Top positive review
STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER [1989 / 2016] [Limited Edition 50th Anniversary SteelBook] [Blu-ray]
on 29 September 2016
STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER [1989 / 2016] [Limited Edition 50th Anniversary SteelBook] [Blu-ray] Adventure and Imagination Will Meet At The Final Frontier!
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first broadcast of a STAR TREK episode in 1966, this SteelBook features art based on the original theatrical poster, plus commemorative 50th Anniversary logo. A renegade Vulcan with a startling secret hijacks the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise in order to find a mythical planet. Captain James T. Kirk and his crew set out to stop a madman in an adventure that takes them to the centre of the universe and, perhaps, before the face of God. With the crew under Vulcan control, Captain James T. Kirk must rely on an unlikely alliance to save the galaxy.
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, David Warner, Laurence Luckinbill, Charles Cooper, Cynthia Gouw, Todd Bryant, Spice Williams-Crosby, Rex Holman, George Murdock, Jonathan Simpson, Beverly Hart, Steve Susskind, Harve Bennett, Cynthia Blaise, Bill Quinn, Melanie Shatner, Michael Berryman (uncredited), Gene Cross (uncredited), Linda Fetters (uncredited), Conrad Hurtt (uncredited), Carey Scott (uncredited) and Mike Smithson (uncredited)
Director: William Shatner
Producers: Brooke Breton, Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, Mel Efros and Ralph Winter
Screenplay: Gene Roddenberry (television series STAR TREK), David Loughery (screenplay/story), Harve Bennett (story) and William Shatner (story)
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography: Andrew Laszlo
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 [Panavision]
Audio: English: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, German: 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, Spanish: 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, French: 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround and Italian: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: Arabic, Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Croatian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguêse, Finnish, Swedish and English SDH
Running Time: 106 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Paramount Pictures UK
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the STAR TREK Sci-Fi, where we come to celebrate and to also ponder the deeper meaning of STAR TREK’s scenario in the first half-century. Here we find Captain James T. Kirk meets God. Great space hero Captain James T. Kirk relaxes with funny men Dr. “Bones” McCoy and Spock. Spock has funny flying boots. Hero Captain James T. Kirk needs no such boots and climbs the great mountain, hands so strong, no equipment is required, such skills is all Captain James T. Kirk needs, plus the return of the great and brilliant director Nicholas Meyer.
The story begins in Yosemite National Park, where Captain James T. Kirk, Spock and Dr. “Bones” McCoy indulge in the quaint custom of singing around a campfire. It moves on to Sybok's terrorist attack on the planet Nimbus III. Meanwhile, the evil Klingons, with ribs bulging out of their foreheads, race toward an attack on the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Though sadly the film ignores the greater girth and increasing facial lines of its crew, with Starfleet's retirement age must be calculated in animal years and it is one of the film's running jokes that the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise itself is very creaky, its energy is running low. No one can say ''Beam me up, Scotty'' with total confidence anymore. Sybok [Laurence Luckinbill], whose connection to Spock is telegraphed long before it is stated, converts everyone in sight by looking into his eyes and saying: ''Each of us hides a secret pain. Share yours with me and gain strength from the sharing.'' Laurence Luckinbill runs with this dialogue, to become the most distinctive, compelling and comparing the villain since Ricardo Montalban in ‘SATR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN’ the brilliant director Nicholas Meyer's crackling contribution to the Sci-Fi film franchise series.
In ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ we find an aberrant, emotional Vulcan named Sybok, with a holy man's long white robe and a crazed zealot's gleam in his eyes, and is determined to take over the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Sybok will then travel through the ''great barrier'' at the heart of our galaxy, and crashing through this last frontier to enter and arrive at the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree where God awaits the arrival of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Though this sounds like Hollywood's idea of high concept, ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ eventually finds and confronts God, where also the STAR TREK film meanders through desert landscapes, enemy spaceships, laser gunfights and a handful of subplots en route to its religious awakening.
Sybok is in fact not a villain but an anti-hero, lost in his admirable messianic zeal confusion. And Sybok becomes the occasion for flashbacks that reinforce the theme of families and especially fathers and sons in finding one another. But Sybok gets lost in the film's fussiness, which luckily includes subtitles for the Klingons’ guttural language.
Scene for scene, William Shatner's attempt at direction is smooth and sharply focused. William Shatner has a sure feel for keeping STAR TREK just a smidgen this side of camp, and for the slightly tacky, artificial look that lets us know this is all a game. But he pays dearly for abandoning the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise's mission: ''to boldly go where no man has gone before.'' Despite the attempts to break out of the usual formula, in ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ and Captain James T. Kirk and his crew go where too many film makers have too often gone before. Oh well better luck with the next STAR TREK film. By the way, with the original poster campaign for this film asked the question: "Why are they putting seat belts in theatres this summer?" Maybe the answer should be obvious: to keep people from leaving before the cinema is over, which you can decide yourself when you view this Blu-ray disc, because I would never make this kind of comment myself, as it is up to individual people to decide whether they like this film or not, but despite all the negative comment you read with people’s reviews, I personally enjoyed the film and it definitely had some good moments in the film and William Shatner tried his best, but maybe someone ought to inform him, that directing a film should be left up to the more on hands and professional directors, especially of past STAR TREK films. But despite this, I did like the nicely-barbed quips traded by Admiral James T. Kirk, Dr. “Bones” McCoy and Spock, and a very effective brilliant musical film score by the brilliant Jerry Goldsmith, really helped the STAR TREK V film get its mojo together. A few scenes in the film have subtitled alien dialogue. The subtitles are all contained within the Panavision image, and are safe for viewing in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Paramount Pictures UK once again brings you this remastered Blu-ray disc with a stunning 1080p encoded Technicolor images, and an as always an equally impressive 2.40:1 Panavision aspect ratio, which William Shatner makes surprisingly effective use of the widescreen framing. The strong colours, especially when you get to the psychedelic ink blot effects at the galactic centre and the weird pink tinting on Sha Ka Ree, and the rest of the film has good colour resolution.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Paramount Pictures UK once again brings you this remastered Blu-ray disc with a stunning 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Surround audio experience. Unfortunately the dialogue is slightly soft, so I had to slightly crank up the volume at times, but the surround sound effects channels are well used in all the speakers and are very good. On the other hand, the track has some nice low-end rumble and is fairly in good use, but as cheesy the God startss howling, it fills the soundstage with admirable clarity and is very immersive. As always, the Jerry Goldsmith's score is presented with decent musicality. Overall fidelity is very satisfying, and is at least on par with the second and third STAR TREK films.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
No.1 Audio Commentary by William Shatner and Liz Shatner: This was a very disappointing audio commentary by William Shatner and Liz Shatner his daughter, who wrote a book about the making of ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ the film's production. Here they talk frankly discussing the film's budgetary problems, narrative shortcomings, and the original intentions behind the storyline. Instead, they have clearly not come prepared with much to say, and simply react to things on the screen in the viewing room. There are quite considerable amounts of gaps of silence. William Shatner keeps having bad memory losses; and claims at one point that DeForest Kelley's last STAR TREK film will be with STAR TREK VI. William Shatner also barely acknowledges any weaknesses in the film, and tries to put a spirited defence positive spin on the experience of acting and directing the film. William Shatner sounded resigned and business-like. Long-time Trekkie fans will not glean much new information or insight, and the scene-by-scene byplay comes with little enthusiasm behind dry and superficial anecdotes and then even that sort of fizzles out with long stretches of dead silence. But there are some highlight comments on the way, like when William Shatner talks about the wonderful actor Laurence Luckinbill who really made his character in the film his own and also thought he was wonderful. William Shatner wanted all the horses to be Unicorns, but Gene Roddenberry gave an affective no and said this in not going to happen. When the shuttle lands on the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree where God awaits the arrival of Sybok, Kirk, Bones and Spock, and as they step out onto the planet, you see written on the side of the Shuttle “Copernicus” and no one seems to point this out, as I think it is very relevant, as Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe. This theory profoundly altered later workers' view of the universe, but was rejected by the Catholic Church and with ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ and his experience in directing this particular film. William Shatner was also reflecting on having one of his daughters in the film and realising how grown up his daughter was and most of all William Shatner had learnt a great deal in directing this film and that it was a very exciting and satisfying experience all round.
No.2 Audio Commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda, Judith & Garfield Reese-Stevens, and Daren Dochterman: Now with this audio commentary for ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ it is a big improvement over the William Shatner and Liz Shatner's lamentable audio commentary track. At the start of the film they all introduce themselves, and especially Garfield Reese-Stevens, informs us that they are here to watch and discuss the ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ film. The group who had previously assembled for the 'STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE Blu-ray disc, are quite honest and insightful in their analysis of this "the challenge STAR TREK film," but despite this, they feel the film had great vision behind it, wonderful elements, and yet it was the one that didn’t come together for the audience We are told the bald actor was Rex Holman is an actor who appeared twice in Star Trek, the first time as Morgan Earp in the Star Trek: The Original TV Series episode "Spectre of the Gun." Someone asks the question, “when did CRT TV Monitors stopped being used on the STAR TREK films,” and we are told they were used right up until the film ‘STAR TRK VIII: INSURRECTION,’ but with ‘STAR TREK X: NEMESIS’ they start using flat screen monitors. When Sybock, Kirk, Bones and Spock land on the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree via the Copernicus Shuttle to meet the so called ultimate being, we are told that this particular location is actually the Trona Pinnacles, in central California, which is an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area, which about 25 minutes East of Ridgecrest, in the middle of nowhere are really one of those places that have to be seen, which was the same location for the Tim Burton’s film version of ‘Planet of the Apes’ . As the credits roll up the screen, someone says, “I don’t know about you, I haven’t anything else to say,” and then everyone else chips in by saying, “other than that it has been fun, and thanks for listening,” and yes it has been quite an interesting audio commentary journey, especially hearing all their comments, even though some of their comments did not quite gel for me, as some of their comments were only aimed at people in the film industry, that would know what they were talking about.
Special Feature: Library Computer: This is an interactive graphic trivia interface, which is loaded with screen-specific information with just about every aspect of the 'STAR TREK' universe. The Library Computer is overflowing with data that pours out at steady amounts of clips. The Library Computer is an interactive experience that allows you to access information about People, Technology, Locations and more, at the moment each item appears in the film. Switch to Index Mode to scan the entire database and jumps directly to the items of interest. All content is divided into the following categories: Culture; Science & Medicine; Starfleet Ops; Miscellaneous; Life Forms; Planets & Location; People; Technology and Ships.
Special Feature: Production: Here you get a selection of six different features and they are as follows:
01. Harve Bennett’s Pitch To Sales Team  [480i] [1.37:1] [1:42] Producer Harve Bennett's does a video pep talk to the Paramount sales force people, hoping to fire them up about the film. With this vintage video clip in which the producer tries to fire up the studio's promotional team by insisting that the STAR TREK V film is going to be the best in the series and will be a huge blockbuster. You see Harve Bennett look at the camera and give a Vulcan salute with his hand and to inform us it was not easy to perform and took him 9 years and several STAR TREK films to perfect. When nearing the end of this video pep talk, Harve Bennett hopes with the help of the Paramount sales force people, he hopes they will be out there promoting the film, and says, “here’s to you all, and hope you go out there and sell as hard as you can, especially with all the hard work on STAR TREK V” and wishes them all with a double Vulcan hand gesture and says, “Live Long and Prosper and especially in June 1989.” So ends this short Harve Bennett promotional video.
02. The Journey: A Behind-The-Scenes Documentary  [480i] [1.37:1] [28:55] This 2003 behind-the-scenes documentary ties together memories of how the STAR TREK V was conceived, produced, and directed. Interviews include William Shatner [Director/Actor], Leonard Nimoy [Spock], Ralph Winter [Executive Producer], Harve Bennett [Producer/Co-writer], David Loughery [Screenwriter], Michael Okuda [Scenic Artist], Andrew Lazlo [Cinematographer], John Eaves [Concept Artist], and Herman Zimmerman [Production Designer). While there's some good surface info regarding the budget cuts and other troubles, no one wishes to speak ill of the dead. William Shatner wanted to do a film about God, but Gene Roddenberry pointed out that they did an episode in the TV Series about this subject and did not work. William Shatner also said that ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ is the quintessential epitome of my career, my experiences, my hopes and dreams. No one in this behind-the-scene documentary goes deeper than shrugging politeness or does not feel very strongly about the subject at hand.
03. Make-Up Tests  [480i] [1.37:1] [9:50] Screen tests for make-up and hair are valuable since they demonstrate how characters will ultimately appear in the finished film. What you get to view are studio test shots, as well as sketch images and photographs for God, Sybok, General Korrd, Caithlin Dar and an assortment of other characters and background aliens . . . both the two-legged and four-legged variety. In some cases, changes were made in the make-up or hair based on their preliminary tests. All what you view is without sound.
04. Pre-Visualization Models  [480i] [1.37:1] [28:55] The following film tests shots you get to view, use simplifies versions of the actual models and sets, and were made by visual effects crew to try out concepts and ideas before production began. All what you view is without sound.
05. Rockman In the Raw  [480i] [1.37:1] [5:37] The Rockman was originally part of an elaborate climatic sequence involving Captain James T. Kirk’s escape from Sha Ka Ree. William Shatner’s concept was to have Captain James T. Kirk fight against ten Rockmen creatures that emerge from the molten landscape of the planet. Unfortunately, the production could only afford to construct a single creature. After the costume was designed, fabricated and tested, it was decided to cut the attack of the Rockman altogether. What you get to view are concept sketches, candid photos of the costume construction and this is the only surviving test footage of the Rockman in action. Sadly it does not improve things, watch it and have a good laugh! Totally hilarious!
06. STAR TREK V Press Conference  [480i] [1.37:1] [13:42] Up first to introduce the filmed press conference is Ralph Winter [Executive Producer] informing us that it took place on the 28th December, 1988, just before the launch of the film STAR TREK V and was held at the Paramount Pictures Corporation film studios in front of Starship U.S.S. Enterprise bridge set, so that all the cast were presented for the question session from the press. This vintage footage from a press conference held on the set during the last day of shooting. This piece is a definite “Must Watch” and especially Executive Producer Ralph Winter's crazy sweater and ghastly beard. The contributors here in order of appearance was Harve Bennett [Producer/Co-writer], Ralph Winter [Executive Producer], William Shatner [Director/Kirk], George Takei [Sulu], Nichell Nihols [Uhuru], Walter Kpenig [Paval Chekov], James Doohan [Scotty], DeForest Kelley [Dr. “Bones” McCoy] and Leonard Nimoy [Director/Spock].
Special Feature: The STAR TREK Universe: Here you get a selection of eight different features and they are as follows:
01: Herman Zimmerman: A Tribute  [480i] [1.37:1] [19:09] Here is an affectionate look at production designer Herman Zimmerman [Production Designer] and his visual design influences on STAR TREK since he first joined the franchise on ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER.’ This retrospective illustrates his contribution to STAR TREK feature films and the TV series ‘Next Generation,’ ‘Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Enterprise.’ We also get an in-depth view from Herman Zimmerman on all aspects of his involvement with the design elements of START TREK V and the other STAR TREK films he has been involved with as the Sci-Fi TV Series. Herman Zimmerman talks about his past when he was young and liked drawing, and how eventually ended up in the theatre productions and finally got his foot into the door for film productions. All the other people interviewed praised this very talented person and found that no job was too hard to tackle and were always able use props that were cheap and make them look a way that looked futuristic and expensive, especially on the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise.
02. Original Interview: William Shatner  [480i] [1.37:1] [14:37] An original, unedited interview filmed during production. It is raw footage and you can hear "Cut!" and other off-camera directions and shot at Yosemite with the mountain El Capitan in the background. The whole thing is that William Shatner speaking loftily, but with sincerity, about the profound Zen of rock-climbing, where he says, "you're one with the rock” and how that fits into Captain Kirk's opening scene in ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER.’ William Shatner the director was in a particularly smug and very pretentious mood especially waxes on philosophically about the technical details and symbolism of doing “free climbing” up a mountain in the film and his environmental concerns. But now and again we get hints about the storyline outline of what to expect to see in the film ‘STAR TREK V film.
03. Cosmic Thoughts  [480i] [1.37:1] [14:37] With each of these STAR TREK Special Editions needs some pompous high-minded talking-heads rhetoric feature from the likes of Astronomers, physicists, ponder the connections between science and spirituality in all of the STAR TREK films. We also get lots of American pompous psychobabble rhetoric, where they always have to bring religion into their rhetoric and especially God into the equation, especially relating to the STAR TREK phenomenon. Why is it you only get this sort of thing from so called experts in America, I just wonder if they take any kind of stimulant?
04. That Klingon Couple  [480i] [1.37:1] [13:05] Here we have being interviewed Spice Williams [Vixis] and Todd Bryant [Captain Klaa] two of Hollywood’s so called glamour muscle bound actors who played the primary Klingon villains reminisce about their casting, getting totally buffed up for their roles, and learning to speak Klingon. They obviously had a lot of fun making the film STAR TREK V, and are proud to be part of the STAR TREK legacy. But what really grated on me was the pompous self-obsessed over the top Spice Williams attitude, who kept on mauling Todd Bryant unnecessary with most obnoxious raucous laughter. This interview should have ended up on the cutting room floor, as it is just embarrassing to watch.
05. A Green Future?  [480i] [1.37:1] [9:24] Here we get a tour of Yosemite National Park turns into a preachy treatise on the importance of environmentalism and the danger of climate change. It's a look at the global environment of the future as represented by the STAR TREK film franchise. The people at Yosemite National Park were pleased that the park was used in ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ as a great hope that in 300 years’ time the park will get used like in the film and a Native American spokesperson hopes that "insights into Man's impact will reflect on the environment in the future."
06. STAR TREK Honors NASA  [1080p] [1.78:1] [9:56] We are here at the NASA Space Center where astronauts and astronomers tell of being inspired by STAR TREK and also may of them are great fan of the STAR TREK Film and TV franchise. The film's science consultant explains his work visualising the centre of the galaxy and whether any of that holds up to modern theory. Because STAR TREK has also been a great influence, they even named the Shuttle “Enterprise.” Whenever there is a new STAR TREK film in production, people involved with the film always consulted the NASA people to get as accurate facts about space travel, especially into the far future as possible.
07. Hollywood Walk of Fame: James Doohan  [480i] [1.37:1] [3:02] Here we have news footage that is dedicated to Scotty and before we see the newsreel it states “Beam me Up Scotty!” and that the newsreel is dedicate to James “Scotty” Doohan who is Honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We see James Doohan [Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery “Scotty” Scott] brought out on a wheelchair and receiving his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Mayor of Hollywood, George Takei and Walter Koenig offer tributes to this well-loved actor, who was clearly in very poor health at the time.
08. Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 005: Nimbus III  [1080p] [1.78:1] [3:02] This is the second in a series of plot recaps hosted as though they were Starfleet instructional videos at the Starfleet Academy, Ex Astris, Scientia, San Francisco MMCLXI. In this episode, Starfleet Science Officer [Sarah Backhouse] from the 24th century examines the science behind the history of planet Nimbus III. Nimbus III is a Class L planet located along the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan borders. It was first discovered in the early 23rd century and was regarded as a desert world with few resources. Its only value was its strategic location between three major galactic powers.
Deleted Scenes  [480i] [1.33:1] [4:17] Here we get to view four very brief deleted scenes, that has a really terrible special effects shot at Yosemite National Park on Mount Rushmore with an additional carved head, and especially an embarrassing moment between Spock and Sybok, where Spock seems to have some squeaky voice, very strange and you can see why these were deleted. As usual, you can either watch them separately or Play All.
Theatrical Trailer 1  [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:36] Here you get to view the first Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER,’ but despite it not being shown is the right aspect ratio, it is still a brilliant presentation.
Theatrical Trailer 2  [1080p] [2.40:1] [1:28] Here you get to view the second Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER,’ but as a bonus it is shown in the right aspect ratio, and all trailers should be exciting as this one and it is true what they say, “you can make a silk purse out of a sows ear.”
TV Spots  [480i] [1.37:1] [3:14] Here we get to view seven very brief TV Spot Trailers for the film ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER,’ that were obviously made to be broadcast on American Television and what you view are Vacation Is over; Renegade; Challenge of Rebellion; Brothers; Beyond; Adventure and Warp Speed Now. Once again you can either watch them separately or Play All.
Special feature BD-LIVE: To view the contents via your Blu-ray player, it has to be connected to the internet; otherwise it is not BD-LIVE capable. For possible solutions to resolve this problem, please consult your Blu-ray player manual.
Finally, ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’  may be one of the weakest STAR TREK Sci-Fi franchise in the series, but it has more positive elements than most Trekkie fans are willing to acknowledge. Honestly, it is still STAR TREK a fun filled Sci-Fi frolic and not at all unwatchable by any means and obviously, not everyone is going to agree. This STAR TREK V Sci-Fi film certainly aimed high, and hoped to chart some fascinating spiritual and philosophical ground work that is true to the STAR TREK Sci-Fi franchise line and heritage. But plainly, the execution of the film might seem to some to leave a lot to be desired; maybe someone should have had a quiet word with William Shatner about his artist interpretation of this STAR TREK film, anyway despite this I really enjoyed ‘STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER’ and that is all that matters in my eyes and as a bonus it has a great plethora bonus special features to keep any Trekkie and STAR TREK film fan like me very happy. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso