Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Star Trek BlueRay Review

I am a huge Trek fan.

From watching the reruns of the original series, seeing The Wrath Of Khan in the theatre to watching the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine on Saturday nights instead of going out while at college and even trying to get into Voyager and Enterprise. You will find quite a few Star Trek books in my library. Novels, series companions and even technical manuals (a look at the Enterprise as a ship).

So when it was announced they were rebooting the franchise I was less than thrilled. Even when the crew and cast had been announced, I was still wary. Though I had enjoyed pretty much all of J.J. Abrams' work, it seemed wrong. I grew curious to see it as little details started leaking out.

Which the producers went to great lengths to discourage. When I saw it I was relieved and nearly overwhelmed. Not only was this a great Trek film, it was a great film. It was the best of the summer blockbusters and the best movie of the year (so far).

The movie and the actors really capture the feel and emotion of what makes good Trek. Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban shine as Spock and Bones. Chris Pine took a little bit more to get used to. I felt his performance was a lot better after seeing the movie a second time. All of the new crew take aspects and qualities that the original actors put into the characters and make it their own. The plot is pretty strong, flowing well and at a good pace. The lens flares that bothered me in the theatre is not as prevalent at home.

One thing though. It's not really the same Trek. That's not a such bad thing necessarily. However, I do have a feeling they "threw the baby out with the bathwater". While the old Trek certainly was circling the drain, the right set of circumstances could have saved it. The success of this movie probably killed any studio interest in the old Trek universe. I still feel that if the DS9 people had been given a shot to do a movie they would have surprised many. This IS the Star Trek universe now.

Now, I don't think it surpasses Wrath as the best Trek movie, but it comes in second. Here's a ranking of how I think the movies stack up against each other.

1} ST II:Wrath Of Khan (1982)

2}Star Trek (2009)

3} ST: First Contact (1996)

4} ST IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

5} ST VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

6} ST: The Motion Picture (1979)

7} ST III: The Search For Spock (1984)

8} ST: Generations (1994)

9} ST: Insurrection (1998)

10} ST V: The Final Frontier (1989)

11} ST: Nemesis (2002)

The BR disc set comes loaded. The first disc is the movie and it has a commentary with Abrams writer Roberto Orci and producer Damon Lindelof. The second disc is full of featurettes about the production of the movie. From writing and casting to designing ships, props and costumes. The deleted scenes are cool and most add to the story and could be re-edited into a director's cut. Victor Garber (Jack Bristow) shows up in an entire cut sequence, with effects and all, as a Klingon interrogator. [Please J.J., bring him back as the villain in the next film] There is a gag reel, a little featurette on the vision of Gene Roddenberry and a "interactive" tour of the Enterprise and the Romulan ship. Last disc is the digital copy for iPods and computers.

A great movie made better for all the extras. Buy it for yourself or as a gift for someone.

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