The Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Movie Set:
Two discs are included in this release of Star Trek into Darkness. The discs come in a plastic case, which is inside of a plastic cover sleeve.
The first disc includes the Blu-ray release of Star Trek into Darkness, and the following special features:
- Creating the Red Planet. How the red forest and volcano Nibiru sets was made.
- Attack on Starfleet. How the attack of Harrison on the Starfleet meeting was made.
- The Klingon Homeworld. The new Klingon look, Qo’noS and the Klingon language.
- The Enemy of my Enemy. Why Khan was chosen as the villain.
- Ship to Ship. The spacesuit jump between the Enterprise and the Vengeance.
- Brawl by the Bay. The flying barge scene.
- Continuing the Mission. The Starfleet Ceremonial Guard scene.
- The Mission Continues. J.J. Abrams‘ support for a veterans group.
The second disc includes the movie in standard DVD format.
A paper insert includes a code to download or stream the movie, using either Ultraviolet, or from iTunes. The other side of the paper is an advertisement featuring recent or forthcoming Paramount Blu-ray releases.
The iTunes movie download features a commentary with J.J. Abrams, Michael Giacchino, Bryan Burk, Damon Lindelof and others associated with Star Trek into Darkness.
Star Trek into Darkness begins with Kirk and crew trying to save the primitive inhabitants of Nibiru from a volcanic eruption which would wipe out their civilization. Spock risks his life to do so but is rescued and all seems well until later when Kirk is stripped (temporarily) of his command for breaking the Prime Directive after Spock rats him out.
Then the action turns to London, where a desperate father does something unthinkable to save his terminally ill child, setting off a chain effect of death, destruction and fast-paced action.
The villain is revealed, as are his motives. Kirk and crew find out that the Federation isn’t as pristine as it should be, but in the end, the bad guys get their comeuppance and the good guys save the day, but not without a lot of collateral damage along the way.
The crew is now set to head off to new adventures in the next film.
The first thing that one notices is the packaging, which is rather attractive. The removable sleeve shows a scene from the movie and it has a clear spot in the shape of the Federation insignia. When the rest of the package is put into the sleeve; Kirk, Uhura, Spock and Harrison/Khan are framed by the Federation insignia.
The Movie and Extras:
Star Trek into Darkness is the story of desperation, betrayal, vengeance and justice. There are plenty of human emotional moments along the way; the desperation of a father trying to save his terminally ill child, Harrison/Khan’s seething anger over the treatment of his “family,” Uhura’s frustration regarding her relationship with Spock, Spock’s pain over the loss of his entire planet and his mother, Kirk’s frustration over doing what he felt was the right thing and being punished for it (temporarily) by the loss of his ship, and Kirk’s anguish over the loss of his father figure Captain Pike.
Fans will recognize familiar lines and references to people, such as Christine Chapel, and other beings, such as Tribbles, from other Trek shows/movies. Events towards the end of the movie are a twist on the original The Wrath of Khan story.
The story has plenty of action, and is satisfying, but it would have been better to have a unique villain and not a rehash of one of the best Star Trek movies. How do you surpass The Wrath of Khan? You don’t.
The extras are skimpy for this first release, although the ones that are included are interesting. It rather boggles belief that TPTB saw fit to split up all the different extras making it impossible for the fan to get all the extras in one set. Such Ferengi behavior is plain unacceptable. For the commentary, for example, one has to work with the notorious buggy iTunes (buggy if one doesn’t own a Mac or iPad) and much time was spent by this reviewer getting it to work properly including several phone calls to iTunes support when the code didn’t work. There is no good reason other than greed that the commentary couldn’t have been bundled with the movie, not done as a separate download.
It’s one thing to make toys or other items specials for Best Buy or Target or other retailers, but to withhold extras and commentaries? Unbelievable. Want to see Mr. Spock and Mr. Spock? Sorry if you bought the regular release, because only the Target release carries this four minute extra. More than half of the special features for the Star Trek into Darkness release are only available as exclusives from various retailers.
Once one was able to access the commentary, it was chock full of interesting discussion, and one of the clever things about the commentary was how a small box would appear during certain movie scenes, showing the set without the special effects. The commentary is well worth the watch.
If one can get past the lack of extras, the movie is worth purchasing. The story holds up well over repeat viewings and the extras are interesting. Too bad one has to buy several versions to see them all.
Star Trek into Darkness can be purchased here.