Last September, I wrote an open letter to Paramount about their release strategy for Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray. As the months went on, I knew that it didn’t really go anywhere. However, it seems that all of the discussion around the internet has finally paid off, for the most part.
The original release for the film was September 10, 2013. The only good edition of the film will release pretty much a year later, on September 9, 2014. That we’ve had to wait an entire year is a crock, but it’s happening. If someone from Paramount wants to send me a review copy of the set, I wouldn’t complain. I did, afterall, waste money pre-ordering the original version, without realizing there wouldn’t be any features on it.
According to The Digital Bits, those of us that purchased the original version should be getting a discount on the upcoming set, which will also include the superior special edition of Star Trek (2009). They also mentioned that Paramount had invited them up to their studio to talk about the original release, and learn what went wrong. There are a lot of new people working in that department, and they made an awful lot of mistakes. They’re finally mostly making good on this (though not making it individually available is a small step in the wrong direction). They have other releases that need this treatment, I am sure, and I’m still waiting for Warner Brothers to fix the same problem with Man of Steel. Ironically, it looks like it’s the same team that made the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray. Sigh.
J.J. Abrams spoke at Mashable’s Social Good Summit via Skype on Monday, revealing that there is more to his movies and television shows than just keeping you on the edge of your seat. While this is something that we’ve always known, we didn’t really know about the social good that came along.
“If we have a story we want to tell and can also make a change — that’s great,” Abrams said. “Five U.N. specialists spent time with our writers, and they really helped deepen our story lines and make the challenges even bigger: How do you prevent disease? What is life really like in a refugee camp? The whole notion of warlords is gonna be an issue in the series this year.”
Abrams’ team also met with people that are currently, or have, lived without electricity. “People with real-life experiences helped enormously to give the series a grounding in reality.”
Abrams also created a spin-off of his production company Bad Robot, to help with the social good effort. It’s called Good Robot.
The release party for the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray lead to more interviews. People weren’t allowed to ask questions about Star Wars: Episode VII, but that’s no big deal… we’ll have plenty of time to learn about that movie over the next couple of years as we wait for it to come out. In the meantime, Geek Nation got the opportunity to speak to J.J. Abrams, Michael Giacchino and Simon Pegg. Here’s what Abrams said. You’ll have to go to Geek Nation for the rest.
First up, if he had to choose one particular element of Star Trek that convinced him to return to direct this sequel, what was it?
“It was the cast originally, because I just wanted to work with them again. But then we started talking about what the story would be, I was just getting very excited about the possibilities of doing – the idea of being able to bring Khan back. The idea of this black stealth version of the Enterprise was interesting to me. The idea of doing a chase scene in San Francisco. The idea of having a future San Francisco. It was a bunch of elements.”
On a project of this magnitude, when there’s so much pressure on the filmmaker to deliver a successful final product and so much money at stake, I wondered how much room Abrams had to experiment and try new things:
“I would argue, honestly, an incredible amount. We have crazy limits all the time on every movie, and you always think, ‘Oh, it’s got a big budget and therefore…’ you know. But honestly, the ability to say, ‘You know what would be really cool?’ and then figure out a way to make it happen, I don’t think I can imagine a more wide open opportunity than this. Part of the fun of this movie was being able to do that time and again – even last minute stuff, we were able to pull off.”
Since Abrams has become inextricably tied to the concept of the “mystery box” after his TED Talk and issue of Wired, I had to know how much of that concept the director felt defined his work, for better or worse:
“I think people might misread the mystery box thing as some kind of approach I take to making stories. It was really a deconstruction of what that mystery box – which is simply a mystery box that I haven’t opened that has magic in it – into how the idea of the box meaning the movie theater and what you might see, what you hope to see. That feeling of anticipation. What the TV, what the computer is when you’re going to either watch something or write something. What might be inside that thing, either as a point of creation or as a point of consuming entertainment? So I don’t ever look at a story and go, ‘Wait, wait. Stop everyone. Stop for a minute. Take the mystery box approach.’ [Laughs] I don’t think of the mystery box as a kind of format or a formula, but I do feel like anyone, any story you tell, or any story you watch that you like, makes you lean in and ask questions. That is simply a result of compelling moments that don’t have all the answers in front of you that make you want the answers. There’s nothing worse than going to see a movie where exposition is given about something that you don’t care about, and you just feel like, ‘Ugh. Now I’m being told, now I’m supposed to feel this.’ And it’s not an experience, but an exercise in being frustrated by bad storytelling.”
After thanking J.J. for “Lost” (“Oh, that’s sweet of you. I’ll tell Damon and Carlton you said so.”) and thanking him for his time, it was off to the party, where we ate Trek-themed ice cream (the best flavor was called “Starchip Enterprise”) and drank vodka slush drinks frozen with liquid nitrogen (not kidding).
Via Geek Nation
Star Trek Into Darkness screenwriter Damon Lindelof has apologized for the scene, which was extremely gratuitous and unnecessary.
He said, “I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress. We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to make light of something that some construe as misogynistic. What I’m saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future.”
There were times in Star Trek Into Darkness that the lens flares just seemed to be all over the screen. In a way, I kind of hope that the new Star Wars films that Abrams directs have Lightsaber lens flares. But I digress… in a new video from Crave Online, they interviewed Abrams and he gives an update on a potential new Star Trek TV series for CBS, as well as makes an apology for his use of lens flares. He’s got a great, laid back, sense of humor about it, and is so self-aware about it, it’s refreshing to have a film-maker that is able to laugh at himself.
As you can probably tell, I’m a pretty big fan of J.J. Abrams’ films. In fact, the only two Star Trek films I’ve ever seen are his. I thought his Star Trek was terrific, and Star Trek Into Darkness was even better.
I saw it multiple times at the cinema, and pre-ordered it that same week from Amazon.
I expected a Blu-ray set that would be at least as good as the one made for the first film. That came out this week, and I have watched the film, but found it odd that there is no features disc. So I did some looking around online, and found a huge amount of controversy regarding the disc.
Apparently you felt it would be great to send Target their own selection of features, Wal-mart their own, Best Buy their own, Ace Hardware their own, and Subway their own. Plus, you made the commentary track available as an iTunes exclusive (where’s the love for Android)?
I’m frustrated by this. Had I known this was going to happen, I would have held off on buying the Blu-ray at all, until you release the Blu-ray disc with the bonus features disc. I held off on buying Transformers: Dark of the Moon for just that reason, and wound up with a 3D blu-ray that I cannot, and will never, be able to use – but I got all of the features that I wanted. And believe me, as a huge fan of Transformers, that was very very difficult.
I know that I don’t have the biggest following, yet, but I have built fan sites that have reached thousands, and I can do it with this site as well. In fact, I’ve built fan sites that have reached 7.7 million on Facebook. I can tell people not to purchase things, and for whatever reason, and people seem to listen. I can also tell people to purchase things, and they will do the same.
I am asking that you release a special edition of the film that is actually a special edition. That actually has all of the features that I want, and that others want. I am asking because I’m a fan. I’m asking because I want to exchange my Blu-ray for the full edition. And I know that you’re a reasonable company, and will allow for an exchange of Blu-ray sets (I mean, how many people will take you up on that offer)?
The title of the second J.J. Abrams Star Trek films, Star Trek Into Darkness seemed to confuse most who heard it – at least initially. When I first heard it, I wondered if it were just a rumor or a temporary title. It just didn’t seem to be “cool” enough. Plus it used the actual title as part of a sentence that seemed descriptive. It’s just just a star trek, but rather a trek into darkness. My thoughts turned out to be right on the money, as darkness is what we got with the sequel. It upped the ante and brought all of the characters to the next level.
Abrams recalled: It’s odd. But my favorite thing about it was the first week it was out there, the fans were going, ‘Star Trek Into What? I don’t understand it. It’s stupid.’
He added to Total Film magazine: “It definitely feels like the title’s appropriate. This is a story about these characters being challenged and tested and taken to a place that’s about sacrifice and life and death …”
Producer Damon Lindelof added: “If the first movie was about meeting and introductions, this movie is about becoming a family. The title of the movie is not just about the mission that the Enterprise is going on but what happens when you get to know each other a little better and the hurdles you must jump over in order to truly become family.”