Star Trek The Motion Picture Director’s Edition is an immersive delight
Star Trek The Motion Picture Director’s Edition delivers on its 1979 advertising promise.
One of the original television commercials for star trek the movie featured Orson Welles intoning, “It will amaze your senses, challenge your intellect and alter your perception of the future – taking you there.”
I saw this ad for the first time, on the first DVD of the 2001 director’s edition. I considered it mere marketing hyperbole. But now that I’ve seen the remastered star trek the movie Director’s Edition on a big cinema screen honest to Great Bird of the Galaxy, I think the world finally has a version of the film that lives up to that hype.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen ST: TMP over the nearly 30 years I’ve been a Trek fan. But seeing this lovingly and brilliantly remastered version of the film in a theater was really almost like seeing it for the first time.
I admit that my statement sounds, even to me, like hyperbole worthy of a 1979 television commercial. But watching star trek the movie Director’s Edition in a movie theater, I was engaged and engrossed in the film as I had never been before, not even when I streamed this edition at home on Paramount Plus last month. Twice!
Delicious Discoveries in Star Trek The Motion Picture Director’s Edition
You can find (and, at this late date, you probably have found) plenty of articles online outlining the changes to this remastered Director’s Edition: what they are, how the creative team accomplished them, and whether fans love them. But what impressed me the most about it, my very first screening in the cinema ST: TMPwas the whole immersive the experience it created.
The sound mix is spectacular, to begin with. I heard ambient noise and background chatter on the Company I had never heard of it before. They added so much sonic texture – especially two brief lines from Chekov (one as Kirk descends into engineering; the other as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Ensign Perez enter Ilia’s cabin) that make the new head of security seem much more involved in the action.
And Jerry Goldsmith’s stunning, Oscar-nominated score never sounded better. The opening violin notes of the Overture (Ilia’s theme) alone were sweet and rich enough to make my eyes water.
None of the improved visual effects surprised me, but they are indeed beautiful to see on the big screen. The CompanyThe pearlescent paint job really does sparkle, and at several points later in the film the ship takes on a gorgeous golden hue.
Some sites that surprised me glimpsed new acting choices on the faces of the performers. It can’t be denied ST: TMP relies too heavily on reaction fire. But seeing them on a 30-foot-tall screen at least makes it possible to notice new details.
All conventional criticism of William Shatner as a “ham” aside, he does some incredibly subtle things with his eyes and mouth (especially on the wonderful refit inspection tour Company). Likewise, Persis Khambatta communicates tremendous emotion when she, as Probe Ilia, frowns slightly when the landing party talks about the “Creator” personally coming to V’Ger near the end.
So, yes, my senses were surprised.
star trek the movie has always been the franchise’s most intellectually ambitious film. But I found it easier to indulge in some philosophical musings by watching the Director’s Edition on a movie screen. Perhaps because all the sights and sounds were so crisp, clear and big, they subconsciously encouraged me to sink into big thoughts, just like Kirk, Spock and the others.
And as for taking me to the future?
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the latest Fathom Events screening in my area, with my teenage daughter, no less. His Trek of choice is Deep Space Nine, but I thought she either wanted to please Dad or have a good reason to stay up late on a school night. Or maybe both. But we both had a fantastic time. She even said to me as I left the theater: “It doesn’t look slow at all!”
Now, I confess: I always find the CompanyV’Ger’s parallel flyby a bit slow. I’m not sure what I would have cut without mutilating Goldsmith’s beautiful music, but sure some footage here and there might hold up.
That comment aside, I agree with my daughter. The star trek the movie The director’s edit seems, not fast, but properly paced, because it’s not just a Company adventure. It’s an immersion (there’s that word again) into the 23rd century – Klingon battle cruisers, Federation space stations, Starfleet headquarters, the planet Vulcan, orbital drydocks, and all.
Looking at ST:TMP, we are tourists in the 23rd century! Why wouldn’t we want to take our time?
This definitive star trek the movie Director’s Edition does everything Orson Welles promised audiences it would return in 1979. Perhaps, like the Paul Masson wine that Welles also announced, this film was always a product that shouldn’t have been sold. before the hour.
Fortunately, with the remastered star trek the movie Director’s Edition, his time has finally come!