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Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new version of a classic science fiction film., 8 Mar. 2002
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition [DVD] (DVD)
When Academy Award winning director Robert Wise released the first Star Trek film back in 1979 he, like George Lucas, wasn't content with the final cut or special effects, which were imperfect mainly due to timing constraints. 22 years later and Wise has reworked the film in every respect.
There are a few versions of Star Trek the motion picture, but this isn't the culmination of all the footage available combined into one long version. In fact, in total it's only 5 minutes longer than the original theatrical version. The (5) scenes that are taken out / deleted from the original version are on the second disc thankfully plus 11 scenes missing from all previous versions. It's more replacement and enhancement. For example, Spock's ceremony on Vulcan, the visuals of the landscape are brand new (huge statues everywhere). New special effects from Foundation Imaging are also present, including a new computer generated Enterprise plus other sequences have been tweaked.
It's digitally remastered, the sound mix is new, there are new special effects, new scenes (and trimmed old scenes). In short, it's 70% of the original movie.
However, it's not perfect, it feels very different. Some of the re-editing has really helped it. There were 2 really dodgy scenes involving Ilya and Decker in the original where he sets a new course after the wormhole and she crassly responds with "Science officer's computation's confirmed sir" then they both smile at each other. While this line has been removed, the smile is inserted earlier in the film when the ship is leaving the solar system. A good decision. Secondly, Chekov's hand injury is nicely underscored with some music. I feel that too many of the scenes have been shortened or deleted. While Wise has corrected the pacing in the earlier part of the film, it seems like everything is resolved too quickly.
The sound also loses some atmosphere. The restoration team have obviously thought "we can put a new sound effect in here, here and here" - it's really over the top especially when you hear computer noises from the Enterprise-D (Next Generation) in there. While the sound mix of music and effects are impressive the vocals are as muffled and quiet as they always were. As for the picture quality, it's not been cleaned up at all.
Special Visual effects are neatly inserted, a couple of shots of the Enterprise here and there but nowhere near as many as I was expecting. The new scene with V'Ger launching orbiting devices looks excellent.
As for the film itself, it's not the best Star Trek film if you compare to the Wrath of Khan or First Contact but it's huge in scope; although slow and cerebral it's still a feast for the senses after all these years. The only problem is that this isn't the "right" director's cut. It's half the way there, better pacing, better editing but there's too much missing. You can't help wondering that the scenes that were removed could have been inserted in a clever way with new effects to improve the movie further.
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Location: Reading, Berkshire. England United Kingdom

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