Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-With optional subtitles,Stuart Baird (Director)
Featurette-New Frontiers: Stuart Baird on directing "Nemesis"
Featurette-A Bold Vision of the Final Frontier
Featurette-A Star Trek Family's Final Journey
Featurette-Red Alert! Shooting The Action of "Nemesis"
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (44:42)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Stuart Baird|
Paramount Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
While this may have been the most poorly received Star Trek film in terms of box-office take (not even making it to the US $50 million mark in the US), it is by no means the worst film in the series. In fact, it is one of the better films, standing below only the Trek aces of Wrath Of Khan and First Contact. The reasons for the poor financial performance of this film, despite generally good reviews, were a combination of bad timing, an aging cast, and the possible influence of studio politics. Opening with a good enough weekend take of US $18.5 million, Nemesis plummeted a whopping 76% to under US $4.5 million in its second weekend. One reason stands out more than any other for this fall - in a move that seemed almost suicidal even before the film's release, Nemesis hit US cinemas only one week before Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. Most "event" films are spaced so that they fall at least two to three weeks apart, but with Two Towers, Nemesis faced its own title. Compounding the problem is the fact that the core audience of Star Trek, the literate "nerd" or "geek", is also at the nucleus of the Lord Of The Rings fan-base. Forced to choose between the two, audiences overwhelmingly went with the fantasy epic, leaving the crew of the Enterprise stranded. The size of this problem is no more obvious than when looking at the Australian performance of Nemesis, where it was released in the first week of February. Up against Gangs Of New York in its second week, Nemesis fell only 57% - a far better result (although still not spectacular). Rumours abound that the release date for the film was set by a faction in Paramount that wanted to end Next Generation for good - true or not, it looks as if that will be the result.
Unfortunately, timing was not Nemesis' only problem. The more difficult issue facing the franchise is the rapidly aging crew. A crew that were in their late 30s with a captain in his late 40s when the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation started fifteen years ago are now in their mid 50s and 60s - hardly the action heroes to draw in the adrenaline junkies and boost the box office. It is an unfortunate reality in modern cinema, but a film needs a young cast to be successful. The only way to address the aging issue is to move on from the Next Generation crew - but to where? Deep Space Nine, while a fan favourite, was never really an "adventure" series, and has not been in production for over four years. Voyager, while more recently finished, receives a far more divided reaction from fans, and would itself run into the aging crew problem in short order. That leaves only Enterprise, a show that is stumbling into its third season with a marked lack of direction, but that does feature by far the youngest Trek crew to adventure on the small screen. The future is far from clear. Rumours abound that the next movie crew will be a combination of characters from all three series (which would require a time-travelling story line as the Enterprise crew would be long dead before the time periods in which the other two series are set). Star Trek is a franchise in deep trouble. All the more reason to savour this offering.
Borrowing heavily from Wrath Of Khan, Nemesis is about two men (or rather two times two men) travelling across galaxies to face off against each other. Star Trek films are usually thoughtful affairs, and this is no different. It tackles the grandest of themes - what it means to be human - with a good amount of success. A coup has taken place on Romulus, and a new preator, Shinzon, is in power. There are two things unusual about this preator. Firstly, he is Reman, a noted sub-class within the Romulan empire, and secondly, he has requested the presence of a Federation star-ship on a diplomatic mission. He wants to talk peace. The closest Federation ship is, naturally, the Enterprise, and so Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew head off in the hopes of ending hostilities with the longest standing enemies of the Federation. What they find is far more than they bargained for. Both Jean-Luc and Data (Brent Spiner) must quite literally face their own personal demons, while once again saving Earth from destruction.
This is a strong story of personal conflict reflected on a grand scale. The influence of Gladiator scribe, and co-writer, John Logan is readily apparent, and it is good to see the franchise expanding their creative talent pool, which has at times seemed quite stagnant. As a finale, the film works very well, from the wedding of Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), and the news of their promotion (and subsequent departure) that opens the film, to the understated, sad and yet hopeful ending, this film is a fitting tribute to a seventeen year relationship with fans. First time Trek director Stuart Baird brings a new perspective on the franchise, and thankfully avoids virtually all the problems that were apparent with Insurrection. He has given the film a darker, more stylish look, in comparison to the previous films in the series. The performances are as good as you would expect from actors who have had so many years of experience in their roles, allowing the emotional side of the story to really hit its mark. The action elements are also very good, equalling anything in First Contact.
Despite all the positives, the film is far from perfect - the melding of action and drama is a little awkward. The feel is mostly a slow, thoughtful, character drama, but then huge action set-pieces pop up, and just tend to feel a little out of place. The aims of the drama are also a little too lofty at times, lending the feel that the film is overstepping its bounds on those occasions. It is also quite uneven in the coverage it gives the characters - Picard and Data have the vast majority of the screen time, while others such as Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), Worf (Michael Dorn), and Dr Crusher (Gates McFadden) are little more than extended cameos. The problems do not serve to sink the film, but simply lower its effectiveness slightly.
Any who have an interest in the Trek franchise owe it to themselves to see this film, and not because it may be the last, but because it is a good film. For that reason, non-Trek fans should not be turned away from it by the stigma the series carries, as this is a good, thoughtful, and fun sci-fi action/adventure film with a grand scale and some interesting ideas. Well worth a night in. Finally, for the trivia heads out there, try to spot the cameo by X-Men and Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer without listening to the director's commentary (Singer is apparently a huge Star Trek fan) - blink and you'll miss it.
Presented at the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
The image is extremely sharp, containing a wealth of fine detail, and allowing for exceptional clarity. There is virtually no grain to speak of, although edge enhancement does become a problem from time to time. The most obvious of these is during the wedding that starts the movie proper, where most of the guests appear to be walking halos, even on a "normal" direct-view TV. Fortunately, it seems to decrease in use as the movie progresses (not coincidentally, the latter portions of the movie are not anywhere near as bright as the wedding). Shadow detail is also excellent, which is a real bonus with many scenes being very dimly lit, and looking fantastic. There is no low-level noise present.
Colour is excellent, from the more reserved colour scheme of the Enterprise and the Starfleet uniforms, to the bright flashes of weapons fire, and even the subtle green-blacks of Shinzon's clothes, all colours are rendered with ease.
There are no compression or film artefacts in this transfer at all. The only artefact to appear is a relatively small amount of aliasing, although when present it can be very obvious, such as on the Romulan Senate building from 1:27 to 1:32, or the steps from 30:25 to 30:31. As the movie progresses, the instances of aliasing become more scattered.
The sub-titles are quite accurate, only abbreviating where it would have been difficult to read the dialogue the way it was spoken (such as rephrasing many of Data's lines). They are rendered in an attractive font and well paced.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 44:41 during Chapter 10. The change does not, at least, break any dialogue, but easily could have been better placed.
There are three soundtracks present on this disc. The first two are the original English dialogue and a German dub both in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps), while the third is the English audio commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (at 192 Kbps).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. Whether it be during battle, or in otherwise complete silence, there are never any problems. The audio sync is spot on throughout the transfer, and is never an issue.
The score is by the man director Stuart Baird describes as the John Williams of Star Trek - Jerry Goldsmith. Having composed the scores to five of the ten films, and with those five being head and shoulders above the rest, he certainly has a larger claim on that title than the other four composers used in the series. As usual, Goldsmith's work is brilliant - there are few composers who even come close to his ability to adapt a score to the material that is being presented on screen, and this is no exception. With some great themes that are set up and then repeated, this is how a film soundtrack should sound.
The surround channels are extensively used by this soundtrack, for both ambient noise on the starships, and for directional effects during action scenes. This soundtrack is right up there with First Contact for activity, and is extremely good at drawing the listener in without really making a point of itself.
The subwoofer gets a chance to do its worst with this soundtrack, producing many a thundering roar during the numerous action sequences. The rumbles produced will give your foundations a good test.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is first rate. The clarity and detail in the transfer is excellent, clearly displaying the moodier atmosphere of this film.
The audio is on par with the video, delivering an extremely active surround soundtrack that also manages to be quite subtle. An excellent soundtrack, and a real pleasure to listen to.
The extras are above average for a "standard-edition" DVD, although not as good as the 2-disc Trek special editions. Whether we see this movie in its own 2-disc addition remains to be seen, but certainly if we do, it won't be for some time to come.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-555K, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||Rochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)|