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Star Trek Into Darkness - Blu-ray Review

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Star Trek Into Darkness - Movie Review

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3 stars

You could never accuse JJ Abrams of not having courage. Here is a near 50 year old franchise with more television and cinematic entries than most in the world, with a rich history, and a ravenous and supporting fan base, and he decides to remake it.

2009’s Star Trek was a wake-up call to the world that the adventures of the Starship Enterprise still had some legs, and with a little modernisation in pacing, and some stripping back of tired old formulas, the film was a roaring success—the most successful Star Trek film ever. So a sequel was a done deal.

Where to go? They had successfully ret-conned the adventures of Kirk and Spock and could take it pretty much wherever they liked. Without getting into spoiler territory, if you thought they had balls last time, the direction they chose this time can only be described with one word: brave.

Jim Kirk and crew roar into the sequel breaking one of Starfleet’s most sacred mandates. In the aftermath, Kirk is relieved of his command and the crew are split apart. When a 23rd century terrorist by the name of John Harrison begins attacking Starfleet and its personnel, a great loss befalls Kirk. He begs for the chance to redeem himself and bring Harrison to justice for his crimes. But all is not what it seems, and the price will be high for Kirk to learn from his mistakes and to better himself.

Let’s go with the good first, because there’s plenty of it. Again, the pacing of this film makes it accessible to anyone. It is a fun, action packed, rollicking good ride through space. The characters, by and large, are established now and the actors playing them have settled in well. Effects are extraordinary again. Music is similar to the last movie, with no standout new themes coming through, but it’s a good continuation of the last flick. There’s great humour again, accessible and relatable characterizations, and a solid continuation of a more humanized, less sterile Star Trek universe.

The bad: the script’s attempts at complexity quite often fall flat or come across as convolution for the sake of it. They show courage in tackling things most Trekkers consider sacred, but I don’t believe it’s successful this time out—too tall an order. I was hoping to see more of Karl Urban’s McCoy become his own in this one, but he’s really not given that much to do—not his fault. Benedict Cumberbatch’s character is full of surprises, but I think he is underutilised, and considering the big reveal of his character, more screen time was required and a more exciting conclusion warranted. There are some poignant themes that are weakened by essential rehashes of scenes that have come before in other Trek movies: changing the players around doesn’t make it clever. And there are far too many tendrils set up in this film held over for another. Some are great, but it gets beyond a joke.

There is no reason you can’t come to this movie and have a good time. Set your brain to stun, and a visual, engaging feast awaits you. But if you’re at all familiar with Roddenberry’s original conception of Star Trek, this film is lacking it; added to which they gambled on using an Star Trek icon and don’t pull it off. They gave themselves free reign to change anything they want in this universe with the first one. Perhaps they should avoid what’s been done and next time go ‘where no man has gone before’.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Star Trek Into Darkness - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Runtime:
132 mins.
Director
: J.J. Abrams
Writer
: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch; Chris Pine; Zachary Quinto; Alice Eve; Zoe Saldana
Genre: Sci-fi | Fantasy
Tagline:
Earth will fall
Memorable Movie Quote: "I have no idea what I'm supposed to do! I only know what I CAN do!"
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
www.startrekmovie.com
Release Date: May 17, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available

Synopsis: In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness. When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

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Star Trek Into Darkness - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 stars

3 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 10, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps); Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps); Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy (as download); DVD copy

Even if these actors aren’t fit to shine Shatner’s shoes, or Nimoy’s, or Doohan’s, Paramount’s 1080p transfer is very good.  Both the picture and sound are excellent. The picture, presented at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, is sharp and bright and colorful (when allowed to be by the story). The lens flares get a bit overdone, but this isn’t a fault of the medium.  The image never loses its crispness or perfect definition in any subsequent shots, whether on the bright white and blue Enterprise bridge; in a darkened bar, ship interior, or the aforementioned alien world; or on bright, sunlit Earth streets.  Audio is loud and proud. It’s a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track and is really in your face, er, ears. All channels get plenty of use and there’s lots of dynamic audio zipping through the home theater.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

There is a relatively light accompaniment of bonus materials on this release which seems to be a growing trend from studios and especially high-profile releases. Paramount, the one-time Blu-Ray hold out, is now the self-appointed king of double-dipping its audiences, so maybe you should skip owning the first release.  Up first is a look at the opening segment featuring Kirk, Spock, and Bones on the strange alien-inhabited red planet.  Next is a brief featurette about the attack on Starfleet and the various visual effects.  Following that is a look at the Klingon home world and how the filmmakers went about updating their physical appearance.  You also get a look at the villain, a key action sequence, and the final showdown.

  • Creating the Red Planet (8 min)
  • Attack on Starfleet (5 min)
  • The Klingon Home World (7 min)
  • The Enemy of My Enemy (7 min)
  • Ship to Ship (6 min)
  • Brawl by the Bay (6 min)
  • Continuing the Mission (2 min)

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