September 20, 2014
This review will focus primarily on the "Phoenix" episode as I was only able to glance through the remaining episodes. I will update the review as I complete them.
I was skeptical when I first read that each episode was only an hour long. I thought perhaps a "to be continued" 2 part series could be accomplished, but not a single episode. Well, you nailed it. The vibe was nearly perfect with reimagining these movies as Next Generation episodes. I loved being thrown into the action, then going to the opening credits and back into the story. The only thing missing from the tv vibe were commercial breaks. The cuts were tasteful and intelligent and moved the stories along at the pace required without feeling overly rushed or lacking. Amazing Job! Wow! These may be the definitive narratives for these "episodes". Amazing work!
Audio/Video Quality: 9
The Audio and video are exactly what they should be for a dvd release. Great job!
Visual Editing: 8.5
Again, nearly flawless. The opening credits are the only real areas where the visual issues arise, but understandably so when trying to input new footage of the enterprise e. I agree with Bionicbob about a few seconds of time before jumping into the episode. Other than that, another great job!
Audio Editing: 9
There are a few hard cuts in the audio when trying to edit out scenes, the bane of any heavily orchestrated movie. These weren't jarring, just noticeable. Yet another Great Job!
"Phoenix" - 9
The biggest change here is the absence of Lilly. By the time I noticed this fact, 20 min or so of screen time had been edited out without a hitch. Superb Job! I feel Lilly's absence as an integral character (she does show up in a few scenes as a bystander) actually improves Picard's character. The whole Ahab/Revenge undertone is gone with her removal and so there is no need to resolve it. In fact, removing Lilly made me realize how First Contact knocked the character of Picard down by using revenge as his motivation. Picard isn't about revenge, he's about loyalty, integrity, and preserving the greater good. This edit restores those qualities that we all have grown to love about Picard. Bravo!
My only head scratching moment during this edit was the choice to remove Picard's line "What have you done to him?" when he confronts the Borg queen and she presents the "assimilated" Data to him. I feel that line and The Borg Queen's response help explain why Data was going along with her. Perhaps that can be reinstated in a version 2.0 which also includes a "Nexus" episode? :)
I do miss Picard and Warf's interaction where Picard apologizes and gives him his highest compliment, but I understand that it has no place nor any need to be included in this edit.
Wow, I just now realized that there was no deflector dish realignment/hand to hand combat scene. Ha, didn't even miss it. Assimilate that!:)
"Heart of Lightness" 7.5
The narrative movement of the story is quite excellent for the first 3/4 or so of the episode, but the ending felt rushed and unexplained. I first noticed the editing when Data found the holodeck in the river. The removal of the attack in the holodeck makes the request to free the Son'a soldiers, whom we never see being taken captive, a little odd. The cuts during the evacuation were done well and moved the scene along without having to head into the caves, but with the removal of the majority of Picard and Anij's scenes the love interest is gone, which kind of saddens. We learn a lot about Picard in and during these scenes and also the unique quality of the Baku which I feel reveal important aspects . Not essential, but I did miss these scenes. I appreciated the removal of the Admiral's demise. The ending was a bit abrupt and Warf's presence on the Son'a ship and the ship's plight is hard to take in as it heavily implies that a battle was fought, but again we never see it. I was intrigued by ending the episode without Picard's showdown on the solar collector. I think much of my gripes comes due to the fact that this movie was already very much a TNG 2 part episode. Still, this was an enjoyable edit that I'll watch again.
"Romulus & Remus" 8
Great movement of the story. All the key story points are present without the horrible argo scenes and B4. The absence of B4 does cause an odd moment when Data beams to the Scimatar to free Picard while wearing B4's jump suit and the removal of Data's sacrifice negates the need for the personal beaming device scene. I was hoping the mind rape scene would be left out or very much amended, but I do understand the inclusion of it for continuity reasons. The destruction of the scimitar was a little abrupt and didn't quite seem Picardish. I did like how the episode ended light and shipped the characters off on a good note with Data still alive, but I will admit that I felt Data's sacrifice meant more as his choice to save his friends truly completed and capstoned his quest to become human. This edit made a movie that I tolerated into an episode that was pretty good. Great job!
I thoroughly enjoyed this edit and applaud Menbailee's editing choices and skill. By and large this is a leaner and more faithful presentation of the characters and format we grew to love. This is one Trek you won't regret undertaking.