First Impressions Of Star Trek Movie Blu-Ray (+ Navigation Screenshots)

This week Paramount held a press event promoting their upcoming releases for the fall, including Q&A’s with Star Trek director JJ Abrams (see report), and writers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (see report). Paramount Home Entertainment also gave a demo of some of the features on the Star Trek Blu-ray release. See below for first thoughts and some iPhone snaps of the navigation screens.

 

FIRST THOUGHTS on Star Trek 2009 Home Video Release

Navigation
Paramount showed off the navigation for Disk 2 of the Blu-ray set, which will be very similar to Disk 2 for the DVD set, but has some additional features. The menus were very nice with a diagram of the USS Enterprise in the background and a expanding tree style of navigation options that was very easy to use.


Star Trek Blu-ray Disk 2 Navigation

The featurettes on the Blu-ray and DVD are the same, but the Blu-ray has additional ‘branching pods’ which can be accessed while you are watching the feature (when a little logo appears), or from the main menu.


Navigation showing branching pods for ‘To Boldly Go’

Featurettes
There are a ton of new featurettes, all done in HD. We were only able to see a couple of them, but they were exquisitely produced and filled with interviews of all the major players on the film and the entire cast. One thing that was surprising was the amount of footage from The Original Series that is interspersed with the features, especially the "Casting" segment. The interviews seemed very candid and entertaining, giving good insights into life behind the scenes. For example, in opening "Boldly Go" featurette, there is a ‘branching pod’ dedicated to the "Shatner Conundrum" where the team (primarily JJ Abrams and Roberto Orci) talked openly about the controversy and about how they tried to find a way to get Shatner into the film. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Deleted Scenes
The set contains a large number of deleted scenes (both DVD and Blu-ray), and you can watch them with or without audio commentary from JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. At the event we only watched the two Klingon special features (Klingons Take over Narada and Prison Interrogation and Breakout). The Klingons looked fantastic, although the special effects for the Klingon ships surrounding the Narada were never finished. The interrogation scene is one that goes a long way in exposition as to who Nero is, and why the Klingons want his knowledge of the future so badly, but it can be seen how it might confuse a general audience who would wonder who the bad guys were.


Deleted scenes navigation

Starfleet Vessel Simulator
One of the cooler features available only on the Blu-ray is the vessel simulator. You can choose to get a close-up look of either the Enterprise or the Narada, which shows you a beautifully rendered image of the ship, based on the models from ILM. You can zoom in on various parts of the ship (phasers, torpedo launchers, bridge, etc). Some areas let you even do things like fire phasers. All the sections have additional information (like the Borg shielding on the Narada, taken from the "Countdown" comic books). These features really let you get a good look at these ships in a way you never got in the film with things moving around so much. You may even spot things you didn’t see before, like how the fins the back of the nacelles of the Enterprise lift up and glow when it goes into warp.

Bottom line
With just a few minutes of playing around with this set, it is clear that in November we have hours of fun ahead learning more about this new Star Trek movie. This could easily be the best Star Trek home video release ever.

 

STAR TREK DISK DETAILS

DVD:

The STAR TREK two-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround with English, French and Spanish subtitles.  Special features are as follows:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary — By director J.J. Abrams, writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Bryan Burk.
  • A New Vision — J.J. Abrams’ vision was not only to create a Star Trek that was a bigger, more action-packed spectacle, but also to make the spectacle feel real.  Every aspect of production — from unique locations to the use of classic Hollywood camera tricks — was guided by this overall objective.
  • Gag Reel — Bloopers featuring the entire principal cast.

Disc 2:

  • Digital Copy
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
    • Spock Birth
    • Klingons Take Over Narada
    • Young Kirk, Johnny and Uncle Frank
    • Amanda and Sarek Argue After Spock Fights
    • Prison Interrogation and Breakout
    • Sarek Gets Amanda
    • Dorm Room and Kobayashi Maru (original version)
    • Kirk Apologizes to the Green Girl
    • Sarek Sees Spock
  • To Boldly Go — Taking on the world’s most beloved science fiction franchise was no small mission. Director J.J. Abrams, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof, and executive producer Bryan Burk talk about the many challenges they faced and their strategy for success.
  • Casting — The producers knew their greatest task was finding the right cast to reprise these epic roles. The cast, for their part, talk about the experience of trying to capture the essence of these mythic characters. The piece concludes with a moving tribute to Leonard Nimoy.
  • Aliens — Designers Neville Page and Joel Harlow talk about the hurdles they faced creating new alien species, recreating the Romulans and Vulcans, and designing the terrifying creatures on Delta Vega for the new Star Trek.
  • Score — As a fan of the original series, composer Michael Giacchino embraced the challenge of creating new music for Star Trek while preserving the spirit of Alexander Courage’s celebrated theme
  • DVD-Rom:
    • STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for XBOX 360
    • Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PC
    • Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PlayStation Network

 

The STAR TREK single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, French 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround with English, French and Spanish subtitles.  The single-disc DVD includes the commentary, “A New Vision” and the gag reel.

BLU-RAY

The STAR TREK three-disc Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition with English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  Special features are as follows:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary — By director J.J. Abrams, writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Bryan Burk.
  • NASA News — This BD-Live feature gives viewers access to the latest NASA news about real space exploration.  Learn about new mission developments and check out featured imagery from around the universe.

Disc 2:

  • To Boldly Go — See description above.
    • Branching Pods:
      • The Shatner Conundrum
      • Red Shirt Guy
      • The Green Girl
      • Trekker Alert!
  • Casting — See description above.
  • A New Vision — See description above.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Savage Pressure
  • Starships — Abrams and production designer Scott Chambliss were careful to pay tribute to the design of the original Enterprise, but they also wanted to make it futuristic and cool for a modern audience. This chapter focuses on the unique stories behind the creation of the film’s starships.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Warp Explained
      • Paint Job
      • Bridge Construction Accelerated
      • The Captain’s Chair
      • Button Acting 101
      • Shuttle Shuffle
      • Narada Construction Accelerated
  • Aliens — See description above.
    • Branching Pods:
      • The Alien Paradox
      • Big-Eyed Girl
      • Big Bro Quinto
      • Klingons
      • Drakoulias Anatomy 101
  • Planets — From the frozen landscape of Delta Vega to the desert plains of Vulcan, Scott Chambliss and the art department had a number of radically different planets to create. Abrams’ desire to shoot on real locations whenever possible led the production team to a number of strange and surprising locations.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Extra Business
      • Confidentiality
  • Props and Costumes — Property master Russell Bobbitt had the unique challenge of designing props that were both true to the original series and pertinent to today’s technology.  Likewise, costume designer Michael Kaplan talks about how he designed costumes that paid homage to what came before yet were relevant and timeless.
    • Branching Pods:
      • Klingon Wardrobe
  • Ben Burtt and the Sounds of Star Trek — When famed sound designer Ben Burtt was hired to create sounds for the first Star Wars film, he took his inspiration from the original “Star Trek” series. Burtt jumped at the opportunity to pay tribute to the sounds that sparked his career with the sounds he created for the new Star Trek.
  • Score — See description above.
  • Gene Roddenberry’s Vision — J.J. Abrams, Leonard Nimoy, previous Star Trek writers and producers, and scientific consultant Carolyn Porco describe and commend the optimistic and enduring vision of Gene Roddenberry. 
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary — See details above.
  • Starfleet Vessel Simulator — Explore extensive data on the U.S.S. Enterprise and the Romulan ship, the Narada. Submerse yourself in breathtaking 360° views and close-ups and review detailed tech information.
  • Gag Reel — See description above.

Disc 3:

  • Digital Copy
  • STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for XBOX 360
  • Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PC
  • Weblink to the STAR TREK D-A-C Free Trial Game for PlayStation Network

 

PREORDERS
Star Trek home video releases are coming November 17th. You can pre-order your copy or copies below.

Title Blu-ray DVD
Star Trek 2009 3-disk set

3-disk set w/ replica

3-disk set w/ badges

2-disk

1-disk

 

 

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I’m rather annoyed how some of the more interesting features I’d like to see (like the starships featurette) are only on the Blu-Ray and not on the 2 disc DVD. I don’t have Blu-Ray yet because I and my family haven’t upgraded to HDTV yet (it is expensive). I will definitely be getting the 2 disc DVD, but I wish they put some more of those extra features on that as well. There is no reason aside from the obvious marketing for blu-ray that those couldn’t be put on the 2 disc.

When I buy the movie in Blue-Ray I’m gonna watch it twenty times!

I think Blu-ray technology was a gift from Jesus himself.

I can’t even watch dvd’s anymore

don’t forget to take breaks Harry. You have to eat, for example.

I have to buy a blu-ray player just for this…
Looks great though.

Can’t wait to pick this up. Looks like we’re in for a very extensive set of extras.

The only thing I’m disappointed about, however, is that there won’t be a PiP track. That’s a bummer.

#3- I really see only a slight difference. I know, blasphemy.

No deleted scenes on Blue-Ray?

@#7 – I was watching my dvd of Serenity this morning, and it’s picture quality was not even close to a blu-ray copy I’ve seen, and I even had up-scaling and smoothing on… and I assume that makes it better and not worse. So now I’m convinced I have to buy it on blu-ray…

#4

(in my best Homer Simpson voice)

Can’t eat, watching Trek!

Mwawrrrrrr…………

Lots of goodies !!!

Why can’t they just release it tomorrow? Darn…

I am wondering how long before Paramount will release a Directors cut, with the the Klingon scene finished and put back in.

everyone knows jesus is in charge of toshiba who invented blu ray…

Wish some of the other movies would have been this extensive with the extra stuff. Or that they’d have made special ship figures with movie relases.

16,

The Special Edition DVDs were pretty extensive when it came to bonus features. However, some of the features, such as “Warp Explained” seem to be there to simply explain “treknology” to new fans who are buying Star Trek for the first time.

I’ve been looking at screencaps over at TrekCore between the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the movies that they’ve done that for, and while I do notice an increase in quality, it’s not so much so that I’m in a big hurry to upgrade to Blu-Ray or to double dip once I do (which I’m sure everyone will have to eventually). I simply prefer DVD and so far I haven’t seen much to change my mind.

I won’t be buying this horrible excuse for a “Star Trek” movie on Blu-
Ray or DVD, but I did find a use for that horrible looking peice of crap Playmates’ so called ‘Enterprise’ toy!
If you’re a modeler, you can remove the lihgting assembly (be sure to disconnect that awful sound board!) and use it to light your Pegasus Hobbies’ Martian War Machine from “War of the Worlds!”
It’ll save you about 40 bucks and then you can dispose of that “Ugly Enterprise” without any guilt!

“lighting!”

18. It’s sad people like you in the world exist.

Menus = Purty!

No 1, Hd Tvs are getting cheaper and cheaper everyday especially now that we are getting into the holiday season. heck they had a 27 inch samsung HDTV for 279.99 yesterday at my local target.
and you can pick up a entry level bluray player at walmart in the 99 to 129 range right now.

so iam sorry but the to expensive excuse doesnt work anymore.
and its funny the same people complaining about bluray haveing more bonus features over dvd are the people who drug there feet buying into dvd when it came out, and complained that dad featurettes that were impossible to do on vhs.

You can get a PS3 for under 299. That is pretty cheap. I am thinking about getting one for Trek and Transformers 2.

#18, I have to admire one thing about you.. your consistent negative energy. Doesn’t that leave you an empty, spiteful shell?

The nav screens for the Blu-ray look awesome. Love the branching-out pod menus and the 3D Enterprise. Let me guess, though, the nav screens for the DVD will consist of a static 2D pic of the Enterprise with menu items that can be highlighted. I sure hope the folks at Paramount didn’t neglect the DVD menus to focus more on Blu-ray menus which a significantly fewer number of people will see or use.

I’m still not sold on Blu-ray. Personally, I find the change in picture annoying (I want to watch a movie, not a soap opera or televised play), while the change in audio quality is barely noticeable. And I sure as hell don’t want to spend two hours seeing pores, make-up seams, and stunt wires that were never meant to be seen. And let’s not forget the extra dough I’d have to shell out for an HD TV and for the movies. Yah, definitely not worth it… yet.

Rant… over.

Heres hoping that some content is left OFF the Blu-Ray version and put on the DVD instead, just to spite those snarky people who can actually afford all the new kit.

Only joking.

If you can’t see an improvement in quality between Blu-ray and DVD, then your TV and player settings are probably wrong!

In the cinema, it’s likely you will see skin pores and so on. It’s because people had the appalling quality of VHS for years, then got used to heavily-compressed DVD in the last decade, where all the grain and a lot of the extra detail had to be removed in order to squeeze the image on to an 8(-ish)GB dual-layer disc, that they think something is ‘wrong’ with the image.

Film naturally has grain; in the cinema, you see sweat, skin pores and (yes) sometimes make-up seams and wires.

DVD is unnaturally clean looking. Personally, I love the more film-like image Blu-ray provides. Then again, shows like Star Trek, which were meant to be screened on small TVs can suffer a bit. Had there been time, make-up seams, zippers, obvious wirework and so on should have been dealt with by the restoration team.

One of the worst stunt-double issues was in The Enemy Within. They really should have CG overlaid Shatner’s face over the double’s in that scene in Engineering!

Really looking forward to the new movie on Blu-ray. First, though, I’ve got Trick ‘R Treat on its way over from Amazon USA: a perfect Hallowe’en treat!

No starship design featurette on the dvd? WTF? >=(

I’m a student, I can’t afford a BR player along with a decent TV for it

Oh, and DVDs when they were the new thing, had lots of extra content compared with the VHSes. Really, Blu-ray using its extra capacity of more features shouldn’t be a surprise. I hear that next year Paramount are going to start issuing their Blu-rays about six weeks in advance of the DVDs: a similar policy to the one when DVD began to take over from VHS.

BR aint that great

for example – wheres the TMP and TWOK DCs?

28. Lord Tribble

But in time you will be able to. Just as CRT televisions are ceasing to be sold, in time people will simply replace an old DVD player with a Blu-ray player.

My first DVD player in 1999 cost me £300 with Contact, Lethal Weapon 4 and US Marshals thrown in for free. My Sony Blu-ray player cost me £150 with the Spider-Man Trilogy chucked in for free. Blu-ray discs sell for similar to what DVDS did a decade ago. DVDs are now selling ridiculously cheaply, as VHSes did when they were on the wane. Realistically, the prices are a lot lower now than they were then!

30. screaming satellite

What’s that got to do with Blu-ray? That’s down to the studio.

i have to say i dont think ive ever seen the sheer level of extra extras and docs on a BR not included on a 2 disc DVD

surely they could have included more on the 2 disc DVD?!

Now…is the info from the SF Vessel Simulator canon or not?

*wonders*

33. screaming satellite

The DVD is still a good package! They probably can’t fit more on an 8GB disc. That’s one of Blu-ray’s selling points.

If they want people to move to Blu-ray, there have to be reasons beyond just the picture quality to tempt them.

Paramount are likely hoping that the Star Trek Blu-ray will be a major landmark release for them after their ‘wobble’ to HD DVD a couple of years ago!

@11. I wasn’t looking at the pictures. I was reading the list of features for blue ray and didn’t see deleted scenes mentioned. Hence my question.

Funny, when Blue-ray and HD first came on the scene, I heard HD was much better for clarity and detail in the quality of the picture. Why did Blue-ray win the war? It wasn’t because of being able to hold more data on a disc, was it? Who cares about that??!!

Very nice, but no pictures from the actual extras themselves?

36. Harry Ballz

Better marketting, more companies and studios backing it, an easier name to use (HD-DVD is clunky: DVD-HD would have been better from a marketting perspective.)

Blu’s picture detail is definitely better when there’s a good encode: check out http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content/id/70535/the-bourne-supremacy.html

There’s a heckuva difference where a single-layer 15GB capacity compares with a 25GB capacity, especially as films such as The Godfather Part II might have ended up on two HD-DVD discs.

As someone put it a while back: HD-DVD was an evolution, while Blu-ray was a revolution.

Dom, thanks for the lowdown!

I spotted the glowing fins in the film. I also spotted the variable-geometry of the deflector’s focussing array. Look for it in the closing shot.

I want…..NOW

I plan on buying a Blu-Ray player specifically for this release.

#1

I just purchased the Blu Ray version of the Wrath of Khan, looking forward in getting Star Trek 2009 also. HDTVs are very inexpensive and pretty much standard these days, you can really get one for under $700 if you looked around and the PS3 slim is only $299. Perhaps this makes a good xmas or boxing day gift for you?

I wished JJ had kept everything into the movie, it would have been a lot more epic. I can’t wait!

I still am shaking my head and wondering WHY Paramount couldn’t have added the tv spots and movie trailers? WTF? Who the hell cares about a DAC copy in pc and mac…not all of us play games…..or care about limited trial copies! Bluray holds 6 times more than HD ever did, and no trailers????????????????? You’d have thought this was a given…epecially since STTMP had numerous tv spots and LONG trailers, and they managed to get them ALL on standard dvd!!!!!!!!!! Again, WTF?! I’d have traded this over the pathetic and BORING BD NASA news crap hands down!

@15 – Sony invented Blu-Ray; Toshiba invented HD-DVD.

Both will soon be eclipsed by people’s desire to simply download the movies. Blu-Ray still lags behind in market share, despite having “beat” HD-DVD in the format wars.

However, Sony was smart (again). In the ’70s, when BetaMax began flopping like a suffocating fish, they repurposed the technology and created BetaCam – a news-gathering and video production tape format that is still around today. They’ve done the same thing with Blu-Ray, but they did it at the beginning. They turned the technology around, did a little fiddling with the discs (putting them in cartridges) and call the new file-based technology XDCAM.

So even without a huge share of the market, Sony has found a way to make money off the format. The same cannot be said of Toshiba.

@28 – My daughter recently bought a 26″ Sanyo 720P HDTV at Conn’s for about $250. 19″ 720P sets (like the Insignia brand from Best Buy) retail for less than $200 (in some cases, less than $150). They all have HDMI inputs, component HD, and antenna hook-ups. And Blu-Ray players, as has been reported here before, are continuing to come down in price (a few months ago, Walmart had a Magnavox for less than $100). Granted, that’s not a pittance on a student’s income (or lack of it), but it does point up the fact that these prices are coming down as demand goes up.

Important question: On the Starfleet vessel simulator…how big is the Enterprise?

Just kidding – it doesn’t matter ;-)

I do wish the simulator was on the DVD, though. There’s no excuse.

I do love the swirly blue computer interfaces from the new film. I hope the DVD has similar menus (that said when it comes to actually watching the films i hate long, drawn-out animated menus).

45. falcon That said, you’re assuming that a lot of countries have the infrastructure to handle mass downloading of movies and that there are still plenty of people who like a physical copy of things they’ve bought. I can’t see much replacing Blu-ray now in terms of physical acquisition of films, as anything higher quality is wasted on most people as they simply don’t have room for 50″+ TVs. There’s a section of freaky types who had a thing about HD DVD, who are desperate for Blu-ray to fail and slap it down every chance they get. Blu-ray’s more of a slow-burner as people will take it on as they replace SD CRT TVs with HD-Ready and Full-HD TVs. Personally, I have no desire to download films. I keep my DVDs in softcover albums storing 250 discs and I’m reasonably selective about Blu-rays. I think there will always be a market of a physical purchase of items, just as people still buy CDs (and hopefully Blu-ray Audio in time) alongside low quality MP3 downloads. The UK, for example, doesn’t have the sort of fibre-optic networks to handle mass downloading of movies and neither do many countries, including large portions of the USA. Neither are a lot of countries likely to any time soon. When I first had DVD in 1999, it had been around for a couple of years and it wasn’t until about 2001 that the DVDs really started to push VHS off the shelves. And that was with… Read more »

47. KingDaniel

I hate long-drawn-out menus that show important moments from the film or TV show!

The X-Files season 8 set shows a major supporting character die in the before the options appear!

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