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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

A movie directed by Robert Wise

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A Star Trek movie that should have a gunfight in the old west. Dead wood.

  • Jun 28, 2009
Star Trek made a huge return in a big way at the end of the seventies with Star Trek: The Motion Picutre.  Talk for years about whether or not it was to be a TV series, to a made for TV movie to a movie and back again was abuzz and it wasn't until Star Wars came out that it was decided that it wil be a movie.  Star Trek was never bigger, with a reported 35 million dollar budget, a famous director Robert Wise at the helm and the whole cast back again with all new sets, costumes, models everything!

What a bore!

The costumes looked like pajammas, the story is recycled from an old episode of the TV show, some cast members were almost just extras with some lines and it was BORING!  A little over 2 hours long and a lot of it looking at the screen at the then revolutionary effects which still hold up well but are still not as compelling as the story tries to be.

The story has the Enterprise just finishing up a major refit where now Admiral Kirk gets command of the Enterprise to intercept an immense energy field heading for Earth.

Sure it sounds epic for a movie with Earth being destroyed by a mysterious force and the movie doesn't disintegrate into a action film with a wacky villian out for conquest or evil doings and really sticks close to what Roddenberry thought of in Star Trek of outer space exploration and mankinds place in the universe, but even Roddenberry's old TV show wasn't as sterile and lifeless as this film plays out.  It's ultimately a bastard version of 2001 A Space Odyseey. 

Several scenes have characters simply looking up at a screen as they explore the energy field's interior.  Look up at screen, show screen, show outside of ship, throw in a line of dialouge maybe.  Wash rince repeat.  Introducing the new Enterprise takes a good five minutes at least with Kirks flying around the edge of the ship and then straight ahead for a lovely new look.  Yes the Enterprise is a key part of Star Trek but it's not as though we aren't going to see it later on.  Not only that dialouge scenes seem to overlap with the same lines about how the energy cloud has something at it's center and there must be an object at the heart of that cloud and Kirk seemingly playing the part of a Seiko keeping track of the time of when the field reaches Earth or XO Decker reminding Kirk how unimportant it is that Kirk is onboard.  

Having said that, I hold a special tie to this movie.  I saw it when I was really starting to pay more attention to movies and appreciated what it had.  It also had one of my favorite pieces of Star Trek, The Klingon Battle cruiser with it's fly by and 180 twist camera turn to focus on that gorgous model that looks like it was really put together and not a computer effect like we have today.  The final interior set of the energy field is impressive and seeing a Star Trek that had so many new pieces after seeing The Next Generation and some of the other movies was refreshing and makes you appreciate those oother projects more.

When originally released it was a literal last minute completion and had no pre screenings.  Robert Wise annoyed by this got some people together and 20 years later tweaked some scenes, gave it a new sound mix and replaced some special effects using a lot of the old pieces of equipment and storyboards that they were going to use had they have the time.  It's a Special Edition that is superior to the original with nary a sign of Greedo shooting first.  (Sorry wrong movie, thats the one with the crappy special editions.)

Star Trek: the Motion Picture isn't as bad as The Final Frontier and it's a far more ambitious picture but The Final Frontier is definetly more entertaining.  Isn't it weird that the two arguablly worst Star Trek movies are the ones that deal with similar subject matters, and both of them involving God?  Part of Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future is that the universe has become a more secular place and therefore one without God or religion. If either of those movies are evidance of what were in for, I prey to God for more Wrath of Khans and Undiscovered Countrys.

Spock travels through the alien vessel The Klingon's new ship on appraoch to the alien The crew runs tests on the Alien probe The interior chamber of the alien intruder Staring at effects. LOTS of scenes like this. Scotty and an Engineer hard at work

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October 21, 2010
Barley remember this one, like that question you bring up here.
October 21, 2010
Star Trek should leave God alone. This isn't a bad sci fi movie but it really feels different compared to the others.
July 26, 2009
We used to call this WHERE NOMAD HAS GONE BEFORE because of its embarrassing similarities to that previous episode of Star Trek you mention. Anything would be more entertaining that STTMP including root canal while watching paint dry.
July 26, 2009
I don't know about a root vcanal but watching paint dry is what the cast might as well have been doing looking at the effects, I even put the pictures up as an example. Theres parts about it I like, but it is dull.
July 26, 2009
Dull as dirt, painfully dull.
July 27, 2009
What did they do? Cut an hour off the running time?
July 27, 2009
That would have been nice if they did. Some dialouge got removed and effects were improved going off of old art department sketches of what they were planning but ran out of time with when the movie originally came out. The VUlcan sky and statues are put in to replace the nonexistant sky Spock is looking at towards the begining, the plasma ball that hits the Enterprise looks better, a new sound mix with nicer effects and the annoying alarm klaxon is gone. Best is the molecular walkway that leads the crew outside of the ship to V'Ger. It's on par with Star Wars Special Edition except it's actually good.
July 27, 2009
Most of what I would have cut would have been the endless unspecial effects.
July 28, 2009
So would I, maybe only a minute or so of the trip and that would have been it, have Kirk make a log entry as to how long the trip was and really cut down on the repetitive dialouge with Kirk always stating how far the intruder is from Earth among other things. I covered it above and won't repeat it here.
July 28, 2009
More Star Trek: The Motion Picture reviews
review by . August 26, 2010
I can still remember the excitement I felt the first time I saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture. As a child in the early '70s, I can recall being slightly bored when my older brothers watched Star Trek reruns on TV. But it didn't take long before I was hooked, too, and I followed the adventures of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew with avid fascination. Even as new science fiction adventures hit both the big and small screens, I remained loyal to Star Trek and creator Gene Roddenberry's …
Quick Tip by . May 16, 2010
Visually stunning movie that REALLY lags on with characters stunned by said effects. A little more action and editing could have helped.
review by . July 11, 2008
I've always enjoyed Star Trek. Although it was never quite my favorite science fiction series, I appreciated it for what it was and simply loved many of the characters and ideals that it gave life to. As I've gotten older, I've become most fond of the original series. I was very young when "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was released, and always seemed to just miss it when it was replayed on television. Having viewed most of the original series, I decided to pick the film up on DVD and give it a …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #1
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


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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