on September 2, 2013
The official Blu-ray has seven mini-featurettes. If this seems like it is a half-assed release, it's because Paramount has divvied up all the other features, including the commentary tracks with the cast and director J.J. Abrams, and several additional featurettes. The list of missing content on the U.S. wide-release Blu-ray (which is what is being sold on Amazon) includes 5 more featurettes (The Journey Continues... Again, Rebuilding the Enterprise, Full of Wrath, Kirk & Spock and Visual Preferences), plus the commentary with J.J. Abrams and the crew and a theatrical trailer. The featurettes and trailer are likely what's on the Bonus Discs at Target and Best Buy and the CinemaNow downloads (Best Buy U.S. appears to have its content via CinemaNow download while the same content is on a Bonus Disc in Canada), and the commentary is obviously with iTunes. All this means, if you buy the "normal version" here on Amazon, you're getting less than half the special features created for the home video release, and if you want all of them you're going to need to purchase at least three separate versions. Shame on you, Paramount. I loved the movie when I saw it, but this review is specifically about this product and its release practices.
on September 1, 2013
I know you want to. I want to. BUT DON'T DO IT!
Don't buy this blu-ray. Paramount marketing thought it would be a good idea to make retailers feel special (not amazon though) and split up all the special features, created by the filmmakers, for the fans. So no commentary (even though it exists). And only a small portion of special features.
What does this mean? If you want all the special features created for this release, you have to buy 3 different versions of the blu-ray plus the itunes version (for the director's commentary).
This is not a good practice to support. Don't let these idiots take advantage of you. While it sucks to not be able to own this sci-fi gem, look at the release calendar for paramount following this. Expect similar practices for World War Z.
The best way to show these jerks they're wrong is to not buy this movie.
Live long and prosper
on July 27, 2013
I had a major argument with a fellow Trekkie about the merits of this film. He continued to argue that the movie was good until the end, in which case it was a cop out of something that had already been done before (those who have seen other Star Trek motion pictures know what I'm talking about. Being sensitive to spoilers) This was my argument:
Yes it does mirror some previously established Star Trek plots, but the twists that accompanied the mirages are COMPLETELY important to what makes this film unique. The changes that were made to story lines from the original series completely change the way that the characters react and open them up to future discoveries that could not have been made in the original series (I'm mostly referring to Spock's emotional availability)
Even in the tiniest details it connects to the original series, down to the Tribbles, making any Trekkie feel right at home for the majority of the movie. The film was filled with the sass, wit, and banter that the characters in this show are known for and keep the audience on their toes with the surprises built in.
Maybe one or two other times in my life have I wanted to stand up in the theater or my living room (or wherever I was watching whatever I was watching) and root for a character so badly. The line from the trailer sums it all up. "Is there anything you would not do for your family?" This movie shows exactly how much of a family they truly are and I could not have been happier with this film.
By the way I NEVER see a movie multiple times in theaters due to the obscene prices, but I was willing to go three times to see this film, if that tells you anything.
on May 19, 2013
OK folks first of all, this is a movie. J.J. is not trying to re-invent the wheel here. What J.J. Abrams has accomplished here is to re-imagine a burned out brand and series (that I loved as much as any true fan) and had the guts to go where no director has gone before with it. He shows his total respect for the best of the previously done films, his respect for the fans of the original films, and bravely creates a marvelous environment for the future of this series. I cannot tell you the last time I have sit in a darkened movie theater (full of fans and first timers) and had so much fun listening to the audience ooh and aah at what they were seeing and hearing from the screen. I along with them laughed, oohed, aah-ed, and even shed a tear, as this movie unfolded, and cannot remember the last time I felt so satisfied in seeing a film.
To all of the families with teens and tweens out there, Yes! this is the whole family movie experience you've been waiting for (and to be fair, there are some really intense scenes, and a four letter word uttered, but you just know the character would really say it in the heat of the moment) !!! It Is Fun! The cast is pitch perfect, the look, sound, and feel of "Into Darkness" is a joy to behold, and a loving homage to all of us who loved the original characters and films, and to those of us who just love good old fashion science fiction. It is a first class roller coaster ride and a true challenge to film makers to up the ante for audiences, if you want us to continue to shell out the movie bucks. By the way, this is a repeater for me as I will go back to see it again.
To J.J. Abrams and your entire crew, Thank You! for being so fearless, so brave to tweak and tamper with a sci-fi original, and re-remind me why I like to go to the movies. I think that Gene Roddenberry would be so proud of your take on his universe.
To the entire cast, Thank You! for being true to the original actors and characters, for giving them your spin, and making the roles your own. I have not had this much fun in a movie theater in a long, long, time, and in a galaxy far, far, away. BRAVO !!!
And to those of you that are leaving such horrid and negative comments to my review, WAKE UP!! These are MOVIES that we are talking about. I now understand why some actors comment at some point in their careers, about some fans needing to get a life. Movies are not real life changing events. They are meant for ALL of us to ENJOY (or not)for the two or three hours we sit in that theater, and maybe learn a little something (or not). Movies allow us to escape our sometimes droll and stressful lives for just a moment, to fantasize, to dream for a moment, to forget how different our lives have become. If you don't like or feel the same way about a movie as I do, I understand. But understand this, I don't try to keep people from seeing, renting, or buying a film because I don't like it, nor do I spend my time trying to drag someone else down because their opinion is different from mine.
I saw this film and I had Fun!! It took me back to the early days of Bart Sloane (The 4D Man - The Blob), Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonauts), and Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) when special effects were in their infancy. I felt the same way when I saw my first Steven Spielberg film (Jaws), my first Ridley Scott movie (Alien), George Lucas (Star Wars), and now J.J. Abrams. These are but a minute few of the hundreds of great filmmakers (I could go on forever)that have gone the extra mile to entertain us, to give us a break from the real world that is so full of Intolerance, Hate, Fear, Hunger, Struggle, and Disease. Give them a break guy's, they are just making movies for us to enjoy (or not).
Remember, the world will still turn tomorrow, that is unless God decides that he has had enough of us, and the way we treat each other, and decides to just shake us off of this little blue planet that some of us do not appreciate or respect at all.
on May 23, 2014
As a stand alone movie, it was ok, not great. The plot seemed contrived, heavy on action and light on message. Unfortunately for this movie, I am a 30+ year fan of TOS. Watching this was like reading a bad english translation for ready to assemble furniture. I know what they mean, but ouch. The warp core/Kirk/ Spock scene rewrite of the prior movie version was frankly corny. Glad this was included with Amazon prime so I don't feel like I wasted my money.
From my wife Sarah: I've been a fan of Star Trek since the first series. This movie was excellent.
- The story was engaging, exciting, and had plenty of edge of your seat moments.
- The way it wove the new story together using prior movie and TV themes to build on was kind of genius. Those who know Star Trek will enjoy that.
- It had humor with a few good laughs and chuckles, but it also brought tears to my eyes.
- I loved the way they developed the relationships between the main characters, especially between Spock and Kirk. I very much disagree with the poster who said there wasn't enough character development. I felt it was quite the opposite.
- There were surprises. Especially one big one, which I won't reveal. I enjoyed that this movie wasn't predictable.
- The casting was spot on. It's so believable that these are the young versions of Spock, Kirk, etc.
- The acting was superb.
What else can you want!
I saw it at an IMAX 3-D theater, and I'd highly recommend that. The 3-D was phenomenal on this huge screen. There were moments when I could imagine I was in space.
I think that Star Trek fans, as well as those who are new to Star Trek, will enjoy the movie. You really don't have to know Star Trek history to enjoy this movie, but if you are familiar, you'll get a lot more out of it.
So Star Trek fans shouldn't miss this new addition. I also recommend this movie to all scifi and action fans. I'll be purchasing this movie when it becomes available, and I'm sure I'll watch it many times.
on January 10, 2015
Into Darkness (Or ID(iot) as I call it) is a mess. It tries to be clever by making you think you know where the story is going because of its use of Wrath of Khan, but then pulls several twists. Twists that were painfully obvious and surprising to no one who was even remotely paying attention. It tries to pay homage to the Wrath of Khan, but instead is nothing more than a cheap rip-off. I'm pretty sure the "author" simply took the script for Wrath of Khan, shredded it, used the shredded wads as toilet paper, and then randomly pulled out anything that wasn't too badly soiled and randomly stuck the strips back together and called it a script.
The ending was particularly awful. In WoK you had an emotional farewell between two life-long friends. It had weight because there was no deus ex machina to ride in at the last second and save him (that came in Search for Spock). There was no last minute rescue. Spock died, and there was nothing to indicate he would ever come back. That was powerful. This was two near-strangers who were saying see you in a half hour because you already knew that the magic blood was going to save him. No emotional weight whatsoever.
And then there's the rampant sexism in the portrayal of the only two female characters, with Carol Marcus going from a brilliant scientist who created a technology to create habitable worlds, to half-naked eye-candy; and Uhura playing the part of stereotypical nagging girlfriend.
on May 23, 2014
This was a fantastic, special effects laden, extravaganza. So why only 3 stars? Because it didn't feel like a Star Trek movie. I'm an undying fan of the original series. The characters were innovative for their time and just fun to watch in any situation. They all had distinct personalities, strengths and weaknesses that made you care. At its core, they were like a family. In the Abrams version, they're all like caricatures who are slightly off mark. But the biggest distraction is Spock and Uhura. First off all, I don't buy their romance. It doesn't add to the movie, the plot or anything. Its unnecessary and annoying. I mean Spock bickering with his girlfriend while they are on a dangerous mission? Spock claims to be all about logic and duty. So how can he rationally explain his dalliance with Uhura? First, aren't Vulcans only supposed to get down once every 7 years? Second, isn't their a regulation against fraternization between crew members. But mostly, its just illogical. Spock must realize that this relationship is doomed to failure thus prolonging it makes no sense. People may argue that Spock is attracted to her but that means he's following his emotions, not logic. So he has no problems backstabbing Captain Kirk because of his logic. But having a volatile relationship, with a fellow crew member, which may interfere with his duties, is his idea of logical? In the original series, he was always committed to Starfleet, the ship and his shipmates. No matter how many girls threw themselves at him, he would not reciprocate. The only time he went against logic was when engaging in noble acts like saving his Captain and crew. That was Spock's charm. But the new Spock is selfish, self-indulgent and petty. He's more interested in getting some trim, fighting with his Captain and boasting about his logic. He's just not Spock. Finally,...they really couldn't find anyone else to play Khan? I mean Cumberbatch is an exceptional actor, but a skinny, pale, white guy is the only actor they could find to play Khan Noonien Singh?
on June 29, 2014
...which is amazing I would think that given how blah 5 was but at least it was real Trek. There ARE vestiges and hints of Star Trek in this movie, and it's worth watching just for Benedict Cumberbatch, but overall I really wish a real director had been found. If you are Jonesing for something new Trek-wise and can see this on Prime, then go ahead, it is worth the price, but only on Prime
on September 17, 2013
I own all the Star Trek motion pictures on Blu-ray, both the Kirk and Picard versions, and have watched all of the others that are readily available on DVD or Netflix streaming. I'm not Trekie enough to dress up or attend conventions, but I enjoy and admire the series, especially the historical continuity all the series tried hard to maintain. J. J. Abrams has done some very fine film work, but his two CGI infested rapes of the Star Trek saga will never be find a place on my shelf.
Had I never watched a moment of the Rodenberry and Rodenberry-inspired Star Trek saga, I would grant both films, at best, three stars and describe them as grossly over-CGIed and aimed at an audience without much of an attention span. In other words, par for the Hollywood course. But I have seen Rodenberry's work and those he inspired. Even when he was bound and gagged by minuscule budget constraints everything on the original series, he did it so much better and with brain fully engaged.
Both of Abrams' alternative versions destroy the history the various Star Trek series carefully constructed and maintained throughout a variety of series: The destruction of Vulcan in the first film retained here; the out-of-character love interest between Spock and Uhura; the death of Christopher Pike that negates the original pilot later woven into a two-part story in the original series; an Enterprise bridge that looks nothing like the original; the frenetic behavior of every character except Spock that is nothing like the original characterizations (and this film ends where the TV series began); Carol Marcus's English accent in this film even though she was a an all-American girl in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. And speaking of Kahn, Into Darkness is in part a mirror-image recycle of Star Trek II's conclusion. (Really uncreative, J. J. I saw it coming a mile away.) Benedict Cumberbatch is a fine actor and suitably maniacal as Kahn, but he makes a better Sherlock Holmes where he can display a range of emotion. Here, he is as expressionless as a statue, no doubt at Abrams' direction. Ricardo Montelban brought so much more flair to the character - twice. And I here enter a plea to all film makers to stop asking the human body to survive unscathed the physically impossible. You don't need science fiction for that. Watch any James Bond film.
At the end of the film, I hoped mightily the Enterprise would burn up in Earth's atmosphere, take all its hyperactive characters with it, and end this series so Gene Rodenberry could rest peacefully in his grave. I doubt I'll get my wish, but I won't waste time watching the inevitable third installment.