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Thursday, April 30

New Blu-rays



It's common knowledge that the even numbered Star Trek films are - for the most part - superior to their odd numbered counterparts. Of these, I have three particular favourites - The Wrath of Khan (1982, Nicholas Meyer, #2), The Undiscovered Country (1991, Meyer, #6) and First Contact (1996, Jonathan Frakes, #8). It follows that these are the ones I got on DVD, although I recently caved and bought the first film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Robert Wise, 1979).

All six films featuring the original series cast have been released as a Blu-ray box set (the individual films are being released next week), and when I saw it at JB Hi-fi with a price tag just under $200, I did the math and came out at a little over 30 bucks per film, thought 'what the hell', and picked it up.

Each of the films - even the poorer ones - has points of interest, either the scores (all six of them have terrific scores), the visual effects, the appearance of everyone from Miguel Ferrer to Christian Slater in bit parts, and main supporting cast including the likes of Kirstie Alley, Ricardo Montalban, Christopher Lloyd, Kim Cattrall, David Warner (who appeared in both #5 and #6, the second time under heavy Klingon makeup), and Christopher Plummer. Not to mention standout moments for the ageing main cast scattered throughout the films.

I haven't watched any of them yet, but I've done a bit of a chapter skip through Khan and The Search for Spock (1984, Leonard Nimoy, #3) and they look terrific. Those fabulous matte paintings of the underground Genesis Project in The Wrath of Khan just pop off the screen! This release also marks the debut - on a home digital format - of the theatrical versions of three of the films. The visual effects for the director's edition of the first film were only produced to NTSC video resolution, with an astounding lack of foresight, and The Undiscovered Country is presented for the first time ever in the correct aspect ratio on home video.

I'm gonna have to put my foot down in another month or so when the box set of the next four films - featuring the crew from the second show Star Trek: The Next Generation - comes out, as only one of them is worth watching. So I'll be waiting for the individual release of First Contact.

3 comments:

Vancetastic said...

Your list of even-numbered films notably omits The Voyage Home. Too comedic? I still think it's an excellent script, and Leonard Nimoy is damn funny in it. Of course, Wrath of Khan will always be the best in the series, and most important ... I contend that if it had failed, the Star Trek series on the whole may have been dead in the water, since the first movie was not good. (Though I probably should see it again to really render this judgment effectively -- I haven't seen it since its theatrical release). Without The Wrath of Khan, we don't have J.J. Abrams' Star Trek next Friday.

By the way, I thought it was especially appropriate for a film blog that my verification word to write this comment is "snape," as in Severus Snape of Harry Potter fame.

Lord Vader said...

I do enjoy 'The Voyage Home' - I loved it when it first came out - but not as much as the other three. Funny you should mention how the franchise owes its existence to 'Khan', as I was mulling over a new post about exactly that - get out of my mind!

Vancetastic said...

But that's the best way to examine your cerebral cortex.

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