“Trouble with Tribbles” Writer David Gerrold talks about the heritage of Star Trek

With Star Trek marking its 50th anniversary this week, all of fandom has been celebrating the launch of the television series that inspired generations of science fiction lovers and created a lasting legacy.

As part of the celebration, CBS Home Video is releasing a special collector’s edition blu-ray set that gives Star Trek fans a look at the series as they’ve never seen before. (I’ll be posting my review of the set in the coming week. There’s a LOT to check out!) They also had original series writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold doing interviews with different media outlets to talk about Trek and the new blu-ray set.

I was able to get a few minutes with Gerrold, who I must admit being a fan of for decades. In addition to writing “The Trouble with Tribbles”– considered one of the most popular Star Trek episodes ever – he’s also written the Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella “The Martian Child.” But I really became a fan when I got hooked on his “War Against the Ch’Torr” series, a tale of alien invasion that this geek discovered in high school after reading an excerpt in “Starlog Magazine.” (Gerrold informs me that he has finished the 5th book and is awaiting edits.)

Gerrold spoke to me by phone as he was on the road doing the Star Trek convention circuit:

Geek To Me: Have you had a chance to look at the set, and if so what do you think about it?

David Gerrold: I’ve looked at some of it. It’s 30 discs, you know, it’s going to take a while to get through the whole thing. But I am so jazzed by the blu-ray remasters. If you have a good TV set – and most of us have 42 inches and up now – you’re actually seeing Star Trek better than it’s ever been presented before.

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I remember we would get the dailies for Star Trek the original series, and it was a 35 millimeter print, the same you would go to the movies (to see). It was crisp, clear, there was no grain, no jumping around, no scratches, and it was on a high quality projector, right?

What you’re seeing on the blu-rays is as if you’re seeing (the dailies) but it may be even better because it’s been digitally remastered. For instance there’s a shot in “The Trouble with Tribbles” where Leonard Nimoy has some coffee on his velour at lunch. And you can see it, the coffee stain. Nobody ever noticed that before.

So, I am so excited to actually have this high-quality version of Star Trek. Because Star Trek is iconic. It’s just one of the very best things that American television has ever created. As a science fiction fan, how can you not be enthralled?

I’m excited, did I say that?

More after the jump!

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Getting paid on the Enterprise: How does money work on Star Trek?

The latest episode of Geek/Countergeek has Keith Conrad and I discussing Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary, the new blu-ray collection, and how money – or more specifically commerce – works in Gene Roddenberry’s utopian future.

Just how much do garbage men make in the United Federation of Planets?

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Andy Samberg is a POPSTAR in new comedy on Blu-Ray/DVD

Ever since he left Saturday Night Live, Andy Samberg has done a pretty good job of staying in the pop-culture limelight, breaking out like other former SNL cast members in new television and film projects. Now the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star has a movie coming out on Blu-Ray and DVD where he plays a pop star who is trying to remain relevant.

The film is a comedy called POPSTAR: NEVER STOP STOPPING and it was written by Samberg and his Lonely Island homies. I’ve got the details about the Blu-Ray/DVD release in the following press release. And I’ve got digital copies to give away to a couple lucky Geek To Me readers!

Check it out:

 AN OUTRAGEOUS NEW COMEDY FROM THE LONELY ISLAND AND ‘TRAINWRECK’ AND ‘40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN’ PRODUCER JUDD APATOW

POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL HD AUGUST 16, 2016, ON DEMAND AUGUST 30, 2016, AND BLU-RAY AND DVD SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT025192319006_bluray_ws_3dretail_clr

“Insanely funny!” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Universal City, California, July 12, 2016 – Andy Samberg stars in this hilarious comedy as a former boy-band member trying desperately to salvage his failing solo career, coming to Digital HD on August 16, 2016, On Demand on August 30, 2016, and Blu-rayTM and DVD on September 13, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. This side-splitting comedy goes behind the scenes as music sensation Conner4Real (Samberg) finds his popularity plummeting after a disastrous album release, leaving his fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he’s no longer the dopest star of all. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping on Blu-rayTM and DVD comes with over an hour of outrageous bonus features, including deleted scenes, a gag reel, celebrity interview outtakes and more!

(More info and contest details after the jump!)

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Marvel goes tiny in “Ant-Man” Blu-Ray promo

In what was their biggest gamble since “Guardians of the Galaxy”, the folks at Marvel Studios launched a superhero series in their “Marvel Cinematic Universe” (MCU) based on one of their lesser-known heroes named “Ant-Man.” Of course, when you have a character that’s best known for shrinking to the size of an ant, you have to change your way of thinking when it comes to promoting his movie. You have to get away from the larger-than-life scope of heroes like Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. You have to get…tiny.

With the blu-ray release of Marvel’s “Ant-Man” this week, the studio is “going small” by giving fans a new way to look at the world of Scott Lang, the secret identity of the titular hero as played by Paul Rudd.

I received a neat little “Ant-Man” memento courtesy of the film studio and toymaker Janky Toys. It was a miniaturized replica of the blu-ray, complete with its own sleeve!

(Images and more after the jump!)

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Disney’s Aladdin Blu-Ray Release Pays Tribute to Robin Williams

AladdinDiamondBlurayRev smallWhen I first saw the movie “Aladdin” at the movie theater in 1992, it made a tremendous impact on me. First, it made me actually like musicals. Sorry, I never got into “The Little Mermaid” or “Beauty and the Beast” like so many others did. Quite frankly, musicals were never my thing. But when we first meet Aladdin in the streets of Agrabah, evading the Sultan’s soldiers while singing about his “street rat lifestyle”, I was hooked. Add to that the subtle nods to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and some spectacular action sequences, and I was reeled in. But it wasn’t until the Genie (voiced by Robin Williams) hit the screen that I was truly enamored with this world that “Aladdin” co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker helped bring to the big screen. I grew up on Williams as a part of my pop-culture world. His stand-up act, his appearances on television shows like “Happy Days” and “Mork and Mindy” helped shape my sense of humor and appreciation for the spoken word.

Nonetheless, it’s a bittersweet experience for me to watch Disney’s “Aladdin” on the new Diamond Edition Blu-ray. Don’t get me wrong, the transfer is immaculate and looks gorgeous on my big-screen HD set. I even loved the little running “Abu the Monkey” icon that appears on screen as the disc loads. But when you consider how much Robin Williams meant to the movie, viewing the film can bring a slight pang to the heart as Williams’ passing is something that still affects his fans.

Thankfully, the folks at Disney were mindful enough of this and included features that paid tribute to Robin Williams, most notably “The Genie Outtakes.” In this bonus feature, “Aladdin” directors Clements and Musker talk about working with Williams and share a number of outtakes that never made the final film. The outtakes are pretty funny, as you would expect, although you could see why they weren’t used. The number of celebrity impersonations Williams did while recording the dialogue of the Genie was staggering and a testament to his comedic talent, but in some cases the references were a bit too obscure for the audience. Still, it was a treat to see some of these takes brought to light for his fans to see.

That feature alone makes the “Aladdin” Blu-Ray/DVD Diamond Edition worth adding to your home library, but there are others, like “Genie 101” and the look at the making of the Broadway Musical that will please most Disneyphiles.

The disc is a wonderful tribute to Robin Williams and his talent. And it will remind each of us that we’ll never have a friend like him ever again.

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Disney’s Aladdin: Diamond Edition Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Product Details

Synopsis:  Disney’s beloved masterpiece will make your heart race and your spirit soar. Experience the laughter, adventure and Academy Award®-winning music (1992: Best Music, Original Song, “A Whole New World,” Original Score) for the first time on Blu-ray and Digital HD. And now Aladdin shines even brighter with never-before-seen tributes to the enchanting talent of Robin Williams, the “Genius behind the Genie”.

Voice Cast: Robin Williams (Jumanji, Night at the Museum) as The Genie, Scott Weinger (TV’s “Full House”) as Aladdin, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, Gilbert Gottfried (TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) as Iago, Jonathan Freeman (Aladdin: the Musical on Broadway) as Jafar, Douglas Seale (Rescuers Down Under, For Love or Money) as Sultan and Frank Welker (Mulan, The Smurfs 2) as Abu.

Producers/Directors: John Musker and Ron Clements  (Moana, The Little Mermaid, Hercules)         

Writers: Ron Clements and John Musker (Moana, The Little Mermaid, Hercules) Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-4)

Music & Lyrics: Alan Menken – Music (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Howard Ashman – Lyrics (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), Tim Rice – Lyrics (The Lion King, Evita)

Blu-ray & Digital Bonus Features: The Genie Outtakes – Robin Williams’ Genie outtakes are magically brought to life.

Genie 101 – Our host, Scott Weinger (the voice of Aladdin), takes us through the various transformations of the famous (and formerly famous) celebrity references of the Genie.

Ron & John: You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me – Directors John Musker & Ron Clements sit down and discuss the experiences of their long-running partnership together at Disney.

Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic – Join host Darren Criss as we take “a new fantastic point of view” at the story of how Aladdin went from a classic Disney animated film to become Broadway’s smash hit with Composer Alan Menken and others.

Unboxing Aladdin – Our host, Joey Bragg from Disney Channel’s Liv & Maddy, explore the Easter eggs and hidden secrets of Aladdin in this unboxing video.

Classic Bonus – ALL classic bonus from the original DVD release

DMA Exclusive: Deleted Song – “My Finest Hour” – Jafar takes the stage in this never-before-seen deleted song. Includes intro from Ron & John. (DMA exclusive)

DVD Bonus Features: Select Classic Bonus, including:

  • Deleted Song / “Proud Of Your Boy” (Original Demo Recording)
  • Deleted Song / “You Can Count On Me”
  • Deleted Song / “Humiliate The Boy”
  • Deleted Song / “Why Me”
  • Deleted Scene / “Aladdin & Jasmine’s First Meeting”
  • Deleted Scene / “Aladdin in the Lap of Luxury”

Ratings: G in US & Canada (bonus materials are not rated)

Feature Run Time: Approximately 91 Minutes

Aspect Ratio:1:85:1

Audio: Blu-ray: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. DVD: English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Languages: English, French and Spanish

Subtitles: English (ESL/SDH), French and Spanish

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyAladdin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyAnimation

Website: http://movies.disney.com/aladdin