Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Seven”

Starring: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: TV-PG
Number of discs: 6
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Run Time: 1182 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is it folks, this is the final season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Paramount has done an outstanding, I repeat outstanding job of releasing this wonderful series on Blu-ray. Season seven is no less of an amazing season that is predecessors. The two-part episode “Gambit” was a high point for sure. “All Good Things” is easily one of the best episodes and one of Patrick Stewart’s most powerful performance as Picard. This season was tied up very well series. Now that we are done here, I hope Paramount has plans for Blu-ray releases of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager” next. Finger crossed!

Official Season 7 Premise: In this Emmy-nominated final season, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) confronts an alliance between his sinister duplicate and the unstoppable Borg, Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) guides his son in becoming a warrior, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) faces a time-shattering confrontation with the mysterious, god-like Q in a landmark finale that won science fiction’s prestigious Hugo Award.

Like I said, Paramount has delivered this series each time with outstanding Blu-ray after Blu-ray release. “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Seven” is no different. These 1080p transfers for these episodes nothing short of amazing. Top that with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track for each episode and Trek fans will be nothing but thrilled. These episodes have been through a fantastic restoration which involved returning to the original film elements and it was worth every single second of effort because this release is great.

Like the previous six seasons, Paramount has also delivered some amazing special features. There are commentary tracks by Brannon Braga on “Parallels”, as well as “Lower Decks” with René Echevarria and Mike & Denise Okuda and “Preemptive Strike” with René Echevarria, Naren Shankar, and Mike & Denise Okuda. There are a few other new features including “The Sky’s The Limit: The Eclipse of Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which is a must watch. There are two “In Conversation” features, first called “The Directors” and second called “Lensing Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Lastly, there are seven “Archival Mission Logs”, a Gag Reel and over 20 deleted scenes for 18 of the final episodes. 

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 6”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 1175 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 43.5 out of 5 stars

The sixth season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is easily one of my favorites. Each of the show’s characters have been developed so well by this point. This show was also airing the same time as “Deep Space Nine” but this season was still one of the most strongest of the series. Patrick Stewart really delivered some of his best performances with the following episodes “Chain of Command, Parts 1 and 2”. Also season six includes several well-known recurring characters, most importantly being Montgomery Scott, the Enterprise engineer from the Original Series, who is found alive and adjusting to the twenty-fourth century. This is also the second to last of the seasons, which means that most likely later this year this “Star Trek: The Next Generation” will be available complete on Blu-ray.

Here is the episode list for this season: Time’s Arrow, Part II; Realm of Fear; Man of the People; Relics; Schisms; True-Q; Rascals; A Fistful of Datas; The Quality of Life; Chain of Command, Part I; Chain of Command, Part II; Ship in a Bottle; Aquiel; Face of the Enemy; Tapestry; Birthright, Part I; Birthright, Part II; Starship Mine; Lessons; The Chase; Frame of Mind; Suspicions; Rightful Heir; Second Chances; Timescape and Descent, Part I. Brent Spiner’s dual performance as Data and his father Dr. Noonien Soong in “Birthright” are fantastic. Of course like I said above, the two part episode “Chain of Command” is literally one of the best arcs. Also Riker (Jonathan Frakes) copes with a bizarre identity crisis that pits him against himself in “Second Chances”.

Like the five seasons before this one, Paramount has consistently delivered this series with amazing releases. These episodes are newly remastered within their 1080p transfers.  The visual effects look better and overall the show just feels much sharper.  Since this show was shot on video and the special effects were set in their masters. They really went to town and delivered an impressive release yet again. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which is a such a treat for this series. I literally just got a new 7.1 surround sound system and I couldn’t help but turn it up to 11.

The special features are a step up again and deliver some great extras. There is are three audio commentary track included. The first is with Ronald D. Moore and Mike & Denise Okuda on “Relics”. Next is an audio commentary with Ronald D. Moore and Mike & Denise Okuda on “Tapestry”. Lastly there is an audio commentary with James L. Conway and Jonathan West on “Frame of Mind” . There are a few “Archival Mission Log” over first five discs focusing on “Mission Overview Year Six”, ” Bold New Directions”, “Departmental Briefing Year Six: Production and Dan Curry”, “Special Crew Profile: Lt. Cmdr. Data”, “Select Historical Data” and “Inside Starfleet Archives: Sets and Props”.

There are brand new deleted scenes on the following episodes Time’s Arrow, Part II, Relics, True Q, Ship in a Bottle, Face of the Enemy, Tapestry, Birthright, Part II, The Chase and Rightful Heir. The real star of this release is easily the brand new, three-part documentary “Beyond the Five Year Mission – The Evolution of Star Trek: The Next Generation” featuring fascinating interviews with cast and crew. Lastly there are episodic promos on each on the six discs and a new gag reel included.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Four”

Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Run Time: 1009 minutes

Season: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Well this is the end folks. Season four is the final season of “Star Trek Enterprise”. The series starred Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating, Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery and John Billingsley. These final episodes follows the adventures of the first Earth-built vessel capable of breaking the Warp 5 barrier. The show was no question cut off too show. Season four was one of the best seasons but luckily since being canceled it has spawned a nice new life with fans. Since being canceled though, this marks the first time that the series “Star Trek” has not had a TV show on the air since The Original Series. This is a must own for all Trekkies.

Official Premise: In the final harrowing season of Star Trek: Enterprise, timelines collide as Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew rally with humans and other species to form the Federation and prevent intergalactic war. Starfleet and the crew of the Enterprise are put to the test as they fight to avoid a deadly virus on the ship, deal with an alternate “mirror” universe, battle radical alien factions, and prevent the alteration of history – including a Nazi-occupied America. If the Temporal Cold War is not brought to an end, history and life as they know it will be forever altered.

Episodes included in this season are: “Storm Front, Part I”; “Storm Front, Part II”; “Home”; “Borderland”; “Cold Station 12”; “The Augments”; “The Forge”; “Awakening”; “Kir’Shara”; “Daedalus”; “Observer Effect”; “Babel One”; “United”; “The Aenar”; “Affliction”; “Divergence”, “Bound”; “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part I”; “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”; “Demons”; “Terra Prime” and “These Are The Voyages”

“Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Four” boasts the best Blu-ray presentation out of the series. The 1080p transfer on these episodes are fantastic. This season was quite ambitious and really looked great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks are equally impressive. I am going to miss hearing that theme song circle my surround sound system, luckily these episodes have great replay value. Other audio track included are German 5.1 Dolby Digital, French Stereo Surround and Japanese Stereo Surround as well. The discs also include English SDH, French, German, Japanese and Dutch subtitles.

If you are a fan of this series, you know that they have been jam-packed with amazing new and ported special features. The real highlight to this release was “In Conversation: Writing Star Trek Enterprise”, which is an exclusive, 90-minute writing staff reunion special. It brings together series creator and executive producer Brannon Braga, along with Mike Sussman, André Bormanis, David Goodman, Chris Black, Phyllis Strong, and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens talking in great detail about behind-the-scenes stories for this series. There is also a newly produced, four-part documentary “Before Her Time: Decommissioning Enterprise,” which includes more in-depth interviews with the cast and crew.

Those two new extras and much of the rest of the extras resides on the sixth disc. Disc one includes a Deleted Scene on “Storm Front”, an Extended Scene and Script Gallery: Original Editing on “Home” and Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Moments: Season Four. Disco two includes a brand new episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Forge”. There is also a text commentary from 2005 with Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Forge”. Disc three includes another brand new episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Mike & Denise Okuda on “Observer Effect”.

Disc Four includes another brand new episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and David Livingston on “United”. There is also a Deleted Scene on “The Aenar”. Disc Five kicks off with five commentary tracks. The first is from 2005 with Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill on “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part I”. On the same episode, there is also an episode commentary with James L. Conway, Mike Sussman and Mike & Denise Okuda, which is brand new. Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill have a commentary track from 2005 on “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”, again also on this episod is a 2005 text commentary from Mike & Denise Okuda on “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”. The last episode commentary is with Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating on “Demons”, which is also brand new. Lastly there is a Deleted Scene from “In A Mirror, Darkly, Part II”, Archival Mission Logs: Inside the Mirror Episodes included.

Disc Six includes yet another three commentary tracks. The first is a brand new track with Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating on “Terra Prime”. There is a 2005 episode commentary track with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Tim Gaskill on “Terra Prime”. Lastly there is a text commentary with Mike & Denise Okuda on “These Are The Voyages” from 2005. There is a four part featurette including, “New Voices”, “Memorable Voyages”, “Final Approach” and “End of an Era”. Rounding out there extras are a few Archival Mission Logs, Outtakes Photo Gallery and an NX-01 File 10. Great way to close out a series.

Star Trek Klingon Captain Limited Edition MIMOBOT Giveaway [ENDED]

Media Mikes would like to giveaway the following a LIMITED EDITION  Star Trek Klingon Captain Designer USB Flash Drives from Mimco’s “Star Trek” series. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your what “Star Trek” character would you like to see Mimoco make into a MIMOBOT. This giveaway will remain open until February 14th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes, worldwide!! One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Klingon Captain is Mimoco’s first plunge into the universe launched by the major motion pictures Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness . As one of the few alien races to show up in every series, it was only a matter of time before the Klingons had a MIMOBOT of their very own. Klingon Captain MIMOBOT comes with a helmet which, when removed, reveals a menacing grimace underneath. Only 1000 Klingon Captain MIMOBOTs are being manufactured, so get your hands on them before Kirk does!

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Three”

Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Run Time: 1025 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

The third season was a big season for this show. It saw the series change its name from “Enterprise” to “Star Trek: Enterprise” and also got a new main title theme, which is quite a big deal especially for a “Star Trek” series. The third season was also the turning point for this show as it delivered one of the best seasons. One thing that I liked and I am sure all fans did was that it was centered around one single story arc surrounding the Xindi attack on Earth. I think that this season sealed the deal for fans of the show but unfortunately it was also the season to last. A must own for any “Enterprise” fan!

Official Premise: After a surprise attack on Earth leaves over seven million people dead, Captain Jonathan Archer (Bakula) and the crew of the Enterprise swear to find those responsible – the Xindi. Taking off into the uncharted region known as the Delphic Expanse, the crew of the Enterprise must hunt down the Xindi and stop them from enacting their ultimate plan: the total destruction of humanity. Along the way they travel to the year 2004 to prevent a bioweapon attack, fend off the mysterious Sphere-Builders, and even meet their own descendants due to a wormhole mishap, all leading up to a desperate race back to Earth to prevent its destruction.

Here are the episodes that are included in Season Three: “The Xindi”, “Anomaly”, “Extinction”, “Rajiin”, “Impulse”, “Exile”, “The Shipment”, “Twilight”, “North Star”, “Similitude”, “Carpenter Street”, “Chosen Realm”, “Proving Ground”, “Stratagem”, “Harbinger”, “Doctor’s Orders”, “Hatchery”, “Azati Prime”, “Damage”, “The Forgotten”, “E2”, “The Council”, “Countdown” and “Zero Hour”

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures have been giving this show better and better releases since the first season. Not only with “Enterprise” as well but also they have delivered impressive releases for the “Star Trek” franchise included the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” seasons. Season Three of “Star Trek: Enterprise” is easily this show’s best collection of 1080p high definition transfers. It is also backed with some impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks as well.

In terms of special features, Season Three delivers the goods for sure. There are tons of great commentary tracks included. There are three Text Commentary with Mike &a Denise Okuda on the following episodes; “The Xindi”, “Impulse” and “Countdown”. There are three episode commentary tracks including Manny Coto on “Similitude”, Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill on “Twilight” and then Mike DeMeritt on “North Star”. If that isn’t enough there are five brand new commentary tracks included. The first is with David A. Goodman and Chris Black on “North Star”; Manny Coto and Connor Trinneer on “Similitude”; David A. Goodman, Chris Black and Connor Trinneer on “The Forgotten”; Chris Black and André Bormanis on Countdown and lastly David Livingston and David A. Goodman on “Impulse”.

Some other new features include a multi-part documentary, “In a Time of War”, which is a great behind-the-scenes look on the third season. There is also another new featurette called “Temporal Cold War: Declassified”, which talks about an arc which was never explored. There are deleted scenes from three episodes, “Similitude”, “Chosen Realm” and “E2”. There are Archival Mission Logs for “The Xindi Saga Begins”, “Enterprise Moments: Season Three”, “Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer”, “A Day in the Life of a Director: Roxanne Dawson”, “Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush” and , “Enterprise Secrets (SD)” Lastly, there are outtakes and photo gallery included.

Book Review “Star Trek: A Very Klingon Khristmas”

Author: Paul Ruditis
Illustrator: Patrick Faricy
Series: Star Trek
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: October 29, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Wow, what an amazing idea! That was what I was thinking when I first saw this book advertised. There are millions are “Star Trek” fans like myself that probably thinking the exact same thing. “A Very Klingon Khristmas” is a very clever and funny story and a must have for any fan of the franchise. This book is quite cheap (around $10) and I see this being a frequent cheap gift for many to give to their friends and family this holiday season.

Official Premise: This hilarious parody firmly plants Klingons at the center of the Christmas story—where they rightly should be—including everything from a Santa equipped with retractable claws, tribbles in the stockings of naughty Klingon boys and girls, and the spirited holiday warmth of a hot cup of mulled blood wine. Illustrated in a classic Norman Rockwell–inspired style, A Very Klingon Khristmas is the perfect holiday gift for every Star Trek fan!

The illustrations in “A Very Klingon Khristmas” are very eye-catching. They are very colorful and have that classic yet retro feel to them. You can tell that the author was a big “Trek” nerd himself since he aims to please all fans of the franchise here. Kudos also go to Gallery Books for delivering a fine release. The hardcover book is well presented and high quality. They could have cheaped out on this book knowing that “Star Trek” hardcore fans anyway but this delivers.

 

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Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 5”

Starring: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: TV-PG
Number of discs: 6
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 1182 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Season 5 is an important one in the history of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. During it’s production, we had the passing of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry. The show includes some amazing episodes including “Cost of Living”, “A Matter of Time”, “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Conundrum”, “Time’s Arrow” and of course “Unification”. I might even go as far as say that season five has some of the best episodes of the series.  The show was really on auto pilot for this season and they really just had some amazing arcs. Seven episodes from this season were also nominated for eight different Emmy awards as well. Two more to go Paramount let’s finish with a bang! Keep them coming!

Official Premise: Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Five never looked more stunning than it does on Blu-ray with 1080p high definition picture. Experience enhanced visual effects rebuilt from the original elements and surround yourself with the digitally remastered 7.1 sound (or choose the original broadcast audio). You’ll feel like you’ve plunged into the 24th century for some of the series’ most thrilling moments, including the epic two-part episode “Unification” as Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) pursues a rogue Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) into enemy Romulan territory. Discover all-new, never-before-seen bonus features as you join the USS Enterprise on the ultimate voyage.

The 26 episodes from season 5 are: :”Redemption Part II”, “Darmok”, “Ensign Ro”, “Silicon Avatar”, “Disaster”, “The Game”, “Unification Part I”, “Unification Part II”, “A Matter of Time”, “New Ground”, “Hero Worship”, “Violations”, “The Masterpiece Society”, “Conundrum”, “Power Play”, “Ethics”, “The Outcast”, “Cause and Effect”, “The First Duty”, “Cost of Living”, “The Perfect Mate”, “Imaginary Friend”, “I, Borg”, “The Next Phase”, “The Inner Light”, “Time’s Arrow Part I”.

Like the past four seasons, Paramount has really given a whole lotta love to this series. These episodes are newly remastered within their 1080p transfer. In fact, this series has improved its look throughout each season. The visual effects look better and overall the show just feels much sharper. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which is a such a treat for this series.

In terms of special features, I felt a little let down though for past season. There are audio commentaries tracks on “Cause and Effects”, “The First Duty”, “I, Borg” and “The Inner Light”. There are only three featurettes included. The first focusing on the season with “Requiem: A Remembrance of Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The second looks into the show’s tunes with “In Conversation: The Music of Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The last looks at the man who created it all with “What He Left Behind: The Roddenberry Legacy”. Rounding out the rest there are Archival Mission Logs, Deleted Scenes, Episode Promos and a Gag Reel included.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Unification”

Starring: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: TV-PG
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 85 minutes

Episodes: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of stars

If you are a fan of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Unification” is one of the fan favorite episodes since it brings back Leonard Nimoy to reprise his iconic role of Spock. I remember the first time I saw this episode and it has always left an impact with me. It is such an amazing two part story and one of my favorite arcs. If you follow the recent Blu-ray releases for “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, Paramount has been individually releasing each season’s cliffhanger finale. It may seem like a double dip but for us hardcore fan it is a must own to have these great episodes together and packed with exclusive extras!

Official Premise: The epic two-part story seamlessly unified into one feature length presentation! Leonard Nimoy reprises his iconic role as Spock and joins the crew of the Enterpriser in this fan-favorite double episode! When the Federation calls for help in locating an ambassador suspected of defecting, Picard is troubled to learn that Spock is the one who has vanished. Seeking information from Spock’s ailing father, Sarek, and unlikely help from the Klingons, Picard and his crew find the ambassador pursuing a personal mission on Romulus: a Vulcan/Romulan reunification. But though the Romulans claim to support the same goal, their motives are not what they seem.

The two unified episodes look amazing (as always for this series) with its newly remastered 1080p transfer. It is also backed with a phenomenal DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which really makes this arc feel like a epic movie. For a Blu-ray only consisting of two episodes, the special features are quite impressive. There is an audio commentary track with Jeri Taylor and Mike & Denise Okuda. There is a great behind-the-scenes look with “From One Generation to the Next: The Making of ‘Unification'”. Must see for any fan of the show and might I add only available on this Blu-ray release. Lastly there is an deleted scene, which was restored to HD and episode promos for each part.

Book Review “Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz”

Author: Juan Ortiz
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 3, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Who is Juan Ortiz? Juan Ortiz is an illustrator/designer for Disney and Warner Bros. and also a hardcore Trekkie. He had created artwork for each of the episodes from the “Star Trek: The Original Series”. The style of the work was nothing like anything fans have ever seen before and really represented a unique vision. Being a huge fan of “Star Trek” and of alternate poster art, I was immediately drawn to this book.

The first thing I honestly wanted to do with these posters was to rip them out and hang up each one on my wall, they are really that amazing. The book is comes in a large format ranking in at  14.4 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches, which is much bigger than the typical art book. The paper stock is solid and very study. The colors are gorgeous and very rish as well. I have to admit though this is expected since the amazing Titan Books is behind this release. They put so much love into there books.

Official Premise: What if every Star Trek: The Original Series episode was a movie event? What would the movie poster look like? This was the inspiration to develop a one-of-a-kind set of images for the series that launched a franchise. Artist Juan Ortiz has created unique retro-style art with the look of a 60s movie poster, comic book, pulp novel cover or advertisement, one each for all 80 episodes.

Before we get to the posters themselves there is a nice background on Juan Ortiz. The posters are each scaled to around 11×17 inches and are broken up by each of the three seasons, including the unaired pilot “The Cage”. When you reach the end of the book, the fun doesn’t end since there is a brief description of each episode and where Juan got his inspiration for each poster. If you are a hardcore fan of “Star Trek”, I cannot stress how amazing this book is and is a must have!

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Original Series – Origins”

Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
Directors: James Goldstone, John Newland, Joseph Pevney, Marc Daniels, Robert Butler
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 265 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

To celebrate the release of “Star Trek Into Darkness”, Paramount decided to cash in a little and release a new collection of episodes from “Star Trek: The Original Series”.  Included here are the episodes which showcased the debut of some many significant characters from the series.  They are all  introduced by Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, which is a nice little bonus since that isn’t available previously.  But since the episodes are, I would have to say this would be recommend for the completists out there and hardcore “Star Trek” fans only. Though I have to admit, I loved revisiting the origin of Kirk, Spock, Pike, Khan, Klingons and even the Tribbles.

Official Synopsis: Here are the origin episodes of the most significant characters from Star Trek: The Original Series, introduced by Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Episodes include: “The Cage”: the pilot that started it all and introduced Captain Pike and Spock. “Where No Man Has Gone Before”: the first time Captain Kirk is seen at the helm of the Enterprise. “Space Seed”: the debut of super villain, Khan. “Errand of Mercy”: the crew’s first encounter with the barbaric Klingons. “Trouble with Tribbles”: the arrival of the cute, but catastrophic creatures.

If you already own The Original Series on Blu-ray (and I know you do!), then you will know that the 1080p transfer of this amazing series is stunning. So you like be just as satisfied as your were with those episodes. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 still sounds as crystal clear as it has before and makes me realize what an impressive track this really is.  Besides the five episodes, there are no additional special features. To make this really worth the purchase, it would would have been amazing if they could have tacked on some new or even pre-existing commentary tracks since they are such epic episodes. So if you are wondering why I still gave this 5 out of 5 stars, it is because these are some of the best episodes of the series and for hardcore fans like myself it is great to have them all together.

3D Blu-ray Review “Star Trek Into Darkness 3D”

Actors: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Simon Pegg
Directors: J.J. Abrams
Number of discs: 3
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 132 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Star Trek Into Darkness” was easily one of my most anticipated films of 2013. After finally seeing it and calming down, it became easily my favorite film of the film. I actually loved its 2009 predecessor and it improved upon it in nearly possible way. “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a great blend of aspects from both the original series and the feature film that introduced us to the franchise’s most memorable villain, KHAN! Sorry kind of a spoiler…but if you were going to see this film you would have seen it already.  Did I mention Khannnnn!!!! yet? The film is action-packed to the brim with some of the best visuals I have seen in any film this year.  How the rather dull “Iron Man 3” made more money than this just proves that despite how good the movie is, people tend to stear clear from “Star Trek” franchise. Highly recommended “Star Trek” fan or not!

Official Premise: When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew

I have to admit, I am not the biggest Chris Pine fan. He does a great job playing Captain Kirk though with that arrogant persona. Zachary Quinto was fantastic in this film. Even though Vulcan’s aright suppose to show emotions, his character really had a lot of depth and his performance was spot on. what can I say about Zoe Saldana, except she is completely bad-ass. Benedict Cumberbatch played a fantastic Khan, hard to compare to Ricardo Montalbán but he is damn good. What a reveal too! J.J. kept going back and forth that I was never 100% sure. Alice Eve was a great addition to the cast as well and she like Zoe is not hurting on the eyes. Lastly and easily my favorite character in this new series is Simon Pegg playing Scotty. His role in this film was just amazing, everything from the rants and raves to the red shirt joke. Priceless.

Paramount delivered an all-star Blu-ray presentation with this release. The combo pack included a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy and UltraViolet. So we get all the grounds covered here. The 1080p transfer is easily up there as one of the best for a Blu-ray release this year. Let’s get to the 3D aspect of this film now, it is good but it also isn’t really required to enjoy the film. It adds some good depth to certain scenes, like the volcano scene, warp speeds and the final battle but other than that it is a little idle in between. The film itself wasn’t shot in native 3D instead it was converted in post production. So luckily though the conversation to 3D doesn’t hurt the film, I just wouldn’t really care less if I was watching it in either format, which just adds to the fact of how amazing this film is. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 is just as epic as the film itself. I loved Michael Giacchino’s score as well, which really delivers the true meaning of what a “Star Trek” film should sounds like. A+ guys!

The slight downfall of this releases comes within the film’s special features, or lack there of in terms of “blow-you-away extras”. There are a eight short yet still sweet featurettes included. There are no extras presented in 3D either. The featurettes include “Creating the Red Planet” talks about shooting in Hawaii and creating Nibiru and of course the volcano set. “Attack on Starfleet” looks into the film’s crucial scene and epic finale. “The Klingon Home World” looks into the incorporating of the Klingons. “The Enemy of My Enemy” looks into everything behind the villain Khan. “Ship to Ship” looks into this amazing sequences, from pre-viz to final scene. “Brawl by the Bay” chats with Zachary Quinto on the intense scene. The last two extras “Continuing the Mission” and “The Mission Continues” can be skipped all together.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: Enterprise – Season Two”

Actors: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery
Directors: Allan Kroeker, David Livingston, David Straiton, James A. Contner, James L. Conway
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Run Time: 1112 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of “Star Trek: Enterprise” then you will know that in season two the show starts to get its legs. The first season was more a transition and them getting their feet wet. We picked up from the “Star Trek” classic cliffhanger ending of the first season with Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) trapped in the 31st century. This season includes some great fan favorites including “Shockwave, Part II”, “Carbon Creek” and “Dead Stop”. There are plenty of connection introduced to original Star Trek series like with Klingons and even a Tribble. Speaking of other “Star Trek” series, there are several episodes this season which are directed by past cast alumni including Next Generation’s LeVar Burton, and Voyager’s Roxanne Dawson and Robert Duncan McNeill. So if you are a fan of this show that you should get ready to continue your journey abroad the Enterprise NX-01 with this impressive Blu-ray season release.

Official Premise: Where no one has gone before! Beginning with season one’s epic cliffhanger, experience the adventures of the Enterprise NX-01 crew as Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and his crew explore the far reaches of space long before the United Federation of Planets was formed. The crew is tested as Chief Engineer Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) is abducted while Science Officer T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) struggles with a life-threatening disease. Witness the real first contact of Humans and Vulcans, the return of a familiar Star Trek alien, and the origins of Archer’s early career – all leading up to the explosive finale.

The first season of “Star Trek: Enterprise” looks good and much better than its prior TV release but wasn’t up to the par in terms of the recent “Star Trek: The Next Generation” releases. This second season aimed to improve that and quite succeeded. The show looks great within each the 26 episodes from the series’ sophomore season. The 1080p transfer has issues here and there but ultimately you should be able to enjoy this season with no major issues. It is not “TNG” but still decent. The show goes with a striking DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, which works with every warp speed jump and the show’s action. It also comes with numerous other languages including German and Italian 5.1 (Dolby Digital), and French, Castilian and Japanese Stereo Surround (Dolby Digital).

Like “Star Trek: Enterprise” season one release, this release comes packed with great mix of new and vintage extras. They are spread out over the six Blu-ray discs. The main star of the special features on the first disc is the newly produced cast reunion feature, “In Conversation: The First Crew,” is moderated by series co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga and features cast/crew chatting about the show. This runs just over 90 minutes and is a must for any fan of the series. “Uncharted Territory” is another must watch, which is a three-part behind-the scene featurette focusing the show’s production for the second season with cast/crew interviews.

There are several audio commentaries tracks included as well. The first is with co-writer Chris Black and Mike & Denise Okuda for the episode “Carbon Creek”. Next we get a commentary track for the episode “Dead Stop” with co-writers Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong. Actors John Billingsley and Bonita Friedericy give a great audio track for the episode “Regeneration”. Co-Writers Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong give their two cents on the episode “Regeneration”. Lastly writer Chris Black and Mike & Denise Okuda breakdown the episode “First Flight”. They were recorded back in 2005 but if you have never heard they are worth giving a listen for these great episodes . There are also two text commentary track for “Stigma” with Mike & Denise Okuda and “First Flight with Mike & Denise Okuda.

There are deleted scenes from six different episodes including ,”Minefield”, “A Night in Sickbay”, “Dawn”, “Stigma”, “Cease Fire” and “The Expanse.” There are some short archival interviews with Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, Jolene Blalock, and Scott Bakula discussing the episode “Stigma”. There are three “NX-01 Files” 04 focuses on Scott Bakula. “NX-01 File 05” look the character Hoshia and “NX-01 File 06” features Anthony Montgomery reflect on his role. There eight “Archival Mission Logs” included spread out over the six disc. They focus on the following topics included “Enterprise Moments: Season Two”, “Enterprise Profile: Jolene Blalock”, “Inside “A Night in Sickbay””, “Future Tense”, “Enterprise Secrets”, “LeVar Burton: Star Trek Director” and Enterprise Outtakes”. Lastly there is a short season two promo and a photo gallery included.

 

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Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Spirtis
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Run Time: 1180 minutes

Season Four: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love the cliffhanger for “The Best of Both Worlds”? Captain Picard turned into a Borg…NOOOOOO!!!! It is the best in the franchise no question and left many fans screaming (including myself). Season four starts off with the conclusion episode and really kicks off the season with a bang. Due to the success and fan’s response to that cliffhanger formula it was reused throughout the rest of the series, including this season’s finale “Redemption”. Season four also marked the historic 100th episode of the show and the series passing the original series, which only had three seasons. The season some classic moments including a funny Robin Hood spoof with Q, Wesley Crusher leaving and the return of Denise Crosby as her own half-Romulan daughter! Season three really set the stands for this one and season four really takes the show into a great direction. If you are a fan of the show, do not miss this release.

Like the past three seasons, Paramount has continued to deliver fantastic releases for this show. “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four” delivers the show in glorious 1080p transfers of each episodes. These episodes look stunning, especially for being over 20 years old. Top that with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track for each episode and Trek fans will be nothing but thrilled. Alternate audio tracks also include an English Stereo Surround, French Mono, Italian Mono, Castilian Mono, German Mono and Japanese Mono tracks. These episodes have been through a fantastic restoration which involved returning to the original film elements and it was worth every single second of effort because this release is great.

Paramount not only delivers a wonderful audio and video presentation, they also knock your socks off with great special features. The first five discs include a few extras where disc six is jam-packed. There are two audio commentary tracks including Rob Bowman and Mike and Denise Okuda on “Brothers” and Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, and Mike and Denise on for “Reunion”. There are six “Archival Mission Log” featurettes, including “Mission Overview Year Four”, “Selected Crew Analysis Year Four”, “New Life and New Civilizations”, “Chronicles from the Final Frontier”, “Departmental Briefing Year Four: Production”, “Select Historical Data” and “Inside the Star Trek Archives”. These are Mission Logs are very informative and really cover all aspects from the show’s production and legacy.

Disc six from us a bunch of great high def extras. “In Conversation: The Star Trek Art Department” is a 68 minute discussion with Special Makeup Effects Artis Doug Drexler, Production Designer Herman Zimmerman, Scenic Art Supervisor Mike Okuda, Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Curry, Technical Consultant Rick Sternbach, and Deep Space Nine Scenic Artist Denise Okuda. Great new feature and a must-see for any fan of the show. ”Relativity: The Family Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 1: Homecoming and Part 2: Posterity” features cast and crew focusing on all aspects of the from the stories to the fandom and together they run to about an hour of great content. Lastly there is a nearly four minute Gag Reel and a collection eight deleted scenes.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Redemption”

Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 30, 2013
Run Time: 86 minutes

Episodes: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I personally cannot get enough of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Timed with the recent release of Season Four on Blu-ray, this two-part, “Redemption” is the season four finale and season five premiere. It is being released as a standalone similar to the “Best of Both Worlds” release with two episodes edited together for seamlessly. If you love these episodes like myself then you will be able to see the extended episode like never before. This cliffhanger is so epic and one of my favorites as we get to follow Captain Picard and Lieutenant Worf as they fight to end a Klingon Civil War. Currently the episode “Redemption, Part 2” is not available on Blu-ray, until Season Five comes out later this year. I would think that this release would be aimed for the hardcore Trekkies out there. It looks like we are seeing a trend now with these episodic feature length releases but  but for me this is a no-brainer for sure.

Like the series on Blu-ray, this also comes stocked with a very impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 and of course the original Dolby Digital 2.0 for those “Star Trek” purists that prefer the original broadcast audio tracks. The 1080p high definition transfer is nothing show of superb. Paramount did a beautiful job getting this series ready for its high-def close up. The special features are decent and unique to only this release. There is an Audio Commentary with Ronald D. Moore and Mike and Denise Okuda chatting about the episodes. There is decent length 30 minute featurette called “Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War” talking about the production of the episode from all aspects. Lastly there is two episodic promos for each episode. So you need to give props to Paramount since they could have just dropped these episode on a barbones disc and you know we still would have bought it, so the special features are a nice bonus to this release.

 

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Film Review “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 12 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Captain’s log. Stardate 20130515. I’ve just come back from a screening of “Star Trek Into Darkness” and am troubled at how I will construct my review. If I give away too much I’ve ruined the experience. Not enough…well, the same thing. That being said I’ll just say, “It’s Amazing!”

We join the crew of the Starship Enterprise on their latest mission. On a planet containing a very primitive species we meet up again with Captain Kirk (Pine) and Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban). Well, meet is really the wrong word. More like glance as the pair are currently running for their lives, pursued by said primitive species. It’s like the opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” without those pesky snakes. The ship is here because of the pending eruption of a massive volcano that, when it blows, will destroy all life in the region. Some quick action by the crew stops the eruption but back on Earth the brass isn’t happy with the outcome of the mission and Kirk finds himself demoted. However, a new danger is on the horizon…one that will challenge Kirk and everyone he holds near and dear.

Packed with action, the film is the second in director Abrams successful attempt to reboot a tired franchise. The cast and crew from the first film are still going strong here and they’re joined by Cumberbatch as a villain who must rank among the best ever presented in ANY of the previous television shows or films. Meanwhile Kirk, Spock and company are worrying about their careers at Starfleet. Kirk would like his crew picked for the latest long-time mission, which would encompass exploring the galaxy for five years. Though now on better terms, Kirk and Spock still quibble, earning the Vulcan the nickname “pointy” on occasion. Familiar names and situations continue to appear, including the introduction of Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), and it’s always great to see steely-eyed Peter Weller, who plays Dr. Marcus’ father, on the big screen. Still it’s Cumberbatch that steals the film. As the mysterious John Harrison he is easily the baddest of the bad, and Cumberbatch portrays him with a chilling, often emotionless, performance.

The rest of the returning cast continue to grow familiar with their roles and excel in that familiarity, especially Urban, Simon Pegg as Scotty and Zoe Saldana, who is allowed to do a lot more than just mutter, “hailing frequency open” as chief communications officer Uhura. Filling the two biggest pair of shoes, Pine and Quinto hit their performances out of the park. Technically the film is dazzling, with the visual effects and make-up as Oscar worthy as the 2009 film. The script does a fine job of incorporating both new and more familiar “strange new worlds,” though it does lose a little steam towards the end. Still, this is one voyage that Enterprise fans will be happy to take.