Star Trek: The Next Generation Movie Collection Blu-ray Review
Each disc is given a theatrically correct widescreen 2.35:1 1080p transfer using the AVC MPEG-4 codec, with each box proudly proclaiming 're-mastered in high definition' embossed on the front.
Being the oldest of the set, this transfer looks to have had the most work done on it, what is immediately clear is just how clean and bright the picture is now. Indeed there are some scenes, those in the Valley of Fire, which are utterly breathtaking in their clarity and vividness. But, at what expense, for it is quite clear that there has been extensive grain reduction, there is nigh on any visible, and there is some use of the sharpening tool to compensate for the softness inherent in this process - so if you go looking, and I know some of you will, you will find DNR and edge enhancement everywhere. But. Don't fret. Because whilst it has been used it has brought to life a tired and drab picture like never before, giving rise to the pristine brightness and clarity usually only afforded to the latest releases.
Colours are bold and striking, look at the blues of the skies, such vividness and depth, the reds of the Starfleet uniforms are rich and tangible; there is no wash, nor bleed. Flesh tones are well realised and there are no gradation problems. Ok there is the faintest hint of 'wax' to some of the faces, but this is the exception, not the rule. Blacks are deep and whites are crisp, plenty of detail at both ends of the spectrum.
But it is the detail that really stands out, facial features, clothing weaves, computer readouts, look again at the Valley of Fire, the surface to the rockscape is utterly amazing, strata and joints have never looked so pronounced; incredible. There are occasion when the picture does soften, but again it's rare, and unfortunately there is precious little of the '3D pop'.
Original print damage is all but absent, there is still the odd spec, though, and the grain has been pretty much removed - all this gives rise to a spectacular image, truly re-mastered to greatness. Individual score 8.
Another superlative transfer and one that has, again, been treated to the same love and care with the grain reduction, in fact, I'd say even more so, as that of Generations; gone is the grain to be left with a bright clean and clear image. Close inspection against the SD DVD (a little unfair I know) reveals just how much this HD transfer has brought to the image; the depth of frame, the depth of the colour, the absolute detail, all are vastly enhanced to give an extremely pleasing picture.
Now for the bad news, there has been a minor colour change, red is slightly boosted, this gives the greens of the Borg scenes a more vivid stance and tends to push the flesh tones towards the pink. More worryingly there is a slight contrast change that while deepening the blacks to a fabulous inky depth, has hidden some shadow detail in places, but oddly brought it out in others. For example the very first scene of the Phoenix launch camp, looking down from above the SD shows far more detail of the trees compared to the HD, yet during the repair efforts greater shadow depth is seen in the roof top repair than in the SD. It's not glaring and if you don't go scene by scene as I did, you probably won't notice it.
But the good far outweighs the bad. The detail is spectacular, never has the Borg ship looked so detailed, from the initial pullback shot from Picard's eye, to the internal workings of their Hive on the Enterprise, the computer readouts, the flesh detail, both alien and human. There is so much to see now, you are so drawn into the picture. The applied DNR has been artificially sharpened, that's for sure, but edge enhancement is extremely tame leading to a terrific picture. Very little, if any, 'wax' here.
Colours are rich and vivid, greens, reds and blues shine off the screen like never before. Depth to frame is stunning, look at the scene when the Borg walk towards the camera with their 'laser eyes' never has so much detail and depth been present in the picture.
Original print damage has all but been eradicated along with the grain, there was some slight colour banding as the Vulcan ship comes into land at the end, but other than that no compression problems either. Another bright and clean image.
Individual score 8.
The re-mastering of this image, i.e. the grain removal and sharpening tools have once again been employed, leaving another bright and clean picture. This image too has had some colour correction applied, this time to push the blues, thus boosting the whites to an even brighter white. This is quite obvious when played scene for scene against the SD version, but goes pretty unnoticed when viewed by itself.
Detail, once again, is at the forefront of this image, really bringing with it a depth to frame that is stunning - look at Data's run amok through the city, the clarity of the set is amazing, as is the trek the villagers make to avoid being captured. Clothing weaves, computer terminals, grass, trees all have a definite edge that is beautiful. Brightness and contrast give deep blacks and bright whites without detail loss at either end. There is little of the 3D pop we so crave to really push this picture, which is a shame, but certainly nothing to complain about when what is on show is so good.
Colours are once again brought out as lush and vivid, the depth of the blue of the skies or the waters, the greens of the grasslands and the reds of the uniforms or the 'invisible suits' really stand out, look too at the oranges of the sunset that Geordi enjoys so much. There is no wash or bleed and the only banding I noticed was in the dust just after the rock fall. Flesh tones are pretty natural looking, and detail in facial expressions is well defined, look at the wrinkles in Stewart's face, or the slight discolouration of his skin due to his age, even his shaved hair is well defined - however, as with all DNR, there are times when faces do take on the slight 'waxy' appearance, not a great deal in this transfer, to be sure, so when it does crop up, it is noticeable (at least to me), and it is the worst of the set in this regard, which is a shame as everything else is very good.
Original print damage is again non existent along with grain removal, and edge enhancement whilst there, is extremely faint and only noticeable on rare occasions.
Individual score 8.
Now, either this title needed less re-mastering than the others in the set, or the DNR machine broke, because the grain structure is intact thoughout. But far from making it look like the runt of the litter, the picture is still bright and clean but this time with a filmic quality.
Colours are bright and strong, vivid reds along with lush, shining greens without bleed or wash. Brightness and contrast give deep inky blacks and clear bright whites, without any detail loss. Flesh tones are natural looking, with no colour alteration to this transfer.
Once again it is the step up in detail level that is so pronounced, from skin to clothing weaves, from computer terminals to ship's hull all are extremely well defined and, at times, look like you can reach out and touch them. 3D pop is not a major factor, but depth of the frame is incredible in some scenes. This was always the best looking of the Next Gen films in terms of quality of transfer, and this is no exception.
Original print defects are non-existent, gain remains as a constant reminder that this is film, there are no compression problems, save some slight banding to the opening shot of Romulus' Sun, nor is there any edge enhancement. Not quite the best Blu-ray can show, but definitely an outstanding transfer.
Individual score 8.
All the discs are given three sound tracks, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, I concentrate on the former.
It's probably the age of the film, but the mix on this track was somewhat steered towards the front. Oh it does liven up in certain scenes, anything involving the Nexus, for example, or during the Enterprise crash scene, when the surrounds open up to really place you in the centre of things. Bass during these scenes also comes through loud and deep. Range for the most part is well balanced, the score coming through with enough oomph to fill the room. Dialogue is natural sounding and fixed to the centre, stereo effects are well handled, but surround steerage is somewhat limited. Ambience is picked up well, the various computer bleeps on the bridge for example, but this is not a totally immersive track. It's no slouch and when pushed has plenty of punch, when needed, but overall is on the lower side of great.
Individual score 7.
Now we're talking. Right from the off, you know you are in for a sonic treat, Goldsmith's haunting and evocative score is simply brought to life like never before in a sweeping surround extravagance. And once into the film proper, the pull back from Picard, the grinding of the Borg ship as it sweeps from behind to the front, this is excellent stuff. Once you get into the action sequences you are in for a real treat, phaser blasts, Borg technology bleeping, foot falls, voices, there is always something going on to give you that discreet surround experience, I particularly liked the echo to the Queen's voice when talking to Data. But it's not done to excess, everything is matched on screen to perfection. Listen in awe as the Enterprise roars from back, over you, to front; glorious. Or follow your ears as you sit 'inside' the Borg vision! Dialogue is natural sounding and given directionality when needed. There is superb bass, perhaps not as deep as the very best, but certainly this is a contender. Quite excellent.
Individual score 8.
Being that the film is slightly less action orientated, the mix given to Insurrection reflects a slightly less immersive, but is nevertheless robust. Goldsmith's new score is not quite as organic as previous outings and whilst the speakers are given full range, and full reign, it is never quite so engaging, excepting the Next Gen theme. There is a decent enough range, bass comes though very well, though there are fewer LF effects, disruptor blasts do have a satisfying thump, and there is lovely rumble to the Enterprise engines, but the depth is not so far down as one might expect. Dialogue is natural sounding, there is also some directionality given when needed. The surrounds pipe up with plenty of ambience, be it computer beeps on the bridge, or general life in the Ba'ku village. Clean and clear, this is an excellent mix, just far more organic than the action-fests that surround it.
Individual score 8.
We're back to the action orientated track and this one is full of bombast! Right from the off you are placed in the centre of things as Goldsmith's score along with the sweep moving through the atmosphere to the Romulan Senate assaults the speakers with vigour. There is a full range with plenty of bass to ground things. There are plenty of LF effects, be if from ship engines, decloaking Warbirds, phaser hits, explosions, crashing starships (in the second best rumble of the disc) to my pick, the Viceroy's voice, which employs all speakers and is just so damn deep and creepy. Dialogue is natural sounding and given directionality when needed. Discrete surround effects are well placed, be it computers on the bridge, or the ship groaning during the Riker fight sequence, there is always something to remind you this is a surround track. It is clean, loud and exciting.
Individual score 8.
- Audio Commentaries
First up we have a commentary with Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, and who better to discuss the film than the writers of Trek themselves. Quick to criticize and eager to right wrongs or discuss changes that should have happened, the pair talk at length about the film, its production, the writing and story and how this was rushed due to the season finale of the Next Gen. It's interesting and engaging, Moore would, of course, go on to be a prolific commenter on his work on BSG, so its nice to see/hear him in the early days.
A newly recorded second commentary is with the director David Carson and writer/producer (of many shows including ST: Enterprise) Manny Coto whose chat is thoroughly engaging. Not limited to Trek they discuss many different subjects that are related in some way giving much anecdotal evidence and interesting titbits. The two come across as knowledgeable about their craft and speak at length with rare pauses. One of the better commentaries in this set.
Contains three featurettes, previously available on the SE DVD, on the making of the film. The first, Uniting Two Legends discusses the task of bringing two Starship Captains together along with the story of the film. Plenty of interviews with cast and crew and is well padded with film stock. The second is Stellar Cartography: Capturing the Illusion and looks at the set built and the idea behind this enormous room so that it becomes a central scene. Strange New Worlds - The Valley of Fire is the final feature and looks at the trials and tribulations of filming in the Valley of Fire, again plenty of interviews with cast, crew and padding.
New for this section is Next Generation Designer Flashback Andrew Probert a short interview with the celebrated designer tracing his work on the Star Trek franchise from humble beginnings on The Motion Picture right up to date. It uses a combination of original photographs and artwork along with film clips to get across some decent information. Scoring Trek is a short feature interview, with series composer Dennis McCarthy whose job it was to score this first Next Gen film. It's fairly light and fluffy, but reasonably engaging with a little padding from the film.
- Star Trek Universe
A number of features ported direct from the SE DVD begins with A Tribute to Matt Jefferies and contains interviews with plenty of crew members in a, sometimes, touching homage to the late art director, responsible for the look of the Original Series, whose designs have influenced the look of Trek right up to today. Continuing with The Enterprise Lineage and a look at real and fictional craft that have borne the name Enterprise, quite old hat now, but still very enjoyable. Moving on to Captain Picard's Family Album which details the amount of work that went into making this prop seen for a few brief seconds on screen. Finally there is Creating 24th Century Weapons, an interview with knife maker Gil Hibben and his work on the series.
Newly recorded material for this set begins with Stellar Cartography on Earth and has interviews with astronomers talking about their work, how they map the galaxy and specifically planets using the latest technology. Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 1 is an interview with Spiner where he talks about his life and experiences playing the titular character. He is quite well spoken and goes into reasonable depth, considering the time constraints; concentrates on Generations and his approach and the ideas involved. This extra continues on the rest of the film discs. In what will become a constant for the four discs we have a Trek Roundtable: Generations which is a discussion panel comprising of Larry Nemecek (Star Trek writer and host), Anthony Pascale (founder Trekmovie.com), Charlene Anderson (associate director, The Planetary Society) and Jeff Bond (editor Geek Monthly) who sit and discuss the film we've just watched. They come across as educated and enthusiastic about the film and discuss its various merits and where it falls down. Pretty candid, but way too short to get into anything meaningful.
Another constant for the four discs is a short snippet of information in the guise of a Starfleet training or learning module, which basically tells you nothing you don't already know, but in a new and inventive way. This disc is entitled Starfleet Academy: Trilithium and explains away this unstable element.
- Visual Effects
Two featurettes looking at the work done by ILM for the film. Inside ILM: Models and Miniatures concentrates on the restoration work done on the Enterprise, while Crashing the Enterprise, not surprisingly, looks at the crash sequence; amazing how a few short seconds of film can be stretched out to make such an exciting sequence.
- Scene Deconstruction
Takes a very intimate look at three scenes that included the use of CGI, the first is the Main Title Sequence, the second is The Nexus Ribbon and the third is the Saucer Crash Sequence. All have interviews with key crew members and make use of storyboards and artwork to get across their information.
- Deleted Scenes
Four scenes that can be watched individually or all together with or without an introduction and/or commentary. The four scenes are Orbital Skydiving (the original opening), Walking the Plank, Christmas with the Picards and the Alternate Ending. Most have good reason not to be included.
Contains Storyboards for numerous scenes and the Production Gallery photos.
Teaser and theatrical trailers for the film.
- Library Computer
Is a replacement for the text commentary normally supplied by Michael and Denise Okudais. It sets itself up as if your screen is a computer panel on the Enterprise - on the right hand side headings pop up with alarming regularity (just about everything seen or discussed on screen has a reference) that you can highlight to find out further information. It's quite a novel idea, but personally I'd prefer the original text, it's less invasive and more fun. Those with anamorphic projection should note that the overlay goes well into the black bars.
- BDLive enabled
As yet the only available is Star Trek I.Q.; set up your own, or answer others questions about the films.
- Audio Commentaries
The first commentary with director Jonny 'fatboy' Frakes and I shall politely call this a missed opportunity, when in reality I should say it is bloody awful. His short, monosyllabic titbits of information are far from 'genius', a word you will hear a few times should you opt for this one. It does get a bit better in the second act, but too little too late, I preferred his pauses.
The second commentary by screenwriters Braga and Moore was a far more satisfying experience. Much time is spent discussing the concepts behind the ideas for the film, scripting decisions and depth of the characters and their actions. A most entertaining listen, nice to hear Moore get a bit more of the action compared to his dominance by Braga in the featurettes.
The third commentary is newly recorded and is by Damon Lindelof (producer of the new Trek film) and Anthony Pascale whose chat is very 'fan based' but nevertheless quite engaging, if you can put up with their conjecture and tangents and obvious love of Trek. Lindelof comes off as extremely knowledgeable and it's great to hear him talk about the new Trek film (this must have been recorded either very soon after, or just before its release) and their interpretation of the characters with respect to time travel - a constant in Trek films and a huge part of this particular film. They barely pause for breath, and whilst not very technical (how could it be, neither were involved with the film) it is actually quite entertaining.
- The Borg collective
A selection of featurettes the first of which, titled Unimatrix one, traces the origins of the Borg as a race and the villain on the TV show through to their appearance in First Contact. The Queen interviews Alice Krige and follows the design process of creating this most seductive villain. Finally Design Matrix features all the costume and ship designs throughout the history of the Borg's lifetime on the Star Trek.
- The Scene deconstruction
This section takes three scenes, only one of which (the Queen assembly) is exceptional and discusses with the designers and effects experts how said scene was developed and ultimately produced via initial story board drawings through the various plates needed to eventual completion. Interesting to see, but only the Queen one is worth watching.
- First Contact production
This section contains numerous featurettes, the first of which is Making First Contact and is a fine piece with all concerned talking about their experiences on filming the eighth Trek film. Much is discussed from everyone involved with detail and enthusiasm from all the participants both behind and in front of the camera. Next up is The Story where Braga and Moore discuss the various ideas they had when coming up with the story, through its evolution to the finished film, quite interesting even though most fans will already know what's discussed. The Missile Silo has the production designers talking about how they found and used an actual silo in Arizona for most of the work on the film. The discussion finishes up with the various stunts and design of the Phoenix spacecraft. The Deflector Dish follows a similar pattern to the Silo, except that this was an entirely built set within the largest stage in Paramount. The Arts of Star Trek concentrates exclusively on the design aspects of the main Starships, Enterprise E, Phoenix, and the Vulcan Ship. A to E rounds this section of ported material off with an overview of the sets.
New for this set is Industrial Light & Magic—The Next Generation a retrospective talk from those involved in the effects for the films, a little repetitive from the features that were taken, and included, at the time, but its nice to see how things developed with the benefit of hindsight.
- The Star Trek Universe
The ported over three headings, start with a Tribute to the late great Jerry Goldsmith from friends, fans, cast and crew involved with the film, it is quite a moving piece. The second, Legacy of Zephram Cochrane, has James Cromwell talking about his characterisation of one of the most revered characters in the Star Trek Universe. It also includes contributions from the writers and Original Series clips to explain away the change in him. Finally First Contact the Possibilities discusses the SETI programme and real life searches for extra terrestrial life.
New features under this title include Greetings from the International Space Station a specially recorded piece from one of the astronauts actually on board the ISS as he explains how Roddenberry's dream might be coming true with the station now expanded to hold six international members on board at one time. SpaceShipOne's Historic Flight is a brief interview with the pilot of the first aeroplane ever built to fly into space. Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 2 sees Spiner continue his talk with emphasis on First Contact. The second Trek Roundtable: First Contact sees the return of the four as they discus their thoughts and impressions of the film, they conclude it's the best of the bunch. Starfleet Academy: Temporal Vortex continues the definitions of an aspect of the film.
Storyboards for some key scenes, production and publicity photographs.
Teaser and theatrical trailers.
- Library Computer
Second outing of the mass of trivia related to the film, as before it plays into the black bars.
- BDLive Enabled
As yet only the Star Trek I.Q. is available
- Easter Eggs
First is - Production > Making of First Contact > press right to highlight an Enterprise symbol = Interview with Ethan Phillips. Second is Star Trek Universe > First Contact Possibilities > press right to highlight a Borg symbol = Interview with Alex Jaeger talking about storyboarding the Queen's death scene.
- Audio Commentary
Replacing the text commentary of old we have an effort by Fatboy Frakes and Marina Sirtis. Frakes introduces himself as Picard's 'big Willy' and that pretty much sums up this commentary. There is no doubt that these two really are the firm friends they purport to be, but as a pairing for a commentary it's woeful; they just sit and babble about pretty much nothing the entire run, it comes off as if you are in a cinema and the two sods behind you won't stop talking through the film!
- The Production
Seven featurettes that detail different parts of the filming process using a combination of material filmed at the time and later produced interviews. There is inevitably some overlap and repartition of stock, but for the most part each heading details a separate part of the production. Starting with It takes a village long time designer Herman Zimmerman and his crew take us through the process of designing and building the Ba'ku village for real in California, incorporating interviews from Berman, and cast it is a lengthy featurette covering much detail. Next up is Location, Location, Location with the same people interviewed. The different areas used, both real and made, to make the film are discussed and scrutinised. The Art of Insurrection takes a look at the various artwork needed for the new ships and designs for the new races of people, also includes some CG work. Anatomy of a Stunt takes a look at an elaborate stunt that was never used in the film involving Data, includes much behind the scenes footage and interviews with stuntmen and coordinators. The Story in an extended interview with Michael Piller and his philosophy toward Star Trek, this film and Gene Roddenberry, perhaps the highlight of the extras. The making of Star Trek Insurrection contains the cast interviews where they discuss their relationships to each other, their characters and the sense of family that they have toward each other. Director's notebook contains an interview with Frakes and his thoughts regarding his film, he likes the look but didn't think the story was that strong, echoing many critics, I wonder if it was his own thought.
New for this set is Westmore's Legacy which is a retrospective of the Westmore family, by the Westmore family, and their work within the movie industry and some of the innovations they have brought. Unusual and engaging, this is quite different.
- Creating the Illusion
Contains three individual scenes, dissected by all involved in them from concept to final film, they are Shuttle chase, The Drones and The Duck blind. Nothing revolutionary here, but the drone section has a nice freeze frame section showing exactly how Worf hit one drone from the air with the butt of the phaser rifle.
- The Star Trek Universe
Two featurettes; Westmore's Aliens is a interview with Michael Westmore, Star Trek's prolific alien inventor; it is said that if life outside our world exists, it will probably look like one of his creations, since he has imagined so many. Interesting to see the diversity of creation he has come up with over the years. Secondly there is Star Trek's Beautiful Women, a montage of the various 'hotties' that have proliferated throughout the show's run, including interviews with many cast members from other Star Trek shows including Enterprise.
The new material for this section starts off with Marina Sirtis: The Counsellor Is In which is a short interview with Sirtis as she talks about her time on the films, all very light hearted, but she's still a looker! Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 3 is a continuation of the interview with the chat centred around the events in Insurrection. The famous four are back in Trek Roundtable: Insurrection for more thoughts and ideas about this entry into the franchise, they too seem to liken its similarity to an episode rather then a feature, no original thought nowadays, I don't know. Finally Starfleet Academy: The Origins of the Ba'ku and Son'a Conflict is a brief definition, as before.
- Deleted Scenes
Seven in total including an alternative ending, most are slight extensions to existing scenes, others short scenes deemed not to fit with the film. Co-producer Peter Lauritson is on hand to introduce and tell us specifically about two of these scenes, and the alternative ending; even though it was never finished, the idea was not that good, and I much prefer the one used.
Contains storyboards and photo galleries with uncountable numbers.
Trailers for the film and an original promo from when the film was being made, nice to see the thoughts of optimism back then.
- Library Computer
More text details fill your screen and beyond.
- BDLive Enabled
Only Star Trek I.Q available at time of writing.
- Easter Eggs
First is - Production > Westmore's Legacy > press right to highlight a Ba'ku symbol = Sirtis talking about the catering on set. Second is - Production > Director's Notebook > press right to highlight an Enterprise symbol = Interview with Tom Morello.
- Audio Commentaries
The first audio commentary is with director Stephen Baird and is a rather uninspiring affair. There are plenty of pauses and when he does speak it's normally about the scene you are watching, little background info is given except the usual script changes, darker tone, editing choices etc.
The second commentary is with producer Rick Berman; he too goes the Baird route of explaining the scenes you are watching, only duller. He does mention story, cuts, casting and budget but steers well clear of any in-depth discussion. It would have been better to cut this track into the one above, it might have been a more satisfying listen.
Thankfully text commentary regulars Michael and Denise Okudais are given an audio commentary of their own, a new feature for this disc (maybe explaining away their normal text commentaries that are suspiciously missing from all these new releases) and contains the usual light hearted mix of fact and trivia, no stone is left unturned and there is much information given - nice to put a voice to the text, as it were.
Kicks off with Nemesis Revisited a twenty five minute retrospective of the film containing film clips and interviews with cast and crew, all from 2002 rather than later produced material, however it does provide some good background and character subjects and is very enjoyable, one of the better extras on this disc.
Next up is New Frontiers: Stuart Baird on Directing Nemesis which gives the usual gushing praise on the director. Contrary to the commentary Baird does come across well and has much to say, it's a shame this is padded with so much material from the film.
Storyboarding the Action sees conceptual artist Tom Southwell discuss the methods employed to visualise the action, a bit too short to go into any detail.
Red Alert! Shooting the Action of Nemesis has contributions for cast and crew on three big scenes from the film, the car chase, Riker's punch up and effects of the last battle between the two Starships. Fairly light again but does provide some nice behind the scenes material and reasonable information.
Build and Rebuild has production designer Herman Zimmerman and two other art designers discussing the various hardships in producing a Star Trek picture, they always manage it somehow though; this is a similar featurette to other releases.
Four-Wheeling in the Final Frontier is a break from the normal Trek in that it focuses on the driving sequences (never before used in a Trek film) and has contributions from the various stunt drivers and designers as they talk about design, build and use of the vehicles.
Rounding off the ported extras we have the Shinzon Screen Test, Hardy and Stewart verbally battle.
New for this set is Reunion with the Rikers a short interview with Frakes and Sirtis as they chat about pretty much nothing, much like their commentary on Insurrection together, although in this they come across as likeable and not annoying.
- The Star Trek Universe
Starting with A Star Trek Family's Final Journey in which the writer, cast and crew discuss the character dynamics and movie themes rather than the name implied final film retrospective.
A Bold Vision of the Final Frontier is presented once again by Baird. In it he touches on various topics, all of them Scimitar (Shinzon's ship) related. Design, production, editing, creation and film climax are just some of the items discussed in its 10 minute run time. Baird comes across as knowledgeable and is ably helped by some split screens so we can see pre-rendered and final product.
Finishing off the ported extras in this section is Enterprise E and sees Zimmerman and his cohorts talk about the various changes to the flagship for this film, interesting in a fanboy sort of way.
Newly recorded material for this section begins with Robot Hall of Fame, Spiner professes his admiration for being voted into this prestigious award along side Robbie and R2D2. Following on there is Today's Tech Tomorrow's Data which looks at how technology is advancing, with particular emphasis on positronics, so that we may, indeed, produce a Data; why they use a scene from Nemesis as 'eye candy' is interesting. Spiner is again on hand in Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond Part 4 to continue his chat and talk about Nemesis and his involvement with Logan while writing the script. Our four trusty friends are back in Trek Roundtable: Nemesis to further discuss and pull apart the last in the franchise, they see much more into the subtext than I think is really there, some fans gush way too much you know? Starfleet Academy: Thalaron Radiation continues and concludes the 'fact' descriptions.
- The Romulan Empire
Starts with Romulan lore in which the producer, co producers and writers inform us about Romulan history and then bring us right up to date with Shinzon and his motivations. A very interesting piece and proves that a bit of background information can go a long way.
Shinzon and the Viceroy talks about the main villains of the film, some character insights are revealed but it's still not too in depth, rather an informative chat.
Romulan Design has us take a look through the eyes of the special effect designers, artists, scenic and make up artists at the Romulans. Their planet (s), ships and look are all discussed in depth and is again a very interesting little piece.
The Romulan Senate and The Scimitar has the usual suspects discussing designs and sets, conception and execution of their respective areas. There is plenty of information on all aspects and it is an enjoyable watch.
- Deleted Scenes
Thirteen in total that may be watched individually or all together with a play all function. Some get introductions from Berman or cast members, though there is little actual information as to their excise. Some are scene extensions others are stand alone, though many are not necessary to the film exposition, a few seconds here or there to clear up some plot points (Worf or Crusher for example) wouldn't have gone a miss. Runs for 27 minutes with the play all function.
A storyboard section which details through The Scorpion Escape, The Jefferies Tube, Collision and Data's Jump, nice pictures if you can get through them.
Showcases sixty odd images mostly showing concept art, but there are also some photos from the set.
Has, well, props.
Contains the teaser and theatrical trailer for the film.
- Library Computer
More text information coming thick and fast about all you need to know.
- BDLive Enabled
Star Trek I.Q. is available if you want to access it.
- Easter Eggs
First is - Production > Nemesis Revisited > press right to highlight an Enterprise symbol = Interview with Terry Frazes. Second is - Star Trek Universe > Reunion with the Rikers > press right to highlight a Romulan symbol = Interview with Frakes.
Star Trek Evolutions
Brand new material, exclusive to this set, on a bonus disc.
- The Evolution of the Enterprise
A brief look at the differing shapes of the Enterprise, from its Constellation class right up to the Sovereign class. Plenty of pictures, exposition and film clips in a very light feature that most will probably know anyway.
- Villains of Star Trek
Brief overview of the main baddies encountered in the films, again nothing particularly new here, although it is a slightly different perspective.
- I Love the Star Trek Movies
Everyone in the above features gushes on which is their favourite film and favourite moment for the films, not limited to the Next Gen.
- Farewell to Star Trek: The Experience
After ten years of shows the cast of the Experience are recorded on their last day as it finally closes its doors. This is the longest feature, at thirty minutes, and is really quite emotional at times. Not the cheese fest you might imagine, it has interviews with those involved plus members of the public (suitably dressed up) explaining what this show has meant to them over years.
- Klingon Encounter
The camera takes you though this part of the show, as if you are actually there!
- Borg Invasion 4D
The camera takes you though this part of the show, as if you are actually there! The 3D bit obviously doesn't work.
- Charting the Final Frontier
Interactive map showing the Star Trek galaxy and placing the ten films at their various locations on it - a brief outline of the film is recorded if you venture into it.
That's a huge amount of extra material, in addition to the copious amounts already available there are hours worth or new material filmed specifically for this release. Ok, not all of it is of top notch quality, but the effort is there; search enough and there is something worth watching.
Hot on the heels of the Original series films, the Next Generation comes bursting onto Blu-ray at warp speed! Each film has it particular merits and some with a few negatives. Over time though, and somewhat out of context now, these films have certainly aged very well, if anything, and perhaps, somewhat controversially, First Contact now seems the most dated in terms of it's Trek Law, while Nemesis appears to be more exciting. The Next Gen crew prove that they can hold their own on the Big Screen and continue to 'boldly go'.
As a Blu-ray set, Paramount has once again provided us with a blistering package. The re-mastering of each film has been handled with care and attention and has brought to life these films like never before. Ok, the digital grain reduction may irk some, but when the results are this good, I'm not complaining. The sound too is ear shatteringly good and it is all backed up by a whole host of newly recorded extra material, some is a bit fluffy, but the willing is there and goes to show that Trek is still a force to be reckoned with. This set comes highly recommended!
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £43.39
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- Audio Commentaries