Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home

4.2 12

Cast: Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, George Takei


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At first glance, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -- Special Collector's Edition seems to be merely an enjoyable enhancement of the original movie -- it doesn't offer an extended director's cut, in the manner of the collector's editions of the first two movies and it would seem to be less compelling, until one gets very deep into the supplements -- and the movie itself,… See more details below


At first glance, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -- Special Collector's Edition seems to be merely an enjoyable enhancement of the original movie -- it doesn't offer an extended director's cut, in the manner of the collector's editions of the first two movies and it would seem to be less compelling, until one gets very deep into the supplements -- and the movie itself, the best of the Star Trek big-screen adaptations, is pretty compelling on its own terms. The film-to-video transfer (2.35:1) is superior to the early to mid-'90s laserdisc editions of the movie, capturing the original anamorphic theatrical image very well. There's rich, dense color and lots of detail throughout, doing full justice to Don Peterman's Academy Award-nominated cinematography. The major enhancement of the Collector's Edition appears on disc one, in the form of two different commentaries accompanying the movie, which can run either separately or simultaneously. The more important of the two is an audio commentary by co-star/director Leonard Nimoy and star William Shatner; they make a delightful team together, occasionally contradicting each other, with Nimoy having the edge in relaxation and informativeness (though he is also one of the most self-effacing directors ever to make one of these tracks for a major motion picture, admitting to mistakes and oversights, and never too impressed with his own cleverness). The other commentary track takes the form of a visual text that runs below the letterboxed image, delving into trivia (and some useful points) about what we're seeing on screen, all courtesy of Star Trek reference book authors Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda. Disc two is given over to further supplementary material, starting with a quartet of enjoyable general overviews of the Star Trek universe. "Time Travel: The Art of the Possible" gets us into the reality behind the physics of Star Trek, and what ideas depicted in the series and movies could be possible; "The Language of Whales" tells us about the biology of whales, and what we understand of it and of them, circa 2003 (curiously, Star Trek IV appears to have vastly raised the consciousness of the general public about whales over the ensuing decades); "A Vulcan Primer" delves into the appeal and the psychology of the Vulcan race as depicted throughout the run of the series and the subsequent movies; and "Kirk's Women" is a lighthearted look back at the women with whom William Shatner's James T. Kirk has been involved, including interviews with various actresses who played them, starting with Catherine Hicks in this movie and going back to the original series. These women include Katherine Browne (aka Kathie Browne, who starred in "Wink of an Eye" and has since passed on), Louise Sorel ("Requiem for Methuselah"), and Celeste Yarnell ("The Apple"). The interviews with the actresses and their perceptions of their roles 30-plus years on are fascinating, though the real surprise is how much better the clips of the original series look here than they do even on the DVD editions of the same episodes as of early 2004. The production supplements include "Futures Past: A Look Back," a retrospective look on the movie by the participants, in front of and behind the camera, which -- in Shatner and Nimoy's sequences -- repeats some of the material from the commentary track. "On Location" is a lighthearted look at the use of actual locations around San Francisco, and some of the happy accidents, such as the actual female passerby who ended up in the movie with a dialogue scene when she was mistaken for an extra. "Dailies Deconstruction" shows the different camera shots and angles used in various scenes in the form of rushes and unused takes. And "Below-the-Line: Sound Design" offers sound effects editor Mark Mangini walking us through his realm of the movie and praising Nimoy profusely for his special interest, as a director, with sound effects. The visual effects featurettes explain the generational visions from starscapes to the depths of the ocean, and the creation of the Bird of Prey Klingon ship. There are also extended interviews done at the time of the shooting with Nimoy, Shatner, and DeForest Kelley. Nimoy is the most informative, and Kelley reveals some of the odder aspects of being an actor called back to the same role, over and over, across decades, some four decades after starting his career as a character actor on the same lot. There is also a memorial tribute to Gene Roddenberry by his son Eugene, but the better of the two tributes -- and the most moving of all supplementary features -- is a tribute to Mark Lenard by his widow and daughters. They delve into his broader acting career, his surprise at the way that fans took to his portrayal of Sarak, Spock's father, and the successes that he enjoyed across 50 years as a performer. It's all very touching and well put together. The movie itself has been given 18 chapters, which break the plot down reasonably well. Both discs open automatically to their respective menus, which are very easy to maneuver around through several layers. The language selection includes an optional French soundtrack and English subtitles.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Who would have thought the best Star Trek movie would be the one with the sense of humor? Taking a 180-degree turn from Star Trek III, the series' most dour entry, director Leonard Nimoy utilized the natural comic chemistry of the long-time ensemble and crafted one of the funniest films of 1986. Never mind the destruction of the Enterprise and the death of Kirk's son, the most recent events in the chronology. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home finds the crew traveling back to 20th century San Francisco to procure a pair of a humpback whales, in order to appease a 23rd century probe sucking the planet dry in its failed attempt to communicate with the extinct whales. It's a relief to see the film setting aside Klingons as the source of dramatic tension, instead opting for such obstacles as having to use 20th century materials to build an aquarium that'll withstand a time warp. William Shatner finally looks carefree and comfortable as Kirk, and is downright delightful in his romantic bantering with cute marine biologist Gillian (Catherine Hicks). As Bones, the wry DeForest Kelley has always been a comic natural, and Nimoy (Spock) is perfect as the ultimate fish-out-of-water, peppering his speech with "colorful metaphors" to try to fit in. In fact, the whole cast shows a facility for comedy not previously seen. Combine that with a tightly focused and genuinely exciting plot, as well as an unobtrusive environmental message, and the result is a film that stretches far beyond the bounds of science fiction.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy; Text commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, co-authors of The Star Trek Encyclopedia; Widescreen version enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs; English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Stereo; English subtitles; Motion menus; Scene selection; The Star Trek Universe featurettes: "Time Travel: The Art of the Possible," "The Language of Whales," "A Vulcan Primer," "Kirk's Women"; Production featurettes: "Future's Past: A Look Back," "On Location," "Dailies Deconstruction," "Below-the-Line: Sound Design" ; Visual effects featurettes: "From Outer Space to the Ocean," "The Bird of Prey"; Tributes: Roddenberry Scrapbook, Featured Artist: Mark Leonard; Archives: Storyboards, production gallery; Original interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Shatner James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley Leonard "Bones" McCoy
George Takei Hikaru Sulu
James Doohan Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Catherine Hicks Gillian
Walter Koenig Pavel Chekov
Nichelle Nichols Uhura
Jane Wyatt Amanda Spock
Mark Lenard Sarek
Robin Curtis Lt. Saavik
Robert Ellenstein Federation Council President
John Schuck Klingon Ambassador
Scott W. de Venney Bob Briggs
Madge Sinclair Capt. of the U.S.S. Saratoga
Brock Peters Admiral Cartwright
Michael Snyder Starfleet Communications Officer
Michael Berryman Starfleet Display Officer
Grace Lee Whitney Janice Rand
Jane Wiedlin Alien Communications Officer
Vijay Amritraj Starship Captain
Majel Barrett Christine Chapel
Nick Ramus Saratoga Helmsman
Martin Pistone Controller #2
Phil Rubenstein 1st Garbageman
John Miranda 2nd Garbageman
Bob Sarlatte Waiter
Alex Henteloff Nichols
Tony Edwards Pilot
Eve Smith Elderly Patient
Greg Karas Intern #2
Raymond Singer Young Doctor
Judy Levitt Doctor #2
Teresa E. Victor Usher
Kirk Thatcher Punk on Bus
Jeff Lester FBI Agent
Joe Lando Shore Patrolman
Newell Tarrant CDO
Mike Timoney Electronics technician
Jeffrey Martin Electronics technician

Technical Credits
Leonard Nimoy Director,Original Story
Joe Aubel Art Director
James Bayliss Set Decoration/Design
Harve Bennett Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Peter E. Berger Editor
Richard G. Berger Set Decoration/Design
Brooke Breton Associate Producer
Gene S. Cantamessa Sound Mixer
Jack T. Collis Production Designer
Daniel Gluck Set Decoration/Design
Warren Hamilton Sound Editor
David J. Hudson Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Krikes Screenwriter
Michael Lantieri Special Effects
Steve Meerson Screenwriter
Nicholas Meyer Screenwriter
Donald Peterman Cinematographer
Chuck Picerni Stunts
Robert Fletcher Costumes/Costume Designer
Leonard Rosenman Score Composer
Peter Smith Art Director
Kirk Thatcher Associate Producer
Ralph Winter Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits
2. Court-Martial
3. Exile
4. Heading Home
5. Distress Calls
6. Time Warp
7. San Francisco
8. George & Gracie
9. Colorful Metaphors
10. Professor Scott
11. The Truth
12. Spycatchers
13. Unwelcome Guest
14. Rescue
15. Whale Hunt
16. Crash Landing
17. The Enterprise
18. End Credits


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