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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

A movie directed by Robert Wise

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"Space...The Final Frontier, These Are the Voyages..." Star Trek 1-6 Warps onto Blu-ray

  • May 28, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
I don't think anything is ever going to change the fact that Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the most boring Star Trek film ever.  It might not be the worst, I think all trekkies agree that that honor goes to The Final Frontier, but definitely the slowest.  Hidden in all of the films slow and action-less two hours and twelve minutes (the longest Trek film to date) is a really beautiful movie that just shines on Blu-ray.

When Earth is is informed that a giant space entity is headed toward the planet, the then Admiral Kirk convinces Starfleet to give him his command of the Enterprise back in hopes of making contact and even possibly destroying the entity.  Even the concept of the film is boring, but it does lead to some beautiful scenes.  The film has been completely remastered in full 1080p Hi-def and 7.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.  The Motion Picture has been cleaned up most of the scratches on the film and is really presented crystal clear.  You can really tell the difference from DVD to Blu-ray as well as the Blu-ray makes most of the movie look as if it was filmed yesterday.  The shots of the Enterprise make you giddy all over again the first time you see her in spacedock.

The amazing picture is complimented by its stunning crisp sound presented in Dolby Digital 7.1 High-def.  The music sounds like a prefect track as does the dialogue.  Though this movie didn't have much in the way of action, it still sounded amazing on the surround sound, really fun stuff. 

Unfortunately what this Blu-ray edition lack is the addition of the CG effects that were added  in the Directors Edition back in 2001.  Instead we get the original theatrical release that Robert Wise always said was more of a rough cut of the film.  Apparently, the remastering team could not convert the added scenes and effects to HD quality.  It's disappointing because the added effects and remix of the score added something to the film to make it a tad more interesting.

If you are a collector of the Star Trek films, I would go out and by these Blu-rays.  They are really worth it.  However, it doesn't change the fact that this first film can't be remade. 

Sound: 5

Video: 4

Story: 1

Total: 3/5

I think everybody agrees that along with Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the best of the now eleven Trek films.  However, it comes very short on the Blu-ray addition.  Unlike the rest of the films in this set, Khan is supposed to be fully restored in HD instead of remastered like the others, but what you get is a disc that looks like it belongs with your old DVD's.

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, we see Kirk going through what seems to be like a mid-life crisis.  However this becomes a secondary matter when his old nemesis, Khan, has escaped from his banishment on Ceti Alpha V and has to take the Enterprise to intercept him with a training crew aboard.  Having Khan be the best of the films, you would expect it to be treated as such when being remastered on Blu-ray, but from myself and from what I have been reading in other peoples reviews is that this is the worst of the restored films, comparing it to the Directors addition in the DVD set.  The picture is gritty and the sound is nowhere near up to par with how it sounded in The Motion Picture.  This doesn't make a whole lot of sense seeing as how all of these films have Dolby Digital 7.1 HD surround.  Sure, they did a good job taking away most of the scratches from the original films, but it still looks like DVD quality.  There are actually some scenes during the film that when they restored, it made some of the faces actually look blurry.

A few things save this "remastering" from being a disaster.  The first is that all of these discs are packed with some pretty cool special features and trivia.  Also, during the few scenes that truly do look restored, the film looks really good!  For the most part, the color also looks really good throughout the whole film which is a little redeeming.  Finally, this Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on Blu-ray is saved by the fact that it is an awesome movie!  Not a whole lot can change that...

Obviously, The Wrath of Khan come in this seven disc Blu-ray set, so still watch it of you buy it, but don't look for it to be stunning.  Definitely check out the special features though.

Sound: 3

Video:  2

Story: 5

Overall: 4/5

Unlike the Blu-ray edition of The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, the third installment of the Star Trek films really comes to life on Blu-ray.  Along with all of the other discs, it has been digitally remastered and has Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound.  Star Trek III was probably the most difficult of the first three films to make, having introduced new ships and new effects to the film industry, and despite the fact that visual effects back then now seem rather "primitive", the Blu-ray edition of the film really makes the hard work ILM put into the film stand out.

After it is revealed to Admiral Kirk by Spocks father Sarek that Spocks (soul) Katra may still exist within Dr. McCoy, Kirk and his crew steal the Enterprise in order to search for Spocks body which has been reborn on the planet Genesis.  Little do they know though that the Klingons have a great interest in the planet as well.  This was not one of my favorite Star Trek films, not to say that it wasn't good, but going into it from the title, you kind of already know what is going to happen.  That doesn't take away from the fact that this was a fun movie to watch, but it takes away the element of surprise.  The only surprise left in this film is when the Enterprise is destroyed.  This movie did have a great story behind its predictability and that was a story of undying friendship and loyalty.  In The Search for Spock we really get to know just how much Spock means to Kirk, to a point were he sacrifices his career to save him.  That was a key element in what made this film emotionally satisfying.

Having this film remastered in Blu-ray does wonders for this film as well.  You really notice the colors come out, especially in those red 80's uniforms.  Most of all though, you get to see the real fine details on all of the ships in this film (The Enterprise, Excelsior, smuggler ship and the Klingon Bird of Prey).  The remastering made those scenes in space seem very real, as a lot, if not most, of the scratches and tears have been edited out of this version of the film.  The most exciting aspect of re-watching this film was the scene were the Enterprise was destroyed.  With Blu-ray technology and crispness, you see every little detail that ILM put into destroying this beautiful ship.

As far as the sound goes, I still think that The Motion Picture has the best sound.  It really made the movie come to life where as this film for some reason was a little less...loud which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  The great sound does show up during the battle scenes as well as most scenes that take place in space, but dialogue and music seemed to be very quiet.

This is an important film in the Star Trek saga as it ends one chapter and starts a new one with the rebirth of Spock.   Obviously we know what happens at the end, but fun to re-watch none the less.  The disc also has a cool special featurette with modern day ILM and how they used the models in each of the Trek films. 

Sound: 3

Video: 5

Story: 4

Total: 4/5

The third movie (technically the fourth) in what has become known as the Star Trek Trilogy which include The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock, concludes on beautiful Blu-ray.  This is the second time I have watched Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in a span of two months and while it is not one of my favorite Trek films, it has really come to grow on me.  The film really comes to life on Blu-ray, having been completely digitally remastered and remixed with Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround.  Again, the film looks fresh with a lot of color being restored as well as the sound.

When Admiral Kirk and his crew are on their way home to Earth along with the resurrected Captain Spock, they receive a distress call from the Federation informing them that a probe has completely neutralized Earth and to stay away.  When Spock concludes that the probe is seeking a response from humpback whales, now extinct on 23rd Century Earth, Kirk and the crew must risk time warp to late 20th century Earth.  Problems arise when Scotty figures out that they cannot get back to their time with the power they have and Kirk realizes the whales they are looking for are running out of time themselves.

This film is a fan favorite among trekkies and non trekkies alike, but I never fully understood why.  For me, it just didn't feel like the Star Trek I knew.  They were in 80's Earth which is actually why I think it appealed to a lot of people; they found a real world connection to the film.  To me though, there were no Klingons (there were, but they weren't important) and there was no Enterprise (until the last minute of the film).  However, as I watched the movie now, I see how it was important in concluding the story of the previous two films.  I started to appreciate the relationship between Kirk and Spock and how they re-found their eternal friendship.  I also appreciate now the message that this was sending out about whales and how we treat our planet and while The Voyage Home remains not one of my favorite films, I have a better understanding on why it was such a favorite now and then.

Now on Blu-ray the film looks fantastic!  There were parts of this film that I didn't even notice until watching it in High Def.  For example during the scenes at the Aquarium, I never noticed the San Fransisco Skyline in the background until today.  These are the little things you notice when you watch films in HD.  The few scenes that took place in Space in the movie also looked stunning.  At the end of the film when the Enterprise is leaving spacedock, you can see all the little details on the ship.  The sound of course has really been brought up to speck just like all of the other films and that leads me to my last point.

As much as it is a catchy theme, I thought that the score for The Voyage Home was the worst Star Trek score ever written.  Out of all the scores, this one was the furthest away from any Star Trek music I have ever heard.  There is nothing about it that screams Trek to me.  It actually sounds like it should be in some World War II film or some kind of war film.

As this is one of the fan favorite Star Trek films, any fan who has a Blu-ray player should re-watch The Voyage Home.  The film is terrifically remastered and was a joy to watch over again, not to mention some of the best quotable Trek out there.  If only the score didn't make me cringe... 4/5.

Known to fans as the worst Trek film of all time to a point were some people (and even countries) don't consider it as one of the films, is unfortunately to many reborn on Blu-ray in this seven disc set.  I must admit, I held of a day to watch this and in a span of two days completed it.  Though The Final Frontier looks and sounds great on Blu-ray, it doesn't change the fact that it was a bad movie.

In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Kirk and the rest of his crews shore leave is cut short when Starfleet receives a distress call from the planet Nimbus III in the Neutral Zone, having found out that "The Galactic Army of Light" has taken the Klingon, Romulan and Federation ambassadors on the planet hostage.  Though the new Enterprise-A is nowhere near functional after her initial shakedown cruise, she is sent anyway due to the fact that that Kirk is the only experienced captain in Starfleet at that point.  In an attempt to Rescue the ambassadors it is revealed that Spocks half brother Sybock is behind everything that has transpired.  Being outnumbered, Sybock hijacks the Enterprise in an attempt to find Sha Ka Ri...The Vulcan heaven.

First off, some people are meant to act and some people are meant to write and direct.  Shatner was meant to act and when he took the directors chair for Star Trek V, disaster was in the making.  The story was not a good one as it seemed they just wanted to rush and get a new movie out.  There were so many things about this movie that failed on so many levels.  The writing was novice for one thing.  The scene were Uhura is naked (even though you don't actually see anything) trying to distract the soldiers is so unlike Star Trek that every time I see see it, it makes me cringe.  The Final Frontier also tried to buckle one to many plots into one movie; the first the Sybock plot and the second being the Klingon story arc.  If this film had been about Kirk being a hunted man by the Klingons and just that, this film might have all together been fun and exciting.  However, the Klingon plot just got lost in the weak Sybock story.  The other item that killed this movie was the lack of ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) doing the films visual effects.  I mean why get rid of them for one film when they have made all of your other films look stunning?  Instead, the effects in the film mostly look like someone is moving the ships around with their hands.  The only good effect was the Enterprise model itself, which was brand new after ILM destroyed the old one for The Wrath of Khan. 

The one thing that The Final Frontier had going for it was the continuing growth and brotherhood type relationship Kirk, Spock and Bones share.  Again, this trio is put to the test and learn new things about each other that strengthen their relationship further.  There is actually a point near the end of the film when Spock gets a little emotional during the rescue attempt of Captain Kirk.  At the end of the film, there is this great line were Kirk says referring to Spock, "I lost a brother once...I was lucky to get him back."  That one line just said everything about the times these three have been through and what they have experienced over thirty years or so.

As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, the film again like all of the other except Khan looks stunning and truly remastered.  Colors really stand out  for example, the blue horse in the film.  Again the best looking scenes are out in space as well as on the bridge of the Enterprise.  The sound is amazing as well, despite the fact that this is more of a quieter film then some of the other.  When it needs to be, the sound really does come to life with the Dolby Digital 7.1 surround.

To be honest, the only reason I watched the film was because I needed to review them all to make it a complete review of the set, but if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have watched it.  If you are a Trek fan then you probably understand.  If you own these, don't bother watching the film if you don't want to.  There really is no point.  1/5

Blu-ray ratings:

Video: 4

Sound: 5

Story: 1

My personal favorite of all ten Star Trek films, The Undiscovered Country is brought to Blu-ray as part of this seven disc set.  The film has been completely remastered and has 7.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.  Out of all of the special features in the set, Undiscovered Country comes with the best for example, a theatre group who performs Hamlet in its original Klingon.  Though this disc, like all of the others in the set, does have its flaws, Star Trek VI is the best of the set.

When the Klingon moon of Praxis is destroyed due to a mining incident, the Klingon species has to rethink its political agenda when they realize they only have fifty years of life left.  When Spock is made special envoy and ambassador to the Klingons, he volunteers Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon Empire safely to Earth to start peace talks with the Federation.  Kirk, not happy about the situation due to his personal mistrust of the Klingons, agrees to the mission, but when the Enterprise mysteriously fires on Gorkons ship, causing the death of the Chancellor, Kirk and McCoy are arrested.  Now, racing against time, Captain Spock and the rest of the crew must uncover the truth of the events of that night, before the captain and doctor are lost forever.

The reason I think this film is so wonderful is mainly due to the fact that it brings all the events of past films full circle.  Kirks anger and hatred toward Klingons, issues of age and issues of friendship and trust.  The Undiscovered Country had amazing acting and great action.  It showed so much of what this crew had been threw over so many years, the complete trust they all had in each other.  Star Trek VI also brought in some great guest actors such as Christopher Plummer as Chang and a young Kim Catrell as Valeris.  I think that Chang was one of the coolest villains to set "foot" in the Trek universe.  What bad guy goes around quoting Shakespeare while firing weapons on the Enterprise? From the minute you see his character, you know that he is not a good guy.  Most of all though, this last film in the original series universe lets the crew of the Enterprise go out with a very big bang, having one of the coolest space battles in Trek history.

The biggest issues I have with this certain version of the film is the same issue I have with all the other films in the Blu-ray set, and that is the fact that all of these films are the theatrical versions, not the directors editions.  While there was one issue  I had with the directors edition of The Undiscovered Country, that being the added shots of all of the conspirators faces when Spock in mind melding with Valeris, there were a couple of really great scenes that were not in the theatrical version.  I don't know why they couldn't have used the directors editions of any of the films when they were making this Blu-ray set because it really takes a lot away from such a big release like this.

Other than that, the film looks and sounds stunning on Blu-ray.  Color has been brilliantly restored (when you watch just look at the bridge) and the sound behind 7.1 is just as good as all of the other films in the set.  the special features are a lot of fun on this disc.  Included is a short documentary on a theatre group that puts on Hamlet in full Klingon.  In this documentary, there are two full scenes from the show.  There is also a great short on the history of the Klingons that I think might have also been on the DVD.

Obviously, this is my favorite Trek film so I am going to tell you that this is the must watch in the set, but it really truly is.  The Undiscovered Country had everything in it that makes Star Trek good; exploration, action, acting and the famly feeling of the crew.  4/5 for the Blu-ray, 5/5 for the film!

Video: 3 (this is also based on the fact that it is not the directors edition)

Sound: 5

Special Features: 4

Overall: 4

The seventh disc of the Original Motion Picture Blu-ray Collection, The Captains Summit is a 70 minute round table discussion about everything Star Trek hosted by Whoopi Goldberg (Guinan).   For this great bonus disc, they were able to get William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart in one room to discuss their Star Trek experiences.

This was actually really fun to watch because sometimes with these round table discussions, they end up being very structured, but this wasn't the case with the Captains Summit.  Even though Whoopi was hosting, she kind of just let the actors do their thing.  This led to a lot of cracking on each other, Shatner interrupting people and Nimoy just laughing at everyone else.  I got a really good laugh watching it which was really refreshing because for the most part, these were characters that were mainly serious, so when you get to see them making jokes and making fun of each other, it was very refreshing.

Though a lot of this first Captains Summit (I guess they plan to do more which I think is exciting) was mostly comedy, there were some great discussion on the impact Star Trek has had on all of these actors and how out of theses amazing shows, they really formed a family.  There are also some great points where Whoopi talks about how she wanted to be on Star Trek and the reasons behind that.  When I got Firefly on Blu-ray, it also came with a round table such as this one, but it was very short and not that fun.  This really kept my interest throughout, and I got to learn some new things about the actors in the process.  This round table Captains Summit gets a 5/5 for me.

This wraps up my review of the Star Trek: Original Motion Picture collection on Blu-ray.  In my opinion, it's a decent set.  Five of the six films look and sound stunning and there are some really fun special features along the way, but the collection is brought down by the fact that none of these films were the directors editions.  The real perk of this set is The Captains Summit.  If you are a huge Star Trek fan, this is a most likely a must by, but if not, I would wait until the re-release this set with the Directors Editions, 3/5 for the set.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture Star Trek III Star Trek Cover Art Star Trek Blu-ray Box

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review by . August 26, 2010
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Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the first of six films that followed the events of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew.  However, TMP is considered to be the most boring of the Star Trek films and did not fair overly well with the Critics.

The Motion Picture marked the beginning of a long relationship betweenStar Trek and Jerry Goldsmith as this was the first Star Trek project he composed.
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