Star Trek: First Contact Review
It's a commonly held belief that the odd numbered Star Trek films aren't very good whereas the even numbered ones are great! This odd numbered curse has now been broken with the release of Star Trek: Insurrection (the ninth movie in the series), however seeing as First Contact was the eighth it's a good job it wasn't the one to break from the cycle!
First Contact is in essence a follow up to the Next Generation episode, The Best of Both Worlds which involved the capture of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) by the Borg. Of course seeing as he was the Captain, the crew of the Enterprise saved him and now he's got to face his nemesis once again.
The surprising thing about ST:FC is that the majority of the special effects budget looks as though it was used up within the first ten minutes - they had to introduce the new Enterprise (the sixth one in total!), and also had a major space battle. The rest of the film is not so effects heavy.
While the main story in the film surrounds the Borg, the actual First Contact refered to in the title is actually with the Vulcans. Yep, that old Star Trek favourite - Time Travel - has been put into action here!
Basically, the Borg travelled back in time to Earths past in order to stop First Contact with the Vulcans and therefore prevent them from joining Earth in the forming of the United Federation of Planets. By stopping the first faster than light space flight they believe that the Federation will never form and that conquering the Galaxy would be a whole lot easier.
The film follows Picards attempts to regain control of the Enterprise after it was boarded by the Borg, and Commander Riker's (Jonathan Frakes) mission to launch the Pheonix (the ship which is going to be making the FTL flight) on time.
However, that's not all there is. The film also has yet another sub-plot featuring the ships android - Commander Data (Brent Spiner) - and his quest for humanity. Data is captured by the Borg 'Queen' (Alice Krige) and she attempts to lure him into the Borg by helping him in his attempts to be more human.
So there you have it - three different stories within the one film.
Even though the initial space battle with the Borg is impressive, there are more treats to come. Firstly is the space walk, although it's not the first time for Star Trek (Spock did a space walk in ST 1), it is deffinitely the most impressive. Captain Picard, Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) and Lieutenant Hawk walk across the hull of the ship in order to reach the main deflector dish and stop the Borg from sending a signal to the Borg living in this century on the other side of the Galaxy. Then, we have the launch of the Pheonix - easily on par with the launch from Apollo 13.
Finally, the last main effects sequence - the arrival of the Vulcans is also fairly impressive.
So, the film is good - what about the disc?
Well, the transfer quality is good - not the best I've seen, but not bad - AND it's anamorphic. The DD5.1 soundtrack is extremely impressive.
Unfortunately though, the disc does lack any notable extras. You have a couple of trailers, but that's it. Then again, you can't have everything all the time!