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 Post subject: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996)
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2012, 01:48 
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I believe I speak for everyone here, Sir, when I say: To hell with our orders.
Here it is, the crowning achievement of the Next Generation's tenure as the head of the Star Trek canon. After the wishy washy response from critics and fans towards Star Trek: Generations, they needed to reel in their audiences with an appealing film to prove to theater goers that Picard, Troi, Data, Worf, Riker, and Geordi could pick up the slack that Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country left for them. To do this, they combined the two things that the theatrical Star Trek features did best - kickass vengeance tales and amusing time travel stories. Throw in one of the more popular bad guys from the Next Generation's 7 season run, The Borg, and there's almost no way this movie can fail. And it doesn't.
Directed by cast member Jonathan Frakes, First Contact tells two separate tales - the first of which deals with the film's namesake. It deals with the Enterprise crew traveling back in time to stop the Borgs from stopping first contact with the Vulcans, which would launch humanity into its next phase of evolution. Half of the Enterprise is crew is tasked with repairing Zefrm Cochrane's(played wonderfully by James Cromwell) ship the Phoenix, the first ship to utilize warp drive. Zefram is hailed as an idol by the futuristic crew members, and he begins to lose faith in himself as he fails to meet their out of proportionate expectations. This drives the Enterprise crew members into a race against time in order to restore Cochrane's spirits and convince him to make his first warp flight which would in turn lead to first contact through several entertaining sequences, several of which include some classic rock pieces from the 50's to the 70's.
The second tale depicts a Borg invasion of the Starship Enterprise E, which runs parallel to the first story. It deals with Picard's festering obsession with vengeance on the Borg, who at one point had assimilated him into his collection. Here's where the film earns its action merits, as Picard leads his team of crew members to resist Borg assimilation of his prize command. Not much can be said of this portion of the film without spoiling the goods within though, so much of it must be witnessed for yourself.
The film has an excellent pace, and keeps you on edge throughout the close to two hour run time. It brilliantly highlights not only the lighthearted side of the Next Generation crew, but also the hardened action side, which leads to one of the most balanced adventures in Star Trek history as well as the finest outing the Enterprise D crew would ever have on the big screen. Time has been good to this flick, and while it isn't as bombastic and as fast as J.J. Abrams new reboot of the franchise, it packs a punch and keeps you interested in the characters that it presents before you.

Video:
Presented in a letterboxed 2.35:1 aspect ratio, Star Trek: First Contact explodes onto Laserdisc with a proficient encode, as many Paramount products usually do. Detail is present to the extent that Laserdisc can produce, with every eerie aspect of the Borg's costume design well represented on screen. Colors seem well balanced with the green foliage of Earth's surface shining just as much as the holodeck's night club brims with activity. I saw no evidence of aliasing or any other issue with the presentation that might cause problems with the viewing experience. The print used for the transfer seemed pristine, without any evident damage seen by this reviewer's eyes. Be warned, there is a rather evident layer of signal noise present throughout most scenes, but if you've viewed a 90's Laserdisc transfer before than this is nothing you haven't seen before.

Audio:
Encoded with a stereo surround Dolby Pro Logic track on the digital audio tracks, as well as an AC-3 5.1 digital surround track on the right analog track, Star Trek: First Contact gets the job done without little sparkle or shine. Dialogue never gets lost in the shuffle and sound effects do an excellent job of immersing you in the sound field, but for the most part never goes beyond that. I really was hoping for more of a low frequency kick whenever the Enterprise soared across the screen, or a Borg ship was obliterated, but it never quite reached the level where I felt it was adequate. This might represent the original sound design however, as I don't quite remember feeling a huge kick in my numerous Blu Ray viewings of the same film, so perhaps it was intentional. Regardless, don't expect this film to blow you away with its AC-3 or Pro Logic tracks.

Overall:
I absolutely love this film and would easily place it above all other Next Generation films, as well as many of the films featuring the Original Series cast. It's just that good. It's fast paced, keeps you on your toes, and gives us another chance to see Captain Picard duke it out with his mortal enemies. What's not to love?
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2012, 17:37 
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great review, i love this film!
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2012, 02:21 
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This movie on laserdisc is rife with aliasing. Watch the incredible flickering on lines as they pan out of the Borg ship in the beginning. I heartily ditched the laser for the DVD. BTW I watch on a standard def direct view CRT so what I'm seeing is not a scaling artifact.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2012, 02:46 
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gumbyandpals wrote:
This movie on laserdisc is rife with aliasing. Watch the incredible flickering on lines as they pan out of the Borg ship in the beginning. I heartily ditched the laser for the DVD. BTW I watch on a standard def direct view CRT so what I'm seeing is not a scaling artifact.


With the Faroudja scailing to 1080P with DCDI in my Denon receiver, First Contact on LaserDisc looks great without any aliasing problems. You are seeing aliasing because the disc wasn't low pass filtered vertically which is bad for interlaced CRT's but 'unfolds' nicely to higher vertical resolution when deinterlaced/scaled correctly.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2012, 14:49 
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Actually I found the bass to be slightly weak on the Dolby mix the same goes with DVD first edition and special edition R2 UK releases. If I wanted some low end I'd have to put some HP filters across the LCRS channels set at certain frequency apply some equal -db cuts then raise the levels for all channels just to get that chesty bass mid (now and then) kick to chest otherwise I find the film, a bit toppy as it stands.

I only owned the THX laserdisc pressing but sold it years ago and I might re-buy it again.

Directional mix wise is good with voice panning to left or right and if used with Surround-EX you'll hear one of the engineer crewman in the Jefferies tube voice coming not for equal sidewall surrounds but centred behind you. I'd have to have re-listen to R2 first DVD pressing as I can't stand waiting for menu to settle in on those SE DVD takes just as long as bluray to start.

The colour detail transfer as I remember on the THX laserdisc had me drooling, having seen it at the local ABC screen 1 twice, but only in Dolby Stereo A-type as cinema didn't have the SA20 at the time, but it sounded good.

I think the first day I played the film to friends was when I had the 18" JBL fitted into its diy box and it gave a mild rumble but like I said it was a bit on the toppy.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 18 Dec 2012, 19:32 
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laserbite34 wrote:
Actually I found the bass to be slightly weak on the Dolby mix the same goes with DVD first edition and special edition R2 UK releases. If I wanted some low end I'd have to put some HP filters across the LCRS channels set at certain frequency apply some equal -db cuts then raise the levels for all channels just to get that chesty bass mid (now and then) kick to chest otherwise I find the film, a bit toppy as it stands.

I only owned the THX laserdisc pressing but sold it years ago and I might re-buy it again.

Directional mix wise is good with voice panning to left or right and if used with Surround-EX you'll hear one of the engineer crewman in the Jefferies tube voice coming not for equal sidewall surrounds but centred behind you. I'd have to have re-listen to R2 first DVD pressing as I can't stand waiting for menu to settle in on those SE DVD takes just as long as bluray to start.

The colour detail transfer as I remember on the THX laserdisc had me drooling, having seen it at the local ABC screen 1 twice, but only in Dolby Stereo A-type as cinema didn't have the SA20 at the time, but it sounded good.

I think the first day I played the film to friends was when I had the 18" JBL fitted into its diy box and it gave a mild rumble but like I said it was a bit on the toppy.


Picture-wise the LaserDisc is stunning, but like you said, lacking in sound on both the Dolby Stereo matrix tracks and the AC-3 track. Now, Deep Impact is a disc that gives both excellent picture and sound with Sensurround-deep bass on the AC-3 track.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 26 Dec 2012, 02:37 
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Well its just over bright on the score which seems to be above and the deep effects seem to be below.
Well if I placed HP filter over the part of the LCRS range and then raised the levels that should give it a warmer low end.

DVD region 2

This at the start of chapter 28, 01:29:41. I don't yet at present have rest of THX sound system wired up. This only shows LCR on mix (AMP monitor) or I could monitor each channel, but I did a quick one of LCR summed up.

Image

Okay the one below is Left - Right, summed I had to only mute the centre on the Behringer DCX2496 and leave the THX in Mix monitor. The difference seems subtle some sounds from centre have similar sound as left and right but there still discreteness happening between each LCR.

Image

Okay, okay I'll do centre channel only then.

The graphs work from bottom to top. The start of chapter 28 starts at the bottom. The mild wide green at the top is where Picard is being pushed back, ready to be probed by the Borg yet again. :mrgreen:

The bendy patterns is kinder like, slow/medium/fast frequency sweeps ones going down in straight line are bands centred ether narrow or randomly or often rumble track might appear and is easy to see.

Image


Okay same summed LCR only this is the German Dolby 5.1. Its only mildly brighter in the colours on the low end. If I set the frequency range higher so that it can pick up dialouge level, there would be difference as the Germany over-dub and words being sounded. Request for that and I'll do one.

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2020, 01:46 
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This is a very pretty disc but I too noticed the few tiny spots of shimmering in the opening which keeps me from having it as a top tier PQ disc. Of course I'm running straight into my xbr960 and I suppose I'm still getting the issue disclord described above. I have the Marvell qdeo 4K upscaler on my onkyo receiver so I can play with that to see if it eliminates it.
I often wonder if the supposed Super NTSC discs are properly decoded by the 960's comb filter or not.

I will agree that the sound is nice but overall nowhere near as impressive as the ac3 on Generations was. I think even the PQ on that discs edges out FC as well.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2020, 15:50 
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as a 14/15-year-old boy around 1996, this was my favorite TREK film at that time.

today, however, i greatly prefer the first film, THE MOTION PICTURE.
i appreciate it's imagination, it's model work, it's deliberate pacing, and it's overall very late-70's sense of style.

all of that makes it easily the very finest ST film of them all, at least in my admittedly screwed-up eyes...
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2020, 19:53 
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tasuke wrote:
as a 14/15-year-old boy around 1996, this was my favorite TREK film at that time.

today, however, i greatly prefer the first film, THE MOTION PICTURE.
i appreciate it's imagination, it's model work, it's deliberate pacing, and it's overall very late-70's sense of style.

all of that makes it easily the very finest ST film of them all, at least in my admittedly screwed-up eyes...

Star Trek TMP is also my favourite, although I do admit it's a little ironic that I prefer the least-action oriented film in the entire series, especially when Kirk and co. themselves were far more action-oriented than their TNG counterparts. Which is probably why the TNG era movies come across as so terrible, because they shoehorn the diplomat Picard into a role that isn't really his.

I mean I do think First Contact is the best of the four, but the bar isn't exactly high.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2020, 15:18 
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yeah, FIRST CONTACT is indeed a very good conventional Sci-Fi-Action film, and easily the best of the TNG ST Film series...
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2020, 16:06 
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I like Insurrection the best. First Contact is well made but it’s basically an action movie for people to dumb or square to watch the TV show. It’s all for punters, all the Trek movies.

I’m not a huge fan of the first movie but I am a huge fan of what it was trying to a pull off.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2020, 17:21 
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One more great Star Trek Movie. A+.
You don't get them like this now.
Glad I have it on LaserDisc.
This was made when Movies were worth watching.
I also have it on B-R DVD.
LaserDisc was a fun time for Movies. Back in the 70's & 80's.
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 Post subject: Re: Star Trek: First Contact [LV332433-WS] LBX/AC3/THX (1996
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2020, 18:21 
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signofzeta wrote:
First Contact is well made but it’s basically an action movie for people to dumb or square to watch the TV show. It’s all for punters, all the Trek movies.

Isn't that what Insurrection is too?

I guess First Contact is the worse offender because the TV show did make an earnest attempt at having him overcome his hatred of the Borg, but First Contact just ignores that development for the sake of pathos; it's like it was written for people who only ever saw The Best of Both Worlds.

Insurrection in the other hand tries to do the Star Trek 3 thing and have Picard go against Starfleet Command but the stakes are simply nowhere near as high for it to be dramatically effective.
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