We all know that there are people that don’t like or simply don’t get Star Trek. Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue with the success of the franchise. A great deal of credit for the success can be bestowed upon Leonard Nimoy. His life and career are chronicled here by his son Adam who started the project of telling the story of Spock with his father before the elder Nimoy passed away. When Leonard Nimoy died, the project became much more than originally intended. Available now, the DVD release still manages to leave you wanting more at 111 minutes plus some extremely intriguing bonus material.
It’s rare that a documentary on a fictional character and the actor who portrayed him would yield an emotional response. Adam Nimoy's film about his father Leonard and the iconic character that he breathed life into for fifty years is not only rare, but powerful and well crafted. The younger Nimoy is clearly a talented documentarian who goes above and beyond the topic by including the emotion associated with a son honoring the life's work and accomplishments of his father, while avoiding the pitfalls of making it about himself.
In this new release, we are presented with just enough material about our subject's upbringing and early career to both inform us and excite us for what is to come. The participation of Leonard Nimoy in the early stages helps to set the tone for the project but makes his absence far more dramatic as the project continues.
As a huge fan of all incarnations of Star Trek and all that is associated with the franchise, I was impressed with the new information I found in the documentary as well as the insights of not only Adam Nimoy, but of other fans and the actors that worked with Leonard.
The bonus material is worth the investment alone. “Leonard Nimoy's Boston” invites us not only into the world where Leonard grew up and clearly loved, but also is the best display of the adult relationship between father and son. The panel discussion held at the Tribeca Film Festival following a screening of the film is illuminating as is all the material that includes Zachary Quinto, who took over the role of Spock in the three most recent motion pictures. “On the Set of The Big Bang Theory” and “Star Trek Trivia with Jason Alexander” are for the geeks in the audience but still fun. The available commentary adds post-production insight but, as always, can be distracting.
Recommendation: This is powerful, emotional, informative, entertaining, and a must for all Star Trek fans. It’s the perfect gift for someone who has always wondered what all the fuss over Star Trek is about. It’s also a great example of how a documentary should be constructed.
For those of you looking to celebrate the 50 anniversary of Star Trek, leave A&E’s “50 Years of Star Trek” on the shelf and grab this instead.