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Star Trek 2-Disc DVD
directed by J.J. Abrams
by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, based on the tv series created by Gene Roddenberry
Star Trek
Principal Cast
Chris Pine -- James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto -- Spock
Leonard Nimoy -- Spock Prime
Eric Bana -- Nero
Bruce Greenwood -- Capt. Christopher Pike
Karl Urban -- Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Zoe Saldana -- Nyota Uhura
Simon Pegg -- Scotty
John Cho -- Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin -- Pavel Chekov
Ben Cross -- Sarek
Winona Ryder -- Amanda Grayson
Chris Hemsworth -- George Kirk
Jennifer Morrison -- Winona Kirk
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Klaw

After thirteen years, two dismal feature films, and a failed television series since the last quality installment (First Contact), the 43-year-old Star Trek franchise received a much needed facelift. In Star Trek, director J.J. Abrams (Lost) managed a true rarity in creating a reboot that honored and embraced its predecessor in a movie that excited both hardcore and casual fans. One of the finest Trek films ever (as good as First Contact but not quite Wrath of Khan), Star Trek successfully relaunched the franchise for the new millennium.

After grossing over $375 million on the big screen, Star Trek makes its first DVD appearance in a handsome two-disc set complete with the prerequisite commentary, original documentaries, deleted scenes, and even a gag reel. The film commentary with director Abrams, writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof, and executive producer Bryan Burk offers some minor tidbits and distractions. The much discussed apple during the Kobashi Maru sequence was not meant as a homage to Wrath of Khan but rather a decision of Christopher Pine who felt it further demonstrated Kirk's cockiness. Perhaps the most intriguing and unexpected conversation focused on the topic of Vulcans breastfeeding. The too-many participants derails the potentially excellent commentary. Ideally, three voices at most should be present. Any more serves as a distraction and just fosters confusion.

The five documentary features delve into the behind-the-scenes of the film. The fascinating views enhance the already complex Star Trek universe and highlights the careful work used in developing this project. Abrams vetted every alien head and body. The effects crew relied on live action rather than cg whenever possible. The guidance of Leonard Nimoy played a central role in Zachary Quinto's excellent portrayal of Spock. Other former cast members -- Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig -- also visited the set and offered helpful suggestions. Many more factoids appear throughout these excellent documentaries. One overarching message emerge from these pieces: everyone involved with this movie enjoyed the experience. The cast and crew genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves as evident by the abundance of laughter and smiles.

The surprisingly amusing gag reel presents one of the funniest Star Trek moments ever. Among the other typical actor gaffs, Pine and Quinto re-enact one of their scenes entirely in an Irish brogue!

On most DVD releases, the deleted scenes distract and annoy. On Star Trek, they enhance, granting a glimpse into the movie that could have been. While overall an excellent movie, the film as shown in the theaters contained several plot holes. Two of the deleted scenes actually correct some of that and improve the plot. The remaining scenes further develop the character backgrounds.

The movie and deleted scenes alone make this a DVD worth owning. Throw in the other extras and the Star Trek Two Disc DVD becomes a must have for all casual and longtime fans of the venerable franchise.

Copyright © 2009 Rick Klaw

Professional reviewer, geek maven, and optimistic curmudgeon, Rick Klaw has supplied countless reviews, essays, and fiction for a variety of publications including The Austin Chronicle, The San Antonio Current, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Moving Pictures, RevolutionSF, Cross Plains Universe, and Steampunk. MonkeyBrain Books published the collection of his essays, reviews, and other things Klaw, Geek Confidential: Echoes From the 21st Century. When not co-writing the bi-weekly Nexus Graphica for SF Site, he can often be found pontificating on Twitter and over at The Geek Curmudgeon.

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