Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition 4K Blu-ray Review

TweakTown score: 73%

The essential

It may have taken 43 years, but Star Trek: The Motion Picture finally gets its due in this superb Director’s Edition that fixes a number of shortcomings.

Advantages

The inconvenients

Should I buy it?

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 99 Director's Edition 4K Blu-ray Review

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Director’s Edition 4K Blu-ray Review

When star trek unceremoniously ended its three-season television run in 1969, it was with a sense of surprise that its fan base not only remained but grew – thanks to syndication. Despite launching a short-lived anime series, in the mid-1970s, star trek could no longer be ignored.

After a failed attempt to initiate a live-action television series, Paramount returned the franchise to the big screen in 1979 to Star Trek: The Movie. Despite lukewarm reviews, cost overruns, and unfair comparisons to that other space series, the film was a financial success for Paramount, securing the series’ continuation. But the shortcuts put in place to ensure the film would hit cinema screens on the promised release date continued to haunt them in the years that followed until director Robert Wise decided it was time to give it a new shine.

Originally assembled and released on DVD in 2001, the Director’s Edition Star Trek: The Movie materially improves the film in several important ways, including tightening up the editing, fixing the visual effects, and improving the soundtrack. Unfortunately, the master was assembled and confirmed at standard definition, which quickly became obsolete with the advent of high definition, not to mention ultra-high definition.

But after years of indecision, in 2021 Paramount has finally launched a new 4K restoration of the Director’s Edition, which will be overseen by the same team of David C. Fein, Mike Matessino and Daren R. Dochterman, all of whom have worked with the deceased. Wise in 2001 for the director’s first edition. But this new version goes beyond the previous effort in several significant ways, including working with new 4K scans of the original camera negative, recomposing dozens of visual effects shots from the built-in assets to the camera and using the latest CG and digital coloring tools to bring the film a visual clarity never seen before.

Whereas The still image does not match the chills of Khan’s Wrath or the accessibility of The return journeyit successfully captures the tone and “essence” of the TV series better than any of the other feature films, providing a satisfying reunification of the original team, while still posing (and occasionally answering) to some of the big questions that go to the heart of star trek. While it’s never perfect (and this new Director’s Edition frustratingly adds a few alternate wrinkles), this 4K remaster is arguably the best way to experience it.

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Video transfer

Star Trek: The Movie – Director’s Edition is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, encoded with H.265 compression and finished with a Dolby Vision pass, in addition to an HDR-10 base layer.

Following a new push from Paramount Pictures to restore its sizable back catalog for 4K, the studio has unveiled new releases of the first four films in the series. star trek franchise in 2021, offering The film with a spectacular 4K restoration that repelled the ravages of time. The 2022 Director’s Edition builds on that same effort, reconfiguring the footage to much of the same edit as the 2001 Director’s Edition, with the addition of an all-new CG blueprint and updated CG and recompositions. aforementioned.

Similar to the 4K output of the theatrical release, this Director’s Edition is in spectacular shape, with crisp, clear images that revel in beautifully saturated colors and subtle highlights thanks to the HDR rating, and pleasingly, it’s in great part free of intrusive film artifacts that littered every single frame in previous presentations.

There’s a bit more discerning use of digital noise reduction than the theatrical version, but it’s tasteful and used to provide a little visual uniformity with the mishmash of elements used here. No technology can fully unify 40-year-old film stocks, ancient shooting methods, and old-school model photography with cutting-edge CG.

Age aside, the 4K Director’s Edition is a Herculean effort that’s likely to appeal to even the most pedantic star trek Fans.

audio transfer

The main audio track here is a 24-bit Dolby Atmos mix.

Originally released theatrically with a Dolby stereo track, Star Trek: The Movie got a full 5.1 remix for the 2001 Director’s Cut, which was refined to 7.1. remix for the 2009 Theatrical Blu-ray and 2021 4K release. The 2022 Director’s Edition bumps up the audio specs of Dolby Atmos, which might be more evolutionary than groundbreaking, but still a hugely enjoyable experience nonetheless.

Although the Atmos mix couldn’t overcome the limited fidelity of some of the sound effects (I suspect a lot of the effects from the original series were recycled), the Director’s Edition team was able to locate and remix some of the dialogue and accessory audio. from newly transferred recordings from ADR sessions, bringing added clarity to many scenes for the first time.

All in all, the mixers made a truly marvelous attempt to widen the soundstage and make the film feel like the grand, epic scope the movie was aiming for. The use of bass is very frequent and emphasizes the action with sufficiently punchy activity. But perhaps the overwhelming beneficiary of the new Atmos mix is ​​Jerry Goldsmith’s superb score – arguably one of the best ever written for film – which truly shines in every audio channel.

This is a very good lead that in many ways helps sell The film like the great adventure that it is.

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Bonus materials

Unfortunately, unlike the physical media releases in the US and UK, Paramount has seen fit not to include a copy of the standard Blu-ray in the Australian release nor the bonus disc, which means that all features based on the video are completely absent. From the newly assembled 40-minute documentary on the making of the Director’s Edition to newly discovered deleted scenes and hours of legacy bonus features, this is a huge omission that will force the Aussie star trek fans to look abroad for the ultimate version of the film.

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At the very least, however, the 4K disc includes a new recording Audio Commentary by the Director’s Edition team of David C. Fein, Mike Matessino and Daren R. Dochterman, plus a legacy Audio Commentary with audio commentary by Robert Wise, Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra, Jerry Goldsmith and Stephen Collins, alongside a new isolated score which features Jerry Goldsmith’s stunning score, with no sound effects or dialogue.

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