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Old 12-01-2012, 10:56 AM
samwiseb samwiseb is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,208

Went to the screening on Thursday.

Here in Vegas I chose Sam's Town, the same casino/theater where I attended the prior S1 screening last summer.

I'd say there were about 25 people there. As before, there wasn't anybody younger than myself. There were fewer grandparents this time and more thirty-something people. And more of the thirty-somethings this time were there as couples, although there were no attractive people in attendance.

Overall behavior was still rather geeky, but milder than the previous screening. There were no "shut up Wesley" moments in the eps themselves, and thus no obnoxious handclaps from the thirty-somethings. There was mild applause during the closing titles of each ep; most of it was genuine, some of it was delayed mimicry. But overall people were fairly well behaved.

'The Menagerie' remains my personal best experience attending one of these things, back in '07 I believe (S2 of TOS Remastered would have been on its way to DVD). That was the screening with the most active audience participation, with the audience itself consisting mostly of laid back grandparents.

The highlights of the presentation were segments of the cast Reunification and the S2 blooper reals, both of which will be presented in full on the Bluray set. There was also an extended intro to S2 and the remastering process, finally leading to introducing the feature episodes themselves (since much of this stuff seemed specific to the screening, I'm not sure in what form it would appear on the Blu-Ray set -- however some of what was in the intro last time did cross over into the S1 supplemental documentaries from what I've watched so far). I never realized what a huge head Mike Okuda has compared to his body. Denise meanwhile humorously summed up her intro of the Borg episode with something like 'Yeah. They're scary dudes."

As with the S1 screening last summer, the projected image was perhaps too large to really make the HD remastering appear as impressive as it might have otherwise. One thing I noticed was that there seemed to be a lot more film grain this time. And a lot of the remastered effects still have very much of a 'video' look to them, even at HD resolution. I was particularly underwhelmed by the exterior 'forcefield impact' effects during 'Q Who', which frankly look as ridiculous as they always did. I never cared much for that effect even when ILM started doing it for the first two TNG feature films, however I've always felt it looked especially 'video-like' in TNG's first two seasons. The only thing that looked noticeably 'different' was one of the explosions on the exterior of the Borg ship had a more 'fiery' texture to it than previously. Overall the colors and clarity of the film/HD remastering are still a major improvement over the DVDs and SD broadcast masters of the show, even if the movie theater has perhaps too large a screen to fully enjoy something at 1080p resolution.

The most interesting aspect of the HD remasters shown for this screening was the new extended version of 'The Measure of a Man.' This episode to me has always seemed a bit overrated, a sentiment I also happen to share with S5's 'The Inner Light.' Somehow the actors' readings of a number of the lines in this episode have always just seemed strangely off to me, and it's something I've never been able to look past. I suspect this new extended cut will come to be regarded by fans as the 'truer' cut of the episode, however I would have to regard it more as I do one of James Cameron's special editions or Peter Jackson's extended cuts... in other words, as being mostly a 'text' of the story at an earlier stage of conception upstream of the final polish. No doubt the broadcast version will seem awkwardly cut in places once you've seen this unabridged version, and I do believe that the material to create a better version of the ep is there in this longer cut. However as is, the longer cut contains that material and then some.

All of the new 'scenes' were fairly easy to spot. Considerably less easy was identifying the splicing points in scenes that were merely extended from what was there before, as I would have a general sense of "okay, I don't remember this" followed immediately by "oh, now but wait, I do recall that." I expect that the third 'hybrid' version of the ep (which is said to feature the additional footage as it appeared on an SD videotape) will be on the BluRay mostly just so that obsessive fans like myself will be able to easily identify those cuts even when they occur in mid-conseration. The dialogue in some of these scenes appeared out of place within the larger narrative, and sometimes even out of character.

The feature wrapped with a promotional clip for S3 coming out on BluRay next year. I didn't notice anything appearing 'different' about any of these images, but just seeing them got me psyched. Overall, it is not the mission statement of this remastering project to look noticeably different, only sharper, clearer and in some cases more colorful. Which I approve.

Last edited by samwiseb : 12-01-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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