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Star Trek: First Contact

Paramount/Paramount . R4 . COLOR . 106 mins . PG . PAL


I won't bore you with an elaborate plot synopsis of First Contact, suffice to say that the bad ol' Borg (a race of Swedish furniture making zombie computer geeks) arrive on the scene and decide to assimilate and take over the earth by going back in time and preventing us from making the historical first contact with an alien race which would bring humanity together after the devastation of World War 3 and lead to the exploration of space and thus to the current world of Star Trek before the moment in this movie when we travel back in time. See? Simple.

Actually, don't worry too much about the plot, just enjoy the film. It's well done, with enough action (Phasers? Bah! Who needs 'em! Watch Picard take out a Borg with a machinegun!), a bit of philosophising and moralising, some trek talk (chronometric particles, anyone? Helloooo…) and some Top Gun spacecraft attackery to boot. Fun ahoy!

Everyone probably has his/her favourite character and captain, and I think Patrick Stewart is just as interesting as Shatner's Capt. Kirk. With his deep Shakespearean voice, he can make anything Capt. Jean Luc-Picard says sound important and urgent.

[Interior: Enterprise - staff kitchen. The crew are making a midnight snack.]
Picard: "Number 1. Bring me my bananas."
Riker: "…err, yes, captain…"
Picard: "Damn! My milkshake doesn't have the right thickness yet! Quickly! Turn the astro-blender to "whip". ENGAGE!"
Riker(under his breath): "...I'm going to whip you one day…"
Worf: "Yes. You would like that, wouldn't you? Now do what he said before l bitch-slap you!"
Picard (holding up a teddy bear): "Worf! Watch your language in my kitchen! You're upsetting Fufu!"
Worf: "Captain, if you were any other man, I'd …"
Picard: "You'd do what, Mr Rubberhead? Growl at me? Give me a wedgy? I should think not. Now prepare to fire the microwave pizzas! ENGAGE!"

Like many others, I too would have loved to see Worf finally tear Riker a new asshole in this movie, because you just know that Riker is a wussy girly-man and can't really fight, and Worf is just itching to tear his arms off.

So anyway, putting aside all the tired, lame arguments about odd and even numberings determining the success of a Star Trek film and actually viewing it for what it's supposed to be -ENTERTAINMENT- then this is rollicking good fun (I've always wanted to write the word "rollicking" in a review).


Mmmm, nice one. This looks an absolute treat for the eyes. A sharp picture, with some beautifully defined detail to show the sets and CG to their best(check out the Borg cube, the various computer screens on the bridge of the Enterprise and the various external ship shots) and sumptuous colours which look both natural and vibrant (the lime green explosions at the start of the film look fantastic). With the exception of the aliasing which rears its shimmery little head from time to time (not too bad, mostly confined to small detail) you probably couldn't ask for a better transfer.


This is what would make or break the whole experience, and I'm happy to report that it sounds just right and never lets you down. Striking a good balance and clarity between the action, score and dialogue, the characters are easy to understand, with nice clarity to even the lowest tones. It wouldn't work if the phasers, torpedoes, whooshes and pings weren't done right, but everything somes dynamic and well integrated, with some very nice use of the room with panning and surround activity (such as during the Borg announcements).


And then we get to the Extra Features. Uh oh, just a teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer. Not a whole heap to gawk at here, unfortunately. I'm sure many people would have liked to have a bit of background stuff to fiddle with in their idle time, but what counts is the film, I suppose. And in this regard, what counts is that the video and audio are pretty cool, so I for one can forgive the oversight.


What I like about this movie is that it is easily accessible to a wider general audience. Like a bit of sci-fi? First Contact has some. Like a bit of action? Yep, got that, too. Want some eye candy to show friends? Put on this dvd. A bit of surround sound showing off? Give this dvd a whirl. Want donuts and beer? Play this disc - it's got it all! (Well, okay, it can't supply donuts and beer, but it does make you want to eat them).

Picture and sound wise, it serves up a feast for the eyes and ears and will definitely go onto your list of often played discs.

So go on, switch off your computer right now, put down that can of Pepsi and run out and buy this dvd now.

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      And I quote...
    "Set a course for the Entertainment Zone, Fun Factor 9. ENGAGE!"
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
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          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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