Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014 End Of The Month Report

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W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe continued well through February with independent cinema reviews as well as a fresh review of the new season of House Of Cards!

This month was an exciting month for W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe in that got one of the first, full, non-spoiler reviews of a popular new season of television posted right away. We might not have broken any records for the blog this month, but it was a substantive month of reviews with a decent chunk of reviews in the docket for a continued strong March!

This month at W.L. Swarts Reviews The Universe, there we had no new additions to the Top Ten Of All Time. This month, we put special emphasis on food, new indie cinema, the musical works of Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell and Star Trek: Enterprise episodes! Thanks for all the "likes" for those posts, as well as all of the new hits on older reviews!

This month, we picked up a new subscriber! Thanks for that! We are always trying to get people to become regular readers and subscribe, so if you enjoy what you're reading, please subscribe by clicking on the right side of the blog to get updates with each posting. As well, if you read a review that really affects you, be sure to "share" it! PLEASE share a link to the blog, not the content of the article; this keeps people coming to the site and, hopefully, liking what they find once they are here! We're hoping to continue to grow our readership this year, so sharing and subscribing to the blog is an important way you can help! If you’re subscribing, please tell your friends about the blog!

In February, the index pages were very regularly! The primary Index Page, which we try to update daily, lets you know what the featured review is and has an up-to-the-day tally of how many reviews have been reviewed in each category! Check it out!

If you enjoy the reviews, please consider clicking on the links in the reviews and purchasing items. We really appreciate all the purchases made through the blog as that keeps us going. Thank you so much! Thanks so much to all of the shoppers who have been spending in the new year and going through the blog to do so!

At the end of February 2014, I have reviewed the following:
486 - Book Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Star Trek Books
Graphic Novels
851 - Music (Album and Singles) Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Music Reviews By Rating (Best To Worst)
Music Reviews In Alphabetical Order
2478 - Movie and Television Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Movies By Rating (Best Movie to Worst)
Movies In Alphabetical Order
Best Picture Oscar Winner Film Reviews
Television Reviews
The Star Trek Review Index Page (All Star Trek Reviews In Order)!
The Star Trek Review Index Page (All Star Trek Reviews From The Best Of The Franchise To The Worst!)!
202 - Trading and Gaming Card Reviews
Gaming Cards Reviews
Star Trek Gaming Cards Reviews
Star Wars Gaming Cards Reviews
The Lord Of The Rings Trading Card Game Reviews
Other Gaming Cards Reviews
Trading Cards Reviews
718 - Toy and Christmas Ornament Reviews
with specialized pages for:
Ornament Reviews
Star Trek Toys
Star Wars Toys
Lord Of The Rings Toys
Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel Toys
Comic Book, Movie, Television Toys
Plush and Other Toys
739 - Food, Drink, And Restaurant Reviews
with specialized index pages for:
Cheese and Meats
Ice Cream
Other Food
207 - Pet Product Reviews
Cat Product Reviews
Dog Product Reviews
Rabbit Product Reviews
107 - Travel Reviews
Destinations Reviews
Hotels Reviews
164 - Health And Beauty Product Reviews
167 - Home, Garden, Appliance and Tool Reviews
92 - Electronics, Computers, Computer Games and Software Reviews
36 - Other Product Reviews

The Featured Review For The Month of February is: A Late Quartet, a tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman!
Check it out!

The month of February had a lot of movement within the month and was dominated by new reviews, which is pretty typical. For Febuary, the Top Ten Reviews of the month were:
10. Only Lovers Left Alive
9. Adult World
8. The Worst Ten Episodes Of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
7. ”T.R.A.C.K.S.” - Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
6. The Top Ten Episodes Of Frasier
5. Compulsion
4. House Of Cards - Season 2
3. Lust For Love
2. The Top Ten Episodes Of Star Trek: Voyager
1. Android Cop

I pride myself on being an exceptionally fair reviewer, but one who is very discriminating. I believe that most reviewers are far too biased toward both what is current and toward unduly praising things. I tend to believe most things actually are average and they ought to follows something around a Bell Curve. Mine is a little lopsided, but not as lopsided as most reviewers I know (who would probably have peak numbers between ten and seven)!

For my reviews, the current count is:
10s - 288 reviews
9s - 413 reviews
8s - 789 reviews
7s - 877 reviews
6s - 798 reviews
5s - 1059 reviews
4s - 759 reviews
3s - 610 reviews
2s - 271 reviews
1s - 194 reviews
0s - 87 reviews
No rating - 62 articles/postings

There was a decent amount of movement this month, but there were no new entries into the Top Ten. At the end of February 2014, the most popular reviews/articles I have written are:
10. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
9. Safe Haven
8. Oz The Great And Powerful
7. The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bone
6. Warm Bodies
5. Iron Man 3
4. Now You See Me
3. Tyler Perry's Temptation
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
1. Man Of Steel

Thank you again, so much, for reading! Please share links to the blog with friends and spread the word!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Sting Is My New Artist Of The Month! We Start With Sacred Love!

The Good: Instrumental accompaniment is varied and interesting, Some good lyrics, Good vocals
The Bad: Unsurprising vocals, Remix of “Send Your Love” is not great, Experiments do not come together for a cohesive album, Somewhat repetitive lyrics.
The Basics: I begin my exploration of the music of Sting with Sacred Love and find an intriguing, but hardly cohesive, experimental album.

As I looked into who should be my new musical Artist Of The Month, I found, much to my surprise, that I no longer had my old review of Brand New Day by Sting. I was then pretty shocked to discover I had no reviews of any albums by Sting; the closest one I had was a review of a compilation album of singles by The Police (reviewed here!). That settled it! My new male Artist Of The Month is Sting! The first album I managed to get in of Sting’s is Sacred Love.

Sacred Love is an experimental album by Sting and in the words of Tom Petty “. . . I don’t hear a single!” Sacred Love is interesting and largely enjoyable, but the musical experiments do not come together for a cohesive album the way Sophie B. Hawkins’s Timbre (reviewed here!) or Heather Nova’s South (reviewed here!). While Sting has a beautiful and familiar voice, on Sacred Love his vocals are more familiar than audacious. As a result, Sting does not seem to stretch vocally the way he does instrumentally on the album, which is somewhat disappointing.

With eleven tracks (ten songs, one remix of a song on the album), clocking out at just over an hour of music, Sacred Love is very much the work of Sting. Sting wrote all of the songs on the album and he provides the primary vocals on each song (though “Whenever I Say Your Name” is properly a duet with Mary J. Blige). Sting plays guitar or keyboards on each song and he is a co-producer of Sacred Love. Sacred Love is very much his musical vision.

That vision on Sacred Love is one of mellow experimentation. Sting mixes the music types up for very different flavors on each song. “Dead Man’s Rope” is light rock with a Latin undertone, while “The Book Of My Life” uses Anoushka Shankar on sitar to deliver a more Indian sound. The Flamenco guitar utilized by Vincente Amigo on “Send Your Love” bring an upbeat sound that is very different from the more contemplative “Inside” and “This War.” Musical experimentation is prevalent on Sacred Love and it largely works. The upbeat dance sound for “Never Coming Home” does not quite work and the extended instrumental solo at the end of it does not fit the flow of the rest of the album.

Vocally, Sacred Love is exactly what one expects of Sting. His vocals are a comfortable tenor and outside his fast-singing on “Never Coming Home,” there is nothing surprising or different from Sting’s vocals on Sacred Love. Sting harmonizes expertly with Mary J. Blige on “Whenever I Say Your Name” and it is impressive how articulate he is able to be at speed on “Never Coming Home,” but otherwise Sacred Love is (un)characterized by predictable and safe Sting vocals.

Repetition is one of the other issues facing Sacred Love. The album begins with “Inside,” which has contrasting lines about what is inside versus what is outside and while I enjoyed the song, it sets up the album with a lot of lyrical repetition and that accents how many of the songs that follow repeat lines and choruses an unfortunate number of times. Even so, on “Inside,” Sting actually uses the repetition well and he contrasts the repeated words “inside” and “outside” with some remarkably specific imagery that resonates. With poetics like “Inside the doors are sealed to love / Inside my heart is sleeping / Inside the fingers of my glove / Inside the bones of my right hand / Inside it's colder than the stars / Inside the dogs are weeping / Inside the circus of the wind” (“Inside”) Sting manages to hook the listener.

One of the things that surprised me as I begin my monthlong study of the works of Sting was how Sting actually has some musical storysongs on Sacred Love! Sting tells the story of a relationship dissolving with “Never Coming Home” where he creates a musical protagonist who “. . . wake[s] up in an empty bed a road drill hammers in my head / I call her name there's no reply it's not like her to let me lie / It's time for work it's time to go but something's different I don't know / I need a cup of coffee I'll feel better / I stumble to the bathroom door, her make up bag is on the floor / It really is a mess this place it takes some time to shave my face / I'm not really thinking straight she never lets me sleep this late / I'm almost done and then I see the letter” (“Never Coming Home”). Sting captures perfectly the uncertainty and wrenching loss of abandonment on “Never Coming Home.”

Sting also has message songs on Sacred Love. Amid the musings of interpersonal relationships, Sting sings a rock song about warmongering. While it may have been born out of a rejection of George W. Bush’s military pushes, “This War” actually has a much more universal quality to it. Sting sings “Yes, I'm the soul of indiscretion, / I was cursed with x-ray vision, / I could see right through all the lies you told, / When you smiled for the television / And you can see the coming battle / You pray the drums will never cease / And you may win this war that's coming / But would you tolerate the peace” (“This War”) with a universal sentiment that makes the problems of the specific war an indictment of war itself.

Ultimately, Sacred Love is an enjoyable, but unfortunately forgettable, album that might be worth listening to, but is tough to pick songs from that might endure as the best of Sting when his body of work is ultimately examined.

The best track is “Dead Man’s Rope,” the low point is “Send Your Love” (Dave Aude Remix).

For other, prior, Artist Of The Month reviews, please visit:
Tunnel Of Love - Bruce Springsteen
Cold Spring Harbor - Billy Joel
The Next Day - David Bowie


For other music reviews, please check out my Music Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Light, Sweet, And Enough To Sooth: Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea Works!

The Good: Good aroma, Good ingredients, Sweet and flavorful
The Bad: Lavender scent is not very potent, Packaging.
The Basics: Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea lives up to its promise of being a soothing, relaxing tea.

Even though I understand completely how herbal teas are usually made with ingredients (no actual tea leaves) that usually preclude them from being caffeinated, that has not traditionally stopped me from griping about a tea’s lack of caffeine. That is not the case, though, with the Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea. In fact, the fact that I actually found the tea to be a relaxing tea was something of a miracle and I am impressed enough not to complain about what I think its ingredients ought to be (given that the brewmasters at Yogi seem to have a pretty good handle on what they are putting into the tea). I’ve been going through a stressful time at work lately and after thinking about a particularly irritating situation and getting myself worked up, drinking Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea . . . actually calmed me down. It’s intriguing; I found myself more relaxed and calm and able to manage and, yes, (given that the situation that caused the stress is ongoing) I attribute that to the tea!

Honey Lavender Stress Relief is one of the better teas from Yogi I have yet tried and were it not for how weak the lavender scent was from the tea and my desire for teas to be caffeinated, this could have been a perfect tea.


Honey Lavender Stress Relief is a tea from Yogi. It is a tea that is caffeine free, has a light aroma and 100% natural herbal “supplement” tea. Honey Lavender Stress Relief comes in Yogi's standard individually-wrapped tea bags, meaning that each tea bag has a papery envelope it is sealed in for freshness. Each tea bag has a five-inch string with a little paper tab at the end, which is quite a bit more waste than I like from a tea bag. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use four bags in my 32 oz. tea pot, and making a steeping pot of Honey Lavender Stress Relief reminds me of why I like the easy environmentalism of Celestial Seasonings' stringless bags. A box of Honey Lavender Stress Relief comes with only 16 individually-wrapped tea bags, which makes it proportionately more expensive than many teas on the market.

Honey Lavender Stress Relief is marketed as Honey Lavender-flavored/scented tea (I’m not sure what lavender is supposed to taste like, but I recognize the smell easily enough) and it is good. Like many of the Yogi teas, Honey Lavender Stress Relief trades on a medicinal property of the tea, in this case relieving stress and easing tension. To that end, it works masterfully!

Ease of Preparation

Honey Lavender Stress Relief is an herbal tea (no actual tea leaves in it), which means preparation is as easy as boiling a pot of water! Honey Lavender Stress Relief, as the directions clearly state, requires water that is boiling. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though reusing the tea bags yields little more than hot water. These tea bags can be reused and the resulting beverage is about 1/2 strength; given the initial mild flavor of the tea, that makes a second cup not worth making up, in my book. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, even for a second pot.

To prepare Honey Lavender Stress Relief, simply boil up some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take five to ten minutes to steep and after a couple pots, I've found that with boiling water, the tea is ready at the five minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results, save that it makes it impossible to get an even passable second pot out of the same bags. Letting the tea steep more than five minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.


Honey Lavender Stress Relief smells surprisingly light and this is one of the few ways the tea falls down. Lavender is a pretty strong and distinctive smell and this tea does not carry that aroma well. Instead, it smells more like chamomile and lemongrass (both are ingredients in this tea) and the initial perception one gets from the scent is that they might be consuming a chamomile tea.

Such is not the case with the flavor, though. This is one of the most innately sweet teas I have tried and it is delightful for that reason. This tea tastes like chamomile and honey . . . a noticeable amount of honey. The honey flavor is intriguing in that it is present, recognizable and sweetens the tea, without overwhelming the tea at all. In fact, the best possible description I can give is that the Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea tastes like a honey tea where the sugary quality of the honey has been removed. It’s hard to conceive of honey without the sweetness, but honey has its own flavor and this tea has it!

This tea was sweet enough on its own to not require additional sweeteners be added. This tea does not have a noticeable aftertaste, which is nice as well.


It is utterly unsurprising that the dominant flavor in Honey Lavender Stress Relief is honey in that the first ingredient outside the extracts and leaves is Natural Honey Flavor. Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea is all natural, entirely organic, and does not contain caffeine. This tea may be devoid of any nutritional value, but it is delicious and has nothing bad in it. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.


Honey Lavender Stress Relief is a comparatively light colored tea. As a result, cleanup is rather simple, save on fabrics. The mugs and steeping pot easily rinse out. This tea will stain if it is left on fabrics, so simply do not let the tea cups or mugs linger on light colored materials that might stain!

Honey Lavender Stress Relief is easy to clean up after - the tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. One of the nice things about this tea - like most - is that so long as it is kept cool and dry, it can last for a long time (the box I just finished going through would have expired in August 2015!) and it is easy to clean up. However, like all Yogi teas, there is extra waste from the strings, paper tabs and individual wrappings around each bag.


Organic Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea from Yogi Tea is good, but could use more lavender scent to live up to its name. But, because I’m so relaxed from having drunk a pot, I’m not going to sweat it!

For other Yogi teas, please check out my reviews of:
Egyptian Licorice
Ginger Organic
Berry Detox


For other beverage reviews, please check out my Food And Drink Index page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Lost In A Winter Wonderland: For Your Eyes Only Has James Bond Off Course!

The Good: Most of the acting is good, Grounded, surprisingly sensible, plot
The Bad: Formulaic plot progression, No character development, Terrible editing
The Basics: In a disappointing James Bond film, Bond looks for a British coding system in the frozen alps and underwater to keep it from falling into Soviet hands . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah.

After a point, it is hard to make a pulp novel series into a compelling movie franchise. James Bond has become a tough sell for me by the point For Your Eyes Only comes up in the franchise for exactly that reason. Indeed, by For Your Eyes Only, there is very little that James Bond has not already done. In fact, the longer For Your Eyes Only goes on, the more it feels like a “Best Of Bond” compilation. There is an erratic quality to For Your Eyes Only, made worse by the choppy editing (especially in the fight sequences) and a thin plot.

What little momentum For Your Eyes Only had at the beginning is cut when James Bond gets mired in an extended skiing sequence in the Alps followed by long underwater sequences and then an interminably long mountain climbing sequence. The thin plot is fleshed out with a bizarre ice skater subplot and slower, drawn-out action sequences that serve to do little else other than get the movie over two hours. But so many “already done” elements of the James Bond franchise are here: there’s a chase on skis, a diving sequence, a boat that is attacked, a sidekick for Bond, another Bond sidekick who gets killed early on, etc.

Picked up after visiting his wife’s grave, James Bond’s helicopter pilot is killed and his helicopter is hijacked via remote control by Blofeld. Killing Blofeld, Bond heads back to MI-6 headquarters. A British vessel is attacked by terrorists off the Georgian coast. British agents attempt to find the ship, but Melina Havelock and her parents are attacked and the mission fails. Bond is assigned by the Minister Of Defense to take up the Havelock’s mission and recover the order system from aboard the missing, presumed wrecked, ship. When Bond tries to infiltrate the compound of Gonzales, the man who hired the hit on the Havelocks, he is captured . . . and rescued by Melina who kills Gonzales. Fleeing together, Bond promises to find the people responsible for the death of Melina’s parents.

Heading to Cortina in Italy, Bond encounters hitmen, including the notorious Locque. Surviving Locque’s attacks, Bond makes it to Corfu, where he is reunited with Melina. There, he finds both Kristatos and Columbo, rival gangsters who implicate each other in the disappearance of the British naval vessel. Finding that Kristatos has the resources for a serious salvage operation, Bond finally manages to defeat Locque. Bond and Melina then go after the St. George. Recovering the British technology – and dispatching many goons in the process – Bond and Melina are captured by Kristatos. Eager to meet with the Russian general who hired him, Kristatos takes the time to try to kill Bond and Melina. With the aid of the fleeing skating coach, Bond’s team infiltrates Kristatos’s lair to prevent the Soviet Union from getting their hands on codes that would incapacitate the British military.

For Your Eyes Only is, for a change, a remarkably straightforward James Bond spy film plot. Kristatos is not out for world domination; he’s just out to make a buck. He behaves like a bounty hunter with an underworld credibility that seems very realistic for the real world. Despite silly gadgets being developed by Q, in the field, Bond uses an eminently practical exploding car. For Your Eyes Only is a surprisingly viable spy caper (despite the impractical lengths to which human endurance is pushed in the movie).

On the character front, For Your Eyes Only features a Bond girl that James Bond does not immediately bed, which is a nice change of pace, and a younger Bond woman who Bond seems morally opposed to having sex with. Melina is given more character traits, as she is a woman out for revenge, though that is not played out in an irrational or unpleasant way. Bond does not really grow or develop in For Your Eyes Only, but the character is charming . . . though he does not use much in the way of charm in the film.

The acting in For Your Eyes Only is good. Roger Moore is a decent James Bond, though he uses very little of his innate charisma in the role, which is somewhat disappointing. But Julian Glover is a good villain as Kristatos, keeping the role grounded. Carole Bouquet might be one of the strongest, most independent Bond women and she has a substantive role (if an underdeveloped character arc). For Your Eyes Only is also notable in that it is the first motion picture role for Charles Dance, who is immensely popular once again thanks to his role in the third season of Game Of Thrones (reviewed here!), but his thug role is little more than a cameo.

Ultimately, For Your Eyes Only is a let-down, a movie without enough substance or challenge to it that it has to be padded . . . and the filler feels like exactly what it is.

For other James Bond films, please check out my reviews of:
Dr. No
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Live And Let Die
The Man With The Golden Gun
The Spy Who Loved Me
Die Another Day
Casino Royale
Quantum Of Solace


For other movie reviews, please check out my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing.

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Soft But Enough To Entice Myah: Roasted Chicken Flavor Buddy Biscuits!

The Good: Healthy, Good ingredients, Smells meaty, Myah loves them!
The Bad: Expensive, No dental benefits
The Basics: Myah enjoys the Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor, but despite having great ingredients, they are not enough to enthusiastically endorse for big dogs.

After a year and a half of living together in Michigan, my wife and I finally wandered into the local discount store near the grocery store at which we regularly shop. There, we discovered discounted dog treats and we were both pleasantly surprised when we found some wonderful brand-name dog treats at severely discounted prices. Myah was thrilled by some of the treats we found there and the Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits we found for her seemed to be especially enjoyed by her. Her first experience with Buddy Biscuits were the Roasted Chicken flavor treats and Myah ate them right up!

In fact, lacking dental benefits and how fast Myah went through them, these treats were hardly a value, except for the fact that we managed to find them at the discount store! At full price ($5 or more per bag) the Roasted Chicken Buddy Biscuits are a bit harder to endorse.


We picked up the 6 oz. bag of Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor on clearance for less than $2, which is a good price for the small, chewy treats that do nothing for a dog’s teeth. What makes it worthwhile over so many other snacks or foods is how Myah continues to be enamored with them. These were a great treat to use as a training reinforcement tool. Myah sat pretty, did high fives, and army crawls for it and did other basic tricks that she has resisted doing in order to get the Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor dog treats. Her willingness to do so many tricks for them, makes the Roasted Chicken Flavor a wonderful training tool!

The Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor dog treats are little brown dog snacks that look like tiny gingerbread men! When the bag is opened initially, the Roasted Chicken Flavor smell powerfully of bacon. The smell of bacon is overwhelming, which is weird because they are supposed to be chicken flavored. Each snack is approximately 1 1/16" tall by 3/4” wide and 1/4" thick. The surface of the Buddy Biscuit is soft and mealy.

Ease Of Preparation

This is a ready-to-eat dog treat and only requires one to open the bag to dispense. The bag is resealable, which is nice

Myah’s Reaction

The soft Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor has no discernable dental benefits, so despite the fact that Myah comes running whenever the bag is crinkled is not enough to say they are amazing for dogs. Still, Myah loves them and, to be fair, Myah’s breath takes on the bacon aroma of these treats for about an hour whenever we give them to her.

Myah loves these. This is one of the treats she illustrated a strong preference for when given a choice between this and other treats. Because they are small and delicious, they make a great training treat for medium sized dogs.


The Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor dog treats are very healthy. With at least 10% crude protein, 5% crude fat and no more than 5% crude fiber and 30% moisture, the Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor offer some decent nutrition to dogs. These are traded on a reputation of being corn free and the ingredients list supports that assertion. Made primarily of chicken, unbleached enriched wheat flour, and tapioca starch, Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor appear to have nothing bad in them. In fact, because of the lack of extensive preservatives, these treats only have about a year shelf life (our bag would have expired in October 2014, had Myah not eaten them right up!). As with all dog treats, it is highly recommended that when you give your dog Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor, you make sure they have a decent supply of clean water available. Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor treats are not intended to replace dog food.


Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits Roasted Chicken Flavor treats are good, especially for those who want to give nutritious snacks that are made in the U.S.A. to their dogs. But they are small, expensive, and lack a real dental benefit, which is a detraction as far as I am concerned.

For other dog treats and foods, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Pup-Peroni Original Bacon Flavor
Purina Busy Real Beefhide Rollhide
Chicken Yum-It-Up! Spread For Dogs


For other pet products, be sure to visit my Pet Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Love Actually With Half The Charm, Cast, And Great Moments: Stuck In Love

The Good: Acting, Some good lines
The Bad: Very predictable plot and character arcs.
The Basics: Stuck In Love is an erratic romantic dramedy that has a family of writers and artists struggling to make sense of their lives after a divorce.

There are a number of different types of romantic comedies. I think the best ones tend to be romantic dramas, the dramedies with great lines, wonderful performances and interesting characters. I’m sure every writer aspires to create the next When Harry Met Sally . . . (reviewed here!) or Love Actually (reviewed here!), but in the world after the greats are written, it’s tough to make the next great romantic movie. Josh Boone’s attempt is Stuck In Love. Stuck In Love is more analogous to The Squid And The Whale (reviewed here!) than Love Actually.

To cut to the chase and eliminate all comparisons, Stuck In Love is a romantic dramedy that is plagued by being erratic and predictable. The film has some incredible highs which are muted by obvious seeding foreshadow elements that lead to the most predictable possible payoffs. The result is a film that is worth watching for about five truly incredible lines and character moments. They are, fortunately, spread out enough to not make the rest of the film entirely miserable, but Stuck In Love is not a satisfying film experience.

Bill Borgens, who is still obsessed with his ex-wife, gets together with his two children for Thanksgiving. His daughter, Sam, tells him that her novel is being published and Bill is upset when it is not the book that he helped her edit. Bill’s son, Rusty, is obsessed with a cute girl in his class, Kate. He spends Thanksgiving stoned, jealous of his sister and returns to school where he reads a poem in front of class that is obliquely about Kate, getting her attention. Rusty is also the only member of the family to visit Erica, Bill’s ex-wife, on Thanksgiving, but it is very awkward. Responding to his father’s advice, he pursues Kate to a party with a big bag of weed and discovers Kate is using coke. Rescuing her from her abusive boyfriend, they flee the party.

Over the course of the year that follows, the Borgens wrestle with the emotional issues that have plagued them since Bill and Erica divorced. Bill works to give up stalking Erica and his fuckbuddy Tricia helps get him registered on singles sites to get him dating again. Still, he clings to the hope of Erica returning. The jaded Samantha develops her first romantic relationship, with Louis. While Samantha steps out of her father’s literary shadow, she and Louis actually fall for one another. At the same time, Rusty works to be a good guy in Kate’s life to help her get off drugs. Events climax at Sam’s book release party when Kate gets champagne and falls off the wagon, sending the Borgens into a tailspin to find her . . . coming together in the process.

The revelation of why Bill is still obsessed with Erica is a remarkably satisfying moment in the film, but it comes almost too late for the viewer to care about or actually believe it. It is very hard to suspend one’s disbelief for a guy who claims to be still in love with his ex-wife, waiting for her to come back because his love and conviction are so strong, yet has casual (and athletic) sex with the neighbor down the street. Stuck In Love feels like a movie trimmed down for time; one line between Bill and Sam serves as the exit of Tricia from the narrative and the disappearance of Kristen Bell’s character from the story is somewhat abrupt. As one who has been rewatching Veronica Mars (reviewed here!), it’s hard not to see Bell’s Tricia as an unremarkable role for Bell, but how little she is in Stuck In Love makes one wish Josh Boone had found more to do with the character and actress.

In a similar way, the film’s resolution is entirely unsatisfying and completely undermines the relationship Erica and her husband, Martin, have. While audiences might cheer for the “happy” ending, to accept it, one has to completely neglect the idea that Erica has had a life of her own outside Bill and her children.

Greg Kinnear gives a solid, but familiar, performance as Bill Borgens. Jennifer Connelly, like Kristen Bell, is underused as Erica. Stuck In Love makes better use of its young cast. Lily Collins is unlike she has been in anything else in which I’ve seen her as the brassy, disillusioned Samantha. She and Logan Lerman have good on-screen chemistry and Collins sells Sam’s change of heart when her character starts looking for the classmate she never noticed before. Despite being cast to look a bit too much like Lerman’s character, Nat Wolff is decent as Rusty. Rusty is a somewhat understated role, but Wolff does well with it, with a casual body language that makes it realistic that a sensitive guy would take to heart his father’s advice to go out and live.

Ultimately, Stuck In Love is underwhelming with moments the viewer is likely to truly enjoy. The result is a movie worth watching, perhaps, once, but not much more than that.

For other works with Lily Collins, please visit my reviews of:
The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones
Mirror Mirror
The Blind Side


For other movie reviews, please check out my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing.

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Resurrecting Vigilante Heroes: Daredevil Reborn

The Good: Decent story, Good character arc
The Bad: Painfully predictable, Artwork is blasé
The Basics: After Shadowland, the return of Matt Murdock to form comes in Daredevil Reborn, which is a pretty necessary (though unincredible) arc.

Back in the day, I had a brief time managing a comic book shop. That wonderful few months came during my Daredevil Year. I was quite a few issues back at the time, so I did not actually know how Shadowland was resolved when I was selling issues of Daredevil Reborn. So, there was a nice sense of nostalgia for me today as I picked up and read Daredevil Reborn. Daredevil Reborn was a pretty necessary story considering that the vigilante crossover event following Civil War focused on Daredevil. The storyline was Shadowland and unlike a number of major crossover events, Shadowland did not try to fake out readers by leading to the death of the protagonist. Instead, Shadowland left Matt Murdock a broken man, fleeing Hell’s Kitchen and leaving the vigilante superhero community in a lurch.

Daredevil Reborn is the necessary return story of Matt Murdock to the role of Daredevil. While Black Panther was in New York City assuming the responsibilities of Daredevil, Matt Murdock disappeared from the superhero radar. Daredevil Reborn fills in the blank of how Murdock would be going from afraid of himself and refusing to continue his vigilante activities to return to the work of being Daredevil, as fans of Marvel Comics would expect. Unfortunately, while the business sense of continuing Daredevil as a monthly comic book made sense, the story of Daredevil Reborn is a pretty obvious one. While it is good, it lacks sophistication, depth or subtlety. The graphic novel is just an explanation story that makes a sensible character arc without incredible lines, artwork or complications.

On the road for weeks, Matt Murdock ends up in the American Southwest where he walks through the desert. At the other side, he finds a tiny, burned-out town. There, the local thugs kick the crap out of him and Murdock is surprised when the Sheriff, Cole, refuses to help him. Told to get out of town the by the next morning, Murdock is hunted by two cops. After discovering a mass grave near the town, Murdock is captured by Cole and his flunkies. Cole is working for a mysterious gangster named Calavera, who has him smuggling guns.

Escaping using the illicit weaponry, Murdock muscles his way into meeting Calavera. Calavera is more than just rumored to tear out his victims’ souls. When Murdock encounters him directly, he is given the chance to look into his own soul where he wrestles with all he has done and all that was done to him. Refusing to accept Calavera’s comparison of him to Bullseye and mentoring a young blind boy in the town, Murdock finds the strength to return to New York.

Daredevil Reborn is a very basic story. The inclusion of the boy Murdock protects is an interesting angle that makes Daredevil Reborn more than just a typical “defeat the villain” story. The four-issue book has Matt Murdock being both spiritually and professionally reborn. But Daredevil Reborn is nothing more than the very basic story; Murdock is not given the chance to reflect on the magnitude of his possession in Shadowland. He just stops running in Daredevil Reborn.  Moreover, the character arc is not exceptional; Murdock empathizes with a blind child and wants to get back into righting wrongs in the world.

The artwork in Daredevil Reborn is mediocre. Matt Murdock and all of the other characters are very squarely drawn. Davide Gianfelice creates a Daredevil book that looks much more like a colorized version of The Walking Dead than Daredevil Reborn. Usually, Daredevil books use the muted colors in the artwork as a commentary on the City and Daredevil’s role in Hell’s Kitchen; in Daredevil Reborn, the book just looks sloppy, but brightly colored.

Ultimately, Daredevil Reborn is good, but not timeless or absolutely incredible or complicated.

For other Daredevil books, please check out my reviews of:
The Essential Daredevil Volume 1
Daredevil Vs. Bullseye
Daredevil: Visionaries Volume 1 - Frank Miller
Marked For Death
Born Again
Typhoid Mary
Guardian Devil
Parts Of A Hole
Daredevil: Yellow
Daredevil: Father
Batman/Daredevil - King of New York
Daredevil Noir
Daredevil: Golden Age
The Devil: Inside And Out, Volume 1
The Devil: Inside And Out, Volume 2
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 1
Daredevil: Hell To Pay - Volume 2
Lady Bullseye
Return Of The King
Daredevil: Shadowland
Daredevil: The Official Comic Adaptation


For other graphic novel reviews, please check out my Graphic Novel Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Indie Acting Opportunity: Barefoot Is More Charming Than Sensible.

The Good: Acting, Some wonderful lines, Moments of character
The Bad: Utterly preposterous plot
The Basics: The indie romantic drama Barefoot pairs a con man and a sheltered young woman on a cross-country adventure.

There are some people who I cannot understand society’s reaction to. The actress Evan Rachel Wood is one such individual. She was the breakout star on Once And Again (Season one is reviewed here!), but has never really exploded into celebrity that one of her acting talent actually deserves. Whether she likes it or not, Wood has been relegated to the indie movie scene as opposed to mainstream blockbusters. Maybe it’s that she looks for better, more substantive roles, but there is something wrong with a world where Katherine Heigl has a more viable career than Evan Rachel Wood. Coming off the indie success The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman (reviewed here!), Evan Rachel Wood is once again highlighting on the off-beat, indie, almost no one will actually see, movie scene with Barefoot.

Barefoot is a dramedy that is vaguely reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (reviewed here!) and pretty much any road trip movie ever. Despite its rather preposterous plot conceit (the wanted man and the mental patient get incredibly far, largely on the incompetence of medical professionals, TSA authorities, and police officers), Barefoot is rich with charm. Despite a somewhat predictable plot progression, there are some decent moments of surprise or the refusal to go in the most obvious possible way – the cover story that the protagonist builds around his mysterious woman for the family event he drags her to quickly comes undone with more than half the movie to go, forcing the story to be about quite a bit more than how the lies come unraveled.

Jay, a young man who has parted ways with his wealthy family, owes mobsters in Los Angeles $37,000 and they expect it by Friday. He decides to go to New Orleans for his brother’s wedding in a last-ditch attempt to get the money he needs. Working at the psychiatric hospital, he encounters the naïve and shellshocked Daisy. Daisy’s mother died, leaving her with no idea how to function in the world to the extent that after Jay rescues her from another patient in the hospital, she follows him outside barefoot. After borrowing clothes from his stripper friends, Daisy accompanies Jay back to his family’s rich estate where she sticks out, but surprisingly improvises well to help Jay deal with his reticent father.

After Jay’s mother makes Daisy over for the wedding, Jay uses the reception as a chance to get the money he needs from his father. When Jay’s father presses Daisy for details on her life and identity, she has an anxiety attack and the truth comes out. Swiping the family camper, Jay and Daisy begin the drive back to Los Angeles from New Orleans. After ditching Daisy in Shreveport, Jay has a change of heart. But going back for her puts the pair (and their vintage camper) on the police radar and the trip through the Mid-South becomes a bonding experience for the two.

The characters in Barefoot are interesting, even when they have moments of obviousness. The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler is one that is an obvious dichotomy from the moment they first appear. Mr. Wheeler is the brains, the financer, the provider archetype, while Mrs. Wheeler is the family’s heart. The film never tries to go much deeper with them. Similarly, Dr. Bertleman is presented solely as a supporting character to remind viewers of the menace to Jay on his way back to Los Angeles before the police start making regular appearances. Bertleman is played expertly by the ever-reliable supporting player J.K. Simmons, but it’s not a role that affords Simmons the chance to do much in the way of acting.

Even Jay is somewhat minimally presented. There is a past incident which makes his willingness to turn around for Daisy multiple times more sensible than an authorial oversight. And while much of the journey of Barefoot is supposed to be his, Jay is entirely overshadowed by Evan Rachel Wood’s Daisy. Daisy is beyond naïve and the humor surrounding her character is enjoyable, though largely based on one note – she has been sheltered her entire life so everything is new to her.

What keeps Daisy from being monotonous, boring or entirely droll is Evan Rachel Wood. Wood sells Daisy through an entirely consistent performance. She is homogenously wide-eyed and eager without a hint of depth or dark side in a way that only a great actress could truly pull off. There is no hint in Wood’s performance that Daisy has ever heard, much less met, Marilyn Manson (whom Evan Rachel Wood dated back in the day, a reference worth making only in that Wood’s character is so sheltered, earnest and unassuming that it’s hard to imagine how Daisy would react to even seeing a photograph of the singer!). In addition to selling the humor, Wood has to repeat the same line about eating things many, many times, Wood’s performance abilities sell the film’s biggest dramatic beats. There is an absolutely heartbreaking moment when Daisy says cleaning is how one earns love and between her delivery and Scott Speedman’s reaction – which director Andrew Fleming masterfully captures – that a lesser performer would have dropped. Evan Rachel Wood powerfully renders the moment and creates a character well worth watching.

Moody and interesting, Barefoot becomes forgivable for its lack of realism with the performances, charm and sense that the film is actually one where almost anything could happen, which is a rarity in today’s cinema. It’s worth a trip to the art theater to watch.

For other works with Scott Speedman, please check out my reviews of:
The Vow


For other film and television reviews, please check out my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing.

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Inverse Into Darkness: “The Augments” Closes The Arc Well!

The Good: Decent acting, Moments of character, Plot moves along well
The Bad: Some continuity issues, Somewhat predictable plot development/twists
The Basics: The Star Trek: Enterprise arc featuring “The Augments” ends with the enemy attacking the Klingons to precipitate a war that will bring them breathing room.

With there being so much disappointment from fans over last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness (reviewed here!), one of the surprises was how few complaints came up relative to Star Trek: Enterprise. Combining a plotline with Augments and Klingons was something that had already happened in Star Trek: Enterprise. “The Augments” is an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise that would have been unaltered by the timeline change in Star Trek Into Darkness and thus should have been referenced, at the very least.

There is no way to discuss “The Augments” without revealing details from “Borderland” (reviewed here!) and “Cold Station 12” (reviewed here!), as “The Augments” is the third part of the story arc. The episode also makes an explicit reference to Kahn Noonien Singh and the Botany Bay from “Space Seed” (reviewed here!), which opens a small can of worms for fans; in “Cold Station 12” Archer has explicit genetic records of individual Augments, but Soong says records were destroyed. It seems pretty ridiculous that records of individual heritage would survive, but records pertaining to the creation and launch of a ship would be so thoroughly destroyed.

With the controls in Cold Station 12 about to go offline, releasing deadly pathogens throughout, and the Augments escaped in their stolen Klingon Bird Of Prey, Archer finds himself in a dire situation. Blowing himself out into space so that the transporter can be used before the pathogens are released, Archer is wounded but escapes Cold Station 12. Catching up to the Augments, Soong keeps the Enterprise at bay by dropping the Denobulan shuttle it stole into the atmosphere of a nearby planet, forcing them to rescue the Denobulans. As Soong works to modify the genes of the Augment fetuses, Malik becomes much more aggressive.

When Malik menaces a nearby Klingon colony with the biological plagues he took from Cold Station 12, Soong is effectively deposed. Archer bluffs his way into Klingon space in order to pursue the Augments. Aided by Persis, Soong escapes the Klingon ship and when he is recovered by the Enterprise, he lets Archer know about the plagues stolen by Malik. As the Enterprise pursues Malik’s ship, Malik turns on Persis, killing her for her betrayal.

“The Augments” has Trip and T’Pol actually wrestling with the consequences of T’Pol marrying in “Home” (reviewed here!). Tucker reluctantly admits he is proud of T’Pol and seeing him swallow his feelings is somewhat hearbreaking. T’Pol, for her part, presents a more logical front than she did during pretty much the entire third season. The return of a dispassionate Vulcan plays well against the emotionalism that Malik presents as the episode’s primary adversary.

The episode has some charm in it with Archer bluffing the Klingon vessel. Archer thinks on his feet in the way viewers expect a StarFleet Captain to. As well, Arik Soong finally illustrates well the humanity he is alluded to having. Soong is desperate to undo the negative perception of Augments while at the same time pursuing the research of the geneticists who precipitated the Eugenics Wars. In “The Augments,” Dr. Soong lives up to his potential as an ethical scientist who does not want to cause unnecessary loss of life. Moreover, here he finally tries to rewrite the bad genetic code left over from the Eugenics Wars. That plays well to the character and the continuity.

The acting in “The Augments” is universally good. Brent Spiner shines as Dr. Soong and he brings a little more depth to a guest character. Spiner manages to infuse an undertone of desperation into many of Soong’s lines and that makes the character seem more like a misguided man trying to make good than a legitimate villain. At the other end of the spectrum is Alec Newman as Malik. Newman is almost constantly angry, which fits that character wonderfully. Malik is the natural successor to Khan and Newman plays him like a young version of that villain, which plays perfectly for the character.

Despite the decent aspects, “The Augments” is still pretty light on character development. The episode is more plot-based and struggling to resolve the prior two episodes than it is concerned with growing any of the characters from Star Trek: Enterprise. The episode is entertaining (the nod to Khan’s death near the end of the episode is fun for the fans!), but it lacks resonance in that it is devoid of larger themes to make the episode mean anything to anyone who was not already a fan of the series.

The three biggest gaffes in “The Augments:”
3. Fooling the Klingons with a phony warp signature is a technique not developed until Star Trek: The Next Generation,
2. Dr. Soong takes the Augments toward the Briar Patch, which was in Star Trek: Insurrection (reviewed here!). Given that the Son’a are a force in the Dominion War and how far away the war front is from the core of Federation space, the Briar Patch should not be anywhere near as close to Earth or Klingon Space as it is in “The Augments,”
1. Dr. Soong was aboard a Klingon Bird Of Prey and its wreckage could easily have been salvaged and returned to StarFleet space. As a result, there is absolutely no good reason why StarFleet would not have recovered it or employed Soong to provide them with the tactical information he gleaned from the vessel and thus know how to read Klingon controls long before Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (reviewed here!).

[Knowing that single episodes are an inefficient way to get episodes, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Fourth Season on DVD or Blu-Ray, which is also a better economical choice than buying individual episodes. Read my review of the final season here!

For other works with Richard Riehle, please visit my reviews of:
Girl Meets Boy
Aaah! Zombies!!
Office Space
"Spirit Folk" - Star Trek: Voyager
"Fair Haven" - Star Trek: Voyager
“Becoming, Part I” - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
“The Inner Light” - Star Trek: The Next Generation


For other Star Trek episode and movie reviews, please visit my Star Trek Review Index Page!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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Another Hideous Starter Figure: The Galoob Captain Picard Action Figure Falls Over!

The Good: General sculpt (it’s obvious who it is), Can be found dirt cheap!
The Bad: Overproduced, Unbalanced, Lousy accessories, Terrible coloring and detailing, Virtually everything.
The Basics: The early Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain Jean-Luc Picard action figure might well be one of the worst action figures ever produced!

In the rush to make money off of Star Trek The Next Generation back when it first aired, Paramount Pictures was generous with the licensees. As one of the few early investors in the show’s merchandising, Galoobe easily won the bid to produce the first line of Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures. Unfortunately, most of them were utter crap.

One of the four most common Galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation figures was Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Captain Picard was not an instantly popular character on the show and his figure was such a slow seller that it was easily found in the Clearance bin of major toy stores for years after its release (and into the Playmates Toys run of Star Trek figures)! Even now, one of the worst action figures ever produced for a genre television show, the Galoob Captain Picard figure is an utter dud without nostalgic or collectible value.


The Star Trek: The Next Generation 1988 Collection of action figures contained six figures (though two were quite rare and another four were later released) and it focused on the essential characters and villains of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Enormously overproduced even then, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was one of four figures that was so common by 1989, most toy stores were trying (unsuccessfully) to blow their stock out in the dollar bins. Jean-Luc Picard suffered additionally because Picard was undermined as a character pretty consistently until the third season, when Patrick Stewart’s character was given more to do off the Enterprise.

The Captain Jean-Luc Picard figure is the Command officer as he appeared in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (reviewed here!). Jean-Luc Picard is wearing the maroon command uniform with the piping on shoulders unique to the first two seasons.

Standing three and a half inches tall, this is a poor likeness of Captain Jean-Luc Picard immortalized in plastic. The character is molded in a generic standing position that makes him look like he is in a coffin. He is molded with a phaser in his left hand, so he is ready for combat, so long as it is straight in front of him! This Jean-Luc Picard figure has a terrible level of detailing, with the head being disproportionately small compared with the rest of his body. As well, the uniform detailing is poor with accents like the piping on the pants and shoulders not being painted on. To add further insult to collectors, some of the painting is sloppy like the communicator pin, which is not clearly defined by the coloring, only the molding! Jean-Luc Picard's face is a generic, neutral expression that contains no emotions. His eyes look dead and are little more than black dots on the white fields of the eyeballs. Jean-Luc Picard’s skin is also monotonally colored, so there is no depth or shading realism to the figure’s features. He is obviously the Captain, but the molding and paint details are so minimal. Even the band of hair on the back of his head is so erratically painted on that it looks unreal!


Captain Jean-Luc Picard comes with only one accessory, considering that the phaser is molded into his one hand. That accessory is a tricorder and it comes with a strap that was never used on the actual tricorders on Star Trek The Next Generation. Instead, this looks like a generic phone from the late 1980s hanging on a plastic loop. The accessory is light on molding details, looking nothing like a tricorder, and is absent any coloring details. As such, it is just a slightly gray plastic piece that hangs from the figure’s shoulder.


Captain Jean-Luc Picard is terrible as a toy, for several reasons outside just its sculpt. First, Jean-Luc Picard has terrible balance, light articulation and the molded phaser limits the play options as one whole hand is unavailable for posing or holding items (if there had been more accessories), unless one wants to have Jean-Luc Picard shooting someone. This was pretty lousy as one of the few playsets Galoob produced was a shuttlecraft and it is hard to imagine Jean-Luc Picard effectively navigating that craft if he only had one hand available to do it with! Captain Jean-Luc Picard is endowed with five points of articulation: groin socket, shoulders, and neck. All of the joints are simple swivel joints. As a result, the neck turns left to right, for example, but the head cannot nod. Similarly, the shoulders are not ball and socket joints and only rotate.

Jean-Luc Picard, unfortunately, is topheavy with his broad chest and as a result is poorly balanced. This Jean-Luc Picard tips over and I’ve not found a way to get him to stand unless one has him leaning back from the waist, so it looks like he is doing a groin thrust! This is a terribly balanced toy and the inability to stand is the final nail in the coffin for this figure.


Galoob mass produced the four figures from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and made the others exceptionally rare. Jean-Luc Picard was one of the four ultra-common figures and this Jean-Luc Picard is beyond worthless. Found loose for less than a dollar these days, this Jean-Luc Picard can often be found for less than $3.00 Mint on card! Galoob flooded the market with these figures and they are almost impossible to use as investment pieces.


The Captain Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek: The Next Generation figure from Galoob is one of the worst figures from a bad line of early Star Trek: The Next Generation toys.

For other Captain Picard figures, please check out my reviews of:
1992 Playmates Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Captain Jean-Luc Picard In StarFleet Duty Uniform
Playmates Locutus Of Borg
Picard As A Romulan
”Tapestry” Picard
Picard As Galen


For other toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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