A two-disc collectable box set containing exclusive bonus features, STAR TREK GENERATIONS - SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION fast forwards to the 23rd century, uniting crew members from the original series with the Next Generat... more »ion crew. In STAR TREK GENERATIONS - SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION, a test run takes an unexpected turn 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 (Stewart) and the crew of Enterprise-D rescue an El Aurian physicist named Soran (McDowell). Unbeknownst to Picard, Soran harbors a deadly plan that includes the destruction of the Enterprise and millions of lives. Picard's only hope for a future lies within the Nexus.« less
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Boldly going where "Star Trek-The Original Series" had gone before, "Generations" allows us to watch the passing of the torch. The Next Generation cast took the big screen but not center stage in the first feature of this television series. The real attraction here was the death of a beloved Trek icon-Captain James T. Kirk. As the film begins Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) along with former crewmates Scotty (James Doohan) and Checkov (Walter Koenig) are along on the ride for the launch of the newly commissioned Enterprise-B. When two ships signal that they need help, the Enterprise-B, despite the fact that it hasn't been outfitted with the rudimentary defense mechanisms, is ordered to help the two troubled passenger ships. New Captain John Harriman (Alan Ruck) reluctantly zooms to their aid. With news cameras from every network on Earth covering the launch of the ship, Kirk feels compelled to step in and help the inexperienced crew save the lives on the ships in distress. Unfortunately, Kirk appears to be killed in the process.
About 80 years later the crew of the USS Enterprise C is celebrating the promotion of Lt. Commander Worf on the holodeck, Captain Jean Luc-Picard receives some disturbing news during the celebration; his nephew, brother and sister-in-law have been killed in a fire. The celebration is cut short when the Enterprise is ordered to help a research station under fire from Romulans. As the ship arrives, they discover everyone on the research vessel dead except Dr. Tolian Soren (Malcolm McDowell). It turns out that he is the cause of the attack and he's develop a dangerous new weapon that can cause a sun to go nova within minutes. He plans on using it to somehow harness the power of something called the Nexus ribbon. It appears that people that enter this ribbon that travels through space can relive the past and visit with loved ones long dead. Picard must stop Soren or millions of innocent lives will be sacrificed in the process. Unfortunately, he fails and both he and Soren are sucked into the Nexus. While in there Picard meets a most unexpected ally Captain James T. Kirk who it appears is very much alive. Picard must convince Kirk to help him stop Soren as he's cut off from his ship and crew.
Although it was much maligned by the press when it was first released "Generations" has the stuff big screen space operas and good science fiction are made up; there's an ethical dilemma, an action packed script and some solid character development. What it doesn't have is the sense that it was designed for the big screen. Despite the bigger production values and epic scope of the initial action, the film feels like it could have been made during the series'seven year reign. There's also the lack of a larger than life villain. While McDowell is great in his role as the complex villain Soren, you get the feeling that Picard and Kirk could easily take him out. The ending haunted the film from the very beginning; the death scenes for Captain Kirk had to be reshot after the film was finished as it just didn't have the mythic quality the producers and fans wanted. The final ending doesn't either but it is more satisfying than the original ending (which is included on this special edition). "Generations" provides an entertaining two hour adventure and, while not the best Trek film from The Next Generation crew ("Star Trek: First Contact" holds that honor), it's a satisfying adventure.
I've not seen this much edge enhancement in some time. While the transfer captures the vivid colors of the ocean at the beginning and the desolate beauty of the desert at the end, the over use of edge enhancement (in the form of a shimmering effect) cripples this disc. It's not really noticeable on a small screen but on big screen TVs, the use of a Proxima Projector or on a HDTV, it's noticeable to the point that it's distracting. On the plus side, this "next generation" edition of the film is a marked improvement over the bare bones edition Paramount issued five years ago. The film receives a nice anamorphic transfer with a much crisper picture and better detail than on the previous DVD. The bright colors and solid blacks are rendered very nicely. The analog blemishes are few and it's clear that this has been struck from a new print.
On the plus side as well we're offered a terrific 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track as well as a DTS version of the soundtrack. There are also Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks available for both the English and French soundtracks as well. The sonic detail and a great dynamic range highlight the soundtrack. The clear dialogue, effects and music are distinct and have tremendous presence regardless of which version of the soundtrack you select.
With a second disc of extras, "Generations" is a marked improvement over the first edition. The first edition of the film didn't even have the theatrical trailer. Here we get "The Star Trek Universe", "Production", "Visual effects" and other featurettes focusing on the production of the movie. The production quality of the featurettes is more than a cut above the standard releases as well. We get interviews on set with cast and crew as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the production of the movie nicely edited with some neat graphics.
"Star Trek Universe is divided into the following segments; Production is divided into three sections; "A Tribute to Matt Jeffries" which is one of the best and most touching featurettes here. Jeffries was the original art director for the original series and continued on in various roles throughout the movies as well. "The Enterprise Lineage" discusses all the ships from the series "Enterprise" to the Enterprise-D launched in "Star Trek: First Contact". "Captain Picard's Family Album" and "Creating 24th Century Weapons" round out this particular section. Production focuses on the following areas; "Uniting Two Legends", "Stellar Cartography: Creating the Illusion" and "Strange New Worlds: The Valley of Fire". The first focuses on the brainstorming that went into uniting two different TV icons in the movie. The second featurette discusses the creation of the famous Stellar Cartography deck and is related to the challenges of creating believable optical effects for this sequence. The third and final featurette here focuses on the alien planet where the bulk of the second half of the film takes place. "Visual Effects" provides an inside look at the creation of the models and miniatures as well as the sequence where the Enterprise crashes into the surface of the alien planet.
Next we get "Scene Deconstruction" that allows us to glimpse the creation of the main title sequence. We see how the effect for the Nexus Ribbon is created and see how the illusion of the crash of the Enterprise was so convincingly portrayed. There's a number of deleted scenes included (most of them unfinished which is why they weren't integrated back into the film) including the "Orbital Skydiving" scene that was originally supposed to open the film. "Walking the Plank" provides a glimpse of a sequence that takes place during Worf's promotion ceremony that was trimmed for time reasons. The last two will be of particular interest to fans of the film and series. We see a more involved sequence depicting Christmas with The Picards. This involves Captain Picard's imaginary family and his experience in the Nexus and, for the grand finale, the alternate ending that only preview audiences saw. There's also the inclusion of deleted scenes, a photo gallery and a selection of production storyboards to compare to the finished film.
Writers Ron Moore and Brannon Braga provide the commentary track for the film. Since both wrote a number of the best TV episodes of "The Next Generation" and this film along with "First Contact", they're able to provide a unique and fascinating glimpse into the compromises involved in making a Trek film. From Paramount's direction that the film has to be understandable by anyone not familiar to "Star Trek" to issues with the fans reaction to the film, both writers give us a candid account of the production. This, along with Michael and Denise Okuda's precise and informative text commentary give an excellent insider's perspective on the making of this film.
Although "Star Trek Generations" couldn't possibly live up to the fan expectations for the film, it's still a solid outing in the franchise. If more risks had been taken with the screenplay and direction, perhaps this film could have been as good as "Star Trek: First Contact". Regardless, Paramount has put together a fine and comprehensive special edition here. My only complaint is the over use of edge enhancement that mars an otherwise fine transfer free of the analog blemishes that marred the "Star Trek V-Collector's Edition" from a couple of years ago. "
A great transition!
K. Wyatt | St. Louis, MO United States | 09/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Star Trek Generations is simply a great transition movie, handing the torch from Captain Kirk and crew to Captain Picard and crew. While not living up completely to what we the fans wanted, that doesn't really matter. That is the case in most of the movies. Especially the odd numbered ones for some strange cosmic reason. We all knew the Galaxy Class Enterprise 1701-D had to go. It was simply not made for the silver screen. I was personally hoping that more of the original series crew could've made it for the opening sequence. The scenes between Kirk and Picard were very well done. If I remember correctly, this was also the first time that we'd heard Captain Sulu's first name. Patrick Stewart once again showed the depth of his acting abilities with the death of his character's brother and nephew. It's a little disturbing to see Captain Picard basically recieve a beating from Soren. After watching Kirk fight many a people and win over the years. Malcolm McDowell, Soren played a very good, tortured villain. And yes, Captain Kirk said in Star Trek V The Final Frontier that he always knew he'd die alone. And that was the case, he was alone in the sense the Spock and McCoy weren't there. The way Kirk died did seem a little melodramatic for the character. Overall though, a very good transition movie. I would suggest that if you'd like a few more of the details, I believe you can still get a copy of the book. It does bring to light some of the things that were glossed over on the screen."
Disappointing entry, and boo to Paramount
T. Tiraterra | Davis, CA | 02/10/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Star Trek: Generations" is one of my least favorite entries in the series. There are some great ideas here, but unfortunately there's not a whole lot to get excited about.Patrick Stewart is a terrific actor, and this is mainly his film, so it's not all bad. He has a way of making even the dumbest lines of dialogue seem moving and important, and the scene where he deals with the death of his nephew is generally well done. He also interacts pretty well with William Shatner's Kirk, making their scenes together interesting; indeed, "Generations" only really does come to life when those two are together on the screen. Unfortunately, despite what the marketing would make you think, they're only together the final half hour of the film."Generations" does a lot more things wrong than right. For starters, it was directed by relative unknown David Carson (lesson to studio execs- a major film that has a rabid fanbase should not be a training ground for a new director), who is obviously in way over his head here. Any sense of pacing is thrown out of the window, making the few action scenes that are in "Generations" borderline lame. "The Next Generation" regulars are pretty much going through the motions- only Brent Spiner has a large role as Data, and unfortunately the filmakers decided to make him an idiot in this movie as he experiments with his new "emotion chip". The film's ending- which features the death of a major character- falls surprisingly flat, especially when compared to the ending of "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan".The villains are among the worst ever in the franchise. Malcolm McDowell tries to make Soran a complex and conflicted character and does an adequate job, but unfortunately is no one to hiss at. He's more misguided than evil, and I can't recall him ever directly killing anyone. On the other hand, the Klingons that are assisting him are laughably one-dimensional. Only the female Klingon captains have any dialogue, and they're incredibly stupid- their henchmen just beat people up and grunt like animals. After the more complex view of the Klingons that "The Undiscovered Country" gave, this is an unwelcome step backward.And so, "Generations"' pacing problems, inadequate direction, and lackluster ending causes me to rank it among the worst of the "Star Trek" films, just a knotch above "The Final Frontier". It's still worth a view if you're a hardcore Trek fan (as I consider myself), but more casual ones might want to avoid this one. Also, I want to say a special jeer to Paramount for releasing the "Star Trek" films with so few extras, and then making us Trek fans buy them over again for the "Special Editions". Don't buy this film yet if you must- wait for the Special Edition!"
Not the best Trek film, but very underrated
Twiddles42 | MN, USA | 10/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a theatrical movie, "Star Trek Generations" fails - it feels more like a long TV episode - mostly due to the re-appearance of the Duras sisters. This was, quite possibly, the worst aspect of this film. They're fun characters, but their presence, let alone villainy, is hardly on the same level as General Chang (Star Trek VI).
The commentary and special features also point out tha some dr Sorin/Geordi torture scenes were cut. This is a shame as this would have added much a needed sense of "We hate your guts" to Sorin, who is more or less a character we'd much rather give our pity to because of his plight!
Guinan is also awkwardly handled. Remember, her and the El Aurians' had escaped the Borg. Just how far were they travelling before the Federation found them, on their doorstop no less? (I'm assuming an earlier (unseen) hailing had the El Aurians told Starfleet who they were, as it makes no sense for Starfleet to otherwise know what species this is.) Anyway, Guinan says it's impossible to get back into the nexus and that she has to live with it and Sorin must be convinced of it. But in the same scene she says that to Picard, she also says "If you go in, you won't want to leave" - so we now know Picard will be going on.
In short, the plot is a mess and the revised ending gives Shatner to deliver a nice speech at the end. (Fortunately, we get to see the original ending, which is good as the original ending is far more dramatic, and ironic.)
And why aren't the trailers included?! Couldn't Paramount have waited an extra week or two for the clearances to be approved? Given the amount of 'deleted scenes' material, it seems goofy that a trailer couldn't be cleared.
And I recall a few differences between the home video/dvd/laserdisc releases over the theatrical release. Mostly in the form of an extended crash sequence, and a better camera angle when the red- oops, yellow-shirt guy gets blown over Worf's console, who I then suspect made the shirt red. (the angle was originally a consistent slow-mo with Troi being consistently visible on the lower right. The home video ed sees a different angle of the guy being thrown back, which then turns to Troi bouncing back.)
This movie, while awkwardly written, has a few plusses that kicks my rating up a notch:
As the Enterprise D sets (barring the corridors which were taken from the Kirk-era films) were made for the small screen, the producers darkened the lighting. The resulting look was AWESOME and (unintentionally?) added a lot of atmosphere to the film, as well as making it look distinctive and, well, COOL! (Unfortunately, 'First Contact' sees the usual brightly lit sets once again - but that's the least of that flick's problems).
I love how it deals with mortality. Indeed, as I said before, the original Kirk death sequence does not exactly detract from this movie (though I will admit, SOME of the changes for the final confrontation were welcomed.) Seeing a personal side to Picard was a nice touch, and well acted by Patrick Stewart.
Of course, the crash sequence is still wonderful to watch. While not the first sci-fi venue to show a ship crash as such (Blake's 7 had), Generations executed the effects considerably better.
The commentary. This is a MUST-LISTEN-TO. The producers say a lot about what they felt they did wrong. While a bit too kissy-up to Shatner during his scenes, there wasn't much in the commentary I didn't like, and some of it was eye-opening (including a differnt idea for the season 6 finale...)
The extras. There's a lot of extras on this release. The crash sequence deconstructed, a doco on effects, a great tribute to Matt Jeffries, the original Kirk death scene, the film shot for the original opening credits idea... All great stuff.
Now onto DVD quality:
Sound: Dolby 5.1 and DTS sound ROCK THE HOUSE. Especially DTS. In terms of audio, this is a great release.
Menus: I thought Trek VI had a great menu system, but Generations takes the cake. Well designed and fun to navigate.
Video: Uh-oh. Now I had seen the extras first. Some of the film was damaged and there was a lot of dirt and dust. I thought 'well, these are extras so I won't whine'. Then I watched the movie. Atypical for these releases, there's a LOT of dust and other print flaws visible. Worse, infinitely worse, is that Paramount must have used edge enhancement while 'restoring' the film. In the Veridian 3 scenes with Sorin, the edge enhancement halo artifacting is very visible and very irritating. Video here is a disappointment. Indeed, if I could mix my laserdisc's cleaner/less-jagged video with the DVD's sound, I'd be all smiles. Though, as far as DVDs go, I couldn't see too much in the way of compression artifacting.
It's worth getting for the extras and because the movie actually tries to be deeper, but don't expect the best video quality."
Recalled, but Amazon shipped to me
Spookie | Antartica | 09/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I will not talk about the film, everybody knows it. The review is about the "what's in the box"....
Days ago I got an email from Amazon saying they were sorry but could not deliver the DVD on the promised date, bla bla. 2 days later, I got another email saying they shipped it.
Yeah, I've got it and it has the same image quality as the previous release (1 disc). It is missing the foil with the chapter guide (you can use the one from the other edition). Although the movie is 10 years old and was filmed on normal equipment, it does show some age on the image quality. Paramount should have cleaned it before the new release.
The menu is new, animated with the Enterprise B on the first disk. It has some extras on the second disk, like deleted scenes, alternative ending (Kirk's death) which I found interesting to watch. It has some features also on the special effects, like the crash sequence and filming the Enterprise - most of it was not CGI.
Besides the missing trailers - it is mentioned on the cover, but not available on either disks, one good suprise was to find that this version has also Dolby DTS track.
Overall, it is worthwhile, for the extras and DTS. And it costed much less than the first version.
Nevertheless, Paramount deserves a negative feedback for taking advantage of us for using such strategy: release barebones first and special editions later: this is pissing a lot of customers, specially the ones that bought the Original Series for much higher cost in many volumes. Paramount must learn with the other studios on how to master and pack DVDs - Warner, FOX and MGM are normally much better."