Star Trek 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
J.J. Abrams has numerous successes under his belt, but perhaps what he did to the Star Trek franchise is his most impressive accomplishment. With all due respect to Trekkies everywhere, the franchise was never “cool” and in general only appealed to die hard fans. But when Abrams came in, he combined a great, young cast, a cool story and a barrel of lens flares and managed to revamp a stagnant franchise in a way that made sense and worked incredibly well.
The goal of STAR TREK is to revamp the franchise and to do that, Abrams essentially had to erase everything that came before it. To accomplish that, Abrams starts us off with a Romulan ship coming through a black hole and attacking the USS Kelvin. We quickly learn that our beloved Captain Kirk’s father was the eventual captain of the doomed vessel and what results is one of the best openings to a sci-fi film ever. Abrams gave us a very emotional and heart-wrenching scene that set the tone going forward and let everyone know quickly that this was not the kind of Star Trek movie our grandparents were used to. What a lot of people don’t remember is that Kirk’s father is played by none other than Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. And he nails every moment, even though he didn’t have much to say. Anyone watching that scene in 2009 could have easily predicted he was going to be a star.
STAR TREK builds off the momentum from that opening scene and delivers us the origin story of the entire crew of the USS Enterprise. Everyone gets their moment, but the movie belongs to James T. Kirk (Pine) and Spock (Quinto). But since Abrams changed the timeline we were familiar with, we get to meet these iconic characters for the first time. It could be argued that everyone came together too quickly and maybe too easily, but it works for what Abrams created and we didn’t need too much drama in getting the crew together. We just needed them together so we could get on with the series.
One of the biggest strengths of the film is the cast. Chris Pine hasn’t been able to duplicate his STAR TREK success, but he gives his own take on Captain Kirk and manages to avoid impersonating William Shatner. The same can be said for Zachary Quinto, who gives a new spin on Spock, all the while paying homage to Leonard Nimoy. And this wouldn’t be a review of a J.J. Abrams movie if I didn’t complain about the lens flares. I didn’t count them, but it felt like every scene included dozens of lens flares. He’s been slammed for it already, but he really did go overboard in STAR TREK.
Revisiting J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK seven years after its initial release and after Abrams has moved onto Star Wars was a surprising treat. The film holds up exceptionally well and was a lot of fun from start to finish.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is the first 4K title from Paramount and what a way to enter the new format. STAR TREK was a perfect title to pick since it lends itself perfectly to 4K Ultra HD televisions. For starters, J.J. Abrams does a fantastic job of utilizing colors and lighting, and the 4K resolution adds a new level of clarity to the picture. The timing is also great for STAR TREK since we have STAR TREK BEYOND in a couple of months and this is a great way to remind people how good the revamped series is. As for the actual video presentation, it’s nearly flawless and for proof, look no further than any scene with a Romulan. The dark colors in their ship come through wonderfully on UHD and we get a whole new level of detail when it comes to their tattoos and textures in their clothing. That can be said for every scene in STAR TREK; it’s like watching the film for the first time. This is a great release and it makes me excited to see what Paramount has in store for us.
Audio: The audio is near-perfect, but the Dolby Atmos isn’t going to blow anyone away. I’m not as picky about the back and overhead channels as some reviewers, but even I found them to be a little underutilized for this kind of film.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does include the 2 disc Blu-ray from the original Blu-ray release.
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