Courtesy: Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment/Viacom/CBS DVD
Make it so! Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is beaming down a new Star Trek box set for fans of the franchise’s Next Generation era Tuesday. Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection is scheduled for release Tuesday on Blu-ray. The six-disc collection is oddly titled, considering that it is more the Next Generation era movies than TV episodes. This, the set’s presentation, will be discussed shortly. The bonus content featured with the ser is a positive in its own way, in examining the set in whole. It will be addressed a little later. Keeping in mind the set’s primary and secondary content, its average price point becomes a key discussion topic in its own right. It will be discussed a little later, too. Keeping in mind the importance of all of these elements, this latest collection of Star Trek movies and television episodes is one that will appeal largely to the most diehard Star Trek fans.
Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment’s new Star Trek box set is a collection that is certain to divide fans of the long-running franchise’s Next Generation era. It is a set that will appeal mostly to the most devoted fans of the franchise and the era thereof. That is due in part to the set’s overall presentation. The box set is titled Picard Movies & TV Collection. The catch is that the set only features two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation along with all four of the movies. The two episodes featured in the collection are the famed two-part episode “The Best of Both Worlds,” which finds Captain Picard being captured by the Borg and turned into one of them. The other episode, “Chain of Command” also finds Picard being captured, this time as a prisoner of war, so to speak. One can’t help but wonder why those two episodes were chosen, considering that each was already previously released on DVD and Blu-ray. There are other, equally entertaining episodes that could have been presented here, which were previously released only on the series’ full season and series box sets. One of those episodes is the timeless “Darmok.” The episode, featured in the series’ fifth season. It was yet another episode that found Picard being captured and stuck on alien turf, having to get out of a tough situation. What makes it stand out is that no conflict ever happened because Capt. Picard and his counterpart see past their differences and learn to communicate instead. It is one of the series’ most beloved stories among fans and audiences in general. “The Inner Light” is another powerful episode that focuses mainly on Capt. Picard in a completely different fashion. It finds the beloved leader in a “what if” scenario that shows him what his life could have been like. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is yet another powerful episode of the series. It finds Picard and the crew of the Enterprise D working with the crew of the Enterprise C to make sure history runs the way that it was meant to run in what was one of a handful of time travel episodes from the series. Keeping all of this in mind, one can’t help but wonder why the two episodes featured here were chosen considering they’ve already seen the light of day.
The episodes chosen for this set are just part of what will divide audiences. The set also features all four of the movies from the Next Generation era. This is where things get even dicier. On the surface, it would seem that having all four movies in one, slim package is a good thing. It definitely is for the most devoted fans of that era from the Star Trek universe (no pun intended). On the bigger scale though, only one of those movies ever proved truly successful in the long run – First Contact. Insurrection, which premiered in 1998, was the second of the four movies. According to information from Rotten Tomatoes, it was soundly panned by critics and viewers in general, receiving a 54% tomato meter score and 44% audience score. It was panned by both parties as being little more than an extension of the series. As a matter of fact, considering the story line, it is a story that had been done prior very early in the series’ run when a hidden federation outpost is accidentally revealed to a group of Romulans. The Romulans in question end up thinking Capt. Picard is God. Going back to the featured episodes in this set, that is yet another key episode featuring Picard.
Nemesis, the last of the Next Generation era movies, fared even worse, receiving a tomato meter score of only 39% and an audience score of 49%. Written by Brent Spiner, this movie is essentially a double evil twin story, with Data meeting his twin and Picard meeting his “twin,” who turns out to be quite the bad guy with a giant ship. In the end, the bad guy with the bigger ship (big gun) loses to the David character in Picard, of course.
Generations, while the first of the Next Generation movies, comes across as another very familiar story. The crew of the Enterprise-D already encountered the crew of the Enterprise-C during the course of the series. Now, here is some of the crew from the first Enterprise bridging the gap with the latest Enterprise crew. Given, there is an intriguing story about us having to come to terms with our mortalities with the villain wanting to get to the Nexus, but the plot elements written into Picard and Kirk’s own experiences inside the Nexus echo previous episodes of The Next Generation, too. There are lots of good special effects, but other than that, this movie felt more like a cash grab by Paramount to get fans of both Star Trek eras to open their wallets. Is that bad? No. It makes sense. At the same time though, the effort did not ultimately feel genuine. It felt more like those involved just wanted to make something that they knew said audiences would buy into even though there is nothing to buy into here.
First Contact is the best of the franchise’s big screen features. That is because it finally answers the long-unanswered question of who and what was at the heart of the Borg collective. Never once throughout the course of the series was this question ever answered, even though audiences knew there had to be a starting point, and finally that is what they got here. Given, the movie’s story is familiar with its time traveling plot line and the attempt to keep history from being altered. Even with that in mind, the story’s writing staff manages to do something here that makes the story stand out from the time travel stories that were featured in the series. The set and costume design is also stepped up, adding to the movie’s draw. To that end, it truly shows itself as something special.
The movies that were spawned during Star Trek’s Next Generation era have themselves become extremely divisive among audiences and fans, as has been noted. Even with that in mind, there are those fans who are still truly devoted to the series and its cinematic counterparts. For those audiences, the featuring of all of these movies will certainly be appealing. In the same breath, the fact that each of the movies featured in the set also themselves feature the same bonus content as was featured in their previous releases will appeal to those noted audiences as well as other audiences. Simply put, regardless of viewers’ devotion to the Star Trek franchise, everyone will be on the same level, including regardless of whether audiences have seen all four or none of the set’s featured movies. To that end, love the movies or hate them, at least everyone will get to take in all of the same bonuses thanks to this set.
The carrying over of the bonus content in each movie from this set is a key positive for this set. The inclusion of all four TNG movies is a boon for the most devoted fans of the franchise, while for those who might be more particular might find it not as interesting a draw. Keeping that in mind, the set’s average price range of $31.72 is actually not a bad thing. That price was obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Book Sellers and Books-A-Million. It was not listed at Target at the time of this review’s posting. Considering the prices of the stand-alone episodes’ Blu-ray releases and the prices of the movies’ releases, that price for this set is actually affordable. Consumers would have to spend more than $100 for each of the titles by themselves, so paying a little more than $30 for all of them together is its own positive, again, regardless of that noted devotion to the franchise. Having all of the movies, and at least two episodes (which were clearly chosen subjectively) gives audiences of all devotion something to look forward to here. To that end, it is money well spent both for the most devoted fans and for even the most casual Star Trek fans who want to still be able to check out all of the TNG movies in one collection, rather than having to hunt them down one by one. When this is considered along with the featured content – both primary and secondary – the whole of the et proves a positive for Star Trek fans even despite the division that it will certainly create.
Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation set is an interesting new presentation for audiences. The most devoted audiences will certainly appreciate having all of the TNG movies in one set complete with all of their original bonus content, and at an affordable price. The franchise’s more casual fans will appreciate the fans, but might find themselves better off with the movies that they enjoy the most. What’s more, those same audiences will find the set’s featured television episodes, which have already seen release in their own standalone Blu-rays, questionable as so many other episodes could have been featured. To that end, those audiences might not find the set’s average price point enough to encourage them to purchase the set. Keeping all of this in mind, this latest TNG set is an interesting journey, but not one that every Star Trek fan will want to take. The set is scheduled for release Tuesday on Blu-ray. More information on this and other titles from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is available online now at:
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