In an odd but interesting move, Paramount has released this box set
of the first six Star Trek films in their original theatrical
versions. Although the two-disc Special Editions offered up tweaked
director's cuts of three of those six movies, along with huge amounts
of bonus material, Paramount has now reverted to the theatrical cuts
- they are presented here in remastered transfers with all new extras,
thereby jettisoning the entire content of the two-disc Special Editions.
There is some iffy collector-oriented
logic at work here. There are fans who will want to have improved
versions of the theatrical cuts to replace the now-lackluster first
wave of Star Trek DVDs released in 1998. However, this
set represents the third time these films have been released on disc.
Something along the lines of a multi-disc Ultimate Edition for each
feature would have made more sense, and would have been fairer to fans
and collectors. Generally speaking, this set (and its companion
set containing the four Next Generation
features) smells like a stop-gap measure to increase Paramount's short-term
The content here cannot be
argued with. The packaging is above-average, the transfers are
fine, and the bonus content is appealing if not overwhelming.
But why replace excellent releases (the Special Editions) with the merely
I should admit here that I
knew nothing of Star Trek until about age 17. During my
junior year in high school, a friend who was a big fan set me in front
of a television and popped in a VHS of Star Trek II: The Wrath of
Khan. I was not impressed, and conversations followed in which
my frustrated friend belittled my intelligence and I questioned my friend's
sanity. But over the years, something changed and the franchise's
charms have distinctly grown on me. The comfort of the original
crew's camaraderie is like a warm old shoe; the
Next Generation cast is almost equally genial and probably more
talented as a group of actors. No other films series (and I address
the films exclusively here because I have not spent enough time with
any of Star Trek's television incarnations) takes as its core
foundation the intersection of science, politics, and philosophy.
Although there is plenty in the Star Trek universe that is trivial
and occasionally nonsensical, the driving spirit is the emphasis that
Gene Roddenberry put on the implications of scientific concepts and
speculation upon human behavior and institutions.
Trek: The Motion Picture
The first Star Trek
movie was made in response to mushrooming fan interest in the original
series, and by studio interest in the monumental success of Star
Wars two years prior. Yet it in no way mimics that film's
tone, plot, or style. It remains very true to the universe of
the original series, while employing a storyline that revolves around
philosophical, hard science fiction concepts.
After Starfleet monitors an
enormous, destructive cloud of energy on a course for Earth, Admiral
Kirk takes command of a dock-bound, semi-operational Enterprise
from Captain Decker (Stephen Collins), much to the latter's annoyance.
Decker has been supervising an overhaul of the Enterprise, and
Kirk's disruption of the improvements leads directly to accidents
and even a pair of deaths. When Kirk and crew finally encounter
the energy cloud, it sends a probe aboard the Enterprise that abducts
the Deltan navigator Ilia (Persis Khambatta) and replaces her with a
cyborg sentinel to observe the crew. The sentinel Ilia reveals
the cloud's name: V'Ger, and that V'Ger is seeking its Creator.
But the sentinel does not elaborate much beyond these mystical statements.
Kirk and crew go on to explore the vessel at the heart of the cloud,
a massive craft, and discover that it is an accretion of hardware that
has amassed around the intelligence that operates it: the Voyager 6
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
is known for its slowness. It is, indeed, a sleep-inducing movie
- from Jerry Goldsmith's lovely overture ("Ilia's Theme")
to the meditatively-paced exploration of V'Ger's core. The
pacing seems almost expressly designed to lull viewers into a pleasant
doze, and I may be alone in saying that this isn't a bad thing.
I say that because there's something strangely pleasurable to be found
in the oddly extended length of time that Wise takes with these sequences
- to say nothing of the positively epic shuttle journey around the
Enterprise taken by Kirk and Scotty early on. The production
crew took great care in designing the film, and Wise wants to show it
off. Of course, this has a downside, and the film's reputation
has suffered for it. Although the plot is straightforward and
stretched rather thin over 131 minutes, I stand by my position that
the director's deep engagement with the film's design is a rare
and interesting thing - especially for Wise, who is generally known
for his antiseptic musicals, and as the man (at least partially) responsible
for wrecking The Magnificent Ambersons. In Star Trek,
Wise takes an approach closer to the strange ambiguity of his first
feature as a director, The Curse of the Cat People. Its
stately pace and long stretches allow the concepts to roll out slowly,
in a more organic and compelling way than in the average sci-fi epic.
The film is without shock moments or silly gags, and there's something
to be said for that, too. The tone has been called overly serious,
but it's nice to aspire to something serious within a pop culture
The special effects have a
charming vintage look. I appreciate what Wise and Douglas Trumbull
were able to accomplish under a lot of studio pressure to make a Christmas-time
release date. The rushed production schedule ultimately led to
a choppy history of many different cuts. The 2001 Director's
Edition represents a distinct improvement upon the theatrical cut, with
appropriately-placed CGI effects, crisper opticals, and a vast number
of editorial adjustments.
My primary complaint about
Star Trek: The Motion Picture has to do with the dialogue, which
tends to be overly expository and devoid of rhythm. Also, while
lovingly designed, the movie also suffers from a dull lighting scheme
that is reminiscent of daytime television. Interiors in particular
look washed out, blanched. It doesn't do the sets or photography
I like Star Trek: The Motion
Picture with its faults, though. Although I acknowledge that
the film's slowness may put many off, there's something I appreciate
about the movie's deliberate, thoughtful pace. I consider the
more polished Director's Edition to have supplanted the theatrical
cut. But, even though a rushed production resulted in an unfinished,
feel, the theatrical cut remains worth a look.
Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek II: The Wrath
of Khan has a reputation as the best Star Trek feature, and
it's well-earned. Diametrically opposed to The Motion Picture's
pace and loftiness, The Wrath of Khan
takes its adventurous spirit - and backstory - directly from the
original series. The film is constructed with great care and ingenuity,
offering a panoply of memorable images and moments, with a remarkable
Searching for a place to test
the Genesis device - a bio-capsule that can create life on desolate
planets - Chekov and his colleague Captain Terrell (Paul Winfield)
land on Ceti Alpha VI, where they are taken hostage by Khan (Ricardo
Montalban). Khan and his fellow supermen have been exiled there
for fifteen years (ever since the end of the original series episode,
"The Space Seed") and he still bears a grudge against the man who
put him there: Kirk. After commandeering Chekov's ship, the
Reliant, Khan attacks the Regula I space station, where the Genesis
project is directed by Kirk's former girlfriend Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi
Besch) and their son, David (Merritt Butrick). Shortly thereafter,
the battle is on between Kirk and Khan. An extended chase and
space battle culminates in Khan activating the Genesis device on board
the Reliant, while the crippled Enterprise is saved by
Spock, who walks into the highly radioactive core and restores the warp
drive. The crew escapes the Genesis explosion, although Spock
dies of exposure to the core's radiation. His body is jettisoned
in a torpedo tube, landing on one of the planets affected by the Genesis
There is something very special
about The Wrath of Khan. Unlike The Motion Picture,
this one feels like the product of a confident, focused cast and crew.
In fact, that comfort level is reflected in a sense of camaraderie among
the crew of the Enterprise that was notably lacking in The
Motion Picture; there is more humor and more character "bits"
here. The picture was directed by Nicholas Meyer, who commingles
a fun adventurous tone with some weighty themes and solid character-driven
drama. The relationship between Kirk and Spock is the film's
emotional heart - and there are some nice moments early on in the
film that skillfully presage Spock's death, particularly Kirk's
cavalier line, "Aren't you dead?" following a training exercise
in which Spock was supposed to have been "killed" due to Lt. Saavik's
(Kirstie Alley) error. The two friends' relationship is characterized
by the tension between Kirk's human emotions and rash choices, and
Spock's Vulcan logic and resistance to reactive thinking. This
barrier prevents the two from ever connecting in a forthright, obvious
way. Instead, their relationship is made up of moments of insight
wherein some common understanding is evident, expressed in small facial
expressions, or a very few words. This is why Kirk and Spock are
one of the most enduring pairs in recent popular culture; they represent
men from different places whose ongoing attempt to understand one another
parallels the difficult time we all have empathizing with those whose
experiences and outlooks are different from our own.
Kirk's relationship with
Khan, on the other hand, is the inverse of this great chemistry.
Khan's hatred for Kirk can be traced to his sense of biological superiority,
being a product of a Nazi-like quest to create a superior human being.
Khan wishes for nothing more than to torment Kirk, to exact his revenge
by making Kirk feel what he has felt for the past fifteen years.
The intense mutual rage felt between the two provides a strong, primal,
convincing basis for the way the second half of the film is plotted.
It's a rare movie that utilizes such a basic motivation so effectively.
(It seems increasingly common for sci-fi blockbusters to grasp at an
array of pointless, convoluted plot strands out of some kind of narrative
inferiority complex, when less is usually more in this sense.)
The Wrath of Khan boasts
a richer color palette than The Motion Picture, and more appealing
production values overall. The costumes have thankfully been steered
away from the "pajamas" of the first film, into the crimson futuristic
military style that became the norm. Sets - and locations -
are more diverse, from the new bridge of the Enterprise to the
dusty desert of Ceti Alpha V and the lush forests of the Genesis planet.
The visual storytelling is generally more layered, and more economical.
James Horner's score deserves
special note. Although Jerry Goldsmith's musical contributions
to Star Trek cannot be emphasized enough, Horner's score for
The Wrath of Khan is my favorite of whole series. This is
wide-ranging music with a lot of different moods and textures; it's
also a score that transcends the boundaries of the film, making for
a great listen on its own. Although individual themes may not
be as memorable as Goldsmith's work on the first film, this score's
varied orchestration and consistent inventiveness are unmatched.
It's arguably Horner's best work, and Film Score Monthly's recent
release of the official expanded score is well worth seeking out.
The Wrath of Khan holds
up remarkably well and remains the series' best film. My original
reaction - which focused derision upon Montalban's ridiculous prosthetic
chest and the cheesiness of the mind-controlling eel emerging from Chekov's
ear - has given way to respect for the care with which the central
character dynamics are handled, and awe for the extended quasi-nautical
chase that echoes Moby-Dick
and culminates in the Mutara Nebula.
Trek III: The Search for Spock
The second part of the unofficial
Star Trek "trilogy," Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
picks up in the immediate aftermath of its predecessor. Although
certainly true to the world of the previous film and a worthy, wholly
engaging sequel, The Search for Spock lacks the special vigor
of The Wrath of Khan.
While the Enterprise
limps back to Earth, Kirk's son David (Merritt Butrick) and Lt. Saavik
(Robin Curtis, replacing Kirstie Alley) return to the Genesis planet,
where they detect lifeforms around Spock's mysteriously empty casket.
Captain Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), a Klingon officer, believes that
Genesis is a weapon; he locates David and Saavik on Genesis, destroys
their ship, and captures them, along with the youthful Spock - found
to have been regenerated by the Genesis effect. Meanwhile, Kirk
has learned from Spock's father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), that Spock had
transferred his katra, or spirit, to McCoy before entering the
Enterprise's core at the end of The Wrath of Khan.
Kirk and crew then steal the Enterprise and head for Genesis,
where they rescue Saavik and Spock, and defeat Kruge. On Vulcan,
the reborn Spock is reunited with the katra preserved within
McCoy, and Spock begins to once again resemble the man they all once
The Search for Spock
was Nimoy's feature debut as a director. Nimoy's variegated
career - as an actor, director, poet, writer, and photographer -
has resisted as much as possible immediate identification with the character
of Spock. (Nimoy's first autobiography, published before the
advent of the Star Trek feature films, was titled I Am Not
Spock, to the chagrin of fans.) Here, Nimoy stays behind the
camera, appearing onscreen for only a few minutes at the end.
Still, the power of Spock as a character - and the import of his absence
- presides over the entire length of the picture. As a director,
Nimoy ably continues the tone of The Wrath of Khan. In
terms of look and feel, we are squarely in the world that the previous
film established. The sets are imaginative, and the score by James
Horner is almost as effective and engaging as his landmark work on
The Wrath of Khan.
Unfortunately, The Search
for Spock spends a bit too much time with Kruge, David, and Saavik,
ancillary characters whose relative importance is a bit overplayed in
terms of screen time. Compounding this is the fact that Butrick's
and Curtis's performances are terribly flat, making the sequences
on Genesis - which are visually engaging - seem overlong and dull.
This comprises the main fault of The Search for Spock.
Beyond that, the film's rapid pace and clever plotting keep us deeply
involved. The Kirk/Spock friendship is taken to a new and different
place; Kirk puts everything on the line to regain his friend, and their
reunion at the film's close maintains the hallmark restraint of their
relationship - and is suitably moving at the same time.
Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Nimoy returned to the director's
chair for the wildly popular Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
This is the film that Trekkies and non-fans alike rally around.
I think it's fair to attribute its success to the film's reliance
upon comedy as well as its contemporary setting. Surprisingly,
upon re-viewing this film sequentially, in the context of the entire
set of "original crew" features, it comes off as the worst of the
bunch. The opinions that follow will likely arouse the ire of
many, but I have no interest in bursting the bubbles of those devoted
to this beloved film.
Most of the blame for the movie's
failure can be laid at the doorstep of the plot, which I'll recap
briefly here. Picking up immediately after the "re-birth"
of Spock on Vulcan, the Enterprise responds to a distress call
from Earth. A probe of unknown origin, emitting strange harmonic
sounds, hovers over Earth, wreaking havoc with electronic equipment
of all kinds and enveloping the planet in heavy storms. Spock
determines that the probe's signals are a form of whale song, and
that the lack of a response (whales - humpbacks, specifically -
are extinct) is causing the probe's violent reaction. The solution
is to go back in time, capture a humpback whale, and transport it to
the future so that it can "sing" back to the probe and call off
The first thirty minutes or
so of The Voyage Home make up a wholly involving coda to the
previous two films. We see the crew on Vulcan, recuperating and
repairing the Klingon vessel they flew there, while Spock completes
a thorough re-education. The arrival of the probe near Earth is
effectively eerie; the terrified reaction at Starfleet is portrayed
with an effective sense of dread. Once in flight, Spock's reintegration
into the crew is handled gently with graceful exchanges between Kirk
and Spock that reaffirm their friendship. Thereafter, the plot
takes its sharp left turn into foolishness.
The whale plot goes well beyond
acceptable levels of absurdity for any space adventure. The world
of The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock is utterly
abandoned, and the crew charges forth on this bizarre quest without
looking back. The environmental, time-travel plot and the amplified
comedy amount to awkward self-parody that is at times embarrassing to
watch. "A double dumbass on you!" might strike some as inspired
fish-out-of-water hilarity, but it sounds like desperation to me.
There are successful funny moments - the exchange about whether Kirk
and Spock like Italian food stands out - but they are few and far
between. I appreciate the humor in the Star Trek
films, but the jokes here did not work for me.
More importantly, however,
is the fact that the whale/time-travel elements of the story are devoid
of internal logic. We never find out where the probe is from,
why its signal is whalesong, or what any of this portends. The
crew of the Enterprise engage in wild hijinx in order to carry
out their vague mission, and there is absolutely no payoff for them
- or us - once it is completed. A plot does not need to exhibit
total inner cohesion nor have all loose ends neatly tied up; but it
should persuade a viewer - or at least give lip service to the notion
- that there is some guiding logic behind its forward movement, no
matter how silly it might be in its specifics. Without this, the
probe in The Voyage Home is just a red herring, with no origin
or purpose, which, for this viewer, deflates the entire adventure.
Trek V: The Final Frontier
Following the suspension of
disbelief-busting The Voyage Home, the much-maligned Star
Trek V: The Final Frontier felt like a return to form - in a way.
Although The Final Frontier features a more Star Trek-like
plot and mood, it's maddeningly muddled, leaving the impression of
an incomplete film that fumbles ambitious themes.
The film opens with stirring
imagery. A well-digger is toiling away on the desert planet Nimbus
III, and is set upon by a lone rider, who reveals that he is on a spiritual
quest of sorts - and that he is a Vulcan. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy
are interrupted during shore leave (camping at Yosemite) and are ordered
to rescue hostages held on Nimbus III. It turns out that the lone
rider, Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill), has staged a hoax to lure the
Enterprise to Nimbus III; he is Spock's brother, and has used
his knowledge of Spock's position at Starfleet to gain control of
the starship and fly it to Sha Ka Ree, the legendary birthplace of all
creation. Sybok seeks ultimate knowledge - and to see the face
of the Creator. Sybok tries to convince the crew of his special
suitability for this quest by revealing the sources of (and healing)
McCoy's and Spock's greatest pain in life; Kirk refuses, maintaining
that his pain is an inseparable part of his identity. Pursued
by Klingons, the Enterprise continues on toward Sha Ka Ree, located
behind a great barrier thought to be impenetrable. When they arrive,
Sybok summons a godlike apparition that turns out to be some sort of
manifestation of Sybok's own hopes and fears. Needless to say,
Kirk et al escape Sha Ka Ree and avoid a confrontation with the
Klingons as well.
The Final Frontier features
one of the best Star Trek stories from a conceptual viewpoint
- Sybok's quest for ultimate knowledge tries to be a culmination
of key philosophical elements touched on throughout the original series
and the preceding features. The screenplay attempts to flesh out
the "Star Trek" approach to life, death, humanity, and religion
- but the movie is hampered by a confused prioritization of its themes,
a sloppy joke-ridden opening sequence, and choppy transitions throughout.
It was reported several years
ago, when the Special Edition DVD was being prepared, that Shatner (who
directed) lobbied Paramount to provide him a budget for a revised cut.
I'm not clear about what that cut would look like, but The Final
Frontier does feel as though it were either rushed or hacked up
by the studio. (I do know that there was an alternate ending featuring
a "rock man" creature, a tantalizing clip of which is seen in the
extra features for The Undiscovered Country.) The conceptual
framework for a fine film exists within The Final Frontier, and
I'd be most curious to see Shatner's preferred vision come to fruition
at some point.
Jerry Goldsmith returns and
provides a typically excellent score. Uhura performs a naked (?)
fan dance. The final sequence involving the barrier and Sybok's
godhead is compelling, if too ambiguous. In all, The Final
Frontier is a mixed bag - it is natural to conclude that its failure
spurred the original crew's return in The Undiscovered Country.
It would have been a shame if they'd gone out on such an unsatisfying,
if intriguing, note.
Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
The most fully satisfying
Star Trek outing since The Wrath of Khan, The Undiscovered
Country frames a rousing adventure in the guise of a murder-mystery,
and brings Kirk's hatred of the Klingons to a head. The return
of Nicholas Meyer to the director's chair brings the world of Star
Trek back into focus, after the daffy escapism of The Voyage
Home and the hesitant philosophical departures of The Final Frontier.
The destruction of the Klingon
moon Praxis leads to an existential crisis for the Klingon Empire.
The Klingons must broker a peace with the Federation, and the Enterprise
is sent to rendezvous with the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner),
and escort him to Earth for negotiations. En route, however, Gorkon
and members of his crew are murdered by two assassins wearing Starfleet
gear. Gorkon's lieutenant, General Chang (Christopher Plummer)
tries Kirk and McCoy, who are found guilty and sentenced to life amid
the frozen wastes of Rura Penthe. Spock leads an investigation
into the murders, convinced of his colleagues' innocence, before rescuing
them from imprisonment. The crew then proceeds to avert the sabotage
of the planned peace talks between Klingons and the Federation.
As with The Wrath of Khan,
The Undiscovered Country benefits from a tightly-constructed plot,
upon which hangs all manner of inventive set design, characters, and
incidents. Plummer's performance is enjoyably juicy; he revels
in the plentiful Shakespearian allusions integrated here (some of which
are appropriate, while others are merely colorful). Kirk's palpable
hatred for the Klingons presents a major stumbling block for our hero,
who blames the entire Empire for his son David's death (at the hands
of Kruge in The Search for Spock). It's a deft and compelling
examination of racism, made all the more interesting due to the fact
that the film's protagonist is the one afflicted, and we see Kirk
confront and conquer it with relative honesty. This theme and
the blunt parallels to the end of the Cold War, lend some welcome, shadowy
substance to the crime procedural plot.
Meyer's commitment to a broadly-appealing
Star Trek world that remains true to the basic concepts and canon
of the franchise represents a rare achievement in popular culture.
Too bad Meyer couldn't have contributed that sensibility to recent
disappointments like X-Men: The Last Stand or Indiana Jones
and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The final voyage of
the original crew is executed with an essential panache and unflagging
verve that prevents repeat viewings from feeling diluted. As the
film closes upon a vast field of stars, and the signatures of the main
cast are written one-by-one across the screen, there is a certain satisfaction
in knowing that this storied bunch has gone out in a flourish of rousing
Seven slim keepcases are housed in a heavy card box. The box
is adorned with a holographic image of the Enterprise, and the
whole is embraced by a clear plastic slipcover printed with the set's
My reaction to these new transfers is mixed. All of them are enhanced
2.35:1 images - even The Undiscovered Country, which has previously
been released at about 2:20:1. The transfers for The Motion
Picture and The Wrath of Khan feature completely altered
color balances from their previous DVD releases; the overall effect
is too white, too blue, too sharp, and too bright. The earlier
DVDs are warmer, redder, and earthier. The first two features
have much in common with the mishandled James Bond sets that came out
about three years ago. But as we move on, The Search for Spock
looks much better, if still a bit cool and oversharp. The remaining
features, especially The Undiscovered Country, look outstanding.
Colors are sharp, well-contained, and blacks are impenetrable.
Although some effects shots have been slightly compromised by the industrious
remastering process, the last four pictures generally come off winningly.
Each film boasts a new Dolby
Digital 5.1 Surround EX track, and they have much in common with those
found on the prior wave of Star Trek releases. In general,
surrounds are strong, particularly in the last two films. The
first three films have narrower soundstages than the last three; surrounds
feel more "cramped" and central in the earlier films. These
tracks can't be faulted for their crispness, though. The music
comes across particularly well.
As I stated at the beginning of the review, the extra features here
are all-new, with nothing preserved from previous releases (this isn't
true for the Blu-Ray edition of this set, where much has been retained).
Each film contains an audio commentary, and these are weak almost
without exception. Perhaps this is because none of them feature
anyone directly involved in the films' production, except for The
Wrath of Khan, which thankfully pairs Nicholas Meyer with Manny
Coto, a writer and producer who worked on Star Trek: Enterprise.
The other extras are listed
below. In general, these featurettes are brief but interesting.
There's not a lot of bulk here, though; each disc's aggregate bonus
content runs well under an hour.
Star Trek: The Motion
Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield
Reeves-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman
The Longest Trek: Writing the Motion Picture
Special Star Trek Reunion
Starfleet Academy: The Mystery Behind V'Ger
Star Trek II: The Wrath
Commentary by Nicholas Meyer and Manny Coto
James Horner: Composing Genesis
Collecting Star Trek's Movie Relics
A Tribute to Ricardo Montalban
Starfleet Academy: The Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI
Star Trek III: The Search
Commentary by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor
Industrial Light & Magic: Visual Effects
Spock: The Early Years
Star Trek and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
Starfleet Academy: The Vulcan Katra Transfer
Star Trek IV: The Voyage
Commentary by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Pavel Chekov's Screen Moments
The Three-Picture Saga
Star Trek for a Cause
Starfleet Academy: The Whale Probe
V: The Final Frontier
Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield
Reeves-Stevens, and Daren
Star Trek Honors NASA
Hollywood Walk of Fame: James
Starfleet Academy: Nimbus III
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered
Commentary by Larry Nemecek and Ira Steven Behr
Tom Morga: Alien Stuntman
To Be or Not to Be: Klingons & Shakespeare
Starfleet Academy: Praxis
The Captains' Summit
The seventh disc contains this 70-minute group interview of William
Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes, moderated
by Whoopi Goldberg. This plays like a fraternity reunion - it's
a combination of jocular fondness and extreme awkwardness. There
are interesting anecdotes interspersed with odd remarks and emotional
outbursts. It's a truly strange, frank, and poorly edited feature.
Goldberg doesn't seem up to the task of moderating with probing questions,
and absolutely no one appears to have prepared for the interview in
any way. In fact, all the participants, with the possible exception
of Nimoy, could have come directly to the studio from separate three-martini
lunches. Well worth watching for those hungry for more, and for
those interested in its significant curiosity value.
Despite my positive-to-mixed
reaction to a release that could have been much more thorough and substantive,
it was enjoyable to watch the theatrical versions of the original crew's
features in sequence. Reliving the first six Star Trek
films confirmed that despite their faults, they comprise a key part
of one of popular culture's most beloved franchises. Anchored
by the weight of the enduring Kirk/Spock friendship, these films continue
to age well as a high watermark of science fiction storytelling.
Released at a reasonable price, and despite the reservations I've
already noted, this set is highly recommended.
Casey Burchby lives in Northern California: Twitter, Tumblr.