HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Star Trek Beyond
HTS Overall Score:83
I will have to fully admit that I was VERY hesitant when I heard they were going to reboot “Star Trek”. I am a lifelong trekkie who cut his teeth on the original series while staring over my older brothers shoulders as a 5 year old kid when I was ACTUALLY supposed to be in bed. Well, the re-runs at least, being that I’m not THAT old. I think I have every film, every TV show (except “Voyager”, those DVDs came out when I was a dead broke newlywed and haven’t made their way into my collection in some desperate hope that a Blu-ray release is waiting on the horizon) and a million pieces of memorabilia in my home. Still, I was blown away with how much fun “Star Trek 2009” was and readily adapted myself to the new take on the alternate time line. However, I was a little disappointed with how “Star Trek Into Darkness” turned out, but was cautiously optimistic about “Beyond”. My only cause for concern was the fact that J.J. Abrams had stepped out to direct “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and left the director’s chair for Justin Lin, who is most famous for his entries into the “Fast and Furious” franchise. A franchise that is infinitely different than “Star Trek” is. Personally I would have to rate “Star Trek Beyond” on the same level of enjoyment as “Star Trek Into Darkness”, but there are things that “Beyond” does infinitely better than its predecessor, but also things that made me really wish for Abrams at the helm.
It’s been 3 years into the 5 year mission of the starship Enterprise, and we are confronted with a Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) who is a bit disillusioned with the job. He has been out in the vastness and loneliness of space for so long that he has begun to doubt his purpose in life. His upcoming birthday puts him at one year past the life span of his father, Captain George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) and that sense of confusion and lack of purpose weighs heavily on the captain’s mind. He’s all ready to resign his command as Captain of the Enterprise and move on to a vice admiral’s position at the space station Yorktown when dilapidated ship bursts from the surrounding nebula claiming that there is a vessel full of innocent aliens trapped inside of it. Being the most advanced ship in the fleet, the Enterprise is sent inside the nebula as a rescue party only to be attacked by an unknown group of swarm ships that completely decimates the ship.
Obliterated completely, the only thing that is able to make it to the surface of the world hidden inside the nebula is the saucer section of the ship. With the crew of the Enterprise taken by the mysterious commander Krall and his army, Captain Kirk, Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Checkov (the late Anton Yelchin) have to figure out a way to get back to the Yorktown and rescue the rest of the crew. The only problem is that they’re separated and a whole new world is in front of them. A world that may take a little bit off effort to overcome, along with the help of stranded alien Jaylah (Sophia Boutella) and the help of an ancient federation ship that holds the answer to both their survival, as well as the identity of the force who brought them there.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=83409[/img]I watched “Star Trek Beyond” with a sense of melancholy, as both Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin have passed away in the few short years since “Into Darkness” came out. Nimoy of course passed due to his advanced age, and while I will greatly miss the legendary actor and Star Trek icon, I was severely saddened by the news of Anton Yelchin (Checkov) passing. Especially due to the fact that he was in the prime of his life and the incident of his death was a tragic accident that left a gaping hole in our hearts. Still, despite that sadness, I was still excited to see what treats Lin and Pegg had in store for us. What we have is something that I truly feared, but also something that really lifted my spirits. Justin Lin was the weak link in the whole decision as he is really geared towards wild, crazy, over the top action movies. I was fearful that his love of said action would detract from the nuances and science fiction aspects of the show. And in some ways I was correct. “Beyond” is wall to wall action on a smaller budget (in fact it reminds me of “Star Trek: Insurrection” with the cast relegated to a planet setting where the budget could cut without showing cracks and seams due to poor CGI etc). Phasers are blasting away at every turn and there’s not 15 minutes that go by that we don’t have some crazy scene like the Enterprise fighting the swarm ships, or hand to hand combat scenes on a pretty impressive level.
This works for and against the movie, as I felt there was way too much emphasis on the action, and not enough time fleshing out commander Krall and the rest of the backstory that brought us TO this situation. Much of it can be guessed by looking back over the film. The life draining tech, the Franklin, and a whole host of other hints, but it feels like the audience is left extrapolating many of these subplots as the action distracts them from it at the same time. Then of course there’s the wince worthy addition of the “Beastie Boys – Sabotage” son that had me holding my head going “why, god? Why?”. Still, there are some amazing pluses for the film as well. The characters have really found their groove by this point and Simon Pegg has written some great dialog for them. Scotty has become slightly annoying as he’s a tad TOO much of Simon Pegg, and not enough Montgomery Scott, but Pegg really loves playing the role and his enthusiasm more than makes up for a few minor nitpicks with the image in my head of Scotty. Pine has toned down the overly exuberant and sarcastic nature of Kirk and given him a much more sober tone. One that fits more in line with the Shatnerverse version of his character. However, Quinto and Urban has made themselves indispensable to the movie. Leonard Nimoy will ALWAYS be my favorite version of Spock, but together with Karl Uban the two of them make for an incredibly dynamic duo. In fact I would have to say that Bones is the best part of the whole movie. His dialog with Spock and with Kirk is the highlight of the movie, and only just barely outshines the second best character in the film. Someone who actually was not a part of the crew, Jaylah. Besides a few glimpses of her in the trailer I wasn’t sure what to expect of the new character, but she and Bones stole every scene they were in. I almost hope she’s in the 4th “Star Trek” reboot film, but I’m also hoping that she was left as a one off. As too much of a good thing can be detrimental and her character was just done perfectly. A solid character arc that begins and ends well.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=83417[/img]While the 1080p encode for “Beyond” was a great presentation, the 4K UltraHD version is just that much more sumptuous. As with the Blu-ray, the film employs a rather bleak and desaturated look on the surface of the planet, but a much more colorful and vibrant look in the Yorktown as well as the Enterprise itself. Colors range from the blues and reds and yellows of the Starfleet uniforms to the bright and vide blasts of phaser bursts. While the planet is much greyer, with a light blue color grading to differentiate it from the sky above (although there are some moments in the forest with Jaylah that are much more color filled). Black levels are deep and inky, with no signs of that crush and banding that I noticed in the 1080p Blu-ray. The fine detail is exceptional, and you can see the pores and creases on the actor’s faces that much more vividly. Something that I thought would be a detriment, but actually doesn’t show as many makeup flaws as I was anticipating. The textures of detail of the alien skin and the ships themselves show that tiny bit of detail that couldn’t be seen in 1080p and really stands as a fantastic all around encode. As always, even though I give a 4.5/5 for both the Blu-ray and the 4K remember that I am grading each one as compared to the best in the FORMAT. meaning that a 4.5/5 4K release will definitely be better than a 4.5/5 Blu-ray score.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=83425[/img]One thing I’ve always appreciated about the Paramount releases is that they put the Dolby Atmos track on ALL their Blu-ray and 4K releases equally. Meaning no downgraded 5.1 or 7.1 track for the Blu-ray and use the Atmos encoding as the carrot to purchase the 4K edition. “Star Trek Beyond” blasts onto the scene with a rather aggressive and exciting Amos track that really is rather invigorating. There is only one flaw on the track that keeps this from a perfect 5/5. A flaw that many of you who read my review of “Into Darkness” can already guess. Yup, it’s the LFE again with a rather steep filter attached to it. This time it seems to be even steeper with a rock like drop at the 40hz region (which is backed up by the actual sweeps taken by Data-bass.com) much like “The Hobbit” did. The bass is LOUD and certainly all over the place (unlike “The Hobbit”) but sadly those deep, low bass notes will be sadly missing. The rest of the track is fantastic, with great dialog locked up front and heavy use of the surrounds. Listen to the falling debris from the Enterprise as it flips over to crush the attacking forces on the planet, or the shriek and whipping sound of the swarm ships that utilize not only the back surrounds, but the overhead Atmos channels as well. There is a sense of immersion that is done amazingly and well, and besides the LFE filter, is a near perfect track.
• Deleted Scenes – Go Beyond the final cut of the movie with scenes you didn't see in theaters.
• 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.
“Star Trek Beyond” was a bit derivative, but there is a certain charm and predictability to the derivativeness that is distinctly “Star Trek” in nature. It’s a fun, if not flawed, science fiction action film that is a blast to watch, even if it doesn’t live up to the first “Star Trek 2009” film. The franchise has finally gotten their groove on and it looks like there may be several more films to follow along with a brand new TV show coming this year. The first TV show since the much maligned “Star Trek: Enterprise” ended 12 years ago. The release itself is top notch, with a great audio and video track and a decent array of extras. My only complaint with the package comes with the steep LFE filter in the audio mix and the same frustrating separation of extras amongst the store exclusives that the fans made such a stink over with “Into Darkness” (though not NEARLY as bad). Still, the movie is a fun little flick, and the package is more than worth the asking price (especially the amazing looking 4K release). Recommended as a fun watch.
Starring: Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg
Directed by: Justin Lin
Written by: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English (Descriptive audio), Portuguese, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 123 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: November 1st 2016
Buy Star Trek Beyond On 4K UltraHD Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Star Trek Beyond 3D On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Star Trek Beyond On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Fun Watch
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