Review Detail

8.8 16 10
FanFix August 14, 2012 4740
(Updated: September 15, 2012)
Review by LastSurvivor — April 19, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

It’s strange how some films obtain a bad reputation and yet at the same time attract many hardcore defenders at the same time. Or perhaps it isn’t. I for one am rarely put off a film by poor reviews – in fact some might say I actively seek them out to see if they really are that bad. One such movie back upon its release in the blockbuster packed summer of 1989 was of course WIlliam Shatner’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The general opinion then, and indeed now, seems to be that it’s probably the worst of the series.

As the years have gone by it’s become general film knowledge that Shatner’s original vision for the film was severely compromised by various contributing factors; it is quite obvious that Paramount slashed the budget and that the wizards of ILM were not available to perform special effects duty. Yet, upon my first viewing of the film at the cinema I genuinely loved it – warts and all. So, when Bionic Bob reached this particularly chapter in his Original Series Trek Edits, I was very intrigued and excited to see what he would do.

First off, as much as I love the new classic TV style intro which has been seen in BB’s other Trek edits, I was delighted to see a new intro which whilst still obviously intended as a TV series intro, retains the wonderful Jerry Goldsmith score. I loved seeing all the various shots of the Enterprise and Bob timed it perfectly with the music. Hopefully this intro will be retained for the final Trek BB edit to come shortly.

Indeed, watching this edit reminded me just how amazing Goldsmith’s score is – I’d forgotten how good it really is and I truly think it stands alongside The Motion Picture as his best Trek score. As soon as we arrive on Nimbus III I knew I was gonna love this – Bob uses Jerry’s original score for the superbly staged pre-credits sequence and I immediately had a beaming smile on my face. The trimming of the shore leave sequence works a treat, particularly the cut of the awful green screen rock fall sequence. I must admit I kind of missed “row, row, row your boat” but by keeping the discussion about Bones’ secret beans recipe in there, I’m more than willing to forgive

Indeed, the one thing I am glad about is that Bob decided not to try and cut all the humor out of the movie. For me, the interplay between the main trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is at its absolute best here. Director Shatner deserves massive credit for this (along with his script writers of course!), and I still believe this is a quite beautifully directed Trek movie.

The idea to rescript all the Klingon dialogue with new subtitles (nice Starfleet title cards btw) works absolutely fine. I’ll admit I can’t remember how different it is to the original, but if the intention is to make the Klingon’s as ruthless as we knew them previously, then Bob definitely succeeds.

Uhura’s fan dance is not missed at all, neither is the turbo shaft/rocket boots from the jailbreak. Only thing I thought was that it’s strange that Scotty appears and then in the next scene is just gone without us knowing what he’s up to, but I think it still works well enough. What’s more, the turbo shaft scene always felt like an added scene – at least the humour certainly did. By removing it and getting on straight with the story as Kirk, McCoy and Spock have to face their pain, the movie is all the better for it. Ah yes, the pain. Have to give Bob massive credit here, as when he announced we were going to see Kirk’s pain for the first time I was somewhat skeptical as to how he would achieve this. Well, the clips he used from the classic series and the preceeding movies are superbly chosen, not to mention how skillfully he intercuts them with the scenes on the observation deck. I’m sure he worked on it for some time and it’s one of the best moments in the edit for me. Also, by adding music to the scene it seems to lend even more emotional weight.

One aspect I wasn’t too keen on were the flash forward scenes where Kirk foresees his death. I can see what Bob was trying to do, but the placement of the scenes just feels jarring and don’t work that well for me. I know that Bob states it ties in with his last Trek fanedit, which I have to admit I haven’t viewed yet, so it may well work better if one has seen that first.

All the colour correction on the God planet works without distracting, and I liked the new Klingon gun sound effects – very nice. As for the earthquake filter effects, for the most part they work surprisingly well. It was only when I noticed that the actual 2.35:1 framing was moving as well as the image inside the frame that it became distracting. A shame, as I thought it worked really well otherwise and is a great idea.

The freeze frame style fades, as if going to an advert break, mostly work very well. There was just the one on the observation deck where we hear Sybok continuing to speak after his image is frozen that didn’t work for me. Otherwise, all good.
The picture quality is very good throughout and for the most part the audio is far better than the previous BB Trek edit I watched, The V’ger Incident. However, there are still moments where the background sound/music overpower the dialogue somewhat, which is a shame, but I have to say it certainly doesn’t lessen the impact of the edit.

Most importantly of all though is how good the actual fanediting is here. BB has done a brilliant job and if you hadn’t seen the movie before you would never know where the editing was to tell the truth. I still love the original theatrical version, turbo shaft scene and all. Yet, for the most part Bionic Bob’s This Other Eden has the edge and would now be my go to version, as the saying goes.

I now look forward to seeing Bob’s other Trek edits, and it will be kinda sad when he finally leaves the Trek universe upon the completion of his fanedit of Star Trek VI. However, at least it opens the pathways for Cyborg, his long awaited Six Million Dollar Man edit… now that’s one I really can’t wait for.
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