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9.1 16 10
FanFix August 14, 2012 5091
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I notice that several of the weaker reviews here are from viewers who watched this in isolation and not as part of BionicBob's series. I think they may not have fully grasped what he was going for, and of course it's nearly always better to watch earlier films in a series first (unless you have seen them recently enough to remember well.) Well, I had the opposite experience: watching these in order, in a short span... and this edit fares VERY well in that context.

As much as I appreciated what BB was going for in editing these films to be similar to ST: TOS episodes, this was the first one where I felt he really NAILED it. And it's fitting, too. STIV wraps up the "Spock Trilogy" and sees the crew all back in place with a new ship and a new commission. So here when we get a new, better-looking intro and new, better-sounding theme music, it's perfect. And as much as I liked the old intro, the style of this one is much better for the "TV series" feel. This is also the best yet of BB's edits in terms of the commercial breaks being evenly-timed throughout the film, the fades out and establishing shots back in having the perfect feel, and the music not being too jarringly grand and filmic. More so than any of his other edits, this one is the best realization of his idea of making the movies feel like double episodes. I've also been rewatching ST: TNG and this could easily fit alongside one of their grander 2-parters from season 4 or 5.

In terms of shoring up the weaknesses of the original film, I also think BB does the best job yet on this edit. Whereas he wanted to trim a lot of the goofy humor from STIV, I still found that film grating and dumb. But here he actually does manage to excise all the worst offenses and stupidest, most out-of-character moments. There is a little bit of humor still left, but it wasn't over-the-top for me, and I see that some other reviewers really liked it. I also haven't seen the theatrical cut recently enough to remember how bad the FX shots were, but here they didn't stand out to me at all. In fact, I was thinking how much better they looked than in the previous ST edits! BB has clearly done great work replacing them, and I did not notice any A/V issues that others have mentioned. It was all smooth sailing for me. The one weak point may be that the subtitle banner style is a bit large and off-putting. It would've been ideal to simply remove them from the original and find a way to type new ones in or add a sub file, but if this was what was required to rewrite the Klingon dialogue and other bits: it's worth it.

Unfortunately, there's only so much BB could do about the overall story and ending. Saibok is still poorly explained, the ending is messy and rushed, and Kirk overacts about half his scenes. But there's a lot of good here with all the worst bits cut out. (My review of the theatrical film on its own is here: So far, I think this is BB's most successful ST edit, and it makes the biggest improvements over the original film. I'd highly recommend this, not only for the TV conceit, but just as a replacement for the theatrical version.

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