Star Trek Beyond appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the image looked strong.
Delineation seemed very good. The movie always came across as tight and concise, with little to no softness on display. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws failed to materialize.
Beyond went with a heavily teal palette. Other hues appeared, but a strong blue orientation dominated, and the disc reproduced the tones well. Blacks appeared dark and dense, while low-light shots presented good clarity. Everything about the transfer impressed.
As for the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack – which downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on my system – we got an engaging affair. The soundscape’s emphasis on action used all the channels on a frequent basis. The various speakers provided lots of information that filled out the movie and blended together in a seamless manner. This formed a dynamic soundfield with a lot to offer.
In addition, audio quality seemed strong. Music was bold and full, and even with a lot of looped lines, dialogue remained crisp and natural. Effects appeared rich and vivid, with clear highs and deep lows. I felt pleased with this impressive soundtrack.
In this package, we get both 2D and 3D versions of the film. The picture quality comments above reflect the nature of the 2D edition – does the 3D image add much to the proceedings?
Yup. In particular, the movie’s space sequences created a great sense of depth and movement, as these elements zipped out of the screen in an impressive manner. Other shots tended to focus more on general dimensionality, and those also contributed a nice impression.
Picture quality also worked well. Colors and sharpness remained on a par with those found in the 2D version, whereas shadows took a minor – and inevitable – hit. Overall, I preferred the 3D version, as I felt the added impact of the 3D imagery made it a fun ride.
As we shift to extras, two Deleted Scenes appear. We find “Kirk and Scotty in the Terminal” (0:44) and “Scotty Gets a Bib and Tucker” (0:17). As one can surmise from those brief running times, neither sequence adds much. Both give us minor comedic beats and nothing more.
A Gag Reel lasts five minutes, 13 seconds. It presents a fairly standard collection of mistakes and silliness. A few funny improv moments appear but otherwise this seems like an average compilation.
Nine featurettes follow. Beyond the Darkness runs 10 minutes, eight seconds and includes notes from director Justin Lin, producer JJ Abrams, co-writer Doug Jung, actor/co-writer Simon Pegg, and producer Lindsey Weber. “Darkness” looks at how Lin came to the franchise as well as aspects of the script/story and character developments. The show offers a decent overview and intro to the project.
A major action sequence becomes the focus of Enterprise Takedown. This segment lasts four minutes, 31 seconds and involves Jung, Abrams, Weber, Lin, Pegg, editors Dylan Highsmith and Greg D’Auria, and actors Chris Pine, Lydia Wilson, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, and John Cho. The clip examines the destruction of the Enterprise and related elements. It gives us a short and moderately interesting synopsis.
With the eight-minute, 17-second Divided and Conquered, we hear from Pegg, Lin, Jung, Urban, D’Auria, Pine, Abrams, Cho, editor Steven Sprung, and actors Sofia Boutella, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto. “Divided” discusses character dynamics in the film. It becomes another general but useful piece.
Next comes A Warped Sense of Revenge. It fills five minutes, 15 seconds with info from Pegg, Lin, Elba, Jung, Wilson and actor Joe Taslim. “Revenge” offers another character-based reel, with an emphasis on the movie’s antagonists. While it adds to the collection, it seems fairly average.
During the three-minute, six-second Trekking in the Desert, we discover material with Lin, Weber, Quinto, Pine, Cho, Elba, Urban,
executive producer Jeffrey Chernov, political consultant Richard Klein, DP Steven F. Windom, and production designer Thomas Sanders. “Desert” looks at the movie’s locations. A few facts result, but too much of the program feels like an advertisement for Dubai.
Explore Strange New Worlds takes up six minutes, two seconds and features Sanders, Lin, Quinto, Urban, Cho, Pegg, Yelchin, Wilson, Pine, Boutella, supervising art director Don Macaulay, and assistant art director Aja Kai Rowley. “Worlds” takes on set and production design. Like its siblings, “Worlds” seems fluffy, but it gives us some good notes.
After this we get New Life, New Civilizations. In this eight-minute, four-second reel, we hear from Lin, Urban, Pegg, Chernov, Elba, Jung, Boutella, Quinto, Taslim, Wilson, actor Deep Roy, and SFX makeup designer Joel Harlow. “Life” views the movie’s alien characters and effects used to create them. It offers one of the better featurettes, even with the usual happy talk.
To Live Long and Prosper goes for seven minutes, 51 seconds and boasts info from Pegg, Abrams, Lin, Quinto, Jung, Saldana, Pine, Cho, Urban, and Yelchin. “Prosper” offers a general appreciation for the Original Series and its movie legacy. Pleasant but insubstantial, it gives us little concrete information.
Finally, For Leonard and Anton runs five minutes, four seconds. It features Urban, Abrams, Lin, Cho, Quinto, Pegg, and Yelchin. It pays tribute to Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy, two Trek actors who passed away recently. The show does its job.
A third disc provides a DVD copy of Beyond. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.
As much as I enjoy the Star Trek franchise, I can’t find a ton about Beyond to make it special. While the movie comes with some good action scenes, it lacks a strong story and it fails to move its characters along in a satisfying manner. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio but supplements seem average. Though not a bad film, Beyond winds up as lackluster Trek.