Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture 4-Movie Collection synopsis:
The journey begins with original cast members Kirk, Scott, and Chekov in a story that spans space and time in STAR TREK: GENERATIONS, continuing with a terrifying face off against the Borg in STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, a dangerous plot against a peaceful planet in STAR TREK: INSURRECTION, and a familiar old foe returning in STAR TREK: NEMESIS. (from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
The timing of this set’s release couldn’t have been better. Although I’d watched Star Trek: The Next Generation off and on while it was airing on TV when I was a kid, I had never seen the entire show from start to finish. I decided late last year to binge-watch the entire series for the first time. So, just as I was wrapping up the series’ final season, I received this set in the mail to review. Now fresh off of seeing the entire show, I rewatched all four theatrical films immediately following the series finale for a fresh perspective.
Now on to the films themselves…
Star Trek: Generations (1994) 1 hr, 58 min. / rated PG – I remember seeing this one in theaters as a teenager and loving the action in the film (especially what happens with the Enterprise D). While it’s not regarded by fans as being a strong entry in the series, the seventh Star Trek movie serves as a finale for the Original Series cast and a fresh new start (and continuation) for the Next Generation crew. But while the Original Series cast saw six adventures and appeared, at least in part, in seven of the films, The Next Generation team would go on to only star in four of their own movies. Generations begins when an energy ribbon hits the Enterprise B, while James T. Kirk was in that part of the ship. He’s presumed dead, and the movie jumps 75 years to the Next Generation crew on the holodeck celebrating the promotion of Lieutenant Worf. The story has some emotional elements, like Picard reflecting on his choices in life and the sacrifices that his devotion to Starfleet demanded. The Enterprise comes in contact with the energy ribbon again and learn that it’s a gateway to a blissful realm called the Nexus. A mad scientist named Soran had been “rescued” from the energy ribbon when the Enterprise B came in contact with it, and he’s spent his life since then trying to get back to the Nexus. In an effort to stop him, Picard ends up in the Nexus where he finds Kirk, and the two end up teaming up to stop Soran from destroying a star and its neighboring planets to divert the ribbon’s path to him.
Generations is very controversial among Trekkies because of how things are handled with Kirk, but I never felt the movie was as bad as fans have made it out to be. It’s an interesting move to have the android Data choose to activate his emotion chip – something that had only brought him trouble during the TV series – but the filmmakers use this subplot to add humor to the story and make some inside references to past episodes. Soran is kind of a weak villain, too, and the final fight is a little underwhelming, but all in all, I appreciate what the movie was trying to do, and it effectively launched a short run of Next Generation movies. 3.5/5 stars
Star Trek: First Contact (1996) 1 hr, 51 min. / rated PG-13 – First Contact is largely regarded by fans as the best of the Next Generation movies, as well as one of the best in the entire Star Trek film series. It may also be the darkest of the Trek films as well. In the Next Generation TV series, the Enterprise crew were introduced to a lethal alien race called the Borg – part humanoid, part machine – who belonged to a kind of hive mind and were basically like mechanical zombies. To grow their numbers, they assimilated their prey, making them part of their collective. The season 3 finale saw Captain Picard getting captured by the Borg and assimilated into a Borg. The season 4 premiere concluded this thread by the Enterprise crew rescuing Picard and removing most of his Borg implants. In the film First Contact, the Enterprise crew – now on their brand new ship, the super sleek Enterprise E – encounter the Borg and destroy their ship, but not before an escape vessel ejects and travels back in time, turning Earth into a completely assimilated planet. The Enterprise E follows the Borg ship back in time in an effort to save Earth and destroy the Borg, but they aren’t able to before the Borg transport onto the Enterprise. The ship’s crew are then in the fight of their lives trying to resist the Borg and rid the ship of them.
First Contact continues to push the Next Generation characters’ stories forward, and manage to work Worf back into the story, despite him having left the Enterprise to be on the space station for the show Deep Space Nine. First Contact is also the very first PG-13 Star Trek movie – and for good reason. The Borg are pretty terrifying (My wife watched it for the first time with me with this 4K set and she was horrified. Haha), and things like the transformations of humans into Borg can be pretty gruesome at times. Then there’s the Borg queen who is pretty intense, and she tries to seduce Data and graft human skin to his circuitry. Then there’s the finale which gets even grosser (oh, and let’s not forget the scene where Picard uses the holodeck to gun down a couple Borg and then roots through one of their abdominal cavities to find a Borg transmitter), so there really is no shortage of rough imagery here. Still, from the film score to the acting to the action and the stakes, First Contact delivers and is just really well done. (And it makes good on a somewhat unresolved storyline with Picard having been a Borg for a short while.) 4.5/5 stars
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) 1 hr, 43 min. / rated PG – I saw this one in the theaters when it came out, but I vaguely remember it being underwhelming, and not much different than just a regular TV episode. I’m not sure where I got that idea. I rewatched it a few years ago and thought it wasn’t bad, but in my most recent rewatch – especially among the TV series and other films, I actually really liked this one. It’s not as good as First Contact, but it’s actually not a bad story and it has some interesting ideas. Some of the plot elements – like the fact that the planet the crew encounters has a deaging and healing power, so the crew start acting more youthful – do feel like something straight from a television episode, but there is plenty of action, tension, and interesting things happening to keep the movie entertaining. I loved that the youthful effects of the planet rekindle the relationship between Troi and Riker and the idea of Data going rogue, because of being damaged, was a new spin as well.
The content wasn’t nearly as rough as First Contact, but there are some pretty gross moments. For starters, the villains are this alien race called the Son’a who have layers of skin pulled across their faces. One scene shows a layer of skin being put on the villain, Ru’afo, and it’s a bit bloody. At one point, blood squirts and oozes out of a gash in his forehead, and a scene closer to the end shows a human with bloody cuts on his face having his face stretched in a disturbing fashion as he is killed. Otherwise, the movie is a bit lighter and more upbeat than First Contact. 4/5 stars
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) 1 hr, 56 min. / rated PG-13 – You may have noticed that this was the very first Star Trek film I ever reviewed. I also LOVED it as a 22-year-old when it first came out. I do still enjoy it, but it’s definitely not the best of the series. Still, it continues to evolve the characters further, like Troi and Riker getting married, and several crew leaving the Enterprise to take positions elsewhere. It’s a bittersweet finale, but I think it works well to wrap up the saga. While there were four long years between Insurrection and Nemesis, fans would have to wait a staggering 7 years (a span which is about to be beat with how long it’s been now since 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond) before the series would be rebooted with J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek in 2009.
Nemesis has its tense moments, and a plot that is just a bit contrived, but it’s not nearly as gruesome at times as the two films preceding it. And Tom Hardy! Can we just take a moment to consider that, in 2002, we had no idea “That young villain guy from Nemesis” would go on to be as big of an actor as he is today? From Inception to The Dark Knight Rises to Venom and many other notable roles, it’s a trip to see Hardy in what is most likely his first major movie role (although I did read that, sadly, due to the poor box office performance of this movie, it literally drove him to drink). In the grand scheme of Trek, Nemesis isn’t bad, but with it being the Next Generation crew’s swan song, it’s positioned itself as a very important piece of Trek lore. 3.5/5 stars
While I had given up Star Trek in my teen years, I’ve rediscovered an interest in it in more recent adult years. And after finally watching the entire Next Generation series and rewatching the films, I can say with confidence that I’m a fan of this series. This set sees these movies making their 4K UHD debut, and all four of them look very, very good. Of course, some moments look more impressive than others, especially with some of the effects that haven’t aged as well, but these movies have definitely never looked better than they do here!
It is a big difference seeing these four films in comparison to the TV series. The cinematography and lighting is way darker than the show, and the production values are so much greater. And with the Enterprise D meeting its end in Generations, the next three sequels feature the much more alluring Enterprise E, which definitely shakes up the feel of the movies versus the TV series. Also, binging these movies one after another reveals a glaring similarity in all four movies: The Enterprise gets intensely damaged and either completely destroyed or set on self-destruct and nearly destroyed (twice!) or just massively damaged. It’s a little funny to consider, but it does make for good cinema. And it always raises the stakes higher than your usual television episode.
If you’re a fan of any of these films – or the show – this set is the definitive presentation for these movies. The set comes with the Blu-Ray and DVD features from previous releases (and Blu-Ray discs of each movie, as well), and the digital copies that are included are all 4K UHD as well. (Side note: If you previously purchased the HD copies of these movies, check your digital copy. It may have automatically upgraded to 4K, as mine did on iTunes.)
– John DiBiase (4/4/23)
Parental Guide: Content Summary
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Sex/Nudity: A female Klingon wipes some blood on Soran’s mouth after he hits her and says he better have been initiating a mating ritual; The Klingon women show cleavage in their uniforms.
Vulgarity/Language: 1 “S” word, 2 “d*mn,” 4 “h*ll,” 1 “My G-d”
Alcohol/Drugs: Some people are shown in the Enterprise’s bar, Ten Forward.
Blood/Gore: We some people being rescued who have some blood on their faces; One man has a bloody gash from his forehead down his cheek; Worf has some blood on his pants on his knee as he falls into the water; We see a somewhat bloody dead body on a wrecked station; We then see another dead body with blood on their head; The away team finds a dead Romulan body with lots of green blood on his face. Their face looks a little torn up, too; Geordi removes the top of Data’s android head to access a place to install a chip; Soran knocks Picard down. He has blood on his face; A man has blood on his mouth and hand as he dies.
Violence: The Enterprise B is hit by an energy ribbon, shaking it; A ship explodes with people on board; Another ship explodes from the energy ribbon; The Enterprise B shakes and a console explodes, throwing a man backwards; The Enterprise B is hit with another energy ribbon, throwing crew around inside. We see that part of ship has been destroyed with one of the crew presumed dead; Worf has some blood on his pants on his knee as he falls into the water; Data playfully pushes Beverly off the ship into the water; We see dead bodies on a space station; The away team finds a dead Romulan body with lots of green blood on his face. Their face looks a little torn up, too; Geordi removes the top of Data’s android head to access a place to install a chip; Data’s emotion chip overloads his system causing him to laugh and then react in pain and fall over. His face distorts in a disturbing way when this happens, as well; Soran punches Geordi in the face and knocks him down. Then points a gun at Data; There’s an explosion on a star. A shockwave radiates from it; Soran shoots at Worf and Riker multiple times, who shoot back; The shockwave obliterates a space station; Soran hits a female Klingon in the face; The female Klingon has blood on her mouth. She wipes some on Soran’s mouth. She then puts a knife to his chin; Geordi is strapped down to an exam table, with a band around his neck (without his shirt); A forcefield shocks Picard. He falls backwards; The Enterprise sustains major damage. Explosions inside the ship throw crew members around. An explosion throws a crew member through the air; We see the inside of a Klingon ship as it explodes, sending crew flying around inside as it continues to explode. We then see it explode completely on the outside; We see an explosion in engineering; The Enterprise separates. The engine portion explodes, pushing the saucer section into a planet’s atmosphere where it crash lands. It collides with rocks on the surface, throwing everyone around inside violently. We see explosions inside the ship, debris falling on people, chairs being flung around. At one point, a shelf falls on someone with broken glass; Picard crawls through a space between rocks. They collapse on him, trapping him between the rocks. Soran shoots at him several times causing rocks to blow up and smoke to cloud up from the impact; Soran and Picard fight on a bridge on the planet surface. Soran knocks Picard down; A star explodes causing a shockwave to blow up a planet and the Enterprise on the surface to be demolished as well; Later, we see the saucer crash again with crew tossed around inside; We see Soran shooting the rocks again; Soran fights Picard and Kirk. Kirk and Soran hit each other; Soran shoots out a metal bridge; Kirk nearly falls. Picard helps him up; While holding onto the metal bridge, a man falls when it breaks free, holding on to the bridge as it falls; A rocket explodes, killing a man; A man has blood on his mouth and hand as he dies.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Sex/Nudity: As Cochrane goes to look through a telescope, he sarcastically says he loves a good peep show; We see a piece of organic skin grafted onto Data’s android arm. The Borg Queen sensually blows on it and the skin gets goosebumps as he reacts to the sensation. She then asks, “Was it good for you?”; Lily’s outfit shows some cleavage; The queen asks Data if he is well versed in pleasure and he asks if she means sexuality and he says he’s fully functional. She asks how long it’s been since he last had sex and he says 8 years down to the minute (a callback to when he and Tasha Yar had a fling under an alien influence in the first season). The Queen kisses him and he kisses her back; Cochrane says he wanted to retire to a tropical island with naked women.
Vulgarity/Language: 1 “Sweet J-sus,” 2 “S” words, 6 “h*ll,” 2 “d*mn,” 1 “S.O.B,” 1 “Oh G-d,” 1 “My G-d”
Alcohol/Drugs: We see drinking in a bar on Earth where a man appears to be drunk; We see Deanna drunk in a bar (much to Riker’s amusement). Cochrane and Deanna drink together; Cochrane is shown drinking from a flask several times; We see drinking in the bar on Earth again.
Blood/Gore: Picard looks in the mirror and sees something moving under his cheek. A piece of Borg metal shoots out of his cheek and grips his cheek’s flesh and he wakes up; Ships attack a Borg ship. Some characters have a little blood on their faces; Worf has a little blood on his cheek; We see a damaged lab has several dead people with some blood on them; A Borg inserts two metal prongs into a man’s neck to assimilate him; We see two drills penetrate the side of Data’s android head. We see it in closeup so you see some debris; We see the closeup of a metal eye implant; We see a closeup of a dismembered arm being fit with a claw; We see the Borg Queen’s dismembered body with head, shoulders and mechanical spine as it’s deposited into a humanoid body. As soon as clamps grab onto the skin around her shoulders, she walks and acts like a humanoid; We see a piece of organic skin grafted onto Data’s android arm; Picard sticks his hands into the abdomen of a dead Borg (who once was an Enterprise crew member) and roots around till he pulls out a bloody device; We see the underside of humanoid skin as it is put on Data’s arm; While fighting off a couple Borg, one cuts Data’s new humanoid skin and it bleeds; Worf slices a Borg arm off and then hits it in the neck with a blade and blood oozes out into space; We see an Enterprise crew member with blood on his forehead and cheek; Half of Data’s face has human skin grafted to it; Data breaks a tube spilling poisonous gas that tears and melts away flesh. Flesh flakes off and melts off the a Borg, killing it; Data’s new humanoid skin is shown having burned off, revealing circuitry on his face and arm; Other Borg lie on the ground with just their metallic implants and skeletons exposed; Picard breaks a metal Borg spine in two and drops it.
Violence: In an intense flashback, we see a drill approach and touches the surface of Picard’s eyeball, slightly pushing on the eye; Picard looks in the mirror and sees something moving under his cheek. A piece of Borg metal shoots out of his cheek and grips his cheek’s flesh and he wakes up; Ships attack a Borg ship; The Enterprise fire on and blow up the Borg ship; There are explosions on Earth’s surface as the Borg fire on the planet. People are thrown as explosions go off; We see a damaged lab has several dead people with some blood on them; Data is shot up with machine gun fire, but appears unharmed. A woman then faints; Borg break into sickbay; There’s an intense firefight inside the Enterprise with the Borg. Data breaks a Borg’s neck. Worf hits a Borg; A man has two metal prongs go into his neck. He starts turning into a Borg and Picard shoots him with a phaser, killing him; Lily strangles Picard and threatens him with a phaser; We see two drills penetrate the side of Data’s android head. We see it in closeup so you see some debris; Some Borg are shot; We see the closeup of a metal eye implant; We see a closeup of a dismembered arm being fit with a claw; We see the Borg Queen’s dismembered body with head, shoulders and mechanical spine as it’s deposited into a humanoid body. As soon as clamps grab onto the skin around her shoulders, she walks and acts like a humanoid; The Borg grab a holodeck hologram character by the throat. One of the Borg throws another one. Then Picard gets a machine gun from a holodeck character and guns down two Borg very violently; Picard sticks his hands into the abdomen of a dead Borg (who once was an Enterprise crew member) and roots around till he pulls out a bloody device; Data breaks free from being strapped to a table and fights off some Borg. One cuts his new humanoid skin and it bleeds; Riker shoots Cochrane to stun him. He falls and rolls into a stream and is okay; A Borg is shot in space and he goes drifting away; Worf shoots a Borg and it is unharmed; Picard shoots a vent, knocking the Borg into space; Worf slices a Borg arm off and then hits it in the neck with a blade and blood oozes out into space; A Borg grabs a human and walks off with him; A Borg punches Picard’s mask, cracking it. He hits him again, but Worf shoots the Borg, saving Picard; Worf shoots a satellite dish with Borg on it and it explodes; Picard smashes a glass display in his office in anger; We briefly see the earlier flashback of a needle heading towards Picard’s eye; Torpedoes shoot past a ship; Data breaks a tube spilling poisonous gas that tears and melts away flesh. Flesh flakes off and melts off the a Borg, killing it; Other Borg lie on the ground with just their metallic implants and skeletons exposed; Picard breaks a metal Borg spine in two and drops it.
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Sex/Nudity: Deanna lightly touches Riker’s neck and he bashfully says she hasn’t done that in a while; We see Riker and Deanna in a bath together with bubbles covering up anything explicit; When Anij falls in a lake, her top is somewhat translucent and you can make out her nipples through the shirt briefly; Deanna and Beverly talk about the effects of the planet making them all feel younger. Deanna asks, “Have you noticed your boobs have started to firm up?”; Worf has a large red pimple on his nose from going through Klingon puberty because of the planet; Data, having heard Deanna and Beverly’s conversation, asks Worf if he’s noticed his boobs getting firmer.
Vulgarity/Language: 1 “Oh my G-d,” 3 “h*ll,” 1 “d*mn,” 1 “b*stard”
Alcohol/Drugs: We see Riker and Deanna in a bath together while drinking champagne.
Blood/Gore: We see a sheet of skin being stretched over a Ru’afo’s head. It briefly looks bloody under it on his head. We see a cut on his forehead. Some technicians then staple the skin to his head; The Son’a are a race of people that all look like they have layers of skin stretched over their heads and faces; Data’s neck is torn revealing some metal underneath; Ru’afo’s head bleeds when he gets mad. It oozes blood; We see a closeup of a tooth being inserted into a man’s mouth; Ru’afo’s skin on his head and neck look a little gross as he’s being worked on. We then see his face get stretched in a machine (as part of his therapy); Worf has a large red pimple on his nose; We see a bloody cut on Riker’s forehead; We see an alien with blood on his mouth; Picard has a bloody scrape on his head; Ru’afo then shoves the admiral’s head through a glass case. He then throws him into a chair and we see several bloody cuts on his face. Ru’afo turns on the stretching machine and it stretches the admiral’s face, which is disturbing and bloody; We hear crunch sounds as Worf twists a man’s arm.
Violence: Some phasers hit rocks, causing people to flee; Data knocks some guys over; Data knocks a guy to the ground and then shoots rocks to reveal a hidden outpost; A shuttle is fired upon; Data’s neck is torn revealing some metal underneath; Two shuttles attached to each other spin out of control; Data is deactivated and falls to the floor; We see an injection go into Ru’afo’s neck; Aliens shoot phasers at Picard and Data. They shoot back and hit the alien and it falls; Ru’afo’s head bleeds when he gets mad. It oozes blood; Ru’afo’s skin on his head and neck look a little gross as he’s being worked on. We then see his face get stretched in a machine (as part of his therapy); An explosion on the planet’s surface throws some people into a lake; Another explosion knocks people down. More explosions blow up buildings; A bunch of people disappear by being beamed away by the enemy; Drones shoot people with darts and beam them off the planet. Data shoots one of them down. So does Beverly and Worf; The Enterprise is smoking inside and on its nacelles; The crew shoot more drones. Worf beats one with a gun; The Enterprise eject their core and blow it up, we see explosions on the ship with people being thrown around inside. A man catches on fire; A cave’s rock wall is shot and blown up to make an exit; Ships shoot a cloud that backfires and blows up the two ships; Worf shoots a rocket at the aliens; A cave caves in, trapping two people and severely injuring one of them; They shoot and blow up more drones; Ru’afo throws the admiral over a platform and he lands hard on the ground. Ru’afo then shoves the man’s head through a glass case. Finally, he throws him into a chair and we see several bloody cuts on his face. Ru’afo turns on the stretching machine and it stretches the admiral’s face, which is disturbing and bloody; A small ship fires on the villain’s ship. They then fire on the small ship, damaging it; Ru’afo shoots the ship’s walls several times; Ru’afo and Picard exchange blaster fire; Worf fights with the Son’a crew. We hear crunch sounds as Worf twists a man’s arm; Picard shoots some flammable exhaust. The explosion throws Ru’afo backwards; A ship fires on another ship; A station self destructs. We see it exploding and a ball of fire consumes a man, killing him.
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Sex/Nudity: Deanna shows some cleavage in her wedding dress; There’s talk of everyone having to attend the Betazoid traditional wedding, which requires everyone to be naked. Worf protests; We see Deanna in a nightgown. She encourages her new husband Will to come to bed. We see him shirtless as he kisses her on top of her. Suddenly his form turns into Shinzon. She freaks out and then his form turns into the Viceroy. She continues to freak out and push him away as it turns back to being Will.
Vulgarity/Language: 2 “d*mn,” 2 “h*ll”
Alcohol/Drugs: Characters have champagne at a wedding; Some characters share wine together at the end of the film.
Blood/Gore: A device goes off in a room of Romulans. We see their faces turn to ash, with their skin being eaten away to a black color and then it hardening like stone. One of them falls and breaks apart; Shinzon cuts his palm with a knife, drawing blood. He then hands it to Data for testing. We then see Beverly looking at the blood under a microscope; A needle goes into Picard’s neck; As Shinzon grows sicker, his face is discolored with blue veins showing in his skin; Viceroy jumps Riker and slices his arm with a knife. We see some blood on his jacket; Shinzon’s face looks very scaly and veiny; A man is stabbed with a sharp pole. The victim pulls himself along the pole, impaling himself further. He grabs the other man by the throat, but dies. We see a little blood on the the end of the pole; Riker has some bloody scrapes on his face.
Violence: A device goes off in a room of Romulans. We see their faces turn to ash, with their skin being eaten away to a black color and then it hardening like stone. One of them falls and breaks apart; Buggies with machine guns fire on the Enterprise crew on a planet’s surface as they drive around in a buggy. They fire back and crash some of the alien buggies; Shinzon forcefully grabs a woman’s wrist and threatens her; A flashback shows a kid being pushed to the ground; As Will and Deanna are kissing in bed, suddenly his form turns into Shinzon. She freaks out and then his form turns into the Viceroy. She continues to freak out and push him away as it turns back to being Will. A needle goes into Picard’s neck; Data grabs a guy’s neck, using the Vulcan neck pinch and he passes out; Data shoves Picard while undercover; A Reman shoot at Picard. He shoots back. We see dead Remans on the ground; Picard uses a ship to blow open a door and fly through the halls of a much larger ship; The Remans fire on their ship. Picard blows open another door and crashes out a window of the ship; The Remans fire on the Enterprise many times with some explosions inside; There is a firefight between Romulans and the Enterprise and Shinzon’s ship; Shinzon’s ship is hit and we see explosions on it; There is shooting between Remans and the Enterprise crew in ship hallways. Many on both sides are shot; Viceroy jumps Riker and slices his arm with a knife. We see some blood on his jacket; The front of the bridge blows out, a person is sucked out into space, and there’s lots of destruction on the bridge; Two ships collide with massive destruction. Explosions occur inside both ships, with people being tossed around; One of the ships pulls out of the collision in reverse and it’s almost as devastating; Viceroy and Riker continue fighting. Together they fall on a metal bridge. It breaks loose and falls and they hang off. Riker kicks him off, and the Viceroy falls to his death; Picard shoots a door open and shoots some Remans. One tackles him. He beats it with his rifle; Shinzon and Picard struggle. Shinzon falls to the ground. Shinzon tries to fight him with a knife and they struggle with it. The knife flicks away and goes into and energy beam. Shinzon draws another knife and knocks Picard down; A man is stabbed with a sharp pole. The victim pulls himself along the pole, impaling himself further. He grabs the other man by the throat, but dies. We see a little blood on the the end of the pole; A character shoots an energy beam and the ship explodes, killing them.