Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Even though our intrepid crew has defeated Khan, it is a dark day, since Spock was killed in the battle. Spock was fired off in a typical burial in space, and the crew is headed back home in an Enterprise that seems to be coasting into town on fumes. When it seems as though things can’t get any worse, they do, when the crew learns that they will soon be in the unemployment line, since the project is being disbanded. Not exactly a banner day for Kirk and his buddies, but when the hour appears to be the darkest, things look up a little. In a conversation with Spock’s old man, Kirk learns that Spock’s body may be shooting toward a remote planet, but he might not be gone after all. As Spock’s pop tells it, good old Spock used a Vulcan talent to transfer his soul into “Bones” McCoy just before he kicked off, meaning his soul is still alive. If Kirk can go track down Spock’s old flesh and bones, the Vulcans could be able to reunite the pieces, and bring the pointy eared doctor back. Good news, bad news. When Kirk and Co. shot Spock off, he was heading toward the Genesis planet, which is now under quarantine under dictate of Starfleet, and they veto the idea of one final mission. Kirk and his crew have a tough decision to make, either risk their careers and forge on without permission of Starfleet, or miss the chance to see Spock back in the realm of the living. These and more adventures await our intrepid crew in this, the third cinematic escapade of…Star Trek.

While some say this is one of the weaker films in the Star Trek series, I beg to differ. I think some folks take these movies too far, searching for some deep seated messages or something. Sure, this isn’t cinema magic, but it is a good movie, and provides good sci/fi thrills and spills, and how can you go wrong with William Shatner, really? The sets are hokey, the effects are cheesy, and I love every minute of it. I am no Trekkie either, so I am not biased on the issue. I just happen to like the Star Trek movies, I think they’re fun to watch, and I love the acting stylings of Bill Shatner, what can I say? The writing is standard Star Trek stuff, far flung concepts, with some really weird happenings as well, I mean what is up with Spock’s body on Genesis? Creepy. While the details may be a little iffy, I don’t think the storyline and smaller subplots are any more far fetched than the Tribbles episode, so I dismiss charges of bad writing. Bottom line is this, if you are a Star Trek or science fiction fan, you’ll want to look this one up. If you happen to be a big Dickie Shatner fan, such as me, this is a no brainer, you’ve got to have this one.

With this third installment in the cinematic journeys of the lovable scamps aboard the Enterprise, Leonard Nimoy wasn’t content donning the pointed ears, he had to direct the damn thing, too. I won’t criticize his work, but I do feel this is a little below his watermark films as a director, Three Men And A Baby. As an actor, Nimoy is too creepy to be effective as anything but Spock or some other alien type role, although his work as host of Leonard Nimoy Demonstrates The Magnavision Videodisc Player was robbed at the Oscars that year. While on the subject of robbed at the Oscars, when is Willie Shatner going to get the respect he deserves? The man pioneers an acting style, and he is ignored. I tell you this much, if those folks from Trekkies could vote, this guy’d have a shelf full of golden statues. Those who claim Shatner lacks depth need to look up his excellent work in Loaded Weapon One, enough said. The supporting cast includes DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Christopher Lloyd, and Mark Lenard. One of the finest actors of our time, George Takei, also appears, but does not get the screen time a man of his talent should garner.

Video: How does it look?

Star Trek movies, at least these older ones, have a lot of red levels in them. The atmosphere is dark, but the transfer shows is off nicely. While the special effects are no match for todays, and the newer Star Trek movies, they look good as well. The image is presented in it’s original 2.35:1 image and it’s anamorphically enhanced. Paramount stays true to their form and delivers another Star Trek movie in fine visual fasion. A very nice looking picture that has a few flaws, but none that really detract from the movie itself. Nice job.

Audio: How does it sound?

As we trail backwards through the Star Wars saga of movies, we hear the sound getting worse and worse. Now that’s a bit misleading as the sound on this movie is actually very good. Contrast it with “Generations” or “First Contact” though and you can tell the difference in age. This has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and as mentioned before, it sounds very good. Dialogue is clear, but has a bit of a “dryness” to it. Surround effects sound great, and in those battle scenes you really notice the little things. Overall, not a bad remix, and it’s good to hear these earlier Star Trek movies sounding better than they did in the theaters!

Supplements: What are the extras?

Like the other Star Trek movies, there is a theatrical trailer included.

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