Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

Featured In Issue 141, July/August 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Leonard Nimoy
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Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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It's not just the death of Spock that has Admiral Kirk (Shatner) feeling low in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock—McCoy (Kelley) seems to be going crazy. But when Spock's father Sarek (Lenard) tells Kirk that McCoy is actually harboring Spock's living essence, and knowing that both friends are in need of help, Kirk takes drastic steps to assist them by stealing the U.S.S. Enterprise and heading for the forbidden planet, Genesis. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include commentary by Director Leonard Nimoy, Writer/Producer Harve Bennett, Director Of Photography Charles Correll, and Robin Curtis; commentary by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor; and a "Library Computer" interactive experience that allows you to access information about people, technology, locations, and more at the moment each appears in the film. Under "Production" you will find the Captain's Log interview segment (SD 27:21) and the following featurettes: Terraforming And The Prime Directive (SD 25:53), Industrial Light & Magic: The Visual Effects Of Star Trek (HD 13:50), and Spock: The Early Years (HD 06:22). "The Star Trek Universe" includes the following featurettes: Space Docks And Birds Of Prey (SD 27:49), Speaking Klingon (SD 21:04), Klingon And Vulcan Costumes (SD 12:16), Star Trek And The Science Fiction Museum And Hall Of Fame (HD 16:52), and Starfleet Academy Scisec Brief 003: Mystery Behind The Vulcan Katra Transfer (HD 02:42). There are also two photo galleries, 10 storyboards, the theatrical trailer, BD-Live interactivity, and up-front ads.

While black levels in the 1080p AVC encoding are deep, the contrast seems to be slightly more confined than the better releases in this set. The confined contrast tends to give the image a relatively flat appearance. Details are defined well, however, with fine textures in clothing and on faces presented nicely. Source element artifacts are cleaned up very well. Colors are nicely rendered, with bold hues and little in the way of smear. Fleshtones appear natural with good definition and delineation between various tones. While the under-defined contrast is disappointing, this is an enjoyable presentation. (Danny Richelieu/Suzanne Hodges)

The Dolby® TrueHD 7.1-channel remastered soundtrack offers some refinements over the previously remastered DVD audio version. Surround activity is nicely incorporated, but while the soundtrack as a whole has been cleaned up well, the surround channels do deliver audible levels of hiss and hum. The low-end bass is nicely defined with power and finesse. Overall, there is a greater sense of envelopment with a more active, involving soundstage. Although the surround sound experience from this repurposing effort is impressive, the original audio's limited and veiled fidelity is readily apparent. The noise floor is generally low, and dynamic range is impressive. Dialogue shows off the worst aspects of the soundtrack's fidelity, while the well-produced musical track shows off the best of the encoding. Full-range surrounds will certainly benefit from this soundtrack, as the bass will extend to below 25 Hz in these channels. This is an effectively holosonic™ soundtrack, with remarkable depth and engagement of the split surrounds at times, and the addition of two additional surround channels is a welcome benefit in this respect. (Danny Richelieu/Perry Sun)