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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy combo (3 disc set)

review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  131 minutes, 13 featurettes, three theatrical trailers, DVD version of film, digital copy

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition (blu-ray discs)

AUDIO (Blu-ray): English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Audio Descriptive, Portuguese 5.1 DD

AUDIO (DVD): English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD, English Audio Descriptive

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese


STUDIO: Paramount Pictures/ Skydance Productions/ Bad Robot

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 5-16-2013

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 9-10-2013

FIRST TAKE on watching it in the theater-

Captain Kirk loses the Captain chair after lying about breaking the Prime Directive to save Spock from a volcano (that they are preventing from erupting to save a primitive race).   Meanwhile, the Federation comes under attack from a Federation agent known as John Harrison.  Events lead to tragedy and Kirk getting the command of the Enterprise back quickly.   He is ordered to take a mission to the Klingon home world to kill John Harrison with a special torpedo only to have Kirk disobey orders and it sets the stage for the rest of the movie and a big reveal about John Harrison which has to be the worst kept secret on the internet.


I am a big fan of the last STAR TREK movie, but I can’t get over how disappointed I am with the sequel because it lacks so many things that the original STAR TREK movies had in addition to this sequel being a badly written homage to one or two of the original films.   Zachary Quinto is still great as Spock even though he looks a little chubby this time round, but Chris Pine’s Kirk is still a very weak Kirk compared to what William Shatner did with Captain Kirk.  The space battle in this film is pretty weak.   We don’t see much crew interaction this time around.  Peter Weller turns into a thinly veiled military villain where STAR TREK: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY did it better.   The movie is very plot driven as the Kirk and Spock friendship is cemented in this sequel.  There are some nice nods to the original Star Trek like the admiral uniforms and the Tribble bit.  Sulu has a nice moment.  The engine room is again pretty lame and unwieldly again.  TSAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is just an OK and frustrating sequel which doesn’t make me feel like I want to see it again in theaters like the last STAR TREK movie.


Now I have some big issues and you should go away from this review now if you haven’t watched it.




STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS turns into a very bad remake of STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN.  John Harrison is Khan and it is interesting to see Khan not being the main bad guy, but I don’t feel as much for the struggle between Khan and Kirk in this film.  The space battle between the Vengeance and the Enterprise is pretty one-sided and not the nice chess game space battle you get in TWOK.   This sequel to the reboot has the weakest space battle of any STAR TREK film or TV series.  The Enterprise basically gets beaten up and doesn’t turn things around like Kirk does in TWOK.   It was nice to see the twist on the climax, but it doesn’t have the emotional impact that TWOK does when Spock dies.  Also Khan has magic blood that can bring people back to life which means Kirk isn’t dead and his kicking the warp core into place is absurd. 


I could go all day on beating up the sequel since it does have lots of problems like the Klingon make-up is bad even though the battle against the Klingons was one of the cooler moments of the film.   Kirk is reckless and they decide to have this movie to prove Kirk has earned the Captain’s chair finally where the romantic fighting between Spock and Uhura was irritating in addition to how annoying Kirk is.   The introduction of Carol Marcus doesn’t add much to the plot except to have a good line from McCoy and Carol Marcus has no development at all (where Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) has just a little more development).  In the end, I hope they actually make a STAR TREK movie that is more Trek than the last two movies have been and give a space battle like the old STAR TREK movies.  I want to see the human ideas and positive future values of Trek into play.  All we have now is a sequel which is more STAR WARS than STAR TREK and the next film needs better and different writers instead of an action driven STAR TREK series which misses out on some of the stuff that were in the original STAR TREK. 


SECOND TAKE after rewatch on Blu-ray-

The first half of the movie holds up pretty well while I tolerate the second half more despite the plot holes.  I do feel Cumberbatch channels the essence of Khan quite well even though Khan’s motivations for revenge are different in this sequel compared to TWOK.  The climax isn’t one of my favorite climaxes for a STAR TREK movie, but it isn’t one of the worst.



All extras are on blu-ray disc two with the movie on blu-ray disc one.


13 featurettes (six are exclusive to the Target combo pack for now) which run for 1 hour and 31 minutes in total on blu-ray disc two.  The featurettes paint a very detailed picture of how STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS was made including J.J. Abrams explaining why they made the story choices that they did:

THE VOYAGE BEGINS…AGAIN- cast and crew reflect on how making the new movie is like a family reunion

CREATING THE RED PLANET- creating the Red Planet on a backlot in a sequence which opens the movie

REBUILDING THE ENTERPRISE-   Rebuilding the enterprise as a continuous set instead of separate sets like in the last film

THE KLINGON HOMEWORLD- a look at the production design of the Klingon homeworld and the Klingon’s overall look (which I feel isn’t as good as the look of the Klingons from the original series movies and the TV shows).

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY- all about John Harrison aka Khan and actor Benedict Cumberbatch who plays him

VENGEANCE IS COMING- how they redressed the Enterprise to look like the Vengeance

SHIP TO SHIP- a behind-the-scenes look at a sequence where two characters travel in space between two ships using a lot of green screen

MR. SPOCK AND MR. SPOCK- behind-the-scenes of Leonard Nimoy preparing to do his one day cameo for the sequel


BRAWL BY THE BAY- behind-the-scenes look at how they filming the brawl on a floating barge sequence and the chase before it

CONTINUING THE MISSION- all about a volunteer organization who are involved in the community and how they were involved as extras in one scene in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

VISUAL AFFECTION- a behind-the-scenes take on the visual effects and how J.J. critiqued bad spelling on special effects shot like an English teacher.



Also all three theatrical trailers are on the disc two.


Also included in the set are a digital copy code and the movie in standard definition on DVD


FINAL ANALYSIS:  Despite the marketing people unwisely splitting up the extras as retail exclusives (which didn’t make Trek and blu-ray fans happy), the featurttes paint an excellent making-of a movie.  STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS isn’t as good as the last movie, but it isn’t as bad as the last two NEXT GENERATION movies.  Benedict Cumberbatch sails in his role as Khan.  Hopefully, they create a sequel which comes up with something new instead of remaking old Star Trek in new ways to mixed results.


This movie review is (c)5-17-2013 and blu-ray review is 9-13-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com


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