Friday, June 08, 2012

Movie Trailer: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

2 comments:

  1. I really appreciate this fascinating look at Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Your comments help to bring out a lot of the hidden meaning and subtext of the film.

    For all its faults, it's the one Trek movie I keep coming back to over and over again. Recently, I watched the movie once again and I suddenly realized that I wasn't disappointed in it anymore.

    Like so many fans, I was eagerly looking forward to more Star Trek throughout the 1970's and the big screen version disappointed in so many ways. The film was slow, the characters all seemed to be acting strangely, it was padded with visual effects, everything looked different and perhaps most disappointingly of all, the plot was just a rehash of some classic episodes.

    Deep down inside, I wanted more of the same; same sets, same costumes, same attitude, just new stories. Instead, the film was a reimagining of what Trek could be and I hated it. Why did everything have to be so different and why did Kirk and Spock have to be so riddled with angst?

    It's taken 30+ years but I can now watch the movie and enjoy it based on its own merits, not as a continuation of the Star Trek TV show. I'm no longer subconsciously anxious about all the changes made. I actually like the new costumes, I like the new sets, I like the character changes.

    There's still much that could be done to improve the film, especially regarding pacing. Why do we need so many establishing shots of all the locations? We get three or four long shots of Epsilon 9 and the orbiting space station. We get the really long trip through the V-Ger cloud and then again over its vast length. So much of that could have been eliminated or better yet, condensed with some "log entries" to push the movie along.

    Clearly, Roddenberry his cinematic vision of Trek to be similar to 2001: A Space Odyssey. When the Director's Cut came out on DVD ten years ago, I wish that Robert Wise had cut out much of the dead weight. A lot of the editorial changes that were made were for the better but much more could have been done.

    Thanks once again for reposting your wonderful assessment of this flawed film. It certainly has helped me look at the film in a different way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pierre,

      Wonderful comment here about Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I think you very well describe some of the conflict inside Trekkers that the film has caused over the years. The film is very different from the jaunty, fast-paced TV series, and yet it boasts so much intelligent, so much grandeur, and a great visual re-design. I find the film quite marvelous and glorious on its own terms, and felt like yesterday was a good day to post a "from the archive" review about it, because I'd been revisiting the Next Generation films and generally found them lacking. I would take The Motion Picture over First Contact any day, though I realize that's not a popular standpoint!

      Great comment!

      best,
      John

      Delete