Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Star Trek Beyond 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Sean Ferguson
The intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise returns in the new installment in the iconic franchise, Star Trek Beyond sets a course on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Packs, DVD and On Demand November 1, 2016 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The sci-fi adventure will also be available as part of the Star Trek Trilogy Blu-ray Collection. The film warp speeds to Digital HD four weeks early on October 4, 2016.

Film (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
After the original reboot film and a paint by numbers sequel, this crew of the Enterprise finally gets to have an original adventure that's set three years into their five year mission. No longer having to follow the template set by the previous films, this adventure is a lot more fun and original. Even though this crew is now on a different path, it's still fun to see how things have changed between the characters between the original and this new timeline. In this one, Captain Kirk (Christopher Pine) has become bored and wants to relinquish his captaincy and move up the ranks which he requests when the USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown. That request is put on hold when an escape pod emerges requesting the Federation's help. It's sole occupant, Kalara states that her ship and crew are stranded on a distant planet. 

The Enterprise crew is dispatched on the rescue mission but they are soon ambushed by a swarm of small ships that overwhelm them. The Enterprise is boarded by the invaders led by an alien named Krall (Idris Elba) who is searching for an artifact called the Abronath, which was obtained by Kirk during an earlier failed diplomatic mission. Most of the Enterprise crew members are captured and taken to the planet below by Krall''s men, while Kirk orders that the remaining crew to abandon ship. On the planet's surface, the surviving Enterprise crew members including Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) are also captured by Krall's men and locked up with the other prisoners.

As the escape pods landed all over the planet, the crew is split up into different groups. While Kirk, Chekov (Anton Yelchin), and Yalara search for the remains of the downed saucer section, McCoy (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) search for their fellow crew, and Scotty (Simon Pegg) stumbles across a scavenger named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) who has been stuck on the planet for a long time. Krall, in the meantime, wants the Abronath because it's actually part of a bio-weapons that he wants to complete so that he can use it against the Federation. His grudge against the Federation is revealed late into the movie and I won't go into it to prevent spoilers. Needless to say, the crew of the Enterprise will need to work together once again to save the universe.

I really enjoyed Star Trek Beyond. It's so nice to see this crew finally get an adventure that isn't beholden to what came before. While I liked Star Trek Into Darkness, it was basically a rehash of The Wrath of Khan with some of the details modified and moved around. This time, they aren't trying to follow the events of The Search for Spock, so the whole movie feels more fresh and unknown. Director Justin Lin adds his usual flair for action and energy to the movie and the cast have comfortably settled into their roles. This film also represents the celebration of Star Trek's fiftieth anniversary and while it's not perfect, it does nicely present creator Gene Roddenberry's belief that the future will be brighter if we all work together as one and not squabble as individuals. The film also beautifully pays tribute to the original cast while honoring the loss of Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy). It was also nice to see the final farewell to both Nimoy and Anton Yelchin who both passed away far too soon. 
Video (4 out of 5 stars)

4K Ultra HD (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)                                  Blu-ray (4 out of 5 stars)
While both of these formats look very good, the clear winner is the 4K Ultra HD version which offers a sharper image and the colors are more brilliant. Textures are also noticeable better in the UHD version as well are facial details which are really sharp and much more defined than the Blu-ray version's. Black levels are solid for both editions but both could have been blacker and deeper than they are. I didn't get to review the 3D version that was also released, but based on the two that I did review, the UHD version is easily the better version.

Audio (5 out of 5 stars)
Star Trek Beyond's Dolby Atmos True HD 7.1 mix is fantastic and it really adds a lot to the movie. The best part of this mix is how well it immerses the viewer into the film. From the opening scene's cavernous diplomatic chamber to the swarm of small ships that overwhelms the Enterprise, this mix puts you in the center of the action. All of the dialogue and sound effects are crystal clear and the soundtrack from Michael Giacchino is perfectly blended in with the rest of the movie. The directionality between the channels is handled very well. This is an outstanding presentation. 
Extras (3 out of 5 stars)
While I enjoyed these extras, it's frustrating to know that Paramount has once again divided up the extras and separated them by retailer. There's no one set that has all of them, so if you want them all you will need to buy each store's version of them which is insane. All of these extras are included on the Blu-ray disc as the UHD disc does not have any extras. The best extras for me were "To Live Long and Prosper" and "For Leonard and Anton," as both were really moving. All of these extras are in high definition.
  • Deleted Scenes - Go Beyond the final cut of the movie with scenes you didn't see in theaters that include "Kirk and Scotty in the Terminal," and "Scotty Gets a Bib and Tucker,"
  • Beyond the Darkness - Meet visionary producer J.J. Abrams, director Justin Lin and co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung as they discuss the inspiration for the Star Trek Beyond storyline and how it came to life.
  • Enterprise Takedown - Experience edge-of-your-seat action and see how a shocking attack destroys the USS Enterprise.
  • Divided and Conquered - Learn how filmmakers pushed the boundaries in Star Trek Beyond by forcing the Enterprise crew into their most challenging situations yet.
  • A Warped Sense of Revenge - Meet Star Trek's newest villain, Krall, as actor Idris Elba reveals the backstory behind his character's terrifying ambitions.
  • Trekking in the Desert - Go on set to Dubai and discover how its futuristic architecture became the foundation for the most innovative Starbase yet.
  • Exploring Strange New Worlds - Tour the incredible production sets of Star Trek Beyond with director Justin Lin.
  • New Life, New Civilizations - See how special effects designers met the challenge to create an unprecedented 50 new alien species for the film to celebrate Star Trek's 50th Anniversary.
  • To Live Long and Prosper - Journey through the past 50 years of Star Trek with J.J. Abrams and the cast as they reflect on the evolution of this iconic sci-fi series.
  • For Leonard and Anton - Watch a touching tribute to the legendary Leonard Nimoy and beloved crew member Anton Yelchin.
  • Gag Reel - Join in on the fun with this hilarious gag reel of on-set bloopers.
Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
Star Trek Beyond is a fun and exciting movie that kicks off a new phase for this crew of the Enterprise. They're finally in uncharted space exploring new worlds and civilizations which is great. The cast are all excellent in their roles and new director Justin Lin brings his trademarked action and humor to the franchise. Both the UHD and the Blu-ray are excellent versions, but the best one is easily the UHD one as it offers the best picture and sound. I'm excited to see where the next movie will take us!

Order your copy today by clicking on the picture of the set below that you are interested in!


No comments:

Post a Comment