'Star Trek: Motion Picture Trilogy' [Blu-ray]
(William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, et al / 3-Disc Blu ray / PG / 2009 / Paramount)
Overview: Prepare to embark on an epic three-part adventure starring the legendary crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise as they sacrifice their lives, ship and freedom to save the universe from imminent destruction. Spanning across three motion pictures, the Star Trek: Motion Picture Trilogy is the ultimate story of heroism, duty and friendship that will thrill old and new fans alike. The films have been digitally remastered and The Wrath of Khan has been fully restored in high definition with brilliant picture quality and 7.1 Dolby TrueHD.
DVD Verdict: Sure, all Trek fans has seen these movies several times over, but the collection is worth the price in my opinion because of the improved quality, especially Wrath of Kahn, and the new special features. Who know, with the new Star Trek film heating up movie theaters all over the world, maybe this compilation will make into the hands of new fans, as well.
With one notable exception the new commentaries are great and insightful. The only bad apple in the group is the new commentary by Khan director Nicholas Meyer and Manny Coto (former writer/producer for Star Trek: Enterprise and current writer/producer of 24). Regardless of how many times Manny Coto tried to draw him out or relate the film to Trek in general, Meyer came off very pretentious. The commentary on Search for Spock (Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor) and The Voyage Home (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) is far better and actually provides some insight we hadn't thought of before.
The films themselves still hold up and look pretty good. Wrath of Khan is still the best Trek film ever, hands down. Not even the new Star Trek can surpass it. While some of the special effects look a little dated you don't really notice that because of the great acting, especially by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the late Ricardo Montalban. Even today, knowing how this film ends does not change just how emotional Spock's death is. Both Shatner and Nimoy are great in that scene.
The Search for Spock is probably the weakest of the three (I mean, it is an odd number film, after all), but it's still a fun story and one that features the destruction of the Enterprise NCC-1701. The Voyage Home, one of the most Earth-based of the Star Trek films, works mostly because of the cast. The idea of plopping these 23rd century people into 20th century San Francisco leads to several humorous scenes and watching Spock's attempts to swear are still funny.
And so, in closing, what is the difference? Paramount returned to "Khan"'s original film negatives to make new high definition transfers and restore the movie. All of the other movies are the 2001 transfers, digitally enhances using DNR technology and upconverted to 1080i for a high definition look. This is a form of DIGITAL REMASTERING IN HIGH DEFINITION. And this is the term that confuses the average Blu-Ray collector. 90 percent of the time when a studio claims "digitally remastered" on a DVD or Blu-Ray Disc they do NOT mean they went back to the original film negatives to make a new transfer, they just used digital technology to clean up the old transfer. [AR] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the following Special Features:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
Commentary by Director Nicholas Meyer
Commentary by Director Nicholas Meyer and Manny Coto
Library Computer - Exclusive to Blu-ray
Production Log - Featuring a compilation of several featurettes. Included are: Captain's Log - (27:18); Designing Khan - (23:54); Original Interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and Ricardo Montalban - (10:56); Where No Man Has Gone Before: The Visual Effects of Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan - (18:14); James Horner: Composing Genesis - (9:25) A featurette presented in High Definition and featuring an interview with James Horner and his first musical score for a film.
The Star Trek Universe - The following featurettes cover the "Star Trek Universe". Included are: Collecting Star Trek's Movie Relics - (11:05); A Novel Approach - (28:55); Starfleet Academy Scisec Brief 002: Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI - (3:08)
Storyboards - Using your remote, you can view the following storyboards: Main Title Concept, Kobayashi Maru, Ceti Alpha V, Regula I, Chekov and Terrell Find Khan, Admiral's Inspection, Khan's Revenge, Kirk Strikes Back, Finding the Genesis Cave, The Mutura Nebula, Sneak Attack, Genesis, Honored Dead.
A Tribute to Ricardo Montalban - (4:44)
Star Trek I.Q. - A Blu-ray BD-Live exclusive game.
Theatrical Trailer - (2:20) The original theatrical trailer for the film.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock:
Commentary by Director Leonard Nimoy, Writer/Producer Harve Bennett, Director of Photography Charles Correll and Robin Curtis
Commentary by writers Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor
Library Computer - Exclusive to Blu-ray
Production - Featurettes about "STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK" which include the following: CAPTAIN'S LOG - (26:13) Interviews with the cast and crew; TERRAFORMING AND THE PRIME DIRECTIVE - (25:53) Interviews with David Brin (author) about terraforming; INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC: THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF STAR TREK - (13:51) Discussion from the ILM team of creating visual effects in the good ol' days; SPOCK: THE EARLY YEARS - (6:22) Interview with those who played the Spocks in the third film. Interview with Stephen Manley who played the 17-year old Spock.
THE STAR TREK UNIVERSE - Featurettes in relation to the "Star Trek Universe". Included are: Space Docks and the Bird of Prey- (27:49); - Speaking Klingon - (21:04); Klingon and Vulcan Costumes - (12:16); Star Trek and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame - (16:50)
Star Fleet Academy Scisec Brief 003: Mystery Behind the Vulcan Katra Transfer - (2:41) A brief of the Vulcan Katra transfer ritual.
Photo Gallery - Using your remote, you can view photo galleries taken in production and stills from the movie.
Storyboards - You can view the storyboards using your remote.
Theatrical Trailer - (1:11) The original theatrical trailer in HD
Star Trek IQ - An IQ game featured on BD-Live
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home:
Commentary by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner
Library Computer - Exclusive to Blu-ray, fans can watch the film with menus that a viewer can use their remote and click on and will show information on characters, objects, music, planets and more.
Production - The following five featurettes are featured under production: Future's Past: A Look Back - (27:28) Featuring interviews with the cast and crew and the fun everyone had on working in the film; On Location - (7:26) A featurette presented in standard definition featuring the crew shooting at major locations in San Francisco with the main cast in their Starfleet outfits walking throughout the city; Dailies Construction - (4:11) side by side comparison of cameras shooting a scene when the crew were walking in San Francisco. Presented in standard definition; Below-the-Line : Sound Design - (11:45) Interview with Mark Mangini (Sound Effects Editor) and creating the sounds for the film; Pavel Chekov's Screen Moments - (6:09) Walter Koenig discussing about his onscreen moments for "Star Trek IV".
The Star Trek Universe - The following seven featurettes are featured under "The Star Trek Universe": Time Travel: The Art of the Possible - (11:15); The Language of the Whales - (5:44); A Vulcan Primer - (7:50); - Kirk's Women - (8:19); Star Trek: Three Picture Saga - (10:11); Star Trek for a Cause - (5:38); Starfleet Academy Scisec Brief 004: The Whale Probe - (3:34) A Starfleet Academy Scisec brief about the probe and the encounter with the Federation. Featured in High Definition.
Visual Effects - The following two featurettes are featured under "Visual Effects": From Outer Space to the Ocean - (14:43); The Bird of Prey - (2:48)
Original Interviews - The following interviews with William Shatner - (14:33) Interview with William Shatner on the set of "STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME", Leonard Nimoy - (15:40) Interview with Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelley (13:02) - Interview with Deforest Kelly. Interesting interviews from the set.
Tributes - The following two featurettes are included: Roddenberry Scrapbook - (8:15) Gene Roddenberry's son Eugene shares some personal memories of his father about the creation of "Star Trek" and how "Star Trek: The Next Generation" came about; Featured Artist: Mark Lenard - (12:44) The daughters of actor Mark Lenard talk about their father who played Spock's father Sarek and his emotional scene from "Star Trek: The Next Generation".
Production Gallery - (3:55) The shooting of a photo with cast and crew all together. And photos from the making of the film in a music montage.
Storyboards - Using your remote, you can view the many storyboards such as: Encounter with the Saratoga, The Probe Approaches Earth, Time Warp, Mind Meld, The Whaling Ship, Return to the 23rd Century, Communication and NCC-1701-A.
Theatrical Trailer - (2:22) - The original theatrical trailer in HD.
Star Trek IQ - An IQ game featured on BD-Live.