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PCR # 127  (Vol. 3, No. 35)  This edition is for the week of August 26--September1, 2002.

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The Unapologetic DVD Enthusiast

"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"---Mike Smith

Directors Edition    Paramount Home Video
Review by Michael A. Smith
    Commentary by director Nicholas Meyer

    Theatrical trailer(s)

    Disc 1:

    • Extended 116-minute director's edition of the film
    • Text commentary by Michael Okuda (co-author of The Star Trek Encyclopedia)

    Disc 2:

    • The Captain's Log (new, exclusive cast & crew interviews with Nicholas Meyer, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban, and Harve Bennett)
    • "Designing Khan" featurette (comparisons of Star Trek I and Star Trek II)
    • "The Visual Effects of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (featuring interviews with Meyer and ILM visual effects designers)
    • Original interviews with DeForest Kelley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Ricardo Montalban
    • "The Star Trek Universe: A Novel Approach" by authors Julia Ecklar and Greg Cox (includes interviews with the authors of "A Test of Character: The Kobayashi Maru Scenario" and "The Eugenics Wars: A History of Khan Noonien Singh")
    • Storyboard archives
    • Widescreen anamorphic format
    • Number of discs: 2

    Pretty much acclaimed as the best of the "Star Trek" films (with the fourth chapter, "The Voyage Home" a close second), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" follows "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" with it's own deluxe two DVD set.

    Like all "deluxe" editions, the DVD set is packed with the sort of extras that DVD was made for. There are two different commentaries. One is from director Nicholas Meyer, who was just coming off the under rated H.G. Wells/Jack the Ripper fantasy "Time After Time." (Incidentally, a special edition DVD of "Time After Time" is due in stores soon). Meyer's commentary is very funny. As someone who never really watched the original series, Meyer's brought to the film a whole new vision. Little touches like "No Smoking" signs on the bridge or a crew member vacuuming a hallway while Kirk and Spock walk past brought the film out of the "serious" mode the first one had fallen into and made every character more personable. The second commentary is a text one by "Star Trek Encyclopedia" co-author Michael Okuda. Okuda is a master of even the most trivial fact and is obviously working on a labor of love. Among the questions answered: Why Khan recognizes Chekov when the Chekov character wasn't even in the episode which introduced Khan, "Space Seed."

    Apparently, Khan was made to wait for several minutes to use the restroom on the Enterprise by Chekov. He never forgets a face! As far as the "director's edition," there are a few added scenes. The only ones really story worthy flesh out the character of Ensign Peter Preston. Turns out Preston is actually the nephew of Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (which most fans, including me, already knew). However, the extra footage does explain the obvious grief Scotty expresses when Preston dies. Meyer's actually does not like the term "director's cut/director's edition." He feels that the film shown in the theatre is the film he intended. He also points out that "Mr. Spielberg did not do a "director's edition" of "Jaws" for the same reason.

    The second disc is packed with new interviews with cast and crew, as well as behind the scenes features of the special effects. There are also original interviews from the set during the making of the film. It is indeed a treat to see the cast 20 years younger. It is even more poignant to see and hear the late DeForrest Kelley talk about a role he will always be associated with.

    With "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" due to get the special edition treatment in October, and the new "Next Generation" film, "Nemesis" due to hit screens in December, it looks like this will be a great holiday season for Trekkies everywhere.

    on a * * * * rating system:

    Picture quality: * * * *
    Sound quality: * * * *
    Extras: * * * *
    Overall rating: * * * *

    In Association with Amazon.com

The review of the DVD release of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith.    All graphics this page (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova ©2002.     All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova