On Tuesday Star Trek: The Compendium will finally be released. TrekMovie has had a chance to check out the set. The full review is below.
REVIEW: STAR TREK: THE COMPENDIUM
Star Trek: The Compendium is a new four-disc Blu-ray box set for both of JJ Abrams Star Trek feature films (2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness) on Blu-ray, which also compiles all the previously released special features into one package.
The set comes in very nice case which folds out to reveal the four disc-set. It is made of a sturdy material with a higher-end feel with silvery raised lettering and Enterprise ship design. . Each disc has its own printed design
The form factor for the set is slightly taller than standard Blu-ray releases, but fits the size of the previous two Star Trek Blu-ray movie sets for the original cast movies and Next Generation movies.
The navigation for all four discs is consistent and very simple.
The Star Trek: The Compendium brings together the 2009 Star Trek movie (see TrekMovie review) plus all the previously released special futures from the 2009 Blu-ray release. TrekMovie reviewed this set back in 2009 so you can read that review for more details, but suffice to say it is a solid release with a good selection of special features.
What is new for The Compendium is the two discs for Star Trek Into Darkness. The movie (see TrekMovie review) presented is the IMAX version (not 3D), which was not released last year. The transfer is excellent and looks good on both small and large screens. About 40% of the film was shot with IMAX cameras, so that means that the aspect ratio of the film switches around as they go from IMAX content (mostly action sequences and location shots) to the anamorphic content (mostly stuff done on stages). This ratio switching is a bit more noticeable at home than in theaters, but you soon stop noticing it and having the IMAX version is a treat to really get to see all that content.
Also included on the Into Darkness movie disc is the "Enhanced Commentary" (originally only available for iTunes downloads) which is (mostly) quite amazing. Unlike the audio commentary for the 2009 Star Trek movie, Into Darkness allows those commenting to freeze, back up and use a telestrator to highlight sections of the film they are talking about. It also features picture-in-picture elements, showing behind the scenes moments and raw film before effects are added.
Example of “enhanced commentary” for “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (image from Ultraviolet digital copy)
Unlike the commentary for the 2009 movie – and most commentaries in general – the Into Darkness feature has different commentators come in and out to cover different sections of the movie. This has a lot of advantages as it gives you a lot of perspectives. While the ‘supreme court’ of Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof do a good job for the 2009 movie it does get a bit repetitive (how many times can they say "oh so and so is just amazing!"). For Into Darkness, the movie starts off with VFX supervisor Roger Guyett and Unit Production Manager Tommy Harper talking over the Nibiru scenes, then composer Michael Giacchino jumps in to talk over the scene at the hospital, and when you get back to Starfleet it is the editors’ turns and so on. Also jumping in are producer Bryan Burk and writer/producer Damon Lindelof (together), producer/director JJ Abrams (solo) and the directors of photography Robert Bruce McCleery and Dan Mindel.
All in all the commentary is quite interesting and with all the pauses and backing up it actually adds about thirty minutes to the film. Probably the most interesting discussions are with the editors Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon, who really show you how much the film changed during filming (and after filming with pick up shots).
One of the downsides of this type of format is that there is limited time with each commenter. Abrams is only talking during a couple of sequences for a total of maybe 15-20 minutes. Also disappointing is that writer/producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are not part of the commentary. A nice value-added for this set would have been a new commentary from that pair (even audio only would have been nice). There are also some long gaps where there is no commentary at all.
JJ Abrams demonstrates the original plans for Khan’s hair in “enhanced commentary” for “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (image from Ultraviolet digital copy)
Again, the features for the 2009 movie are exactly the same as the 2009 release, as discussed in our previous review. All in all an excellent mix and quite entreating. This review is focusing on Into Darkness. As has been noted before, the Into Darkness release in 2013 appears to be some kind of experiment in marketing for Paramount, doling out special features to different retailers. forcing fans to chose what features to pursue based on where they bought their set. The Compendium brings all of them together on one disc, and adds three brand new ones as well.
All together there are 20 featurettes, plus the trailers and some deleted scenes. The standard Blu-ray release in 2013 included only seven featurettes, with extra bonus featurettes available at Target or Best Buy, and the deleted scenes available to X-Box downloaders.
You can see a complete list of the featurettes here. Almost all of them are informative and interesting. Most of the featurettes focus on the process of shooting the film, including eight dedicated to specific sections of the movie (like the space jump, the Khan/Spock fight, Nibiru, etc.) With these, not only do you learn quite a bit about how the film was made, but you get a better sense of the amount of work and dedication to detail that went in to Into Darkness. Regardless of how you feel about the film, it would be hard not to be impressed with the expertise and craftsmanship that went into the work. Also after years it being treated as a second tier franchise, it is still kind of amazing to see the amount of resources expended on Star Trek.
Clip from Into Darkness “Fitting the Future” featurette on costumes
Different departments also get their own special features, including music/sound FX, visual effects, editing, make-up, props, costumes, and set construction (focusing on the Enterprise). For Trek fans some of these should be of particular interest because they allow you to get a closer look a lot of elements of the movie that go by in a flash of JJ Abrams frenetic pacing. You get a much better appreciation of some elements you may have never even noticed, like the details on the Klingon disruptors or some of the new sets (and newly interconnected sets) for the USS Enterprise. Another good example is the "Aliens Encountered" featurette which both gives you a good look at some of the more interesting aliens (many of which you may not have noticed) and lets you see how they were created.
“Rebuilding the Enterprise” featurette takes you behind the scenes with a close-up look at the sets for the sthip (image from Ultraviolet digital copy)
There are also some fun featurettes. “Mr. Spock and Mr. Spock" is dedicated to Leonard Nimoy’s cameo, showing how it was filmed at Bad Robot’s offices with Zachary Quinto. It would be hard for even the most cynical Trekkie to not get choked up watching that one. There is also a hilarious bit (titled “Safety First”) about the famous "neutron cream" prank and the famed gag reel. The clips that have already been released are only a fraction of what is included.
Probably the weakest element of the special features is that there really isn’t much discussing the film’s plot and scripting. There is a good featurette on "Kirk and Spock" that explores the characters and their arc in the film. And there is a (rather apologetic) featurette (called "The Enemy of My Enemy") that attempts to explain why they twisted themselves into pretzels trying to keep Khan’s identity a secret. But even with twenty special features, you may still feel there should be more like those. Also, while they do appear a few times throughout the featurettes, there just doesn’t seem to be enough from the writers (especially Orci and Kurtzman). In the end, after watching all of the features on disc four (and listening/watching the "enhanced commentary") you will have a very good understanding of how they made Into Darkness, but you wont have much insight into how they developed the story.
JJ Abrams and Leonard Nimoy in “Mr. Spock and Mr. Spock” featurette (image from Ultraviolet digital copy)
There are seven deleted scenes – which are always fun for Trek fans to see the what ifs. Three of them are alternatives to scenes already in the movie (Marcus’ Office, Starfleet Room Attack, and Uhura’s Klingon Conversation). There is also a scene extension where Carol Marcus explains to Kirk why she has a British accent while the two of them walk to the shuttle.
The other elements that got cut were a scene with Kirk lying in his captain’s log as they leave Nibiru (but removing it makes the Pike/Kirk office scene better), an (only kind of funny) bit with Scotty talking himself into the Vengeance space dock and a strangely awkward scene with Kirk meeting the little (cured by Khan blood) Harewood girl. In the end – like with the 2009 movie – you can also see why each of them wasn’t used.
Of all the deleted scenes the one that will probably most interest Trek fans is the alternative Marcus Office scene which was based on a call between Marcus and Harewood (the guy who blew up the Kelvin Archive). The main reason it is interesting isn’t the conversation but the giant model of a TOS Constitution class-style ship model hanging from the ceiling of Marcus’ office. Unfortunately, as a deleted scene, this ship is now non-canon.
"USS Biddeford" model in Marcus’ office in "Indo Darkness" deleted scene
One of the value-added elements of Star Trek: The Compendium is the inclusion of digital copies for both the included films. You can view your digital copies on any device either streaming or download. These are available in both Ultraviolet and Apple iTunes. The digital copy for Into Darkness also includes the special feautres, including the commentary.
All in all for a Star Trek fan and a fan of the JJ movies, it is a no-brainer to pick up this set if you don’t have either the 2009 movie or Into Darkness on Blu-ray. However, things get more complicated if you have one or both already because you are clearly going to be double-dipping. Paramount is offering a $5 rebate for those who have previously purchased a set, so the new set after rebate will cost around $29 based on current Amazon pricing. I would say that if you own the 2009 movie and don’t own Into Darkness, then I would still recommend this set due to how much you are getting (and you can always sell your 2009 Blu-ray on Ebay).
The hardest decision will be for those who have Into Darkness, especially those who have one of the special sets with some of the ‘extra’ bonus features. Even though this is a great set and the IMAX version is cool, it is hard to justify spending $29 to just get a few new features. If you have a lot of disposable income and/or you are a completist , sure pick it up. Otherwise it is probably best to either wait to see if it goes on deep discount (CamelCamelCamel.com is a good site to notify you of Amazon price drops) or perhaps it will show up for rental.
Star Trek: The Compendium will be released on Tuesday.
Perhaps the Biddeford is the class of ship that the Enterprise commanded by Robert April , as mentioned in the comics, belonged. According to the comics Marcus was his X.O. so the model would have some personal significance.
Should be in my mailbox soon. Looing forward to celebrating the week of Trek’s birthday with the re-watching of these films and digging into the special features!
Sadly, the 3D Disk is Absent. Bummer, Sorta😳
any UK release for this? US amazon has it but states its region 1 only…
Why are Paramount such douche bags? Why not release it everywhere… Trek is a global brand
I Believe all Star Trek Blu-Rays are Region Free – that includes the ones from the US..
I live in Europe, my Player is Region B and i got everything on Blu..!
“Probably the weakest element of the special features is that there really isn’t much discussing the film’s plot and scripting.”
What a shocker!
There’s no such thing as “aspect ration.” The reviewer means to say “aspect ratio;” that is, the ratio between the height and width of the image.
Spell-check is no substitute for physically proofreading your work, kiddies.
The More You Knowwwwwwwww….
It’s region free, apparently.
For the o to eBy.co.uk I found suppliers on there selling it for just under £32 with free shipping, so ordered mine today.
Do not buy from a seller on amazon.co.uk who is trying to rip off fans by selling it for £69.95.
Don’t know what happened there!
Should say “For the UK go to ebay.co.uk”
7 Ahmed, LOL
I suspect there may have been a tinge of bitterness there, as Lindelof [and possibly Abrams, once convinced of “Joker vs. Batman” dynamic of Khan vs. Kirk, ugh] the may have come in and royally screwed up the original plot.
“If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all” prinicple in action, perhaps.
sorry, of “Joker vs. Batman” dynamic of Khan vs. Kirk, ugh] the should have read of “theJoker vs. Batman” dynamic of Khan vs. Kirk, ugh]” …
Oh, for an edit function …
I see some errors near the end of the review. I don’t think Into Darkness was released in 2009, LOL! The review pretty much states it was released in 2009 at least twice, starting in the Features section. Don’t know how that wasn’t caught in editing, since that’s kind of a pretty big and noticeable mistake, LOL! Sadly, I will not be purchasing this as I have no blu-ray player to speak of, nor does my current computer support blu-ray (it’s geared for gaming only, as that’s how I wanted it).
#13. Mikey1091 – September 8, 2014
Cut Anthony some slack. It’s not his fault Khan decided to use him as a guinea pig to test his cryonics.
“you will have a very good understanding of how they made Into Darkness, but you wont have much insight into how they developed the story.”
What do you think they were going to say? If there are any bonus features that talk about Trek09’s story you’ll probably find both of them compatible since STID is pretty much a redo of the last film. Kirk has to become Captain of the Enteprise again, Kirk and Spock have to settle their conflicts and become friends again, bad guy from a different time wants to destroy humanity again and the movie ends with the Enterprise embarking to explore outer space…. again.
That setup of the Enterprise embarking on it’s iconic five-year mission seems doesn’t come off as promising if Roberto Orci plans to stick with Damon Lindelof’s belief that if their new Star Trek movies don’t feature Earth in a larger role than the original movies, movie audiences would never be able to relate to it. We all know how badly Guardians of the Galaxy bombed at the Box Office to prove that point.
i would have liked to have the imax version on 3d as well…isnt that the way it was presented to us? Thats the version that should have been on 3d originally….aside from that the deluxe version of into darkness sounds great but again..should have been this way to begin with….also i see no reason to include trek 09 if there are no new or different or improved features in it….sigh i will probably get it….great review as always anthony sir….
they should just send all of us who bought darkness in any format the updated discs for free with a big sorry note haha…yah like that will happen…hope this is the last experiment they try with us….
double dip indeed….disney did something similiar with frozen…no us 3d blu ray release yet there it is in europe…..i think they offered a 3d download only version…well i bought the europe 3d blu ray…region free of course….disney usually gives you a lot of features for blurays this made a lot of us fans poed…
yeh i think bob and alex feel the less said about plot/story the better for them….
beep beep sarcasm detector going off jeyl….haha :)
I wonder why over on a different site it says this:….containing EVERY BIT of material produced for both films…..when it’s not actually true. There are three or four little things STILL not included,but it doesn’t bother me enough to NOT buy this set,lol!
does it have the evil shower scene? did the bluray have a bloopers…man i loved the 09 bloopers wish there were more…
yeh anthonys articles in most instances are always more accurate.,.
Maybe some day I will cave and get it, but seeing as how I own both I can’t justify picking this up, even though the IMAX version and the special features are tempting. I
# 16. Jim Nightshade – September 8, 2014
” i would have liked to have the imax version on 3d as well…isnt that the way it was presented to us? ” — Jim Nightshade
It’s a marketing fiction that IMAX and Paramount wanted to create, but it is a fact that STID wasn’t in 3D on IMAX premier in all “Real” original IMAX theaters, the ones with the really HUGE screens. And if you recall JJ wasn’t a 3D fan before and even recanted his 3D new found religion after STID’s run.
JJ did use IMAX 2D for certain sequences and what’s in the Compendium does present his auteur’s vision in regards to that. If you look at the reporters grilling him about STID’s 3D conversion he basically seems to be saying that he’s impressed that it didn’t subtract from that while expanding its number of screens that it can be accessed, i.e. it improved STID’s marketability. But he stops short of saying the 3D added to his vision or allowed him to realize something that wasn’t in his 2D master.
It’s $20 at Fry’s Electronics this week. So with the $5 rebate, you get two Blu-Ray movies for $15. I’m sold.
Why would the writing team and producer want to discuss the scripting of story and characters? Hell, I certainly wouldn’t and it is not because there are not worthwhile elements in the story, but because there has been so much vitriol levelled against these people. They would have to be masochists to go down that route. Either you get the story etc or you don’t!
For myself, I am coming to believe that the STID story is about US, the ST fans who were not happy with the first movie and because of that, made so many hate filled comments to and about the makers, as well as to those who liked the film. The vengeance was/is there as large as dino-dung – “JJ Abrams should die”, “Abrams raped Star Trek”, “Uhura/Saldana is a whore”, “dumbed down for the MTV/ADHD generation”, “hack writers” and other colourful descriptions levelled against the makers. The critical comments made about the first film could be so inane and idiotic. These comments weren’t made by some small, nasty minded numbskull on one site, but were all over the web, written by so many. Some still could not understand the alternate universe concept, despite it being explained so often by those who did. These same people who could not comprehend basic ideas were calling others dumb…gotta *love* it. And – let’s not forget that it was often these people who referred to themselves as the ‘real Star Trek fans’ who knew what ‘real’ Star Trek should be.
Now STID came along and, once again, it did not measure up, so much of the same garbage is dumped by the truck loads on the same writers/producers and those who had few, if any, problems with the second BR film.
Of course, the same negative and often weak arguments are repeated again and again and links posted about those who think the same way – gosh, if I didn’t know better, I could believe that this is “lowest common denominator” comment. With the worldwide web, these comments over the last five years make their way to me, 14,000 kms away (from LA).
Much of this seems to be all about many “real fans” avenging themselves because the Star Trek they thought they knew and loved has been changed and they are disappointed, aggrieved, bitter, twisted, angry and want to get back at those who they see as being responsible for interpreting a very public TV and moves series as they (BR team) see and understand it from their own perspective.
Yet most of these same people cannot understand the motivations of Nero or Khan as in why they should be so angry and vengeful, when many have been extremely vengeful in what they written to and about the makers of a fictional film. Within the ‘world’ of Nero, Nero saw his entire world get swallowed by a supernova, found himself and his small crew on a mining ship totally alone in a big universe and felt betrayed by someone who promised to save his world. He was in shock, so much grief and pain afflicted him and his crew and anger against the person who made a promise he had no business making… But the same people angry and vengeful towards the writers of BR Star Trek are unable to understand Nero and call the writing of Nero’s character stupid…
Such a lack of self-awareness, insight, genuine mental and spiritual blindness – very scary…:(
No 3D = No Sale.
For me the movies are what count and the extra features are fluff to be watch once (maybe) and then quickly forget. If they’d included the Imax version of Into Darkness in 3D and maybe a quality 3D post-conversion of the 2009 film, I would have definitely bought in; but as it is, the package just doesn’t have enough value for me.
LOL! They changed it to…..containing (nearly) every bit….lol! Guess someone there reads this site or someone else pointed it out to them.
Looking forward to getting this as I didn’t buy the last movie since I was pretty sure that they’d do something like this. Hey,it’s Paramount,of COURSE they’re gonna release the same stuff hundredes of times! lol
“Probably the weakest element of the special features is that there really isn’t much discussing the film’s plot and scripting.”
I’m not sure watching them cut and paste the TWOK script and then throw it in a blender would make for arresting documentary footage.
23. Keachick (Rose)
RIGHT ON! You hit the nail on the head. The chronic complainers will never be satisfied with NuTrek, so I say to the producers of the next film – continue doing what you have been doing. The strong majority of people like the new Star Trek.
27. Mike Barnett – September 10, 2014
The chronic complainers will never be satisfied with NuTrek, so I say to the producers of the next film – continue doing what you have been doing. The strong majority of people like the new Star Trek.
I do find the unconditional Trek-lovers somewhat endearing, but they go too far when they try to marginalize the people who aren’t as easily satisfied as they are.
FYI frys has the set for. $19.99
And several members of the forums at bluray.com
Have posted pics from a few wal-marts that have it steeply discounted
But that’s very YMMV as most walmarts are 19.96-24.96
Disinvited you are wrong not one single IMAX theatre showed a 2D version of Into Darkness.
Stop spreading misinformation.
#28. Cygnus-X1 – September 10, 2014
I have often thought that extremists on opposite sides of a spectrum are amazing blind towards how much in too many ways that they are alike.
I am similarly amazed that “chronic” lovers have no clue as to how much they share in regards to what they regard as bad in their loyal opposition.
So, essentially, this Compendium is a lesson to the fans to avoid buying the Blu-Ray version of the movie when it’s first released. May as well wait for the alternate versions to come out.
I paid about $23 (Canadian) for the Blu-Ray version with 3D when it was first released. Obviously, I was a fool and I should have waited. At least I learned my lesson with the soundtracks — after buying the 2009 soundtrack, then seeing the “Expanded” soundtrack come afterwards, I didn’t buy the ST:ID soundtrack when first released.
# 30. Hollywood90028 – September 10, 2014
” Disinvited you are wrong” — Hollywood90028
No, you are wrong. And I wish you and others who keep denying the truth would explain these Airbus IMAX [no 3D] exhibitions:
The Smithsonian’s own posting “Showing Star Trek Into Darkness in IMAX” [no 3D] at the Airbus theater as of May 26, 2013 and that “IMAX 3D” didn’t arrive until May 31st to be exhibited in at the 3D upgraded Johnson IMAX.
on July 15, 2013 STID was on the Airbus roster with the Note: “All films at the Airbus IMAX Theater are presented in 2D.”
33. Disinvited – September 11, 2014
Here’s a nice little piece on the different IMAX screen sizes:
I’ll let this official government filing by the IMAX corporation itself with the SEC speak to this nonsense claim that solely 2D only IMAX theaters don’t exist:
“…the screen components in dome shaped theaters are 2D only and are popular with the Company’s institutional clients…” — IMAX
The “marginalization” began with those who did not like the two films, they being hostile from the get go and expressed their shock, anger and disappointment. They blamed the makers for doing bad Star Trek and also directed that disappointment and hostility towards what they see as failings within the movie industry and a lot of its customers and within a particular, younger generation. The shock and disgust has been especially directed towards those who expressed their enjoyment and appreciation for these new films. These people who are (for the most part) happy and excited about these new films tend to be either seen as people too young to know anything or, if they are much older, not “true”, “real” Star Trek fans.
When you like something, you are already in a good mood and that tends to get reflected. When you do not like, you are already in a bad mood and that also tends to get reflected. It quickly gets convoluted and messy, which is what has happened over the last five years. Unfortunately, the FUN aspect of why we watch movies in the first place and the sharing of, seems to have been largely hampered, ignored…
Fortunately, the ST film makers have not forgotten to show us some fun moments that were had while making the latest ST movie, STID and have shared same through the gag reel.
Thank you to producers/writers/director of Bad Robot for sharing.
#22. sisko – September 9, 2014
This is rumorish but supposedly some sharp eyed WalMart Shoppers noticed the Compendium there was price checking as $7.89 and got it for that price before WalMart corrected the “pricing error”.
Not to belabor the point, but from IMAX’s own site, listing the Airbus and other IMAX theaters as still “2D only” as of now:
#34. Cygnus-X1 – September 11, 2014
These “there never was a 2D STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS exhibition run at any IMAX theater” assertions are a classic example of what I just identified as “chronic lovers”, i.e. buying whole cloth into this mere marketing impression solely introduced to create maximum sales of premium priced tickets, and speaking with authority and casting aspersions solely out of this “love” without recourse to the facts.
#4… Totally agree. Would be nice if it included the 3D IMAX version.
39. Disinvited – September 12, 2014
Did you have to pay the same price as for a 3D movie to see STID in 2D?
I tend not to see most 3D movies in IMAX any more because, being that the screen is so damned wide, when you turn your head slightly to follow the action on screen, the 3D effect goes out of focus for a split second and takes you out of the moment. I found this happening so often when I saw The Hobbit and STID that I decided not to see any more movies in 3D IMAX unless it was a documentary (like in the old days) or something extraordinary. After reading a review strongly suggesting seeing Gravity in 3D, I went ahead and did, but I saw it at the smallest IMAX screen in Manhattan (Kip’s Bay) and the out-of-focus effect wasn’t too bad weighed against the benefits of IMAX.
The only “true” (largest screen size) IMAX in Manhattan is the one at Lincoln Center. I saw both The Hobbit and STID at the theater in Times Square, which is medium-sized, and the out-of-focus effect was definitely a problem. I tend to have FOMO about movies in 3D, so I always opt for it, but I’m also hoping this latest 3D trend comes to an end soon, because I find the 3D glasses annoying.
Will this Bluray also released in Germany??
#41. Cygnus-X1 – September 12, 2014
At my local AMC theater, vanilla 3D goes for $15 and IMAX 3D’s $18 and up depending upon the time of day of the showing with first showing of an IMAX 3D on Premier [usually midnight or just before] evenings being the most expensive at around $23, I believe.
Virginia newspapers have the Airbus charging $15 for the May 15th premier of the STID IMAX Experience showing at 10:45pm
This other 2D only IMAX theater:
charged $12 premier week and $11 after that.
well the sneak preview i saw was imax 3d but not one of the big theatres it was an imax lite…
yup keachick is right….jjs movies have nearly perfect casting, stories with trek easter eggs n nods to fans, great music and efx that makes trek look among the best looking movies out there, and jjs love of physical sets makes the efx just right not too computery…ben burt sound just the best you can have….yeh both movies made me happy…enjoy it while it lasts fans….keep up the awesome work bob orci n company…trek seems to have some of the most negative fans out there…why? look up definition of fan…i think i qualify…do you?