Bionic Bob has to date created my favorite series of edits. While I’m a Star Wars guy, I can’t deny that I have a love for Star Trek. My older brother remembers watching the shows when they were new, and he had me watch them with him before there was a Star Wars, they even had that cool cartoon . So I’ve taken to watching these with my bro as his reaction is something that helps me gauge Bob’s success. Normally I watch the edits myself before having my bro over, but this time I waited so that we could see it for the first time together, I’ll use him as a reference point for the review.
As with all of my reviews, they are intended as constructive evaluations of the edit and no offense is intended to the editor.
Normally one of Bob’s strengths is the audio. While never anything fancy from a surround standpoint, the levels are typically appropriate, rarely requiring you to keep your hand on the remote for sudden increases or decreases in audio. This time however I had to keep my trusty remote at the ready. At about half-way through the movie I turned off my surround system and let it play through my tv’s speakers (which aren’t half-bad). This was a big improvement, but still not what I’ve come to expect from Bob. Outside of the audio levels, Bob’s deft ear and keen sensibilities continue with his addition of classic Trek sounds and music. And as all have noted, fantastic work on the HLN playing on the radio. Overall 6/10
Theres not much to say here. As always, the cuts themselves are fantastic, no flash frames, good transitions etc.. but we of course have our Letterbox/codec issues. 8/10
So far, this has been a brutal review, which is hard because I’m a big fan of Bob’s work. Fortunately, this edit really delivers where it counts. Bob’s treatment of the story brings out the absolute best in the edit and cuts out all that hasn’t aged as you’d hope. Like the Bones side-story on Earth in Search For Spock/Resurrection, the reduction/redaction of the Checkov story is a much needed improvement. Like others, I’m perplexed by the time-travel sequence. Love the idea, but I agree, the individual sequences were long. If you’re a fan of Star Trek and watch it, you don’t need to see the full clips to know their significance, and if you’ve not seen them, well, they don’t mean a whole lot either. If there is a V2, I’d recommend trimming their length (but not number)
But the most important thing I can say about this edit is that quite simply, it feels like a Star Trek episode. My brother grinned and laughed throughout at all the right beats for all the right reasons. This was by far his favorite installment of the Bionic Bob edits. My only disappointment came from the loss of the little old lady that Bones gives pills to. For some reason, her hollering as they leave the hospital always cracks me up, but I can also see why he cut it out.
Despite the audio issues, this was far and away my brother’s favorite of Bionic Bob’s edits to date. While he’s enjoyed every single one so far, this edit, which has the benefit of a story that FINALLY focuses on the big three, feels completely like a Star Trek story. Our heroes must save the Earth for the umpteenth time are finally allowed be the characters we love. After 3 movies we finally see Kirk, Spock and Bones interact the way we want to see them; they finally reprise their characters, and not just their roles. Bob’s edit strips away the forced humor and dated story-telling, and the result is an edit which allows what we enjoy about Star Trek shine through, the characters.
Despite the audio issues, this edit, like The V’ger Incident and Resurrection before it, are now my go-to versions, but of all Bob’s edits, if he picks just one to come back and do a V2, I hope that is this one. It represents some of his best editing, but is handicapped by the audio and video issues. Overall 7.5 out of 10, but that has to round up to 8/10 when I factor in how much my brother truly enjoyed this film.
Review by UnkwnFactor — January 10, 2011 @ 11:28 pm
I am a fan of BionicBob’s “Trek” edits and have them all saved on my network at home. I absolutely enjoy the use of original music/sound effects etc throughout the entire series of edits.
Storyline-wise, I really enjoyed this edit. I, too, definitely like how the “Chekov” sub-plot was handled as well – especially in relation to the “hospital scenes” (an area of my DVD I ALWAYS skipped when watching ST4 !!). I also was very glad to see the removal of all the horrible, cheesy “Scotty at PlexiCorp” scenes and was very happy how the entire scene(s) are handled. For some reason, most die-hard Trek fans always seem to like this scene and I was very afraid it would be left in it’s entirety in BionicBob’s edit. Overall, I, personally, would have liked to see a little bit more removal of some of the other more cheesier lines etc, but I was still very happy with the final story/plotline.
I was a little off-put by the montage also. The scenes used were a tad too long; more a quick flash type of scenes would have been better. The “what to come events” aspect of the time travel also happens in the original (albeit more in audio than video ways), but in more of an ethereal way. I liked the use of specific events, but the were just a tad too long. Use of shorter “flash-forward” (ugh, hate to use a LOST ref) type scenes would cure what Dwight is talking about in his review above.
As has already been said, the audio really disappointed me. This entry definitely has some uneven audio – especially when the Huey Lewis song kicks in during the Golden Gate Bridge scene, HOWEVER, I absolutely loved how it was playing on the radio in the antique shop. Sometimes I had to turn up the TV to hear what was being said, then the next second the effects/music were blaring at me.
Video quality: I too noticed the issue in the “reds” but it just didn’t distract that me that much because of how fun this edit is to watch.
Overall, I was still very pleased with the edit and will watched it again. For me, BionicBob never disappoints!
NOTE: I gave this edit an “8″ only because of the audio issues only. This edit is a MUST-SEE.
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.