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(Special Collector’s Edition)

When I initially saw STAR TREK: NEMESIS ($20) in the theater, I thought the film to be a mediocre adventure at best, although subsequent viewings of the film on DVD has my estimation of the movie to the point that I find it reasonably enjoyable, even if it isn’t the best possible cinematic swan song for The Next Generation cast.  In my estimation, the biggest problem with STAR TREK: NEMESIS is the derivative plot elements that make the climax seem a bit too much like THE WRATH OF KHAN, taking away much of the desired impact and emotional resonance.  However, in the film's favor, STAR TREK: NEMESIS does take certain long running story arcs to their inevitable conclusion, giving long time fans a sense of closure with the series.

STAR TREK: NEMESIS opens with government of the Romulan Empire being overthrown by a political faction from the dark twin planet of Remus.  The film then segues to the wedding reception of Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), both of whom will be leaving the Enterprise, as Riker has accepted promotion to captain and will be taking command of the USS Titan.  The plot of STAR TREK: NEMESIS follows the crew’s final mission together onboard the Enterprise, starting with the discovery of a prototype android that appears to be an earlier version of Commander Data (Brent Spiner) and following through with a diplomatic mission to Romulus, where Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) is assigned to meet Praetor Shinzon (Tom Hardy), whose Reman faction has just seized control of the Romulan Empire.

Upon their initial meeting, the Enterprise crew discovers that Shinzon is neither a Romulan nor a Reman, but instead a human clone of Captain Picard.  Of course, this leaves both Picard and Data facing fractured mirror images of themselves, as well as a situation that could be a prelude to war between the Federation and the Romulan Empire. The cast of STAR TREK: NEMESIS also features LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Ron Perlman, Dina Meyer, Kate Mulgrew, Wil Wheaton and an uncredited Whoopi Goldberg.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made the Collector’s Edition of STAR TREK: NEMESIS available on DVD in 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays.  Like the preceding release, this edition of STAR TREK: NEMESIS looks superb on DVD.  The image is usually very crisp and beautifully defined.  Sure, there are occasional shots that seem mildly soft, but they never detract from the presentation.  Colors are deeply saturated, but completely stable.  Blacks are on the money, white are clean and the image boasts excellent shadow detail.  Contrast is generally smooth, except for one sequence where it has been purposely blown out to create an otherworldly environment.  The film elements are free from noticeable defects and there is little apparent grain.

STAR TREK: NEMESIS features 5.1 channel soundtracks that come in both the Dolby Digital and DTS formats.  The sound mixes are excellent and deliver the good that one should rightly expect from an action / sci-fi movie.  All of the discrete channels are aggressively implemented, with sounds coming at the viewer from all sides.  Channel separations and panning of effects around the soundstage is effortless, while the track continually produces cohesive sonic environments.  Musical fidelity is excellent and the sound effects are convincingly forceful, thanks to a highly potent bass channel.  Voices maintain a natural timbre; and the dialogue is cleanly rendered and easy to understand.   The DTS track has a slight edge over the standard bearer; producing a slightly warmer sound, with bit more power to the bass. English and French 2.0 surround tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

Computer animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's very nicely designed interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the fine array of supplements, which have been spread across both discs of the set.  Disc one features two running audio commentaries, the first is with director Stuart Baird and the other is producer Rick Berman.  Disc one also features a text commentary on a subtitle channel by Michael and Denise Okuda, authors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Presented pop-up style, the text stream provides plenty of Trek trivia and other interesting bits on the making of the movie.

Moving on to disc two, we find the remainder of the supplemental programming, which has been broken up into various sections.  The Production section offers Nemesis Revisited, which provides cast and crew interviews about the movie (twenty-six minutes); New Frontiers: Stuart Baird On Directing Nemesis which features the director talking about tackling sci-fi for the first time (nine minutes); Storyboarding The Action offers a glimpse at home the action sequences are planed out in advance (three minutes); Red Alert! Shooting The Action Of Nemesis looks at the nuts and bolts of the action sequences (ten minutes); Build And Rebuild focuses on art and production design (seven minutes); Four-Wheeling In The Final Frontier examines the desert planet chase sequence and vehicle (ten minutes); Shinzon Screen Test features Patrick Stewart and Tom Hardy (six minutes).

The Star Trek Universe section offers A Star Trek Family’s Final Journey looks at the sense of closure this story brings to the series (sixteen minutes); A Bold Vision Of The Final Frontier features director Stuart Baird talking about various aspects of the production (ten minutes); The Enterprise E focuses on the sets and models of the Starship (eleven minutes).  The Romulan Empire section offers Romulan Lore, a look at the alien race across the various Trek incarnations (twelve minutes); Shinzon And The Viceroy focuses on the film’s primary villains (ten minutes); Romulan Design examines the art and production designs associated with that alien race (nine minutes); The Romulan Senate focuses on setting and design (nine minutes); The Scimitar looks at the design of the primary Romulan warship (thirteen minutes). Roughly twenty-seven minutes of Deleted Scenes are also provided, as are three Still Galleries for Storyboards, Production and Props, plus a Theatrical Trailer, Theatrical Teaser and promo for the Borg Invasion attraction in Las Vegas.

While it does play better on DVD than it did on the big screen, STAR TREK: NEMESIS probably isn’t the best possible cinematic send off for The Next Generation cast. Personally, I still wouldn’t mind seeing an adventure featuring Captain Riker and the crew of the USS Titan. Anyway… Paramount’s DVD Special Collector’s Edition DVD of STAR TREK: NEMESIS looks and sounds fantastic, plus it offers solid supplemental material. If you are a fan, you’ll have to have it.



Star Trek - Nemesis (Special Collector's Edition)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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