Menagerie Reactions

By T'Bonz
November 16, 2007 - 3:02 AM

A day after the screening of The Menagerie, the first review of the HD-DVD set has hit the Internet.

"The packaging is a lot smaller than I expected," says Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits, giving his initial impressions of the set. "I still dislike that these are combo discs though, because there's no disc labeling. That means to find the episode you want to watch, you've got to consult the packaging to see which disc it's on. That gets old quick." Hunt has not finished watching the set, and so did not go into detail about the episodes or the extras, although he looked forward to the Billy Blackburn archive footage. Hunt was displeased with the video quality though. "I was expecting to be blown away by remastered TOS on disc, and at times I was. But I was also expecting the quality to be significantly improved from the high-def broadcasts, given how much better the video bit rates should be on disc, and I wasn't so much. on't get me wrong: This set still seems to be quite good overall. A lot of hard work has obviously gone into it, and as I said I want to really take the time to give it a fair shake. But so far, I'm just a little bit underwhelmed." His full report can be read here.

Reviews are also coming in on the screening of The Menagerie.

  • "Were Star Trek fans ripped off?" asks Ronald Hawkins of Reporter-Times.com. "There have been many positive moments for Star Trek fans this year, but Tuesday night's screening of "The Menagerie" at the Shiloh Crossing Regal Cinemas wasn't one of them." Hawkins went on to describe image problems, finding the image "...not sharper or clearer. In some cases, the image appeared muddier and darker than ever before." In his opinion, the $12.50 that he paid was too high. "You would think if you wanted people to attend an event like this that you'd at least offer discounts on the package they're trying to sell. Maybe even a poster to all those who attended. But that didn't happen." He finished up by concluding that "This was a ripoff." Read his full report here.
  • Jesse Shanks of digitally Obsessed! however, felt that the visuals were better in the new format. "The Menagerie benefits nicely from the subtle visual upgrades; in particular, the shuttlecraft scenes are lovely and the matte shots of the planets visited look great. The visuals are sharper and better contrast provides more depth of vision, allowing the more subtle colors to be seen." He added that,"Unfortunately, some less than great details are also revealed." Read his comments here.

  • StarTrek.com reported that The Menagerie was a huge hit. Shows were sold out all around the country, they reported. In Burbank, the moviegoers saw a special introduction by Mike Okuda, Denise Okuda, Dave Rossi and special effects supervisor Niel Wray. In attendance at the showing in Century City was Rod Roddenberry, Malachi Throne (Commodore Mendez) and Sean Kenney (disfigured Christopher Pike) along with some CBS Paramount representatives. Roddenberry was supposed to address the audience but due to a technical glitch with the digital projection, was unable to do so as the movie started at a precise time and could not be overridden and it started before he could begin. Their comments can be found here.

  • Tygrrius of The Film Frontier rated The Menagerie a ten out of ten. He enjoyed the short presentation by Rod Roddenberry and the feature about the making of Star Trek: Remastered. "The best part for me here, though, was hearing the collective gasps of other audience members as the new effects were showcased. Incidentally, be sure to stick around after the credits because there is also a sneak preview of the second season set, coming in 2008. This resulted in even more startled but positive reactions as many audience members saw "The Doomsday Machine" and other episode enhancements for the first time." Tygrrius finds the special effects to be "...superb, some of the best work of the CBS Digital team behind Star Trek:Remastered. One of the best improvements to the series has been a more consistent look for the Enterprise. Pike's Enterprise looks noticeably different from Kirk's Enterprise (as it should, since there have been two major refits since then), but this distinction was usually lost in the classic airings of Star Trek because effects footage often had to be reused. His comments can be found here.

The Original Series Remastered HD-DVD set goes on sale next week. It can be purchased here.

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