Star Trek: Nemesis

Star Trek: Nemesis (2003)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Photo Gallery, Trailers

’Star Trek: Nemesis’ is the latest feature film in the ’Star Trek’ series and it is reportedly also the last one featuring Captain Picard. Sadly, these films are quite unpredictable. Some of the feature films are outstanding, while others hardly even meet the standards of the TV show. ’Nemesis’ is somewhere in-between without true highlights or downs. While the film’s climax is very powerful and in a way surprising, the filmmaker added on a truly sappy epilogue to sort of tone down the truly dramatic climax (for those of weak constitution, I suppose, or else I have no explanation for this).

Paramount Home Entertainment is presenting the movie in an anamorphic widescreen transfer – a fullscreen is sold separately, I’ve been told – and as expected, the transfer is absolutely clean and free of speckles. No grain or other mars are evident, and the colors are rich and vibrant without oversaturation. While skin tones are faithfully reproduced, the production design’s colorful settings and images are also perfectly captured. Black levels are deep and solid, giving the image plenty of visual depth, and creating impenetrable shadows when desired, without ever losing detail and definition. The compression is also without flaws and no distracting artifacts are visible.

The 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track is engaging and very dynamic, making aggressive use of the surround channels. With a natural frequency response and a solid bass extension, the audio is powerful at all times, and the wide dynamic range, helps to bring to life also the more subtle moments in the film. Dolby Surround tracks are also supplied in English and French.

The DVD contains an informative commentary track by director Stuart Baird that sheds some more light on the production of the movie. Four featurettes between 10 and 15 minutes in length each are also part of the release, covering various aspects of the production and the Star Trek universe in particular.
Seven deleted scenes can also be found on the release, all in non-anamorphic widescreen, showing a bit more material for certain scenes in the film. For most of them it is evident however, why they were excised. A photo gallery and a selection of bonus trailers round out the release.

Overall ’Star Trek: Nemesis’ is a solid release throughout – though I’m definitely not a fan of Paramount’s disruptive and tedious new DVD boot sequence. The movie is a mixed bag, but nonetheless enjoyable with a few interesting plot twists. Check it out…