Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

Featured In Issue 141, July/August 2009

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Nicholas Meyer
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Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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Ricardo Montalban is this genetic superman gone bad who is left for dead on a distant planet. Only he doesn't die, see? So then he, like, builds this army of a whole bunch of genetic supermen and, like, storms this space station called Regula One and rips off a bitchin' gadget called Genesis that if you, like, shoot it into a moon, let's say, it will turn the dead moon into a life-giving planet. Cool, huh? Oh, so anyway, then Admiral Kirk (Shatner) and Spock (Nimoy) have to try to stop Khan from taking over...well, everything. (Laurie Sevano)

Special features include commentary by Director Nicholas Meyer, commentary by Meyer and Manny Coto, and a "Library Computer" interactive experience that allows you to access information about people, technology, locations, and more at the moment each appears in the film. Under "Production" you will find the Captain's Log interview segment (SD 27:21), a "Designing Khan" comparison segment between the first two Star Trek movies (SD 23:54), the 1982 original interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, and Ricardo Montalban (10:56), and the following featurettes: Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Visual Effects Of Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan (SD 18:14) and James Horner: Composing Genesis (HD 09:33). Under "The Star Trek Universe" there are the following featurettes: Collecting Star Trek's Movie Relics (HD 11:05), A Novel Approach (SD 28:55), and Starfleet Academy Scisec Brief 002: Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI (HD 03:08). Additionally, there are 13 storyboards, a "Farewell Tribute To Ricardo Montalban" (HD 04:44), the theatrical trailer, BD-Live interactivity, and up-front ads.

The 1080p AVC encoding begs to be viewed in a pitch-black room, as the deep blacks and sharply defined high-contrast brights make for an enjoyable experience. Fairly heavy film grain can be a distraction, but generally the images are clean of dirt artifacts from the source elements. Not every scene is plagued with heavy grain, and some scenes look very crisp and clean. Colors are richly defined and fleshtones appear natural. Images are generally sharp throughout, though the picture can appear pasty and undefined. Some scenes appear overly soft, but they do not make up the majority of the presentation. The image can have a pleasing sense of depth that brings life to the presentation, but the age of the original source is definitely noticeable. (Danny Richelieu/Suzanne Hodges)

The Dolby® TrueHD 7.1-channel remastered soundtrack offers some refinements over the previously remastered DVD audio version. Surround activity is nicely incorporated, but while the soundtrack as a whole has been cleaned up well, the surround channels do deliver audible levels of hiss and hum. The low-end bass is nicely defined with power and finesse. Overall, there is a greater sense of envelopment with a more active, involving soundstage. Although the surround sound experience from this repurposing effort is impressive, the original audio's limited and veiled fidelity is readily apparent. The noise floor is generally low, and dynamic range is impressive. Dialogue shows off the worst aspects of the soundtrack's fidelity, while the well-produced musical track shows off the best of the encoding. Full-range surrounds will certainly benefit from this soundtrack, as the bass will extend to below 25 Hz in these channels. This is an effectively holosonic™ soundtrack, with remarkable depth and engagement of the split surrounds at times, and the addition of two additional surround channels is a welcome benefit in this respect. (Danny Richelieu/Perry Sun)