Star Trek movies have always been hit-or-miss, and opinions about which ones are a “hit” and which ones are a “miss” have been known to break up friendships. Indeed, an entire branch of numerological studies has sprung up in regards to the theories regarding the quality of even and odd numbered Trek films.
First Contact (Movie #8) brings us up close and very personal with the Borg, the Next Gen crew’s most feared and dangerous foe. This time, the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) is with them, and she has a diabolical plan to assimilate humanity by mucking about in Earth’s past. The Queen gets her hands on Data (Brent Spiner), who she hopes to turn into some kind of submissive consort with at least the emotions of sadism and lust; meanwhile, Picard (Patrick Stewart) is having PTSD about his last contact with the world’s ickiest hive-mind and shows a rather meaner side to himself. Will Data escape the waxy clutches of the “sexy” Queen? Will Picard finally lose his control and unleash his Gallic fury on all and sundry? Watch this one to find out. Action, science fiction, explosions, Mortal Peril, emotion chips, and people with lasers in their heads: only Wil Wheaton fans will be disappointed.
The special features of the Collector’s Edition are awesome. We get both text and audio commentaries by a whole host of actors, the director, and screenwriters; a tribute to fantastic composer Jerry Goldsmith; all kinds of production notes; scene info; and detailed storyboards and galleries. You’ll be exhausted by the time you watch them all.
Meanwhile, if you want to make it a double-feature, we also have Insurrection, again starring the Next Gen crew as they combat the evils ofâ€¦ aging. This one has less overt action than the former film, but at least this time Picard gets the girl, and she doesn’t have wires coming out of her waxy headâ€¦ or any other places. To make an overly convoluted story short, the Prime Directive has been suspended by the Federation, so that they can exploit a kind of Fountain of Youth on a paradise-like planet. They presumably want to bottle the magic of the planet that keeps people healthy and alive (and hot) for hundreds of years. Picard, however, having fallen in love with the peaceful and thoughtful leader of the planet Ba’ku, is forced to decide whether he will help his (newest) True Love save her people or follow orders and do what he must to serve his other True Love, the Federation.
This Collector’s Edition also has a whole host of special features. We get another text commentary from the Okudas; several production featurettes, including one on art and one on the making of the film; featurettes on the special effects, makeup, etc.; storyboards; a photo gallery; a nifty feature on the show’s aliens; and more. Definitely a good deal for the paltry price.
Both films are must-haves for Trekkers, as well as anyone who just enjoys a good sci-fi yarn. If you missed Next Gen while it was on the air, either movie will still clue you into enough back story that you won’t be lost, but you will miss out on some of the drama, such as the real depth of Data’s struggle in First Contact.