STAR TREK NEMESIS: DVD
After years of travelling the universe, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is still at the helm of the intrepid Starship U.S.S. Enterprise, although the team is about to split up. After Officer William T. Riker’s (Jonathan Frakes) marriage to Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Chief Engineer George La Forge (LeVar Burton) detects an electromagnetic signature on the nearby planet of Kolarus III, which proves to be dismantled pieces of a prototype of android Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner). In the meantime, long time enemies of the Federation, the Romulans want to discuss a peace treaty, but it seems that their leader Shinzon (Tom Hardy) is a human replica of Picard.
Review by Louise Keller:
Trekkies will absolutely love the DVD, which is packed with superb features that are detailed, informative and highly entertaining. Watching the features and the passion of the people involved (from the film makers to the cast) is surprisingly contagious, and I must admit that it gave me a far greater appreciation of the film. By listening and watching the split screens showing storyboards to action, it is possible to get a real idea of the process involved of getting the film made, and the mood on the set. The deleted scenes are beautifully presented with proper introductions by director Stuart Baird and Patrick Stewart. These include the ‘Chateau Picard’ scene, which Stewart introduces, explaining the poignancy and relevance of this scene between Picard and Spiner, and how Picard, who never had children, regards the crew as his family. The photo gallery is an impressive series of sketches that take us on a stylised trip into the Star Trek style.
The crux of the story lies in the fact that Picard and Shinzon come from the same DNA, but although the filmmakers have gone to some lengths to make the actors look similar, there’s not much that can be done to change their features. Yes, Hardy has shaved his head to match Stewart’s, and they’re both English. But Hardy is a mix between Mike Myers’ Dr Evil and a rather slight Vin Diesel. Besides, there’s nothing whatsoever that can be done to disguise his thick, luscious lips contrasting with Stewart’s thin ones. Even with the prosthetic work creating a cleft in Hardy’s chin, a prosthetic nose and chin, they don’t look at all alike, and this is a fatal flaw in the plot. Why didn’t they use Stewart himself as his nemesis? He is such an engaging actor, that I would have been very happy to have a double dose. (Director Stuart Baird talks about the casting of Shinzon in one of the features, explaining how impressed they had been by his presence, attitude and sexy persona.)
Of course it’s good to meet up with all our old favourites – Jonathan Frakes’ standfast Riker, Brent Spiner’s cat-eyed charmer Data and the marvellous Patrick Stewart, who manages to make the most out of any scene, irrespective of how badly it’s written.
But whether or not it’s time for a new franchise – well, time will tell.
Published July 17, 2003
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STAR TREK NEMESIS: DVD (M) - 2002
CAST: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Ron Perlman, Tom Hardy, Shannon Cochran, Dina Meyer
DIRECTOR: Stuart Baird
SCRIPT: John Logan (story by Rick Berman, Brent Spiner)
RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16 X 9
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by director Stuart Baird; Exclusive Documentaries: New Frontiers – Stuart Baird on directing ‘Nemesis’; A bold vision of the Final Frontier; A Star Trek Family’s Final Journey; Red Alert! Shooting the action of Nemesis; deleted scenes; photo galleries;
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
DVD RELEASE: July 18, 2003