Blu-Ray Review: Star Trek – Beyond (2016) – Justin Lin

Beaming in on Blu-Ray and DVD today from Paramount Pictures is the latest entry in the reboot or Kelvin-verse Star Trek series. I’d previously reviewed my theatrical experience of the film here,  so I was eager to see how my impressions of it changed when viewed at home.

I actually found myself enjoying it more. Knowing how the story played out allowed me to settle in and simply enjoy the story that Simon Pegg and Lin created for the Enterprise and her crew to play in.

The film had to serve a dual purpose. It had to carry on the character arcs and story style established by the two previous Kelvin-verse films, while also serving as a celebration of the series 50th Anniversary. I think it succeeds on both accounts with varying degrees of success, this film gets the closest the reboots have gotten to the spirit of the original series and does so by giving the characters we’ve loved for 50 years their moments to shine.

Each member of the crew; Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) all get great moments, even while sharing the screen with new cast mates; the fantastic Idris Elba as the villainous Krall, and Sofia Boutella as Jaylah.

Set design, visual effects, costume design (love those new jackets – you think the studio has any of those they could send me?) are all top-notch as Paramount seems to want to make a real go at a tentpole franchise with this iconic series.

Sure, I still get bothered by what happens to the ship. I mean for the first time we get some unique shots and images of this iconic ship, but they don’t last nearly long enough. And yes, the ‘classical music’ moment in the climax is goofy, especially since that really isn’t the way an VHF signal works, but I guess that’s more the fiction side of science fiction.

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It is those character moments, however,  make the film shine. I caught so many more homages to the original series this time around from nods to lines lifted (more noticeable now that I am re-watching the original series) from what has gone before.

The picture and sound are simply amazing, colours are vibrant, and the layers of sound, especially aboard the Enterprise are stunning. That, and the always fantastic score by Michael Giacchino,  make for a nicely immersive experience.

The extras suggest that there will be a collector’s edition coming down the pipe sooner or later, but the featurettes that are included are just as gorgeous and high-quality as the image of the film. The only two that I felt a little lacking were To Live Long and Prosper – 50 years of Star Trek – this could have been its own full length feature; there’s so much history in front of and behind the camera that could be covered. Somehow 7 minutes didn’t seem like enough.

The other featurette that needed more time was For Leonard and Anton, two of the Star Trek family who passed before the film was released. Again, this one could have been longer, and only seemed to hint at the impact of what the series and these actors had upon the world.

The whole discussion of whether this is really Star Trek or not will not be had here, and both sides can be argued. I’ll be honest, I enjoy this series. It is not the Star Trek I grew up with, but it is keeping the title alive, interpreting it in a new way, one that has to conform to the cinematic requirements of the age. I know folks who have seen it, and aren’t fans of the original series. They enjoyed this film enough to take a look at the source material anew, and that has to be a good thing.

So boldy go, and pick up your copy of Star Trek Beyond today!!

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As our own bonus feature, here is the interview we did with actor Dan Payne, who plays Wadjet in the film. We talk about the prosthetics, celebrating 50 years, Trek’s influence on him, and his work in the genre…

and as an added bonus, here’s an interview Simon Pegg did with astronaut Kate Rubins aboard the ISS…

The Human Adventure is just beginning!

 

 

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