Sunday, October 6, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness Blueray disc release

         The movie itself is a four star mixture of top-notch Trek and mind numbing explosive effects.  If you like the modern superhero movies by Marvel and DC you should enjoy ST: Into Darkness for the heroism and drama.  If you’re an avid Trekkie (or one who slipped over to the supposedly more respectable term Trekkers) you’re likely to hate it or love it, or both at the same time.  In my mind, a disc at home is they way to see this movie, as you can pause and have time to take it all in.  There is a lot to take in!

The missing star for the actual movie is because true trek does not revolve around terrorism and evil vs. good, it’s about adventure, discovery, and hope, with of course unexpected hazards along the way for all the action and suspense anyone could want.  The heart and soul of Trek has always been the characters, and they are well written and very well acted, and true to their characters.  It felt like real Trek in the character moments, and that, in the end was what mattered most to me.  The techie trekkies and some other hard core fans tend to rate it poorly; there are some strange discrepancies in well known start trek technology.  A ship hidden underwater instead of in orbit, warp speed much superior to what the Enterprise has in a human-made ship, for example.

The 2013 Blueray release set including DVD and digital copy found on Amazon  rates only three stars because of how the special features are made available, with poor advertising. They listed some documentaries, "and lots more," but failed to have "lots more" on the disc. The most important features, in my mind, were omitted. There are no bloopers, no deleted scenes, and no directors/writers commentary!  However, after reading reviews on I found out that if you load the iTunes digital copy instead of just the Ultraviolet one, (or load both, it's surprisingly possible to use the code twice, once at Ultraviolet, once and iTunes) you also get "iTunes extras" available for load at the same time. I haven't finished loading yet because it's a huge more than 6G download and I don't have unlimited internet. I'll have to wait for next month so I don't pay extra on my internet bill to download it. Not convenient! I would much prefer they put it on the disc in the first place. If they don't put it on the disc, they should at least make it clear that more extras are available with the iTunes, but not the Ultraviolet download. What a mess of confusion and lack of communication. Perhaps they decided after the discs were released to add on extras with the digital download from the discs? It looks like I will be downloading the directors commentary, one of the main things I was missing. I had heard previously that commentary must be bought separately on iTunes, and other features were put exclusively on other physical releases at retail outlets. So to get all the extra material one must trade and share or buy multiple releases (unless the iTunes extras download included everything that wasn't already on the disc, I'll try to find out and post a future update). What were they thinking!! I want to be able to buy one neat, nice disc sets with everything on it!! It's cruel and unusual punishment for the fans to have extra material made that is withheld on each disc set for marketing purposes. There are numerous articles on this topic, easily found on the internet, along with streams of angry comments from frustrated fans. It's a challenge just to find out exactly what extra material is where, to try to collect it all. The people who planned this are either sadistic or idiotic. I'm angry on behalf of people who want the DVD instead of the Blueray but still want extra material, as the extras are only on the Bluerays.  It seems there is no disc anywhere that has everything on it. 
One other point is that on my system, with using the speakers that came on the Sony HDTV, the voices are hard to hear any time there's background music or explosions (which is most of the time). I use the subtitles a lot. Other reviewers have said the sound is great.
The digital copy has to be downloaded, but once you set up the accounts you need, Ultra Violet plus Flixter, or iTunes, it works. The instructions and process could be made more clear and convenient for how to load the digital copy. The Ultra Violet is a good idea, allowing each member of a family separate access, on-line streaming and storage. You can't loose the copy like you can with other brands if your computer crashes.
There are numerous excellent articles on the extra material issue, along with streams of angry comments from frustrated fans. as a useful list of where one can find the assorted extras.  Some have said they will boycott all the releases, but if you're not doing that, this is a highly enjoyable movie with a true trek feel at times, lots of action and beautiful or dramatic artwork.  On disc is a great way to see this movie so you can pause and appreciate it.

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I studied microbiology/genetics, then shifted to the more purely creative fields of writing and painting. I’m passionate about my work, currently an ambitious Science Fiction drama, as well as reading, karate, horses, cats, gardening, creative cooking, and my family.