Star Trek The Original 4-Movie Collection: Star Trek IV The Voyage Home - 4K Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Star Trek The Original 4-Movie Collection: Star Trek IV The Voyage Home


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Movie: :4.5stars:
4K Video: :4stars:
Video: :3.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :4stars:
Final Score: :4stars:



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Movie

2 more years later and Paramount had Nimoy out with his second directorial Star Trek film, this time with much different results. While The Search For Spock was a bit hamfisted and cheesy, The Voyage Home is more enjoyable and light hearted. It uses the classic time travel aspects of the show that were fun in small doses, and had Kirk center stage as the cheerfully grinning captain we love, vs. the sorrowful and angry man of the previous film. I used to think that The Voyage Home (otherwise known as “the one with the whales” was the best of the series, but as I’ve gotten older and matured a bit I started to realize how The Voyage Home was the one of the series that seemed to be pandering to pop culture fans, vs. old fashioned Star Trek fans. Not a bad thing, it just is a bit too lighthearted and a bit too dependent on Joss Whedonesque witticisms over actual plot. Not a major thing, but just something I’ve digested over the years and decided that while I love the film for what it is, it ISN’T as iconic as say The Wrath of Khan or The Undiscovered Country.

The Voyage Home starts just after the end of The Search For Spock. Kirk is on his way back home to Earth with their stolen Bird of Prey to face his punishment for stealing (and subsequently blowing up) the Enterprise. However, on their way home Earth is attacked by a mysterious alien probe that is single handedly destroying the Earth as it blasts an unintelligible message deep into the oceans. The ragtag crew of the Enterprise catch the message to stay away mid-flight and Spock actually figures out that it’s the sound of whales. Humpback whales to be precise. A species that was hunted to extinction in the 21st century (the film makers really jumped on the “save the whales” bandwagon, almost seeming like they were more interested in the cultural zeitgeist of the 80s more than making a movie) and is no longer alive to receive the aliens messages.

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Realizing that Earth is dying before their eyes, Kirk decides to send the ship back in time using “Time Warp” (yeah, I got a chuckle as it seems so pedestrian compared to later iterations of Star Trek’s time travel explanations) and grab a couple of whales from the 1980s and bring them back. Easier said than done though, as once they get to 1980s America there aren’t many hump back whales left either. Hunting has killed off a lot of the population and the last few in captivity are being held at a conservatory. Kirk falls for the pretty manager of said conservatory (played by Catherine Hicks) and hopefully is able to get said whales out of their confinement and back on the ship before it’s too late.

The Voyage Home is a fun and lighthearted ending to the “Genesis” trilogy that started with Wrath of Khan. It’s a much better entry than Nimoys first attempt at a feature film in the Star Trek universe, but it’s still not perfect. Light hearted and fun, it took a bit much from the “save the whales!” thing of the 1980s, and the hippy nature of the subject matter oozes into the movie itself. Shatner is grinning like a maniac the whole time and having fun, while Nimoy actually spends a lot of time adding layers to Spock’s character. It’s a good entry, a bit dated, but still one of the best of the original 6 films.




Rated PG, Parental Guidance Suggest by the MPAA




4K Video: :4stars: Video: :3.5stars:
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The Voyage Home was shot very similarly to The Search for Spock, and looks very much the same when looked at up close. It’s very grainy, but there’s no signs of over abundance of grain, nor does it look molested by DNR or other digital manipulation. Some of the shots look a bit soft due to the filming style, and some of the matte lines are obvious when moving through space (such as the shot around the Enterprise, or around the giant cylinder when it approaches Earth). Up close details can look astounding, and I noticed that the colors for the film were deeper and more dim than it’s Blu-ray predecessor. Not to say they look worse dim, but that they look more natural maroon for Kirk’s uniform rather than garish and over brightened. Black levels in space can be incredible to behold, and overall this is a very solid upgrade over the aging Blu-ray.









Audio: :4stars:
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This will come as NO surprise by now, but the 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track found on the 4K UHD disc is the exact same track found on the Blu-ray, and just like usual, it’s a good track that is a bit overkill for the 7.1 format. Dialog is the main focus of the film, but the hustle and bustle of 21st century cities fill out the surround channels, as does copious use of Leonard Rosenman’s orchestral score. Bass is rather lite, but still there during explosions and a few slamming doors, but otherwise this is a fairly soft action mix simply due to the fact that the 2.0 Stereo theatrical mix was never designed to be a powerhouse mix.
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Extras: :4stars:
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• Audio Commentary featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
• Audio Commentary featuring Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
• Library Computer Viewing Mode
• Production
-- Future’s Past: A Look Back
-- On Location
-- Dailies Deconstruction
-- Below-the-Line: Sound Design
-- Pavel Chekov’s Screen Moments
• The Star Trek Universe
-- Time Travel: The Art of the Possible
-- The Language of Whales
-- A Vulcan Primer
-- Kirk’s Women
-- Star Trek: The Three-Picture Saga
-- Star Trek for a Cause
-- Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 004: The Whale Probe
• Visual Effects Featurettes
-- From Outer Space to the Ocean
-- The Bird-of-Prey
• Original Cast Interviews
-- William Shatner
-- Leonard Nimoy
-- DeForest Kelley
Special Tributes
-- Roddenberry Scrapbook
-- Featured Artist: Mark Lenard
• Production Gallery
• Storyboards Galleries
• Theatrical Trailer














Final Score: :4stars:


The Voyage Home is probably the second best film of the original 6 movie set, but also probably the most commercially “pop culture” esque of them too. I never would say that they “sold out” but The Voyage Home does feel more pop culture sci-fi, complete with lots of comedy, Spock accidentally swearing for laughs, and good old time travel. However, it just works together so well that you can’t help but enjoy the movie for what it is. A fun ride that keeps on going. The 4K UHD is a solid upgrade over the Blu-ray, although I STILL am puzzled by the fact that Paramount ended their 4K set HERE instead of finishing off The Original Crew film set with 5 and 6. Ah well. It is what it is.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Majel Barrett, James Doohan, Robin Curtis, Catherine Hicks
Directed by: Leonard Nimoy
Written by: Gene Roddenberry (Based on), Harve Bennett
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 German DD TrueHD 2.0, French DD 2.1, Japanese DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG
Runtime: 119 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: August 7th, 2021
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Recommendation: Great Buy (Whole Set)

 

Epoxy1

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I love this movie.
 

mechman

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Just in time for the 55th anniversary!
 

Todd Anderson

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I remember seeing this in the theater and loving it… great concept and it’s lighthearted nature is very endearing. A+.

I’m going to have to add this set to the collection
 
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