Star Trek Beyond appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. As expected, the image looked strong.
Delineation seemed very good. The movie always came across as tight and concise, with virtually 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. The 4K’s HDR added oomph and emphasis to the colors.
Blacks appeared dark and dense, while low-light shots presented acceptable clarity. That said, many shadowy scenes could look a wee bit too dim.
This wasn’t a real problem, and the HDR added to contrast and whites, but I still thought dark elements could seem a bit thicker than I’d expect. Nonetheless, this remained an appealing image overall.
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.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the standard Blu-ray? Audio remained identical, as both discs brought the same Atmos track.
As for visuals, the 4K offered improved definition and colors. However, it seemed a little darker than its Blu-ray counterpart. I’d still pick the 4K as the superior version, but the issues with shadows made it less of an upgrade than I’d expect.
A complication comes from the existence of a 3D version of the film. It also featured the same Atmos audio as the other two, but obviously it changed the visuals.
Because that disc’s 3D worked very well, it offers my preferred presentation of Beyond. While I appreciate the superior definition and colors of the 4K, the 3D acts as the most engaging version.
All the extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy, and 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.
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 4K UHD boasts strong picture and audio but supplements seem average. Though not a bad film, Beyond winds up as lackluster Trek.
To rate this film visit the prior review of STAR TREK BEYOND