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Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection DVD Review

Posted by TrekCoreNews, 06 October 2009 · 4,862 views

Author: rta-man

The Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection was released on Standard DVD disc, in the US, on September 22, 2009. This seven-disc set contains the original theatrical editions of the first six Star Trek movies, and a bonus DVD titled, "Star Trek: Captain's Summit". The discs are packaged in thin, black cases inside a white cardboard slipcase.

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The audio is in Dolby Digitial English 5.1 Surround EX, French 2.0 Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono, and Portuguese Mono. Subtitles are available in English, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Each DVD, except for disc seven, begins with the theatrical trailer of Star Trek XI. It's nice to watch this one or two times, but you may want to fast forward through this part for the rest of the DVDs.

I thoroughly enjoyed the extras. They contain numerous interviews with the stars and production staff of Star Trek. The first of these was titled "The Longest Trek: Writing The Motion Picture". In it, Star Trek writers Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens explained the first mention of a Star Trek movie. Gene Roddenberry announced at a science fiction convention in 1968 in Oakland, CA, that he was talking to Paramount about making a movie about Kirk and Spock's academy years. It took eleven more years until the first movie was produced.

In the disc three featurette "Spock: The Early Years", Stephen Manley was interviewed. He played Spock at age seventeen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. As you remember, his character performed pon far with Lt. Saavik (played by Robin Curtis). Would you believe that Stephen has pon far'ed with eight females at various Star Trek conventions?

The visual effects were another bonus feature I enjoyed. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, large scale models were used for all ship scenes. The use of CGI graphics was in its infancy and visual effects was still an art form. The nebula scene was a huge water tank, filled with thinly separated fresh and salt water, then by adding various chemicals they created swirling effects. This stuff is classic! During the scenes when Khan destroyed the Enterprise, the modelers put steel wool inside the model, and heated it with a flame to give each scene that sparkling look. I loved this stuff!

The most common of the Star Trek Universe bonus featurettes is the Starfleet Academy SCISEC (Science Security) Briefs. Each one technically explains an anomaly from each film. The Briefs listed in the movies are the "Mystery Behind V'Ger", "Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI", "Mystery Behind the Vulcan Katra Transfer", "The Whale Probe", "Nimbus III", and "Praxis".

Disc seven is titled, "Star Trek: The Captains' Summit". Although during the feature, it's referred to the "Star Trek Summit". For the first time ever, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes are together to share memories of their tenure with the franchise. This 70-minute interview session is hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. This is a VERY nice feature. Although I wondered why they split it up into three parts. It doesn't play as one 70-minute show. If you want to watch the whole thing, you must sit through two short commercial breaks, but without the commercials.

This box set will compliment your DVD collection nicely.


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The Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection DVD Review

Posted by TrekCoreNews, 06 October 2009 · 610 views

Author: rta-man

The Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection was released on Standard DVD disc, in the US, on September 22, 2009. This five-disc set contains the original theatrical editions of the four Star Trek movies featuring the cast from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a bonus DVD titled, "Star Trek: Evolutions". The discs are packaged in thin, black cases inside a black cardboard slipcase.

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The audio is in Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround EX, French 2.0 Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono, and Portuguese Mono. Subtitles are available in English, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

In addition to DVD-specific special features, the first four DVDs share three common bonus featurettes: "Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond" (parts 1 thru 4), "Trek Roundtable" and Starfleet Academy SCISEC (Science Security) Briefs. In "Data and Beyond", Brent Spiner talks about himself and his character. In part 2, I liked the way he compared Star Trek fans with fans of other things. He said basketball fans yell and scream during games, and soccer fans fight each other in the stands. Star Trek fans are "very normal smart people". "Trek Roundtable" is a discussion about each movie by Larry Nemecek (Star Trek writer), Anthony Pascale (Editor, TrekMovie.com), Charlene Anderson (Asst. Dir., The Planetary Society), and Jeff Bond (Editor, Geek Monthly Magazine). The SCISEC Briefs each technically explains an anomaly from each film. The Briefs listed in these movies are the "Trilithium", "Temporal Vortex", "The Origins of the Ba'ku and Son'a Conflict", and "Thalaron Radiation".

Disc five is titled, "Star Trek: Evolutions". This is a collection of seven special features. The first of these is "The Evolution of the Enterprise". This feature explains how the Enterprise had evolved over the years from the NX-01 to the NCC-1701-E. It contains some of the best never-before-seen ship images I've ever seen, including of the Enterprise-J and of the Enterprise-F (?). That's right... the NCC-1701-F! Since it came from Paramount, it must be canon.

Another of this disc's features was "Borg Invasion 4D". I enjoyed the 4D experience at "The Experience" in Las Vegas, and the DVD feature came pretty close to Vegas. If you watch it on a big screen, and turn up the volume, it's just like being there. The only thing that would've made it even better would've been to include footage from the backstage tour.

I recommend adding this box set to your DVD collection.


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Star Wreck Review

Posted by TrekCoreNews, 14 September 2009 · 89,337 views

Author: rta-man

These are the subtitled voyages of the Starship Kickstart.


A small band of Finnish Star Trek fans created this 105-minute Star Trek/Babylon 5 parody, and they did an exceptionally good job doing so. The starship crew consists of Captain James B. Pirk (Samuli Torssonen), Commander Info (Antti Satama), Plingon Commander Dwarf (Timo Vuorensola), and the beautiful Lieutenant Whip (Tiina Routamaa). The film starts out with an armada of P-Fleet starships dropping out of warp and approaching a "maggot hole" (worm hole).

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Eight years previously, Pirk and his crew were stranded on 21st Century Earth (Finland). Initially, I couldn't help noticing how closely Captain Pirk resembled David Byrne, of the Talking Heads, in the 1986 movie True Stories. On Earth, Pirk tries to convince a female that he's from the future by showing her his hand twinkler (hand phaser). Her boyfriend tosses him out into the street where he's roughed over by a few suburban-looking gang-bangers. Pirk then threatens to open a "bag of whoopass" on them with his hand twinkler, but the batteries are dead. Later, he phones Dwarf. The frustrated Plingon works at Bobby's Grill where he serves hot dogs to factory drones.

In ST: First Contact, the Vulcans land on Earth to meet Zephram Cochrane. In this film, the Vulgars land and party with rock star Jeff Cochbrane. The timeline had changed. Instead of the "antimaterial power breakthrough" being announced, the country's entire space program had been cancelled. But Pirk had a backup plan to restore the timeline. He must retrieve the Vulgar's ship and become the Emperor of Earth. Unfortunately, Cochbrane sold the ship to the Russians. Pirk, Info, and Dwarf quickly found the Tachanya nuclear facility where the starship was housed. They surprised the guard. The guard shoots about fifteen rounds out of his AK-47, but four hand twinkler shots take him out. In the words of Pirk, "Piece of pie." Once Pirk, Info, and Dwarf storm the facility, the workers believe it to be a revolution. They welcomed Pirk and his crew to bring an end to capilalism. At this point, Pirk announces that he's the Emperor of Earth. An alliance with Russia is soon formed, and guarantees him an army of engineers and red shirts to build his ship (the CPP Kickstart). At last, the starhip is completed. Pirk gives the command to leave, "Let's move." The ship leaves Earth's gravity and Pirk gives the command to go to "twist factor two". They fire "twinklers and light balls" and destroy the International Space Station.

Now, a black and white propaganda film featured Emperor Pirk and Russian President Ulyanov bringing a new peace to the world. Scenes showed the Kickstart flying in formation over Russian tanks, and fighters (looking like ST: Voyager Delta Flyers) fighting along side with turn-of-the-century gatling guns. Russian soldiers are wearing P-Fleet (TNG-era Starfleet) uniforms. Russia had conquered the world; but as the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Meanwhile in the Epsilon Quadrant, a small craft appears from the "maggot hole". Captain Sergey Fukov (a former Chernobyl coolant engineer and Ozzie Osborne look-alike), captain of the CPP Kalinka (which resembles the USS Enterprise from ST: XI), was the welcoming committee. Promptly, Fukov destroys the craft. On the other side of the maggot hole, resides a parallel universe and Babel 13 (looks like Babylon 5). This is where Pirk's objective lies to restore the timeline. But first, he must get past Babel 13's Captain Jonni Sherrypie.

The film displayed Hollywood-grade special effects. Their transporters dematerialize people from the top down, and rematerialize them from the bottom up. This effect was done quite nicely. Personally, I have a preference for ship images. Head on, Pirk's starship resembled the USS Enterprise-E. The sequence of the ship lifting off from dry dock and leaving Earth's atmosphere was stunning. This was very professionally done and left no marks of an amateur movie. The movie also featured some spectacular ship-to-ship battle sequences. The quality was on the same level as ST: First Contact when Starfleet engaged the Borg. Another scene matched the CGI effects of ST: Nemesis when the Enterprise plunged into the Scimitar. I was totally impressed by the FX.

Star Wreck was initially released online October 1, 2005. On October 12, 2006, it was first officially released on DVD in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Revolver Entertainment will be releasing the film on DVD, in the US, on November 10, 2009. The audio is in Finnish 5.1 Stereo Surround Sound and Finnish 2.0 Dolby Stereo. Subtitles are available in English. In addition to the movie, the single DVD also contains Bloopers, Definitive Inside Out (the making of the movie), Director's Commentary, and Towards the Iron Sky (talk about their next movie). More information about this movie can be found on their website at starwreckmovie.com.

Once I got over the subtitles, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. On a scale of one to five, I give it a four.


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Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection on Blu-ray

Posted by TrekCoreNews, 09 June 2009 · 681 views

Author: rta-man

The Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection was released on Blu-ray disc, in the US, on May 12, 2009. This seven-disc set contains the original theatrical editions of the first six Star Trek movies, and a bonus DVD titled, "Star Trek: Captain's Summit". The discs are packaged in thin, blue cases inside a white cardboard slipcase.

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The audio is in English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 2.0 Dolby Surround and Spanish Mono. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing), French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The sound duplicated that in which I experience in a movie theater. The bass thundered as if my living room was exploding. As far as video quality goes, what can I say. It's high def! The digital video quality is theoretically almost perfect. (disclaimer) The quality YOU see is be based on your entertainment system setup. (/disclaimer) The quality I saw was in between standard movie theater quality and IMAX. The colors were deep and crisp, and lines were perfectly defined.

Each DVD, except for disc seven, begins with the theatrical trailer of Star Trek XI. It's nice to watch this one or two times, but you may want to fast forward through this part for the rest of the DVDs.

The DVD menu system also gives the viewer the option of using the Java-based Library Computer during movie playback. According to the menu, this is "... an interactive experience that allows you to access information about people, technology, locations and more -- at the moment each appears in the film." Click on the icon, and a pop-up window appears with additional information. I don't recommend watching the movie with that feature turned on. It's somewhat distracting to see an icon appear every so often during the movie. It's a little more noticeable than seeing a network logo appear while watching television, and does draw your attention away from the movie. I recommend playing the movie without this turned on.

If your Blu-ray player is BD-Live ready (or if you watch the DVD on your computer), you can access the Star Trek I.Q. BD-Live feature. The menu states that you can "Create and share trivia challenges over scenes from the movie." It "lets you test your Star Trek knowledge by playing unique trivia games. Start with one of the featured quizzes or play and rate quizzes created by other users." These are a series of either multiple choice or true/false questions, in which you have ten seconds to guess the correct answer. To my amazement, you don't need to know all about Star Trek to play this trivia game, but it helps. It's similar to the new DVD game Scene It? Star Trek, but the images are better.

Disc seven is titled, "Star Trek: The Captains' Summit". Although during the feature, it's referred to the "Star Trek Summit". For the first time ever, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes are together to share memories of their tenure with the franchise. This 70-minute interview session is hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. This is a VERY nice feature. Although I wondered why they split it up into three parts. It doesn't play as one 70-minute show. If you want to watch the whole thing, you must sit through two short commercial breaks, but without the commercials.

In all, the set contains over 14 hours of bonus content. Even though each DVD has different bonus features, they all share common extras like Production, Star Trek Universe, and Storyboards.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Production extras. They contain numerous interviews with the stars and production staff of Star Trek. The first of these was titled "The Longest Trek: Writing The Motion Picture". In it, Star Trek writers Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens explained the first mention of a Star Trek movie. Gene Roddenberry announced at a science fiction convention in 1968 in Oakland, CA, that he was talking to Paramount about making a movie about Kirk and Spock's academy years. It took eleven more years until the first movie was produced.

In the disc three featurette "Spock: The Early Years", Stephen Manley was interviewed. He played Spock at age seventeen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. As you remember, his character performed pon far with Lt. Saavik (played by Robin Curtis). Would you believe that Stephen has pon far'ed with eight females at various Star Trek conventions?

The visual effects were another bonus feature I enjoyed. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, large scale models were used for all ship scenes. The use of CGI graphics was in its infancy and visual effects was still an art form. The nebula scene was a huge water tank, filled with thinly separated fresh and salt water, then by adding various chemicals they created swirling effects. This stuff is classic! During the scenes when Khan destroyed the Enterprise, the modelers put steel wool inside the model, and heated it with a flame to give each scene that sparkling look. I loved this stuff!

The most common of the Star Trek Universe bonus featurettes is the Starfleet Academy SCISEC (Science Security) Briefs. Each one technically explains an anomaly from each film. The Briefs listed in the movies are the "Mystery Behind V'Ger", "Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI", "Mystery Behind the Vulcan Katra Transfer", "The Whale Probe", "Nimbus III", and "Praxis".

The storyboards are good sketches. They reminded me of gaming concept art.

Is it worth upgrading? Yes. It's worth it not only for the high definition content, but also for the bonus features not found on the original standard definition DVD releases.






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