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9.5 13 10
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First off, let me state that while I own this movie (I own all the Star Trek films), this particular one left such a bad taste in my mouth, I don't think I've watched it in more than 20 years. Therefore, I went in with VERY low expectations. And I remember this film in its entirety, so in spite of many years of not watching, I know it very well.

First, let me state that BionicBob has done a FABULOUS job in tonal shift, making this a more serious, grounded story all-around. The worst elements have been excised it works far better than what we saw in the official release. Also, an added flashback connects this film to the prior ones, making it feel like a logical progression. Good job!

Many of the shortcomings that remain exist in the film itself. There are several moments where the direction is obvious and unnatural... "We're going to pan from left to right and each of you will in turn say your version of Eden..." or "You're going to walk into shot, then out of shot, then back into shot as McCoy hovers over his dying father...." These are just a couple of the MANY obvious ham-fisted directorial decisions that keep this film from feeling "real" or in any way believable. In spite of this, BionicBob has done the best with what exists.

As to the new effects, most work, although some feel a bit like dated CGI. Overall, these improve the story, but I think someone who is well-skilled with color/lighting effects in an editor could tweak these to make them blend a bit better.

I definitely recommend this to all Star Trek fans, even if you downright despise the theatrical cut of this film.

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