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STIIX:FC-Reminiscent of days gone by...but in the future
Star Trek: First Contact (DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Star Trek: First Contact (DVD)
Advantages: How all Sci-fi should be...space, aliens and a story
Disadvantages: No features on the disc!
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.
Summary: If you have to start somewhere with Star Trek start here