Star Trek Special Edition DVD Review

95

Less a bid to measure up against other movies, Star Trek may actually be more in competition with itself, and its many incarnations preceding this latest voyage of the USS Enterprise into homes everywhere. And while Trekkie nostalgia buffs may bliss out on this newly reconceived excursion down intergalactic memory lane, others could have a more been there done that attitude, in response to movies entirely too glutted with these hyper-digitalized magic shows.

But what does distinguish Star Trek from the cookie cutter crop of futuristic fantasies, and what led to its legendary status, is its humor and the personality of its characters, who can knock off the self-serious posturing from time to time, to laugh at themselves and each other. Though as usual, character rivalry, not so much with one another but with the more than imposing surrounding machinery and special effects, pushes the narrative to the margins where it pales in comparison.

Focusing on an intricate web of enduring family feuds, Star Trek traces the badass rebel high IQ attitude of James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) back to his birth, during which his dad met his demise at the hands of Romulan leader Captain Nero (Eric Bana). And Nero has long harbored his own festering grudge against the Enterprise, around the death of his wife.

After Kirk gets into a bar room brawl to impress Enterprise crew hottie Uhura (Zoe Saldana), he’s nudged into joining the Starfleet Academy by Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), as the troops brace for space combat against the villainous Nero. But Kirk is more focused on oneuphumanoidship with smug, goody two shoes spacecraft honcho Spock (Zachary Quinto), while hooking up after hours with Uhura’s roommate, a giddy green skinned party girl.

The occasional surprises materialize when all the noisy sci-fi machinery takes a break and allows the characters some quiet time to breathe through, especially comic relief provided by Anton Yelchin as the Russian accented know-it-all teen pilot Chekov, and Tyler Perry doing an admiral cameo in judicial punitive mode, as he cuts the cocky Kirk down to size. Not to mention Leonard Nimoy’s back from the future Spock, who gets stuck in a glacial time warp with Kirk, in commiserating deep freeze. But Eric Bana’s villainous Nero, on the other hand, is just too one note down and dirty for his own good, coming off as an interplanetary skinhead in a long unresolved anger management funk.

Star Trek is ultimately rescued from assorted dangers as well as camp, via a slickly reconceived scenario amid the usual lost and found planet mayhem. And it doesn’t hurt that the high anxiety of long distance voyages has been reinvigorated, what with those pirates roaming the high seas in the real world these days.

Paramount Home Entertainment

Rated PG-13

2 ½ stars

Single Disc DVD features: Commentary: A New Vision; Gag Reel.

2-Disc DVD Features:

Disc 1:

*Commentary: By director J.J. Abrams, writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Bryan Burk.

*J.J. Abrams’ A New Vision

*Gag Reel-Bloopers featuring the entire principal cast.

Disc 2:

*Digital Copy

*Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary

*Spock Birth

*Klingons Take Over Narada

*Young Kirk, Johnny and Uncle Frank

*Amanda and Sarek Argue After Spock Fights

*Prison Interrogation and Breakout

*Sarek Gets Amanda

*Dorm Room and Kobayashi Maru (original version)

*Kirk Apologizes to the Green Girl

*Sarek Sees Spock

*To Boldly Go: Director J.J. Abrams, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof, and executive producer Bryan Burk talk about the many challenges they faced and their strategy for success.

*Casting: The cast talks about the experience of trying to capture the essence of these mythic characters, concluding with a tribute to Leonard Nimoy.

*Aliens: Designers Neville Page and Joel Harlow talk about the hurdles they faced creating new alien species, recreating the Romulans and Vulcans, and designing the creatures on Delta Vega for the new Star Trek.

*Score: Composer Michael Giacchino on the challenge of creating new music for Star Trek, while preserving the spirit of Alexander Courage’s theme.

*DVD-Rom:

*STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for XBOX 360

*Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PC

*Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PlayStation Network

3-Disc Blu-ray Extras:

Disc 1:

NASA News- BD-Live feature gives viewers access to the latest NASA news about real space exploration, mission developments and featured imagery from around the universe.

Disc 2:

*Branching Pods:

*The Shatner Conundrum

*Red Shirt Guy

*The Green Girl

*Trekker Alert!

*Savage Pressure

Starships: Abrams and production designer Scott Chambliss pay tribute to the design of the original Enterprise. This chapter focuses on the unique stories behind the creation of the film’s starships.

*Warp Explained

*Paint Job

*Bridge Construction Accelerated

*The Captain’s Chair

*Button Acting 101

*Shuttle Shuffle

*Narada Construction Accelerated

*Aliens-See description above.

*The Alien Paradox

*Big-Eyed Girl

*Big Bro Quinto

*Klingons

*Drakoulias Anatomy 101

*Planets

*Extra Business

*Confidentiality

*Props and Costumes

*Klingon Wardrobe

*Ben Burtt and the Sounds of Star Trek

*Gene Roddenberry’s Vision

*Starfleet Vessel Simulator

Disc 3:

*Digital Copy

*STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for XBOX 360

*Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PC

*Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PlayStation Network