I have never trucked with the idea that all the even-numbered ST films are "the good ones", and a big reason for that was this film. Even as a kid, the last thing I wanted from a ST movie was a hammy contemporary comedy, so this edit falls firmly in the FanFIX territory for me. The question on my mind was: could BionicBob make me into a fan of STIV?
Well, not really. My thoughts on the film itself are here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/star-trek-iv-the-voyage-home/ so I will focus instead on the fanedit changes. Firstly and blessedly, Bob opts to cut 20 minutes out. The original cut was a nearly 2 hour long goofy "fish out of water" (almost literally) comedy, and those should never be that long. He then added in 5 minutes, which still places this at probably 10-15 minutes too long for me. His stated aim was to cut a lot of the over-the-top humor, but there's still a lot here in my opinion. And honestly, I think a lot of people who like this film like it BECAUSE of that. So I'm not sure if cutting that stuff actually improves it or not. It's just a story weakness...there's not much to replace it with, no big villain or big action piece. Without the humor, there's not much to focus on.
I agree very much with what Dwight-Fry said in his previous review. The execution of the "TV Series" concept carries on here, and you'll know by now if that works for you or not. I found that some of the fades were too slow by a second or two, though they were evenly placed throughout, and at suitably dramatic moments. The reworking of the audio is a bit hit and miss, and I really didn't care for the recurring off-kilter musical theme that was played for many of the comedic moments.
The actual editing of the story has pluses and minuses for me. On the one hand, I did really appreciate the flash-forwards put into the first time-travel trip, and I interpreted it as their perception of time simply becoming a flat plane...though perceiving past moments would've helped with that idea. On the other hand, there's no comparable sequence in the second time-travel trip, leaving that feeling flat and anti-climatic, especially since the story sets it up to be riskier than the first one. The flash forwards probably would've been better placed there, as if they were questing around for the exact right future moment. Perhaps a series of flashBACKS would then be a good bookend during the first trip.
Also, while I appreciated the trimming of many scenes, it ended up causing some small narrative problems, mostly for Gillian (the marine biologist/tour guide). As we get none of her talking to her boss earlier, it now kind of comes out of nowhere when she yells at him and angrily slaps him for moving the whales. You're just like, "Hey, who's that, her boss? Oh snap! Is she fired now?!" Also, there's no conversation where she weighs the option of going with the whales or not. In this edit, Kirk just decides for her (and the entire Federation, time travel rules be damned) that she is.
Basically, this is the kind of '80s movie where a guy from 300 years in the future can sit at a Mac, start tapping on the qwertys all willie-nillie, and suddenly complex graphs and charts are coming up one after another. Yeah, that kind of logic. Is there any way to make this into an enjoyable, straight movie? Probably not. BionicBob gives it a good shot, but it couldn't quite reel me in (my original Enjoyment would probably be a 1 or 2, so the score here is a big improvement.) I suspect fans of the original will miss a lot of the goofy bits, so it'll be kind of a fine line to find someone who enjoys this take the best.
Another great BionicBob Star trek edit!
In general, this may have been my favorite so far--though I have 2 more movies to watch in the series. This movie is just fun, and the chemistry between the characters comes through here the best since the tv show, and this edit keeps things moving at a perfect pace.
I had issues with the "flash-forward" montage. It didn't particularly make sense to me. They went back in time and all experienced images of their future selves? If you were going to do that at all, I think using shorter, quick wordless flashes, maybe with a slightly psychedelic filter, would have worked better, IMO. Though, considering they go back in time, I would think images from their past would pop up, and then on the return to their future (which is their present), maybe there use the future images? I'm torn about this part. I was glad not to see another montage when they went back to their present with the whales, but at the same time, I sort of wondered why there wouldn't be another one. This issue is pretty minor, but when you create something nearly perfect, the flaws stand out.
I had minor issues with background music as well, though not the Huey Lewis song (I thought the volume of the music there was fine, as past Earth probably seemed like a cacophony of sounds to the crew. But there were a few times the music was a little loud and in some scenes (Chekov awakening and stating his name/rank) the music just seemed out of place--undercutting the drama of the scene.
My overall enjoyment of this was off the chart though--higher than the 10-point scale allows.
To me, more than the 3 previous TOS movies, this one captures the fun of the original Star Trek. The fate of the world hangs in the balance, but that doesn't mean Kirk isn't still basically trying to get laid, Spock is dressed as some kinda samurai and attempting "colorful" language and Bones gets to play Dr in a real hospital! And even the whale plot made me think of Douglas Adams's So Long And Thanks For All The Fish---which has nothing to do with Star Trek, and yet I think this fun movie shares a little DNA with that brilliant writer's way of having fun with end-of-the-world scenarios.