Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
4K Ultra HD
Star Trek IV shines in 4K, delighting with fun, optimism, and standout ensemble cast.
Disc Release Date:
Star Trek IV's 4K UHD release in the UK impresses with vivid colors, improved clarity, and stays true to its 35mm roots, marking the best home viewing experience yet.
The 4K Blu-ray of Star Trek IV reuses the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 sound mix from 2009, offering solid, though non-Atmos, audio quality with diverse effects and an effective score, but lacks new immersive upgrades.
Paramount's 4K Star Trek IV release features essential commentaries and a rich selection of extras, including documentaries and interviews, across UHD and Blu-ray.
Star Trek IV humorously addresses environmental and societal issues through a time-travel adventure with whales, maintaining critical stakes while playfully skewing its characters.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home receives a commendable 4K UHD Blu-ray upgrade that stands as a testament to the film's enduring appeal and visual intrigue. This release sports a native 4K image with Dolby Vision HDR, offering a significant enhancement over prior HD versions. The image, presented in a 3840x2160/24p BT.2020 with the original widescreen 2.4:1 aspect ratio, showcases vivid and lifelike colors through its Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Dolby Vision enhancements. Encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec, the video quality is viewed as an appreciable improvement, making it the best this film has ever looked. However, certain sequences - notably those aboard the Bird of Prey - exhibit a slight haze due to atmospheric choices and lighting methods that emphasize on-set smoke and bright screens, leading to a marginally softer appearance in parts but retaining good detail in close-ups and brighter outdoor scenes.
The UHD presentation excels in rendering the textural details of the film, from the intricate designs of the battered Bird of Prey interiors to the bustling streets of San Francisco, with an authentic film-like veneer that honors the original filmic intent. While some have noted that this installment might not embody the pinnacle of UHD sharpness seen in its predecessors, it undoubtedly offers a richer and more nuanced visual experience than previous releases. This is in part thanks to a carefully executed 4K scan of the original camera negatives, supplemented by color grading for HDR (including both HDR10 and Dolby Vision options), which enhances the dynamic range, deepens blacks, and brightens highlights for a strikingly vibrant presentation.
Colors are given new life throughout Star Trek IV's journey back in time, with notable increases in vividness and depth across various elements, from neon lights in San Francisco to the rich blues of the ocean as viewed from space. The Dolby Vision color grading, in particular, provides a notable boost to color contrast and luminance, complementing the film’s predominantly earth-toned palette and ensuring that even in dimly lit or smoky scenes, colors remain dynamic and engaging. Despite challenges presented by certain lighting conditions and film grain, this UHD release adeptly balances fidelity to the source material’s grain structure with enhanced detail and clarity, rounding out what is ultimately a very satisfying 4K upgrade for one of Star Trek’s most beloved adventures.
The audio presentation of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" on its 4K UHD Blu-ray iteration leverages the existing Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless mix found on the 2009 release, without extending into the realms of a newer Dolby Atmos track. This choice, while perhaps a missed opportunity for a fully immersive audio upgrade, still stands as a formidable sonic experience. The mix delicately balances Leonard Rosenman's distinct score with well-placed environmental sounds and directional effects that add depth and realism. Notably, the film's ambient city sounds, the ominous pulse of the probe, and the textured whale communications are rendered with clear distinction. Dialogue remains crisp amidst a backdrop of a solid bass and a dynamic range that spans the quiet hum of spaceship interiors to the thunderous echoes of stormy weather on Earth, encapsulating the listener in a well-rounded auditory environment.
The soundstage across the front channels is described as medium-wide, expanding into an engaging use of surround channels that gracefully weave music, spatial effects, and occasional directional cues into the narrative. Special moments, like the ship's time-travel sequence and atmospheric tempests on Earth, showcase the soundtrack’s capability to transport the audience with its detailed audio layering and LFE input that adds weight without overshadowing. The fidelity of Rosenman’s score shines through, supported by a competent bass performance that modernizes the vintage recording to contemporary standards.
Despite not pushing into next-generation audio technology with an Atmos track, the reuse of the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix does not hinder "The Voyage Home’s" ability to offer an engaging and spacious audio presentation. Ambient elements aboard spaceships and the strategic placement of sounds across channels create a cohesive soundscape that is both nostalgic and satisfyingly current. From the subtle nuances of computer panels and engine hums to the more pronounced effects of whale songs and temporal displacements, the audio serves as a robust companion to the visual journey, ensuring that the essence of "Star Trek IV’s" adventurous spirit and its environmental consciousness are thoroughly audible.
Paramount's 4K UHD release of "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" excels with its comprehensive selection of extras, primarily housed on the accompanying Blu-ray disc, complemented by a pair of insightful commentary tracks on the UHD disc itself. The standout audio commentary features William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, offering a precious glimpse into their camaraderie and deep connection to the Star Trek universe, making it an essential listen for fans. Conversely, the commentary by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman might polarize fans familiar with their controversial contributions to the franchise. The collection boasts an extensive array of documentaries, featurettes, interviews, tributes, production galleries, and trailers, along with the return of the Library Computer pop-up feature, providing a thorough exploration of the film's production, special effects, and its place within the broader Star Trek lore. Notable is the vast array of subtitles available for the commentaries, catering to a global audience.
Extras included in this disc:
Audio Commentary: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy: Their deep insights into the characters and story.
Audio Commentary: Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman: Offers a different perspective on the film.
Library Computer: An interactive pop-up feature.
Production: Including "Future's Past: A Look Back," "On Location," "Dailies Deconstruction," "Below-the-Line Sound Design," and "Pavel Chekov's Screen Moments."
The Star Trek Universe: Exploring lore with "Time Travel: The Art of the Possible," "The Language of Whales," "A Vulcan Primer," "Kirk's Women," "Star Trek: Three Picture Saga," "Star Trek for a Cause," and "Starfleet Academy SciSec Brief 004: The Whale Probe."
Visual Effects: Showcases in "From Outer Space to the Ocean" and "The Bird of Prey."
Original Interviews: With William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley.
Tributes: Including "Roddenberry Scrapbook" and "Featured Artist: Mark Lenard."
Production Gallery and Storyboards: Offering visual insights.
Theatrical Trailer: The film's promotional preview.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" stands out within the storied franchise not merely for its utilization of a familiar time-travel trope but for the seamless manner in which it interweaves humor, social commentary, and science fiction bravado. Directed by Leonard Nimoy, the film departs from its predecessors' gravitas, opting instead for a lighter tone that succeeds in refreshing the series without sacrificing depth. By casting the crew of the Enterprise as fish out of water in 20th-century San Francisco, the movie leverages the inherent absurdity and charm of its premise to explore themes of environmental conservation, the consequences of extinction, and humanity's capacity for both destruction and growth. The decision to focus on a plot centered around saving humpback whales, an extinct species in the 23rd century, serves as a clever vehicle for these themes, allowing for both comedic and poignant moments that highlight the franchise's hopeful vision for the future.
Technically, the 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "The Voyage Home" showcases the film's visuals and audio with outstanding clarity and detail. CBS/Paramount's new 2160p/Dolby Vision video presentation breathes new life into the 1986 classic, ensuring that both vibrant and subtle visual elements are rendered with precision, while the choice to repurpose the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack preserves the original audio fidelity. This combination ensures that both longtime fans and newcomers to the franchise can experience the film's nuanced performances, memorable score, and innovative special effects with enhanced immersion.
Character interactions remain a cornerstone of "The Voyage Home," with Kirk and Spock's dynamic duo taking center stage amidst an array of well-paired cast adventures through San Francisco. The meticulous building of character arcs over the previous films pays off, giving each interaction a depth that enriches the film beyond its surface-level comedy. From Scotty’s humorous misunderstanding with "primitive" technology to Chekov's perfectly timed Cold War-era inquiries about "nuclear wessels," the film strikes a balance between light-hearted escapades and its more serious undertones concerning ecological preservation. This blend of elements secures "The Voyage Home's" position not only as a pivotal chapter in the Star Trek saga but also as a landmark film adept at marrying social commentary with pure entertainment value.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," the concluding chapter of The Genesis Trilogy, represents a significant tonal shift from its predecessors, trading the intense drama for a lighthearted, time-travel adventure. This installment not only stands out for its unique approach within the saga but also shines as a testament to Leonard Nimoy's directorial prowess, offering a film that is both entertaining and imbued with the franchise's quintessential optimism. Paramount's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of this film is part of an impressive set that also includes "The Motion Picture" along with the other Genesis Trilogy movies. The collection boasts a native 4K Dolby Vision-enhanced video presentation and retains the familiar, superior audio tracks alongside a comprehensive array of extras. Although no new audio or supplements have been added, the existing material remains robust, ensuring that fans receive the film in the best condition it has ever been.
Visually, "The Voyage Home" benefits considerably from the 2160p/Dolby Vision upgrade, showcasing an overall splendid picture quality that breathes new life into the 1986 classic. Despite Paramount's decision against updating the audio tracks, the quality of what is provided does not detract, but rather complements the visual enhancements, ensuring a satisfying viewing experience. This release underscores Paramount's commitment to preserving the series' legacy while adapting to modern technological standards.
In conclusion, "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" in 4K UHD Blu-ray is an exemplary addition to any fan's collection, adeptly balancing nostalgia with contemporary presentation standards. Its arrival within the meticulously remastered 4-movie set not only elevates the individual film but also affirms Paramount's dedication to the franchise's cinematic history. Highly recommended for its enjoyable narrative, technical merits, and enduring charm, this release is a must-have for enthusiasts eager to experience the saga's more whimsical adventure in unparalleled quality.