Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Star Trek: First Contact

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Dir: Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Regular Cast: Patrick Stuart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Additional Cast: Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige, Neal McDonough, Dwight Schultz
USA, 1996

Originally Seen: Wow, I'm not entirely sure the first time I saw this. Looking at the release date in 1996 that was a time I wasn't going to the theatre a lot and since I was disappointed with Star Trek: Generations I likely waited to rent it on VHS.

Revisited: April 12 & 13, 2009

Reason to Revisit: For the Countdown to Star Trek Movie Marathon

Star Trek: First Contact marks an awesome return to the Star Trek film world after not so exciting Star Trek: Generations. First Contact is directed by Jonathan Frakes who also directed a number of The Next Generations episodes as well as Insurrection, the follow up to First Contact. I enjoy his direction as it often shows a great combination of action and humour but also always has an emotional element that is truthful and tender. This is certainly the case with First Contact which really brings the films back to the action/adventure genre with a big enemy to face and numerous problems to solve along the way.

The true charm of the film lies in the relationships. But, a new spin is taken on this as the focus is not between the relationships of the main crew members but with the fantastic supporting cast played by Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, Alice Krige and Neal McDonough. New and historical elements are featured and all fall into place perfectly. There are even moments of pure whimsy contrasted by characters being challenged in such a way that out of context would be hard to believe.

The beauty is, we get all that humour and character depth along with the adventure and action elements. Kudos to the cohesiveness of the film, which is impressive given the fact that at times there are three distinct plot and timelines being followed. First Contact really has it all, including one of the most cunning action sequences in the history of Trek.

Bonus: The big A-ha!
Now I know why I recognize Neal McDonough in every film I see him in (The Guardian, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Walking Tall, Minority Report, for starters). In First Contact he plays Lieutenant Hawk.

Shannon's Overall View:

I loved it
It is a repeat watcher
I'd recommend it to anyone familiar with the Star Trek universe

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

2 comments:

Selfstyler said...

Love First Contact - I was a huge Trekker growing up, and remember seeing this three times at the cinema - including opening night, when the line was so long it left the cinema and went down the street!

Paul said...

Ah, poor Lt. Hawke... but you knew he wasn't going to make it through ;)

I'm a huge Trekkie (no problem calling myself that ;)), and First Contact is my all-time favourite Star Trek film. It not only perfectly captures all of the TNG cast, and gives each of them an opportunity to showcase some chops, but with the cameos by Barclay, the Doctor, and even Neelix (from Voyager, playing the nightclub host), it had stuff for diehard Trekk[ies|ers], but humour and action and drama enough for casual viewers.

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