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Star Trek Nemesis

Star Trek Nemesis on DVD

We can just hear “the Simpsons” comic book guy on this Star Trek outing: “Worst Episode Ever.”

And he’d be wrong. Star Trek V – the Final Frontier is worse. But that doesn’t mean Star Trek Nemesis isn’t bad. Well, it isn't bad, but it's certainly not one of the series' best.

Still, upon revisiting it to review this Collector's Edition, we enjoyed it much more than on our first viewing - and we really enjoyed the top notch picture and sound quality of this new DVD version.

We were really looking forward to this flick. We loved Star Trek the Next Generation on TV, mostly, and think “Star Trek First Contact” is one of the best Trek movies ever. But the TNG crew’s big screen outings have been spotty at best and this one is spotty all through.

It’s also derivative in the extreme, pulling stuff from Star Trek’s own past and regurgitating it in a manner so tiring that it looks almost as if the cast is having trouble keeping awake. Even Patrick Stewart, the best Trek captain ever, is so reserved here he’s almost whispering his lines as if he doesn’t want to disturb the rest of the gang.

The story sees the Romulans making contact with the Federation and hinting at peace – as the Klingons did in ST VI, led by a person from Picard’s past (kind of, like in ST II), and it ends with a beloved cast member sacrificing himself to save the Enterprise and its crew. Gee, where have we seen that B-4? The list of recycled ideas goes on and on.

And what’s with Potsie - sorry, Riker - marrying Troi? Wasn't she doing the limbo with Worf, or was that our imagination?

On the upside, we’re introduced to the Romulans’ “sister planet” Remus and the uglies who live there. It’s kind of neat, though it isn’t really exploited and we came away from the movie not really understanding how the Remans really managed to infiltrate the Romulans when they’re nothing more than a slave race.

Maybe it’s just us…

The only crew members who really have anything of substance to do in this film are Picard and Data; the rest seem to be there mostly for continuity and residual checks. And as plodding as the storyline is, the cast is even more plodding.

The effects are terrific, but as witnessed in “that this was a generation’s final journey", we hoped that if this were to be the last “TNG” movie that they’d go out with a bang. No such luck.

Hopefully they’ll try again, and more successfully.

The DVD’s excellent, though. It’s presented in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatibleand the picture quality is excellent, with rich colors and a razor sharp image. Unfortunately, the movie was shot with a very dark look, so a certain amount of the image sharpness is wasted.

Audio is Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 surround, and it’s very good as well, with nice use of the low frequency effects during the many explosions and the like.

You also get plenty of extras, kind of like you’d expect in the Collector's Edition. First up is a running commentary by director Stuart Baird, the man whose name we first remember from Superman – the Movie (he was editor). There's also a commentary from producer Rick Berman and a text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda.

Disc two includes bunch of stuff, some of which was on the original DVD release. New Frontiers (Baird on Directing Nemesis), A Bold Vision of the Final Frontier, A Star Trek Family's Final Journey and Red Alert: Shooting the Action of Nemesis. It’s pretty interesting stuff, though it also tends (not surprisingly) to make the movie appear to be much better than it is.

There are also deleted scenes that are quite interesting but which wouldn’t have saved them movie, a photo gallery, and some stuff on the Romulan Empire as well as trailers etc.

This is a very good DVD of a mediocre Star Trek episode. Try again, Paramount, and take some risks this time. How about going where no one has gone before, again?

Star Trek Nemesis, from Paramount Home Entertainment
116 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 surround
Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Produced by Rick Berman,
Written by John Logan, directed by Stuart Baird


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