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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best!!!!!!!!
I have read the reviews and they certainly are mixed. In my and my family's opinion (we are all trekkies) this movie is simply the best to date (pre-Nemesis). It has character instead of the usual pomp and circumstance (which I like as well). But, something was different here, there is a real cause, it provokes a real longing to see the right thing done. The acting was...
Published on October 7, 2002 by mickey62

versus
109 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Updated to reflect new 6/7/05 Special Edition
Please note: This review is for the Special Edition of "Star Trek: Insurrection" released 6/7/05 and was updated.

Most of these reviews of Insurrection damn the film with faint praise. It wasn't this, it wasn't that. The Federation wouldn't do this. There's petty squabbles about legal points, etc. Writer Michael Piller clearly uses Star Trek Insurrection, much...
Published on September 15, 2003 by Wayne Klein


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109 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Updated to reflect new 6/7/05 Special Edition, September 15, 2003
This review is from: Star Trek - Insurrection (DVD)
Please note: This review is for the Special Edition of "Star Trek: Insurrection" released 6/7/05 and was updated.

Most of these reviews of Insurrection damn the film with faint praise. It wasn't this, it wasn't that. The Federation wouldn't do this. There's petty squabbles about legal points, etc. Writer Michael Piller clearly uses Star Trek Insurrection, much as Roddenberry did, as a soapbox to decry the injustices visited upon others. Usually he'd use Star Trek as a analogy of what had occurred in the past or present.

The next to last installment in the "Trek" film franchise, "Star Trek: Insurrection" received a bad rap from the very beginning. Despite the fact that it was scripted by one of the series best writers (Michael Piller a producer and writer on "The Dead Zone") and directed by series vet/actor Jonathan Frakes the film was seen as disappointing as a follow up to the action driven "Star Trek: First Contact". While the film certainly lacks the intensity of "First Contact", the humor and thoughtfulness that drove some of the best episodes of the TV series remain remarkably intact. "Insurrection" certainly is much, much closer to an expanded bigger budget TV episode but it is by no means a bad "Trek" film.

Data (Brent Spiner) while on a covert mission to gather information on an alien race called the Ba'ku malfunctions and exposes the mission to the natives. It seems that the radiation belt that surrounds the planet is a fountain of youth reversing aging for those that live there. The Federation in collaboration with a race called the Son'a plan on relocating the Ba'ku so that the Federation can "harvest" the radiation belt and use it to cure people of illnesses. The leader of the Son'a Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham) demands that Vice-Admiral Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) contact the Enterprise and find out how to deactivate or destroy the android. Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) elects to take the Enterprise there to the Ba'ku's planet and try deactivating Data while keeping him intact. He discovers a conspiracy among the Federation and the Son'a that he would never suspect.

While it appears this is the same digital transfer as the first DVD issue, there's considerably better detail and crisper images as the result of improvements made since that first disc appeared. The deep, rich blacks and bright vivid colors of the planet come to life on this DVD. The wonderfully rich 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and DTS mixes both sound terrific using the surrounding speakers exceedingly well. The DTS mix has the edge here with a deeper, richer bass and better overall presence but the two are exceptionally close in quality otherwise.

Disc one is devoted to the film and text commentary. Disc two has all the extras on it. There's a number of deleted scenes including, most importantly, an alternate ending not previous seen. The alternate ending is actually fascinating although it might have been a bit confusing for some folks. Evidently Ru'afo's exposure to the metaphasic radiation turns him younger and younger. Sadly, the optical effects aren't in the alternate ending beyond some simple computer graphics. We also have Peter Lauritson introducing the deleted scenes and giving us background on why they didn't make it into the movie including an extended version of Ru'afo's facelift. Image quality for the deleted scenes aren't quite as good as the movie because they weren't color corrected and/or completed. We get more scenes of Riker and Troi flirting which are quite funny and actually would have worked within the film quite well as part of a "director's edition". There's also a scene where Picard kisses Anij that was cut.

"The Star Trek Universe" focuses on the aliens created by make up artist Michael Westmore and the beautiful alien women throughout the run of the entire series and films. Jonathan Frakes comments on his favorite alien women that Riker has seduced.

"Production" looks at everything from the creation of the Ba'ku village in Thousand Oaks, California to the creation of one of the most elaborate stunts that wasn't SEEN in the movie. We get to see Data save some of the Ba'ku fighting three aliens who are armed taking all three out with one punch. "Creating the Illusion" shows us how the visual effects were created for three sequences; the shuttle chase involving Data, Picard and Worf; when the drones attack trying to transport the Ba'ku and the sequence involving the Duck Blind at the beginning when Data reveals there are Federation personnel invisible among the Ba'ku in their village. Each one is introduced by co-producer/ 2nd unit director Peter Lauritson. We also see the storyboards for the sequence and what the visuals look like at various stages of production.

"The Story" features Michael Piller discussing their take on the screenplay. Piller relates the story to the obsessive culture of youth we live in and relates a personal experience that inspired the story. He discusses the metaphorical nature of the story but also the real world issues that underlie the story and that could be applied to the 21st century. We also get footage from the original featurette and interviews from around the same time incorporated into a new featurettte on the making of the movie. There's also a section on the advertising featuring the teaser trailer, theatrical trailer, the original promotional featurette that appeared on the previous DVD and the Borg Invasion Trailer for the Las Vegas attraction. There's an archieve section with Storyboards and a photo gallery.

"Director's Notebook" consists of video footage shot behind the scenes of Frakes shooting the film. Featuring a new interview with Frakes discussing the approach to the story which he felt wasn't quite as strong as "First Contact". He felt that the look of the movie was a highlight of the film. He also discusses the difficulty in balancing the story so that both old Trek fans can enjoy it but also so that new Trek fans won't feel excluded. It's tremendously difficult with a franchise with so much backstory as the franchise has. He also discusses the challenges of acting in a film he's directing.
Oh, and keep your eye out for Easter eggs on the second disc. There's one that shows the craft services food and Marina Sirtis discussing how difficult it is for the actors to remain so slim. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek but also interesting. Look for some of the little logos to the left and right of the area where the menu is and click on them to access the Easter eggs.

Surprisingly Jonathan Frakes either wasn't asked or elected not to do a commentary track for this film. It's a pity because Frakes' entertaining commentary track for "First Contact" was a highlight of that disc. He knows when to say something informative and when to stay quiet letting the film do the talking. Many directors could take lessons from Frakes in terms of doing a commentary track.

There is an extensive text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda that's both informative with trivia about everything from Gilbert and Sullivan, to set redresses from the "Voyager" TV show and "First Contact" movie. There's also humor which has been a hallmark of all the text commentary tracks that the Okudas have done. There's also plenty of trivia about various episodes and how they relate to the film. Of course, there's also some useless information that is there just to be there but, on the whole, the Okudas continue to be a fount of useful "Trek" information.

"Insurrection" certainly deserved the deluxe treatment that "First Contact", "Generations" and "Nemesis" received in their DVD incarnations. Hopefully "Nemesis" (one of the most polarizing of "Trek" releases) will also be expanded to a two disc edition but incorporate the best features of the previous version. While not the best of the "Trek" films, "Insurrection" is a good, solid adventure that has lots of humor and fun throughout the film. The visual effects are, as usual, spectacular and this is our first glimpse of a completely computer generated Enterprise in a film. A top notch release from Paramount, I'd be curious to see how Paramount could possibly improve this edition when they release the High Definition version of this film on disc.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best!!!!!!!!, October 7, 2002
By 
I have read the reviews and they certainly are mixed. In my and my family's opinion (we are all trekkies) this movie is simply the best to date (pre-Nemesis). It has character instead of the usual pomp and circumstance (which I like as well). But, something was different here, there is a real cause, it provokes a real longing to see the right thing done. The acting was simply phenomenal. This is not your run of the mill sci-fi - simply much more. If you are just interested in visual effects - get a life and watch something boring. This one is way above the baseline. The movie doesn't rely simply on the techno skill of the special effects crew - it relies on the actors as well and the cause - a wonderful movie with a real heart. The people on this planet represent what we all might like to have - a real life of satisfaction away from the pressures and demands that drive us into the grave 20 years before our time - something worth fighting for.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure and perfect Star Trek!, September 10, 2013
By 
Kevin Berne (Nussloch , Germany) - See all my reviews
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Constantly being listed as one of the worst Star Trek films ever made, this movie could hardly be better. It embodies a perfect Star Trek story: a morality tale with an engaging dilemma, a cast of great chracters with a carefully cultivated, almost perfect chemistry, fantastic pacing and timing, great humor and photography, a beautiful score and a great message. It is the perfect follow-up to the SciFi horror actioner First Contact and clearly superior to both the overly constructed Generations and the somewhat underwhelming, sterile Nemesis. I believe this picture to be both a classic and the late Michael Piller's masterpiece, something which all the people involved with the teenage BS J.J. Abrams is serving nowadays should take a hard look at!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good ST:TNG Episode, November 28, 1999
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This is a good Star Trek _episode_, meaning it would fit in very well as an episode of the tv series. It's not as flashy or dramatic as most of the movies, however. The story leans more toward the characters and their inter-relationships than toward big space battles. It's a movie for the long-term TNG fan, not the casual SF action movie fan. The story isn't terribly memorable, but does have some very nice character-developing moments for the Enterprise regulars. Worth watching and no where near living up to the "odd-numbered movie" curse!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound over Substance., January 11, 2000
This review is from: Star Trek - Insurrection (DVD)
OK, lets face it. We want to love Star Trek movies because we feel so apart of the series. And for the most part, the movies just don't hit their mark. As a movie, this one probably ranks fourth in the series behind, Kahn, IV, and First Contact. But it's certainly not a bad film, which can't be said for about half of the Star Trek movies. However, if you have a sub woofer, surround sound speakers and are buying this for your 5.1 DVD... Pull out your wallet and get it. Star Trek is perfect for DVD. The Laser Fights, the Space Battles, the hiding in caves during an alien bombing give ample opportunity to be pounded into your chairs. In DVD no one can hear you scream, simply because the movie is so darn loud. I LOVE IT. So if you're a Star Trek fan or just someone who enjoys your home theater. Pull out your wallet and have a great time. However, if you don't have 5.1 DVD with all the trimmings, buy the wrath of Kahn, or simply go buy a better movie.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie... 5 stars for the extras!!!, April 1, 2005
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Ok, sure, we all know this movie isn't as good as First Contact or Nemesis, but its a good movie with a good story to tell.. Its very light hearted and not as dark and scary as Nemesis and First Contact.. Overall, a good movie! A must have collection for all Star Trek fans!

Here are the extras that will be in this 2-disc DVD set:

Disc 1

The movie, presented in widescreen and enhanced for 16:9 TVs. Audio options include: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, and French Dolby Surround.
Text Commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda.

Disc 2

Production
It Takes a Village
Location, Location, Location
The Art of "Insurrection"
Anatomy of a Stunt
The Story of "Insurrection"
Making "Insurrection"
Director's Notebook
The Star Trek Universe
Westmore's Aliens
Star Trek's Beautiful Alien Women

Creating the Illusion
Behind-the-scenes footage of sequences filled with action and visual effects
Shuttle Chase
The Drones
The Duck Blind

Deleted Scenes
Ru'afo's Facelift
Working Lunch
Flirting
The Kiss
Status: Precarious
Disabling the Injector
Alternate Ending

Archives
Storyboards
Photo Gallery

Advertising
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Original Promotional Featurette
Borg Invasion 4-D Trailer
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Star Trek ... see below, October 1, 2010
This review is from: Star Trek - Insurrection (DVD)
Why is Insurrection good Star Trek? Because it comes off like an expanded episode from the TV show. Let us not forget that Star Trek at its base is a group of TV series, begun in 1966 and continued capably by NextGen. If a Star Trek movie doesn't fulfill the feeling you got from enjoying the TV series, in my mind it isn't doing its job. Are there some flaws in logic or plotting in this movie? Yes. Even good writers are not perfect. "Wrath of Khan" is regarded by many as the best of all Star Trek films, yet the list of logic errors, factual errors, and silly mistakes in TWOK will go on far longer than a similar list from Insurrection.

So what makes it good? First, the cinematography and effects are eye-popping. Second, the characters do the right things. They don't diverge from the characters we know from the TV shows. Third, you get to know and like the Baku culture, and care what happens to them. Fourth, you even feel sorry for the surviving bad guys at the end ... not easy to do. Fifth, the Enterprise crew doesn't make rookie mistakes that belied their competence in the TV series (as happens in both TWOK and Generations, for example).

Now I'll admit that I'm (mostly) easy to please when it comes to Star Trek. I was 9 years old in 1966 when it premiered on NBC, and watched the very first show broadcast. Like all the original fans, I lived through a 12 year stretch when there was not only no live action Star Trek, but no certain indication there ever would be again! Those of us with that perspective are more likely to be grateful for all the Star Trek we can get, and approach new shows and movies without preconceptions. So when I see a Star Trek movie that seems like an entertaining extended TV episode, I'm quite happy with it. I've watched Insurrection many times, and enjoyed it every time, for the reasons above. This cast was outstanding in their roles, and there are a finite number of those performances. I certainly won't criticize this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy, fun, even exciting - just not Top Trek., February 8, 2007
Star Trek fans and other viewers have long derided this film for what it did not do. It did not follow on from the tension and excitement in First Contact, and it did not on the other hand live up to the pre-film hype that it would return to the humour of Star Trek IV.

However, with benefit of hindsight, this is in fact one of the Next Generation movies that does live up to Roddenberry's ideal - there is a real theme and message here that Roddenberry would have been happy to put his name to.

The story starts when Data, involved in a duck-blind observation of the Ba'ku, a peaceful 'new-age-y' sort of race, goes apparently rogue. Picard and crew come to investigate, only to find that the planet may have the secret to eternal youth, and the observers have more than observing in mind - they plan the mass eviction of the Ba'ku. Picard is placed in a position of choosing between principle and his career, living out the moral centre ideal that Roddenberry loved so much.

There are elements of humour, some welcome fan appreciated vignettes, such as Geordi having a chance to see, Riker and Troi becoming close again, and the story moves along at a respectable pace. Set design is impressive, and the movie benefits from more on-location sets than any other Next Generation movie, giving it a unique identity. However, the darker edge IS missed, and while good, the movie never quite reaches the heights of some of its predecessors, or explores the themes quite as much as you would want it to.

So this particular disc will live or die on the extras - and they are a worthy set. Sadly, there is no director's commentary by Frakes, but there is a text commentary for the Trek Trivia inclined, by Michael and Denise Okuda. On the second disc there are small chunk sized featurettes on production, special effects and the Star Trek Universe, as well as deleted scenes and archive photos and storyboards. The deleted scenes are of interest, but were rightfully dispensed with to maintain pace. The featurettes are often PR fluff, but quality fluff that genually educates on special effects in particular. One standout is the interview with the writer Michael Piller who is surprisingly candid about the end script, and gives some fascinating insight into what the script evolved from - the earlier drafts which were more of a 'Heart of Darkness' story, must have been fascinating!

All in all, if you don't have it, then this is definitely the one to get. If you have it already then you probably have all you need to have to form your own opinion of the movie.

If you have not seen the movie - don't be put of by the negative talk - sure, this is no Wrath of Khan, but it is probably (arguably!) the second best of the Next Generation movies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This TNG caper deserves a second look., February 10, 2006
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The ninth caper in the Trek movie franchise initially received mixed reactions from fans, but it's definitely worth looking at a second time.

Some viewers scoffed at the notion that the Federation could have "mis-used" the Prime Directive, but in the Trek universe, anything's possible. Lapses in judgment and logic were part of Gene Roddenberry's "morality play" from the beginning. And besides, isn't this what makes good drama?

Capt. Picard is caught in a moral dilemma: Obey Federation orders and help "forcibly" relocate a peaceful alien race from their "fountain-of-youth" regenerating planet so that it can be "strip-mined" to help millions of others; or, oppose the Federation and defend this weaponless, technology-denounced, simple folk?

F. Murray Abraham plays the principal villian, Ru'Ofo, with over-the-top theatrical flair (not easy to do under a grotesque mask of prosthetics). His character becomes the chief motivator in trying to remove the Ba'Ku off the planet.

There are wonderful moments in subplot: Due to temporary exposure to the planet's regenerative effect, Riker and Troi rekindle their romance (as a result, Riker shaves off his beard!); Worf re-experiences Klingon puberty (complete with accelerated hair growth and acne); and the most heartfelt moment comes when LaForge's eyesight is temporarily restored, allowing him to see a sunrise for the first time, tears welling in his eyes. It's definitely LeVar Burton's finest moment.

There's also a sweet romance between Picard and a lovely Ba'Ku woman (Donna Murphy), as well as a poignant & charming friendship between the child-like Data and a 12-year old boy, who initially rejects him because he's a machine, but then grows to like Data.

But the moral issue embodies itself in the person of Admiral Dougherty (veteran actor Anthony Zerbe), who becomes entangled by his loyalty to the Federation and his faust-like partnership with Ru'Ofo.

There are some great action scenes here: Picard's retrieval of a malfunctioning Data in an exciting scout ship chase; the previously-mentioned malfunction, as a berserk Data jeopardizes a surveillance mission; and Ru'Ofo's scout ships swooping down and shooting "transporter tags" on the Ba'Ku.

But no Trek film would be complete without light comedy touches:

Picard: Mr. Worf, are you familiar with Gilbert & Sullivan?

Worf: No sir, I have not had a chance to review the crew roster.

---------------------------------------

Riker (spotting a giant zit on Worf's face): You Klingons don't do anything small, do you?

---------------------------------------

Worf (speaking to Picard from the alien vessel): They would like to discuss terms of surrender...it may also have something to do with having only 3 minutes of air left!

This a worthy addition to the Trek franchise, with Picard and crew sort of riding in like "the Magnificent Seven" and saving the day as they stand up for what they believe in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Insurrection" Redeemed with this Release, June 8, 2005
By 
Before "Nemesis" came around, "Insurrection" was the film highly debated and spoken about. Was it good? Bad? What went wrong, what did they do right? I think critics, and some reviewers, are a little harsh when it comes to this film. I'll say that it's a light-hearted film. It followed "First Contact," which featured the Borg and humanity itself being on the line. "Insurrection" is, in my opinion, original in that it deals with new enemies, new aliens, and has Picard actually seeing the darker side of the Federation.

I say that this release redeems the film in that it fleshes it out more. There's lots of commentary on the production of the film, on it's development, on what went wrong and right. Those responsible for the script speak candidly about the changes in the script and "what could have been" while ending on "this is what happened." What I liked was that Frakes and Michael Piller don't pretend to like the script. They don't dress-up their commentary or act as if the film was perfect. They explain a lot and I came out of it actually liking the film even more.

The film does have over 2 hours of special features. No audio commentary feature like the origianl DVD release, but I didn't miss it because I felt it was made-up for in the bonus features.

In the production section, there are featurettes such as "It Takes a Village," "Location, Location, Location," and "The Making of Star Trek Insurrection" which has commentary from Frakes, Stewart, McFadden and Sirtis, as well as Donna Murphey and F. Murray Abraham about all the thoguht that went into the creation of the Ba'ku and the change of scenery from the usual starship/space backdrop to an actual planet-side story. Stewart had a lot to do with how the film came out, so he does nothing but gush about how great it is. I actually enjoyed hearing from the members of the cast who usually have smaller roles. This is a film that actually gives a lot of attention and time to the supporting cast. I also found "Director's Notebook" to be a great explanation for the film. Frakes comes out and says that the script wasn't as great as "First Contact" but explains in depth how he and the others tried to work it. There's even a part of the interview when Frakes is unable to talk because he's just laughing histerically. Perhaps that doesn't help the film, but it definately was interesting to hear all that he had to say, or laugh about. "The Story" features Michael Piller's side of the story and how the film was developed.

I found the "Creation the Illusion" section to be the weakest. They explain how the shuttle chase at the start of the film, the duck blind, and the drone scene were developed. Really, I found these to be dragging and rather dull. They could have explained the Briar Patch construction or the big battle scene between the Enterprise and the Son'a vessels. Instead, it goes for some smaller scenes that didn't need much explaination. I did enjoy all the jokes being dished about Spiner and the Data underwater scene.

"The Star Trek Universe" section contains one feature on Westmore's Aliens and one on the alien women of Star Trek. I actually enjoyed both. I liked hearing how Westmore created not just the aliens for this film but how he's designed and developed them over the years. This contains footage and commentary on all of Trek, not just The Next Generation or this film. The "Star Trek's Beautiful Women" was a nice segment as well. Perhaps a tad bit sexist, because we certainly don't have entire segments devoted to Star Trek's men, but it was still entertaining. It too contained footage from all the shows and films. Even Robert Picardo (Voyager), Connor Trineer (Enterprise), Chase Masterson (Deep Space Nine), and the actress who portrayed Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine took part in interviews for this segment. I found Marina Sirits, as usual, to be hilarious and her commentary quite interesting, putting it mildly.

There are also a lot of deleted scenes included. The film on these is rather low at times and hard on the eye, but all of the deleted scenes were fun to watch. I enjoyed the extended Troi/Riker flirting in the library scene as well as the alternate ending. I wish the cut Quark appearance could have been included, but the many deleted scenes also made this release worth buying it.

As for the transfer quality, I thought it was okay. Some have been complaining that it's distracting at times because it's so high quality, but I didn't think so. Sound was great.

"Insurrection" is not the best film but it's not the worst either. I saw it as a big episode, and perhaps that's where the movie is flawed. I do think the humor at times made it weak and wonder how they could have turned the film into a sci-fi comedy, or how Picard could turn into another Kirk and fall in love with a woman within 24 hours and yet show no feelings at all towards Beverly Crusher ... when Riker and Troi's romance was rekindled by being around this planet ... but all that aside, it's a decent film and a great DVD release chocked full of bonus features to please any fan. There are also three easter eggs, two including Marina Sirtis. She and Dorn have a hilarious hidden feature where she asks "what is this film about?" and he tries to explain it. Definately worth your money and attention.
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Star Trek - Insurrection
Star Trek - Insurrection by Jonathan Frakes (DVD - 1999)
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