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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We've Witnessed A Birth!
"Star Trek The Motion Picture" is always harshly criticised for being bland and lacking in action,but that's not what
Star Trek is all about.The first Star Trek movie is a STORY-
it's about an Earth space probe that merges with a machine
lifeform and itself comes to life.But still it wishes to return
to Earth to join with it's creator.Even if...
Published on April 17 2004 by Andre' S Grindle

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!
I'm probably going to hack a few people off but...
I grew up with this movie; both the theatrical release and the "Special Edition" Laserdisc. (God, I'm old) This is ALMOST my favorite movie. Having watched this movie so much and having studied all the character development in it, some might say this makes me bias.
If you don't mind having dialog removed; scenes...
Published on June 1 2004 by Moknbyrd


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!, June 1 2004
By 
Moknbyrd (Gardendale, Alabama United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
I'm probably going to hack a few people off but...
I grew up with this movie; both the theatrical release and the "Special Edition" Laserdisc. (God, I'm old) This is ALMOST my favorite movie. Having watched this movie so much and having studied all the character development in it, some might say this makes me bias.
If you don't mind having dialog removed; scenes switched around; and generally questionable editing for the sake of time and new special effects, then you'll love this version.
I was VERY disappointed in the "Director's Edition". Don't get me wrong. The new special effects; WONDERFUL; like the new San Francisco scene. Cleaning up the visuals; EXCELLENT. I even overlooked what he was trying to do with the music.
I am, however disappointed because the director took a perfectly fine movie, (the Original "Special Edition") and BUTCHERED it. Granted, it's his movie. He can do what he wants. I just wish he'd have asked folks like me before he took a blade to it.
Scenes, which gave this film such character development, were cut out. Background noise showing what might be "real life" on a Starship, edited out. The noise level in the new version is almost like a morgue. The energy and tension you feel, while the crew is preparing the Enterprise against an impossible deadline, is non-existent.
The computer translation, of the Klingon language transmission at Epsilon 9, was edited out.
Little shots that gave this movie feeling were edited out. Such as, the shot of Uhura, staring in disbelief at the view screen, and Kirk having to REPEAT HIMSELF to turn the, "Viewer off!" to shake her from the horror she had just witnessed, was edited out.
The snip of Kirk blowing off McCoy saying, "Get out of here, Bones" was edited out. Kirk was ignoring what he'd done to get this new position. He wanted to ignore what he should face.
A scene showing the absolute power Ilea, as a Deltan, has over the human male, with Sulu stumbling all over himself, was cut out.
A shot of Ilea, staring longingly toward the turbo-lift door, as Sulu is trying to get her attention, was cut out. This scene showed how she was dealing with seeing Decker again, without having to utter a word. GONE.
While Kirk and Bones are talking to Spock in the lounge, the Director STUCK a CGI warp engine in the background. It looks amateur.
The editing on the Enterprise fly-over was poor.
The editing on the V-Ger fly-over was poor. I could go on.
And with ALL the stuff done to this version and the big deal made over this thing, the director still, STILL didn't fix the arm bands on Spock's and McCoy's jackets, in the last scene on the bridge. Apparently during a break in shooting, Nimoy and Kelly got their jackets mixed up.
I know a FEW people who like this, but not many.
Thanks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We've Witnessed A Birth!, April 17 2004
By 
Andre' S Grindle "Funk Meister" (Bangor,ME.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
"Star Trek The Motion Picture" is always harshly criticised for being bland and lacking in action,but that's not what
Star Trek is all about.The first Star Trek movie is a STORY-
it's about an Earth space probe that merges with a machine
lifeform and itself comes to life.But still it wishes to return
to Earth to join with it's creator.Even if along the way 'V'Ger'
destroys a few spaceships and "absorbes" two Enterprise crew
members it's inttentions are good.Most of the movie revolves around the Enterprise's journey through the emmence V'ger vessel and the problems it encounters.So it's the only Trek
movie that's rated G-it comes off as more dialog then action
but for those with an open mind and an interest in great
stories this will be for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wise "completes" his film 20 plus years later, Feb. 15 2004
By 
D. O'Neill "Brunt, FCC" (La Verne, CA: Planet Earth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
To be fair, this is not a horrible film. In fact, while the original theatrical edition did have it's flaws -it was cold, and emotionaless, this DVD "director's cut" helps establish why the film only worked part of the time. Robert Wise, with 20 plus years behind him, can now look back and see his film in a different light. But, no matter what tweaking you do, you still cannot change the story, which was bland and done before. The script is weak in many area's, but that weakness could've been overlooked had the producers tried to keep the chemistry between Shatner, Nimoy and Kelly going, just like the TV series. Trek has proven that when your charatcers are more 3-dimensional, the silly story works. In The Motion Picture though, the characters are treated like estranged relatives. Had they taken the essance of the roles, as was done in Trek II, and made them what they were -friends -this movie would've worked better. The new version is slightly better, as Wise has had a chance to "finish" his film. Caught between the success of Star Wars and Paramount's aborted 4th network attempt, The Motion Picture was fast tracked to get it ready for Christmas 1979. The thing was, the script was mess, the director had not worked on such a heavy effects ladden film before and the visual effects themselves were untested. Mix these altogether, and you got what you got. The new DVD offers us some "enhanced", CGI effects. Wise gives us a detailed reason in the commentary track, on how and why these effects were added. He also goes into great detail on the point of the story, which he admits was one of the films flaws. It's brave when a director can go back and see and tell where his film went off the tracks. The film is still a snoozer, but I've always had a soft spot for this film. I don't mind the endless scenes of V'jer and the great amounts of no dialogue that goes with those scenes. Wise has almost saved his own film. And for that, I recommend this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Not for the weak of mind, Jan. 20 2004
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
This is a great Trek film, despite what most critics say. The movie does a wonderful job of linking the original show to the movie franchise that we all know and love. The special effects are outstanding, the cast performs brilliantly, and the plot is deep and interesting. Not for an audience craving hardcore action, phaser shootouts, and great battle scenes. This film takes a more intellectual position and does Star Trek a great justice. Granted, there are several scenes that invite you to just sit back and enjoy a graphically-charged sensefest, and these could have been made shorter. They don't, however, detract from the effect of this film, and I truly believe that TMP belongs in the list of greater Trek movies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A DVD Resurrection, Jan. 15 2007
By 
Paul Mackinnon (halifax, nova scotia, canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
If ever a film benefited from being released on DVD, this is it. The movie itself is problematic. Ten years after the original series' ignominious end (let's face it, that third season left much to be desired), the cast was reunited for another romp through the cosmos. And the end result was an intellectual journey, long on special effects wizardry (at the time, the most expensive movie ever made) and short on action. Over the subsequent years, ST: The Motion Picture was denigrated as a colossal waste of time, where VHS quality diminished the awesomeness of the effects, and highlighted the dearth of story. However, with its rebirth on DVD, I have to revise my opinion. The plot and dialogue problems remain, but this is a gorgeous motion picture. Rightly revered by special effects practitioners, we can now too marvel at the technological wonders on display. Yes, CGI has produced some impressive visual films, but that perhaps is why this continues to look so good. In a day and age where CGI and fast cut editing overwhelm the senses, ST:TMP takes you, as well as Kirk and co., on a methodical symphonic journey. You simply will never see anything like this again. We are treated to some wonderful extras here as well, including footage from the abandoned Star Trek television series.

When all is said and done, this is a film worth another look, whether you're a Trek fan or not. It is moviemaking hubris on a scale that would have pleased Orson Welles or Howard Hughes. In the end, yes, it is a flawed epic, but an epic all the same.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Much of An Improvement Story-Wise, July 16 2004
By 
Stephen Kaczmarek "Educator, Writer, Consultant" (Columbus, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
When "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" premiered in 1979, many fans of the original series were elated--and many more disappointed. The problem wasn't that the film was cheap or puny in scale, nor that it hadn't finally reunited the primary "Star Trek" cast members, some of whom hadn't been before cameras in years. Thanks mostly to "Star Wars," sci-fi fans by then had developed a ravenous taste for big-budget space opera and because the series had become more cartoonish as the 1960s wore on anyway, they now expected something that would outdo the George Lucas shoot-em-up.
What they got instead was a bold, if flawed, attempt to return things to the more serious and understated tones of "Star Trek"'s first season while simultaneously pushing the special effects envelope. And though "Star Trek" always was space opera with harder sci-fi leanings, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" mistakenly abandoned most of the space opera standards altogether--interstellar battles, "ray gun" fights, scantily-clad "moon maidens," strange and menacing aliens--in favor of an approach that was more in keeping with "2001: A Space Odyssey." The story of the revamped Enterprise's rush to stop a cloud-like entity's march toward earth became, in the end, mostly a platform for technical, not cinematic, achievement.
In the years following the film's release, Director Robert Wise did not conceal his disappointment with both the movie's final cut and its critical reception, but thanks to the advent of sophisticated computer graphics, he finally got his chance to complete the film as intended two decades later. The result is a mixed bag.
Certainly, the director's cut is more streamlined than its predecessor--several edits speed up the action, and even some of Jerry Goldsmith's excellent orchestrations seem faster. The reimagined special effects are, for the most part, an improvement (watch carefully, for instance, to see a shuttlecraft from the series depart the San Francisco port), though anyone expecting images on the order of "The Matrix" or the later "Star Wars" films will be disappointed. (I'm guessing the technicians had to match image quality to that of the 1979 release.) The credits definitely look better.
But the major flaws of the film, including a second half that just seems to drag compared to the first, are intact. Worse, because at least one version of the film with additional footage already shows us what is possible, some of the choices of what to cut and what to keep are questionable. Gone are some great character moments like Kirk telling Bones to get out of his quarters and the computerized translation of the doomed Klingon captain (though some make it as deleted scenes on the bonus disk). Perfectly adequate sound effects, too, have been replaced by others that seem tinny, and many of these effects compete rudely with Goldsmith's score. All in all, the Director's Edition seems a tradeoff, worth viewing mostly by the diehard fan, who will also likely find the second DVD more interesting than the usual chatter and mugshots tossed into the mix.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3 Star Movie, 5 Star DVD, July 4 2004
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture was rushed into theaters without time to edit it, and as such, the picture CRAWLS at times. This Director's Edition completes/adds some things that were storyboarded but unable to be accomplished at the time, and is also edited by director Robert Wise. I admire the decision by the effects people to make the new effects look like they could have been accomplished in the late 70's (as opposed to modern CGI), and for the most part they succeeded. As for the editing, this is also an improvement, but the initial V'Ger flyover sequence is still approximately 10 minutes long -- that's just way too long to have to sit and watch effects shots without dialog (there may be SOME dialog, but not much). At any rate, I really enjoy the first half hour, but after that it's hit-and-miss.
As for the DVD itself, they did an excellent job. There are lots of documentaries, trailers, and TV spots, as well as all of the footage that was deleted/trimmed from the film. Well done.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Keep On Trekkin', June 4 2004
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
"Welcome aboard." - Admiral James T. Kirk welcomes an old, pointed eared, friend aboard The Enterprise in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
The first of ten films in the "Trek" saga gets off to a whimper instead of a bang.
An alien known as V'ger with immense energy and power is on a course for Earth, destroying and absorbing anything in its path. The only Federation ship in the vicinity is, of course, the U.S.S. Enterprise. Kirk and crew are sent to destroy the being before it reaches Earth. But, when Kirk & co. find out that V'ger is more of a sentient being with human origins than alien, the crew tries to find out what V'ger wants and why, before time runs out & Earth becomes part of V'ger.
Overall the film is o.k. Most fans were excited to see Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew with The Enterprise up on the big screen for the first time in film history, no matter what they did (personally, I never saw the film when it was in theaters).
With the cult status that the T.V. show gathered in reruns over the years since its cancellation, it was inevitable that "Star Trek" would be revived again in some form another. Originally, Paramount saw "Star Trek" as a way to start its own television network that could rival NBC, ABC, & CBS, with the new incarnation of "Trek" being its headlining show. But, with the monsterous success of "Star Wars", studios were scrambling for any script they had with a sci-fi element. 20th Century Fox immediatelly greenlighted "Alien" with Paramount taking "Star Trek" & turning into a big screen feature instead of a headlining television show. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was released for the Xmas season of 1979 with mixed reviews.
The film isn't really that bad. It falls along one of the more medium, likable episodes from the series (say not as bad as the episode "Catspaw" but no where near as good as "Space Seed"). Its great to the see cast on the big screen, but, the problem is they've aged since the series, but, don't seem to act it. In other words there is no backstory to what has happened to the crew since the end of there original five year mission ("Star Trek II" handles this perfectly). The disco style uniforms with the Dick Tracy style communicators don't help either.
The new 2 disc DVD edition is definitely worth looking at, for all of the new CGI work done to the film (henceforth, my four star rating to an otherwise three star film). Also, included are all of the deleted scenes that have info containing whether or not the scene was included in the original ABC broadcast, or if it was on the extended VHS edition, or if it was just plain deleted from the film itself. The trailers are a blast from the past with, known other than, Orson Welles giving the narrative to all trailers and t.v. ads. The featurettes on the making of the film and the restoration are great.
If you've seen all of the other "Trek" films (and stomached "Star Trek V") then "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is worth watching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Adventure is Just Beginning, May 6 2004
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
Let me say this... "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was what got me into Star Trek. It was the first Star Trek anything that I had ever sat down and watched. And I loved it, every minute of it. Now I have this DVD, I've watched it again, and it's elevated itself to it's position as my number one favorite movie of all time.
This film has great special effects, it's true. In fact several of them are especially impressive, especially in this day and age where movies are over-run with fakish-looking CGI crap. However it's not a "Special Effects" fest as some have claimed. Indeed, there are long moments in the film that go without showing anything extraordinary, and there's just as much, if not more, time devoted to character development and fleshing out the plot as there is Special Effects.
Speaking of which, I personally found little or nothing wrong with the interaction between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. After having seen the original series, I thought their interaction was pretty spot-on. After all, Spock and McCoy don't have to bicker in EVERY scene.
Finally, there is the plot and it's progression, which is the perfect audio-visual experience. I wouldn't describe the scenes as being "Dragged-out" but in some cases, suspenseful. In others, relaxing. The long instances work perfectly to convey the emotions and general tone and feeling of each individual scene. Many say these scenes are too long, but those people are just impatient. The plot advances at a rather steady pace and rewards the patient.
However, the winning grace of this film is it's themes and message. It has one quality that many films, including other Trek films, totally lack: It actually makes you think with it's messages about humanity and existence, and makes us realize that there's always going to be something out there we do not know or understand. Captain Kirk and co. live in a world which is virtually perfect in every way, where mankind seems to have pretty much reached it's peak, yet in this movie they find out there's still many things they haven't seen, heard, felt, been, and probably will never be able to experience, and that humanity and all living things have just scratched the surface of their full potential. The human adventure, quite literally, is just beginning.
All in all, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is aimed at those with an open and thoughtful mind. There's other Trek films for those who prefer action, but because of their different direction (which is not necessarily worse), they can't be judged by the same standards. But if you want something that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, this DVD is for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Where No One Should've Gone Before, But Did Anyway, April 5 2004
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This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (DVD)
People tend to forget that this film was a HUGE hit when it came out. Probably because the budget was so high (it included the cost for the abandoned "ST-Phase II" series) the film basically broke even.
The plot for Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a combo of "The Changeling" & "The Doomsday Machine". All of our favorite characters are back, but there is little of the banter and warmth from the original series present. Instead, we get a kind of "2001" atmosphere with overlong special effect scenes (particularly the overblown Enterprise in drydock & V'Ger cloud sequences) and underwelming acting. Shatner's plea to Bones that he needs him "BADLY!" is almost too funny for words.
Most "Director's Cuts" are vanity pieces that may appeal to hardcore movie buffs, but really don't improve a film. But in this case, a "Director's Cut" was really needed. Star Trek: The Motion Picture suffered from an incomplete script and a truncated post production that prevented completion of several special effect sequences and even a preview which would've helped director Robert Wise to tighten and improve the film. Now, twenty years later he's been given the chance to do just that.
The Director's Cut trims bits and pieces from several scenes to improve the pace. Fortunately, they did cut out Shatner's delivery of the line "Oh..My...God..." (from the transporter malfunction scene) which could be the worst in film history. However, you can see all the deleted scenes, as well as three short documentaries, and other tidbits. The commentaries are fairly bland, but informative.
As for the film itself, standouts include Leonard Nimoy's return as Spock. In fact, this could be the best story about Spock ever filmed. I also enjoyed the opening attack by the Klingons and any scene with DeForest Kelly.
The best part though is Jerry Goldsmith's incredible score, which somehow lost the Oscar to "A Little Romance". In fact, I would heartily recommend the soundtrack over the film. Still, the Director's Cut is an improvement and worth checking into if your a trekker who sorta liked the movie when it first came out.
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