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Star Trek The Compendium (Star Trek + Star Trek Into Darkness) Blu-ray Review

Star-Trek-Compendium-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Collection

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Star Trek the Compendium compiles J.J. Abrams’ two Star Trek reboots into one feature-packed set that is meant to be the last word on these two films. Now you can experience the film that reset the Star Trek mythology (Star Trek) and its action-packed follow-up (Star Trek Into Darkness) back to back without having to get two separate releases down off the shelf. The bonus is Into Darkness is provided in its IMAX version that enhances the scenes shot on 65mm for the large format, re-framing them from the 2.40:1 of the previous Blu-ray release to 1.78:1. If you saw the IMAX version in theatres, you’ll appreciate this. If you’ve never seen this, the minute you see the opening sequence on Niburu with Kirk and Bones running through the red forest, a real throwback to the original series, you’ll realize just how much more beautiful it looks. But, therein lies the rub.  This is the “Compendium” it is still missing things, the 3D, IMAX 3D, and standard widescreen versions of Into Darkness are nowhere to be found in this set. Also, some of the supplements have been previously issued.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

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The main attraction of Star Trek the Compendium is the IMAX version of Into Darkness, which includes numerous full-screen (1.78:1) scenes (shot on 65) interspersed throughout the standard 2.40:1 image. Visually, Into Darkness looks stunning, just as it did before, but admittedly, the scenes intended for the large format IMAX do look even more beautiful in full screen. Most notably, the opening scene with Kirk and McCoy running through the red forest on Niburu is stunning in 1.78:1. The picture also looks more saturated, with redder flesh tones too, in this set than it did in the 3D edition. Star Trek looks the same as it did before, crisp, clear, absolutely beautiful, and still in the same aspect ratio.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

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The reference quality of both of these films’ audio mixes is fairly well established, and both hit Blu-ray again with their previous mixes intact. Star Trek has a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) track and Into Darkness with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit). Of the two, the former has the slight edge for being bit more nuanced, giving more breathing room to the various sound effects that swarm the channels at any given moment, while the latter takes a less subtle approach, seeming to be a bit more pushed, loud, and in your face all the time. Both offer tremendous low end and lots of solid, discrete panning through all the channels without ever letting the dialogue get too lost.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4.5/5]

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There’s no mistaking the abundance of supplements that ooze out of this collection. Everything you ever wanted to know about how these films came together, the sets, tie-ins to Star Trek lore and more are all covered in these featurettes, interviews, and mini-documentaries. A number of deleted scenes are also included alongside two gag reels and an interactive Star Trek Vessel simulator and more. See below for more details.

  • Digital HD Digital Copy

Star Trek:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, and Roberto Orci
  • BD-Live

Disc 2:

  • 10 featurettes, including 20 branching pods – An extensive exploration into the production of Star Trek (standard and extended editions) (1080p/24):
  • To Boldly Go – Taking on the world’s most beloved science fiction franchise was no small mission. Director J.J. Abrams, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damaon Lindelof, and executive producer Bryan Burk talk about the many challenges they faced and their strategy for success.
    • Branching Pods:
      • The Shatner Conundrum
      • Red Shirt Guy
      • The Green Girl
      • Trekker Alert!
  • Casting – The producers knew their greatest task was finding the right cast to reprise these epic roles. The cast, for their part, talk about the experience of trying to capture the essence of these mythic characters. The piece concludes with a moving tribute to Leonard Nimoy.
  • A New Vision – J.J. Abrams’ vision was not only to create a Star Trek that was a bigger, mpre action-packed spectacle, but also to make the spectacle feel real. Every aspect of production – from unique locations to the use of classic Hollywood camera tricks – was guided by this overall objective.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Savage Pressure
  • Starships – Abrams and production designer Scott Chambliss were careful to pay tribute to the design of the original Enterprise, but they also wanted to make it futuristic and cool for a modern audience. This chapter focuses on the unique stories behind the creation of the film’s starships.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Warp Explained
      • Paint Job
      • Bridge Construction Accelerated
      • The Captain’s Chair
      • Button Acting 101
      • Narada Construction Accelerated
      • Shuttle Shuffle
  • 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 terrifying creatures on Delta Vega for the new Star Trek.
    • Branching Pods:
      • The Allen Paradox
      • Big-Eyed Girl
      • Big Bro Quinto
      • Klingons
      • Drakoulias Anatomy 101
  • Planets – From the frozen landscape of Delta Vega to the desert plains of Vulcan, Scott Chambliss and the art department had a number of radically different planets to create. Abrams’ desire to shoot on real locations whenever possible led the production team to a number of strange and surprising locations.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Extra Business
      • Confidentiality
  • Props and Costumes – Property master Russell Bobbitt had the unique challenge of designing props that were both true to the original series and pertinent to today’s technology. Likewise, costume designer Michael Kaplan talks about how he designed costumes that paid homage to what came before yet were relevant and timeless.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Klingon Wardrobe
  • Ben Burtt and the Sounds of Star Trek – When fames sound designer Ben Burtt was hired to create sounds for the first Star Wars film, he took his inspiration from the original Star Trek series. Burtt jumped at the opportunity to pay tribute to the sounds that sparked his career with the sounds he created for the new Star Trek.
  • Score – As a fan of the original series, compose Michael Giacchino embraced the challenge of creating new music for Star Trek while preserving the spirit of Alexander Courage’s celebrated theme.
  • Gene Roddenberry’s Vision – J.J. Abrams, Leonard Nimoym previous Star trek writers and producers, and scientific consultant Carolyn Porco describe and commend the optimistic and enduring vision of Gene Roddenberry.
  • Deleted Scenes w/optional commentary by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:13:30):
  • 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
  • Starfleet Vessel Simulator – This interactive feature lets you explore the Enterprise and the Romulan vessel the Narada.
  • Gag Reel (1080p/24; 00:06:22)
  • Trailers:
    • Teaser Trailer (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:18)
    • Theatrical Trailer “The Wait is Over” (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:14)
    • Theatrical Trailer “Prepare for the Beginning” (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:17)
    • Theatrical Trailer “Buckle Up” (1080p/24; 00:01:03)
  • Disc Credits

Star Trek Into Darkness:

Disc 1:

  • Enhanced Commentary by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof, Michael Giacchino, and others – The filmmakers pause, use an illustrator, and picture-in-picture to give an espeically detailed audio/visual commentary.
  • The Mission Continues (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:29) – PSA in support of veterans

Disc 2:

  • Featurettes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 02:02:14):
    • The Voyage Begins…Again – Go behind the scenes as filming begins on the next Star Trek adventure.
    • Creating the Red Planet – Experience the creation of a never-before-seen alien world in the film’s action-packed opening sequence.
    • Introducing the Villain
    • Rebuilding the Enterprise – See the design and construction of a bigger, interconnected Enterprise set.
    • National Ignition Facility Home of the Core – Location shooting at the National Ignition Facility
    • Attack on Starfleet – A behind the scenes look at the attack on Starfleet Headquarters scene
    • Aliens Encountered – The design and application of alien makeup
    • The Klingon Home World – Discover the the stunning world of Kronos and see how the filmmakers reinvented the Klingons for a whole new generation of Star Trek fans.
    • The Enemy of my Enemy – Find out how, and why, the identity of the film’s villain was kept a mystery was kept a mystery until the very end.
    • Vengeance is Coming – A look at the design and production surrounding the black ship.
    • Ship to Ship – A look at the production and filming of the iconic ship-to-ship space jump sequence.
    • Mr. Spock and Mr. Spock – Leonard Nimoy makes a cameo and reflects on his history with his Star Trek.
    • Down with the Ship – The stunt and visual effects involved in making the Enterprise roll over.
    • Kirk and Spock – A look at the dynamic relationship between the film’s heroes.
    • Brawl by the Bay – Stars Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch sit down and discuss their intense preparation for the film’s big climactic scene.
    • Fitting the Future (New) –A look at the film’s out-of-this-world costumes
    • Property of Starfleet (New) – Sourcing and tracking the film’s myriad props
    • Unlocking the Cut – A discussion with the film editors
    • Visual Affection – A comprehensive look at the creation and implementation of visual effects
    • The Sound of Music (and FX)
    • Safety First
    • Continuing the Mission – An inspiring look at the partnership between the film’s crew and the organization that assists returning veterans.
  • Gag Reel (New)
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p/24; 00:05:26):
    • Nibiru Captain’s Log
    • Marcus’ Office (Alternate Version)
    • Room Attack (Alternate Version)
    • Carol’s Accent
    • Klingon Conversation (Alternate Version)
    • Scotty Cargo Bay Door
    • Kirk Meets Girl
  • Theatrical Trailers:
    • Announcement (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:08)
    • Teaser (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:57)
    • Trailer 2 (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:31)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Star Trek the Compendium is finally here, but it is still incomplete, missing two versions of Into Darkness and also coming with some supplements that have already been issued. Is this worth it? If you’re a Trekkie, yes. The IMAX version of Into Darkness looks (and sounds) gorgeous. I still expect to see another, more complete release of these films in another reissued set down the road, however.

Additional Screen Captures

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