When the details of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray discs were released last month, there was a big fan outcry wondering what happened to a fully loaded version with extras, like we got with Star Trek (2009)? The DVD version fared even worse, being a totally barebones release. Friend of TrekMovie, Bill Hunt from The Digital Bits, has that answer. It turns out that a plethora of bonus features do exist… it’s just that Paramount doesn’t want them all in one place. They are being used for retailer and digital download vendor exclusives.
UPDATED 9/2/2013 with even more details thanks to TrekCore’s diligence.
The Digital Bits just put up their article entitled “Paramount Has a Blu-ray Problem”
It turns out that more extras were created for this release – more featurettes and even an audio commentary with director J.J. Abrams and members of his crew. None of it is available on the wide release Blu-ray or Blu-ray 3D SKUs. The commentary can only be found as an iTunes “extra” download. And those extra featurettes? Some are on a Target bonus disc. Some are on a Best Buy bonus disc. And some are only available via CinemaNow and VUDU downloads.
That’s right: More than half of the special features created for Star Trek Into Darkness were used by Paramount’s marketing team as retailer exclusives.
You know how I found out? Readers told me. Several readers e-mailed me talking about the iTunes commentary and something about its shifting aspect ratios, and all I could think was: “Wait, there’s a freakin’ audio commentary somewhere… and it’s not on the Blu-ray?!”
Bill has even more to say in his editorial, read the whole text over at The Digital Bits
On the plus side, Bill’s review of the Into Darkness Blu-ray disc shows that at least the A/V quality is excellent, which is what we’d all expect thanks to being a brand new movie and the use of IMAX camera footage.
The video and audio quality is pretty terrific. Presented in 2.35:1 and shot largely on film (35 mm Panavision and some 65 mm IMAX, with select use of Red Epic HD cameras), this film just looks fantastic. Color, contrast and detail are all wonderful, with accurate flesh tones, nuanced shadings and deep, deep blacks. Plus, the lens flares that irritated so many with the first film have been toned down to a more appropriate level, so there’s that.
The audio experience is terrific too. This is one of the best Dolby TrueHD mixes I’ve heard in some time. All 7.1 channels are active – sometimes subtly and sometimes more stridently – creating a delightful sense of immersion for the viewer in the sound space. Dialogue is clear, bass is vigorous. Michael Giacchino’s score is fantastic and actually sounds fantastic here. Great moments worth listening to: The bombing of the London archive, Harrison’s attack on Starfleet HQ and the ship-to-ship space dive late in the film. Each exhibits all of the best qualities of this surround mix.
On my own editorial note, I think this just continues to highlight what a fantastic job CBS has been doing with its’ portion of the Trek franchise. What a shame Paramount continues show that they don’t really see much value in their part of Trek.
UPDATE September 2
TrekCore has one again done some fantastic work on what bonus content comes with which retailer of STID.
UPDATE August 30, 2013
TrekCore has done some serious homework. In addition to their excellent review of the U.S. version of the Blu-ray disc of Into Darkness, they now have some information about what international releases will have (or not), and who may be responsible for the bonus content handling.
It turns out it may not be just Paramount Home Video, it seems it is also Bad Robot, as they reportedly retained control over the bonus content. So we have both the distributing movie studio and the production company to blame it seems.
As for our international readers, we’re still trying to piece together all the different international options for getting hold of the additional material. Canada’s Best Buy release will include a physical bonus disc in place of the CinemaNow streaming content; the German 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo set and the the Sainsbury’s (UK) Blu-ray/DVD combo appear to have the same features as the Target release; Tesco’s Blinkbox streaming service is apparently advertising twenty minutes of unspecified extras in the UK – but aside from that, we have no information as to where the rest of this extra content will be available outside of the United States.
TrekCore’s review also has a quote from an anonymous industry contact:
“Bad Robot had 100% control [over the VAM production], it was all produced in-house, which is new – and they delivered the content to Paramount, who had basically no say. It’s possible – and this is speculation – that the Bad Robot content was delivered late; because account-specific features typically have a later deadline than the Blu-ray, it could have been thrown to different SKUs. That’s a ‘nice’ way of looking at it.
The other possibility is that those retail outlets paid for the extra content. Could Bad Robot have sought out those exclusive deals? Possibly… for sure, this is not JUST Paramount’s doing. Nothing happened with that Blu-ray that wasn’t discussed and approved by Bad Robot, even if Paramount drove the decisions.
My point is, I think it’s fair to say that Bad Robot was involved in the split VAM decision, and it’s naive to think otherwise – because at Paramount, it’s JJ’s world. If anyone is disappointed in the Blu-ray, criticize the responsible parties – not only the ‘faceless’ studio.”
–See more at TrekCore’s STID Blu-ray review
Ya gotta have bonus stuff!
The commentary being itunes exclusive and not on the disc is unreal.
So, what is the bright idea here? That Trekkers will trek to 10 stores hoping to find all the magic pieces?
Come on, Paramount! Buy a clue.
Still haven’t seen toys out there, either. I like toys, dammit. I like bonuses. I do not like Paramount’s current management team.
This just keeps getting better…
Just a taste of the future, I suppose.
Still seems like a dumb decision.
This stinks. Although store-exclusive content has been done before. And not just by Paramount.
But Paramount seems to have taken it to the extreme. It’s a greedy way to force people to pay for the movie multiple times, and they wonder why people are pirating stuff. Sheesh!
I honestly don’t know if I’ll buy the movie now. What’s the point if you’re going to get screwed by the lack of special features. They’ll probably end up releasing them all on the same re-release a couple of years down the road, anyway.
CBS needs to take control of the movies from Paramount. Honestly, this is an absolute slap in the face to the fans.
Whoever made this decision is a complete dick.
Guess what paramount, now i wont buy the movie at all, thanks enjoy
Between this fiasco, and the lack of merchandising for the movie, Paramount has really dropped the ball and screwed the cow at the same time.
They should be embarrassed with themselves. Who the hell makes these decisions down there???
Not to mention that JJ Abrams has jumped ship to direct the next “Star Wars”, which will no doubt be better marketed, and without the fans being screwed over.
I guess simultaneous quintuple dipping has replaced the old every-5-years-redip that worked so well for Paramount in the transitional VHS/Laserdisc/DVD/BR age.
Not that I was going to buy this POS anyway, but this bit of news alone would have kept me chanting, ‘won’t get fooled a-GAIN!’
Guess I will have to wait another decade for the 4K or BR edit-your-own version of TMP that I’ve been cutting in my head for decades.
I thought I pre-ordered STID thru Amazon but it is obvious I didn’t. It has yet to show up on my credit card and I haven’t heard from Amazon either. Now I’m glad to know I didn’t get it. They just keep coming up with ways to gouge the customer. It never ends! Can’t blame them though. The blame lies with the buying public. If people tefused to buy it they’d change policy. Like that’s going to happen. Well it will in my case. I will not buy either.
@11.. It will show up on your credit card when the item is shipped, and yes I agree, with Red Dead Ryan, CBS is a company I am now calling , Complete Bull $hit
if this movie will not contain any extras, such as, outakes, commentaries, doccumantaries, its certinally not worth spending 20$ for the dvd/blu/digital pack
Paramount/ CBS has screwed us fans again, who do they think theyre fooling here?
@ 12 – To be clear: CBS isn’t responsible for this. Paramount is. They’re separate companies, and have been since 2005. Paramount only has the rights to the movies. CBS is generally doing a fine job with their Trek on TV properties.
It’s great that Paramount is making decisions that benefit Paramount (at least in the short term). So we fans are supposed to buy several discs just so we can get all the extras that used to all be on one. So much the more money for Paramount.
So, it’s great for Paramount. Not so great for the fans that buy the movies that Paramount makes.
Something about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs comes to mind.
If this keeps up, pretty soon each version released on disk will have exactly one individual frame from the movie so you’ll have to buy hundreds of thousands of disks just to see all of it.
And once that’s done, they’ll begin subdividing the frames so you’ll have to buy tens of millions of disks.
Pretty soon this subdivision will get to the atomic and then nuclear level. Octillions upon octillions of disks just to see one movie.
And then Paramount will be happy.
But we won’t.
@ 14 – It’s not even just discs, you’re supposed to go (re)buy digital copies in different formats from different vendors. iTunes, VUDU, etc. all have exclusive extras.
So much for Blu-ray being the definitive format for collectors and videophiles.
Blu-Rays and DVDs are for trash dumpsters. Of course they’re exclusive to iTunes. Come on, fellas.
I think if we make a loud enough ruckus about this, maybe Paramount will be shamed and embarrassed into giving us a PROPER release.
Maybe, but I doubt it.
This certainly raises doubts about the future of the film franchise. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out the real reason of Abrams’ departure is because of Paramount.
I don’t understand the marketing ploy here. They can’t possibly really expect people to actually buy 4+ copies of the same movie, can they? They only thing this is going to result in is all the exclusive extras being uploaded to Youtube and everyone else buys the barebones version.
@11 From my understanding, Amazon doesn’t charge until it’s actually shipped, and since it’s not to be released until the 10th…
Canceling my pre-order. Didn’t like the movie well enough (only saw it once, in dimly lit 3-D) to be double- or triple-dipped; I’ll wait for the eventual “Ultimate Edition”.’
Side note: JJ, Bob Orci, et. al. have obviously lost all “juice” at Paramount after the Star Wars betrayal… uh… I mean decision. They are fans. There is NO WAY the fan in them (and I know that they still are fans at heart) could endorse this clumsy misguided marketing mishandle. @BobOrci – tell me I’m wrong…
NEAT! Saves me a heap of money! No cool merchandise and no good dvd/bluray. Guess I’ll spend it on something else. Paramount obviously doesn’t want my money. But at the back of their mind they’ll always know they could’ve had just that little bit more,lol!
Think I’ll jump ship too,while I’m at it. Guardians of the Galaxy….HERE I COME!
Canceled my preorder, and won’t be purchasing it in any other form until they give us a definitive release.
I suggest that others who are upset by this do the same. That’s the only way they’ll learn.
What about those who don’t live in the USA and don’t have Target or Best Buy? How in the name of all things holy is that fair for the international fans? Do they really think that we’ll order from the USA and pay international shipping charges and import taxes on them? That’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve never heard something more stupid in all my life.
This does seem like a ridiculous decision.
Let’s be thankful that we’re living in the future and that, not only do we not need to pay for this stuff if we don’t want to, we can still enjoy the plethora of extras illegally via this amazing medium that is the internet!
Here but for the grace of the web go I.
Another thing they’ve done on recent Blu Rays is put commentaries on the stand alone discs of the TNG two parters (Best of Both Worlds, Redemption) that aren’t on the discs in the season sets
I was going to purchase a collector edition of this title, I’ve now cancelled my order on Amazon. No way am I paying top dollar for a half hearted release. I will wait until these titles end up in the markdown bin NEXT MONTH when Paramount get stuck with a ton of discs ’cause no-one wants them!
What a ridiculous state of affairs. Its as if they think Star Trek fans are going to go out and buy multi versions to get all the extra’s…..absolutely ridiculous!
Well that settles it. Cancelled my pre order. I refuse to put up with this garbage. Will just wait for the inevitable super duper edition released in conjunction with the next movie.
@ 1, 3
Hello Harry, and CmdR! Amen to both of your points. Does Paramount want us to buy multiple versions of STID? I like the movie very much but I’m not made of money. I’m just going to buy one version. It’ s likely going to be Best Buy unless I really have to get the Walmart version with the cool USS Vengeance. Oh, the temptation.
I’m really thinking seriously about cancelling my Blu-Ray order.
Catch 22, if fans do not buy the product poor results for the movie, and the profitability and future projects are in doubt again.
It is a real shame that the product is half hearty. Such a high quality film, such a huge film.
Also sad about the lack of merchandising. I still walk around seeing Iron Man 3 merchandise and tons of Monsters Inc. but nothing Trek.
What about attracting a younger audience, If little kids or teens can be seen dreaming of warp speed and beaming and phasers and the whole starship adventure, then you are cultivating future fans maybe even motivating a better society with a Roddenberry philosophy and future astronauts and engineers and so much more
there is too little buzz around this film. Is so damn sad, in a year no one besides loyal fans will even remember it.
any why, they could have made a killing.
I got into trek through the multitude of media exposure, which off course peaked my interest as a small boy, and I cannot shake it even years into adulthood.
Recently not well managed I think,
Downloaded an excellent digital copy of STID for free. Watched it another three times already. It will have to suffice for a while longer I see.
Oh great, now the lawbreakers are posting here. Like that solves this problem. :-(
maybe paramount figured since fans didnt like stid much so we wont care bout bonus content…..bastards..,,yeh for all the times us fans keep buyin the same things over n over this is the thanx we get…..guess i dont blame jj for jumpin ship…wish we could too n take trek with us….hey disney buy trek also while u r busy swallowing all entertainment into your black hole….
Promptly cancelled my blu-ray preorder at Amazon.com.
When Paramount greedily re-releases it next year in some special-edition, it’ll likely have contain the features the studio has parceled out like craven ferengi.
Fuck you very much Paramount. Wasn’t sure if I was going to buy STID in the first place, but now I definitely won’t.
OK Guys, you convinced me too. Just cancelled my Amazon pre-order.
I know this is very crude, but I feel like Paramount has F’d me up the ass one too many times now, and I have reached the limit of what I am going to take from them….A LINE WILL BE DRAWN — HEEEERE !!!
Let all of Paramounts beloved international market buyers — the ones that get all the special events and the earlier releases now — let of of then buy all the Blu-Rays this time…..
……BECAUSE I AM HEREBY URGING EVERYONE IN NORTH AMERICA TO BOYCOTT THE STID BLU-RAY/DVD RELEASE!!!!! CANCEL YOUR ORDERS AND SAY “NO” TO THERE RUDE AND GREEDY TREATMENT OF FANS WITH THIS RELEASE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
“I;m mad a hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
I would cancel my order if I wasn’t so desperate to see it in Real3D on my new 3D-HDTV.
This reminds me of the subpar Superman Returns DVD release back in late 2006. Absolutely no special features at all!! Just a copy of the movie and nothing else. Although I liked this film much more than 2009, at least that release had the cool virtually tour of the Enterprise and a ton of extras!! Wow, just wow….
What are they thinking?????
I ll buy the phaser version, and i admit iam pretty disappointed.
Is it an attempt to cash more??? I dont care. For 80 bucks i demand the whole package.
Doesn’t see the value? Well, they dropped $200M to make this film and it simply didn’t make back what they thought it would. It made strides internationally, but they were expecting a lot more and for whatever reason it backfired. They waited too long, the story was senseless, the marketing focus on ‘OMG! Who is Harrison!?!’ was misguided.
Conventional wisdom is that a movie needs to make three times its budget to be a real success. But compared to the rest of the summer films this year, it’s still a mild success. Certainly not worth shoving out with bare extras.
Not that extras matter to me anymore. I rarely watch the extras on a disc. I don’t think I watched any of the deleted scenes from the ’09 film. I buy the disc for the movie, not the extras. So I’ll probably still end up getting this.
Wow, way to screw over the customers, Paramount. Since special features were one of the things I was looking forward to most, I guess I won’t be getting STID on Blu-ray after all.
If I can’t get all the bonus features in one reasonably priced purchase, why not rent the movie off of Netflix whenever I feel like watching it and never buy it?
I’m mainly interested in the movie itself, but, compared with the ST09 Blu-ray, this is pathetic. Then again, this is the same Paramount who cancelled a raft of Blu-ray releases in the dying days of the high-definition format war to go HD-DVD exclusive!
Paramount’s marketing policies and attitude to Star Trek have long been weird and dismissive, given the lack of decent Blu-rays for the original and TNG films, the lack of alternate edits available in other formats, the refusal to let Shatner fine-tune TFF… the list goes on.
Blu-ray is supposed to be a premium collector’s format, not a churned-out mass consumption one like downloads or DVDs. To be honest, I’ve been suspicious for some time that the studios want to kill the format, especially since it’s created/licenced by Sony, in favour of downloads and streaming, which they can control, and this does nothing to convince me otherwise!
If there was any doubt that Paramount is deeply disappointed by the STD financial perfomance, here it is. Be prepared for an across-the-board sequester coming for the next movie, starting with the director, of course!
Wow – The folks at Paramount seem to be right wanking morons…oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… It is clear that some people are in dire need of receiving pink slips!
I assume they will still be retailing the DVD version (minus any Special Features) downunder sometime in September. I guess that will have to do. Because I don’t own a blu-ray player, I was not expecting to get to see anything more than the movie, but I see that even those who have invested in blu-ray players are being screwed over.
Give me a reason why I should want to get into debt so I can have the latest tech when this is the kind of crap I can expect.
Bonuses – both physical and on-disk – are really the only way official distribution can hope to combat the movie piracy. In this light, selling a “barebones” release for full price is a silly move. Every release has to be a “special edition”, packed with as much goodies as possible in order to make people buy it. Because if not, there is a *free* download just three clicks away.
Wow! This is absolutely ridiculous! Can’t JJ or Orci have any say? I know that some film-makers, like Peter Jackson, are very concerned and influential with the DVD/Blu ray releases of their movies. Sir PJ would never stand for what Para is doing!
JJ, if you care about your audience, make a stand! Demand a “Director’s Edition” Blu-Ray with ALL the extras.
As it is now, I am not buying this. I might rent from Red Box, but that’s it, until a COMPLETE Blue-Ray comes out.
And JJ Abrams endorsed this when he said the BluRay would deliver bonus features he had never seen on BluRay.
This is just stupid!
well, that’s bull. Guess I won’t be picking up the bluray any time soon…