Star Trek Beyond – Blu-ray Review


After watching Star Trek Beyond several times in a theater, at the special SDCC IMAX premiere, and here on Blu-ray, I must admit that Star Trek Beyond is a tad bit more entertaining after multiple views (my original review). Even after a few months after its initial release, Beyond still boasts some of the most dynamic shots I’ve ever seen in a sci-fi film. With Justin Lin’s background in vehicular action, it’s not surprising that seemingly every shot is breathtaking to look at. Unfortunately, the exhilarating sequences from Lin’s Fast films were never implemented into Beyond.

Much of the film’s entertainment comes from Star Trek Beyond’s light-heartedness and the fraternal banter between the crew of the Enterprise. If only the climactic scene were as intuitive and entertaining as the dialogue.

Speaking of the Enterprise, the ship’s crew is as fun as ever. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are able to deliver excellent performances to drive home Beyond‘s emotional themes. Karl Urban brings the comic relief for most of the film especially with the back-and-forth banter between Bones and Spock. It’s definitely one of the film’s biggest highlights. As for the rest of the crew, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin all have their standout moments.

Beyond‘s newest additions, Sofia Boutella and Idris Elba are a mixed bag. Boutella is easily the breakout star of the film. She’s able to instantly come in and have impeccable chemistry with the entire crew of the Enterprise. Not only that, but Boutella gives her character a nice blend of charming naivety and toughness. Unfortunately for Idris Elba, his villainous gravitas is highly underused here.

Overall, Star Trek Beyond still is missing that certain something which is preventing the film from making any kind of lasting impact. It’s still funny and entertaining after several viewings, but there’s just no soul to the film.

Movie Review: 3/5 atoms
NR 3 Atoms - C


Star Trek Beyond is presented in a 1080P MPEG-4 AVC encoded video with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The contrast is spot on as the video lacks any flatness whatsoever in the transfer. The black levels are deep but there are several times where certain scenes would lose its shadow detail with the crushed blacks. Very fine noise appears in a couple of shots but it’s never intrusive. The colors are reproduced well even though the source material does feature a dull color palette. There isn’t much noise reduction or edge enhancements either as the film was digitally shot on ARRI ALEXA cameras, so everything is crisp and sharp throughout. Overall, the video transfer is a suitable showcase of Lin’s film.

Video Review: 4.5/5 atoms
NR 4_5 Atoms - A-


Star Trek Beyond is presented in the Dolby Atmos format, but it is also presented in the core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. The review will reflect Star Trek Beyond‘s core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Master Audio track. Star Trek Beyond‘s audio presentation is a bit disappointing. For a film that features a lot of dynamic visuals, the surround sound mix isn’t as dynamic. There will be times where the surround and rear speakers will envelop the soundstage but those are few and far in between. The surrounds are just weak overall. Nevertheless, the dialogue clearly is delivered through the center channel and Michael Giacchino’s lovely score swells up clearly over the front channels. Overall, as dynamic as the film’s visuals are, it’s disappointing to not hear the same dynamism coming through the audio presentation.

Audio Review: 4/5 atoms
NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

Special Features

Star Trek Beyond‘s Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Beyond the Darkness
  • Enterprise Takedown
  • Divided and Conquered
  • A Warped Sense of Revenge
  • Trekking in the Desert
  • Exploring Strange New Worlds
  • New Life, New Civilizations
  • To Live Long and Prosper
  • For Leonard and Anton
  • Gag Reel

With over an hour’s worth of special features, there is a lot to watch and some of it are great content. As far as production featurettes go, there are a lot of those included in this release. “Trekking in the Desert,” “Exploring Strange New Works,” and “New Life, New Civilizations” provide a nice behind-the-scenes look at the production of the film. In addition, there are a lot of “talking head” featurettes with the cast and crew of the film. Not surprisingly, “Beyond the Darkness” is the longest featurette on the Blu-ray and also provides the most in-depth information out of all of them. “To Live Long and Prosper” takes you back down memory lane with this 50th-anniversary special look into the cinematic history of Star Trek. Unfortunately, “For Leonard and Anton” isn’t as special as I originally thought it was going to be. The special feature feels a bit rushed in the way the footage is edited together. As for the gag reel, the reel is as funny as it gets. Karl Urban is the standout here and you’ll find out why when you watch it.

Special Features Review: 3/5 atoms
NR 3 Atoms - C

Overall, Star Trek Beyond is a classy way to celebrate the 50th-anniversary of “Star Trek.” Sadly, the film lacks a heart and soul which prevents this entertaining film from being one of the best Star Trek films ever made. Star Trek Beyond features a fine video presentation but is severely lacking in the audio department. The special features offer interesting looks into the production and but the non-production featurettes are a bit lacking.

Overall Review: 3.5/5 atoms
NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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