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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Widescreen Collection)


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Product Description

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Although Star Trek: The Motion Picture had been a box-office hit, it was by no means a unanimous success with Star Trek fans, who responded much more favorably to the "classic Trek" scenario of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Inspired by the "Space Seed" episode of the original TV series, the film reunites newly promoted Admiral Kirk with his nemesis from the earlier episode--the genetically superior Khan (Ricardo Montalban)--who is now seeking revenge upon Kirk for having been imprisoned on a desolated planet. Their battle ensues over control of the Genesis device, a top-secret Starfleet project enabling entire planets to be transformed into life-supporting worlds, pioneered by the mother (Bibi Besch) of Kirk's estranged and now-adult son. While Mr. Spock mentors the young Vulcan Lt. Saavik (then-newcomer Kirstie Alley), Kirk must battle Khan to the bitter end, through a climactic starship chase and an unexpected crisis that will cost the life of Kirk's closest friend. This was the kind of character-based Trek that fans were waiting for, boosted by spectacular special effects, a great villain (thanks to Montalban's splendidly melodramatic performance), and a deft combination of humor, excitement, and wondrous imagination. Director Nicholas Meyer (who would play a substantial role in the success of future Trek features) handles the film as a combination of Moby Dick, Shakespearean tragedy, World War II submarine thriller, and dazzling science fiction, setting the successful tone for the Trek films that followed. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

On the DVD commentary track, Nicholas Meyer discusses his directing philosophy, how he scrimped to stay under budget (Wrath of Khan was the cheapest Star Trek film), and his nautical approach to Trek, but he doesn't dissect all the various bits of footage (only a few minutes total, with the most substantial change explaining Midshipman 1st Class Peter Preston's connection to Commander Scott) that went into the director's cut DVD. For those kinds of technical details and trivia, switch on the subtitled commentary track by Michael Okuda (who cowrote The Star Trek Encyclopedia and did the same honors on the Star Trek: The Motion Picture DVD). Disc 2 offers substantial featurettes on how the story developed and how the costumes, ships, and sets were designed, highlighted by new interviews of Meyer, producer-writer Harve Bennett, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Ricardo Montalban. There are also 8 minutes of 1982 interviews, 13 storyboard archives, and a feature that might seem like a 27-minute commercial for Star Trek books, but is actually an interesting and lighthearted look at how novelists create the back story for such topics as the Kobayashi Maru test and the Eugenics Wars, which feature prominently in Khan. --David Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Jarrett on Oct. 5 2002
Format: DVD
Though THE MOTION PICTURE began the Trek movie endeavors, it was STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN that really brought out the best for Trek fans everywhere. With magnificent battles, thrilling special effects, and the superb acting of Ricardo Montablan, THE WRATH OF KHAN is a thrill-ride from start to finish. I also liked seeing Kirstey Alley as Lt. Saavik, and she does a surprisingly nice job as the curious and charming Saavik. And Berritt Mutrick does a splendid job as the son of Kirk.
THE WRATH OF KHAN deals with the story of Khan's return, and his plans to snag his hands on the Genesis Project for his own deadly plans, and when he hijacks the USS Reliant and its crew, Kirk and the crew must stop him before it's too late. The battle scenes, especially in the Motara Nebula, are brilliant, and well done. You'll find yourself satisfied after you watch this movie, and left with a feeling that it got more than just it's job done for all the Trek fans.
THE WRATH OF KHAN also concludes with the "temporary" death of Spock, who gave his marbles to McCoy so that it would be possible to revive him in the next movie, THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK. Exhilirating, fast-paced, and with great savvy intelligence, this is one Trek you'll want to watch again and again! Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By falcon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 16 2007
Format: DVD
i think this movie is a bit better than the first one.it starts off better,with some action right off the bat.it slows down somewhat not long after,but it's not as boring as number one.i think it is better paced,and i feel it is also is written better.the dialogue is more interesting.there is more of a story to this one,and the villain is pretty well defined.there is a bit of suspense and excitement in this one,which i found lacking in the first one.also the characters are given much more to do in this one.i do think the last 30 minutes or so kind of drag though.even though this one is better than the first,there is certainly room for improvement,in my view.its' still not that great.i'll give Star Trek 2:The wrath of Khan:3/5
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Format: DVD
"The Wrath of Khan" was the second of the Star Trek movies and focuses on the crew of the original television series. Directed by Nicholas Meyer, who also made a significant but uncredited contribution to the screenplay, it hit the movie screens in 1982.

The film opens in 2285 during a 'Kobayashi Maru' simulation at Starfleet Academy - this is a no-win situation, designed to test the character and resolve of Starfleet's prospective command officers. Many, though not all, of the trainees are cadets - for this simulation, for example, a Vulcan Lieutenant called Saavik is in the captain's chair. Several senior officers have roles to play, including Spock, Sulu, Uhura and McCoy. Admiral Kirk, meanwhile, is the assessing officer. The final stage of training is a three-week training mission on a real starship - in this case, the Enterprise. Officially, Captain Spock will be in command, though Kirk will also be onboard to continue assessing the trainees.

Chekov, meanwhile, has been assigned to the USS Reliant as first officer. Commanded by Captain Terrell, it has been ordered to find a lifeless planet in the Mutara Sector for use in the Genesis Project. This top-secret program is led by Dr. Carol Marcus, one of the Federation's leading molecular biologists. Her team has developed the Genesis Device - an item that can reorganise a planet's structure at the subatomic level, changing a dead planet into one capable of supporting life. Carol Marcus' son, David, has also contributed greatly to the project - though, unlike his mother, he doesn't have much time for Starfleet. He particularly doesn't like an officer his mother was once acquainted with : an 'overgrown boy-scout' called James Kirk. Unfortunately, that overgrown boy-scout is his father...and (whoops !
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By swingreen on July 17 2004
Format: DVD
Back when "The Wrath of Khan" first hit the theaters, I remember thinking that Khan now ranks with the best movie bad guys of all time. I think Ricardo Montalban may have turned out the best performance of his career by bringing complexity, passion, pathos, and humanity all at once to the role of Khan. I'll never be able to read Moby Dick the same way ever again - "He tasks me, and I shall have him... I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom, and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!" Sure, I'm an avowed lifelong trek fan, but I don't think I'm exagggerating this by much.
On a more objective note, the movie works very well at multiple levels...
The soundtrack itself is exceptional and, at the time, somewhat ground-breaking for the movie industry. This is evidenced by the fact that subsequent soundtracks in the sci-fi genre seem to have borrowed from Horner's original score. I think it was a shame that "Khan" was not nominated for an Oscar in the original score category.
The visual effects, which were state of the art at the time, still hold up over twenty years later. It serves as a good example and reminder that movies used to have good special effects even in the pre-computer era.
The acting was also superior. I already mentioned that Montalban may have given the performance of his life as "Khan", but I don't think it ends there. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley also recaptured the feel of the cameraderie from the original series. I am aware that Shatner is often criticized for being overly-dramatic, but my opinion is that this may also rank among the top two or three performance of Shatner's career as well (including the TV show).
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