on 22 March 2010
Just wanted to grab everyone's attention with a low review - I received the BLU RAY edition of STTMP today, and it DOESN'T appear to be the much improved Director's Cut that was re-released a couple of years back!
Most of the reviews on this page are of the DVD edition which is indeed the new version, but they're NOT of the BLU RAY! Because I'm a total fan I'll gladly own both, but still I feel quite cheated.
I must say though that the BLU RAY does look and sound absolutely superb, even though it is the original cut of the film. Colour depth, contrast, and detail really are amazing for a film 30+ years old (it does highlight how creaky some the effects shots are looking though - which is one of the reasons why the whole thing was given a make-over and re-released as the Director's Edition).
I've scoured the extras and there doesn't seem to be any branching option available where either edition can be played - if anybody can correct me, please do and I'll happily withdraw this review!
Based on the above, this current ORIGINAL release BLU RAY rates **1/2 instead of the potential ***** it could have been!
on 23 March 2010
Amazon's description of this blu-ray disk is misleading and incorrect: this is the theatrical release not the Director's Edition which it promises to be. It is the same version as has already been released in blu-ray box sets. The worng impression is increased by the reviews which have been associated with the release, which refer to the Director's Edition. Amazon should amend their description: hence the number of stars.
on 12 July 2009
There are very few sci-fi films that deserve recognition, but there are four of them that are classic pieces of cinema; 2001, Alien, Bladerunner and Star Trek-The Motion Picture. Contrary to most peoples view of the Star Trek movies (which simply cash in on the brand), Star Trek-The Motion Picture is a film that stands independently of the series and its film sequals. It is a master-work sci-fi that will appeal to any and all sci-fi fans. The acting, the direction, the musical score and the story-line are nothing short of breathtaking. True, there are a couple of moments at the beginning when the special effects looked dated, but this fault occurs only at the start. For the rest of the film the sets look and feel real. The character interaction is superb and draws you into the Star Trek world. The scene were Kirk arrives at the new, refitted 'Enterprise' by shuttle and takes in the immensity and glory of the ship is one of the most moving scenes in cinema history. The musical score is excellent, adding to the atmosphere of the storyline in an emotional and spectacular manner. The story itself revolves around questions of human interaction, authority, friendship,the role of the genders in a vast universe, the gaining of wisdom (on the part of both man and machine), the role of modern technology,and what exactly is 'out there'. This is not a Star Trek movie. It is a sci-fi film. And one of the best. The Director's cut restores the film and its score to its original cinematic glory.
on 7 May 2002
Well, I can admit to not being the biggest fan of this film, but I've seen it enough times to realise its charm, its sci-fi qualities, its epic feel and so on. But has the Motion-less Picture been improved with this extensive reworking? Well, at the moment its the only Trek film DVD I own...
Well, the DVD certainly offers value for money - three documentaries looking at Star Trek: Phase II's development into a film (I didn't know that Paramount changed their minds about whether to have a Trek series or film four times!! :)), plus two commentaries - one text by Mike Okuda, offering loads of trivia-tidbits, and another group one by Robert Wise (director), Douglas Trumball (special photographic effects director), John Dykstra (special photographic effects supervisor), Jerry Goldsmith (composer) and Stephen Collins (Commander Decker). Oh, and the film itself in its reworked glory. :)
Well, the cut of the film has changed the early pace - it runs a little faster now, despite the running time being a few minutes longer than originally! The shot of San Francisco when Kirk lands in his shuttle is amazing. We actually get to see what V'Ger looks like now (and where it may look to advanced and weird, it was actually suggested in the original storyboards in 1979.) New SFX also stop quiet scenes from becoming dull now - and the horrible SFX they had when V'Ger dissolves the Klingon vessels at the start has, thankfully, changed. :)
Well, I could go on forever, but what has happened is that Rob Wise has made subtle changes that have improved the film's quality here and there. Along with all the extra features mentioned, this is certainly worth the money and will have fans crying out for more Star Trek (insert film name) Director's Edition DVDs in the future.
The film that brought 'Gene Rodenberry's' futuristic and inspired TV seies to
TO BOLDLY GO FORWARD :--
We start with an unidentified alien phenomenon on course for Earth destroying
everything. in it's path, a Klingon attack on it fails
'Admiral James Kirk' persuades Star-Ship command to return him to active service
to take command of the revampt ' S.S. Enterprise.
He gives orders to have the ship ready for launch within eight hours, way ahead of
The 'Enterprise' is the only Star-Ship' within range of the oncoming intruder into
The 'Enterprise' Captain has arranged for 'Bones' to re-join the crew ahead of it's
launch, his old team almost complete.
'Captain Kirk' realizes he needs the Commander 'Captain Decker' more than he at
As interception time gets closer the old team is finally completed as 'Mr Spock' joins
the 'Enterprise' taking over the post of 'Science Officer'
As they approach the intruder 'Spock' realizes the phenomenon is attempting to make
contact with them, 'Spock's' response adverts further attack upon them.
The unidentified vessel appears to be capable of generating more power than 100
Star-Ships combined could.
The entity uses new crew member 'Ilia' to communicate with the 'Enterprise' command.
The encounter with the vessel is proving mysterious giving rise to concerns over Earths
very existence, what does V-GER want from Earth ?
The intruder seems to be looking for answers.....
( I have owned the Blu-ray versions since there first release, however with new movies
arriving all the time, this is in fact the first time of viewing on this format, inspired by
recent reviews of a fellow reviewer to be honest)
Considering the film was released way back in 1979 the Special-Effects are quite impressive,
the picture quality (HD update) is also pretty good.
Special Features :-
* New commentary - 'Michael and Denise Okuda' - 'Judith and Garfield Reeves' and 'Doren
* The Longest Trek :- writing the motion picture HD
* Special Star-Trek reunion HD
* Star-Fleet academy :- The mystery behind 'V-Ger' HD
* Blu-ray Exclusives :- Library Computer - Star Trek IQ
* Plus over 15 minutes of previously released content.
(Would give 5/5 everyday of the week for 'Star-Trek' movies.)
on 8 March 2002
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.
on 24 March 2002
When this film came out in 1979, it was maligned because it was expensive and slow ( though everyone seems to conveniently forget that the start-up and development costs for Star Trek Phase II were incorporated in this budget). Many Trekkers seemed to think that this would be a 'Star Wars' rip off with Kirk wanting to blow up a few Klingon cruisers, Spock telling him that this would not be logical and McCoy telling Spock to stop hassling Kirk! This film showed a lot more guts with an intellectually sophisticated and thoughtful plot - this film is still clearly the closest a Trek movie has come to Gene Roddenberry's view of the future, and the only classic cast film that was a true 'motion picture'. This re-issue has really turned what was in effect a rough cut of an interesting movie into a fully polished science fiction film ( please note, not a Star Trek film), with 2001 style philosophical overtones - albeit ( unlike 2001) it tries to answer them.
The re-editing has really tightened the movie- and the sound effects are excellent though still subtle- the music still seems to come close to overpowering them at times ( though since this score is pure brilliance, who cares??), and some of the fx scenes that could have done with a digital clean up seem to have been missed. The new fx however serve the film very well - it might have been fun to have seen more shots of a full scale Vejur though - the shots that were presented really made an impact.
As I said earlier, Jerry Goldsmith's music is outstanding - there are even some more cues. The story is now more exciting and the film's climax more effective. The commentary by the fx crew and Mr Wise is interesting and informative and some of the comments made by Mr Trumbull in the closing credits about the current state of most fx driven movies were spot on.
So, I recommend this movie as an excellent science fiction film. The only other Star Trek films that reach beyond the campiness of their TV origins are Star Trek First Contact and Star Trek VI ( the darkest and most dramatic adventures of the series). However neither of them quite catch the scope and epic feel of this fantastic movie
Star Trek The Motion Picture (TMP)is my favourite film in the entire series. It is interesting that this is the only visualisation of a lost period in Star Trek's fictional timeline. Consider, we have the original 5 year mission which was followed by this movie (not counting the animated series)there is then a 14 year gap, fictionally as it were in time from the end of TMP and The Wrath of Khan (TWOK). All the remaining films are set after each other leading up to the final mission of the original crew and Kirk's death. The period of time from the end of the 5 year mission to the beginning of TWOK is an immense source of speculation and interest for fans and scores of unofficial books have been set in this period.
TMP is divorced from the rest of Kirk's time in Trek through being set in this gap and provides just a small peek at this unknown period. The script was the original pilot proposal for a new series on TV called Star Trek Phase 2 and it's interesting to speculate which way Trek would have gone had this been the start of a new series rather than the first film.
The script itself was titled "In Thy Image" for the TV pilot project but was dropped when it was decided to adapt it to movie form, I do think the title The Motion Picture is boring and I wish they had kept the original title, it gives a better indication of things than TMP which could mean anything.
The film has been remastered and looks brilliant, but it has also been re-edited to quicken the pace and make the film seem a bit busier and faster, the selling point however is that some scenes and effects have been completely replaced, one of them is a breathtaking shot of the planet Vulcan with giant statues and ancient temples and blood red skies and mountains, it is worth the purchase of this disc for this alone. Sensational.
The soundtrack of TMP is something that has always stuck in my head from the day that I first saw this in 1979, it is possibly the best music ever used on Trek, but then what do you expect being composed by the genius that gave us the Jaws theme, Jerry Goldsmith. I will never forget his Ilia's overture, the Klingon theme that became so famous and of course the Enterprise music score. World class.
TMP is more in line with the way Gene Roddenberry originally envisaged the series, by being more thoughtful, intellegent and character-led than the more grand shoot-em-ups and big battles going off in space. Stories like The City on the Edge of Forver and The Inner Light are of much more interest to me than stories like The Best of Both Worlds and Scorpion.
The special features are to die for including such gems as a documentary on the aborted Phase 2 series with some super rare test footage of various elements, documentaries are also used to cover the film itself and the reimagining of thing. Theatrical and teaser trailers are included as are 16 quite substantial deleted scenes, and storyboard archives. Great stuff.
This film is not only my favourite Trek movie but rates very highly in my all-time list of all films, but I do have one gripe however. as much as I love this version of the movie I would have like to have been given the choice to watch the original theatrical version if I so choose, and it should have been an option on this disc. You can see all the original material that was changed in one of the extras, but this is not the same as having it integrated into the movie itself.
So there we are, not only the best Trek film but for the sheer quality of the special features the best DVD release of a Trek Film. Unmissable.
on 13 April 2010
Echoing several other reviews, I was shocked to discover that this Blu-ray disk contains a remastered edition of the original theatrical version. This is NOT the vastly improved Director's Cut with new special effects that was released on DVD in 2002, nor does it feature the commentary track with Robert Wise et al. either. The positive reviews that show up for this Blu-ray edition and praise the Director's Cut all refer that DVD version, and NOT to this Blu-ray edition. Way to mislead your customers, Amazon.
on 24 May 2013
They really don't make them like this any more. Couldn't. Imagine if Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman had walked into the Paramount offices and slammed THIS script on the table: A slow, solemn, philosophically dense adventure into a cloud of gas, with barely an action scene in sight and no conventional enemy.
Almost a decade previously, Robert Wise directed The Andromeda Strain, the quintessential "hard" sci-fi of the 1970s, where the emphasis was on the science, and the action took place on computer readouts. And two decades before that he made The Day the Earth Stood Still, a 1950s monster movie without a monster, standing out at the time for its seriousness.
Star Trek The Motion Picture could be seen as Wise's homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are lengthy sequences (I'm talking 10 minutes at a time) basically constituted of extended fly-bys of Douglas Trumbull's still-extraordinary special effects. Throughout, there's an admirable dedication to awe, something often missing from modern sci-fi, where a black hole is no more than a flying mouth and spacetime is traversed in a shrug.
If only there'd been equivalent care shown to the characters. Unfortunately, they are reduced to mere tour guides on this fantastic adventure, showing us when to gaze agape in wonderment, and verbalising what is frankly apparent from the images. The ending is like the birth of the Starchild with a director's commentary rambling over the top.
Kirk (William Shatner, subtle in portraying the humility of his out-of-practice captain) and Spock (the monolithic Leonard Nimoy) are present, and the friendship is as tender and fraught as ever - but they have only one really good scene together. Instead, the focus is on the star-cross'd relationship between the Deltan Ilia (a chilling Persis Khambatta) and acting-captain Decker (Stephen Collins), which is sadly rather drab and unconvincing.
The Motion Picture may not be the finest film in the original Star Trek series, but it's certainly the most distinctive and the strangest - a far, far cry from Star Trek IV's terrestrial comedy. What it lacks in humour and emotional resonance, The Motion Picture makes up for with its grand scope and vision, sometimes sparking the senses and stirring the imagination.