2.15.2010

Star Trek : 5 of 5

After watching this incredible reboot of the Star Trek universe that I enjoyed so much in the theater, now I feel like I've truly experienced the glory of Blu-ray (thanks to my pal Ryan's birthday gift)! Although the number of bonus features wasn't overwhelming, there were still hours and hours and fascinating material to dig into, and I learned so much about the filmmakers and their enthusiasm for this movie. JJ Abrams seems like just a wonderful geek (which gives a fan like me a good feeling since he's at the helm), and I thought it was interesting how they graphed the fandom of the five major guys behind the development of the movie, which helped make the new adventures of the Enterprise something that newcomers could enjoy as well. I was pretty amazed that Star Trek was shot on film (rather than digital), and that the signature flare effect was done in camera buy shining off-screen lights into the anamorphic lens! I love the fact that Abrams really tried hard to shoot in as many real world locations as possible (rather than creating everything with CG), using iconic spots like Vasquez Rocks and even a power plant and a brewery! Even the fantastic console displays on the Enterprise bridge were live computer monitors, simply shot right along with the actors (it's fun to watch these screens go through their paces during the behind the scenes shots). The deleted scenes were better than expected, including Spock's birth (which was better cut, since I just don't like Winona Ryder as Spock's mom) and a new twist on Kirk's Kobayashi Maru hack (using his green Orion girlfriend as an unsuspecting pawn). Blu-ray wise, there's a pretty incredible Starship Simulator feature that lets you inspect different angles of the Enterprise as well as the Romulan Narada, beautiful menus with super-detailed schematics, and a semi-lame use of BD Live that accesses NASA news over the web. Of course, the movie itself looks fantastic. I loved discovering new details (like Scotty's tribble), and watching it a second time with the commentary track was a pleasure, since the filmmakers are just so excited that they step all over each other trying to spout their favorite trivia! Star Trek could seriously become one of those movies that I watch almost as often as the Star Wars saga, so I'm thrilled to have it in my fledgling Blu-ray collection!