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Blu-ray Review: Frustrating Release For ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

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CHICAGO – When you’ve got a movie as controversial among its core audience as J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness,” why would you court even more with a frustrating Blu-ray release pattern, one that essentially tries to milk the people who like the film for as much cash as conceivably possible? In a move that has started quite a controversy online, Paramount has produced several Blu-ray editions of “Star Trek Into Darkness” with unique special features exclusive to certain retail outlets. In other words, to get all the bonus material, you’d have to shop around and buy multiple exclusive editions. Ugh. It’s a move designed to appease retailers more than fans and that’s a problem for a film with a bit of a bad reputation.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The buzz around “Star Trek Into Darkness” has not been deserved lately in creative terms. Fans were not happy with what Abrams did to the character of Khan and recently voted it the worst “Star Trek” film in the franchise (causing co-writer Roberto Orci to have a bit of a meltdown and quit Twitter), which is insane given the existence of “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.” In fact, “Into Darkness” is far from a bad film. It doesn’t have the storytelling skill of the 2009 reboot but it’s well-performed and well-directed. If anything, it’s not what Abrams did with Khan but what he didn’t do that frustrated me. I wanted to seem him create his own universe and not feel like he had to comment on the original one. But it’s an entertaing blockbuster that makes for a solid rental. And you’ll have to rent it because choosing which retail version to buy is just too frustrating to even consider.

From my theatrical review: “A better villain, stunning effects & design, strong performances all around – why does “Into Darkness” fall short of 2009’s franchise reboot? It’s the little things. That sense that the script moves so quickly as to disguise plot holes more than anything else. The repetition of the near-death experiences that happen so often that the final one doesn’t have the emotional strength that it otherwise would. I go back to that mid-season episode feeling. I really like “Star Trek Into Darkness” and think everyone who enjoyed the first one will as well, just like a great show that continues its season after its audience-grabbing premiere. However, it’s the incredible part twos that don’t just feel like the “next episode” but the “next series”. They grow and build in unexpected ways. “Star Trek Into Darkness” doesn’t do much that fans of the series won’t expect, especially with the nods to the original TV show and films. I’m a little tired of the nods. I want to see a “Star Trek” film that doesn’t just expertly and stylishly follow the familiar path but takes its own.

Star Trek Into Darkness was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 10, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 10, 2013
Photo credit: Paramount

J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness is the best-reviewed blockbuster of the year. When a ruthless mastermind known as Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) declares a one-man war on the Federation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the daring crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will embark on the greatest manhunt in history. It will take all of their skills and teamwork to defend Earth and eliminate Khan’s threat in this “sleek, thrilling epic.” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Special Features:
o The Enemy Of My Enemy: The Ultimate Look At Khan
o Ship To Ship: Filming The Extraordinary Space Jump Sequence
o The Klingon Home World: Re-Creating The Legendary Species
o Digital Copy Included

“Star Trek Into Darkness” stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelckin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, and Benedict Cumberbatch. It was directed by J.J. Abrams. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 10, 2013.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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