- Actors: William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei
- Directors: Leonard Nimoy
- Producers: Harve Bennett
- Format: PAL
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 2
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Paramount
- DVD Release Date: 13 Jan. 2003
- Run Time: 105 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000083ED0
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,467 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Special Edition)  [DVD]
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Admiral Kirk's defeat of Khan and the creation of the Genesis planet are empty victories. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is dead and McCoy is inexplicably being driven insane. Then a surprise visit from Sarek, Spock's father, provides a startling revelation: McCoy is harbo ring Spock's living essence. With one friend alive and one not, but both in pain, Kirk (William Shatner) attempts to help his friend s by stealing the U.S.S. Enterprise and defying Starfleet's Genesis planet quarantine. But the Klingons have also learned of Genesis and race to meet Kirk in a deadly rendezvous.
With hindsight, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is the satisfactory middle instalment of a well-rounded trilogy that began with The Wrath of Kahn and ended with The Voyage Home (after which this crew really should have retired gracefully). But on its first release, few fans knew what to expect and initial impressions were disappointing. The biggest talking points were that the film was Leonard Nimoy's directorial debut and that his name wasn't in the opening credits. Naturally, the biggest question was just how would the loss of Spock affect the franchise? That question was neatly dodged and what audiences got instead was a tale of team-spiritedness, sacrifice and rebellion that ended on a question mark. In other words it was a fun ride without many answers. The centrepiece of the movie has to be stealing The Enterprise, a beautifully conceived sequence that remains at the heart of classic Trek's filmic storyline: sacrificing all for the sake of friendship, Kirk and co. set out to rescue their lost companion; this single action defines everything the characters had ever meant to each other, and has an effect on everything that followed. And if the loss of Spock had left audiences eager for more, that was as nothing compared to the loss of The Enterprise.
On the DVD: Star Trek III on disc does not come in a new transfer as the previous two special edition DVDs, and you won't find any deleted or new scenes either. The extras package is fascinating, nonetheless, especially with the contributions from Nimoy. His fond reminiscences in the commentary track are priceless, with good support from writer-producer Harve Bennett, director of photography Charles Correll, and Robin Curtis (Saavik). The text commentary from the Okudas isn't as involving as the others, sadly, but this is made up for by the trivia dished out in documentaries covering: model-making, costume design, the science of Terraforming, and how to speak Klingon. The best inclusion is "Captain's Log" featuring interviews with an enthusiastic Nimoy, a sarcastic Shatner, an appreciative Curtis and the rarely seen Christopher Lloyd. --Paul Tonks
Top customer reviews
ADMIRAL KIRK and his bridge crew risk their careers stealing the decommissioned Enterprise to return to the restricted Genesis Planet to recover SPOCK's body.
Directed by LEONARD NIMOY, this is the one where WILLIAM SHATNER really acts. A beautiful, low-key performance (I am not joking), purposely reigned in by a colleague who knew exactly how to handle what is in effect a study about life, death and rebirth. It also has something insightful to say about friendship and sacrifice - huge continuing themes, all of significant importance here (and, if you're into that sort of thing, there are any number of Shakesperian references to be found throughout the television episodes and movies, just by scratching at the surface).
STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK was deeply satisfying to me, but not for most of the fans, it seems. Many thought it was too maudlin. But that's their loss, because if ever a STAR TREK film had something to say about the Triumph of the Human Spirit then this was it; Nimoy captured something no other director has managed before or since. And it's still got all the sci-fi trappings you could ever wish for, so what's not to like?
The Blu-Ray transfer is so detailed it actually emphasizes the 'garbage' mattes around the ENTERPRISE in the 'approach to Spacedock' sequence, a particularly harrowing example. Other than that, it's solid and consistent throughout. Colour is vivid, yet lifelike, and the sound is marginally better than the Special Edition DVD release, but dialogue still lacks high-end sharpness.
AND FINALLY...WILLIAM SHATNER
For once, the ham was placed to one side, no lines were carved up and no scenery chewed. The Transformed Man went for it and gave us something truly special.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This DVD is a great improvement over previous releases - two dics gives you extras that are always informative and for the most part truly interesting. The directors commentary gives Leonard Nimoy the chance to speak with his directors hat on for a change instead of as an actor, and gives good insight into what it's like for an actor to direct for the first time - it makes me want to buy "Three men and a baby" purely to see how his experiences develop.
All else that can be said is that the sound and picture quality are excellent throughout (especially considering how old this movie is), as are the discs animated menus. Oh, and hunt out for the easter egg - it contains probably the best documentary on this two-disc set.