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4.1 out of 5 stars
Star Trek VII: Generations [Blu-ray] [1994]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It's often been tradition for sci-fi films to introduce themselves with a fantastic opening shot - Danny Boyle did it recently with 'Sunshine', and Generations is where Star Trek has a stab at a sensational opening piece. As the music rises from a barely discernable sound to a familiar fanfare, a champagne bottle twists in the vacuum of space and smashes against a new vessel - the third Starship Enterprise. Captain Kirk is on board along with some old friends to see the ship off on its maiden voyage with a young crew. A symbolic jolly around the cosmos and back turns more serious though when a distress signal is received, and pretty soon Kirk is up to his heroics, but sadly doesn't return.

It's an emotional goodbye to a Starfleet icon and the first 20 minutes feel in keeping with the first 6 'Trek films. The look and style is spot on, and it's a perfect marriage of eras when moments later we get to see the Next Generation Crew and another legendary Enterprise captain.

Generations gives us an adventure which finds the two captains assisting each other to defeat a man completely blinded by his desire to find paradise in a mind altering mass of energy called the Nexus. There are some definite plot holes around the Nexus and it's never satisfyingly explained - especially how the two manage to seemingly go back in time to a specific destination - but never mind, the film has its strengths too. Malcom McDowell is perfectly cast as the villain here. His creepy delivery and slow delivery gives the impression that every word is carefully considered for maximum impact. An actor with gravitas was a definitely required and McDowell is never overshadowed by two of the biggest names in Star Trek history. McDowell's portrayal of the manic Doctor Soran is done with humility, although he is prepared to kill millions to get to his beloved Nexus he still grounded in reality - his tragic past humanises him and he isn't a simple pantomime baddy, there for the audience to hiss at.

As with many of the Star Trek films humour plays a big part, but there's no squabbling between McCoy and Spock here (they don't appear in the film) instead most of the humour comes from Data's experience of emotion for the first time. He's going through something of an emotional puberty as he gets to grips with the chip, and the whole thing does sometimes feels as though it's been done purely to give the fans something new - but I think most would have been happy to keep the 'old' Data. It works well though in parts and manages to integrate itself into the overall story even if at times it's an obvious way to shoe-horn in the odd laugh (" lovely little life forms...").

Struggling with emotion is a common theme of the film, whether it's Data and his positronic meltdown, Picard distraught over the loss of a family member, or Kirk seeing life as it could have been. It often gets quite sentimental but it's not too over-the-top.

The Enterprise herself is a big a star of the show as any of the crew and the Enterprise-D looks superb here. I remember watching this at the pictures when I was 15 and being in complete awe at the saucer separation scene, and in Blu-Ray it still looks good. Many will think it would look better if it were CGI, but personally I much prefer the use of models. The textures and overall physics are much more real with models, CGI can look incredible - but it can also look obviously like CGI. Although the Enterprise appears magnificent, there is a scene where the explosion of a Klingon Bird Of Prey does look just like a hollow model being blown to bits.

The model work has been tackled well with regards to camera work, we get to see the ship from all angles which is great for fans of the series who were used to standard archive shots which were re-used time-an-time again. The live action parts have a familiar feel with David Carson directing, but that's because it looks like the TV series did, it doesn't seem to have taken on the visual qualities you expect from a film. The directing style plays it safe rather than being ambitious which is shame - but that was addressed in the next Star Trek film (First Contact).

This Blu-Ray transfer looks superb, the textures are detailed and the colours are vibrant. The image is clean and the special effects are shown at their very best. The previous Star Trek films often had very quiet dialogue which was drowned out by the music, but here every word is clear. There are plenty of special features - my favourite of which are a mini documentary about the models used, and a feature covering the destruction of the Enterprise.

In a nutshell: It's clear that this film was a vehicle to get Kirk and Picard together and the rest of the film is fitted around that. The story shows great promise but in the end it feels like a two-part TV episode with a few great special effects thrown in. I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could - but I can't. The bonus features on the disk have swayed me in the direction of 4 stars.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I first saw GENERATIONS as part of a "Trek Marathon" at the local cinema - films 5, 6 and GENERATIONS back to back. It may not sound much but believe me it was murder on the backside...
Still, it was worth it. Given the moans directed at the film by many critics (and even a few cast members!) I feared the worst, so was doubly delighted with the quality of the movie I actually saw. Never one to subscribe to the "only the even-numbered ones are good" theory, I revelled in the big screen adventures of characters who I'd grown to care about over their 7-year televsion stint and the plot, while riddled with holes, was a clever way of uniting two casts for a true "handing of the baton". People seem to forget that in a series like STAR TREK plots are merely a set up to explore the characters and their interactions with each other. For every problem GENERATIONS presented (Why was it impossible for Soren to simply fly into the Nexus, when that's how he got there in the first place?), we get superb character exploration as Picard faces (for the first time?) the inevitable truth of his own death. Unlike some reviewers I found the scenes of Patrick Stewart weeping for his lost family & future profoundly moving, while the "family" inside the Nexus were his perception of "perfection". If that can be interpreted as 'sacharine' then that's more an inditement of us as a culture than the scene itself.
My critisisms are minor: I certainly agree that as a send off for the original series cast, GENERATIONS was lacking. Obviously THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is the "official" final TOS movie, but Kirk should have been dispatched with a little more consideration (if he had to die at all?). The appearance of the Enterprise B was a nice touch (I loved the champagne bottle lauch/opening secquence) but thought Captain Harriman seemed a little too nervous for the job.
Ultimately the film is about accepting our lot and facing the future with dignity, a staple of TREK "messages" (see also THE FINAL FRONTIER for such an example!). The film delivers this statement with passion and some staggeringly good set pieces (The Saucer crash is extraordinary!), so how it can be considered a failure by so many is beyond me. To this day the very final moments of the movie, as Picard and Riker bid farewell to the Enterprise D with grace and optimism, makes me go all misy-eyed and serve to remind us that humans aren't such a bad bunch after all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2003
Well in my opinion this is the best one of all the next gen films, it offers alot for everyone, not just trek fans, as it has the old and the new in it, and everyone loved Kirk for one reason or another.
Patrick Stewart has about the biggest emotional range he has ever had in this film, and I can personally watch his scene with Troi in the first half of the film again and again, the acting is subtle and superb.
All the others make good, too, especially the old lads Scottie and Chekov.
If you ever thought that you liked Star Trek and wanna see some more, this is a great place to start. I recommend it.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2004
I was absolutely delighted to have gotten the all-new Special Edition of "Star Trek: Generations". I enjoyed this film when I first saw it at the cinema but consequently forgot about it in light of the superior "First Contact" and "Insurrection". "Generations" is worthy of a revival. The film is so much better than I remembered it to be. Superbly acted, well written and more than competently directed, "Generations" is enhanced further by a real treasure trove of bonus features, particularly the excellent featurettes about the origins of the film, cast and crew reminiscing, some lovely tributes to the dearly departed and an illuminating look at the creation of 24th century weapons, especially knives. Deleted scenes are presented in raw and unpolished form but that's a minor quibble. On the whole, the special edition of "Generations" is as good as the previous Trek movie specials. Outstanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is probably the weakest of the 'Generation' films and to many controversial.
'Admiral James Kirk' and crew are now retired from active service.
A new crew are about to give the new 'Enterprise' a trial, 'Kirk' (William Shatner)
'Chekov' (Walter Koenig) and 'Scotty' (James Doohan) are invited to join the
maiden flight, a short trip around 'Jupiter' and back, however during the early stage
of the flight the crew intercept a distress call, which after deliberation they respond
to, being the closest vessel.
The ship has not yet even been armed, they encounter a 'Nexus' in which the stricken
vessel is trapped, before they can assist the vessel is torn apart within the 'Nexus'
very soon after 'The Enterprise' is in trouble 'Kirk' in an effort to save passengers
sacrifices his own life ?
Seven decades on the 'Enterprise' name continues on the new generation of 'Star-Ships'
'Jean Luc Picard' Captains the Ship, times have changed down the years, a 'Klingon'
is now a key crew member 'Worf' (Michael Dorn) among the leading crew members a
virtual life like robot 'Data' (Brent Spiner) Second in Command 'Riker' (Jonathan Frakes)
these just a hanfull of the Generations crew.
A rogue 'Klingon' vessel is under the spell of 'Doctor Soran' 'Enterprise' crew-member
has been taken captive 'Picard' offers himself as a hostage by way of exchange, the
stipulation is that 'Picard' wants to go face to face with 'Soran' (Malcom Mcdowell) on the
planet 'Mridian 3' where 'Soran' is close to completing an 80 year obsession to harness
the power of the 'Nexus' if he succeeds the Solar System will self destruct when it's Sun
Can 'Picard' stop 'Soran' ? as the procedure completes, the future and past is trapped
within the phenomenon, 'Picard' finds himself at a home he'd never had, nearby he comes
across a man chopping wood,, it's 'James Kirk' who had been trapped within the 'Nexus'
doing the same thing over and over again since the 'Enterprise' encounter with the 'Nexus'
80 years past.
'Picard' asks 'Kirk' to help him stop 'Soran' realizing the 'Nexus' was both past and future,
so they are able to return to a time before the power had been captured.
Of course the 'Generations' series had been running on TV ....with this four movie-series
we encounter new enemies and new adventures..........'Star-Trek' alive and well.
Special Features -
* Commentary by Director 'David Carson' and 'Manny Cole'
* Scoring Trek HD
* Next Generation flashback - 'Andrew Probert HD
* Stellar Cartography on Earth HD
* 'Brent Spiner' - 'Data' and beyond part '1' HD
* Trek Roundtable - Generations HD
* Starfleet Academy - Trilithium HD
Blu-ray Exclusives -
* Library Computer I.Q (BD Live)
* Plus over three hours of previously released content.
Thoughts on 'William Shatner's' exit.
Was it necessary for 'Kirk' to die ?
I look at it this way, 'William Shatner' had played the lead role alongside 'Leonard Nimoy' for many
years both in the long running TV series and the Movie-series.
The old crew needed to be replaced by a younger crew to continue the popular series, I suppose
'Kirk' could have been given a role within 'Starfleet Command' stationed in one of the central
bases, however that really would have been a bit-part only featuring occasionally.
Having been a leading light for so long I doubt that 'William Shatner' would have been content with
such a I guess, though I know many didn't approve, the character had to be killed off
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2005
Generations has a great storyline, mixing the worlds of The Original Series and The Next Generation.
While it may not feel like a proper movie, as opposed to a glorified Next Generation episode, I found this to be a fitting end to the popular series, giving birth to the more movie-like First Contact that came after.
It also paved the way for Lt. Worf's move to Deep Space Nine, and an excuse to make a new Enterprise for the next movie. It also brought some closure to the on-going story arcs set in the series involving Guinan (played superbly by Whoopi Goldberg) and the infamous Duras sisters of the Klingon Empire.
We also get to see the fate of Kirk!
If you watch and have been buying the DVD sets of The Next Generation, then consider this movie the series finale and add it to your collection.
The three movies that follow, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis all have a different tone to the series, and should be considered a stand-alone trilogy from the series, kind of like The Next Generation Next Generation.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2000
I reliased how much I've grown to admire the crew of the USS Enterprise when I first watched this film. When the ship crashes on Veridian III and you see the survivors of the crash standing on the crashed saucer section just as the planet is ripped apart, my first thought was 'Oh my God, they just killed the crew'.
The integrity and community of the crew comes to the fore in this film and with the exception of the Data subplot, is incredibly written and acted. The scenes in Captain Picard's quarters when he learns of his brother's death is some of the most heart-felt acting I've seen.
Definitly one film that will live long and prosper (brain - 'Thats it Im outta here!')
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In the late twenty-third century, the gala maiden voyage of the third Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) boasts such luminaries as Pavel Chekov, Montgomery Scott, and the legendary Captain James T. Kirk as guests. But the maiden voyage turns to disaster as the unprepared ship is forced to rescue two transport ships from a mysterious energy ribbon.

The Enterprise manages to save a handful of he ships' passengers and barely makes it out intact...but at the cost of Captain Kirk's life.

Seventy-eight years later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D find themselves at odds with the renegade scientist Soren...who is destroying entire star systems.

Only one man can help Picard stop Soren's scheme...and he's been dead for seventy-eight years...

I'm not a Star Trek fan, but i can imagine that the thought of Shatner and Stewart starring alongside each other in this movie is the equivalent of seeing Pacino and De Niro in Heat. It's a fun movie, but not because of the two captains, it's fun because of the great scenery and Macdowell as the pantomime villain.

He chews all the scenery when he is present, and makes a worthwhile villain. There are sub- plots involving other characters that go straight over my head, but i feel that this is because i have not seen the series, nor have watched the films in chronological order.

The cast are fine and look like that they are having fun making this, and the set pieces are adequate for any stand alone Sci-Fi movie.

worth watching.
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on 25 March 2015
This movie has some very strong points. Tolian Soran is one of the strongest villains in the Star Trek series, as Malcolm McDowell delivers a powerful performance. The initial scene where Kirk, Scotty and Chekov are guests on the new Enterprise, shows a Kirk that is regretful of his past, exhibiting weaknesses typical of a hero whose time has passed. Deadpan humor by Scotty and Chekov shows the depth of friendship and respect that they have for each other.
The scene where Kirk is in the nexus and Picard is explaining the situation also shows Kirk in a vulnerable state. Years of being the hero has worn on him and he wants to do nothing more than go back and reclaim a life with a family. However, the last scene where Kirk and Picard are battling Soran is a very weak one and is predictable. Other strong points are the personal battle Data has with his emotion chip and the intense scene where the Enterprise saucer section makes an emergency landing.
By far, the weakest part is when Picard so emphatically states that if he could just talk to Soran, he could dissuade him from carrying out his plan. By this time, Soran has been proven to be a man who attacked and tried to kill Enterprise crew members, destroyed a star, allied himself with renegade Klingons and is implementing a plan to destroy a planetary system with millions of inhabitants. Furthermore, Picard has talked with Guinan and she told him that Soran is a madman who cares about nothing but his plans to reenter the nexus. A sensible person would have realized long ago that reason is of little value and worked out a much more realistic plan of action.
A transitional film, showing members of the original Enterprise crew as honored guests who are media curiosities rather than crew, this film is at times very intense. However, at other times it reaches a level of campiness that was disappointing in that it was so unnecessary.
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on 23 August 2014
“Star Trek Generations” is a somewhat uneven film, bringing together James Kirk from the original Star Trek franchise and Jean-Luc Picard from The Next Generation. Both are pitted against a mad alien scientist named Soran, who desperately wants to get back to the Nexus, a kind of fake heaven where all dreams and wishes get fulfilled. Soran is ready to kill millions of innocent civilians to reach his goal. The plot also features Klingon renegades Lursa and B'Ethor and the mysterious Guinan (starred by Whoopi Goldberg). And, of course, the annoying android Mr Data trying to become more human...

Probably not the best choice of entertainment if you don't like Star Trek, but quite good if you do. Personally, I'm fascinated by the Nexus. It strongly reminds me of Madame Blavatsky's description of Devachan in “The Key to Theosophy”. Perhaps the wise lady Guinan is supposed to be Blavatsky? Yes, yes, I'm speculating wildly... Still, the parallel is intriguing!

Due to this unexpected similarity with the West's very own underground religion, I give “Generations” four stars, although it really only deserves three, or perhaps just two if you're completely uninterested in Trekdom. After all, the film contains many references meaningful only to Star Trek fans. I mean, who outside devout viewers of the TNG series know about Lursa and B'Ethor?

As for myself, I feel a bit like Soran. I just can't get the Nexus out of my mind. “I have an appointment with eternity, captain, and I don't want to be late”.
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