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Customer Review

140 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 years in the making, and worth the wait!!!, November 15, 2001
This review is from: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Director's Cut (Special Collector's Edition) (DVD)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture was, until now, a classic example of a film which suffered from a rushed post-production. It is well known in ST fandom how the film that was originally hired to do the effects for this movie bascially fell flat on their collective face, leaving Robert Wise and Co. with only a few months to start from scratch on their effects, and a release date that was carved in stone. They went to superhuman effort in order to get everything done by the deadline, and they barely made it. The final effects sequences actually had to be physically spliced into hundreds of copies of the film, right before their delivery to theaters! The fact that the effects were as good as they were is truly miraculous. This is the most cinematic of all the ST movies to date, although The Wrath of Khan comes pretty close. The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is one of the GREATEST film scores ever.
Of course, the main feature of this DVD is the fact that Robert Wise got to go back and take his time re-doing the effects scenes that he had to rush through in 1979, and then insert them seamlessly into the scenes shot 20 years ago, and make it all fit. Overall, it works extremely well. Some of my favorite improvements:
(1) The star field effects over the overture theme and opening credits - Sure, the moving star field over SF movies has been done many times since, but Star Trek invented it. The opening wasn't complete without it. The credits themselves have also been re-worked. The opening credits were one place where the post-production rush in 1979 really showed. It was a nice touch to clean this up.
(2) The scenes on Vulcan - Vulcan looks more "Vulcan-like" now, and the removal of the moon seen previously makes the film conform to previously-established Star Trek canon. Another nice touch that is important for continuity. Also, the Vulcan subtitles have been re-worded just a bit to make it a little less obvious that the Vulcans were really just speaking electronically-distorted English.
(3) The new shots of Starfleet Headquarters - totally awesome improvement to another casualty of the 1979 rush. As much as I loved that shot of the Starfleet Headquarters seal, it was painfully obvious that some missing effects shots were here. Also, the scene between Kirk and Sonak has been re-done to make the landing area seem much larger. Nice echoing to the dialogue.
(4) Insertion of some original-series sound effects, particularly the transporter operation.
(5) The scenes when they flew through the cloud and over V'ger were tightened up a bit. Good editing, these secnes were DEFINITELY too long originally. Thank God, though, they left the Enterprise inspection/flyover alone! This is one scene that was just fine all along, and they wisely didn't cut it at all.
(6) When you look out the windows of the officer's lounge, you can now see the warp nacelles. Nice touch.
(7) The scenes of V'ger attacking the Earth. I always wanted to see a shot of the whole thing at once!
(8) The new shots inside V'ger - It's pretty obvious that these are CG, but the creation of the bridge between the Enterprise and V'ger is pretty cool anyway.
(9) But, the absolute BEST improvement was the re-working of the Red Alert klaxon and the removal of that infuriatingly annoying computer voice. I got so tired of hearing that thing go "Travel pod available, Cargo 6", and "Intruder Location. A Sonic Shower.", and "Red. Alert. Red. Alert. The Ship. Is On. Red. Alert!" If they did nothing else to the movie, this alone would make the DVD worth buying. Thank you Mr. Wise!
The DVD also contains a bunch of bonus features, including the original scenes that were edited, the delightfully cheesy movie trailers and TV commercials, and the scenes that were added for the 1983 TV version and then re-dropped. Some of those scenes were kinda nice, but they didn't really do anything for me. The worst one was the shot of Kirk leaving the Enterprise in pursuit of Spock. You can see the scaffolding on the set! They're baically non-essential, but it's nice to have them anyway. The TV commercials are a lot of fun to watch.
This is not the best ST move by any stretch, but it's MUCH better than its detractors think. If you haven't seen it in a while, now is the perfect chance to see it again. The acting is great. If the actors seem uneasy at first, that's because the CHARACTERS are uneasy due to the myraid conflicts that they are undergoing as the movie begins. As the conflicts are resolved, they get more comfortable. It's truly a great SF movie. Pick it up!
Oh and Emma, if you're out there, sounds like you got a defective case. Return it and get another copy.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 30, 2007 5:03:08 PM PDT
James Finch says:
Great review, especially in adding bullets to the various changes and or additions to the director's cut that will inspire people to get this version! Good job!

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 4:44:32 PM PDT
This movie will not display full screen on my laptop, WHY? Is there some movies that show only wide screen? Marvin

Posted on Mar 2, 2008 11:25:05 AM PST
Wesley Smith says:
I actually miss the "red alert" computer voice. I also miss the computer translating the Klingon transmission at the beginning of the movie. Other than that I love the redone version.

Posted on May 11, 2009 1:55:03 PM PDT
Great review! I actually enjoy ST:TMP now. I give this version a 3 out of 4 stars...the original release just 2 stars.

I hope Paramount can upconvert the new CGI effects to HD for a BluRay release of ST:TMP. I believe they only exist in SD (Paramount never seems to be very forward looking --I can't believe they cheaped out and only created SD masters for the new effects).

Posted on Sep 22, 2012 7:28:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2012 7:32:47 PM PDT
I have had this version since 2001 when it came out and Paramount should bring it out on Blu-Ray and in theaters before the release it on Blu just like they used to do with the original Star Wars trilogy many years ago! Don't get me wrong! I know Star Wars wasn't on Blu until this last year or 2, but before the better version-still talking Star Trek: The Motion Picture-The Director's Edition-got a little sidetracked! LOL! finally gets on Blu-Ray show it in theaters! This is for people who forgot or don't know! They used to put out Star Wars every couple of years and we would go see 'em in non-HD, no 3-D, but the biggest blast you have ever experienced! That's kind of how Paramount needs to do it sometimes! It would be awesome just to see and feel the big screen watching all of the films again! Don't tell me they can't! They can!

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 11:36:48 AM PST
gobirds2 says:
Good review, excellent. However, I wish they would release the theatrical version on DVD. Perhaps, they should have included both in this set.

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 3:56:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2013 2:45:01 PM PDT
Solipso says:
Reply to the reviewer:

You say, "The soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is one of the GREATEST film scores ever."

Well, his theme is at least as arousing a piece of orchestration as the best of John Philip Sousa, and that's pretty almighty good. Yet, though the score won a nomination, it did not take home the Oscar. That went to a movie called, A LITTLE ROMANCE. Now, really, how many people remember the music from A LITTLE ROMANCE? How many remember Jerry Goldsmith's music (the theme of which became the theme for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION)?

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 9:58:29 PM PDT
ChrisB says:
Did you mean to say "the FIRM that was originally hired to do the effects..."?
And yes, I agree, this film is better than a lot of people gave it credit for...including the cast. Leonard Nimoy said, "It wasn't my kind of Star Trek film." I understand what he meant in terms of it being purely Star Trek, but as a standalone film I thought it was interesting, entertaining, and a better-made film than some of the sequels. As many have pointed out, the style of space/sci-fi movies had changed a lot since Star Trek had been on TV. 1979 was post 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, Space: 1999, and of course Star Wars, none of which looked anything Star Trek. I think those involved in the film versions must've realized in retrospect that they made a big mistake deviating so far from the original style. The camera angles, the colors, the uniforms, the lighting--it all contributed greatly to the uniqueness of the show. They worried it would be out of date, but as we can see from the recent ST films, almost 50 years later much of it still works.

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 3:09:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2013 3:11:07 PM PDT
Solipso says:
Reply to the reviewer:

The improvements that you mention are only in the standard-definition Director's Cut. You will not find them in the blu-ray version, which is for the theatrical release. So beware! Here at, the "Product Description" for the blu-ray version says you will get "this newly restored, Director's Edition." But you WILL get only the theatrical release.

That is too bad. The changes that the reviewer notes for the Director's Cut are definitely for the better. Unfortunately those changes were not made in high definition and therefore could not be translated into blu-ray.

So which should you get? I say get the blu-ray. The Director's Cut changes only a few things, whereas blu-ray changes the look and sound of EVERYTHING.

(P.S. When the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE travels through the layers of energy fields surrounding V-ger, do not be afraid to use fast-forward. I thought that was the only bad part about this movie.)

Posted on Jan 9, 2014 4:58:26 PM PST
J. Songer says:
Does the Directors cut special collectors edition have the scene of Sulu and a crewmate talking about Ilea's sexuality, that was cut out of the theatrical version?
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