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R. Bettney "trek_guy" (W.Yorkshire, England)
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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Search For Spock is Over!, 9 July 2010
After years of waiting, this awesome James Horner score finally gets the justice it deserves. Just as with the previous expanded release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this is another excellent production by Retrograde Records/Screen Archives Entertainment/FSM.

Disc 1: Every cue from the film is represented here (except, I maybe right in saying the post mind-meld/beam down to genesis cue - which is largely the same as the end of "The Klingon's Plan") in the correct order with fabulous linear notes - we now finally have the actual track mixes that were used in the film (i.e. "Klingons" and "Stealing the Enterprise") as well as long sought after cues such as "A Fighting Chance to Live" (the beautiful music to which the Enterprise meets her final end). The disc even includes an extended montage of instrumental versions of "That Old Black Magic"/"Tangerine"/"I remember You" - produced for use in the bar scene where McCoy tries to book passage to Genesis - outstanding.

Disc 2: For those like myself, you will already be very familiar with the original Capitol Records release of the score....and here it is in all it's original glory (this is the US release with a bonus track 9 electro/pop version of the Search for Spock "theme" previously released by GNP on CD in 1990, not the 8 track Silva Screen UK release)

More thoughtful, emotional and even spiritual than Star Trek II's bombastic, powerful score this has to be my favourite James Horner score - it matched the mood of the film perfectly and still evokes subtle emotions in me to this day every time I listen to it. If you are a fan of this film, or James Horner's scores then I highly recommend you pick this up - you will not be disappointed!


Star Trek - Original Motion Picture Collection 1-6 [Blu-ray] [2009]
Star Trek - Original Motion Picture Collection 1-6 [Blu-ray] [2009]
Dvd ~ William Shatner
Price: £25.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Trek Jim, but not as you know it!, 13 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you don't want to read my lengthy review then I'll summarize it straight off: WOW! Buy this Blu-Ray box set if you are a Star Trek fan and you will not be disappointed! There I said it, now to my review:

I am no expert on DVD/Blu-Ray transfers but I have to say that I have never seen these movies look so good, and I have seen them all at the cinema, on TV, VHS, DVD and this set hits new heights.

Yes, there are a few problems, some of which I'll go into later, but overall you can't get better and any one who complains about the overall quality or value for money of this set is really nitpicking. All the films are the original theatrical releases, a first for some of them on DVD/Blu-Ray.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture. For a 30 year old film the Blu-ray transfer looks gorgeous. Yes, the detail now evident does highlight some flaws but I would argue that some of the more "challenged" special effects shots actually are now more passable in hi-def due to the effect of the overall visual experience you are now immersed into. Some of the scenes are now simply stunning and you really now get a sense of what effort went into making this film. I would go as far to say that this film is the best of the bunch, I was really impressed with how this looks (apart from the "V'Ger probe" scene on the bridge which, as someone else has pointed out, looks like it hasn't been remastered at all - which is very strange). The sound is also excellent and it is really nice to finally own the original theatrical cut of this film other than my worn-out VHS copy. It would have been a real bonus however to have included the extended version (not the Director's cut, which couldn't be done due to the SD effects shots) as a complete option to watch, instead of having the "deleted scenes" as extras - isn't this part of what Blu-Ray is all about? To my knowledge the extended TV version of the Motion Picture has only ever been released on VHS, which I own, but never in widescreen and never on DVD. I know this is not Robert Wise's preferred version but come on Paramount! Isn't it time that the very loyal Star Trek fans were treated to the same rewards as fans of other franchises?

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Now, here's where I have my biggest problem with this set. The box set proudly boasts that this film has been "FULLY RESTORED" as opposed to being simply remastered (as apparently the original was in such poor shape they had no choice). Now, it looks good - better than the Special Edition DVD, but not as good as ANY of the other 5 films. The picture looks softened, over exposed to DNR or some other process and as such, the crispness that is found in the other films is not evident here. What a shame. I even slipped the disc into another Blu-Ray player just to be sure (played identical on both a Panasonic player/Plasma set up and on a Sony player/LCD rig so fairly certain it's the disc not the equipment). As with many fans this has to be my favourite of the original movies and I have to confess that after watching the Motion Picture, my high hopes for this film were somewhat brought down a peg or two. Sound quality is also a little under-stunning but I think the original sound wasn't that great so they've probably done their best here. Don't let this put you off though, easily the best way to watch Khan yet.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Seems to be a film that a lot of people find hard to like. Personally I can't see why, although, after Khan this kind of suffers from the same fate as Insurrection did after the high watermark of First Contact - but that comparison doesn't entirely work for me. What Leonard Nimoy did with Star Trek III is impart a very appealing personal style and emotional weight that I think many of the other films have struggled to match. In pure artistic terms I think III is right up there along side the Motion Picture. It has a tone that sets it truly apart, not just in the thematic content but in the visuals, the music, the performances teased out of the actors and is just about as "Trek" as "Trek" can be - about the characters, not the space battles (although, don't get me wrong the space battles are very welcome every now and again!). Again the enhancements to the picture here highlight a few technical issues which were not as evident on the previous DVD release but overall the film looks superb. The scenes of the Enterprise in space dock are awesome and Vulcan has never looked so good. Once strange thing though - the aspect ratio of the opening credit shots (flying through the clouds on Genesis then space) narrows slightly until the start of the film proper, which I never noticed on the original DVD releases - this may be a Blu-Ray only issue due to the HD element but I have not seen the remastered DVD in order to know for sure.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Part 3 of an unofficial trilogy, easily the most accessible to non-fans and most profitable of the original Treks. Again, I think Mr Nimoy worked his own brand of magic on this film (with significant help from Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer). Always entertaining and in many ways simply classic Trek, its' just an enjoyable movie that I never tire of watching. As revealed in the excellent extras on this disc - to think that some "suites" wanted to put sub-titles onto the Probe's signals, fearing us poor, stupid cinema goers would be "confused" is a sobering insight into the studio system. Thank heavens they never got their wish! Both picture and sound on this instalment are excellent, you'll be cheering all over again like it was 1986 by the time the crew get their big payoff with the arrival of the Enterprise "A" at the end of the film. One curious omission though is the pre-credits "Captain's log" intro that originally accompanied the film - present on the theatrical release, the VHS and previous DVDs it is sadly missing here, again are transfer/conversion issues to blame?

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I've tried to love William Shatner's opus from the first time I saw it in 1989, really I have and, to be honest, my opinion of the film has increased with this recent viewing; but not by much. The trouble for me has always mainly been the terrible visual effects and over-use of comedy - not the story, I have no issues with that - including Spock's "half-brother" (in many ways the story is absolutely classic Trek). Where Star Trek IV pitched the comedy perfectly, V always felt sadly contrived in this respect and although there are some good moments mainly it pushes the characters into the realms of being "figures of fun" which is not how I want these beloved icons portrayed. The decent transfer really shows off some the good cinematography like Yosemite but equally highlights the shocking visual effects. Both picture and sound are of good quality, particularly showcasing Jerry Goldsmith's superb score.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Looks great, sounds great. For the most recent of the original films this is a definite improvement over the previous DVD release but the Hi-Def transfer somehow doesn't have the same impact as with the other films, perhaps due to the fact that the print always looked good, even in standard definition. Unlike some other reviewers I have had no problems with the menu buttons - individual player firmware issue perhaps? This, like the other films is the original theatrical release and it was something of a minor revelation watching this again now, noticing the extra scenes, or lack of them should I say (possibly only about a minute) that were added to the original VHS/DVD release of the film that are not present here - its been that long I had forgotten.

I'm not going to talk much about the extras, save the 7th disc, as they are pretty self explanatory, some of the new additions are decent and welcome (like the new commentaries) but overall you're getting pretty much the same as on the 2 disc DVD special editions. The bonus 7th disc however is the real gold here. The "Captain's Summit" features a fairly candid round table discussion with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stuart and Jonathan Frakes, chaired by Whoopi Goldberg. It offers some, if not many, new revelations but what is great is just to have these actors together - talking fondly and surprisingly honestly about the one thing that binds them to us, the fans: Star Trek - Gene Roddenberry's optimistic and hopeful vision of humanities future.

You might be wondering why I have given this set 5 stars given the problems I have mentioned above. If judging it simply by the various transfers I guess I would have scored it lower but this is my overall rating, taking into account value for money, picture and sound quality, included extras and the experience to be gained from watching the entire collection. I can cope with older films not looking as good as modern day digitally filmed, CGI augmented ones on Blu-ray, it's obvious they're not going to compare. What you get from this set is quite simply the best way currently available to watch the Star Trek you know and love and, until something better comes along, and at this price (a fair price from Amazon I have to say), you can't argue with that. Live long and prosper!


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Complete Score)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Complete Score)

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Khan!!, 8 Sept. 2009
Having wished and waited patiently for an expanded score for this film for years I never thought it would ever come - so as soon as I saw this was finally availble - and was a genuine release (unlike the bootleg version which has been about for some time) I immediatelty purchased it! Top marks to Rhino Entertainment/Retrograde Records and Screen Archives for this outstanding production.

All the music from the film is here, even an alternate ending "Epliogue" bonus track (scored before the final footage of Spock's coffin on Genesis was shot) and the often requested "Amazing Grace" and "Enterprise Attacks Reliant" - fantastic. The sound quality is spot on throughout and certainly a match for the original GNP 8 track CD release (if not better). The CD also comes with a pretty comprehensive booklet with some fantasic touches inside the jewel case too - like alternate poster art by Bob Peak.

I could go on about the film, each CD track and the merits of Horner's fantastic score but for most of you reading this I guess you already know you want this! just buy it! you will not be dissapointed.

In short, if you love Star Trek, the Wrath of Khan, James Horner or just good film soundtracks this is an essential purchase! 5/5 - all we need now is expanded scores for Star Trek's 3-10!! (Especially Star Trek 3, if the rights can be sorted - please, please, please!!!), The Motion Picture already having been released in expanded form in 1999 - albeit not complete.


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