STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (BLU-RAY + DVD + DIGITAL COPY) (2013)
Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (2013)
Actors: Chris Pine,
Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg
Director: J.J. Abrams
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Multiple
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
Region: Region A/1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
DVD Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 132 minutes
fans, I understand you’re a hard bunch to please and I
know this whole reboot thing has been difficult. But
Trek Into Darkness the worst Trek movie of
all time is pure lunacy!
How quickly you forget the
depths to which this franchise had sunk . . . so deep
that Paramount almost closed the whole thing down
until J.J. Abrams rode in on a white charger. Into
Darkness continues to make good on the promise of
his first effort: marrying classic Trek
elements with new sensibilities and a tinge of 21st
century paranoia to help it go down smooth.
The biggest problem comes with the finale: a brazen
rehash of The Wrath of Khan
devoid of the attendant authenticity. It’s a rare
misstep in a largely masterful film, but certainly it
can leave a bit of a bad aftertaste. That’s five
minutes out of two-plus hours, however; a key five
minutes to be sure, but hardly enough to undo the
terrific entertainment surrounding it. Once again,
James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew face a
dangerous threat, this one buried deep in the heart of
the Federation. Its head is Benedict Cumberbatch’s
mysterious ubermensch, but it goes far deeper, testing
the will of Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the crew
past their considerable limits.
Abrams continues his clever reimagining of the Trek
universe in the process, giving us glimpses of
redesigned Klingons, awesome warships and burnt-out
planets in every frame. But like all of the best Trek
films, he still keeps the characters front and center.
Here too, the film plays elegantly with new dynamics,
further exploring the relationship between Spock and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and developing what might happen
if Scotty (Simon Pegg) finally has had enough.
performers continue their exemplary work from the
film, embodying their own versions of these characters
rather than simply imitating the “classic” cast of the
1960s show. (Series newcomer Peter Weller also makes a
welcome return to the big screen; where ya been Pete?)
The multi-layered textual commentary is in full
evidence as well, with sly references to Trek’s
pop culture status hidden in the straight drama.
Witness Chekov’s (Anthony Yelchin) horror at being put
in a red shirt, for example, or further references to
Kirk’s penchant for sexy space chicks. Abrams is smart
enough to make the reference without going full-bore
Meta on us, preserving the integrity of the universe
while still having some fun with our preconceived
Put them all together and it confirms this reboot as a
Trek for our times. Into Darkness
definitely lives up to its name, infusing a pervading
sense of gloom into Gene Roddenberry’s previously
sunny universe. This Federation has been touched by
the events of the first film and seems willing to
surrender its principles on a whim in exchange for
feigned safety. Kirk and the gang battle against that
despair of the soul as much as their more direct foes,
and their struggles help give this entry some
The more straightforward action, while a little
derivative, still holds its own as well (the
occasional Abrams lens flare notwithstanding). The
ship-to-ship battles are as awesome as anything the
series has produced, while Kirk’s standout flight
through a debris field is one of the best set pieces
of the year.
And yet despite its various sterling qualities, the
Trekkies still turned on it with all the hate and
vitriol their slighted hearts could muster. Complaints
about the finale hold some validity, but they toss so
much of the baby out with the bathwater that their
arguments become moot. This is a first-rate entry in
the venerable franchise, with the energy and creative
dynamic to continue for some time. The fans should
consider that before letting their hyperbole run away
with them . . . and ponder the alternative were this
director not at the helm. The Blu-ray gives them a
chance to reconsider this stellar effort, and perhaps
cut it the tiniest bit of slack.
THE DISC: Considering the size of this movie,
the disc itself is a bit of a let-down. A series of
behind-the-scenes featurettes totals less than 45
minutes of new material, along with the DVD and
digital copies. But that’s not the irritating thing.
Apparently there are more additional features, as well
as an audio commentary from Abrams and the cast.
Where? Spread across a series of different versions of
the Blu-ray: one available at Target, one at Best Buy
and one downloadable on iTunes. That means buying
multiple versions if you want to get all the bells and
whistles: a shameless marketing ploy that taints the
otherwise sterling picture and sound quality of the
film itself. It’s an awful precedent that won’t do
much to endear Into Darkness to slighted fans.
WORTH IT? Considering Paramount’s ugly tactics
around the Blu-ray, I’d say stream it or wait for
premium cable. It’s a pity, because the film itself
deserves much better.
RECOMMENDATION: If the film itself is all you
want, then you can probably get away with a purchase.
Just make sure you know which extras you’re getting
before you pick it up.
- Rob Vaux