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First six 'Star Trek' movies get beamed up to Blu-ray

Rene Rodriguez
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

Every reboot of a longstanding movie franchise brings a home video component, and "Star Trek" is no exception. With the new film currently drawing huge theater crowds, Paramount Pictures has dusted off the first six "Trek" films and given them their hi-def debut on Blu-ray.

The seven-disc "Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection" (Paramount, $140) presents the theatrical cuts of all the movies and throws in a doozy of a bonus disc that no "Trek" fan will be able to resist.

Out of the bunch, only "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" has undergone a proper frame-by-frame restoration and, accordingly, looks the best. The rest of the hi-def transfers run the gamut from very good ("Star Trek: The Motion Picture") to fair ("Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country") to disappointing ("Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)." Even the least impressive transfer, however, is crisper and more detailed than its DVD counterpart.

Each film is accompanied by the supplements included in previous DVD releases, along with a few new goodies. For example, "Khan" gets a new commentary track with "Star Trek: Enterprise" producer Manny Coto, who is an ardent fan of the film and coaxes a lot of fun anecdotes from director Nicholas Meyer.

New featurettes shot in HD are spread among the discs and focus on various aspects of "Trek" lore, such as the collectors' market for props from the films or a look at how "Trek" and NASA have affected each other over the years.

The best extra, however, is the 80-minute "Star Trek Captains' Summit" that takes up the seventh platter. Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, it's a roundtable discussion with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes about all things "Star Trek," a treat to watch.

The actors split their time between hamming it up for the cameras and talking earnestly about the show. Shatner confesses he's never seen an episode of "The Next Generation," which catches Stewart and Frakes by surprise (they don't seem too pleased, either). Stewart admits he was a bit of a pain when he first started working on the show, holding cast meetings to ask his fellow actors to stop fooling around and start taking things more seriously (no one heeded his request).

Shatner and Nimoy reveal they called each other "Billy" and "Lenny" on the set, and Nimoy claims he was genuinely finished with "Star Trek" after the filming of the second film and returned only because he was allowed to direct the third. Shatner's reaction to the news that Nimoy was going to be his director is priceless — one of the highlights on a disc that Trekkers and casual fans alike will eat up.

———

'MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D'

Both editions of "My Bloody Valentine 3D" (Lionsgate, $35 DVD, $40 Blu-ray) come with four pairs of old-school red-and-green glasses, but home video technology has a long way to go before it replicates the experience of modern-day 3-D theatrical exhibition.

On video," My Bloody Valentine" is practically unwatchable on 3D: The effects are surprisingly good (the newspaper montage that opens the film has a startling sense of depth and dimension), but the glasses render it into a smeary, blurry mess. One could argue that the movie is equally unwatchable in plain ol' 2D, but at least the image on the Blu-ray is exceptional, with strong shadow detail and vivid colors.

Director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Todd Farner contribute a commentary track that proves they're a bit blind to their movie's flaws, but their enthusiasm is undeniable. A remake of the 1980s slasher classic, this "Valentine" features a bit more character development than your typical gorefest, but none of the characterizations is as memorable as the film's violence, which is startling in its extreme nature. Either the ratings board has gotten soft on horror movies or Lussier has friends in the right places.

Other extras include 20 minutes of mostly worthless deleted scenes, a slightly different alternate ending, a gag reel and a five-minute featurette on the movie's remarkable gore effects.

———

THIS WEEK'S RELEASES

DVDs

"24: Season 7"

"Billy Jack"

"The Friends of Eddie Coyle"

"El Dorado"

"Fanboys"

"Friday Night Lights: Third Season"

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"

"Paul Blart: Mall Cop"

"True Blood: Season One"

"Valkyrie"

BLU-RAY

"24: Season 7"

"3 Days of the Condor"

"A Bug's Life"

"Changing Lanes"

"Enemy at the Gates"

"It Could Happen to You"

"Lions For Lambs"

"The Machinist"

"Paul Blart: Mall Cop"

"Paycheck"

"Spy Game"

"Valkyrie"

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