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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> May 1998 >> Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
5 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
May 1998
IMDB Name:
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Jonathan Frakes
action, sci-fi
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for some sci-fi adventure violence.

Original Review: December 1996

Yippee! As with all of the even-numbered Star Trek movies, First Contact is a great one. Alice Krige makes the most frighteningly ghoulish Borg ever, partly because so much more of her is human than most of the other Borgs. Brent Spiner lets loose and gives Data emotions, but still keeps him believably benign in his intentions. Patrick Stewart, on the other hand, brings out the most fierce in Picard, giving fans of the original "Star Trek" a taste of Kirk-style captaining with a bit more dignity.

The scene outside the ship was extremely well done, and especially interesting since it's so rare to see people outside the Enterprise. The rest of the special effects, including the process that turns humans into Borgs, are also very nice.

Update: May 1998

On second viewing, First Contact has many little touches that help it stand out from the average "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode. There is never any point at which the production values resemble those of the television series. Granted, the wide screen aspect ratio is an immediate clue, but the cinematography is consistently a notch above. Even the credits sequence is incredible. The seamless flow from name to name is spectacular.

The screenplay by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore has some fun with the familiar Trek lingo. Lily's guess that the Borg are Swedish is a good example. Deanna's drunken talk about time is another. James Cromwell's Zefram Cochrane gets to poke fun at Star Trek by unwittingly making references to the franchise. Even Picard's comment about the place of 'E' in the alphabet alludes to the possible invincibility of the series.

The score of First Contact is also exceptional. I'm not sure if most of the music was composed by Jerry Goldsmith or Joel Goldsmith, but it is easy to assume that one did the beautiful orchestral score, and the other did the spooky Borg electric score. Moments of personal interaction between characters have beautiful melodies behind them, like the reconciliation of Worf and Picard.

Do yourself a favor and watch this one in wide screen format. Frakes makes excellent use of the width afforded him, and pan-and-scan just won't cut it here.

Other Opinions

Copyright 1998-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.