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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Highly Recommended) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Studio: Paramount
    Year: 1982
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 116 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)

    "The needs of the many outweigh
    the needs of the few"

    It's sort of interesting that Star Trek II: The
    Wrath of Khan is making history on home video
    for a second time. First, back in the early 80s
    when it cost about $80 to buy your favorite movie
    on VHS tape, Paramount boldly went where no studio
    had gone before and made Khan their very
    first sell-through title. Now, when studios are
    rehashing catalog products left and right, Khan
    makes history again for the studio as being the very
    first reissue title ever in the studio's DVD
    Most any Star Trek fan will tell you.....Star Trek II
    is the best Star Trek movie ever made.
    Being only the second film in the series, it somehow
    managed to bring all the right elements together
    including several tense, well-executed battle sequences
    that feature impressive special effects and a soaring
    score by James Horner
    The film is a sequel to a first season episode of the
    Star Trek TV series entitled Space Seed in which
    the enterprise stumbled upon a group of genetically-
    engineered supermen, lead by the cunning Khan
    (Ricardo Montoban), who tried to take over the
    Enterprise, and was banished to the planet Ceti-Alpha 5,
    a lush and fruitful planet where they could start
    their own civilization.
    Now 15 years later, Admiral Kirk's (William Shatner)
    mid life crisis is interrupted by the return of an old
    enemy looking for revenge and a potentially destructive
    device. When the star ship Reliant accidentally
    confuses Ceti-Alpha 5 for another planet, Khan takes
    it upon himself to brainwash the members of the star
    ship, steal the captain's chair, and begin his crusade
    to avenge himself upon Kirk.
    How is the transfer?
    This is actually my first look at Khan on
    DVD, as I had never removed the shrink wrap from
    the original DVD release.
    In a word, this film looks gorgeous. One of the
    very first shots in this film is of Saavik sitting
    in the Captain's chair. You can't help but notice
    her beautiful skin tones with its added makeup.
    Her skin looks so smooth you can almost touch it.
    This sets the standard for the rest of the transfer
    which looks smooth, sharp and detailed with colors
    looking very warm and natural. Black detail is
    exquisite -- especially in the slacks of the
    Star fleet uniforms. The shots inside the Nebula
    are beautifully stunning with all its melding colors
    that have never stood out as they do here. There is
    narely a hint of video noise except for a small
    amount that is given off from the maroon uniforms,
    and sometimes, the walls of the Enterprise. All of
    this is kept to a minimal however. The print is in
    immaculate condition with no noticeable blemishes.
    If only all catalog titles could look this
    sensational, it would be a perfect world.
    The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is just as impressive
    as the video. As the title sequence plays, you
    can hear how pronounced the instruments are.
    There is a little bit of dialogue bleeding across
    the front channels, but it's not a serious problem.
    The rears do an outstanding job of not only
    supplementing James Horner's film score, but
    providing the constant hum of the Enterprise's motors.
    I have heard things in this mix that I have never
    heard before. In a scene inside Kirk's apartment,
    as McCoy and Kirk enjoy a drink of Romulan ale,
    you can hear the fog horns of San Francisco Bay
    in the rear channels. Inside the cargo cabin of
    the Botany Bay, you can hear the sounds of howling
    wind rushing in the background. There are all these
    small effects noises that you never heard before
    that add to making this film a totally new viewing
    I must also mention the LFE channel which provides
    some strong and constant subwoofer bass which
    supplements the sound of the Enterprise motors, and,
    really comes into play as the star ship Reliant
    roars across the star field.
    Special Features
    Star Trek II: TWOK has been reissued on
    DVD in a deluxe 2-disc Widescreen Edition that
    contains over 5 hours of added material. It's
    my job to give you an overview of everything that
    is on this disc, so let's get started...
    Disc One contains the film itself. As you
    pop in the disc, a very cool animated menu sequence
    appears that features the Enterprise roaring
    towards Ceti Alpha 5 and the Regula 1 space station,
    ending with the Disc Menu as show above.
    Having not seen Khan for nearly 10 years,
    I tried to figure out what scenes have been added
    and what have been taken away as this 116 minute
    Director's Cut comes in a mere 4 minutes longer
    than the theatrical version. The scenes I did
    notice that have either been extended or added
    * In Kirk's Apartment, McCoy and Kirk sit in front
    of a roaring fire. McCoy urges Kirk to take back
    command of the Enterprise
    * Dr. Marcus and her son talking about the power
    of the Genesis device, Later, another scene is
    added where Carol Marcus talks to her crew about
    protecting the Genesis device.
    * Humorous ribbing from Kirk as he addresses
    Peter Preston, the nephew of Scotty.
    * Spock and McCoy debating the merits of the
    Genesis device.
    * In sick bay, some additional dialogue from
    a dying Peter Preston, and added dialogue after
    Scotty's nephew dies.
    * Kirk crawling through a tube crawl space
    There are two commentaries included on
    this disc. The first is with Director Nicholas
    Meyer. Meyer points out many interesting facts
    about his perspective of the film. He always felt
    that Spock's ears symbolized what Star Trek was
    more than anything else, so they became the very
    first shots of the film. Some of the early comments
    regard cutting costs on the film's budget by doing
    clever shots with the set making it seem bigger than
    it actually was. He adds, "Art thrives on restrictions".
    At one point in the film, Meyers fondly talks about
    actor DeForrest Kelley. Meyers states he is very
    unhappy at how the Genesis cave sequence looks,
    bringing up the old point that the studios never give
    the money up front to film these things correctly,
    but manage to complain after its all completed. This
    is a really insightful commentary by an intelligent
    individual that just lets his words and thoughts
    flow naturally with always something interesting to
    The second is actually a text commentary
    by Michael Okuda, Co-Author of The Star Trek
    . Since I don't usually like
    audio commentaries interfering with my first
    viewing of a DVD, I found this text commentary
    to be right up my alley -- and I urge all of you
    to put it on right away. It's like having a
    Star Trek geek sitting in the chair next to you
    giving you all these little-known-facts about
    the scenes you are watching. It was so cool
    being able to watch the film and have these
    constant subtitles talk about the flaws and
    absurdities of what is happening in the film.
    This geek has a sense of humor, too! You'll
    learn about how Pixar produced the Genesis device
    classified film, or how Khan recognizes Chekhov
    even though that character wasn't introduced until
    a season later, or how the entire set was shut
    down during the filming of Spock's death. This is
    really cool, and I hope that studios use more
    text commentary in their DVD releases.
    Disc Two begins with a beautifully animated
    sequence that features the Genesis device giving
    rebirth to a dead planet. Really nice!
    In Captain's Log, it's funny to learn that
    when consultant Harve Bennet was brought aboard
    for Star Trek II, he had a lot of catching up to
    do, watching 77 episodes in a matter of a few months.
    As this brand new documentary begins, Bennet describes
    Khan's character as an Osama Bin Ladin. A rather
    monotone William Shatner talks about Leonard Nimoy
    not wanting to be in this film, and the negotiating
    ploy that was used to get him to sign aboard --
    kill his character off at the end of the film. Leonard
    Nimoy reminisces about receiving the script while
    In Israel, not initially happy with the way the
    death scene was put together. It's really nice to
    see Ricardo Montalban after all these years, still
    with zest that has not dulled with age. Ricardo
    talks about his many passionately acted scenes that
    he did by himself, literally talking to a wall, as
    they were later re-edited into the face-offs with Kirk.
    Nimoy talks about the death scene, and how sensitive
    it was for him, believing that this was his final
    farewell. Harve Bennett put some things in the
    film's ending storyline, making certain that the
    door was left open for a possible return of Spock's
    character. A pretty decent featurette considering the
    fact it reunites the principal actors and filmmakers.
    (length: approx. 27 minutes)
    Production Designer Joe Jennings mostly narrates
    Designing Khan, an all-new featurette that
    explores the technology and costumes of Star
    Trek II: TWOC. It's interesting to note that
    this was the first film to introduce emblems and
    establish ranks among the Star Trek crew as well
    as costumes that sported a "Napoleonic, Teutonic"
    kind of look that went on to be the standard for
    Star Trek films and TV shows to come. We take
    a look at some brief pictures of costume and set
    designs that include interviews with the designers
    themselves. All this concludes with Ricardo
    Montalban recalling the costume he wore in the first
    moments that we meet his character.
    (length: approx. 23 minutes)
    Visual Effects is another all-new featurette
    produced for this DVD, which introduces us to
    the film's Special Visual Effects artist, Ken Ralston,
    who talks about models being used against blue
    screen pylons being state of the art at the time.
    We watch as these models and star fields are
    photographed using original effects footage. At
    the time, these effects were literally changing the
    industry and it was a lot of physical work on the
    set. You can tell that the effects team were very
    proud of their achievements upon viewing their
    completed work with added effects and score.
    (length: approx. 18 minutes)
    Let's go back to 1982 as we take a look at
    original interviews of Shatner, who talks
    about the youthful image of his character being
    questioned by the glasses he wears in the film;
    Nimoy, who talks about the humor and charm of the
    script; DeForest Kelley's reaction to be accused
    of having all the funny lines in the film and
    Ricardo Montalban talking about his villainous
    character. Though this entire interview sequence
    is rather short, at the conclusion we are treated
    to a collage of very personal photographs set against
    the film's score. Very nice!
    Geek alert! The Star Trek Universe introduces
    us to Star Trek fans and authors Greg Cox and
    Julia Ecklar. These guys have seen every movie,
    every TV show, and owned every toy about Star Trek.
    I don't know how much of this stuff you guys are
    going to be able to watch, but it's a fascinating
    study of a sect of society that while forgotten,
    still exits out there. As William Shatner once
    said in a 90s Saturday Night Live parody skit,
    "Get a Life!.
    (length: approx. 29 minutes)
    Storyboard Archives is chock-full of
    material here that will certainly take you some
    time to navigate through using your remote.
    There are 13 sequences presented here that are
    all broken down in storyboards from Kobayashi
    to The Matura Nebula, you'll be
    able to browse through hundreds of original concept
    I want to stop here and congratulate Paramount
    for again presenting all these supplements with
    the aid of subtitles -- something most studios
    regrettably don't include. Also, most all of
    these supplements are presented in a widescreen
    ratio as you can see by the screen captures.
    Rounding up the supplements is the original
    theatrical trailer -- one of my all-time
    favorites -- finally presented uncut with the
    OPENING JUNE 4TH tag at the end.
    Final Thoughts
    I have always felt that Star Trek II: TWOC is
    a great example of just how good the series has become.
    None of the movies since has quite matched all the
    magic of this film including the way it touches your
    Not much can be said here to further persuade you
    to buy this 2-disc DVD. It's already on the
    preorder list of every Star Trek Fan. You also
    can't help but admire the amount of material
    that can be had for a little over $20.
    An outstanding job from the restoration team and
    DVD producers at Paramount. If this is a sign of
    future product to come, I am VERY excited!
    Release Date: August 6, 2002
  2. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Consider it upograded, Ron! Thanks for the in-depth look at a true favorite!

  3. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

    Feb 21, 2000
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    Great review Ron, thanks !
    I can't wait to get his one. Now I'll have to sell my other copy of just the movie.
    I am a huge fan of the original tv series and I agree that ST2:TWOK is by far the best Star Trek movie made.
    One question, why not Highly Recommended ?
    It's sounds like a beautiful transfer that is loaded and that you really enjoyed.
    Khhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan !
  4. michael deakin

    michael deakin Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 20, 2000
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    Michael Charles Deakin
    Thanks for the review Ron.
    Your costing me a fortune in dvd's. [​IMG]
    Keep up the good work.
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Neil Joseph
    Ron, how did you get this review out so quickly. I am glad you did. I am also happy with the quality of the release. Looks like Paramount did their job well.

  6. David Glenn

    David Glenn Second Unit

    Dec 29, 2001
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    Thanks for another great review. I'm sold, as if I had a choice. Resistance is futile... [​IMG]
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein
    You are right. This disc does deserve
    a Highly Recommended status and I have
    upgraded it to such.
  8. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

    Feb 21, 2000
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    You're welcome.
    May you live long and prosper !
  9. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

    Jan 10, 2000
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    This is one I've been waiting for a long time. I never purchased the first release, at it had already been announced that special editions would be released at a later date. Well, that later date has finally come, so count me in on this one! Hopefully Best Buy or one of the B&M merchants will have a good price on it next week.

    Steve K.
  10. rodney wiley

    rodney wiley Second Unit

    Nov 23, 2001
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    Ron,Im especially excited about Your reference to the engine in the rear surrounds as I have a rear surround sub! I cant Wait. Keep up the Wonderful reviews Thanks again! [​IMG]
  11. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

    Apr 25, 2000
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    Manchester, England
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    Steve Christou
    Another great review Ron, and another must have for me, Khan is a superb Trek movie, has a memorable villain, nice action and a great score by James Horner, and look at those juicy extras mmmmmm.
    Sorry I have to say it.... KHAAAAAAAAAN!!![​IMG]
  12. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

    Oct 20, 1998
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    It's mine!
  13. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

    Jun 3, 2001
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    Thanks Ron! I read the post that said you might get this one out as early as Saturday morning, but sure enough, here it is Friday, and there it is! Your dedication to this great home video format is most appreciated! This disc sounds like the Trek DVD I've been waiting for since 1997!
  14. Brian Fineberg

    Brian Fineberg Second Unit

    Sep 1, 2000
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    when is this released I dont think you put that on your post. Thanks
  15. Robert Fielder

    Jul 25, 2002
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    I'm definitely looking foward to getting this. I still have my VHS of the extended Star Trek II that I taped off ABC years ago, so it'll be nice to get a copy with signifigantly better picture and sound (the ABC version was a 16mm print presented in glorious mono [​IMG] ).
    It's also great to see another text commentary by Okuda is included. I really enjoyed his comments on the Star Trek: TMP DVD and I hope he is used for the rest of the film series as well.
    -RJ Fielder
  16. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

    Feb 21, 2000
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    It's being released on 8/6/02 along with
    LOTR and Clash of the Titans.
    It's going to be an expensive day ! [​IMG]
  17. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

    Jul 25, 2000
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    I'm all over this like Tribbles on Captain Kirk.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
  18. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

    Nov 18, 1999
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    I'm with SteveK; I never got the original releases of these films, patiently awaiting future DEs. Looks like my wait is justified![​IMG]
    Speaking of TV broadcast: is it my imagination, or was the recent TNN airing badly chopped with none of the added footage? Nice to see the networks outclassing the cable channels from time to time.
  19. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

    Oct 10, 1999
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    Jonathan Perregaux
    Now all we need is a way to process a DVD "scent" commentary track so we can all sit back and enjoy Nick Meyer's smelly cigars...
  20. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

    Oct 21, 2001
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