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Blu-ray Review: Star Trek Into Darkness


The Movie:
The crew of the Starship Enterprise sets out on a mission to arrest a man accused of bombing and attacking Starfleet, a former ally named John Harrison. Retreating to the far reaches of space, Captain Kirk and his team must venture to Klingon territory, though under curious orders, bringing along with them a new member by the name of Carol and some very dangerous cargo.

This sequel to the reboot by J.J. Abrams sees the sci-fi maven once again helm this special effects-laden and lens-flare heavy thrill of blockbuster. The incredibly-well casted group of stars returns, with Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin all reprising their roles.

The welcome additions of course are Alice Eve as Carol, of whom some controversy arose about a particularly gratuitous underwear scene, and Benedict Cumberbatch, about whom there is no controversy – because everyone loves him.

Bonus Features:

This isn’t really a bonus feature, but let’s be very clear here (pardon the pun): Star Trek Into Darkness ­needs to be watched on the highest of definitions, the biggest of screens, and the crispest of speakers. Truly, getting the Blu-Ray for just the movie is pretty worth it. You also get the DVD and digital version too, even though… DVD, you know? Really?

Behind the Scenes
A half-dozen vignettes, totaling about 40 minutes, give a pretty fascinating look at creating some of the major set pieces. The Red Planet, the attack on Starfleet, the ship-to-ship jaunt, and the final battle are all deconstructed and then built up again.

It’s all especially interesting, particularly the times when Abrams and his crew seem to butt heads. Abrams speaks often in these segments, as does Quinto, opening up a bit about his growth between movies and the work needed for the opening and closing sequences.

Pine, Saldana, and Urban offer some occasional shots, but the most interesting is of course Cumberbatch. The selection of the famed British actor is related, and while it may be sacrilege and jarring to some (read: hardcore Trek nerds), behind-the-scene shots of Cumberbatch goofing around while in costume are pretty funny.

Perhaps most revealing is the amount of practical effects used for a film that is simply assumed to be CGI heavy. While green scenes are used often, the make-up of the volcano, the landscape of the red planet, among many others, were ingeniously crafted.

Lastly, the film paired up with a veterans group, and there is a short but important promotion to conclude the extras. Sadly there are no deleted scenes, sorry Nazneen.

You can listen in Portuguese, and should you reside in a polyglot abode, you can turn on the English subtitles and mix it up.

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.