The picture quality is hardly better than VHS in places, whilst the sound is often decidedly ropey. Why do Star Trek fans have to tolerate such poor releases of their favourite films? Don't even ask about extra features - one trailer does not go a long way towards justifying the extra cost of buying the movie in DVD format.
I should be giving this film five stars - as a movie it deserves them - but the DVD transfer is so poor that it has to be three.
It's not quite there. The DVD is packaged in the same way and The Motion Picture and has the same kind of layout. Thought and attention has gone into the animated menus, with diferent animation being offered on each of the two disks.
The fist disk contains the feature and as before offers an audio commentary by Nick Meyer (Director) and text commentary again provided by Michael Okuda. As it is just Nick Meyer on the audio, there is something lacking from the commentary. On the Motion Picture we had input from four angles (Director, Actor, Special Effects...), but here we have a single point of view from someone who is not the most exciting of speakers.
On the second disk there are some great documentarys with new content shot just for this release in addition to the original interviews from 1982 when the film was first shown. Also here are the storyboard archives we have come to expect, but missing is one of the features that was so good about the Directors Edition of The Motion Picture. There are no comparisons between the original release and this edition. There are not even any deleted scenes.
And this is where the problem lies. The Motion Picture was always seen as a flawed masterpiece, and the Directors Edition gave Bob Wise the chance to go back and do what he didn't have time to complete before. With Wrath of Khan, it was already a fine movie. There have been no special effects touch ups, no added CGI just the insertion of a few additional lines of dialogue here and there. In all, the movie is about 8 mins longer than the original that was released on DVD last year.
Make no mistake, the film is still a fine movie, but you cant help but feel that it is a missed opportunity. There are a number of scenes that have been added that help explain a few things (such as Scottys emotional response to a particular engineer that is killed, we now discover it was a family member), yet there are scenes that are conspicuous by their abscence. The main one is the scene where Spock reveals that Saavik (Kirsty Alley) is Half Vulcan/Half Romulan explaining some of her emotional outbursts. The scene exists (and is even available on the internet) yet it was not included here.
The Wrath of Khan is a fine film, and the added features (5 hours in total) make it an essential purchase, but if you are expecting the kind of makeover that The Motion Picture received you will be disapointed. Think of this as an extended version and you will be quite happy with a slighly more rounded movie that is still the best trek film to date.
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