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DVD REVIEW

Star Trek IV: Voyage Home, The  (1986)

 

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig
Director: Leonard Nimoy

Rating: PG

Studio: Paramount

Review Posted: 3.03.03

Spoilers: Minor

 

Reviewed by Dennis Landmann

 

The Movie

 

A mysterious alien power is threatening Earth by evaporating the oceans and destroying the atmosphere. In a frantic attempt to save mankind, Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew must travel back to 1986 San Francisco where they find a world of punk, pizza and exact-change buses that are as alien as anything they’ve ever encountered in the far reaches of the galaxy.

 

This explanation is rather plain and simple. There is much more to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and I’ll go into it in the next paragraph. Paramount continues its set of Star Trek Collector’s Edition releases. The latest installment is, obviously, The Voyage Home. As with the previous three releases, this fourth Trek adventure is as funny and exciting as they’re going to get.

 

Rejoined and rekindled, Kirk and his crew, aboard a stolen Klingon vessel, attempt time travel in order to save Earth from peril. Their attempt is successful, but the real mission is to find their way around San Francisco and to its important resource (two whales). Kirk and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) locate the whale museum-of-sorts and begin preparations to bring them back to the 23rd century where they will be able to stop the alien force. As fate has it, hurdles and problems jeopardize the mission, but we know the formula well enough to know the outcome.

 

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is pure entertainment. Its got sci-fi elements, action, peril, philosophy, romance, and, above all, a very good laugh track (in terms of comedy, that is). While there are a few unanswered questions, such as the concern of the alien force and the time travel plot, Leonard Nimoy, who directed this fourth feature from a script by four scribes, and his crew (the special effects team deserves a mention here, no doubt) created a very well done film.

 

8 out of 10

 

The Video

 

This transfer looks pretty clean at first, but upon further inspection I found several places containing scratches, blurs, and grizzly blackness. It looks like this transfer was taken from the previous, no extras release of The Voyage Home. Even though this transfer is not top notch, the quality and visual mapping of the film itself preserves an experience worth sitting through.

 

8 out of 10

 

The Audio

 

There comes joy when watching The Voyage Home with a surround speaker system. This audio transfer utilizes all speakers, but not every one of them at once. At times the audio seems to come just from the front speakers, but that’s usually a given. All in all, the audio quality here enhances the viewing experience.

 

9 out of 10

 

The Extras

 

These special features represent exactly what “special collector’s edition” stands for. The first disc is home to the feature film and a commentary track by star/director Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (whose commentary participation was absent on the previous releases). The track itself is very informative and enjoyable. It’s obvious these two guys have a good time talking about the film even though it’s been over 15 years since making it.

 

The second disc is filled with exciting extras, ranging from behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, production featurettes, visual effects featurettes, storyboards, trailers and more. A breakdown of the extras:

  • Commentary by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner

  • Theatrical trailer(s)

  • Text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda (co-authors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia)

  • The Star Trek Universe: Time Travel--Art of the Possible, The Language of Whales, A Vulcan Primer, Kirk's Women

  • Production featurettes: From Outer Space to the Ocean, The Bird of Prey

  • Tributes: Roddenberry Scrapbook, Featured Artist Mark Lenard

  • Original interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley

  • Storyboards

  • Production gallery

  • Widescreen anamorphic format

  • Number of discs: 2

9 out of 10

 

Overall

 

What more can a Trek fan want from this DVD? Not much, to tell the truth. The Voyage Home is pure entertainment and features very good video and audio transfers, but the special features take notice the most. This “edition” is definitely worth buying.

 

Overall DVD Rating: 9 out of 10

 

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