Review by C.J. Bunce
Star Trek Beyond is available this month on Digital HD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD. Consistent with the trend in big franchise releases, Star Trek Beyond is available in a variety of formats. Fortunately one version makes the selection easy: Target has included an entire bonus disc of behind the scenes content in one its Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo edition. The bonus disc accompanying the Blu-ray combo has so much interesting content you’ll want this edition for your Star Trek collection, but unfortunately 3D fans will also need to pick up the 3D Blu-ray separately, a failing of this type of scattered release.
The bonus disc includes more than 45 minutes of extra content, the best taking us into the workrooms for the prop and costume departments at Paramount. “The Battle of Yorktown” shows how Lin and production crew created the action scenes involving the movie’s climax at the Yorktown space station. “Properly Outfitted” gives great insight, including visuals, of concept artwork and prop design, including original series inspiration for the new phaser rifles and John Eaves designs. “Set Phasers to Stunning” joins costume designer Sanja Milkovic Hays, who was also designer for Star Trek Insurrection, as she discusses the movie’s incredible variety and expanse of alien fashion and updates to Starfleet garb. “Spliced” takes us through the editing process, “Beats and Shouting” provides a discussion with composer Michael Giacchino and his son, “Small World” provides a great look at the very classic feeling introduction of the film and a new alien race, and “Visually Effective” takes us through the work behind the show’s special effects creations.
The behind the scenes extras that are included with the other versions also feature great content that illustrates the care and attention taken by this production team to improve upon past Star Trek films. Where the extras are deficient is with the deleted scenes. Included are only two, and they are so brief and irrelevant that you’re left thinking there must be more to be released later. The gag reel, however, is full of fun, showing the camaraderie of the crew, including Zoe Saldana (Uhura) cutting a scene short to chide Chris Pine (Kirk) for sliding too far into a William Shatner impression.
The best of the other features discusses the incredible make-up work and theme of less CGI and more live-action sets. “Meet Jaylah” discusses the creation of the great new alien character from the movie played by Sofia Boutella. “Beyond the Darkness” provides an interview with producer J.J. Abrams discussing why Justin Lin was selected to direct the film, and how the director and writers were lifelong Star Trek fans, something lacking from most of the previous 12 big screen Star Trek films. “Enterprise Takedown” looks at the destruction of the Enterprise and why the creators felt it was an important story element. “Divided and Conquered” reveals how the writers decided to break up the crew in this film, which they believe to be a new element for the franchise, despite the original series addressing similar plot devices in many episodes.
“A Warped Sense of Revenge” delves into Idris Elba’s new villain Krall, and why the director believes this is a unique villain in the franchise. “Trekking in the Desert” discusses the on-location shooting, including Washington, Squamish, BC, and Dubai–you’ll be surprised how little was changed to create Yorktown from the skyscrapers of Dubai. “Exploring Strange New Worlds” reveals how production chief Thomas Sanders threw aside CGI to make so many giant sets for the film. “New Life, New Civilizations” gives incredible insight into the making of 50 new alien races from a make-up and prosthetics standpoint, to honor 50 years of Star Trek. Finally, “To Live Long and Prosper” and “For Leonard and Anton” discuss the history of the franchise, connective imagery between the films and series, and a brief tribute to Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy who died before the film’s premiere.
Also included are three Star Trek Beyond theatrical trailers and Rihanna’s “Sledgehammer” music video, plus a set of collectible character cards.
Pick up the Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and bonus disc combo set of Star Trek Beyond now at Target stores. Be careful, as at least one other edition–the DVD edition–includes an advertisement for the Blu-ray bonus disc version, which could easily confuse a buyer quickly reaching for a point-of-purchase buy.