HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Star Trek 2009
HTS Overall Score:97
This is what? The 3rd or 4th time 2009’s reboot of the famed “Star Trek” franchise has been released? I believe it’s 4 if you included the 1 disc edition of the original 3 disc version that was released shortly after the initial Blu-ray hit market. Well, I really don’t care as this is the version that I’ve been eagerly awaiting. Combined within this 3 disc set is the brand new 4K UltraHD version of the movie WITH the long awaited Dolby Atmos track that I’ve been DYING to hear (even though the 5.1 TrueHD track that it came with 7 years ago is no slouch). Not to mention that the original 2 disc version of the film with all the extras that are also included in the Compendium release are there as well. I will spare you writing up a completely new review as Dave Upton did a great job on it some years ago and the bolded part below is the original write up for those of you who want his opinions on the film.
J.J. Abrams took some liberties and even broke a few Trek 'rules', but it all works. There are some really good nods to the original series and even the actors that played the roles before this new cast stepped in to fill some pretty big shoes. The problem with a franchise reboot or prequel is that we already know the outcome. All the characters survive. They have to, because we know about their other adventures. Abrams put a bit of a twist on things though. Although he deftly crafted a story that assembled the Enterprise crew together, it wasn't how they 'originally' met, and that's why this works.
I've seen Star Trek twice at the theater, and three times at home now, including up on the 10' screen at home. The first time I went with my brother, the second time my wife actually wanted to see it so I took her. She is a 'mild' Trek fan at best, and basically tolerates it because she knows I like it. It didn't take long before she dropped the take it or leave it attitude and really got into this movie.
What really impressed me was I was actually trying to figure out how Abrams was going to 'fix' certain things that start off oh so wrong. During my first viewing my fear was that he wasn't going to and that this new Trek would end up a sell out and Star Trek in name only. Trust me, even the most hard core fan will accept this entry, but more important is that it is simply a great sci-fi/action flick too.
There are even some touches of politics in the story, as well as prejudices- surprisingly from the Vulcan Academy itself! Also look for the infamous 'Red Shirt' scene.
If there is one thing to complain about, in my opinion it would be the engineering spaces. Granted I am very familiar with the engine rooms on real naval warships, and they can be a maze of pipes and valves and in general a very low tech looking environment. Thing is though, we're talking about the 23rd Century and I like the old Trek engineering levels better. These look like they ran out of set budget so they filmed in a manufacturing plant somewhere.
Abrams is also known for his fast pace and faster cuts too. Even though we do get to see the Enterprise bridge in quite a few scenes, I honestly couldn't describe the layout to anyone and it was quite different than in any other Trek show or movie.
The cast was well thought out and Trek has the unique ability of capturing lightning in a bottle more often than any other franchise out there. Many, including Roddenberry doubted if they could get the same chemistry between the main characters in Star Trek The Next Generation as they had in the original series. The franchise did have some major misfires with some of its other spin off series, but... Roddenberry always said the true star of the show was the Enterprise itself and the crew was secondary.
All the banter we have come to love is there, and we even get some back story on some characters too. Karl Urban absolutely nails McCoy. He looks like DeForest Kelly, and even sounds like him. Pine's Kirk though isn't quite the same but all the elements are there- He's confident and even arrogant, he has an eye for the pretty ladies... but most important is his drive and tenacity to win at all costs. Kirk coyly said in Wrath of Khan that he doesn't believe in a no win scenario... Pine's Kirk proves it and then some.
Simon Pegg as Scotty- I never remembered James Doohan as the 'plucky comedic relief' in the original series, but Pegg pulls it off. He's witty, funny, and charming all at the same time.
Quinto's Spock is almost uncanny. Certain shots he is a dead ringer for Nimoy in the original series. Quinto does a fantastic job of bringing the complex turmoil buried deep within Spock. Nimoy does reprise his role in an extended 'cameo' but his part was mainly an homage to the original show and it very easily could have been omitted.
Nero is played by Eric Bana and he has less screen time than he deserves. Bana chewed scenery every bit as well as Ricardo Montalban did as Khan, he just didn't get as much screen time to truly make him an interesting foe.
One thing that was really odd about these 'villains' was the way they introduce themselves. After an unprovoked barrage of missiles, they open hailing frequencies and say 'Hello'. It just sounded really strange hearing a Romulin say hello that casually, especially considering the situation. I'd love to hear Abrams reason, I'm sure he had one.
Captain Pike was played by Bruce Greenwood. This was another bullseye. Greenwood made Pike a natural leader and added tons of respectability to the cast. Greenwood may not be known by many though. Most people will probably be sitting there thinking 'Who is he? I know I saw him somewhere!' He's been doing TV for ages, but most probably recognize him as the President in National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
Sarek, Spock's father was a bit of a surprise to me. Sarek is played by Ben Cross who usually plays the bad guy or heavy. I remember him the best as Prince Malagant in the Richard Gere/Sean Connery version of King Arthur's tale in First Knight. Cross impressed me very much because he went from being so evil in that flick to stoic and dignified as Sarek
All in all it was an excellent cast they assembled. Even John Cho, better known to many as Harold from the Harold and Kumar flicks, slipped comfortably into his new role as Sulu.
It goes without saying that the special effects were top notch. Many of the other Trek outings, especially the Next Generation movies skimped on new FX and even recycled FX scenes from the TV series... and it showed. Abrams didn't cut any corners and it's obvious he was given a huge budget to work with. My guess is now that Star Wars is officially done, Paramount finally woke up and realized they had something that could appeal to more than just the hard core fans, but they'd have to pony up some money to do it right and grab the attention of non-Trek fanboys.
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=26033[/img]Now, on to the goodies. “Star Trek 2009” has been given a nice shiny new master and it looks absolutely INCREDIBLE on Blu-ray. Colors are so vibrant and rich, with fine detailing on the 4K edition being a good solid step up above the 7 year old transfer that is on the included Blu-ray. Just watch Nemo’s tattooed face in the close ups, and Kirk’s face when he’s undergoing a bit of “numb tongue” in the Enterprise medical bay. You can see every pore, every crease in the face and every bit of stitching on uniforms down to the last thread. Blacks are deep and inky, showing no signs of crush or washed out black levels in ANY WAY. There seems to be a richness to the blacks that wasn’t present in the previous Blu-rays, and the detailing inside the darker sequences actually show off more information than I realized was visible. I was curious how Paramount’s first foray into the 4K marketplace would be, but they chose a GREAT looking film to re-do into a great looking 4K experience. Top notch from beginning to end.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=26041[/img]The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track may seem a bit dated in comparison to the modern day 7.1 trend, but back in 2009 it was a stellar audio experience. That doesn’t mean that it is subpar today, as it sounds fantabulous on Blu-ray, but this film has always begged the Atmos experience and Paramount as delivered the good. The sountrack was always enveloping, but the addition of the extra rears add in a much more immersive feel, and has opened up the soundstage with more directionality than I ever thought was possible. Bass is hard and heavy, with a fullness that slightly edges our the previous experience. I would love to rate the Atmos track a 5/5 like the Blu-ray was, but I have to give it a 4.5/5 due to the fact that this remix doesn’t really make a whole lot of use out of the heights. It is still a good step up from the 5.1 track that we’ve had for 7 years, but as an ATMOS experience it’s just not 100% perfect.
• Audio Commentary with Director J.J. Abrams, Producers Bryan Burk and Damon Lindelof, and Writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
• To Boldly Go
• A New Vision
• Props and Costumes
• Ben Burtt and the Sounds of Star Trek
• Gene Roddenberry's Vision
• Deleted Scenes
• Starfleet Vessel Simulator
• Gag Reel
While I loved the original Blu-ray for “Star Trek 2009”, this 4K edition really shines if you have a 4K tv, and that’s really where the upgrade is going to be seen in (or if you have an Atmos setup and a 4K player but no TV, then you’ll still get the upgraded Atmos track). The addition of the Atmos track and the brilliant 4K transfer makes this set a must buy for people who have the equipment. If you already have the Blu-ray or the Compendium set, than this upgrade might be a “wait till I the equipment” type of scenario. Still highly recommended.
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Written by: Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (7.1 TrueHD Core)
Runtime: 127 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 14th, 2016
Buy Star Trek 2009 4K UltraHD Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy IT!