There’s never enough time to watch everything… and man, are there loads of fanedits which I need to catch up on! Well, one wet Thursday evening I fancied a bit of Star Trek, and having only seen 2 of Bob’s Trek edits (of the first and fifth movies), I thought it was about time I watched “Perdition’s Flames”.
Firstly, I really like the whole concept of what Bob has done with his TV series approach to the movies. The adding of the series sound effects, music and all the fade to black ad-breaks worked particularly well in “The V’ger Incident” (a few music level problems aside), and I’m pleased to say that the case for Perditions Flames is no different. In fact, as The Wrath of Khan always seemed to feel much like an extended TV episode anyway, the classic feel which Bob adds to this edit seems perhaps more like a perfect marriage of styles this time around. Indeed, it comes as no surprise that flashback footage to the actual TV episode, “Space Seed” is utilised when Kirk realises it is Khan who is attacking the Enterprise. What’s more, it’s nicely executed too, and to me the only aspect of this edit which would make it even better would have been to try and crop the image to 1.85:1 ratio. That being said, picture quality is good throughout and the sound editing this time around is more consistent with no varying levels to speak of.
So, for picture and sound quality I would give this a solid 9/10. Great job Mr Bionic.
In terms of the story, this was perhaps the most ambitious side of the edit, in that Bob tries to tell the story very much from the point of view of Kirk, meaning that we only ever see Khan when Kirk is also present in the scene. Initially I was a bit worried how this would work. After all, some of the best moments in the film are when Ricardo Montalban is chewing up the scenery, but for this edit and its intentions, it works very well. That being said, when it comes to the heroic exploits of a certain Mr Spock and the consequences thereafter, I did feel that there was a little too much missing, even though I fully understood Bob’s intention to keep things firmly fixed on Kirk’s point of view. The use of flashbacks and new music during Spock’s send off though does not work as well for me; not badly executed, it just didn’t seem to fit comfortably for me.
Overall however, the narrative works perfectly well in context of the edit and I wouldn’t hesitate in giving this 9/10
On the visual and audio front, the editing is more or less flawless and as already mentioned the audio side in particular is an improvement on Bob’s first Star Trek edit. So, Visual editing would get 10/10, audio 10/10.
Enjoyment is, as with all Bob’s edits, the aspect which shines through the most. You can tell the amount of enthusiasm and love which he puts into the edit and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, as easy 10/10 for me.
Overall then, Perditions Flames continues and in many ways improves on the good work started with The V’ger Incident. If you want to see Star Trek II from Kirk’s perspective then this is the perfect way to do so and you will have a blast; that I can guarantee.
OK, like so many others, WOK is my favorite Star Trek movie. So I was curious and eager to see how this film could be edited differently but still be the great enjoyment that it is. And boy I was pleasantly surprised by the concept! Spoilers follow...
Let me start by the only thing I had a small issue with, the music. I did not think the blend between the original series music and the movie music works as well as the V'Ger incident. The Jerry Goldsmith score mix much better with TOS than James Horner, who crafted an incredible score. But still, it was not bad, only more apparent.
One thing that could have been nice to do is when the Enterprise meets the Reliant for the first time, a ominous music starts right away. Since it's Kirk POV and he has no idea that this is a threat, the music could have started when Kirk says "This is damn peculiar...". This is just an idea.
That being said, I LOVED this edit! I miss seeing Khan in a couple of scenes but the movie works nevertheless! You sense the presence of the enemy, even if you rarely see him. The Kirk POV really add to the intensity, in part because we cannot see or hear what Khan is saying or planning next. So we are experiencing what Kirk do, and that's the point!
When Kirk finally meet his nemesis, the flashbacks to the Space Seed episode were absolutely genius and the choice of music was perfect!!! I really liked the timing of the flashback scenes during Kirk slowly getting up from his chair, totally surprised by Khan's appearance.
The intent of this edit result in a even better pacing of the movie. I really love the original release but the judicious cuts help to remove some unnecessary fat, like Khan right hand man for example. Even if I didn't knew the story by heart, I felt that all necessary information were there to understand everything. I cannot express how much I was pleasantly surprised by the edit and my enjoyment seeing it!!
There were two particular surprises for me at the end of the Mutara Nebula battle. First, I thought I was going to see Khan on the Reliant when he starts the Genesis device and deliver his final speech. Rather, Bob decided to keep the focus on the Enterprise crew, with a voiceover of Khan's speech, which is brilliant! Second, I was shocked to hear McCoy say "Jim, I think you better get down here...". I was so sure to see Spock sacrifice that it surprised me, as Kirk was surprised by McCoy.
Finally, the Spock funeral was revised for a really emotional scene! The Inner Light track from TNG is one of my all time favorite and it's used here with great effect! The emotion cranks even higher with the inclusion of a couple of flashbacks of the original series.
WOK is a great movie without a shadow of a doubt, but I can assure you that Perdition's Flame has now a place in my movie library, right beside the original release!
So I had the privilege of seeing an early cut of this and found it very enjoyable. Bob’s trademark TOS flavor was already in place, and he had gone quite a long way in creating the Kirk only point of view. At the time I quite enjoyed it but still felt that I would return to the theatrical as my go-to DVD.
After having watched the final version, I have reversed this position, this is now my go-to version.
Like Bob’s previous edit, the V’ger incident this edit suffers from less than ideal video quality. There are compressions in certain reds, and it is as most who follow Bob’s edit’s know, the letterbox aspect. From a purely evaluational standpoint I have to give it a 7/10 for visual quality. Personally, this doesn’t bother me, but I do hope that Bob at some point is able to revisit this edit with improved software capabilities as this is the ONLY aspect that holds this edit back.
This is one of the shining gems of the edit. Infusion of TOS sound effects and music is seamless and if you had not seen this movie before, or didn’t know what the big deal was, I suspect most wouldn’t be able to identify what was added. I could detect no hard or startling audio cuts or transitions and in particular, the sequence where the Reliant first attacks the Enterprise was handled very well. Audio levels did not seem out of line with the original DVD. I see no reason to give anything other than 10/10.
On the technical front there were no flaws, no flash-frames and no visual mismatches. Like the audio, I would say that if you were not familiar with the subject matter, or the original story a view would be hard placed to find where the Bob made his edits. His presence is only noticeable because so much has been added, modified and/or removed. 10/10
Surprisingly, and quite contrary to my expectation, the shift to Kirk’s Point of View actually does, at least for me, makes this a better movie and a true example of Less is More. I can certainly be counted among those who absolutely love Ricardo Montalban’s performance as Khan. He has some of the juiciest lines and dramatic performances in the movie. Yet when his scenes are highly redacted, we see a classic Trek story emerge. This is no longer Khan’s Revenge. It’s a Star Trek story, which means it’s a story about Kirk, Spock and Bones, and it highlights the human struggle and issues of mortality that Kirk faces.
Of particular joy for me was the Reliant attack on the Enterprise, and the battle of the Nebula right through Spock’s death. The way Bob was able to cut Khan’s prepatory lines from the lead-up were masterful, and the manner in which the attack came off was truly that of a surprise attack and makes it believable that they got the jump on Kirk, but even more impressive was excising Spock’s fixing the Mains – the power of the moment when Kirk looks at Spock’s empty chair is ratcheted up so much more from this angle and makes the emotional payoff of when he first sees Spock hit home even more. And the goodbye montage, much as I was against it in the initial copy I saw, worked very well. 11/10
The DVD menu is a default template and not terribly exciting (and repetitive if you’re watching more than one of his edits at a time ;) ) but I don’t mark down for menus, I’m here to watch an edit after all.
He does provide a nice little ‘About this movie’ bit that is enlightening and fun.
And as other’s have said, watch all the way through the credits.
This was a highly enjoyable edit that is a great example of what a Fanedit can be. It is one thing to take a crappy movie that missed the mark and make it better, but to take what is considered the best movie of a franchise and create something new and and enjoyable, that is truly an impressive feet.
The only thing that holds this back from a perfect 10 is the video quality, which drags this down to an 8.5 out of 10 so rounding up I give this a 9/10. This is a fantastic edit and simply a fun movie to watch.
Review by UnkwnFactor — January 10, 2011 @ 11:52 pm
Less Khan???? “KHHHHAAAAN! KHHHHHAAAAN!” I was both looking forward to and dreading this edit after I D/L’d it.
I certainly do not believe in any of “sacred cow” of movies that shouldn’t be edited. I believe all movies are fair game. BionicBob’s intentions for his Trek series is a prime example of this. He has not only done what I term, cut all the junk from his trek movies, he takes his edit in a new direction. This movie is, for me, THE star trek movie that all others (except Star Trek 2009) must measure up to.
I was worried about the “less Khan” intention, but was really excited to see the “story told form Kirk’s viewpoint” aspect. I was not disappointed by either. This is almost a different movie for me. It almost seems like a “Director’s Cut” of Star Trek 2.
There are some issues video issues with this installment, like the others, but the movie is so damn enjoyable I just don’t care. I agree with L8wrtr about this as well.
I haven’t mentioned this before, but being a part of FE and watching edits is mainly for me, the actual edit. The DVD presentation, extras etc are great if an edit has them, but not terribly important to me. I usually D/L this to my network and stream them to my TV, or extract just the movie to a USB etc and watch them via my TV or blu-ray (my TV and blu-ray USB connections for doing this sort of thing), so I typically don’t experience the DVD menus etc until well after I have already watched the edit.
I introduced my “desparate housewife watching” / “sci-fi and especially Star Trek is silly” thinking wife to Trek via the DVD of First Contact. She realized what quality sci-fi can be and then she watched this edit with me and was blown away.
Overall, an excellent edit and one of my personal favorites.