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Star Trek (2009) - 4K

Paramount // PG-13 // June 14, 2016 // Region 0
List Price: $47.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted June 23, 2016 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:



"Your father was captain of a Starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800
lives, including your mother's and yours. I dare you to do better."
- Captain Pike to a young James T. Kirk



J. J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek arrives on 4K Ultra HD thanks
to the good folks at Paramount. While it's by no means a perfect
movie, it is action-packed and a lot of fun for new and old fans
alike and it both looks and sounds fantastic in on this HDR enhanced
disc.



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The film's rather convoluted plot begins with the Federation Ship
Kelvin encountering a large and impossibly advanced Romulan ship.
With the captain dead the young first officer, George Kirk, assumes
command and uses the ship as ram, sacrificing himself so that the
crew, including his pregnant wife, can escape in shuttles.



Twenty-two years later, James T. Kirk is an aimless rebel. He's
gifted and smart, but spends his time in bars picking up girls and
getting into fights... until one day when a Star Fleet Officer,
Captain Pike, dares him to join the Academy and become an officer.
On his first day as a cadet he improbably meets two people who,
longtime fans know, will become his lifelong friends: Uhura and Dr.
McCoy (whose ex-wife took everything in the divorce and only left
him his bones.) Things are progressing well until, three years after
joining the Academy, the Romulan ship appears once again and
destroys the Vulcan fleet. With an emergency on-hand, the senior
cadets are assigned ships and the fleet goes to aid their allies.



Arriving at the planet Vulcan, it's revealed that the Romulans are
from the future and, having captured the Ambassador Spock who comes
from their same time line, plan to destroy his home planet in order
to take revenge for the destruction of their home planet, Romulus.
With their superior technology, they then plan to destroy the entire
federation. A young Spock (from the current timeline) along with
Captain Pike, semi-disgraced James T. Kirk and the crew of the newly
commissioned Starship Enterprise are the only things that stand in
their way.



There's a lot to like about this movie. It's a lot of fun for both
old and new fans of the franchise. If you have no idea who any of
the characters are, that's fine... you'll still understand the plot
without any problems. Fans of the original series, whether casual or
hard-core, will find numerous nods to the franchise's origins. From
Captain Pike himself to the fate of the red-shirted enlisted man who
goes on a mission with Kirk and Sulu, there are a lot of homages to
the series that make the film a lot of fun. The casting is
especially impressive, with a talented crew of actors who actually
look like younger versions of the characters from the 1966 show.



It's action-packed too, starting off with a bang and hardly taking
time to slow down. With space battles, attacks by giant monsters,
vicious Romulans, and even a sexy green alien, this has all of the
ingredients viewers have come to expect from summer blockbusters.



That's not to say the film is without flaws. The script could have
used a little work, with some of the plot points arriving, not
because it was a logical next step, but just because the authors had
written themselves into a corner. For example, at one point the
Enterprise is traveling at warp speed to a rendezvous point but they
need to introduce two characters who are not on the ship. What do
they do? Spock gets irritated with Kirk and, instead of having him
thrown in the brig, he orders him to be marooned on an ice planet
with no supplies. Yeah, that makes sense. (Granted the planet does
have a Starfleet outpost, but it's over seven miles away from where
he lands, and the two, count 'em, two people stationed there never
even realize he's landed. It was basically a death sentence.) There
are several things like that (the Romulans just waited on their ship
for 25 years without attaching??) when you add in the time travel
aspect the story can appear a bit muddled in places.



The Ultra HD Disc:




Video:



This two-disc set includes the movie on both 4K UHD as well as two
standard Blu-ray disc, the second devoted to extras.





The 4K disc arrives with a 2.40:1 image preserving the aspect ratio
that it was originally exhibited with. Filmed on 35 mm and scanned
at 2K, the resulting file was then upscaled to 4K for this release,
and HDR enhanced picture looks really good. The colors are bright
and vivid and the blacks of space are inky and deep. The opening of
the film where the Kelvin first encounters the Romulans is an
impressive way to start off the film with totally dark space
punctuated with bright stars, and a Federation ship. The 2D image
also has a great feeling of depth, in no small part to the HDR and
expanded color gamut. Overall this is an impressive looking disc
that really shows off a 4K set up.



Audio:



The 7.1 Dolby Atmos track is even more impressive than the great
looking image. This is a movie with a lot of sonic *umph* and it's
apparent in almost every scene. The space battles are of course
dynamic with the full soundstage being utilized, but the more sedate
scenes also fill the room with directional sound. The shots that
take place on the bridge of the Enterprise are a good example, with
computer noises and various incidental sounds coming from all
corners of the room. They've done a good job filling in the audio
landscape.



Extras:



There is only one extra on the 4K disc, the audio commentary by
director J. J. Abrams, but the Blu-rays have ported over all of the
bonus material from the recent HD release. These are generally good,
but they come in small chunks, as is the trend today. Instead on one
really good making-of feature, we get a dozen mini-featurettes. They
include:



To Boldly Go

Casting

A New Vision

Starships

Aliens

Planets

Props and Costumes

Ben Burtt and the Sounds of Star Trek

Score

Gene Roddenberry's Vision

Starfleet Vessel Simulator



There is also a series of deleted scenes with optional commentary, a
gag reel, and some trailers.



Final Thoughts:



Though it's not perfect, this film is a lot of fun for both old Trek
fans and people who have never seen the original show. The 4K Ultra
HD disc looks amazing and sounds fantastic. This gets a very high recommendation.


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