Star Trek Into Darkness and the missing Blu-ray extras
It seems that at least half of the extras planned for the Star Trek Into Darkness disc release are now retailer exclusive...
Heading into UK stores next week, and arriving in the US a week later, is the DVD and Blu-ray release of Star Trek Into Darkness. But as US reviewers for the film have started to receive their copies, it's looking as though Paramount has decided to hold back the bulk of the extra features from the disc release. Furthermore, it seems to be holding them back, in America at least, to provide different retailers with different exclusives.
The DVD release of Star Trek Into Darkness is apparently extras-free, whilst the Blu-ray features seven featurettes, that run to around 40 minutes. The review that's gone up over at The Digital Bits suggests that these are basic filler, the kind of press kit pieces that are interesting enough, but hardly substantive.
This in itself wouldn't be the best of news. But the issue here is that the filmmakers created a lot more in the way of extra features, yet they're not appearing on the main Blu-ray release.
Instead, they're being used as retailer exclusives. As such, the only way you can get the commentary track (on paper, arguably the pick of the extra features that we know about) that JJ Abrams and his team recorded is via an iTunes 'extra' download. From what we can make out, to get hold of it you need to pay full price for the 1080p download of the film from Apple. So, if you want to watch the film on Blu-ray with commentary, you have to pay twice, and press play on two devices at the same time. Which we can't imagine very many people want to do.
Furthermore, additional featurettes are only available as special downloads from CinemaNow and VuDu. And then there are additional featurettes that appear on bonus discs if you buy Star Trek Into Darkness from either Target or Best Buy in the US (although both of those stores seem to have different retailer exclusive extras).
According to the Amazon UK listing for the UK Star Trek Into Darkness release, we're only getting the main featurettes too that appear on the US disc, so what the arrangements are for the retailer exclusives over here are remains to be seen.
Understandably, this decision - to hold back extras from customers to entice retailers - has not got down well, and as Bleeding Cool points out, "one of the qualities I appreciate in Blu-ray releases is that if I purchase a Blu-ray I then own the best release of that film I can get, until another technology comes along. I have it in the best possible format currently available for home viewing and with all the special features that I may return to again and again in years to come. This disc isn’t that".
As it turns out, to get the full selection of extras for Star Trek Into Darkness, it looks like you're expected to buy the disc from an assorted of different retailers, and jigsaw them together. How can that be right and fair?
On the upside, the technical side of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray is reportedly very strong, and The Digital Bits has posted its review here.
We await the UK disc with interest to see if the above is reflected over here. We fear it may be.
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