New Enterprise, new crew, new film franchise. The intergalactic voyages of Picard and crew leap forth from the small screen to the silver screen with Star Trek: Generations. A clunky plot aside, this is an otherwise thoughtful way to introduce film fans to the new crew of the Enterprise. Now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with an overall excellent A/V presentation and archival bonus features. Recommended
As my colleague Joshua Zyber already wrote excellent coverage for this film (and the franchise as a whole), I’ll largely leave his words to speak for this review as well (even if I may be a little more forgiving). For my own sake, I’ve always liked Star Trek: Generations. It’s far from perfect, but it’s not terrible or anywhere near the worst Trek film we’ve ever seen. It was saddled (literally and figuratively) with being a bridge film from the OG crew’s cinematic run to the Next Generation team. Its biggest issue (in my opinion) is that the thoughtful meditative plot feels undercooked while trying to fit in big cinematic action setpieces. In the rush to get this to theaters ASAP, the story relies on a number of logical leaps to get by and it doesn't always stick the landing. In its goal to have Picard and Kirk share some screen time, their adventure is decidedly small-scale for what should have been a truly grand iconic passing of the torch. At least Malcolm McDowell delivers some scene-chewing villainy and Data finally got that pesky emotion chip installed!
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The first cinematic adventure of the Next Generation crew, Star Trek: Generations, beams down to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a two-disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital set from Paramount. Housed in a standard sturdy case, the 4K is pressed on a BD-66 with a BD-50 saved for the remastered 1080p presentation and bonus features. Both discs load to static-image main menus.
After a waxy edge-enhanced mess of a 1080p Blu-ray, Paramount continues their winning work on Trek by affording Generations an excellent 2160p Dolby Vision (and HDR10) transfer. From the clearly improved detail levels to the naturally cinematic film grain, this is an immediately clear upgrade. Makeup effects, details in the Enterprise D model, and Malcolm McDowell’s scar are all great enhancements to look out for. I was especially impressed with the practical effects model work of the saucer separation crash landing sequence. This film was in the sweet spot era where practical effects and models still were dominant over CGI and that sense of visual weight and volume is made all the more real in this excellent transfer.
HDR grade is right on point without overpowering contrast, blacks, or supping up the colors to unnatural levels. Black levels are deep with impressive shadow gradience to give the image a nice sense of three-dimensional depth. Whites are crisp and clean without blooming - most evidenced by Kirk’s bold white shirt under his uniform vest. Colors are bold with natural primary saturation with healthy skin tones. That said, it’s quite obvious that certain cast members had some tanning work done. All around, start to finish, this is another excellent Trek transfer.
As has been the case with previous Trek outings on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Generations utilizes an impressive Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio mix offering a notable upgrade over the TrueHD 5.1 track from the old Blu-ray (the included remastered Blu-ray also enjoys this 7.1 track). I know some lament the lack of a more expansive object-based track like an Atmos mix but this track is still aggressive and engaging throughout with plenty of heft for the bigger action sequences while letting quieter conversational moments register. Levels are spot on, so no worries about adjusting as you go along. With a constantly active soundscape to work with, your front/center and surround channels feel appropriately immersive. Again, the more exciting and action-packed the sequence is the more active the surround stage, but even in quiet scenes within the Nexus, there’s a welcome feel for atmosphere and imaging. Dialog is clean and clear without issue and Jerry Goldsmith’s score is another excellent piece of work for the franchise.
Bonus features for Star Trek: Generations is all ported over from past releases. Nothing new on the holodeck there, but it’s nice that the audio commentaries and the text commentary are included on the 4K disc. Everything else is held on the 1080p disc and mostly all presented in SD save for the still galleries and some of the production pieces.
4K UHD Disc
Star Trek: Generations had a mission - and it wasn’t to save the populated planets near Veridian III. After saying goodbye to the original cast in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, we have what amounts to a torch-passing bridge film, one hero handing the franchise's reins to another. It’s a fine film overall and a nice way to introduce this new crew to the big screen, but some clunky plot shenanigans keep it from being the genuinely great Star Trek adventure it could have been.
Now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Star Trek: Generations - like the Trek films before it - comes home with an overall excellent A/V package. The new Dolby Vision HDR 4K transfer works wonders for this film after a waxy lackluster Blu-ray outing and this new Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track offers up a welcome sonic enhancement. Complete with an extensive assortment of archival bonus features, fans looking for an upgrade have found a worthy successor. Recommended