Star Trek films on Blu-Ray... what we know so far

Kyrsten Brad

Cinematographer
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
2,309
Reaction score
1,203
Points
1,610
Age
60
Location
Merritt Island, Florida
Real Name
Brad
Osato said:
A bit off topic but... The animated series DVD set is $10 right now. I know hd mastering was done for these DVD transfers but a blu Ray release has never happened. I may cave on it. I was holding out all of these years for a blu Ray set. I can watch the episodes via Amazon prime.
They were around $45 or so when first released. I waited and got my set at WalMart for $14.99 about 8 years ago.

I don't know if ST-TAS would benefit from a Blu release image quality wise. Maybe enough so they look half decent on a big screen. I'll leave that to those more informed on animated releases onto Blu.
 

Kyrsten Brad

Cinematographer
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
2,309
Reaction score
1,203
Points
1,610
Age
60
Location
Merritt Island, Florida
Real Name
Brad
Osato said:
4K transfers will be needed for the trek films. I'm sure paramount will make a good decision and have new transfers struck.
I sure hope you're right on this as I have refrained from purchasing ant ST TOS movies on Blu until the true 50th rolls around next year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Josh Steinberg

Executive Producer
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
18,412
Reaction score
22,811
Points
9,110
Age
37
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Since the Blu-ray era has begun, has Paramount remastered any of their releases? I know of instances where they re-released a title with new special features, or in the case of "The Compendium" release, used an existing IMAX formatted master for STID that was different than the one used in the original disc, but does anyone know of a time that Paramount went back and rescanned a film element to create a better Blu-ray? I can't think of one example of that happening off the top of my head. The early "Mission: Impossible" films are in as bad or worse shape on Blu-ray as the Trek movies, but even with a new "Mission: Impossible" this year, they just repackaged the old discs.


I'd love to be wrong, but I'm not feeling a lot of optimism on this front.
 

Nelson Au

Executive Producer
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,432
Reaction score
4,292
Points
9,110
If I'm not mistaken, The 10 Commandments received a very nice release in 2011 with a nice case including the blu Ray, DVD and included the black and white silent version. I thought that was remastered. I'm sure Robert Harris will know and the others here. It is a popular film, so it made financial sense to release it in such a lavish set.

Star Trek remains popular among fans and the general public. But if the recent reports are true that an executive at Paramount feel the current film's are too Star Trek-y and had discussed the idea of possibly seeing an opportunity to make the franchise move towards a Call of Duty type of film series, then there may not be much hope the studio sees much value in the Original Series films. I certainly hope his opinion is not shared by others. And I hope that more level headed thinking prevails.

I still hold out hope that Star Trek The Motion Picture receives a special edition treatment this coming year. It's well past time for that.
 

Kevin EK

Producer
Reviewer
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
3,098
Reaction score
601
Points
4,110
I had hoped we'd see a Blu-ray of the Director's Edition of TMP, but it no longer looks like that's happening. There's also no indication that Paramount has any interest in revisiting their earlier HD transfers of the Trek movies. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on that count, but there are many worlds of difference between the Trek movies and The Ten Commandments.


It looks like Paramount intends to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first TV airdates by releasing the latest of the Abrams-flavor movies, albeit without Abrams being directly involved. I wouldn't be surprised to see re-issues of the previously existing Blus in new packaging to go with the new release. CBS looks like it will spend the 50th trying to generate a new online Trek series built from the architecture of the Abrams movies. (Given that Alex Kurtzman is supervising its start, and given the way he and Orci and Abrams have handled both Trek and other series in the past, it would appear that the new show will simply make use of the existing sets now up in Vancouver - just transposing things to a new vessel at the same time.)


At the very least, we do have the existing Blu-rays and their bonus features. And for those who weren't pleased with these blus, we also still have all the DVDs with their bonuses. Anything past what we have will be a nice thing, but I'm okay with what they've already provided us.
 

Nelson Au

Executive Producer
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
15,432
Reaction score
4,292
Points
9,110
Kevin,

I just cannot accept that the people who make decisions for what home video products are released at Paramount are that blind to the fans. I would think that someone there is aware of the demand, small as it admittedly may be.

There is a degree of debt I would think that the studio owes to the franchise. Maybe it doesn't owe the fans anything, but the franchise is 50 years old and going onwards into the future. It needs to preserve its roots.

Agreed that at least we have what we have. And I'm most grateful to CBS for the remastered release of TOS. TNG is a delightful bonus.
 

Josh Steinberg

Executive Producer
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
18,412
Reaction score
22,811
Points
9,110
Age
37
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
I think part of the problem is that CBS and Paramount are essentially separate entities now. If Trek was all under one roof, maybe more could be done. I think the excellent Blu-rays of TOS and TNG are proof that the CBS side likes Trek and respects the legacy of the show as well as the fans.


On the other hand, Paramount has always (in my view) seemed somewhat indifferent and/or embarrassed about Star Trek, whether it's rushing the first movie to theaters to make an arbitrary deadline, slashing the budget on later installments, not creating new state-of-the-art masters for the Blu-ray sets, or any of the other zillion signs over the years. When the 2009 "Star Trek" movie came out, I was overjoyed - I thought it was a great movie, and I was stunned to see over $100 million spent on Trek - it seemed like Paramount finally cared, and in hiring J.J. Abrams, had picked someone who had experience overseeing a television show and who could seemingly be committed to high budget and high quality Trek. And then the other shoe fell - suddenly Abrams seemed indifferent, and the studio dragged their heels waiting almost four years to start working on the next movie and then rushing it to completion as the opening date loomed. In 2009, it seemed like there might be some stability returned to Trek at Paramount, but that seemed to have vanished between 2009 and "Into Darkness" - Trek once again seems like something Paramount is embarrassed of, rather than proud.


I don't want to believe Paramount doesn't care, but I'm waiting for the evidence that they do. Remastered Blu-rays of the original cast movies that included their director's cut versions, and even a STID released that included the IMAX version in 3D (which, not for nothing, was the film's OAR), could go a long way to demonstrating some care and respect. But I don't think we'll even be getting remastered versions of the theatrical cuts anytime soon, much less of the director's cuts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Josh Steinberg

Executive Producer
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
18,412
Reaction score
22,811
Points
9,110
Age
37
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Nelson Au said:
If I'm not mistaken, The 10 Commandments received a very nice release in 2011 with a nice case including the blu Ray, DVD and included the black and white silent version. I thought that was remastered. I'm sure Robert Harris will know and the others here. It is a popular film, so it made financial sense to release it in such a lavish set.
I understand, but I think that was the first time Ten Commandments was issued on Blu-ray. What I'm wondering is, has Paramount ever done a Blu-ray double dip that included a new transfer of the film? For example, like Universal has done with Apollo 13? I can't think of a single Paramount title where they've done that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Dave H

Producer
Joined
Aug 13, 2000
Messages
5,742
Reaction score
328
Points
9,110
Kevin EK said:
Anything past what we have will be a nice thing, but I'm okay with what they've already provided us.
To each his own, but in my opinion most of the original Trek movies are rather poor in PQ and do not look like film at all. The DNR and contrast boosting is atrocious once you get to third movie and later. The edge enhancement doesn't help either.


However, aside from a small number of titles and restorations, Paramount has not shown much interest in general with Blu-ray compared to the other major studios.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Dave H

Producer
Joined
Aug 13, 2000
Messages
5,742
Reaction score
328
Points
9,110
Josh Steinberg said:
I understand, but I think that was the first time Ten Commandments was issued on Blu-ray. What I'm wondering is, has Paramount ever done a Blu-ray double dip that included a new transfer of the film? For example, like Universal has done with Apollo 13? I can't think of a single Paramount title where they've done that.
Universal has seen the light. Paramount refuses.
 

Osato

Producer
Joined
Feb 7, 2001
Messages
6,044
Reaction score
1,888
Points
9,110
It seems hard to believe that paramount would release 780p scans of the trek films on ultra he blu Ray. But who knows.

Good call on the blu Ray reissue with new transfer point.

So it may be that paramount will wait on new transfers until / if ultra HD blu Ray takes off...

I'm still hoping for new transfers next year for the anniversary though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Josh Steinberg

Dave H

Producer
Joined
Aug 13, 2000
Messages
5,742
Reaction score
328
Points
9,110
Osato said:
It seems hard to believe that paramount would release 780p scans of the trek films on ultra he blu Ray. But who knows.

Good call on the blu Ray reissue with new transfer point.

So it may be that paramount will wait on new transfers until / if ultra HD blu Ray takes off...

I'm still hoping for new transfers next year for the anniversary though.
I'll be surprised if Paramount even supports UHD BD.
 

Josh Steinberg

Executive Producer
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
18,412
Reaction score
22,811
Points
9,110
Age
37
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Dave H said:
To each his own, but in my opinion most of the original Trek movies are rather poor in PQ and do not look like film at all. The DNR and contrast boosting is atrocious once you get to third movie and later. The edge enhancement doesn't help either.
I'll second the "not looking like film at all" point. On one hand, the Blu-rays do look better than any copies of those movies I've ever owned previously. But on the other hand, they don't look like film. Last year I got to see a 35mm print of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and even though it had some scratches and what appeared to be just a little bit of fading, it was overall a more pleasing viewing experience than the Blu-ray.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato and Dave H

Dave H

Producer
Joined
Aug 13, 2000
Messages
5,742
Reaction score
328
Points
9,110
Josh Steinberg said:
I'll second the "not looking like film at all" point. On one hand, the Blu-rays do look better than any copies of those movies I've ever owned previously. But on the other hand, they don't look like film. Last year I got to see a 35mm print of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and even though it had some scratches and what appeared to be just a little bit of fading, it was overall a more pleasing viewing experience than the Blu-ray.
That's very cool you got to see that!


I think the source material Paramount used for the Blus was fine; if they would have just not used EE, DNR, and contrast boosting I think most would be fine with these. As they are today, they look like they were filmed with a 720p digital camera. Ugh.


The HD broadcasts have appeared without the processing and look solid.
 

Josh Steinberg

Executive Producer
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
18,412
Reaction score
22,811
Points
9,110
Age
37
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Dave H said:
That's very cool you got to see that!


I think the source material Paramount used for the Blus was fine; if they would have just not used EE, DNR, and contrast boosting I think most would be fine with these. As they are today, they look like they were filmed with a 720p digital camera. Ugh.


The HD broadcasts have appeared without the processing and look solid.
Agreed. I think especially at the beginning of Blu-ray, there was a desire at a lot of studios to have their films looking like brand new digital productions, rather than looking like what they are, which is film. I'd much rather have a Blu-ray that looks like film but has some age or wear related artifacts rather than a pristine looking image that isn't representative of what the movie actually looked like. I think the studios have in general moved in that direction since then, but we're still stuck with those Blu-rays.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave H and Osato

Kevin EK

Producer
Reviewer
Joined
May 9, 2003
Messages
3,098
Reaction score
601
Points
4,110
I would wait to see how many of the studios really want to put a lot of stock into 4K Blu-ray. It will all depend on whether or not there appears to be a huge demand for it. If there is such a large demand, we'll most likely see key catalogue titles getting 4K releases from all the studios.


But if not, I wouldn't expect Paramount to create new masters of these movies. They've been showing over the past 6 years that they're happy to just keep re-releasing the editions they put out in 2009. It's not that they're somehow embarrassed by the movies. It's just that they don't wish to spend more money on them. And it's a bit of a catch 22. Had every fan boycotted the 2009 Blu-rays, Paramount would have concluded that there was no demand for the movies. Since most fans did purchase the Blus, Paramount has concluded that what they released was good for the marketplace. People can continue to write emails to Paramount to ask for better versions, and I'd recommend that approach. But it's more likely to get a response of "Noted" than of actually seeing anything happen.


As I said, the earlier DVDs of these movies are perfectly fine to me. If the concern is over the various digital things that were done for the HD transfers, you can still watch the SD DVDs, which contain all the versions we'd like to see. Do they have the crispest detail on an HDTV? Of course not. But I grew up watching the old series on a small color set, and even on a small black and white set. I agree that it would be preferable to have the very best picture quality we can have on these releases - but I honestly don't know that we'll get to see that in this case. I would very much prefer to be wrong about this, but the working history of the past decade does not trend that way.
 

Lord Dalek

Producer
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
4,633
Reaction score
1,612
Points
4,110
Age
34
Real Name
Joel Henderson
Kyrsten Brad said:
I don't know if ST-TAS would benefit from a Blu release image quality wise. Maybe enough so they look half decent on a big screen. I'll leave that to those more informed on animated releases onto Blu.
The one episode that has been released on blue (More Tribbles More Troubles) suggests a 1080p encode would benefit TAS as much as any live action show.
 

Tom St Jones

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 14, 2013
Messages
624
Reaction score
406
Points
610
Location
the Great Northeast
Real Name
Thomas
As I've said in the past, if Paramount has any respect at all for the wishes of the late Robert Wise, they must make the Director's Cut available in HD and/or Ultra HD at some point - even if it's only an upconvert of the DE DVD (of course, I certainly hope NOT) - as we all know it is meant to be the finalized version of the film.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Brian Kidd

Cinematographer
Premium
Joined
Nov 14, 2000
Messages
2,552
Reaction score
1,222
Points
4,110
Typically, most film-based material with a decent source benefits from the capabilities that Blu-ray offers. The H.264 compression used for pretty much all modern BD encodes is vastly superior to MPEG2. Given a high-enough bitrate, digital artifacts are few-and-far-between. It also seems to be far-better at resolving color than MPEG2. There is a common misconception that older animated material doesn't benefit from HD but, from the examples I've seen, nothing could be further from the truth. The Warner cartoons are stunning on Blu-ray. Details in the line work and backgrounds are visible for the first time in a home setting. I'm not saying that a low-budget Filmation show from the early-Seventies has the same animation quality of Warner Bros. in their prime, but the Star Trek show does have some lovely backgrounds and use of color that I truly feel would shine on Blu-ray. The HD masters exist, so never say never.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osato

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,687
Messages
4,687,012
Members
140,992
Latest member
rebccalim