This Week In Home Entertainment: Star Trek Into Darkness, Parade's End And More

By Jessica Rawden 2013-09-10 13:13:20discussion comments
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This week there are several big releases which merit notice, including J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, which is flying into homes in a variety of ways, including one super awesome Starfleet Phaser Limited Edition Gift Set (Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack). Speaking of gift sets, the Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection box set is also out this week. It features a full set of Friday the 13th movies, some of which have been released on Blu-ray for the first time and all of which come with some interesting bonus features. If you’ve been keeping an eye out for the latter, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing the set on Friday, September 13, so keep your eyes peeled for the review, then.

You can read on to learn about some of September 10th’s best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar.

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Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray
The first few minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness give us a glimpse at the true mission of the Enterprise, which is “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations.” In the opening sequence, the Enterprise crew is working together to complete a mission to save a species of paint-covered individuals as well as a planet covered in bright red foliage. Not only is the opener exciting, it introduces viewers to a team that has fully gelled and a Kirk that is willing to be reckless but for the good of the team rather than proving himself a bad boy.

Star Trek Into Darkness is a more expansive film than J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, and because of this, it’s plot is a bit more convoluted. After several attacks against Starfleet, the Enterprise crew, including Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto), and Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) go after the source of the attacks, which takes them to the Klingon homeworld and then on an adventure in space that culminates in a battle on the Earth itself.

Complicating the plot is Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Simon Pegg), who leaves the Enterprise crew only to pop up later on. A newbie, Lieutenant Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), also joins the crew as they chase villains and mysteries around the galaxy. When a man known as Commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) proves to be working under an alias, it has a direct ramification to the Enterprise crew and the battle they are fighting. Is the enemy a stranger, or is it someone a little closer to home?

Abrams has always been great about putting together high octane storylines, and Star Trek Into Darkness is no exception. The story is thrilling, and even when the director takes creative license with classic characters like Spock and Kirk, there’s still a lot to look forward too. It’s only in the third act, when a ship comes crashing into San Francisco, that the plot gets a little too wild for my taste, but even then, the graphics are still pretty incredible.

The verdict? If you enjoyed Star Trek, Into Darkness is a more ambitious and fun story, but it’s still not exactly the same franchise so many fell in love with decades ago.

You can order Star Trek Into Darkness over at Amazon.

Best Special Feature: Most of the extras are short featurettes that look at a specific aspect of making Star Trek Into Darkness. The most exciting of these is probably “The Klingon Home World,” which covers Klingon make-up, building the set, incorporating the Klingons into the new movies, reworking the language for the film, and Saldana’s excellent ability to pick up on speaking new languages.

Honestly, the bonus features could have all been tied together into a longer “Making of” featurette and that’s all you get with the basic Blu-ray, which might be why the Star Trek Into Darkness Starfleet Phaser Limited Edition gift set exists. If you are looking for other sets, keep your eyes peeled for retailer exclusives (I hear Target might be a good bet for other bonus features).

Other Special Features:
“Creating the Red Planet”
“Attack on Starfleet”
“The Enemy of my Enemy”
“Ship to Ship”
“Brawl By the Bay”
“Continuing the Mission”
“The Mission Continues”
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