The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 1994, 1996, 1998, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG, PG-13
Feature running time: 117, 110, 102, 116 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Levar Burton, Malcom McDowell, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard, F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, Anthony Zerbe
Directed by: David Carson, Jonathan Frakes, Stuart Baird
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith, Dennis McCarthy
Written by: Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, Michael Piller, John Logan
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 22, 2009
"Star Trek The Next Generation in Bluresistance is futile"
Generations: Stardate: the 23rd Century: Retired Starfleet officers James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) and Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) are guests of honor aboard the newly christened Enterprise-B. A test run takes an unexpected turn, however, when the starship encounters two vessels trapped inside the Nexus, a mysterious energy ribbon. During a perilous rescue attempt, Kirk is swept out into space. Seven decades later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of Enterprise-D rescue an El Aurain physicist named Soran (Malcolm McDowell). Unbeknownst to Picard, Soran harbors a deadly plan that includes the destruction of the Enterprise and millions of lives. Now Picard's only hope for a future rests within the Nexus....and a legendary captain from the past.
First contact: The time is the 24th century and the ship is the newly commissioned Enterprise-E. It's captain, Jean-Luc Picard, has been ordered not to interfere in a combat between a Borg Cube and ships from the Federation. However, seeing the Federation is about to lose, Picard ignore his orders and take command of the defending fleet. With his knowledge of the weak spot of the Cube, they destroy it. However, a part of it escapes and plots a course directly to Earth. The Enterprise chases it and enters a time distortion created by the Borg. They end up in the mid 21st century, their only chance of stopping the Borg from assimilating Earth being to help Zefram Cochrane make his famous first faster than light travel to the stars.
Insurrection: From the beginning of the Federation, the Prime Directive was clear: no Starfleet expedition may interfere with the natural development of other civilizations. But now Picard is confronted with orders that undermine that decree. If he obeys, 600 peaceful residents of Ba'ku will be forcibly removed from their remarkable world. All for the reportedly greater good of millions, who will benefit from Ba'ku's Fountain of Youth-like power. If he disobeys, he will risk his Starship, his career, his life. But for Picard, there's really only one choice. He must rebel against Starfleet...and lead the insurrection to preserve Paradise.
Nemesis: Set a course for a galaxy of unparalleled action and adventure as Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his Starship crew battle a chilling new adversary...that just happens to hold a shocking link to Picard! In the wake of a joyful wedding between Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Troi (Marina Sirtis), Picard receives another reason to celebrate: the Romulans want peace and the captain will be the Federation's emissary. But as the Enterprise heads toward the Romulan Empire, a brilliant villain awaits-harboring a diabolical plan of destruction and an unimaginable secret that will give Picard his most fearsome challenge.
Growing up a fan of Star Trek's original series I had a difficult time accepting the idea of a next generation crew commanding the Enterprise. I watched the new series rarely when it first aired and had trouble warming up to its characters. Once I opened up and gave it a chance I was able to see the potential in the relationships among the core crew members and while different from that of Bones, Scotty, Spock, Kirk, Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu they had their on inalienable qualities. I wasn't a devout fan but I caught many of its episodes during the shows seven seasons. It came as no surprise in 1994 after the show's final season that Paramount brought TNG to the big screen with Star Trek Generations. It became the seventh film in the Star Trek movie franchise and being that it featured the cast and theme of TNG it had something to prove within the Trek universe. It succeeded in providing fans with a similar yet different sense of the fun and adventure that made Star Trek such an alluring experience. Three films followed, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis. Personally I find them all to be entertaining as each balances strong conceptual aspects with good dramatic and sci-fi action based elements. I have to admit that I am partial to First contact (the first DVD I ever bought!) probably because of its multi-faceted storyline that revolves around Picard and the Borg. I have read that many feel that Insurrection is the weak link of the four TNG films. I am not so inclined to agree. I think that of the four it stands out as the one most resembling the original TV series both conceptually and visually. It definitely has a different feel from the others but I find it enjoyable just the same. Nemesis, the final Trek film came four years later and unfortunately performed lousy as the box office. By 2002 I think that Star Trek films (10 in all) were beginning to feel passé as at that time films about adventure, wizards, and super heroes were gathering momentum. Regardless I think that it certainly has its strengths and for fans provides a bit of closure in a well constructed story that really didn't receive due credit.
Star Trek The Next Generation has established its rightful place within the Trek universe. It has accumulated a justifiably devoted fan base, (yours truly included) that appreciate its kinetically charged storylines, endearing cast/characters, and unflappable sense of style. Its seven year TV run is the most among the various Trek television franchises which also includes three other TNG inspired shows that continued in its tradition, Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), Voyager (1995-2001), and Enterprise (2001-2005). I think that the four feature films did an excellent job in capturing the essence of the show and transitioning it to a cinematic level that maintained its integrity. Now all four films have been preserved in this superb Blu-ray collection that offers fans their most comprehensive and technically sound release to date. I am thrilled to add this set to my collection.
The ratings are for sci-fi action violence and peril and mild thematic elements.,/p>
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
In viewing all four of these films, with the exception of Generations, overall fidelity appears to be intact as I saw no overt signs of artificial sharpening or digital noise reduction. Generations has more of a smoother texture with minor edge enhancement that doesn't appear to be excessive. The audio quality among the four of them doesn't appreciably vary as they all sound excellent. Video quality is similarly equivalent although minor fluctuations in black levels, balmy fleshtones (Generations) and less resolvable shadow delineation (Insurrection) kept the sets overall video rating from being slightly higher. Those are relatively minor complaints because each of the four films look excellent with the slightest edge going to Nemesis. My comments below will give an overview of the audio/video quality of the four films. The total average is reflected in the rating section above.
The four Star Trek TNG films come to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio. Generations has an average video bitrate of 29 mbps and average audio bitrate of 3.8 mbps. First contact has an average video bitrate of 23mbps and average audio bitrate of 3.6 mbps. Insurrection has an average video bitrate of 23 mbps and average audio bitrate of 3.8 mbps. Nemesis has an average video bitrate of 24 mbps and average audio bitrate of 4 mbps.
Other than previously mentioned above I found these all to be excellent high definition presentations that feature quantifiable high level detail that manifested itself in the form of crisply defined images with subtle degrees of texture that give the video appreciable depth and clarity. Close ups reveal plenty of discernible detail in facial features, hair and clothing. Long range pans and wide angle shots offer two dimensional depth that presents objects in backgrounds with appreciable definition but can sometimes lack the visual acuity of the best the high definition transfers on Blu-ray. Fidelity is rarely questionable however there is some minor innate softening that occasionally leaves certain shots appearing less resolute. While this is noticeable it is minor and far from detrimental. Colors are bright and well saturated, with natural rendering and subtle refinement. Fleshtones have a warm but lifelike tonality that renders complexions well. Contrast is spot on with punchy whites and stable blacks that appear deeper when onscreen with mixed onscreen content.
The lossless Dolby TrueHD soundtracks each have solid dynamic energy and rich, palpable bass that drive their action based sequences. Detail and clarity are first rate as the variety of sounds including voices, faser fire, explosions, star ship engines and busy battle sequences have defining presence. The sound field is enveloping as it fills the room with spatial, multi-layered nuance and seamless directional pans that correlate with the events unfolding onscreen. Bass is deep and room penetrating as it resonates with excellent authority and tactile purpose. Dialogue is acoustically located just slightly in front of the left/right speakers and is reproduced with appreciable lucidity through the center channel. From a technical perspective Paramount has done a magnificent job with the presentation of TNG films in this Blu-ray movie collection. This easily surpasses any previous home video release and offers fans the chance to experience them in a whole new way.
Paramount has gone above and beyond and delivers a plethora of special features both new and previously seen that contribute to the enjoyment of this fan friendly collection. Each individual film has its own set of bonus features that include deleted scenes, audio commentaries, and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Blu-ray Disc exclusive features include a Bonus View Library Computer viewing mode that provides technical and background information on Star Trek and is arranged in indexed form. BD-Live access includes a Trek trivia game with clips from the films. There is also a fifth bonus features disc titled Star Trek Evolutions which contains 6 Trek related featurettes and an interactive film timeline feature. Below is a per disc overview of what you can expect to find as you weave your way through each film.
- Commentary by director David Carson and Manny Coto
- (HD) Scoring Trek featurette
- (HD) Next Generation designer flashback: Andrew Probert
- (HD) Stellar Cartography on earth featurette
- (HD) Brent Spiner: Data and beyond part 1
- (HD) Trek roundtable: Generations
- (HD) Starfleet Academy: Trilithium
- BD-Live access
- First contact:
- Commentary by Damon Lindelof and Anthony Pascale
- (HD) Industrial light and magic - The next generation
- (HD) Greetings from the international space station
- (HD) Spaceshipone's historic flight
- (HD) Brent Spiner: Data and beyond part 2
- (HD) Trek roundtable: First contact
- (HD) Starfleet Academy: Temporal vortex
- BD-Live access
- Commentary by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis
- (HD) Westmore's legacy
- (HD) Marina Sirtis: The counselor is in
- (HD) Brent Spiner: Data and beyond part 3
- (HD) Trek roundtable: Insurrection
- (HD) Starfleet Academy: Origins of the Ba'ku and Son'a conflict
- BD-Live access
- Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda
- (HD) Reunion with the Rikers
- (HD) Today's tech tomorrow's Data
- (HD) Robot hall of fame
- (HD) Brent Spiner: Data and beyond part 4
- (HD) Trek roundtable: Nemesis
- (HD) Starfleet Academy: Thalaron radiation
- BD-Live access
- (HD) The evolution of The Enterprise
- (HD) Villains of Star Trek
- (HD) I love the Star Trek movies
- (HD) Farewell to Star Trek: The experience
- (HD) Klingon encounter
- (HD) Borg invasion
- Charting the Final Frontier - interactive timeline feature
Star Trek The Next Generation is firmly entrenched in the wonderfully viable and entertaining sci-fi legacy that has become Star Trek. Like the original series TNG crew has endeared themselves to fans and earned their rightful place in the annals of the Trek universe. The four films in this collection continue in that tradition and although opinions may vary regarding which film is better and why I think we can all agree that we are glad to see them come to Blu-ray Disc. Paramount has justly delivered all four films to high definition looking and sounding better than ever. Video quality is excellent and the lossless audio presentations deliver a theater like experience. There are hours worth of bonus supplements, Blu-ray Disc exclusives, and BD-Live access. This collection deserves a place in the library of every Star Trek TNG fan. Kudos to Paramount on a job well done! Highly recommended.
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
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Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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