Star Trek Into Darkness - Spock and Kirk (header size)

Theaters are still the way to go for actual movie-watching, but seeing a film on DVD or Blu-ray often has one distinct advantage. At the cinema, the experience ends when the credits roll, but with a good home video release, you can usually extend the fun by several hours with the director’s commentary, the behind-the-scenes featurettes, and the deleted scenes.

That is, unless you’re a Star Trek Into Darkness fan. According to various reports, the upcoming Blu-ray release comes with a paltry 40 minutes of dull featurettes. What really has fans grumbling, though, is that Paramount actually recorded plenty of other features — they’re just split up among retailers as exclusives.

The actual Blu-ray won’t hit shelves for another several days, but the reviews are already out. In terms of the movie itself, it sounds like Paramount’s done just fine, as The Digital Bits gives it an A+ for audio and video.

But the same site gave it an F for special features, as it comes with just seven featurettes that add up to around 40 minutes total.

  • Creating the Red Planet
  • Attack on Starfleet
  • The Klingon Home World
  • The Enemy of My Enemy
  • Ship to Ship
  • Brawl by the Bay
  • Continuing the Mission

That means there’s no director’s commentary, deleted scenes, or anything. To get all of the extras, you’d have to pick up all of the various editions from all of the various retailers. For example, the director’s commentary can only be found on iTunes, while certain featurettes can only be found on bonus discs exclusive to Best Buy or Target, or as VUDU or CinemaNow downloads.

Now, technically, Paramount doesn’t “owe” anyone anything. And true, the practice of retailer-exclusive editions isn’t new. However, there’s a big difference between offering a snazzy cover variant or one additional bonus feature to make Best Buy (or Target or VUDU or iTunes) happy, and stripping the regular edition of its best extras to split them up among stores.

This smacks of taking advantage of fans — the same devoted fans who’d be willing to shell out a few extra bucks for a more comprehensive Blu-ray with all the features. Especially since, with a sticker price of $39.99, this bare-bones Trek release isn’t even that cheap. If, after all that, you still want a copy of Star Trek Into Darkness, the disc goes on sale September 10.

Discuss: Are you bothered by the lack of features on the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray, or do you typically ignore the extras anyway?

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