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|Category||Science Fiction||Teaser Trailer
|Running Time||106:08 minutes|
|Start Up||Language Selection then Programme|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Star Trek: First Contact is my second favourite Star Trek movie, with my favourite being the generally well-regarded Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan.
Star Trek: First Contact deals with a number of intertwining subplots which keep the interest level high. The Borg have finally invaded human space, and are heading directly for Earth. Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the Enterprise have been ordered well out of the way as it is felt that Picard's previous assimilation into the Borg Collective would adversely affect his combat ability in this encounter.
Nonetheless, Picard monitors the battle from afar. When all begins to look desperate, Picard chooses to ignore his orders and leap into the middle of the desperate combat. His special knowledge of The Borg serves him well, and he is able to destroy the Borg mothership, but not before The Borg are able to launch a probe back in time.
The Enterprise follows the probe in order to thwart its mission. The probe's aim is to stop First Contact - the first warp drive test on Earth and humankind's subsequent first encounter with an alien species.
I'm going to leave the plot synopsis there, for those of you who haven't seen First Contact. Whilst the basic premise is simple and almost clichéd, the execution here is terrific, with some great direction, great special effects and great acting turning what could have been quite a banal story into a rather good one. One thing I really must say, though - Jonathan Frakes does seem to get more than his fair share of 'moments' during this movie - I guess it's good to be the director...
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness and clarity is superb throughout this transfer. Each and every scene is highly detailed and a pleasure to watch from this point of view. Two specific things that really stuck in my mind about this transfer were the fine detail resolvable in the Borg cube structure, and the fine detail resolvable on Data's face. Shadow detail is also superb, other than in a very small number of shots such as the zoom in on Cochrane's settlement which were deliberately shot to have limited detail. There is no low level noise.
Colours are beautifully rendered by this transfer, although interesting choices were made in regards to the colour balance of the movie. Scenes involving the Enterprise were all beautifully saturated, vibrant and colourful, but scenes on Earth tended to be muted in their colourscape by comparison. This is particularly noticeable whenever greenery is shown on Earth, which tended to look a lot less green than it usually does in contemporary DVD transfers.
No MPEG artefacts were seen at all, not even during the difficult to encode opening sequence nor the grainy opening Paramount logo. The only area where this transfer faltered slightly was in the area of aliasing. Some minor aliasing affected pan shots on occasion, such as pans across greenery, or pans across finely detailed interior shots of the Enterprise. All-in-all, there was far less aliasing than I feared I would see given the razor sharpness of the transfer and the linear nature of much of the sets, so even though it was noticeable, it was not bothersome at all. Scattered film artefacts were only rarely noticeable.
This DVD is RSDL
formatted, with the layer change occurring at 55:54,
between Chapters 19 and 20. It is reasonably placed and only mildly disruptive.
Dialogue is perfectly clear and perfectly in sync at all times. Every word, even during high-action moments, is easily understood. Audio sync is perfect.
The music is by Jerry Goldsmith, and is one of the best Star Trek scores I have had the pleasure of listening to, from the glorious opening sequence to the final bars. It truly adds an additional layer of emotion to this movie without ever intruding upon the consciousness of the viewer, a feat only rarely achieved in movie scoredom. Very occasionally, there was a trivial dropout or pop noticed in the musical score, such as at 0:20 or 1:28, as if some minor flaw was introduced during the Dolby Digital encoding process.
The surround channels were almost continually used by this extremely immersive soundtrack. Unlike many action-oriented soundtracks, this soundtrack did not collapse into mono after each action sequence, but rather remained subtly immersive at all times. Action sequences were highly immersive without ever being over-the-top. Probably the nicest thing I can say about this soundtrack is that it sounded extremely well-balanced at all times. Nothing was overly loud and nothing was overly soft. The aural cues concorded perfectly with the visual ones.
The same can be said about the subwoofer. It was
superbly integrated into the overall sound mix, frequently contributing
the crucial bottom end to many scenes but never becoming noticeable at
|Surround Channel Use|
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
20th April 2001
|DVD||Denon DVD-3300, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.|
|Amplification||EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifier for Left & Right Front; Marantz MA6100 125W per channel monoblock amplifiers for Left & Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO Subwoofer|