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Neil Middlemiss

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Star Trek: Insurrection offers a promising story idea with mixed results. Frankly, the film series needed fresh voices in the writer’s room at this point to take advantage of the big screen canvas for the Next Generation crew. The creativity on display was clearly waning. And while the budgets had increased for each film in the series, what we saw onscreen didn’t reflect it. Still, despite its flaws and failings, I have a genuine appreciation for Insurrection. There are strong positives; the location shoot is beautifully handled, the Ba’ku village set is impressive, the cast do well with what they are given, and Jerry Goldsmith’s score is romantic and rousing in equal measure. It’s perhaps his most lovely Trek score (check out the track The Healing Process) and endlessly listenable, particularly in its extended version. The finished film, however, doesn’t match the audiences’ deservedly high expectations following First Contact, and that disappointment was the beginning of the end...

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Carlo_M

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History has been kinder to this movie in my eyes.

I vaguely remember being somewhat disappointed in it (following on the heels of First Contact which I think is an excellent movie), and the only other memorable thing is how I couldn't stop looking at Donna Murphy. :laugh:

I picked up the Next Gen 4K pkg and of course started with FC, which still retains its power and has IMO aged well. Then I decided, well let's see what Ms. Murphy looks like in 4K ;) and cued up Insurrection. I found myself enjoying the movie quite a bit. It's no First Contact, but it's also now not a total disappointment. The themes in it are timely and serious, and yet the movie also takes time to take a breath and give the crew some time to explore their feelings and emotions. Maybe because I was in my 20s when I first viewed this, and now I'm in my late forties, but the concept of time and aging and wanting things to slow down resonates more with me now than it did back then.

With regards to the effects, I found them to be a mixed bag. Some haven't aged well (like the decloaking of the duck blind), others have. But nothing that took me out of the movie.

I'm glad that the TNG films (yes I realize the T in TNG is "The" but it felt wrong to write "I'm glad that TNG films...") have gotten a 4K release and now I look forward to seeing the other two in hopes that maybe they too will have aged better for me over the span of that time. I think FC was the only film I semi-regularly watched over the years so it may be nearly 2 decades since I watched Generations and Nemesis.
 

KPmusmag

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I need to give this one a fair shot with a new eye. Back when it was released, I was travelling for work and it was grueling. I was starting to come down with a cold or something, which makes travelling even harder, and a co-worker insisted we go to see it and I unwisely went along. I think it is fair to say that my hopes were very high after First Contact and with that and feeling lousy I was disappointed (and I woke up the next day with bronchitis). I have not seen it in its entirety since then. But I need to give it a proper viewing in the home theater with a fresh perspective. Thanks for your review, it has inspired me to do just that.
 

Dave Moritz

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Have not had a chance to view Insurrection yet and only have watched Nemesis so far. All four next generation movies arrived 4/7 but I plan to watch Insurrection soon.

Last time I had all Star Trek movies on video before the reboot movies.

Daves Star Trek Movies DVD_Jan_08.jpg



Current movie collection

20230407_211737.jpg
 

jayembee

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I vaguely remember being somewhat disappointed in it (following on the heels of First Contact which I think is an excellent movie), and the only other memorable thing is how I couldn't stop looking at Donna Murphy. :laugh:

You're not the only one.

I picked up the Next Gen 4K pkg and of course started with FC, which still retains its power and has IMO aged well. Then I decided, well let's see what Ms. Murphy looks like in 4K ;) and cued up Insurrection. I found myself enjoying the movie quite a bit. It's no First Contact, but it's also now not a total disappointment.

I actually prefer Insurrection to First Contact. Always have.
 

Jason_V

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I did a TNG 4k marathon this weekend (streaming, not disc) and the effects for Insurrection just look...bad. I chalked it up to the late 90's trying to do it right, but nothing has real weight or look to it. But I've always known that; this isn't a problem in the 4k itself. It's a problem with the movie.

Otherwise, eh...Insurrection tries. It just runs out of steam about halfway through when it has to turn from a "gee, this is a nice planet and we have a cute little mystery" to a "rock 'em, sock 'em action comedy."
 

Sam Favate

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The 4k presentation of this film is often stunning. That’s due in large part to the beautiful outdoor photography and the grand scope of the cinematography. Blue skies have rarely been so blue.

The film is actually not bad. In fact, it’s pretty good Star Trek. But in contrast to the grand scope of the visuals, the story lacks the grand scope needed for a feature film. This absolutely plays like an episode of The Next Generation, right down to the sets of the Ba’ku village, which it seems we’ve seen at least a half dozen times in the series.

It’s also insulting to the audience on many levels. For one, “Insurrection” is a meaningless title. There is no insurrection in the story at all. Rick Berman used to keep a list of titles he liked that he would use when he could (this film was almost titled Nemesis, which was both the title of a Voyager episode and the next film in this series). Even a casual Star Trek audience is smart enough to understand a title with more than one or two words, but Paramount marketing disagreed. It makes the product seem generic.

Also, there is no explanation as to why Worf is present. They jokingly explain it while other characters talk over it, which means they didn’t have a reason. Nevertheless, fans of the franchise knew that this film takes place after season six of Deep Space Nine (and the death of Worf’s wife) and during the height of the Dominion War, yet nothing is said about this. The crew certainly don’t act like a war is happening.

We’ve also seen the forced relocation storyline before, in TNG’s seventh season. Are we really to believe that Starfleet scientists couldn’t come up with anything, after all the rabbits we’ve seen them pull out of hats over the years?

Much of the character storylines seem forced, not least of which is Picard’s. We just saw him have a period of reflection on his youth in Generations, so this seems superfluous, and occasionally, silly (the mambo dance). I understand that the effects of the planet’s energy give them youthful vitality, but to the point where Picard feels the need to walk through the village with Donna Murphy holding hands?

And while Murphy is a good actress and has a lovely presence, she seems miscast. Her bedroom voice is present throughout the film and often seems out of place. Also, the audience knows we’re never going to see her again, so why watch Picard fall in love? He’s hardly the James Bond (or James Kirk) type.

Brent Spiner famously wanted Data killed off in this film, and with the scripts he was getting, can you blame him? All Data does is go rogue, get controlled, or change his personality.

Only LeVar Burton gets a moment to shine, while the rest of the cast stumble through bad jokes. The humor, once again, just doesn’t work. Gates McFadden is, once again, badly underutilized. (We’re lucky Terry Matalas and co. saw fit to write her a good part in Picard season 3.)

The makeup effects are lazy. The Son’a have stretchy faces meant to gross us out, especially when blood drips through their thin skin. The lesson here must be that if someone’s looks aren’t pleasing, they must be bad people. (Star Trek Beyond would repeat this bit of bad film making). Meanwhile, the Ba’ku are all beautiful white people (there is not a hint of diversity among them, a mistake that would never be made today). So, beautiful white people - good; people who look different - bad. I expect more from Star Trek.

Since the 90s, there’s been a phenomenon of writing characters in long-running franchises where they must always have a personal stake in the outcome of the story. (See: every James Bond movie since 1989.) I think that’s misguided, and that effective stories can be told about people just doing their jobs or living according to their beliefs. But in this sense, Insurrection is a throwback. Picard and crew have no personal stake here, beyond living up to the ideals that brought them to Starfleet. I should like that more than I do here, but it makes this film feel inconsequential, which it ultimately is. It’s a pleasant enough movie if you like Star Trek and want more with these characters, but it won’t enhance your experience with the show or the franchise.
 

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