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Star Trek: The Next Generation - Unification [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification” Brings Spock into the 24th Century Nov. 16 2013
By ERSInk . com - Published on Amazon.com
CBS DVD and Paramount take the release of "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Five" on Blu-ray as the perfect opportunity to give fans another two-episode arc seamlessly joined together as a full-length film. "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification" serves as a companion piece to 1991's "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." It's another example of the old cast from the original series joining the new crew (at the time) for some cross-promotion of each other.

The Federation calls in Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the crew of the Enterprise to locate a defecting ambassador they've traced to Romulus. It sounds like just another mission, until it's revealed the defector is none other than Spock (Leonard Nimoy). With the help of the Klingons, Picard and Data go undercover as Romulans to uncover the respected Vulcan's motivations for defecting.

The audio and video quality for "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification" will please viewers. The picture is as clean and clear as we've ever seen it. New and improved visual effects help to give consumers who might already have these on DVD a reason to come back for more. The 7.1 surround sound places viewers right in the center of all the action.

There are a few special features included for "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification." Audio commentary is provided by Jeri Taylor and Mike and Denise Okuda. A behind-the-scenes retrospective on the episodes entitled "From One Generation to the Next: The Making of 'Unification'" includes interviews with the cast and crew. It also features a deleted scene and episodic promos for Parts 1 and 2.

Although I love "Star Trek: The Next Generation," I have the same problem with the feature-length presentation of "Unification" as I did the entire series. There are more diplomatic discussions than action. I prefer the brawling and phaser-shooting of the original series to peace talks. "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification" is still an enjoyable peek at an important moment in Gene Rodenberry's space saga.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the purchase, even with the Season 5 collection Nov. 28 2013
By C. J. Petrosky - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
While the editing together of the two episodes wasn't as smooth as I'd have liked, this Blu-ray is still highly recommended for all Trekkies.

The episodes themselves look great in HD and I constantly find myself noticing the little details on the costumes, props and the work done with the lighting. I think it's great that the folks who worked so hard behind-the-scenes for this show can finally receive more recognition for their work! Standard definition doesn't do this show justice!

The included documentary has a few nice moments spread throughout and features several of the cast and crew.

I particularly enjoyed the audio commentary which features Jeri Taylor alongside Michael and Denise Okuda. The Okudas bring their encyclopedic knowledge of Trek while Taylor tells us her history in Hollywood, how she came to Star Trek, and of course some of her memories writing Unification.

The packaging for this Blu-ray is distinctive (you can see the neat cover design with Spock and Picard) as well as a surprise outer case that opens out into a large spread featuring the characters from the episode as well as that gorgeous new shot of the Enterprise from the Zakdorn Surplus Depot (see my customer image for a look!)

Some folks are irritated by CBS putting out these separate releases with unique content but I don't mind. At least CBS makes these releases WORTHWHILE with the bonus content (back in the dark times of Paramount shoveling out cheap garbage, this release would've cost the same and probably included nothing but the episodes and SD previews). Besides, it's a good way for Trek fans to enjoy some of the big moments in Trek without having to invest the money for the complete collection. These little releases also have good potential as stocking stuffers to introduce people to TNG!

I wouldn't recommend buying at full list price but there are numerous opportunities for getting the Blu-ray at a discount. Keep your eyes out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jolan Tru, Mr. Spock! Jan. 4 2014
By Travis - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"I'm looking for Ambassador Spock."
"Indeed. You have found him, Captain Picard."

That exchange remains one of the most exciting moments in the entire Star Trek canon. I can't even be sure the last time I saw either part of "Unification", but it thrilled me as an adolescent. I read the novelization penned by Jeri Taylor (who wrote the Part I teleplay). I bought the TNG Volume Three CD, featuring a suite of Dennis McCarthy's music from the two episodes. I was thrilled when Playmates added an Ambassador Spock action figure to their lineup, and when he appeared in Decipher's Star Trek CCG. In short, I've been borderline obsessed with "Unification" for 22+ years.

At present, the full season sets on Blu-ray are outside my limited entertainment budget, but I was kindly given some Amazon credit by a friend and splurged on this release. I know I'm behind the times, but this was my first TNG in HD (outside of the movies) and I was quite impressed with the A/V quality. I was captivated just taking in the richness of the textures of costumes and sets. The lone exception is that the Vulcan ear points on Mark Lenard are embarrassingly off-color from the actor's own skin tone. I never noticed it in SD, but it's distracting here. His scene with Patrick Stewart is so poignant and heartrending, though, that I feel guilty even remarking on such a trivial thing. It remains one of the most affecting scenes in the series.

As for the bonus content, I confess to being disappointed. Though I didn't expect anything particularly revelatory, there isn't much here that adds to the appreciation of the featured episodes. Also, CBS decided not to include an UltraViolet Digital Copy for this title, as they had done with the similar standalone Blu-ray releases for "The Best of Both Worlds" and "Redemption".

Commentary by Jeri Taylor and Mike & Denise Okuda ***
This one is a mixed bag. When Jeri Taylor shares anecdotes from either "Unification" or Star Trek at large, she's engaging and interesting. The highlight for me was hearing Taylor acknowledge that Sarek's reference to Spock going off into the mountains was, in fact, a direct reference to "Yesteryear", an episode of the animated series. The Okudas, however, interject with remarks and questions more along the lines of minutiae. It comes off as a Q&A conducted on a fan made podcast. Since Taylor doesn't appear in the lone making-of featurette, though, it's your only chance to hear her reminisces.

From One Generation to the Next: The Making of "Unification" (16:43) ***
In fairness to the producers, it's difficult to make a making-of featurette without any of the key principles participating. Jeri Taylor only recorded the commentary, Michael Piller (who wrote the second half) passed away several years ago, as did actor Mark Lenard, and apparently, Leonard Nimoy passed outright on anything to do with this release. Instead, we hear more about the road that led from the original series through the TNG episode "Sarek" to "Unification" - which, thankfully, is actually relevant and interesting, even if it feels off-topic.

Deleted Scene (1:43) ***
This one kind of baffles me. It's a throwaway scene, to be sure, but it's clearly completed, rather than rough footage that was jettisoned early. I can understand excising it from the broadcast episode, but it seems to me that this single cut Blu-ray would have been an appropriate place to reinsert it as originally planned, though of course, no one asked me.

Episodic Promo: "Unification I" (0:34) ***
Episodic Promo: "Unification II" (0:34) ***
Pretty basic TV promos, but that second one, touting "one man sacrifices his life" is entirely and unnecessarily misleading.

Conclusion
Though the bonus content is generic and the second half of the story - the part that actually includes Nimoy as Spock - feels rushed and anticlimactic, the first half is genuinely terrific. "Unification" has taken on a new place in the context of the franchise in the wake of the last two movies. I can't in all honesty call this a mandatory purchase for Trekkers with the money to buy the TNG Season Five Blu-ray set, but for me...I have no regrets.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Nimoy - Need I Say More? Nov. 21 2013
By P. Dickinson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the 2 part episode and am glad they did it the same as "Best of Both Worlds" and "Redemption"; however, I am disappointed that there is no Ultraviolet version offered as there was with the previous 2 episodes. Otherwise, I would have given this a full 5 stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Episode, Nice Documentary Nov. 20 2013
By iMike - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"Unification" was not the two-part Next Generation episode I expected to follow "Redemption." I assumed - and I think a lot of others did as well - CBS-D would continue to release the cliffhanger two-parters as standalone releases. When Season Five was announced I fully expected the standalone release to be "Time's Arrow." "Unification" makes sense, though. Not only does it feature Leonard Nimoy - on the heels of his cameo in Star Trek Into Darkness - it also features the late, great Mark Lenard.

Just like "Best of Both Worlds" and "Redemption," "Unification" features the original episodic promos and a documentary titled 'From One Generation to the Next.' There's also a deleted scene and audio commentary. The 30-minute documentary features commentary Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Denise Crosby, Rick Berman and the Okudas to name a few. "Unification" also marks the final appearance of Denise Crosby's character, Sela, which I thought was a bit of a waste.

As with previous releases the HD upscale is fantastic, both in audio and video quality.
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