Star Trek: 2 The Wrath Of Khan [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Inspired by the "Space Seed" episode of the original series, the classic swashbuckling scenario of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was much more of a success with fans than the somewhat turgid drama of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The film reunites newly promoted Admiral Kirk with his nemesis from the earlier episode--the genetically superior Khan (Ricardo Montalban)--who is now seeking revenge upon Kirk for having been imprisoned on a desolated planet. Their battle ensues over control of the Genesis device, a top-secret Starfleet project enabling entire planets to be transformed into life-supporting worlds, pioneered by the mother (Bibi Besch) of Kirk's estranged and now-adult son. While Mr. Spock mentors the young Vulcan Lt. Saavik (then-newcomer Kirstie Alley), Kirk must battle Khan to the bitter end, through a climactic starship chase and an unexpected crisis that will cost the life of Kirk's closest friend. This was the kind of character-based Trek that fans were waiting for, boosted by spectacular special effects, a great villain (thanks to Montalban's splendidly melodramatic performance), and a deft combination of humour, excitement, and wondrous imagination. Director Nicholas Meyer (who would play a substantial role in the success of future Trek features) treats the film as "Horatio Hornblower in space", and then adds lots of spicy seafaring Moby Dick references, plus a sprinkle of Shakespearean tragedy and World War II submarine thriller, all driven along by one of composer James Horner's finest scores. Wrath of Khan set the successful tone for the films that followed. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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After the disappointment of Star Trek: The Motion Picture the suits at Paramount decided to give "The Great Bird Of The Galaxy" aka Gene Roddenberry the heave-ho and replace him with a new producer, Harve Bennett. This was, as it turned out, a wise choice. Bennett immediately sat down and viewed all 79 episodes of the original series to see for himself what had made the show so popular in the first place. What he discovered from this 16mm projected episode marathon was two things. First, it was the characters NOT the effects that was important. Second, the episode "Space Seed" featuring one of the best adversaries of the series, Khan Noonien Singh, positively screamed for a sequel!
This director's edition features some very nice new character scenes that really flesh out the narrative. For instance, there's a scene that reveals why Scotty was so upset over the death of a particular engineering trainee, Peter Preston.
The film ratio is 2.35:1 and the audio is 5.1. The picture quality is grainy in places, but overall not too bad. The sound is excellent.
The extras disc has some fine documentaries, photos, production drawings and a superb trailer.
This is the best of the six films the original cast made. Possibly the best Star Trek film ever!
It's a shame they never made a sequel to this one where a Genesis augmented ghost Khan returned to further plague Kirk. They could have titled it, Star Trek: The Wraith Of Khan! 😉
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