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Resurrected from the "Space Seed" episode of the TV series, Ricardo Montalban's Khan is the hammiest, most passionately alive Trek villain, infused with Captain Ahab's self-destructive single-mindedness and quoting Moby Dick and Shakespeare in his furious pursuit of Kirk. Given permission to be melodramatic, William Shatner has never been stronger, or made Kirk seem more vulnerable. And even after seeing all the later movies, no self-respecting Trekker can sit through Spock's ultimate illogical sacrifice with a dry eye.
Unlike the major revisions made to The Motion Picture, this new Director's Edition of Wrath of Khan is only a very slightly extended version of the original, with some fairly minor additions--most notably scenes that establish Midshipman Peter Preston as Scotty's nephew, thereby explaining Scotty's grief at the young man's death. Some other scenes--such as Kirk and Spock discussing the Genesis Device--have also been expanded.
On the DVD: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is now presented in a lovely 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen print with Dolby 5.1 sound. The first disc has an audio commentary from Nicholas Meyer, plus another fascinating all-you-ever-needed-to-know text commentary from Trek expert Michael Okuda (he did the same for The Motion Picture's DVD release). The second disc has a series of informative documentaries, the most substantial being a lengthy retrospective "Captain's Log", featuring contributions from Producer Harve Bennett, Meyer, Shatner, Nimoy and Montalban. Other featurettes focus on the production design ("Designing Khan"), "Visual Effects", and the writers of Star Trek novel spin-offs about Khan and the Kobayashi Maru ("The Star Trek Universe"). It's a shame that James Horner's major contribution goes unnoticed though. To round things off there are some promotional interviews from 1982, storyboards and the original trailer. --Mark Walker
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.Read more ›