Star Trek

WSR Score4.5
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Paramount Home Entertainment
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J. J. Abrams
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Dolby Atmos
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When the Romulan Nero (Bana) comes from the future to take revenge on the Federation, rivals Kirk (Pine) and Spock (Quinto) must work together to stop him from destroying everything they know. On a thrilling journey filled with incredible action, the new recruits of the U.S.S. Enterprise will voyage through unimaginable danger in one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed movies of the year. Based upon Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry. (Tricia Spears)

Special features on Disc One, which features the movie, include commentary by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelop, and Roberto Orci; BD-Live; and upfront previews. Disc Two includes the following featurettes: "To Boldly Go" (SD 16:41), "Casting" (SD 28:53), "A New Vision" (SD 19:31), "Starships" (HD 24:33), "Aliens" (SD 16:30), "Planets" (HD 16:10), and "Props And Costumes" (HD 09:22), all of which give you the choice of watching individual pods, playing them all together as one featurette, or playing an extended version, where you have the option of branching out to additional video content when prompted. Additional featurettes include: "Ben Burtt And The Sounds Of Star Trek" (HD 11:45), "Score" (SD 06:28), and "Gene Roddenberry's Vision" (HD 08:47). There are also nine deleted scenes with optional commentary by Abrams, Burk, Kurtzman, and Lindelof; a Starfleet Vessel Simulator, where you are given the chance to explore extensive data on the U.S.S. Enterprise and the Romulan ship, the Narada; a gag reel (SD 06:22); and trailers.

Image quality is similar to the HD Blu-ray Disc with HDR enhancement. Fans will appreciate the improvements HDR brings, but will be disappointed that detail in images is only slightly better than the HD Blu-ray images. While the images are excellent, the lack of true UHD resolution here is disappointing. Everything else about the images, including lighting, color balance, and the overall look of images was very good. (Doug Blackburn)

The soundtrack has been remixed in Dolby Atmos. Turning off the subwoofers and seven normal, ear-level loudspeakers reveals that the height channels are rarely used for ambient sound. Soundtrack music appears in the height channels, but voices rarely were present in the height channels, even in circumstances where you would hear reflections of a voice in interior spaces. Ambient sounds were also rarely present in the height channels. Overhead directional effects are done well in the height channels but may focus on only one specific sound and not the whole “overhead” experience. You would expect that a catastrophic event like a hull breach followed by air evacuating forcefully into space would produce a literal explosion of sound, but during that event there’s a poof of sound as the hull breach occurs, then silence in the height channels. One would expect a bit more creativity in the placement of ambient sound in the height channels in order to produce a more consistently immersive entertainment experience. It was very common for the height channels to remain completely silent for 30-second to three-minute time segments, even during times when you know there would have been ambient sounds in the scene. Then when something does happen in the height channels, it is very brief, and silence returns quickly. So while the original Dolby TrueHD mix may have garnered a “5” rating, the too-dead-up-top Atmos mix here gets only a “3” Immersive Sound rating for failing to deliver an entertainment experience that lives up to the promise of Immersive Sound. There have been no Dolby Atmos soundtracks so far that have justified a higher rating than “3” for Immersive Sound quality. (Doug Blackburn)