The extras are the only significant difference between the Collector’s Edition and the near barebones first release of this film. Therefore, some pieces of this review will be taken from the standard release review.
If ever there was a film that was badly misunderstood it is Star Trek: Nemesis. The most common complaint I’ve heard is it was too much like an episode. Excuse me, but isn’t it supposed to be? Nemesis has everything a good Star Trek film should have. The character chemistry, space battle, a morality tale, and terrific f/x. If the film suffers at all it is from poor editing, as the collection of deleted scenes clearly shows (more on that in the special features section). As many politicians are fond of saying, “mistakes were made,” but this is a far better film than the critics or fans have given it credit for being. It deserves a second look and this 2 disc release is the perfect opportunity to revisit Star Trek: Nemesis.
Following the wedding of Riker (Frakes) and Troi (Sirtis), Picard (Stewart) and his crew encounter a positronic signal that could only come from another android. What they find is a carbon copy of Data (Spiner). Immediately summoned by Starfleet to meet the new Praetor of The Romulan Empire, Shinzon (Hardy), Picard is faced with a mirror image of his own youth and a plot for revenge that could mean the destruction of Earth itself.
The main audio selection for Nemesis is a superb Dolby Digital 5.1 track. There is an additional DTS track now, but honestly I couldn’t discern any noticeable improvement from the original release. As spaceships collide and explode, your system will be assaulted with a ferocious array of dynamic sounds. Lows are powerful and highs are wonderfully rich with stunning clarity. The score leaps from your speakers with a brilliance to match any amphitheatre performance. Dialogue is almost always well centered and very easy to comprehend. Subtle sounds abound, from the steady hum of the Enterprise’s engines to the clatter of metallic boots on the Reman vessel.
There is an audio commentary featuring director Stuart Baird. Baird is mostly known for action films and displays some impatience here with what he perceived to be a confined environment at times. I think this commentary will put off the diehard Trek fan. He doesn’t seem to have a tremendous respect for the history of the franchise. The commentary at times feels like “How I Saved Star Trek from Itself”.
There is an additional commentary by Rick Berman which is more self-serving than entertaining. Skip it.
This Collector’s Edition is presented in the same 2.35:1 transfer as found on the previous edition. This is in fact an awesome transfer. The film utilizes a relatively dark palette of colors and shades. This transfer handles these demands admirably. There is a tremendous amount of green in this film, and the color never seems to lose its brilliance or effect. There is no evidence of grain or other film specks. Artifacts are completely absent. All-important blacks carry detail and depth to rival any picture seen to date. Colors are always faithful to the cinematography. Flesh tones are outstanding, particularly on the Reman makeup, which utilizes an odd olive base with effective shading around the eyes.
There is quite an impressive collection of extras here. I was most looking forward to the deleted scenes. You will find about 20 minutes of footage, some of which is introduced by Stuart Baird or Patrick Stewart. Two scenes in particular should never have been cut and simply must be seen. One features Picard and Data having a wonderful heart-to-heart over a glass of wine. The second is an alternative ending which sends the repaired Enterprise out on her new mission and offers a glimpse of Picard’s new first officer.
There is a second disc, like each of these collector’s editions, holds the bulk of the extras…
- Star Trek Universe:
- “A Bold Vision of the Final Frontier” is a companion piece to the first feature and quite honestly should have been one longer extra.
- “A Star Trek Family’s Final Journey” is probably the best of the features. It’s a close-up view of the camaraderie the actors have for each other and their feelings for this work they do.
- “Enterprise E”: Herman Zimmerman discusses the design changes for this latest version of the Enterprise.
- “New Frontiers: Stuart Baird on directing Nemesis” If you’ve heard the commentary you won’t find anything new here. This guy has quite an ego.
- “Nemesis:Revisited”: Just additional interview clips with pretty much everyone involved.
- “Storyboarding The Action”: Tom Southwell shows off the film’s wide collection of storyboards and early conceptual art from the film’s pre-production.
- “Build and Rebuild”: A short look at the construction of the massive sets.
- “Four Wheeling In The Final Frontier”: A look at one of the silliest Trek inventions to date: The The Argos. This was a silly contrivance. Basically it’s a 24th Century dune buggy. It seems Patrick Stewart got off on this vehicle.
- “Shinzon’s Screen-test”: Tom Hardy’s early test footage with Patrick Stewart.
The Romulan Empire:
- “Romulan Lore” A look at older Trek episodes traces the history of the Romulans.
- “Shinzon and The Viceroy”: Tom Hardy and Ron Perlman bring Star Trek’s two latest bad guys to life.
- “Romulan Design”: This sort of acts like a sequel to the Storyboarding feature. Here we get to see how the original artwork ends up on screen.
- “The Scimitar”: Herman Zimmerman is back again, this time to talk about the Romulan ship instead of the Enterprise.
Deleted Scenes: The original 7 deleted scenes are joined by 6 additional pieces of cut footage. Most of the cut scenes deserve to remain cut, most notably anything to do with Wesley. Still there is a touching scene where Geordi and Worf are packing away Data’s quarters.
Finally the Archives section provides the usual assortment of galleries and production notes.
If you already own the first DVD and are primarily interested in the film itself, there is no need to upgrade. However, if you enjoy the extras as much as I do than you’ll simply have to get this one. All of the material in the first release has been reproduced here, so you won’t have to keep both copies. Looking at the sight and sound, I was disappointed there was no upgrade here. It left me asking “Why?”