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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 12 June 2005
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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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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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 ("...you 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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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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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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on 8 December 2003
Star Trek: Generations, the seventh of 10 feature films based on the two series created by Gene Roddenberry, is the final passing of the torch from the Original Series to the Next Generation crew as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and his crew takes the Enterprise-D on its continuining trek across the stars.
It is also William Shatner's final appearance as Capt. James Tiberius Kirk and, as Spock would say, a logical exit in what amounts to a guest role in an ambitious Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, albeit one made for the movies. It is an appearance fans had hoped for, since the rest of the "Enterprise Four" (Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Spock) had already made either cameos or appeared in major episodes ("Unification Parts I and II" and "Relics") set in the 24th Century.
Writers Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore (who is also involved in the Sci-Fi Channel's "reimagined" Battlestar Galactica miniseries) and Rick Berman came up with a creative way to bring Kirk and Picard together without using time travel or technological "cheats" like a transporter feedback loop (which is how Scotty had managed to enter the 24th Century). They would start the film in the 23rd Century, with Kirk doing something typically Kirk-heroic, then go forward in time to Picard's time and have the two captains join forces to face a common foe.
It's 2295. The Enterprise-A has been decommissioned, her crew disbanded and her senior officers retired or reassigned. Above Earth, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B is being launched, and Kirk, Scotty (James Doohan) and Chekov (Walter Koenig) are guests of honor at her commissioning ceremony. But the brief PR-friendly cruise to "Pluto and back" is cut short by a distress signal from two El-Aurian refugee vessels caught in a strange energy ribbon. Under the command of Capt. John Harriman (Alan Ruck), the woefully undermanned and underequipped Enterprise-B mounts a risky rescue mission, beaming a handful of El-Aurians aboard, including Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell) and future Enterprise-D bartender Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg).
But before the Enterprise-B can escape the effects of the energy ribbon, a tendril strikes the starship and causes damage. Kirk and Scotty find a way to get the starship out of harm's way...and the former captain of the original Enterprise heads down to the Engineering section to implement their plan. It works, but not before the energy ribbon's lightning-like rays lash out at the Enterprise and open a gash in the great ship's hull...right where James T. Kirk is standing...and the legendary captain vanishes and is presumed dead.
Fast forward 78 years into the 24th Century: The Galaxy-class Starship Enterprise-D is on the seventh year of its exploration-defense-diplomatic mission under the command of Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart). It's a time of celebration as the crew celebrates Worf's (Michael Dorn) promotion to lieutenant commander, and everyone is enjoying the ceremony in the holodeck. After a light moment highlighting first officer William Riker's (Jonathan Frakes) penchant for practical jokes and Lt. Cmdr. Data's (Brent Spiner) inability to understand humor, the mood darkens when Picard receives a message from Earth that leaves him stunned with grief.
To make matters worse, an unknown force has brutally attacked the Amargosa Observatory, leaving only one survivor, Dr. Tolian Soran....the same man rescued from the energy ribbon nearly 80 years before by the Enterprise-B. Picard assigns his senior officers to investigate. After all, who would attack a scientific outpost...and why?
Soon Picard is forced to put his feelings of grief and guilt aside to confront the mystery at the Amargosa station and to find out why an obsessed genius seeks to destroy an entire star system and cause the strange energy ribbon -- known as the Nexus -- to change course. And in order to stop his unexpected new antagonist, Picard must enlist the aid of another legendary Starfleet captain of the Starship Enterprise.....
Director David Carson, making his debut as a feature film director here, keeps things moving at a fast, steady pace, making Star Trek: Generations an above-average entry in the movie series. Although Star Trek: First Contact is by far more exciting and interesting, Generations still has a good premise, stunning special effects and serves as a launching point for three more Star Trek films starring the Next Generation cast.
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on 4 March 2005
When this movie first came out i felt it was a bit of a let down. However, in hindsight i now know that the weight of expectation was so great that the final product could never live up to it.
Watching the movie now and i can appreciate it for what it is. a great movie which bridges the two generations in a clever, and touching way. the story is very good, with all the characters being used well, which is never easy when there are 7 main characters.
there are some minor gripes (eg. the enterprise is destroyed a bit too easily, but the fact it was destroyed is a very dramatic point in the film, and the crash-landing on the planet is better then any white knuckle ride i've ever been on). but these are only minor. Overall, this is an entertaining movie well worth another watch.
this special edition does have some nice extras all worth a watch.
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on 18 November 2004
Generations is often looked at as one of the rubbish "odd" number films of Trek. I disagree. Upon viewing the new SE of Generations i've found a new affinity for this film. Is it flawed ? Certainly... the death of Kirk, to me, was not done well and in my opinion McDowell is the wrong choice for the villian.. personally i found McDowell failed to convey the angst ridden Soren well instead choosing to make him the stereotypical hammy Trek villian. But its the plus points of Generations that often get overlooked. The introduction of Cpt John Harriman was added to Trek canon for the first time (not to mention the Enterprise-B). The scene aboard the SS Enterprise at sea was heartily amusing "Data... that was not funny". Generations had a story to tell.. a story about regrets and the nature of life and time. Picards torment over his loss and Kirks regret at dedicating his lfe to starfleet both have very emotional resonances. The passing of the torch from TOS to TNG is handled seamlessly and with 3 original cast memebers plus the entire TNG to get camera time i feel that the script and the direction handled the job well.
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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
implodes.
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 role....so I guess, though I know many didn't approve, the character had to be killed off
sadly.
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on 27 August 2014
to be honest its a really good special effects film and updated for the next generation but come on a better storyline would have been good, from all the star trek films to watch and rate this one would apear second from the bottom.
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