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8.8 16 10
FanFix August 14, 2012 4740
(Updated: September 15, 2012)
Review by FoolsFollowing — January 19, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

Review of Bionic Bob’s Star Trek V “This Other Eden”

First things first I shall declare my colors.

I’m a sci-fi fan but not really a Trekkie, I’ve watched a fair few episodes from TOS, fewer still from Next Gen. I have a lot of respect for the franchise, but I was always more of a Stargate/Babylon 5 kinda guy. Regarding the films, I watched the first five on DVD last year. TMP is my favorite, I love how solemn and serious it is. Wrath of Khan is a bit hammy, but I also love its theatrical side. Search for Spock was ok, Voyage Home was better than I remembered it (it’s the least sci-fi of the original series and rather silly which had generally put me off it in the past), and then we got to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

It was an odd film. Simultaneously brilliant and terrible. The premise is wonderful: the pilgrimage of a modern prophet and his ability to heal pain, how the Enterprise get involved, finding God at the center of the galaxy. Bones’ revelation is heart breaking, and the ‘trio’ have a lot of good scenes together.

On the other hand, you have rocket boots. A fat William Shatner and his toned body double climbing a mountain. The fan dance. Rocket boots. McCoy walking into a wall. And a truly dreadful climax. It was like two films mixed together: a profound futuristic religious pilgrimage dealing with faith and existential fear. And Police Academy set-in-space.

I haven’t watched any of BionicBob’s other edits, but after reading the rave reviews for this film and knowing it to be the perfect target for editing, I jumped straight into STV – the worst in the series which had potential to be the best.

The Good:
Well, Bob has certainly made the best of the film. The ridiculous humor is gone, and the fascinating ideas remain. The opening scene in the desert is wonderful, Kirk’s vacation is short and sweet, the hostage situation and the enterprise’s plan works much better now, all of Sybok’s scenes are beautiful, the film is quick and punchy, and the introduction to God is brilliant.

The bad:
The film is still limited in its source material. Once ‘God-thing’ attacks, it all gets a bit messy. The added shaky-cam didn’t work (the box shook around inside WMP, rather than being fixed while the image itself shook. I don’t know why this happened). The Klingon subplot doesn’t go anywhere. The hints at a profundity are left hanging.

The ill-preferred:
This is just personal choice, but I didn’t like the tv/OS style that bionic bob went for. I understand why he did it, but to me it just cheapens it. Perhaps such a style would work with Star Trek IV for example (which is a very silly film) but the plot as it has been tightened and re-edited is a truly cinematic one. A biblical epic set in the future, a man traveling deserts and planets in search of God, a voyage to the true beyond… this film has more in common with the first film than any of the others in the series, and I feel an equally epic style would be more fitting.

Having said that, Bob’s OS-inspired editing is of a high quality. The cheesy freeze-frames are pretty effective, the opening credits are nice, and the title cards seem fitting. It all just feels very non-cinematic. (But as I said: I’m not a Trekkie and I prefer my sci-fi serious. The fact that this film wasn’t made with those intentions isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I imagine long term Trekkies will really enjoy Bob’s flair!)

So, on the whole it was a good experience. The ending feels a little rushed plot-wise, but that probably can’t be helped. Overall, a massive improvement and some top notch editing

In terms of extras: I liked the ‘about this edit’ section. I would have preferred a bit more information, and the slides move rather slowly so I ended up having to manually skip along the time bar. However the information that was provided was very interesting and is still far more than most fanedits give!

Judging the edit as a film in its own right, I would give it 7.5/10 – the original theatrical version would probably get a 4/10.
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