In a very welcome surprise, the upcoming home media release of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will include a version on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, the first UHD Blu-ray release for any Star Trek TV show. We also have news on the expected upcoming release of the Next Generation movies on 4K UHD.
Strange New 4K Release
Listings for Strange New Worlds season 1 on Ultra HD Blu-ray have appeared on Amazon. The 4K disc set is due out May 16, about two months after the season comes out on standard Blu-ray and DVD (March 21). While TrekMovie is still awaiting an official acknowledgment of this from Paramount Home Entertainment, this has been confirmed by trustworthy source Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits.
This 4K release is a limited edition Steelbook, and the set includes Ultra HD Blu-ray discs only.
The listing for the bonus features matches the standard releases, so it is expected to include:
- PIKE’S PEAK — Anson Mount takes fans through his journey as Captain Christopher Pike in the first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, providing a glimpse into his portrayal with intimate footage throughout the season.
- WORLD BUILDING — Led by Production Designer Jonathan Lee and his team, the season’s production design utilized cutting-edge technology to create worlds prior to shoots, allowing the actors to fully immerse themselves into scenes rather than imagine the worlds around them in a green room. Through interviews with producers, cast and crew, fans will learn about the expertise involved in the development process and how the powerful technology was seamlessly integrated into the show.
- EXPLORING NEW WORLDS — Fans will explore the storylines and characters that bring Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to life with writers, cast and crew.
- COMMENTARY — Anson Mount and Akiva Goldsman: “Strange New Worlds”
- DELETED SCENES
- GAG REEL
A reminder to fans who want to see more Trek on disc: If this title sells well, Paramount will be more inclined to release more of the new Star Trek series in 4K. Discovery season 4 was also shot in 4K and HDR, and the excitement around Picard season 3 also makes it a good bet to get the 4K HDR treatment when comes out on disc later this year.
You can preorder the Strange New Worlds Season One 4K UHD Steel-Book at Amazon for $58.99.
First look at TNG UHD box art
Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits has also shared a first look at the box art for the (yet to be officially announced) four TNG movies on 4K Ultra HD.
Here’s what your Star Trek: The Next Generation feature film #4K #UltraHD cover art will look like for Generations, First Contact, Insurrection & Nemesis when they street on 4/4. This is temp art, but the final should differ little. @thedigitalbits #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekPicard pic.twitter.com/PbcdfSBrzI
— Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits) February 6, 2023
In 2021 Paramount released the first four TOS movies on 4K UHD, and in 2022 they released Star Trek V and Star Trek VI, along with a new six-movie collection. The four TNG movies are expected in 2023. The three Kelvin movies have already been released in the format, so this will make all 13 Star Trek movies available in 4k UHD.
An official announcement with all the details for the TNG movies on UHD is expected soon, followed by the movies being made available for pre-order.
Keep up with all the home video and streaming news, reviews, and analysis at TrekMovie.com.
DISCLAIMER: We link to products to buy on Amazon in our articles with customized affiliate links that support TrekMovie by earning a small commission when you purchase through them.
Awesome and now hopefully Paramount will release Discovery S1-4 and Picard S1-2 in 4K. Yes i know Discovery wasn’t filmed in 4K (at least S1-3) but with an increased resolution, less compression and HDR it would look much better then the already fantastic looking Blu-rays. Paramount make it so please.
Most 4K releases are just upscaled from 2K Masters anyways (even if they were shot at higher resolution). So it doesn’t really matter. I don’t care about Discovery at all but if there’s a market and Paramount isn’t opposed to physical media, there’s really no reason, not to release it that way
HDR makes quite a difference though.
You know 4K is possible for the shows shot on film. I wonder if they shot themselves in the foot on TOS and TNG selecting a 2k scan with a 1080p workflow. Because they’d have to rescan that film at 4K for a UHD release unless they upscale. And meanwhile we don’t even have Deep Space Nine or Voyager in HD at all.
I read that the film stock used for TNG was actually closer to 2.5k or 1440p. It wasnt quite movie film stock grade so 4k is most likely not possible.
That’s not correct at all, and I wonder what the source for that comment was. TNG was shot on medium-to-high-speed Kodak 35mm stocks that were widely utilized in the industry. One of those stocks, 5298, was also used on DS9 and VOYAGER as well as VELVET GOLDMINE, EYES WIDE SHUT, THE ROCK, INDEPENDENCE DAY and probably dozens of other feature films.
The resolution of 35mm far outstrips just about any form of digital capture (though that is admittedly a subject for debate, I defer to Wally Pfister, who claimed that 35mm anamorphic was roughly equivalent to more than 8K!) Plus there is an intangible aspect to photochemical that digital still can only emulate. YMMV.
But it is more about how the toolset is wielded than the tools themelves, at least when dealing on these high-end levels. I talked with one of the PICARD cinematographers last night and he was quite emphatic on saying the choice of lens was far more important than the choice of camera, and that throwing all this stuff about 4K and 8K around just confuses the issue when it comes to what is important when making calls that serve visual storytelling.
(BTW, keep fingers crossed, might get an interview with Frakes too. I covered FC and INS for CINEFEX, but didn’t get hold of him then, so this could be an interview nearly three decades in the making!)
That all jives with my understanding. At a minimum, 35 mm film should give you a great conversion to 4K UHD.
I question whether 8K will ever be need for home environment viewing, but I am sure the TV an video industry will push it anyway.
8k might be useful if you had 300″ screens, but where the hell would you fit it, outside of Kane’s Xanadu?
This is where I read the comment about 2.5k.
What he’s quoting is likely true. I can tell you from decades of cinematography experience is that something being shot on 35mm film doesn’t necessarily immediately translate to a possible quality “4k resolution”.
Depending on the stock, the *CAMERA LENS*, the grain of the film, etc, the *effective practical* visual resolution could be in that 2k range. Depending on those factors, scanning at 4K would be a meaningless endeavor if it ended up introducing more unwanted grain… which would then require processing to mitigate… and then we are back to the concept of “upscaling” or noise processing to mitigate.
That’s why we see so many recent 4k releases of classic 70’s and 80’s films not looking so impressive with scans at that resolution.
Although the dynamic range and realistic color palettes are definitely being restored, we may or may not be enjoying the alleged clarity of the image any longer; us as a refined audience being so used to the incredible quality of new digital 2k / 4k productions coming out to us at a record pace.
Well I’m not sure I agree with all of your technical details (I mean regardless of the quality of the film you are ALWAYS getting more information transferred from film to digital with a 4K scan), I certainly agree that you have to take it on a case-by-case basis with older movies. This is why I always read in detail the blu-ray.com reviews before I spend the freaking $30 or so on a 4K UHD old movie transfer.
In general though, 35 mm will at least give you 4K resolution. When you get above that though you deal with the law of diminishing returns. Of course there are exceptions.
I bet they are waiting for the AI/DL software to improve and become commercial grade tools — and then that’s how they will eventually upgrade DS9 and Voyager to 2K or 4K.
I think the days of the studios spending millions to dig out old film and remaster in that expensive way are done from Trek — that ship has sailed. And the AI/DL method also doesn’t require new digital effects. They just need to figure out the human-in-the-loop process to get the AI/DI process to work right, especially for the VFX.
And yet, they just did a bunch of that work for TMP…
That’s a single theatrical release, not 150+ eps. But yeah I should’ve clarified I was only talking about the TV series’
Also after reading The Digital Bits page linked in the article i feel the need to respond to some of what Bill Hunts has said ‘while Star Trek: Discovery hasn’t exactly been a critical hit—nor has it been particularly popular with longtime fans of the franchise’
I’m sorry Mr.Bill Hunts but all evidence posts to the opposite of what your saying.
Discovery is one of the most watched shows on Paramount+ this is a proven fact(and it was one of the most watched shows on Netflix when it was available on that platform) it has millions of viewers worldwide.
It has helped spawned a whole new line of Trek shows like the spin off series Strange New World (which is a hybrid show of TOS and Discovery).
If Discovery wasn’t a massive hit that it was for Paramount we wouldn’t have all this new shows(and more coming) including SNW which is also a massive hit for Paramount. Yes Discovery has it’s haters and sections of the fandom who just don’t like the style of the show but there are fans who do that for all Trek shows that is nothing new.
It has also been a big hit with the longtime fans of the show and has brought new fans into the fandom who hopefully are checking out the other new shows and all the older shows.
Sorry for the rant but this idea that some people have that Discovery is some critical failure is ridiculous given that the show costs over 100 million dollars per season and it’s going on to it’s 5th season this year and the producer/cast want to go to 7 before ending it. It’s been a major success not a failure that some are trying to paint the show as.
When measured against TOS and TNG and their cultural impact Discovery isn’t even a drop in the ocean. But one fan preferring SNW over Disco doesn’t matter to me, its like argue over pizza toppings or ice cream flavors. Some fans prefer one flavor over the other. Like some fans never liked Deep Space Nine and compared it to TNG. Let them coexist. I don’t have to like Disco but it has its fans, and i’m not asking for its cancellation like some. Or shouting from my soapbox to fire Kurtzman.
Cultural impact is not the same as popularity in terms of viewers. I mean, The White Lotus is currently listed as one of the most watched shows on streaming, but who will remember that in 5 years?
The point is: people are watching it, and it’s clearly popular, otherwise people wouldn’t watch it. I mean, Voyager hasn’t exactly ever been considered a cultural touchstone either, but Nrtflix claims it was among the most popular Trek shows people streamed, often beating TNG and TOS.
It does have an upbeat cast with a family dynamic which i quite like, but the writing is terrible. I do like the actors and characters. I’ll give season 4 another chance at some point, but i found it impossible to finish the first episode. I bought the Steelbook. It is just sitting there collecting dust.
Personally, I’m not even a fan of DSC. I don’t like the characters or the writing. The stories are boring. But it’s hard for me to argue that it’s anything but a hit. Is it a top 5 show? No. But somehow there’s this group of “fans” who think that if something isn’t the most beloved series of all time, it’s a flop.
Also after reading The Digital Bits page linked in the article i feel the need to respond to some of what Bill Hunts has said ‘while Star Trek: Discovery hasn’t exactly been a critical hit—nor has it been particularly popular with longtime fans of the franchise’, I’m sorry Mr.Bill Hunts but all evidence posts to the opposite of what your saying. Discovery is one of the most watched shows on Paramount+ this is a proven fact(and it was one of the most watched shows on Netflix when it was available on that platform) it has millions of viewers worldwide. It has helped spawned a whole new line of Trek shows like the spin off series Strange New World (which is a hybrid show of TOS and Discovery).
Well said — I100% agree. And not only that, in terms of the response that people of diversity and young people have to the series, it’s right up there with TNG and TOS in terms of being culturally significant. And for those of us paying attention, it’s rather obvious that DSC (at least until Prodigy) has been the key market growing series of the Kurtzman lineup.
It’s a critical failure for me if the storytelling fails to engage.
Outside of making me feel infuriated that somebody was being paid money to write the thing, DSC only managed to get my attention and elicit some enjoyment when Mount was on the series. I did try to go back and watch a bit of s3 a few months back, but I only lasted 10-12 minutes — it was like watching VOYAGER or ENTERPRISE, but even more unpleasant. Then I tried watching a clip on youtube last week of the ep where a certain guardian shows up, and it was like, are you kidding?!
If you want to make your defense based on dollars or viewer numbers, that’s your call. But I would only be able to think of DSC as a critical failure, because it doesn’t pass muster when I’ve been able to view and revel in DEADWOOD, CARNIVALE, THE WIRE and two dozen more series just in the last quarter-century that warp circles around DSC. And that’s not even trying to make a comparison between it and TOS or DS9, which would really be bridging the unbridgeable (last is paraphrasing from THE ANDERSONVILLE TRIAL, so a vague Trek ref since that stars William Shatner.)
So, here’s the thing: There are very few massive hits in the world of streaming. Of the top 15 most streamed shows in 2022, six were either current or old broadcast series.
Of the top 15 original streamed series, 13 were on Netflix.
For some perspective, despite the popularity and critical praise of a number of Disney+ series and with nearly the same number of subscribers as Netflix, even they failed to place a show in the top 15.
The most streamed show on Paramount+ in 2022? Halo. Coming in at number 2? 1883.
So, in a nutshell, Discovery is getting a 5th season because it performs well on Paramount+, not because it’s a massive hit. Without Paramount+ it may not have survived past season 3 had it been exclusive to Netflix or on broadcast or cable.
As usual Denny C, I agree with you. Again, I think Star Trek is doing well on P+, but I don’t think any of the shows are doing massive business either. Enough to keep making more but sadly I don’t think any of them would survive on a network more than a season or two, not for what they cost anyway.
Maybe the animated shows if they are much cheaper (and Prodigy is on Nickelodeon) but that’s a huge exception.
Of course as Star Trek fans, we’re all little more biased and have our rose colored glasses on but just like the movies themselves have proven, the shows are in the middle tier of viewership. But they can be more successful because they can rely on mostly hardcore fans to survive unlike $100+ million movies. But they also been on for nearly 5 years now and they still feel like they barely exist in the mainstream outside of award nominations.
For example, I found out one of my co-workers, who is 24, has never even heard of SNW and this was a month ago. Ask her if she heard about any of the MCU shows, House of Dragons or The Last of Us which been out a month and you wouldn’t get her to shut up about any of those.
What you are essentially saying is that Netflix has the huge subscription numbers to say their stuff is watched a lot because they have more subscribers. I don’t really find that all that interesting. That’s like saying McDonalds is the best restaurant in the U.S. because the Big Mac, Fries, Quarter Pound and Fish Sandwich make up 4 of the top 5 food items purchased at U.S restaurants. That’s interesting, but rather meaningless unless you own stock in McDonalds.
And continuing this analogy, one might say the Whopper is successful because it does well at Burger King, but that perhaps it would not sell as well if McDonalds had it. Well this is rather meaningless conjecture — I mean, who the heck knows?
Critical reviews are one thing, but Discovery is objectively a commercial success. Paramount wouldn’t have wrested control of it from a lucrative Netflix deal internationally if it wasn’t worth it.
And I love that fans have the option to own these shows on home media. Disney hoards its Star Wars and Marvel shows for Disney+, whereas Paramount knows so many Trek fans like the option to not rely solely on Paramount+. Regardless of why that is, it’s all revenue to them in the end.
Critical reviews are one thing, but Discovery is objectively a commercial success. Paramount wouldn’t have wrested control of it from a lucrative Netflix deal internationally if it wasn’t worth it.
Sometimes I wish I still owned a Blu ray player.
I still have one but the last time I bought a Blu ray disk was probably 2012 lol.
Geez, not a month goes by that I’m not adding to my blu and dvd collection. Have been buying 4K UHD disks when a deal happens, as I have a player but not a TV capable of displaying, as a way of future-proofing on important films that I know I’ll always revisit and I think will benefit from the visual upgrade.
By comparison, I only own maybe a dozen films and series on digital, mainly because I was having trouble finding them cheap and used on disk or they just plain weren’t available on disk, but I hate having to rely on that virtual streaming approach, given that somebody could just decide to alter the content at some point.
That’s not to say streaming doesn’t offer advantages; we just rewatched BOSTON LEGAL again, this time on Hulu instead of on our DVDs, because the picture looked just a little bit better. But I sleep easier knowing that whether I pay for Hulu or not, I can still always pop in the Thanksgiving dinner ep of BL whenever I want and laugh laugh laugh. We are thinking that maybe it should be a doubleheader with THE OFFICE ep taking place at Michael’s home – the one with the itty bitty TV on the wall.
Listen don’t get me wrong. I 100% agree it’s always better to have physical media, but man I’m too lazy and cheap lol. Streaming is just ‘easy’ and in reality is more accessible.
And at one point, I did used to buy them. I had up to 100 DVDs in movies and shows. And I can probably count on one hand how often I watched any of them. I spent several hundred dollars on LOST DVDs at the time. You know how many times I actually watched on DVD? Once. And I don’t think I bothered to get the last season lol. I gave the whole thing to my neighbor to ‘burrow’ about ten years ago and I’m sure he still has it lol.
Another great example is GOT. I did not start watching that show until it’s sixth season. I finally decided I was going to give it a go and even thought of buying the first five seasons. But luckily I found out (which I didn’t even know) I had free access to HBO Now (or Go??) and I can just stream all of it at no extra cost. Dude, I had NO idea HBO had a streaming service at the time and this was 2016 lol. Now I could’ve bought GOT on disk and watched it with the best look and sound, blah, blah, blah, but considering I had no desire to watch it all again after it ended, I think I saved myself at least $100 at the time.
So that’s the problem for many and why DVDs/Blu rays are dying out. It’s no different to why you hardly see anyone playing music on CDs today. The reality is unless you’re a ‘collector’ or you are really really a big fan of certain shows and movies, most people probably watch something once or twice and that’s it. With streaming, most people will watch it and move on to the next thing.
So I’m not arguing, I agree with the concept, it’s always better to own something. The reality is owning it doesn’t mean much if it’s just going to take up space collecting dust. Even for Star Trek, I would probably pop a DVD in every once in awhile, but it’s so much more easier/motivating just turning on the TV and flipping through episodes these days. And you got 800+ episodes/films in one spot to flip with your hearts desire until you finally land on Sub Rosa or Spock’s Brain. ;D
That said, I do like the idea if I ever hit the lottery of buying every Trek show and movie in existence and put them on a shelf somewhere just in case and to have. But it would probably be more for show (to absolutely no one lol) then actual usage once I done the ‘special features’ stuff.
I mix it up – some things I’ll get on blu ray if I know I’ll watch them a million times, some things I’ll get from iTunes – the odd TV series or something not released physically in HD, and then the rest is just rented via streaming. iTunes is a happy medium as Apple will often upgrade files to 4K for free, and there are some extras to be had with a purchase. It feels a little less icky to patronize them than Amazon.
Also, there is something to be said for the environmental impact of physical media too. I certainly understand how streaming is easy. I’m just so used to being able to watch whatever I want when I want, and because of licensing deals I can’t rely on streaming even though I subscribe to way too many of them. Add in the extras and better video quality and I’m still plodding along until the space issue becomes untenable.
Yeah, I have over 1000 blu-rays, a couple hundred DVD’s, and approaching 100 4K UHD BR’s. I have a 4K UHD projector that I got last year — it was unbelievably awesome to watch the new TMP 4K Special edition with my 84 year old dad over Thanksgiving. We had seen it together last at a theater in Dec 79.
I watch streaming for series, but movies I really prefer to see on BR and 4K BR.
There is no comparison in typical HD streaming video and audio quality to 4K UHD BR — it’s not even close.
The part about your Dad was cool. Thanks for sharing.
I can’t believe that you still haven’t invested in a new television kmart!
My spouse and I resisted, but one of our teens basically said they’d watch on their gaming set up on their own rather than join us in the family room. The visual quality was that much better.
So, we bought a high-end OLED on sale. It’s not perfect, and some older content on streaming can look oddly washed out at times. But for 4K and other UHD, it’s lovely whether streaming or physical media. Even standard Blue-rays look great.
Thanks for the encouragement, but. finances are just insanely tight — nothing new there! — shoot, I didn’t even get a smartphone till about 11 months ago, and we’re still clinging to a landline so my wife has some way of calling out in an emergency. I spend probably at least 15% of my ‘writing time’ just pitching to new possible outlets, but honestly, that hasn’t netted me anything at all in the last six years (that is counting the places that keep telling me that I am on their list for future assignments … there are four of those that have still never come through with anything, though they want to hear new pitches all the time.)
I’m down to the place I’ve written for since 2000 and a couple of sister site filmblogs (not that I’ve gotten any locked-in assignments from the latter in almost a year now.) I quit writing for VFXVOICE because the rates were so insanely bad; I was getting paid less for my stories there in 2022 than I got for my first CINEFEX article back in 1990. Day job used to only provide about 40% of my income, so we could save a bit, but last year it was more like 80%, because writing-wise it has been that big of a dropoff in terms of assignments. If I ever caught Covid and it hit me like pneumonia did in 2016, when I missed five weeks of work, we’d be close to winding up out on the street.
Relying on the older small set 32″ for the last few years, we find that we’re watching more TV shows than movies, because we are saving flicks like LARRY O’ ARABIA for when we have a proper set … but I’m really desperate to watch 2001 again as well, and I don’t think I can hold out. I haven’t seen APOCAYLPSE NOW in over five years, that has to be a record for me.
Since I limit 95% of my media buys to what I find at Goodwill or hamiltonbooks, the outlays are pretty modest.
I wish I could use a new TV as a writing business office expense, but there’s no way to really explain why a good sized set would never fit in what passes for my office (actually the tiny dining room in a small 1br apt.) I really never figured out how to game the system for tax writeoffs, my business expenses are always very tiny (never into four figures except in a decade when I buy a new computer), mostly just books and movies that are useful references and research tools.
Sorry for the rant, but sometimes I get very frustrated about my wife’s illnesses (she hasn’t been able to work in over a decade) and kick myself over how I didn’t move us someplace cheaper when the income was better and housing was somewhat less unreasonable.
Freelancing can be brutal.
I find it’s difficult to see it as a tenable economic model. It seems to have been built into audiovisual entertainment and broadcasting from go through. The market power of the major firms seems to enable perpetual free riding off individuals.
One of my parents did a lot of freelancing over the years, and often remarked they were treated better as a contractor than when on salary. They at least felt more valued and picked up odd work around their base contracts.
As a kid, I felt the lash of that instability, especially when they followed the work far away. The other parent eventually took on a boring day job with good benefits that took care of us until I hit grad school. My spouse and I also took the path of salaried, but perhaps less self-driven, long term jobs before starting a family. It’s tough enough even with that.
I do sometimes though look at my risk-taking parent’s life with a certain envy. They ended up doing some truly unexpected things, historic even. I’m still finding bits and pieces of their work as stuff gets added to various internet archives every year.
To get back on topic, I regret the loss of all the ephemeral work they did back in the day before broadcast was regularly archived. Recalling their work that isn’t archived, I realize that much of our collective memory is shaped by what happened to get recorded and preserved, often haphazardly.
I’m also regretting the amount of unattributed work they did before contracts gave us the walls of credits. As we know from the intensive historical digging on Star Trek, not everything was attributed and it was a pervasive phenomenon.
I fear that people will feel the same about a lot of the digital work that’s not being archived outside the content holders and is unavailable as physical media.
My sister was doing some freelance writing and had some similar struggles, and I find this really sad that many good writers who are doing that today are making a lot less than they did 20 years ago. Some writers have made the transition to also being a YouTube personality, but I don’t have a lot of respect for many of them and I feel you kind of have to sell your soul to do whatever it takes to get subscribers there. I’ll also add that with your résumé, perhaps you might consider a nonfiction book? Also have you ever tried writing and promoting articles for Trek, sci-fi and cinema websites.
As I recall, kmart part of a significant cinematic magazine, that like many, didn’t survive impact of the internet on advertising and subscriptions.
I suspect he knows the market better than we.
I hope I didn’t sound unkind or unsympathetic speaking about my parent’s experience. I’ve been going through a period of reflection on their career as I move on in my own.
I sincerely believe that there are some people at the top of the media industry who make extraordinary wealth, while the people who write the scripts, news or criticism, those who do a lot of the technical work like editing etc., work long hours for scale or as piecework. Making much of the work gig based on top of that seems to baked-in.
The journalism, reviews and opinion writing that’s essential to the system is much the same, but so much more precarious now that print news and magazines are struggling.
I wish that my entertainment dollars were more equitably distributed, but it seems that things are getting worse before the impact of digital technology settles.
I actually found your previous comment and this one to be very well-written and insightful; I find it is often a yin/yang thing when it comes to evaluating the choices made by signficant others in our lives, so your perception regarding your family rings oh-so-true to me.
I really seriously miss the old CINEFANTASTIQUE (esp the ALTERED STATES and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES issues, plus the big double-issues on TREK and SW and BLADE RUNNER) and the early SCI-FI UNIVERSE magazines back when RMB was still seeming like he was working on all thrusters as he mused about what would make for a great r-rated DS9 feature); those outlets offered exciting and informed reads, and even when they got something wrong, they got a lot more right. I felt the same way about HOTDOG, but didn’t discover that one till only a short while before it ended. They had a piece on making THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN around the time my story on making SW ran there that was just outstanding as I recall.
Even with nearly 400 credits as a journalist, I still feel like a bit of a novice when I’m talking to certain folks (was quaking the first time I spoke to Roger Deakins, but, like Dick Smith, the guy never puts on any airs and is quite straightforward.)
Just found out that the chance of talking to Frakes this week is very good indeed, so am panicking to come up with enough questions — I asked for 10minutes but I might get a half-hour.
That would be such a coup, I hope you get it! With all due respect to the artful lensing in Generations, First Contact was the first Trek film where I was very conscious of just how good the cinematography was. I remember Siskel and Ebert commenting on how it was the best looking film to date as well. I never really learned enough about how Frakes adapted to having a bigger budget and different toys to play with on both Trek films.
He’s just the most delightful man to chat with though. We spent most of our one meeting just reminiscing about living in the same part of Maine. I’m sure you’ll get into some great back and forths and wish you had even more time!
Your feelings on how FC looked shows how important good projection was to the filmgoing experience. I can tell you that FC looked absolutely horrid in the theater when I saw it — to the point that it was the only TOS film I saw just a single time that way. Seeing it a year later on laserdisc made me reevaluate its aesthetics considerably (though I still didn’t actually ever like the movie till about 15 years ago.)
But theatrical viewing quality was nearly always problematic at the first-run Century theaters in San Jose where I saw the first eight films. GENERATIONS was even more murky than FC — it wasn’t till I saw it at a second-run theater that I was able to tell the crew were wearing black trousers on the bridge, because everything fell off to blackness that wasn’t a light colored top or bright graphic — and TWOK was misframed so that the top of the picture was cut off the whole film — it wasn’t till second-run that I was able to see Jeddah on the second level of the Regulae station … Carol and David were just talking to the top of the theater!
Framing and clarity also figured into my TFF viewings — I saw it a 2nd time at the late great Palo Alto Square theater, where I guess they still actually had union projectionists, because framing was perfect and image brightness seemed to be nearly double what I’d seen at the Century in SJ.
Another problem at one of the Century dome theaterss — which were originally all built for Todd-Ao as I recall, a lens-based alternative to Cinerama — is that one of the theaters was still a solo and hadn’t been cut in half, and still had the deeply curved screen — which meant that only a fraction of the film was in focus, usually the parts on left-middle and right-middle, while the center and edges were all out of focus. I figured that out when seeing BLACK SUNDAY there, it drove me nuts, and I tried to never see films there unless they were films that were intended to be shown on the deeply curved screen (for example, reissues of 2001 looked great on that screen, I saw it there at least five times between 1970 and 1977.)
To conclude this little rant, I take it all the way back to TMP opening day, which was massively darker than I expected. I had read at some point that Wise had ordered the film printed down to hide matte lines (and no, I don’t recall what magazine it was in), but a few months later, I saw the film at a second-run theater (one with union projectionists, amazing!) called the Plaza, and the film was massively brighter! Made me wonder if maybe only certain prints had been darkened, though in retrospect it was probably more likely that the dif was due to the theater’s projector, bulb and overall quality control.
These particular Century theaters — mainly c 22, which was a series of three smaller domes — are where hundreds of major movie previews were held in the 70s through the 90s … I’m pretty sure that most films that had post at Skywalker Sound used them … and yet, the visual quality at these highly-trafficked theaters was horrible. Have never understood why they wouldn’t have tested the films under ideal conditions, unless somebody wanted the test numbers to be low, or if they wanted a result that would reflect lousy viewing conditions as a norm.
I had a similar experience with TMP.
I and some friends organized an entire group to go. We intentionally went to the theatre in our major city that was reputed to have the best production and sound.
We were all very enthusiastic, only to find the younger ones (teens) restless, and even the young adults among us bored and disappointed through long stretches in the dark. The colour timing and the bass did not seem to work with the projection and amplification.
But for those of us who had seen TOS episodes many, many times, it was the rehash of the Nomad story that really bit. After so long with no new Star Trek, we were waiting to be wowed with a new story and not just with spectacle.
While I completely agree kmart with your view stated elsewhere that great moments and performances can’t save a plot that doesn’t land, I also feel that tentpole movies should offer something fresh.
At this point, I’m more open to a good retelling and reinterpretation (which is why I was fine with the Alien-inspired episode on SNW). However, when TMP came out, I and many others were looking for the plot inspired wonder of TOS, not special effects.
New York was such a crapshoot 20 years ago when it came to what kind of projection standards you’d be getting. I became something of a theater snob because of it.
I am a huge proponent of the theatrical experience and don’t want to see theaters close, but there are so many examples of self-inflicted wounds that made it hard to blame all their pre-pandemic woes on streaming, home theaters, peak TV etc.
I spent the better part of a year working up a huge book proposal for THE ART OF STAR TREK back in 1991-92 that Pocket Books, after giving me a go-ahead to submit, then never acknowledged. In all honesty, just the proposal alone was better than the thing Pocket wound up putting out a few years later; I carved up a ton of books and magazines and sent a 3-ring binder full of layout designs and a detailed outline for the volume, which was focused just on TOS TV and films. Had letters of support for the project from TUC producer Steven-Charles Jaffe and some ILM alums, but obviously ‘something happened’ … and since that all went down during the year after I bombed out of my TNG pitch meeting, I got very sour on TREK for quite awhile.
That’s the only really serious attempt I’ve made in that field, outside of making several pitches to Titan Books in the last decade that went nowhere. A couple times publishers approached me about making-of books in the 90s but picked someone else, and I took a meeting with Morgan Freeman’s producing partner about the plan to make RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA into a feature film by David Fincher, but that, like the film itself, came to nothing. I occasionally approach a studio about upcoming projects (Apple with FOUNDATION for example) as being ideal for a book.
Oh, and when I moved up to Portland 20 years ago, I had some talks with Will Vinton’s people about a coffee table book that would be about his company and career, but then he got tossed out of his own company by the Nike guy’s son, so that all obviously went south along with him. So it hasn’t been for lack of trying!
I understand a degree of these struggles. I spent a lot of time permalancing for ad agencies because it was cushy and let me get by in New York. Having to hustle for the next job is brutal when you just want to write/make things and exist without worrying too much about Life Sh*t. And then something unexpected inevitably takes you on a tangent and you never know what’s next. It’s rough and it’s interesting and it’s sometimes rewarding all at once.
But for many years spent in small apartments that cost more than a lot of mortgages, working to prop up big pharma… I spent a lot of oxygen sighing out loud.
This will actually give me a reason to consider buying these on Disc.
Trust me, 4K BR blows away anything you can view on the major streaming services…it’s like the jump in quality and viewing experience between DVD and Blu-Ray.
I’m glad to hear that, because a lot of reviews on 4K disks seem to suggest that there’s so much tampering going on with the image that they are a mixed offering rather than a pure upgrade. I know for a fact that at least a few great flicks seem to have been color-corrected in a way that really doesn’t do the original film justice … that, plus the weird frozen grain look, seems to be a real problem, and I wonder how much I will obsess over this when I get a new TV someday.
It really depends. Dark Knight is a massive upgrade, Batman Begins doesn’t look all that better than the blu-ray. Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings look worse than the blu-rays because of digital noise reduction. Star Wars Phantom Menace is the best the film has ever looked. Even Episode III shot digitally is an upgrade. The Special Edition of the original Star Wars trilogy has better colors than the blu-ray but far too much grain removal and noise reduction. I was even impressed with the Matrix trilogy. Prefer the Blu for Wizard of OZ the 4K has too much DNR.
I agree with almost all of this except for TLOR set — it’s F’ing stunning and in my opinion it’s significantly superior to my old BR versions.
Yeah, that is especially true on the remastering of older movies into 4K UHD. What I do is ready the Blu-Ray.com reviews first before I spend the $ on a 4K version. For example, I read that Michael Mann really dicked around too much with the lighting in the recent 4K UHD version of Heat — making it look to dark in some scenes — so I am keeping my existing BR which does not have that issue. This seems to happen rather frequently on some older movies, so it’s important to check into this before you pay the premium price for these discs.
Contrast that (pun intended…lol) with recent releases like Dune Part 1, which I can categorically say looks even better on my set-up than at the IMAX theater I where I saw it.
Wow looks great and glad the TNG movies will be on it as well soon.
And with their original artwork! I’m a big believer in preserving movie poster art in home video as well, especially when they hail from the era when the posters were lovingly made. Even though Nemesis doesn’t have a good poster, overall, these movies’ art is worth preserving. The sloppy generic art on the Trek movie blu ray sets is not what I want to encourage.
Any news on whether a 4k release is coming for digital downoad? (Google, iTunes etc ?)
I love physical media and have bought Star Trek releases more times than I can remember, but $60 for a single short season on 4K?
On any Trek disc release, I always wait 6 months to a year, and then walla, they are like 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost.
You mean voilà?
You got it, bubby. ;-)
I gladly paid $120 for every season of TNG and DS9 when they released on DVD the early 2000s. I think $60 for SNW is more than fair for Blu-Ray starting price on release, considering how good the show is. If you want to wait for a sale, go for it. If you need it now, $60 seems like a fantastic price.
That said, as long as streaming exists and Trek is on it, i’ll never go back to physical media. Far too convenient to ever go back. One of the greatest advances in entertainment history.
Release day pricing is almost always $10-$15 cheaper for these. When the TNG/ENT Blus were being released 2012-2014 I always waited until release day to order – much, much cheaper.
Trying to find a post about it, but does anyone know if the TNG 4K’s will also have the upgraded Blu Ray discs like the individual TOS 4K films? I don’t have a 4K TV yet, but it would be nice to have an upgraded Blu-Ray experience.
I imagine they should. The only exceptions with the TOS films were the Special longer version of TMP 4K only, and directors cut of VI 4K only. Whether the Blu-rays are sold separately from the 4K or there is a combo i’d also like to know. I’ll only buy the combo if there is a digital copy and blu-ray, otherwise i’ll buy just the blu like i did for the director cut of TMP. On the others it actually cost me less to buy the combo than the standard blu rays stand alone. Except for TMP they were charging way too much for the combo and box set for one film.
I’m happy about this given that Paramount+ won’t upgrade its smart tv apps to support 4K, this is likely the only way I’ll get to see this version.
I bought a new smart TV a couple of months ago, and the Paramount Plus app offers 4K and HDR. Top Gun: Maverick and Strange New Worlds both look amazing with HDR. Maybe it’s just newer tvs that have the 4K option and they don’t want to upgrade any older ones.
You need to upgrade to Premium to get the 4K streaming on P+. Looks great through my Apple TV streaming device.
Any news on the score/soundtrack?
I often wonder the same. I hope it is released soon. SNW is the current large gap in this recent era of abundant Star Trek score releases.