just a continuation of the same. This season was a little more uneven than the third, but it's still a great season with some classic episodes.

Let's take a look:

1. The Best of Both Worlds: Part 2
While not as epic as the previous season-ending cliffhanger, this was still a satisfying conclusion that tied up the story as well as anybody could've hoped. Not much to say about this one, other than that it was a good second half to the story.
Buy it

2. Family
Star Trek slows things down a little and lets the characters do some family bonding. After getting kidnapped by the Borg and forced to join their collective, Picard takes some time off from being a Starship captain and stays with his brother's family at their vineyard in France. This is the kind of story where the promos probably said something like, "on a very special episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation..." And it really is, since I don't think there's really anything science fiction about it, other than that it takes place in the future. This is just a quiet, emotional story where the characters (as well as the audience) are allowed to take a break from the excitement and turmoil of the previous episode before continuing on with the rest of the season. This isn't one I rewatch too often, but it is very good.
Watch it

3. Brothers
This episode features the return of Data's "brother" Lore, whom we haven't seen since season one. This episode centers around the reunion of Data, Lore, and their creator, Noonien Soong, all of whom were played by actor Brent Spiner. I like Lore and I always enjoy watching Brent Spiner play multiple characters, so this is a favorite of mine, but it's only worth watching if you're a fan of the show's mythology. There is very little here to entice first time viewers.
Watch it

4. Suddenly Human
The Enterprise finds some aliens who have raised a human kid as one of their own. This is an ok episode that is notable for featuring a cool performance by genre star Sherman Howard. Other than that, it's kind of weak.
Skip it

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Three Retrospective

All things being equal, this is where Star Trek: The Next Generation went from being ok to actually good, and perhaps even great. What started as a pretty ok attempt to spin-off a Strek Trek series from the Original Series took a few missteps in the first couple of seasons, but it slowly found its own identity and point of view as a great series in its own right with the third season.

This season brought us new and improved costumes and the return of Doctor Beverly Crusher. It also gave us one of the best overall seasons of the entire series.

Let's take a look:

1. Evolution
I don't love how they opened up the season with a Wesley episode, but at least it's one of the better ones. It's basically a story about how Wesley is smart, and deals with how his mother relates to him and how he fits in on the ship. Or something. It's a fine episode, but every Wesley episode should end with him getting punched.
Watch it

2. The Ensigns of Command
Data is tasked with convincing a human colony to abandon the planet on which they settled because it is about to be wiped out be the aliens in whose space it belongs. This is a great episode with a clever story and a wonderful performance by Brent Spiner.
Buy it

3. The Survivors
The Enterprise visits a planet that has been completely decimated by aliens, except for one house that is perfectly intact. This is a good, clever episode. I don't have much to say about this one, but it's very well done.
Watch it

4. Who Watches the Watchers?
This is one of the best episodes in the entire history of Star Trek. The enterprise is studying a planet full of aliens. When they accidentally make their presence known, they are worshiped as gods. This is a great story that was wonderfully executed by the writers, actors, and director.
Buy it

5. The Bonding
A young boy's mother dies during an away mission, and the crew deals with the emotional aftermath. Oh, and they also get attacked by some aliens. This is a very thoughtful, well done episode, but it's also a little dry, if only because it has too much of this kid and not enough of the crew. 
Watch it

Friday, March 4, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Two Retrospective

The second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation saw the additions of Pulaski as the new chief medical officer, Whoopie Goldberg as the bartender Guinan, and Commander Riker's beard. We also got another bunch of episodes that were mostly hit or miss.

Let's take a look at Star Trek: The Next Generation season two:

1. The Child
Troi gets knocked up through not quite immaculate conception. Some alien spirit flies into her body and impregnates her so it can learn what it is like to be a human. Or some such nonense. It should've just rented Sleepless in Seattle.
Skip it

2. Where Silence Has Lease
The Enterprise gets trapped by some alien who wants to hold them prisoner forever while he conducts experiments on them. This episode is a frightful bore, although it has its moments maybe. Interesting tidbit: The main alien Nagillum was written for actor Richard Mulligan, whose last name is Nagillum spelled backwards. The character was eventually played by Earl Boen, whom most people probably remember best as the psychiatrist from the first three Terminator movies.
Skip it

3. Elementary, Dear Data
I love this episode, even though it's completely ridiculous. Data and Geordie play on the Holodeck as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, when Geordie gets annoyed because Data knows everything and always wins in the first few minutes. Pulaski tells the computer to create a villain that is capable of defeating Data at a game of wits, so it brings to life a self-aware version of Professor Moriarty who takes over the ship.

Seriously, Holodeck? That's what you're going to do? Remind me to never ask the Holodeck to give me a challenging chess opponent, or they might create somebody who'll pull a gun and shoot me in the face if I start to win. But still... this is a very fun episode with a great performance by Daniel Davis as the best version of Moriarty ever.
Buy it

4. The Outrageous Okona
Another ridiculous episode that is still a lot of fun. Billy Campbell plays the titular character, who's a devil may care pilot who flies around the galaxy having sex with lots of hot chicks. That's all he seems to do in this episode anyway. I love this character and I'm still waiting for them to make a series called Star Trek: Okona's Red Shoe Diaries.

The B plot has to do with Data's attempts to gain a sense of humor. He goes on the Holodeck and enlists the help of... Joe Piscopo. Clearly the Holodeck computer has a sense of humor, because there's no other way to explain why it presented Joe Piscopo as the greatest comic mind of the 20th century. Still, his scene was kinda funny.
Watch it

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One Retrospective

I'm about to bite off a lot more than I'll probably be able to chew here, but I'm going to attempt to review ever episode from the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. These reviews are going to be very brief, I hope, offering just a small commentary on each one. As far as scores go, I'm going to rate each episode one of three different ratings: Skip it, Watch it, or Buy it, with skip being the worst and buy being the best.

Anyway... let's see how this works out, shall we?

1. Encounter at Farpoint
This was a good pilot episode for what would turn out to be a brilliant TV series. The characters were introduced well, the tone of the series was set, and the story itself was clever and worked as good sci-fi. This was also the first appearance of the show's main antagonist Q, who went on to appearance at least once per season.

When this pilot first aired, I'll admit I found it to be lackluster, if only because it was so much more dramatic and series in tone than the original series, but it has aged incredibly well, not only because it's just a good story, but because the final episode of the series book-ended this pilot so perfectly... but we'll get to that someday. 

Interesting tidbit: This episode featured a cameo by DeForest Kelley (McCoy from the Original Series), setting the standard of having an appearance by a character from the previous series in each new Star Trek show.
Buy it

2. The Naked Now
The crew gets infected by some kind of space virus that causes them to act as though they're drunk. That's the whole story. This episode was based on the Original Series episode The Naked Time. That episode was fantastic, this episode was just silly. It's fun to watch (especially the scene where Data and Yar have sex), but it's pretty dumb and pretty pointless. How did Data get infected by a virus anyway?
Watch it

3. Code of Honor
A Space African kidnaps Tasha Yar in order to add her to his harem. This episode is terrible. Awful story, bad script, terrible acting. One of the worst episodes in the entire series.
Skip it

4. The Last Outpost
The first appearance of the Ferengi, who were originally intended to be the main villains of the series. Needless to say, things didn't turn out as planned. The Ferengi turned out to be a joke, so they immediately became comic interest instead of any kind of major threat. All in all, however, this wasn't a bad episode. 
Watch it