STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT
Reviewed August 29th, 1999 by Staff
Star Trek: First Contact is a first on many fronts: it was one of the first Paramount DVDs released; It was the first Star Trek film to feature only the Next Generation cast; and it was the first feature directed by Next Generation regular Jonathan Frakes.
First Contact is one of the best Trek films. Frakes pulls off an intense movie, full of eye candy and action. Next Generation arch foes, the Borg, travel back in time to prevent a monumental event in human evolution: the first contact with an alien race. Our heroes follow the Borg back in time to do battle and save humanity once again. Patrick Stewart is in top form, crossing the obsessive/compulsive line (Shatner would never do that). Brent Spiner shines once again as Data. The movie is enhanced by the wonderful Alfre Woddard and Babe's James Cromwell, who play 21st century humans. Alice Krige's Borg queen is quite memorable.
The film never gets tired: Frakes exploits numerous horror cinematic techniques to make the Borg more eerie, the pace is quick, and the ILM special effects are quite good.
This is a fantastic DVD. Paramount delivers a beautiful looking, anamorphic print of the film. Color and detail are excellent. Blacks are VERY black. Star Trek: First Contact is a great dem-onstration disc to convert the DVD shy, and to show off your home theater. The movie itself is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen format and is 16x9 enhanced. The 4:3 down con-version shows no (or next to no) artifacting.
The 5.1 Digital mix is very well done. The Borg are made more creepy by mechanical squeaks and whirls from the surrounds, and loud foot steps from the sub. The viewer is placed in the mid-dle of battle sequences, with starships and explosions all around. Also, during bridge sequences, voices and console noises are everywhere. This reviewer expected more sub during explosions, but Paramount keeps the lower effects more subtle. Note: The viewer must select the 5.1 mix from the Setup menu.
In terms of extras, Paramount delivers a rather meat and potatoes release. English and French Pro-logic mixes are included, Spanish and English captions, and two trailers.
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