on August 17, 2007
i enjoyed this installment of the Star Trek franchise quite a bit.in my opinion,it's better than the previous ones.i think they did a very good job here,balancing many different elements.there is certainly the action/adventure element here but there is also so quite a bit of humour.the writing is very intelligent and witty.there is also the element of danger,which is very real in this one.the threat is very grave and imminent.the suspense factor is high here too.the story itself is very well written and well paced.this is almost a comedy at its heart.the dialogue is very sharp and fresh.it's more of a family movie than the previous ones.there is some mild language,but it is not used maliciously.it does actually serve the story.the movie is also a cautionary tale i think,to humanity.i think it's just as relevant today as it was then,maybe more so.generally,this movie is probably the most fun of the original Star Trek movies,in terms of comedic value.i also think it is probably the best of the original movies.for me,Star Trek 4:The Voyage Home is a definite 4/5
on January 26, 2007
"The Voyage Home" was the fourth of the Star Trek films and hit the movie screens in 1986. It focuses on the crew of the original series, commanded by James Kirk, and ties up a few loose ends from the previous two films.
The film opens in 2286, three months having passed since the end of "The Search of Spock", with the approach of a strange probe - apparently on a course to Earth. The first Starfleet vessel to encounter it is the USS Saratoga - unfortunately, the energy signal being transmitted by the probe leaves the Saratoga powerless and drifting in space. Affecting every starship and starbase it meets in the same way, it finally reaches Earth. Settling into orbit, it directs its signals towards the planet's oceans - which are promptly ionised, leading to raging storms around the planet.
Having stolen - and subsequently destroyed - the Enterprise, visited an off-limits planet and commandeered a Klingon Bird of Prey, Kirk and his crew are on Vulcan preparing to return to Earth. In preparation for the trip, they have carried out a few minor alterations to their captured ship. Fully expecting to be court-martialed when they arrive at Earth, McCoy has also renamed it the HMS Bounty. They only hear about the probe's approach and its effects en-route, however. Spock - whose rehabilitation is not yet complete - analyses the probe's signals and believes the language to be that of humpback whales. Unfortunately, given that the species is extinct in the 23rd Century, there can be no response. This leaves the crew with only one option : they must travel back in time to a period to when humpback whales weren't extinct, capture at least one of them and return with it (or then) to the 23rd Century. Using the 'slingshot' method they discovered during their famous 5-year mission, Kirk and his crew travel to the late 20th century. There, they decide to target two whales living in captivity in San Francisco. Naturally, there are complications...
Directed by Leonard Nimoy, "The Voyage Home" also saw Nicholas Meyer (director of "The Wrath of Khan" and "The Undiscovered Country") contribute to the screenplay. Meyer - whose involvement in a Star Trek movie is practically a guarantee - initially wanted the bulk of the action to take place in Paris, rather then San Francisco. Nevertheless, despite the odd 'serious' point - most obviously, the damage caused by humans hunting the humpback to extinction - this is still a very funny movie. The comments on, and the attempts to use, the period's vernacular are sure to raise a smile, while the interplay between Kirk, Spock and McCoy has rarely been bettered.
on July 17, 2004
Another classic trek movie, this one from 1986, is awesome, and the most shocking thing about it is that it doesn't even take place in space, save for about 15 minutes! Instead it takes place in 1986, where the crew members go back in time to capture two whales to stop the destructive calls of an intergalactic whale species trying to contact the long-extinct whales. The whole plot sounds like it would suck beyond belief, but it comes close to being the best trek movie, and is one of my faves ever.
The awesomeness of the movie, unlike the rest of the series, comes not from suspense and action scenes, but the hilarious and often touching culture shock the crew faces in mid-80's San Fransisco. There is so much to laugh at: the crew earnestly walking along the SanFran streets, Sulu in his cape, Kirk in his red StarFleet uniform, and unforgettably, Spock in his monk robe with the belt tied around the tops of his pointy ears, making him look like an angry ninja master with a botched Botox job. Also hilarious is McCoy's disgust at how rudimentary 20th Century medical practices are/were. In a scene inside a hospital, he asks a woman what ails her, she responds she has kidney dialysis, and he's like, "What is this, the dark ages?! Swallow this, and call me if you have any problems." Several scenes later she is wheeled out claiming a miracle.
There is much more in the movie I won't spoil for you (or more like I'm too f*#&ing lazy to write any more), so turn the PC off and rent this great flick, also it's been on AMC recently, so try that too.
on February 12, 2004
The nice thing about the original Trek series and films is that they supported a variety of genres from action to comedy. For every "The Trouble with Tribbles" there was a "City on the Edge of Forever" or "Mantrap". Trek IV falls into the former category. While the film starts off with a serious threat (a McGuffin almost worthy of Hitchcock--an alien threatening the world because there's no one there that speaks its language!), the differences between men and women from the future and those living in the 80's creates a lot of potential for comedic hijinks.
A mysterious alien probe has entered the solar system sending out a message that Starfleet can't decode or respond to. The atmosphere of Earth is being thorn apart in response. The crew of the Enterprise in their captured Klingon ship receive an urgent message from the Earth to avoid the planet. Spock deciphers the message and realizes why there's no one to answer; it's whalesong. The only solution available (since Whales are extinct) is to go to 20th Century Earth and obtain whales and return to the future.
The premise is ripe with comic possibilities and director Leonard Nimoy takes advantage of every one of them. It's not the best Trek film but it is the most popular because it's so accessible (it also grossed the most at the box office for the original Trek films). All the actors are clearly having a blast with the next to last of the quartet of interrelated films (The Undiscovered Country refers back to 2 and 3's back story and has a light connection to 4 as well).
The newly remastered edition is a huge step up from the previous edition. The anamorphic widescreen transfer is much sharper and clearer than the previous edition. The sound mix, while not as good as a current release, uses the 5.1 surround sound format very well. The great picture and sound are augmented by cool extras. You get extras galore. Nimoy's director's commentary and the Trek text commentary provide interesting distractions the third or fourth time you watch the film. The text commentary is filled with bits of trivia, points out production gaffes and has some very funny observations about the film, the crew and the Trek universe.
The extras on disc two includes a moving tribute to actor Mark Lenard. Unfortunately, there aren't any clips from other television programs he appeared on (like "Planet of the Apes")or movies but we do get personal photos as well as a moving rememberence by his two daughters and wife. The production featurettes aren't quite as exhaustive as some of the other DVD sets (ST:TMP springs to mind)but are interesting particularly the section on visual effects that discusses the time travel sequence. Storyboards are also included (although it might have been more interesting to put them on disc one where they could be compared to the finished sequences).
I'm hoping that Paramount upgrades The Next Generation DVDs with as much care. While Nemesis has some fine extras, it could have been done better. Generations has absolutely nothing beyond the film (and a rather tepid transfer at that) while First Contact only has the trailers. Insurrection similarly has the trailer plus a standard productin featurette. Regardless of how you feel about the films, Paramount needs to do more value added stuff for the Trek fan base. The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyage have much better extras than any of the Next Generation films (or the original series for that matter).
Each of the films have their strengths and weakenesses and while there's some minor plot contrivances, they don't harm the entertainment value of Trek IV. For a good time call Captain Kirk and crew. They'll keep you entertained with this installment of the Trek franchise.
on February 1, 2004
First the DVD review: Like the other ST Films re-released in a special 2 disc set, this one is PACKED with extras! Thank you Paramount! DVD features an excellent commentary by Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner who share alot of insight into the making of this wonderful movie, original interviews from 1986 featuring Shatner, DeForest, and Nimoy, a trailer, some great featurettes on the making of the film and the spfx, storyboards & gallerys, a very poignant tribute to the late Gene Roddenberry (the creator of ST) and Mark Lenard (Sarek, Spocks father), and something not mentioned in the Amazon DVD features section called the "FuturesPast: A Look Back". This is a half hour documentary which features new interviews with some of the cast, crew, and producers! Very neat stuff!
I say this is the ST even your grandma can enjoy because it is very light and entertaining. I agree with Nimoy when he said it was time to "lighten up" the series a bit and have some fun with it. Star Trek The Motion Picture was very serious (not for ST Fans with weak minds or an acute case of ADD though), ST II was also serious as we dealt with a bad guy bent on revenge and the death of Spock, and ST III Kirk lost his son and the Enterprise was blown up.
I am a BIG believer in originality when it comes to movies. Unfortunately this movie is not original. It blatantly steals the story of ST The Motion Picture (Alien probe of unknown origin is threatening the Earth and has to be communicated with in order for it to go away) and it capitalizes on a very popular storyline back in 1986 and that storyline is Time Travel. You had to be there, but back in 1985 a little movie called Back to the Future came out and it was a monster hit. So in 1986 Hollywood, of course, came out with another Time Travel hit called Peggy Sue Got Married. So it is no surprise that ST IV was influenced with this premise. I hate to admit it, but it works great for ST IV! I usually look at un-originality in storylines with skepticism and sarcasm so when I went to see this in the theatre I was expecting the worst. What I found was a very fast paced, funny (of all things) ST movie that is universally recognized as the "best" Trek film!
I personally would never classify this movie as the greatest Trek film ever made, to do so would clearly label me as a shallow person because of the stolen premise, but it ranks very high on my list! I love the fact that this movie has an underlying current of Eco-Awareness too. The humor in seeing the original cast in modern day San Francisco is funny as well.
I was fortunate to see this movie in the theatre back in 1986 with a sold out house! The experience was awesome! Sitting on your couch and watching this movie pales in comparison to seeing it in the theatre with 100 or so other fans! Each joke was 10 times funnier!
Note to Paramount: Hey, Paramount, how would you like to start a trend? Why don't you dust off these original cast Star Trek Movies and re-release them in the theatres? I would definitely go see it! (You would have to charge a discounted rate though because nobody will pay $10-$11 to go see what they have on DVD!) I want my kids and newer fans to know the experience of seeing these movies on the big screen again! TRUST ME, Paramount, people would flock to go see these movies! Clearly the American consumer is not flocking to anything that Hollywood is putting out nowadays.
OK, yes, there are TONS of funny and quotable lines in this movie. Personally my favorite happens in the beginning of the movie when Spock first boards the Bird of Prey ship, wearing a big white robe, and apologizes to Kirk and says "I seem to have misplaced uniform". Yes, hearing Kirk and Spock curse later on is funny but that ironic line is just classic!
Remember, there are VERY FEW must own DVD's and this is one of them! Get it before it goes out of print!
on January 22, 2004
The premise of "Star Trek: The Voyage Home" probably doesn't sound promising to those who haven't seen it- the Enterprise and the crew travel back to the present day to retrieve a pair of humpback whales. It's a welcome surprise then that "The Voyage Home" proves to be one of the most entertaining Star Trek entries; it's both interesting and funny, if a little low on tension.
Director Leonard Nimoy handles this situation perfectly. The "fish-out-of-water" story had grown old even when this movie was released in 1986, but it's still a riot to watch the Enterprise crew try to adapt to late 20th century San Francisco. There's also a good ecological message from "The Voyage Home"- if man continues to be short-sighted in his dealings with the environment, he may inadvertently destroy himself. There's not many major characters in the film outside of the Enterprise crew, but Catherine Hicks shows flair as a marine biologist that's trying to help out Kirk and Co.
The only thing that's missing from "The Voyage Home" is tension. There's no real villain and never really a sense that things won't turn out all right in the end. One could argue that the series needed to lighten up a bit after the dark and violent second and third entries, but it still sometimes feel that something's missing from "The Voyage Home".
Overall, this is a very entertaining movie, and one of the few "Star Trek" films that can appeal to a wide audience outside of its target one. Considering the quality of some of the "Star Trek" films that followed it ("The Final Frontier", "Generations"), "The Voyage Home" is definetely a quality Trek outing. If you don't own it yet, what are you waiting for?
on December 17, 2003
Over 17 years after its initial release, The Voyage Home remains the most popular of the Star Trek films, in terms of box office receipts, and a general audience favorite.
This film is lighter than most cinematic Treks. The "fish out of water" story capitalizes on both the writers' and actors' strengths, and the humor springs organically from the material, rather than seeming forced. Some of the sequels have attempted to integrate humor into their stories, but with less success. All of the actors are at their best here, particularly William Shatner, who has a deft comic touch. (The look on Kirk's face when he sees Spock swimming in the whale tank is worth the price of DVD.) The only complaint I have about this film is the score. Leonard Rosenmann's retread of Lord of the Rings grows more irritating with each viewing.
Paramount's new transfer is a considerable improvement over the first DVD issue, and light years ahead of earlier versions. The picture quality on my laserdisc was very poor, with a grainy unfocused quality that made it appear that the print had been dragged across the floor. The VHS quality was even worse. On DVD the image is considerably sharper, colors are more vibrant without bleeding. The sound quality is also improved, and there is a track in French. ("Monsieur Spock?" "Oui, Capitan Kirk?") The commentary track featuring Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner doesn't shed much light on the film, but remains entertaining, as is Michael Okuda's text commentary. The bonus disc features a light but informative treatise on time travel, a moving tribute to actor Mark "Sarek" Lenard, and the usual making of featurettes.
on November 13, 2003
STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (Special Edition) is a great edition to the Star Trek collection and for those who enjoy extras and features the second DVD has a lot to offer. There are retrospectives, behind the scenes, histories, graphics, illustrations, deleted scenes and features that include the original cast, crew and some insights from NASA and other scientists.
The DVD extra's are fantastic and filled insight, education and perspectives. Even Eugene Roddenberry, Star Trek's Creator Gene Roddenberrys (Earth II, The Questor Tapes) son makes some interesting commentary on his father.
The movie was the second direction by Leonard Nimoy (Three Men and A Baby, The Good Mother) and written by Harve Bennet, Leonard Nimoy and Nicholas Meyer (The same team responsible for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock) and has been the critics, general publics and Star Trek fans favorite of all the Star Trek movies. (That includes The Next Generation features too!)
The story is simple - all the good ones are - mankind is in trouble and our crew of the Starship Enterprise are the only ones who can save humanity. How? They need to go bring two humpback whales back in to the 23rd century. Why? There is an alien space probe that is communicating to the Earth's oceans on a level of intensity that is destroying Earth.
The fun begins when you take 23rd Century philosophies and through them into the 1986 San Francisco mentality. Seeing this crew in the middle of San Fran trying find their way around, spend money and ride the busses is hysterical.
The best performances come from Captain Kirk himself - William Shatner (Miss Congeniality, Loaded Weapon 1) and a Zoologist played by Catherine Hicks (7th Heaven, Child's Play.) When they interact with each other. They are charming, funny, witty and energetic. Leonard Nimoy (Golda, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers) himself does a stunning and hysterical job as Spock who just got his "mind" back. He has some of the funniest lines in the whole movie. The whole original cast seems to be having the best time throughout this movie.
It has action, adventure, a great story, special effects and the best humor a movie could possibly want. The DVD extra's are by far the most educational of all the DVD's of Star Trek series. The funniest is listening to the commentary of Shatner and Nimoy as the film runs. Fun for the whole family and a must for any one who likes these types of movies; Science Fiction, Comedy, Adventure! 5-20-03 & 11-14-04
on October 1, 2003
I was amazed to read the glowing reviews of this stinker. The plot is utterly absurd. The movie was obviously planned backwards, probably as follows:
"Hey, let's do a Star Trek movie that makes a sociological statement!"
"Yeah, great idea! Maybe one that supports the environment..."
"How about saving the whales?"
"That's ridiculous! What do whales have to do with the 23rd century? Besides, they'll probably be extinct by then."
"Hmmm. Maybe a disaster might happen that only the whales could solve, and they'll be extinct."
"Whales are unintelligent, what problems could THEY solve?"
"Yeah. Hmmm. Maybe the disaster could be averted by using whale blubber or something."
"No, dufus, now you're beginning to sound like a capitalist pig who wants to slaughter whales for their blubber."
<They break for a latte and a scone.>
"Maybe some powerful environmentally enlightened aliens descended from the ancestors of whales show up and want to make sure their 'brothers' on Earth are being treated well."
"Yeah, then they find out the whales are extinct and then in a fit of rage blast the Earth into smithereens!!!"
"No way. Then the movie would be over in what, 20 minutes? And then any sequel would have to have the Federation fighting a bunch of alien whale-oids. Ugh."
"OK, how about this. The spacecraft could be unoccupied. Like a probe..."
You see my point.
The movie does have its funny moments, but they are spoiled by the borderline-psychotic and thoroughly annoying character played by Catherine Hicks. The low point of the movie for me happens when, after she is told by a co-worker that a whale has been moved, she snaps and viciously slaps him across the face.
IMHO, here are the six Star Trek's in order of merit:
on September 27, 2003
On the fourth installment in the Star Trek movie series, Kirk and company are flying their captured Klingon vessel back to Earth to face the punishment for their misdeeds. On the way though, fate intervenes in the form of an alien probe wreaking destruction upon Earth's oceans. With quick thinking, the crew figures out that it is attempting to speak to an extinct species of Whale, so they slingshot their crummy "Klingon fleatrap" around the sun and travel back in time to San Francisco circa 1986 to save the future.
The time travel cliche is done very well by the Star Trek crew, and although the movie is incredibly dated, it's still a very humerous film that takes a pressing social issue (mainly ecological conservation) and wraps it into an enjoyable sci-fi plot. One of the biggest strengths of the Star Trek series has always been its social conscious, and they deliver yet again with "The Voyage Home".
I'd like to stress again that this is a very lighthearted and humerous film that is saved by the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously. If nothing else, where else do you get to watch Spock develop a penchant for profanity? Add to that the usual interplay between him, Kirk, and McCoy, and you've got a winning movie that hard core Trek fans and casual moviegoers can enjoy.