1996's Star Trek: First Contact was directed by Jonathan Frakes and written by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga and Ronald D Moore. This is by overwhelming consensus the best of the Next Generation pictures and the only one that comes close to giving them a classic adventure worthy of The Wrath of Khan or The Voyage Home. I don't think it's anywhere near as good as those two films but the balance of humour and action is much more successful here than it was in the other Next Generation entries and the story is certainly more exciting. Perhaps best of all is the fact that this is the only one of the four films that makes a decent fist of giving the whole cast something to do. The film resurrects the Borg - the wonderful intergalactic villains who made their first appearance in the television episode Q Who. The Borg are cyberpunk drones dressed in black rubber who travel through space in huge cubes assimilating worlds and stripping people of their identity before adding them to their collective. They are sort of like interstellar fetish zombies I suppose. The Borg are creepy ("Resistance is futile!") and super powerful like all good villains should be although they did rather lose their mystique in the end when they kept being wheeled back in the television series time and again and done to death. Here the gambit of using them again as the baddies for Star Trek: First Contact works well enough and riffs a lot on the television episode The Best of Both Worlds where Picard (Patrick Stewart) was assimilated by the Borg collective and turned into one of them before being rescued by his crew. The film begins with an atmospheric dream/nightmare sequence where Picard is back on a Borg cube surrounded by millions of drones. He wakes up in his ready room (his office for those not acquainted with Star Trek) on the new spangled Enterprise-D and recieves the news that he has been both dreading and expecting.
The Borg are back and have their sights set on Earth. A huge fleet is assembled to stop them but Picard is ordered to stay where he is. Starfleet don't completely trust him because he was once part of the Borg. They don't want an "unstable element" to enter the fray. He decides to disobey orders and send the Enterprise into battle, arriving in the midst of a huge conflagration between a Borg cube and a host of Starfleet vessels. Picard uses his, er, insider knowledge of the Borg to direct all fire at a vulnerable point and destroys the Borg cube but the cybernetic villains escape in a smaller vessel. When the Enterprise detects that everyone on Earth is Borg it transpires that the hive like rascals have used time travel to return to 2063 and alter the past - 2063 the year when Zefram Cochrane (Jams Cromwell) launched his historic warp drive flight and the people of Earth made contact with Vulcans for the first time. Picard and the Enterprise must therefore travel back in time themselves and stop the Borg from altering Earth's history for the worse. Star Trek: First Contact feels much more sure footed under the direction of Jonathan Frakes than the first film did and shows an admirable desire to get on with it and give the audience more spectacle for their money. The huge space battle at the start of the film between the Borg and the collection of Starfleet vessels is great and easily the biggest and most memorable set-piece in any of the four films. The only problem is that you never get anything quite like it again and the film becomes more small scale when the crew travel back in time. Time travel is a beloved staple of Star Trek and can become wearing in the end but they just about get away with it here.
There are three major plot strands that tie the film together and they all work relatively well. Picard and Worf on the Enterprise trying to prevent the Borg from assimilating the ship, Riker, Troi, La Forge etc on Earth attempting to ensure that Cochrane's warp flight goes ahead, and, finally, Data a prisoner of the Borg Queen (Alice Krige). The Borg probably work better as a faceless collective (it's what makes them scary) but it was understandable that they wanted some sort of figurehead to serve as the chief villain and Krige (looks like a zombie dominatrix) and Brent Spiner as Data have some good scenes together as they banter about humanity and the Borg attempt to assimilate him. The film never really explains why the Borg are so obsessed with Data though as if he is the key to something they don't understand. One slight problem I have with the film is the shift in the Picard character from a thinker into more of a John McClane type character. Too much walking through gloomy corridors with phaser guns in this film. Actually, a major set-piece is very dull too. Worf and Picard don space suits to do a zero gravity walk on the out side of the Enterprise where the Borg are tampering with the deflector dish (it's always the deflector dish!) or something. This slow motion sequence seems to go on forever and should have been trimmed down. Stewart gives another commanding performance though and the theme is that Picard is so obsessed with his revenge on the Borg that his judgment is clouded. Alfre Woodard as Lily Sloane, a Cochrane assistant who ends up on the Enterprise with Picard, makes reference to Picard being Captain Ahab and tells him he must know when to let something go for the sake of others. He has gone a bit bonkers though.
"I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, and no farther! And I will make them pay for what they've done!" Woodward and Stewart work quite well together and the angry occasionally illogical Picard here supplies some good moments. The small scene where he calls Worf (Michael Dorn) a coward is a good one. The scenes set on Earth threaten to slow the film somewhat but James Cromwell is good value as Cochrane. Desite being lauded as one of the greatest men in history and finding the crew of the Enterprise are all in awe of him he's a rather drunken and flawed character bemused by the interest in him and sceptical of the notion that he's a great hero in the future or the story presented to him. "Let me just make sure that I understand you correctly, Commander. A group of cybernetic creatures from the future have traveled back through time to enslave the human race... and you're here to stop them?" It's quite a nice touch that the man doesn't live up to the history. The humour doesn't always work (Troi gets drunk etc) in First Contact but the warmth of the characters is a constant plus. Amusing cameos by Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo as the holographic doctor programme and Dwight Schultz as Reg Barclay from The Next Generation television series.
Star Trek: First Contact lacks the wonder of the best films featuring the original crew and once again sometimes seems too small scale for a feature film but it is efficient and entertaining and manages to weave all its various threads together in a relatively satisfying way. Definitely the best of the four films. At the time of writing you can buy this from a fiver with a teaser and trailer. You'll need an import or box set for loads of extras.
Star Trek: First Contact was released in 1996, two years after Star Trek: Generations successfully concluded the story of Captain James T Kirk of the original Star Trek cast. Generations also successfully gave Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his Next Generation (TNG) crew their first movie mission and so First Contact was the first "out of the nest" adventure for them.
As soon as First Contact starts we know that this will be the first Star Trek movie with the deadly Borg as the enemy, this is new territory for the movies but any Trekkie would excited about this prospect. Out of all of the bad guys Star Trek have turned out over the years, the Borg have one set agenda, assimilation and domination. Instead of storylines involving renegade Klingons or angry Romulans, any Borg storyline tends to be a big one involving ambituous and deadly plans, naturally a Borg movie leaves any fan drooling.
The film hits the ground running and before we know it, the Enterprise has disobeyed orders and is right in the middle of the action, the action being a Borg attack on Earth. Not before long the Borg's plans are revealed to be to travel back in time and stop Earth's First Contact with Alien beings after the development of wharp power. Captain Pickard and his crew are soon in a race against time to save all of humanity in the past.
Not only do they have ensure First Contact happens but the Enterprise is soon invaded by Borg who quickly assimilate a significant part of the ship. Pickard, Lt Commander Data and Lt. Commander Worf battle against the increasing numbers of Borg. Data soon gets kidnapped by the Borg who, by means of the Borg Queen, try to tempt Data to their way of life.
The supporting cast is made of Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge (Levar Burton) Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) and James Cromwell as Dr. Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of wharp power and the key to First Contact.
All members plus a few supporting put in a good performance and their ten years of series familiarity make for great scenes. It is rare for a film to have characters which so many people are familiar with and fond of which makes me wonder why there aren't more TV to Film movies out there, perhaps Star Trek is a one off.
I really enjoyed this movie and it is by far my favourite of the lot, and I was very fond of James T Kirk. I think the key factor in this film being head and shoulders above the rest was the director Jonathan Frakes (who also plays Commander William T Riker). He is obviously very passionate about this franchise and put alot of attention to detail in this film. This film was easily a commercial success (doubling it's budget) and he went on to direct and star in Star Trek: Insurrection, the next installment, which unfortunately in my opinion, wasn't as great. But each to their own.
Star Trek First Contact is the 8th Star Trek film and the second from the next generation cast. I started watching Star Trek the Next Generation as a child and by the time the next generation films were coming out I was a fully fledged trekkie. Having enjoyed the 'Generations' film I was extremely excited to see what they had come up with this time. Well I was definitely not disappointed. I watched this at the cinema and then watched my VHS version to its death. Now on DVD it still stands as one of my all time favourite films.
First Contact was released in 1996 by Paramount Pictures. This DVD version is approximately 111 minutes run time and is rated 12. Directed by Jonathan Frakes (Riker) and produced by 'Rick Berman', 'Marty Hornstein' and 'Peter Lauritson'.
It's the first time the cast from the Next Generation must carry the film, without the help of any original series characters. This is done easily as the storyline jumps immediately to the battle scene, capturing the audience's attention right at the start of the film.
This film welcomes back the Federations well known enemy 'The Borg'. Here is a brief description of the Borg for those who have not seen them in previous Star Trek episodes. They consist of half organic parts and half cybernetic parts. They increase their population by assimilating entire worlds and entire races including their technology. They think as one and lose their individual thoughts and feelings as soon as they are assimilated. They join one collective mind, making their actions quick and efficient. They adapt quickly to all new situations and threats, including new weapon attacks on them. Audiences first get to meet the Borg in the next generation episode Q Who. They prove a hit with Star Trek fans, but due to financial costs, only appear a few times in the Next Generation series. Audiences have to wait for Star Trek Voyager, based in the Delta Quadrant, which is the home of the Borg, before they get a real insight to the Borg collective. However First Contact does give us the first introduction to a Borg Queen.
So what's this film about? Well the Borg has managed to change history, all but wiping the federation out. The Enterprise is pulled back in time to the point of First Contact with the Vulcan's and has the sole responsibility of saving the federation and restoring the timeline. To make things more difficult, the Borg finds their way aboard the Enterprise and begin assimilating technology and crew. Can they destroy the Borg before they are assimilated, can they restore the timeline and can they find their way home?
I love this film, it shows the relationships between the crew develop further. Especially between Data and Captain Picard. This film shows the beginning of a strong bond between these two characters, a bond that is expanded upon in the later film 'Nemesis', but is not obviously present in the seven seasons of this show. We also get the pleasure of seeing a drunken Deanna Troi, a star struck Reg Barclay and a frightened Data.
First Contact also comes with a new Enterprise after the destruction of the Enterprise D in Generations. The new ship, titled USS Enterprise NCC -1701-E is Sovereign Class and comes equipped with Phasers, Photon Torpedoes and Quantum Torpedoes.
First Contact received mostly positive reviews and is considered by some, including myself, to be the best of all the Star Trek films to date. It made an exceptional $92 million in the United States alone and has been a hit in several other countries, including the UK. It made it to the top of the US Box Office after making $30.7 million in its first week alone.
Until the 2009 Star Trek film, First Contact was Star Trek's most successful film. Not surprising when you consider how under developed the Borg where until this point.
Even if you are not a Star Trek fan, you can enjoy this wonderful sci-fi film. However it's probably best loved by the Trekkies like myself.
As my favourite Star Trek film so far, including the 2009 film, I rate this 10/10.
First Contact is one of the best Star Trek films to date (with Star Trek X coming a close second) and follows the crew from The Next Generation on their continuing mission.
First Contact is a time-travelling tale which sees the notorious Borg making an unexpected visit back to Earth to sabotage man's first intergalactic flight. The Next Generation crew, in their stylish new Enterprise, follow them back in the hope of saving the human race from assimilation.
The film is a suped-up version of the TV show, with its familiar characters and continuing storylines. The budget is clearly bigger and is used to good effect, making the Borg seem more threatening than ever.
An interesting and very welcome addition is the seductive Borg Queen, masterfully played by Alice Krige (who has made a number of film appearances over the years, most notably in the imaginative and atmospheric film Institute Benjementa by the hugely talented Brothers Quay). Krige definitely makes the role her own and steals the show, lifting the film above the other very ordinary Next Generation films.
Unlike some of the other Trek films, this one has a really cinematic feel and was great on the Big Screen.
Star Trek First Contact is the second big screen adventure that follows the Next Generation crew and the eight in total of the Star Trek series of films.
The films follows on from the last film Star Trek Generations, as the crew settle into their new ship, Enterprise E, the very latest ship in the fleet with all the latest technology, and flagship of the federation.
All of the crew of the Next Generation are reunited in this film, although Worf is not introduced until later in the film.
The films opens with the Enterprise E in space under going the very last faze of the shake down and ready for active duty. When Picard has a nightmare from his time as Locutus. After this he is contacted by an Admiral about his worst nightmare, the Borg have returned.
Due to events in the past the Enterprise is side lined, not because of lag of confidence in the ship and its crew, but her captain and the fact that he could be an unstable element in the mix. The Enterprise is tasked with guarding and patrolling the boarder with the Romulan Empire; but this order is soon disregarded by Picard and the crew.
It is at the next point that the only real space battle take place, as the Enterprise arrives to join the fleet take on the single Borg cube; and at the same time save the crew of the Defiant and its captain at the time, Worf.
From there the Borg go back in time, know that changes in the past could affect the future, and where the film gets it name from, the point if first contact for humanity. After going back in time, it is believed that the Borg have been killed, but all is not what it appears to be.
From this point the film is almost split into two, one on the planet lead by Riker and the other aboard the Enterprise lead by Picard.
On the planet we are introduced to Zefram Cochrane's first human Warp flight test flight that has always been alluded to in the history of the whole series, and is the basis of the whole series. But what he is portrayed as in this film is that he is not all that he is cracked up to be.
On the Enterprise E, Picard returns to the Enterprise along with Data when odd occurrences start occurring aboard the Enterprise, such as power drains, a rising temperature and humidity, perfect conditions for the Borg.
An important character that we have not seen before in the whole franchise is a leader type figure of the Borg, the Queen, played by Alice Krige. Although she is portrayed as this leader figure though out, she states that she is not but merely brings order to chaos.
The inclusion of the Borg Queen is a new development in the Star Trek franchise, as before the Borg were portrayed as this collective that is not ruled or dictated to by a single individual, but by a collective mind.
Krige played the part excellently as this mysterious figure, that now body knows about, that at the same time wields great power.
In terms of the rest of the cast, it is what we have become to know, Captain Picard as this unwavering figure that will not stand down and will always fight for what he believes in until the very end. But the role has changed at the same time, as in the film Picard is more action orientated than in either the previous film or the TV series, as it was always his role to stay on the ship and for Riker to be action person.
Although the whole cast are included some are not give as much time as other, such as Councillor Troi, or La Forge, as they are on the planet, along with Riker. But what we can see again from the film is that Data takes a significant role in the film, as he is captured and tries to explore Humanity with the Borg Queen.
There are two cameos in the film by two of the Voyager crew, Robert Piccard as the Enterprises Interactive Medical Hologram and Ethan Phillips who plays Nelix as a waiter on the planet.
One important part that is included in the film is the legendary 'Red Shirts'. These were the people that are extras brought in by the production team so they could easily be scarified and killed out in the film, and there are plenty of extras in this film. Although as in the TV series of the Next Generation this actors do not wear the red uniforms but the yellow ones.
One change that occurred in this film was the director of the film, as it was believed by the studio that they could not find a person at the time that could take on the role and know the significant and importance and therefore looked in house and chose Jonathan Frakes who plays Commander Riker. The direction of the film by Frakes can be seen, as it is almost as if it is arching back to the TV series: But unlike the previous film, which was also like an episode of the TV series, the film has been given a higher production and director value.
In terms of the graphics, this was the first time that CGI had a real impact on the design of the graphics, as in the previous film previous footage from the original series of films were used. In this film new footage was required due to the introduction of the Enterprise E.
As for the Enterprise E, it almost seemed in the last film that they wanted to get rid of the old ship at the first possible opportunity, which they did. The best way to describe the Enterprise E is a sleeker more military ship in design, which is more prepared for battle. As it is no longer one of the biggest ship, but more of the size of the original Enterprise of the original series, as it means that when in battle there is less of the ship to target. Also in terms of the people that are on the ship, as there are less of a family ship and more of a working ship.
There are a number of themes that are present within this movie, the first of being a time old tale of revenge, as it is even spoken about within the film, as a comparison between Picard and Captain Abraham. As Picard was compared to Abraham trying to catch his own whale, as Picard tries to stop the Borg at all cost as well, and has in the past been injured just the same. The second is temptation, as while Data is being held, he is given almost everything that he wants and is then given the opportunity to portray his friends and colleagues to live for what he has always wanted.
There are one or two problems with the plot of the story, such as the very end, which I will not explain, but you will wonder why it does not happen all the time in the films or TV series if they have the technology.
Overall, I believe that the film is one of the best of the series of films of Star Trek, as it can easily stand alone side the Wrath of Khan. As this is Star Trek at its best, as it takes a typical theme that we have seen before, such as Moby Dick, and take it to the future and make it work. Therefore I would defiantly recommend the film, as one of the best of the Next Generation series of films.
This is not a review of the DVD but of the film.
From the title of this review some of you may have thought I was going to review Moby Dick but if you have watched this film then you will understand the reference or if you have not watched it yet then do look out for it.
First Contact is part of the Star Trek series and we see Patrick Stewart playing the role of Captain Jean Luc Picard. At the start of the film he is having a dream about when he was taken by the Borg and turned into one of them. He soon awakes from this dream and finds Star Fleet are asking him to take his ship to an area where they would like them to watch that things are still quiet. When they arrive in this area they find a problem.
They arrive to find Wharf and his new ship fighting and trying to destroy a Borg ship, the Enterprise helps and the ship is destroyed and we see Wharf's ship badly damaged so he is beamed back aboard the Enterprise. After this they notice that Earth has changed and it looks like it has been taken over completely by Borg. Picard orders the Enterprise to follow the Borg ship and they find they are taken back to the 20th century and have to stop the Borg taking over.
To stop the Borg they have to find Dr Cochran who was the first man to make warp speed and be noticed by Alien life form and as the Borg have attacked their home the ship is no longer able to take off and make history. The team lead by Number 1 is beamed down to find Dr Cochran and help him fix his ship. Trouble is happening back on the Enterprise though as they soon find the ship has been taken over by the Borg and Data has been taken.
Will Number 1 and his crew be able to help Dr Cochran make history and will Captain Picard be able to save his ship from the Borg?
I really have only touched upon the plot for this film and it is so much better than I have made it out to be. The storyline is very good and yes it is a science fiction film but it is also quite believable. So much more so than the Star Wars films and the makers of the film seemed to have looked to the future and used props and items which they believe could become a reality this is why me and hubby enjoy Star Trek so much.
Patrick Stewart does a wonderful job in the role of Captain Picard and he really does make his character so believable. I do like the fact that in this film he is holding a grudge against the Borg and he is after revenge as this shows a different side to the otherwise calm and cool Captain. He seems to just fit perfectly into the role and I think he works so well with all of the other actors and actresses in the film.
My favourite again in this film is Data who I played by Brent Spinner as he seems to take to the role of the android extremely well and I love how he is able to act without putting any emotions into the role. He is excellent and cunning in this film and he does still manage to add some humour with the addition of an emotion chip.
The film is set both on the enterprise and on Earth. The scenes on Earth were very good although it did make us out to be back to basics and living in forests without all the modern technology which we have today despite being set about 50 years away from this year. The costumes and sets on Earth were all very good and look authentic. The scenes on the Enterprise were good as well and despite being a space ship it all did look authentic and could all be real in the not to distant future. This is why I like the Star Trek films as they have not taken it too far and too much of a fantasy with the design of the ships and weapons.
The special effects in the film were very good and I did not find any places where there were visibly added back drops or dodgy sets. I think a lot of time, effort and money was put into this element of the film. The music was good throughout the film but the best song for me had to be from Dr Cochran which he played in his ship.
The DVD which we have does not have any bonus features but this was no loss to me as I am not a fan of these.
The Borg were strange creatures and at times looked quite scary so I do agree with the 12 certificate that this film has. I really cannot see why hubby finds the leader of the Borg sexy, she is repulsive and strange in my eyes! The running time of this film is 106 minutes which I found to be a great length.
We have had this DVD for quite some time and I cannot remember how much we paid for it but do try places like EBay and Amazon and you should be able to pick this up for under £5.
I do highly recommend this film, not only as I have a crush of Patrick Stewart but also as the story line is good and the acting and effects are great.
Star Trek: First Contact.
The Borg return to assimilate Earth and Starfleet rallies a fleet in a last ditch attempt to save the planet. But as the call goes out for all ships to return post haste to rally the defences, Jean Luc Picard and the new starship Enterprise are deliberately sidelined. While the Enterprise is the strongest ship in the fleet, Jean Luc Picard is viewed with distrust when it comes to the Borg. Six years prior, Picard himself was assimilated into the collective and was coerced into acting against the Federation. When the battle begins in earnest, Picard disregards his orders in favour of his conscience and arrives in time to rescue the crew of the beleaguered Defiant, commanded by Worf and destroys the Borg cube.
Before victory can even be savoured, a sphere escapes from the dying cube and creates a temporal vortex, pulling the Enterprise in with it. The crew watch dumbfounded as the Earth alters before their very eyes into a Borg world. The Borg have changed history, and to restore it Picard must follow them back into the past.
The Enterprise arrives in the year 2063 to find the sphere firing on a missile complex in Montana. The sphere is quickly destroyed and the crew beams down to find what havoc the Borg have unleashed. For in two days, Zefram Cochrane will pilot his experimental ship faster than the speed of light and subsequently make first contact with an alien race. The Enterprise crew must repair the damaged missile in time for the launch or their futures will cease to exist. But unbeknownst to them, something from the Borg sphere has survived nestled in the bowels of the Enterprise and Zefram Cochrane turns out to be something of a reluctant saviour.
Star Trek: First Contact comes with an excellent transfer, a 2.35:1 anamorphic picture that is crystal clear. There is no print damage and the colours are strong and effervescent. The special effects are good throughout; the entrance of the Borg Queen has to be one of the most memorable entrances in movie history. Jonathan Frakes makes an impressive directorial debut, handling the action with a deft touch.
Sound is available in DD 5.1 English and German as well as DD 2.0 Surround tracks in Czech, Hungarian and Polish. The surround is particularly effective in conveying the action with starship explosions and futuristic bleeps and warbles filling the soundstage quite satisfactorily.
Jerry Goldsmith provides the music and it is the last truly memorable theme to a Star Trek feature, by turns heart-warming and adventurous
Dont get me started on the point of features on the disc. Yet again enjoy the trailers and the subtitles.
Star Trek: First Contact is easily the best of the Next Generation movies and is a rip-snorting ride from beginning to end. It also caters for the widest audience of any of the Star Trek movies and is equally entertaining to the dyed in the wool fan or the casual viewer.
It has all the basic ingredients of your basic Next Gen movie, ominous bad guys, flashy starship battles and a little emotional moment for some of the characters. In Star Trek: First Contact these ideas were put together as the starting point for an excellent story.
In the seven years of the television voyages, the most ominous foe that ever appeared was the Borg. A race of relentless cybernetic beings that devour all in their path like locusts, not only would they defeat their enemies, they would convert them to mindless drones to serve their hive mind. They were barely defeated before and their return was dreaded by the Federation, and eagerly anticipated by fans everywhere. Their movie incarnation is actually even more terrifying if possible that their TV appearance. Pale dead flesh is replaced by virulent and organic green tones, and their mechanical menace is magnified tenfold.
First Contact also has the anticipated starship battles, but in a twist does away with them in the first act of the movie. The Borg vessels are quickly despatched by the new and improved Enterprise-E and the focus quickly moves from the flashy pyrotechnics to the essentials of the narrative. The action turns to the tense battle to retain command of the Enterprise as it is consumed from within by the Borg menace.
This is where the emotional hook of the film is. When the Borg assimilated Picard, he was utterly defeated by them and in this film he is quite rightfully consumed by a desire for revenge, a desire that blinds him to his dearest friends and what needs to be done. This character development is natural and is honest in a way that appeals to audiences. First Contact's story is enthralling from the first frame.
The Borg's Achilles heel, in terms of audience was their hive mind. As a group consciousness it is hard to personify the menace. First Contact solved that by introducing the Borg Queen, a distillation and personification of all that drives the Borg in a seductive cybernetic catsuit, played brilliantly by Alice Krige. She provides a very personal foe for Picard, while tempting Data with his heart's desire.
All this unstoppable menace from the Borg and lust for vengeance from Picard would have made for a very dark movie, were it not for the inspired B-story. Also a gift for Star Trek fans who have wondered about first contact since the first tantalising hints in the Original Series, the Enterprise crew on Earth try to help Zefram Cochrane repair his warp ship and make history. But this portrayal of Zefram Cochrane as a drunken scientist who is overwhelmed by the future as revealed to him is wonderful.
The lightness and comedy we expect from Star Trek films is deftly played against the Borg storyline as Cochrane is shown to be something of a reluctant saviour of mankind, somewhat eccentric and hardly what the Enterprise crew are expecting. James Cromwell brings Cochrane to life and shines as the unconventional astronaut.
The problem with the movie format for the Next Gen is the ensemble cast. The first six movies never really had that problem, as the storylines would focus on the three main characters of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, but with so many characters in the Next Gen cast, inevitably storylines would fall on the cutting room floor and the supporting cast would be given token roles and reduced to one-liners. This is particularly true of the most recent film, with Worf there purely for comic relief.
First Contact on the other hand makes great use of the cast members. I've already mentioned Data's temptation and Picard's desire for retribution, but Worf has a pivotal scene where he confronts Picard with his lack of judgment, Riker has his hands full persuading Cochrane to complete the warp test, Geordi gets a justifiable case of hero worship, Deanna has a great scene where she gets drunk with Cochrane, even Doctor Crusher has a substantial role. There are even a few cameos for the Star Trek fans.
Brilliant performances and a brilliant story make this the best Next Generation movie bar none. While the disc may be extras light, the excellent picture and sound quality make this disc a peach of a film.
Star Trek... boldly going with dazzling effects, big budget and those 'Bionic Zombies,' the Borg - what a creation, my favourite Star Trek enemy of all time. Obvious, really, seeing as my user name is Borg! No, I am not a Swedish tennis fan, after all...
Now you all know what Star Trek is, right? If you haven't, then (very quickly) it was a sci-fi series first shown in the 60s. It starred William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Leonard Nemoy as Spock. Kirk was the captain of the star ship Enterprise, which travelled the galaxies in search of new life and 'new civilisations.' The show finished, but the films began to be made, such as 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' and 'The Wrath of Khan.' Then the new series began in 1987: 'Star Trek - The Next Generation.' This was classy series with great effects and great story lines. It was inevitable that we would see this series leap to the big screen too, and that it did, firstly with the disappointing 'Generation,' and then the film I am reviewing now. AKA Star Trek 8... where the crew are pitted against their biggest enemy for the first time on the big screen.
The Borg are attacking Earth, but Captain Picard and his crew of the Enterprise E have been told to stay on the neutral zone to look out for any Romulan activity - but this is just an excuse. The Borg are a race of beings that are half man and half machine. They travel the galaxies assimilating worlds, conquering and taking on various traits from the worlds they triumph over. Not only that, once they kill their foe, then make them into their own. Just like those 'Bionic Zombies.'
Picard was captured by the Borg six years before and assimilated, so the Federation do not want him there. But Picard and his crew defy orders, mainly because Picard seems to be able to 'hear' what the Borg are saying. They set course and reach earth space. The Borg ship creates a kind of vortex and travels back in time to the mid 2160s (about three hundred years before), just before earth launched its first ship capable of warp-drive, 'The Pheonix.' A ship passing by then apparently spotted the ship, then initiated First Contact. But the Borg assimilates Earth and all this does not happen and nor does the setting up of the Federation of Planets.
Picard and the Enterprise travel back at the same time to stop this happening. The Borg ship begins shooting missiles at earth, but the Enterprise manages to destroy the Borg ship before any more damage can be done. It so happens that the Borg ship has been trying to destroy the original warp ship. Some of the crew go to Earth to ensure that the Phoenix is still intact and still launches so that First Contact still takes place. But when the Borg ship is destroyed, the Borg beam onto the Enterprise without the crew knowing and start assimilating everyone.
Meanwhile down on Earth, Commander Riker and several other members of the away team meet up with Dr. Zefram Cochrane, the legendary pilot of the Phoenix. They must try to talk him into going ahead with the launch. This is no easy task, and not everyone think the away team are friendly and one of Cochrane's friends Lily is injured, but is beamed aboard the Enterprise.
On the Enterprise, more of the crew are being assimilated and Lily has to come to terms with the fact that she is aboard a space ship and that she is in danger and must trust Picard to stay alive. He explains the situation, but she likens his obsession for revenge like that of Captain Ahab's was for Moby Dick. Commander Data, the android of the crew strives to be more human, is taken by the Borg and meets up with the Borg Queen, who tries to gain information from him by using his biggest weakness...
This is the best Star Trek film, in my opinion. It is much better than its predecessor ('Generations') and I always felt the original series starring Shatner and co were too tongue in cheek. Sadly, though, the following two movies did not hit the same mark - although they were all right. It is a saddening thought that there will probably be no more films staring the Next Generation crew. I would have liked to have seen many more, particularly with the Borg. But this looks like it will not be.
Patrick Stewart .... Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes .... Commander William T. Riker
Brent Spiner .... Lt. Commander Data
LeVar Burton .... Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn .... Lt. Commander Worf
Gates McFadden .... Dr. Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis .... Counselor Deanna Troi
Alfre Woodard .... Lily
James Cromwell .... Dr. Zefram Cochrane
Alice Krige .... Borg Queen
Michael Horton .... Security Officer
Neal McDonough .... Lt. Hawk
Marnie McPhail .... Inge Eiger
Robert Picardo .... Holographic Doctor
Dwight Schultz .... Lt. Barclay
Run time - 110 minutes.
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Gene Roddenberry (television series Star Trek)
Rick Berman (story) &
Brannon Braga (story) &
Ronald D. Moore (story)
Brannon Braga (screenplay) &
Ronald D. Moore (screenplay)
For fans of the series... here are a few bits about what your favourite characters do in this film...
Captain Jean-Luc Picard spends most of the film aboard the ship fighting off the Borg and looking pretty annoyed that they have managed to get on board his ship.
Commander William T. Riker is on earth most of the time, soaking up the atmosphere and looking at Cochrane admiringly.
Lt. Commander Data is captured by the Borg, is given human skin and gets laid (we think! Shock)
Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge sports new eyes - the visor is gone. He looks admiringly at Cochrane too.
Lt. Commander Worf is aboard the ship with Picard, helping the good fight against the Borg.
Dr. Beverly Crusher, also on the ship. Doesn't do a lot.
Counselor Deanna Troi doesn't do much on earth, but looks very nice (as always).
All in all the film is great and Picard's acting is best (as always), but the Borg Queen played by Alice Krige is perfect for the part. Creepy, slippery, mean and bloodless...
By the way, if any of you are wondering why I kept referring to the Borg as 'Bionic Zombies,' it is because Lily refers to them as such to Picard and I thought it was a very good analogy.
Also written for Ciao Uk by me as 'Borg...'
Star Trek First Contact is a science fiction action film that was released in 1996, and was directed by Jonathan Frakes. I would personally say that First Contact is the best Star Trek film to be based on The Next Generation, second only perhaps to 'Nemesis.'
The film follows an race of aliens know as the Borg. They are a group of cybernetic lifeforms that form part of a collective consciouness with a single mind. Their desire is to achieve perfection through the assimilation of other species and their technologies. Those unlucky enough to become a Borg 'drone' will find themselves loosing their sense of individuality and having their bodies implanted with various mechanical components. In Star Trek First Contact a Borg vessel has began an invasion of humanity. Their goal is to reach Earth where they will assimilate the population. Standing between them and their goal is Jean-Luc Picard, the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and a former Borg himself. Picard is determined to not only stop the Borg, but to seek revenge for what they did to him in their last encounter. But the Borg reach Earth and deploy a plan to assimilate the entire planet by travelling back in time to the year 2063 and before Earth made first contact with another species. It's up to the Enterprise and her crew to save humanity.
The concept behind the Borg is great. They are truly scary. I think it's the fact that they do not aim to kill you, but turn you into one of them - a mindless drone. It was good to see some of the history of the Federation in First Contact, most notably the first warp speed flight and the first encounter with another species. There are some great special effects throughout the film that have all been done to a high standard. The battle between Starfleet and the Borg near the beginning of the film comes to mind, but also all of the sets are great with no expense spared and some great attention to detail. The film is thrilling and full of suspense, it offers sci-fi and horror, but also some comedy and drama. First Contact has plenty of brilliant scenes that are guaranteed to entertain. One that sticks in my mind is the scene on the Holodeck, and also when we see Dianna Troi drunk.
The acting from all is excellent. In the film Captain Picard, shows his somewhat darker side at times, adding another dimention to the character that we knew from The Next Generation. At one time he is compared to Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. I was also pretty impressed with the acting from Brent Spine who played Data, an android who wants to become more human. In the film he is tempted by an offer made by the Borg which raises a few good moral issues. Jonathon Frakes who not only directed the film, but also played as Commander William Riker, does extremely well on both fronts and deserves a mention.
If you're a Star Trek fan, then you'll without a doubt enjoy First Contact. If you're not a fan, then you'll probably still enjoy the film as it offers so much.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)
I was looking forward to watching first contact as I felt that the last couple of Star Trek films had lost a bit of their direction. Although I really enjoyed all of the films (even the worst one - Star Trek V) this was going to be an exciting change in direction.
The film focuses on the Borgs continuing attempts to take over the alpha quadrant and in particular - humanity.
The film opens with an amazing battle scene...one not to be missed and sadly, not one they have managed to recreate in the films (although Deep Space 9 Season seven comes close) We get to see new starships and new weapons...about time!
Without spoiling too much of the film, the action takes place in the 21st century, the crew having followed a Borg sphere through a time vortex. The Borg are intent on stopping first contact - the first time Humans meet an alien race, from ever happening.
The action is set on earth and also on the Enterprise..... because all is not clearly right with the ship.
Data plays a hugely significant role in this film and is tempted beyond measure with something he has aspired to since being created.
We are also introduced to one o fthe most significant bad guys for a long time, who from this moment on crosses over into other start trek franchises.
This film is a gem for all star trek fans and the Borg are scary enough to make Doctor Who fans hide behind the settee too.
Jean Luc Picard is brilliant too...watch how he reacts to being compared with Captain Ahab...brilliant writing.
I bought this film on DVD after owning it since it was released on video. I also consider myself a fan of Star Trek and have watched all of the other movies made. Therefore I am in a position to comment on this film.
This film has a fast paced storyline that keeps the viewer on the edge of his or her seat. The best thing about this film is that it requires no former knowledge of the world of Star Trek even though it ties things together for fans watching the different series on tv. It starts in the future and then jumps back to the past to prevent an alien race from assimilating Earth. This film is really gripping and is full of action. It also stars James Cromwell from the film Babe.
In my opinion this is the best Star Trek film ever made and is well worth a watch!
Star Trek - First Contact is probably my favourite of the ten Star Trek movies, although it's difficult to choose between this, Wrath of Khan and possibly even the Undiscovered Country. It's the first movie in the franchise to focus solely on the Next Generation Crew, Star Trek VII - Generations having been a joint showing between the Original series cast and The Next Generations'.
The movie begins as a Borg cube is on course for Earth and a fleet of Starships are on route to engage them in battle. However the Enterprise-E, newly designed after the previous film, is ordered to patrol the neutral zone in case an enemy decides to take advantage of the situation. Discontent with simply waiting behind as their fellow Starfleet officers go into battle, the Enterprise crew disobey their direct orders and set a course for Earth. After a fierce battle a Borg Sphere heads directly for Earth and travels back in time, to a period before first contact with the Vulcan race, and assimilates Earth. It is left to the crew of Enterprise to set the course of history back on its right path and stop the Borg from conquering Earth.
The Borg are undoubtedly my favourite enemy race in the entire Star Trek universe. Since they first appeared in 'Q Who' they have been shown as a terrifying and malevolent race determined to assimilate entire races in the pursuit of perfecting themselves. A key episode, and a favourite amongst many fans, of the Next Generations run is 'Best of Both Worlds, which has a large significance in this film. For anyone who hasn't seen the double episode firstly go and watch it, you don't know what you're missing. Although it's possible to watch First Contact without having seen the episode it would be helpful if you had, not only does it explain some background to the borg it also pursues their relationship with humans, specifically Picard. It is the relationship between Picard and the collective that is a big focus of the movie.
The Borg during First Contact are just as terrifying as they ever were; the effects used to portray them are excellent, the individual drones and the borg vessels themselves are much more believable than they ever were in the series. There are some people who disliked the introduction of the Borg Queen believing that it ruined the entire premise of the Borg race however I'm not one of them. Alice Krige was magnificent in the role, her introduction scene is disturbing but memorable as is the rest of her performance.
The new Enterprise isn't the light 80's style we've grown used to in the television series and I prefer it that way. The tone of the movie requires are darker atmosphere and this enterprise gives you that. Some little things about the ship amused me when watching it, specifically the sickbay scenes which, to any Voyager fans, will look particularly familiar especially with the cameo of Robert Picardo as the Emergency Medical Hologram who is delightful even in his tiny part. There was also a cameo for Ethan Phillips, Neelix of Voyager, during the holodeck scene between Picard and Lilly.
The effects throughout the film were exceptional, even when rewatching it now I still think they look fantastic. The battle between the Borg and the Starfleet vessels look great as do all the Borg scenes aboard Enterprise, the effects during the scenes on the enterprise hull are also brilliantly done.
The score throughout the film is composed by Jerry Goldsmith and is one of my favourites for any Trek film. It has a mixture of new songs and old favourites from the Motion Picture and Final Frontier. The atmosphere it creates is perfectly complementary to the rest of the film.
Overall I'd say the film is not just one of the best Star Trek films but also an excellent general sci fi movie which is well worth a watch. I loved it when I first watched it and still do to this day.
STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT is the 8th in the 'Star Trek' movie series, and the 2nd to feature the 'Next Generation' crew, led by Captain Picard. The storyline has the crew having to travel back in time from the 24th to the 21st century in order to stop the Borg from assimilating the Earth and changing the future from the course it should be on.
This is a much more exciting film than the previous instalment, 'Generations'. Each member of the crew has more to do, whereas the last film very much seemed like 'The Picard/Kirk Show'. The storyline is more exciting - I've always had a soft spot for the Borg ever since their first appearance in the TV episode 'The Best Of Both Worlds', and the Borg and their Queen (played by Alice Krige) provide a much more formidable foe than Malcilm McDowell's Soren in the previous film. It also has to be said that much as I love the crew of the original Enterprise, Kirk's appearance in the previous film undermined the quality of the 'Next Generation' characters, whereas here they are fully allowed to shine.
Special effects are excellent - I certainly wouldn't want to meet the Borg Queen on a dark night, or at any time to be honest!
This film is the best of the 'Next Generation' movies, and is highly recommended.
Following the extremely disappointing Generations (ST7), we were expecting this, the eighth Star Trek film, to be a lot better. (In case you managed to miss it or havent seen many of the films, all the odd numbered Star Trek films up to 7 were awful, while the even-numbered films were good strange but true
) Fortunately, we were right - First Contact, while it certainly has its flaws, is well worth seeing and Star Trek: The Next Generation fans were certainly not left feeling disappointed again.
If you know the series, youll remember that at one point, Captain Picard was assimilated by the Borg (an alien race that operate with a collective mind), but was rescued by his crew. However, the memory continues to torment him, and when the Borg attack earth, he finds that at times he can still hear them inside his head. Because of his experience with the Borg, hes the ideal person to lead the attack against them however, Starfleet feel he might be compromised by his past experience, so order him to have the Enterprise patrol the neutral zone (just in case of Romulan attack). As Earths forces are getting pounded by the Borg, he of course decides (in true Star Trek fashion) to disobey orders and go to fight the Borg. Data says I think I speak for everyone when I say . to hell with orders just one of many extremely corny lines in the film. (Not as bad as Worfs Assimilate this! as he dispatched some Borg probably the worst line (and the least convincingly delivered) since Arnie delivered the line... well, ANY of his lines, when he played the icy baddy in Batman & Robin )
But anyway the Enterprise goes back, Picard takes over the fleet, focuses all energy on a seemingly innocuous point of the Borg ship that he somehow knows is vital, and the ship blows up. An escape pod is released that manages to go back in time and turn the earth into cyberworld but the Enterprise is shielded from the effects by a temporal vortex (plot plausibility is not a strong concern in this film), and has to go back to prevent the Borg from doing whatever it is theyve done
And what are the Borg trying to do? Prevent First Contact - the maiden flight of Dr. Zefram Cochrane, the effects of which were much wider-reaching than merely his being the first person to achieve warp (faster than light) speed
(I know, that lot looks like there are some serious spoilers in it, but believe me, Ive not given anything away that doesnt happen within the first quarter of an hour! Well, possibly Dr Cochranes name wasnt mentioned, but apart from that )
First Contact is an enjoyably cheesy sci-fi romp, though slightly less so because its trying not to be cheesy. Theres a fair amount of humour scattered throughout the film, just over half of which works. Picarda (Patrick Stewart) and Data (Brent Spiner) are the key characters here, though the others get a fair amount of screen time. (Thankfully there is no Wesley Crusher here I never could stand him!) Theres also a brief but memorable appearance by Robert Picardo as the emergency holographic doctor (he plays the holographic doctor in Star Trek: Voyager). Newcomers Alice Krige (the Borg Queen) and Alfre Woodard (Lily Sloane Dr Cochranes assistant) do reasonably well with their roles, but James Cromwell as the mad doc himself is probably the most watchable of the earth-bound characters. (The scene where he realises hes forgotten something important as the flight countdown is commencing is priceless!) Stewart and Spiner acquit themselves well enough, but the charater studies of Datas desire to be more human and Picards craving for revenge against the Borg, while interesting, had more potential than is fully developed here.
The plot moves along just about fast enough for you to stop yourself from realising just how dumb a lot of it is, and the special effects are as good as youd expect very impressive. The film really plays like an extended version of one of the better episodes in the series, which is not exactly a bad thing. Theres nothing at all wrong with the musical score or cinematography, production values are high, and the whole thing is directed with able (if somewhat lacklustre) skill by Jonathon Frakes (who alo plays Riker). The end result is something that is very enjoyable to watch but leaves you with a feeling that this cast could have achieved more something that was later achieved by the excellent Insurrection (the next film in the Star Trek movie series).
All in all, I would recommend this film to fans of the Next Generation series, or people who just like fun, undemanding sci-fi films. If youre looking for something with real depth this, I'm afraid, doesn't really have it. If you dont like the TNG crew anyway, youre unlikely to enjoy this very much... (but then there's no helping some people...)
Main Cast Members
Patrick Stewart ... Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes ... Commander William Thomas Riker
Brent Spiner ... Lt. Commander Data
LeVar Burton ... Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn ... Lt. Commander Worf
Gates McFadden ... Dr. Commander Beverly Howard Crusher
Marina Sirtis ... Counselor Commander Deanna Troi
Alfre Woodard ... Lily Sloane
James Cromwell ... Dr. Zefram Cochrane
Alice Krige ... Borg Queen
As always, thanks for reading / rating / making it so.
It was seeing this film at the cinema in 1996 that first got me into Star Trek, and I soon was into it in a BIIIG way. Plenty of sci-fi action with a threatening enemy and lots of action, couldn?t have been better- but this opinion will not focus on the film, which I love for both appreciative and nostalgic reasons, but on the DVD release itself, which I was a little disappointed in. I?ve recently started noticing that Paramount are re-releasing the Star Trek film DVDs, they?re currently up to Star Trek IV, giving me the impression that a ?Director?s Cut? edition of this film, Star Trek VIII, will soon be released (soon being at least six months). Such a release would be favourable, due to the lack of extras. There are two different trailers on the disc which I enjoy watching, one a ?teaser trailer? brought out inadvisably early and featuring plenty of special effects of a much poorer quality, and of completely different subject, to those which would feature in the film (mostly taken from The Next Generation episodes, the Deep Space Nine pilot episode and the film Star Trek Generations), and a more advanced ?theatrical trailer? that actually serves to show what the film is about. There are also a large variety of language options and a chapter select, but the extras end there- not even any nice animated menus. The film itself is of pristine quality, in ?anamorphic widescreen 16:9? (simply saying widescreen would be enough for me, personally), and the sound quality is excellent, I?d just expect a lot more from a DVD that would obviously have to cater for such an attention-seeking, extras-loving people as the Trekkie community. It?s serving me well for watch purposes for now, but will definitely be sold again on eBay if a director?s cut is released- I?d like to see this film which marked a landmark in my tastes given much more attention, especially some behind-the-scenes of which there must have been many made, I know the film was quite well
received and eagerly anticipated.
Even-numbered Star Trek movies tend to be better, and this one (number eight in the popular series) is no exception--an intelligently handled plot involving the galaxy-conquering Borg and their attempt to invade Earth's past, alter history, and "assimilate" the entire human race. Time travel, a dazzling new Enterprise, and capable direction by Next Generation alumnus Jonathan Frakes makes this one rank with the best of the bunch. Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his able crew travel back in time to Earth in the year 2063, where they hope to ensure that the inventor of warp drive (played by James Cromwell) will successfully carry out his pioneering warp-drive flight and precipitate Earth's "first contact" with an alien race. A seductive Borg queen (Alice Krige) holds Lt. Data (Brent Spiner) hostage in an effort to sabotage the Federation's preservation of history, and the captive android finds himself tempted by the queen's tantalising sins of the flesh. Sharply conceived to fit snugly into the burgeoning Star Trek chronology, First Contact leads to a surprise revelation that marks an important historical chapter in the ongoing mission "to boldly go where no one has gone before". --Jeff Shannon