William Shatner refused to reprise his role of Kirk in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home without a promise to write and direct the next film in the franchise. Against their better judgment Paramount agreed, and to this day wish they had not. The story is absolutely silly and the direction very one-dimensional. The truth is, however, that there still are some very endearing Trek moments in the film. DeForest Kelly gives a superb performance as McCoy must face his past decision to allow his terminal father to die. Even the Kirk / Spock moments are often quite compelling. Unfortunately Shatner couldn’t help but show with how little regard he held his minor cast mates. Sulu, Scotty, Uhura, and Chekov are reduced to comic parodies of themselves. The f/x are some of the franchise’s weakest.
The audio is an exact duplicate of the earlier single disc release of the film. It is a pretty good mix. Highs and lows, while not outstanding, provide a robust listening experience. The surrounds are not aggressive but do have some shinning moments, particularly in the climatic encounter with “God”. Jerry Goldsmith is still one of Hollywood’s best score masters and Star Trek V contains one of his best. Dialogue is always front and center. You won’t have any trouble hearing what is said.
Star Trek V is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. There are moments when this transfer simply shines. The blackness of space is splendid in its depth and contrast with the field of stars. Some of the f/x, while not awesome in and of themselves, look very clean. At 30 minutes there is a rather nasty film blemish, but otherwise the print is perfect and free of artifacts or specks. Colors, particularly the uniform reds, are impressive with near reference flesh tones.
Disc One contains the original film with an optional commentary by William Shatner. Shatner is at his own trademark egotistical best. In fact through most of the film’s interviews it’s hard to keep a straight face while production crew and cast refer to this film as one of Trek’s best. Shatner’s daughter and biographer also accompany him on this rather bland commentary.
Disc Two contains several areas of features…
Like the other collector’s edition there is a “Star Trek Universe” group of features.
Under the banner of Production you’ll find the best of the features in “The Journey”. This is a half hour behind the scenes feature that is quite informative and not quite so much a defense of the film.
The Deleted Scenes are unimpressive with the possible exception of a futuristic look at Mount Rushmore.
Finally you’ll find the typical production galleries and storyboards in the Archive section and trailers and TV spots under Advertisement.
The menus deserve special mention as they are quite impressive. New CGI animations of the film’s ships engage each level of the easy to navigate system.
I bought this one mostly to have a peek at the extras and to continue a complete set of these collector discs. If you already own the earlier bare-bones release you might just rent this one to see the few worthy extras. This is easily the worst of the collector’s series which is probably what the film deserves. Those of you watching this film: “I couldn’t help but notice your pain”.