Musings & Thoughts for Monday, September 20, 2021, or: First Impressions of the ‘Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection’ Box Set

Photo by the author

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Monday, September 20, 2021. It is another hot, sweltering early fall day in the Sunshine State. The current temperature is 83˚F (28˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the southeast at 2 MPH (3 KM/H) and humidity at 60%, the heat index is 89˚F (32˚C). Today we can expect scattered showers and a high of 89˚F (32˚C). Tonight, light rain is expected. The low will be 73˚F (23˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 30 or Good.

YouTube video from July announcing the September release of the box set.

After a 12-day-long delay caused by the logistical logjam that has affected the global economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I finally received my box set of Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection. Paramount Home Media Distribution had scheduled this eight-disc (four 4K UHD Blu-ray discs, four 2K HD Blu-ray discs) set for a September 7 release, but many consumers who pre-ordered it as far back as July had to wait because Paramount just didn’t have enough supply to meet unexpectedly high demand.

As I’ve said on my blog over the past two weeks, I was disappointed, of course. Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection was intended to commemorate the 55th Anniversary – the Emerald Anniversary – of Star Trek: The Original Series’ premiere on NBC on September 8, 1966. But in an echo of what happened with Paramount’s Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection set three months ago, the studio was hampered by the industry’s dependence on one disc replication facility for all disc-based media for the North American market and the strained logistical system that affects every business that requires container ships and/or trucks to move merchandise from Point A to Point B.

Judging from the chatter on the forums at Blu-ray.com in the Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection discussions, retailers and consumers had to wait till Paramount Home Media Distribution received shipments of German-made discs from across The Pond. I can tell that my discs are made in Deutschland because the English-language subtitles use British English (colours instead of colors, for instance) rather than American English.

(C) 2021 Paramount Home Media Distribution

Another sign that these discs are from Germany is that the Spanish audio track is done in Castilian Spanish rather than Latin American and that there are more European language options than in a North American home media release – most Blu-rays sold in the U.S, Canada, and Mexico feature audio tracks and subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Here are the subtitle options for the 4K UHD discs, which are also region-free:


English, English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

For those of you who are interested in the technical aspects of this release, here are the basic specs for Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection:

Video

  • Codec: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
  • Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, 2.39:1, 2.35:1
  • Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

Star Trek: The Motion Picture 4K

  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • French: Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps)
  • German: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Music: Dolby Digital 2.0

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 4K

  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
  • French: Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps)
  • German: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 4K

  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • French: Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 kbps)
  • German: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 4K

  • English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • French: Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 kbps)
  • German: Dolby TrueHD 2.0
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles

  • English, English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Discs

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • Blu-ray Disc
  • Eight-disc set (4 BD-66, 4 BD-50)

Digital

  • Digital 4K
  • iTunes

Packaging

  • Slipbox

Playback

  • 4K Blu-ray: Region free
  • 2K Blu-ray: Region A
(C) 2021 Paramount Home Media Distribution

I received my package with Star Trek: The Original 4-Movie Collection yesterday afternoon. I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) – my least favorite of this quartet – with the commentary track by Mike and Denise Okuda, Gar and Judith Reeve-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman turned on.

This commentary track was recorded for Paramount’s less than stellar 2009 Blu-ray release. I have that version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture; it’s part of the seven-disc box set devoted to the first six Star Trek feature films, but I’d never listened to it because that Blu-ray doesn’t have subtitles for the audio commentary.

I wasn’t going to watch Star Trek: The Motion Picture from start to finish; all I wanted to see was how the movie looks on my relatively small 4K UHD TV set. But when I noticed that the disc had both an isolated music score and audio commentary (a rarity in the 4K Blu-rays I own) with subtitles for the commentary, I decided to sit through Star Trek: The Motionless Picture, aka Spockalypse Now, aka Where Nomad Has Gone Before.

I’m not going to write a long review today – I didn’t sleep much last night so I’m tired, cranky, and struggling to stay awake – but I will say this: love it or hate it – or sit somewhere in the neutral middle – Star Trek: The Motion Picture has never looked better on any home media format. (I ought to know; I’ve owned this movie on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and now 4K UHD Blu-ray.)  The film’s plot is still iffy and a bit unengaging after the first hour – All those special effects! All those actors reacting to stuff they would not see till the film was released! – but the refit Enterprise and Jerry Goldsmith’s score are still sweet to look at and listen to.

(C) 2021 Paramount Home Media Distribution

The BD-50 Blu-rays have been remastered, and even though they don’t have any new extras vis a vis the 2009 Blu-rays, at least the color palette is much improved and the menus were updated to match the look of the ones in their 4K counterparts.

I wish Paramount had included Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek V: The Undiscovered Country, and 2001’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition, but I think that if this set sells well,  sometime in 2022, we shall see a follow-up set with at least the last two Original Series films and the quartet with the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast. I would prefer just a set with Star Trek: The Motion Picture’s 2001 update and the last two films with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig, but such things aren’t up to me.

Well, as I said earlier, I’m a bit sleep-deprived and not feeling at my best, so I’ll sign off for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and beware Romulans bearing gifts.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: